The Red Herring Party

by James Como

Decades ago, when Ed Koch was beating Mario Cuomo in Dem polls for the party nomination as the candidate for governor of New York, whispers about Koch’s sexual preference appeared. Wounded, Koch began to be seen about town with Bess Myerson, a former Miss America who had become a very capable public servant: too late, too contrived; Cuomo won. Such is the job of the red herring: to distract.

Now there is much rehearsal of the president’s free-wheeling, boorish, all-the-world’s-a-New-York-real-estate-deal, strong-arm methods. Too often he is either the risible amateur, the cynical operator, or the Boss whose ring must be kissed. Declaiming over this temperament (though it is far from the whole man) is no red herring.

Unless it takes up more oxygen than it deserves. What is most noteworthy in Left (especially Woke) discourse is the near-total absence of argument about policy and programs. Instead we get quarrels, denunciations, and exhibitionist displays of self-righteous wrath, along with sermonic exhortations (but very little more) on the climate, Medicare for all, taxation of the rich, and a menu of social justice programs.

In the Dem debates, for example, we certainly heard about the ugly features of Donald Trump. But what of his results? I mean stemming illegal immigration (including agreements with southern neighbors), back-footing the Chinese, new trade agreements, a high GDP, low unemployment (especially for women and minorities), assertive support for Israel, the restoration of military muscle, defeating the territorial Caliphate while avoiding reflexive military intervention – among others. (Ah, the absence of Fox News from the debates.) Surely there are arguments to be made about or against these?    

Instead they (with most of the choral press) say anything – collusion, obstruction, Stormy Daniels, a whistle-blower – not simply to undo this improbable presidency, so inexplicable that, if the Dems allow its legitimacy, they would be required to admit how very wrong they are about most of their fellow citizens, their deplorable, bible- and gun-clutching fellow Americans. Not simply for that reason. But also to distract from the inconvenient – that menu of achievements.

So let’s be done with the Long Tease, shall we? With mere ‘inquiries’? I, for one, very much care to hear Democrats on confidential messages being stored on a top-secret server in order to cover up ‘improprieties’ (not to mention Joe Biden’s complicity – thanks, Mr. Trump, for blowing that whistle loudly enough for an inattentive public to hear – in his son’s mega-venality, any mention of which, ironically, is labeled a red herring). 

But, Dems – and this really shouldn’t be the hard part – walk while you chew, won’t you? Let us see votes on actual bills for the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, student debt forgiveness, gun “buy-back,” open Borders, reparations – or the more reasonable: reform of immigration law, the restoration of infra-structure, moderated restrictions on gun-ownership – as well as counter-arguments to the administration’s policies and programs. Be done with the fishiness.