POLITICO Compares Alamo Fighters to Japanese on Iwo Jima

A sense of history is not required when applying to be a journalist at Politico, the sometimes edgy and always rapid-fire D.C. political news publication.

On Wednesday, Jack Shafer, Politico’s sarcastic “senior media writer,” wrote a piece attempting to explain why Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is still running against Hillary Clinton. Clinton, as of Tuesday night, had clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, provided, of course, that the super delegates who’ve committed to her don’t suddenly change their mind and support Sanders in Philadelphia.

Writing of Sander’s non-concessions speech after losing the California primary, Shafer editorialized:

Ignoring the Associated Press’ napkin math that puts Clinton over the 2,383-delegate threshold, Sanders demonstrated the defiance of Jim Bowie at the Alamo, Baghdad Bob in the Iraq war, Japanese soldiers at Iwo Jima and history’s other famous dead-enders.

In Shafer’s head, the defenders of the Alamo were the equivalent of Imperial Japanese soldiers battling it out against U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima. Try explaining that to a Texan.

While Iwo Jima and the Alamo did – as individual battles – turn out rather badly for the defenders, the causes behind each engagement and the culmination of the conflicts they were a part of are extraordinarily different.

Texans – then citizens of Mexico – rose in opposition to the heavy-handed military government of Antonio López de Santa Anna, a military officer who wanted to renege on the rights Mexico’s constitution afforded settlers in Texas. The ensuing conflict, which began in 1835 and ended in 1836, resulted in Texas becoming an independent republic. The Alamo, a futile but imagination-inspiring last stand of a Texas garrison at San Antonio de Bexar, was then – and is still viewed now – as a bold stand by free men and women defending self-government.

In contrast, the Japanese defenders of Iwo Jima were fighting for a militarist cause that perpetrated numerous atrocities on subjected peoples and sought to build a Pacific empire that denied basic human rights to individuals.

Sure, maybe Shafer was just trying to cleverly draw parallels between an American presidential candidate whose hopes for the White House are beyond gone and historical examples. But the examples he selected were hardly equal to one another, or to an American political campaign. Sometimes less snark and more facts are appropriate when reporting the news.

The Fifth Paragraph is Demonstrably False

Alex Isenstadt has a story on the decline and fall of Rand Paul’s Presidential campaign. It’s actually a good read and reflects a lot of what I have encountered and heard. But the fifth paragraph is this:

Instead, he has been overshadowed by louder voices like Donald Trump’s and better-funded figures like Jeb Bush. His theory of the 2016 primary — that Republican voters would reward a candidate who promised fresh ideas and an unconventional approach — has not been borne out in reality.

The first sentence of that paragraph makes the second sentence false. The 2016 primary is rewarding a candidate with fresh ideas and an unconventional approach. It’s just that the candidate’s name is Donald Trump, not Rand Paul.

The Republicans in 2016 Are DOOMED!!!!!!

Every once in a while you stumble into a news cycle and think, “This cannot be a coincidence.”

As news reports bring word that Hillary Clinton is still refusing to answer questions from the press, Ramadi falls to ISIS, and things just aren’t going well for the Democrats right now, fear not. The press steps in with its usual “The GOP is doomed” headlines.

We begin on May 16th with the Washington Post. The GOP has such a big field of candidates, party leaders are “anxious about their chances in ’16.” That’s the actual title. It seems having such a deep field is a bad thing, unlike last time when having such a shallow field was a bad thing.

If only the GOP would coronate one candidate, just like the Democrats.

Keeping up the theme, the New York Times on the same day, claimed the GOP was baiting the left to turn on Hillary. The Democrats, you see, are so united for Hillary that the GOP is forced to spend money to try to drum up a primary for Hillary Clinton.

Slate rushed in with some back patting for the Democrats. Turns out ISIS’s leader is just like a Republican candidate for President. Fear not Democrats, they’re all just an easily beaten fringe.

The Atlantic chimed in yesterday that if you watch Fox News, you are stupid, dumb, and incapable of grasping reality. Fear not Democrats, the Republicans are so deluded that there is no way they can win.

And today the Politico gets in on the game. Yes, “the GOP is dying off. Literally.” That’s their headline.

The GOP will not pick up millennials, it is the party of old people, and it is just so outdated.

So fear not Democrats. The media has you covered. The GOP will never win again because it is closed minded, only watches Fox, is fringey like ISIS, is dying off, has too many candidates for President, and is only pretending to give Hillary a hard time.

Hey, perhaps the corollary here is that the press has convinced the Democrats they have nothing to fear and the coronation of an old corrupt lady from New York for President who won’t answer questions is brilliant strategy.

No, it just has to be a coincidence that on the same weekend five major media outlets run the same basic talking points against the GOP.

Jim Hinch and the Politico Get Off On Another Evangelical Fantasy

Evangelicals are beginning to support gay marriage. That is what Jim Hinch claims in the Politico.

His evidence? A liberal Methodist church, the declining mainline Presbyterian Church (USA), and a lady who left a Methodist Church for a UCC Church. Anyone who knows anything about Christianity in America knows the Methodists, PCUSA, and UCC are not evangelical churches.

Oh, but there is that one preacher at a Baptist Church in California whose son is gay so he’s now decided he’s for gay marriage. But the Baptists are taking action there.

