Thursday 19th April 2018

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Capitulation Doesn’t Work . . . For Ryan And GOP, Nor For The Pope On Immigration

April 14, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Just imagine that a town in a congressman’s district had terrible ambulance-response times. This hypothetical legislator made a big point while campaigning for re-election that if he won, he’d get all the emergency agencies in the area together to improve their coordination.
However, after his victory, he staged exactly one lunch for their leaders then dropped the issue entirely. When he lost office in the next election cycle, his foes proclaimed, “See, people don’t care about fast ambulances. Who cares how long it takes them to respond?”
Their claims, of course, turned the issue on its head. He didn’t campaign by promising he’d be indifferent to the crisis, but that he’d fight to fix it. It was because he didn’t carry out his pledge that voters sent him packing.
That applies in real political life to troubles Republicans fear they’re in now. They won their congressional majorities by promising to oppose and fix damage done by Democrats. However, in many ways the GOP majority in power let Democrat policies prevail.
Massive spending lumped together in an intentionally intractable “omnibus,” plenty of continuing taxpayer funding for mega-abortionist Planned Parenthood, general opposition to enabling border protection, failure to repeal the roots of Obamacare. Democrat leaders danced with joy over the Republicans’ self-inflicted capitulations.
But, of course, the Dems will claim in this campaign season that voters are rejecting the Republican program, not that voters actually are rejecting the GOP’s failure to deliver on the bold anti-Democrat program they pledged.
Who can forget “maverick” Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), newly diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer, returning to Capitol Hill last summer to kill the GOP’s “skinny repeal” of Obamacare? Republican legislators were aghast, but Dems rejoiced at their Arizona pal once again coming through for them.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis in Rome left his followers, too, wondering what sort of authentic guidance he was providing when he once again went against the clear teaching of his papal Predecessors, although he has seemed comfortable launching troublesome trial balloons through his friendship with an elderly atheist journalist who generates headlines. More on this below.
Announcing in Washington on April 11 that he was retiring at the end of this term, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), a Catholic, confirmed speculation that he wasn’t happy with the job. He said he’d been reluctant to take it.
Indeed, observers could recall that his deal-making Catholic predecessor, Speaker John Boehner, said he “laid every ounce of Catholic guilt I could on him” to shove Ryan into the role.
Ryan assumed the speakership late in 2015 and proceeded to rationalize the continuation of generous taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.
I wrote on the front page of the November 12, 2015, Wanderer that he “quickly issued lame excuses and assertions of powerlessness when the topic of continuing to appropriate a half-billion dollars of annual taxpayer funding for barbarous abortion giant Planned Parenthood came up in a CNN interview aired November 1. . . .
“If Ryan doesn’t think he can devise a successful strategy to cut off taxpayers’ support for this repellent, monstrous organization,” I wrote, “what else does he ever hope to attain that demands some effort?”
Still, Ryan was to move along to make progress on the defunding. But he hardly had a helpful colleague in standpatter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who tended a graveyard where many of Ryan’s House accomplishments went to languish and die. The House passed defunding of PP in the current session, but that didn’t survive in the Senate.
And when Ryan and McConnell got together with Democrat congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi, of California, and Charles Schumer, of New York, over the recent omnibus spending agreement, the Republicans once again waved the surrender flag to the abortionists’ lobby.
Might Ryan’s embarrassed Catholic conscience finally have gotten to him and influenced his retirement announcement? But what would that say about the condition of the Congress? That PP is so powerful that it wins, no matter how many moral traditionalists have been elected to serve the voters?
Conservative GOP political consultant Constantin Querard told The Wanderer on April 11 that Ryan “didn’t want the (speaker) job, but he did about the best he could with the job. Which ought to be worrisome to the GOP, because so long as the GOP majority lacks the courage to keep its promises, and as long as the far more conservative approaches taken by the House are gutted or ignored by the GOP Senate, what we’ve seen in recent years will be all that the GOP is capable of in Congress.
“Ryan took a lot of hits that rightfully belonged to McConnell, and if the Senate had passed the House versions of major legislation, not only would the GOP be in much better shape nationally, but opinions about Ryan would be much higher,” Querard said.

