Tony Perkins / Jan. 21, 2021

Inaugurate Expectations

President Biden is adamant that the hallmark of his administration will be tearing down thousands of years of human history, morality, science, and gender norms.

It wasn’t the scene many of us had hoped for, but the view of the National Mall on Wednesday morning was still striking. The field of flags, waving in the sun, looked unmistakably hopeful — a sign that what happened on that lawn two weeks ago would never be the end of the story. America, for all of its faults and passions, would keep standing. And the peaceful transfer of power that’s distinguished this nation for centuries would go on — however disappointing its final outcome may be.

Hours earlier, President Trump had boarded a plane for Florida — ending a term that we choose to remember for its good, for its saving of human lives and the advancement of fundamental freedoms. “We’ve accomplished a lot,” the president said in his farewell. “What we’ve done has been amazing by any standard… We left it all — as the athletes would say — we left it all on the field.” And despite the bitter taste of November that still lingers, the president wished his successor luck and success. Because that’s what the people who love America do. They hope for its best.

Not everyone is convinced that the “best” is what President Biden has in mind for America. Within hours of putting his hand on the Bible, the new administration set to work — signing a flurry of executive orders to send this country back to the days of Barack Obama, if we’re lucky — and new levels of radicalism if we’re not. It was exactly what President Trump warned against in his parting words. He said the Democrats have “the foundation to do something really spectacular.” But in these first 24 hours, it’s becoming painfully obvious: that the foundation is exactly what Biden is coming for.

Sitting down in the Oval Office for the first time, a stack of 17 executive orders were said to be waiting — actions that would put a stop to the border wall, immigration reform, and travel bans. Another stack started the wheels rolling in another direction completely — ordering federal and interstate “masking,” re-enrolling in the controversial Paris Climate Accord, and cozying back up to the World Health Organization. But the game-changer, we know, is aimed right at parents, privacy, and public safety.

Despite a last-minute effort by Trump’s Education and Justice Departments, President Biden is adamant that the hallmark of his administration will be tearing down thousands of years of human history, morality, science, and gender norms. Within days, advisors expect him to reinstate transgenderism in the military, public schools, public bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, and sports teams. Until then, he’s laid down this marker: This administration is “direct[ing] agencies to take all lawful steps to make sure that federal anti-discrimination statutes that cover sex discrimination prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ persons.” Hardly the stuff of unity and healing.

Of course, the Left’s hope — and the last two weeks of censorship and shaming have proved it — is that Americans who care about moral truth will be too scared to raise their voices. As House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on “Washington Watch,” Democrats are using the events of January 6 to intimidate everyone who might push back on this agenda into silence. “They want to paint every Republican, every person who voted for Donald Trump, with this broad brush of the people who stormed the Capitol. And you and I denounced every person who attacked Congress, broke windows, crawled through broken glass to [storm] our nation’s Capitol…” They are the ones who should be arrested and held responsible — not the millions of peaceful Americans whose only crime was wanting to be heard.

But in the meantime, we have to sit and listen to these same Democrats treat every conservatives like a crook, when they didn’t call out the months of violence last summer that killed countless people and burned American cities to the ground. “Where was the outrage by the Left then?” Steve wants to know. “[You can’t] just call out violence when it happens on the other side of the aisle. Call it out wherever it comes from… [Violence] isn’t how we solve political disputes. Yet the Left was okay with it when it was [their own people]. In fact, some were endorsing [it]!”

Now, incredibly, they talk about canceling whoever disagrees with them. “You shouldn’t even be able to get a job if you voted for Donald Trump. I mean, this is the stuff that happens in Third World nations,” Steve shook his head. As for challenging the election results, he pointed out, that’s an elected official’s right. And, ironically, it’s a right that Democrats haven’t minded exercising on every single Republican president in this century. At the end of the day, this is about upholding the rule of law. “Are we just going to keep letting [states bypass their own rules] and look the other way — or are we finally going to get control back where you have elections that are run the way the Constitution lays it out for president?”

“This is democracy’s day,” Joe Biden insisted, looking out over the sea of monuments spread before him. “We have… much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build…” Starting, many would agree, with America’s trust. The new president has asked us to start over, to listen to one another again — show respect to one another again. Let’s hope, in these first few days, he finds a way to follow his own advice.

Originally published here.

Pompeo’s Checkmate on China

Conservatives aren’t the only ones with a wary eye on Washington today. With a new administration comes fresh uncertainty for millions of people abroad. For four years, persecuted believers of all faiths have had an ally in the White House — a president who made it his personal mission to lift minorities out of fear and chains, to give them a voice when the rest of the world looked away. What will they have in Joe Biden? Many are scared to find out.

In the heat of the campaign, there was a common refrain from Republicans: Joe Biden is China’s dream president. After years under Obama, the former vice president, who even excused the one-child policy, has never had the stomach to challenge the communist leaders. They have every reason to expect, Steven Mosher warned, “that Biden, like Obama, [will] turn a blind eye to the theft of American jobs, factories, and intellectual property…” Even more concerning, many of us worry, is that he’ll turn a blind eye to something else: the greatest human rights atrocity of the modern age: the persecution of Uyghur Muslims.

Realizing this was a risk, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did something that Americans — and the two million Uyghurs trapped and tortured in concentration camps — will thank him for. On Tuesday, with just hours left in his chair, the State Department declared China’s treatment of the Uyghurs “genocide,” a designation that will be very hard for the incoming Biden administration to ignore.

