VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: THE DEMOCRAT’S WATERLOO

Their refusal to acknowledge the administration’s failures did not make them go away.

The Duke of Wellington said of his close-run victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo that the French “came on in the same old way, and we sent them back in the same old way.”

Something like that happened to the Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm elections, as they lost the Senate, a few more seats in the House, and additional governorships. They came on with the same old strategy, but this time they went down with it.

Obama and the Democrats chose not to defend the administration’s record of the last six years. On foreign policy, no Democratic chorus seconded Obama’s 2013 claim that this chaotic period in world affairs has been the most stable time in recent memory.

No Democratic senator insisted that Obama’s Russian reset had calmed Vladimir Putin.

Democrats did not argue that Obama had rightly distanced the U.S. from Israel.

Could Democratic candidates have pointed to the Middle East — the Iranian bomb-making efforts, the civil war in Syria, the collapse of post-surge Iraq, the rise of the Islamic State — to confirm Obama’s diagnosis that these were mostly manageable problems?

On the home front, why didn’t Democratic candidates run on their own prior overwhelming support for the Affordable Care Act, which passed without a single Republican vote? Could they have told voters that, at some future date, Obamacare, as promised, really would lower premiums and deductibles, reduce the deficit, expand coverage, and ensure that people could keep existing plans and doctors?

Could a few Democrats have at least made the reelection argument that stimulatory policies of adding $7 trillion in new debt, maintaining continual near-zero interest rates, and approving a $1 trillion stimulus had led to a robust recovery after the end of the recession in mid 2009?

THE ETERNAL QUESTION: WILL THEY BE GOOD FOR ISRAEL? TOM COTTON’S ANSWER

THANKS TO JERRY GORDON:

Just before his Senate electoral victory, Cotton weighed in on the West Wing campaign against Israel and PM Netanyahu with a statement released on October 29th:

I’m appalled at recent media reports suggesting the Obama administration is seeking ‘détente’ with Iran, while unnamed administration officials disparage Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with vulgar ad hominem attacks. I call upon President Obama to renounce these reports and disclose the names of these officials and fire them. Iran remains our worst enemy and Israel our closest ally. The Obama administration’s weak behavior will only embolden Iran to continue its headlong rush to nuclear weapons and terror campaigns against America and our allies, while destabilizing the region and further eroding our interests.

Finally, for the record, I must note that Prime Minister Netanyahu in his youth was a member of Israel’s elite special-operations forces, where he displayed great courage. He and his family have made grave sacrifices in the fight against our common enemies. On behalf of all Arkansans, I want to thank Mr. Netanyahu for his bravery and service.

JERRY GORDON: ARKANSAS ELECTS TOM COTTON

Just prior to last night’s resounding GOP mid-term victories in the US Senate, the House and a host of gubernatorial contests, I had an opportunity to speak with Shoshana Bryen. She is the executive director of the Washington, DC – based Jewish Policy Center. We were preparing for last Sunday’s Lisa Benson Show, which had a midterm election theme of “Vote to Protect America and its Ally Israel”. We talked about a wide range of issues. In addition to Shoshana, we had as other guests on the show, Ken Timmerman, veteran Iran watcher and author of Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happend in Benghazi, and Navy Seal veteran, Ben Smith. Listen here to the discussion on the November 2, 2014 Lisa Benson Show.

When I asked Bryen about emerging figures in the mid-term elections, she pointed to Rep. Tom Cotton (R-4th CD AK) running a competitive campaign against incumbent two-term US Democrat Senator Mark Pryor. Pryor was the scion of a long serving Arkansas political dynasty. His father David before him had served as both Governor and US Senator.

Cotton, I knew from reading a profile of him by retired Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had a career that resonated. He was a highly educated double Harvard graduate who voluntarily served as an Infantry officer in the US Army during the Iraq-Afghanistan conflict. Wisse’s WSJ op-ed was an unabashed endorsement, “Vote for Tom Cotton—and Redeem Harvard”. So, I asked Bryen on last Sunday’s broadcast to talk about Cotton and another Army veteran Lt. Col.Joni Ernst of Iowa both running for the US Senate in their respective states.

