The Patriot Post® · Libs' Infrastructure: a Bridge to Nowhere

By Tony Perkins ·

If arts funding is “COVID relief,” then it’s no surprise that child care is “infrastructure.” In the Democrats’ lexicon — where abortion is “health care,” election reform is “racism,” and social justice is a “public works” project — the fact that Joe Biden is trying to reimagine another word to fit his agenda is just par for their delusional course. The Left played this same trick on the American people in February, Cameron Hilditch warns, shoe-horning every radical priority under the sun into “coronavirus response.” Politically, it’s very “clever,” he agrees. Practically, it shouldn’t stand a chance.

More Americans are wise to the Left’s scam now, as evidenced by the massive blowback Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) got for tweeting “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.” Conservatives had a field day with the idea on social media, firing back all sorts of absurd scenarios of what “infrastructure” could mean. Let me guess, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) mocked: “Abortion is infrastructure. Gun control is infrastructure. Forced unionization is infrastructure.” Others were more tongue in cheek. “Mayonnaise is infrastructure.” “Brunch is infrastructure.” “Unicorns are infrastructure,” Ben Shapiro scoffed. But you know what’s actually infrastructure, Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-Ill.) argued? Border walls.

The idea that the president is trying to pass off his extreme tax, environmental, housing, and social wish list as highway construction irked even the liberal media. “These are all vital needs,” Keith Olbermann responded to Gillibrand. “But when you drain a word of its meaning, you damage its impact, your cause, and the value of language.” Of course, Democrats have been draining words of their meaning for the last decade: “males,” “females,” “marriage,” “science,” “medical care,” you name it. It’s no wonder that they’d try to ply their updated dictionary here, with trillions of dollars on the table.

And even if we did stretch the definition of infrastructure some, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) argued, it’s still only about 30 percent of the $2.25 trillion dollars we are talking about spending. Add in Senator Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) socialist interpretation — “planet care, health care, education, housing, elder care” and the ever-vague “providing for the needs of a long-neglected working class” — and our roads and bridges don’t stand a chance. Asked by MSNBC if he was trying to hoodwink Americans into supporting senior care as part of this bill, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg didn’t even lie. “Guilty as charged,” he said.

For Republicans like Brian Babin (R-Texas), this is just the same old song and dance from the Biden team. Supposedly, “he wants to unify America,” Rep. Babin said on Thursday’s “Washington Watch.” “And yet [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer will ram this through [under the reconciliation rules] with zero input from the Republican side.” Babin, who’s served on the House Committee for Transportation and Infrastructure for years, can’t believe the Left is trying to reclassify everything on their wish list. “Infrastructure in my book is exactly what it says: roads, bridges, waterways, canals, airports… I’m in my fourth term, and I can tell you that we’ve never had child care, paid leave, or caregiving hearing in that committee in seven years…”

Like the COVID stimulus, Babin argued, this is just Democrats “paying their cronies off. That’s what it is, just exactly like the last bill. And quite frankly, this [money] will be spent like drunken sailors.” And, like Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said, it’s not that Republicans are opposed to repairing our cities and states. “I am all in favor and strongly support updated infrastructure… We got some great infrastructure bills through, with bipartisan support — I might add — in the last Congress and the Congress before that. But this is a fluffy title that is absolutely going to put people out of out of work, drive our jobs overseas, and add to an already $28 trillion-dollar national debt.” Look, he shook his head, “I have 17 grandchildren, and I worry very much about the assault on their bank accounts and solvency and security of this nation in the future.”

And he’s not the only one. Moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin (W.Va.) have been highly critical of the administration’s con. “As the bill exists today,” he argued, “it needs to be changed.” Then, in a nod to just how important his support is, he reminded everyone, “If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere.” And it’s “more than just me,” Manchin told a local radio show. “There’s six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive, and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind.”

At the end of the day, infrastructure means infrastructure. And if Joe Biden is remotely sincere about “his whole soul [wanting] to bring Americans together,” then he needs to stop lying to them. “Since Biden has taken office, I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever of bipartisanship.” This is his chance to start doing something constructive — literally and politically. Otherwise, he’ll have told the truth about one thing: “Without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage.”

Originally published here.

Pennsylvania Sees Dead People… on Voter Rolls

If the Left’s ridiculous crusade against Georgia’s election law was supposed to scare other states, it failed. Across the country, a historic number of bills are moving to keep the disaster we saw in 2020 from repeating itself. Instead of cowering under the Democrats’ absurd lies about racism, leaders seem more motivated than ever to keep the Left and its pals from unduly influencing our elections. And the sweeping reforms in the Peach State were just the start.

“Where I come from in South Arkansas,” Mike Huckabee has joked, “we used to say if you didn’t get the cemetery vote, you couldn’t win. One of the reasons I believe in the Resurrection is that we’d see dead people vote every year.” That’ll be a lot harder in Pennsylvania now, thanks to the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF). J. Christian Adams’s group has been fighting for months to clean up the voter rolls in the Keystone State, and that effort finally paid off. This week, the Department of State agreed to remove 20,000 deceased names from its database.

The decision was part of a settlement with PILF, which had argued in a lawsuit that the voter-registration data conflicted with the Social Security Death Index. “This marks an important victory for the integrity of elections in Pennsylvania,” said Adams. “The Commonwealth’s failure to remove deceased registrants created a vast opportunity for voter fraud and abuse. It is important to not have dead voters active on the rolls for five, 10, or even years. This settlement fixes that.”

