Mid-Day Digest

May 14, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” —John Adams (1798)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Democrats’ Growing Problem With God

The U.S. was founded upon the assertion espoused in the Declaration of Independence that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” These rights are bestowed by the highest of all authorities, God, and therefore no mere human government or institution has the authority to remove these rights. No government has greater authority than God, and all humanity, including governments, are ultimately answerable to God.

The Left asserts that the separation of church and state is essential to keep God out of government, but that is in fact the opposite of the Founding Fathers’ rationale in the First Amendment. The intention was to keep the state from dictating to the Church what it could teach and believe concerning God, faith, and religious practice. The Founders recognized that if the Church was not protected from the state, the state would eventually seek to use the Church to dictate what was taught about the nature of God and the relationship of God to the state.

That setup leads us to the recent controversy reported by The New York Times. House Republicans objected to Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee, leaving off “so help me God” from the honesty oath she administered to a witness. DeGette’s response was dismissive: “This is the oath we use and that’s the oath we’re going to use today.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) defended DeGette’s decision, arguing, “I think God belongs in religious institutions: In temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque — but not in Congress. God doesn’t want to be used.” It is true that God doesn’t want to be used, but diminishing His authority and presence is something He doesn’t want either. He is present not merely in houses of worship but everywhere, including the halls of Congress.

The fact that God’s existence and authority was recognized by our Founders in instituting our government is the very rationale that undergirds the rights that all Americans enjoy. Failure to acknowledge God as the source of our rights will inevitably lead to statists seeking to usurp divine authority on behalf of the state. The rule of men always leads to the eventual loss of rights and tyranny.

Democrats sought to remove any acknowledgement of God from their platform at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, only reversing course after an outcry from their own constituents. Clearly, there are those within the party leadership whose aim is to remove any reference to God, and by doing so remove any notion of an authority higher than the state. If the statists are successful, the Founders’ declaration of “unalienable Rights” will be attacked as a dangerous usurpation of religious interference into government. In fact, it already is.

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Pelosi Circles the Wagons for the Anti-Semitic Caucus

Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have already in their short congressional careers made it clear that they are deeply anti-Semitic. Both women are Muslim, which surely plays a key role in this hatred of Jews. Neither woman is committing “gaffes” or simply “misspeaking.” Their bile represents their true position.

The latest controversy surrounding Tlaib began with the following comment: “There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out… And just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, and it was forced on them.”

Got that? The Holocaust was a tragedy, but mainly for the Palestinians.

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein has a point-by-point rebuttal in which he sums up all the factual errors in Tlaib’s assertion. He concludes, “Tlaib’s claims that her Arab ancestors provided a ‘safe haven’ to Jews after the Holocaust ignores the Jewish presence in the region and efforts to establish a Jewish state that predated the Holocaust, ignores that her ancestors allied with Hitler at the time of the Holocaust, and ignores decades of violence and terrorism directed at Israel both before, during, and after the Holocaust.” Moreover, her comments are meant solely to delegitimize Israel.

Naturally, Tlaib didn’t back down. In fact, she claimed to be the victim of racists who objected to her statement: “You know, I got a text from a friend who’s like, ‘Hey, next time, you know, really clarify. Maybe talk like a fourth grader because maybe the racist idiots would understand you better.’”

It’s no surprise to see Tlaib’s anti-Semitism wrapped in gross revisionist history, or to see her double down and call her critics racists. Omar likewise charged critics with “Islamophobia.” What makes this episode stand out is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also backed up Tlaib. She accused Republicans of “desperate attempts to smear [Tlaib and] misrepresent her comments.” In fact, she demanded, they “should apologize to Rep. Tlaib & the American people for their gross misrepresentations.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer joined her, insisting that Trump and congressional Republicans “owe [Tlaib] an apology.”

In short, this is the effluent of a party that thrives on identity politics. Earlier this year, Pelosi had to deal with how to respond to Omar’s anti-Semitism. The House ended up passing a vacuous resolution — with the votes of Tlaib and Omar! — generically condemning hatred and bigotry. Now, in a calculated political move, both Pelosi and Hoyer have circled the wagons, defending the Democrats’ increasingly favored brand of hate and accusing others of the true sin. Who runs the party again?

(Correction: Hoyer is majority leader.)

