A Contrast In Substance & Style
Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) got into a testy exchange this week during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. While debating Feinstein's legislation to limit Second Amendment rights, Senator Cruz asked his liberal colleague what other constitutional rights Congress might attempt to restrict. Their exchange provided an interesting contrast in how conservatives and liberals make the case for their beliefs.
Senator Feinstein's bill specifically lists which guns she would allow and which ones she seeks to ban. So, Senator Cruz asked whether it would be constitutional in her view for Congress to attempt to limit the First Amendment too by identifying the books protected by the First Amendment as well as the books "that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights."
It was a good point to make regarding the Second Amendment. There are plenty of liberals who believe that Feinstein's bill doesn't go far enough. They would like to ban all guns, regardless of what the Second Amendment says.
But more significantly, their exchange was a good illustration of how both sides operate. Cruz was respectful. He's a constitutional lawyer. He clerked for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He did not yell at Senator Feinstein, nor was he rude.
In contrast, Feinstein's reaction was immediately emotional. "I'm not a sixth grader," she shot back. While she went on at some length, she never engaged Cruz on the substance of his questions -- the importance of the Bill of Rights, individual liberty or why we even have a Second Amendment.
The Senate is supposed to be a deliberative body. But rather than debate Senator Cruz, Feinstein did what the left frequently does: When logic failed her, she tried to shut him down with emotional arguments.
The Battle Of The Budgets
While we're on the subject of contrasts, consider the budget battle raging in Washington today. Just as they are for every family and business, budgets are a statement of priorities. And most people don't like debt. Out-of-control debt can destroy families, businesses and nations too.
The American people know our national debt is a problem. A January Fox News poll found that 83% of the public felt federal spending was out-of-control. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 81% of the public supported slashing salaries of members of Congress by at least 25% until the budget was balanced. So how is Washington responding?
House Republicans, led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), have proposed a reasonable budget that balances in 10 years.
Senate Democrats haven't passed a budget for three years. But they are trying this year -- after House Republicans successfully included the "No Budget, No Pay" act to legislation raising the debt limit. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) has introduced a plan that doesn't even try to balance the budget -- even after including another massive tax hike. Instead, it increases spending 62% over the next ten years.
What about President Obama? He told members of Congress this week that he didn't think the debt was "that bad." Let's review.
When Obama was campaigning in 2008 he justifiably criticized the Bush Administration for overspending. He said, "#43 [George W. Bush] 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."
$6 trillion has been added to the national debt, so that we now have nearly $17 trillion to pay back, about $53,000 per citizen. Who is being irresponsible and unpatriotic now?
Another Blow To Obamacare Mandate
Obamacare's contraception mandate, which many believe is a direct assault on religious liberty, took another blow this week. Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza and Ave Maria University, sued the federal government, arguing that the mandate violates his religious beliefs.
Judge Lawrence Zatkoff agreed. In his opinion, Judge Zatkoff wrote that the mandate would "result in a substantial burden on Monaghan's right to free exercise of religion, since the mandate requires him to choose whether to comply and violate his beliefs, or accept the financial consequences of not doing so."
This gets us back to the discussion of constitutional liberty that Senator Cruz was attempting to have with Senator Dianne Feinstein. Unfortunately, the left has no problem limiting religious liberty in America. In its view, "free" birth control is more important than freedom of worship.
March For Marriage
There is news this morning that Ohio's Rob Portman has become the first Senate Republican to publicly endorse same-sex "marriage." According to the reports, the senator's son is gay and that is why Portman has changed his opinion on the issue.
With all due respect to the senator, marriage predates him and his son. To suggest that his son being gay justifies abandoning several thousand years of Judeo-Christian belief is depressing. Not to mention that 62% of Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment preserving the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. But that amendment and others like it in more than two dozen states across the country are in jeopardy.
On March 26th the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case seeking to redefine marriage. Just as it did with abortion, in which the Supreme Court imposed its morality on the people, the left is once again hoping that the high court will invalidate the will of millions of Americans and force same-sex "marriage" on every state in the union.
You and I may not have a vote in the Supreme Court, but we can still make our voices heard!
Join me in our nation's capital on Tuesday, March 26th for the March for Marriage. I am proud to co-sponsor the March for Marriage along with the National Organization for Marriage and other pro-family organizations.
Please share this report with like-minded friends, family members and fellow worshippers, and encourage them to attend. Visit MarriageMarch.org for handouts, talking points, a schedule of the day's events and more.