- The Washington Times
Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Democratic Party is still flailing against the dominant political force in America, which is President Trump, his administration and the millions of voters who stood up to be counted in 2016. It’s normal for the losing party to have an identity crisis, and the protocols are always the same: The suffering party conducts an internal “autopsy,” issues mea culpas, vows to find practical answers, trots out a few new slogans, then schedules a retreat to the mountains or seaside, ostensibly for soul-searching. And maybe cocktails.

The Democrats have not reached this stage yet, however. They continue to call for “resistance” from loyal members, even as some of them question whether the old guard leadership is up to the task after some hair-raising defeats and substantial losses of campaign funds.


“I think the first step to getting to a winning strategy is a change in leadership,” a candid Rep. Kathleen M. Rice, New York Democrat, told CNN, later adding, “I just don’t think that the leadership we have right now can take us where this party needs to go.”

Ironically, there is plenty of resistance in the Democratic Party — but it’s “to new leaders,” points out Michael Ahrens, rapid response director for the Republican Party.

“For a party that constantly makes sanctimonious charges against Republicans for being stuck in the past, it sure doesn’t sound like the Democrats’ current leadership is open to change — or input from anyone under the age of 65 who hasn’t been in power for decades,” observes Mr. Ahrens.

“Trump resistance will never be a tea party for Democrats,” says Taylor Budowich, executive director of the Tea Party Express, a political action committee founded in 2009 when the historic grass-roots movement grabbed headlines, then surprise victories in the 2010 midterm elections.

“The difference between the two movements is simple: the tea party’s message captured voters the Republican Party failed to reach. The resistance merely re-organized those Clinton voters who have yet to accept Trump’s victory and cling to the ‘Not My President’ hashtag. That’s not the formula for a political revolution, it’s just sour grapes,” Mr. Budowich writes in a USA Today op-ed.

PRESS SECRETARY MEGYN

Somebody has to be White House press secretary now that current title holder Sean Spicer has stepped away from the podium, one of the hottest hot seats in the world. Who will take his place? One observer has a suggestion for President Trump to consider:

“Trump could make a brilliantly bold move and grab Megyn Kelly. Yes, Megyn Kelly. Forget her high-profile clash with candidate Trump at the first GOP debate a million years ago, and the nasty tweets he sent her way while urging his followers to boycott her Fox News Channel show. And definitely forget Kelly’s big-money move to NBC,” writes Mark Joyella, a Forbes media columnist and a former broadcast journalist.

“Megyn Kelly has always seemed most in her element when grilling government spokespeople or their surrogates,” he continues, adding, “Kelly would never resort to clearly lame handout quotes and ‘Well, I’ll have to ask the president’ dodges. It’s easy to imagine her ending each question with, ‘when you’ve done your homework and know what you’re talking about, come back [and] try again. Next.’”

JUST FOUR PERCENT

“Voters are still critical of the news coverage President Trump is getting and continue to believe most reporters are out to get him,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey, which found that a mere 4 percent of voters think reporters are “biased in Trump’s favor,” and only a third would give a thumbs-up to overall media coverage of the president.

Half the respondents said the press is biased against the president; 76 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of independent voters agree — along with a quarter of the Democrats.

SURPRISE ADVICE FROM MR. BLOOMBERG

“He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well. I didn’t vote for him. But let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States. You can protest. You can elect other officials, write letters, make phone calls. But in the end, the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not.”

— Former New York City mayor and occasional presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg, to ABC’s “The View.”

MILO RETURNS

Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos — who has prompted progressive college students to riot and has toured the nation with Ann Coulter during the 2016 election — has a book arriving shortly. It is simply titled “Dangerous.” After losing a previous book contract, Mr. Yiannopoulos founded Dangerous Books, his own publishing house; the 232-page book will be available on July 4, primarily through Barnes & Noble and Amazon at this juncture.

Meanwhile, the book parties have begun; there’s one in New York City on Saturday.

“In honor of my new book, I am throwing a party for the outcasts, the rebels and the gay conservatives who speak, think and live free of liberal demands,” Mr. Yiannopoulous says, advising attendees to “live free, live dangerous.”

The event takes place in an artistically minded club and restaurant located in a former church in Manhattan, featuring “farm to chopsticks” Asian fare and cocktails bearing such names as Tea & Sympathy, Paloma Brava and Reverse Vesper.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The William Henry Stanton Home, a neo-classical mansion, built in 1896 in Social Circle, Georgia. Five bedrooms, three baths; 4,500 square feet. Completely renovated with new chef’s kitchen, baths, plumbing, windows and exterior porches. Formal parlor, dining and living rooms, library, sitting room. Original woodworking, architectural details and floors, multiple fireplaces with ornate mantels, bay windows. Exterior columns, two-car detached garage, mature pecan trees on one-acre lot. Priced at $449,900 through Cblakeoconee.com; find this gracious home here.

POLL DU JOUR

74 percent of U.S. gun owners say owning a gun is “essential to their freedom.”

73 percent of the owners say they could never see themselves “not owning a gun.”

67 percent say they own a gun primarily for protection, 38 percent for hunting, 30 percent for sport shooting; 13 percent own a gun as part of a collection and 8 percent for their job.

66 percent of the owners own multiple firearms.

49 percent say all or most of their friends also own guns.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,269 U.S. gun owners conducted March 13-27 and April 4-18 and released Thursday.

• Chipper observations, understandable grumbling to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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