Saturday, July 8, 2023

Biden is Anti-British, God Save the Queen, Man.

 "God save the Queen, man."

Joe Biden concluded a recent speech in Connecticut, where he was advocating for more gun control, with this bizarre and baffling comment

He said it in a sarcastic tone of voice and delivered it with a goofy grin.  Was he mocking the Monarchy? Was he mocking the British?

For the British the words, "God save the queen is a solemn prayer, (albeit without the word "man" at the end) recited for centuries.  

Does he know they don't have a queen anymore?  Oh, that's right Biden turned down the invitation to King Charles III coronation. No one is sure what Biden meant by his off the cuff remark and the media didn't pursue it perhaps because they simply saw it as a benign comment of a senile old man one who needs to go to bed, he meant no harm by the comment or just doesn't know what he was saying.

He may have simply forgotten that Elizabeth II had passed away, just like he thought the late Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-IN was still alive at a White House event last September. Well, Joe, Britain now has a king, so the prayer is now "God save the king."

Britain crowned its new Monarch on May 6th, more than a month before Biden's gaffe.  Tomorrow, July 10th, Biden will meet with King Charles the second on his way the NATO summit, which takes place in Lithuania.  Biden will then head to Helsinki before heading home.

Biden pointedly didn't go to the coronation, sure there were rumblings that skipping it was a snub, but the lame defense the administration and the compliant media offered was: "President Dwight Eisenhower didn't go to the last coronation in 1953"so if its ok for Ike to skip it then its ok for Joe not to go even thought that was 70 years ago.

Britan is one of our oldest friends and allies You know the thing, the special relationship and all that but Biden was a no show. There's no way to spin that: it was a slight to our friend, and despite the stiff upper lip thing the British surely took offense. 

Had former Presidents Trump or Bush been in office they would have gone.  I think President Clinton would have gone. Although, I doubt Obama would have gone.  

Britain is our number one ally; Biden should have gone.

In May Democratic Unionist Party lawmaker Sammy Wilson characterized Biden as "anti-British." He said that after Biden's remarks came to light about a month after his visit to Northern Ireland. The president said he had gone there "to make sure the Brits didn't screw around" with peace in Northern Ireland, and "Didn't walk away from their commitments" to the 1998 Goof Friday peace accord on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

"If you believe that there should be a special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K., then at least show us some respect," Wilson told London's Evening Standard newspaper."

So, is Biden anti-British?  At the very least, it's apparent he doesn't believe that there is a special relationship between the U.S. and U.K.  For Biden, the U.K. is just another NATO member, another nation on the UN roster, somewhere between Ukraine and Uruguay.

Wilson added, "It's unbelievable and frightening to think as well that he is the leader of the free world."

Hear hear, indeed it is.

Biden sent a clear message, when he walked into the oval office after his inauguration and removed the Churchill bust.  

Compare the treatment the British have received under Biden to the treatment they received from the last two Republican presidents. Trump described the U.S. relationship with Britain as the "highest level of special." His first press conference with a foreign leader was with then-British Prime Minister Thresea May, on Jan. 27, 2017, a week after his inauguration. 

It was no accident or coincidence that he met with May so early into his term, he intended it to show the great importance of our friendship with Britain.

In February of 2001 George W. Bush just weeks after being sworn in hosted then Prime Minister Tony Blair at Camp David, describing Britain as "our strongest friend and closest ally." Blair stayed at the President's retreat, clearly a purposeful gesture to show the high value Bush placed on our friendship with Britain. Fast forward to today.  What is Biden doing vis a vis Britain?

He opposed U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace from becoming the next secretary general of NATO, in favor of Ursula von der Leyden of Germany, the current President of the European Commission. Was it driven by an anti-British animus, or maybe just Biden's identity politics driven desire to install the first female secretary general of NATO.  Perhaps a little of both.

