Purely Political, By James Buckley
It’s tough to get all the facts straight without knowing what we don’t know, but since most liberal media pundits pontificate with absolute ignorant abandon (“Collusion!,” “Traitor!.” “Impeachable Offense!”) we should at least take an intelligent fact-filled shot at it.
What I believe is that 37-year-old J.D. Vance won the Republican senatorial primary in Ohio last week because he’s exactly the kind of candidate that can make “Republicanism” respectable again, especially among younger college “educated” men and women. He’s smart, good looking, quick with an anecdote and reply, and is prone to give honest and reflective answers to sometimes snarky questions from the press.
In any case, Mr. Vance is a Yale Law School grad and author of the bestseller “Hillbilly Elegy,” an autobiographical account of how a poor kid from Middletown, Ohio, raised by his Kentucky-born grandparents (his grandmother was a direct descendant of a Hatfield from the long-running Hatfield/McCoy feud; J.D.’s mother was an opioid addict) ended up attending Yale, going on to become a corporate lawyer, venture capitalist and successful author.
Most importantly, Mr. Vance was an early “Never Trumper,” but one who eventually came around to admire former President Donald Trump, especially his policies. It was a transformation that many Trump fans (including yours truly) went through.
I do believe 2022 is going to be a good year for Republicans, and I believe Mr. Vance will win his U.S. Senate seat. One has to especially admire Mr. Trump’s resiliency by endorsing Mr. Vance’s candidacy despite Mr. Vance’s early repudiation of Mr. Trump’s candidacy.
I think too that Dr. Mehmet Oz, a former surgeon turned TV talk-show host and former Trump basher, is also a very good — though more problematic — candidate. He’s running for the Republican nomination as U.S. senator representing Pennsylvania.
Dr. Oz’s TV career contains many appearances by what most would consider personalities from the extreme left, and his Democratic opponent will make much of that if he wins the primary, as his Republican opponents are already doing. However, Mr. Trump is familiar with that television world and what is often required in order to garner ratings and stay in the game. President Trump – as New York City builder and hotel operator – also funded and befriended many extreme liberals, including Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer and others, knowing that donations equaled access and that he needed that access in order to do business in the Big Apple.
But Mr. Trump hated that part of the game and secretly despised the candidates he was required to donate to. I think Mr. Trump, in endorsing Dr. Oz, believes that he hates it too. I think he has a good chance of winning his Senate seat, and I think that if he does win, Dr. Oz will become a reliable and thoughtful Republican vote.
The Pennsylvania Primary takes place May 17.
THE SCOTUS SCANDAL
The “scandal” caused by the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion, telegraphing a 5-4 or even 6-3 vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, was no leak at all. It was a planned undercover operation to accelerate the kind of big-money support for Democrats that was going to take place after the Supreme Court decided the case by July. Democratic bigwigs took a look at President Joe Biden’s dolorous poll numbers and at the slow pace of money-raising and decided they needed to accelerate whatever chance they may have of preserving some of their power in Congress after November ‘s election.
Democrats also believe that the lobby to preserve Roe v. Wade is more energized than the Right-to-Life crowd, but I’m not so sure that is the case. I think it’s more like a 50/50 draw. The initial enthusiasm will be with the Right-to-Abort folks, but that will wane as more people begin to realize that if Roe v. Wade is overturned (which would turn out to be yet another Trump promise kept), abortions will continue to take place in the states where abortion is readily accepted and those states that are and have been reluctant to promote or even allow the procedure will likely reduce the activity.
I believe the Left erred in insisting that doctors and nurses who resisted taking part in abortions out of religious or moral reasons be mandated to perform and/or assist in such surgeries. By pushing the legal envelope in that direction, the Left made enemies of many professionals and are likely to find far less support for their cause than they expected once the decision comes down from the Supreme Court.
The equivalent of “Wow!” in Russian is “Bay!” So what else is there to say about the possibility of President Vladimir Putin going under the knife for some Russian-style cancer surgery? What, him worry?
His No. 2 guy, Nikolai Patrushev, a former KGB man who now presides over Russia’s Federal Police Security Council, will take over until Mr. Putin is well enough to continue to bomb the hell out of Ukraine. What could go wrong?
James Buckley is a longtime Montecito resident. He welcomes questions or comments at email@example.com. Readers are invited to visit jimb.substack.com, where Jim’s Journals are on file. He also invites people to subscribe to Jim’s Journal.