A Mixed Day, Round One, Winners & Losers

Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Mixed Day
The Supreme Court ended its session today with a mixed bag.  On the one hand, the Court's conservative majority correctly decided that the drawing of political boundaries for state and federal offices was an inherently political issue and, thus, not a matter for the courts.  The drawing of political districts is best left to the people and their elected representatives, not unelected judges.
On the other hand, the Court issued a very tortured opinion on the issue of whether the administration could add a citizenship question to the upcoming census forms.  Many in the media have declared the ruling a defeat for the Trump Administration.  That's not necessarily the case.
In short, the majority ruled that the administration can include a citizenship question on the census, which has historically been the norm.  But the justices disagreed with the rationale given for doing so, and they punted the case back to lower courts.
It is a temporary setback to be sure, as the administration had hoped to begin printing the census forms at the end of the month.  But President Trump announced today that he has ordered government lawyers to delay the census so that the administration can rework its legal analysis in a manner acceptable to the justices.
We will keep you posted as this case unfolds because it has major implications -- from the allocation of federal dollars to the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College.
A final point:  The census is all about knowing who is in the country.  The vast majority of Americans believe the government has every right to know, if not an obligation to know, just how many people here are citizens and how many are here illegally.  But the left, which is all in on open borders, does not want us to even ask that question.
Just another example of how the radical left is at odds with the great majority of Americans.
A Bad Deal
Pro-China corporate lobbyists and pundits have argued that increased trade and engagement with Beijing would cause the communist regime to open up and embrace democratic values.
But China's behavior hasn't changed at all. To the contrary, Beijing has become more authoritarian and more adversarial. In fact, doing business with China has changed us more than it's changed them.  You can read more in my latest opinion piece at The Washington Examiner.

Round One
Here are some brief observations on last night's Democrat presidential debate.
In many ways, it was the first bi-lingual debate.  Three candidates and one moderator broke into Spanish at various points, leading to another first -- Beto O'Rourke failed to answer a question in two different languages.
While I am sure the candidates' Spanish-speaking abilities impressed some voters, many see it as pandering.  Language is one of the fundamental elements that unites a nation, and the American people overwhelmingly support English as our official language. 
On Immigration
There were ten candidates on the stage last night, and not one idea on how to secure the border.  In fact, the candidates spent more time debating the decriminalization of illegal entry than border security. 
Every one of the candidates bemoaned the tragic deaths of Oscar Martinez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, who drowned attempting to cross the Rio Grande.  Every heart breaks seeing the image of that young father and his daughter. 
But every heart should be outraged by the media's attempt to demagogue this tragedy.  Here are the facts:

  • The Border Patrol did not turned this family away, nor was this family fleeing "violence and oppression."
  • Multiple sources, including the Associated Press, are reporting that both parents had jobs, that their community was not threatened by gang violence, and that they were coming to America for economic reasons. 
  • That means they had no basis for an asylum claim.  So the only way they could legally have gotten into America was by applying through the legal immigration system.  Sadly, they were unwilling to wait and attempted to enter illegally. 

On Taxes
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio aggressively asserted, "We have plenty of money in this country.  It's just in the wrong hands."  He also proudly declared his support for 70% tax rates.
On Values
Julian Castro made clear his support for abortion when he said that he supports "reproductive justice for everyone," and he means literally everyone, including "trans females." 
I assume Castro meant trans men, i.e. biological women who are transitioning to be men, because trans females (biological men transitioning to become women) do not have reproductive organs and cannot get pregnant, so abortion is beside the point. 
On The Second Amendment
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker staked out an unusual position when he called for the licensing of firearms, comparing the Second Amendment right to the privilege of driving a car.
On Military Service
Last night's debate was also noteworthy for what did not happen.  Several times, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard brought up her service in Iraq.  To my surprise, the room was largely silent when she finished her answers.  There was virtually no applause recognizing her service.
Winners & Losers?
I don't know if anyone necessarily won last night's debate.  Some left-wing commentators seemed to agree
The clear loser, in my view, was NBC.  The network struggled with technical glitches and viewership was down dramatically compared to the first debates of the 2016 campaign season.
Tonight, the following candidates will take the stage at 9:00 PM ET:
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Sen. Michael Bennet
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kamala Harris
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Rep. Eric Swalwell
Author Marianne Williamson
Businessman Andrew Yang