Barack Obama famously warned Congress that if it did not act, he would use his "pen and phone" to get things done. And he did. As president, Obama did not hesitate to aggressively use his executive authority to advance his agenda. In many ways, conservatives felt that Obama was abusing his authority and the courts often agreed. (Here, here and here.)
But presidents do have a lot of legitimate executive authority, and it is good that President Trump is using it to undo much of Obama's agenda. Frustrated that Congress has been unable to pass legislation repealing Obamacare, Trump is picking up his pen to mitigate its worst aspects wherever he can.
Last week, the president rolled back Obamacare's contraception mandate. This week, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order allowing trade associations, small businesses and individuals to band together to buy health insurance across state lines.
This has long been a key conservative policy objective to help inject competition into the insurance marketplace. And if Congress can't get it done, I am glad that President Trump is.
Speaking of President Trump, he will be speaking this Friday at the 2017 Values Voter Summit. American Values is a proud co-sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. American Values is also hosting a lunch Saturday and a breakout session on the threat of radical Islamic supremacism.
Learn more and register online at ValuesVoterSummit.org.
Trump Isn't The Problem
There is a recurring theme on the left and in the media that Trump's rhetoric is problematic, especially when it comes to foreign policy. For example, the president's critics blasted him recently for comments about "the calm before the storm."
Many on the left, and even some weak-kneed Republicans, seem to think that Donald Trump could start a war. That is absurd.
The North Koreans have been appeased for decades by multiple presidents of both parties. If there is war, it will rest solely on the shoulders of Kim Jong Un and the U.S. foreign policy establishment that essentially threw this "hot potato" in Trump's lap.
Did Winston Churchill cause World War II? Of course not. It was tyrants such as Hitler and Mussolini, aided by the appeasers of Europe, who caused World War II.
To me it is fairly obvious why the president is using "edgy" rhetoric. His audience is China and North Korea. Pyongyang has been taught by previous administrations that the United States will do anything to avoid a war. Trump has to convince Kim that he is a different kind of president.
China has to be convinced that we are prepared to do whatever it takes to end North Korea's nuclear program. Otherwise, China won't do whatever it takes to stop North Korea's nuclear program. And China can do a lot more than it has.
When Trump says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is wasting his time with diplomacy, he is not undercutting Tillerson, he is helping Tillerson. Trump's rhetoric is a signal to Pyongyang that diplomacy had better produce results.
The left has been scaring the public for decades. It smeared Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan as "warmongers." It is not surprising they are doing it to Trump.
But shame on Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) for aiding and abetting the left's false attacks. He can't retire soon enough.
Twitter Tackles Free Speech
Twitter recently censored the free speech of Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Twitter blocked a video of Blackburn, claiming it included an "inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction."
What did Rep. Blackburn say that was so offensive? Did she condone cross burning? Of course not. Did she promote flag burning? No. Twitter would probably be okay with that.
What Twitter found unacceptably "inflammatory" was this line by Blackburn: "I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts, thank God." In other words, she told the truth and exposed the reality of the abortion industry.
I am pleased to report that there was a big anti-Twitter backlash. Many people, including me, tweeted their displeasure with Twitter. (You can follow me here.) Yesterday, the social media platform backed down.
This is just one skirmish in a bigger war by Silicon Valley billionaires intent on making social media a safe space for only progressive opinions.
As I noted yesterday, Commissioner Roger Goodell is scrambling to put an end to the national anthem protests at NFL games. I read the letter he sent yesterday to team owners and the jury is still out as to whether he has a handle on the situation.
The NAACP and left-wing ESPN commentators are now attacking Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Some players are already pushing back against Goodell.
The league has a little time to fix this. Veterans Day next month will be a big test. Generally, NFL teams honor our veterans and the military that weekend. If Goodell thinks millions of Americans are offended now, just wait and see what happens if players are protesting Veterans Day weekend.
Again, I want to mention why this is such an important issue. The left is trying to deconstruct America. Sadly, it has been succeeding. More millennials tell pollsters they are "not very patriotic" than say they are "very patriotic."
The kneeling football millionaires are part of the same movement that says America was built on genocide. This movement not only wants to tear down statues of Robert E. Lee but also statues of Washington and Jefferson.
As Dennis Prager recently wrote, "The American Libel should be regarded as one of the great libels of history." I agree wholeheartedly!
Of course, conservatives should fight for lower taxes and the repeal of Obamacare.
But if the left succeeds in fundamentally transforming America from a shining city upon a hill into a nation built on oppression, plagued with systemic racism and white privilege, then the marginal tax rate is beside the point. America will be lost.
I am committed to defending to the values that made America a shining city upon a hill – the values of faith, family and freedom.