If you haven’t heard, Dr. Seuss is being canceled.
The same boneheads who claim that the “mister” in Mr. Potato Head is overly “exclusive,” that Aunt Jemima syrup encouraged racial stereotyping, that math is a vestige of White supremacy and that gender reveal parties are “transphobic,” want you to find racism in the pages of “Hop on Pop.”
This is absurd, of course, and makes Democrats who applaud such virtue signaling look stupid. But the urge to condemn people who challenge the woke mob and cancel every icon of American life – the founders of our nation, the historical monuments that adorn our cities, the books we grew up reading – has reached a tipping point.
Even the famously left-wing Bill Maher is calling for an end to the excess, telling his TV audience, “Cancel culture is real, it’s insane and it’s growing exponentially.”
During the past few days, President Biden has signaled flexibility on the size of a minimum-wage increase, skepticism about $50,000 in student-loan forgiveness and openness to negotiation on his immigration reform plan.
Progressive moans of protest have been muted but audible. Some young activists questioned Biden’s “courage.” Criticism from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was less personal but still pointed: “Our job is to deliver for the American people. Period.”
It is that “period” that more moderate Democrats such as Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) dispute. In essence, they are saying: Our job is to deliver for the American people in ways that don’t unduly frighten moderate voters, break the bank, undermine the economy or come back to bite us.
‘I don’t think globalization is coming to an end. I think the global system is in crisis. I think every major institution in our society is in crisis …
“I think the (World Health Organization) is a discredited organization. I think the White House is a discredited institution.
“I’m sorry to say this because I know it’s your former employer: I think the New York Times does not have the credibility it once had. It reads like the Guardian or the Nation. It doesn’t read like a newspaper.
“There is a crisis of credibility and trust.
“I don’t think that means institutions are going to go away. What it means is those institutions are going to need new leaders who have a different world view.”
“Apocaplyse Never” author
Interviewed on C-Span.
All new Presidents inherit messes from their predecessors, but Biden is the first to have to think about literally decontaminating the White House.
Combatting the pandemic is only the start of the challenge, at home and abroad. There are alliances to rebuild, a stimulus package to pass, a government to staff.
Biden’s advisers are preparing a slew of Executive Orders: restoring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, rejoining the Paris Agreement, reversing the so-called Muslim ban and more.
Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan aims to revitalize the virus-wracked economy – which some analysts say is unlikely to fully recover until 2023 – by investing in infrastructure, education and childcare. “I think if my plan is able to be implemented,” Biden says, “it’s gonna go down as one of the most progressive Administrations in American history.”
Much of what Biden hopes to do, from Cabinet appointments to legislation, will have to pass a more divided Senate than the one he left a dozen years ago.
If Republicans win at least one of Georgia’s two Senate seats in Jan. 5 runoffs, the fate of his agenda will be in the hands of Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, who, like most GOP members of Congress, has refused even to acknowledge his victory.
Biden’s relationships and peace offerings may not be worth much in this climate, says his friend William Cohen, a former GOP Senator. Republicans “will be watching not him but Donald Trump, and acting just as much out of fear of (Trump) in the future as they have in the past.”
As in the campaign, the GOP is likely to amplify controversy surrounding Biden’s son Hunter, who on Dec. 9 released a statement acknowledging his tax
affairs are under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware.
CHARLOTTE ALTER, with reporting by Alana Abramson, Brian Bennett, Vera Bergengruen, Madeleine Carlisle, Leslie Dickstein, Alejandro de la Garza, Simmone Shah, Lissandra Villa, Olivia B. Waxman and Julia Zorthian 2020 PERSON OF YEAR TIME MAGAZINE Dec. 21, 2020
(After retiring, one-term President John) Adams led a quiet life, tending to his farm, while Jefferson’s presidency came and went. Twelve years after he left Washington, Adams finally snapped out of his funk and sent a letter to his old rival…
Jefferson wrote back immediately, remembering the long years in which “we were fellow laborers in the same cause.” For the next 14 years, a fountain of prose gushed from these two master stylists, divided in politics but reunited in friendship.
Much of it was personal – proud parents discussing their children and grandchildren, lamenting losses, complaining of small ailments as they aged. In his last letter, Jefferson used the Greek word “Argonaut” to describe their long journey together, and their correspondence retained a grandeur befitting two patriarchs who had weathered so much on behalf of the same cause.
