The Politics of Nastiness…

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At any given time the political landscape in America consists of those extreme in their beliefs, those fervent in their beliefs, those steadfast in the wielding and those who vacillate depending on the mood of society at the time. Unfortunately, the vacillating part encompasses most people.

The dynamics of that creates a phenomenon whereby the extremes can bully the vacillators, some steadfast and occasionally the fervent into tacit approval and support for fear of reprisals. We saw that through a good part of the 20th century as overt racists bullied the bulk of White America into going along with institutionalized racism. Your typical White American had no real interest or concern in the implementation of Jim Crow but didn’t want to become the target of violence and bullying visited on those who vocally opposed Jim Crow.

Eventually, through efforts by both the government (via the Republicans) and the Media, the extremist bullies were silenced enough that the fervent and steadfast who opposed institutionalized racism could speak out without fear and eventually the vacillators sluggishly migrated over to what was being presented as the new mood of society.

The power that the Media wielded in shifting the focus did not go unnoticed by those that controlled the media, and the very quickly began wielding it to implement other goals, ignoring the fact that they were soon becoming the very enemy they had previously opposed.  Thye began manipulating the vacillators into agreeing with an increasingly irrational agenda.

Today we see the Left, using their tool the Media to whip into agreement a large vacillating and mindless mass of people, over concepts only an insane person would have advocated just a few decades earlier. Keeping them ignorant and fearful of retaliation, common people think of Antifa as merely a peaceful group opposing extremism, rather than the truth of being extremists violently opposing anyone and everyone who dares disagree with their warped philosophy.

LGBT activists are using the same tactics, as well as the same tool—the Media—to force their increasingly demented agenda down the throats of Americans. Like a page out of Orwell’s 1984, we see the same people screaming #MeToo, and calling all men rapist while simultaneously demanding adult men be freely allowed to follow little girls into public restrooms.

All because the Politics of Nastiness continues to pay off.

And ironically, the very people who were the victims of the tactic 75 years ago are employing it today, while accusing those they disagree with of supporting the efforts of the very groups they are now copying.

Mocking Middle America

Needless to say, Washington’s media elites did not care for the president’s Tampa, Florida speech.  CNN’s Jim Acosta was “triggered” by Trump’s remarks, and he tweeted this:

“I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way.”

Spare me the crocodile tears!  When was the last time Jim Acosta and CNN condemned Antifa and the literally hundreds of attacks against conservatives?

For years I’ve been telling people that one of the reasons Washington seems so out of touch is that D.C. elites, if they think of people outside the Beltway at all, think of them as uncouth idiots.

Remember Barack Obama’s remark about “bitter Americans” clinging to their guns and religion?  How about Peter Strzok’s claim that he could “smell” conservatives at Walmart?  And don’t forget Hillary’s “basket of deplorables.”

You can add to that list this tweet from Politico reporter Marc Caputo about the people at Trump’s Tampa rally:  “If you put everyone’s mouths together in this video, you’d get a full set of teeth.”

When the predictable backlash began, he replied, “Oh, no! I made fun of garbage people. . .”

If Caputo tweeted anything remotely similar about any racial or sexual minority group, he would be fired immediately.  Same for Peter Strzok.  But it is acceptable when elites mock Middle America.

—Gary Bauer
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BREAKING NEWS: Trump Sanctions Turkey

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced this afternoon that the United States was imposing sanctions on two top Turkish officials due to the continued detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson.

“At the president’s direction, the Department of Treasury is sanctioning Turkey’s minister of justice and minister of interior, both of whom played leading roles in the arrest and detention of Pastor Brunson,” Sanders said.

“Any property or interest in property of both ministers within U.S. jurisdiction is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”

That is a good first step.  I pray it succeeds in achieving Pastor Brunson’s freedom.  But for now, President Erdogan remains defiant, even accusing the U.S. of having “an evangelist, Zionist mentality.”

—Gary Bauer
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Social Media Bias

Conservative leaders have been warning for some time that the social media giants are biased against their right-leaning users.  Twitter seems to be the latest offender.

Several leading Republicans, including RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and outspoken conservatives like Rep. Mark Meadows, have accused the social media platform of “shadow banning” them.  In other words, if you see them on TV or read an article about them and try to search for them, Twitter is deliberately making it hard to find them.

Of course, the liberal media initially mocked conservatives for complaining about it.  But this week, the left-wing outlet Vice News confirmed the censorship was real.

President Trump publicly attacked Twitter yesterday — of course, in a tweet.  He wrote:

“Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once!  Many complaints.”

Guess what?  Overnight, Twitter discovered that an algorithm meant to promote “healthy conversation” by targeting “bad-faith actors” was causing the problem, and it should be resolved soon.

It is strange how only conservatives were affected by a supposedly neutral algorithm.

Even if it is a random program, someone had to program it.  I suspect that just like so much of Silicon Valley, many Twitter techies are intolerant lefties straight out of our left-wing colleges who don’t think conservatives are capable of contributing to “healthy conversations.”

—Gary Bauer
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Making America Great Again

The U.S. economy grew at a strong rate of 4.1% in the second quarter of the year.  That’s the strongest economic growth in four years and one of the best quarters in the past decade.  Gee, I wonder what changed?

Barack Obama’s policies helped produce one of the worst economic records in American history.  He is the only president since World War II to never experience a single full year of 3% economic growth.

Under Obama, economic growth peaked at 2.6% and averaged around 2% per year.  And we were told over and over again that this was the new normal, that a roaring economy was a thing of the past.

Yet Trump came into office and did the exact opposite of what Obama did.

