GOP Haggles over Hagel
February 14, 2013 - Thursday
If there's anyone who doesn't feel the love this Valentine's Day, it's Chuck Hagel. After a disastrous Senate hearing two weeks ago, the former Nebraska Senator only gained one new endorsement: Iran's. Since then, even more questions have bubbled to the surface about the potential Defense Secretary's undisclosed speeches, his "cozy" relationship with U.S. foes, and his apparent lack of awareness about America's greatest threats. The developments were so unsettling that even moderate Republicans, like Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), have decided that, on second thought, Hagel is "not well-suited for the tremendous challenges our country faces during this dangerous era in our history." Later, she spelled out four pages of reasons why.
Hagel's performance created so many questions that the majority of Republicans still refuse to end the debate and vote. When Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) brought up the nomination this afternoon, he was two votes shy of the 60 he needed for cloture. And already, the Left's cries of "obstruction" are underway. "The majority leader knows full well that the reason why cloture was denied... is because there are reasonable requests being made on this side for additional information," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) "and I hope and trust that that information will be provided here in the next few days and when we come back from the recess. We'll have another vote and another opportunity for senators to express themselves. But this is not any attempt to kill this nomination. This is not a filibuster."
For now, the GOP is in agreement: the administration needs to be more forthcoming on Benghazi--and until they are, the debate on Chuck Hagel is not over. And that's just fine with us. As far as FRC is concerned, the only qualification that President Obama was looking for in a Defense Secretary was a Republican who would give him cover as he undermines our military and national security by advancing his radical social agenda within the ranks of our Armed Services. Hagel's poor performance before his former colleagues, his opposition to America's key allies, and (as his hearing showed) an inability to cope under the pressure suggests that he is not fit to manage the world's most elite fighting force. America can do better!
Speaking of demanding better, that's exactly what the Senate didn't do yesterday in confirming judicial activist and elitist William Kayatta to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Only 12 conservatives held the line on judicial activism by opposing his nomination: Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), and David Vitter (La.). Click here to let them know that you appreciate their principled stance!
While President Obama is in Georgia stumping for universal preschool, the real pathway to prosperity runs right through the home. "Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road," the President insisted Tuesday. "And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. So let's do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind."
Unfortunately for President Obama and the rest of his big government buddies, a lack of education isn't the only thing that can shadow children for the rest of their lives. While academics are important, they're no substitute for a married mother and father when it comes to predicting future success. FRC's Dr. Henry Potrykus makes a compelling case for focusing on a different kind of homework--maintaining stable families. "Public policy assumes, and needs no persuasion, that education attainment is a good to be promoted. The same assumption does not hold for family intactness."
Politicians like President Obama are eager to replace families with expensive and intrusive government programs, which, Henry points out, may have less influence on a child's well-being than an institution that costs taxpayers nothing: a married mom and dad. In his latest paper, U.S. Social Policy Dependence on the Family, he explains that family intactness "is roughly as important as high school education and more important than college education in influencing outcomes of public policy interest." This chart says it all. In the columns where the colored area is darker blue, family intactness has a proportionately greater influence in magnitude than the education variable. In the columns where the colored area is whiter, family intactness has a proportionately smaller influence than the education variable.
During the GOP debates, Sen. Rick Santorum was criticized for suggesting that the family would be a more powerful and permanent solution to our nation's problems of poverty and crime than any entitlement Washington could concoct. But that should be an especially persuasive argument for libertarians, who insist on getting government out of our lives and out of our wallets. And unlike the President's plan, which could waste billions, it doesn't cost taxpayers anything to stop producing policy that inhibits natural family formation. Besides, as the Wall Street Journal points out, "If the regular public schools aren't working... does it make sense to layer on another defective education level? ... It's further proof that liberals measure government success not by results, but by good intentions and how much the government spends."
Texas Lassoes More Leaders for Scouts
With help from the state's highest ranking Eagle Scout, Gov. Rick Perry, Texas is rounding up plenty of support for the Boy Scouts' current policy. Close to 40 Lone Star State elected officials have signed an open letter to the organization, urging them to stand by a century of family values. "Capitulating to the liberal social agenda not only undermines the very principles of scouting, but sets the stage for the erosion of an organization that has defined the American experience for generations of young men," the group writes. "[T]he contemplated national policy [of allowing homosexuals] would throw to the wolves chartering organizations and scout troops that choose to stick with scouting's historic and legally protected policy... Rest assured that while adopting this ill-considered and wrongly devised policy might earn temporary kudos, you can never do enough to appease those who want to see the scouts robbed of their moral authority." Hats off to Texas and the other states, who are starting to rally their troops before the BSA's May vote.
** After the tragic death of Jennifer Morbelli last week, new questions have been raised about HHS's ties to the abortionist who botched her procedure. Find out more in Ken Klukowski's Breitbart column, "Woman Dies in Late-Term Abortion Performed by Doctor Linked to Sebelius."