Commentary

Medved: The Question Trump Can’t Answer

In the GOP debate, Donald Trump said he couldn’t commit to support the ultimate nominee, and refused to rule out a third party run, but he never faced the obvious follow-up question. If he really cares about the conservative principles he now espouses, why wouldn’t he promise to support the Republican nominee?

Does he think that there is any chance that Hillary Clinton would come closer to representing a conservative agenda than any conceivable GOP candidate?

Trump’s position on this issue exposes the limitations of his presidential campaign: it’s entirely about one man and his brash personality, and has nothing to do with needed conservative reforms. Yes, Trump talks a lot about immigration but offers no solutions beyond building a “big wall.” His plan for the economy is nothing more than “I’m a great negotiator and can bring back jobs.” The presidency isn’t a dictatorship, and focusing on personality more than principle is a dangerous indulgence.

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Hewitt: Endangering National Security

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

John Deutch was a long-serving intelligence professional who was forced to leave the CIA after it was revealed he improperly stored classified material on a home computer. Prosecution was considered but declined by then Attorney General Janet Reno.

General David Petraeus is an American hero who was prosecuted pursuant to 18 USC Section 1924 for mishandling classified information.  He pled guilty, was sentenced to two years probation and fined $100,000.

Now the evidence mounts that not only did Hillary Clinton greatly endanger the national security by maintaining a private email server for all her official and unofficial State Department business and not only did she improperly erase thousands of those emails without review, she almost certainly violated the same law as did Deutch and Petraeus.

Every Republican has to make Mrs. Clinton’s lawlessness part of the campaign. Democrats should as well … if they have the national interest at heart.

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Brooks: Cynicism Is Easy 8-10-15

Sometimes I’m asked whether my faith in our political leaders went up or down when I started working closely with the politicians we all see on TV. You might be surprised to learn that my estimation of these men and women actually went up—a lot.

It’s easy to be cynical about politicians. We live in an age in which tearing down the high and mighty has become a twisted type of public sport. But being a member of Congress (or running for President) is a crushing job. The cognitive demands are intense, the travel is punitive and the personal attacks are relentless. It’s hard to understand why someone would seek these jobs. Yet they do, and not for exorbitant pay either. Some just love the perks and power, I suppose.

But I can say after getting to know many quite well that most do it because they truly love their country.

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Medved: Joe Biden Is Hillary’s Worst Nightmare 8-7-15

The New York Times reports preparations by Vice President Biden and his aides to join the presidential race … a looming disaster for Hillary. It’s not that Biden is more competent, moderate or popular than she is—he’s none of the above. But he is closer to the administration, and a majority of Democrats adore the president so much that they’ll choose the candidate who pledges most fervently to continue his policies. That’s why a Biden race—promising a third term for Obama, in effect—would wreck Hillary’s attempt to distance herself from the administration, which she must do to win in November.

Two-thirds of Americans think we’re on the wrong track, and don’t want more of the same. Bernie Sanders understands this, and promises a sharp change of direction—toward the radical left! If Biden jumps in, the Democrats will have three major candidates, all of whom should be unelectable.

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Medved: Avoid The Anger Trap 8-6-15

As Republican candidates prepare for their first televised debate, they should avoid the temptations of anger and negativity. It’s true that rage merchants can grab headlines and make temporary gains in the polls – and it’s also true that the angriest candidate, Donald Trump, is the current frontrunner.

But in November, the people won’t elect someone just to express their wrath—they will choose instead a candidate who credibly offers to make things better. There’s no candidate in history who ever won the presidency based on rage.

Certainly, after seven years of Obama’s misrule there are reasons for frustration, even despair, and at a time when two-thirds think we’re on the wrong track, indignation is appropriate. But the best response is pointing to the right track, not simply hollering about the wretched state of things. Successful politicians have embraced the title “Happy Warrior”; a grumpy warrior can get headlines, but won’t win national elections.

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Hewitt: The Beginning of the End of the Obama Era 8-5-15

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The GOP debate Thursday night promises to be a drama and indeed fun-filled collision of 16 very diverse candidates over two different debates.  Of course many eyes will be on Donald Trump and Jeb Bush the leader in fundraising, but Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are also all widely regarded as top tier contenders and there isn’t a bad candidate in the bunch.

The Fox News channel hosts will have their hands full keeping the many candidates within their allotted times and the questions precise and resistant to filibuster, but the debate signals the beginning of the end of the Obama era which has been wildly destructive.  For that reason alone, the rising curtain at the debate ought to be cheered.

I get to ask questions at debates next month and in December and then March, and I look forward to helping GOP primary voters decide who is best positioned to face Hillary in 2016 while also helping set the issues that the general election in 2016 ought to revolve around—especially national security and the calamitous agreement with Iran.

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Brooks: The Best Solutions for Poverty 8-4-15

When my mother’s grandparents first came steaming into New York harbor from Denmark in 1890, they were risking everything to get to a country where everyone could earn success. After a few years, they owned their own farm in South Dakota.

Most of you listening have a similar family story. That’s why mobility is such a big part of the American Dream.

People still want this, but the shadow of pessimism is growing. In December 2014, 76 percent of Americans said they were dissatisfied with the United States.

The problem is that Americans have come to think the game is rigged and the American Dream isn’t available to everyone.

Conservatives are in possession of the best solutions to the problems of poverty and economic mobility. We need to communicate—in the title of my latest book—“The Conservative Heart.” We need to put forward a hopeful, optimistic governing agenda—one that focuses on improving the lives of all people, especially the most vulnerable, through authentically conservative policies.

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