Incredibly, the Washington Times points out, 9,212 of the voters on the list had been dead for more than five years! A whopping 1,990 were dead for more than a decade. And yet, amazingly, “hundreds of these dead voters showed up with post-death voting credits in 2016 and 2018.” Even so, the Department of State hilariously insisted that this decision shouldn’t be construed as any sort of shortcoming on their part. “[The agreement] includes no finding of inadequacy on the part of Pennsylvania and its counties.”

Elsewhere, in states like Arizona, Republicans taking aim at rich private donors like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, whose $400 million dollar investment gave him unprecedented power in the election process of 2,500 jurisdictions. No more, say legislators in the Arizona Senate. By a 16-14 vote, they insisted that private dollars are just a thinly veiled attempt to influence the election. Zuckerberg’s Center for Technology and Civic Life dumped $6 million dollars in key swing counties near Phoenix and Tucson, where Democrats were desperate to turn out more voters. “This was targeted in a way to really undermine the integrity of the system under the guise of trying to promote and get out the vote logistics,” state Sen. Sonny Borrelli (R) argued.

Democrats pushed back, insisting that the grants only filled in some of the financial gaps created by COVID. State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R) disagreed. “If this grant was coming from China or if this grant was coming from Russia, we might be calling it Russian interference with our elections… So what’s the difference between international money coming from a state overseas to an individual interested party, regardless of how it was spent and how desperately it was needed?” she asked. “It’s inappropriate.”

Phill Kline, whose Amistad Project is determined to weed out this kind of liberal interference, agrees. “We’ve invited billionaires into the counting room and it will undermine the integrity of our elections. It’s unprecedented.” Big Tech already controls the flow of information — why would we give it control over the election process too? “These are the first things any oligarchy wants to control when it takes power.” Now that the bill has passed the House and Senate, it heads to Republican Doug Ducey’s desk, where we hope his signature encourages other state’s to follow Arizona’s lead.

Down in Texas, after seven hours of heated debate, the state senate voted 18-13 on Thursday to pass a bill that would radically clean up the election process. Under the legislation, a lot of the loopholes for mail-in ballots that liberals have exploited would be closed. There would be more protections for poll waters, a ban on mobile voting sites, a ban on voting machines that can be connected to the internet, more video surveillance in rooms where ballot counting is taking place, and an intentional effort to correct voter rolls. Hours for early voting would be tightened, and ballot harvesting would by and large be outlawed.

“Maintaining the integrity of our elections is vital to preserving public trust so our democracy can flourish, and that’s why I have made election security a top priority again this legislative session,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement. “SB 7 will strengthen the public’s faith in our electoral process and ensure that every Texan knows that when they cast their ballot, their vote is secure.”

These are just a handful of the almost 400 bills moving their way through 47 state legislatures. Make sure that if your state is one of them, your local leaders are hearing from you!

Originally published here.

Life and Freedom Get a Boost from the States!

Considering all of the garbage coming out of Washington, most conservatives probably need a pick-me-up — some reassurance that the entire country isn’t racing into a pit of extremism. If the election reform efforts aren’t enough to cheer voters up, then there are a good many things happening on life and religious freedom that might!

While the historic SAFE Act in Arkansas grabbed the most headlines this week (and rightly so!), other states are moving bills that make protecting children just as much of a priority. In Alabama, Montana, and New Hampshire, leaders are trying to do what Congress hasn’t: save the lives of newborn abortion survivors. As far as elected officials in these states are concerned, if a baby is born-alive, doctors and nurses should do everything they can to save them.

In Montana, Governor Greg Gianforte (R) was adamant that his state make this a priority. In addition to a 20-week abortion ban and other pro-life changes, he urged “the legislature to send me the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act,” Gianforte said in that speech. “These are necessary, compassionate measures where we should be able to find common ground and I will sign both of them to law.”

That, along with the state’s new religious freedom bill, ought to keep Gianforte’s desk busy. By a 59-38 vote, the house finished the job Montana’s senate started and sent a state version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the governor. Like 21 other states, the goal is to give men and women of faith a day in court when their religious expression is being challenged. As sponsor Carl Glimm (R) explained, “This bill doesn’t provide a blank check to discriminate” — which is what LGBT groups claimed. “It just elevates freedom of religion to strict scrutiny protection, as is the case for freedom of speech and association.”

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Matt Sharp, who testified, agreed. RFRA doesn’t guarantee that Christians or other believers would win it court. “It just protects the process.” Montana Family Foundation’s Jeff Laszloffy backed him up. “The other side is going to say this is all about LGBTQ issues. It’s not.” Fortunately, Gianforte, who’s promised to sign it, agrees.

A little to the east, North Dakota is set to join the party with a RFRA of their own. Last week, the state senate cleared the final hurdle to send similar religious protections to the governor — largely, the local Family Policy Alliance’s Mark Jorritsma insisted, because leaders heard from so many of their constituents on the issue. “I talked to multiple senators who stated unequivocally that the emails and phone calls from ND citizens like you made the difference in their mind regarding how important this bill was to them. This is a wonderful example of how taking a few minutes to fill out our email form or call your legislator can truly makes a difference in getting pro-life and pro-family legislation passed in North Dakota.”

Everyone can make a difference if they make their voices heard! Whether it’s in our state legislatures, the cancel culture, or woke corporations, we all need to stand up and speak out. That’s not just the right strategy — it’s the winning one!

Originally published here.

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