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Senate Dems: A Little Green Around the Bills

Tony Perkins · Mar. 28, 2019

Who says politicians don’t have a sense of humor? As if the Green New Deal weren’t entertaining enough, Tuesday’s floor debate was better than a free night at the improv. Republicans, who’ve been begging for a chance to take on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) fruitcake climate bill, saved some of their best material for Tuesday, when Mike Lee (R-Utah) managed to make Sharknado seem like a more credible threat to America than global warming.

Lee’s montage, which included everything from Ronald Reagan riding a velociraptor to Aquaman saddling a 20-foot seahorse, was his way, he said, of treating the proposal “with the seriousness it deserves.” After all, he pointed out, this is a resolution that would eliminate air travel. “How are we supposed to get around the vast expanses of, say, Alaska during the winter?” he asked? “I’ll tell you how — tauntauns,” he joked, pulling out a photo of Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. “Not only are tauntauns carbo neutral, but according to a report a long time ago and issued far, far away, they may even be fully recyclable.”

“Let me be clear,” Lee said, “climate change is no joke, but the Green New Deal is.” So much so, conservatives pointed out, that when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brought the bill to the floor, not a single Democrat voted yes! After weeks of pumping Cortez’s tires, the thought of actually supporting such a brainless proposal scared the party silly. Every Democrats but three voted “present” — and then turned around and accused McConnell of being insincere! That’s because even they know: riling up the base is one thing — trying to win a general election by eliminating cows, airplanes, and children is quite another.

In reality, Democrats don’t want the Green New Deal any more than they want to abolish ICE. Even if they do believe the climate hysteria, a plan that costs more than the entire recorded spending of the U.S. government since 1789 isn’t a sincere solution. And for what? A “0.173°C difference by 2100.” At $98 trillion dollars, we’re talking about a $600,000 tab for every household. “The proposal we are talking about is, frankly, delusional,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “This is nonsense. And if you’re going to sign on to nonsense, you ought to have to vote for nonsense.”

Besides, McConnell argues, this debate isn’t so much about the environment as it is about “a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.” Remember, Frank Miele points out, only a handful of proposals in the Green New Deal even involves with global warming. It’s just a fig leaf for their real agenda. “Free college? Check. Free home remodeling? Check. Massive federal investment in mass transit and other infrastructure? Check. Guarantee of high-paying jobs for everyone? Check. Free health care? Check. Free housing? Check.” And how will we pay for it? “You just pay for it,” Cortez shrugged. After all, it’s “other people’s money.”

Meanwhile, the American people aren’t fooled. They see the Left’s unicorn-in-every-pot for exactly what it is. According to the Hill, when they polled more than 1,000 people, 67 percent of voters say they see the proposal as “largely socialist.” And socialism isn’t green, it isn’t new, and it’s certainly not a deal. Maybe that’s why Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was so angry about having to defend it. “This is not a debate,” he complained. “It’s a diversion. It’s a sham.”

For once, we agree. At some point, the Democratic party will have to wake up and realize how many empty seats are on the bandwagon. Until then, they’re going to have a tough climb. They still seem far too surprised, Charles Cook writes, that there’s “still no great appetite in America for post-birth abortion, for the abolition of private health insurance, or for breezy anti-Semitism masquerading as authenticity, and that there is likely to be even less enthusiasm for rebuilding every structure in America, or for phasing out airplanes, or for destroying our current sources of energy while ruling out the only reliable alternatives.”

This is what Democrats get for allowing themselves to be led around by the nose by a fanatical freshman who thinks animal flatulence is literally the end of the world. If the Left is going to let Cortez drive their policy to the outer reaches of rationality, then maybe it’s a good thing the earth only has 12 more years. At least the Left won’t have to spend more time defending its ridiculous agenda.

Originally published here.

A Tale of Too Many Scandals

It may be years until we know the full extent of what happened behind the underground doors of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) “bunker.” But we know enough. After decades of exposing other people’s “hate,” theirs could no longer be contained.

The last few days have probably felt like months for the people left at the “poverty palace.” The scandal that claimed the organization’s founder, its president, several top attorneys, and now a board member is only unraveling a bigger plot — years of systematic racism, sexual misconduct, and discrimination. After circling the wagons through two shootings that have ties to SPLC, even the group’s most dogged defenders are walking away. Cheerleaders like the New York Times, Washington Post, the New Yorker, and others are suddenly cutting bait, publishing a pile of stinging rebukes as if they hadn’t been co-conspirators along.

Even a former board member, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, is trying to run. Her office is even pretending she resigned long before Morris Dees’s ouster. As recently as Monday, PJ Media’s Tyler O'Neil points out, Benson was listed on the SPLC website. Then, just as suddenly as the controversy came, it vanished. When O'Neil asked the secretary’s office for comment, a staffer replied that she’d resigned right after the election — “an answer,” O'Neil points out, “that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.”

