During the lead-up to the Vietnam War, the media sometimes carried horrific images of Buddhist monks setting themselves afire to protest the South Vietnamese government.
These tragic self-immolations were literally Pyrrhic victories for the protesters, who never got to see the results of their sacrifice.
In recent weeks, something resembling figurative self-immolation seems to have afflicted the progressive movement, i.e., the Democratic Party. It’s hard to say what’s been more damaging — the images of mobs scratching at the U.S. Supreme Court doors and harassing opponents at restaurants, or lawmakers’ antics on Capitol Hill.
The Kavanaugh hearings brought out the worst.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein was caught concealing the 36-year-old allegations of Christine Blasey Ford until it was the only log she could throw in front of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court freight train. Having helped stage a character assassination, she then accused Brett Kavanaugh of lacking proper “temperament” for justices because he declined to be a robot, and defended his honor firmly and passionately.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker violated Senate rules by releasing “committee confidential” emails from Brett Kavanaugh’s time as a White House counsel. Mr. Booker also incongruously compared himself to the slave rebellion leader Spartacus. That name should stick with him forever, but not in a good way.
Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who had been caught lying about his non-existent military service in Vietnam, showed zero shame when he questioned Judge Kavanaugh’s honesty. He quoted the Latin phrase, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means if you lie in one thing, your entire testimony can be considered false.
This is like Yogi Bear, without evidence, self-righteously accusing Boo-Boo of grabbing a pic-a-nic basket. The ranger won’t like it, Yogi, and neither will the American people.
Several other Democrats on the committee behaved badly, but let’s move on to the amazing self-immolations occurring around the nation.
In Missouri, Sen. Claire McCaskill’s staff was caught on camera by undercover “journalists” from conservative sting artist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas Action discussing ways in which she hides her liberal views from her constituents.
One staffer lauds Barack Obama and explains why they can’t have him campaign for her:
STAFFER: “Because of how like, cause he’s a very liberal candidate. And like Claire distancing herself from the party is gonna help her win more votes . Which is unfortunate because I love Obama to pieces, and I’d love to see him come here.”
STING “JOURNALIST:” “And they essentially have the same views on everything?”
STAFFER, with a sly grin: “Yeah. People just can’t know that.”
Another McCaskill staffer goes along with a “journalist’s” explanation for why the senator has to pretend not to favor impeaching President Trump in order to “get the moderates. What do we tell the moderates when we drop the impeachment hammer afterward?”
STAFFER: “Get over it.”
Ouch. Here’s the full-moon part. Instead of burying this, relying on the media’s short memory for Democratic scandals, Sen. McCaskill asked her opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, to appoint a prosecutor to investigate how Mr. O’Keefe obtained the footage. She also accused Mr. Hawley of “embedding” the undercover operation in her campaign, which Mr. O’Keefe says is “absolutely false.” All this forced the media to air the actual videos repeatedly.
In North Dakota, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp tried to capitalize on the #MeToo movement, combining it with her vote against Brett Kavanaugh. She ran an ad featuring victims of sexual and domestic assault, who, it turns out, didn’t know they’d become media sensations. They say they may sue Sen. Heitkamp.
An evil genius crafting Republican ads could not have made this up.
Then there’s Pocahontas, aka Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, who is allegedly 1/64th to 1/1024th Cherokee. Egged on by President Trump, she took a DNA test. All it did was to prove without a doubt that her listing as a minority at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard was not remotely honest. For good measure, the Cherokee Nation angrily disputed her status as a tribal member.
Here’s the self-immolation: She publicized the test results, claiming victory. Some media broadcast it that way, most notably CNN, which now reports almost exclusively from Alice’s Wonderland.
In Arizona, Democratic senatorial candidate Kyrsten Sinema got caught trashing her home state. In a clip from her speech at Netroots Nation, she calls Arizona “the meth lab of democracy.” In another, she shares “things that you can do to stop your state from becoming Arizona.”
Emails reported in The Washington Examiner reveal that she invited a feminist witches coven called Pagan Cluster to help celebrate International Women’s Day and protest the Iraq war in March of 2003. Later that year, she wrote about a Miami protest in which she was “singing and spiraling in the pagan’s circle only 5 rows back from the police line.”
Pundits continue to peddle the notion of a “blue wave” in November, but their dream of a Democratic Senate or perhaps even a Democratic House may well go up in smoke, judging from the self-immolations and revelations unfolding daily.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His latest book is “A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom” (djkm.org/nation, 2018).