GOP to Disney: You've Lost a Friend in Me

GOP to Disney: You've Lost a Friend in Me

May 11, 2022

It's been an unusually quiet week for corporate America after one of the biggest cultural bombshells of the modern age. The news that the Supreme Court might be on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade hasn't unleashed an army of woke CEOs on the country like most people expected. On the contrary, most of the country's brands seem surprisingly mum on an abortion issue that would have sent them into the stratosphere as recently as February. What changed? Experts say one thing: Disney.

The company's spat with Florida Republicans left a mark, the Wall Street Journal says. That feud, which robbed Disney of special privileges that it's enjoyed for decades, "has CEOs on alert." After years of corporate America having their way with conservatives -- bashing the GOP's social policy on one hand and demanding economic favors on the other -- the tables have turned. When Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) flexed his political muscle against Disney CEO Bob Chapek for overstepping his bounds on the Parents Rights Act, an unmistakable message was sent: cross us on core values and you'll pay.

Now, in the messy aftermath of that flap, more CEOs are awake to the risks of taking sides on touchy cultural issues than ever. "More than a dozen brands that have previously taken positions on other issues either declined to comment on the [Supreme Court's] draft opinion [on abortion] or didn't respond to requests for comment," the Journal reports. Some of that has to do with the ruling not being final, but there's plenty of anxiety about alienating customers too.

After the Supreme Court leak, PR firm Zeno was quick to let clients know that abortion is a "particularly divisive issue," and "subjects that divide the country can sometimes be no-win situations for companies..."

That's a major shift from just a few months ago, when woke companies were jumping into the fray on everything from gender identity and school curriculum to critical race theory. Now, gun-shy from the drama that played out between Orlando and Tallahassee, more businesses are thinking twice about weighing in on Roe.

Of course, there will always be companies too woke to care about customer relations -- like Amazon, Apple, Levi Strauss, Uber, Lyft, Citigroup, and Ben & Jerry's -- who've all stepped out on a limb to defend their radical abortion policies. Some, like Levi, even go so far as to call their defense of the killing "a business imperative."

Disney, meanwhile, has bigger problems on its hands. After suffering a couple of black eyes at the hands of the Florida legislature, congressional Republicans have their own ideas about forcing Chapek into line. Almost two dozen conservatives wrote to the CEO last month, threatening not to renew Disney's copyright on Mickey Mouse -- which is up in 2024. Now, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is giving the effort some teeth, introducing a special Copyright Clause Restoration Act that would limit protections to 56 years. And since the law would apply retroactively, Disney could lose some of their most sacred copyrights immediately if the bill passed. "The age of Republican handouts to Big Business are over," he declared.

On "Washington Watch" Wednesday, Hawley explained that Disney went to Congress several years ago to ask for another sweetheart deal -- this time on copyrights -- and got it. "I don't know why Disney should get special deals from the federal government," the Missouri senator said. "I don't know why a company that now apologizes for America, that apologizes for its own work over the years and that attacks the values of this country, I don't know why they should get these special handouts. So what my bill would do is end the special handouts. Disney should get treated like everybody else..."

Making matters worse, the legal fight against Florida's law that stripped Disney of its self-governing district was just dismissed in court for "lack of standing." That blow, combined with this new copyright snag, creates even more headaches for Chapek, who's already paid a steep price for Disney's wokeness. But as far as Hawley is concerned, "If you're going to attack the values of most Americans, if you're going to attack the American family, if you're going to ship our jobs overseas and deny us work, why would we reward you for that? Why would they get special treatment? I'm against that. And I think it's time that we made it really clear what we stand for."

Beyond Roe: The Dems' Terrifying New Normal

May 11, 2022

If it was a "show vote," then it did its job. When Democrats decided to put the most extreme abortion bill ever drafted on the Senate floor, it showed people plenty. If anyone was under the illusion that Joe Biden's party was remotely reasonable on the issue of life, they learned pretty quickly that those days are over. Today's Democrats don't want to keep Roe v. Wade. They want to go beyond Roe -- to federal tyranny and coercion to unlimited, taxpayer-funded abortion right up until the moment of birth. And this vote proves it.