Cotton and Ernst won their respective Senate races last night. A colleague called last night from a cheering Iowa GOP celebration to give me the news about Ernst’s victory. Cotton trounced Pryor by running against “Obama’s failed policies”. He won by 16 percent. His campaign played up his Army service. Cotton, 37 years old, will enter the 314th Congress in January 2015 as its youngest member.

Cotton is a sixth generation Arkansan from a cattle raising ranching family in the small community of Dardanelle, Arkansas. A graduate of both Harvard College and Law School, motivated by the events of 9/11, he rejected a JAG Commission. Instead, he volunteered to go through OCS at Fort Benning and trained at both the Infantry and Ranger Schools. Cotton served from 2005 to 2009. He had two tours, one in Iraq and a second in Afghanistan with the famed Screaming Eagles, the 101st Airborne, rising to the rank of Captain and received a Bronze Star for his combat actions. At 6’5″, he was selected as Platoon Leader at the Old Guard that provides the honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington Cemetery.

Watch this mini-documentary on Senator-elect Cotton:

No Time for Election Hangover: Dealing with Obama’s Appeasement of Iran Can’t Be Ignored Until January By Andrew C. McCarthy

It will be tempting to ride the red wave for a while. A startling Wall Street Journal report, however, reminds us that the urgent business of reining in President Obama’s recklessness — in this case, on Iran — cannot wait until the new Republican-controlled Congress takes over in January.

In a nutshell, Obama granted exemptions from congressional sanctions against Iran in order to promote the mullahs’ investment in Afghanistan – where American troops are still fighting jihadist terrorists, who, as even the Obama State Department acknowledges, have been armed and trained by the Iranian regime, the world’s chief state sponsor of jihadist terror, for nearly a decade.

You read that correctly.

As the Journal reports:

Twice in the last two years, [a Pentagon] task force [on “business and stability operations”] secured special permission from the U.S. government to seek help from Iran in setting up Afghanistan’s first pharmaceutical company and in developing four mines, according to government documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with people directly involved in the unusual outreach effort….

The unusual and quiet cooperation with Iran represents one small example of the Obama administration’s tentative efforts to allow for a closer relationship with America’s longtime adversary that would make it easier to work together in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. From last year’s ice-breaking phone call between Mr. Obama and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to ongoing nuclear talks, the two nations have been trying to repair their relationship—much to the dismay of American allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, which are wary of Iran’s intentions.

Voters Trust Republicans to Stop Obama – Will the GOP Listen? By Andrew C. McCarthy

The biggest takeaway in this second historic midterm shellacking of President Obama’s tenure is how much executive lawlessness, recklessness, and incompetence upset voters, across party lines. As I argued in Faithless Execution, although there is insufficient political support for impeaching the president, executive maladministration is a very powerful political issue. We saw that last night.

Voters may want Obama out of office, but they do not want him removed from office. They want him reined in. They want normalcy: a relief from constant crisis that involves a restoration of strong American leadership in the world (which would have a sobering effect on enemies who are now emboldened), and a return to regular governance at home – not monarchical directives to fundamentally transform the country by, for example, unilaterally purporting to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens when over 90 million Americans are out of the workforce.

That being the case, the worst thing Republicans could do is cut a lame-duck deal with the very Democrats the voters have just ousted and the very president the voters have just rebuked to fund through the end of next year the very agenda the voters have just rejected. If they cut the deal, they surrender the constitutional authority to do what voters have entrusted them to do.

Impeachment is plainly not on the table. And Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against the president, as I observed when it was floated, is such an absurdly ineffective gambit for reining in executive lawlessness that Republicans never even bothered to file it. The incoming Republican majority will have only one way to stop the president: Use the power of the purse to cut off the money Obama needs to do the lawless things the voters are up in arms about.

