Thursday, November 30, 2017

Scarborough: White House Insiders Say Trump Has Dementia

Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said on Thursday that White House insiders have told him that President Trump is in “the early stages of dementia.” Scarborough said on his show that Trump is “completely detached from reality.”

“You have somebody inside the White House that the New York Daily News says is mentally unfit,” Scarborough said. “That people close to him say is mentally unfit, that people close to him during the campaign told me had early stages of dementia.”

Scarborough also said that he believes the US is closer to war with North Korea than the Administration admits. “We heard this months ago,” he said, “that we are going to have a ground war in Korea, they believed that inside the White House for a very long time.”

“If this is not what the 25th Amendment was drafted for,” Scarborough added.

“Then what is it for?” cohost Mika Brzezinski finished.

The 25th Amendment addresses presidential succession. The fourth section of the amendment allows the vice president to assume the presidency if the vice president and a majority of either cabinet officials or Congress decide that the president is “unable to discharge” his duties.

There are seven stages of dementia that range from mild cognitive decline, such as normal forgetfulness associated with aging, to very severe cognitive decline in which people cannot communicate and must be assisted with even basic activities such as eating and using the toilet. It isn’t clear to which stage Scarborough is referring, but “early stage dementia,” characterized by moderate cognitive decline, includes difficulty concentrating, decreased memory of recent events, trouble completing complex tasks and withdrawing from family and friends.

Scarborough’s tirade comes a day after a tweet by Trump that called for MSNBC to “investigate” an “’unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago.”

The tweet alludes to the death of Lori Klausutis, an intern in Scarborough’s office when he was a Florida congressman. There was no sign of foul play or suicide and the medical examiner ruled that Klausutis had died after hitting her head in a fall caused by heart problems.

Scarborough is not the only person to suggest that President Trump is mentally ill. Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist in the Washington Post, also suggested on Wednesday that a 25th amendment solution might be necessary, citing Trump’s recent alleged claims that the “Access Hollywood” tape was faked and that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Scarborough and Donald Trump have engaged in a long-running feud even though Scarborough initially supported Trump. The “Morning Joe” hosts broke with Trump and called him a racist for his comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel in June 2016. The feud reached a boiling point in June 2017 when Trump launched a vicious twitter attack on both Scarborough and Brzezinski, his “Morning Joe” cohost and fiancĂ©.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Fifth Woman Accuses Al Franken

A fifth woman has come forward to accuse Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) of improper sexual conduct. The accusation comes from an army veteran who accompanied Franken on a USO tour in 2003.

The new accuser is Stephanie Kemplin, 41, of Maineville, Ohio. In 2003, Kemplin was deployed to Kuwait where she met Mr. Franken, who was taking pictures with the troops. Kemplin, at the time a 27-year-old fan of “Saturday Night Live,” stood in line to take a photo with Franken.  

“When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast,” Kemplin said on CNN. “I've never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So, he was holding my breast on the side.”

“I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself flushed," she said. "And I remember thinking -- is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand.”

Kemplin said that she was “embarrassed” by Franken’s behavior, which lasted for about 10 seconds.

“It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident,” she said. “I'm very confident saying that.”

A photo taken at the time does not show Franken’s hand on Kemplin’s breast. Kemplin is leaning in towards Franken with her head touching his cheek. Franken’s right hand is visible on Kemplin’s back. His left hand appears to hang straight down at his side. Kemplin is smiling in the photo.

Kemplin said that she was stunned when the photo was taken and that she did not say anything to Franken at the time. She does not remember discussing the incident with fellow soldiers at the time, but did tell her sister and ex-boyfriend.

“You're immediately put on the spot. What are you going to do? What are you going to do? Your mind goes a mile a minute,” Kemplin said. “Who was I going to tell?”

“I just remember her telling me that he grabbed her breast and that she was so shocked about it,” Kemplin’s sister said. “My sister is pretty bold and assertive and she said that she didn't know what to do.”

A former boyfriend also verified that Kemplin told him that Franken “went to put his arm around her and copped a feel.”

Kemplin was the allegedly the victim of another sexual assault while deployed as well. She complained about another soldier who shared a tent with her in 2003, shortly after the incident with Franken. An investigation was launched, but the soldier was not charged.

The first accusation against Franken came from Leann Tweeden, a radio personality, who claimed that Franken kissed her and groped her on a different USO tour in 2006. Lindsay Menz accused Franken of feeling her butt while they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. An anonymous accuser claimed a similar experience in 2007 and calls Franken a “serial groper.” A second anonymous accuser says that Franken touched her butt and asked her to come to the bathroom with him at a Democrat fundraiser in 2008.  

Franken has said that he does not remember groping the women and denied “proposition[ing] anyone to join me in the bathroom,” according to a statement.

“I'm someone who, you know, hugs people,” Franken said on Minnesota Public Radio. “I've learned from these stories that in some of these encounters I have crossed the line for some women.”

Kemplin, who is Republican, says that she knows not everyone will believe her. “Nobody wants to believe anybody if you don't immediately stand up and say something.”

Originally published on The Resurgent

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

FCC Chairman Attacks Twitter For Viewpoint Discrimination

Fresh from his announcement of a plan to repeal net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is going on the offensive against tech companies that limit the online speech of conservatives. Pai singled out Twitter for blocking an ad campaign by a Republican senatorial candidate.

While net neutrality rules focus internet service providers, Pai argues that it is the “edge providers,” companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter that provide content directly to users, that “are a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint” per CNN.

“When it comes to a free and open internet, Twitter is part of the problem,” Pai said.

In October, Twitter blocked an ad campaign by Marsha Blackburn, a Republican campaigning for the seat of the retiring Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). Twitter said that a video containing the line, “I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts,” violated its advertising standards. Politico reports that Twitter did not remove the video, but did not allow the Blackburn campaign to pay to promote it.

“Anyone voluntarily following her account could see it, as is their choice as a consumer when they choose to follow her,” a Twitter spokesman told CNN. “Because advertisements are served to users who do not necessarily follow an account, we therefore have higher standards for their content.”

Earlier this month, Twitter also announced that it would remove the verification badges from accounts that violate company guidelines. The company revoked verification from some alt-right and white supremacist accounts such as Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler. Tim Gionet, another alt-right tweeter who used the handle “Baked Alaska,” was banned permanently.

