Erick Erickson - MCC Podcast

What Nearly Dying Taught Me About Politics & Family – Erick Erickson

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Erick’s ICU doctor thought the chart he was looking at was for a corpse. Erick should have been dead. He’s been working in politics for more than a decade, but that experience taught him more about making an impact than any campaign study.

Whether you’re joining us for the first time or you’ve been around since the beginning, thank you so much for downloading the podcast. I’d really appreciate it if you’d consider giving us a rating on iTunes and subscribing so you never miss an episode!

One of my favorite things about being involved in politics is the incredible relationships you get to build. I’ve known this week’s guest for nearly 8 years now and he’s been an incredible supporter of the work we’re doing at My Campaign Coach.

Erick Erickson is a recovering lawyer and former editor of Redstate. He currently runs TheResurgent.com, is host of the Erick Erickson Show on the nation’s most listened to news/talk station, WSB Atlanta and a contributor at Fox News. Additionally, he’s one of the chosen few who get to fill in for Rush Limbaugh behind his golden microphone.

The Atlantic magazine named Erick the most powerful conservative in America and the Hollywood Reporter called him the most influential conservative blogger on the internet.

He’s also an author and we’ll spend some time talking about his latest book, ”Before You Wake: Life Lessons from a Father to His Children“.

Erick has been observing, supporting, advising and commenting on political campaigns for most of his adult life. It’s an arena within which he’s built an incredible reputation. But he was also a candidate himself and won a seat on the Macon, GA City Council. Georgia’s 4th largest city.

Erick is a good man, a great friend and somebody I’m always happy to hop in a political fox-hole with.

Links from the Podcast:

Connect with Erick Erickson on Twitter and Facebook. You can also listen to the Erick Erickson Show or visit TheResurgent.com.

Visit the post on My Campaign Coach for Important Topics and Time Stamps from the Podcast.

Liberal librarian tries to insult Melania Trump but looks foolish instead

When Melania Trump offered to donate several Dr. Seuss books to a school library in Cambridge, Massachusetts to celebrate National Read-A-Book Day, librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro haughtily rejected her gift. Ms. Soeiro sniffed in reply:

You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As first lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.

What might Ms. Soeiro have preferred? The photo accompanying this BBC article might suggest she would have accepted ten copies of the “children’s book” Rad American Women A to Zbut even that is doubtful because the actual problem for Ms. Soeiro doesn’t really seem to be the gift, but the identity of the giver.

It’s probably just as well, considering “A” stands for Angela Davis,  a former Communist, a Marxist professor, and a leader of the radical and often violent Black Panther movement. After all, not many parents want their children reading ideological liberal garbage that glorifies domestic terrorists while the kids are still in elementary school.

Fellow Resurgent writer Heidi Munson astutely observed in her earlier article that the snub seemed politically motivated, and her analysis proved to be right on the money. Here’s the real danger of being an arrogant liberal like Liz Phipps Soeiro — enough people will remember pictures like this, and gleefully post them on social media:

Why, it’s that very same hypocrite librarian, in costume as the Cat in the Hat, in a picture dated only two short years ago! Did two years really make that much of a difference in the erosion the reputation of Dr. Seuss, or is the true goal to be politically divisive as Ms. Munson surmised earlier, because the only real difference in two years is the First Lady?

Inquiring minds want to know…but in reality, we’re pretty sure we do know the primary motive for liberal behavior is irrational, out-of-control anger.

 

 

Elizabeth Warren’s Liberation Theology

The definition of words and terms is everything in our modern culture. I mean it. I feel as if multiple times a day I have to stop conversations and ask the person I am chatting with to define what he or she meant by X or Y. Shared meaning and definition are absent in our world today and we are the worse for it. Gone are bright lines and in their place, muddled gray.

So when I saw the article from yesterday’s Boston Globe, Religion is a Constant Part of Elizabeth Warren’s Life, I was intrigued. Predictably, my first question was, “How does she define religion?” And, more specifically, “How does she define Christianity?”

Let’s take a few minutes to briefly define Christianity-real, orthodox, creedal Christianity.

For those unfamiliar with orthodox Christianity, there are the core essentials and peripherals.

