Politics & Policy

The Gillibrand Moment

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, December 12, 2017. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
She has few longstanding convictions, which explains her growing political clout.

Donald Trump used Twitter today to take a shot at Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York senator who has swiftly moved from calling for Al Franken’s resignation to calling for Trump’s.

Vogue was right to title its recent Gillibrand profile “In Hillary’s Footsteps,” because Gillibrand has mastered the same playbook as so many successful Democratic figures, like the Clintons, who get ahead. Play conservative locally, or in tough general elections, then become more liberal in high office. Be good to gun owners and religious people, and tough on the border. Then abandon all that later. Gillibrand’s two guns under her bed will be just as non-consequential as Obama’s belief that “God is involved” in marriage (therefore it can’t be extended to gays); Hillary’s opposition to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants; and, I suspect, Justice Elena Kagan’s support of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Kagan’s White House memo advancing the position that religious liberty meant landlords could discriminate against gay or unmarried couples. That was all positioning. Sometimes you do what you have to do, especially when you want to be the first person that upwardly mobile white liberals think about when considering a political donation.

Republicans, having elected “converts” to the pro-life cause, most notably Donald Trump, will have little standing to criticize Gillibrand’s reinventions. They may even be baffled when, in a general election, she highlights all her former Blue Dog positions again.

But Trump’s tweeted charge that Senator Gillibrand “would do anything” to get his donations — that is, to get ahead — was a charge made by liberal Democrats first. She is winning them over and still attending Bible Studies on the Hill. I suspect she’ll be sitting on a formidable pile of cash soon. My early guess is she has a very good shot at succeeding Donald Trump as president. The lesson of American politics after 2016 is that longstanding convictions are for total suckers. So, yes, it is Kirsten Gillibrand’s moment.

READ MORE:

How Democrats Corrupt English to Create Hysteria

Beware of Running with the Al Franken Story — Consider Where That Leads

Nancy Pelosi Is Profoundly Confused about Due Process

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Great Mystery

Kevin Williamson disputes my characterization of his riposte. He writes: I wrote that people can choose what kind of work they want to do, and what kind of services they want to consume, without any help from Michael. Kevin then accuses me of being a stouthearted defender of the “Real America.” If ... Read More
Religion

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More
Culture

‘Good Verse, Bad Verse, and Chaos’

I love reading Sarah Ruden, and I’ve enjoyed the attention given to Walt Whitman in these pages over the last few days. Ruden gives the poet the back of her hand for being championed by — angels and ministers of grace, defend us! — intellectuals and professors, a poet “whom ordinary Americans most ... Read More