- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Some say the political landscape and outrage culture has reached a tipping point.

“I think the hard left in this country is just totally off the rails,” Rep. Ron DeSantis told Fox News Channel on Tuesday, particularly citing Rep. Maxine Waters for her recent call for Democrats to “push back” against Trump administration officials in public.

Mr. DeSantis, Florida Republican, has joined forces with fellow Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona to censure Ms. Waters for her comments.

“What she did this past weekend, I think, crossed a clear line. She was inciting people, I think, to violence — or certainly to do things that are outside of the democratic tradition, and harassing people. So I’m proud to be leading an effort with a few of my colleagues to censure her in the House and to ask for her resignation,” Mr. DeSantis told the network.

He also recalled the shooting attack on a Republican baseball practice just over a year ago which gravely wounded four people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

“It’s a year after my Republican colleagues got shot up by an unhinged, left-wing, anti-Trump lunatic — and he targeted us because we were Republicans. You know how I know that? Because I was fortunate enough to leave practice probably three minutes before he started shooting. He came up to me and one of my other colleagues and asked if it was Republicans on the field, we said it was. Now, we had no idea he was going to go do that. But he was deliberately targeting Republicans that day. That is not good for our country to have that but the left is just so unhinged right now. I think it’s really, really dangerous,” Mr. DeSantis concluded.

THE WASHINGTON TIMES RANCOR GAUGE

Readers have a definite idea about who’s driving increasing agitation across the political landscape.

“Who is to blame for escalating political rancor?” asks a new Times poll which quickly drew 2,500 responses within hours of going live online.

And the results so far: 84 percent cited Democrats, 7 percent President Trump, 1 percent Republicans and 8 percent all three of them.

AND IT’S OFF TO FARGO

President Trump leaves behind the turmoil in the nation’s capital for a few precious hours Wednesday. There’s even more turmoil in the city than usual. Yes, there’s partisan discord, thousands of tourists, scores of tour buses and food trucks, and the occasional protest. But there’s more. Streets surrounding the Capitol and the National Mall are full of heavy equipment, police barricades and racks of theatrical Kleig lights. Amid the hubbub, the sequel to “Wonder Woman” is currently being filmed on the historic roadways of Washington.

Mr. Trump, however, will be off to Fargo, North Dakota, to host a jumbo campaign-style rally, set to boost support for Rep. Kevin Cramer, now seeking the state’s U.S. Senate seat and facing off against incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat. It is close.

A Mason-Dixon poll recently found Mr. Cramer with 48 percent of the vote, Ms. Heitkamp with 44 percent, and 8 percent undecided. Mr. Trump himself won 63 percent of the vote in North Dakota in 2016.

It’s complicated of course — the top moneymaker in North Dakota is soybeans, so naturally there are local concerns about talk of a trade war and the impact of foreign tariffs against U.S. farmers.

Will there be local protests? Of course. Indivisible Fargo-Moorland, a progressive group, plans to protest Mr. Trump on Wednesday. But at this point, such events are a given, and the mission of Mr. Trump’s visit is always front and center.

“This rally will be a high energy experience for the patriots in the great state of North Dakota,” says Michael Glassner, chief operating officer of Trump campaign operations.

AWOL ON AFGHANISTAN

“On TV news, Afghanistan has become the forgotten war. There are 15,000 U.S. troops currently deployed in Afghanistan to support the fight against Taliban and ISIS forces, but you’d barely know it from watching any of the three broadcast network evening newscasts,” reports Rich Noyes, senior editor for Newsbusters.org.

He examined evening news coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC from Jan. 1 to June 22. In that period, ABC offered just under 13 minutes of coverage while CBS and NBC each offered about 11 minutes.

“The same network broadcasts have produced 442 minutes of coverage on the on-going Russian investigation, 107 minutes on the Stormy Daniels scandal and 81 minutes on the probe of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen so far this year. Just last week, the three evening newscasts devoted an astounding 128 minutes to the issue of child separations, or nearly half (46 percent) of their total airtime after excluding commercials and teases for upcoming segments,” Mr. Noyes notes.

FOXIFIED

For the 24th week in a row, Fox News Channel remains the most watched network in the entire cable realm, according to Nielsen Media Research, airing the top-five programs, with “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson” in the lead.

As it has done for the last 16 years, Fox continues to dominate its news rivals, drawing 2.5 million viewers in prime time, compared to 1.7 million for MSNBC and 914,000 for CNN.

The Fox Business Network, home to such anchors as Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto, still bests its closest rival CNBC, currently topping the network with a 25 percent ratings advantage.

POLL DU JOUR

40 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan; 69 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

29 percent overall have a favorable opinion of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; 11 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

29 percent have a favorable opinion of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer; 15 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; 48 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

19 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Congress; 30 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

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

• Calm chit-chat, slightly agitated comments to [email protected]


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