The President's Address, Trump's Defense Buildup, Democrats Behaving Badly
We might have a clue about some of the president's remarks from the special guests the White House invited to tonight's address.
- Megan Crowley -- Born with a rare genetic disorder, doctors said Megan was unlikely to live past her second birthday. She is now 20, and a student at Notre Dame. Her life is a testament to the dignity and value of every life.
- Denisha Merriweather -- Thanks to innovative educational choice programs, Denisha became the first person in her family to graduate high school and college.
- Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver -- In 2014, two California sheriff's deputies, Michael Davis, Jr., and Danny Oliver, were killed by an illegal immigrant. Then-Senator Jeff Sessions and Rep. Trey Gowdy sponsored the Davis-Oliver Act to assist local law enforcement with interior immigration enforcement efforts and to crack down on sanctuary cities. The widows of Deputies Davis and Oliver, Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, will attend tonight's address in memory of their husbands and in honor of the sacrifice of all law enforcement officers.
- Jamiel Shaw, Sr. -- In 2008, Shaw's son, a high school honors student, was executed by an illegal immigrant right outside his house as he was walking home.
- Maureen McCarthy Scalia -- Also attending tonight's address is the widow of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The Scalias were married for 55 years at the time of Justice Scalia's death. Of their large family of nine children, Mrs. Scalia once remarked that she and her husband were "both overachievers."
To his credit, the president is vowing to offset this spending with cuts elsewhere in the budget. But let's put this into perspective. As columnist Charles Krauthammer recently noted, "Eight years ago, defense spending was 4.6 percent of GDP. Today it's 3.2 percent. That is a catastrophic collapse."
What the media are hyping as a huge increase is merely a necessary first step in making up the shortfall of the past eight years. The Obama Administration depleted our military and did not undertake necessary maintenance.
A recent report found that the vast majority of the Navy's F/A 18 strike fighter jets were unable to fly.
There were times in recent years when we did not have an aircraft carrier in the Middle East. Last month, there was a period when none of our carriers were at sea, something that has not happened since World War II.
The U.S. Army is the smallest it has been since before Pearl Harbor.
This is happening when China is rising in the Pacific, when Russia is becoming increasingly aggressive, when Iran's belligerence is growing, when ISIS is on a murderous rampage in the Middle East and parts of Africa. And let's not forget the maniac in North Korea.
When Trump says he inherited a mess, this is what he is talking about. Subpar economic growth and a depleted military, stressed by commitments all over the world. It is unlikely any president could repair the damage in four years. It will likely take eight years or more.
Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, hasn't said much lately I have been inclined to agree with. Yesterday, he said something sensible when he suggested that President Trump's increase in defense spending probably wasn't enough. McCain added, "With a world on fire . . . we can and must do better."
Democrats Behaving Badly - As we have chronicled for you, and as you have seen with your own eyes, the left has been behaving badly for the past year. There has been violence on university campuses and at political rallies. Free speech has been redefined by the left to mean freedom from conservative opinions. While yelling "Nazi," many leftists are increasingly using fascist tactics to silence conservatives.
Sadly, some of that behavior is likely to be on display on Capitol Hill during President Trump's address tonight. There won't just be Democrats in the chamber, but hardcore leftists for whom even the Clintons were too moderate.
Some of them refused to listen to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of an allied nation that had the most to lose from the Iranian nuclear deal. There may even be people in the gallery who will try to disrupt the president's speech.
As we noted recently, the left's mantra is resistance "by any means necessary." Rosie O'Donnell is leading a protest outside the White House tonight.
How bad is the breakdown in civility? Well, as my wife, Carol, noted in her prayer alert this morning, the latest dilemma for congressional Democrats is whether they should even shake the president's hand as he walks through the chamber tonight. Seriously!
And speaking of bad leftists, one of the organizers of next month's feminist protest -- yes, I know, another one -- is a convicted Palestinian terrorist. Yet another example of the political left making common cause with radical Islamists.
- Democrats are overdoing it. A new Rasmussen poll finds that only 29% of voters approve of the Democrats' "resist everything" stance toward Trump, while 63% say it would be best for the country if they compromised more. Democrats are divided -- 44% believe they should oppose Trump as much as possible, while 46% say they should work with Trump.
- Elections do indeed have consequences. The Trump Justice Department announced yesterday that it was rejecting a disgusting smear in the Obama Administration's legal assault against Texas' voter ID law.
- A new poll by the left-leaning outlet Politico finds that President Trump's approval rating among registered voters stands at 50% approve to 45% disapprove. After several months of non-stop bashing by the biased media, Trump appears to have more support among voters now than he did on Election Day!
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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