The latest from Prager University:
They Don’t Give a Damn About the Children, Exhibit #3,972
It’s now been revealed that James Holmes’ psychiatrist warned school authorities he was dangerous a month before the Aurora theater massacre. Every time one of these massacres takes place, it turns out that someone recognized the killer’s derangement and tried to warn officials (often academic) – only to be ignored. Every time.
If our leaders really cared about “the children,” this is what they’d be screaming about, not how to take even more guns from normal Americans.
The Truth About the Wisconsin Jobs Picture
At National Review, Christian Schneider has an informative piece on why Wisconsin’s job numbers have yet to reach Scott Walker’s promised 250,000 new jobs during his first term, and the truth should challenge the assumptions of Walker’s liberal haters. In particular, he notes that Wisconsin still has the fifth worst business climate in America, thanks to high personal and corporate income taxes. In other words, Walker and the legislature haven’t gone far enough in the direction that liberals blame for our woes…not that they’ll adjust either their positions or their invective accordingly.
However, that’s not to say there isn’t criticism Walker deserves. For one thing, this is why politicians should be very wary of pledging to deliver certain numbers by a particular date. It doesn’t matter if some wonk worked it all out on paper for you; there are always variables you can’t foresee and intentions that won’t pan out. Aren’t conservatives supposed to be the ones with the Hayekian appreciation that economies are too dynamic for total centralized comprehension?
For another, this is also why if Walker thinks he can gain anything by moderating, as he’s been signaling, he’s dangerously mistaken. Not only have his foes not given Walker any credit for not being as hard-right on taxes as he could be, now he also has moderation’s negative policy fallout to deal with.
New Prager University Video: How Teachers Unions Hurt Schools
The latest from Prager University:
Did you go to public school? Do you have a child, relative, or friend in public school? The answer is most likely “yes”. Public schools matter to everyone. They are the main educator of America’s children. So when groups that have a huge affect on education aren’t primarily interested in, well, education, there’s a problem. Those groups are teachers unions.In our newest free, 5-minute video, Stanford Professor of Political Science Dr. Terry Moe explains why teachers unions are hurting America’s children, and what we can do about this. Here’s Prof. Moe’s book on the topic.
If You Only Read One Political Column All Month…
….make it this one by my old boss, David Horowitz. It’s lengthy, but worth reading in full and distributing to as many people as possible. Many have tried to diagnose why Republicans lost in 2012 and what they can do to win again, but Horowitz has written the definitive assessment on the subject, and laid out what I believe to be the only likely path to saving the country from liberal ascendance.
In a nutshell, Horowitz contends that the Democrats won because they know how to manipulate emotion, and Republicans have no idea how to respond. The solution is essentially to recognize what the Democrats really are and develop the fortitude to respond with the appropriate level of bluntness and moral outrage, demonstrating and standing up for the victims of the Left’s policies. Some representative quotes from the piece:
“An exit poll conducted by CNN asked, ‘What is the most important candidate quality to your vote?’ Among the four choices were, ‘Strong Leader,’ ‘Shares Your Values,’ ‘Has A Vision for the Future,’ and ‘Cares about People.’ Romney won the first three by more than 54%. But he lost ‘Cares About People’ by 81-18%. That says it all.”
“Behind the failures of Republican campaigns lies an attitude that is administrative rather than combative. It focuses on policies rather than politics. It is more comfortable with budgets and pie charts than with the flesh and blood victims of their opponents’ policies. When Republicans do mention victims they are frequently small business owners and other ‘job creators’ – people who in the eyes of most Americans are rich.
“To counter the Democrat attacks on them as defenders of the comfortable and afflicters of the weak, Republicans really have only one answer: This is a misunderstanding. Look at the facts. We’re not that bad. On the infrequent occasions when they actually take the battle to their accusers, Republicans will say: That’s divisive. It’s class warfare.
