- The Washington Times
Sunday, May 7, 2017

Still jittery after their 2016 losses, Democrats are now knee deep in remaking the party image with fancy new window dressings, jaunty slogans and bravado. The latest effort? Behold the official “Democratic Party Unity Reform Commission,” launched over the weekend with a bustling meeting and a flurry of earnest mission statements.

“We are a party united by our values of inclusion and opportunity for all. And this weekend, we started working on an important process that will better prepare us for elections on the horizon,” says newly minted Chairwoman Jennifer O’Malley Dillon and Vice Chair Larry Cohen, who now vow to ensure the nominating system for future candidates is “accessible, transparent, and inclusive.”


An effort is also on to attract new grass-roots voters from the undulating pool of independent, third party, undecided, disenfranchised or disinterested voters. There’s a lot of competition for this hybrid demographic. Plans are under way to review the role of unpledged delegates in the presidential nominating process and to ramp up both fundraising and redistricting efforts.

“It is more important than ever that Democrats get serious about our party, our values, and our future,” say the two officials. “The meetings of this weekend was a productive first step in that direction. We look forward to getting to work with the diverse and talented members of the Unity Reform Commission to fortify our party.”

The only problem is that the Democratic Party itself is open for poaching these days. There are millions of progressives still annoyed that Sen. Bernard Sanders missed his chance at the White House. There are also certain Democrats who get overlooked. Take pro-life Democrats, for instance — alienated, perhaps, by Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, who insists that being a pro-choice Democrat is simply “non-negotiable”?

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, certainly wonders. He is now inviting “pro-life Democrats who are no longer welcome in their party to cross the aisle.” There could be quite a few of them; a recent Pew Research Center found that 28 percent of Democrats say they would like to see abortion illegal in all or most cases.

“What are those pro-life Democrats to do, trapped in a party that clearly doesn’t want them? Some work to change the party. But if the party doesn’t listen, switch parties,” the priest advises.

YATES AND CLAPPER RETURN

A hearing of note on Monday: Sen. Lindsey Graham presides over the Senate Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee in mid-afternoon. The topic: “Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election.” So will the “interference” be clarified, jettisoned, disputed or opened up like a can of something unsavory? Inquiring minds want to know.

“When will the Fake Media ask about the Dems dealings with Russia & why the DNC wouldn’t allow the FBI to check their server or investigate?” President Trump tweeted Sunday.

Yes, well. The two witnesses who will appear: Sally Q. Yates, former acting U.S. attorney general and James R. Clapper, former director of national intelligence. Yes, C-SPAN will cover the event at 2:30 p.m. EDT; also see it live streamed at Judiciary.senate.gov.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

“AHCA fails to cover pre-existing progressive hysteria,” declares health care consultant and American Spectator contributor David Catron, who has detected considerable hubbub in one sector following the passage of the aforementioned American Health Care Act.

He points out the Democratic National Committee warned that President Trump and the Republican Party now will “own” deaths and bankruptcies among Americans due to the legislation, while The Washington Post called the AHCA an “abomination,” among other things.

“The left has always been wrong. Now it has gone crazy. The Democrats and their partners in the media and the entertainment industry have become a case study in mass hysteria,” writes Mr. Catron. “Perhaps AHCA should have included some provision for pre-existing hysteria. These people need sedatives and a long spell at a country retreat before they hurt themselves. They have already done considerable harm to us.”

HOW THE CATO-ITES PARTY

A kind source tells Inside the Beltway about the Cato Institute’s “40 Years of Advancing Liberty Party” staged at the organizations’s headquarters in the nation’s capital on Saturday night, celebrating “scholars and staff whose message of limited government, economic freedom, individual liberty, and peace has never wavered.”

In the crowd, listed title-less for the sake of brevity and in no particular order: Grover Norquist, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Stephanie Slade, Robby Soave, Asawin Suebsaeng, Jason Russell, Tim Mak, Betsy Woodruff, Rob Pegoraro, Eric Boehm, Taylor Lorenz, David Boaz, John A. Allison, Mark Calabria, Walter Olson, Ilya Shapiro, Peter Goettler, Brink Lindsey, Gene Healy, Benny Johnson, Autria Godfrey, Paul Lindsay, Jodie Curtis, Veronique de Rugy and William Ruger.

Among the attractions at the jam-packed soiree; vodka and martini bar, raw bar, sparkling wine bar, string trio, a 10-piece dance band, a solo guitar player, swanky cupcakes and after dinner drinks. A jubilant time had by all.

POLL DU JOUR

• 32 percent of Americans say individuals will likely pay the same amount of tax under President Trump’s new tax; 41 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

• 20 percent overall say Americans will pay less; 31 percent of Republicans and 11 percent of Democrats agree.

• 19 percent overall say they will pay more taxes; 5 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Democrats agree.

• 45 percent overall believe Mr. Trump will pay less under the plan; 27 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats agree.

• 18 percent overall believe Mr. Trump will pay the same under the plan; 32 percent of Republicans and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

• 8 percent say he will pay more; 10 percent of Republicans and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted April 29-May 2.

• Happy talk and glum predictions to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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