“Upon taking office as Michigan Secretary of State, Secretary Benson informed SPLC leadership that she would be stepping down from the board. Her responsibilities in Michigan are her priority and focus,” Benson’s office said. That’s funny, since the biography on SPLC’s website had her listed as the 43rd secretary of state for Michigan. Obviously, the SPLC wasn’t just slow to remove her from the board, O'Neil argues. She was just trying to avoid her embarrassing affiliation. That fact was even more obvious when Tyler asked for a dated letter of resignation. “The office has not yet provided such a document.”

For Michigan, like so many states, the deep ties to SPLC are unflattering enough. The Wolverine State was, after all, where the SPLC’s Mark Potok made that infamous statement: “Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on…. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.” It’s also the site of a major lawsuit against state Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) Executive Director Agustin Arbulu, who launched a new hate crimes unit based on the SPLC’s labels.

“It’s one thing for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is a private organization, to engage in political propaganda and political hyperbole,” AFLC’s Robert Muise said. But it’s another “when you have the attorney general who’s relying on that political propaganda to investigate and target us with the power of the state.”

As for the SPLC’s crisis PR, things aren’t getting any easier with the news that Jussie Smollett’s charges were suddenly dropped. The “Empire” actor, best known for his work impersonating a hate crime victim, was released by police after SPLC’s new “independent investigator” and Michelle Obama chief of staff used her Chicago connections to help get Smollett off. “All crooked roads lead back to the Obamas,” Michelle Malkin argues.

“Tchen’s intimacy with the Obamas, and Michelle Obama’s chumminess with Jussie Smollett (she hosted him at a musical event at the White House in 2016 and danced with him on stage at a College Signing Day Event in 2018), it is not unreasonable to wonder how much direct knowledge the Obamas themselves may have had about Tchen’s role as Smollett’s fixer… Tchen has made quite the career out of exploiting her Obama connections… But those plum jobs and her role in Smollett’s Folly all pale in comparison to her newest gig: playing watchdog over the crumbling Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Just how well can the organization recover with a crony political hack in charge? We’ll see. In the meantime, the future of the SPLC is uniquely tied to the media that helped build it. Will the press finally walk away from the reckless labeling it spent years justifying? Or will it turn the page — and help Americans do the same? “This organization has devolved from helping people to hurting people, but it only has the power that the media and progressive corporations give it,” David French writes. “Now, every single time a media organization or a company uses the SPLC’s listings, it should be held to account. There is no excuse. The emperor has no clothes.”

Originally published here.

The Young and Not-So-Reckless

For everyone who’s wondered if the battle for the under-30 crowd is lost, here’s hope. In this post-Obergefell world, not every young person is signing up to march in their local pride parade. The first generation to come of age in a same-sex marriage society is finally feeling the effects. And soon, so may LGBT activists.

It’s a surprising headline for the New York Times, but a welcome one for conservatives: “Support of LGBT Rights Drops among Republicans under 30.” In just three years, young conservatives may have some buyer’s remorse about this agenda that wasn’t supposed to affect them. Now, in one of the largest declines pollsters on the subject have seen, the number of GOP millennials who think America should give special privileges to people who identify as gay, lesbian, and transgender has fallen from 74 to 63 percent. Yes, it’s still a majority, but, as experts point out, “the shift is striking.” “It was one of the largest and most significant drops that we saw,” Public Religion Research Institute’s Robert Jones told the Times.

The survey is significant for several reasons. First, because it’s so large. More than 40,000 Americans were polled on the institute’s LGBT questions. Then, of course, there’s the social stigma. Some people are just reluctant to tell a pollster how they truly feel about a candidate, party, or issue. That’s why the natural marriage numbers always polled well under the final tally on a ballot initiative. It’s also probably why an unconventional candidate like Donald Trump managed to win a historic victory. If these young conservatives are like most other Americans, the number may be significantly lower.

The Times had a hard time explaining the phenomenon. Maybe, reporters speculated, the Republican party is becoming more “purist” on the issues. Or maybe, as more teenagers grow up in a world where they’re told “tolerance” is changing clothes in front of a half-naked boy, they’re finally seeing the same-sex marriage fallout. These are young men and women coming to age in a culture that’s prized LGBT extremism above free speech, religious liberty, privacy, sports, and national security. This is a generation that’s losing scholarships to boys competing as girls. They’re the ones being harassed on college campuses for believing in biological gender — or forced to sue their schools to use the restroom in peace. They’re the professionals who could lose their jobs for using the wrong pronoun. Suddenly, they feel like the ones in need of protection — not the LGBT activists taking over schools, government, athletics, and business.

Fortunately, they also belong to a party led by Donald Trump. After years of political correctness, his fearlessness on the tough issues is giving more people permission to think for themselves. And that’s exactly what young people tend to do as they marry and have children anyway. They become more socially conservative when they’re responsible for protecting and shaping a life. They become more financially conservative when they buy their first house. This is just a snapshot of how generations change views when they mature and gain wisdom.

Let that be a warning to wobbly Republicans who think pandering on bills like the Equality Act will them help win over younger voters. If the GOP wants to attract more Americans, try taking a page from the president and standing on conviction — no matter which way the political winds blow.

Originally published here.

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

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