Tony Perkins / January 7, 2022

United We Stand, Divided Dems Fault

“Every day is January 6 now,” the New York Times had the audacity to declare.

The rest of the country already celebrated Christmas, but for Democrats, it was yesterday. To them, the anniversary of the January 6th riot marks one of the greatest political gifts ever given — a terrible stain on our country that Joe Biden’s party will forever exploit and distort to keep the outrage about conservatives burning. “Every day is January 6 now,” the New York Times had the audacity to declare. And maybe for the far-Left it is. For a struggling and fractured party with no successes to speak of, the constant reminder of 2021’s traumatic event seems to be the only thing they can grab to keep their socialist dreams afloat.

That’s not to say that what happened when the mob stormed the Capitol wasn’t repugnant. It was. But it was also the culmination of months of frustration, isolation, nationwide lawlessness, and despair, cheered on by (if not orchestrated) by the Left. “This is what inevitably happens when a society lets violent mobs run roughshod through cities and towns and does nothing,” John Daniel Davidson warned. And while the vast majority of people on that day weren’t there to shatter windows or trash offices, the entire conservative movement is still paying a steep price for those who were.

President Biden, desperate to make political hay while the media’s sun is shining, railed against the entire Republican Party yesterday for its supposed “plot” to topple democracy. They held “a dagger at the throat of America,” he accused before making another empty appeal to unity. “I will stand in this breach,” Biden claimed, after 12 months of doing nothing to bind the nation’s wounds.

If anything, the administration’s first year has been about revenge, using our institutions and Senate traditions to take what Democrats believe January 6th earned them: unending and unchecked power. “January 6th was a dark day for Congress and our country,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed. But “it has been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals that long predated this event. It is especially jaw-dropping to hear some Senate Democrats invoke the mob’s attempt to disrupt our country’s norms, rules, and institutions as a justification to discard our norms, rules, and institutions themselves.”

Instead of viewing January 6th as a wake-up call, Democrats have resorted to opportunism, using the tragedy as leverage to demand every unconstitutional item on their menu: a nationwide takeover of elections, the toppling of the legislative filibuster, and an end to the minority’s voice in the Senate. “Never let a riot go to waste,” Rich Lowry quipped in a nod to Rahm Emanuel’s infamous advice.

For the men and women of the Trump administration, who devoted four years of their lives to turning this country around, the distortion of what happened that day continues to hurt. Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, could only shake his head at how the date continues to cast a shadow on all the president accomplished. “It is really all about trying to make sure that January 6th defines what President Trump and his entire four years was all about. You and I know that’s not the case,” he said on “Washington Watch” Wednesday.

“I don’t know that there was a stronger pro-life president that we’ve ever had in the White House than Donald … We had a president in Donald Trump [who] was willing to actually take on great political risk to do things that obviously have never been done. We don’t have to look any further than an embassy in Jerusalem. And the number of initiatives that [made]… American families and religious freedom as the hallmark of what his administration was all about.”

The Donald Trump he knew wasn’t the reckless villain the Left and media make him out to be. “He’s got an unbelievable compassionate heart. People don’t realize that in [private], when there [are] no cameras rolling, things touch him in a way and he does something about it — whether it’s writing personal checks, whether it’s making calls to people that have suffered loss. He loves this country and does that in a way that profoundly impacted me.”

Of course, those stories — the ones Mark tells in his new book, The Chief’s Chief — never made a dent in the negative coverage that hounded Trump’s term. “I was one that never used the words ‘fake news’ until I actually got to the White House and experienced it,” Meadows remembers. “And the problem is, [when] we consume [news], we’re trusting people. We see something and we go, ‘Well, gosh, you know, if it’s being reported, it’s got to be true.’ I can just tell you, there needs to be a strong discernment in terms of what you take in and what to trust.”

That advice matters more than ever now, as the media’s forces team up to do whatever is politically expedient for the Left — even if it obscures the truth. Especially if it obscures the truth. But the Democrats will eventually reap what they’ve sown — not just in their mischaracterization of what happened that day but for all of the lawlessness they condoned leading up to it. “For as much as they now obsess over the violence of January 6, Democrats were at pains to explain to us in the summer of 2020 that destruction of property isn’t really violence, and that rioting is okay if done for the right reasons,” Davidson argues.

The American people have been tested these last two years, in some ways, as never before. But throughout history, our greatest crises have often led to our greatest comebacks. I’m hopeful, as Mark Meadows is, that “in the weeks and months ahead, the American people’s voice will start to be heard again in the elections.” Because that, guided and fueled by our prayers, will make all the difference.

