Tag: conservative
Joe Biden

Yes, Biden Is Old -- But His Stamina And Mental Condition Are Good

Our octogenarian president traveled 8,000 miles to meet with India's premier, Narendra Modi, and to attend the G20 summit in New Delhi. He then flew another 2,000 miles to visit America's new pal, Vietnam — all over the course of just five days. That's a demanding trip, even for a younger person. After meeting for several hours with the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, Biden held a formal press conference. And he did fine.

Yes, his voice is weaker than it used to be, and his gait is stiff, but on the matter that currently has 62% of the public seriously worried — namely, whether he has the mental acuity to serve as president — his performance should be reassuring.

The public's perception of Biden's mental decline is out of all proportion to reality. A May NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 69% of registered independent voters believe Biden's mental fitness is a real concern. A more recent CNN poll found that 73% are seriously concerned that his physical and mental health might not be adequate for another term. Even among Democrats, only 49% say he has the stamina and mental sharpness to serve another term. At dinner parties, people say the president has dementia.

To be clear, it would be better to have a younger president seeking reelection — and I would like to be four inches taller and gifted at the cello. But we got what we got, and part of being a grown-up is accepting reality.

There is no way to watch Biden's Hanoi press conference and not recognize that his brain is working fine. He responds to questions in appropriate fashion. His words are diplomatically chosen, and his thoughts follow in logical order.

Anyone who has ever had a friend or relative with dementia knows that this is nothing like what they sound like. They repeat themselves constantly without self-awareness. They don't distinguish between things that happened that morning and things that happened years ago. They get angry and tearful for no apparent reason. Dementia is a devastating disease and quite different from normal aging. In fact, while the percentage of people with dementia rises with age, only about 10% of those aged 70 and older suffer from it.

Now, have a look at Biden's press conference. He was asked about a Chinese official's accusation that Biden was "insincere" about the relationship with China, and also whether he thought Chinese President Xi Jinping was sincere in light of his recent move to "ban" Apple in China. Biden had trouble hearing the first part of the question (OK, that is his age showing), but then gave a careful answer.

He declined the implied invitation to get into a spitting match with Xi and emphasized that "we're not looking to hurt China ... We're all better off if China does well," adding that "if China does well by the international rules, it grows the (world's) economy." To underline that point, he noted that "It's not about isolating China. It's about making sure the rules of the road — everything from airspace and — and space and in the ocean is — the international rules of the road are ... abided by."

Without overt threats or intemperate words, Biden then noted that he is building and/or bolstering alliances with other Asian nations. "That's what this trip was all about: having India cooperate much more with the United States, be closer with the United States, Vietnam being closer with the United States. It's not about containing China; it's about having a stable base — a stable base in the Indo-Pacific."

I could have done without the too-clever-by-half tactic of calling only upon female journalists (a reprise of an Obama gimmick from 2014). And Biden's acknowledgement at the start that the five questioners had been chosen in advance was a mistake. He introduced the Q and A by saying, "And now, I will take your questions. Let me see. They told me — they gave me five people here," which made him seem directed by others instead of in charge. And he stumbled over their names all the same.

But in the course of his basically direct, non-meandering answers, he touted the new rail and shipping corridor just announced at the G20 that will link India to Europe; noted that the United States has the world's strongest economy; praised a past Republican senator for working with poorer nations to maintain forest land; and mentioned the amount of carbon the Amazon rainforest absorbs.

At one point he did sound like a geezer, quoting from a John Wayne movie, but that was one deviation from an otherwise workmanlike performance.

Biden's physical presentation — the slow and careful walk, the slightly pitched posture — suggests age more than his words. But, bottom line: He is perfectly capable of thinking on his feet. Too many Americans have come to believe that he is in sharp mental decline. When you see him in a Q and A, it's clear that he isn't, and people need to know that.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast. Her new book, Hard Right: The GOP's Drift Toward Extremism, is available now.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

New York City

Our Cities -- And Our Country -- Need 'Conservative Liberals'

The more people you pack in limited space, the more those people have to follow the rules. Law, order and good manners are essential to the healthy functioning of our towns and cities.

Democrat-run cities often have an unfair reputation as hotbeds of left-wing activists intent on letting miscreants run wild. That's because lefty activists have bigger megaphones through which they often shout ludicrous proposals, like cutting police forces in the middle of a crime wave.

In reality, these cities usually have two political factions — progressive Democrats and moderate Democrats. As the disruptions caused by COVID shutdowns unleashed disorder, electorates in these cities started moving toward the moderates. That's happening from San Francisco to Chicago to New York.

Their voters are jettisoning many of their fringe politicians. San Franciscans famously recalled their uber-progressive district attorney, Chesa Boudin. Who can forget former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan who created the outrageous no-go zones for police during the 2020 protests?

Durkan was replaced by Bruce Harrell, whom Fox News called a "pro-police candidate." And New York's mayor is former police captain Eric Adams, a law-and-order guy along the lines of Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani in his sane days.

In Portland, Oregon, left-wing excess let homeless encampments spread and trash pile up. The city is suffering economically and psychologically from the departure of the REI sporting goods store. REI cited thefts and break-ins in its decision to leave. Moderates are fighting back.

Before going on, let's recognize that though most big cities are Democrat-run, those with Republicans in charge have problems as bad or worse. For all the handwringing over the crime surge in San Francisco, violent crime is worse in Miami, whose mayor, Francis Suarez, is a Republican candidate for president.

