Trumps Pay Respects, Pence's Eulogy, Macron Surrenders

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Trumps Pay Respects
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump went to the Capitol Rotunda last night, without any fanfare, to pay their respects to former President George H.W. Bush.  After what appeared to be a brief moment of prayer, President Trump saluted the casket.  You can watch it here.
It was a classy way to honor the former president without drawing attention to themselves.  It was also appropriate in its own way because the success of Trump's populist campaign was a statement that Bush Republicanism had passed.
Speaking of class, Fox News reports that the Bush family is going to great lengths to ensure that the former president's funeral tomorrow does not turn into a Trump-bashing spectacle like John McCain's funeral. 
Family sources have told various media outlets that the funeral will be a "celebration of the noble public service that George H.W. Bush gave. It's not going to be about anybody else."  Another added:
"If anybody . . . knew anything about the 41st president of the United States, they would completely and totally understand that he would welcome the current [president] 100 percent.  This is the way the country says goodbye to presidents."
The Fox report also notes, "The Trump White House has accommodated all the Bush family's requests for the state funeral. The Bush family will be able to stay at Blair House, the official guesthouse across the street from the White House."
Pence's Eulogy
Vice President Mike Pence delivered a very moving eulogy during yesterday's ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda.  He told a story of his son, a Marine pilot, receiving a letter from former President Bush congratulating him on his first tailhook landing on the USS George Herbert Walker Bush. 
Pence noted that Bush wished his son "many CAVU days ahead."  The acronym, CAVU, stands for "ceiling and visibility unlimited."  Pence said:
"[CAVU] may well describe the essence of this man. And it may well have been his vision, the vision he had for his life, for his children, his children's children, and his country."
You can watch Vice President Pence's remarks here.
Macron Surrenders
The French government announced today that it is delaying new carbon taxes -- taxes on gas and electricity -- for six months while it attempts to negotiate with opposition forces.  Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared, "No tax is worth threatening the unity of the nation."
It's not entirely clear with whom Macron or Philippe are negotiating.  This protest movement emerged from the French countryside, which is much more conservative than Macron's government, and which has suffered the brunt of these crushing tax hikes.  
It has also joined forces with left-wing groups to fight the radical climate change agenda, ironically in the very city that gave us the Paris Climate Accords
As the Wall Street Journal notes, the French anti-carbon tax movement has morphed into a populist movement that "has since embraced a broader antigovernment agenda, accusing Mr. Macron of being a champion of the rich at the expense of the working class."
This is another manifestation of the global populist movement that has surged throughout Europe, and is now showing up in Latin America with the election of a right-wing government in Brazil. 
I believe that for the foreseeable future the political battles in America will be between right-wing populism and left-wing populism.  We all love the traditional conservative message of lower taxes, smaller government and a strong national defense. But that is not enough to prevail politically in today's America. 
That message alone will not attract enough working class voters to overcome the demographic changes that have taken place in the last 40 years in part because of uncontrolled immigration. 
Meanwhile, we could learn a valuable lesson from France's example.  There is a reason carbon taxes are so unpopular.  They are essentially taxes on energy and economic growth. 
Believe it or not, our political elites are trying to impose carbon taxes here in America.  So far, they have mostly failed. 
Barack Obama couldn't get it done when his party enjoyed a supermajority in the Senate.  Liberal Washington State has voted down carbon taxes twice now.
But the left never gives up. 
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently led a Capitol Hill protest -- in Nancy Pelosi's office! -- to push this radical agenda that seeks to demonize the U.S. energy industry, which allows us to get to work each day, keeps our homes warm in the winter, keeps our grocery stores stocked, etc., etc., etc.
As Investors Business Daily notes, carbon taxes are just another socialist redistribution scheme.  The U.S. should not follow France's example.