Month Archives: May 2013

The Business of Planned Parenthood

by Anna Higgins

May 7, 2013

The public perception of Planned Parenthood tends to be favorable, even among those who identify themselves as pro-life. However, when confronted with the actual practices of the $1.5 billion “non-profit,” those favorable opinions turn sour, for good reason.

Revealing the truth about the practices of Planned Parenthood is the goal of a new campaign by Alliance Defending Freedom. The campaign, “Pretty Ugly, Planned Parenthood’s deception of the American Public,” is focused around four little-known truths about Planned Parenthood: that they 1) promote sexual promiscuity to children to create a customer; 2) promote abortion and enforce abortion quotas to drive funding; 3) keep health standards and overhead low, putting women at risk, and 4) they commit fraud by wasting and abusing taxpayer dollars.

Planned Parenthood is a business. They promote sexual promiscuity through advertisements and sex education curriculum to create a customer at a young age, which ensures financial stability and growth down the line. As sexual activity among the young rises, they will need the services of Planned Parenthood even more – from STD testing and eventually abortion. Abortion is big business, especially at Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Abortion, which costs $450/abortion (for first trimester abortion), makes up about half of Planned Parenthood’s revenue. As of 2013, every Planned Parenthood affiliate is required to provide abortions and is given a required quota to fulfill.

Because it is a business, Planned Parenthood is very much focused on the bottom line. Implementing minimum health and safety standards is not always a priority because compliance can be costly. Across the nation, Planned Parenthood affiliates have been cited for various health and safety violations. Additionally, there is evidence that Planned Parenthood, which received $542 million from the federal government last year, has manipulated its records, increasing government reimbursements.

The truth about Planned Parenthood isn’t pretty – in fact, it’s pretty ugly. They prey on the circumstances of vulnerable women and children to make a profit. Its time that Planned Parenthood is exposed for what they really are. Please visit www.ItsPrettyUgly.com to learn more and share the truth with others.

Audio of Rear Admiral Lee Addressing Regulations Restricting Religious Liberty

by FRC Media Office

May 6, 2013

In an emotional moment at last week’s National Day of Prayer service, Coast Guard Rear Adm. William D. Lee stood at the microphone and said that he had 10 minutes of carefully prepared remarks ready but decided to “speak from the heart” instead. He told the story of so many servicemen searching for reasons to live, and talked about one 24-year-old who had tried to commit suicide and failed. Despite the protocol, Lee said he felt strongly that he should give the soldier a Bible. “The lawyers tell me that if I do that, I’m crossing the line,” he told the crowd. “I’m so glad I’ve crossed that line so many times.” To a standing ovation, Admiral Lee promised not to back down from “my right under the Constitution to tell a young man that there is hope.” 

Listen to the audio

Tredegar Iron Works

by Robert Morrison

May 6, 2013

I had a chance last week, for just a morning, to get away from Washington. For the first time, I saw the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia. Tredegar was the major foundry of the Confederacy. For four long years, this installation supplied the Army of Northern Virginia with artillery, cannonballs, and rifles. As we learned there, the location of the Tredegar Iron Works was a major factor in the Confederates choosing Richmond as their capital.

The events of April 2-4, 1865 are well documented and memorialized at the restored Tredegar Iron Works. There is a statue there—dedicated there in 2003—that features President Lincoln seated on a bench with his son, Tad. It commemorates the wartime visit of just one day of Lincoln to Richmond after the Confederate capital fell to Union forces. (The seated Lincoln is wearing not a bowtie, but a standard necktie. I’ve never seen Lincoln so attired. I’m sure that’s why there were scattered protests when the statue was unveiled.)

The original Mayo Bridge had burned on the night Richmond fell. Today, you can walk out over the James River on a partially restored structure that has an amazing series of quotes from people who were in Richmond during the terrible fire and drunken looting that accompanied the Confederate evacuation of the city.

