Join Jim and Greg as they serve up three new martinis Thursday! First, they applaud the Florida State Senate for permanently removing former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel after his horrific leadership before, during, and after the Parkland high school shooting. They also shudder as a majority of Americans favor rewriting the first amendment and nearly half want to ban hate speech without ever defining what it is. And they discuss the high drama on Capitol Hill as Democrats conduct impeachment-related depositions in secret and Republicans hold a sit-in to protest what they see as a lack of transparency.
On Monday, Planned Parenthood withdrew its application to be a recipient of Title X federal health care funding, following a Trump administration rule change barring recipients from encouraging patients to pursue abortions.
Susan B. Anthony List Vice President of Communications Mallory Quigley says this is a big win for the pro-life cause.
“Planned Parenthood is choosing to not comply with the rule, which is really intended to draw a bright line of separation between the idea of family planning and separation versus abortion,” said Quigley.
She also says Planned Parenthood may not have spent previous Title X funds directly on abortion but did use it to buy pro-abortion advertising in addition to paying bills that helped keep the nation’s largest abortion provider open.
Planned Parenthood is losing about $60 million in taxpayer funds as a result, although it is still getting the bulk of the roughly $500 million in total federal funding it gets every year.
Acting Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson says the lack of funding will make it harder for women to seek health care and some may forego it altogether.
Quigley wonders why an organization so flush with other money that it spends lavishly on political campaigns won’t make women’s health care a priority.
“Planned Parenthood has really shown its true colors by prioritizing abortion over family planning and refusing to comply with this rule,” said Quigley.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Quigley explain why the new rule does not constitute an infringement on the freedom of speech for Planned Parenthood personnel, where the abortion fight goes from here, and how this news shows just how big of a difference elections make.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and guest host Gregory Knapp praise White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham’s actions to protect the press from North Korean interference. They cover the announcement from Iran that they have resumed enriching uranium. And they discuss the Democratic Party’s sudden embrace of busing to resolve racial disparities.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleasantly surprised at President Trump’s State of the Union address, in which he extolled the greatness of America, condemned socialism and late term abortion and found several issues where bipartisan cooperation seems plausible. They also cringe at some other moments in the speech including Trump’s contentions that investigations of him will hurt the economy, that you can negotiate peace with the Taliban, and that another summit with Kim Jong-Un is a good idea. And their jaws hit the floor as Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admits to dressing up in blackface while in college, just days after calling on Gov. Ralph Northam to resign.
One college is now handing out punishment to students for disrupting free speech on campus, and while the speaker impacted says she is glad there are some consequences for those protesters, she still believes colleges may be hopelessly immersed in the movement of racial victimhood.
On April 6, Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald was prevented from giving her scheduled address at Claremont McKenna College. Protesters denounced Mac Donald over her best-selling book, “The War on Cops,” and physically prevented students from attending the lecture. They also led chants of “F— the police.”
Unlike other disruptions at schools like the University of California-Berkeley and Middlebury College, Claremont McKenna is now handing out punishments. In a statement, the school condemned the blockade.
“The blockade breached institutional values of freedom of expression and assembly. Furthermore, this action violated policies of both the College and The Claremont Colleges that prohibit material disruption of college programs and created unsafe conditions in disregard of state law,” read part of the statement.
While acknowledging 170 students were involved in the demonstration, just seven were disciplined: three were suspended for a year, two others for one semester and two more were put on conduct probation.
Mac Donald sees the results as a mixed bag. On one hand, she’s grateful that Claremont McKenna was willing to take action.
“For once, I’m gratified that there’s some discipline with teeth, unlike in Middlebury. True academic suspensions are serious punishment. That’s going to show up on a student’s record,” said Mac Donald.
But while seven students are paying the price, she’s a bit puzzled as to why there weren’t more discipline cases stemming from the event.
