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Tony Perkins / Feb. 26, 2021

Dems Try Turning the Cables on Conservatives

“There’s never been a more obvious direct attack on the First Amendment.”

When it comes to censorship, one editorial board said, “it’s about as subtle as carpet bombing.” Liberals, who used to at least pretend to have some use for free speech, have dropped all pretense now. The war against a thinking culture is out in the open now, as shameless and determined as ever. To them, it’s no longer enough to yank books off shelves, ban conservatives from the public square, and slap warning labels on thousands of years of proven science. They want to totally control the airwaves too. And they’ll stop at nothing to force the carriers to do their bidding.

It started as a letter from two Democrats. Insisting they were concerned about the latest scourge of “misinformation,” Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) fired a volley of threats to 12 cable, satellite, and streaming companies, accusing them of spreading lies and conspiracy theories just by carrying channels like Fox, Newsmax, and One America News Network (OAN). Pull the plug, they demanded. Or at least make it hurt.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr looked on in horror. Are Democrats actually suggesting that these companies will “pay a price if the targeted newsrooms do not conform to Democrats’ preferred political narratives?” he asked. If so, he warned, Americans are in for a dangerous new chapter — one that looks a lot more like Communist China than the home of the First Amendment.

“From the perspective of free speech and the free press,” law professor Jonathan Turley argued, “the letter is not just chilling, it’s positively glacial.” Still, radical Democrats pressed on, insisting Wednesday at their House hearing, “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media,” that the best way to combat misinformation is to shut conservative newscasts down completely.

Like most Republicans on the committee, Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) was outraged at the suggestion. If you want to talk about misinformation and lies, she fired back, how about CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC, who spent the last five years broadcasting complete and utter fiction on everything from the Russia collusion to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-N.Y.) nursing home killing field. “In all my time on this committee,” McMorris-Rodgers fumed, “there’s never been a more obvious direct attack on the First Amendment.”

“So today, the media is the target — but where does it end? We’ve already seen liberal ideology pushed in our schools where we work, the books we read, who we communicate with, how we practice our faith. It’s frightening. And you know what the worst part is? People are afraid of a work. An authoritarian system that is getting them fired, canceled, and shamed. And so they’re being silent. They have no voice. They can’t trust the broken institutions to protect them. This culture of fear is unjust, and this committee should not be using fear to force everyone to be the same or be destroyed. It’s abuse of power, and it’s a force of a state religion of liberal ideology.”

Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), who nearly lost his life because of hyper-charged liberal rhetoric, warned Democrats against heaping all the blame on the Right. “For anyone to just try to suggest that discourse started getting out of control on January 6th would be disingenuous when you look at where we’ve gotten and how are this has come. I want to take you back to June 14th, 2017. A day that a gunman walked onto a baseball field and shot at a dozen members of congress including myself… Let’s be consistent,” he insisted and stop suggesting disingenuously that this toxic language only comes “from one side of the political spectrum.”

That message was lost on the corporate bullies at Amazon and Target, whose virtual book burnings — Ryan Anderson warns — are the stuff of 1930s dictators. Anderson, the new president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, waited three days for an explanation on why his book about responding to the transgender movement, When Harry Became Sally, was pulled from the online store. Despite more than three years on Amazon’s shelves — as a best-seller in two categories — "They told us late yesterday that it violates their ‘content policy,“ Ryan explained on "Washington Watch.” “But they won’t tell us what aspect of the policy it violated. and they won’t tell us what passage, what page, what sentence is the offending passage.” Obviously, he said, “anyone who’s telling the truth, anyone who believes that we’re created male and female, whether from a faith-based perspective or from a science-based perspective, is going [to be banned].”

What’s next? Bouncing every biology book that’s ever been printed? The Bible? Where does the mob draw the line? Abigail Shrier’s book, the very powerful Irreversible Damage, was stripped from Target’s website again Wednesday. Obviously, Ryan said, liberals are scared that someone will stumble on the truth about this lethal ideology. “If they could defeat [conservatives’ arguments], they would just argue on the merits. This is why lawyers say, ‘Where you can argue the facts, argue the facts. Where you can argue the law, argue the law. When you can’t argue either, bang the table.’ And I think that’s what we’re seeing here. They can’t argue based on the science. They can’t argue based on the medicine. They can’t argue based on the philosophy. They can’t argue based on the theology. So what’s left? Just don’t have the argument. Use our market power to shut it down.”

Don’t let them. Contact Amazon. Contact Target. Contact your elected officials. Let them know that you’re going to stand up and speak up, no matter what the Left tries to do.

