10/11/2018

‘You Cannot Be Civil’

Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal

At a time when it’s said that anything is possible in American politics, the impossible just happened. Hillary Clinton has aligned herself with Donald Trump’s view of the Democratic Party. 

Mr. Trump has been using his political rallies to denounce “the radical Democrats” as “an angry mob.” On Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton told CNN: “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” You cannot be civil. Behold the Trump sun and the Clinton moon in a moment of political eclipse. 

It’s hard to pick out exactly when in the past month the Democrats shifted the national focus away from Mr. Trump and onto their own behavior. I’d say it was the Senate’s final vote Saturday on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Democrats had thrown everything at Judge Kavanaugh, and it was over. But not in the Senate gallery. On cue, literally, spectators started shrieking at the senators on the floor. Guards moved toward the chamber’s doors, and the vote stopped while the screamers were removed. 

During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was Jeane Kirkpatrick, who in some ways was a template for Nikki Haley’s U.N. tenure as an unapologetic defender of America’s interests. At the Republicans’ 1984 national convention, Kirkpatrick delivered a speech memorable for one phrase—“the San Francisco Democrats.” The idea behind “the San Francisco Democrats” has never died. It stands for a party of the unelectable left. That year, Reagan defeated Walter Mondale by 525 to 13 electoral votes [Subscription.]

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