Today, you can read what Mary Custis Lee, Mary Chesnut, and even Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee had to say on that historic occasion. You can read the exclamations of joy and thanksgiving from ex-slaves as they blessed the Lord and thanked Father Abraham for their liberation.

I was struck by one quote in particular: Written on the planks of the river walkway were these words of Abraham Lincoln to a jubilant crowd of freedmen:

My poor friends,’ he said, ‘you are free - free as air. You can cast off the name of slave and trample upon it; it will come to you no more. Liberty is your birthright. God gave it to you as he gave it to others, and it is a sin that you have been deprived of it for so many years…

This past week was the one hundred fiftieth anniversary not of Lincoln’s victorious one day visit to Richmond, but of his deepest dejection. The Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Chancellorsville (May 1-3, 1863) should not pass without notice from us. It was Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory.

Lincoln had issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation the previous September because he was advised to wait until he had a Union victory. Antietam had given him that opportunity. When the time came actually to sign the historic document, however, the Union had just suffered a grievous loss in December under commanding Gen. Ambrose Burnside at Fredericksburg. Wave after wave of bluecoats were mown down on December 13, 1862 by Gen. Lee’s troops secure behind stone defenses on Marye’s Heights. Lee memorably said then: “It is well that war is so terrible lest we grow too fond of it.”

After yet another futile effort—the infamous “Mud March” where his Union Army of the Potomac was bogged down in freezing rains, Burnside withdrew and Lincoln replaced him with Gen. Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker. Hooker had rashly called for a military dictatorship to remove the civilian leadership of the country. When he chose Hooker to lead the demoralized army, President Lincoln sternly told Hooker it was “in spite of this and not because of it that I have given you command.” Lincoln sagely told Hooker that only successful generals get to set up dictatorships. He asked of Hooker only one thing—victory—“and I will risk the dictatorship.”

Lincoln didn’t have to risk it long. Gen. Hooker was leaning on a column outside his Chancellorsville headquarters when a rebel artillery shot hit the column—stunning Hooker. He failed to relinquish command and led the Union to its second straight catastrophe.

Lee’s brilliant victory at Chancellorsville is still studied in military colleges around the world. He put the federals to flight. Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s corps formed the spear point that sowed panic amid the breakfasting Union soldiers, bursting out of the woodsand giving the rebel yell as many of the Yankees were still drinking their coffee.

But Lee’s greatest victory came with his most terrible loss. Stonewall Jackson was hit by friendly fire on the night of May 2, 1863 as he went out to inspect his lines. Jackson’s brother-in-law, Lt. Joseph Morrison, tried to stop the North Carolina troops from firing on their own men, to no avail. When Gen. Lee first heard that Stonewall Jackson was wounded, he knew only that the dour Presbyterian’s left arm was amputated. Even so, he said, “he has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm.”

At the Battle of Chancellorsville, one of the Union chaplains, Thomas L. Ambrose, stayed behind with the wounded and dying men of his regiment. In his book While God is Marching On, author Steven E. Woodworth tells us how Ambrose allowed himself to be taken prisoner by Gen. Lee’s forces so that he could pray for his men.

Chaplain Ambrose walked two and a half miles to the headquarters tent of the famous cavalry Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, begging for cornmeal for his wounded. Stuart sent him on to Gen. Lee’s tent.  Lee promised Chaplain Ambrose a wagonload of cornmeal. Knowing some of his boys wouldn’t last that long, the Union chaplain hefted a fifty-pound bag of meal on his back and walked back to his camp. Another Union prisoner of war wrote of him: “He was one of God’s Saints and I regard him as one of the heroes of Chancellorsville.”

The Obama administration recently welcomed a group of atheizers who want to court martial officers and enlisted personnel who share the Gospel with others. We can only imagine the reaction of these brave, faithful Civil War soldiers on both sides to such anti-American notions. This is certainly not the freedom that Abraham Lincoln defended and for which he laid down his life.

