If there's anything we've learned about the radical Left, it's that their calling card is intimidation. It's been liberals' most effective weapon for holding conservatives hostage in political debates for years. And this week, California Democrats are taking the idea to the extreme -- threatening to publicize the names, addresses, and employers of anyone who signs a recall petition. Why? Because they're terrified that Americans are on the verge of taking their blue states back!
"It's chilling," PJ Media's Victoria Taft warned. Members of a state senate election committee are actually advancing a bill that would dox voters who sign petitions to kick bad politicians out of office. Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills was on "Washington Watch" Wednesday to talk about the dangerous line their proposal crosses. "Let's remember that in California, we have a history of evicting or recalling our elected officials," he explained. "And that's a good thing. What's interesting is that every recall effort that has been successful in California has been the California voter against a Democrat that is seated in office. Why? [They're] too extreme? And the man who engineered this bill that is none other than Josh Newman, who was recalled by the California voter[s] and literally thrown out of office."
Now, ironically, he's the author of legislation that would "bully, intimidate, and silence" anyone who takes action like that in the future. And the worst part is, Jack explains, this would reveal Californians' private names and their employment. Obviously, he says, "California politicians are panicking right now. And for that, we're grateful." But it's the height of arrogance for any public official to try to stifle the voters' mechanisms for holding them accountable.
And imagine, Jack said, that you work for the governor. "You don't like him or the policies that you've inherited with him. You're on his staff, but you sign one of these petitions and think you're safe." Under this bill, you'd be exposed for everyone to see -- your name, email, contact information, and who you work for. "So all of a sudden, that silences anyone who could be flushed out by a mayor's office, a city councilman's [office], or the county board of supervisors. And now you become a target."
At its core, this is the Democrats' M.O. We've seen it all across the map, but in the rise of the cancel culture especially. "Find those who speak up against you and destroy them, because there's no room for us to be a republic. There's no room for us to have any voice of dissent because that would make it America," Jack shook his head. "We can't have that anymore."
This is dangerous. It undermines -- not just democracy -- but our freedom and voice in the political process. Californians need to speak up and push back, while they can. After all, there are legitimate reasons for recalling people who've betrayed the public trust.
Look at what happened in the California Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, where Democrats agreed religious freedom isn't controversial and then voted down a bill that would have upheld it. All Republicans were trying to do was save the U.S. Supreme Court -- who's had to intervene on this issue five times in the state during COVID -- some work. Instead of treating churches and other houses of worship differently than liquor stores or shopping malls, members introduced a piece of legislation called the "Religion Is Essential Act." Their whole point was, "No political leader has the right to shut down religion." Not in a pandemic or crisis or any kind of emergency.
"This is not a partisan issue, or a theological issue," said state Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R). "It is a constitutional issue -- a First Amendment constitutional issue that evokes equal protection." According to the California Globe, Borgeas explained that he likes to go to church with his 93-year old dad. But as the coronavirus spread, he stopped taking his dad to church out of concern for his vulnerability. As soon as more health protocols were in place, he felt comfortable and realized it was realistic and safe to go back. But the state made that almost impossible with suffocating regulations and capacity limits deep into 2020.
The Supreme Court hit back on those gathering restrictions as recently as last Friday, sounding like a broken record in its insistence that churches be treated like every other secular institution. This bill would have made that a point of law. And while Democrats said they "agree with [their] colleague that this is about the Constitution," they went on to tank the proposal on party lines. "Until our state law clearly declares religion is essential," one of the only two Republicans on the committee said, "our current governor and future governors will continue to be able to side-step and undermine our religious freedom."