Dems to America: We've Begun Our Final Decent

Dems to America: We've Begun Our Final Decent

March 04, 2019

It's going to take some clever strategists to get liberals out of the box they've put themselves in for 2020. In a field of Green Deal-infanticide-open borders-socialists, Joe Biden actually seemed like a semi-moderate choice for voters. That all fell apart last Friday, when he apologized for throwing a lukewarm compliment Mike Pence's way. Now, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is piling on, proving that she may have less civility in her blood than Native American ancestors.

When she was asked what she thought about Biden's reversal, Warren said, "I'm sorry. I followed Pence's history on LGBTQ Americans, and I don't think that is a decent position. I disagree." When it came time to distinguish between the position and the man, Warren couldn't. What about Pence as a person? Does she believe he's "decent," reporters pressed? "No," Warren replied.

The biggest question, then, is the one Warren wasn't asked. Is anyone who holds a biblical view of sexuality decent? Because if they aren't, then their campaigns aren't about winning office, but about marginalizing nearly half of the country. Believe it or not, a plurality of Americans still holds the "indecent" position that marriage is between a man and a woman -- including the Democrat-leaning voters McLaughlin & Associates polled after the 2018 midterms. Are they bad people too? Because that's the implication here.

Every voter needs to follow this thinking to its logical conclusion -- and not just on marriage or sexuality, but on abortion too. Democrats like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren aren't just taking an opposing view. They're degrading the actual people who disagree with their positions. That's exactly how repressive and tyrannical regimes start. They dehumanize their enemies so they can push them aside, persecute them, and ultimately eliminate them. Of course, the liberal disdain of mainstream America is nothing new. It's as old as Barack Obama's "bitter clingers" -- and as costly as Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables." But neither fallout seems to have shaken the party out of this elitist fog that is, and should, alienate voters.

"There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice," Diane Hessan wrote for the Boston Globe in her wrap of the 2016 election. "It wasn't FBI Director James Comey, Part One or Part Two; it wasn't Benghazi or the e-mails or Bill Clinton's visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac. No, the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, 'You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the 'basket of deplorables.' All hell broke loose."

Now, Biden and Warren are unveiling the Deplorables 2.0 -- a campaign rooted in the same derogatory identity politics as 2016, but without the optional civility setting. It's tough enough defending the most extreme agenda in history, but try explaining away the party's disdain for tens of millions of people. Especially, the New York Times points out, when some of those people are Democrats.

In an eye-opening feature, reporter Trip Gabriel tries to wake Democrats up to the base's frustration in battleground states like Pennsylvania, where voters broke for a Republican president for the first time in two decades. In interview after interview, Gabriel talks to Democrats in all walks of life who supported Trump because they thought their party had become too radical. Rob Kopler, a retired deputy sheriff, said he's doubtful any of the 2020 Democratic hopefuls will win him over. "The Democrat party let their people down," he said. "They were going so far into the different extremes they forgot about who put them in office..." Joe Carnevale, an IT director, agrees. "How do we get them back?" he asked of the Trump voters who were once loyal Democrats. "Someone's got to take the Democrats into the real world," Mr. Carnevale said. "There has to be a middle there."

Others, like Nick DiCaprio voted for "pro-life" Democrats like Rep. Conor Lamb in the last election, but scoffs at ideas like Senator Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.). "He wants to take everything off the rich and give it to the poor: That's communism." Ed Rendell, former Democratic governor, warned, "The more we have presidential candidates or newly elected congresspeople talking about the Green New Deal, talking about 'Medicare for all,' talking about socialism, the more that plays into the Trump campaign's hands."

The Democrats are going to have to own a lot of controversial ideas heading into next year. But refusing to acknowledge that there are decent people on both sides may be the hardest to overcome.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Refugee Policy Passes Its Screen Test

March 04, 2019

It's been almost three years since President Trump put the brakes on Barack Obama's unvetted asylum program. After years of letting refugees stream across our borders, unchecked, the new system seems to be paying off -- especially where the world's most persecuted faith group is concerned: Christians.

Judging by the numbers coming out of the Department of State, this administration isn't just looking to the wall to protect America's interests. It's looking at U.S. asylum admissions too. After setting the lowest ceiling for refugees since the program was started in 1980, it looks like President Trump may not even meet that number. He and his team are taking an abundance of caution with the applicants to enter the U.S. -- something his predecessor never did. Now, thanks to a thorough vetting process, there's been a noticeable balance in faith groups entering America.

Unlike Obama, who made sure 97 percent of the Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. were Muslim, this president is trying to give other faiths, especially those targeted for persecution, the fair shake that the last administration didn't. Five months into this fiscal year, CNSNews's Patrick Goodenough points out, only about 9,305 of the 30,000 refugee slots have been taken -- and Christians make up 82 percent of them. That's a relief to several leaders, who were concerned that too many radical factions were sneaking through our front door under Obama's loose rules for asylum.

