NR Webathon

Scratch a Democrat, Find an Autocrat

Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at a townhall on LGBTQ issues in Los Angeles, Calif., October 10, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
We keep you informed on the Democrats’ aspirations to rule by decree.

As Democratic voters across the country watch their party’s presidential hopefuls clamber over one another in a race to the left, National Review is undertaking a far more promising venture: our 2019 Fall Webathon. Among the many reasons we’re counting on your generous support is so that we can continue observing, reporting on, analyzing, and critiquing the Democratic primary, giving you all the coverage you could want of the lead-up to next year’s general election.

Our Jim Geraghty detailed some of our efforts on this front earlier this month, noting how closely and carefully National Review’s many writers have been tracking the presidential-primary race from a number of angles. Considering that the Democratic field was made up of more than 20 candidates at its peak, there’s been quite a lot to keep tabs on.

For my part, I’ve been closely following the Democrats’ consistent leftward shift on the issue of abortion. In the most recent primary debate, for instance, all twelve candidates on stage managed to avoid answering the simplest, most fundamental question: “Do you support any limitations on abortion and, if so, what?” (But perhaps the evasion on the issue wasn’t entirely their fault: The debate’s moderators refused even to pose the question.)

Not only do we here at National Review do what we can to make sure you have the latest news about the race, and helpful commentary to go along with it, but we focus our reporting and analysis on the foibles of particular Democratic candidates with some regularity — and given the many weak candidates in the field, we’ve had no shortage of opportunities.

Take Kamala Harris, former attorney general of California and now the state’s junior senator, who has spent the overwhelming majority of her presidential campaign insisting that she’ll overstep the constitutional bounds of enumerated presidential powers in order to fix everything that she thinks is wrong with our republic.

As David French put it in a piece over the summer, Harris seems to think she’s running for queen. Her comprehensive immigration plan would use executive action alone to create a path to citizenship for millions of “Dreamers,” illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. She also has promised to create a new version of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, unilaterally permitting parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to apply for deferred action on their immigration status.

During the most recent debate, Harris promised that she’d enact a regime of “pre-clearance,” using her administration to block state laws that her Department of Justice deems contradictory to Roe v. Wade. Harris is one of several Democratic candidates who back a federal bill that would block any state law that attempts to limit abortion, even in the last three months of pregnancy. And her authoritarian instincts aren’t restricted to dictating her preferred abortion policy.

In her remarks at the Democrats’ climate-change town hall, Harris vowed to abolish the legislative filibuster in the Senate in order to pass a Green New Deal over what she called Republican obstruction of progress. Earlier this year, she pledged that, if Congress fails to send gun-control legislation to her desk during her first 100 days as president, she would immediately take executive action to enact such measures herself.

In other words, Harris is barely even bothering to try to conceal her authoritarian impulses. She seems to think winning the presidency would grant her the right to ignore Congress and decree her own will via executive action — and that we’d all be better off for it.

Here at National Review, we spend our days following the crazy plans of Harris and her fellow Democrats so you’ll know exactly where the Left is headed. Your contribution to our Webathon — not only to support our continued, careful election coverage but also to fund our costly legal effort to defend free speech in Mann v. National Review — is absolutely essential in that work. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer, no matter the size. We can’t do this without you. You can make a contribution here.

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