Off the Cuff: Insulting Voters’ Intelligence Isn’t Working for Biden

In today’s Off the Cuff audio commentary, I look at President Biden’s inclination to insult voters’ intelligence… and how it isn’t working.

You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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Yes, January 6 Still Matters… Even if GOP Leaders Wish it Didn’t

Last weekend at the urging of a friend, I watched a new HBO documentary called “Four Hours at the Capitol.” It’s about the January 6th attack, and frankly I wasn’t expecting to see much footage that I hadn’t already seen on news programs and in the New York Times’ “Day of Rage” video (which did a great job chronicling much of the action on the ground).

My expectations were quickly exceeded, however, as there was actually quite a bit of new, brutal video — some of it taken by rioters. Frankly, the imagery got my blood boiling all over again.

Scenes included some “Proud Boys” slamming a guardrail into a female police officer and knocking her head-first onto cement steps, the bloody savagery of what became known as “the battle for the tunnel,” terrified congressional staffers scrambling to hide from the coming mob, the deranged lunacy of brainwashed rioters (including Ashli Babbitt), and a closer (and rawer) look at the hell that Officer Michael Fanone went though.

Conservative writer George Will took some heat a few months back when he said, “I would like to see January 6th burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system.”

His big mistake, of course, was likening the Capitol attack to one of the most consequential events in world history — a day that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent people and drew us into a decades-long conflicts in the Middle East.

Almost nothing compares to that.

But he was right in that January 6th is a day that Americans should never forget. It marks a deadly attack on our democracy and constitution, provoked by a sitting president’s months-long effort to steal an election. And we as Americans should have a vested interest in making sure it doesn’t happen again.

Unfortunately, that interest is hard to find within large swaths of the political right, including those who still identify as constitutional conservatives.

Among the Washington establishment, come-to-Jesus moments of sobriety that arose from that day have since relapsed back into partisan drunkenness. Nearly every GOP leader who initially condemned President Trump’s role in the attack has since downplayed (or even outright dismissed) what happened. Heck, they’ve even gone on the sharp offensive against their Republican colleagues whose voices they previously echoed.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has led this effort. After originally assigning blame to Trump, and calling for a January 6th commission, he looked at base polling, quickly folded like a cheap suit, and decided that people like Liz Cheney were the real problem. He has since not only worked against all efforts to hold the former president accountable, but also against the formation of a congressional committee to investigate the events of that day… including the balanced, bipartisan committee that he himself had ordered to be negotiated.

Of course, the political brilliance in rejecting a truly bipartisan committee — especially in our era of microscopic attention spans — was that is cued up Speaker Nancy Pelosi to create a politically lopsided one that Republicans and right-wing pundits could then delegitimize for being… well, politically lopsided.

The effort has been somewhat successful —to the point where top-rated Fox News hosts are even stunningly comfortable mocking the testimony of police officers who were beaten that day, while polls show that Republican voters are actually more inclined to blame President Biden for January 6th than they are Donald Trump. Yes, President Biden.

Last week, all but nine House Republicans (at the direction of GOP leadership) voted against a contempt referral for Steve Bannon’s ignoring of a congressional subpoena to testify before the select committee — a position for which there is no legitimate defense beyond pure, self-serving, political ass-covering.

As Congresswoman Nancy Mace (one of the nine Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt) said, “Congress has certain powers, and they are an important check on the other branches of government. Congress must have the ability to provide broad oversight, conduct investigations and make use of its subpoena power, just as we have throughout our nation’s history.”

Mace reminded her colleagues and constituents that Republicans used that same power to investigate Benghazi, and compel then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify before Congress. She also noted that the Benghazi committee was created in the exact same way as the January 6th committee.

“…we didn’t let a single person just walk away from our process,” she added.

Yet, all but eight of her Republican colleagues voted to do just that when it came to Steve Bannon, a former Trump strategist.

Bannon had a role in organizing the January 6th event, and he’d had multiple conversations with Trump about the event, in its lead-up. On January 5th, a day before the attack, Bannon even seemed to have a good idea of what was about to happen when he talked on his podcast about a “revolution,” and how “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

In other words, he’s a person worth questioning under oath.

Two weeks after the attack, in one of his final acts as president, Trump pardoned Bannon of criminal charges relating to a fundraising scam involving the border wall — a scam that most people reading this had probably forgotten about.

Going into the 2022 elections, Republican leaders are hoping that same forgetfulness will extend to January 6th, as ongoing reminders of the attack could make a very likely Republican take-over in the House a bit more complicated.

The problem here won’t be the Republican base, of course. As A.B. Stoddard of Real Clear Politics writes, they’ve mostly already moved on, having largely accepted an alternate, trivialized retelling of that day:

“Things have changed since the assault on the Capitol that may have led to the deaths of nine people and injured 140 police officers. For Republicans, there is now political danger in acknowledging the harms of that day. Not only has the event been shrugged off on the right, but a coverup is underway. Trump has successfully rebranded the insurrection as a ‘protest’ and has labeled the Nov. 3 election last year ‘the insurrection.’ Polls show Trump’s approval has rebounded and GOP voters now increasingly view Jan. 6 as no big deal and the fault of the Democrats and President Biden. That more than 600 rioters have been charged in the attack, largely citing Trump as the inspiration for their participation, is — to Republicans — just another meaningless ‘alternative fact.’”

