Talk about a dramatic entrance. When the St. Louis Rams took the field last Sunday, several teammates raised their hands, palms out. It was an act of solidarity with Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed last August in a struggle with a white police officer. Moments before his demise, it is said, Brown raised his hands and pleaded: “Don’t shoot.”
There is just one problem: It is not clear that Brown put his hands up.
Bill de Blasio, the New York mayor, says he knows why Democrats lost the 2014 election. Income inequality defines our times, he said during a visit to Washington this week, and his party did not talk about the issue enough. De Blasio needs a hearing aid. Democrats speak of little else.
Last summer the southern border disappeared. Unaccompanied minors from Central and South America surged across the Rio Grande. Desperate parents had sent their children thousands of miles north. The impoverished girls and boys were housed in ramshackle facilities before being sent elsewhere. The images were heartbreaking. They seemed drawn from a post-apocalyptic future. And they were entirely preventable.
The 2014 election was a disaster for Hillary Clinton. Why? Let us count the ways.
She will have to run against an energetic and motivated Republican Party. If the GOP had failed to capture the Senate, the loss would have been more than demoralizing. It would have led to serious discussion of a third party. Donors would have reconsidered whether their spending was worth the reputational cost. Candidate recruitment efforts would have stalled. Republican voters would have asked why they bother to show up. The Republican circular firing squad, always a problem, wouldn’t use conventional weapons. They’d use ICBMs.
Last month, addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Benjamin Netanyahu made a connection between the Islamic State and Hamas. These terrorist entities, Netanyahu said, have a lot in common. Separated by geography, they nonetheless share ideology and tactics and goals: Islamism, terrorism, the destruction of Israel, and the establishment of a global caliphate.
And yet, Netanyahu observed, the very nations now campaigning against the Islamic State treated Hamas like a legitimate combatant during last summer’s Israel-Gaza war. “They evidently don’t understand,” he said, “that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”
Something peculiar has happened. As I write, none of the Republican candidates for Senate has become a public embarrassment. On the contrary: For the first time in a decade, it is the Democratic candidates, not the Republican ones, who are fodder for late-night comics. That the Democrats are committing gaffes and causing scandals at a higher rate than Republicans not only may be decisive in the battle for the Senate. It could signal a change in our politics at large.
Two months ago, President Obama authorized bombing Islamic State (IS) forces in Iraq. One month ago, President Obama authorized bombing Islamic State forces in Syria. His plan: couple American air power with indigenous ground forces.