After the Conventions, 1.2 Percent Growth Means Hillary Is In Trouble

The Tempest by James Henry Nixon

The splendid national political conventions are over. These inevitably put one in mind of The Tempest:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.

We awaken from Hillary’s stirring acceptance speech to discover that The Washington Post reports the second quarter growth rate at 1.2 percent, half of analysts’ expectations.

Note to Self:

2.4 percent is disappointing. 1.2 percent foretells probable political catastrophe for the incumbent party. (Meaning Hillary.)

Consider the implications of The New York Review of Books’ Michael Tomasky’s recent observation:

There’s no disputing the fact that, absent a major event like a terrorist attack or a legal indictment, the economy is the most important factor in any presidential election. More specifically, as John Sides and Lynn Vavreck argue in The Gamble, it’s the economic conditions that obtain in the last few months or perhaps the last year before the voting.

Tomasky is a principled “until the last dog dies” Hillary loyalist, appalled by Trump (as, less so, by Sanders). Yet also he is one of the most honest and rigorous political analysts at work, unblinded by his own neoliberal preferences. Continue Reading

Invasion of the Party Snatchers: Who Are These Democrats in Philadelphia?

I have a working hypothesis. I suspect that the vast majority of Democrats in Philadelphia were recently abducted and replaced by alien impostors.

Call it the Invasion of the Party Snatchers.

Yes, this may sound absurd, but it is the only logical explanation I can muster for the happy-go-lucky, God-bless-America, we-are-the-greatest vibe the Democrats are giving off at the Democratic National Convention this week.

Take Michelle Obama’s speech on Monday, for example. The First Lady stoked the crowd with a powerful dose of raw nationalism:

“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great — that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth!”

Strong words. Maybe the Democrats really are the party of patriotism and positivity? Except that’s not what Michelle Obama said just eight years ago, when her husband was running for President:

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country…”

Quite a flip-flop to be sure.

And did you watch President Obama’s love letter to America on Wednesday night?

“The America I know is full of courage and optimism and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous.”

Really? When then-Senator Obama was asked what he thought about Americans in 2008, he seemed a bit more critical:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them.

Continue Reading

Tim Kaine Asks Voters to Trust Hillary — But Can They Trust Him?

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Last night at the Democratic National Convention, Tim Kaine attempted to make the case that Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy, a sentiment with which the overwhelming majority of Americans disagree. Amid a number of attacks on Donald Trump, Kaine laid out his argument:

First, she’s consistent. … When you want to know something about the character of somebody in public life, look to see if they have a passion that began long before they were in office, and that they have consistently held it throughout their career.

Kaine’s attempt to paint Hillary Clinton as a consistent, principled politician is certainly difficult one, running contrary to even the most cursory examination of her entire political career. But it is all the less convincing coming from Kaine, who is in the midst of a political realignment of his own, changing a number of long-held beliefs in order to become a more palatable running-mate for the increasingly radical Clinton campaign.

Kaine has followed Clinton’s lead on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with an impressively quick about-face on his previous support of the deal. One week ago, Kaine was praising the trade deal, which Clinton helped negotiate as Secretary of State. The very next day, Hillary Clinton chose him as her running mate, and he privately agreed to echo her newfound opposition to the deal. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, friend to both Kaine and Clinton, said on Tuesday that he expects that a Clinton administration would ultimately flip-flop again and support the deal. Continue Reading

Obama, Trump, and the Cult of the Presidency

President Barack Obama addresses the 2016 Democratic National Convention (Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

During his speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, President Obama took a shot at Donald Trump for trying to claim to be the voice of the people.

“Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled,” the president said.

“America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump. In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person,” he said, to thunderous applause from the leftist delegates in the audience.

This, of course, is wildly divergent from the tone of President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Then, he was the only candidate who could unite the American people. Then, he was the savior promising to restore order as long as we do things his way.

In his 2008 DNC speech, President Obama said, of securing the Democratic nomination, “generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. Continue Reading

At DNC, Democrats Celebrate Abortion But Refuse to Name It

Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

On Tuesday night, Cecile Richards, the CEO of Planned Parenthood, was the first speaker at the Democratic National Convention to use the word “abortion.”

Many pro-abortion activists hailed Richards’ utterance as “de-stigmatizing” and a leap forward to “abortion normalization.” What is interesting about Richards’ speech is not, however, what she said, but what the other speakers in Philadelphia have not said.

For the most part, Democrats refuse to say the word “abortion.” They believe the word is political poison.

Polling suggests 81 percent of American voters support restrictions on abortion that the Democratic platform is open hostile towards. Similar polling also points to fact that the youth and minority groups — the crown jewels of the Obama coalition — believe abortion is morally wrong.

The Democrats fear that if their party truthfully communicated their pro-abortion platform, Americans would turn against the left in droves. The fact that Cecile Richards, perhaps the most radically pro-abortion woman in the country, is the only one with the strength of conviction to even so much as use the word “abortion” is a testament to the pro-life movement’s growing strength.

However, that doesn’t mean that the DNC is dodging the abortion issue entirely. Indeed, as one Washington Examiner writer described it, the Democratic convention is a celebration of abortion.

Leaders of pro-abortion groups, from Richards to the heads of NARAL and EMILY’s List, have given hyped-up addresses to the delegates. The Democrats’ platform supports essentially deregulating abortion clinics to encourage “easy access.” The Democratic nominee has abandoned her husband’s mantra that abortion ought to be “safe, legal, and rare” in favor of a new motto “legal and available with federal funding.”

