- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The mainstream news media is obsessed with any story that suggests President Trump is squabbling with establishment Republicans or failing to improve the nation despite solid evidence proving otherwise. That we know.

“What you haven’t heard much about is the acidic disarray among Democrats. That’s understandable. Democrats in Washington have become basically irrelevant. They lost control of the House. They lost control of the Senate. They lost control of the White House,” writes McClatchy columnist Andrew Malcolm, who points out that many familiar Democratic standard-bearers are in their late 70s.

He has no kind words for the dithering Republican majority either.

“Fifty-three weeks from now, in the 2018 midterms, history and premature polls indicate Democrats may well win back majorities in Congress. But that won’t be because of anything Democrats did. It will be because of who they aren’t. They aren’t Republicans, who blew their shot at ruling the entire swamp, let alone draining it,” Mr. Malcolm says.

The Democrats could be ahead of the game when it comes to self-diagnosis. “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis,” a 33-page report on, well, the Democratic Party in crisis, has just arrived. Progressive Future, a California-based nonprofit behind the surgical analysis, declares it to be “unflinching” research. Republicans should heed it.

“We can and must learn from electoral tragedy by evaluating the policies, actions and priorities of the Democratic Party. In the wake of the November 2016 election, the Democratic National Committee chose not to do a public ‘autopsy.’ Overall, the party’s national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster. Instead, the main emphasis has been on matters that the Democratic Party and its presidential nominee had little or no control over — an approach that largely obscures the party’s role in its own defeat,” the stern report advises.

“Operating from a place of defensiveness and denial will not turn the party around,” the research notes, ultimately advising Democrats to embrace “revitalized progressive populism.”

This may be a reinvention of the same old wheel, but it is out there and spinning toward the press. Find the report at DemocraticAutopsy.org.

OBAMA, BIDEN, CHICAGO

The very first Obama Foundation Summit is now underway in Chicago, with a speaker’s list that includes Britain’s Prince Harry, former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Next week, the grass-roots group Organizing for Action is offering Democrats a chance to “Meet Barack” at yet another high-profile event.

Mr. Obama obviously is not done with politics. But then, neither is former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who also will be in the Windy City.

On Wednesday Mr. Biden appears at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to “speak about the consequences of U.S. disengagement from world leadership and why he remains optimistic about the future of the U.S.”

The curious can watch the event streamed live at 10 a.m. EDT at TheChicagoCouncil.org.

‘HOUSE OF CARDS’ IS STILL A DECK

Though “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey has been swept up in a sex scandal this week, streaming service Netflix is not ready to fold its hand on the popular series, which has been nominated for an astonishing 53 prime-time Emmy Awards.

“Netflix is moving ahead with plans for a ‘House of Cards’ spinoff,” writes Daniel Holloway, a senior reporter for Variety, who reports that at least three different scenarios in the political thriller mode are being bandied about by producers based on strong characters that already resonate with the viewing audience.

A MOST TIMELY HEARING

Let’s not forget about a viable threat to the nation amid political melodrama. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce convenes a hearing titled “An Insider’s Look at the North Korean Regime” on Wednesday, and his star witness is Thae Yong-ho, a high-ranking North Korean defector.

“As we intensify our efforts to counter North Korea’s nuclear threats, we must consider the full array of policy options at our disposal,” Mr. Royce says. “Mr. Thae, who defected from North Korea last year, has valuable insights into the Kim regime’s vulnerabilities. This hearing will be an opportunity to learn how best to apply maximum diplomatic and financial pressure on the Kim regime. We will examine the impact our sanctions are having, as well as our efforts to empower the North Korean people with the truth about Kim Jong-un’s brutal human rights abuses.”

Of course vigilant C-SPAN will be there at 10:30 a.m. EDT, or see the hearing webcast here

FOXIFIED

Monday night’s premiere of Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” hosted by Laura Ingraham, was the highest-rated cable news program of the evening, with 3.3 million viewers. Fox News also topped the entire cable realm for the 16th consecutive month, according to Nielsen Media Research. On the news side, Fox remains the most-watched cable news network, as it has for an amazing 190 consecutive months — or about 16 years.

Meanwhile, Fox Business Network marks one year as the leader in business news, beating rival CNBC and producing seven of the top eight business programs. In October Fox Business typically drew 208,000 viewers compared to CNBC’s 162,000.

POLL DU JOUR

• 66 percent of Republican voters would vote for President Trump in 2020 in a hypothetical match-up with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 24 percent would pick Mr. Kasich, 11 percent are not sure.

• 57 percent would like to see Mr. Trump as the GOP nominee for president in 2020, 36 percent prefer “someone else,” 8 percent are undecided.

• 57 percent would vote for Mr. Trump over Sen. Ted Cruz in a hypothetical match-up, 27 percent would pick Mr. Cruz, 16 percent are not sure.

• 53 percent would vote for Mr. Trump in a match-up with Vice President Mike Pence, 28 percent would pick Mr. Pence, 19 percent are not sure.

Source: A Public Policy Polling survey of 572 registered U.S. voters conducted Oct. 27-29; the sample included 191 Republican voters.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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