- The Washington Times
Sunday, March 26, 2017

“Don’t worry.” That is what President Trump told Americans after the American Health Care Act — Trumpcare — was recalled on Friday. It is good advice, particularly as the news media and giddy Democrats return to their favorite old claims that the White House and the GOP are in disarray. But lest we forget: The Democratic National Committee launched a big, earnest “turnaround tour” through four states on Friday only hours before the GOP health care act was recalled. How ironic. Their fate has changed considerably since then. Democratic soul-searching over election losses has been replaced by a call to arms and, yes, fundraising is underway based on the Democrats’ self-described “victory” over Trumpcare.

Meanwhile, the shrill battle to control the public narrative is underway. Mr. Trump may have the edge here; his heartland followers are not mesmerized by the fancy footwork of pundits and veteran politicians. A recent Morning Consult poll, in fact, proclaimed that “Trump’s scandals make his voters like him more.” The Trump folks do demand straight talk, however — perhaps what the president had in mind when he simply advised people not to worry.


“The Democrats and their propaganda arm in the media want Trump and the Republicans to fail so badly that they’ll happily declare his presidency dead. Instead of getting caught up in responding, Trump should let his actions do the talking — and give them so much winning they’ll get bored with all the winning,” suggests New York Post columnist Kyle Smith, who points to such positives as the likely confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Mr. Trump’s frugal-minded budget cuts and the Keystone XL Pipeline.

There’s certainly applause for that project.

“The Teamsters Union is pleased with the Trump administration’s prompt issuance of a presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline,” stated the organization, which represents 1.4 million workers.

“This project will put thousands of Americans, including teamsters, to work in good union jobs that will support working families,” said Teamsters President James P. Hoffa in a statement.

VOTERS: NO TO SANCTUARY COMMUNITIES

There’s much discussion about American sanctuary communities willing to welcome illegal immigrants and see to their welfare, even if it means that elected officials refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Voters may not be so keen on the idea, however. They appear to perceive a difference between the concept and actually living under the circumstances.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that only a third of likely voters — 35 percent — would approve of their own town or neighborhood declaring itself a sanctuary community for illegal immigrants. A majority — 52 percent — would oppose it, while 14 percent are undecided.

About half of Democrats favors living in a sanctuary community, but only 27 percent of both Republicans and unaffiliated voters agree. In addition, 40 percent of all voters believe sanctuary communities are not as safe as locales that are not havens. Another 17 percent say sanctuary communities are more safe, while 35 percent think the level of safety is about the same. The survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted March 22-23.

THE EVOLVING LIBERTARIANS

While the nation’s two major political parties do battle with one another, the Libertarian Party is rushing forward to define itself in the political marketplace as a viable alternative. The group is already preparing for a national convention in June, 2018 and recently asked its membership to decide the overall theme, offering a dozen creative alternatives to choose from.

Executive director Wes Benedict has revealed the winner, which is simply “I’m that Libertarian!” exclamation point and all. The runner-up slogan was “Building bridges, not walls,” followed by “pro-choice on everything.”

The ever-practical Libertarians asked members to kick in a little money when they voted, and now report they raised $15,395 for “convention expenses.”

AHOY THERE, CONSERVATIVES

Zounds, a boatload of conservatives are taking to the high seas. The National Review has organized a trans-Atlantic voyage aboard the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 — “shockingly luxurious and recently refitted — buffed, brassy and brilliant,” the organizers say. Among the dozens of seagoing speakers on board for the sail from New York City to Southampton, England: National Review heavyweights ranging from Rich Lowry and Charles Cooke to Jonah Goldberg and Jim Geraghty; along with former senator Tom Coburn, novelist Mark Helprin and media critic Brent Bozell.

On the daily to-do list: Policy seminars, cocktail parties, “night owl” sessions, dining with the illustrious wonks and a late-night “smoker” featuring H. Upmann cigars. Departure is in late August. Visit NRCruise.com for information.

‘ONE NATION UNDECIDED’

An event of note on Monday: Peter H. Schuck, a Yale University law professor, appears at the American Enterprise Institute on Monday to discuss his new book. The title tells all: “One Nation Undecided: Thinking Clearly About Five Hard Issues That Divide Us.”

And what are those issues? Mr. Schuck says they are poverty, immigration, campaign finance, affirmative action and religious exemptions from secular social policies. He plans to explain why these things are so difficult to grapple with and offer pointers on clear thinking about murky policies, plus some possible remedies and reforms.

Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the host organization, will moderate. See the event live online at AEI.org; things get underway at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

POLL DU JOUR

• 73 percent of U.S. voters are concerned about climate change; 49 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 93 percent of Democrats agree.

• 66 percent think climate change is caused by “human activity”; 31 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats agree.

• 57 percent of voters overall think the climate is undergoing “unusual” changes; 19 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 84 percent of Democrats agree.

• 39 percent overall think the climate is undergoing “natural” changes; 75 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

• 30 percent overall say climate change is not caused by human activity; 64 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,056 registered U.S. voters conducted March 16-21.

• Caterwaul and doggerel to [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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