Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review is in for Jim today. Join her and Greg as they discuss Planned Parenthood finally admitting that founder Margaret Sanger was an advocate of eugenics and that it is taking her name off its Manhattan facility. They also unload on Portland “leaders” for allowing seven weeks of violence and property destruction to go on without consequences but denouncing the federal government for stepping in to deal with the problem. And Alexandra wonders why Joe Biden is trying to win over religious conservatives after endorsing taxpayer-funded abortions and suing nuns over birth control coverage.
National Review Online Contributing Editor Rob Long joins Greg today to serve up your end-of-the-week martinis. First, they get a kick out of Amy Klobuchar taking herself out of the Biden veepstakes when it was already pretty clear she would not be the choice, but they also appreciate her kneecapping Elizabeth Warren’s chances by saying the running mate should be a woman of color. But that gets complicated too, as Rob and Greg react to Black Lives Matter and National Action Network figures suggesting Florida Rep. Val Demings is not really black because she used to be a police officer. And they unpack a lefty blogger’s contention that conservatives should not be able to teach, coach, or be a boss of any kind because they supposedly don’t believe in equality.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is assembling a new plan to pursue the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, but this effort is likely doomed as well since no consensus exists to honor the Brexit wishes of the voters.
May’s most recent Brexit plan was crushed in the House of Commons, largely because her own Conservative Party cannot agree on a strategy and opposing parties don’t want to help her either.
“Within the Conservative Party, there’s a huge split between those who see the deal as a repudiation of what the people voted for. Over 17 million Britons voted to leave the European Union and they don’t see this deal that she put forward to them as actually bringing about a removal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
“Then you have another element within her party I think that believes that this deal does too much,” said Daniel Kochis, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
Kochis agrees with the first argument, that May is trying to force through a plan that will still leave the UK beholden to the European Union, specifically the customs union.
“I don’t think that this withdrawal agreement did enough. It kept the United Kingdom in this sort of de facto limbo or perpetual limbo, where they were going to have to abide by the same sort of regulations and rules emanating from the EU but they would have lost their seat at the table to vote on those to help shape them,” said Kochis.
“Many members of the British public and of Theresa May’s own party saw this for what it was. It was a soft way to keep the UK within the European Union, They rejected that as not something the British people voted for,” he added.
But what is the U.S. interest in all of this British drama? Kochis says a lot could be at stake and the U.S. stands to benefit from a clean Brexit.
“It’s in our interest to have a United Kingdom that is sovereign, that can dictate it’s own trade policy, that can dictate it’s own border policy and not allowing itself to take in hundreds or thousands of people against the will of their own citizens.”
“It would allow them to be a strong defense partner for the United States. For instance, [Britain is] one of the key intelligence allies the United States has. There is some concern that were they to stay in the European Union that that could be damaged,” said Kochis, who also thinks a bilateral trade deal with the British could be a very good thing for our relationship and our economy.
Listen to the full podcast as Kochis explains why the UK leaving the European Union without a deal on March 29 might be the best case scenario. He also explains why Theresa May keeps hanging on to her job despite repeated failures at getting a Brexit deal approved.
Earlier this month a federal judge ruled the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional, and even with the the U.S. headed toward a divided Congress next month, a conservative policy expert says this could be a great opportunity for market-based solutions to make progress.
Judge Reed O’Connor struck down the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, using the logic Chief Justice John Roberts used to save the law in 2012. At that time, Roberts declared the law constitutional because the penalty for violating the individual mandate amounted to a tax. But with last year’s tax law reducing the penalty to nothing, O’Connor said both the mandate and the entire law must go.
The decision is just the first in what will likely be a long legal battle sure the reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but with the law in legal limbo, Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner says the opportunity could be ripe for a legislative fix.
Turner was part of a group urging Congress to adopt the Health Care Choices plan for much of 2018. GOP leaders ultimately chose not to take up the plan or even the issue. Turner suspects it’s because they were still wounded from their 2017 efforts.
“I think Congress was traumatized by what they’d been through with the rejection after putting so much effort into trying to do repeal and replace and failing in 2017. They were afraid to try that again,” said Turner.
