screengrab from https://youtu.be/x412sfTmQuc
There isn’t much, in my view, to admire about the American left, but one thing I think conservatives and Republicans could learn from them is the value of having power and the realization that without power your so-called principles can just go hang themselves.
In New Jersey, Republican Bob Hugin is closer in polls to Democrat Bob Menendez than Beta O’Rourke is to Ted Cruz. So much so that Chuck Schumer’s PAC infused $3 million last week into a race that should have been a romp. The reason that Hugin is making this race close is because everyone knows Menendez is a crook; they know he’s a crook despite a mistrial before a federal jury and his directed acquittal by a federal judge on some counts. And swirling about Menendez are persistent, if unproven rumors, that he and his co-defendant Salomon Melgen cavorted with Dominican prostitutes who may have been underage. This is an issue Hugin highlighted in one ad as Menendez was tooting his own horn for supporting the debunked allegations made by Christine Ford about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
In a rational political environment, Menendez would have been disavowed by his party and shunned by decent people of all political persuasions. But this is New Jersey and holding Menendez’s seat is essential if the Democrats are not going to be irrelevancies in the next Senate. This is how the editorial board of NJ.com sees the issue:
image via https://twitter.com/AlexandraCSmith/status/1056561907505815553
This year’s U.S. Senate race presents the most depressing choice for New Jersey voters in a generation, with two awful candidates whose most convincing argument is that the other guy is unfit to serve.
But please, don’t walk away. Being a patriotic American is not just about fighting enemies abroad or helping flood victims at home. It’s about making our democracy work, even when pulling the lever brings no joy.
Before he was caught in 2015, Sen. Robert Menendez broke Senate rules by routinely accepting expensive gifts, including private jets to luxury resorts abroad. He kept those gifts secret, breaking another rule. He then used his office to promote the personal and business interests of the man who paid the bills. All that was the unanimous conclusion of the Senate ethics committee, including all its Democrats.
It’s a miracle that Menendez escaped criminal conviction, and an act of profound narcissism that he stayed in the race despite this baggage, putting a Democratic seat at risk while Donald Trump sits in the White House.
But the bigger concern is Hugin’s admiration for Trump. Many Republicans felt duty-bound to support Trump in 2016, but Hugin charged to the front of the parade and waved the flag.
He gave more than $200,000 to the Trump cause. He volunteered as Trump’s finance chair in New Jersey. He served as a Trump delegate at the convention. He praised him on Fox TV as a “constructive and engaged” president.
Our hope is that voters remember that Trump is on the ballot, that they choke down their reluctance and vote for Menendez. He’s no gem, but he’s better than Hugin.
They try to soft-pedal the allegations about Menendez and teenage Dominican prostitutes as fanciful, but that isn’t the view of federal prosecutors:
Federal prosecutors said Monday that they aren’t convinced claims U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez cavorted with underage hookers – widely seen as discredited – are false.
Lawyers for the New Jersey Democrat last week asked a federal judge to dismiss charges that the senator took bribes from a Florida eye doctor, Salomon Melgen, and in exchange used his power to do business and personal favors for him.
Prosecutors said the hooker allegations against Sen. Bob Menendez ‘were not so easily disprovable as the defendants suggest.’
Wow—a blind eye to corruption, false equivalence and a swipe at Trump, all in one little editorial. https://t.co/Bi7anjfhiy
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) October 29, 2018
The real issue here is simply power. That’s the reason his colleagues are backing him. That’s the reason that New Jersey media are backing him. If he loses, they have a GOP senator, though one who will probably vote a lot like Christine Todd Whitman or Susan Collins, for six years. If they re-elect Menendez, he probably survives any new federal inquiry. If he doesn’t, a Democrat governor appoints a replacement.
Compare and contrast this with the pearl-clutching by the GOP over Roy Moore’s alleged behavior decades ago. Here you have a guy who is actually a felon who survived a trial by the slack skin in his scrotum. The allegations about underage prostitutes are persistent enough that they merit a full-blown investigation…this is not a case of a wagging your peepee at someone at a college party over 30 years ago. But with Democrats and with progressive the “will to power” is all. They are telling voters that the outcome of the election is more valuable than any crime Menendez may have committed and to forward the Democrat agenda it is necessary to elect the worst sort of man. We didn’t back Moore because we prefer virtue-signaling to people who will never support us to winning. Say what you will about the left, they will never, ever make that mistake.
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