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Rick Saccone or Blue Wave. That’s the lesson?

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By this time Conor Lamb has not officially been declared the winner, but in all likelihood, unless Rick Saccone wins a supermarjority of the absentee ballots, most of which come from Lamb’s friendliest county, Rick Saccone will walk away from this one tail between the legs. However, the specific outcome of this race does not dwarf the fact that Saccone had no business pursuing a higher office. Earlier in this election cycle, I wrote a piece called Blue wave looking weak in Pennsylvania special election. I mistakenly made, based off the actions of the Democrats, that this race was Saccone’s for the grabbing. At the time polling showed Saccone winning and Democrats appeared to be consolidating their funds elsewhere. What I remain well-foresighted on was my critique of Rick Saccone and Conor Lamb as well. Saccone’s background served as little justification for a State Rep seeking a promotion.

The House of Representatives would be a promotion for the current State Rep. However, Rick Saccone hardly has an active record in the PA legislature. For the most part, Saccone has a record of sponsoring lighthearted, if not outright nonsensical bills, such as a resolution appreciating Heinz Ward and Juneteenth. In the legislature, he has a record of voting in favor of guns and unborn. However, Rick Saccone is not a limited government conservative on a local level. In the past he has voted for tax increases.

I briefly summarized Saccone in my previous article stating:

Rick Saccone will in my mind comes away as the winner on March 13th. However, he is not nearly suitable for the job as he should be. He legislative record is one of recognizing days of the year as special for a person or group. He does not have a record of sponsoring serious conservative legislation. Though he does have a record of voting conservative, he isn’t a leader on the issues he is campaigning on. The GOP is right to break the bank for his campaign as they aren’t short on cash in this moment. Saccone isn’t a strong candidate in my opinion, but, with some bankroll, he is.

Blue Wave?

So the disastrous election day for Saccone isn’t terrible surprising, nor are we lack for a clear explanation. Connor Lamb, as I noted in the article, was a good candidate. He had experience he could leverage in order to convince voters to vote for him. A good military background and experience as a US Attorney out-qualified the placeholding State Representative. But Democrats are rushed to assume Rick Saccone’s shortcomings are a setback on the Trump administration. I believe that campaigning is a skill, and some people really suck at it: Mitt Romney. Conor Lamb is good while Saccone blew a double digit lead [insert Warriors or Falcons meme here] that Trump won the district with in the 2016 Election. Such a swing could indicate that leftism is on the rebound one year following Trumpism in power. But this would only be true if indeed Conor Lamb campaigned as a leftist. Alas, leftists should halt their celebration of a Blue Wave, for Conor Lamb ran more as a Dan Lipinski than a Marrie Newman.

The Lesson

While Democrats might be ever so inclined to believe that leftism has an appeal among the common folks, Conor Lamb ran as a complete moderate. Rick Saccone relied on tribalism, the premise of any Democrat being worse than any Republican. Democrats ought to learn that foregoing elitist leftist ideals will better serve their 2018 chances. But they won’t. We shall see just how well the Blue Wave fairs for all the leftist senators campaigning in states Trump won. Republicans are like to take this race as a wake-up call to defend that which they have spent years trying to gain. But every race is, in moderate or large degree, independent of up or down the ballots. Conor Lamb winning shows that Rick Saccone had no business running. Candidates matter is a lesson we should all learn. Rick Saccone was the regrettable choice for Republicans.

Democrats

Kevin McCarthy: GOP can investigate Democrats, but Democrats can’t investigate Trump

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Kevin McCarthy GOP can investigate Democrats but Democrats cant investigate Trump

When my friend and fellow talk-show host Shannon Joy refers to the Republican and Democrat duopoly in Washington as the #UNIBROW, she does so to show how there is no difference between the two parties when it comes to their agendas.

Another trait they have in common is their obvious display of hypocrisy when it comes to manipulating the rule of law to protect political parties for partisan purposes, especially if you’re a member of the party that was soundly defeated recently, placing you in the minority.

The latest example of what this looks like comes to us courtesy of the new GOP leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), in his latest defense of Donald Trump. In a recent interview with Trump Pravda (FOX News), McCarthy mentioned that he thinks it’s time for the Democrats to surrender their subpoena power to investigate the president.

