Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The State Of Our Union 

As the country prepares to celebrate Independence Day, I'd like to take a look at the state of our union as measured through a series of recent polls. 

A Rasmussen poll released yesterday found that the public's approval of the Supreme Court has "fallen to the lowest level ever recorded." Only 28% of voters feel the court is doing a good job, while 30% say it is doing a poor job. 

That also marked the first time in Rasmussen's polling that more voters gave the court a negative rating. The poll was conducted two days after the court issued its ill-considered opinions on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. It seems many voters do not care for the court's left-wing judicial activism. 

Americans also do not like the court's perceived hostility toward religion. Last month a Rasmussen poll found that 41% felt that the Supreme Court was "too hostile" toward faith, while just 15% said the court was "too friendly." 

Beltway elites routinely reflect the whims of the popular culture. Yet these polls strongly suggest that there is considerable support for conservative values. Unfortunately, all too often conservatives act like they are the ones with just 15% support! 

These polls also come on the heels of others by Fox News, Pew and CNN finding that large majorities feel that the federal government is out of control and a growing threat to our liberty. 

If there is going to be real hope and change in America, the angst and frustration registered in these polls must find an outlet. The liberal justices who voted to redefine marriage will not have to face the voters next year. But many of the senators who voted to confirm them will! 

The Best Defense… 

A lot of conservatives are demoralized right now having just lost a big battle, and more fights are coming. It's time to pick ourselves up, regroup and attack! 

Conservatives need to do a better job of putting the left on defense. As Ramesh Ponnuru points out, Wendy Davis may be the latest left-wing hero, but liberals are treading on thin ice when they champion late-term abortions. 

Take voter ID as another example. The left reacts vehemently against voter ID laws, labeling them modern reincarnations of Jim Crow bigotry. But minorities overwhelmingly support voter ID laws. In fact, a black Democrat sponsored Rhode Island's voter ID law. 

The Supreme Court just struck down Arizona's law requiring individuals to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote. The court declared that the state could not put additional requirements on the federal "motor-voter" law. Fine. 

But with states granting drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, House conservatives should pass an amendment to the "motor-voter" law requiring proof of citizenship when individuals register to vote. Then dare Senate liberals to filibuster it! 

Senator Rubio, Call Your Office 

Many who like Florida Senator Marco Rubio have been trying to figure out why he made immigration reform a signature issue when there are so many other issues on which he could be fighting. Those close to him argue that he cares about reforming our broken immigration system, and feels that he is uniquely positioned as a Hispanic conservative to break the deadlock on immigration reform. 

So what is the payoff for Rubio putting his neck on the line and leading the charge for this quasi-amnesty bill? Perhaps less than he thinks. 

According to a poll by Latino Decisions, in a hypothetical 2016 race Rubio would get just 28% of the Hispanic vote while Hillary Clinton gets 66%. He fares no better against Joe Biden, losing 60% to 28%. (Mitt Romney got 27% of the Hispanic vote last year against Barack Obama.) 

This must be disappointing news for Senator Rubio given the damage he has sustained among conservative grassroots activists. But it should also serve as a teachable moment to Beltway elites who seem to think there is something to be gained by pandering to ethnic interests when it comes to fundamental issues like border security and sovereignty. 

The Left's War On Youth 

America's "Millennials" are getting crushed by student loan debt, and their burden is a growing drag on the entire economy. The average graduate leaves college with not just a diploma, but more than $27,000 of debt. Unfortunately for many of them, the interest rates on some student loans just doubled -- thanks to Harry Reid. 

If that wasn't bad enough, here's another gut punch for America's youth -- Obamacare will likely double or perhaps even triple health insurance rates for healthier and younger Americans. 

Perhaps there is a left-wing "war on young people." 

Like immigration reform, many well-meaning members of Congress often approach specific issues naļve to the left's agenda. Obamacare isn't about health care reform, but dramatically expanding Big Government. 

Lower interest rates on student loans was, first and foremost, a political strategy to energize the youth vote. The left is not interested in settling the issue, only using it for its own advantage. That's why Harry Reid blocked a bi-partisan compromise from becoming law.