Posts

The Rushmore Report: Democratic Chief – The 48% We Don’t Want in Our Party

The Democratic Party has just staked out unchartered territory. They have gone where no political party has gone before. The Democratic National Committee Chairman, Tom Perez, just dropped a bombshell that only the most liberal and divisive of the party faithful can possibly applaud. Perez told Huffington Post there is no room in the Democratic Party for 48 percent of the American electorate.

Democrats can disagree on guns, national debt, the economy, and national defense. But there is one issue that, in the chairman’s own words, “is not negotiable.” What is that issue that now defines all Democrats?

Abortion.

Perez: “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is non-negotiable.”

It didn’t take long for a pro-life response. Marjorie Dannenfelser, a top pro-life advisor to President Trump, fired back. “Never has it been so clear: on abortion, there is no room for dissent or exceptions among Democrats; only support for the party’s radical platform, which calls for abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth, paid for by taxpayer dollars.”

The National Right to Life’s president also blasted the DNC chairman’s abortion stance.

“Dating back to the ouster of (pro-life) Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey from their 1992 convention, Democrats have become increasingly intolerant of pro-life Americans within their own ranks. By forcing all Democrats to pledge fealty to the abortion industry’s extreme agenda, Tom Perez has completed the party’s transformation and sent the message that pro-life Democrats are no longer welcome in their party,” said NRL President Carol Tobias.

Indeed, Perez is attacking more than one-fourth of his own party, and nearly half of all Americans. A recent Pew Research poll confirmed that 28 percent of Democrats believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. Meanwhile, a Gallup poll found that 48 percent of all Americans consider themselves “pro-life.”

So, to be clear, the man selected by the Democratic Party to represent their views is now on record. To be a Democrat, one must take the position that taking the life of the unborn child, right up to the point of birth, is not only acceptable – to believe otherwise is simply “nonnegotiable.”

One can be a Democrat and disagree with most of the party platform – but not the issue of life.

Is it still possible for a person to be a Bible-believing, God-loving Democrat? Yes. I know several who are. But in the face of this radical pro-abortion “non-negotiable” position of the Democratic Party, at the very highest level of party leadership, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

 

The Rushmore Report: California Democratic Platform – Gays, Guns, Grass, and Government

Thanks to Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat last fall, Democrats face a quandary they weren’t expecting until the next decade. What does their party embody in a post-Clinton universe? One place to go seeking answers: California and an open gubernatorial seat in 2018 that’s a window into modern-day progressivism – or, at least the Left Coast version of it. Democrats are embracing four themes: gays, guns, grass, and government.

One recent poll has Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom well ahead of his rivals. What does Newsom owe to his popularity among fellow Democrats? Newsom has embraced the four “G”s. And this says a whole lot about where the Democratic Party now stands on popular issues in the country’s most Democratic state.

1. Gays

Newsom sparked a political and legal firestorm as mayor of San Francisco. In 2004 he issued 4,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This was eight years before his own party embraced gay marriage. The man most likely to be the next governor of California has made same-sex marriage a cornerstone of his political career.

2. Guns

Newsom was a sponsor of Proposition 63 in 2016, which outlawed the possession of high-capacity magazines and requires background checks for buying ammunition. The bill also outlaws magazines with more than ten rounds. Gun control is way down the list of priorities for most Americans – but not Democrats, at least in California.

3. Grass

Newsom has also sponsored legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults age 21 and over. He has hailed the bill as a “game changer.” Clearly, the legalization of pot is another cornerstone of the platform California Democrats are openly embracing.

4. Government

For Newsom and other Democrats, they just can’t get enough of big government. In their world, it is up to government – not capitalism, the church, or the individual – to provide healthcare, as well as just about anything else the citizenry desires.

About the Author

Bill Whalen writes for FoxNews.com.

The Rushmore Report: Democratic Chair – ‘Trump Didn’t Win the Election’

The newly elected Democratic National Committee chairman was videoed screaming that Donald Trump “didn’t win the election” during a rally in New Jersey. The embarrassing clip, in which Tom Perez also claims the Republican Party doesn’t care about voters, leaves little doubt about how he will attempt to drag voters back to the beleaguered party. An irate Perez, who served as President Obama’s Labor Secretary, screeches: “Donald Trump, you don’t stand for our values. You didn’t win this election.”

He added, “Donald Trump, the bromance you have with Putin, it’s not going to do you any good. Donald Trump, we will resist.”