Yes, it is true that a growing number of people who like to call themselves “Christians” are coming out in favor of gay marriage. Yes, it is true some people in evangelical churches are coming out for gay marriage and, as Hinch shows, leaving evangelical churches for liberal main line churches. Few if any evangelical churches in the United States, the only churches with significant growth in the country, are not abandoning the idea of marriage between one man and one woman.

Interestingly, Hinch interprets the tone of people like Rick Warren and Russell Moore to make the case that evangelicals are embracing gay marriage. That’s media fan fiction. The tone is less hostile than older generations and there is a recognition that the battlefield is shifting in the culture. But changing a tone and recognizing a shifting battlefield does not mean evangelicals are abandoning legitimate marriages for the latest secular definition.

And Hinch and the Politico, would do well to remember those churches that can be considered evangelical, instead of writing stuff like this:

Just last month, the Presbyterian Church, a Protestant denomination with a significant, though declining, minority of evangelicals, voted to allow ministers to perform same-sex weddings in states where they are legal.

There are multiple Presbyterian denominations in the United States and the Presbyterian Church USA does not consider itself an evangelical church. Jim Hinch and the Politico should not either.

What this really is, is a PR piece for Matthew Vines, a twenty-something who has decided that he is smarter than 2000 years of Christian scholarship and, consequently, has given the itching ears of the press a mediagasm with his recycled nonsense. But kudos for the public relations effort.

The post Jim Hinch and the Politico Get Off On Another Evangelical Fantasy appeared first on RedState.

Colin Kahl Pens a CYA Op-Ed on Iraq

Colin Kahl, according to his little bio on his Politico op-ed, “is an associate professor in Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program…. From February 2009 to December 2011, he was the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East.” In other words, during the time Joe Biden was hailing Iraq as some sort of success story for Barack Obama, Colin Kahl was one of the major political appointees in charge.

With Iraq deteriorating and Americans evacuating, it is the natural response of the political appointee to run to a Washington publication and pen a CYA op-ed explaining why he is not to blame for the problems. What is so striking is that Kahl’s opinion piece comes at the same time as Dexter Filkins’ fact based article about Iraq.

Kahl writes, in part,

part of the difficulty in securing an agreement in 2011 stemmed from perceived “success.” Violence levels were down and, unlike 2008, Iraqi politicians in 2011 believed that Iraqi security forces were now numerous and capable enough to keep insurgents at bay. So they were simply not as desperate for us to stick around as they were in 2008.

But as Matt Lewis noted from Dexter Filkins’ NPR interview,

every single senior political leader, no matter what party or what group, including Maliki, said to them privately, we want you to stay. We don’t want you to fight. We don’t want combat troops. We don’t want Americans getting killed, but we want 10,000 American troops inside the Green Zone training our army, giving us intelligence, playing that crucial role as the broker and interlocutor that makes our system work. We want you to stay. In public they said very different things because at that point, you know, after nine years, the Americans were not very popular and the Iraqi politicians had all made names for themselves bashing the Americans.

Honestly, if you read Colin Kahl’s damage control and read Dexter Filkins’ piece, there is an obvious disconnect. The Kahl piece seems to take the public blustering of Iraqi officials at their word and focus on the use of the American military as a tool for war in Iraq. The Filkins’ piece seems to rely more on the private statements of Iraqi officials to their American counterparts and their desire not for a fighting machine, but a near permanent presence like in Korea that provides training and support to Iraqis.

Kahl writes that “The notion that a post-2011 presence of 5,000 U.S. troops, or even 20,000, would have solved [Iraq and Maliki’s] political challenges is magical thinking.” But that’s not really what the Iraqis wanted the troops for.

The post Colin Kahl Pens a CYA Op-Ed on Iraq appeared first on RedState.

The Ted Cruz Roadblock

The media has started attacking Ted Cruz so much Mike Allen is whining about it in hilarious fashion. Ruth Marcus started it on the morning of Valentine’s Day. Jonathan Weisman did a story the next day on Cruz. Between Marcus and Weisman came an overnight Manu Raju piece in the Politico that caused Mike Allen’s tantrum. Writing the morning of the 15th, Mike Allen wrote | Read More »

Politico’s Emily Schulteis Misses a Few Key Details About Bobby Jindal

Politico reporter Emily Schulteis proves today why journalism is a dying and biased industry. She bought the spin of a Louisiana political hack who actually worked for Kathleen Blanco – a politician Jindal ran against and practically forced out of office. In fact, in quoting Bob Mann, Schulteis never even mentioned that his former boss, Kathleen Blanco, was driven from office by the looming Jindal | Read More »

Juana Summers Says It Was All Just A Joke

Juana Summers of the Politico gets the clueless reporter award of the day. In her story on swatting she describes it as “an elaborate practical joke.” It’s so funny than more than 80 members of Congress and local authorities in several locations are asking the FBI to get involved.

Let me describe what Summers’ calls a practical joke:

Someone calls the police posing as me claiming both to have killed my wife and, before hanging up on the 911 operator, saying I’m going to go kill someone else.

The police show up. One officer keeps his hand on his gun as my 3 year old goes outside to see what’s going on.

That was just how jokingly it was done to me.

In Los Angeles, helicopters surrounded the airspace of LA County Prosecutor Patrick Frey’s home. The actual SWAT team got him out of his house and put him in a police car with guns all around. His wife and children were taken out of the home as well.

Yep. Some joke.

On twitter, Juana Summers notes that “Point was made in the article that it is dangerous and people could be hurt.” So, I’m guessing if swatting is an “elaborate practical joke” that the danger and harm must be the punchline.