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Inside the Beltway: What they value

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Despite public vilification, those who champion traditional values remain stalwart on their issues. The Values Voter Summit, which begins Friday in the nation's capital, embraces subjects that rivet many Americans but often get short shrift. On the agenda for the two-day event, according to organizers: Saving the American dream, reconciling capitalism and compassion, Israel, Iran and the future of western civilization; silencing the Christians, understanding radical Islam 101, why pastors must engage in politics, preparing for the "economic earthquake" and repealing Obamacare.

The annual event hosted by the Family Research Council has irked a coalition of human rights groups including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign; the seven groups sent a vigorous letter to conservative lawmakers and officials this week suggesting they shun the summit, claiming it spread "demonizing lies" about the gay, bisexual and transgender community. Nevertheless, the speakers podium bristles with heavy hitters, among them Rep. Paul Ryan, who has returned to Washington for a brief 48 hours after weeks on the presidential campaign trail.

Also on the roster: Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky, plus Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Allen B. West of Florida, Steve King of Iowa, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Eric Cantor of Virginia, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and James Lankford of Oklahoma, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

"This is arguably the nation's premier event for social conservatives, and Gov. Brewer will be among other prominent and well-respected speakers," says Matthew Benson, her spokesman.

AND IN SUMMATION

"Barack Obama has morphed into Jimmy Carter before our eyes, but the liberal media have refused to report on the Obama administration's failed foreign policy of apologies and appeasement. Terrified to hurt Obama's chances of re-election, they are shamelessly seizing on this horrific attack on Americans abroad to push their go-to narrative that Mitt Romney is tone deaf," observes Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell III, after a very long week in America.

WORD ON THE STREET

"This does not represent us," "Sorry people of America this not the behavior of Islam," "Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans," "Thugs and killers don't represent Benghazi and Islam."

(Mottos from signs carried by apologetic local citizens during a rallies in Benghazi and Tripoli, following the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya.)

A STRONG CONSTITUTION

Aw, go ahead. Read the U.S. Constitution on its 225th birthday. Despite all the chaos in politics and culture, we're still "We the People," and Monday remains "Constitution Day" while next week is "Constitution Week" — as officially proclaimed by President Obama, who has this to say about that:

"We reflect on the basic rights and responsibilities of citizenship, the founding documents from which they were drawn, and the extraordinary legacy of progress they have enabled. Let us forever uphold the ideals the framers enshrined in our Constitution, and let us never cease in our pursuit of the more perfect union they imagined so many years ago."

Well. That's a relief.

See original images of the document and much supporting materials courtesy of the U.S. Archives: www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html

WHO'S ON THIRD?

There's much hubbub over the idea that President Obama has socialist sentiments. But wait, there's more, says Ian de Silva, a contributor to Human Events newspaper.

"Not only does Obama have socialist thoughts — but he is also a Third World thinker," Mr. de Silva observes, explaining that he is a naturalized American who grew up in a Third World country and understands the "shenanigans" afoot.

"A mainstay in the propaganda of Third World leaders is the relentless assault on the wealthy, and Obama is a master at that. In fact, many Third World leaders, despite being well-off themselves, are particularly adept at haranguing the public into thinking that wealth is an evil. And Obama, despite being a millionaire himself, is inimitably adept at public castigation of the wealthy," Mr. de Silva adds.

"Obama's Third World socialist proclivities were evident even before he became president. Recall the famous 'Joe the Plumber' moment during the 2008 campaign, when Obama declared that he wanted to 'spread the wealth around.' That is what Third World dictators do — take things from people who earned them and give them to those who did not."

THE HISTORIC CAMPAIGN

"To err is Truman."

- (Republican Party slogan, 1948.)

AND THAT'S SHOW BIZ

"Of course it was a setup," Russian President Vladimir Putin recently acknowledged to Masha Gessen, a journalist with Russia's Bolshoi Gorod magazine. Mr. Putin explained at last that certain dramatic publicity shots pairing him with exotic wildlife or in rugged locales had been carefully staged.

"His macho appearances with everything from tigers to whales have been a staple of Russian state TV for years, cementing his image as a man of action but drawing mockery from critics who have likened them to Soviet-style propaganda," observes Gleb Bryanski, a Reuters correspondent who is following this phenomenon.

POLL DU JOUR

• 67 percent of Americans think the U.S. economy will be "good" a year from now.

• 55 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of conservatives, 84 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of liberals agree.

• 37 percent of Americans overall say they are "better off" now than they were four years ago.

• 16 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of conservatives, 47 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of liberals agree.

• 35 percent overall blame "Obama and the Democrats" for the nation's current economic problems.

• 72 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of conservatives, 7 percent of Democrats and 11 percent of liberals agree.

• 32 percent overall say the U.S. economy is "good" at the current time.

• 9 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of conservatives, 54 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,022 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 7 to 9.

Tip line always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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