According to several news reports, Mr. Perez also said there was “a bully in Washington in the White House.” Perez was elected as the DNC chair in February after edging out Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.

Democrats have been on a downward spiral in recent years, losing control of the House in 2010 and then the Senate (2012) and White House (2016).

Perez has been hell-bent on trying to help his party after he demanded all current staffers at the DNC submit their letters of resignation by April 15 in a desperate bid to overhaul the party’s organization following the humbling presidential defeat to Trump last year.

The DNC has endured a torrid time during the past few months, following accusations that the party favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and the resignation of former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Trump has slumped to a new low in his approval ratings just 10 weeks into his presidency. Mr. Trump’s job approval stands at just 42 percent, according to a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey Poll.

A majority of those polled – 56 percent – said they think the President is doing a poor job and that he is leading the country in the wrong direction.

About the Author

Charlie Bayliss is a freelance British writer, published in several publications, including Stride, Neon, and Sabotage Reviews.

The Rushmore Report: Divided Democrats

For all the marches and protests the left has generated since Election Day, the debate over who will lead the Democratic Party in the early stages of Donald Trump’s presidency is underscoring the divisions still lingering within its ranks. During last week’s debate among the eight candidates to head the Democratic National Committee, this division was on full display.

The candidates struggled to define a vision of how they would effectively counter Trump’s administration and break through in clear opposition to his message.

The two leading candidates appear to be former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison. They cannot agree on how vigorously the party should oppose Trump, or how to settle divisions within their own ranks.

Ellison said Trump’s actions so far “legitimately raise the question of impeachment.” Perez said, “We have seen from the get-go that this person wants to turn the clock back, and the Democratic Party needs to take the fight to Donald Trump.”

But another candidate cautioned against focusing too much energy on Trump. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, called Trump a “computer virus in the American political system.” He said, “Yes, we’ve got to take the fight to him. But we can’t let him dominate our imagination, because it’s our values and our candidates that matter.”

Central Challenge

The central challenge for Democrats is to recover from the bitter split of the 2016 presidential primary. The wounds of that race were ripped open at the debate, over a question about whether the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton was “rigged.” Some candidates sidestepped the question, while others took either side. Buttigieg said Democrats don’t want to make the mistake of reliving the 2016 race. “We can’t allow this to devolve into a fractional struggle,” he warned.

The candidates also disagreed over future primary contests, with some pushing for their party to match new Democrats against incumbent Democratic senators up for election in 2020.

At the Forefront

Perez and Ellison are at the forefront of an eight-candidate field. Both have racked up an impressive list of party endorsements. But neither has the votes to win the job. The debate will continue as the Democratic Party seeks to heal its wounds, bridge its divide, and become competitive once again.

About the Author

Eric Bradner is a reporter for the Cable News Network.

The Rushmore Report: The Left Has Taken Hypocrisy to a Whole New Level

Noah Bierman of the Los Angeles Times has accused President-elect Donald Trump of “creating a lasting and bitter divide in American society.” Time calls him the President of the “Divided States of America.” Meanwhile, Barack Obama claims, “I would have won a third term,” defeating Mr. Trump. In the weeks following the November election, the left has taken hypocrisy to an unprecedented and dangerous level.

Example #1 – Trump is not legitimate because most Americans voted against him.

From Hillary Clinton to Bill Clinton to every host on CNN and MSNBC, the drumbeat continues. “Because Trump received only 46 percent of the vote, he has no mandate.” It is suggested, daily, that despite winning 30 states and 85 percent of the counties in America, Trump’s win is not legitimate. It’s funny – in 1992 there was another president who received significantly fewer votes – just 43 percent. But we never heard such outrage. Perhaps that’s because the president who won just 43 percent of the vote was a Democrat named Bill Clinton.

Example #2 – Obama would have won a third term.

Rather than celebrate the democratic process, the current president is pouring lighter fluid on the fire in the most juvenile of ways. By saying he would have beaten Trump, he is a) diminishing Hillary Clinton, b) diminishing Donald Trump, and c) diminishing himself. Does anyone remember George W. Bush making such a claim when his party lost the White House in 2008? Mr. Obama has criticized his successor more before Trump has even taken office than Mr. Bush criticized Obama in eight years. Who is being divisive?

Example #3 – Reserving service to others is only okay when it’s the left boycotting the right.

