The most transformative presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, to adapt a sports metaphor, moved center-field, 10 yards to the left under Roosevelt, and 10 yards to the right under Reagan, but always between the 30-yard lines.
In the five elections between 1876 and 1892, the popular vote was always very close, and the Democrats actually led four times, losing in 1880 by only 2,000 votes out of 9 million cast (James A. Garfield defeated Winfield S. Hancock). Even so, their candidate was only victorious twice; both times with Grover Cleveland.
The Republicans ran as the party of Lincoln and Grant and victory in the Civil War, and kept expanding veterans’ pensions more widely among their families. The Democrats prevented the emancipated slaves from voting in the South, states they won en bloc, while they rounded up immigrant and working-class votes with their political machines in the great cities of the North and Midwest. Thus the popular vote was deceiving, as the Democrats won almost all the votes in the South and the Republicans won safely enough in the North.
But policy differences revolved mainly around the tariff—the Democrats wanted lower tariffs to get lower prices for the working and middle classes and the Republicans wanted higher tariffs to promote domestic manufacturing growth and profits.
Democrats then departed the center of the political field starting in 1896, when they nominated for the first of three times William Jennings Bryan, a Nebraskan who promoted a radical increase in the money supply by issuing silver as well as gold-backed currency: bimetallism.
The Republicans won the next four elections easily, and only lost in 1912 when Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft split the vote, enabling Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win.
The Republicans won the three elections in the twenties quite easily and then, with the Great Depression and World War II, the Democrats won five straight terms under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman.
Since then, the parties have alternated two-term presidencies, with the exception that Democrats receive a single term with Jimmy Carter, and the Republicans three terms with Reagan-Bush (1981-1993); the election of George H.W. Bush may be seen substantially as a reward for the public’s satisfaction with President Reagan.
Thus, since Cleveland left office in 1897, there has only been one occasion when either party has not received at least two terms (Carter 1977-1981). Between Wilson and George W. Bush, the second term was one-sided, and usually a landslide: Coolidge in 1924 (25 percent margin), Roosevelt in 1936 (24 percent), Eisenhower in 1956 (15 percent), Johnson in 1964 (23 percent), Nixon in 1972 (23 percent), Reagan in 1984 (18 percent), and Clinton in 1996 (9 percent).
George W. Bush and Barack Obama were narrowly reelected because—unlike FDR, Ike, LBJ, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan—they did not do especially well in their first terms.
For 2020, Democratic rhetoric and the conventional wisdom relentlessly inflicted on the country by the anti-Trump media claque holds that Trump should be easy to defeat, because his polls have never risen above 50 percent. This is meaningless chatter because it neglects to remember that Trump in 2016 was running against the Republicans as much as the Democrats.
As someone who changed his party registration seven times in 13 years, Trump had no call on party loyalty. In the first six months of his presidency, the congressional Republicans sat on their hands and were not entirely averse to the voluminous musings about impeachment. In the only sensible sentence I ever heard from former Arizona senator and ardent NeverTrumper Jeff Flake, “It’s the president’s party now.”
In 2020 there won’t be a split such as that caused by Ross Perot to defeat the senior Bush in 1992 and probably Robert Dole in 1996; and Trump’s record seems certain to be much more successful that Carter’s, who had 20 percent interest rates, high inflation, unemployment, and taxes to deal with in 1980.
Trump is not going to be running as an unsuccessful president as Carter did, or even as a marginally successful president as the Bushes and Obama did. He has delivered tax cuts and reform and great prosperity, as Reagan did, and he is the first president to deal seriously with illegal immigration and oil imports and nuclear proliferation to rogue states (Iran and North Korea), since those crises arose.
He has refused to be stampeded by the eco-Marxists while doing nothing to backpedal on the environment itself, and has partially delivered on trade imbalances and will almost certainly reach a much improved trade arrangement with China.