Vote GOP In November

Health-care consultant David Catron warned readers at The American Spectator website on April 5 that as tempted as Republicans may be to sit out the November elections, doing so could mean disaster.
Go vote Republican in large numbers, Catron said, “or give Nancy Pelosi and her accomplices free rein to pick your pocket. And they won’t stop with taxes. They will reinstate the fine for Obamacare’s individual mandate, which will be far higher than the penalty the Republicans just eliminated. They will also work to pass a rebranded version of single-payer health care, and try to impeach President Trump.”
If Dems regain the majority, Catron said, “The whole country will suffer. Conservatives have a right to be frustrated, but can anyone really be crazy enough to give Congress back to the Democrats?”
In addition, of course, the dominant media that work for the Democratic Party would thrill every day in covering the wickedness of the Pelosi and Schumer banditry. Don’t expect hostile, destabilizing stories intended to disrupt that agenda.
Many Republicans have seemed afraid of their power to make positive change. They keep returning to the old establishment game that keeps ratcheting the nation to the left.
Wild spenders under President George W. Bush, the GOP Congress was tossed out of power in 2006 in favor of the Democrats. But after ramming through Obamacare at Barack Obama’s insistence, the Dems lost the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.
Rather than finally deliver on a reform program, the GOP again confronts the specter of losing congressional power in 2018 because its majority has quailed.
And what might a Dem majority deliver next year? Always anxious to promote massive abortion, maybe Democrats could outlaw pro-life crisis pregnancy centers. Presumably Trump would veto that bill if he hadn’t been maneuvered out of office by then, but, if they have the numbers, Dems could override his veto.
Remember the Dem leftists’ Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act that President Bill Clinton signed in 1994? It imposed severe penalties for sitting in at abortion clinics. It’s still in effect, and no Republican politician even seems to talk about repealing it. The pro-abortion ratchet at work.
Sit-ins had been a valuable strategy of civil-rights activists. As long as they were willing to pay whatever penalty for their sit-in, they could continue this tactic. Only when pro-lifers followed in this tradition did Dems decide that ruinous punishments had to be enacted against sit-ins, and so this direct witness dissipated.
As concerned as many congressional Republicans may be about their November fate, it’s worth remembering that no matter how much the Democrats’ media toadies hammer Trump, he remains far more popular in polls than Congress. Maybe because he exudes the impression of standing for and accomplishing goals?

Baffling Conclusions

Meanwhile, Pope Francis again left many wondering about his view of morality and politics when he brushed aside his Predecessors’ teaching that protecting the lives of the unborn is an intrinsic, non-negotiable issue, while prudential issues such as illegal immigration may lead people of goodwill to different conclusions.
In his apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, released April 9, the Pope said defense of the unborn should be on a par with care for others including migrants — somehow ignoring that without the right to life being protected, no one can enjoy other rights.
This seemed to suit Francis’ political inclinations toward the malleable “seamless garment” agenda — employed in the U.S. to defend pro-abortion Democrats.
Commentator John Zmirak posted at The Stream Christian website on April 11: “Like much of what Pope Francis says and writes, his latest statement asserts a few things that are obviously true. Then he draws from those ‘well, duh!’ assertions conclusions that are baffling or — not quite right. Let’s unpack this rhetorical strategy.
“Yes, it’s true. The lives of unborn children are no more ‘sacred’ than those in other categories,” like the destitute or the abandoned, Zmirak said, but every one of these other people at least has the recognition of legal protection, even if imperfect.
Giving examples, Zmirak wrote: “We have massive government programs aimed at combating poverty and homelessness in America. The UN spends billions aiding refugees. The U.S. federal government sluices billions into helping immigrants, much of it through Catholic agencies that are little more than federal contractors.”
However, he said, “The one group of people in our society with zero legal protection? The unborn. We can murder them on a whim, for sex selection, suspicion of being handicapped, or simple convenience. Their bodies can be carved up and sold for profit” by Planned Parenthood.
If the U.S. government starts giving a half-billion dollars a year to kill immigrants then sell their organs, Zmirak said, “the same people who now run crisis pregnancy centers, and do sidewalk counseling, and lobby for unborn children, will step up and help stop the killing of immigrants. You see, unlike these allies of convenience on the left, we really do believe that life is sacred.”

Locked Church Doors

The Wanderer asked conservative consultant Querard for his reaction to the moral equivalency expressed in the new apostolic exhortation. He replied:
“As to the Church’s position on ‘migration,’ I’m not in the Pope’s league when it comes to debating Scripture. But I know that the Catholic church we attend has a church office that locks its doors when office hours are over because they don’t want anyone coming in anytime they want, and they want to protect their possessions within the office.
“The church itself is also locked outside of its usual hours. When the church opens itself and its offices 24 hours a day and allows anyone to pass through and help themselves to whatever they require for a better life, then it will be far easier to take earnestly the Pope’s exhortation,” Querard said.
“Until then, it is difficult to follow the example of a man with a private army who lives behind truly massive walls, in a nation of his own that has virtually no immigration of any kind,” he said.
Arizona conservative Catholic political activist Rob Haney told The Wanderer on April 11:
“The confusion was a long time building without a course correction. Francis has just immensely accelerated the heterodoxy. I must confess that when Francis appears on TV, I react as though Senators Chuck Schumer or John McCain had appeared, and I hit the mute button or switch channels because I believe I am about to be embarrassed by what Francis says or scolded for my orthodox beliefs.
“The Pope’s latest exhortation resurrects (Joseph) Cardinal Bernardin’s previously discredited ‘seamless garment’ argument in order to place the fundamental pro-life issue on the same plane as the prudential migration issue. It blurs these significantly different categories into one continuum and devalues the pro-life doctrine,” Haney said.
“The exhortation is also in violation of the Catholic doctrine of subsidiarity, which states that governmental decisions should be made at the lowest level possible for the common good. In no way would admitting into your country millions of aliens of a different moral, religious, and cultural heritage with no desire to assimilate result in the common good,” Haney said.
“We need only look at California and Europe to see how an example of the Pope’s exhortation has turned out. When the Faith survives Francis’ reign as One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, it will truly be a confirmation of God’s promise to protect His Church,” he said.

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