- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

There’s yet another trend in the trendy news media, identified by more than one concerned critic. Consider a new Investor’s Business Daily editorial titled “The soft-soaping of socialism in the U.S.” The publication focuses on the happy-go-lucky press coverage of a certain Vermont independent making a vigorous run for the White House as a Democrat.

Bernie Sanders is coming on as a presidential contender, while polls show surprisingly large parts of the public look favorably on the socialism he espouses. The public apparently has forgotten socialism’s record. For years, Sanders, an avowed, unapologetic socialist, was viewed as an anomaly of U.S. political life, an eccentric whose atypical ideology reflected the supposed quirkiness of his home state of Vermont,” the editorial says.

“Now that’s changed, and with Democrats worried about the scandals surrounding their top candidate, Hillary Clinton, Sanders is attracting ever-bigger audiences on the campaign trail. Polls show him at 15 percent of the Democratic tally. Maybe that’s because Sanders is portrayed in the media as ‘a normal guy’ — as a Washington Post headline put it — while liberal media doyen Bill Moyer headlined ‘despite what corporate media tells you, Bernie Sanders’ positions are mainstream.’ In the Huffington Post, distinguished professor Peter Dreier of Occidental College, one of Barack Obama’s alma maters, declared, ‘Bernie Sanders’ socialism is as American as apple pie.’ “

Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a Commentary Magazine blogger, also is concerned.

“For those Democrats who insist their party is utterly mainstream, pragmatic rather than ideological, and right in the center of American politics, I have some news for you: You’re not,” he writes, citing the press love affair with Mr. Sanders.

“And yet despite this, Democrats and liberals continue to act as if it’s Republicans and conservatives who are extreme, radical, revolutionary, on the fringe. Progressives have created an alternate reality in which they are moderate, temperate, centrist, the very model of reasonableness,” Mr. Wehner concludes.


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MONEY MONEY MONEY

The last time Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Hollywood, she raised $1 million in a single day. That was May 7. She’s returning to Tinseltown in the middle of this month for three private fundraisers at the homes of showbiz heavyweights, including actor Tobey Maguire of “Spider-Man” fame. A spate of fundraisers in Orange County follows. The base price of admission at the events: $2,700.

Hillary Clinton is heading back for Hollywood cash,” summarize Ryan Gajewski and Tina Daunt, correspondents at the Hollywood Reporter.

But it’s West Coast fundraising season. President Obama will rev up Air Force One and be in town to corner some money at an event hosted by actor/producer Tyler Perry for the Democratic National Committee, with tickets priced from $2,500 to $33,500. Yes, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama will be in town on the very same day.

And as a curious aside, Mr. Obama on May 18 broke the Guinness World Record for the most Twitter followers gained in the shortest time period — 1 million in four hours, 30 minutes. His short-lived record was broken Monday by Caitlyn Jenner, the artist previously known as Bruce Jenner, who accrued a million Twitter followers in four hours, three minutes after a Vanity Fair cover revealed the former Olympian as a carefully crafted, attractive woman. And that, as the sages say, is showbiz.

‘REAGAN Vs. OBAMA’

“ISIS, Putin, a nuclear Iran — how do we deal with our adversaries in a dangerous world? Reagan vs. Obama.”

That is the title of a discussion Wednesday afternoon for the members of Young America’s Foundation, who will venture to Capitol Hill to hear the talk themselves.

It is authentic, indeed. On hand to explain all: Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, joins Frank Donatelli, who served as special assistant to Ronald Reagan, and Robert McFarlane, Reagan’s national security adviser.

The learned gents will have their say on “confronting global security threats, which have only increased under President Obama’s tenure,” an organizer explains.

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR

Just so you know: Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee official reveals he’s running for president as a Democrat on Wednesday during a policy speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

He joins Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the compact but increasingly fierce unit that now makes up the official Democratic presidential field.

Mr. Chafee is already in the mode, though. He’s arriving Wednesday from the campaign trail in New Hampshire to make his intentions known at 5:30 p.m., only to scurry back to the Granite State to take up where he left off Thursday.

A DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE

Assorted polls suggesting that the aforementioned Hillary Rodham Clinton is not the inevitable Democratic nominee has got the media hen house clucking and rustling.

Some headlines from Tuesday:

“WaPo/ABC, CNN polls shows Hillary’s favorability going negative already” (Hot Air); “Hillary Clinton faces questions of trustworthiness in new polls” (Time); “Hillary’s scandals sink in with voters” (Fox News); “Poll: Half of Americans view Hillary unfavorably” (The Hill); Hillary Clinton unfavorable numbers highest in 14 years” (Politico); “Is Hillary Clinton doomed!? Inane media games start earlier than ever” (Salon); “Hillary Clinton up? Down? Depends on when you ask” (Los Angeles Times); “20 things for Hillary Clinton to worry about” (Washington Post); “Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are slipping” (National Journal).

HIP HIP HURRAY

Yes, there are awards for those who support American capitalism, limited and competent government, dynamic enterprise and a vigorous defense, at home and abroad, of American ideas and institutions. On Wednesday, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation does things up right and presents the 12th annual Bradley Prizes at the John F. Kennedy Center in the nation’s capital. The event will be emceed by syndicated columnist George Will, and patriotic performer Lee Greenwood will do the entertaining.

The 2015 prize recipients are Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn, University of Virginia political professor James W. Ceaser, AHA Foundation founder Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, chairman of the Institute for the Study of War chairman.

This foundation does not fool around. Each award carries a stipend of $250,000.

POLL DU JOUR

58 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way Hillary Rodham Clinton handled the Benghazi matter as secretary of state; 82 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

57 percent of Americans overall say Mrs. Clinton is not honest and trustworthy; 87 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton does not care about people like them; 80 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats agree.

50 percent overall have an unfavorable opinion of Mrs. Clinton; 86 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

49 percent say Mrs. Clinton “inspires confidence”; 21 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 80 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,025 U.S. adults conducted May 29-31.

Nitpicky commentary, skeptical analysis to jharper@washingontimes.com.

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