Prepare for another busy political week by starting with Monday’s Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching Pete Buttigieg flail for an answer after ABC’s Linsey Davis calls him out for black people being four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites while Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend. They also hammer the Chinese government after the Justice Department indicts four Chinese military figures for the 2017 Equifax hack that compromised the information of more than 145 million people. And they react to more bizarre statements from Joe Biden over this past weekend and wonder whether his campaign is just stumbling right now or whether it’s on the brink of imploding.
Campaign season is revving up in Virginia with all legislative seats on the ballot this year and a prominent Republican challenger is warning Virginia of what Democratic control of the commonwealth would look like while blasting state leaders for their current racism scandals.
Over the past three weeks, all three of Virginia’s statewide elected leaders found themselves mired in scandal. Gov. Ralph Northam gave a radio interview that seemed to condone infanticide and then was discovered to have a photo on his page of a medical school yearbook that showed one person in blackface and another in KKK dress.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is accused of sexual assault by two women, and Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface in college just days after declaring Northam needed to step down.
D.J. Jordan is a longtime public relations expert on Capitol Hill and beyond. He is running to unseat first-term Democrat Elizabeth Guzman in Virginia’s 31st district. He says the Democrats have covered themselves in disgrace.
“I would call our executive branch leadership right now a dumpster fire but I think that would be an insult to dumpster fires,” said Jordan. “As a black conservative, I’ve been saying for a long time that Democrats don’t hold any moral authority on the issue of race. I think the nation is now seeing that in Virginia with Gov. Northam and his scandal.”
Jordan is especially galled by the Northam revelations following Northam’s aggressive labeling of Republican rival Ed Gillespie as a racist in the 2017 governor’s race “for things that were definitely not even close to racism.”
“Our country will never move forward on the issue of race unless we stop weaponizing race issues and actually create a different culture where we respect and trust each other,” said Jordan.
But Jordan says he’s mystified at how Northam has not gotten as much grief over his late-term abortion comments.
“I am disappointed that Northam’s blackface controversy has gotten more attention than his support for late-term abortion and infanticide. Both of these issues in my opinion are connected. They are both an assault against human dignity – racism and abortion,” said Jordan.
Removing abortion restrictions was just one bill pushed by Democrats earlier this year. They also called for numerous gun control measures, a $15 minimum wage, and a repeal of right to work laws. Jordan says the narrow GOP majorities in the legislature stopped all of those measures, but it will be a different story if Democrats control the legislature next year.
“All of the crazy left-leaning bills that you have seen that are introduced that have been stopped would become law next year,” said Jordan.
That’s why Jordan is running to unseat Guzman, who he says is simply too far left to properly represent the district.
“Elizabeth Guzman is very, very liberal. Her policies are very far to the left. She takes a lot of cues and direction from the national liberal progressive movement, whether it be introducing a bill to prohibit plastic straws in the state of Virginia or whether it be her belief in Medicare for all,” said Jordan.
Jordan says he’s running to stop the socialist mindset from gaining the upper hand in Virginia.
“I’m running to defend freedom and opportunity in Virginia. I believe the principles that helped my father escape poverty in the Tidewater area of Virginia – and then he went on to build a small business for himself and provide a life for me. I feel like those principles are under attack in Virginia,” said Jordan.
Calling himself an “opportunity conservative,” Jordan says he wants to champion education and economic opportunity. He says his earlier service on Virginia’s State Board of Social Services proved to him that endless government programs do not solve poverty.
“I saw a lot of policies that helped low-income people, but I saw way more policies that actually hurt poor people because it created government dependency,” said Jordan.
Listen to the full podcast to hear more of Jordan’s opportunity agenda, why he thinks Republicans can find a receptive audience among black voters if they make the effort, and why he thinks the 2019 elections in Virginia will not resemble the Democratic waves of 2017 and 2018.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are not all surprised by President Trump firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson given their distant relationship and they hope Mike Pompeo can be effective as America’s top diplomat. They also unload on Hillary Clinton after her ugly overseas explanations that Trump won the red states by appealing to people who don’t want blacks to have rights or women to have jobs and that white married women backed Trump because they did what their husbands or bosses told them to do. And they slam liberal school administrators for actively supporting Wednesday’s National School Walkout to push for gun control.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see the inspector general at the Justice Department taking his job seriously as reports surface that his forthcoming report will be highly critical of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. While they sympathize with President Trump’s desire to fix trade imbalances, they fear new steel and aluminum tariffs will have a negative impact on American consumers and the economy. And they slam Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for announcing his opposition to a judicial nominee because the nominee is white and President Obama’s previous nominees were black.