Instead, she expects the new House Democratic majority to push for a single-payer system, known on the left as Medicare for all.
“After Obamacare’s failure, you’d think that maybe they’d learned a lesson but no. They just want to say, ‘If you give us all the money and all the control, we’ll be fine and we’ll be able to fix health care,” said Turner.
“We don’t believe that. We believe that you’ve got to devolve power down to the states and ultimately to individuals to make better decisions, to give resources to people who are sick, who are low income, who need help purchasing health insurance,” added Turner.
Democrats hammered away on health care in the midterm election campaign. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even mentioned how the fight over coverage for pre-existing conditions was a major factor in her party regaining the majority.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Turner explain how her plan is more generous to people with those conditions than anything provided for in Obamacare, how the Health Care Choices plan could be of great benefit to Medicaid patients, and how it could greatly reduce our all of our health care costs. She also discusses what’s realistic with Democrats running the House come January.
Listen to “Corruption Crackdown, 9th Circus on Guns, Vote Dem to Fix GOP?” on Spreaker.
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the West Virginia legislature for impeaching four of the state’s five state supreme court justices for gross mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. They also roll their eyes as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a California law requiring any guns subsequently purchased in the state must include features that don’t actually exist. And they unload on “conservatives” from Michael Gerson to Steve Schmidt, who contend that conservatives need to vote for Democrats because supposedly the only way to save the Republican Party is to burn it to the ground.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome a Republican win in an Arizona congressional race, although the margin should have been a lot wider. They also groan as many conservatives suddenly adore Kanye West because of a few tweets that poke the left as being the thought police. And they discuss the furor over Budget Director Mick Mulvaney admitting he only met with lobbyists who donated to his campaigns while serving in Congress. While they can see why this seems distasteful, Jim and Greg wonder how people thought politics worked in the real world and they don’t believe the liberal shock and horror for a second.
While the debate rages on about the violence and ideology on display in Charlottesville on Saturday, a prominent black conservative is fuming over the lack of an appropriate police presence to prevent the clashes and says whether or not we see a replay in other American cities probably depends upon the politics of the political leaders there.
The Charlottesville police admit they should have done more to separate the different protesters, but that’s not good enough for former constitutional law professor Horace Cooper. Cooper is now co-chair of the Project 21 National National Advisory Board. Project 21 is a leadership network of black conservatives. He says law enforcement has an obligation to plan for the worse.
“In the event that we are apprehensive that a particular public expression could lead to heightened tensions between communities, you don’t send your officers home for the weekend. You, in fact, call some of those who are taking off and say, ‘I want you on standby,'” said Cooper.
And he Cooper is dumbfounded that police were not at least ready to intervene as the likelihood of violence increased.
“The second that you get concerned that something is happening that’s going to be very aggressive and dangerous, you bring those people in. Our Constitution allows for peaceable expression. Freedom of expression does not include burglary, does not include theft, does not include rape, does not include mayhem,” said Cooper.
But while Cooper says the police could have prevented at least one death and many injuries by keeping order more aggressively, he says this is just the latest incident where he believes politics trumped public safety.
“We’ve seen it in Ferguson. We’ve seen it in Baltimore. We’ve seen it in Berkeley. In all too many instances, the voices of condemnation call off the responsible authorities to see to it that all parties stay in their lanes, and instead allow private mayhem to occur,” said Cooper.
“It looks like it’s precisely to let the private mayhem have its way over the so-called injustice that the media and the political leaders that are doing this have identified,” said Cooper.
So will the revolting images we witnessed from Charlottesville play out in other American cities? Cooper says that largely depends upon who is in charge in those places.
“If these things happen in jurisdictions where people are willing to allow the space for mayhem to occur, it will occur and it will not be good. If they happen in jurisdictions where leaders are willing to hold individuals accountable, we can stop this. I am hopeful that the latter is true,” said Cooper.
He says leaders can set a proper tone long before tensions and passions rise, noting stark differences in how protesters responded to the George Zimmerman verdict in Florida verus the rioters in Ferguson, Missouri.