“Even if voters were able to ‘look at the facts,’ these are not exactly inspiring responses. They are defensive, and they are whiny, and also complicated. Of course elections are divisive – that is their nature. One side gets to win and the other side loses. But even more troublesome is the fact that responses like this require additional information and lengthy explanations to make sense. Appeals to reason are buried in the raucous noise that is electoral politics. Sorting out the truth would be a daunting task, even if voters were left alone to make up their minds.”
“The only way to confront the emotional campaign that Democrats wage in every election is through an equally emotional campaign that puts the aggressors on the defensive; that attacks them in the same moral language, identifying them as the bad guys, the oppressors of women, children, minorities and the middle class, that takes away from them the moral high ground which they now occupy. You can’t confront an emotionally based moral argument with an intellectual analysis. Yet this is basically and almost exclusively what Republicans do.”
“Republicans seem to think the way to inspire hope is by offering voters practical solutions, such as Paul Ryan’s plan to balance the budget. Paul Ryan is a smart conservative and the Ryan Plan is probably a good one. But with control only of the House, Republicans had no chance of implementing it when they voted on it. Worse, in the real world of political combat, facing an unscrupulous opposition, a plan offered by a party with no means of implementing it is a self-inflicted wound. You can’t put the plan into effect to show that it works, and no one besides policy wonks is going to even begin to understand it. All the plan does is provide the spinners with multiple targets to shoot at – something they will do by distorting the specifics and ignoring the plan itself. For virtually all voters, the plan will be so complicated and its details so obscure that it will remain invisible. Only those who already trust its designers will be persuaded that this is a reason to vote for them.”
“The way for Republicans to show they care about minorities is to defend them against their oppressors and exploiters, which in every major inner city in America without exception are Democrats. Democrats run the welfare and public education systems; they have created the policies that ruin the lives of the recipients of their handouts. It’s time that Republicans started to hold Democrats to account; to put them on the defensive and take away the moral high ground, which they now occupy illegitimately. Government welfare is not just wasteful; it is destructive. The public school system in America’s inner cities is not merely ineffective; it is racist and criminal.”
The Obama Administration in Their Own Words
Politics is a messy, convoluted affair, and understanding its many debates and controversies usually requires steady news consumption, a working knowledge of dueling philosophies, and familiarity with a daunting array of statistics, laws, background, and mechanics that just don’t lend themselves to 5-second sound bites and 30-second TV spots.
But often, the offensiveness, idiocy, and hypocrisy of politicians’ words speak for themselves, and homework isn’t necessary for the average American to see how wrong they really are. The Obama Administration has many, many such quotes just waiting to scare voters into the waiting arms of Mitt Romney…if only Team Romney would have the good sense to use them.
If I were running Mitt’s campaign, one of the many things I’d do differently would be to take the below quotes (many of which come from John Hawkins’ excellent list), develop TV ads based around some of them, and list the rest in full-page newspaper ads, with one simple message:
“They don’t respect your values, your freedoms, your judgment, your lifestyles, your struggles, or your country. It’s time for leaders who do. Romney-Ryan 2012.”
“Driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents — #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back – $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” – Barack Obama
“The way I think about it is this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn’t have that same competitive edge we needed over the last couple of decades.” – Barack Obama
“We’ve lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam and unleashed all the potential in this country.” – Barack Obama
“I don’t believe it is possible to transcend race in this country.” – Barack Obama
“White folks’ greed runs a world in need.” – Barack Obama, quoting sentiments candidate Obama claimed to have never heard Rev. Jeremiah Wright express
“After my election I have more flexibility.” – Barack Obama, to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them […] And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” – Barack Obama
“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.” – Barack Obama
“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” – Barack Obama
“Whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.” – Barack Obama
“ I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process.” – Barack Obama
“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” – Barack Obama, to a woman whose mother was initially denied a pacemaker
“I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something: there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” – Barack Obama
“I do think that at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” – Barack Obama
“I actually believe in redistribution.” – Barack Obama
“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” – Barack Obama
“Answering that question [when babies get human rights] with specificity is above my pay grade.” – Barack Obama
“I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” – Barack Obama
“In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” – Barack Obama
“‘You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.” – Joe Biden
“You share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand – I’m not second-guessing – of one child per family [through forced sterilization and abortion].” – Joe Biden
“Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy.” – Joe Biden
“In things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” – Attorney General Eric Holder
“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe.” – Energy Secretary Stephen Chu
“We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.” – Energy Secretary Stephen Chu
“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act.” – Energy Secretary Stephen Chu
“It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.” – Science Czar John Holdren
“Sounds like a dumb law…but I think that the question of whether it’s a dumb law is different from the question of whether it’s constitutional, and I think that courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are senseless just because they’re senseless.” – Justice Elena Kagan, on whether Congress has the power to force people to eat vegetables
America is “just downright mean.” – Michelle Obama
“For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country.” – Michelle Obama
“Sometimes it’s easier to hold on to your stereotypes and misconceptions. It makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That’s America.” – Michelle Obama
“What I notice about men, all men, is that their order is me, my family, God is in there somewhere, but me is first.” – Michelle Obama
New Prager University Video: Do Higher Taxes Raise More Money?
In Prager University’s latest video, UCLA economics professor debunks one of the Left’s favorite economic fallacies.
New Prager University Video: Proving Media Bias
Check out the latest video from Dennis Prager’s fantastic Prager University series. Here, UCLA Political Science Professor Tim Groseclose (author of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Distorts the American Mind) “explains his peer-reviewed study, which quantifies how slanted America’s news media really is. He says that if it were not for the media’s significant leftward bias, Americans would almost certainly vote more conservative.”
A Vital Healthcare Roadmap for Mitt Romney
Though constitutionally indefensible, Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to save ObamaCare might prove to be a blessing in disguise. By guaranteeing that the intensely unpopular law stays relevant through November, the ruling could ultimately save the Constitution by securing Barack Obama’s electoral defeat.
That is, if Mitt Romney seizes the opportunity.
Therein lies the problem: so far, Team Romney has played it dangerously safe, campaigning on a one-note economic message that has frustrated many of his supporters into asking him, as the Weekly Standard’sBill Kristol did on July 5, “to get off autopilot and actually think about the race he’s running.”
The problem is amplified on healthcare. Throughout the primary, conservative activists excoriated Romney for the mandate-based plan he enacted in Massachusetts, decrying it as statism and fearing it would make Romney a hypocrite in attacking ObamaCare, leaving the campaign terrified of getting specific enough to invite comparisons of the two laws.
But that caution isn’t just excessive—it’s suicidal. As dissatisfied as voters are with the status quo, they know there’s more to it than the economy. And the case against the dangers of Obama’s second term is fatally incomplete without ObamaCare.
Contrary to the wisdom of overpaid GOP strategists, Mitt Romney can forcefully, comprehensively make that case—and contrary to the hysterics of the Anybody-But-Mitt crowd, he can do it without flip-flopping on RomneyCare.
First, stress that ObamaCare is full of outrages that have no parallel in RomneyCare. For instance, the Congressional Research Service says it’s impossible to count how many new agencies and boards the law creates, making their potential harm unknowable and their accountability impossible. Hammer the scandalous irresponsibility of Democrats inflicting on us something noneofthemevenread, much less understand. Note that the Congressional Budget Office now says the whole shebang is now projected to cost anywhere from $1.76 trillion to $2.6 trillion over the next decade—considerably higher than its original $900 billion price tag. Think that’ll help our $15+ trillion debt, America?
Second, sound the alarm on how ObamaCare will worsen healthcare. Trumpet the results of surveys like the one Jackson Healthcare releasedin June, which found that 70% of doctors don’t think it’ll control costs, 61% doubt it’ll improve the quality of care, and 66% expect it to take decisions out of physicians’ hands; or the one the Doctor Patient Medical Association releasedin July finding that ObamaCare has led 83% of American doctors to consider quitting. Point out that it makes completely dropping insurance the most affordable option for many employers. Explain how it makes insurance costlier to micromanage what services plans must cover.