“It looks like what [Democrats will] focus on is just more investigations. I think America is too great a nation to have such a small agenda.

“I think there are other problems out there that we really should be focused on. And my belief is, let’s see where we can work together. Let’s move America forward.”

Ironically, as Obama’s re-election got underway after the Democrats lost the House in the 2010 midterms, Pelosi sounded a lot like McCarthy concerning the need to work together. Funny how the losing party interprets their defeat as a call for “bipartisanship,” isn’t it?

It’s also ironic how the losing party in these two midterm elections, in large part, lost due to the unpopularity of their representative in the White House after two years of broken promises.

McCarthy’s disingenuous plea for bipartisanship is a different tune than the one he was singing in 2015 during the Benghazi hearings. Not only did he support never-ending investigations of Obama and Hillary, he openly admitted in an interview with Sean Hannity that his primary motivation was finding ways to take down the Democrat nominee.

“What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?

“But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

I wonder whatever happened to that “conservative speaker” and that “conservative Congress.”

In the end, McCarthy is playing the same role in 2018 that Pelosi played in 2010: protect the president and the party instead of America while making partisan demands to serve as fodder for the next election.

Hopefully, true conservatives will see through this masquerade of self-centered scoundrels and reject the reprobate “representatives” dwelling in D.C. from both parties.

And yes … that includes the Democrat with an “R” after his name currently occupying the White House.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Democrats

Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez really Jewish?

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Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez really Jewish

The congresswoman’s Jewish possible ancestors shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. But the idea that her leftist stands are somehow authentically Jewish is troubling.

 At a time when DNA tests are a national craze, as well as source of political controversy, we shouldn’t be surprised about claims of Jewish identity from anyone. But when they come from someone as controversial as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the expressions of joy and dismay about her possible connection to the tribe were predictably partisan and downright foolish.

The incoming member of Congress from Queens, N.Y., made headlines when she told those in attendance at a synagogue Hanukkah party in her district over the weekend that “a very, very long time ago, generations and generations ago, my family consisted of Sephardic Jews.”

As she explained, the people of her native Puerto Rico are descendants of many different strains of immigrants, including those Jews who fled Spain in the 15th century. Within her family’s collective memory is some sense of having been descended at least partly from such Jews.

Those who already liked the young Democratic Socialist, who has become the rock star of her party, were thrilled that she could be claimed as part of the family. On the other hand, Jews who dislike her leftist politics were disgusted. It was a rerun of what happened when House Speaker Paul Ryan found out that his DNA was 3 percent Ashkenazi Jewish during historian Henry Louis Gates’s “Finding Your Roots” PBS TV program. Liberal Jews responded to that item with nasty partisan abuse, as well as declarations that he wasn’t wanted. Ocasio-Cortez’s detractors were quick to use the same sort of invective.

But those who accused her of attempting to steal Jewish identity weren’t being fair. This is unlike the antics of fellow Democrat Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who attempted to back up her claims of Native American identity with a DNA test that showed that, at best, she was 1/64th descended from either the Cherokee or Delaware tribes. Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t pretending to be Jewish or trying to show that DNA was identity, let alone to justify using it for personal advancement as the senator allegedly did when she claimed to be the first “woman of color” to be named a professor at Harvard Law School.

Attacks on her for mentioning her Catholic family’s memories of their partial Jewish past were inappropriate. We know that 20 centuries of post-exile persecution has resulted in many branches falling away from the Jewish ancestral tree, so her story is hardly uncommon. It is also a heartening sign of the times that prominent non-Jews are proud about their Jewish roots, rather than—as would have been the case in the not-so-distant past—feel shame about it.

The tenuous connections between her family, or that of Ryan and any long-lost Jewish ancestors, are merely intellectual curiosities. Still, two aspects of the issue are worth some comment.

One is the danger that someone with some claims to Jewish identity will use it selectively in order to justify taking a stand against Israel. Over the decades, we’ve seen that happen with a number of writers or politicians who have few ties to their Jewish heritage, yet trot it out as a credential that enables them to express anger, embarrassment or outrage about the conflict in the Middle East. The “not in my name” meme in which Jews who know next to nothing about Israel and its geopolitical dilemmas seek to disassociate themselves from Israelis fighting for their lives is despicable. If Ocasio-Cortez were ever to use such a rhetorical device to justify siding with her close allies—incoming House Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib—who are supporters of the anti-Semitic BDS movement that seeks Israel’s destruction, that would be outrageous.

