CNN informs me there are “at least” 22 Democrats thinking of running for president in 2020. So who among them had the best 2017? Below is my list, in descending order, of the strongest members of the emerging 2020 Democratic field, along with some thoughts on their political fortunes. Spoiler alert: It’s not a pretty sight.
Not only is President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy there one of the boldest moves of his presidency. It is one of the boldest moves any U.S. president has made since the beginning of the Oslo “peace process” in 1993. That process collapsed at Camp David in 2000 when Yasir Arafat rejected President Clinton’s offer of a Palestinian state. And the process has been moribund ever since, despite multiple attempts to restart it.
On November 13, a 24-year-old North Korean soldier, known only by his surname Oh, commandeered a jeep and sped toward the De-Militarized Zone that for 64 years has separated his communist homeland from the democratic capitalist south.
As he approached the border, the young man abandoned the vehicle and scrambled on foot toward the line of control. North Korean soldiers began firing on him. He was hit five or six times before collapsing onto South Korean ground. Transported to a hospital in Suwon, near Seoul, doctors performed emergency surgery.
Oh risked everything to live in freedom. He has joined the ranks of other defectors, refugees, and exiles that fled oppression for the chance of a life free of tyrannical control. From the Berlin Wall, to Vietnamese and Cuban boat people, to the DMZ, the prisoners of communism run in only one direction: toward liberty and self-government, toward the bounty of the marketplace and the possibilities of representative democracy.
The year since Donald Trump was elected president has not been without accomplishment. The investiture of Justice Neil Gorsuch and several lower-court judges, the successful campaign against ISIS, the rollback of intrusive government regulations, the approval of the Keystone and Dakota XL pipelines, the precipitous reduction in illegal border crossings, the decertification of Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, withdrawal from UNESCO, and the ongoing boom of record employment and stock market prices cannot be denied. But those Trump supporters who assumed his election would inaugurate an era of economic nationalism and a rewriting of the rules of the liberal international order have been disappointed so far. The paradox of Trump is that this most idiosyncratic of men has proven to be a rather conventional Republican president.
On Thursday, Politico published two helpful reminders of the Democrats’ existence. Both stories reinforced the idea that, despite the ongoing tumult in the Republican Party, it is actually the Democratic Party that has been most disrupted by the realignment of American politics along class lines. Not that the Democrats, or Washingtonians in general, seem aware of this fact.
The subject line of the email read, “My four rules.” It was from Barack Obama, regarding this week’s inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation in Chicago. Not having been lectured to by Obama in, oh, about a week, I opened the link.
“In true dad fashion,” Obama writes, “I came up with a set of rules” to guide the activities of the foundation, participants in its summit, and you, too. “I think they’re relevant to our everyday lives.” Maybe. They don’t seem to have been entirely relevant to Barack Obama’s presidential life, though. He observed only one of them.
Prior to October 27, 2017, the Washington Free Beacon published several articles referencing the research firm Fusion GPS that did not disclose the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Washington Free Beacon. The reason for this omission is that the authors of these articles, and the particular editors who reviewed them, were unaware of this relationship.