Third, debunk the lie that Romney and Obama’s healthcare records are equivalent. For example, Romney’s proposal would only have required Massachusetts residents to purchase basic catastrophic insurance, to offset the cost of their federally-guaranteed right to emergency care, and would not have included any employer mandate—vastly different from ObamaCare’s much broader (and therefore far pricier) mandate, which imposes on employer and employee alike broader plans covering things like birth control, maternity care, and drug abuse treatment. It was Massachusetts’ 85% Democrat legislature, overriding Romney’s vetoes, which pushed RomneyCare leftward on these points (Romney also unsuccessfully vetoed the final bill’s coverage for non-citizens and a new bureaucracy it created, the Public Health Council).
Finally, point out the biggest difference of all: while Romney was merely out to insure the uninsured, Obama sees ObamaCare as one step on the longer road to a full-blown single-payer system. Demand the president explain what he meant when he said, “I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process.” Ask how that squares with “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
Rather than a liability, the true story of RomneyCare contrasts sharply with ObamaCare and illustrates the formidable expertise Mitt Romney would bring to healthcare reform as president. But only Romney can tell it.
In Which Our Feminist Betters Laud a Killer Communist
If liberals think they can score political points by tying their opponents to extremists, then I’ll see their latest example, Francis Grady, and raise them one Angela Davis.
Davis is a tenured University of California professor (of course), a self-professed Communist, a former Black Panther, and a likely accessory to the 1970 killing of Judge Harold Haley (she was acquitted despite over twenty witnesses, thanks to fellow Communists providing a dubious alibi and ideological brethren in the jury).
Though her primary causes are race and class, she’s found her way into the abortion debate thanks to a speech she delivered at the University of Kansas at the invitation of the February Sisters, the following passage of which feminist Pace University Law Professor Bridget Crawford highlights on her blog (though she omits what Davis “was in jail in Marin County” for):
I was asked to write a statement [for a San Francisco “reproductive rights” rally – CF] that very specifically engaged with the issue of abortion rights. Of course, I was in favor of women’s abortion rights, but I did not want to take women’s abortion rights out of the context of the broader conglomeration of issues that constitute women’s reproductive rights.
At that time, we had learned that vast numbers of Native American women had been sterilized. We’d also learned about the extent to which Puerto Rican women were used as guinea pigs by pharmaceutical companies in the production of what was then the new birth control pill. So, I wrote a statement in which I tried to make connections between women’s reproductive rights and women’s right to be free from forced sterilization. The statement wasn’t read.
My position was, I cannot talk about abortion rights in isolation from these other issues. I’ve come to understand that when we talk about feminist epistemologies, we speak precisely about the ability to think, together, about things that often do not cohabit the same analytical space.
While San Francisco pro-aborts certainly could have used a good reminder that there are far worse things in life than not being able to abort your offspring, that’s also what makes Davis’ position so twisted: her insistence that abortion is central to reproductive freedom on the same level as sterilization and unscrupulous medical testing. Abortion kills a separate human being the mother regrets creating, undoing something she could have easily prevented in the overwhelming majority of cases. Sterilization prevents a woman from every having children again. In what universe are they comparable?
This is perhaps the greatest sin of modern leftists who claim the mantle of feminism for themselves: the intertwining of a noble cause with greed and injustice, using the honor of the former as cover for the shame of the latter, deceiving and intimidating people into accepting the lie that allegiance to their agenda is the only way to escape the scarlet letter of “sexist.” And what more fitting personification of that sin than a radical who aligns with some of history’s worst monsters in the name of “rights”?
Granted, the average pro-choicer doesn’t support the Black Panthers or the Communists like Angela Davis does. Heck, I’m not sure the average pro-choicer even knows who Angela Davis is. But if pro-lifers are expected to answer every time a lone extremist acts in our name, then so-called “feminists” who invite Davis to speak at their events and cheerfully disseminate her “wisdom” should have to do the same.