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Profiles in Courage from Left of Center
Backbone and Moral Clarity from 22 House Dems, 1 Senate Dem, and Hillary Clinton
Recently, I offered to contribute 100% of the next $1,000 of my paid subscription revenues to Israel’s EMS personnel and add on an additional 50% from my own pocket. I seem to have met that goal, so as soon as the funds hit the bank account, I’ll send a $1,500 contribution. From now till December 1, I’ll contribute 50% of new revenues to the same charity. Thanks so much to all who opened your wallets to this effort.
After the Hamas barbarities in Israel on October 7, the verdict is in: in America, antisemitism, tolerance of antisemitism, and cowering before antisemitism are primarily phenomena of the political Left, not of the Right. The evidence is stark, self-evident, and overwhelming, with few if any plausible arguments to the contrary. My recent column, Intellectual Tyrants Beget True Believers, explored the depraved enthusiasm of leftist academicians, students, and activists for last month’s live-streamed orgy of murder, torture, rape, kidnapping, and beheading of innocents. I honestly do not envy the honorable Left’s urgent, painful task of liberating themselves from the large, perverse fifth column in their midst.
An upcoming Bastiat’s Window essay will elaborate on why I say all of this, but today’s column celebrates those on the American Left who have already shown backbone and moral clarity and deserve loud and sincere thanks. There are too many to name, but I will highlight Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Ritchie Torres; 22 Democratic members of the House of Representatives (including Wasserman-Schultz and Torres); Senator John Fetterman; and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I especially recommend watching Clinton’s 8-minute tour de force discussion on TV’s The View.
To those who don’t know me, I’m a political iconoclast, more right-of-center than left-of-center, but less predictable than many of my friends assume. Something of a rara avis in our polarized, hyperpartisan era, I am a genuine swing voter who has voted since 2000 for both Republicans and Democrats in presidential elections, as well as in elections for Virginia’s governor and senator. My personal friends and readers of Bastiat’s Window span the political spectrum, and I deeply treasure the diversity of thought among those with whom I interact. So let’s have a look at today’s profiles in courage.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
On October 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 771, titled, “Standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.” The opening lines are found at the top of this essay, and its words decry the barbaric deaths in Israel and also the spilled blood of Palestinians. 412 representatives voted for H.Res. 771, but nine Democrats and one Republican voted “no,” and six Democrats voted “present.” In the above video, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issues a simple, eloquent, moral judgment that sparked outrage from among those 16 dissenters and their apologists:
“Someone who votes against this, I would think, doesn’t have a soul.”
Wasserman-Schultz’s words should be chiseled in marble.
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY)
Rep. Torres, a member of the House Progressive Caucus, has been unflinching in his support for Israel and relentless in his condemnation of terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. In addition, he has not hesitated to offer criticism—sometimes harsh—of his fellow progressives’ infatuation with the terrorist organizations. In the video above, he slams Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The video cites a Torres post on X (Twitter), where he writes of Omar:
“A Member of Congress falsely accused me of being ‘happy’ about the death of Palestinians. It is the most vicious lie that one can tell about a colleague. The same colleague voted against Iron Dome, which (a) protects Israeli Jews and Arabs from thousands of rockets and (b) deescalates the Israeli Palestinian conflict, saving both Israeli and Palestinian lives. Given my colleague’s opposition to Iron Dome, one must ask: how many Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinians must die from endless rocket fire and escalated conflict before she summons the moral decency to support Iron Dome? Without Iron Dome, the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust would have been deadlier.”
An outspoken opponent of antisemitism on college campuses, Torres said:
“I have no use for pro-Hamas protestors, and I despise them with every fiber of my being.”
22 Who Chose Humanity over Politics
On November 7, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 234-188 to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for making false accusations about Israel and effectively calling for the genocidal extinction of the Israeli people. 212 Republicans voted for the censure, 4 voted against it, and 1 voted “present.” On the Democratic side, only 22 voted for the censure, 184 voted against it, and 3 voted “present.”