When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "The vote will shine light on every single one of us," he was right. For the second time in four months, the American people got a real look at the Democratic Party's extremism Wednesday -- and what they saw should have terrified them. All but one of their senators (Manchin) voted to burn the pro-life culture in America to the ground. This wasn't about making Roe permanent law, like Democrats want voters to believe. This was about crushing state laws, partial-birth abortion bans, safety regulations, abortion limits, conscience rights, parents' rights, and faith-based hospitals. "This is not maintaining status quo," FRC President Tony Perkins warned. "This is about taking a huge eraser and [wiping out] all of the pro-life legislation that's become law in the last 49 years and removing it from the books..." Every state would be stuck accepting this radical abortion ideology that Democrats have attached themselves to.

It's such an enormous leap from where the country is now that even liberal Republicans drew the line. In a country where only eight percent of voters think abortion should be legal in the third trimester, even Planned Parenthood sympathizers like Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) agree the language is too "extreme." Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), who's delivered more than 5,000 babies in his practice, said he'd be out of business under the law. "A person like myself, a pro-lifer, would have had to quit medical school," he explained. Because one of the things the bill would do is force people to participate in abortions. "It's way, way beyond anything we could have ever dreamed up," Marshall shook his head.

And as far as Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is concerned, Congress doesn't even have the power to force this on the nation unilaterally. "I'm not sure that they could do it constitutionally, even if they had the votes," he explained on "Washington Watch," "because the Supreme Court has been clear: Congress doesn't get to make up constitutional rights. Congress can't say, 'Oh, you know, actually, [we] think there's a constitutional right to abortion that we're going to impose on the entire country.' And that's what they're trying to do here. [They don't want to] let anybody else speak. [They don't want to] let anybody else have a view -- or certainly don't [want to let] the unborn have any voice in this process."

At the end of the day, Hawley insisted, this is just another attempt to pressure the Supreme Court to change their decision in the Dobbs case. Schumer knows the bill "is going nowhere. But what he wants to do is he wants to continue to gin up public pressure, which we've seen erupt into violence, we've seen erupt into harassment, into threats against the justices. And he's trying to foster that. He's trying to feed it. And it's very wrong." Biden's party is so focused treating parents like domestic terrorists for showing up at a school board meeting that they apparently can't be bothered to deal with the Left's firebombing of pro-life organizations, church attacks, harassment, vandalism, and property destruction taking place across the country. The president "is going to own a lot of responsibility here," Hawley insists.

As for his party, they're about to own something else: the fiercest attack on the unborn since Roe was decided. And any far-Left leaders who think this barbaric crusade is a winning strategy are kidding themselves. Even two out of every three "pro-choicers" are appalled at the idea of destroying a baby in the womb after the fifth month. Even so, the Democrats (with one exception) seem intent on chasing this truly fringe agenda, political suicide or no.

"I can't underscore enough how much the American people are on the side of life," FRC's Connor Semelsberger explained. And now, with no middle ground in the Democratic Party, "you've got one choice: abortion on demand. That's it. They've had to drift so far to the Left that any other deviation from that -- even a restriction at viability, which is what Roe allowed -- is far out of step with where Democrats are." When the polling questions are framed correctly, and people understand what the 1973 ruling did, "they don't want what Roe v. Wade says."

If there is a bright side to Wednesday's vote, it's that Republicans are just as determined to protect life as Democrats are to destroy it. And that's significant. In the meantime, we wait for the justices' decision on Dobbs with a hopeful eye, praying the Court will recognize the basic humanity that Joe Biden's party does not.