Examples of the core essentials are:

  1. There is one, triune God.
  2. Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose on the third day
  3. There is a heaven and there is a hell
  4. There is sin and there is Truth

These are some of the essentials of orthodox Christianity, many of which are ensconced in the Nicene Creed. Without believing in these core essentials, you are not a Christian. You may be sincere in your faith (and by this I mean a Kierkegaardian leap of faith), but you are not a Christian. It’s that simple. Either you are or you aren’t by your acceptance of these core essentials. They are non-negotiables. And for those who will instinctively ask, “Who are you to judge?!” I will simply say, “I am not. I did not create the standards. I am merely pointing them out.”

Then there are the peripherals. Peripherals follow upon the core essentials-you have to have the core essentials established first.

Examples of peripherals are:

  1. Infant baptism versus adult baptism (my Baptist, Presbyterian and Anabaptist friends all just took a deep breath).
  2. Sabbatarian versus non-Sabbatarian
  3. The role of Christians in politics
  4. Etc, etc, etc.

Having established the above for the parameters of this post, let’s breakdown the article on Warren starting with the first quote.

But then Warren shifted her focus to Matthew 25:40 — and Jesus. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” Warren said, quoting the Gospel. Then she shared her interpretation: “He’s saying to us, first, there’s God in every one of us, there’s Jesus in every one of us — however you see it in your religion, that inside there’s something holy in every single person.”

I liked the start. It’s true and it’s something I think the modern Church has lost sight of as government has drifted heavily into the business of welfare. Jesus said, “You always have the poor with you. . .” Poverty is a constant and it is up to the Church to care for the poor.

Then Warren veers away from Christian orthodoxy with, “There’s God in every one of us, there’s Jesus in every one of us. . .”

There’s not, actually, and that’s not what Jesus is saying.

That line is some modern combination of Eastern mysticism and pantheism and really bad theology. God created each one of us in His image, but He’s not in each one of us. The Bible is very clear about this subject, from the Old Testament to the New Testament. As the John wrote in I John 5:1, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him.” For there to be an transformational indwelling, there must be genuine belief (see core essentials).

“See,” Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Then there is the passage that should give anyone who reads it pause: Matthew 25: 31-46, the parable told by Jesus himself about the sheep and the goats.

When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then will he sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

As the passage continues, Christ gets to the goats.

And they (the goats) will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

I could delve deeper into this, but the Bible is definitive on this subject. Warren has clearly drifted into trying to modify God into her own image because if God is in each one of us, then the distinction above between the sheep and the goats cannot be true.

As Tozer writes, the downfall of modern culture is that,

We insist upon trying to modify Him and bring Him nearer to our own image.

But let’s be clear on this subject: a god created in our own image is an idol.

As the article progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that Warren is engaged in a 21st Century version of Liberation Theology. This is reinforced by her relationship with Jim Wallis of Sojurners, a man for whom I have grudging respect and yet suspect his theology.

Wallis has (in)famously said, “Jesus didn’t speak at all about homosexuality. There are about 12 verses in the Bible that touch on that question. Most of them are very contextual. There are thousands of verses on poverty. I don’t hear a lot of that conversation.”

And, “I don’t think that abortion is the moral equivalent issue to slavery that Wilberforce dealt with. I think that poverty is the new slavery. Poverty and global inequality are the fundamental moral issues of our time. That’s my judgment.”

The problem for Wallis and Warren is that Scripture speaks to all of life and there is a continuity in the Old and New Testaments. The Triune God of the Old Testament is the same Triune God of the New Testament (“He who has seen me has seen the Father” and “I and the Father are one,” are just a few statements of this that Jesus made in the New Testament clarifying this. Even God says in Malachi, “I AM the Lord-I change not.”).

What does that mean? That Jesus did address the subject of homosexuality and sin and truth and our relationship to all of these subjects.

The other problem Wallis and Warren appear to face is absolute truth. As I wrote recently, this is the modern conundrum. When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life,” he wasn’t walking about speaking truth or believing truth, he was saying, “I am Truth.” That is an absolute statement and from this Truth springs all other truth. The power of that statement begins with the first two words, “I am,” echoing God when Moses asks God who he is to say sent him when the people of Israel ask. God answers, “I AM who I AM.”