But those are the political considerations, and it’s the politics that continue to stand in the way of a serious institutional accounting of that day. Beyond the threats against our democracy, there are multiple people who would assuredly be alive right now if not for the dishonest, irresponsible, and perverse efforts of individuals (not just Trump) whose actions leading up to that day, and on that day, still aren’t fully known.

In other words, it’s worth it to get this right. I believed the same thing when I advocated for the Benghazi committees and investigations. And one can recognize the importance of getting this right, while also recognizing (as I have and will continue to in my writing) our current president’s many screw-ups and ridiculous servility to the progressive left. These are separate issues.

For the sake of the country, we should remember the seriousness of January 6th, demand institutional answers for that day, learn from those answers, seek accountability, and then let it become just part of our history.

 


Sean Coleman is back in John A. Daly’s upcoming thriller novel, “Restitution.” Click here to pre-order.




Someone Must Go to Prison for the Killing of Halyna Hutchins

If no one goes to prison for actor Alec Baldwin’s accidental killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, our society will have failed a crucial moral test.

We will be saying human life is not sacred; that it, in effect, is of little or no consequence.

The killing was, we presume, unintentional (though we do not know for sure, as the possibility remains that someone had motive to load the gun with real ammunition). But that does not mean that no one should be held culpable and punished. Society must regard the taking of human life — even when unintentional — as something terrible.

I learned this principle from the Bible, which was, until the last century, the source of America’s and the Western world’s moral values.

This principle is repeated over and over in the Bible’s first five books (the Torah), the source of all biblical laws. This repetition strongly indicates how seriously the Bible takes this issue.

Example one:

Exodus 21:28: “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned …”

The obvious question is: Why would the ox be put to death? It is surely not guilty of murder; oxen have no free will. The reason it is put to death is that the killing of a human being cannot go unpunished.

The Jewish Bible scholar, professor Nahum Sarna, wrote:

“The execution of the ox was carried out in the presence, and with the participation, of the entire community (the animal was stoned, not merely killed) — implying the killing of a human being is a source of mass pollution and the proceedings had an expiatory function. The killing of a homicidal beast is ordained in Genesis 9:5-6: ‘For your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast … Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in His image did God make man.’ The sanctity of human life is such as to make bloodshed the consummate offense, one viewed with unspeakable horror. Both man and beast that destroy human life are thereafter tainted by bloodguilt.”

Example two:

Deuteronomy 19:5: “(If) a man goes with his neighbor into a grove to cut wood; and as his hand swings the ax to cut down a tree, the ax-head flies off the handle and strikes the other so that he dies, that man shall flee to one of these cities and live.”

Again, the Bible describes a homicide that is entirely accidental. But the person who accidentally committed the homicide is not free to live a normal life. He cannot go on with life as if nothing happened. While he is not to be executed, he must flee to one of three “cities of refuge” in ancient Israel. There he may not be killed or otherwise hurt by a member of the killed man’s family. But he is not a completely free man.

In my Bible commentary, “The Rational Bible,” I quote Leeor Gottlieb, a professor of Bible at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University: “The Torah is morally ahead of some modern societies, in which people’s lives go on nearly uninterrupted if they killed unintentionally.”

As the Bible explains five verses later:

“Thus blood of the innocent will not be shed, bringing bloodguilt upon you in the land that the Lord your God is allotting to you.”

Human bloodshed brings bloodguilt upon the land.

Example three:

Deuteronomy 21:1-4 and 7: “If, in the land that the Lord your God is assigning you to possess, someone slain is found lying in the open, the identity of the slayer not being known, your elders and magistrates shall go out and measure the distances from the corpse to the nearby towns … And they shall make this declaration: ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. Absolve, O Lord, Your people Israel whom You redeemed, and do not let guilt for the blood of the innocent remain among Your people Israel.’ And they will be absolved of bloodguilt.”

Unlike the previous instance, in which the (unintentional) killer is known, the killer of the slain man found “in the open” is not known. Nevertheless, the community is still held accountable and must ask for forgiveness for not preventing a homicide.

Example four:

The final example is not biblical but from my radio show. Many years ago, a woman called to tell me about an ostrich raised on her family’s ostrich farm. One day, this ostrich kicked her father to death. I asked the woman what was done to the ostrich. “Nothing,” she replied.

Given my biblical background, I was taken aback.

“So you tell people who visit your farm, ‘This is the ostrich that killed my father’?”

“Yes,” she responded.

In my view, that cheapened her father’s life and death.

How much more so will Halyna Hutchins’ life and death be cheapened if no one pays a steep price — for a death that was entirely preventable had proper precautions been followed?

