One week in progressive America

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the scrutiny the Democrats are not being subjected to will likely make it difficult for them to maintain their Senate and House majorities in 2022.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.
Caroline B. Glick
Caroline B. Glick is the senior contributing editor of Jewish News Syndicate and host of the “Caroline Glick Show” on JNS. She is also the diplomatic commentator for Israel’s Channel 14, as well as a columnist for Newsweek. Glick is the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington and a lecturer at Israel’s College of Statesmanship.

The Democrats had a lousy week. It began with former President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.

Trump’s acquittal was a major blow to the Democrats. It isn’t that anyone believed Trump would be convicted. Whether Republicans love or hate the former president, the fact is that it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a former officeholder. And for that reason alone, there was no chance that more than a smattering of Republicans would support the move.

But once the farcical trial ended, the public focus moved to the Democrats—who now control both houses of Congress and the White House. True, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is already planning to drag Trump back to center stage with her “January 6 Truth Commission.” But that won’t happen for several months. And in the meantime, for the first time in five years, the Democrats find themselves, and their actions, the focus of public attention.

The first casualties of the scrutiny have been the Democrat governors of the most populous Democrat states in the Union: Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California.

After nearly a year of Cuomo being lavished with adulation for his leadership of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, upheld as the future of the Democratic Party, touted as a possible candidate for Attorney General and even winning an Emmy for his press conferences, the truth has caught up with “America’s governor.”

Last March, as the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in New York City mounted, and fears that those hospitals would be overwhelmed rose, Trump ordered the Army to set up a field hospital at the Javits Center and sent the Navy’s USS Comfort floating hospital to New York harbor. Not wanting to give any credit to Trump, Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients from hospitals. The result was disastrous. COVID-19 spread like wildfire among the most vulnerable population and thousands of elderly New Yorkers died.

Republicans and conservative journalists have long pointed out that Cuomo’s move was lethally misguided. But protected by the media, Cuomo indignantly denied the allegations. Recently, though, his ability to deny the charges was dealt a fatal blow. New York’s Democrat Attorney General Letitia Jones released a report that showed Cuomo’s data on nursing home deaths from COVID-19 were false. Whereas Cuomo claimed that 8,500 nursing home residents died of COVID-19, the real number is more than 15,000.

Last week, Associated Press reported that Cuomo also understated the number of COVID-19 patients that were transferred to nursing homes from hospitals by nearly 40 percent. In the face of the actual data, many Democrats have joined Republicans in calling for federal and state authorities to open criminal investigations against Cuomo.

Last December, the chorus of California business owners and parents making impassioned pleas to Governor Gavin Newsom to lift his draconian COVID-19 lockdowns that barred California children from school and shuttered most businesses, including restaurants for both indoor and outdoor dining, was becoming a groundswell. As he imperiously rejected the calls, Newsom and his wife were photographed dining with friends at a swanky French restaurant in Napa Valley.

Newsom’s mind-blowing hypocrisy reinvigorated a Republican campaign to recall him from office in special elections. This week, activists garnered the requisite one and a half million signatures—a month before the deadline—and so guaranteed that California will hold a gubernatorial election later this year. Facing an enraged public, Democrats fear that they may lose their total control over the deep-blue state for the first time in 15 years.

This then brings us to President Joe Biden. Less than a month into his presidency, Biden has managed to turn off U.S. allies and anger his own voters.

Both during the campaign and since taking office, Biden pledged to rebuild America’s standing in the world after Trump allegedly destroyed respect for America with his “America First” foreign policy. Yet, as Walter Russell Mead laid out in the Wall Street Journal last week, U.S. allies are not at all pleased with how Biden’s “return to normalcy” is shaping up.

India and Japan are ignoring Biden’s sanctions against Myanmar following its military coup. Whereas identity-politics-sopped Democrats were sure Vice President Kamala Harris’s Indian heritage would make Indians love the new administration, it turns out that progressive politics spewed by Indian Americans is not a recipe for warm relations. Mead reported that India’s Hindu media is on the warpath against the administration after Harris’s niece participated in protests against the policies of India’s Hindu-nationalist BJP ruling party.

Mead added that Canada is up in arms over Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone pipeline. Brazil is angry about the administration’s deforestation policies. And Mexico is scaling back its cooperation with the United States regarding cross-border drug-smuggling.

Israel and the U.S.’s Arab allies completely oppose Biden’s efforts to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and otherwise appease Tehran’s ayatollahs. Netanyahu is rightly using his record of withstanding U.S. pressure under the Obama administration as an electoral asset ahead of the March 23 general elections.