Given her voting record on abortion and her stance on same sex marriage, there is a clear divide between Biblical truth and Warren’s (and Wallis’) attempt to create a modern, “more friendly” God. There is an attempt by both to sweep stances that are contrary to Scripture under the rug. You cannot take parts from the sum and expect the whole.

So what have we learned about Warren’s faith from this article?

That it is skin deep, not life deep, picked and chosen for her own comfort.

It’s Time for Trump to Dissolve the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

In an interview with the Washington Examiner Wednesday, President Trump expressed interest in splitting the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after it has repeatedly overruled his actions in questionable ways.

But my advice to President Trump is to not just split the 9th Circuit, but rather to dissolve it altogether.

Why? The Left is very adept at weaponizing language and government to achieve their political ends.

What do I mean by ‘weaponizing?’ – simply put, turning institutions or conventions that ought to be neutral into offensive tools for implementing their agenda. In my video show last week, I covered some of the weaponization of language.

As for the weaponization of government and more specifically the Courts, we have seen over the last 40 or so years, the Left has repeatedly achieved political victories in the Courts which stand in clear conflict with the repeated democratic results of elections – such as on the issue of gay marriage  or with any known constitutional reality – such as inventing a right to privacy to invent a right to abortion – among other transgressions. (And it is for this reason I have advocated the Right more aggressively use the Courts as opposed to the ballot box to achieve victories…)

But to the point, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is currently the most egregious weaponization of government the Left currently wields, and as such, simply ought to be outright dissolved. Take their most potent weapon against the Constitution away, and do so in a completely Constitutional manner.

For those unfamiliar, the 9th Circuit Court is known for giving the Supreme Court fits with its rulings, on top of repeatedly blocking Trump’s actions in questionable ways. It is regularly one of, if not the most, overturned Circuit Court in the Country – with the Supreme Court overturning around 80% of the cases heard from the 9th Circuit. The causes for this high number have been thoroughly hashed out in other sources, but the raw numbers do not tell the full story.

The 9th Circuit Court has been repeatedly called out by the Supreme Court for egregious errors in judgement, and has recently been used by the Left to unilaterally halt large parts of President Trump’s agenda and overturn Federal and State Law – and its findings in doing so are often far outside its Constitutional authority.

We must remember, that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals exists solely at the discretion of the Congress. An act of Congress created the 9th Circuit for the purpose of adjudicating on laws and Executive Actions to ultimately ensure adherence to the Constitution. The 9th Circuit – or the 9th Circus as many commentators like to call it for its clownish legal behavior – by repeatedly making ridiculous rulings, trashing the Constitution, legislating as opposed to acting as a judiciary, and openly flaunting its role in preserving the Constitution has forfeited its right to exist as an institution. The Framers gave the Congress the power of oversight, and it’s far past time Congress exercise its authority.

To wit, here some of the more ridiculous recent findings of the 9th Circuit Court:

  • States suffer “Concrete and Particularized Injury” if illegal aliens can’t come to University classes;
  • The Federal Government doesn’t suffer “Irreparable Injury” if the Courts overrule immigration policy;
  • Courts can look to motive rather than text;
  • The Court refuses to strike down portions of laws/executive orders; (Daily Wire)
  • The Court can force States to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens;
  • And the Court can block a State from requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. (Conservative Review)

18 of the 25 judges on the Circuit are Democratic Appointees, and pointing this out of course is not to impugn their credibility or judgement, but it does indicate a significant implied institutional political bias.

With the Supreme Court only taking a very small percentage of cases from any of the Circuit Courts, something on the order of approximately .1%, the Left has found a judicial weapon to either enact sweeping partisan political change, and in the case of President Trump (and States like Arizona) block seemingly simple and Constitutional actions without much oversight.

As such, the 9th Circuit Court has ceased to be a politically neutral and constitutionally sound institution, and as easily as it was established by an Act of Congress, it can be dissolved. In its place, at least two new Circuit Courts ought to be established in the territories the 9th Circuit used to cover.

Constitutionally speaking, the dissolution of the Court is incontrovertible. The only Court organically formed by the Constitution is the Supreme Court. While this action would be highly politically controversial, it is clearly within the purview of the Congress. The Congress needs to start asserting its authority over the other Branches, and this would be a perfect start.

