Republicans, independents and conservative Democrats looking for someone to replace the rude, crude, ethically challenged chief executive occupying the Oval Office looked on in vain at the Democratic debates last week.
The New York Post demonstrated it best: a cover photo of Democratic candidates with a hand in the air over the headline “Who wants to lose the election?” The subtitle referred to the major candidates raising their hands in favor of free health care for illegal immigrants. Boy, that’ll be a winning strategy.
That was just one of the issues not likely to win friends and influence people outside of MSNBC viewers. President Donald Trump’s campaign team must be thrilled.
Major candidates also raised a hand to eliminating the private insurance of millions of Americans and putting them into the Medicare system. That ought to play well with the millions of Americans who have insurance paid by their employer. Especially Midwestern labor union members in states Democrats need to take back from Trump, like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. (U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris said the next day she misunderstood the question and does not favor abolishing private insurance.)
There was also a consensus to repeal the law making illegal entry into the United States a crime and make it a civil matter instead. I believe Trump will call that open borders and ought to have a field day with it.
The few candidates who tried to talk sensibly about the issues were unknowns and hardly mentioned in follow-up coverage. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris were crowned the debate winners by most pundits. Harris was credited with a masterful hit job on Joe Biden. (What have we come to in America when Biden is even considered a serious candidate for president, much less the frontrunner?)
Biden said he did not oppose busing for integration back in the 1970s, he was just opposed to federally ordered busing, which should have been a local matter. Voluntary. As someone who covered this issue in the 1970s, I would point out to Mr. Biden that leaving it to locals to decide without federal intervention was called “segregation.”
A regular reader of mine, a Democrat and a wise man with a long memory, remembers Herman Talmadge, the segregationist Georgia senator Biden bragged about being able to work with. His assessment: Herman Talmadge was a mean, racist drunk who cheated on his wife, stole the people’s money and got elected because of his daddy. (Daddy Gene Talmadge was elected governor of Georgia four times.)
The Drudge Report online poll had U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the Iraq war veteran from Hawaii, as the winner, which probably says more about Drudge readers than the Democratic field. But it demonstrates the wide gulf between the progressive Democratic candidates and the more conservative voters who make up the red states.
So if Trump carries the red states and he keeps the Midwest because the Democrats are a threat to voters’ health insurance, it’s game over.
The debates were a direct appeal to those voters who will vote for the Democrat, if they vote. But no one on the stage seemed to be concerned about getting anyone else to vote for them.
New York Times columnist David Brooks says both political parties are determined to make moderates homeless. That’s about right.
Hmmm: Former Republican state Rep. Jimmy Matlock attended the Lincoln Day Dinner in Claiborne County on Friday night. It’s a long way from his Loudon County base. But it is in the 2nd Congressional District where Matlock lost a bruising primary battle against now-incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett last year. Burchett also attended the Claiborne County event; he was guest speaker.
Race Results: The race to be the Speaker of the House after Glen Casada appears to be down to Deputy Speaker Matthew Hill and Republican Caucus Chair Cameron Sexton. The vote will be July 24, so the caucus will be ready to make it official when Gov. Lee calls a special session for Aug. 23.
Happy Birthday: We started out 48 years ago celebrating my wife’s June birthday. Then it progressed to her birthday week. Now she has a birthday month. For her 70th birthday, she wanted a new car just because her Mercedes SUV had 250,000 miles on it and she insisted she would like to have a car made this century. So we went over to Ray Varner Ford in Clinton – one of the patrons that bring you this local news and commentary source – and they put her in a nice Ford Escape, which she loves. And it was virtually painless. Thanks, guys.