Pai also criticized celebrities Cher, George Takei, Mark Ruffalo, and Alyssa Milano by name for what he called “absurd” statements about the repeal of net neutrality. Pai read a tweet by Ruffalo that claimed, “Taking away #NetNeutrality is the Authoritarian dream.”

“These comments are absurd,” Pai said. “Getting rid of government authority over the Internet is the exact opposite of authoritarianism.”

Several companies have been fined for violating net neutrality since the FCC adopted the standard in 2005. These cases stem from companies blocking access to competing products rather than censoring opposing viewpoints. Earlier this year, AT&T was accused of restricting access to Facetime, an Apple video calling app, for users who had not purchased AT&T shared data plans.

The FCC board members will vote on the repeal of net neutrality at their meeting on Dec. 14.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Jones Has Heavy Advantage Over Moore in Ads and Fundraising

Roy Moore is still in a close race with Democrat Doug Jones, but you might not know it from watching Alabama television. The Democratic candidate is spending about seven times more than the scandal-plagued Republican. Jones has aired about 10,000 television ads compared to about 1,000 for Moore.

“I saw probably 40 to 50 Doug Jones ads, and I saw one Roy Moore ad,” Daniel Deriso, an aide to the Democratic mayor-elect of Birmingham, said of the Thanksgiving break.

Politico reports that Jones held a financial advantage even before the accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore. Since the reports of Moore’s alleged misbehavior in the late 1970s became public, online donations to the Jones campaign have rolled in from around the country. At the same time, the Moore campaign took a hit as the Republican National Committee cut off support. gave Moore a slight fundraising advantage in late October. At that point, Moore had raised $2.5 million through the end of September and had $543,000 on hand after the difficult primary fight. Jones had raised $1.6 million and had a balance of $1 million. Three weeks later, after Moore’s accusers came forward, the Washington Examiner reported that Jones was raising $250,000 per day.

The fundraising advantage gives Jones the upper hand in the race, which is rare for Democrats in deep red Alabama. Even amid the ongoing scandal and with scant support from national Republicans, polling shows a tight race with Moore and Jones in a dead heat. Jones’ ability to drown out Moore’s message in a blitz of advertising may be the deciding factor in the race.

Politico notes that Jones’ ads are aimed at Republicans who are not happy with Moore. The ads feature Republican critics of Moore, criticisms of the healthcare system and emphasize Jones’ background as a federal prosecutor, a nonpartisan position that helps to distance him from the national Democratic Party. The ads feature quotes from Ivanka Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Al.) saying that they believe Moore’s accusers.

The Jones campaign is flush enough with ad money that it is moving beyond attacking Moore’s sexual history to education policy. In a new ad, Jones says that Moore “compares preschool and early childhood education to Nazi indoctrination” while Jones promises to work “across party lines for preschool and smaller class sizes.”

Appearing as nonthreatening and bipartisan is vital for Jones. Fifty-two percent of Alabamans identify as Republicans and half say they are conservative. There is no path to victory in a statewide election for a Democrat who cannot win Republican votes.

It is Jones’ liberal views that are his Achilles heel in conservative Alabama. His opposition to restrictions on abortion has made him vulnerable to attacks in a state where 57 percent of voters identify as pro-life. Still, some Alabamans find the accusations against Moore too much to overlook.

“I’d like to see someone in there who’d support Trump, but I believe the women,” Suzanne Turner of Huntsville told the Washington Post. “I put a Doug Jones sign in my yard. I felt a little sick doing that. But I had to.”

The race is reminiscent of last summer’s special election in Georgia in which Democrats pinned their hopes and treasure on Jon Ossof. Ossof outspent Republican Karen Handel by six to one in the race for former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s congressional seat, but still lost a close race.

As the campaign enters the final stretch, it will be Jones whose message inundates the airwaves and sets the tone. Jones will be able to paint himself as a nonthreatening moderate while hammering away with the argument that Moore is an extremist and a sexual predator. In Alabama, it may still not be enough. 

Originally published on The Resurgent

Monday, November 27, 2017

Marine Colonel Enters Alabama Senate Race As Write-In Candidate

A new candidate has emerged the embattled Alabama Senate race. Lee Busby, a retired Marine colonel, has announced that he will challenge Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones as an independent candidate in the special election to fill the seat of Jeff Sessions.

Per the Daily Beast, Busby, who served as a vice chief of staff to then-Gen. John Kelly, the current White House chief of staff, has worked as a defense consultant and investment banker since his retirement after 31 years as a Marine. In his spare time, Busby sculpts busts of fallen soldiers.

“Alabama is not happy with the two choices we have down here. They are not appealing,” Busby said.

Roy Moore, the embattled Republican candidate for the Alabama Senate seat, has been accused of inappropriate sexual contact with teenage girls when Moore was in his 30s. Additionally, Moore has embraced a number of conspiracy theories and failed to complete two terms as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Polls showed a close race even before the allegations against Moore became public.

Busby’s entrance into the race as a write-in candidate is bad news for Roy Moore, who seemed to be consolidating a lead in recent days. Many prominent Republicans refused to support Moore on the basis of the credible accusations against him, but others, including President Trump, supported him on the grounds that the Senate seat was too important to lose to Democrats. Busby provides a conservative alternative for Alabamans who cannot vote for a man credibly accused of sexual assaulting teenage girls, but who also reject the liberal positions of the Democrats.

With the Alabama special election set for Dec. 12, Busby has only two weeks to mount a campaign. The late entry into the race means that Busby stands almost no chance of winning, but he could act as a spoiler in the tight race.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Two Acting Directors Fight For Control of CFPB

Chaos is breaking loose at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as two Acting Directors engage in a battle for control of the agency. The Acting Director chosen by the agency’s former head has now filed suit against the Trump Administration to block the president’s pick to lead the agency.

The drama began on Friday when Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB under Barack Obama, resigned his position. As he departed, Cordray named Leandra English, the CFPB’s chief of staff, to become the deputy director of the agency. As deputy director, English would become the acting director on Cordray’s departure. Shortly after Cordray stepped down, President Trump nominated Mick Mulvaney, then director of the Office of Management and Budget, to take the reins of the CFPB.

Then things got weird.

Leandra English refused to step aside and accept President Trump’s nomination of Mulvaney. Sunday night, English filed suit against the Trump Administration to block Mulvaney’s appointment. The Hill reports that the CFPB head counsel is expected to resist English’s suit. This puts English in the somewhat unique position of fighting the agency that she purportedly heads in court.

