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Inside the Beltway: Gauging the worst of the ‘impeachment’ chatter

The liberal news media’s unprecedented outcry against President Trump continues, and it constantly mutates. Whether Americans pay attention to all this chatter remains to be seen. Some of the remarks are worse than others, however. Geoffrey Dickens, deputy research director for the Media Research Center, pored over news footage from the last three weeks to determine the best of the worst of the commentary. Or maybe that should be the worst of the worst.

“Just four months into Trump’s presidency and the liberal media are gleefully writing his political obituary,” says Mr. Dickens, who says it’s all premature.

Here are just a few of the analyst’s worst of the worst, in chronological order:

“A grotesque abuse of power by the President of the United States. This is the kind of thing that goes on in nondemocracies.” (CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Mr. Trump’s dismissal of FBI director James B. Comey, May 9).

“I personally think it’s over.” (MSNBC host Mika Bzrezinski, on the Trump presidency, May 11).

“Donald Trump, in much of his rhetoric and many of his actions, poses a danger to American democracy. There is just one real check on the president — impeachment. There are only two forces left that can place some constraints on Donald Trump, the courts and the media.” (CNN host Fareed Zakaria, also commenting on the Trump presidency, May 14)

“I see justice denied and likely obstructed, and I am fearful. I think this is a potentially more dangerous situation than Watergate, and we are at a very dangerous moment.” (Journalist Carl Bernstein, commenting on the Comey matter to CNN, May 14).

“President Donald Trump now sits at the threshold of impeachment.” (MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on the Comey matter, May 16).

“I see politicians putting power and politics over principle, and I am incredulous. I see lies treated as truths, and I am disgusted. (former CBS anchor Dan Rather on the Trump presidency, in a personal Facebook post, May 16.)

THE CIA’S WALL OF HONOR

The intelligence community recently paused to pay somber tribute to fallen CIA officers, gathered before at the agency’s Wall of Honor, which bears only stars, no names. Eight stars were added this year, bringing the total to 125 — each representing someone who died in the line of duty.

“We will remain forever devoted to them,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo told those assembled.

Three of the new stars are for David W. Bevan, Darrell A. Eubanks and John S. Lewis — all former “Smokejumper” firefighters who died when their aircraft crashed during a mission in Laos in 1961. A fourth star honors 18-year officer Mark S. Rausenberger; the circumstances of his death are classified. The names of the other four fallen officers remain classified.

BERNIE’S PLANS FOR THE YOUNG

Sen. Bernard Sanders is not working on a fancy memoir or a book to launch a new political campaign. The former presidential hopeful, Vermont independent and self-described socialist, has a new project and the title explains all: “The Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution,” meant for a teen audience.

Indeed, the hardcover book, due on bookshelves in August, provides a progressive primer for the young and the restless. Will it revisit the political upheavals of the 1960s? Only publisher Henry Holt knows. The age-appropriate marketing already has begun. Mr. Sanders has offered an exclusive interview to Teen Vogue, which describes the book as “a one-stop shop for teenagers hoping to learn more about progressive causes and how to mobilize around key issues they care about.”

The book features helpful infographics and illustrations to explain income inequality, climate change, health care, law enforcement reform, prison system reform and student loan debt — “so that students know what they’re up against and how best to tackle these problems,” the magazine notes.

CLAIM: SOUTH TARGETED FOR POLITICAL ‘WARFARE’

Confederate statues in public places are no longer welcome in many cities, including New Orleans and Memphis. Some of the statues already have been removed, perceived as a negative symbol of America’s past, and debates over their fate have been complex and emotional. But is there a hidden political factor? University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds, also known as PJ Media’s “Instapundit” blogger, thinks so.

“It’s quite simple, really. When Democrats’ national position depended on unwavering support from ‘the Solid South,’ we got lots of pro-Southern propaganda: the Lost Cause, Gone With The Wind, Disneyfied Uncle Remus, etc. As a vital Democrat constituency group, southerners, even practical neo-Confederates, were absolved of all sins as long as they stayed in line,” Mr. Reynolds writes

“Now the South isn’t ‘solid’ anymore — or, more accurate, it’s becoming pretty solidly Republican — so rather than receiving cultural dispensations, it now gets targeted for cultural warfare. That’s all that’s going on here. It has nothing to do with morality or decency, any more than it did a half-century or more ago when the national cultural machine took a different position. It’s just politics by other means. The rest is just noise,” Mr. Reynolds writes. “Is this analysis highly cynical? Yes. But still probably not cynical enough.”

POLL DU JOUR

89 percent of U.S. voters want Republicans and Democrats to “work together”; 11 percent want them to “stick to their positions” and not compromise.

68 percent say the Democrats have not accepted President Trump’s win; 32 percent say they have accepted him.

59 percent say the Democrats are spending more time attacking the “other party”; 41 percent say Republicans are the attackers.

51 percent of voters say the Republicans have constructive policy proposals; 49 percent cite the Democrats.

48 percent say the mainstream press is not treating Mr. Trump fairly; 52 percent say he is being treated fairly.

41 percent of voters think there is a “conspiracy” between the news media and former Obama administration officials to impeach Mr. Trump; 59 percent disagree.

Source: A Harvard University/Harris Poll of 2,006 registered U.S. voters conducted May 17-20.

• Hue and cry to jharper@washingtontimes.com


Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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