June 27, 2019 - Thursday
Race to the Left Comes Full Circle
If you're looking for the winner of Wednesday's Democratic debate, he wasn't on stage. He was on Air Force One, headed to the G20 summit in Japan -- feeling better about his chances than ever.
For a lot of Americans, last night was their first real look at the new Democratic party. And for the handful of voters who like the idea of open borders, taxpayer-funded abortion until birth, drag queen story hours, censorship, and government-run health care, the event would've been a huge success. But for the other 90 percent, who are probably still picking their jaws up off the floor, it was the most compelling argument yet for a Donald Trump second term.
Three years ago, most of us thought the Democrats would be hard-pressed to find a candidate more liberal than Hillary Clinton. Today, there are 25 of them. And last night in Miami, 10 took turns showing America that if they don't reelect Donald Trump, this country is about to take a profoundly different direction. From Politico to the Washington Post, the analysts wondered: how much will this radical departure cost Democrats? "It's not an illusion," Politico's John Harris warns, "The party is presenting its most liberal face since the 1970s." Or, as some would say, ever.
The party that couldn't seem to connect with everyday Americans in 2016 has even less in common with them now -- a fact they were intent on proving with extreme lurches on immigration, climate change, transgenderism, and life. At one point, Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, even tried to combine two hot-button issues, insisting that he didn't just believe in "reproductive freedom," he believed in "reproductive justice." "And what that means is just because a woman -- or let's also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female -- is poor, doesn't mean they shouldn't exercise that right to choose."
It was a moment Castro would probably love to have back, since neither side could figure out what on earth he was talking about. Did he make a major gaffe, NRO's John McCormack asked, "by supporting abortion for... a biological man who identifies as a woman" -- or did he reach some "transcendent level of wokeness by supporting tax-funded abortions in biologically impossible circumstances?" Either way, in his eagerness to check all of the radical boxes, his attempt was a spectacular failure.
Between Senator Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) "I'm with Bernie on Medicare for All" and Castro's crusade for open borders, most viewers couldn't have been all that surprised when the question of America's biggest geopolitical threat rolled around. Forget China or Iran -- it's "climate change," Governor Jay Inslee (Wash.) insisted. That's what matters, he argued. Not the family, the economy, Americans' health and security -- but two degrees on the earth's thermometer. "I decided," he said seriously, "that on my last day on Earth, I wanted to look them in the eye and tell them I did everything humanly possible to protect them from the ravages of the climate crisis."
If there's a less popular agenda in Middle America today, it might have been Senator Cory Booker's (N.J.). After NBC's Chuck Todd managed to get Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) to renounce her socially conservative views on marriage and sexuality, Booker chimed in to say, "It's not enough just to be on the Equality Act..." He thinks we need to do more on LGBT issues. More than flying the rainbow flag over our embassies? More than turning over our classrooms and libraries to an endless parade of drag queens and sex offenders? More than destroying girls' sports, parents' rights, religious liberty, the women's movement, privacy, and the free market? Booker argues, "We don't talk enough about trans Americans." Is he kidding? That .6 percent of the population is seemingly all we talk about these days! And not because it's a policy priority. According to Pew Research, it doesn't even make Americans' list!
Americans are looking at 25 candidates who want "zero restrictions on abortion and a $15 minimum wage, a country without borders, would hike taxes on American businesses and on successful individuals and hates -- just hates -- everything about the Trump administration" and conservatives, Fox News's Liz Peek writes. People in battleground states have to be staring at the Democratic Party and thinking: didn't anyone learn the lessons of Hillary Clinton's social radicalism in 2016?
Tim Ryan might have. He was the only one in this entire ordeal who seemed to grasp that his party is devastatingly out of touch. "We have a perception problem with the Democratic Party. We are not connecting to the working-class people in the very states that I represent in Ohio, in the industrial Midwest. We've lost all connection. We have got to change the center of gravity of the Democratic Party from being coastal, elitist, and Ivy League... to somebody from the forgotten communities that have been left behind for the last 30 years, to get those workers back on our side."
Well, take it from Hillary Clinton. If the Democrats' best argument for 2020 is abortion-on-demand for biological men, this is going to be a long 17 months.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.