Biden is probably not anti-British based on reason, or policy differences or national interest.  Instead, the bias likely derives from his tribalistic nature, not unlike an old politician from the Richard J. Daley Chicago Machine.

He is naturally anti-British, because he believes or at least self identifies as Irish, so he clings to the belief and view that the British are hostile and alien.  They are a different tribe.

Biden first arrived in Washington as a member of the senate in 1973 - at the time, there still existed a fashionable hostility for the British from Irish Americans.  It has mostly died out, but apparently, he kept that bias. Another example of that tribalism came when Biden was running for president in May of 2020.  He said to a black radio interviewer, "If you have trouble figuring out whether you are for me or Trump, then you ain't black."  

Once people figure out their tribe, it is easier for them to figure out their politics.  For Biden everyone belongs to a group, and they act accordingly, or at least predictably. Sure, there are areas of agreement, areas of mutual cooperation, and common interests, but everyone has a tribe to belong to.  For Biden, he identifies as Irish. God save the queen man.



Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Last Fairfax Moderate Loses


Another Blue Dog Democrat bites the dust

Longtime state senator in Northern Virginia ousted by left-wing primary challenger

Virginia state Sen. John Chapman “Chap” Petersen and I have a couple things in common. We both are the same age, 55, and we both grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia. We both also remember a time when there were lots of moderate Democrats holding elective offices in Fairfax. 

Petersen’s defeat last week in the Democratic primary to left-wing challenger Saddam Salim brings the Petersen era to an end, and with it an era of centrist Democrats in Fairfax. Perhaps not forever, but certainly for the foreseeable future.

Due to redistricting, Senate District 37 included some of Falls Church, which made up about 12 percent of the electorate. That was new territory for Petersen, and very helpful to Salim, who made an issue of the incumbent’s opposition to an assault weapons ban and to extended masking in schools.

Still, Petersen’s loss was a major upset and an indicator of how far left the Democratic Party has moved. Democratic primary voters also rejected a moderate challenger to Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, a soft-on-crime prosecutor backed by leftist billionaire George Soros.)

Even though I’m a conservative Republican, I admit to be saddened by Petersen’s loss. To me, he was the last sensible, elected Democrat in my home county.

I first heard the name “Chap” Petersen in 2001, when he challenged Republican state Delegate Jack Rust. Rust was in line to become speaker of the House of Delegates, but the hardworking Petersen snuck up behind him in a fairly major upset.  Some Republicans did see it coming. I recall GOP state Sen. Jane Woods telling fellow Republicans: “Don’t underestimate Petersen.” Apparently, Rust did just that and lost.

That upset victory helped Petersen acquire the moniker the “scrappy fighter.” Years later, I found myself in his office and noticed that he had an editorial cartoon of him being depicted as the “scrappy fighter” hanging on his wall. He was proud of that sobriquet.   

When Petersen entered the House of Delegates in 2002, I was working for a conservative group in Richmond, and my job was to track various bills. My view of Petersen formed in that first session. I watched and concluded that Petersen was generally a moderate Democrat who would buck the Democratic then-governor, Mark Warner, from time to time.

He probably enjoyed the attention, and no doubt took pride in having an independent streak. His House district probably had a high percentage of centrist Democrats who appreciated Petersen’s moderation. In 2002, the party still had a sizable number of moderates.

In 2008, Petersen moved up to the state Senate after making a quixotic 2005 run for lieutenant governor, in which he came in third in the Democratic primary.

Petersen’s victory in the state Senate race in 2007 was also considered an upset. The “scrappy fighter” had struck again. He ran against moderate Republican then-Congressman Tom Davis’ second wife, Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, and the Davis machine. Some Fairfax Republicans were not at all disappointed by Devolites Davis’ loss.  

But the politics of Fairfax County have changed greatly since Petersen was first elected to the state Senate. Consider this: Just two years later, Republican Bob McDonnell was elected governor in 2009, and he carried Fairfax County. That would be unlikely to happen now.