Adams and Jefferson died, with startling fidelity to the cause and to each other, on the same day: July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration on which they had labored together…
Even before their unforgettable joint exit, the two former rivals had done a great deal to deepen democracy. We often think of their earlier contributions – the first stirrings of independence and the presidencies that helped a young country to find its footing.
Yet the friendship that Adams and Jefferson formed in their old age was just as meaningful and showed the world that Americans could lose gracefully and find comfort in their commitment to shared principles.
Prof. TED WIDMER Wall Street Journal Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 5 – 6
(Under Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 regulations), churches and synagogues are limited to a maximum of 25 people. These restrictions apply even to the largest cathedrals and synagogues, which ordinarily hold hundreds. And the restrictions apply no matter the precautions taken, including social distancing, wearing masks, leaving doors and windows open, forgoing singing, and disinfecting spaces between services.
At the same time, the Governor has chosen to impose no capacity restrictions on certain businesses he considers “essential.” And it turns out the businesses the Governor considers essential include hardware stores, acupuncturists, and liquor stores. Bicycle repair shops, certain signage companies, accountants, lawyers, and insurance agents are all essential too.
So, at least according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians.
Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?
NEIL J. GORSUCH
Supreme Court Justice
Diocese of Brooklyn
vs. Andrew M. Cuomo
It wasn’t clear by Wednesday afternoon who had won the White House, but one bad idea was soundly defeated on Tuesday: identity politics. The concept that the country should be divided into
aggrieved categories based on race, national origin or sex – now a core tenet of the Democratic Party –
lost from coast to coast.
It lost in Miami-Dade County, Fla., where Cuban-Americans delivered votes for President Trump. We don’t know the final margin, but some polls going into the election had the president leading among Cuban- American voters by a margin as wide as 38 points. Identity politics also lost in Osceola County, near Orlando, where Mr. Trump appears to have done better than expected among Puerto Rican voters.
Identity politics lost in South Texas: Zapata County, 95 percent Mexican-American, went for Hillary Clinton by 33 points in 2016 – but Mr. Trump won with 52.5 percent this time. Throughout the Rio Grande Valley, President Trump did better in 2020 than in 2016.
Identity politics even took it on the chin in California: Voters defeated an attempt to revoke Proposition 209, the 1996 ballot measure that bans the use of race, national origin or sex by state universities and other agencies. The left has spent almost a quarter-century trying to reverse that decision, but its latest attempt lost handily.
MIKE GONZALEZ Wall Street Journal Thursday, Nov. 6
ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Thank you to all the Christmas Angels who have sponsored a family this holiday season.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT – 12:30 p.m. Join members of Lake & Valley Garden club for lunch followed by tour of this years holiday decorations, discuss how they are chose, what plants are used, how they work with the museum to introduce the holiday spirit. Cost, $32/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
ART IN THE DARK – 6:30 p.m. Tour folk art exhibit by Lantern Light, learn some of the mysterious, melancholy, untold stories behind the pieces. Limited to 15/tour. Cost, $14/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
ASTRONOMY – 7:30 – 9 p.m. Learn to find the North Star, Cygnus, Draco, other constellations in the autumn sky with nothing but your eyes. Astrology lovers have probably visited a planetarium or even use led projectors to create their own at home, but this is the real deal. Perfect for those who have never before witnessed the majesty of a starry sky. Bring blankets or a chair, dress warmly. Free. Mohican Farm, 7207 St. Hwy. 80, Cooperstown. 607-282-4087 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/naked-eye-astronomy-the-autumn-sky/
CONCERT – 6:30 – 8 p.m. Local band The Butternut Valley Boys perform mix of country, gospel, bluegrass, more to benefit inn’s restoration. Major’s Inn, 104 Marion Ave., Gilbertsville. 607-783-2967 or visit www.themajorsinn.com
LECTURE – 7:30 p.m. Join Mick Moloney for 2018 Buckley Lecture. Learn about Percussive Dance Traditions in North America ranging from Appalachian, African American flat foot, clogging to Irish sean nos, step dance. Donations welcome. 607-547-2586.
HISTORY SERIES – 7 p.m. “Scots-Irish Immigration and Defense of the Colonial New York Frontier including the Cherry Valley Massacre, 1740 to 1778” by Terry McMaster, independent historian whose research focuses on American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley, settlement patterns, family connections, border warfare along New York’s western frontier. Suggested donation, $5. Fort Plain Museum, 389 Canal St., Fort Plain. 518-993-2527 or visit www.fortplainmuseum.com/viewevent.aspx?ID=1032