“[Florida Gov. Rick Scott] insisted that they were going to hold all people who rioted and committed mayhem criminally liable and it killed off almost all aspects of the over-the-top rhetoric. The governor of Missouri (Jay Nixon) did exactly the opposite and we saw nights and nights of criminal activity,” said Cooper.
As for his personal thoughts on Charlottesville, Cooper says he urges everyone to always wait for the facts before leaping into outrage mode. He says an online mob mentality almost devoured the wrong person for the deadly vehicle attack.
“The prior owner of the 2010 Dodge Challenger had been identified all across social media and threats were being made to his family and his household even though this was a car he had already sold years ago,” said Cooper.
Cooper clearly finds the views of the white supremacists “repugnant” but takes solace in the fact that their views are representative of just a tiny fraction of the American people.
“That is not a significant number of the American polity. It is not a major influence in our country today, and when the attention is given to them, it is my hope that the little attention that they get helps to remind people this isn’t your next door neighbor. This isn’t the person you work with. These are very, very marginal individuals,” said Cooper.
Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to same-sex marriage the LGBT movement remains on offense and on key cultural issues many Republicans seem far less interesting in continuing the fight than their adversaries on the left.
And a leading expert on cultural and family issues says it is time for conservatives to engage in the debates that are engulfing our culture and threaten liberty, but she says the battle must be approached intelligently.
Last month, President Trump’s ban on transgenders serving in the U.S. military was met by fierce protest from Democrats, LGBT activists and a surprising number of Republican lawmakers, including Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, Richard Shelby, R-Alabama and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as well as multiple House members. Hardly any GOP members offered strong support for Trump’s move, with most Republican lawmakers remaining silent.
Then a new Reuters poll showed 58 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing transgenders to serve, including 32 percent of self-identified Republicans.
In yet another survey, this one from Gallup, a record high 17 percent of Americans say they find polygamy morally acceptable and libertarian arguments are emerging that maybe the government has no business prohibiting polygamy since marriage isn’t even mentioned in the Constitution.
So is the political right engaging in a quiet surrender on some core cultural issues?
“Surrender suggests there was ever a fight,” said Ruth Institute Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. “On the political front at least there has never been a real, sustained effort to push back in a sustained and logical and forthright manner against some of the truly irrational things that have been coming at us from the sexual revolution.”
“It’s not surrender so much…but just a refusal to show up to the battle in the first place. The Republicans would much rather talk about taxes and things like that than to go and talk about the cultural issues,” said Morse.
She says the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare is crammed full of cultural issues, including the debate over taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, but the GOP usually defaults to economics alone in advancing their arguments.
“Those are a huge part of the Obamacare issue. So to pretend that we can avoid that and just talk about economics or just talk about foreign policy or something like that, that’s just putting your head in the sand,” said Morse.
When GOP lawmakers join Democrats in alleging discrimination or bigotry in Trump’s ban on transgender military service, Morse says they not only buy into the liberal talking points but prove they don’t see the real goal behind the liberal push on LGBT issues.
“To try to make everybody go along with the idea that you’ve just changed a person’s sex is a huge power grab. Republicans and conservatives generally I don’t think have recognized how big of a power grab it is and how much it’s really expanding the power of the state,” said Morse.
For those on the right with some inclination to defend traditional values, Morse says two more problems tend to keep them silent in these debates.
“Number one, people don’t know how to respond to these issues. And number two, they’re afraid. There are a lot of fear tactics that have been used by the cultural left, not just transgenders. Transgenders have just perfected the art form,” said Morse
She says the strategies used by the left have been standard since the dawn of the sexual revolution.
“The art form has been developed and cultivated over the years, starting with feminism. You know, a man’s not allowed to have any opinion on a whole range of topics or else he’ll be called a male chauvinist pig and basically silenced. That process of silencing people over cultural issues has been going on a long time,” said Morse.
Another intense source of pressure is a one-sided advocacy coming from all sectors of popular culture.
