Dan Holler

It is absolutely maddening to watch the political left – liberals, progressives, whatever they call themselves nowadays – engage in hyperbole, mistruths and flip-flops with absolutely no political repercussions. Many conservatives have come to accept this double standard, and while it is true that this is indeed a political reality, we must also continue to push back. If we do not, we only have ourselves to blame.

Schumer’s (Repeated) Hyperbole

Last week, after touring the border with Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) declared the Senate’s bipartisan immigration working group (Team Amnesty, if you prefer) was nearing an agreement. Per press reports, Schumer struck an “optimistic note” saying, "I'd say we're 90 percent there. We have a few little problems to work on, we've been on the phone with our four colleagues all day."

If that sounds familiar, it should. The previous week, Schumer told a press gaggle the group was “about 90 percent of the issues, including the path to citizenship, are settled."

Whenever news surfaces the immigration talks may have hit a roadblock, Schumer rushes to the media to declare the so-called “Gang of 8” is nearing an agreement. Predictably, the media takes the bait, inundating Americans with stories about the inevitability of comprehensive immigration reform.

It speaks to Schumer’s ability to master the media, which itself speaks to the lack of critical analysis and real reporting in the media. Expect the pattern to continue.

Reid’s Aide’s Mistruths

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) press aide got into the act this week, too. He told one Capitol Hill newspaper that it was “outrageous that these senators are unwilling to even engage in a debate over gun violence in America.”

The flack was referring to Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY), who promised to filibuster a procedural motion to get on any bill that undermined Americans’ Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.

As I kindly pointed out via Twitter, a filibuster is nothing more than extending debate, which is the opposite of being unwilling to debate. Reid’s spokesman replied by moving the goalposts, tweeting, “Objecting to the motion to proceed is objecting to simply *beginning* debate on a bill, not extending it.”

There is a difference between an issue and a bill, of course. Expect to hear a lot of this in Washington over the months to come, but don’t be fooled: you can debate the issue without taking the technical step of proceeding to a piece of legislation.

Flip-Flopping on Missile Defense

As North Korea’s saber rattling intensifies, the Obama administration has come to realize the value of missile defense. This comes as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of President Reagan’s visionary missile defense system.

According to reports, “The Pentagon is beefing up the nation’s missile defense in the wake of provocative nuclear threats from North Korea and is set to deploy 14 additional ground-based interceptors at missile silos in Alaska and California.” Of course, “by stalling the original plan and forcing the military to bring back on line silos that otherwise would have been operational, the Obama administration has effectively wasted millions in taxpayer’s dollars.”

Remember when Senator Barack Obama was running for President?

He promised to "cut investments in unproven missile defense systems." His Senate colleague and running mate Joe Biden voiced similar opposition to missile defense.

Of course, President Obama flip-flopped later that fall, saying, “I actually believe that we need missile defense because of Iran and North Korea, and the potential for them to obtain, or, to launch nuclear weapons."

As Heritage noted in 2010, Obama’s actual policies would “leave the program treading water.” Remember, they cut planned deployment of missile interceptors in Alaska and California from 44 to 30. Now, after a very visible threat emerges, the one Obama said he understood existed five years earlier, his administration is beginning to reverse course.


Dan Holler

Dan Holler is the Communications Director for Heritage Action for America. Previously, he held numerous positions at The Heritage Foundation, most recently he was the Senate Relations Deputy. A Maryland native, he is a graduate of Washington College.


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