English’s suit claims that Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney is a violation of the Dodd-Frank Act that established the CFPB. The Trump Administration cites the Vacancies Reform Act in the appointment of Mulvaney, which English argues is superseded by the language of Dodd-Frank.

Noah Feldman at the Chicago Tribune explains that the CFPB, like the Federal Reserve, is an independent agency in which the director is insulated from presidential control and can only be fired for cause. Therefore, if Cordray is allowed to appoint his own acting successor, English would also be protected from termination by Trump. The White House Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion that President Trump had the legal authority to appoint a different acting director if the appointee had already been confirmed by the Senate, as Mulvaney had.

Ultimately the issue is whether the CFPB is under presidential control at all. In 2016, a federal court ruled that the CFPB power structure created by the Democrats was unconstitutional and left the agency director unaccountable to Congress or the president. The ruling is now under review by the full DC circuit court.  Fifteen state attorneys general have filed briefs urging the court to require checks on the agency in accordance with the constitutional separation of powers.

Currently, the two acting directors are battling for the loyalty of the agency’s employees. The Washington Post reports that English emailed employees, saying, “I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. With Thanksgiving in mind, I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude to all of you for your service.”

Mulvaney responded with his own email instructing agency employees to “Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as acting director” and report any other communications from English to the agency counsel.

Mulvaney also included an enticement. “I apologize for this being the very first thing you hear from me,” he said in the email. “However, under the circumstances I suppose it is necessary. If you’re at 1700 G Street today, please stop by the fourth floor to say hello and grab a doughnut.” A subsequent tweet by Mulvaney’s spokesman showed several doughnut boxes with only one half of a chocolate-glazed remaining. 

Originally published on The Resurgent

Dem Candidates To Hillary: If The Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Us

Two-time presidential loser Hillary Clinton said last week that no prospective presidential candidates have sought her advice on a campaign to unseat Donald Trump (assuming he is still president) in 2020. The comments were made in an interview on Wednesday with conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt.

Clinton attributed the lack of contact from presidential hopefuls to the fact that the election is three years away. “Nobody’s actually been to see me,” Clinton told Hewitt. “I see Democrats all the time, and nobody has said ‘Hey, I’m going to run,’ or ‘I’m thinking about running, give me advice now,’ because it is too soon.”

While Clinton is correct that the election is still far in the future, there may be other reasons that Democrats are not seeking her advice. Clinton ran one of the most lackluster campaigns in recent history. Although there are many reasons why Hillary Clinton is not president today, one of the most fundamental errors was her failure to campaign in the Rust Belt states. Donald Trump’s unexpected wins in these states allowed him to eke out an Electoral College victory.

Aside from not letting up on the campaigning, there are other things that Hillary could tell a 2020 candidate. For example, don’t do anything to trigger an FBI criminal investigation of yourself, especially in an election year. If you are under an investigation, it’s probably best to sit out 2020 and focus on 2024.

Hillary might also say that a 2020 candidate needs a message other than “I want to be president.” The 2016 Clinton campaign seemed to be centered around the theme that voters should elect her because she wanted to make history as the first woman president. Her lack of an agenda to correct the problems of the Obama Administration was equivalent to campaigning for “four more years” of an unpopular president who presided over eight years of economic doldrums. Voters were ready for a change.  

“There may be some private planning going on by some people,” Clinton said. “I wouldn’t know who. I wouldn’t hazard a guess. But in terms of actually seeking out advice, people have said, 'hey, I want to come talk to you.' But I haven’t had those conversations, in large measure, because I’ve said I’m going to focus next year on 2018, and then, you know, I’ll be happy to talk.”

There may be another reason that the 2020 hopefuls are steering clear of Hillary. The era of Clinton domination of the Democratic Party appears to have drawn to a close as prominent Democrats like Donna Brazile distance themselves from the both Hillary and Bill. Democrats are beginning to acknowledge that the Clintons were corrupt, beholden to Wall Street and covered up Bill’s sexual misbehavior for decades. In short, the Clintons are becoming pariahs among leftist political activists.

After Hillary’s embarrassing loss to Donald Trump and the subsequent revelations about secret Clinton control of the Democratic National Committee, it may be that potential candidates see Hillary as more of a liability than an asset. As Hillary makes the rounds on her book tour and desperately tries to stay relevant, it is likely that her phone will stay silent. The calls from 2020 hopefuls are probably going to Bernie Sanders. 

Originally published on The Resurgent

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Beer and Football: Origins Of A Thanksgiving Tradition

This Thanksgiving as millions of Americans settle into a turkey-induced afternoon coma, others will push aside their plates and prepare to partake in that other great American Thanksgiving tradition. The tradition that I speak of is not honoring the memory of the Pilgrims or thanking God for his blessings, although those are also important. The tradition that I speak of is football and beer.

Thanksgiving football games, paired with a cold amber, ale or lager, are a longtime American tradition. In fact, this tradition has its roots in history that predates even the first Thanksgiving turkey. Thanksgiving beer and football goes all the way back to Samoset and Squanto, the Indians who befriended the Pilgrims and taught them how to survive through the harsh New England winters.

On March 16, 1621, an Indian wearing only a loincloth walked into the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth, Mass. The book, “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, tells what happened next.
"Welcome!" he suddenly boomed, in a deep, resonant voice. The Pilgrims were too startled to speak. At length they replied with as much gravity as they could muster: "Welcome."
Their visitor fixed them with a piercing stare. "Have you got any beer?" he asked them in flawless English. If they were surprised before, they were astounded now.
"Beer?" one of them managed.
The Indian nodded.
The Pilgrims looked at one another, then turned back to him. "Our beer is gone. Would you like ... some brandy?"
Again the Indian nodded.

The beer-loving Indian was Samoset, one of the few Indians in the New World who spoke English, having learned the language from English fishermen and explorers who visited the New England coast. Samoset soon returned and introduced the colonists to Squanto, another English-speaking native.

Squanto was alone in the world. He had been captured by Captain George Weymouth about 1605 and taken to England, where he spent about 10 years. After returning to North America, he was captured by another Englishman, Thomas Hunt, and sold into slavery in Spain. He escaped and returned to his home in 1619, only to find that his entire tribe, the Patuxets, had been wiped out by smallpox.

