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Dems to Trump: Quit Wall You're Ahead

Tony Perkins · Feb. 20, 2019

If liberals wanted to sue over the border wall, they’re about 13 years too late. Congress already gave its blessing back in 2006 when it passed the Secure Fence Act. The same goes for the president’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel. The House and Senate have been on board since 1995 when they authorized it. If the Left’s being honest, its problem isn’t that the president is moving forward with the wall. Its problem is that the president is Donald Trump.

Back in 2014, the Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry points out, the media had no problem calling it a “border crisis.” Neither did Barack Obama, who stood in the same Rose Garden as Donald Trump did on Friday, and insisted, “We now have an actual humanitarian crisis on the border that only underscores the need to drop the politics and fix our immigration system once and for all.” Five years, one administration, and who-knows-how-many caravans later, and suddenly, this president is doing something “immoral” by addressing the situation. That’s not because the dilemma changed. It’s because the occupant of the Oval Office did.

Take columnists like Karen Tumulty. In 2014, Scarry explains, she had no problem writing about the “current crisis on the Southwest border.” Well, it must have magically fixed itself, because last month, she accused the president of “manufacturing an emergency.” California, New York, and 14 other states want you to think that Donald Trump was acting outside of his constitutional authority when he used his executive power to finish the job Congress gave the green light to over a dozen years ago. But, as Ken Klukowski told me Monday night on Washington Watch, nothing could be farther from the truth.

“It’s critical for everyone to understand: the president is not invoking any of his inherent constitutional powers — none of his Article 2 powers, like commander-in-chief authority. In this case, you have a president who is only acting under a specific act of Congress, a federal statute called the National Emergencies Act of 1976. It’s been used 59 times before. This is just number 60. In fact, the 59th time was earlier this month — also by President Trump — regarding U.S. relations with Venezuela, because of course the turmoil going on over there. Maybe I missed the press release, but I didn’t hear the sky fall [when he declared that emergency]. I didn’t hear a news story from the National Archives that the Constitution burst into flames. One would almost think that this is just part of the rule of law. And that’s exactly what’s going on here.”

President Trump’s request is simple. He wants to move money that’s already been approved by Congress from one bank account to another. This president hasn’t “conjured funding from thin air (the military construction and Army Corps funding has already been appropriated),” the Federalist argues, “nor is he using funds for purposes explicitly prohibited by Congress (to the contrary, Congress explicitly authorized the construction of a border wall).”

In other words, there’s no constitutional crisis here. The only reason these leftist states are suing Trump is because he wants to protect American sovereignty and security. Juxtapose that with 2012. When conservative states took Barack Obama to court over his health care mandate, it was for the exact opposite reason. Unlike Trump, Obama wasn’t in the business of protecting freedom — he was in the business of undermining it. Obviously, after eight years of Obama, a lot of people are out of practice when it comes to operating within the limits of presidential authority. But in this instance, the contrast between the two parties has never been clearer.

None of this, unfortunately, is a surprise to President Trump. “… I’ll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office. And we will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued. and they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling — and then we’ll get another bad ruling — and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake. And we’ll win in the Supreme Court just like the [travel] ban.”

As Ken joked, “We can’t get through our morning coffee without the Left filing a new lawsuit against President Trump — even when he’s just doing things that President Obama or previous presidents have done. Somehow it all becomes illegal when President Trump does it.” But if there’s one thing the other side should have learned by now, it’s that this president isn’t deterred — not by them, not by lawsuits, and certainly not when it comes to doing what’s right.

Originally published here.

Addressing Labels in the NYT

When it comes to painting themselves as extremists, Democrats don’t need any help. The last several months have done quite a good job of showing the world how many light years away the party is from mainstream. So why, after weeks of parading around their socialist, infanticide, green deal, open borders agenda, are Democrats so sensitive about being called radical?

Ask the New York Times. The paper is making quite a stink about the GOP’s messaging in the wake of some of the Left’s most fanatical ideas to date. If you’re a liberal in the 116th Congress, according to the NYT, “you’re either a socialist, a baby killer, or an anti-Semite. That, at least, is what Republicans want voters to think, as they seek to demonize Democrats well in advance of the 2020 elections by painting them as left-wing crazies who will destroy the American economy, murder newborn babies and turn a blind eye to bigotry against Jews. It’s an "unusually aggressive assault,” argues the NYT, and its intent is to “strangle the new Democratic majority in its infancy.”

