Commentary

Hugh Hewitt: A Favor for Republicans

Democrats have done Republicans a huge favor.

After the release of the Mueller report, the Democrats had two options: Either inflate the narrative of obstruction of justice, or attack the messenger who transmitted that report—a report that deeply disappointed them. That messenger was Attorney General William Barr.

They chose the latter course—and blundered terribly in doing so.

The whole premise of their criticism—that Barr somehow mishandled the release of the Mueller report was just absurd. Hysteria is a bad look. Democrats wore it better than their media boosters, but they still wore it poorly.

In attacking Barr, Democrats have hurt themselves. Not only did they appear desperate after their “bet everything on Mueller” wager went bust, but they proceeded to cement the alliance between President Trump and establishment Republicans, who were squarely behind Barr, in a way that had not occurred before.

From Barr to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the electorate sees a face of resolve from an increasingly united GOP.

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David Davenport: California Chips Away at Individual Freedom

California has decided sodas are the new tobacco, with five bills introduced in the legislature to limit sales. If they pass, you won’t be able to buy sodas larger than 16 ounces, you won’t find them in check-out lines, and there will be extra fees.

New York introduced a bill banning large sodas and it was blocked by a judge. While it was in effect the data showed people actually bought more sodas. And there are very different interpretations of the effects of a soda tax.

But the real issue is individual freedom. Isn’t drinking a soda your decision, not the government’s? If they are dangerous to health, isn’t education the answer, not regulation?

The nanny state keeps regulating us more and more at the cost of individual freedom. What’s next: banning meat and dairy products in school lunches? Oops, that bill has been introduced in California also.

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The Numbers on the Economy Make the Case for Trump in 2020

The 2020 election is not even going to be close.

The recent numbers on the economy make it clear:

The first-quarter gross domestic product growth came in at 3.2 percent. The economy over which President Trump is presiding is strong and getting stronger. A recession before Election Day looks less and less likely by the day.

Small wonder then that Trump dominates the GOP with an approval rating close to 90 percent. His administration’s deregulatory push is accelerating. More and more rule-of-law judges are being confirmed to the bench. Readiness levels in the U.S. military have been renewed. Our relationship with our strongest ally, Israel, is at its closest in decades.

Last week’s message from a booming economy should have rocked the Democratic field. But the party remains intent on poring over the Mueller report while they face a Hobson’s choice between a Biden-esque person or someone from the hard-left Bernie brand of Democratic Socialism.

Whoever the Dems nominate, the case for Trump in 2020 looks good.

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Albert Mohler: The Kansas High Court and the Meaning of Words

The culture of death has gained new ground as the state Supreme Court in Kansas has now blocked a law that would have protected unborn human life.

In a decisive 6-1 decision, the majority said that, according to the Kansas state constitution, a woman there has a right to an abortion, to the procedure known as D&E—dilation and evacuation. Note: that is the dismemberment and the removal of the unborn child from the woman’s body.

The decision was breathtaking, catching both sides of the abortion argument in Kansas by surprise.

The constitution of Kansas was adopted in 1859. Abortion was not mentioned. Abortion wasn’t intended.

Once again: We’re looking at invented law and invented rights made by courts.

If we are not restrained by the meaning of words—in this case the words of the state constitution—then we are fundamentally unrestrained. And that means our government is unrestrained, and there are few more deadly dangers than a government unrestrained.

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Michael Medved: Tolerating Hatred in Their Midst

Six months to the day of the infamous synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, neo-Nazi terrorism struck again with a murderous rampage at a vibrant Hassidic congregation in suburban San Diego.

The attack occurred days after the New York Times and Representative Ilhan Omar both outrageously described Jesus as a “Palestinian”—obscuring the well-known fact that he identified as Jewish, both ethnically and religiously.

It also came at a time when the Times had to apologize for a vile anti-Semitic cartoon showing the Prime Minister of Israel as a dog, leading a blind, yarmulke-wearing Trump.

No, it’s not true that Democrats have become “anti-Jewish”—the overwhelming majority of Jewish voters continue to identify as Democrats and play leadership roles in the party.

But facing an undeniable upsurge in anti-Semitism, Democrats have been reluctant to call-out the haters in their midst, especially in contrast with the GOP and its consistent support for Israel and religious liberty.

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Michael Medved: Minor Parties Play the Wild Card

The five presidential elections of the 21st Century have established a clear pattern of close battles between evenly matched parties—a pattern charismatic candidates and billions in spending can’t seem to break.

Republican nominees have all won similar popular vote percentages, ranging from 51 percent for George W. Bush in 2004, to 46 percent for both John McCain and Donald Trump.

Democrats draw similar support—between Obama’s 53 percent in 2008 and Hillary’s 48 percent last time.

What changes more significantly from election to election is the vote for minor party candidates, which soared to 6 percent in 2016, more than triple their combined percentage in 2008 and 2012. If Howard Schultz runs a third party campaign, and protest candidates draw a total of 7 million votes as they did last time, President Trump is almost certain to benefit.

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Lanhee Chen: Russian Meddling and the Mueller Report

While Democrats and Republicans argue over what to make of the Mueller Report, one thing is abundantly clear from its hundreds of pages:

Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election should not have come as a surprise to anyone—let alone President Obama and others in his administration who were asleep at the switch when it happened.

The Mueller Report is a stinging indictment of President Obama’s failure to deal forcefully and directly with the Russian threat. Russia had interfered in elections in the former Soviet Republics and throughout Europe in the years leading up to 2016. And their efforts to subvert US elections were known to officials as early as 2014. Other reports even suggest that national security officials who wanted a more aggressive response to Russian activities were ordered to “stand down” by President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice.

There are no signs that the Russians plan to let up in their efforts to meddle in our democracy. Here’s to hoping President Trump doesn’t repeat the mistakes of his predecessor.

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