The earnest and hardworking Petersen no doubt thought that he could remain a moderate, and through some combination of constituent services and personality, along with fidelity to Democrats on a few high-profile issues could remain in office. Petersen probably thought that his Democratic base would grant him some leeway. After all, in his mind, he had earned it, and they owed him. He had beaten Rust. He had beaten the Davis machine. Surely, he would be afforded some independence, some votes of conscience, some occasional wandering from orthodoxy—off the reservation, as it were.

But Petersen was too much of a moderate, too much of a free thinker for a party that’s now more in sync with far left Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at least in Fairfax County. 

Petersen generally supported in the Second Amendment. He realized some of the constitutional problems with red flag laws. He also seemed uncomfortable with woke highway name-change campaigns taking place in Fairfax County. He believed that then-Gov. Ralph Northam, a fellow Democrat, was wrong to shuttered our state and closed schools down for so long during the COVID-19 pandemic. Petersen thought it was wrong to keep masks on kids in schools. Nor was he onboard with the transgender ideology. 

In other words, Petersen was a rational, reasonable person. Nowadays, such a person is not going to win in a Democratic primary in Fairfax County.

University of Virginia professor and pundit Larry Sabato has opined that if Ronald Reagan were still alive today that he couldn’t get the Republican nomination for office. 

Well, Sabato doesn’t have to speculate about a historical figure. When it comes to examining the ideological shift of a political party, all he has to do is look at what happened on June 20 in Virginia. The Democratic Party has moved so far left that Petersen was denied his party’s renomination for a state Senate seat he has held since 2008.

David Shephard is the author of “Elections Have Consequence: A Cautionary Tale,” a roman-a-clef novel based loosely on actual Virginia politics, published last summer.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Youngkin Should Run For President in 2024

I know you may think I am a homer for suggesting that Governor Glenn Youngkin should run for President.  True I am a native Virginian, so you may think I am overdoing state pride a tad by pushing Youngkin for President, but I do objectively believe that he is the strongest general election candidate we Republicans have.  I think it is also true that 2024 will be Youngkin's best shot at the White House.  He might never get such a great opportunity again. 

Campaigns are driven by the candidates themselves and a large part of the outcome depends on how they match up.  That is how people compare the two candidates against each other.  Not against ideal candidates but against the nominated candidates.

I have been involved in politics long enough to know that Youngkin possess the qualities that people are looking for in a President, and Youngkin has all the necessary qualities and attributes that none of the another announce candidates can match.  And as luck would have it these are qualities that Biden lacks.

Youngkin has youth, Biden is old, Youngkin has energy, Biden needs a nap, Youngkin is articulate, Biden produces meandering word salads, Youngkin is affable, Biden can be mean, Youngkin is intelligent, Biden is senile. Youngkin is an optimist, he sees a bright future ahead, Biden says MAGA Republicans want to reimpose Jim Crow.  Could you imagine Youngkin calling a reporter a "dumb son of a bitch" as Biden did?  Of course not.

Now you may say some of our other candidates would match up well against Biden and I'd agree, but no other announced Republican candidate highlights these differences better than Youngkin. The differences are more vivid with Youngkin at the other end of the debate stage, at a townhall or at a rally.

 In addition, Youngkin does not have the baggage that some of the other candidates do, for example he didn't recommend that Trump appoint Christopher Wray as FBI director- thanks Chris Christie.  Youngkin has no connection to Washington, no responsibly for the dumpster fire that is our Federal government. has become.

Actually, I think there is one key quality that Youngkin possess, that makes him our strongest candidate, indeed head and shoulders above the rest.  You see this quality comes out when he does interviews, town halls and speeches, and rallies.  It is not something you can learn or can easily acquire. It's a quality you can't fake. Youngkin like Ronald Reagan is a genuine optimist, and in this era of division and doubt about our country Youngkin like optimism is desired by the electorate. Of all our announced candidates I can't think of any that have that same Youngkin/Reagan like optimism. 

