The Republican Party is the Party of Lincoln, Honest Abe being its first president. But by the time the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary arrive, the major candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination may find they’ve turned their brand into the Party of Lyin’.
Most recently, there was South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, surging in Iowa of late, whose inconvenient recorded comments from 2011 were unearthed and proceeded to go viral. “There are a lot of kids, especially in low-income, minority neighborhoods, where they just haven’t seen it [education] work,” Buttigieg had observed, adding: “There isn’t someone they know personally who attests to the value of education.”
As the Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley noted on Fox News over the weekend, this was right out of President Barack Obama’s talking points, and is the kind of rhetorical fare heard regularly from the pulpits of black churches across America.
Nonetheless, the black left, which Buttigieg was already having a lot of trouble with, pounced. One profanity-spewing commentator accused him of preferring “to perpetuate the fantastic narrative of negro neighborhoods needing more role models and briefcase-carriers than make the people in power stare into the sun and see the blinding light of racism,” and compared his “whitely” pronouncements to “negligent homicide.”
Buttigieg’s response was to disavow his previous, perfectly factual statement and give his attacker a deferential phone call. “What I said in that comment before I became mayor does not reflect the totality of my understanding then, and certainly now, about the obstacles that students of color face in our system today,” Buttigieg said.
Meanwhile, he’s also taking fire from his left flank for expressing reservations about having taxpayers pay for free college for everyone, as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders propose.
A big reason for the unlikely election of Donald Trump was that voters had become fed up with Washington politicians at the highest level assuring them they can “Read My Lips: No New Taxes” and “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.” Not to mention Bill Clinton lying to a grand jury and the perception (though false) that lies about Saddam Hussein’s nuclear ambitions underlay George W. Bush’s liberation of Iraq in 2003.
The famous real-estate tycoon/reality TV star may have been unpresidentially brash and easy to hate, but the unpolished political neophyte was plain-spoken and populist, and perhaps that would mean he would do what he said he would. Plus his opponent, Hillary Clinton, was the favorite daughter of Washington’s big government establishment, and herself no stranger to stretching the truth, as acknowledged even by the establishment media.
Democrat After Democrat Having Truth Problems
Buttigieg, far from being an aberration, is the norm at the upper level of the Democrats’ field. Warren’s trouble telling the truth extends from her claimed American Indian ethnic heritage, to telling parents who support charter schools that she sent her children to public school when, in fact, at least one attended a private school, to suggesting that the middle class won’t get soaked paying for her health care, environmental and other plans costing tens of trillions of dollars.
When it comes to Obama Vice President Joe Biden, still the national front-runner, it’s often hard to distinguish the deliberate untruths from the gaffes, but he is renowned for one of the most false claims in campaign history, plagiarizing ex-British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock’s account of his rise from rags to political power.
In one fell swoop Biden destroyed his own candidacy for president for 1988. Now, with his son Hunter Biden inseparable from the Democrats’ drive to impeach Trump, voters will have a difficult time believing his claimed ignorance of what his troubled son was up to on the board of a shady Ukrainian energy company, being paid a fortune yet having no expertise of any discernible value. Meanwhile, his father was a heartbeat away from the presidency, bullying Ukraine’s government, by all appearances to protect the firm.
The newest Democrat to run for president, former Republican and former New York City Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg, recently apologized for the millions of stop-and-frisk stops his police department conducted under his tenure. “I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong,” he told a black church in Brooklyn, speaking of a law-enforcement policy that saved perhaps hundreds of lives, mostly non-white.
Actually, Bloomberg knows he was right, and defended stop-and-frisk forcefully, in word and deed, for years, reaping the political dividends of giving New Yorkers a markedly safer city and being reelected twice. But today, disavowing stop-and-frisk is imperative for Bloomberg to have any chance of winning the Democratic nomination, with the party’s grassroots in their current radicalized state.
Juxtaposing all this is an incumbent, in Trump, who has kept many of his campaign promises, from his Supreme Court and other appointments to cutting tax rates and massively rolling back regulations, to relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Tweeting Trump might not be Honest Abe, but when the comparison is made to conventional politicians of recent history – and, most importantly, his rivals in the opposing party – at least, for the most part, he ain’t lyin’.
— Written by Thomas McArdle
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