Nor are these cities as monolithically Democratic as many think. Giuliani and Bloomberg were elected mayor as Republicans. And San Francisco has the highest percentage of independent voters of any county in California.

In New York City's outer boroughs, local officeholders are being challenged by candidates to their right who happen to be other Democrats. Public safety is a major issue.

One of the most interesting races involves Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. Two years ago, Katz barely won the Democratic primary against lefty Tiffany Caban, who was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Now Katz is being primaried by a Democrat who is accusing her (unfairly) of being soft on crime.

Ocasio-Cortez has not been endorsing candidates for city council of late, and, as it's becoming clear, they don't want her endorsement. As Jeff Leb, who runs super PACs that champion moderates, put it, "A lot of the luster of AOC's endorsement has really gone out the window. The more she endorses candidates, and loses, it devalues her."

The pandemic hurt cities in several ways, but those downward trends have begun to reverse. Tourist dollars disappeared for a while, but the visitors are returning even to troubled San Francisco. In New York, they're back big time.

Downtown office towers may not soon enjoy their previous high occupancy rates, but more employers are calling their workers back to the office. Transforming some of these office spaces into residences could lower some high rents as well as repopulate business districts.

In the big cities, rare is the successful politician who rails against gay marriage. And anyone who portrayed drag queens as a threat to America would get laughed off the podium. There's also no bashing of immigrants, who, in fact, make up a large part of the electorate.

Call them conservative liberals, if you want. They are really moderates. The cities need their pragmatism to keep the gears turning. Actually, the country does as well.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Ann Coulter

Social Media Light Up Over Ann Coulter's Abortion 'Compromise'

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has come out swinging lately against the Republican Party's tireless crusade to outlaw abortion. On Wednesday, the controversial pundit fired off another round of criticism of the GOP on Twitter.

"COMPROMISE SOLUTION ON ABORTION! Ban abortion for registered Republicans only," Coulter wrote.

This attitude follows similar complaints that Coulter has lodged in recent weeks toward right-wing lawmakers who keep digging their heels in deeper on the issue of reproductive freedom.

On April 5, Coulter tweeted that "the demand for anti-abortion legislation just cost Republicans another crucial race," referring to the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat that flipped from Republican to Democrat in the election on Tuesday, April 4. "Pro-lifers: WE WON. Abortion is not a ‘constitutional right’ anymore! Please stop pushing strict limits on abortion, or there will be no Republicans left."

Jezebel's Caitlyn Cruz opined at the time that Coulter was "right!" adding that "anti-abortion activists won a major victory in overturning Roe v. Wade, but instead of just basking in the glow of victory and chilling the f*ck out, anti-abortion activists have only used it as a starting point to push for more and more extreme restrictions."

Cruz further noted that "abortion is—if I may repeat myself—quite a popular right to have in the United States. People want to be in control of their own bodies and make decisions with their doctors. Until conservatives get this idea through their thick skulls, they will continue losing elections and become less and less relevant (fingers crossed!) in American politics."

That sentiment was echoed on Wednesday in the comment thread under Coulter's latest proclamation. As indicated in the reactions, if Republicans are so deadset against terminating pregnancies, then they are free to not.

People were also pleasantly surprised to find themselves concurring with Coulter.

HollyCabot: "Amen!! I have always maintained good conservatives do not abort their children.. sooooo..."

Jeni Topali: "I Never, Ever thought I would agree with you. EVER! but on this one I do."

Lizzie Black: "And we agree!"

Dimitry Yakoushkin: "We've reached the time of day when a broken clock tells the... ahem... 'right' time."

Jen: "The whole nine yards, too! Registered Republican women get their periods tracked. They get stopped by the police if they try to cross state lines. That's what they want for everyone else - they can do a trial run, themselves!"

Ken Baker: "Brilliant for all the right and wrong reasons."

Bob Smith: "I've always said: If you don't want an abortion, don't have one."

Rollin Reisinger: "Perfect. While we're at it let's give a tax credit to everyone under 45 who's snipped. We can pay for it via offsets to the CTC as CBO will confirm."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Michael Knowles

Far-Right Radio Host Demands 'Eradication' Of Transgenderism In CPAC Speech

Conservative political commentator, Michael Knowles, called for the eradication of transgender people during his 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speech, The Daily Beast reports.

Writer Alejandra Caraballo tweeted a clip from Knowles' CPAC speech, writing, "Michael Knowles is openly calling for genocide against trans people at CPAC." She then included the Daily Wire host's quote: "Transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely."

The Beastreports:

Saturday does not mark the first time Knowles' has used this anti-transgender rhetoric. Just last week, Knowles' responded to backlash he faced for a similar transphobic comment calling for a ban on "transgenderism."

Last month on The Michael Knowles Show, he said, "I don't know how you could have a genocide of transgender people because genocide refers to genes, it refers to genetics, it refers to biology. And the whole point of transgenderism is that it has nothing to do with biology."

Additionally, during his CPAC address, Knowles asserted, "If transgenderism is false, as it is; if men really can't become women, as they cannot; then it's false for everybody, too." He continued, "And if it's false, then we should not indulge it. Especially since that indulgence requires taking away the rights and customs of so many people."

Caraballo directed another tweet towards the right-wing commentator, saying, "What exactly do you think 'eradication' entails? If you ever wondered how we get from hate speech to genocide, this is it. This isn't some fringe figure, this is a Daily Wire host speaking at CPAC. This is how pogroms start."

Watch the video below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.