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