Join Us Tonight at 7 p.m. EDT for our Stand with Scouts Sunday Simulcast

by FRC Media Office

May 5, 2013

Tonight at 7 p.m. EDT, FRC will be hosting the “Stand with Scouts Sunday” simulcast.  Learn more about what you can do to preserve Scouting as its founders envisioned it - as a resource for young men to develop in morally, mentally, and healthy ways, free to be boys and teens without the invasion of cultural controversies.

Speakers include:

  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.)
  • Pastor Robert Hall, Calvary Chapel Rio Rancho
  • Zina Hackworth, Moms of Boy Scouts

You can watch the live simulcast TONIGHT at 7 p.m. EDT by visiting the Stand with Scouts Sunday website.

Thou Shalt Not—Abandon Israel!

by Robert Morrison

May 3, 2013

South Africa’s parliamentarian, Kenneth Meshoe, rose to contradict former U.S. President Jimmy Carter at an Israeli Embassy event this morning. “Israelis no apartheid regime,” said the deputy who lived decades under the racist policies of his home country. The head of that nation’s African Christian Democrats said “any Christian who doesn’t align with Israel “should be prayed for.”

And that’s what Liberty University Law School Dean Mat Staver did in his remarks. Dean Staver called on Christians to support embattled Israel and then cited the presence of Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (Ret.-USA), FRC’s Executive Vice President in the crowded Jerusalem Hall.

Floyd Corkins wanted to kill everyone at FRC,” Staver said of the confessed domestic terrorist who shot FRC’s Building Manager Leo Johnson last August, “and that’s another reason why Christians and Jews must stand together.” Dean Staver reminded his hearers that the Holocaust “didn’t happen overnight. It was the result of an accumulation of policies” all of which tended to place the Jews outside the protection of law and incite resentment of them.

One after another, Christian speakers reasserted their support for Israel. Their words brought to mind a similar gathering I attended in Washington more than twenty years ago. Israel’s Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, was expressing his thanks to American Christians and Jews for their staunch support of his surrounded country. One attendee rose to question him. “Mr. Prime Minister, I run a large public relations firm here in Washington. I give generously to Israel, but I have to say, you are always portrayed in the media as saying no. I know in public relations it always helps to put your case in more positive terms.”

We in the pro-life, pro-family movements are often told the same thing. Don’t say you’re anti-abortion; don’t say you oppose abolishing mothers and fathers in our laws.

Prime Minister Begin stroked his chin and looked out thoughtfully from behind his thick glasses. “I thank you for your support for the Jewish state,” he said in a courtly European manner. “And I will consult my Cabinet colleagues about your helpful suggestion of a more positive way to state our necessary positions.”

Then, with a twinkle in his eye, he added: “But Mr. Public Relations man, I hope you will grant us this much: In our region, there are certain honorable precedents for Thou Shalt Not!”

Indeed there are. Ambassador Michael Oren arrived to a standing ovation. One of my Christian friends had been confused about this learned man who speaks American-accented English. Is he Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. or America’s ambassador to Israel, my friend wanted to know. “Just listen to him,” I said, “he’s pro-America and pro-Israel. He can’t be an Obama appointee!”

The ambassador gave a quick and stunning tour d’horizon of Israel’s perilous position. He most diplomatically avoided saying that this new and deadly danger for Israel was the result of the Obama administration’s policies. He has to work with them.

Iran, he said, could have nuclear weapons and delivery means that could hit New York—or Galveston, Texas. Europe would not be safe. Even worse than North Korea with nukes, Iran’s mullahs are the world’s leading exporter of terror. Syria. No one knows what may happen there. “Jerusalem is to prophesy what Hershey, Pennsylvania is to chocolate. And we just don’t know!” But we may see a vast stash of chemical weapons fall into the hands of Hezbollah in South Lebanon—“Hezbollah, that has 70,000 rockets trained on Israel.”