The Rockettes are waging an apoplectic fit because they have to perform for the Trump inauguration. One member said, “He’s not my president!” When Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and Cyndi Lauper cancelled their concerts in North Carolina because of the bathroom laws (keeping men out of ladies rooms), the media celebrated their bravery. When Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Garth Brooks, KISS, Celine Dion, and area high school marching bands all turned down the request to perform at the inauguration, no one squawked.

But when Melissa and Aaron Klein refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, in keeping with their religious principles, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian fined them $135,000 for causing the gay couple undue “emotional suffering.” Of course, that was okay, because it was the right who was refusing to serve the left and not the other way around.

Ben Shapiro said it well.

“The left has suddenly discovered freedom of association; after years of telling religious people they had a moral and legal obligation to throw out their religion and service same-sex weddings and to fund abortion, now the left realizes the ability to pick and choose those to whom you give your services is actually kind of important. But don’t expect this to last. Of course artists should be able to turn down clients; so should religious bakers, but you won’t see the left acknowledge that. The only freedom to turn down clients it the freedom for leftists to turn down conservative and religious clients, not the other way around.”

The Rushmore Report: The Historic Decline of the Democratic Party

As President Obama prepares to leave office, his party is smaller, weaker, and ricketier than it has been since at least the 1940s. The Democratic Party has frittered away tremendous power – from 2009 through the aftermath of the 2016 elections. The decline of the Democratic Party is indisputable and historic. For those who think the Democratic Party is not in crisis, the following data will destroy this fallacious argument.

  • Democrats surrendered the White House to a political neophyte.
  • Democrats’ seats in the Senate have slipped from 55 to 46 – down 16 percent.
  • Democrats’ House seats have dropped from 256 to 194 – down 24 percent.
  • In 2009, Democrats controlled the House and Senate. Now they control neither.
  • Governorships have dropped from 28 to 16 – down 43 percent.
  • State legislatures plunged from 27 to 14 – down 48 percent.
  • States with Democratic governors and legislatures are down from 17 to 6 – off 65 percent.

Since FDR, eight presidents have served at least two terms or bowed to their vice presidents due to death or resignation. Among them, Obama ranks eighth (last) in total state legislative seats that his party preserved during his tenure.

Obama has supervised the net loss of 959 such Democratic positions, down 23.5 percent, according to Ballotpedia, which generated most of the data cited here. This far outpaces the 843 net seats the Republicans yielded under President Eisenhower.

By this measure, Ronald Reagan is No. 1. While he was president, Republicans gained six statehouse seats.

In terms of boosting his party’s state-level strength, Obama is the worst president since World War II. Reagan is he best.

“My legacy’s on the ballot,” Obama said in September, just as he had said before the shellacking his party received in the 2014 midterms.

Democrats have paid the ultimate price. The political cadavers of more than 1,000 Democratic incumbents and nominees, from Hillary Clinton on down, confirm that Obama is poison at the polls.

Rather than enjoy a traditional, low-key post-presidency in Chicago, Obama plans to hunker down in Washington, D.C., comment on current events, and counsel his party’s candidates and officeholders. Democrats should find this as appetizing as dinner cooked by Typhoon Mary.

About the author

Deroy Murdock is an American political commentator and a contributing editor with the National Review. Murdock is a first-generational American, with roots in Costa Rica.

The Rushmore Report: Democratic Senator Has Warning for His Own Party

Some of the harshest warnings for the Democratic Party are coming from the . . . Democratic Party. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday warned the Democratic Party to not engage in payback when it comes to President-elect Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court or they will continue to lose a significant portion of the electorate in rural states like his who helped hand Trump the presidency.

“We have to be careful how we go down this road,” Manchin said during a panel discussion at a centrist “No Labels” conference in Washington. Manchin was referring to Senate Democrats’ willingness to use the filibuster to try to block Trump’s high court pick and cautioned against doing so.

“If my Democrat friends just hunker down and say, ‘No, no, and hell no,’ I can understand that [Republicans] are going to say, ‘Wait a minute, we have a pretty good person here. We need to give him a fair shot,'” he said. “Those types of things, I hope we’re going to avoid before we get into this dysfunction that we’ve been in.”

Manchin, a conservative-leaning Democrat who has always played an outsized role in the Republican Senate majority, is under consideration for Energy Secretary in the Trump Administration.

After the election, Senate Democrats realized they had lost voters in states like West Virginia and the so-called Rust Belt and appointed Manchin to a leadership role in response.

On the leadership team, Manchin has said he’s going to work to try to bring his party “back to the middle.” He said, “I look at all of this . . . this is big change. We have big change in our country right now, and with every big change comes opportunity.”

