Right On: The Democratic storyline is collapsing

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OPINION — February is starting out as a very bad month for Democrats. Identity politics hypocrisy is on public display along with the stark contrast between the party’s socialist agenda and voters’ preferences.

Trump’s uncharacteristically presidential State of the Union speech was Democrats’ low point. His positive and carefully crafted message was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s optimistic outlook that resonated so well with the country.

Seventy-six percent of viewers approved of Trump’s speech.

Democratic pettiness was on display when Trump highlighted an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent’s success in thwarting sex traffickers. Republicans stood to cheer while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has proposed disbanding ICE, stood but refused to clap. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a champion of the #MeToo movement, didn’t even stand.

For these Democrats, evidently sex trafficking is a price they’re willing to pay to protect illegal immigrants.

If Trump’s State of the Union address had any good news for Democrats, it was because it took the public’s attention off the sordid things that beset their party in recent days.

Start with the Virginia House of Delegates. It debated a Democratic bill to allow abortions up to the moment of birth, following New York State’s lead.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a physician, explained that if a woman wanted an abortion while in labor, “the infant would be delivered” and “kept comfortable” while “physicians and the mother” decided whether to kill it.

Infanticide is a shocking Democratic position that doesn’t poll well.

Going two for two, Northam got snared in Democrats’ identity politics spotlight when his medical yearbook picture in racist costume was publicized.  Virtually all Democratic leaders nationwide called for his resignation, agonizing that his continued presence on the national scene would undermine their efforts to portray Trump as racist as well as undermine their pro-abortion policies.

Northam tried his best to wriggle out in a series of three news conferences in which his story changed each time: It wasn’t his picture, well yes it was. He remains in office hoping to ride out the storm.

Calls for Northam to step down were diminished when Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax was accused sexual assault by two women. The accusations are credible and corroborated by contemporaneous Facebook posts, emails and multiple friends unlike the unsubstantiated charge leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.

Democratic leaders have called for Fairfax to step down despite his claims of innocence. Once again Democrats ignore due process in their #MeToo rush to judgment.

If both Northam and Fairfax leave office, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, also a Democrat, is next in line for the governorship. But he admitted he wore blackface to a party where he impersonated Michael Jackson. Having tarred Northam for a similar youthful indiscretion, calls for his resignation arose as well.

Then Democrats found themselves in quandary. If the three accused – Democrats all – resign, next in line for the governorship would be the Republican speaker of the House. That made things different of course, tempering calls for resignations: politics over principle.

And Democratic politics across the board are showing signs of strain as well.

When former Starbucks head Howard Schultz, a lifelong liberal, announced that he’s considering a run for president as an independent, Democrats were apoplectic: He couldn’t possibly win, he’d help re-elect Trump.

A former Hillary Clinton advisor called Schultz a “jackass” while Obama’s former campaign manager said he would “ruin the world.” Progressive activists promised to boycott Starbucks.

Democratic presidential candidates’ mad dash toward socialism has driven principled liberals like Shultz to despair.

Next to put her foot in it, Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris endorsed eliminating all private health insurance, saying “It’s time to move on.” She supports Medicare for All, a plan that sounds good until voters discover that it means they will no longer have an option to keep their existing insurance. Instead they’ll be forced to surrender to the tender mercies of federal bureaucrats.

At least she and Bernie Sanders aren’t saying if like your plan, you can keep it.

Tone deaf to the rising storm of Democratic problems, the anti-Trump “Need to Impeach” campaign began running ads attacking not Trump but Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for moving too slowly to impeach the president.

Democratic divisions are sprouting like weeds in spring.

As a fitting finale, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s supporters were blindsided by the revelation that Warren had – in her own handwriting – written that she was an “American Indian” on a Texas Bar application. Previously she had denied she’d ever made the explicit claim.

Her DNA test showed she may have had, like many Americans, a single Native American ancestor six to 10 generations back. Charges that she used a tenuous claim of Native American ancestry to benefit her career won’t go away.

The race and gender weapons that Democrats created are now destroying their own.  But identity politics is so firmly entrenched in the Democratic mindset that there is no turning back.

Republicans are hardly models of propriety and odds are high that Trump will shoot himself in the foot a number of times over the next 21 months. Nonetheless 2020 election prospects for Trump and all Republicans are looking significantly better than they were just a month ago.

Howard Sierer is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: hsierer@stgeorgeutah.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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