He spoke of the stalled “peace process.” Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Fatah faction, dares not hold an election because he knows Hamas—which ousted him and his corrupt gang from power in Gaza—would win that election. Abbas is trying to effect reconciliation not withIsrael—but with Hamas. And Hamas, Amb. Oren reminds us, does not simply want to wipe out all Jews in Israel; they want to wipe out all the Jews on earth.

Again, Amb. Oren is too diplomatic to point out that U.S. taxpayers are getting hit for hundreds of millions of dollars to line the pockets of Mahmoud Abbas and his thugs while he makes nice with Hamas.

Egypt is of great concern for Israel. Amb. Oren notes that all their hopes in the Mideast were based on a stable and more democratic Egypt. Well, that was then. Today, Egypt is spinning out of control. Famine is a possibility. The Muslim Brotherhood breathes hostility to Israel and the Jews. He tells us that the Salafists in Egypt are, if anything, even worse. Eilat, Israel’s port city on the Gulf of Aqaba, has been hit by rocket attacks for the first time. Now, Egyptian control over the Sinai—a vast region Israel gave back to Egypt more than thirty years ago—is slipping and the desert area is home to terrorist gangs. A recent Israeli raid into Sinai killed two terrorists—one from Saudi Arabia, the other from Yemen.

A nuclear Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Ambassador doesn’t need any notes. He only has to look at the map.

He didn’t mention the Mediterranean Sea, the one place where Israel seems not to be menaced. Oh, wait. I forgot. The Turks sent a flotilla to arm Hamas in Gaza from the sea in 2010. On his recent trip to Israel, President Obama twisted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s arm to get him to apologize for the loss of life on the Turkish peace ship. [Maybe President Lincoln should have apologized to the Confederacy for attacking the Merrimac, the South’s ironclad blockade breaker?] Israel’s satiric group, Latma, explained the Turkish flotilla better than the Obama’s spokesmen at the State Department have done.

Despite this world of woe, despite dangers as great for the Jewish state as those of May, 1948, and May, 1967, the Ambassador is smiling, upbeat, confident.

This is our 61st anniversary, he says. “There are more people who speak Hebrew today than speak Danish or Finnish, and we will soon overtake Swedish speakers. We have more Nobel Prize winners than most countries have Olympic gold medalists. We have the second most highly educated population (after Canada) and our Israeli Defense Force is larger than France and Britain combined.”

He concludes with remarkable words of faith. America is the most religiously observant country of any developed nation. And Israel exists because of faith. Israel will not go down. Israel will live, he says, as the audience rises to their feet, cheering.

For Americans, and especially for us as Christians, we have only one ally in the Mideast. And the Israeli people are the only genuine friends America has there. We’re constantly being told that if we would only abandon Israel, we would have peace and friendship with everyone the world over. Then why did Chechens bomb us in Boston?

Abandon Israel? Menachem Begin was right: Thou Shalt Not!

Plan B and the Demise of Parental Rights

by Anna Higgins

May 3, 2013

Parents are meant to be the fundamental guiding influence of a child’s life. They are responsible for nurturing, educating, protecting, and providing for their children. This system, established at creation by God, is the foundation of every stable, prosperous society.

However, our government has attempted to undermine parental rights and distance parents as much as possible from important decisions affecting their children. This is happening despite the fact that the Supreme Court has long upheld the highest standards of protection for the rights of parents to educate and bring up their children without interference. The latest blow to the traditional family structure has been leveled by “reproductive rights” groups, a federal judge, and the FDA – all of which support the availability of a high dose hormonal contraceptive over the counter to young girls without a prescription.

In 2011, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, denied a recommendation by the FDA that would have allowed over the counter access to Plan B, a high dose “emergency contraceptive,” for young girls. Both she and President Obama stated that the FDA did not present enough evidence to show that this hormone would be safe for girls.

In fact, there have been no studies on the effects of Plan B on teens. All safety studies have been done on adults and assume proper use. There is no reason to believe that young girls understand that this contraceptive should only be used once a month and that it is not meant to replace oral contraceptives.