On the flip side, he also warned Republicans not to repeal Obamacare while waiting two or three years to pass a replacement.

“It would be much easier” if Republicans didn’t wait, he argued.

But Manchin saved his strongest words for his Democratic colleagues, warning them that they may be on a path toward permanent minority status if they don’t learn the lessons of the 2016 elections. The Democratic Party can stay the course – with renewed commitment to the same old leadership team, with Rep. Pelosi at the helm. But to learn nothing from its continued slide is to risk irrelevancy on a national level.

The Democrats can ignore the warnings from one of their best leaders – Sen. Joe Manchin. But they will do so to their own peril.

About the Author

Susan Crabtree is a Senior Congressional Reporter who writes for the Washington Examiner. She covers the United States Senate with daily columns and commentary.

The Rushmore Report: The Democratic Party in Crisis

We’ve heard it a million times – the Republican Party is in crisis. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the Inaugural Ball. The most qualified candidate in U.S. history lost to a political outsider. But it goes deeper than that. In the eight years of Mr. Obama’s presidency, the Democratic Party has lost 11 U.S. Senate seats, 60 seats in the U.S. House, 14 Governorships, and 900 state legislative seats. So which party is in crisis now?

Undoubtedly, one contributor to the 2016 election surprise was the last-minute announcement that Obamacare was forcing double-digit premium increases. But then again, the law has never been popular.

President Obama is the mirror image of President-elect Donald Trump. Mr. Obama remains personally popular, while his policies are not. Trump, on the other hand, was seen as “scary” by 58 percent of those who voted, according to an ABC election day poll, though he won an Electoral College landslide victory.

It didn’t help that the Democrats nominated their most unpopular candidate since George McGovern. Clinton never provided a compelling message or reason to be president. It turned out “I’m not Trump” wasn’t a visionary enough position to win the hearts of American voters.

One county says it all. In the Democratic stronghold of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Clinton garnered almost 44,000 fewer votes than Obama received just four years ago. Clinton lost Wisconsin and its valuable 10 electoral votes by a meager 27,000 votes. They didn’t lose because people flocked toward Trump, but because they flocked away from Clinton.

Today, only five states are in Democratic control, holding the Governorship, House, and Senate. Five – that means just ten percent of the states are purely Democratic in their rule.

Trump remains very unpopular. This underscores the Democrats’ problem. They should be asking themselves, “How did we lose to this guy?”

It’s not that millions of left-leaning Americans didn’t prefer Clinton over Trump. It’s just that they didn’t care enough to sacrifice 30 minutes of their day to show up to vote.

President Obama promised change. And change has indeed come. Eleven Senate seats have changed. Sixty U.S. House seats have changed. Fourteen Governorships have changed. Nine hundred state legislative seats have changed. They have all changed from Democrat to Republican.

The Democratic Party is in crisis. It’s pretty hard to spin it any other way. But Democratic leadership will spin it another way. And therein lies their problem.

The Rushmore Report: The Democratic Presidential “Debate”

On October 13 the Democratic Party held its first presidential debate. CNN host Anderson Cooper served as moderator. And Anderson Cooper, a contributor to the Clinton Initiative, played many roles: democratic apologist, media superstar, and gifted moderator. The role Mr. Cooper did not play was journalist. If he was a serious journalist, he would have asked the following ten questions. But being the democratic apologist that he is, he wasn’t going to go there. Following are ten questions a true journalist would have asked. These are ten questions the Democratic presidential candidates, especially Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, do not want to answer.

1. How will you pay for the 13 new programs you have proposed?

2. What is your plan to pay down the $20 trillion national debt, half of which has been incurred in the past eight years?

3. Why can’t you say, “All lives matter?” Why can you only say, “Black lives matter?”

4. How will you pay for free college for everyone, and where will you put all these new students, given the overcrowding of many campuses already?

5. Explain how climate change is a greater threat to national security than ISIS.

6. What is your plan to defeat ISIS?

7. How many lives would have been saved in the recent mass shootings, by your proposed new gun laws?

8. Have you watched the entire Planned Parenthood videos?

9. If racism remains our “national sin,” why are millions of minorities risking their lives to immigrate to America?

10. The top one percent of wage-earners pay 46 percent of all taxes. You say that is too low. How much should they pay?

The Democratic candidates did an outstanding job of answering questions that, by all appearances, they wrote themselves. There was no discussion of ISIS, national debt, or the fact that none of the proposed new gun laws would have had any effect on any of the recent mass shootings. Miss America candidates have received tougher questions. I’m sure many in Democratic leadership like this, as the “debate” sparked only hugs and kisses. But when their candidates for president and vice-president face real debates in a few months, such softball questions and non-debate debates will not serve them well as preparation for the main event. There are real issues that need to be addressed. And at some point, a real journalist will step to the plate. I hope the candidates will be ready.

