Stupid Is as Stupid Votes?
What’s rarer than an honest politician? A lying one who admits it. That’s essentially what ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber did in a viral video about the President’s strategy for passing his signature policy. In it, he admits what shouldn’t be news to anyone: that the legislation was built on a pack of lies and passed because too many Americans couldn’t see through them.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber said at a University of Pennsylvania lecture last year. “And basically, call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.” The bill, he explains, was intentionally written “in a tortured way” -- not just to confuse voters, but the government agencies pricing out the policy. Raising the hackles of voters everywhere, Gruber arrogantly praised the ploy, saying, “It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
Of course, the irony is that American voters must not be stupid -- else the President wouldn’t have had to lie in the first place! Obviously, he was concerned that selling the system “as is” would have exposed it for the freedom-crushing, money-sucking, job-killing measure it was.
And despite the administration’s snow job, plenty of Americans weren’t deceived. Including FRC. We warned from Day 1 that the system was chocked-full of rationing, taxpayer-funded abortion, sky-high costs, and massive plan casualties. It’s not that the American people are “stupid,” it’s that they have an expectation that they can trust their elected leaders -- or at a minimum, that their leaders won’t willfully lie to them. “The strategy was to hide the truth from the American people,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told reporters. “I’m not into this post-modern world where you can say whatever you want to in order to achieve your agenda. That is a threat to the American republic... This is far deeper and more significant than the fact that he just spoke.”
Meanwhile, if anything paints the picture of modern liberalism, it’s this controversy. The message from liberal elites is that the government knows better than the average American what’s good for our country. It’s the height of condescension and arrogance, and it just might be the undoing of the law Democrats worked so hard to hide. As insulting as Gruber’s comments were, they might have done the country a huge favor. Now that America’s “stupid” voters have fired more ObamaCare supporters from office, this only fans the flames for phase two: full repeal!
In Maryland, Christmas Is a Christ-Mess!
In Maryland, one local school board is making the Grinch look like an amateur! Christmas has officially been cancelled in Montgomery County, thanks to some not-so-wise men in charge of the local schedule. Tuesday, the board voted to wipe the calendar clean of all religious holidays, regardless of how widely celebrated they may be. Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and others were all part of the politically-correct casualties that sanitized special dates after a push from the district’s Muslim community. Instead of Christmas vacation, students will have “winter break,” and any other significant dates will just be marked “no school for students and teachers.”
Obviously, Americans are no stranger to giving Christmas the heave ho-ho-ho, but this is a step too far. “By stripping the names of Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur,” one of the Muslim moms complained, “they have alienated other communities now, and we are no step closer to equality.”
Unfortunately, this should have never been about “equality” or diversity. It’s about honoring America’s cultural and Christian heritage. That doesn’t mean ignoring other religions -- but it also doesn’t mean surrendering our identity to a minority either. Instead of punishing everyone, Montgomery County could have just as easily made accommodations for other faiths to celebrate their holidays without disrupting others’. What the district’s extremists have done is cleanse the classroom of any acknowledgement of America’s roots as a Christian nation. And that’s a grave disservice -- not just to believers -- but to the next generation, who won’t know who they are.
As George Orwell predicted in 1984, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” The school’s role isn’t to be a Christmas cop or Menorah monitor; its role is to instill an appreciation for the history and tradition of our nation -- which just so happens to be Christian!
Diplomats Put out the Welcome Mat for LGBT
While American Christians suffer in prisons overseas, the White House is taking a leadership role all right -- in the “persecution” of transgenders. With 13.6 million people displaced in the Middle East, and men and women of faith on the run in Africa, the State Department decided to weigh in with its third “Conference to Advance the Human Rights of and Promote Inclusive Development for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons.”
Instead of tackling one of the most fundamental human rights crises of our time -- international religious hostility -- administration officials zeroed in on “the specific needs of transgender persons; how to best engage faith communities to support the human rights of LGBT persons; and the best ways to integrate these priorities into development programs.” This week, the State Department will be spending time on homosexuality while people are literally dying for the right to practice religious liberty. The State Department has been aggressively leaning on foreign governments to abide by their values -- which, as the last election proved -- are inconsistent with the vast majority of Americans.
As I’ve said before, persecution abroad is directly related to our religious intolerance here at home. And until Congress and the White House make this an issue, the spike in persecution will only climb higher. What America does publicly communicates our priorities to the world. And what we’re communicating now is that the United States is too consumed with the radical sexual agenda of 2.7% of the population to help millions of hurting Christian men, women and children.
This, by the way, is in total contradiction to duly-enacted federal policy. The Obama administration is ignoring the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 which states: “it shall be the policy of the United States…to condemn violations of religious freedom, and to promote, and to assist other governments in the promotion of, the fundamental right to freedom of religion.”
In the congressional hearing over Mariam Ibraheem, Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) was one of many leaders frustrated by the status quo. “We need to ratchet up, I think. And Mr. Perkins, your point about other issues becoming prioritized, frankly, I have been shocked and dismayed by how many Ambassadors and foreign leaders have told me to my face that the LGBT agenda is what trumps everything in the U.S. foreign policy. So religious freedom, in a way, is seen as an impediment to the advancement of that.” The new Congress must hold this Obama administration accountable to the law, which includes religious freedom.
** Republicans won the election -- now what? Find out in Ken Blackwell’s new Fox News column,“What the GOP Congress Should and Shouldn’t Do in 2015.”
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.