- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2019

For Republicans, the 2020 presidential election is shaping up to be an all-hands-on deck event, with one clear implication. Every GOP vote counts. A vote is a vote, whether it comes from a fierce MAGA loyalist, a wavering wanderer or someone driven by uneasiness with Democratic socialists. Doesn’t matter. Get that vote.

And now comes an eloquent call to arms, aimed at a very specific demographic: Never Trumpers, who have rejected President Trump for myriad reasons.

“Come back, Never Trumpers. All is forgiven,” writes Frank Miele, a columnist for RealClearPolitics.

“There are hundreds of thousands of erstwhile Republicans who are on the outside looking in, shivering in exile in a self-imposed gulag of superiority, who may just be ready to do a searching and fearless moral inventory of their fears and resentments about Donald Trump and admit that they were wrong — sincere but wrong,” he says.

“You surely know by now that you were dead wrong about him. This is a president for the times we live in,” Mr. Miele continues.



“Now think of the war against the fake news media without Donald Trump to fight it. Think of the Supreme Court without Trump’s conservative appointments to balance it. Think of the economy without the Trump administration’s tax cuts or its war on restrictive regulations. Think of the wasted billions of dollars if Trump had not pulled the United States out of the idiotic Paris climate accords. Think of the porous border without at least the promise of a wall. Think of the FBI still being run by corrupt James Comey and Andrew McCabe,” he says.

The columnist has a message for Never Trumpers — and a warning that the presidential election is devolving into “trench warfare” with foes who play without rules.

“The only person on the national stage who seems to consistently understand that is President Donald Trump. But he can’t do it alone. He needs you. And that means he needs you to stop being a Never Trumper and start being a Republican. Again,” Mr. Miele advises.

“This is your destiny. This is your calling. This is your chance to make a difference. If any Democrat is elected president instead of Donald Trump, there will be hell to pay — not just for you, but for the country you love,” he cautions.

THE END IS NOT NECESSARILY NEAR

Media coverage of the recent and melodramatic “Climate Strike” actions featured many young and restless marchers eager to share their belief that the world soon will end due to climate change. Their zeal for this belief earned them the name of “climate brats” in some reports. But that is a different story. What about everybody else?

“Over the next 10-15 years, 29% of all voters believe it is at least somewhat likely that the earth will become uninhabitable and humanity will be wiped out,” says a timely new Scott Rasmussen/HarrisX national survey.

Keep in mind, though, that 71% disagree with this finding and find Armageddon an unlikely prospect.

“There is a dramatic difference by age on this question. Half (51%) of voters under 35 believe it is at least somewhat likely humanity will be wiped out in the next decade or so. Only 12% of senior citizens agree, and only 4% of senior citizens believe it is very likely,” the survey said.

The data also reveals a significant geographical divide: 21% of urban voters consider it very likely the earth will quickly become uninhabitable, compared to 6% of rural voters and 5% of suburban voters. The poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters was conducted Sept. 11-12 and released Monday.

THE FATE OF THE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

Some journalists are still squawking about the lack of a daily press briefing at the White House, implying that its absence signifies a lack of transparency by President Trump and his administration. After countless melodramatic, rude or inane incidents by reporters, Mr. Trump ended the briefings in March.

“To be honest, the briefings had become a lot of theater, and I think that a lot of reporters were doing it to get famous. They’re writing books now. I mean, they’re all getting famous off of this presidency,” White House Press secretary Stephanie Grisham tells Fox News.

“I think it’s great what we’re doing now. I think that it’s so important that the spokesperson for the president can adequately speak to his policies and get his message out there. I think the president saw that it was not what was happening. It had become, again, theater. And the press was not being good to his people, and he doesn’t like that. He’s very loyal to his people, and he put a stop to it,” she told the network.

IT’S ALL IN THE GAME

Only in the nation’s capital, perhaps. On Tuesday, the Mean Machine — 21 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle plus 10 NFL players — take on The Guards — 25 members of the always heroic U.S. Capitol Police — in a charity football game to benefit The Capitol Police Memorial Fund, Our Military Kids, and A Advantage 4 Kids.

Behold, it’s the Congressional Football Game, established in 2004 to honor the law enforcement officers, and aid the families of the fallen.

Meanwhile, just how seriously do lawmakers take the showdown? Let’s just say they’re required to do push-ups if they’re late for practice — or breakfast.

That was the fate of Republican Reps. Steve Stivers of Ohio and Don Bacon of Nebraska when they arrived ahem late for the start of a breakfast staged by The Ripon Society for players & coaches.

As their coach, former NFL player John Booty, put it: “When you show up late, you have to do push-ups.”

Being the good teammates that they are, Mr. Bacon and Mr. Stivers did just that: They dropped and did five push-ups for the team — not to mention good cause. Visit the event at CongressionalFootball.org.

POLL DU JOUR

20% of U.S. voters say they are “very conservative.”

19% say they are “somewhat conservative.”

31% are moderate.

15% are “somewhat liberal.”

12% are “very liberal.”

3% are unsure of their personal ideology.

Source: A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of 900 registered U.S. voters conducted Sept. 13-16 and released Monday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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