Originally published here

Biden Builds His Cabinet the Hard Way

Winning the Senate helped Democrats, but it sure didn’t guarantee smooth sailing for Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees. The party’s one-vote majority has created plenty of heartburn at the White House, especially where controversial picks like Xavier Becerra, Neera Tanden, and Deb Haaland are concerned. Keeping the Democrats on board with his radical choices has been no easy task for Biden, let alone dealing with the GOP’s suddenly united front. “Don’t expect Senate Republicans to forget how the Democrats treated Mr. Trump’s nominees,” John Barrasso (R-Wy.) warned back in December. And they haven’t.

Apart from Tanden, whose hostile Twitter feed has all but sunk her chances at OMB, Becerra has gotten the lion’s share of the Republicans’ objections. During Wednesday’s second hearing, Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) asked the former California attorney general if he could name just “one abortion restriction” he might support. Becerra hemmed and hawed, throwing out mushy answers about following the law and respecting people’s viewpoints (two things his record would show he’s never done).

After waiting for an answer that never came, Daines tried again. “Is there any line you would draw?” he asked. “What about a ban on the lethal discrimination of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome? Would you draw a line there? What about a ban on sex-selective abortion, whether it’s a little girl or a little boy, yes or no? What about a ban on partial birth abortion? What about abandoning denials of care to survivors of botched abortions?” He pressed him on every possible issue. “He dodged,” Daines told listeners on “Washington Watch.” “I didn’t get an answer.” And it’s no mystery why. “He is truly one of the most radical, aggressive, pro-abortion leaders we’ve seen in this country.”

Thursday, his fallback was that he would enforce the law. But, as Daines said, he has no history suggesting he would. “I had a great conversation with [former HHS Secretary Alex] Azar,” the Montana senator said. “And he [told me], ‘I probably have one hundred lawsuits against Becerra’” from trying to hold California accountable for violating the Constitution during his time in the AG’s office. “So I’m concerned,” Daines said earnestly.

Obviously, with every new administration, Americans expect a change in ideologies. We fully anticipated that the Democratic Party would have a pro-abortion attorney general, pro-abortion secretary of State. Abortion is a litmus test for the Left. But Xavier Becerra is not just pro-abortion. He’s not just anti-life. He’s a militant, anti-freedom activist.

Look at his positions on religious freedom, Daines pointed out. He’s been absolutely fanatical, and that should worry everyone who sees “what’s happening before our very eyes in our country where the far-Left is doing all they can to cancel any right-of-center thought or religious thought. This is one more advocate on that cancel culture bandwagon — and that, unfortunately, seems to really characterize what’s going on in the Biden administration.”

But it isn’t just our fundamental freedoms that are taking a hit. It’s our economy and American industry too. By tapping former congresswoman Deb Haaland to head up Interior, this country’s energy sectors had better buckle up. “She, like Becerra, has embraced the most far-Left and radical ideas as it relates to her record on public lands and energy. Let me give you an example. She opposes all pipelines — not just the Keystone Pipeline — all pipelines. She wants a ban on fracking. She wants all fossil fuel infrastructure stopped. She opposes trapping on public lands. She’s opposed to everything that we need in the West to keep the lights on. She’s opposed to it.”

Not only that, Steve warned, “She was ranked one of the Top 10 Most Liberal Members of the House. Now, that’s a pretty distinguished list, because it would include AOC. And really, she is embracing everything AOC stands for” — including the Green New Deal. In a speech that’s haunting Haaland from 2018, she announced that she would eliminate all fossil fuels. She wants 100-percent dependance on renewable energy. And just ask the folks in Texas how that turned out last week.

Honestly, Daines said, “I hope the American people, the majority of people are seeing through this. Remember where we were back in the 70s, dependency on the Middle East when… the Arab countries launched the attack, the war of Yom Kippur, [and] oil prices quadrupled. And then those inflationary effects created interest rates of nearly 20 percent back in the early 80s. What that [did] to home ownership in terms of farms and ranches and business collapsing because of inflation, high interest rates — all of that was tied to energy.” Thanks to Donald Trump, he pointed out, and American innovation, we are now globally energy dominant. “We’re a net exporter now of energy. And these crazy far-Left liberals now want to take us back to the dark ages.”

Don’t let them! Contact your senators and urge them to oppose Haaland and Becerra’s nominations. If Biden wants unity, tell him to prove it by nominating reasonable men and women to run our government agencies.

Originally published here.

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

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