On Palm Sunday, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg threw himself a presidential unveiling party, formally announcing his candidacy for the White House in 2020.
“That’s why I’m here today — to tell a different story than “Make America Great Again” because there is a myth being sold to industrial and rural communities: the myth that we can stop the clock and turn it back,” he said.
Nevermind that President Trump has sparked a manufacturing job renaissance unseen in decades. Since Trump took office, more than 450,000 manufacturing jobs have been added to the economy. But when you’ve got fancy magazine cover spreads and media acolytes, who needs facts?
And all the right media types, still dejected after the Russian collusion flop, have found themselves a brand-new political Messiah. Some were comparing Tiger Woods — one of the greatest athleres of all time, who wins the Masters after an 11-year drought that included huge personal struggle — to Mayor Pete, mayor of a mid-sized city, who announced he’s running for president.
By the way, Tiger is an original. Buttigieg sounds a lot like he’s channeling the last Democratic president. But beneath the Obama cadence and the boy scout demeanor, Mayor Pete’s rap doesn’t quite add up.
Here’s the first principle of his campaign, Mayor Pete’s words:
“First comes freedom: something that our conservative friends have come to think of as their own,” he said Sunday. “Let me tell you: Freedom doesn’t belong to one political party.”
That’s just silly — and patently false. But when you have little to run on in a race with 17 other Democratic primary challengers, if it sounds good, say it.
“Our conservative friends care about freedom, but only make it part of the journey,” Buttigieg added. “They only see ‘freedom from,’ as though government were the only thing that can make you unfree. But that’s not true. Your neighbor can make you unfree.”
Now, he didn’t quite explain what that meant, but could your neighbor take away your freedom? A neighbor can disagree with you and be annoying and even commit a crime against you. But how can a neighbor “make you unfree”?
Mayor Pete seems to see federal government as a crusading force for good that should be used to protect us from our neighbors. Now understand this: That view itself is radical. In Federalist No. 45, James Madison explained that, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite.”
Mayor Pete is academically very accomplished and deserves real respect for serving in the Navy Reserves … But he is a run-of-the mill liberal running against an economy that is on fire because of the policies of a president who has largely kept us out of more foreign entanglements.
This sentiment was repeated by numerous state delegations during the constitutional ratification process, including New York’s. They understood that freedom contracts with a central government ever-expanding into more areas of our lives.
But again, for a supposedly trailblazing candidate, Buttigieg is just another conventional liberal. On reproductive rights, he has said the following: “Women’s equality is freedom, because you’re not free if your reproductive health choices are dictated by male politicians or bosses.”
OK, we’ve all heard this before. Abortion is freedom? Certainly not for the unborn child in the womb, or the child born after a botched abortion in this new Democratic Party.
Again, push past the carefully studied, meticulously measured rhetoric, and what Mayor Pete really has a beef with is our Constitution, specifically the Electoral College.
“We can’t say it’s much of a democracy when, twice in my lifetime, the Electoral College has overruled the American people,” he has told supporters. “Why should our vote in Indiana count just once or twice a century? Or your vote in Wyoming or New York?”
They probably left this out of the American government lectures at Harvard College, but the Electoral College protects the votes of people in states like Indiana. Otherwise, this is government of, by and for the people of California and New York.
Oh, and this “revolutionary” candidate is basically a carbon copy of the most radical House freshman on the issue of climate change, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and saying that every building in America will have to be retrofitted and carbon-free by 2030. Translation: A massive wealth confiscation, forced and overseen by the government — a government whose elites under a President Pete would decide which cars need to be sent to the trash heap and which buildings are up to code.
Mayor Pete is academically very accomplished and deserves real respect for serving in the Navy Reserves, including seven months in Afghanistan. But he is a run-of-the mill liberal running against an economy that is on fire because of the policies of a president who has largely kept us out of more foreign entanglements.
If this were George W. Bush presiding over a cratering economy and an unpopular war abroad, maybe a guy like Buttigieg would stand a strong chance. But given the prosperity at home and America’s place in the world, the left had better find another Messiah. There will be no resurrection for this one.
Adapted from Laura Ingraham’s monologue from “The Ingraham Angle” on April 15, 2019.
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