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • BARR LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED: “Attorney General Bill Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation and to determine if the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016 was legal.” (The Daily Wire)
  • TARIFF BATTLE: “U.S. officials listed $300 billion more of Chinese goods for possible tariff hikes while Beijing vowed Tuesday to ‘fight to the finish’ in an escalating trade battle that is fueling fears about damage to global economic growth.” (Associated Press)
  • TARIFF RELIEF: “President Donald Trump said on Monday that his administration was planning to provide about $15 billion in aid to help U.S. farmers whose products may be targeted with tariffs by China in a deepening trade war.” (Reuters)
  • FEDERAL IMMIGRATION CRIMES NOW A PLURALITY: “Immigration offenses became the biggest category of federal crime in fiscal year 2018, surpassing the number of drug offenses. Crimes relating to immigration comprised 34.4 percent of all federal sentencing cases, an increase from last year’s 30 percent, according to the United States Sentencing Commission’s annual report.” (National Review)
  • VOTERS BACK VISA ENFORCEMENT: “As recently as 2017, over 600,000 of those who entered the United States on legal visas overstayed, and a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government should find these individuals and make them go home.” (Rasmussen Reports)
  • “WE ARE ALL TIMES READY FOR WAR”: “At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons.” (The New York Times)
  • ‘EMPIRE’ MISFIRE: “A few weeks after several of the stars of Fox’s hit television series ‘Empire’ wrote a letter to executives and producers demanding the return of embattled actor Jussie Smollett, Fox Entertainment announced that this upcoming season will be the scandal-damaged show’s last.” (The Daily Wire)
  • APPLE ANTITRUST FOREWARNING: “The Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 against Apple, saying iPhone users can pursue their antitrust lawsuit involving the tech giant’s signature electronic marketplace, the App Store. … The iPhone users argued that Apple’s 30% commission on sales through the App Store is an unfair use of monopoly power that results in inflated prices passed on to consumers.” (CNBC)
  • POLICY: Why VW workers have more to lose than gain from unionizing (The Daily Signal)
  • POLICY: Sharpening the U.S.-China trade debate (American Enterprise Institute)
  • HUMOR: Alyssa Milano launches line of purity rings (The Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Cal Thomas: “All of the policies that have produced strong economic results ought to be credited to President Trump, but Biden and his fellow Democrats improbably claim it was Obama’s policies that have gifted America with such wonderment. If that were true why did none of it happen during that administration? They claim it was because it took so long to recover from the ‘Bush recession’ that the results weren’t clear until recently. OK, then what about all of the other things Democrats have promised? They are always promising to improve education. Why, then, hasn’t education improved during previous Democratic administrations? Taxpayers are coughing up more for education. If there is a correlation between the amount spent and student achievement, wouldn’t kids be better educated and better able to compete with other countries where students excel in math and science ahead of ours?”

SHORT CUTS

For the record: “Trump has been talking about the unfairness of Chinese trade since the 1990s, by the way, so he’s totally consistent on this. … It’s not like Trump has started a trade war. As we’ve said for months now, folks, Trump is just finally addressing the trade war China has been waging on us for decades. What else would you call it? They import very little of what we produce, and what they do import, they slap massive tariffs on. Meanwhile, we import gobs of stuff from them. … The idea that we at one time may have had some flaws — never mind that they’ve been fixed — disqualifies us for any kind of economic or moral leadership… Well, Trump doesn’t believe any of this. Trump thinks this is crazy. Why should the United States, as the world’s lone superpower, basically punish ourselves, particularly if the effort is oriented around showing people we don’t mean ‘em any harm and we just want them to like us? That’s what Trump is trying to fix in addition to very specific unfairness of the trade arrangements we have with the ChiComs.” —Rush Limbaugh

Stop digging… “No other nation can catch us, including China. I got criticized for saying that. I’ve spent as much time with [Chinese President] Xi Jinping as any world leader has.” —Joe Biden

Friendly fire: “[James Comey] seems to be acting as a partisan pundit, selling books and earning speaking fees while speculating about the strength of my character and the fate of my immortal soul. … That is disappointing. Speculating about souls is not a job for police and prosecutors.” —Rod Rosenstein

Braying Jenny: “I think it’s just gender bias. I think people are generally biased against women. I think also biased against young women. There’s just bias and it’s real and it exists, but you have to overcome it.” —Kirsten Gillibrand, 52, on why her presidential campaign is struggling (It never occurs to these women that perhaps their policies are simply terrible.)

Moving the goal posts: “This is a technique of the GOP, to take dry humor + sarcasm literally and 'fact check’ it. Like the ‘world ending in 12 years’ thing, you’d have to have the social intelligence of a sea sponge to think it’s literal.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alpha Jackass: “Mandatory vasectomies until you want to have children. They can be reversed, so. Come on guys, Lets [sic] save lives! Whats [sic] that? A hard no? Why? Cause its [sic] your body and we dont [sic] get to make that choice for you?” —actress Evan Rachel Wood, who later added, “I dont [sic] want mandatory vasectomies because I dont [sic] believe we should legislate peoples [sic] bodies, its [sic] a dangerous slippery slope. I used the example to point out the hypocrisy of always putting the responsibility, punishment, blame, or means of prevention, solely on women.”

And last… “[Abortion activist Alyssa] Milano’s thesis is a simple one: if women aren’t going to be allowed to have their unborn child legally murdered at any stage of pregnancy, then they just should stop having sex. If effective, her plan will result in only the women who would potentially have their offspring killed not becoming pregnant. How is this a big loss for the pro-life movement again?” —Peter Heck

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