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America pause to cheer the Falcon Heavy rocket launch by Space X this week and David hopes it sparks more aspirational innovation that our nation so sorely needs. They also grimace as Republican majorities are preparing to jack up spending significantly over the next couple of years, even though some positive elements are included in the budget bill. And they sigh as Nancy Pelosi uses part of her marathon floor speech on immigration policy to say her young grandson blew out his birthday candles and wished he could look like his friend from Guatemala.
A federal judge in Texas shot down a proposed voter identification law for the fourth time, citing intentional discrimination against minorities, but a member of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity says previous court decisions and existing federal law are on the side of the Lone Star State.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos prevented Texas from implementing parts of a 2011 voter ID law and completely rejected a reworked law crafted by lawmakers to comply with an earlier defeat at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ramos says the legislation clearly has the hallmarks of discrimination, both for amending the previous law rather than starting over and for increasing penalties for anyone caught lying as to why they don’t have government-issued photo identification.
But critics of Ramos say her decision is far less complicated than that.
“This judge, an Obama appointee, has shown her bias from the very beginning, when her first opinion said that there was no reason to pass a voter ID law other than to discriminate,” said Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation. He is also a member of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
Von Spakovsky says the original Texas law required government-issued photo identification from all voters. He says the amended version offered far more leniency.
“They changed it to say if you show up at a polling place and you don’t have an ID, you’ll still be able to vote if you simply sign a form that says I had a reasonable impediment that kept me from getting a photo ID and you show some document that’s got your name and address on it,” said von Spakovsky.
He says that could include a bank statement or a utility bill and adds there are no barriers in Texas to getting a photo ID or bringing an acceptable alternative to the polls.
“Texas provides a free photo ID to anyone who doesn’t already have one. Second, they’ve even gotten rid of that requirement by saying all you’ve got to show is a document with your name and address on it . It doesn’t cost you anything to bring a utility bill, or a bank statement, or some other government document,” said von Spakovsky.
He also laughs off Ramos for considering tougher penalties for lying on a government form to be discrimination.
“She claims that’s voter intimidation. Again, punishing lying on a voting form is not voter intimidation, yet that’s the claim that she makes,” said von Spakovsky.
Von Spakovsky says Texas has another thing on its side as it prepares to appeal: existing federal law.
“Texas copied a federal requirement. Under federal law in the Help America Vote Act of 2002, anyone who registers by mail, the first time they go vote they have to show some form of ID, and the forms of ID are specifically listed as exactly the same thing,” said von Spakovsky.
“So [Ramos] is basically saying that the same kind of requirement Texas put in, which is identical to a federal requirement – a federal law – that’s been upheld in the courts, that that’s somehow intentional discrimination . I mean that’s just crazy,” said von Spakovsky.
As a result, von Spakovsky fully expects Texas to win its next battle in the appeals court, in part because doing otherwise would be tantamount to ruling against itself.
“I have a hard time believing they’re going to uphold what this judge is saying, also because of the fact that the changes that were made by Texas actually followed a guide or outline that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals itself wrote in its prior opinions,” said von Spakovsky.
A dozen states require some form of government-issued identification. And within those states, von Spakovsky says there is proof that such policies do not discriminate.
“All of the claims that this will keep, for example, minority voters out of the polls we know is not true. States like Georgia and Indiana have had their ID requirements in place for more than a decade. In fact, turnout of African-Americans in Georgia went up after this law. A lot of people think it’s because it improves public confidence in the election process,” said von Spakovsky.
While von Spakovsky admits many opponents of voter ID laws truly believe minorities and the poor are being disenfranchised, he says others just don’t like closer scrutiny of the voting process.
“There are other people who don’t want anything that will make elections more secure. These are people who want to be able to easily steal votes. Texas has a history of voter fraud, including a lot of people who go into poor neighborhoods and purchase and buy votes,” said von Spakovsky.
Best-selling author Dinesh D’Souza says there were fascists on both sides of the violence in Virginia on Saturday and he posits that Democrats and their allies in the media are now focused on painting all Republicans and conservatives as responsible for the racism that still exists in the United States.
Last week, prior to the violence in Charlottesville, D’Souza likened the Antifa movement and their pattern of stopping speech through violence to Adolf Hilter’s brown shirts and Benito Mussolini’s black shirts. But with white supremacists and neo-Nazis on one side and Antifa on the other, which side is the fascists?
“Clearly, there’s a fascist streak running between both sets of violent activists. The mayor of Charlottesville said, ‘These people all came to fight.’ They didn’t come to peacefully protest. They wanted to tangle with each other,” said D’Souza, author most recently of “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left.”
While many in the media and in Democratic circles suggest that the white supremacists are Trump voters, D’Souza says that’s not true of the organizer of the rally.