The Democratic Party in Crisis – We Can Help

According to most media reports, the Republican Party is in crisis. As evidence, they point to the Speaker position and infighting among the establishment Republicans and Tea Party sympathizers. And they have a point. You don’t have to look very hard to find these reports. But what you won’t hear is that the Democratic Party is in trouble. Well, they are, and we are here to help.

Evidence the Democratic Party Is in Trouble

1. State legislatures are firmly in Republican hands. Chris Matthews recently said, “The Republican Party no longer exists as a viable political party.” The facts are the enemy of such nonsense. The fact is Republicans control 70 percent of state legislatures, 60 percent of the states have Republican governors, and 55 percent of the state attorneys general and secretaries of state are Republicans. In only 11 states are the Democrats in majority of both state houses, and in four of those, they have a Republican Governor. That means only seven states have a Democratic Governor and Democratic-controlled congress. By contrast, Republicans are in control of 25 states. That is a 25-7 advantage for Republicans.

2. Republicans control Congress. Not sinse the days when Hubert Hoover was President have the Republicans held so many seats in the U.S. House. Add to that the fact that Republicans hold 54 Senate seats, and you have a Democratic Party that is firmly a minority party.

3. Democrats have an aging national presence. Parties are known by their presidential candidates. The six current Democratic candidates have an average age of 67. The three leaders (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden) have an average age of 73. By contrast, the ten leading Republican candidates’ average age is 58, a full 15 years younger. Several of their candidates, such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, are in their mid-40s.

4. Democrats are in control of only one large state. After California, the largest state with a Democratic Governor and Democratic House and Senate is Minnesota. By contrast, the Republicans dominate Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina, all among the ten largest states in the country.

Road Map to Success

1. Admit you have a problem. There is an undeniable smugness in the leadership of the party. They are enmeshed in denial. From chairman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz on down, there is a pervasive sense of accomplishment that denies evidence. Content to watch the Republicans implode, they display no sense of urgency which would be necessary to reverse the fortunes of a party that controls just 14 percent of the 50 state governments.

2. Provide a plan. In their first presidential debate, all candidates except Jim Webb embraced free college for all and the most far-reaching liberal agenda in recent memory. Absent were any details on how to accomplish this or pay for it. Nonpartisan groups have put a price tag of $17 trillion on their new proposals, which would double our national debt, which has already doubled during the Obama years.

3. Act fiscally responsible. Eight years ago, in the face of a $10 trillion debt, candidate Barack Obama criticized President Bush and Republican leaders with these piercing words: “That is not American. It is unpatriotic.” Today, not only do the Democrats not offer a solution for the $20 trillion debt, they only propose agendas that will raise it. Any effort to not raise the debt limit is shouted down by Democratic leaders. But millions of Americans, all on a fixed budget, look on with amazement.

4. Quit racing to the left. Senator Sanders has led the presidential field into an all-out sprint to the left. They have unified around several themes: our greatest national threat is climate change, we need free college for everyone, and only black lives matter. They offer no way to pay for the free college, no plan to defeat ISIS, no mention of extremist Islamic terrorists, or a plan to pay down the national debt. The wealthiest top one percent, who pay 46 percent of all taxes, must pay more, while the bottom 50 percent, who pay one percent of all taxes, must pay less. Senator Sanders, leading the polls in New Hampshire, is a self-proclaimed Socialist. Any party that looks to a Socialist for national leadership has run too far to the left to grow its national presence.

None of this is to say the Republican Party has its act together. Too often, they resemble a circular firing squad. The Republican electorate is so enamored with its leadership that 55 percent of Republican voters currently favor a presidential candidate (Donald Trump, Ben Carson, or Carly Fiorina) with zero elective office experience. But just one of our two national parties controls the majority of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor positions, state houses, and state senates. And only one party has as its leading presidential candidates men and women under the age of 73, indicative of a rising leadership base for the future. That party is the Republican Party. The Democratic Party is in trouble. But these things are cyclical. There is a way out. But the first step, admitting they have a problem, does not seem to be on their radar screen. That is why they are in trouble.