Contrary to the assessments of Trump-haters who supposedly know something about the economy, such as Paul Krugman and the Economist magazine (which on the subject of Trump is as drivelingly hostile but not as amusing as Vanity Fair or the Daily Beast), this economy is not going to cool out appreciably in the next 18 months. As was mentioned here last week, the Democrats are going to pay heavily for the disgraceful Russian-collusion red herring.
To return to the thought at the top of this piece, the Democrats now look more like the Republicans of 1964 (Barry Goldwater) and the Democrats of 1972 (George McGovern), as the reality sinks in that Trump has demolished the post-Reagan bipartisan tweedle-dee-tweedle-dum politics of sloth, a depressing “new normal” and foreign policy impetuosity (Iraq War) or defeatism (Iran, North Korea, Syria).
In the aftermath of this shock, the Democrats are like a suicide case contemplating Russian roulette with all chambers loaded, and they are the ones loading in the cartridges: open borders, a top personal income tax rate of around 70 percent, nationalized health care; legalized infanticide; a green policy that bans cars, airplanes, oil, coal, and bovine flatulence; and now reparations for African-Americans, and perhaps, says Senator Elizabeth Warren (0.5 percent American Indian), for the native people.
Unless a sensible person like Michael Bloomberg or even Joe Biden—or possibly Amy Klobuchar or Sherrod Brown—gets hold of that party, the Democrats will self-inflict mortal wounds and give Trump the greatest plurality in history, (breaking Richard Nixon’s record of 18 million in 1972).
In 1944, Roosevelt focused on the spurious claim of a Republican congressional candidate that the president had sent a destroyer back to retrieve his dog in the Aleutian Islands, while returning from his Pearl Harbor meeting with General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz.
FDR’s Republican opponent, Thomas E. Dewey, found himself running against the president’s dog. In 1940, Roosevelt just had to recite the names of three reactionary congressmen: “Martin, Barton, and Fish,” and the absurdity of the refrain helped to win him a third term.
Trump is no Roosevelt (either one), but the Democrats seem to be yielding to the ineluctable urge that possesses each party every other generation, to utter a primal scream of nonsense, get everything off their chest and out of their system, be dragged to the padded cell by the voters, and regroup back at center-field four years later. It may even be good for them—as therapy, not as government.
2020 Democrats normalize anti-Semitism by defending Ilhan Omar: Democrats seeking the party's 2020 presidential nomination are starting to come out in defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar, and in the process, they are normalizing anti-Semitism.
Leading Democratic candidates Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren have all come out defending Omar and pointing fingers at her critics, despite a series of statements she has made targeting American Jews.
Omar has been unrepentant over statements she made lamenting the influence of Jewish money in politics and questioning whether Jews were more loyal to Israel than America. The bigoted statements perpetuated classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, but that is now what's considered acceptable in the Democratic Party— as long as it gets subsequently laundered as mere criticism of Israel.
|Waren, Harris, & Gilibrand: all defend anti-semite Ilhan Omar.|
Kamala Harris echoed this, saying, "There is a difference between criticism of policy or political leaders, and anti-Semitism" and also arguing, "I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk."
Elizabeth Warren also went a similar route, declaring, "Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians."
This, of course, is rubbish. Omar was not criticizing specific Israeli policies when she said, "it's all about the Benjamins." She wasn't talking about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when she said, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” She was spewing out hatred for Jews.
And cowardly Democratic presidential candidates, worried about being out of step with the party's resurgent Left, are afraid to stand up in the face of attacks against the minority in the United States that has been by far the leading victim of religiously motivated hate crimes for decades, despite representing just about 2 percent of the population.
What's especially amazing about the Democratic Party's excuses for Omar is that she has actually improved her standing within the party by being more unabashedly anti-Semitic. Last month, in the face of anti-Semitic tweets, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., demanded that Omar apologize, and specifically condemned her remarks as anti-Semitic.
