- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2018

The news media continues to provide shrill coverage of partisan discord, political unrest and the disquieting experiences of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, recently banished from a restaurant, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, harassed by critics at a restaurant and again at her home. Discussion on both sides is rampant; the hashtag #civility led the national list of trends on Twitter in the last 24 hours.

“A soft civil war is well under way,” says USA Today columnist and University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds, who predicts this discord will probably get worse.

“Hollywood has basically turned its products, and its award shows, into showcases for ‘the resistance.’ Americans are already sorting themselves into communities that are predominantly red or blue,” Mr. Reynolds writes.

“Americans, who used to know how to disagree with one another without being mutually contemptuous, seem to be forgetting this. And the news media, which promote shrieking outrage in pursuit of ratings and page views, are making the problem worse,” he continues, noting that churches, neighborhoods and fraternal organizations once crossed political lines and kept communication open.

“For many people, politics seems to have become a substitute for religion or fraternal organizations. If you find your identity in your politics, you’re not going to identify with people who don’t share them. The rules of bourgeois civility also helped keep things in check, but of course those rules have been shredded for years,” says Mr. Reynolds. “America had one disastrous civil war, and those who fought it did a surprisingly good job of coming together afterward, realizing how awful it was to have a political divide that set brother against brother. Let us hope that we will not have to learn that lesson again in a similar fashion.”

THINGS GET COMPLICATED

Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Maxine Waters for “inciting violence and assaults on the Trump Cabinet,” according to Tom Fitton, president of the watchdog organization, which sent a hand-delivered letter to the chairman and co-chairman of the House Office of Congressional Ethics calling for a preliminary investigation into whether the California Democrat violated House ethics rules during a weekend rally in Los Angeles.

“In encouraging individuals to create ‘crowds’ who will ‘push back’ on President Trump’s Cabinet members at private business establishments and in seemingly trying to prevent these Cabinet officials from obtaining basic necessities without fear of assault and violence, Rep. Waters seems to be violation of House rules,” Mr. Fitton wrote.

He cited House Rule 23, clause 1, which requires lawmakers to behave “in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”

“Rep. Maxine Waters incited violence and assault against members of Trump’s Cabinet. It is urgent that the House ethics quickly act to hold her accountable for this dangerous incitement,” Mr. Fitton says.

MARK LEVIN: BROADCAST HERO

Mark Levin, a media kingpin with a presence in radio, cable TV and online, has is now a member of the 2018 National Radio Hall of Fame as an “spoken word on-air personality,” based on a mammoth public vote for “The Mark Levin Show,” syndicated by Westwood One and heard by 10 million listeners. The status reflects “the most impactful personalities” according to Kraig T. Kitchin, chairman of the awarding organization.

This honor follows Mr. Levin’s designation last month as No. 4 on the list of the nation’s top most influential broadcasters, just behind Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Dave Ramsey. The list was released last month by Talkers Magazine, an industry source.

Meanwhile, the indefatigable Mr. Levin continues to host “Life, Liberty and Levin,” his well-received Sunday night show on Fox News Channel, which continues to rule the ratings, typically drawing 1.2 million viewers and besting both CNN and MSNBC in that time slot since the show launch in February.

TRUMP TRAIN, ECONOMIC EDITION

The Trump effect on the economy continues to roar down the track.

“It’s been six months since the GOP tax cuts went into effect and the good news keeps coming. A new CNBC poll finds that the majority of Americans approve of President Trump’s handling of the economy,” reports Katie Martin, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“The survey found that 54 percent of the public approves of the Trump economy, the highest approval level recorded in the survey’s 10-year history. For the first time, the number of Americans reporting the economy as ‘excellent’ has surpassed the percent calling it ‘poor.’ After months of shining jobs reports and record low unemployment levels, it’s no surprise that the majority of Americans are enthusiastic about the economy, and that’s bad news for Senate Democrats,” says Ms. Martin.

“Heading into the midterms, red state Democrats will be forced to explain to voters back home why they opposed Trump’s economic agenda and voted against the GOP tax cuts. A thriving economy helps everyone from middle-class families to small business owners — and folks across the country will know Democrats didn’t stand with them when it mattered most.”

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

Seems like old times.

Hillary Clinton lost the Presidency in 2016 for many reasons but one was surely because she called people who disagreed with her a ‘basket of deplorables.’ Millions of Americans knew who she meant, and nearly 63 million voted for Donald J. Trump,” notes a new Wall Street Journal editorial.

“The political left is now repeating that mistake as its cultural and political vanguard sends a message of condescension, hostility and now ostracism to anyone who voted for Mr. Trump or has worked with or for him for the good of the country. Their relentless contempt might end up re-electing him,” the Journal concludes.

POLL DU JOUR

58 percent of Americans say President Trump is “intelligent”; 90 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of Democrats agree.

51 percent overall say Mr. Trump is a “strong and decisive leader”; 85 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

50 percent say he can bring about changes “the country needs”; 84 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent say Mr. Trump keeps his promises; 78 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent say he is “likable”; 62 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,520 U.S. adults conducted June 1-13 and released Monday.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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