Obama raised taxes.  Trump and the Republican Congress cut them.

Obama imposed massive regulations on businesses and the economy.  Trump has been rolling back red tape at a record level.

Obama gave us eight years of bigger and bigger government (Obamacare) and more and more pessimism.  He apologized for America and attacked small business owners, telling them, “You didn’t build that.”

Trump came into office promising to make America great again.  And just as he has done on so many other issues, Donald Trump is delivering on that promise.

—Gary Bauer
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Trump Wins Again

President Trump’s tough stance and his willingness to challenge to conventional wisdom on trade has surprised and frustrated many pundits and politicians in both parties.  At a White House event this week showcasing products made in America, Trump declared:

“Our leaders in Washington did nothing, they did nothing.  They let our factories leave, they let our people lose their jobs.  That’s not free trade, that’s fool’s trade, that’s stupid trade and we don’t do that kind of trade anymore.”

Those remarks set the stage for his meeting yesterday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.  Trump’s tariffs got Europe’s attention and Juncker was looking to deal.  So the president threw down the gauntlet.  Just hours before they met, he tweeted:

“I have an idea for them.  Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade!  Hope they do it, we are ready – but they won’t.”  

Well, it’s not yet a done deal, but it seems like Trump and Juncker made significant progress.

When the two leaders emerged from their meeting, President Trump announced that they had agreed “to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.”

Other administrations largely conceded to Europe’s trade barriers.  This president is fighting back, and he’s winning!  I hope this news causes some of Trump’s critics to calm down.

While I don’t expect the left will relax its “resistance,” it is beyond frustrating to see Republican senators like Bob Corker and Jeff Flake joining Trump’s foreign critics who are angry with him for trying to get a better deal for American workers.

When they do that, they are weakening the president’s hand by signaling that he does not even have the full support of his own party.

More importantly, they are weakening the Republican Party with the very voters they need to maintain their majority and to prevent the socialist left from gaining power.

—Gary Bauer
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About That Warrant. . .

The Justice Department is ever so slowly starting to comply with demands for information relating to the start of the Russia collusion investigation.  Over the weekend, the FBI released the original application to the secret FISA court seeking a warrant to monitor communications from Carter Page, a low-level advisor to the Trump campaign.

The heavily redacted documents confirm that the FBI relied heavily on the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.  But that dossier was nothing more than partisan opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign.  It never should have been used to justify spying on Carter Page and the Trump campaign.

Why is this important?  As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy notes, the FBI is supposed to verify to the greatest extent possible any information it submits to the FISA court.

Indeed, the FBI declared to the court that this was a “VERIFIED APPLICATION.”  But it wasn’t verified at all.  Fired FBI Director James Comey described the Steele dossier in congressional testimony as “salacious and unverified.”

During his congressional testimony, former FBI Director Andrew McCabe could not identify anything in the dossier that the Bureau was able to confirm or verify.

Moreover, the FBI reportedly told the FISA court on multiple occasions that Steele was not the source of the Yahoo News article about Page’s 2016 trip to Moscow.  But Steele was Yahoo’s source.  Thus, the Yahoo article is not independent corroboration of anything.

McCarthy is stunned by the revelation as it goes against every standard he followed when he worked with the FBI.

“It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong,” McCarthy writes.  “The FBI . . . brought the FISA court the Steele-dossier allegations, relying on Steele’s credibility without verifying his information. . .  I am embarrassed because what happened here flouts rudimentary investigative standards.”

Reacting to this news, the White House announced this afternoon that President Trump was considering revoking the security clearances of several ex-deep state officials including:  former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

—Gary Bauer
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Putting Iran On Notice

Speaking at the Reagan Library last night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put the Iranian regime on notice for its support of terrorism, its oppression against the Iranian people and its belligerent activities throughout the Middle East.

While Secretary Pompeo made many excellent points, I was pleased by his realistic appraisal of the political leadership in Iran.  The Obama Administration sold its nuclear deal with Iran in part on the expectation that such outreach would strengthen the hand of “moderates” in the regime.

It did not.  In fact, Iran’s behavior only got worse after the deal was signed.  For example, Iran quadrupled its support for Hezbollah after the deal took effect.

In his remarks last night, Secretary Pompeo referred to the notion of moderates within the Iranian leadership as “unicorns,” adding the ayatollah’s front men, President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif, were really “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

If there was doubt about that, President Rouhani clarified it for us.  Last night he threatened America with “the mother of all wars.”

President Trump hit back with an emphatic tweet last night:

“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”

—Gary Bauer
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Standing With Israel

It is an extraordinary day in Washington, D.C.  Thousands of pro-Israel activists are here for the 13th annual Christians United For Israel Washington Summit.  As you may know, Christians United For Israel was founded by Pastor John Hagee and currently has more than 4 million members in all fifty states.

This morning, attendees heard from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  He thanked Christians United For Israel and President Trump for recognizing “the fundamental truth that Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years . . . and will always be our capital.”

Netanyahu stressed that Israel is the only state in the Middle East where Christians are thriving.  And he contrasted that with the oppression Christians face in Iran, saying that the Iranian regime “is a point of darkness in the Middle East, while Israel is a point of light.”  (See next item.)

As many of you know, I was a founding board member of Christians United For Israel and currently serve as the Washington Director of CUFI Action Fund, the legislative lobbying arm of Christians United For Israel.  This afternoon, I had the privilege of introducing several outstanding speakers.

Tonight, CUFI is hosting a Night to Honor Israel celebration featuring Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Watch the Summit live online at the CUFI Facebook page.

—Gary Bauer
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