His meeting with the English gave Squanto a reason to live. “These English were like little babes,” according to “The Light and the Glory.” Squanto taught them to plant corn, catch fish and “helped in a thousand similar ways, teaching them to stalk deer, plant pumpkins among the corn, refine maple syrup from maple trees, discern which herbs were good to eat and good for medicine, and find the best berries....”

It was the Pilgrim gratitude to both God and Squanto that inspired the first Thanksgiving feast. The joyous celebration lasted for three days. It is truly miraculous that the Pilgrims, thousands of miles from England, would encounter two Indians who spoke their native language and who would take the time to teach them to survive in their new home.

If beer was present (or at least sought) at the earliest Thanksgiving, football came a little later. President Lincoln declared the first fixed Thanksgiving holiday in 1863 and the first Thanksgiving football game came only six years later.

The Philadelphia Evening Telegraph chronicled a Thanksgiving Day football game in 1869 between the Young America Cricket Club and the Germantown Cricket Club. This game came only six weeks after the Rutgers-Princeton game that is widely considered to be America’s first football game.

Yale and Princeton played Thanksgiving Day games from 1876 through 1881 according to Wikipedia. In 1882, the Intercollegiate Football Association began holding a championship game in New York City on Thanksgiving Day. By the time the NFL was organized in 1920, football was already a Thanksgiving staple.

Thanksgiving is properly a day to reflect on God’s blessings. We are truly fortunate to be heirs to the religious liberty sought by the Pilgrims and to live in this land of plenty. But as you celebrate God’s gifts, don’t feel guilty as you enjoy a football game. And if you want to have a Thanksgiving beer, consider raising your glass to Samoset and Squanto, without whom the story of the Pilgrims might have ended very differently.

Originally published on The Resurgent

FCC To Repeal Net Neutrality Rules

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is unveiling a proposal to repeal the agency’s net neutrality rules. The proposal to roll back the Obama-era regulations will be subject to a vote by commissioners on December 14 per Wired.

Net neutrality essentially means that internet service providers are “common carriers” and must treat all data on the internet the same and not use charge different fees for different users. The principle prevents ISPs from charging more to customers that use large amounts of data and from slowing, or “throttling,” data for heavy users.

Although net neutrality legislation was never passed by Congress, it was implemented through an FCC policy statement in 2005. The Obama Administration implemented more stringent rules in 2015 that classed internet providers as common carriers. Those rules remain in place today.

There have been several real-world applications of the principle. In 2004, the FCC fined Madison River Communications $15,000 for restricting its customers access to Vonage, an internet-based phone company that that competed with Madison River’s own products. In 2009, Comcast slowed uploads to some filesharing sites. Earlier this year, AT&T was still restricting access to Facetime for some users who had not subscribed to the company’s shared data plans despite the net neutrality rules that were already in place.

Proponents of net neutrality worry that repeal of the rules would lead to censorship. “Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t,” says the activist group Free Press. “They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.”

“The consequences would be particularly devastating for marginalized communities [sic] media outlets have misrepresented or failed to serve,” Free Press frets. “People of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on the open internet to organize, access economic and educational opportunities, and fight back against systemic discrimination.”

There is little evidence to suggest that internet providers would target ethnic groups or political factions, but there is a strong possibility that companies would favor their own products. “Well-established services from deep-pocketed companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft will likely remain widely available,” says Wired. “But net-neutrality advocates argue that smaller companies that don’t have the money to pay for fast lanes could suffer. In other words, protecting net neutrality isn't about saving Netflix, but about saving the next Netflix.”

As with any change in government policy, there are likely to be lawsuits by affected groups that could change or delay implementation of the new policy. The FCC move may also spur Congress to take legislative action. There is bipartisan support for bill that would establish a permanent policy rather than having major changes with each new administration.

Repealing net neutrality rules will not lead to internet censorship, but it will affect some internet users. Consumers who are in areas where there are monopolies for cable and internet service would be particularly vulnerable to restrictive policies of their internet providers.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Keep Politics Away From Thanksgiving Table

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and battle lines are being drawn. GQ says, “It’s your civic duty to ruin Thanksgiving by bringing up Trump.” Meanwhile, my pro-Trump friends are sharing memes that say, “This Thanksgiving don’t forget to remind your liberal family members that Trump is their president.” The Washington Times published a “Trump-era Thanksgiving guide to conservative arguments for your liberal relatives” while Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted a chart that claims the Republican tax bill will raise taxes on the middle class. “Bring this chart to Thanksgiving dinner,” Schumer urged.

Let the cringing begin.

As both sides gird for the skirmish around the Thanksgiving table, a large minority dreads the seemingly inevitable political discussion. An NBC poll found that a third of Americans dread the political talk at the table. Only 20 percent look forward to political turkey talk.

In essence, 20 percent of Americans are trying to drive the discussion at Thanksgiving toward their pet political positions, regardless of whether it ruins Thanksgiving for everyone else. In some cases, ruining Thanksgiving is the goal. My message to these people is to knock it off.

Thanksgiving is not about politics. Unfortunately, our nation and culture are so deeply politicized that not even Thanksgiving dinner is immune. The politicization of Thanksgiving began in earnest last year with a  host of articles about how to survive Thanksgiving in the wake of one the most polarizing and controversial elections in American history.

The past year has not healed wounds from the epic battle of the unpopular candidates. In fact, with the recent explosion of sexual misconduct charges on both sides of the aisle, this year may be worse. It is not a foregone conclusion that this year’s table talk will be rated “G” with topics such as Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Wes Goodman and Al Franken on the table.

Partisans of both sides should be aware that they are not going to sway political views by attacking the deeply-held beliefs of other family members on Thanksgiving. The result of such a strategy would be more likely to persuade other family members that you are… a synonym for a donkey (note that this does not imply a Democrat political affiliation).

As to Senator Schumer’s chart, talk of tax reform in combination with large amounts of turkey and stuffing is not going to make you the life of the Thanksgiving celebration. If you insist on discussing tax rates during or after Thanksgiving dinner, the result will only be to push your family into a turkey-induced food coma that much quicker.

Thanksgiving is about acknowledging the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. Whether we are on the right, left or in the middle, we should be able to recognize that, compared to the vast majority of the world, Americans have it really good. Whether you like Donald Trump or not, we are all one-percenters in global terms. Thanksgiving is the time to express gratitude for that.

