Democrats will regret their hard-left turn and other commentary

2020 watch: Dems Will Regret Their Hard-Left Turn

As recently as 2016, calling leading Democrats socialists was a slander. But “today, a good portion of them will get angry if you do not address them as Democratic socialists,” notes Bradley Blakeman in The Hill. Yes, the party’s platform in 2016 was “aggressively progressive,” but even by that measure the party’s stances in 2019 are hard-left. “Nowhere in their 2016 platform is there support for the decriminalization of illegal entry into the United States,” and “nowhere in the [2016] platform do Democrats support ‘sanctuary cities.’ ” Now, however, mainstream Democrats espouse both positions and many others that suggest “a clearly defined socialist agenda.” Blakeman warns: “I cannot fathom independents, fiscally conservative Democrats and swing voters — who are the linchpin of successful presidential elections — embracing a socialist agenda for America in 2020.”

Foreign desk: Build ‘Fort Trump’ in Poland

At American Greatness, Brandon Weichert worries: “The aging Russian bear is yet again prowling the forests of Eastern Europe.” Thankfully, President Trump reinvigorated NATO and “has been the toughest president on Russia since Ronald Reagan.” The next step is to focus NATO’s energies in ­Poland, which is strong and determined enough to “mount a reliable defense against Russian revanchism” — unlike Western Europe’s decadent liberal powers. Even if he prefers to make a geopolitical deal with Moscow, “Trump needs to have leverage and come from a position of credible strength.” Building a permanent NATO base “in Poland would be the leverage Trump needs,” even as it would “enhance the defensive capabilities of those NATO states most threatened by potential Russian aggression.” Call it “Fort Trump.”

From the left: Kavanaugh Has Delivered for Social Cons

Justice Brett Kavanaugh has finished his first term on the Supreme Court, and “it’s clear how much he’s hewed to the right and shifted the court,” Mother Jones’ Stephanie Mencimer observes. On abortion, notably, Kavanaugh struck conciliatory notes during his confirmation hearings. But “when the four liberal justices, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, voted to block” a highly restrictive Louisiana abortion law, “Kavanaugh dissented, arguing that he would have allowed the law to take effect.” Plus, Kavanaugh “voted with the conservative bloc to overturn a 40-year-old precedent in an unrelated case” that could endanger landmark rulings like Roe v. Wade. As the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo recently noted: “Brett Kavanaugh has seen how unforgiving the Left can be. . . So Justice Kavanaugh has every incentive to basically do what he wants to do and ignore the Left.”

Iconoclast: How Pride Became a Flag of Conformism

“The Stonewall uprising was a very positive movement,” Brendan O’Neill says in The Spectator. “It gave rise to struggles for gay liberation and equality.” But lately Pride “has been replaced by a needy and therapeutic politics of recognition. Now gay-rights activists don’t demand autonomy — they want validation.” Everyone has to “celebrate their lifestyle and embrace the strange new idea that trans women are literally women, and if you don’t, it’s off to the metaphorical gulag with you.” In short, Pride has become “the new moral majority.”

Neocon: The Literary Establishment Turns On Jews

The new anti-Semitism has contaminated “the world of literature,” Commentary’s Abe Greenwald sighs. The latest symptom appeared in Britain, where two cultural organizations recently “rejected hosting talks by novelist Richard Zimler — explicitly because he’s Jewish.” As Zimmler recounted in The Guardian, the groups asked a friend of his if Zimmer is Jewish. When the friend said yes, “they lost all interest.” Meanwhile, Greenwald notes, “Michigan-based publisher Dzanc Books canceled the publication of the forthcoming novel ‘The Siege of Tel Aviv,’ by Hesh Kestin, an American Jew and former soldier in the Israeli army” after “the publishing house’s other authors complained that it promoted unflattering stereotypes of Muslims.” Greenwald concludes: “For a Jewish writer — or any writer who’s not slavishly PC — to be truly his or her own person will increasingly mean standing up to the bigots who seek to excise them from the world of arts and letters.”

— Compiled by Sohrab Ahmari

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