February 3, 2021


Inquisition is defined as period of prolonged and intensive questioning or investigation.
It is also a historical entity, referring to the Roman Catholic Church's 13th Century tribunal created for the discovery, suppression and punishment of heretics, dissidents and non-conformists.

This was a really early version of religious correctness. Thoughts were censored, books were torched, and dissidents were tortured until they "confessed" their heresy, and then burned-at-the-stake anyway. This was "God's work," the Church explained. This was zero-tolerance long before the phrase was coined. It was a splendid way to get rid of the competition.

Fast-forward to 2021 and now political correctness and "woke-ism" reign supreme. The difference is that dissidents and non-conformists do not get burned-at-the-stake, because imagine the air pollution that would cause.

Instead, careers and/or credibility of heretics get torched, thoughts are censored on Internet platforms, and adjectives like "racist," "white supremacist," "insurrectionist," and "capitalist oppressor" are hurled at conservatives and Republicans by the left, along with dismissals of them as unenlightened bigots who are mentally challenged.

There is an R-word for that but President Obama in 2010 removed the use of the term "mental retardation" in federal education, health and labor statutes and replaced it with "intellectual disability." So be it.

The right is less pejorative and more pedestrian. They hurl epithets at Democrats and "progressives" like "socialist," "radical" and Marxist. They are accurate but too tame. They just do not have that juice to make them offensive.

The word "woke" is the past tense of wake, or in the present tense waken. In a political context it means to become active after inactivity or dormancy or to be aroused and excited and champion for justice causes. Sometimes that leads to demonstrations, rioting, looting or voting against Trump. So be it.

To be awakened means embracing without dissent the entirety of the "progressive" agenda: Green New Deal (phasing-out fossil fuels), Medicare for all, open borders, citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, slavery reparations, defund the police, de-criminalize drugs, amnesty for student loan debt, free college, mandatory electricity-powered motor vehicles, more taxes on the "wealthy," free homes for the homeless, a $10,000 annual guaranteed income for everybody, abolishing the Electoral College and the filibuster, adding D.C. and Puerto Rico as states and permanent mail-in voting. And let's not overlook quotas for federal jobholders and contractors. Plus re-writing history, as awful as it is.

It is an agenda that would bankrupt America. But it is a litmus for the left, much like the "Holy Inquisition." Believe it all, dissent from none of it, don't worry about the cost. And if you are a heretic, then you have a bigoted, intellectual disability. The question is whether President Joe Biden will dissent from any of it. His first days in office suggest not. Impeachment and his flurry left-pleasing executive orders are not "unifying." And the COVID-19 situation may linger for another year.

Intertwine the "progressive" agenda with identity politics and you get (1) the contemporary Democratic Party and (2) the end of America as we now know it, for good or ill.

From a strategic standpoint the Democrats/Biden administration must get a few components of their agenda through Congress in 2021. Otherwise, there will be rage among the party's leftist/minority base, with consequences in 2022 Democratic primaries.

That Democratic electorate is heavily skewed to the left and consists largely of women and minorities. In any Democratic primary contest between a man and a woman, the man loses (as in Cook County judicial races); in any contest between a moderate and far-leftist, the moderate loses.

Furthermore, the Senate is 50-50, and the House is 223-215 Democratic. With Biden in the White House, Democrats cannot run an anti-Trump 2022 campaign. They will have to run on their record. And that means Democrats will have to compel their more moderate members to support the party's agenda. That will make a bunch of them vulnerable to pushback in the 2022 election.

Republicans gained 15 House seats in 2020 and need five more to oust Nancy Pelosi. With a "radical" Democratic agenda to run against, a Republican flip of 10-15 seats is a certainty, and with it a majority. The Senate is another story. The Jan. 5 double-loss in Georgia cost Republicans their majority. They held eight of their 10 contested seats on Nov. 3 - ME, NC, IA, KY, KN, TX, SC and MT, losing AZ and CO. They expected to keep their GA and a 52-48 majority.