Yet a federal judge, Edward Korman of the Eastern District of New York, unilaterally disposed of those concerns when he handed down a ruling last month requiring the FDA to provide over-the-counter access of Plan B to all girls of reproductive age without a prescription. Family Research Council authored a letter to Sebelius asking her to appeal this decision, and thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to appeal the judge’s decision. In the midst of this controversy, however, the FDA issued an approval of over the counter access to Plan B to teens as young as 15 (the previous age limit was 17).

This decision is particularly disturbing because it allows Plan B to be sold on store shelves, not behind a pharmacy counter. Thus, the only thing standing in the way of a girl purchasing this product is the local drug store cashier, who supposedly is required to check the purchaser’s ID before selling the product. There is no indication that Sec. Sebelius will overturn this new FDA decision. In fact, President Obama, in an about face from his previous support of keeping Plan B off retail store shelves, came out in support of the FDA’s new decision.

This decision is troubling, to say the least. It will only serve to distance young girls most at risk for sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections from medical care and parental guidance. The decision to exclude parents and doctors from dealing with the sexual behavior of underage girls and the administration of a serious drug is irresponsible and dangerous.

Parents have every right to be informed and to consent to any decision affecting their child’s health, education, or upbringing. It is important to encourage parent-teen communication regarding the moral and medical issues associated with pre-marital sexual activity, as the consequences of such activity are weighty.

Teenagers under the age of 17 cannot even be admitted to an R–rated movie and schools are required to obtain a parent’s permission to administer any type of medication to a child or teen, for good reason. The new Plan B decisions, made without regard to parental or medical concern, will only serve to endanger the health and safety of children. Parents should remain vigilant as this debate continues.

FRC In the News: May 3, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

May 3, 2013

Pentagon Defends Unconstitutional Policy Against Soldiers Sharing Faith

FRC’s Director of Religious Liberty, Ken Klukowski, wrote an article that was featured in Breitbart News about the recent actions of the Pentagon, specifically taking advice from Mikey Weinstein. Weinstein policies include court-martialing military members for sharing the Gospel. Klukowski also clearly defines the terms are that have been used in these recent developments such as “evangelizing,” “proselytizing,” and “court-martialing.” Klukowski states:

“Military officers take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” There are honorable Christian service members who will not in good conscience be able to abide by this unconstitutional and unconscionable decree.”

Is Patriotism Christian?

Rob Schwarzwalder, FRC’s Senior Vice President, writes about the healthy understanding and actions of how Christians should be patriots. His article in Religion Today shows explains that relationship with God should positively impact our roles as citizens. Schwarzwalder states:

“Patriotism informed by a Christian view of God, life and the world is an honorable thing. It is about love, loyalty, and thankfulness. These are Christian virtues that, held in the context of devotion to Jesus Christ and recognition of the reality of personal and national sin, inspire good citizenship and engagement in public affairs, appreciation of home, community, and nation, and a prayerful (but not uncritical) regard for one’s political leaders.”

A Response to “Why Tolerate Religion?”

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 3, 2013

Freedom of Religion encompasses more than intellectual assent and private, enclosed worship services. It includes the integration of one’s faith into all spheres of life, such that one’s deeply held religious convictions are allowed to animate, unhindered, speech and conduct in the public, professional, and community spheres.

It is for this reason that the Bill of Rights lists freedom of religion as its first enumerated freedom: The Founders recognized that allegiance to God has to precede allegiance to the state, or else the state itself would usurp the role of God. This is directly opposed to the essential principle of America’s very existence, that our rights come from our Creator, not the government.

University of Chicago law professor Bruce Leiter thinks otherwise. In his new book, Why Tolerate Religion, Leiter asserts, “no one has been able to articulate a credible principled argument for tolerating religion qua religion - that is, an argument that would explain why, as a matter of moral principle, we ought to accord special legal and moral to religious practices” (p.7).

