Commentary

Mohler: Worldview Matters

Peter Beinart recently authored an important piece entitled “Why America Is Moving Left.”

Writing in the Atlantic, he argues that regardless of who is elected this coming November, the nation is set on a more liberal trajectory. The Democratic nominee this year is almost certainly going to be more liberal, and he argues, the next elected Republican president will be more liberal than the last.

Evidence, you ask? Beinart points to the current race for the Democratic nomination. Someone like Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Socialist, would have been shut down by the Democratic Party in previous election cycles.

But more importantly, as a new generation of younger Americans becomes a majority—especially with respect to voting—they are a decidedly liberalizing force in America today.

Worldview matters. It matters hugely when it comes to voting. And it matters hugely when it comes to looking at the future of American voting patterns.

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High Stakes for the Judiciary in 2016

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

When the new president is sworn in on January 20, 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts, who administers the oath, will be 61.

His colleagues, on that day, will be mostly older. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be 83. Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia will be 80. Justice Stephen Breyer will be 78.

Last week, Senators John Cornyn and John Thune told me on my radio show that the GOP Senate majority will not be restoring the judicial filibuster rule shattered by Harry Reid.

That means a new Republican president would have a good chance of selecting three or more originalists during the next eight years. And a Democratic president could forever unhinge the Republic from the more restrictive vision of the Framers without using the process for amending the Constitution.

High stakes indeed. The GOP has to win in 2016, or the Supreme Court and indeed the entire judiciary becomes a permanent conveyor belt of collectivist whims.

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Medved: Primary Victories Won’t Guarantee Nomination

On the eve of the first caucuses and primaries of the campaign season, Donald Trump’s popularity remains potent and impressive and he looks likely to win most, if not all, of the early contests.

But if he does, he’ll still probably fall short of an actual majority of the delegates: proportionality rules mean that any candidate who scores more than 10 percent of the vote can claim delegates in most states. Even if Trump romps to victory with 40 percent or more against multiple opponents, he might still fall short of the 50 percent of all delegates he needs for first ballot victory.

Super-Pac funding makes it possible for up to five other candidates to stay in the race, picking up delegates, hoping to influence the convention or to grab a spot on the ticket. This year’s rules and the plethora of energetic contenders make it tough for Trump—or anyone else—to wrap up the nomination before the Cleveland convention.

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Hewitt: A Duel To Watch

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The last time a major New York political figure dueled with a man born outside of the United States but who had ambitions for the White House was 1804 when VP Aaron Burr of New York shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. The Treasury Secretary, co-author of the Federalist Papers and senior aide to George Washington had not achieved the presidency for which he was eligible—even though he was born on the island of Nevis.

The career of both these men ended that July 11 (in 1804), Hamilton’s suddenly and Burr’s because of the murder he had committed. No literal violence will occur between the very eligible Ted Cruz and today’s New Yorker Donald Trump. But their duel is fierce. It may end with both men too wounded politically to win the GOP nomination. Their fight, however may open the door to Rubio, Christie, Bush or another.

It’s the strangest of years and my best advice to journalists is to book hotels for two weeks—not just one—when the Cleveland GOP convention convenes in July.

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Mohler: Politics As Religion

It should be clear to any conservative, and especially to any conservative on a prominent American academic campus—that many on the left have turned angry.

David Gelernter, a Jewish professor at Yale University says, “In many ways, the left has turned incredibly anti-democratic. It not only holds to its leftist positions, it wants to shut down any public debate.”

The question is why? Professor Gelernter has an answer.

Political, moral, and cultural conservatives, tend to identify as Christians or as Jews in America. The political left, on the other hand, is decidedly more secular.

If politics is all you have, then politics becomes your religion. Increasingly on the left, political ideas have taken the place of religious doctrines. They are simply not to be debated. Dissent is not to be tolerated, and discussion is shut down.

That’s what we’re seeing on America’s college and university campuses today, and it’s spreading from college campuses into other sectors of political and cultural life.

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Medved: “Tidal Wave of Anger” May Be a Mirage

Conventional wisdom claims that current campaigns reflect the seething anger of the electorate and the misery of the populace. Yet polling data actually shows an overwhelming majority expressing satisfaction with their personal lives, even if they do worry over the nation’s direction.

In 2015, Gallup showed 85% saying they felt “satisfied with the way things were going in their personal lives” – close to the all-time record of 88% in 2003. How, then, could the same poll show disapproval of America’s direction by a two-to-one margin?

The contradiction stems from the media’s bad news obsession: focusing on crimes, disasters, and scandals of all kinds; when things go well, it’s seldom newsworthy. People know the truth about their own lives, but they judge the nation’s welfare based on reports from TV, newspapers, radio and the internet.

The purported tidal wave of anger and indignation may be just another example of media looking for something extraordinary and menacing to report and discuss.

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Hewitt: Groundhog Day Redux

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faces a showdown on February 1 when the Democratic Iowa caucuses pit her against Bernie Sanders—the Senator from Vermont. If the next morning brings a Clinton loss, Hillary will be facing her own version of the famous Bill Murray film “Groundhog Day.” She lost in an upset to Barack Obama in Iowa in 2008. She may have to relive that unfortunate experience again.

A panicked Clinton made all the Sunday shows in an effort to stop the hemorrhaging of her support but the Woodstock generation is having a last hurrah with Sanders and the issue is very much in doubt. The strong opening weekend for the movie “13 Hours” about the Benghazi attack of September 11, 2012 rekindled memories of her collapse that night and her stiffness on the trail now is the stuff of political legend.

Most of the punditry has focused on the GOP race, but the prospect of another epic Hillary fail is starting to capture the country’s imagination.

Could it be Groundhog Day all over again?

Time will tell.

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