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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Poll Position, Neutral On Israel, Supreme Chaos

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Poll Position: The Democrats
The 2016 presidential campaign diverges this weekend with Democrats holding caucuses in Nevada while Republicans have a primary in South Carolina. In both cases, the race is wide open. I'll start with the Democrats.

After an extremely close and highly questionable win in Iowa, Hillary Clinton got trounced in New Hampshire. Her campaign and its media allies dismissed the results for a variety of reasons -- lack of diversity, familiarity with Sanders, etc. The Clinton campaign assured everyone that she would perform better in states -- like Nevada -- with larger minority populations.

At the beginning of the year, Clinton enjoyed a 23-point lead over Bernie Sanders in Nevada. But two polls conducted this month find many Nevada Democrats are now "feeling the Bern" -- the race has turned into a dead heat.

In fact, it is so scrambled that the big labor bosses at the AFL-CIO, who were expected to endorse Hillary Clinton next week, announced yesterday that they were canceling the vote and would "refrain from endorsing any candidate at this moment."

Poll Position: The Republicans
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll stunned pundits with its extraordinary findings -- Texas Senator Ted Cruz has overtaken Donald Trump in the GOP primary. Here are the results:Cruz 28%
Trump 26%
Rubio 17%
Kasich 11%
Carson 10%
Bush 4%
To be fair, no other national poll shows Cruz ahead of Trump so this one could remain an "outlier."

What about Saturday's vote in South Carolina? Polls in the Palmetto State have consistently shown Donald Trump with a large lead. But there is a trend emerging -- his numbers are falling. One poll conducted two weeks ago had Trump leading by 22 points. A new Fox News poll finds Trump leading by 13 points.

The Fox and NBC/Wall Street Journal polls were conducted after last Saturday's debate, and could reflect a shift in voter attitudes after what many pundits have called Trump's worst performance.

If he wins South Carolina by eight points or less, the second place finisher will claim a moral victory. Meanwhile, the real battle is for third place. There will be pressure on the lower-tier finishers to drop out so the field can coalesce around an alternative to Trump.

And on that point, the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey has some interesting findings. In a two-man race, Cruz would beat Trump 56% to 40%, and Marco Rubio would beat Trump 57% to 41%. But Trump would beat Jeb Bush 54% to 43%, and he would defeat John Kasich 52% to 44%.

Neutral On Israel?
During a forum yesterday hosted by MSNBC, Trump was asked what he would do to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He acknowledged that it was "the toughest deal of all" to achieve, that good people had failed before, but he would try.

Then host Joe Scarborough asked him which side was responsible for past failures -- Israelis or Palestinians. That's where Trump lost me. Here's what he said:"You know, I don't want to get into it. . . If I win, I don't want to be in a position where I'm saying to you [my choice] and the other side now says, 'We don't want Trump involved.' Let me be sort of a neutral guy. . . I'm going to give it a shot. . . So I don't want to say whose fault it is. I don't think it helps."I almost fell off my chair when I heard that.

To his credit, Trump has been very vocal about radical Islam. So how in the world can he possibly remain neutral between Israelis and Palestinians?

Israel is built on the same values we cherish. Palestinian society, which he acknowledged, is permeated by a culture of death. Israelis are being stabbed daily. Palestinian Islamists are the ones doing the stabbing!

How can anyone be neutral between the region's only true democratic republic and a committed ally, and the death-worshipping jihadists of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc.?

The Palestinian Authority has rejected multiple peace offers. The Palestinians are not interested in peace with Israel or even a piece of Israel. They want the elimination of Israel.

After eight years of Barack Obama, we need a president who will proudly stand with Israel against our common enemies.

Supreme Chaos
The death of Justice Antonin Scalia is creating chaos on Capitol Hill. Today's Washington Post reports, "Senate Republicans clashed Wednesday over how to battle President Obama's expected Supreme Court nomination." In addition, the White House is refusing to rule out a recess appointment.

This president has stopped at nothing to push his radical agenda. Sadly, in many cases, GOP leaders have allowed him to stop at nothing. As one Republican leader told me, "We don't want to fall into Obama's trap and get distracted from our agenda."

So Obama gets to do whatever he wants because we're too busy trying to do what exactly? I can't think of a more pressing item on the Republican agenda right now than preventing Barack Obama from appointing Scalia's replacement!

If Obama makes a recess appointment, the Republican leadership will have no one to blame but itself. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, backed up by a unanimous Supreme Court decision, has full authority to decide when or if the Senate goes into recess.

By the way, Senate Democrats once went on the record in opposition to recess appointments of Supreme Court justices.

Here's something to encourage the nervous Nellies in the GOP: The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that Americans were evenly divided over whether the Senate should vote this year on an Obama Supreme Court nominee -- 43% said yes, while 42% said no. Clearly, the country is not clamoring for a third Obama justice.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Poll Position, Democrats, Republicans, Neutral On Israel, Donald Trump, Supreme Chaos To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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