“It’s a very small number of people who have been punished. Five receiving suspensions is much less than (the number) people complicit in the blockade. There’s no explanation by Claremont as to how they reached that number and whether it’s because they didn’t have evidence for other people or not,” said Mac Donald.
But while giving the school leaders some credit, Mac Donald says the larger response to the chaos surrounding her visit shows the administrators still don’t get it.
“Ironically, the Claremont-McKenna statement said that it was calling on its faculty to try and help us understand how to mitigate the forces that divide our society. What divides our society is precisely this preposterous idea that to be a minority student at an American college today is to be the victim of oppression,” said Mac Donald.
Mac Donald says that approach is only hurting the very students it intends to help.
“CMC and every other college has vast bureaucracies dedicated to that proposition. Students that are brainwashed with that idea in college are going to go on into American society unable to see the opportunities that are available to them, with a big chip on their shoulders. We’re going to see racial tensions and possibly even racial violence continue,” she said.
“This is ludicrous,” said Mac Donald. “There is no more privileged position in society today than to be a student at an American campus.”
Far from seeing Claremont-McKenna’s actions as a turning point in tolerance for differing opinions on campuses, Mac Donald believes things are worse than ever because the people who should be standing up for free speech and free expression are on the other side of the debate.
“We’re fast approaching a critical mass, where the majority of faculty are themselves perpetrating this idea that speech from a student from a favored victim category finds disagreeable is itself a form of violence,” said Mac Donald.
She says faculty at the University of California-Berkeley were even defending the rioting that forced the cancellation a Milo Yiannopoulos event on campus.
“There were two faculty at Berkeley, in an email chain, that were dismissing the Antifa black block fascists as just doing what was necessary and in a very nice, surgical manner of trashing buildings and creating fires,” said Mac Donald.
She also says no one should expect college administrators to suddenly get a surge of courage and stand up for academic and constitutional freedom in the face of hostile students.
“Ever since the ’60s, they caved in then in a very, very bad way and they’ve absolutely been cowards since then,” she said.
Mac Donald believes a major alumni revolt could change the minds of administrators on some campuses. But even if the money dries up, she fears some schools are too far down the social justice pathway to turn back now.
“It’s a real tension because by now the universities have really been taken over by this left-wing zealotry. I’m not even confident that a drop in alumni donations would lead them to say, ‘OK, no more of this nonsense,'” said Mac Donald.
She says the only true recourse is for parents with children at all levels of education to demand better.
“You’ve got to fight back against it and give your children alternative sources of knowledge,” said Mac Donald.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud President Trump’s strong defense of the value of Western civilization in his speech in Poland Wednesday. They also express disappointment in comments made by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey conceding Republicans failed to prepare a healthcare repeal and replace bill because they didn’t believe Trump would win the election. Finally, they decry New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for protesting President Trump in Germany in the midst of ongoing crises in his city.
Across the country, loud and sometime violent campus protesters are often met by administrators who ultimately give into the demands related to perceived slights on issues ranging from race to gender and sexuality to alleged to hate speech, but one college president is fighting back and says the pursuit of truth – not unanimous political ideology ought to be the goal of higher education.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Dr. Everett Piper burst on to the scene in late 2015, when he wrote an open letter to his students and famously explained their campus was not a day care but a university. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, “Not A Day Care: A Coddled Nation is a Crippled Nation.”
Dr. Piper is also speaking up after the latest round of campus unrest, specifically the saga over Ann Coulter’s scheduled appearance at the University of California-Berkeley, an which ultimately never happened. In his column for The Christian Post, Piper unloads on what he sees as an assault on free speech and an abdication of role played by higher education.
“The liberal arts institution was founded some 1,000 years ago, let’s say at Oxford, for what? To educate a free man and a free woman, to educate culture and what it means to enjoy liberty, and liberation, thus the word liberal,” said Piper, in a follow-up interview to his column.
He says that original purpose is now almost recognizable at most schools.
