Gary Bauer / May 3, 2017

Don’t Forget Your Core

The sports network ESPN is bleeding viewers and recently announced a round of layoffs of top on-air personalities. What’s going on? Do Americans suddenly no longer like sports? No, there’s no sign of that happening. It’s left-wing politics.

The sports network ESPN is bleeding viewers and recently announced a round of layoffs of top on-air personalities. What’s going on? Do Americans suddenly no longer like sports? No, there’s no sign of that happening. It’s left-wing politics.

Linda Cohn, a broadcaster who has been with ESPN for more than two decades, spoke out about the network’s troubles recently. Here’s what she said:

I felt that the old-school viewers were put in a corner and not appreciated with all these other changes. And [ESPN] forgot their core. You can never forget your core. Be grateful for your core group. I don’t know how big a percentage, but if anyone wants to ignore that fact, then they’re blind. And that’s what I meant about the core group of what made ESPN so successful.

Who is the core? It’s your father and grandfather who love watching the NFL, college football, Major League Baseball, March Madness or a great hockey game. They love it when a soldier returns from Iraq or Afghanistan and is cheered by the crowd. Middle America does not tune in to hear some millionaire athlete or commentator tell us how bad America is.

Even reporters at the left-wing Washington Post get it. In a column yesterday, the Post’s Cindy Boren writes this:

ESPN was criticized almost two years ago for giving Caitlyn Jenner its Arthur Ashe Courage Award over Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph basketball player who had brain cancer. The criticism continued over its coverage of Colin Kaepernick last year and his protest of the national anthem.

Maybe ESPN should have talked to Target, which just admitted that its sales plummeted once it announced that men could use the women’s bathroom with your wife and daughter.

ESPN and Target are examples of how powerful the out-of-touch cultural elites have become. The poisoned air of this left-wing culture convinced corporate executives that their customers were really yearning for ladies rooms with men and that a sports channel’s fans really wanted to see a man who surgically altered his body get an award over a female athlete who struggled with brain cancer.

As the old adage goes, “Dance with the one who brought you.” In most cases that’s the hardworking men and women who live between the coasts. And now that I think about it, maybe that is a good lesson for Republicans in Congress too!

A Disappointing Deal

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are crowing. The temporary budget deal funding the government is, in the words of Nancy Pelosi, “a defeat for President Trump.” Sadly, I agree. I believe this temporary budget extension is a betrayal of the Trump White House.

The president did get more money for defense and some additional funding for border security projects. But there is no money for the border wall, sanctuary cities are still funded, Planned Parenthood is still funded, Obamacare is still funded and Puerto Rico is getting a $300 million bailout.

I understand there has to be some give and take. But it seems like the GOP did most of the giving and Democrats did most of the taking — an inexplicable formula given that Republicans control the White House, the Senate and the House.

The good news is that the deal only lasts until September. The bad news is that the deal is so disappointing because the GOP leadership surrendered its leverage.

Congressional Republicans made it clear that they were unwilling to go to the mat for their priorities and terrified of a government shutdown. Democrats exploited that weakness and they will do it again next time.

The argument used to be that we can’t win a shutdown debate because President Obama would go on nationwide TV and no congressional leader could match the White House megaphone. That argument doesn’t work anymore because we have the White House now.

If Republicans had funded the border wall, refused to send $300 million to bail out Puerto Rico, blocked money to sanctuary cities and defunded Planned Parenthood, do GOP leaders really believe that Donald Trump could not make that case to the American people?

Here’s what he could say: “All the Democrat Party stands for is bailouts, open borders, lawless cities where citizens have no sanctuary and forcing you to pay for abortions. Those are not the priorities of my administration and I don’t believe most Americans support them either.”

Do Republican leaders really believe we would lose that debate?

Thankfully, President Trump seems to have more confidence. He tweeted yesterday morning, “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix [this] mess!”

Undocumented Infants

Democrats are increasingly defined by their extremism. DNC chairman Tom Perez made headlines recently for saying that Democrats cannot be pro-life.

Perez is back in the news for saying Monday, “No human being is illegal.” Perez made that declaration in support of open borders during a May Day protest outside the White House.

I found Perez’s comment amusing for a couple of reasons. First, May Day protests are supposed to be about workers’ rights. But illegal immigrants depress the wages of American workers.

And while Perez says there is no such thing as an illegal human being, the Left is all about destroying “unwanted pregnancies.” That got me wondering: Would Democrats become pro-life if we started referring to unborn babies as “undocumented infants”?

Celebrating Israel

I had the honor of attending an event at the White House yesterday afternoon with other Christian and Jewish leaders celebrating Israel’s Independence Day. Yesterday’s celebration was particularly poignant as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War.

In addition, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to visit President Trump at the White House today. I can assure you that President Trump knows the strong support that exists among America’s evangelical community for the Jewish state. And I assure you that I will continue speaking out in defense of Israel and in full support of a strong U.S.-Israel alliance.

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