“What’s really strange is that the white supremacist who organized the rally is a former Obama guy and a former Occupy Wall Street guy. So right away you know that something fishy is going on here,” said D’Souza.
When it comes to the rest of the neo-Nazi and KKK figures in Charlottesville, D’Souza says the story is more complicated.
“This white nationalism was actually invented in the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Party has moved from embracing white nationalism to embracing every other type of minority nationalism. So the Democrats like black nationalism, black pride, black solidarity. They’re telling every ethnic group – blacks, Hispanics, Asians – be proud of what makes you distinctive,” said D’Souza.
He says Democrats now mobilize all of these groups against white nationalists, and that has created some changing voting patterns among white supremacists.
“Today if you’re a white nationalist, you don’t find a hospitable home in the Democratic Party. You don’t find much of a home in the Republican Party either, because Trump is not a white nationalist. Trump is an American nationalist. So I think that’s why some of these white nationalists are for Trump,” said D’Souza.
“They normally would be Democrats, if the Democrats hadn’t created a type of multiculturalism in which these guys are not welcome at the multicultural picnic,” said D’Souza.
But rather than acknowledge these bigoted elements as a fringe of the American political landscape, D’Souza says liberals and the media are trying to paint the political right with a very broad brush.
“The media is up to something very vile and very cunning. They’re trying to excuse the much more dangerous fascism on their own side. Think about it: the driving of speakers off campus, not just the Antifa violent guys, but the deans and the studio bosses in Hollywood. If you have a different point of view, they’ll run you out of town. They’ll make sure you never work again,” said D’Souza.
“This is the fascism, not just of the street but of the institutions. The Democratic Party today has much more of a fascist ideology and fascist tactics than anything you see in the Republican Party,” said D’Souza, who says he’s never seen a white supremacist at a GOP event in more than 25 years of speaking around the country.
D’Souza says this effort is a massive exercise in blame-shifting.
“There’s an effort to transfer responsibility from the actual guilty party, the Democrats, onto the non-guilty party, the Republicans,” he said.
“What’s underway here is an effort to create a national shaming of the right. For example, look at the stuff about, ‘Trump is a fascist.’ Trump has never said one kind thing about fascism,” said D’Souza. “The left wants to have a one-way hate campaign.”
He says there’s plenty of evidence of Democrats praising the most vile fascist regimes in history.
“When you had real fascism, very dangerous fascism, I’m talking about Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany. We have [Franklin Roosevelt] praising Mussolini, sending members of his braintrust to fascist Italy to study Italian fascism, which he thought was more progressive than the New Deal. He wanted to bring fascist ideas over here,” said D’Souza.
In the wake of Charlottesvile, the debate is turning once again to the fate of Confederate memorials and monuments. Some want to destroy them, others believe they should be limited to museums and cemeteries, while others fear tearing them down is tantamount to erasing history.
D’Souza says this North vs. South debate raging around the Civil War is badly misplaced.
“The real slavery debate was not between the North and the South. It was between the pro-slavery Democratic Party and the anti-slavery Republican Party . Most southerners did not own slaves. Most Confederate soldiers did not own slaves. The northern Democrats led by Stephen Douglas were actively and cunningly protecting slavery and did so for 40 years,” said D’Souza.
He says that should mean plenty of statues and memorials getting razed in the North, since so many figures openly or tacitly approved of slavery.
D’Souza also notes that the Democrats are never under any pressure to denounce any figures from their party’s past, even those as recent as longtime Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, who spent years in the KKK.
“No one is pulling his statues down. He was lionized in the Democratic Party. Hillary called him her mentor. So you know there is a big lie underway. It’s just a matter of getting our fingers on it so we can expose what’s really going on,” he said.
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the “tough guy” stance that President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis are taking in deterring further chemical attacks in Syria. They dive into the complications surrounding the healthcare debate, as Mitch McConnell scraps the vote on the most recent GOP bill and many of the Republicans opposed believe the government should be doing more. Finally, they discuss the PC complaints that the new Dunkirk film — a historical World War II drama — is “too white,” even though the vast majority of soldiers involved were white.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Republicans forcing a runoff in Georgia’s sixth congressional district and recall the many highly-touted red state Democrats that never panned out. They’re also stunned that Fresno police do not consider a person who murdered people because of their race and shouted “Allahu Akbar” to be suspected of terrorism. And they react to reports that Bill O’Reilly is likely on his way out at Fox News.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of Trump protesters arguing about who is more oppressed. They also rip New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker for testifying against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. And they sigh as the insane people from Code Pink repeatedly disrupt the Sessions confirmation hearings.