Whose Foreign Policy, Confronting Communist China, The Sanders Surge

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Whose Foreign Policy?
Remember when James Comey and Andrew McCabe sent FBI agents over to the White House to interview Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then President Trump's national security advisor?  They were concerned about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.  Some even suggested that Flynn violated the never-enforced Logan Act.  
His life was destroyed by overzealous, hyper-partisan prosecutors.  Three years later, he's still waiting for a resolution of his legal case.
So I assume that FBI agents will be stopping by the office of Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) any day now, especially since he was one of the most vocal critics of Flynn's conversations with Ambassador Kislyak. 
Murphy just returned from the Munich Security Conference and announced that he and other senators met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif.  Murphy said, "If Trump isn't going to talk to Iran, then someone should. . . A lack of dialogue leaves nations guessing about their enemy's intentions."
I think we need to know more about this meeting.  Does Connecticut have a foreign policy now?  Was Murphy sent by Chuck Schumer?  Was he representing Senate liberals?  That would be an interesting question to ask. 
And what did Murphy tell the Iranians?  He says he urged Zarif to release American hostages and to stop supporting terrorism.  Well, that's what the president is saying.  In other words, Murphy went all the way to Europe to repeat what Trump is saying loud and clear.  Really?
There's no reason in the world to meet with the Iranians.  But let's not ignore the 800-pound mullah in the room.  Just like John Kerry urging Iran to "wait it out," we should know whether Murphy urged the regime against making any concessions now in the hope that a new administration will appease the tyrants of Tehran next year.
Confronting Communist China
The Trump Administration is continuing to crack down on communist China's activities inside the U.S.  The State Department yesterday announced that five Chinese media outlets -- Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, China Global Television Network, China Daily and People's Daily -- are being designated as "foreign missions."
According to administration officials, all five entities are "substantially owned and effectively controlled" by the Chinese Communist Party.  In other words, these are not journalists who are part of a free press, but government agents advocating on behalf of communist China.  The new designation requires that their employees register with the State Department, and that any real estate holding be identified as well.
In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, I was pleased to see that Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted our NATO allies for considering using Huawei for their 5G infrastructure.  Pelosi said that using Huawei was "like having the state police, the Chinese state police, right in your pocket." 
Presumably, the mainstream media will now accuse Pelosi of threatening the NATO alliance and of isolating the United States, just like it does to President Trump whenever he speaks out against Europe's weakness.  But I'm not holding my breath.
The Sanders Surge
It's official – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is now the undisputed Democrat frontrunner.  The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll finds Sanders surging nine points since January, while Joe Biden's support was cut in half. 
As a result, Sanders now leads Biden by 16 points – 32% to 16%.  Michael Bloomberg is third at 14%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 12%.  No other candidate received double-digit support.
The Post poll is not an outlier.  In 14 national surveys conducted this month, Sanders has led Biden in 12, and five polls have given him double-digit leads.
But the primary is not decided by a national election.  It's decided state by state.  So it's important to keep an eye on state polling as well. 
South Carolina was supposed to be Joe Biden's firewall, but it's looking more like it could be his Waterloo.  The latest poll from the Palmetto State has Sanders tied with Biden.  Two weeks ago, Biden enjoyed an 18-point lead.
And it's starting to look like Super Tuesday could be a super day for Sanders.  He's currently leading in California and Texas, and tied in North Carolina and Virginia