An appropriate way of observing Thanksgiving would be to celebrate what we have in common with our family members instead of picking at old wounds. Reaching out in friendship is more in keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving than is political sparring over the stuffing. If the Pilgrims and the Indians can come together for a peaceful meal, Republicans and Democrats should be able to do the same.

Do we really not get enough of politics that we can’t declare an informal truce on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas? Is there nothing so sacred in American life that it cannot be tainted with partisan political bickering? This Thanksgiving, let’s resolve to take a break from the poisonous politics of 2017. People who cannot be civil through Thanksgiving dinner should be banished to the kids’ table where they belong.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Monday, November 20, 2017

Border Patrol Agent Killed In Texas Attack

A US Border Patrol agent was killed and another injured Saturday morning in Texas. A press release from US Customs and Border Protection said that Agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were “responding to activity” along Interstate 10 near Van Horn, Texas when the second agent reported that both men were injured and in need of assistance. Other Border Patrol agents responded and transported both wounded men to the hospital, where Agent Martinez died of his injuries. The second agent was reported to be in serious condition.

No details were initially given about the incident or who might have been responsible for Agent Martinez’s death. The press release reported that “the Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group and agents from CBP’s Air and Marine Operations are searching the area for potential suspects or witnesses.” CBP also noted that Culberson County, Texas Sheriff’s Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of Inspector General, and CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility were all investigating the incident.

A local CBS affiliate reported that President of the National Border Patrol Council Brandon Judd characterized the incident as an attack. Judd, who is also a Border Patrol agent, said that the two agents were tracking a group of illegal aliens when they were attacked with rocks. CBS notes that the report has not been independently verified.

Jeanette Harper, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s El Paso office, did confirm to Fox News that the agents were not shot, saying, “They were not fired upon.”

Van Horn is located in Culberson County in West Texas. It is in the Border Patrol’s Big Bend Sector. The mountainous terrain there makes border crossings by illegal aliens difficult.

Rogelio Martinez, 36, was four-year veteran of the Border Patrol. He was a native of El Paso and is survived by his fiancé and son.

President Trump responded to the attack with a tweet, “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Originally published on The Resurgent

Hillary: People Are 'Misremembering' How I Attacked Bill's Accusers

According to Hillary Clinton, people are “misremembering” her role in attacking the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. The comments came in an interview last week with radio personality Rita Cosby that was part of Mrs. Clinton’s promotional tour for her book, “What Happened.”

Cosby asked the former First Lady if she had any regrets about not being supportive of the women who accused President Clinton and her role in “sort of attacking the victims.”

Clinton responded with a long, meandering answer that never directly addressed the question posed by Cosby, but implied that Bill Clinton’s accusers were all liars. Clinton began by saying that “every situation has to be judged on its own merits,” but that “people are either misremembering or misinterpreting history.”

“Of course, you should give people who make such allegations the benefit of the doubt, that's what our system does,” Clinton said, “but then you have to investigate them.”

“There were allegations that were disproved,” Clinton claimed. “There were allegations that were absolutely contradicted under sworn testimony.”

In reality, the accusations against Bill Clinton are very similar to the accusations against Donald Trump and Roy Moore.  In many cases, sexual harassment and assault accusations are based largely on the testimony of the parties involved with little or no physical evidence.

In the cases of “he said/she said” in which women accused Bill Clinton, Hillary clearly took her husband’s side. Hillary called the women “bimbos” and “trailer trash” and allegedly threatened to destroy their reputations, notes the Daily Wire.

Despite Hillary’s claim that the allegations against Bill Clinton were disproved, the former president did admit to affairs with Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers, two of the women that Hillary Clinton had attacked. In other cases, the truth is still elusive. Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones still stand by their stories of sexual assault at that hands of Bill Clinton.

Hillary Clinton’s defense of her husband is one more case of sexual hypocrisy. Partisans of both sides are more interested in using abused women as a weapon against their opponents than in helping them find justice. Hillary Clinton is no different. 

Originally published on The Resurgent

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Two Quotes That Show How Much The Parties Value Character

The past week laid bare the deepest motivations of many people in American politics. While both parties claim to be the champions of morality and virtue, people paying attention were disabused of the notion that either party is more concerned with character than votes.

On Friday, Kate Harding, a self-described “feminist and the author of a book on rape culture,” wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post offering a partisan defense of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). Harding doesn’t defend Franken’s bad behavior. Instead, she defends his political affiliation.

“It would feel good, momentarily, to see Franken resign and the Democratic governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, appoint a senator who has not (as far as we know) harmed women,” Harding writes. “If I believed for one second that Franken is the only Democrat in the Senate who has done something like this, with or without photographic evidence, I would see that as the best and most appropriate option. But in the world we actually live in, I’m betting that there will be more. And more after that. And they won’t all come from states with Democratic governors and a deep bench of progressive replacements. Some will, if ousted, have their successors chosen by Republicans.”

Yes, you heard that correctly. Harding is openly admitting that the only reason that she doesn’t want to see Franken punished is that it would set a precedent in which other Democrats, ones who might be replaced by Republicans, might also be forced to resign.

Harding’s position is obviously partisan and hypocritical, particularly from a feminist in the party that five years ago claimed that Mitt Romney and Republicans were waging a “war on women.” What is shocking is how blatant Harding’s hypocrisy is. In her world, political affiliation means more than justice for women who were harassed or abused by Democrats. Republicans rightly denounced the political calculations of Democrats like Harding.

But wait, as they say, there’s more!

The very same day, at the same moment that Republicans were denouncing Kate Harding’s hypocrisy, the Republican governor of Alabama was making a remarkably similar statement. “I believe in the Republican Party, what we stand for, and most important, we need to have a Republican in the United States Senate to vote on things like the Supreme Court justices, other appointments the Senate has to confirm and make major decisions,” Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said on “So that's what I plan to do, vote for Republican nominee Roy Moore.”

At the same time, Ivey acknowledged that the allegations made against Moore were credible. “I certainly have no reason to disbelieve any of them,” she said. “The timing is a little curious. But at the same time, I have no reason to disbelieve them.”

Ivey says that she believes in what the Republican Party stands for, but what does the party stand for if it refuses to condemn a man who is credibly accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl and harassing numerous others? It seems that what the new Republican Party stands for is electing Republican candidates at all costs.

