Right Opinion

The Party That Extremism Built

Tony Perkins · May 18, 2019

When Democrats ask for their jobs back next year, there should be two dates on voter’s mind: February 25 and May 17. One should have been an unremarkable Monday. That all changed when 44 men and women marched to the Senate floor and justified taking the life of a newborn baby. Three months after that extreme, the House is taking its turn at gut-wrenching clarity — this time, with a bill that would wad up 231 years of freedom and throw it in the garbage along with the rest of the so-called “personal choices” liberals won’t protect. If there was ever any doubt that Democrats are out to destroy the republic, yesterday’s vote on the Equality Act ought to have made that quite clear.

Apparently, the party of legal infanticide wasn’t radical enough. Now, Speaker Nancy Pelsoi (D-Calif.) is going for broke. She doesn’t just want to treat infants like garbage, but women, freedom, parents, science, employers, and religious organizations too. When 228 members of her party cast their “yes” votes for H.R. 5, they weren’t only saying yes to the most extreme piece of LGBT legislation in history — they were saying no to girls’ sports, parents’ authority, religious liberty, women’s rights, privacy, and the free market.

What most people don’t understand is that this campaign was never about equality. That was just a convenient stalking horse to get what the far-Left really wants: raw power. Think about it, Stella Morabito writes in a frightening column about the end-game of H.R. 5. “If you and your cronies wanted to control everybody’s lives, how exactly would you go about [it]?” Obviously, you wouldn’t come right out and say it. “You would mask your self-supremacist intentions with a benign and trendy word like ‘equality.’ You’d pretend that your project was about helping a vulnerable minority.”

In this case, that minority is a handy one. Society is already trained to tiptoe around the people who identify as LGBT. That’s why this legislation is so shrewd — it plays right into the country’s hypersensitivities about tolerance. As Stella points out, Democrats already have an infrastructure in place that shames anyone who with morals, questions, or points of concern about their agenda. Add that to the Left’s around-the-clock reward system for CEOs, organizations, and celebrities who support the con job, and suddenly, the culture is ripe for the taking. “It’s another attempt by a ruling micro-clique to exert mega-control over everyone else’s lives…”

And eight Republicans were foolish enough to take the bait. Reps. Susan Brooks (Ind.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Will Hurd (Texas), John Katko (N.Y.), Tom Reed (N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), and Greg Walden (Ore.) played right into the Democrats’ hands. And it’s not as if the warning signs aren’t there. Teachers are already being fired for using the “wrong” pronoun. Girls are already being violated in restrooms and changing rooms and bathrooms. Shop owners are already being driven out of business for their beliefs. Female athletes are already losing scholarships and competitions to biological males. Taxpayers are already bankrolling abortion. Doctors, nurses, and therapists are already handcuffed into violating their conscience. Religious charities are already closing their doors because the government wants to force them to change their standards. America is already catering to the 0.6 percent at the expense of the other 99.4. This would just give the government more painful tools to punish non-conformers.

“No one who disagrees with this bill,” Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said, “believes [anyone] ought to be treated wrongly, badly.” Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) echoed his friend. “There are some fundamental principles that we ought to agree on: don’t hurt other people, respect the right of doctors to do no harm, respect the right of parents to protect their children… Unfortunately, [the bill before us today] violates these principles in the most fundamental way… And this isn’t speculation. Many states have adopted similar laws so we can see firsthand the result of them. This bill harms people in so many ways, taking away safe spaces for women, undermining women… We know this will happen because it already has.”

One after another, conservatives held the line. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) warned that H.R. 5 is “a classic example of passing something now and figuring out what it actually means later. We have been here before. If the devil is in the detail, we’re in for a lot of devilish surprises. This is a small price for some greater good [that] the bill’s proponents have argued.” She’s right, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) made clear. “This is not equality. This is far from it.” Almost as far as the brave new Left is from the American people.

Originally published here.

Dems Say Adios to Mexico City

It’s a surreal thing to tune into a committee mark-up and see Democrats singing “Happy birthday to you.” Before February, nothing about that would have seemed mildly ironic. But in a House majority that thinks birth days aren’t always worth celebrating, Rep. Nita Lowey’s (D-N.Y.) song suddenly feels a little off. Especially when that same chairwoman goes on to spend the next three hours arguing that Americans should make sure babies overseas never get born.

If Democrats get their way, there will be no “Happy birthday” song for who knows how many children. In the majority’s debate over State Foreign Ops appropriations bill, the only thing liberals seemed to care about was sending more money to their international abortion pals. Right now, thanks to President Trump, there is no gravy train for groups masquerading as overseas health care groups. One of his first acts as president was rebuilding the wall called the Mexico City Policy that protects taxpayers from Planned Parenthood — and international children from abortion.

Naturally, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) is infuriated by the idea that killing machines like Leana Wen’s group would have to do their own fundraising. So, in the spending bill they’re floating for 2020, they make a predictable move: inserting language that would eliminate the ban on overseas abortion promotion. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), a pro-life doctor and conservative stalwart, could only shake his head. When it was his turn with the microphone, he scolded Democrats for refusing to care where the American people are on this issue.

