Commentary

Hugh Hewitt: Sea Change

U.S. Senate

Sea change. An enormous one. That’s the only way to understand President Trump’s first 100 days — as a breaking from and often a breaking of the Obama presidency, one every bit as turbulent as what’s encountered by a sailing ship going from calm seas into a hurricane.

Trump’s first 50 days were a jumble of ups and downs, mostly downs. But beginning with the flawless testimony of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his subsequent confirmation under rules that will speed the way for future Supreme Court nominees, the Trump turnaround began and gained an almost uninterrupted momentum.

The president’s directive to strike Syria after it apparently rained sarin poison on babies and toddlers was a defining moment, reinforced by using the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan.

Just imagine what the next three and two-thirds years can bring — if President Trump minimizes the errors of the first 100 days and repeats the parts that have been greeted with broad-based conservative applause.

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Albert Mohler: Is Assad Evil?

Billy Graham

Scott Simon is one of the most thoughtful commentators on National Public Radio, and in the aftermath of seeing those horrifying images from the chemical nerve agent attack in Syria, Simon offered an important meditation on the nature of evil.

Once of Simon’s daughters asked how anyone could commit such an atrocity. He admits that “I was of a generation educated to believe that ‘evil’ was a cartoonish moral concept.”

Simon goes on to say that “I still avoid saying ‘evil’ as a reporter. But as a parent, I’ve grown to feel it may be important to tell children about evil, as we struggle to explain cruel and incomprehensible behavior they may see not just in history — in whatever they will learn about the Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur—but in our own times.”

It turns out that Scott Simon the reporter doesn’t want to use the word “evil,” but as a parent has to. That in itself tells us a very great deal.

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Michael Medved: Democrats Repeat The Same Bad Mistakes

Opioid

Amid all the evaluations of the first hundred days of President Trump, what about considering the first hundred days of Democrats as the party of opposition?

So far, they’ve shown a destructive tendency to repeat the same mistakes that cost them the election in November.

• First, they focus exclusively on attacking the president while counting on scandal to destroy their opponents.

• Second, Democrats continue to rely on identity politics: trying to rally minorities, women and gays with a sense of victimhood, while demonizing white males. But identity politics doesn’t work: in November, Trump got slightly more votes than Romney among blacks and Latinos, while Clinton failed among her fellow white women—losing that group to Trump by 9 points.

The practice of running strictly negative campaigns and dividing voters into warring demographic groups will lead Democrats to more defeats in the years ahead.

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David Davenport: There Is A Trump Doctrine: America First

Compromise

For journalists and academics searching to find a Trump Doctrine in foreign policy, it’s right in front of you. It’s called: America First.

And what it means is putting America’s national interest in the center of our foreign policy decision-making. It’s not the George W. Bush exporting democracy philosophy, it’s not the Barack Obama “lead from behind” approach. Instead, it’s a realist’s foreign policy: simply pursue America’s interests in each situation.

Stopping the use of chemical weapons in Syria; renouncing trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership; restricting immigration from certain countries—these are all thought by Trump to be in America’s national interest.

You may agree with him or not on how he defines our national interest. But, in the face of terrorism and threats from small unstable states and non-state actors, it strikes me as suitable to respond rather than philosophize.

America First. That’s the Trump Doctrine.

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Michael Medved: France and the Collapse of the Left

Opioid

French voters won’t pick a new president until May 7th, but the first round of balloting highlights an important international trend, the dramatic decline of the left:

•    The candidate of the ruling Socialists finished a pathetic fifth in France, not coming close to the run-off.

•    In the most powerful South American countries, Brazil and Argentina, leftists are out of office and face criminal prosecution, while the Socialist government in Venezuela teeters on the edge of collapse.

•    In Germany, India, Israel, the Netherlands and many other nations, the left is divided and defeated, while U.S. Democrats have lost the Senate, House and presidency, holding power in barely a third of state governments.

Yes, populist rabble-rousers and independent centrists show energy around the world, but the more striking current development is the establishment left losing power and influence.

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David Davenport: Trump’s First Hundred Days: Doing What He Promised

Compromise

Since Franklin Roosevelt, presidents have been evaluated at the end of a hundred days.  Donald Trump drafted his own report card in a campaign speech last fall, saying what he would do in his first hundred days.

And here’s the surprising thing:  he’s doing what he said.

•    Appoint judges who would uphold the Constitution.  Neil Gorsuch. Check.
•    Construct a wall and limit illegal immigration.  No wall yet, but plenty of restrictions.
•    Reassess trade agreements—withdrew from the TPP, check.
•    Repeal Obamacare—no check, but working on it.
•    Impose term limits on Congress—no.
•    Remove restrictions on energy—yes.
•    Eliminate gun-free zones—not yet.
•    For every new regulation, eliminate two old ones.  Check, by executive order.
•    Instruct the Joint Chiefs to develop plans to protect America.  Check.
•    Label China a currency manipulator—maybe, but doubtful.

After 100 days, he’s batting .500 or more, which is better than my teams are doing.

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Lanhee Chen: Time To Deliver

Tax Reform

It can be tempting to try to draw far-reaching conclusions about the 2018 midterm elections from the special election results in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, where Democrat Jon Ossoff came close to winning the 50 percent of the vote he needed to capture the longtime conservative seat. But those midterms are more than 19 months away and a whole lot can change between now and then.

Voters in Georgia’s 6th congressional district didn’t appear to be punishing Republicans for their inability to repeal and replace Obamacare in late March. A single failure to do so can be attributable to “growing pains.” But a continual inability to pass into law a conservative, market-based alternative to the Affordable Care Act will have electoral consequences for Republican congressional candidates across the country.

Now it’s time for President Trump and congressional leaders like Speaker Ryan to finally deliver. Failing to do so will impact election results not just in Georgia, but across America.

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