I wonder if Prof. Leiter has every read a survey of Western history, perhaps one that contains sections on the persecution of the early church, the Inquisition, anti-Catholic violence, or the Holocaust? Perhaps he should spend a few minutes reading official federal government reports on the ongoing and massive oppression of Christians and other people of faith around the globe.

The assertion that a “principled” case for religious liberty remains unmade is so striking in its ignorance that it invites the derision a serious academic should find embarrassing. As my friend Joe Loconte, professor of history at The King’s College in New York, writes:

The author seems astonishingly unaware of the Judeo-Christian intellectual tradition and its contribution to the foundations of liberal democracy. The scientific revolution, the concept of human dignity, an ethos of compassion for the poor, the political ideals of equal rights and government by consent — all of these developments are unthinkable without the influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition in the West. (Source: Standpoint Magazine)

The University of Chicago Law School often is hailed as one of America’s premier institutions of legal thought and training. It’s luster has been dimmed by Prof. Leiter’s uninformed and prejudicial rant. However smooth his prose, the absence of logic, factuality, and dispassion - ostensibly the very foundations of legal reasoning - does not deter him from publishing one of the most troubling and intellectually discreditable books by a serious American scholar in some time.

My distinguished colleague Bob Morrison summarizes the case for religious liberty this way: “One’s right to worship God and follow his conscience according to the principles of his religious faith was foundational to all morality. A man whose religious faith was repressed could never be a loyal citizen, since the state was usurping his first allegiance and costing him his primary, or first, freedom.”

Anyone presenting himself as an interpreter of American law and justice who fails to grasp these truths should read an interesting couple of texts he might find rather arresting, namely the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Remembering the Creator to Whom the Declaration refers and Whose bestowal of rights and liberties is the steel beam of American public life might prove useful to Prof. Leiter and all who, like him, would reduce religious and, thereby, all liberty to the whim of the state, the very thing against which a brave and thoughtful generation of Americans revolted in the 1770s.

FRC in the News: May 2, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

May 2, 2013

The Fight for Religious Freedom in the Military

FRC’s President Tony Perkins, Lt. General Jerry Boykin (Ret.-USA), Executive Vice President, and Ken Klukowski, Director for Religious Liberty, have been quoted and featured in Fox News, The New American, and Town Talk concerning the recent news that the Pentagon will court-martial military personnel for sharing the gospel. FRC has created a petition to tell Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to protect the religious freedom of troops that you can sign here. Concerning the new policy, Perkins stated:

“It threatens to treat service members caught witnessing as enemies of the state…Non-compliance, the Pentagon suggests, even from ordained chaplains could result in court-martialing on a case-by-case basis.”

FDA Approves to Sell Plan B to 15 Year Old Girls

Anna Higgins, FRC’s Director for Human Dignity, has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Catholic News Agency, and ABC-7 (DC affiliate) concerning the recent FDA approval to sell Plan B to 15 year old girls. The Justice Department is now appealing the case where a federal judge ordered to allow birth control, such as Plan B, to be purchased without a prescription and as long as the person is 15 or older. Higgins stated that the decision to sell Plan B to young girls:

“Undermines the right of parents to make important health decisions for their young daughters…teens and women will avoid necessary medical screenings” that could detect serious problems.”

Deep-Six the Rubin “Tear Down” Message

by Robert Morrison

May 2, 2013

In a play on one of the Gipper’s greatest lines, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin urges us to “Tear Down this Icon.” The highly touted “From the Right” columnist urges conservatives and Republicans to get over the Reagan legacy.

By the recent showings of the party’s presidential nominees, one would think the GOP has certainly gotten over Ronald Reagan. When was the last time the Beltway campaign consultants, those high-priced hirelings, even attempted to win the whole country? Besotted by Red State/Blue State calculations, and armed with their white boards, the big domes never have come close to Reagan’s generous inclusiveness. Reagan thought of all the states as Red, White & Blue. He wanted to win them all, and twice nearly did.