FDR, Ronald Reagan and now Glenn Youngkin.  Optimists are hard to beat.

So imagine an hour and a half debate between Youngkin and Biden.  It would be all but over after that.  Biden would lose the election in a landslide; a Dukakis Mondale like landslide, Biden would lose every state but Hawaii, Maryland, New York and a couple other states. 

Oh, by the way, now that I am looking at the electoral map, I would point out that without Virginia Biden can't get elected in 2024. Youngkin is popular in Virginia, with a 56 percent approval rating and Biden's approval rating in the state is at 42 percent.

Of the announced candidates in the race, I am backing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, I think he will make a great President, and can win, but I think Youngkin would be a stronger candidate in a general election.  DeSantis doesn't have the skills at retail politics that Youngkin has, he doesn't have the same ease with voters and social graces that Youngkin has.  He doesn't have Youngkin's ability to master interviews, he doesn't have Youngkin's optimism.

Also, the media would find it easier to demonize DeSantis.  It will be harder to turn the affable. optimistic and smiling Youngkin into the devil.  But I am sure the media will try. 

I believe Youngkin is a sold conservative, perhaps there are others to his right, but Youngkin is no RINO.  However, nominating Youngkin would represent a break with both the Washington GOP establishment and the Trump GOP. In a sense nominating him would be fairly revolutionary.  Similar to a restaurant that advertises that they are under new management.  

For moderate, independents and suburban voters his nomination would be significant, and I have no doubt that Youngkin would run well in the suburbs.

There are people who talk about the importance of Washington experience or foreign policy experience, but as I look back on past Presidential campaigns, I can't think of anyone winning on their resume, or on their years of experience.  For example, Barack Obama had no executive experience and was only a senator for 2 years.  I have always thought that if Washington experience gets you to the White House Howard Baker would have become President in 1980.

If Youngkin wants to be President, and I have no idea of his level of ambition, 2024 will probably be his best, maybe only realistic chance.  If he sits this one out, his next opportunity will come in 2028 He may or may not be in public office then but safe to say he won't have anywhere near the buzz and speculation that surrounds him now.  He will be a former Governor.  Or maybe Senator, but those platforms are not as good as an incumbent Governor.  As Shakespeare said, "we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures."  That is a more highbrow way of saying, "Strike while the iron is hot."

There are those who say that Youngkin should stay and finish his good work in Virginia.  I say Virginia, needs a good President in the White House and Winsome Sears can do a fine job as Governor.

I love the job that Youngkin is doing for Virginia as Governor, but I might love him even more as President.

Youngkin for President?  Why not, it seems to me the only thing we have to lose is Joe Biden.

David Shephard is the author of 'Elections Have Consequences; A Cautionary Tale."


Monday, June 19, 2023

Let's Not Give Biden and The Media A Chance to Kick Trump Around

I do believe that our 45th President Donald Trump was on balance a good President.  I say on balance because I do take into consideration the few minuses, such as the appointing of Christopher Wray to run the FBI, allowing the influence of Dr. Fauci, the elevation in Federal spending and failure to complete the southern border wall.

In 2020 he was the incumbent, and as such I, the loyal Republican naturally supported his renomination for President.  It is a very different calculus today, Trump is not the incumbent, sadly the man that defeated him, Joe Biden is the current occupant of the White House, and the guy we must defeat in 2024 to save the country.

For Trump and his primary backers, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is the devastating fact of his defeat, and let’s face it losing to Joe Biden is devastating.  To counter this inconvenient truth they promote the dubious claim that the 2020 election was stolen.  The evidence doesn’t back up such a claim.  Sure, the Democrats took advantage of the pandemic to push for mail in voting and states such as Pennsylvania liberalized the voting rules, without going to the legislature as the constitution requires.  In addition, the pandemic made it easier for Joe Biden to hide in the basement.  Making it tougher for voters and the media to question him.  However, I doubt the mainstream media ever had any desire to ask Biden tough, probing or nuanced questions.