“if you have two sides of an issue and one side you hear every day, steadily, steadily. You hear it on the radio. You hear it on TV. You hear it on the news. You see it in sitcoms. You see it in movies. You see it on billboards. You see it everywhere, and the other side you hear nothing,” said Morse.
“No matter what the substance of the issue is, eventually the side promoting itself constantly is the side that’s going to win. That’s why institutions like the Ruth Institute and other pro-family organizations need to be getting their message out,” said Morse.
Another element in the silence on the right is embarrassment. Morse says most conservative people feel awkward talking about sex in public. She says folks on the right must get over that.
“That gives the radicals a huge advantage because they’re not embarrassed at all. They’re not shy at all. You can’t shut them up. They’re talking about it all the time,” said Morse.
“Every time you cringe and turn your face away, your opponents are moving forward. You’re giving them an opening. We must equip ourselves to deal with these issues in a logical way, in a non-panicked way,” said Morse.
Morse says social conservatives need to engage now because each win for the cultural liberals creates a push for another assault on traditional values, just as the legalization of same-sex marriage instantly triggered an intensification of the transgender movement.
“We’re trying to create a whole world where the sex of the body and the gender of the body and our physicality is somehow ruled out and written out of law. And since nobody’s ever confronted it, the crazier it gets the more confused people are,” said Morse.
But when it comes to engaging the culture, especially young adults, Morse says cultural conservatives cannot just dive into the debate in today’s headlines but need to extol the unparalleled value of marriage between one man and one woman for life.
“If we start from that perspective, we will at least have some credibility with the millennials. If you just drive right in and say gay people shouldn’t have kids and transgenders shouldn’t serve in the military and never acknowledge the 40 or 50 years of suffering that divorce has caused, you have no credibility at all,” said Morse.
Morse says that is why the Ruth Institute is leading the way in addressing this root issue through its Healing Family Breakdown Spiritual Workshop. She says even though the sexual revolution has gone far down the road from the explosion of divorce, that is where the battle must be waged.
“You want to talk about silent surrender, we surrendered on the divorce issue a long time ago. We’ve got to go back and fight that battle. We’ve go to go back and stick up for the rights of children to know their own parents,” said Morse.
She says young adults have never known anything but the carnage triggered by the divorce culture, whether in their own homes or among their friends.
“What that means is that the idea that marriage has something to do with the stability of a child’s relationship with their parents, that idea is completely foreign to them. When I stand in front of a college audience and I say kids have a right to their parents, they burst into tears sometimes. They’ve never heard anybody say that,” said Morse.
The concept of kids having a right to know and be raised by their biological parents is also why Morse believes polygamy must be rejected before it gains any more traction. .
“The reason you need some kind of institution like marriage is to protect the interests of children to have their own parents. If you start from the premise that children are entitled to a relationship with their parents, the two people who brought them into being, if you start from that position and you reason your way outward, you will end up with traditional Christian sexual morality,” said Morse.
She has no use for the libertarian argument of the government staying out of marriage altogether, even if it means the emergence of polygamy.
“To try to legislate against the law of nature on the scale we’re trying to do in our culture is one more example of the irrationality of the sexual revolution as we’ve seen it unfold here in the last 50 years,” said Morse.
While acknowledging the tide of forces advancing the sexual revolution into its next phase, Morse says the battle must be engaged and can be won.
“We’re being maneuvered and manipulated by the sound bite culture that is very, very noisy and unless you give yourself some silence, unless you give yourself some time to think, you’re going to be pushed and pulled by the latest noise making machine that comes near you,” said Morse.
After having some fun with reports that science proves conservatives are better looking, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome mainstream media condemnation of BuzzFeed. They’re also underwhelmed by Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, while noting he does have several strong points. And they lament the San Diego Chargers leaving for Los Angeles after voters rejected paying for a new stadium.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America groan as conservative House Republicans are reportedly prepared to be less demanding on reining in spending once Trump is in office. They also shake their heads as more revelations suggest the Germans should have had the Berlin terrorist out of the country a long time ago. And they discuss three hate crime allegations that turned out to be hoaxes – the latest in a series of fake news.