“The classical liberal is someone who stands for freedom, for liberty, and for liberation. What we see today within the American academy is the shutting down of ideas. We see ideological fascism rather than academic freedom,” said Piper.
“The conservative voice is actually more classically liberal because we’re arguing for an open, robust exchange of ideas. Why? Because we can trust truth to judge the debate rather than politics or power,” said Piper.
Piper says the problem has been brewing for many decades, when ideology became more important than truth.
“We’ve taught lousy ideas for decades in the academy and we’re seeing lousy behavior on the campus green and in the campus quad today. These student rebellions, these snowflake rebellions, trigger warnings, microaggressions, and safe spaces are being called for because we’ve taught these kids this intellectual mush and this ideological narcissism and nihilism,” said Piper.
“We hear people say things like, ‘I hate these hateful people. I’m sure that nothing’s sure. I’m absolutely confident there are no absolutes, and I can’t tolerate your intolerance.’ It’s self-refuting at every turn. The reason we see this is because we started teaching this type of nihilism and intellectual relativism and intellectual mush some three, four, five decades ago,” said Piper.
“When you teach good ideas, you get good culture, good kids, good community, good government, good church, etc. When you teach bad ideas, you get the opposite,” he said.
So why aren’t more administrators pushing back?
“I’ll be very blunt here: lack of spine, lack of courage, lack of conviction. They’re more interested in capitulation and compromise. We’re more interested in a conversation than we are in demonstrating conviction and purpose and principle. We don’t seem to have the heart and the soul to engage in the things that are right and just and true,” said Piper.
And he says the administrators are often ideologically in sync with the protesters.
“We call for justice but deny that there is a Judge. We argue that we want tolerance but then act intolerable to anybody we can’t tolerate. Our administrators and our presidents and our professors parrot this pablum. They don’t have the conviction and the spine,” said Piper.
Piper also pushes back hard against the notion that free speech somehow began at Berkeley in the 1960’s. He says the people who believe that are about 2,000 years behind.
“Free speech was not born at Berkeley. It was born at Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago, because without the truth you shall never be set free,” said Piper.
Piper says history shows that removing God and His word from a society never results in freedom because man’s rules then intervene to fill the vacuum. He says true freedom is like playing music or sports in that one has great freedom within certain boundaries.
“You are only set free with the context of truth, judging the activity you want to be free to engage in. When we abandon the concept of truth, you don’t get freedom, you get tyranny. And that’s what you see in the snowflake rebellion in the streets of Berkeley,” said Piper.
He says the very notion of safe spaces misses the point of education.
“Safety is not what good education is about. Goodness is what good education should pursue, but you’ve got to have a measuring rod outside of those things being measured or you can do no measuring, according to C.S. Lewis,” said Piper.
“You have to have the measuring rod of Truth with a capital T, and goodness and justice, and mercy. Those things all come from the Judeo-Christian ethic that our country was founded upon. If we don’t have that ethic any longer, we’re going to see fascism and tyranny and power prevail, rather than live by principles that give us freedom,” said Piper.
His immediate advice is for families to refuse to send their children to colleges that don’t embrace truth.
“Moms and dads, stop sending your kids to these institutions that teach this pablum and send them to places that teach what’s actually objectively right and real and true and good,” said Piper.
Ian Tuttle of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America shake their heads as Ann Coulter cancels her Berkeley speech after officials there make it clear they will not maintain order. They also vent after a liberal judge rules that the federal government cannot withhold funds from localities that flagrantly refuse to obey federal immigration law. And they throw up their hands as CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin is more worried about why senators have to go to the White House to discuss North Korea – than she is about the North Korea threat itself.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of the disunity on full display during the Democrats’ “Unity Tour,” as Bernie Sanders focuses on big government economic policies and the party leadership is still about identity politics. They also hammer Howard Dean for incorrectly citing three Supreme Court cases in arguing Ann Coulter’s speeches are not protected by the Constitution. And Jim pays tribute to his late National Review colleague, Kate O’Beirne.