Republicans and Democrats finally have found something that they can agree on. They both believe that party politics trumps concerns about character. Unfortunately for the rest of the country, the point of agreement found by the two parties will only serve to further divide the country.

Democrats and Republicans stand united in their hypocrisy. Both seem only too willing to compromise their core beliefs in order to support politicians that represent what they purport to hate. Any man who forces himself on a woman would be rightfully condemned by the left… as long he isn’t a Democrat official. The right would be ready to castrate a 30-year-old man who cruised malls trying to pick up teenage girls… as long as he wasn’t a Republican candidate.

In a perfect world, our politicians would be held to a higher standard than the people they govern. In the real world, the two parties excuse their own members by pointing to the bad behavior of those on the other side. It is a race to the bottom in which both sides claim, “Your pervert is worse than ours.” The truth is that when feminists back misogynists and Christians support an alleged child molester, they have already lost, regardless of whether their candidate wins. 

Originally published on The Resurgent

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Roy Moore Was Never A Good Candidate

One year into the Trump revolution it now appears almost certain that a Senate seat in deep-red Alabama is going to end up in the hands of the Democrats. The slim Republican majority will likely be eroded to a single seat, which will effectively put the brakes on the Republican agenda. It’s worth looking back at how the Republican Party got here.

The Alabama Senate race began simply enough. Incumbent Jeff Sessions left to become the attorney general with the full expectation that the governor of Alabama would appoint a Republican to take his place and the state’s conservative voters would rubberstamp the governor’s pick.

Enter Luther Strange. Strange was the state attorney general and was responsible for the investigation of Gov. Robert Bentley. Bentley picked Strange to be the new senator in a move that many Alabamans thought smacked of an insider quid pro quo after impeachment proceedings against the governor were delayed for six months.

Although he was endorsed by President Trump and the majority of the Washington Republicans, the scent of corruption was too great for Strange to overcome. Strange and Moore were the top two finishers in the Republican primary in August. Moore, backed by Steve Bannon and the populist wing of the GOP, went on to defeat Strange in the runoff to become the Republican nominee.

Things went bad for Moore almost immediately. A Fox News poll in October, weeks before the sex scandal broke, showed that Moore was tied with Democrat Doug Jones at 42 percent. The poll was a shock to Alabama Republicans.

In a moment that may turn out to be prophetic, President Trump had argued at a September rally for Luther Strange that “ Roy has a very good chance of not winning in the general election.”

Moore had a long history in Alabama. Twice elected to the Alabama Supreme Court, he had finished neither term. He was removed from the court in 2003 for refusing to comply with a federal court’s order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state building. In 2015, he was removed again for refusing to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision mandating same-sex marriage. Between his partial terms on the court, Moore mounted two unsuccessful campaigns for governor in 2006 and 2010.

Even before Moore partnered with Steve Bannon to take on Strange, there were warning signs about Moore. The most obvious red flags were Moore’s connections to fringe conspiracy beliefs. Moore debuted as a columnist for World Net Daily, a prominent fake news site, in 2006. One of the columns that Moore authored argued for a religious test for office that would prohibit Muslims from serving in Congress. Moore was also a prominent birther, claiming that Barack Obama was not a natural-born citizen as recently as December 2016. In a September 2017 interview with Vox, Moore claimed, “There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country.”

Even before the sexual assault allegations, there were questions about Moore’s character. In 2002, Moore founded the nonprofit legal organization, the Foundation for Moral Law. Moore said in public that he did not take a “regular salary” from the group, but the Washington Post reported that the charity paid Moore a salary of $180,000 per year, which amounted to more than $1 million and was far more than the foundation disclosed on IRS filings.

In 2002, the Montgomery Advertiser hinted that there was an unknown, dark side to Roy Moore. “Some of those who worked with Moore roll their eyes when asked about him but keep their mouths shut,” Todd Kleffman wrote for the Advertiser, “There are plenty of stories to tell, the longtime secretaries, parole officials and lawyers said, but not on the record and not now, while Moore sits atop the state court system and controls its purse strings.”

Jimmy Hedgspeth, the Etowah County DA, said at the time, “If Roy wasn't the chief justice, I'd tell you anything you want to know. I think we have to have respect for the office, even if we don't like the people who hold it.”

Teresa Jones, who worked with Moore at the District Attorney’s office in Gadsden, said in a tweet, “It was common knowledge about Roy's propensity for teenage girls. I'm appalled that these women are being skewered for the truth.” Other locals in Gadsden say that Moore was banned from the mall for harassing teenage girls.

Looking back, there were plenty of warning signs about Roy Moore. If the Washington Post could hear the whispers about Moore and seek out witnesses to his behavior, why couldn’t opposition researchers from other Republican campaigns? Why didn’t Alabama’s party establishment intervene to spare the state the disgrace that it is currently experiencing?

The answer is that the Republican Party is caught up in irrational populist anger. The party’s voters rejected Luther Strange because he was too corrupt and too connected to the party establishment. They rejected Mo Brooks because he was insufficiently subservient to Donald Trump.

In the end, Alabama Republicans violated the basic rule of William F. Buckley to nominate the most conservative candidate who can win. In Roy Moore, Alabama Republicans picked a candidate who was known to have embraced conspiracy theories, who was vulnerable to questions about his business dealings, who had two failed campaigns for statewide office and who, after winning elections, had failed to fulfill his term of office twice. Even without allegations of sexual misconduct, Moore should have been toxic as a candidate.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Major Conservative Donor Dumps Steve Bannon... For Mitch McConnell

Politics is a finicky business. One week you’re the kingmaker, sitting atop the GOP and the next you’re cast aside for your arch-enemy, the establishment RINO in charge of the Senate. This is the month that Steve Bannon is having.

After Roy Moore’s victory over incumbent Senator Luther Strange in Alabama, the former White House strategist and alt-right media mogul was on top of the world. He had just bumped off the establishment pick for the seat of now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and there was talk that Bannon was now the de facto head of the Republican Party. The insurgent strategist announced plans to challenge every sitting Republican senator who came up for re-election in 2018. Luther Strange was to be only his first victim.

Even before the story of Roy Moore’s affinity for underage girls broke, things were starting to crumble for Bannon. In early November, Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire and major conservative donor, announced that he was selling his stake in Breitbart, Bannon’s alt-right website. In his announcement, Mercer cited differences with Bannon and Milo Yiannopoulos, an alt-right firebrand elevated to stardom on Breitbart who was revealed to have links to white nationalists and a soft spot for pedophilia.