Even adding up all the irregularities, and yes, I believe that some fraud took place, it is impossible to say the election was stolen.  As heartbreaking as it is, the American people picked Biden over Trump. They did it then and if forced to make the same choice in 2024 they will probably answer the same way.

Ironically, If Trump had acknowledged that he probably or might have legitimately lost, or at least refrained from the stop the steal rhetoric, he’d been in good shape today, I daresay he’d be almost a shoo in.  As it stands, he is neck and neck with Biden in the polls.  That is not good considering Biden is senile, in his 80’s and has a 40 percent approval rating.  Trump’s negative rating is higher than Biden’s.  That tells me that while most Americans don’t want either Biden or Trump, I think more American voters will hold their nose to vote for Biden.  Trump like many Presidents before him got hit with events beyond his control.  Hoover got a stock market crash, Buchanan got a country moving into a civil war, and Trump got the virus from Wuhan.  Those are the breaks. 

But what has changed from 2020?  Why is Trump going to be stronger in 2024?  What Biden state will he win this time?  I can’t see any.  Georgia?  Well, Georgia elected Trump’s Nemesis Republican Governor Brian Kemp handily, while Trump backed, indeed produced a challenger David Purdue in a primary who lost big.  Trump also endorsed Herschel Walker who went on to lose a winnable senate race.  Perhaps Pennsylvania?  Well, Trump backed Doctor Oz who ended up losing to a guy Jon Fetterman, who makes Biden look compos mentis.  Maybe Trump can pick up Arizona?  Well, his acolyte Kari Lake lost her race for Governor.  Perhaps she was seen as too much like Trump.

Trump ran the table in 2016, he drew a weak opponent, perhaps the most hated woman in American politics, and eked out a win.  It’s been downhill ever since.  In the midterms in 2018 we Republicans, with Trump as the head of our party lost 40 seats in the House.  In 2020 we lost the White House and the Senate.  In 2022 Trump endorsed a number of high-profile senate candidates.  Needless to say, we didn’t retake the senate.  While it was quite possible and there were a number of scenarios to retake the senate several Trump backed candidates lost. 

It seemed bad enough on January 6th 2021, after that day I thought if Trump ever wanted to be President again or even invited back to the White House as a guest, he would never make it. But it got worse for Trump’s comeback goal. He has now been indicted over the handling of classified documents. And there may be more indictments to come. While I do believe the prosecutorial cases against Trump are for the most part politically motivated, I don’t believe he is completely innocent either.  He had to have known that the left was out to get him, and act more carefully.  Indeed, every prosecutor in every blue state throughout our beautiful land want to make a name for themselves by prosecuting him. Some even explicitly run on that promise.

 At worst he broke the law regarding classified documents, at best he acted recklessly.    Either way, that is not good. Its not good for us Republicans that feel compelled to keep defending him. And he wants to be our nominee for President.  His poor behavior puts our quest to retake the White House at risk.

If we nominate Trump the election in 2024 will become more about him and his alleged scandals and less about Biden’s poor record.  We need the election to be a referendum on Biden not about Trump.

We Republicans have every reason to be very optimistic about 2024. So much so that already measuring the drapes and curtains in the White House would be intellectually defensible.  And the Senate map favors us, heck basically guarantees we take over that chamber. Imagine a President Ron DeSantis with the house and 55 senate seats.

We have a number of good candidates who are more conservative than Trump, more electable than Trump and no doubt have the potential to be more effective in the white house than Trump.   

If we get off the Trump train, nominate anyone of our great candidates and we win in 2024.  It’s that simple.

Let’s not give Biden and the media Trump to kick around anymore.


David Shephard is the author of “Elections Have Consequences; A Cautionary Tale.”