How Trump is changing the Democrats and other commentary

Conservative: How Trump Is Changing the Democrats

Republicans aren’t the only ones who’ve “gone through an evolution” in the Trump era, contends Ryan Girdusky at The Week. Under this president, Democrats “have become devoted to blind resistance, flipping on issues they once advocated for simply because he shares their beliefs.” Chief among them, of course, is border security: “Building a barrier along the southern border was once a mainstream position” supported by over 40 percent of Democrats as recently as 2015. Yet once Donald Trump announced his intention that same year to build a wall, Democratic support plummeted, reaching just 12 percent last month. Similar shifts exist on free trade and US military involvement abroad. Asks Girdusky: “Is there anything Democrats won’t give up in the name of resistance?”

Foreign desk: Dems Should Welcome INF Withdrawal

It’s no surprise that President Trump made good on his threat to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. What Bloomberg’s Eli Lake does find surprising is “the reaction from some leading Democrats.” Like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who said the withdrawal “risks precisely the sort of nuclear-arms buildup that the treaty was designed to guard against.” But, given US long-term compliance, the treaty “was a wonderful deal” for Moscow — which has been “cheating for more than a decade” and and ignoring US diplomatic efforts to get it to stop. Still, while “it’s fair to worry about a new nuclear-arms race between the US, Russia and China,” the problem is that “the race is already on — and the US is not running.”

Political scribe: Schultz Unites Parties — Against Him

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s announcement that he’s seriously considering an independent run for president brought a temporary pause in “the endless fight between Republicans and Democrats,” observes the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito. Social media and partisan opinion-writers on both sides “lost their collective minds” over the possibility. Why the freakout? Because a serious independent run “exposes how the partisan game is played and how much voters’ concerns are ignored in favor of donors’ and activists.’ ” Indeed, “neither party wants to reveal the fact that they want to avoid the middle to win the primary, and you can’t win a primary without throwing out red meat to the activists and the donors.” So an independent candidate “hits at both establishment parties’ weaknesses.”

Culture critic: Feminists Abandon Girls on ‘Equal Access’

A new law in New York gives biological men who identify as women full access to women’s bathrooms, locker rooms and even battered-women’s shelters, reports Abigail Shrier at City Journal. But when it comes to transgender matters that “come at the expense of girls and women,” America’s “famously outspoken feminist organizations find themselves at a curious loss for words,” calling “male” and “female” merely labels “assigned by a doctor at birth.” Do girls in such situations have “no reason to feel threatened, confined within the tiled walls of a locker room with a person possessing full male genitalia — as 89 percent of trans women do”? And what about female athletes “being unfairly bested by boys whose muscle mass and bone density confer an unearned advantage”? Says Shrier: “The fox has entered the henhouse,” even as “women’s organizations stick to the fiction that both species are hens.”

Security desk: Iran’s Space Odyssey Raises Red Flags

Last month, Iran launched a 200-pound satellite; and while it failed to achieve orbit, more such efforts are planned in the months ahead. Though Iran’s interest in space dates back to the late 1950s, Gawdat Bahgat at The National Interest notes that the US has charged such launches could help Tehran “develop a missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons to the US mainland.” Critics argue that “building and developing the capacity to place satellites into the earth’s orbit provides Iranian engineers with critical experience that can be used to boost their capabilities to launch long-range missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). In other words, peaceful uses and military applications are inseparable.”

— Compiled by Eric Fettmann