So this is how reality ends — in a whimper wrapped in self-pity and recriminations. With President Obama on the defensive at his final press conference and Hillary Clinton’s last campaign event resembling a wake, the Democratic Party is limping off the stage and into the political winter.
It was supposed to sit atop the national power pyramid for decades, a new paradigm of liberals, progressives, the young, the old, the unions and blacks, Latinos, Muslims and Asians.
The torch would be passed from Obama to Clinton, a liberal Supreme Court would vastly expand executive power and the regulatory state would enforce climate-change orthodoxy on all industry and elitist dictates on every American. Globalism would be the new patriotism.
But a funny thing happened on the way to one-party dominance: The people who work for a living said no, hell no. Their revolt brings Donald Trump to the White House amid hopes of a revival of the economy and of the American spirit.
Thoroughly beaten, the Dems are at their lowest point in nearly a century. From the White House to Congress to statehouses, they are on the outside looking in.
Their punishment was well-deserved, as demonstrated by Obama and Clinton. Full of excuses and blaming everyone except themselves, their closing acts proved it is time for them to go.
They have nothing new to offer, with their vision of the future limited to larger doses of the same failing medicine and their intolerance for disagreement showing they would never learn from their mistakes. Their bad ideas had run their disastrous course.
Yet instead of analyzing what went wrong and trying to find new organizing principles, party leaders and activists are pointing fingers at the FBI and Russia, and engaging in a mad bid to overturn Trump’s Electoral College victory.
Because they are doomed to fail, we could be witnessing the death throes of the Democratic Party as we know it. With Obama and the Clintons encouraging the attempted theft of an election they lost and failing to denounce intimidation and death threats against Trump electoral voters, most Americans have reason to consider the Dems a dead letter.
Yet the final verdict on 2016 depends on Trump’s performance as president. If he delivers “jobs, jobs, jobs” and peace-through-strength abroad, he will forge a new governing consensus and remake the political landscape.
While it’s too soon to know what exactly Trumpism stands for, it’s clear that many Republican orthodoxies and special-interest debts are being tossed overboard. His cabinet nominees are incredibly accomplished individuals who come to their new jobs without the burdens of past Washington gridlock. If he can attract centrist-minded Dems, some of whom he is courting, Trump has a chance to build a pragmatic coalition that keeps faith with mainstream America.
The obstacles, of course, are many. Much of the Islamic world is on fire and the great powers are moving ever closer to confrontation in Europe and Asia.
Obama leaves office with Russia, Iran and China eating our lunch, with the Chinese theft of a Navy drone a goodbye insult. The unspeakable horror of Syria and the rise of the Islamic State will forever be part of the 44th president’s legacy.
So too will be domestic divisions, which grew more stark and bitter in the last eight years. We are now perilously close to a boil, and that too falls partially on Obama’s shoulders given his fear-mongering about Trump.
Against that dark reality, it is reasonable to worry the nation is on the verge of a crack-up. But there is also a possibility that America is on the verge of a new greatness.
It’s up to Trump. The ultimate outsider and a historic disrupter, he bears some responsibility for the polarization. But victory presents him with an opportunity to make government work for the people, instead of the other way around.
He is off to a great start and must stay focused to avoid falling down the rabbit holes of petty disputes. America needs the change he promised and he needs to commit every ounce of his being into keeping that promise. If he succeeds, so will the nation.
No end to de Blasio’s dishonesty
The hits just keep on coming at Mayor Bill de Blasio, but hold your tea and sympathy. He has only himself to blame.
Twin reports underscore how chronic dishonesty is destroying his mayoralty. First, federal and state grand juries are hearing evidence about his fundraising, meaning he and/or aides could be indicted.
Second, the city’s Campaign Finance Board fined his 2013 campaign nearly $48,000 for violating spending rules. While the penalty is minor given that he raised $10.6 million privately and got nearly $4 million in city matching funds, the details show a chiseler sticking taxpayers with inappropriate costs.
The largest ones were a $116,000 payment to one of his private consultants and $33,000 for a post-election party.
But small ripoffs also reveal his grasping. He tried to bill the campaign $236 for a hotel room in California in 2012, which just happened to be half a mile from his daughter’s college.
And he charged the campaign for a $297 flight to Washington for his son to attend the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech — in 2010, three years before the election.
Defending the indefensible, de Blasio’s campaign said the expenditure was valid because his son, Dante, attended “as a visible manifestation of how the candidate’s life experience was resonant to the spirit of the occasion.”
Such sophistry helps explain why his fate hangs in the hands of the grand juries convened by prosecutors. His fundraising schemes that avoided donor limits may constitute crimes, but the big issue is whether he also sold favors to donors. The answers should come soon.
Until then, if you must shed tears, shed them for the people of New York. Their mayor betrayed them.
The real bias behind the hate hoax
The false report by the Muslim teen who claimed she was attacked by three men shouting “Donald Trump!” was bad enough, but the way the media swallowed the story was another example of sloppy journalism.
Most outlets didn’t attach any skepticism to her claim, treating it as fact even though there were no witnesses to an attack that she said happened on a crowded subway.
Police took her seriously, but now charge her with filing a false report.
The problem from the start was that, for Trump haters, the story fit their prejudice. The teen, Yasmin Seweid, gave them what they wanted, so they embraced it, no questions asked.
Shame on her — and them.
Source : nypost