The Debate Democrats Can’t Have

The over 18 million Americans who tuned to CNN on Tuesday night for the first Republican presidential debate since the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino might have been pleasantly surprised. American anxieties over the threat of radical Islamic terrorism are nearing or surpassing their immediate post-9/11 peaks, and those who turned on the news to hear a substantive debate over the near-and long-term security challenges facing the nation were privy to one. For Democrats, this has proven frustrating. Theirs is a party that cannot have a serious debate over matters related to national security without condemning their party’s leader and his brand of crisis management and, thus, jeopardizing its own electoral viability in the process.

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The Debate Democrats Can’t Have

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The Democratic Party: A Brand in Crisis

The Democratic Party has a brand problem, and it doesn't seem to care.

“There are a lot of people who have Democratic values who may not see themselves as a Democrat,” confessed Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Michael Blake. Someone ought to explain this to the party’s big attraction, the figure on whom Democrats have pinned their hopes for a political comeback: Bernie Sanders. The septuagenarian senator from Vermont, who narrowly missed an opportunity to wrest the party’s presidential nomination from the anointed Hillary Clinton, is a living, breathing example of the crisis afflicting the Democratic Party’s brand.

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O’Reilly and Hillary: No Longer a Factor

Commentary podcast: O'Reilly out, Clinton over, and Democrats in the wilderness.

On the second of this week’s podcasts, the COMMENTARY crew (Abe Greenwald, Noah Rothman, and I) do not mourn the demise of Bill O’Reilly but rather seek to explain its causes. We also wonder at the news that Hillary Clinton’s “people” are searching for the traitors who gave dirt to the authors of the hit new book Shattered—because why does Hillary have “people” any longer? And Georgia is on our mind. Give a listen.

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The Conscience of an Administration

Nikki Haley's human rights crusade.

Noah noted that President Trump abandoned the “freedom agenda,” most recently by calling to congratulate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on winning a rigged referendum that will shred the last remnants of Turkish democracy. Earlier, Trump heaped nothing but praise on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt during a White House visit without any mention of Sisi’s record of repressing Islamist and liberal critics alike. As I note in this article, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been equally uninterested in raising human-rights violation as an issue.

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Terror, Race, and Abject Absurdity

Calling Islamist terrorism by its name.

Today, three people are dead—killed in an act of discriminate violence. Their memories are done a disservice by the failure on the part of law enforcement to call the act of terroristic brutality by its name. By appearing to evade the obvious conclusion about the killer’s motives, authorities confirm some of the worst suspicions of an already suspicious nation.

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Trump’s ‘Truthful Hyperbole’ in Korea

Pulling the rug out from under your allies is terrible foreign policy.

Just when the Trump administration was starting to get some positive reviews for the cruise missile strike on Syria, the president’s endorsement of NATO, and his disavowal of his earlier claim that China was a currency manipulator, it tripped over its own shoelaces again.

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