It was a savvy move on Pompeo’s part, since not only does the declaration make America the first country to label the crisis as much, but it also makes it impossible for the new president to sidestep the issue. “By making this move just one day before Biden is sworn into office,” observers point out, “Pompeo has taken the decision out of the president-elect’s hands and set the incoming administration up for a rocky start to its relations with China.”

But “rocky” is how most Americans would prefer it, after a pandemic that’s soured the country’s opinion on China and prompted both parties to call for tougher action. FRC’s Travis Weber, Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, cheered the move, saying it leads the way for other countries to take an equally hard line. “The genocide designation is very significant, both from a moral and legal perspective,” he explained on “Washington Watch,” “because it will obligate and increase the pressure on the United States and others to act against China. While certainly there’s been a lot of attention on China — and we recognize that what China is doing to its minorities there is tragic — the genocide finding [is the] most serious of international human rights violations. It adds an additional layer of weight, morally and legally, to the obligation to prevent and punish China. So it’s incredibly significant, both in the respective of what this is going to obligate the Biden administration and others going forward.”

The genocide designation is extremely important, as Travis said, because it triggers a new menu of options for the United States in dealings with China — including sanctions. That puts Joe Biden, who’s been a cheerleader of the communist nation for years, in a very tough position. Pompeo’s move forces the new president to either overturn the designation or abide by it. Given the baggage of his son’s business dealings in the country, either choice will be uncomfortable. He’ll either be seen as betraying the Chinese or condoning the persecution.

Back in the Obama administration, when the president finally agreed to call the annihilation of religious minorities in the Middle East “genocide,” it dramatically changed our foreign policy in that region. It has the potential to the same in China, if Joe Biden has the courage to act. Either way, the Uyghurs will know that one leader has their back — and his name is Mike Pompeo.

Originally published here.

The Courts: Conservatives’ Work Bench for Freedom

Before conservatives get too depressed about the upcoming year, there are plenty of things President Trump did for America that an army of liberals can’t change. Two hundred of them are sitting in America’s courtrooms. And as one ruling after another keeps reminding us, they may be a more formidable foe than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were counting on.

When President Biden was sworn in, he inherited a lot of challenges. One thing he didn’t inherit, conservatives will be glad to know, are a lot of judicial vacancies. According to Ballotpedia, the 46th president is assuming office with the fewest job openings on the bench since George H.W. Bush’s inauguration in 1989. In just four years, Donald Trump ran the table on judges, confirming 234 of his 274 federal nominations — and all three of his U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Americans are about to understand just how important those statistics are, especially as states gear up for an onslaught of unconstitutional orders. “Save and Defend” is the name state attorneys general have given to the fight they plan to wage against any radical action handed down by Biden or the new Congress. Beefing up the game plan they used against Barack Obama, the states’ law enforcers say the courts will be the last resort in holding the line.

“Save and Defend is going to be a pretty comprehensive initiative that we Republican attorneys general will engage in,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R). “Once we get a chance to roll that out and put some meat on the bones, it is going to be a primary focus for us Republican AGs.” To a person, the AGs say they’re more prepared for Biden than they were for Obama, and ready to go to the mat on anything that threatens the Constitution.

Unlike Democrats, they say they won’t pick a fight just to score political points. During Trump’s four years in office, the Washington Times points out, “Democratic attorneys general sued his administration 138 times.” “[They] just sued constantly,” Carr said. “We don’t want to file lawsuits just based on headlines. We are going to look at it in terms of quality, not quantity. They never accepted Trump was president and just sued to block everything he did.” These fights won’t be based on personality, they insist, but principle.

In places like North Dakota, courts are already firing a warning shot over the threats Biden has been making on gender. Under the “transgender mandate,” doctors, nurses, religious hospitals, and other medical personnel have been ordered to perform or cover gender transition surgeries against their morals and professional judgment. An order of Catholic nuns, a Catholic university, and Catholic health care organization sued the federal government, arguing that it can’t force people to ignore their conscience or medical opinion.

On Tuesday, the night before Joe Biden’s inauguration, a federal judge appointed by Trump struck the mandate down. It was the second ruling against the wildly unpopular mandate. “Now more than ever, Americans are grateful for the sacrifices of our medical professionals who serve on the front lines and use their training and expertise to serve the vulnerable,” Becket’s Luke Goodrich said. “All they’re asking is that they be allowed to continue serving their patients as they’ve done for decades, without being forced to perform controversial, medically unsupported procedures that are against their religious beliefs and potentially harmful to their patients. The Constitution and federal law require no less.”

Conservatives haven’t always seen the courts as their friend, but the next two years has the potential to change that. Republicans should do to Democrats what they’ve done to us: make them fight for every inch. President Trump may not be here for four more years, but he left us with the next best thing — a judicial system with more than 200 new originalists, ready to defend the freedoms radicals are coming for.

Originally published here.

Who’s Next on the Liberal Hit List?

The liberal media can’t stand the heat, so they’re telling conservatives to get out of the newsroom! The latest target? The hugely popular alternative to Fox News, Newsmax. Hear how the radicals are trying to shut down the successful outlet with CEO Christopher Ruddy on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch.”

Originally published here.

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

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