Originally published here.

Filibuster or Filibluster? Schumer Threatens to Topple Senate Rules

Democrats don’t have a whole lot of confidence heading into the midterm elections — and who can blame them? Their president has turned botching COVID into an artform, destroyed America’s credibility on foreign policy, and can’t seem to persuade a Congress with two Democratic majorities to pass legislative measures that are essential to his government expansion. Now, instead of trying to prove to the American people that they still deserve to lead, they’ve turned to plan B: an unprecedented federal takeover of elections.

It’s a tired strategy (and so far, a failed one), but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is back to his only hope for November — changing the Senate rules. Using January 6th as the excuse, he and his fellow Democrats insist the only way to stop this “slow-motion insurrection” (also known as state election reform) is by blowing up the legislative filibuster. Instead of working toward bipartisanship and consensus, which is what the Founding Fathers intended for the Senate, the Left thinks it’s time to throw the country into chaos by abolishing the 60-vote threshold for most bills.

It is, Schumer argues ironically, the only way “to protect the foundation of our democracy.” “Much like the violent insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol nearly one year ago” he writes, GOP states have enacted “anti-democratic legislation” that must be overridden by 50 Senate Democrats. This time around, though, Schumer promises to only make narrow changes to the rule — a ruse that even his own party isn’t buying. “Anytime there’s a carveout, you eat the whole turkey,” Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) warned. “There’s nothing left.”

Like his Arizona colleague, Kyrsten Sinema (D), Manchin has no interest in throwing more than 200 years of tradition down the drain just because the Left can’t get its way on an extreme agenda that Americans don’t support. For months, the moderate duo has had to answer and re-answer the question of whether they’d support the Democrats’ radical Senate overhaul. But do they really, really mean it, the press wants to know? The answer, at least so far, is yes.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) has watched the relentless Left badger the two senators, grateful the pair hasn’t folded in the face of so much pressure. “I’ve been very appreciative of Joe Manchin,” he said on “Washington Watch” Wednesday. “He stood strong. He did not agree with the Build Back Better plan, and he finally pulled the plug on that. And I have no idea really what Chuck Schumer is trying to pull here. If you’re trying to get Joe Manchin on board, this is a really bad way of doing it, treating him and Kyrsten Sinema so shabbily.” At the end of the day, Johnson pointed out, “they report to their constituents, and I don’t think the constituents in West Virginia want to sign on to Chuck Schumer’s radical agenda. I doubt the citizens of Arizona want to either.”

Besides, Johnson said, it’s not like Schumer would keep his word. This isn’t going to be an insignificant change that would “only” deal with election issues. “It would be a slippery slope” to every Left-wing idea Democrats have been championing in the last decade. How do we protect our democracy from radical agendas if all it takes is the bare majority to rush things through?

“And that’s the danger of it. What you don’t want is major policy changes,” Johnson argued, “basically [making the Senate] like a ping-pong ball, going from one extreme to the other back and forth every two years. That’d be incredibly damaging for our democracy. So again, one of the functions the Senate performs is [a] cooling off period where you really should deliberate, debate, and discuss major pieces of legislation and that the 60-vote threshold, which people referred to as the filibuster, requires consensus building. And that’s a good thing.”

The Senate, he insisted, “should be that saucer beneath the cup of tea to kind of cool the passions of time.” Funny, Democrats seemed to appreciate that when they were in the minority — even going so far as to sign a letter urging Republicans not to abolish the filibuster. Back then, there wasn’t a real risk, because conservatives recognized how important consensus was to our democracy. Now, those same Democrats are hypocrites, threatening to do the very thing they asked conservatives in 2017 to avoid.

If Schumer moves forward, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) warned, “then we will use every other rule to make tens of millions of Americans’ voices heard.” If you thought the Senate was slow and polarized now, imagine if Republicans retaliated. “The U.S. Senate runs on consent,” he explained, “so you can grind the process to a halt by failing to consent to virtually anything… It depends on how Chuck Schumer plays the thing. It wouldn’t be pleasant.” But he also hopes it won’t be necessary.

A lot of that will depend on the support Americans give their senators to stand strong. If you live in West Virginia or Arizona — and even if you don’t! — take the time to contact Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and thank them for holding the line. Encourage them to keep holding it, for the sake of the Senate and the sake of our democracy.

Originally published here.

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

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