“My, my, my — how extreme the pro-abortion lobby has become. Seventy-five percent of Americans oppose tax dollars funding overseas abortion. Pro-abortion lobby favors it. The governors of New York and Virginia talk about allowing a baby to die born-alive. The majority in the House won’t vote on the born-alive act — which 75 percent of Americans support. How extreme the pro-abortion lobby has become! This is not about health care — this is about abortion. Because out of 733 prime providers in this program, only four have declined to participate under the Mexico City Policy. You know, quoting [international abortion group] Marie Stopes in all of this is like quoting Exxon about fossil fuels. They stand to lose tens of millions of dollars under this program. How extreme the pro-abortion lobby has become!”

Every year, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebr.) told me on Thursday’s “Washington Watch,” we go through this massive spending process every year. And every year, bipartisan ideas like no taxpayer-funding for abortion are in the crosshairs of the Democrats. “It’s very, very sad,” he said. In this intense process, “very important debates take place,” he explained. “They’re markers. They are the leading edge of the most significant philosophical debates and divides in the country. And if you saw that hearing today, you were on the front end of what is a deeply divisive issue in America… the possibility that our taxpayer funds will be entangled in the provision of abortion.”

As much as the Left ignores it, even people who consider themselves “pro-choice” still don’t want their taxpayer dollars funding abortion. “This is inconsistent with sound diplomacy in any context,” he argued. “We’re trying to create a culture in which we are in solidarity with other people,” and yet the Democrats want to undermine their beliefs — "disrupting the relationship that we have between two nations.“

Another point Rep. Fortenberry tried to make during the mark-up was that America wants to use its leverage to help people around the world, "to create the space for a justice, to create the space for wellbeing and community life, to create the space for human dignity. And when you export something like [abortion], you’re acting in a neo-colonial fashion, and you’re imposing the most divisive issues of the West — because we think we are intellectually superior and other people around the world are inferior. And that’s not right.”

Fortunately, President Trump and his administration agree. Earlier this year, he made his intentions quite clear in a letter he sent to Congress. “I will veto any legislation that weakens current prolife federal policies and laws or that encouraged the destruction of innocent human life at any stage.” So Democrats can poison the bill all they want, but all of their work will be for naught. Because if this language stays the way it is, it goes one place: straight to the Senate or the president’s desk to die.

Originally published here.

Immigrating, Family-Style

When the two parties get together to talk about immigration, most of the fireworks are over illegal immigration. But there’s another problem in our system that this president wants to address — and that’s the process for entering legally. As one senior administration official put it, our immigration system, is “basically a coat of paint on top of a coat of paint on top of a coat of paint — what we want to do is sand it down.” This week, the president put on his work gloves and introduced a plan to do exactly that.

After 50-plus years, our immigration system is starting to show some wear and tear. The world has changed — and it’s time our policies do too. Last week, I joined a White House working group on the president’s new ideas for updating how we treat immigrants, and it’s obvious his plan was designed to find common ground. As my good friend Rev. Franklin Graham wrote, how could anyone — Democrat or Republican — be against this? The administration is talking about fully securing the border, protecting American wages, attracting and retaining the best and brightest, unifying families, and finding labor for critical industries.“

One of the most important things to understand about the administration’s plan is that it doesn’t change how many legal immigrants come into the country, but it does change who they are. As the president said, "We are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages and safety of American workers first. Our proposal is pro-America, pro-immigrant, and pro-worker… We discriminate against genius. We discriminate against brilliance. We won’t anymore once we get this passed.”

Thursday afternoon, I talked with Ja'Ron Smith, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Office of American Innovation about what the plan means. When you drill down on our current system, one of the most surprising things about the United States and other countries like Canada and the U.K. is that only about 12 percent of our legal immigrants have been based on job skills. Under this plan, that number would rise to 57 percent — meaning that the people coming into the country have a much better chance of getting a job, going to work, and being productive.

Right now, Ja'Ron explained, “[Under] the system that we currently have in place… you have to a) be able to hire a lawyer to go through the lottery process that will secure you [a spot]; or b) have some extended family member that lives here. And that’s not fair. And in fact, we don’t even get an opportunity to attract some of the brightest from some of the most diverse countries, because they don’t have a founding member here. And maybe they can’t afford one of the lawyers.” There’s a way, he points out, to keep America safe while also attracting people who have something to offer.

Another major selling point of the proposal is that it cuts “family-based immigration” from 66 percent to 33. What does that mean? It means that the president wants to prioritize the nuclear family, instead of letting second and third cousins ride the coattails of their legal relatives in the U.S. He wants the focus to be spouses and children — and that radically changes who comes into our country. In a lot of cases, Ja'Ron said, some of the closest family members are caught up in backlogs. “And that hasn’t created a fair system for many families who will want to come into America.”

Originally published here.

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

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