We are in the first month of 2022, and, from every sign, it appears my Democratic friends are determined to stick to their guns when it comes to both their agenda and how they intend to sell it. In other words, America has not heard the last of the Woke Police.
The 2021 elections, especially in Virginia, could have served as a wake-up call for Democrats. When Terry McAuliffe announced he thought parents should not be telling schools what to teach, the voters spoke loudly and clearly that they felt differently. Attempts to make Republican Glenn Youngkin into the Old Dominion’s version of Donald Trump fell flat as he scored a solid victory.
You might think that after the events of 2021, Democrats would be inclined to engage in some self-reflection. You would be wrong. How do we account for the largest increase in the inflation rate in a generation? President Biden has decided Sen. Elizabeth Warren has it right. Defying logic, gravity, and common sense, they have placed the blame on “meat conglomerates.” Why the cost of a steak would cause spikes in the cost of so many other items, including gasoline, is a carefully guarded secret. Why don’t Democrats in a position of leadership make clear they will not submit to viewpoints held by such a small percentage of the public?
For three months, as the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal was firm in her threat: “We will agree to the bipartisan [infrastructure] bill if, and only if, we also pass the reconciliation bill first.” She was the driving force and the public face behind progressives’ mission to use the infrastructure bill as a cudgel to force Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and other centrist Democrats into passing Build Back Better. She repeatedly appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to give attention to her strongarm tactics.
Time and time again in August, September, and October, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was forced to back down from votes on infrastructure because of Jayapal. When a reporter told Jayapal that some people believed she was “bluffing,” Jayapal, who has nearly 100 members in her caucus, said, “Try us.”
There has been a great deal of discussion of the widespread Republican victories last week, many of them belaboring the obvious. Fundamentally, the United States is a political society based on personal freedom, a free market, and on democratically legislated and responsibly enforced laws. The current administration’s belief in virtually unrestricted immigration, higher taxes, authoritarian regulation—including COVID vaccine mandates, and a heavy redistribution of wealth from those who have earned it to those who have not—are all antagonistic to the ethos that the United States has had for all of its history. In the circumstances, some sort of reversal was almost inevitable and is the off-year American electoral custom.
Those who were surprised by the Republican victory in Virginia and the near-dead heat in New Jersey had not recognized the extent of the affront to traditional democratic voters of the Sanders-woke-leftward lurch.
I woke up Wednesday morning so grateful that my state, Virginia, had voted out abortion extremism. Abortion activists were supposed to sweep Terry McAuliffe back to the governor’s mansion. McAuliffe spent millions of dollars on ads blasting Glenn Youngkin for being pro-life and brought in outside speakers, including former President Obama, to campaign on the issue of abortion. Instead of keeping Virginia blue, these efforts may have propelled Youngkin to victory. The 5% of voters who said abortion was their top issue in the 2021 election backed Youngkin by a 12-percentage-point margin.
Some policy analysts seem shocked by how abortion radicalism blew up in McAuliffe’s face, but they shouldn’t be. More than three quarters of the American people support significant restrictions on abortion and are making their voices heard at the polls. Instead of listening to them, McAuliffe pandered to an extreme base that makes up a tiny portion of the electorate.
Protecting the most vulnerable is a winning issue, it should be a bipartisan issue, and Youngkin’s success paves the way for a wave of pro-life candidates in 2022 to win in purple and blue states by calling out the extreme pro-abortion views of their opponents.
Loudoun County, Virginia, an affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., represents the contentious zeitgeist bedeviling the body politic. As I reported elsewhere last year, the Loudoun County school board has become ground zero in an escalating culture war in which concerned parents oppose leftist indoctrination posing as curriculum.
The latest salvo—launched in the heat of a dead-even gubernatorial race in Virginia, and in the wake of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s much-criticized memo suggesting that disgruntled parents opposing school boards pose a national security threat—is captured in a Washington Post column with the provocative headline “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t.”
Reflecting on the unfolding disaster that is our social and political life in the United States during the consulship of Biden, I cannot help but think of Aristotle’s description of the structure of Greek tragedy. Obviously, the parallels are not exact. For one thing, tragedy as Aristotle understood it was a quick affair, its action over within a single day. Our national tragedy, by contrast, seems to lumber on indefinitely.
Then there is the question of the character of the protagonist. Aristotle’s chap is “a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty.” Sound like Joe Biden? Almost, maybe, but not really. Rudy Giuliani was not talking through his hat when he invoked the specter of the “Biden crime family,” as the words “laptop,” “China,” and “10 percent for the big guy” remind us.
There are many other differences between tragedy in Aristotle’s sense and the disaster we are suffering through. Still, when I think about the development Aristotle traces from ἁμαρτία (the tragic flaw) through ἀναγνώρισις (recognition) to περιπέτεια (the sudden reversal of fortune) to καταστροφή, the “catastrophe” that ties up the loose ends and consummates the action, I think “We’re somewhere on that road,” though exactly where is hard to say. Have we achieved the enlightenment of recognition yet? I am not at all sure about that.
A prominent liberal watchdog group filed a Hatch Act complaint against White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday, saying her apparent endorsement of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe during a White House press briefing may have violated federal law.
“By mixing official government business with support of a candidate for partisan political office in the weeks before the election and engaging in political activity while on duty, Ms. Psaki appears to have used her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election, political activity that is prohibited by law,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said in its complaint filed with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe thought his run at a second non-consecutive term for Virginia’s executive mansion would be a cake-walk. It would no doubt set him up for a serious run for president in 2024 or 2028. And why not? Virginia Democrats have won 14 statewide races in a row dating back to 2012 by ever increasing margins. VA DEMS won a House of Delegates majority in 2019, just three years after Republicans commanded a super-majority. They also captured the state senate in 2019.
Republicans nominated an unknown business executive with no political experience, Glenn Youngkin for governor after a very contentious caucus selection process. McAuliffe meanwhile eviscerated several up and coming African-American candidates in a blow-out primary win.
With all the money he could ever spend in a blue state that now rivals California, what could go wrong?
Parents who protest public school policies on race, gender and COVID-19 are crying foul after Attorney General Merrick Garland promised to “discourage” and prosecute “harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school boards, administrators, teachers and staff.
His “mobilization of [the] FBI against parents is consistent with the complete weaponization of the federal government against ideological opponents,” Rhode Island mother Nicole Solas, who is waging a public records battle with her school district over race-related curriculum, told Just the News.
Remember the old adage — the goal isn’t to win the debate, but to make sure you don’t lose the debate.
Former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe was pressed on graphic textbooks — and I mean graphic — of a sexual nature being included in government school libraries, and McAuliffe exploded with rage.
In the wake of a big statewide campaign win of any kind, political pundits rev into overdrive with broad pronouncements about the takeaways and what the result reveals about the mood of the nation. Often, the results are more prosaic — simply the political status quo for that particular state or district in that specific slice of time.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s smackdown of the recall was no different this week. Few longtime state politicos were surprised by his ability to win big in solidly blue California.
Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe is famous for his voracious fundraising, from his roles as head of the Clinton money machine to his success the last time he was governor. But now his fund-raising is earning him some infamy.
McAuliffe, in a close race to reclaim the Virginia governorship against GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, has for decades raised millions for his party and some of its marquee candidates including former President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton, a two-time White House candidate.