Tony Perkins / October 15, 2015

Pin the Tale on the Donkey

There were plenty of takeaways from [Tuesday] night’s Democratic presidential debate, but the biggest may be how much conservatives have to be grateful for. On a Las Vegas stage, Americans heard from five liberals bent on furthering the agenda that’s put our nation on the financial, moral, and international brink. Together, they showed no remorse for the misguided policies of the Obama administration — and instead seemed to apologize that the president’s radicalism didn’t go far enough.

There were plenty of takeaways from [Tuesday] night’s Democratic presidential debate, but the biggest may be how much conservatives have to be grateful for. On a Las Vegas stage, Americans heard from five liberals bent on furthering the agenda that’s put our nation on the financial, moral, and international brink. Together, they showed no remorse for the misguided policies of the Obama administration — and instead seemed to apologize that the president’s radicalism didn’t go far enough.

It was an eye-opening experience for most people, who heard, as National Review put it, “college educations should be free for everyone; all lives don’t matter, black lives do; Obama is simultaneously an enormously successful president in managing the economy, the middle class is collapsing … and that ObamaCare benefits should be extended to illegal immigrants.” In a world displaced and upended by Muslim extremists, the NRA was mentioned 14 times more than radical Islam (which wasn’t mentioned at all).

Out of step and woefully unconcerned about anything but the next big government program, voters heard from a man who could be president that the greatest national security threat facing America was climate change! Maybe so, if he was talking about the climate of hostility toward the West and religion — but certainly not the weather. Still, Bernie Sanders insisted, “The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we’re going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable. That is a major crisis.”

In a drastic departure from the GOP debates, social issues were almost nonexistent — with one major exception: Hillary Clinton’s stunning defense of Planned Parenthood. To CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who feigned surprise that the former secretary of state would propose another government program, Hillary fired back, “Well, look, you know, when people say that — it’s always the Republicans or their sympathizers who say, ‘You can’t have paid leave, you can’t provide health care.’ They don’t mind having big government to interfere with a woman’s right to choose and to try to take down Planned Parenthood. They’re fine with big government when it comes to that. I’m sick of it.”

In her allergy to the facts, Clinton failed to mention that redirecting money from scandal-ridden Planned Parenthood to community health centers would actually save America close to $235 million. That’s hardly the “big government” most Americans know. But the fact that the only woman on stage would defend an organization exploiting and endangering her own gender said plenty to viewers. Meanwhile, foreign policy, one of the current administration’s greatest weaknesses, got relatively little attention. Instead, Sen. Jim Webb, Gov. Martin O'Malley, Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Bernie Sanders spent most of the night trying to spend something else: taxpayer dollars.

With a particular focus on income inequality and paid leave, even Sen. Webb couldn’t help but point out, “With all due respect to Senator Sanders, I don’t think the revolution is going to come, and I don’t think the Congress is going to pay for all this.” No wonder the Democratic field sounded like a bunch of (to use Jim Geraghty’s words) “hard-Left, pie-in-the-sky, free-ice-cream-for-everyone, Socialist pander bears.” As for the shadow of scandal following Hillary Clinton, she did her best to step out of it. At one point, she tried to duck the issue, insisting that she would answer Congress’s questions when the time came. “But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next President of the United States.”

What Americans want is someone they can trust. And based on her conduct, and the conduct of so many Obama officials, that person is becoming harder and harder to find. After seven years of Barack Obama, this country wants a president who won’t break the rules to advance an agenda or bypass the law to institute flawed policy. That shouldn’t be too much to ask — but [Tuesday] night, it certainly felt like it.

A Woman’s Right to Choose… Military Service?

On the same week the Navy is releasing its new gender-less uniforms, the military is hinting that we might need a lot more of them. Under the Pentagon’s misplaced notion of feminism, it turns out that “gender equality” means a lot more than anyone thought.

On Monday, Army Secretary John McHugh shocked everyone by hinting that the next step in the military’s sexual revolution is registering women for the draft. “If your objective is true and pure equality, then you have to look at all aspects [of the roles of women in the military],” McHugh explained. “If we find ourselves as a military at large where men and women have equal opportunity, as I happen to believe they should, serving in combat positons at least on a formal basis … then ultimately the question of extending the selective service requirements to women as well will have to be discussed.”

This latest twist is just one of the byproducts of the push to integrate women in every position in the service, including combat. We’ve already seen the commander-in-chief lobby to assign America’s wives and daughters to ground combat units — risking, not only their lives, but the country’s national security as well. Why are military leaders surrendering to the forces of radical feminism? For the same reason that it’s redefining all gender roles: because this president cares more about the culture war than America’s greatest threats.

Under this administration, the government has arrived at policy conclusions that just a few years ago would be unthinkable. And while the Pentagon rushes to assure us that military readiness wouldn’t be compromised by things like women in the infantry and transgenders in the ranks, the realities are far different. Now, the Army is asking families to brace themselves for the possibility that our nation’s moms, sisters, and daughters could be forced into ground combat, shortly after the Defense Department lifts the limits on all positions for women this January.

And while no one likes the idea of a draft, this is the unfortunate situation we’re headed for with recruitment and retention rates so low. By and large, Americans oppose mandatory service (65-28% in the last Quinnipiac Poll). Asked about the possibility of subjecting women to the process, most females weren’t exactly thrilled with the idea. Breaking down the role and definition of the genders has been one of this administration’s biggest priorities.

But at some point, liberals need to face facts — which are that most women aren’t built for the physical and mental strains war requires. What’s more, the idea of drafting women only compounds the problems already faced by commanders over sexual orientation. As it did with homosexuals, the military will be creating another protected class, which means that military leaders will be spending time trying to meet quotas and handle gender-based complaints, instead of focusing on the mission at hand. While the president tries to emasculate the culture one radical policy at a time, it’s time for Americans to wake up and realize: this is the real “war on women.”

Kentucky Gov Puts Churches out to Pastor

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) made it very clear where he stands on religious liberty — the wrong side. And that’s exactly what five pastors were hoping to talk to him about. [Tuesday], armed with more than 1,700 petitions, a group of church leaders took time out of their week to drive to the capitol, hoping to meet with the governor about his refusal to call a special session of the legislature. More than 50 clerks have asked Beshear to deal with the problem that sent Kim Davis to jail — namely that she was denied her constitutional rights to exercise her faith at work.

Over the past couple of months, the grassroots have begged Beshear to call lawmakers back to Frankfort to hammer out protections for men and women who object to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. So far, he’s refused not only to schedule a special session — but to meet with the people requesting it. In a story that grabbed even USA Today headlines, Governor Beshear sent out his staffers to deal with the pastors, reportedly using the excuse that he couldn’t talk about the issue because his son is running for state attorney general (on a similar platform of religious hostility).

That stunned the church leaders, who couldn’t believe that Beshear would elevate the politics of his son above his duty as governor. Instead of protecting the rights of his state, he shirked his responsibility for the sake of a family political agenda. What a tragic irony! These pastors were doing their job by addressing a significant moral issue, and the governor couldn’t be bothered to do his. As for the excuse that it might affect his son’s race, I think it’s safe to say that Beshear already has. Because as many people know, the apple usually doesn’t fall far from the tree.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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