The hits seem to just keep on coming for Bannon.

Now Sheldon Adelson, another billionaire conservative donor, has announced that he is breaking ties with Steve Bannon. To add insult to injury, Adelson is making clear that he is not just breaking off relations with Bannon, he is declaring war on the populist wing of the GOP.

“The Adelsons will not be supporting Steve Bannon’s efforts,” Andy Abboud, an Adelson spokesman, told Politico. “They are supporting Mitch McConnell 100 percent. For anyone to infer anything otherwise is wrong.”

Adelson’s break with Bannon comes a day after he addressed the Zionists of America and called on the Jewish group to “work as partners” against the Republican establishment per Haaretz. Adelson, who is Jewish, was originally slated to introduce Bannon at the gala event.

The break between Adelson and Bannon seems to have little to do with Zionism or Bannon’s alleged but unproven anti-Semitism and everything to do with Bannon’s attempted hostile takeover of the Republican Party. With little to show from the Republican control of Washington and retirements mounting from experienced congressional Republicans, last week’s Democrat sweep of the off-year elections and the sudden implosion of Roy Moore’s campaign were apparently the last straw.

Bannon’s problems with Moore and Yiannopoulos were both due to insufficient vetting. Internet sleuths found embarrassing videos of Yiannopoulos while the Washington Post investigated longstanding rumors about Moore. With Bannon openly supporting Kelli Ward in Arizona, a Republican senatorial candidate who once hosted a town hall meeting with chemtrails as the subject, Adelson must have been wondering what other surprises he could expect from Bannon’s handpicked candidates.

Mitch McConnell may not be the most charismatic or conservative of Republicans, but he is a survivor who helped to rebuild the party after the Democrat wave election in 2008. Sheldon Adelson has apparently decided that the Bannon revolution has run its course and decided to choose experience over populist anger.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Monday, November 13, 2017

No Surprise That Evangelicals Are Standing By Roy Moore

In the wake of last week’s revelations about Alabama Republican Roy Moore, a new poll shows that more than 70 percent of evangelical voters in Alabama still support the man accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl. About half of the evangelicals who still support Moore say that the charges make them more likely to vote Republican, a statistic that shows how little regard Republican voters hold for the mainstream media.

The poll by JMC Analytics found that 37 percent of evangelicals are more likely to vote for Roy Moore in the wake of the sex scandal than before. An additional 34 percent said that the allegations made no difference in their vote. Only 28 percent of evangelicals were less likely to vote for Moore after the revelations. The same poll showed that 38 percent of voters at large were less likely to vote for Moore.

The poll’s findings will be assumed to show hypocrisy on the part of evangelical voters, but this isn’t necessarily true. CNN exit polls show that 56 percent of Protestant voters voted for Donald Trump. In contrast to Trump, Moore’s sex scandal is more easily explained away.

Roy Moore tacitly admitted to Sean Hannity that he dated girls “as young as 17.” At the same time, Moore called the more damaging allegation that he improperly touched a 14-year-old girl “completely false.” In contrast, evangelicals have already voted en masse for Donald Trump, who admitted to sexual assault in a taped conversation on “Access Hollywood.”

In Trump’s case, the tape was made in 2005 and other allegations of sexual misconduct were even more recent. The allegations against Roy Moore are almost 40 years old. Moore has been happily married (to the same woman, unlike Donald Trump) for the past 32 years. Moore’s wife, Kayla, told Breitbart that they met when she was 23.   

With no allegations of sexual misbehavior in more than three decades, it is easy to argue that Roy Moore is a changed man. Christians believe in in the power of God to change hearts and lives. They also believe in repentance and forgiveness. It is much easier to believe that Roy Moore is a changed man who has repented of his long-ago actions than Donald Trump.

The second reason that evangelicals have not abandoned Roy Moore is a simple one. They believe that Democrats are a bigger threat than someone who may have exercised bad – and, in at least one case, criminal – judgment four decades ago.

Democrats have worked painstakingly hard to convince the country that they are no friend to Bible-believing Christians. The list of attacks on Christians by liberal Democrats is long and includes a legal campaign against the Little Sisters of the Poor, political assaults on photographers and bakers who hold a traditional view of marriage, attacks on freedom of speech for pro-life activists and campaigns to remove Christian symbols from nearly aspect of public life. In a viral clip from the 2012 Democratic convention, Democrat delegates even booed the inclusion of God in their party platform.

Roy Moore was directly involved in two incidents which were perceived by Alabama evangelicals to be assaults on their religious liberty. In 2003, Moore was removed from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for his refusal to remove a 10 Commandments monument. Moore worked his way back to the state high court, but was removed again in 2015 after refusing to order probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Critics might argue that Moore’s actions were self-serving and violated his oath to uphold the rule of law, but they also made him a hero to the state’s evangelical voters.  

Now, after decades of having their religious beliefs attacked by the left, Alabama Christians see their champion, Roy Moore, under assault from the same liberals who have celebrated as courts chipped away at their religious liberty. Moore’s habit of tilting at windmills may not have been successful, but, like Donald Trump, he is viewed as a man who fights back. Many evangelicals will even refuse to believe the charges, in spite of Moore’s admission, because they view the Washington Post and other mainstream media as fake news.

Ultimately, Alabama evangelicals will have to decide between an accused child molester and Democrat. Many of them openly admit that they consider the Democrat to be worse. Considering how Democrats have treated evangelicals, this should not be a surprise.  

Originally published On the Resurgent

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Are Conservatives Tired of Winning Yet?

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised Republicans that “We are going to win so much that you may even get tired of winning.” Over the past year, I’ve noticed that the president’s supporters and conservative critics don’t seem to share the same definition of “winning.”

A few times recently the different views of winning have come to the surface. When Donald Trump tweeted, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen,” Trump supporters erupted in cheers and celebrations on social media. Several lists of Trump’s accomplishments making their way around the internet, such as this one on Conservapedia, point out the areas where Trump supporters believe he is winning.

From my analysis, President Trump’s accomplishments seem to fall into three main categories. First is the appointments of conservative jurists to positions throughout the judiciary. Second, Trump has used his executive authority to enact a number of promised reforms. Finally, Donald Trump uses his “bully pulpit” to fight back. The duration and effect of these accomplishments varies wildly.