Republicans will be toast with the people who have empowered them if they now turn around and agree to fund Obamacare, the Homeland Security’s immigration agencies and the Justice Department that refuse to enforce the laws, the IRS that colludes with Democrats to intimidate the Left’s ideological opponents, and all the rest of it. The prattle from GOP leaders that they must show the country they can “govern” is ridiculous. It is not possible for them to “govern” when the chief executive does not faithfully execute the laws they enact. Besides, voters did not elect them to govern – they elected them to stop Obama.

Promoting “British Values” by Curbing Free Speech by Soeren Kern

“Yes we need to combat the Islamist threat, but this is not the way to do it…. You can’t protect democracy by undermining its very foundations…. Freedom of expression is an essential freedom for any democratic society.” — Colin Hart, Director, The Christian Institute.

“They made us feel threatened about our religion. They asked, ‘Do you have friends from other religions?’ They asked this many times until we answered what they wanted us to say.” — Eleventh grade student at a Jewish Orthodox school for girls.

Trinity Christian School, a small independent school in Reading, is being downgraded and may even be closed for not inviting a Muslim imam to lead a chapel service.

“Individuals who criticize the spread of Islamic Sharia law in Britain could be deemed to be racist and silenced…. Without precise legislative definitions, deciding what [is extremism] is subjective and therefore open to abuse now or by any future authoritarian government.” — Keith Porteous Wood, Director, National Secular Society.

The British government has unveiled a new proposal that would require Islamic extremists to have their social media posts pre-approved by the government.

The plan—which is aimed at curbing the spread of jihadist propaganda in Britain—is part of a wide-ranging effort to strengthen the government’s counter-terrorism strategy ahead of general elections set for May 2015.

The new policy is so broad in scope, however, and the definition of “extremist” is so all-encompassing, that the government could ultimately silence anyone whose views are deemed to be politically incorrect, according to free speech activists.

The so-called Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) would prohibit any individual the government considers to be an “extremist” from appearing on radio and television, protesting in public or even posting messages on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, without permission.

Don’t Tell Erdogan Jihadists Kill People by Burak Bekdil

It was vintage Erdogan: There is no Islamic terror. ISIS is not an Islamic organization and its name is not even ISIS.

Slightly more than a year ago, the world was shocked at the dramatic death tolls in Kenya and Pakistan when jihadists, in separate attacks over one weekend, killed more than 150 innocent people — with the Kenya attack claiming victims aged between two and 78. In a public speech after the “black weekend,” Turkey’s then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (now President) looked very sad. Indeed, he was sad.

But not for the victims of terror attacks the previous weekend. He was mourning Asmaa al-Beltagi, a poor, 17-year-old Egyptian girl who had been shot dead by security forces in Cairo as she was protesting the ouster of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, in a July coup d’état. Asmaa’s father was a senior Brotherhood figure and after her death, Erdogan once even shed tears during a televised speech. He then commemorated the girl at almost every election rally.

Earlier in 2013, Erdogan’s Egyptian comrades, the Muslim Brotherhood, had perpetrated the worst attacks against the Coptic Church of Egypt since the 14th century. In one particular week, 40 churches were looted and torched while 23 others were attacked and heavily damaged. In one town, after burning a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three of its nuns on the streets, as if the nuns were prisoners of war.

Two security guards working on a tour boat owned by Christians were burned alive; and an orphanage was burned down. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood’s Facebook page claimed that, “the Church has declared war against Islam and Muslims.”

MIA LOVE: SURPRISE REPUBLICAN VICTORY IN UTAH

Congressman elect Mia Love celebrated her surprise victory in Utah as the first black Republican woman to be elected to the House of Representatives.

But during an interview with CNN this morning, Love was quick to explain that she was not elected because of her race or gender.

“I wasn’t elected because of the color of my skin. I wasn’t elected because of my gender,” she said during the interview. “I was elected because of the solutions that I put at the table because I promised I would run a positive issues-oriented campaign and that’s what resonated.”