As for Biden’s domestic programs, rather than capitalize on the goodwill a new president generally enjoys to pass a bipartisan legislative agenda, Biden and his fellow Democrats are pushing ahead with a radical legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, and so helping Republicans still smarting and divided after their electoral defeats to unify their ranks.

This week, Biden broke his campaign promise to reopen schools in his first 100 days, after teachers’ unions torpedoed his efforts. Instead, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that the new, “ambitious” goal is to open schools one day a week. Republicans are rightly capitalizing on parents’ anger at the prolonged school closures.

But the Democrats’ bad week portends a much worse future for Americans in general.

It isn’t just that the teachers’ unions want to keep the schools shut. The schools they don’t want to open are now becoming bastions for progressive indoctrination. Parents may be better off not sending their children to school, at least not in Democrat-controlled school districts.

This week, Fox News reported that in Oregon, teachers are being urged to use a new math curriculum, designed for middle-school teachers, whose purpose is to “dismantle racism in mathematics.”

To achieve this dubious goal, teachers are supposed to stop requiring students to show their work. They are also supposed to stop demanding that they get to the right answer. Instead, teachers are encouraged to have students “come up with at least two answers that might solve this problem.”

The great culprit for woke math is objectivity, as in objective truth. Objectivity, or objective reality, Oregon teachers are being told, is racist.

The new math is called “ethnomathematics.” Ethnomath teachers are instructed to “identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist and racist views.”

Whites are the boogeymen in progressive America. Indeed, New York City is now pushing a scale of whiteness that moves from white supremacists (bad), to white abolitionists (good). White abolitionists, New York’s Education Department claims, are whites who work to overthrow the entire social and political system that produced the evil America that must now atone for its sins.

But while whites, in general, are the targets, the most immediate victims of the new (re-) education system are American Jews. In the new progressive America, Jews are specific targets in two ways. First, the progressive revolutionaries seek to eliminate merit as a basis for advancement on the argument that like objective truth, merit is inherently racist.

American Jewry’s rise in American society over the past century has been based almost entirely on American meritocracy. If you eliminate merit as a basis for advancement, you doom American Jewry to second-class citizen status.

Progressive America also targets American Jews through its Israel-anchored anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionism does not simply reject the moral basis for Israel’s existence and support systemically discriminating against and eventually eliminating it. It also supports ostracizing American Jews who support Israel and barring them from expressing their views in public. That is the actual purpose of the BDS campaigns that at least two senior Biden administration officials—Maher Bitar and Reema Dodin—led in their student days.

Today, anti-Semitism is not a bar for advancement in progressive circles. To the contrary, it is an asset. Consider the big promotion that Rep. Ilhan Oman (D-Minn.) “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” Omar just received.

When Nancy Pelosi gave Omar a seat on the prestigious House Foreign Affairs Committee in 2019, the move provoked both anger and fear among many American Jews. They were angry because Omar, with her long record of anti-Jewish pronouncements, would certainly use her position to advance her anti-Semitic positions. And they were scared because the fact that Pelosi appointed Omar over a loud chorus of objections was a sign of the power of progressive anti-Semites in the Democrat Party.

When this week Pelosi appointed Omar chair of the subcommittee for Africa, global health and human rights, outside a few conservative Jewish groups, the move met with no opposition. And there is a reason for that. Two years on, anti-Semitism is so ingrained in progressive circles that objecting to it is enough to get you tagged as a racist.

To drive this point home, last week the Jewish Democratic Council of America—the Jewish arm of the Democrat Party—hosted an online discussion of Biden’s appointment of outspoken Israel haters and Palestinian terror supporters. Barack Obama’s ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was one of the participants. Shapiro insisted angrily that Jewish criticism of these officials is “racist.” He added, “There is unfortunately this bias, this prejudice against Arab and Muslim Americans, particularly if they’re working on issues related to the Middle East.”

In other words, like objectivity and merit, in Woke America, substantive criticism of others based on their actions and statements is now “racist.” Fighting anti-Semitism is racist. Fighting hatred is racist. Fighting ignorance is racist.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. And scrutiny of the Democrats will likely make it difficult for them to maintain their Senate and House majorities in 2022. But the damage progressives are already causing to public health, to America’s standing in the world, to American schoolchildren and to American Jews will take more than one election to repair.

Caroline Glick is an award-winning columnist and author of “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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