Democrats know that if they speak openly and honestly about their positions, they will lose the people’s support. Continue Reading

Democrats Embrace Totalitarian Legislation in New Platform

Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Earlier this week at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, delegates approved one of the most radical social agendas ever embraced by an American political party.

Though many media outlets have been focusing on the DNC’s open-doors bathroom policy or the record number of LGBT delegates on the convention floor, the real radicalism on LGBT issues can be found in that platform’s ardent support for the Equality Act.

Introduced in 2015, and co-sponsored by presumptive Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine, the Equality Act would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enact a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We will also fight for comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections for all LGBT Americans,” the DNC’s platform outlines. “We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate.”

Claiming that adherence to traditional sexual morality is a “misuse” of religion reveals the deeper issues with the Equality Act and the Democrats’ LGBT agenda more broadly. For the left, religious liberty is only tolerable when it provides absolutely no impediments to the pursuit of a radical agenda.

Ryan Anderson, an expert on issues of marriage and religious liberty, argued that, despite the nice-sounding name and rhetorical defenses of the bill, the Equality Act would be terrible public policy for just that reason.

“They threaten small-business owners with liability for alleged ‘discrimination’ based not on objective traits, but on subjective and unverifiable identities,” Anderson wrote for The Daily Signal Continue Reading

Can We Talk About How Extreme the Democrats Are?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

On Monday, the Democratic National Convention voted to approve the most extreme pro-abortion party platform in U.S. history. As Danny Cannon wrote several weeks ago upon the release of the platform’s final draft, the new Democratic platform does away with “safe, legal, and rare,” the Clinton pro-abortion mantra on abortion in the 1990s, and instead promotes late-term abortion, on-demand, with no restrictions, funded by the taxpayer.

The Democratic Party doubled down on their extreme platform with a “Who’s Who” list of powerful liberal speakers at their convention in Philadelphia this week. Where are pro-life speakers like Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) or Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.)? Nowhere to be found. Party leaders are making it clear — there is no room in the Democratic Party for ideological diversity, at least not on the issue of abortion.

Of course, the Democratic Party elites are severely out of touch with their voters — and with the electorate at large. A Marist poll released yesterday revealed that most Americans have sharp disagreements with the Democratic Party platform.

  • 78 percent of Americans support limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy or earlier.
  • Among the 78 percent of Americans who support these restrictions on abortion were 62 percent of self-identifying “pro-choice” voters, 85 percent of African-Americans, and 84 percent of Latinos.

Remember, the Democratic Party platform calls for no restrictions whatsoever on abortion. That means that they sincerely believe — and if you don’t believe me, ask any prominent Democratic politician — that abortion should be legal at all stages of a pregnancy, including the second trimester and, yes, even in the third trimester. Continue Reading

Three Big Predictions for the Democratic National Convention

Photo credit: Jim Hutchison via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Now that we’ve all caught our caught our collective breaths after an exciting week in Cleveland, it’s time to turn our attention to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, which starts today. In anticipation of another eventful week, here are three predictions for the 2016 DNC:

1.) There will be no ‘Ted Cruz Moment.’

Look, the Wikileaks email release is big, it is, but even Bernie Sanders has gone on the record saying that he is not surprised by it. It’s best not to expect a thinly veiled “vote against our nominee” (which is now the plain speak translation of “vote your conscience” — don’t worry Senator Cruz, we all heard you loud and clear). However, the platform has definitely #FeltTheBern. Sanders got what he wanted in the platform language, or at least most of it. Since the primary season, Sanders has consistently said that Hillary Clinton was a better choice than any of the seventeen original Republican candidates. Now that Donald Trump is leading in the polls, Sanders will become one of Clinton’s most visible surrogates.

2.) Social issues and economics will be all over the convention.

As a way to reach out to Bernie Sanders after the email scandal, the DNC is likely to encourage that progressive economics underlie the theme of each speech given. Prioritizing helping out the bottom 99 percent, ending loopholes for billionaires, and other common Sanders talking points will be hit as often as the Republicans chanted “Lock her up.” On the other end, the Democrats will rally behind the rights of all people to use any bathroom, and other topical social issues (abortion, LGBT issues, etc.). Continue Reading

The Democrats’ Pro-Abortion Platform Is Too Radical Even for Democrats

Photo credit: Cliff via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Democratic National Committee’s platform proposal contains language on abortion so radical some rank-and-file Democrats are lashing out at party leadership.

The draft platform promises that Democrats “will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers” and “will continue to oppose — and seek to overturn — federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.”

The Hyde Amendment, a rider annually attached to laws by Congress since 1976, prohibits federal funding of abortion procedures. According to polling, over 65 percent of Americans support the Hyde Amendment.

Carol Crossed, a retired elementary school teacher and committed Democrat, was interviewed by USA Today about the anti-Hyde Amendment language.

“They are pro-choice because they don’t want to be infringing their opinion on others,” she said. “Now their platform says if you don’t like abortions, too bad — you are going to pay for it anyway.”

Even elected Democratic politicians oppose this platform change. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) wrote a letter to the DNC, arguing that the party ought to “place greater emphasis on access to family planning services and support for pregnant and parenting women, in lieu of repealing the Hyde Amendment.”

Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), one of Clinton’s potential running mates, told The Weekly Standard that he has typically been a supporter of the Hyde Amendment and that he would have to “check out” the platform proposal.

The draft also promises to strike at laws which make getting an abortion more difficult, such as bans on late-term abortion or health and safety regulations. Continue Reading