It is worth noting the names of all 22 members who courageously voted to condemn their fellow Democratic Caucus member:
Steve Cohen (TN), Jim Costa (CA), Angie Craig (MN), Don Davis (NC), Lois Frankel (FL), Jared Golden (ME), Dan Goldman (NY), Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Greg Landsman (OH), Susie Lee (NV), Kathy Manning (NC), Jared Moskowitz (FL), Wiley Nickel (NC), Chris Pappas (NH), Marie Gluensenkamp Perez (WA), Pat Ryan (NY), Brad Schneider (IL), Kim Schrier (WA), Darren Soto (FL), Ritchie Torres (NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Frederica Wilson (FL).
As the Left grapples with the antisemitic monster in its ranks, these 22 can rest with clear conscience.
Senator John Fetterman (D-PA)
Sen. John Fetterman has been downright ostentatious in his support for Israel and opposition to pro-Hamas protestors. Across America, Hamas supporters have been gleefully tearing down posters of the 240 or so innocent civilians held hostage by Hamas. Fetterman posted all the posters on his office wall and, as this video shows, said,
“They will stay up until every single person is safely returned home.”
This additional video shows Fetterman taunting pro-Hamas protestors by walking through their rally, waving an Israeli flag over his head. Asked by a veteran why he has not called upon Israel to agree to a ceasefire, Fetterman responded, simply,
“I don’t know. I think you should be protesting Hamas.”
(NOTE: I’m now seriously considering wearing a black hoodie and gym shorts to my next business meeting.)
Former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
I’m not Hillary Clinton’s biggest fan; nor am I an enthusiast for television’s The View. But dear Lord, I loved Clinton’s recent discussion of Israel versus Hamas on that program. Her defense of Israel and condemnation of Hamas could not have been more eloquent or spot-on accurate. In the video above, start at around one minute in and listen to the rest. The View folks really aren’t too bad here, but when they try to pull Clinton into criticizing Israel and the U.S., she pulls back gracefully, but forcefully, and reiterates that Israel is in the right and that Hamas is barbaric. She offers a reasonable degree of optimism as to what the future might hold for Israel, the Palestinians, and the neighboring Arab States. Her voice is calm, yet adamant about the past month and about the true nature of Hamas—and the nightmare that Hamas poses to both Israelis and Palestinians. Here are a few choice quotes:
“Remember, there was a ceasefire on October 6th that Hamas broke by their barbaric assault on peaceful civilians—and their kidnapping, their killing, their beheading, their terrible inhumane savagery. There was a ceasefire. It did not hold, because Hamas chose to break it.”
“Hamas is a terrorist organization. It has made very clear it is committed to the elimination of the State of Israel, and it has consistently broken ceasefires over a number of years. Israel has a right to defend itself as any country would.”
“My husband, with the Israeli government at the time, in 2000, offered a Palestinian state to the Palestinians—at that time run by Yasser Arafat. … Arafat turned that down. There would have been a Palestinian state now for twenty-three years if he had not walked away from it.”
“Israel left Gaza in 2005 and forcibly ejected 50,000 Israelis who were living in Gaza. They left all of their infrastructure. They had a big infrastructure of greenhouses where they were supplying fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc. And the Palestinians deserved to have a productive, successful economy in Gaza. Hamas came in and basically destroyed all of that—and killed a lot of other Palestinians.”
“People should not get hopeless. There is hope, but you have to remove from the scene terrorists like Hamas who don't believe in peace. They don't believe in it for their own people. They are using their own people as shields.”
Anyone in America who possesses a soul should offer a sincere thanks to these folks and join them in their righteous efforts.
Feel-Good Story of the Week
In New York City, Hamas-loving baristas at Jewish-owned Caffé Aronne quit their jobs en masse to protest owner Aaron Dahan’s Israeli flag, fundraiser for the Magen David Adom (Israel’s version of the Red Cross), and his display of posters for the innocents held hostage in Gaza by Hamas. Without support staff, Dahan was on the verge of shuttering his business when, in a scene that reminds me of It’s a Wonderful Life, volunteers from all over the neighborhood swooped in to serve coffee, clean up, and help out in any way possible. Customers by the thousands lined up around the block to buy coffee. Even Dahan’s business competitors called to offer their support.
Watch this video to realize that there is, indeed, a lot of goodwill left in the world today.