According to the Associated Press, Love earned 50 percent of the vote against her Democratic opponent Doug Owens who earned nearly 47 percent.

Love said it was clear that Utah citizens were “not interested in dividing Americans based on race or gender,” but electing people who had integrity.

“Washington has gotten too big and people have gotten too small so we’ve got to start rolling up our sleeves and making sure that we bring balance back to government,” she said.

Losers By Victor Davis Hanson

1. Barack Obama is now a toxic brand. Arrogance and incompetence are a fatal brew. If once his problem was his failed policies, now it is also his persona, especially the blame-gaming and sense of boredom on the job that borders on public petulance, as if he came into the presidency to save us, and we did not appreciate his godhead. “Make no mistake about it” and “Let me be perfectly clear” have become something like Sominex for most Americans. Let us hope that our enemies abroad in the next two years are confused by his erratic governance and at least find him as exasperating as we do.

2. Race/class/and gender baiting lost out to the dismal recovery, a foreign policy in shambles, a ruined health-care system, an alphabet soup of government corruption, and an Islamic State/Ebola/open border miasma of incompetence. The bankrupt idea that an amoral Al Sharpton was to be consulted on matters of race, while someone like a Senator Tim Scott would not be was always surreal. And the idea that a Wendy Davis or a Sandra Fluke was a model of feminist achievement in a way Joni Ernst was not was equally absurd. Character and achievement still matter. The problem with trying to get out the base with mythographies like Ferguson and winking and nodding at a blanket amnesty to come is not just the proverbial turned-off white male voter, but that minorities too either were not energized over these shrill appeals or themselves were not sure 160,000 children streaming across the border was a good thing, or that Ferguson was a clear-cut case of police brutality. All the demagoguing in the world could not change that.

3. Some polls seem to have transmogrified into pre-election partisan tools, given that a few Senate races and lots of governorships weren’t even close to supposedly scientific predictions. For example, what happened to the Rasmussen Poll? It seems not just unreliable, but predictably so in one direction, especially in terms of presidential popularity. A president supposedly always down only 5 to 8 percent in the polls would not have the cataclysmic ripple effect that we saw last night.

Vote Aqui By Marilyn Penn

I vote at P.S. 6 on the upper east side of Manhattan, in a neighborhood with no bodega in sight between 5th and 2nd avenues yet the posters outside the school and all along the block said Vote Here and underneath, Vote Aqui. Below that, in fainter type was the same information in Chinese. In other words, we no longer expect Hispanic voters who use the same alphabet as English to understand the four letter word “here” even when used in context on Election Day at a polling station. This is even worse than translating SALIDA when EXIT is universally printed in bold red above a door frame. Mayor De Blasio has just designated a $150 million appropriation to improve some of New York’s ineffective schools but Vote Aqui is a prime example of one of the causes of failing in school – the patronizing soft bigotry of lowered expectations for minorities.

Long ago, before we knew about political correctness, foreign students were sent to school, immersed in a new language and left to fend for themselves until they caught on and started understanding and speaking it. This system had a 100% success rate with previous waves of immigration to the United States. As a first generation American, I can attest that ALL of my family members who came here under the age of 50, as well as all their friends and associates spoke English, albeit with heavy accents. Every one of them would have understood the phrase Vote Here and they all would have followed that instruction with great pride in their citizenship. All of them spoke their native languages at home yet this never prevented my siblings, cousins or friends from speaking English with a New Yawk accent perhaps, but not the same accent as our parents.

Yet the explanations for why Hispanic students don’t speak English well or speak it with Spanish accents always come back to what they hear at home and in their neighborhoods. What about what they hear in school, on television, in movies – and what they see all around them in our advertising, our billboards and everyday signage? Under the guise of being sensitive to their heritage, we have condescendingly decided that Hispanics aren’t smart enough to figure out the words EXIT and HERE and that it’s not fair of us to demand that comprehension, an assumption that has shortchanged them of incentive, the magic ingredient in any kind of learning.