Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the Trump-like rhetoric coming from Democratic leaders as the 2020 election season ramps up. While correctly criticizing President Trump for many of his comments, the Democrats have been engaging in almost identical commentary with little coverage. What is now missing is a high ground in an election season that seems to be getting more and more irresponsible and hyperbolic.
I recently wrote about the limited coverage of violence by anti-Trump individuals and groups. A number of such cases are pending in Orange County where Trump supporters were attacked while trying to attend a rally. One conviction was recently handed down again for Jessica Aguilar, 23, of Sacramento. She slapped a man twice across the face during the March 25, 2017 rally at Bolsa Chica State Beach and was found guilty Wednesday of one misdemeanor count of battery. This is clearly a problem on both sides and it is continuing to spread, including 13 arrests in Oregon at the rallies this weekend with the seizure of various weapons.
Like many, I was appalled to see the President of the United States mocking the weight of a protester on Thursday night. The type of juvenile taunting was degrading more for the office of Donald Trump than the protester. It turns out however that it was not even degrading for the protester at all, but a Trump supporter who was wrongly insulted by the President. The man is Frank Dawson who had taken away a sign from a protester. He was actually wearing a “Trump 2020” teeshirt.
As the Democratic presidential race gets more crowded and frantic, the rhetoric is rising. As with some of President Trump’s comments, one can dismiss much of these comments as irresponsible efforts to trigger a base of voters. However, some comments raises more troubling issues. That was the case with Beto O’Rourke’s comments on the media. O’Rourke accused conservative media of being the mouthpieces of terrrorism — an attack every bit as chilling as Trump’s calling the media the “enemy of the people.”
Facts are often strangers to politicians who want to trigger emotive responses in targeted groups. The problem is when good politics make for bad law. That seems to be the case with Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren who have declared that Michael Brown was murdered five years ago in Ferguson, Missouri. The problem is that their statements would mean that Officer Darren Wilson is a murderer. However, Wilson was cleared in the shooting, including an exoneration by the Obama Administration. Wilson could conceivably claim defamation but the standard is quite high for a public figure.
As many of you know, I am a constant critic of the loss of civility in our society. For that reason, I was not critical of CNN host Chris Cuomo when he reacted angrily to a guy who went out of his way to insult Cuomo by calling him “Fredo,” a reference to the weak, older brother of Michael Corleone. After calling Cuomo “Fredo,” the man mocks him further by saying “I thought that was who you were.” Cuomo responds with profanity, which is captured on video and went viral. I am sympathetic to Cuomo when people believe that they have license to insult celebrities and suspend basic rules of civility just because someone is on television. It is particularly disturbing to have the President of the United States join in the mockery and lower his office to the level of a troll.
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the continuing recriminations following the recent massacres. The effort to blame the massacres on Trump reflect an ongoing effort to control speech by declaring certain words to be “triggering.” In this case, the meaning is literal.
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the growing calls from Democratic presidential candidates for “wealth taxes” targeting the increasingly demonized “super rich.” Putting aside serious questions over the constitutionality of such wealth taxes (despite being the core cause of candidates like Elizabeth Warren), Democrats appear to be moving from Rousseauian to a Robespierrean rhetoric in this new class warfare.
Here is the column with a few of the underlying facts beyond the rhetoric:
There is a curious twist in the post-Muller hearing polling. Hill-HarrisX found that the support for impeachment fell after the Mueller hearing among Democrats while rising under Republicans and Independents.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump shocked many in his own party by indicating that he does not believe that Russia is continuing to try to interfere with U.S. elections. In response to a reporter referring Mueller’s conclusion that the interference is ongoing, Trump responded. “You don’t really believe this, do you?”
Watching the Democratic debates this week has been a long litany of trillions in promised reparations, free tuition, climate program, and other plans. At a statistical zero of support in polling and even a majority of New Yorkers opposing his presidential run, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to go for open class warfare. While he stopped short of actually calling to eat the rich, he promised “we will tax the hell out of the wealthy.”
Many of us viewed the Mueller hearings as a “flop” or “disaster” for the Democrats. However, most of us viewed the failure as a clearly befuddled Robert Mueller, conflicted findings, and a lack of new information. It turns out, according to Lauri Cardoza-Moore, there was another reason: divine intervention.
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the name that came up repeatedly in the Mueller hearings to the surprise of many viewers. The name is Joseph Mifsud and we still know little about him because Mueller, like so many others, refuses to discuss him. It is an example of how much of the origins of the Russian investigation remain largely walled off from public discussion.
Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts this weekend penned a column identifying a new hate group: the Republican Party. Pitts accused the party of being race baiting for years and now believes that they meet the definition of a hate group with the KKK and neo-Nazis. The column is the latest example of how we no longer recognize good-faith differences in opposing views in our age of rage. It also reflects how hate speech often is defined in highly generalized terms that allow for arbitrary designations, particularly for those who espouse different views than your own.
Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the aftermath of the Mueller hearings. This week, the Democrats belatedly moved to get a court order to release Grand Jury material withheld in the Mueller Report. That material represents a tiny percentage of text and the request is months too late. I testified many weeks ago that, if the Democrats were really serious about impeachment, they would have filed soon after the report was issued. Every indication remains that the Democratic leadership is still running out the clock on impeachment while trying to convince voters that they really do want to impeach Donald Trump.
Democrats are now insisting that it was not Mueller but really McGahn that they expected to put away Trump. It would be a sequel to a colossal flop and they are not exactly moving with dispatch . . . as time ticks by.