Can anyone seriously claim that Bush, McCain, or Romney ran Reagan-style campaigns? Let’s start with the way the nominees got their gold rings. Ronald Reagan refused to attack his fellow Republicans. He invoked the Eleventh Commandment. What? Yes, he said: “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.” No one had ever heard of that before. No one has heard of it since.

But Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment worked brilliantly. By not attacking his GOP rivals, he could genially ignore them. Thus, their backers never got mad at Reagan. And he never had to get into that tit-for-tat ugliness that independent voters abhor. Even more ingenious: By not getting into the gutter with his Republican opponents, Reagan let millions of Democrats overlook the fact that he was a Republican.

By these methods, Reagan won 96% of Republicans and 24% of Democrats. The Reagan Democrats have been left without a political home since he left the scene. Where are the Dole/Bush/McCain/Romney Democrats? There are none.

For that matter, where are the Dole/Bush/McCain/Romney Republicans? Not one of those candidates who sought national office in the Republican Party in 2008 or 2012 wanted to claim the mantle of any of recent Republican nominees. They were all Reagan wannabes. Not one was a Reagan might-a-been.

It’s certainly reasonable for Rubin to suggest we examine the Republican performance and offer ideas for improvement. One nice thing we can say for the McCain and Romney campaigns—they left plenty of room for improvement.

Rubin cites Reince Priebus, who recently attracted notice by conducting an “autopsy” on his own shaky tenure:

We’re winning everything imaginable in off-years,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told me recently. “The governors are still going strong. We’re winning the war in issue-driven races.” However, he conceded that Republicans have lost their ability to connect with average Americans in the wider electorate: “We are not relating to people at an emotional level.”

So, Jennifer Rubin’s advice to us would be ditch the one great Republican in our lifetime who never failed to relate to people at an emotional level? What Chairman Priebus is saying in this tribute to the Republicans’ off-year performance is that his party is doing fine so long as not too many people show up to vote.

Republican leaders today behave, in Lincoln’s fine phrase, “like a duck hit on the head.” They find it incomprehensible that voters could shun a wonderful candidate who regarded 47% of Americans as irretrievable slackers, who thought of himself as “severely conservative,” and who wanted to involve us in Syriaas soon as he could figure out “who are friends are there.” (Hint, Governor: our only friends in Syria are the Christians. You weren’t thinking of arming them were you?)

Ronald Reagan gained some fame by speaking of an Evil Empire. But he never said it was Russia. He let Pravda howl in rage, thereby admitting it. In speaking truth fearlessly, Reagan inspired those in the Gulag and helped mightily to loosen the shackles of hundreds of millions in the Captive Nations.

Mitt Romney stumbled badly by naming Russia as “our number one strategic enemy.” Thus, he showed himself not a credible alternative to the failed policies of Barack Obama. Chris Matthews called the Republicans the “Daddy Party,” but today’s post-Reagan Republicans cannot convince a majority of Americans that Father Knows Best.

Thanks to Ronald Reagan, foreign policy was the Republicans’ strong suit for a generation. And Reagan brought us victory in the Cold War without invading any Communist country. Or at least, no country larger than that dot-on-the—map, Grenada. And that was over in a blink.

The GOP has yet to live down George W. Bush’s failed attempt to bring democracy to Muslim-majority countries where 84% of the people think anyone who leaves Islam should be murdered. Such countries are not democracies. Nor was Germany a democracy when Germans voted 89% to make Hitler their Fuhrer. Purple fingers can vote, but they can also slit throats and place bombs in churches.

There’s a lot to learn from Ronald Reagan. His common-sense conservatism and his uncommon ability to touch the hearts of the American people are nothing to be ashamed of. They are something to strive for.

Millions of our fellow Americans remember him with love and respect. So do their kids. Pollsters tell us even today, he would beat Obama 58% to 42% in an imaginary match-up.

We don’t need to idolize Ronald Reagan, or make an icon of him. But, it wouldn’t hurt to study how he built his winning coalition.

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