Bring­ing Amer­i­can pol­i­tics back from the brink When facts fail, the far left ratch­ets up the fear

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Mitch McCon­nell

My Demo­cratic col­leagues have grown des­per­ate. In the two years their party has sat on the side­lines, our na­tion has thrived un­der Repub­li­can lead­er­ship. That must be why, month after month, on is­sue after is­sue, Democrats and their far-left al­lies have tried to re­place in­con­ve­nient facts with pure par­ti­san scare tac­tics. The lat­est in­stall­ment landed ear­lier this week. The Se­nate’s Demo­cratic Leader, Chuck Schumer, pub­lished an op-ed that twisted some un­con­tro­ver­sial com­ments I made about our na­tion’s long-term need for bi­par­ti­san spend­ing re­form. Sen. Schumer laid out quite the fiery in­dict­ment — of com­ments I never made and views I don’t hold.

The Wash­ing­ton Post’s fact-checker saw right through this Demo­cratic dis­tor­tion. When an­other mem­ber of Leader Schumer’s con­fer­ence re­cently tried a sim­i­lar line of at­tack, The Post promptly awarded it “four Pinoc­chios.” They re­searched Democrats’ claim that Repub­li­cans are gun­ning to uni­lat­er­ally snatch away decades-old pro­grams like So­cial Se­cu­rity and Medi­care and called it what it is — “a whop­per.” And they noted what I’ve con­sis­tently said for months on this sub­ject: “McCon­nell says there needs to be a bi­par­ti­san so­lu­tion.”

In a nor­mal year, such a dis­hon­est line of at­tack might rank among the more em­bar­rass­ing episodes. Un­for­tu­nately, in 2018, it is sim­ply par for the course. The pat­tern has proven con­sis­tent. When facts fail the far left, they ratchet up the fear in­stead.

Ex­hibit A was the re­cent Supreme Court show­down. Democrats were in­tent on sab­o­tag­ing Jus­tice Ka­vanaugh’s con­fir­ma­tion for par­ti­san rea­sons, but they lacked any fac­tual ba­sis for do­ing so. We all know what came next: A shame­ful spec­ta­cle of char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion, fu­eled by un­cor­rob­o­rated al­le­ga­tions and out­landish smears.

For­tu­nately, sen­a­tors saw through to the facts. But the far left was just get­ting started. Draw­ing on ex­plicit en­cour­age­ment from lead­ing Democrats, an­gry pro­test­ers tried to make elected of­fi­cials per­son­ally afraid. Over the past days and weeks, United States Sen­a­tors and their fam­i­lies have been sub­jected to death threats, driven from restau­rants, ha­rassed at their homes, fol­lowed through air­ports, and chased through the halls of the Se­nate. Scream­ing ac­tivists have stormed up the steps of both the Capi­tol and the Supreme Court.

Or think back to last De­cem­ber, when “the re­sis­tance” de­manded that Democrats try to sink the his­toric tax cuts and tax re­form that Repub­li­cans were de­liv­er­ing to Amer­i­can fam­i­lies. Out came the scare tac­tics, right on cue. House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi pro­claimed that our bill would bring about “Ar­maged­don” and laugh­ably de­clared it “the worst bill in the his­tory of the United States Congress.” Here in the real world, the facts are quite dif­fer­ent. Repub­li­can tax re­form and reg­u­la­tory re­form have helped grow our na­tion’s in­cred­i­ble eco­nomic mo­men­tum, to the great ben­e­fit of Amer­i­can work­ers, small busi­ness own­ers, and mid­dle-class fam­i­lies. Con­sumer con­fi­dence stands at an 18-year high. We’ve clocked the fastest year-on-year wage growth since 2009 and the low­est un­em­ploy­ment rate since 1969. Our na­tion cur­rently boasts more than seven mil­lion open jobs — more than the en­tire pop­u­la­tion of the state of Mas­sachusetts. For the first time in our na­tion’s his­tory, there is more than one job open­ing for ev­ery Amer­i­can who’s look­ing for work. These are the facts. While my Demo­cratic col­leagues have urged on an­gry mobs, this uni­fied Repub­li­can gov­ern­ment has been help­ing to de­liver one vic­tory after an­other for Amer­i­can work­ers and fam­i­lies. We’ve taken ma­jor bites out of Oba­macare and Dodd-Frank, pro­vid­ing re­lief for fam­i­lies and small busi­nesses. We have passed land­mark leg­is­la­tion to con­front the opi­oid epi­demic head-on and re­build Amer­i­can in­fras­truc­ture. And we have ended the Obama-era at­ro­phy of our na­tional de­fense and made the kind of in­vest­ment in our all-vol­un­teer armed forces that our ser­vice­mem­bers de­serve. The con­trast could not be clearer. Democrats are grasp­ing for un­hinged at­tacks. Repub­li­cans are con­tin­u­ing to take care of the peo­ple’s busi­ness, check­ing off one ac­com­plish­ment after an­other. Let’s de­bate the Amer­i­can peo­ple’s busi­ness — and the ac­com­plish­ments of this Congress — with the hon­esty, ci­vil­ity, and se­ri­ous­ness that they de­serve. Let’s put facts ahead of fear. Mitch McCon­nell is U.S. Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader.

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