Empathy Fail: 'I Can Taste' Your Frustration, Says Biden on Purpose

May 11, 2022

Inflation statistics for April were released this morning, and they can't be what Democrats were hoping for. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "The all items index increased 8.3 percent for the 12 months ending [in] April, a smaller increase than the 8.5-percent figure for the period ending in March." The slight decrease, due to a 2.7-percent decline in energy prices, has been rendered meaningless by spiking national average gas prices over the past 10 days, which reached a new record high today of $4.404 per gallon.

As midterm elections loom ever closer, persistently high inflation signals trouble for the party in power. Their situation is so desperate that President Biden went on defense yesterday, even before the numbers were released. "I know you've got to be frustrated," he said. "I know. I can taste it." Taste it? I guess that's better than smelling, but what does inflation taste like? "I think the flavor is Tutti Frutti," said FRC President Tony Perkins. "He's trying to portray empathy, but he doesn't get it," said Senate Budget Committee member Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). "When you don't fill up your own tank with gas, and you don't actually go to the grocery store... you're not relating."

But it doesn't take a taste test to tell Americans are fed up with uncontrolled inflation. According to a Trafalgar Group poll conducted in late April, "lowering inflation and fixing the economy" is the top concern for 38.5 percent of voters, leading among nearly every age, racial, and political subdivision, including Democrats. Even a CNN poll found that 50 percent named the economy as their top concern. In that poll, fully two-thirds disapproved of Biden's handling of the economy, and 55 percent of respondents said, "Joe Biden's policies have worsened economic conditions in the country," compared to only 19 percent who said his polices have improved conditions.

In his speech yesterday, President Biden proved he can read polls, but applying them is something different. He insisted inflation was his "top domestic priority" and promised to talk about solutions, but he "was very short on specifics," as Perkins said. "He was blaming everybody else, as he always does," Cramer added. "It was Vladimir Putin's fault. It was his predecessor's fault. Now, it's 'MAGA Republicans'' fault. Yet he forgets... when he became president, inflation was 1.5 or 1.6 percent."

Perkins suggested Biden is failing to fix the economy by interfering too much. "More government spending, higher taxes, and continued government regulation: how is that going to help supply and demand?" asked Perkins. "If you're in a position of government, you don't make anything. You just watch whatever other people make. It's really the private sector that drives the economy, but you can affect that by cutting regulations, cutting taxes so that people produce more. That's what brings the prices down." Cramer agreed that Biden has "got the supply, demand curves completely upside down." He "pushed through this $2 trillion giveaway program... which put fuel on the fire of inflation," while on the supply side he "squelches energy development."

On top of this, Cramer protested, Biden's "environmental policies run up straight against his economic policies." To reduce gas prices, "they want to push us all to electric vehicles," while slow-walking new drilling permits for cost-effective oil and gas. Biden signed a "$12,500 per electric vehicle" subsidy, said Cramer, but "he's shut down critical mineral mining" for their batteries. Cramer suggested administration officials "don't have a fundamental understanding of what motivates the private sector." When Jesus said, "do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Matthew 6:3), he was condemning charitable acts done to earn men's praise, not endorsing government policies that contradict each other.

Cramer said Biden hurts the economy by his signals, even when they don't result in policy. "Where he doesn't have regulatory authority, he sends messages.... He proposes regulations that will probably never become final," Cramer complained, sending "messages to the investment community... 'don't invest here.' The previous administration that he loves to blame -- they didn't have this problem."

Democrats have rolled out a new favorite term, "MAGA Republicans," but Cramer suggested that's "a term of endearment" to those who know what it means. "We'd love to go back to the Make America Great Again days, when inflation was 1.4 percent," he said. When "the cost of gasoline, the cost of food, the cost of everything was less, where people were making more money, where the middle class was growing, ... when the nation was secure, before Russia dared to invade its neighbor, ... and the southern border was actually managed." Instead of fixing "the economy, stupid," President Biden has chosen to play "pin the blame on the GOP," but voters aren't buying it.