- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 24, 2017

There is a long history of judgment by the Democratic Party. Erick Erickson, founder of Red State.com and The Resurgent blog, points out that Democrats began pushing the idea that “a vote for the GOP was a vote for racism” since 2000, methodically expanding the narrative through the next seven midterm and general elections. The trend continues.

“In the 2018 elections, if you vote for a Republican, you’re supporting Donald Trump. This has now become a referendum. If you want to vote for a racist in the White House, then you better vote for Republicans. But if you want to vote for Democrats and really have change, that’s where I think America is going,” former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean recently told MSNBC.


“It is worth pointing out that the tea party, not the GOP establishment, pushed the election of Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Allen West, and others. Before them, the progenitors of the tea party rallied to a guy like Bobby Jindal,” Mr. Erickson writes.

Ms. Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is Indian American, as is Mr. Jindal, a former governor of Louisiana. Mr. Scott, a current U.S. senator, and Mr. West, a former House member, are black. Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio are both Cuban-American members of the Senate.

“But, of course, we should concede that the white nationalists and the President’s bungling of Charlottesville make this all easier for Dean to say and the media to repeat. It just does not make it true and is further evidence the Democrats learned nothing from 2016,” Mr. Erickson concludes.

REALITY CHECK: LOWEST IN 60 YEARS

“The number of active-duty U.S. military troops stationed overseas has dipped below 200,000 for the first time in at least 60 years,” says Pew Research Center analyst Kristen Bialik, who pored over statistics the Defense Manpower Data Center, a statistical arm of the Department of Defense.

“There were around 1.3 million total active-duty U.S. military personnel in 2016. Of these, 193,442 — or 15 percent — were deployed overseas. That’s the smallest number and share of active-duty members overseas since at least 1957, the earliest year with comparable data,” Ms. Bialik writes. “The five countries with the largest active-duty U.S. military presence in 2016 were Japan (38,818), Germany (34,602), South Korea (24,189), Italy (12,088) and Afghanistan (9,023).”

THE TRUMP NEWS ONE YEAR AGO

A year has come and gone since this item ran in the Inside the Beltway column. It seems like much longer. This is what was out there:

“When President Obama ran for re-election, Democrats made no secret of their disdain for Mitt Romney. That was all before Donald Trump. Horrified by the prospect of Trump in the White House, Obama and his party have changed their tune about Romney. As they denounce Trump as ‘unhinged’ and unfit, they’re getting nostalgic about the 2012 Republican nominee they now describe as principled, competent and honorable,” writes Josh Lederman, an Associated Press political analyst.

“It’s a sharp reversal from four years ago. Back then, Democrats spent hundreds of millions of dollars portraying the former Massachusetts governor as a callous, unpatriotic, pet-abusing caricature of the uber-rich. Yet as Trump is proving, everything in politics is relative,” Mr. Lederman notes. “It’s this year’s great irony that the same Democratic attacks that landed hard on Romney seem to bounce right off of Trump. Where Romney had to downplay his wealth, Trump boasts of his riches, and brushes off controversies over remarks perceived as insensitive to women or minorities.”

FOR THE LEXICON

“New Dog Smell.”

Yes, think about that. It is a new brand of car air-freshener developed by Auto Trader, the industry publication. Fresh pine or beach-scented maybe? No. The new freshener will bear “a lovable puppy-inspired scent.”

The publication is currently running a raffle for drivers interesting in the very new product. It also notes that the top cars for dog owners — for myriad reasons — are the 2017 BMW X5, 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, 2017 Honda Fit, 2017 Nissan Rogue, 2018 Subaru Crosstrek and the 2018 Volvo XC60.

MEANWHILE, OUT IN NEVADA

There’s a bodacious event of note Saturday: Vice President Mike Pence is among the esteemed guests at the third annual Basque Fry, staged at a 19th-century historic ranch near Gardnerville, Nevada.

Also along for the festivities: Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Mark Amodei, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, and Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt — grandson of former Sen. and Nevada Gov. Paul Laxalt, in office from 1963-87, and the man who organized similar events back in the day. The guest list included Ronald Reagan.

The event this year features a jumbo outdoor barbecue and buffet lunch for 2,000 guests that includes: pork chops, Basque stew, chorizo sausage, and, uh, lamb fries. The dress is “ranch casual,” organizers say.

“It is the can’t miss event for Republicans and those who want to celebrate conservative principles,” declares the younger Mr. Laxalt.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Historic center hall cottage, built in 1900 in Madison, Georgia. Two bedrooms, two baths, office, living and dining rooms; 1,656 square feet. Horsehair plaster and beadboard walls, historic woodworking and built-ins, 12-foot ceilings, authentic heart pine floors, original glass windows, historic fireplace mantles. Carefully renovated, “rocking chair” front porch, mature cedar and pecan trees, separate workshop, historic fireplace mantles. Priced at $164,900 through jeannedufort.cblakeoconee.com; Find the home here

POLL DU JOUR

• 63 percent of U.S. voters say they are “just as motivated to vote” now as they were in 2016; 74 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

• 41 percent of voters overall say the Democratic Party has “moved too far left”; 72 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

• 40 percent overall say the Republican Party has “moved too far right”; 13 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats agree.

• 15 percent overall say the Republicans have “moved too far left”; 21 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

• 7 percent overall say the Democrats have “moved too far right”; 3 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,514 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 17-22.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.