A Northam and Omar Twofer: Liner Notes

I have two new columns posted at The Federalist today: “All Ralph Northam Needs To Weather Racism Controversy Is The Approval Of Woke Whites” and “Ilhan Omar Criticizes Cold War Policy To Distract From Socialism’s Atrocities In Venezuela.” The first is a “normal” column I pitched, while the second was the result of a comment I made in a discussion of yesterday’s news (which I note simply because some are curious about how items get “assigned” over there).

What got left out? In the Northam piece, I considered writing more about why I think he should have resigned, which boils down to a pattern of comments suggesting he does not treat individuals — whether newborns or African-Americans — in accord with our ideals. But the piece is really more about the underlying politics, so I left that argument in the subtext. Also, in the time since I submitted the column, it’s becoming clearer that black legislators in Virginia are paying attention to the poll showing black Virginians are not as outraged as whites by Northam’s blackface scandal. It’s always nice when the news arrives in support of one’s argument.

In the Omar column, I could have written much more about Reagan-era foreign policy in Central America. Top Democrats took a very anti-anti-Communist line in this arena and history will not remember them kindly. The socialist Rep. Ron Dellums, who was eventually elevated to chair the House Armed Services Committee, was an admirer of Fidel Castro and Grenada’s dictator Maurice Bishop.

No one is going to defend the excesses and abuses of some of America’s proxy forces who fought against the socialist dictatorships during the Reagan era. On the other hand, I doubt the Democrats would now defend the idea that we should have allowed these dictators to permit the establishment of Soviet airbases and other installations on our southern doorstep. And if you oppose direct intervention, you wind up supporting proxy forces that almost inevitably will not live up to our ideals. Democrats opposing the entire enterprise told people by their actions (and demands for inaction) what results made them comfortable. And so it is with Omar, who opposes not only any direct intervention, but also sanctions against the Maduro regime. Her posturing against Elliott Abrams on human rights abuses is just that — posturing, on behalf of thugs every bit as murderous as anyone the U.S. supported (or fought) in South and Central America in the 1980s.

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