In my view, President Trump’s most important and – so far – only lasting accomplishment has been his effect on the federal judiciary. The appointment of Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is only the tip of the iceberg. Working with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who many Trump supporters view as an establishment foe, Trump had appointed 44 federal judges and had eight confirmed by August. These conservative judges will have a lasting effect on the judicial branch.

The same cannot be said of Trump’s executive actions. Many of President Trump’s executive actions overturn President Obama’s executive actions. A successor could erase President Trump’s executive legacy just as easily.

The quality of President Trump’s executive actions varies as well. His executive actions range from the excellent, such as cutting bureaucratic regulations and reinstating the Mexico City policy to ban federal funding for abortions in other countries, to the ineffective, such as his travel bans that would likely have no effect on fighting terrorism.

Some of Trump’s executive actions, though they fulfill campaign promises and are applauded by his supporters, are actually harmful to the country. In one of his first acts as president, Trump withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership. The lack of American participation did not kill the trade deal, however. Other parties to the treaty are continuing to move forward on the agreement. If the deal goes forward without the United States, it will be American businesses, workers and consumers who lose.

The third category of Trump accomplishments is the most meaningless and illusory. Trump supporters love his snarky tweets and insults. They like the fact that he fights back and consider this an accomplishment. Essentially, Trump’s tweets and insults make Republicans feel good about themselves.

The problem is that Trump has the opposite effect on the rest of the country. An ABC News poll found that 70 percent of the public thinks that Trump does not act presidential and 68 percent don’t see him as a positive role model. The president’s behavior is now directly linked to electoral losses in which voters say that they are voting for Democrats specifically because they oppose Donald Trump.

Another commonly cited accomplishment is the surging stock market. While stocks have hit record highs under Trump, they did the same under Obama. In fact, a look at the stock market over the past 10 years shows that the market has been climbing since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. Supporters have difficulty pointing to any specific Trump policy change that could explain the surging market since Republicans have scored so few victories on fiscal and economic policy.

On the other hand, my definition of “winning” relies heavily on legislative victories that would be difficult for Democrats to reverse. As the Trump Administration prepares to close out its first year and enter a midterm election year, it has not scored a single legislative victory.

The repeal or reform of Obamacare would have been a major legislative victory since Republicans had been campaigning against the federal health law since 2010. Donald Trump campaigned against Obamacare as well, but when the chips were down, the president’s erratic behavior and attacks on Republican senators almost certainly contributed to the reform effort’s demise.

Likewise, Trump began the tax reform effort with a war against Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate budget committee. Trump insisted that, in contrast with conservative fiscal doctrine, that the tax reform not lower the rates of the wealthiest taxpayers. The top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 95 percent of taxes per the Office of Management and Budget, but taxpayers in the top bracket won’t get a lower rate, if tax reform actually becomes law, thanks to President Trump.

While Trump supporters may argue that the president has accomplished more than any president except FDR, most Americans understand how little has been done in the past year. Without the passage of a single piece of legislation that is part of the Trump agenda, Republicans seeking reelection have few accomplishments to run on. As a result, many Republicans are deciding that 2018 is a good time to retire.   

Donald Trump has not ushered in an era in which conservatives have grown tired of winning. In fact, winning has been in short supply over the past year. What President Trump has lacked in winning, he has more than made up for in whining, but that makes a poor substitute.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Friday, November 10, 2017

Roy Moore Isn’t Going Anywhere - Neither are His Supporters

As prominent Republicans call for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to step down amid allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when Moore was 32, the flamboyant Republican is refusing to drop out of the race. In a series of tweets Thursday night, Moore vowed to “NEVER GIVE UP the fight!”

“The Obama-Clinton Machine’s liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I’ve EVER faced!” Moore said in the first of four tweets. “We are are in the midst of a spiritual battle with those who want to silence our message.”
“The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steal –– even inflict physical harm –– if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me,” Moore said in the second tweet in the series.

“I believe you and I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values!” the third tweet said. “Our nation is at a crossroads right now — both spiritually and politically.”

“Our children and grandchildren’s futures are on the line. So rest assured — I will NEVER GIVE UP the fight!” Moore concluded.

The final tweet also contained a statement in which Moore said that the accusations were a “fabrication” and a “completely false and desperate political attack.”

The accusations against Moore are serious and credible enough to end the Senate hopes of a candidate in any era but this one. Republican leaders, including President Trump, have urged Moore to withdraw from the race, but it is Donald Trump’s example that will inspire Moore and his supporters to fight on. After all, it was only last year that Republicans decided that a history of sexual assault was not disqualifying for their presidential nominee.

The Moore campaign can make a credible case that the accusations against Moore are less damning than those against Donald Trump. In Trump’s case, the candidate was caught on tape in 2005 when he was 59. There was no denying the candidate’s own words. In Moore’s case, it is his word against that of his accusers about events almost 40 years ago. Moore says that the accusations are not true and many of his supporters will take him at his word.

There is also a difference in the amount of evidence. At least 16 women came forward against Donald Trump and his supporters considered them all liars in spite of Trump’s admissions on the “Access Hollywood” tape and boasts of sexual conquests in his books. In Moore’s case, the candidate has been happily married for 33 years and does not have a reputation as a ladies man. Even if Moore’s supporters accept the accusations as true, Moore’s track record for the past three decades gives them room to write off the incidents as youthful indiscretions that are not representative of his current character.

Finally, the argument could by made that voters looked the other way with Donald Trump because the possibility that Hillary Clinton would become president was simply to horrible to accept. A similar argument can be made that preserving the Republican majority in the Senate so vital that it is necessary to overlook Moore’s actions of four decades ago.

Republicans have been unable to advance their agenda already and a loss of the Alabama seat would cut the GOP majority to a single vote. This would effectively end any chance of enacting conservative reforms. It would also make it easier for Democrats to win control of the Senate outright next year.

For all these reasons, Roy Moore will not leave the race and the vast majority of Republicans will stand by him. After elevating an admitted philanderer and “p-ssy grabber” to the head of the party of family values and the country as a whole, it will be easy to stand by someone like Moore. After compromising your principles once, it is very easy to do it again.

For a Republican Party that now seems to put politics over character and values, the descent has been swift. A year ago the party found a way to excuse Donald Trump’s behavior as “locker room talk” and private matters between consenting adults. Now many Republicans are well on the way to rationalizing child molestation.

Originally published on The Resurgent