As FRC's Travis Weber points out, "When people face danger because of their religious beliefs around the world, we must ensure that refugee and asylum law is able to help them. Those charged with implementing the law should be trained to effectively do so, and they must treat everyone equally in terms of examining whether their religious beliefs are the cause of the persecution they are suffering."

This president understands that our first and most important priority is to ensure that anyone who steps foot on our soil doesn't present a threat to the American people. Too many refugees were gaming the Obama system, slipping into lines they knew couldn't be appropriately scrutinized. The Trump administration put a stop to that by postponing these applications until the government had a plan in place to screen everyone. And while the president took a lot of heat for that position, look at how well it's paid off.

Even for other nations, this new vigilance is a plus. After two and a half years, a dozen of the 87 Iranian refugees who've been held in Vienna touched down in Los Angeles last week to begin their new life. After being held for 29 months under an Obama-era policy, the hold was finally lifted for these families to re-locate. Susan Crabtree, who followed their case, said they've helped debunk the myth that President Trump's travel band is keeping families from Muslim-dominated countries from entering America.

In a world where religious persecution is off the charts, there are people of all faiths who truly need a safe haven. Fortunately, President Trump is proving that you show compassion without sacrificing national security in the process.

For more on the other facet of this debate, illegal immigration, don't miss the new column from FRC's Chris Gacek, "Are Walls an Immorality? Not According to the Bible."

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Separated by Birth: States Debate Infanticide

March 04, 2019

The Senate may have already killed its Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection bill, but the issue is far from dead. In a new op-ed from Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Republicans make it clear: the fight over infanticide is just beginning.

"Liberal states and politicians argue that unwanted babies who survive abortions -- including late-term abortions -- should not receive the highest level of medical care and would simply be 'made comfortable' before they are murdered. While horrific, this isn't far-fetched. Twenty-four states do not have explicit protections for live births," the duo points out. "It is appalling, and Congress must act. That is why we support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. It should be common sense in a just and moral society."

Democrats don't want a vote on infanticide, they explain, "because they know the rest of the country doesn't agree with them -- 77 percent of Americans support protections for abortion survivors and 62 percent oppose late-term abortion." But there's away around Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) "iron grip" in the House, the men write. It's called the discharge petition. "If a majority of the Members of Congress sign the discharge petition on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, the Speaker will be forced to bring it to the floor for a vote. Whip Scalise has begun the process of a discharge petition in the House, which will become eligible for signatures early in April."

That's a public process, thanks to work that Senator Inhofe did in the 1990s. Every signature will be out in the open, in plain view of voters. Do your representatives just give lip service to ending infanticide -- or do they mean it? Americans are about to find out.

Meanwhile, in the states, voters are getting a good look at where their local leaders stand on the killing of newborn babies. And in places like Rhode Island, New Mexico, and Illinois, it isn't good. After being stalled in the House Judiciary Committee for a month (mainly because of backlash), the smallest state in America is coming after its children -- in the womb and just out of it. Like New York, Rhode Island would take out any reference to unborn babies in its homicide law, repeal a ban on abortion coverage in insurance, add a vague "health" exception for doctors to destroy life right up to the moment of birth, and change the parental consent law on abortion to include grandparents and siblings.

Over in Illinois, where the governor is vying for the title of "most pro-abortion state in America," the Democratic supermajority looks ready to deliver on its extremism where human life is concerned. If the Reproductive Health Act passes, abortion would be considered a "fundamental right" in Barack Obama's home state. It would trump everything -- including pro-lifers' First Amendment conscience rights. For people who have moral objections -- in the health care industry, especially -- "they basically are saying we don't have any rights," objected the Catholic Conference of Illinois. And, to top it all off, taxpayers wouldn't just be on the hook for abortion -- but late-term abortion too. "They would be converting the 'Land of Lincoln' into the 'Abortion Capital of America.'"

In New Mexico, the debate is a little more heated. After a committee hearing that was so full overflow seating was necessary, state senators were warned that party majorities don't make a radical abortion bill a sure thing. "You can't make assumptions based on political party," Dr. Sandra Penn argued. "Just because someone has 'Democrat' next to their name doesn't mean it's a sure thing." For now, the bill to overturn a ban on abortion seems headed for the full state Senate floor. But that didn't deter pro-lifers, who went to the rotunda after the committee hearing to pray for the senators to see the light.

In the U.S. House, leaders may not yet see the light, but they will see thousands of newborn baby hats -- thanks to all of you who've supported our End Birth Day Abortion campaign. If you haven't had a chance to add your voice, click over to our website and join us!

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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