Yet, after she followed up with more anti-Semitic comments, instead of coming down harder on Omar, Democratic leadership is backing off. Pelosi is now pushing the idea that Omar's comments were not "intentionally anti-Semitic." Yes, I'm sure she just accidentally stumbled upon statements that happen to echo longstanding anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish money and influence, and Jewish dual loyalty.
Democrats tried to push a sham resolution generically condemning anti-Semitism that didn't include Omar. But that proved too controversial within a caucus that is increasingly comfortable with anti-Semitism. So it's now unclear if any resolution is going to come up for a vote at all, at least not without substantial changes condemning other forms of hate in a way that further waters down any statement it would be making about Omar.
All along, I've noted that this isn't primarily a story about Omar, who we know is an anti-Semite. It's about whether Democrats care about combating anti-Semitism. The signal leading Democrats are sending is not only that anti-Semitism will be tolerated within their party, but the more unapologetic somebody is about their anti-Semitism, the more likely they are to be defended.
|All 2020 candidates but one is raging anti-semite.|
Leading Jewish Groups Demand Anti-Semitic Omar Be Removed From Foreign Affairs Committee: Jewish groups slam Omar's anti-Semitic language, ties to groups advocating terrorism.
A group of leading Jewish organizations petitioned the House of Representative's top Democrats on Monday, demanding that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) be removed from her position on the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee in light of her numerous anti-Semitic remarks and ties to groups that advocate terrorism against Jewish people, according to a copy of a letter exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Omar, who has been singled out multiple times in her short career on Congress due to several anti-Semitic comments, continued to double down on her belief that pro-Israel members of Congress are more loyal to Israel than America on Sunday.
In yet another tweet alleging that those who support Israel are not loyal to America—an age old anti-Semitic canard that has earned Omar rebukes from Democrats and Republicans—Omar made clear she will not support the historic U.S.-Israel as a member of Congress.
Omar's continued use of anti-Semitic smears has now led a group of leading Jewish organizations to take action. They sent a letter early Monday to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Elliot Engel asking them to immediately strip Omar of her seat on the committee, which plays a key role in supporting the U.S-Israel military alliance.
"In light of Rep. Ilhan Omar's recent anti-Semitic tweets, statements, and address before Islamic Relief USA on Saturday, February 23rd, we, the undersigned organizations, request that you immediately remove her as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee," the groups wrote.
The groups are also concerned about Omar's decision to appear before Islamic Relief USA, a group with ties to organizations that advocate terrorism against Israel. "Rep. Omar's presence as a keynote speaker to raise funds for Islamic Relief USA, whose parent organization and chapters have documented ties to terrorist organizations, demonstrates that she has learned next to nothing over the last few weeks when she was reprimanded by your office and by other Democrats for posting ugly, anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and their organizations," the letter states.
Omar's decision to address Islamic Relief "reflects poor judgment and shows she is unfit to sit on one of the most important committees in the United States Congress," the letter states. Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a pro-Israel organization that spearheaded the letter, told the Free Beacon that Omar's "use of classic anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes has touched a nerve" across the American Jewish community.
Other signatories include Alpha Epsilon Pi, the nation's top Jewish fraternity on college campuses, Americans for a Safe Israel, the Center for Security Policy, the Jewish Policy Center, the Committee for Israel, and the National Council of Young Israel, among others.
The Jewish groups do not buy Omar's apology for a recent tweet alleging pro-Israel members of Congress take their marching orders from the Jewish state. "Even after her ‘apology' for her anti-Semitism, she went on to speak at a forum together with well-known anti-Semites who have known ties to terrorist organizations and those who seek harm to the Jewish people and the destruction of the State of Israel," they write.
"We need to ensure that anti-Semitism has no place within the venerable House Foreign Affairs Committee," the letter states. "We therefore respectfully request that Congresswoman Omar be removed, immediately, from the sensitive work of the House Foreign Affairs Committee."