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January 17, 2020

1/9/2020 7:30:00 AM
Our View
A plea for policy, please
Gregg Walker and Richard Moore
Publisher and Columnist

Remember the good old days when politicians talked about policy?

It seems like such a long time ago, but back in the day elections actually turned on what policy positions candidates took, and whether incumbents had lived up to their promises.

It wasn't a perfect world, by any means. Politicians seldom live up to their promises, but at least the positions they said they would take, and the things they said they would do, formed a foundation upon which judgment of them could be made.

It was more of a pass-fail exercise in which voters decided how much BS they could tolerate.

Somehow it worked. At the very least, voters were rendering decisions on the policy direction of the nation, which is, after all, critical to our daily well-being and our future prosperity and safety.

So politicians went to battle over taxes and spending, over energy policy, over health care (remember Obamacare?), over immigration, over education, over the environment, over foreign policy, and more.

There's little such discussion these days, and that's unhealthy for the country. Though conservatives try hard to have such a debate, Democrats and liberals refuse to engage them, preferring instead to focus on an eternal quest to pursue a de facto coup d'etat against the president.

From Day 1, impeachment has been the sole issue for congressional Democrats, which is another way to say that, from Day 1 of the Trump administration, Democrats and liberals have tried to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

First it was Russia. Then it was Ukraine. Then House Democrats impeached him, as we all knew they would, and now House speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for what will be a certain acquittal of the president.

Who knows why she is sitting on the impeachment articles - who knows if she even knows why - but at least it keeps impeachment front and center for the Democrats so they don't have to talk or debate policy.

To be sure, there is a Democratic primary for president and those candidates are having debates, but those are really not policy forums so much as they are echo chambers. At each forum, each of the candidates (except for the admirable Tulsi Gabbard) tries to out-left the other candidates, while Joe Biden tries to figure out where he is and why he's calling children in his audiences "honey."

All we've gleaned so far from this mishmash of Democratic marble mouths is that Elizabeth Warren wants Medicare for All and wants to make every one of us a ward of the state to pay for it. We know some candidates - some no longer in the race - want slavery reparations, Social Security for illegal aliens, to abolish ICE, and most have embraced the fantastical Green New Deal, which would do away with airplanes and farting cows.

For those of you old enough to remember, it sounds like a Pete Seeger song. For those of you who don't remember, Seeger could at least rhyme; that pied piper of the left, AOC, can't.

And, oh yeah, Mike Bloomberg - who won't let his Bloomberg news agency investigate Democrats but wants them turned loose on Trump - says, if elected, he will abandon the Oval Office and just sit in a cubicle with other White House staff.

Just one of us, right?

So meaningful debate and policy discussion is not taking place in Democratic dreamland, and, even if it was, it is always, always drowned out by every other Democrat not running for president, who scream impeachment to the rafters.

To them, everything Donald Trump does is an impeachable offense. Killing the Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani without congressional authorization is an impeachable offense in the eyes of many Democrats, but none of them yelled for Barack Obama's impeachment when he took out Osama bin Laden without similar authorization.

Obama did a lot more without congressional authorization. He ordered up to 2,800 drone strikes on Iraq and Syria without congressional approval, killing thousands and creating many more refugees.

Here's how Newsweek put it in 2012: "When Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2009, he had authorized more drone strikes than George W. Bush had approved during his entire presidency. By his third year in office, Obama had approved the killings of twice as many suspected terrorists as had ever been imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay. 'We're killing these sons of bitches faster than they can grow them,' the head of the CIA's counterterrorism division boasted to The Washington Post in 2011."

But when Trump takes down a terrorist murderer of Americans who is plotting more attacks, well, let's impeach him again.

Meanwhile, the president's achievements - or his horrendous policies, depending upon your viewpoint - are not being debated as we steamroll toward the election.

Trump has engineered major tax reform legislation; he has undone most of Obama's significant executive orders, one by one; he has dramatically pared federal regulations, and reined in rogue bureaucracies such as the EPA; he has transformed the nation's trade policies, killing the awful Trans Pacific Partnership (which would have ruined many more American working-class communities), replacing NAFTA, and working toward a major trade deal with China.

He withdrew from the globalist Paris Accords, a partnership between global corporations and global bureaucrats scheming to redistribute wealth away from the U.S. and Europe. And his remaking of the Supreme Court and the federal bench with the appointments of many conservatives will have a major impact for decades to come.

Not least, this president has struck a blow for religious liberty not seen in many presidential tenures, if ever.

There's a lot more, and one thing is for certain: The Trump presidency is historic in accomplishment and it has altered America's course and Americans' daily lives significantly.

Now many love those changes and will work for four more years. Many others hate those changes and want Trump gone.

But, at the very least, with our lives and our children's lives at stake, shouldn't the election be about those issues, and not about the Democrats' personal trauma over losing the 2016 election, when at last globalism would have been completely ratified and liberal fantasies realized?

For the latter, there's counseling. For the future, there should be serious debate about whether the U.S. is headed in the right direction under Trump.

We believe it is, but, hey, let's talk about it.

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