President Trump started it, in the NYT’s view, when he decided to use his State of the Union “to rail against ‘new calls to adopt socialism in our country’ and mischaracterize legislation backed by Democrats in New York and Virginia as allowing ‘a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.’” We’ll let the “mischaracterized” nonsense go for now since it’s already died the death of a thousand fact-checkers. What has not been mischaracterized, however, is the Left’s complete abandonment of anything resembling moderation.

In two years, Americans have watched the Democratic Party walk away from 77 percent of the American people on abortion, 75 percent of voters with socialism, and 75 percent of the country on ICE. So the only people putting an extremist label on Democrats are… Democrats! They only thing they object to is being outed for what those labels really mean.

Thanks to liberals like Governors Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and Ralph Northam (D-Va.), Americans finally understand — through cheering legislators and lit-up buildings — that late-term abortion isn’t just a “choice.” It’s the most gruesome form of unborn (and born) baby killing. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) “everything should be free!” agenda had its appeal too until history started dredging up reminders about the murderous nightmares of socialism, whose regimes brought nothing but “poverty, misery, inequality, and tyranny.”

“Democrats have handed Republicans this messaging on a silver platter,” said Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist. And most of those Democrats don’t understand just how potent that messaging is. “…I just expect a lot of this to be thrown over the transom,” Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters. That, too, is another gross underestimation of the American voter. If Democrats learned anything from 2016, it should have been how much their social overreach has cost them.

In the meantime, if today’s Democrats don’t like being called “extremist,” maybe they should stop acting like it. That’s the irony of a party that wants to empower people to ignore the labels and define themselves. In the end, even they can’t outrun their actions, which ultimately define who they are.

Originally published here.

Planned Parenthood: Taking Care of Business

Planned Parenthood has spent 2019 operating under a new mantra: abortion is health care. And to prove it, they operate 51.5 percent of the facilities that provide it. That’s quite a monopoly for a company that claims abortion is only “three percent of their services.”

The American Life League (ALL), like a lot of pro-life groups, has been tracking Planned Parenthood’s big slice of the abortion pie for years. Based on the data it gathered at the end of 2018, Leana Wen’s group is still the largest abortion provider in the country. But if there’s one trend Americans can cheer, it’s just how rapidly those properties are dwindling. “In 1995,” ALL explains, “Planned Parenthood had 938 medical facilities. By 2006, that number had dwindled to 859, and by the end of 2018, it had fallen sharply to 590. As ALL noted, the organization closed a net 348 facilities between 1995 and 2018.” That’s 37 percent of its facilities! “In 2018 alone, Planned Parenthood, which frequently uses the slogan, ‘these doors stay open,’ closed 11 medical facilities and opened only three new ones.”

Unfortunately, the group may have fewer clinics, but it’s still performing way too many abortions. According to Planned Parenthood’s most recent 2017-2018 annual report, “it committed 332,757 abortions in fiscal year 2017, up by 11,373 abortions since 2016. This is the highest number of abortions that Planned Parenthood clinics have committed in any year since 2011-12.” That’s 911 babies every single day. Despite their apocalyptic emails and truth-optional fundraising appeals, Wen’s organization isn’t hurting as much as it claims. Even under a pro-life president who’s done practically everything within his power to redirect money and influence away from Planned Parenthood, the group had an amazingly violent year.

That, coupled with an endless string of scandals, undercover videos, and its baby body parts ring, ought to be enough to disqualify the group from federal funding. Instead, it’s raking in more than a half-billion dollars a year on the promise that the country’s abortion behemoth isn’t using a single cent to promote the darker side of business. There are 13,000 federally qualified health centers that can do more than Planned Parenthood is without the ethical baggage of performing abortions.

But, Alexandria Desanctis points out, “for Planned Parenthood, receiving government funding isn’t about the money itself — it’s about keeping up appearances. As long as the group remains on the government dole, it can maintain the fiction that it is a federally sanctioned provider of basic health care. At the same time, this funding frees up other money that the group can use (via its political-action arm) to elect politicians who favor abortion-friendly policies — including continuing to fund Planned Parenthood.”

“By a double-digit margin,” Marist’s latest survey points out, “a majority of all Americans oppose any taxpayer funding of abortion (54 percent to 39 percent).” So, the more people who know what business Planned Parenthood is truly in, the better.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.

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