There are 33 senate seats up in 2022 - 19R and 14D. Of the 14 Democrats, only three seats are deemed vulnerable, in GA, NH and AZ. Trump lost all three states in 2020. Of the 19 Republicans, only four seats are vulnerable, in IA, WI, PA and NC. Much dependent on the political and economic environment, the status of COVID, and the quality and ideology of candidates. Democrats could realistically grow their majority.

NEW YORK: Democrats could also lose their majority leader, Chuck Schumer. Media (meaning MSNBC and CNN) darling AOC, Brooklyn congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - who recently called House Republicans "legitimate White supremacist sympathizers" - is impatient with Pelosi and the pace of the House. Her Squad is growing, adding a couple of woke men. But she does not want to wait a decade to break into leadership.

So a 2022 primary challenge to Schumer looks likely. Schumer will be age 72 in 2 years, and he and Pelosi will bear the blame for whatever part of the WOKE agenda doesn't get enacted and get minimal credit for what does. Biden-Harris beat Trump-Pence 5,230,985-3,244,798 last year, in a turnout of 8,594,826. The 2020 Democratic presidential primary turnout was 764,581 and will be around the same in 2022, with 65-70 percent of the vote coming from New York City and suburbs to the north and Long Island.

Two other dynamics are at play. New York's other media darling, Governor Andrew Cuomo, is up for re-election in 2022. Letitia James, the state's Democratic attorney general, recently released a report that COVID nursing home deaths were allegedly deflated, and hospital deaths inflated so as to exculpate Cuomo. The governor early transferred hospital patients to nursing homes to clear out hospital beds, and then, when they got COVID, shipped them back to a hospital. If they then died it was counted a "hospital death." Very clever.

James, an African-American woman from New York City, could be part of a racial- and gender-perfect tag team with AOC, who is Puerto Rican. They would be running against two shopworn white guys. It is a spectacular political train-wreck for the governor and senator just waiting to happen.

The other dynamic in NYC's 2021 mayoral election, set for November. Bill de Blasio, arguably America's most incompetent mayor, is thankfully term-limited. For New Yorkers suffering under business lockdowns, school shutdowns and sheltering-at-home for a year, de Blasio's departure is a cause for celebration. But his replacement may not be.

New York has a partisan ballot, unlike Chicago's non-partisan system. There are four established parties: Democrat, Republican, Liberal and Conservative, plus new parties that come and go. Candidates can cross-file for multiple nominations. In 1965 John Lindsay ran and won as a Republican-Liberal. After 4 years of ineptitude, he nevertheless ran and won in 1969 as a Liberal, beating a Democrat and Republican-Conservative. These permutations create uncertainty. De Blasio won as a Democrat in 2013 and 2017. Rudy Guliani won as a Republican-Conservative in 1993 and 1997. Michael Bloomberg won as a Republican in 2001 and 2005 and then as an Independent in 2009, spending $50 million. The primaries are in September, with October run-offs if no candidate gets 40 percent.

What is certain is that (1) there will be a WOKE candidate for mayor (but not AOC) and (2) the new mayor won't be a white guy. This cauldron will carry over into 2022. Neither Cuomo nor Schumer will have a political base.

CALIFORNIA: Gavin Newsom is being heralded in that state as an incompetent governor and there is a push growing for a recall. His handling of COVID has shut down the state. His handling of the appointment to now-Vice President Kamala Harris's senate seat has been equally inept. Identity politics rules.

If a woman holds a public office, she must be succeeded by a woman. If a minority holds the post, then he/she must be succeeded by a minority of the same race. The rule does not apply to white males. Getting rid of them is progress.

Newsom BROKE TWO RULES: He appointed Alex Padilla, a Hispanic male who was the Secretary of State, to the vacancy (making him California's first Hispanic senator). But the outrage was deafening among the WOKE crowd and the Black political establishment because why didn't he name an African-American woman?

The top two finishers, regardless of party, will have a November runoff. It will be nasty.
I await the day when I will get "woke." But those on the left probably already think I have "an intellectual disability" anyway so why bother.