But given how little the Bible means to most Americans today, I would not be surprised if no one goes to prison.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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Last Updated: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 18:40:55 -0700




And You Thought Only Women Could Get Pregnant …

I have a confession to make.  I’m hopelessly behind the curve.  Excuse my language but I’m … old fashioned.  I’m one of those Neanderthals who is so un-woke that I actually believe – forgive me again, please – that only women can get pregnant and have babies.

But at least I’m open to new ideas – and trust me, there is no shortage of new ideas about who’s capable of childbirth.

Let’s start with the progressives in lefty-land at the ACLU.  They quoted the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on abortion, but instead of quoting her accurately this is what came out of the ACLU’s woke sensibilities:

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] well-being and dignity,”

Justice Ginsburg wrote about women – not persons.  So the ACLU apologized for tampering with her actual words.  But the folks over there apparently know something about who can and who can’t “bear a child” that I don’t know. There’s a line in a great old love song about how “The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.”  Don’t bet on it

And the ACLU is hardly alone in noticing that “people” – not only women – should have the right to an abortion.

In September, House Democrats introduced a bill that states that its purpose is “To protect a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services.”

Note the word “person’s” instead of the word “woman’s.”  Then a little further down into the bill, the Dems explain their reasoning. “This Act is intended to protect all people with the capacity for pregnancy—cisgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals, those who identify with a different gender, and others.”

I’m not saying I disagree with any of that.  But I am saying that after reading those words, I have a massive headache.

Then there’s the Justice Department, which put out a brief against the Texas abortion law – a brief that says, “any individuals who become pregnant.”  I’m not cool enough to understand why the DOJ didn’t simply say, “any woman who becomes pregnant.”

And the folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want everyone to know that Covid vaccines are safe for “pregnant people.”

The White House’s 2022 fiscal year budget replaced the word “mothers” with “birthing people” in a section about public health funding.  This prompted a conservative wise guy to tweet, “Why does Biden want to cancel mothers?”

There’s even a “Birthing People’s Bill of Rights.”  No fooling.  I found it on the web.

And on a website called “Parents” I read an essay by someone named Amber Leventry who wrote that, “Transgender men (men who were assigned female at birth based on their biological sex) and nonbinary folks like me (those who don’t identify as either male or female) can and do get pregnant.”

Nicole Ault, who writes for the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page says that, “ Language and the law are inseparable. If we erase sex-specific words from our language, we erase, too, what it means to be a man or a woman. Where does it stop? There are people—you can look it up—who identify as not human. Is person an insensitive term?”

I did look it up – and here’s what I found on the University of Cambridge’s website:  “As social beings, a sense of identity plays an important role in our relations – and in our own happiness. But identity doesn’t have to be narrowly human.”

In the article was a picture of a young woman who obviously doesn’t identify as a human, with this caption: “When people ask me ‘How does it feel to be a cat?’ I’m like ‘How does it feel to be a human?’”

I’m so confused!

I used to believe all the birds and bees stuff.  But then I’m a pathetic cisgender man, so what do I know? Actually that’s a rhetorical question because I do know this much:  The fundamental things … no longer apply … as time goes by.




Protecting Joe

The stage was set.  CNN had the evening nicely positioned for a Town Hall with President Biden.  A liberal audience in Baltimore along with the very friendly Anderson Cooper who’s been there before.  What could go wrong?

Nothing.  Well, maybe one thing.

Nobody watched.

Just 1.3 million viewers tuned in.  Fox News crushed the Biden exposition, even the hapless MSNBC had significantly more viewers.  Now, that circumstance happens daily on the Cable News Network because it’s largely boring and biased. But when you heavily promote a 90 minute special with the President of the United States, you expect more than 1.3.  Come on, man, there are 330-million people in this country!

Joe Biden, himself, was energetic and fairly relaxed on camera.  He understood that CNN had gathered audience questions in advance and there would be few of a challenging nature.  Mr. Biden also knew that Cooper would save him if he faltered – and old Anderson came through by quickly getting away from the border issue.

From the start, Mr. Biden stayed on message by promising to give Americans trillions of dollars in government subsidies.  Even when a civilian asked when gas prices would drop, Joe predicted next year but don’t worry about it.  There are government giveaways that will compensate for higher fuel costs. Joey Warbucks is on the case.

Sadly, the question and answer format was tedious.  Largely because the President has no solutions to problems and Cooper wouldn’t ask probing questions because the fix was in.

Example.  Mr. Biden adamantly supports Covid mandates and the left-leaning audience applauded his opinion. At that point, Anderson Cooper could have asked a very simple but necessary question: “Mr. President, if mandates suppress the spread of Covid, why does Florida have the lowest transmission rate in the nation. As you know, Florida passed a law BANNING mandates.”

Again, Mr. Cooper could have asked that question.  And CNN could apologize for totally botching the “Russian-collusion” thing.

Neither will ever happen.

My favorite moment was when Joe Biden actually told the world he hasn’t had time to visit the southern border, which is under siege from foreign nationals.  No joke, Mr. Biden said he has no time. Anderson Cooper just stood there, mouth closed.

And now you know why the American people don’t have time to watch the President on CNN.