Yet there’s another more serious argument to be addressed. It’s the theme sounded in the Forward after the latest Ocasio-Cortez story broke—that the Socialist politician is actually more authentically Jewish because of her politics than conservative or Zionist Jews.

Part of this mindset is the notion that modern American political liberalism and Judaism are interchangeable. It’s more than just an old joke to say that many American Jews conceive of their faith as more or less the Democratic Party platform with holidays thrown in. While it’s an insult to Judaism to conceive of it as nothing more than an elaborate theological justification for partisan politics, it’s also true that many American Jews see their faith as determining their votes. In that sense, there are Jews who see American Jewish conservatives or supporters of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as representing a point of view that is alien to their conception of what it means to be Jewish.

More troubling is the idea that a loose sense of identity in which a multicultural frame of reference about the world—as opposed to a strictly Jewish one—is more representative of the way young Jews think today. Given the demographic implosion of non-Orthodox Jews in the United States, it is hardly surprising that some Jews think this way, but the consequences in terms of a decline in a sense of Jewish peoplehood are obvious and serious. If we begin to worship inclusion and diversity to the point where Jewish parochialism and nationalism, even in its most benign forms, are rejected as illiberal, then we will be part of a community that stands for nothing and is incapable of sustaining itself.

The real tragedy is that too many young Jews see Jewish observance or Zionism as antithetical to their progressive political views. If we get to the point where Ocasio-Cortez’s sensibilities about Israel or those of others on the left who might falsely regard Zionism as a form of racism because it contradicts their intersectional beliefs are accepted as legitimate Jewish perspectives, that will be a disaster. If such views are seen as more authentically Jewish than that of a typical Israeli or an affiliated Jew, then we will have arrived at a point where Jewish identity in this country for all too many of us will be nothing more than a meaningless percentage on a DNA test.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS — Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.

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Democrats

Schumer, Pelosi demonstrate why Democrats are right to want new blood in leadership

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Schumer Pelosi demonstrate why Democrats are right to want new blood in leadership

Today’s episode of Kabuki theater in DC featured Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi playing partisan politics as usual. It was embarrassing for both of them, and while President Trump wasn’t flawless in his counterattacks, his arguments were sound and he left with the upper hand going forward.

Let’s set aside the border wall or government funding debate for a moment and focus on the tired tactics employed by the two leaders of the Democratic Party on Capitol Hill. One would think that by now, they’d know how to handle their White House nemesis, but they don’t. They even handed the President a victory by letting him “take the mantle” of the impending government shutdown. By accepting responsibility for shutting down the government for the sake of border security, the President demonstrated a rare case of rational and unexpected turning of the tables on the Democrats.

Schumer and Pelosi likely see it as a victory, but when it’s spun and respun in the minds of the people, they’ll realize he did what Schumer and his cronies have always failed to do. He took responsibility for his actions. He is taking a stand and noted that during the previous shutdown, which was initiated by Schumer, everybody pointed fingers. Nobody took responsibility. This is going to count for something.

But let’s get back to the need for new blood in Democratic leadership. I am neither a Republican nor Democrat; currently I’m a conservative Independent who believed in the Federalist Party when I co-founded it but have grown disenchanted with the current direction of that party, so I essentially have no horse in this race. I am by no means rooting for Democrats or offering them advice, but as an impartial observer I can say their recent victories in the midterm election will be meaningless if they retain current leadership.

The only thing funnier than watching Schumer fumble about with his attempt at righteous indignation was watching Pelosi handle her own inspired moment with the elegance of an orangutan. Her attempts to chastise the President were forced and fumbled. She seemed completely outwitted and outmatched.

Democrats can do better. I don’t want them to do better; having Chuck and Nancy leading the charge will only embarrass the Democrats more. But it’s still noteworthy after listening to some of the more eloquent members of their caucus that these two are no longer in touch with the people they purportedly represent.

As the party continues to drift further to the left, Schumer and Pelosi are remnants of days past when bipartisanship and brinkmanship could coexist. That’s not the case today and it may never be the case again. They’re part of the same elite their party despises.

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