Liberal groupthink is nothing new on college campuses but resorting to violence and intimidation to stifle views contrary to the progressive orthodoxy is a dangerous escalation, according to a prominent scholar who was recently targeted by an angry mob of students and warns free speech is under fierce assault in the United States.
Earlier this month, the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald experienced the hostility first-hand, while visiting the west coast, first at UCLA and then at Claremont-McKenna College. Her visit to Claremont-McKenna was the most harrowing, with protesters blocking access to the auditorium where Mac Donald was to give her presentation. Organizers then tried to have her speak via video access before the event was finally cancelled over security concerns.
“The day before Claremont-McKenna, I had an effort to storm the stage. That was at UCLA. At Claremont-McKenna was a blockade around the building where I was supposed to speak to prevent anyone from entering to be able to listen to me in person and interact with me. That’s certainly the most extreme that I’ve experienced,” said Mac Donald.
Protesters targeted Mac Donald in response to her book “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe,” accusing her of being a racist and a fascist.
This is the latest in a series of campus unrest as a result of a speaker who does not subscribe to standard liberal views. Riots broke out at the University of California at Berkeley when Milo Yiannapoulos was scheduled to speak. A professor at Middlebury College in Vermont suffered a concussion while trying to protect American Enterprise Institute scholar Dr. Charles Murray.
Mac Donald says the intolerance of the left is reaching new heights.
“I had a direct experience of how a student body reacts to a non-conforming opinion. It basically reacts like an immune system does, surrounding the alien virus with corpuscles to try to expel it from the body politic,” said Mac Donald.
“There is no an increasing insistence that everybody hew to the same line and that line is something very, very dangerous for the future of America. It hold that this country is rife with oppression, that minorities in particular are the victim of non-stop bigotry and anybody who dares propose facts to the contrary is simply not to be tolerated,” said Mac Donald.
Colleges are often billed as the place to explore and compare different ideas, yet administrators seem to do little or nothing to punish students who stoke violence or prevent the exercise of free speech.
Mac Donald is not surprised.
“College administrators are reluctant to discipline students for clear violations of their rules for fear of alienating the parents, alienating the student darlings. That’s a purely economic self-interest explanation for the passivity of administrators in the face of this,” said Mac Donald.
But she sees another factor at work as well.
“The campus bureaucracies are being colonized now by people of the left who believe in identity politics and have a stake in students thinking of themselves as victims because that necessitates, allegedly, an ever-growing student service and diversity bureaucracy,” said Mac Donald.
One of the great ironies of this campus groupthink for Mac Donald is the insistence the students are fighting fascism by forbidding alternative viewpoints to be expressed.
“I’m amazed anybody has the sheer gall to label themselves anti-fascist, who then says [they] are shutting down me, or Charles Murray or Ann Coulter and nobody else gets to hear that person without anybody taking a vote. I mean it is the very definition of at least soft totalitarianism,” said Mac Donald.
Mac Donald says liberal academics are succeeding in their mission to groom the next generation to consider only the ideas of the far-left.
“The brainwashing is very effective. Students are told that the police are racist and that mass incarceration is a reality aimed at re-enslaving blacks. If you’re hit with that enough, you do start to believe it,” said Mac Donald.
As intimidation and violence becomes more common on campus, where does this kind of development ultimately lead our society?
“It ends badly,” said Mac Donald. “These students graduate. They take levers of power in government, in corporate HR departments. They are absolutely committed to the view that America is profoundly racist, sexist, mysogynist, you name it. They will put in policies to support that view,” said Mac Donald.
But in addition to the impact on the culture and the workplace, Mac Donald fears for the future of free speech.
“Traditionally, America has had the greatest degree of freedom of speech of any western, industrialized country. There’s much stronger speech codes in Europe. I think we could be moving in that direction and that means less and less possibility for correcting the errors that guide so many members of the cultural and political elite,” said Mac Donald.