Recently, Congress has considered legislation to break up the 9th Circuit into multiple Courts (with President Trump now signaling support) seeing as it represents 40% of the land mass and 20% of the Population of the United States. Justices Kennedy and Thomas have even testified before Congress that the Court is simply too large.

But simply breaking up the 9th Circuit Court doesn’t go far enough.

The reason for dissolving the Court, as opposed to just breaking it up, is to free the new Courts and the subjugate States from the absurd “precedent” of the Court (to the extent that exists for Circuit Courts in our Common-Law system). The 9th Circuit has been creating laughable “precedents” like those outlined above, most of which will never be overturned by new iterations of the Court nor the Supreme Court.

If we simply break up the 9th Circuit Court, both new Courts will be bound by the “precedent” set by the old 9th Circuit. Without completely starting from scratch, the new 9th or 12th would practically still be bound to forcing Arizona to not require citizenship to vote.

To further ensure the eradication of the bad “precedent” of the 9th Circuit, it would be worthwhile to also consider rearranging large portions of the districts west of the Mississippi to incorporate States currently covered by the 9th, as this would create a legal condition where the other Courts’ precedent would be enforceable by the new Courts in the affected territory.

And beyond simply breaking the current 9th Circuit, it would be a massive political signal that Judicial Tyranny is on notice.

If enacted (or even seriously considered) this proposal would not just shake things up, it would knock the whole table over.

And on that note, beyond the 9th Circuit-centric reasons for dissolving the Court, I believe the Right needs to start forcing such ‘Constitutional Crises’ as this to halt the runaway advances of the Left.

I professionally engage in electoral battles for seats in the Legislative and Executive Branches of Government, but am increasingly of the opinion that long-term, such battles and victories will be largely meaningless unless Judicial Tyranny is checked in a serious way. We have a runaway train of Federal Unconstitutionality barreling down the tracks. Fighting over what degree to pull the brake lever of that train is no longer the best means to halt its advance… our best bet is to start throwing boulders on the tracks.

In the most analogous example, FDR used the threat of the Legislative Branch’s authority over the Courts (packing the Court) to force a Constitutional Crisis to great political effect for his political aims – though it was used in a manner damaging to the Republic and the Constitution. We on the Right must stop shying away from such acute measures. Dissolving the 9th Circuit Court for its pathetic record and playing politics is equally shocking and without precedent, but like packing the Court, is completely legitimate under the Constitution.

It’s time the Right start thinking out of the box, and start taking big swings at the ball while we still can.

The Right currently holds both Houses of the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, and we ought to make good use of that power before the next election cycle. If we fail to make large-scale structural changes in as favorable a political environment as today’s, we may lose our chance forever. There is an unprecedented opportunity with President Trump and the Congress to finally start responding to years of the Left weaponization of the Courts for their political ends.

I say its high time we disarm the Left and take away their most powerful political weapon. President Trump and the Congress, dissolve the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Finally: Bill Nye Shoves His Credibility Through a Wood Chipper

Despite the predictable perversion, despite the embarrassing attempts to gain street cred amongst the millennials he used to dazzle with science experiments, despite his dangerous misinformation about gender and sexuality that is exploiting confused and sick people for political gain, despite the inexplicable conundrum of how people like this get TV shows when there are so many other more talented and deserving folks in the world, count me as one person thrilled that Bill Nye Saves the World is now airing on Netflix.

No, I couldn’t watch more than just a few short clips of the panel discussion where his experts pontificated about punishing Americans for child-bearing. And yes, Bill’s ham-handed attempt to inspire and entertain made for such a spectacle of buffoonery that it no doubt made even Nye’s most adoring fans uncomfortable. And obviously, the disgusting and awkward gyrations of some woman named Rachel Bloom singing about her “sex junk” while a DJ dressed up like a seahorse (seriously) bounced around the side of the stage was equal parts bizarre and gross.

But I am sincerely ecstatic that all this is airing for people to see and mock. Because maybe, just maybe, Bill Nye will finally lose the intellectual credibility that he has always received but never deserved.

A year ago, Weather Channel founder John Coleman fumed to the weather site Climate Depot:

“I have always been amazed that anyone would pay attention to Bill Nye, a pretend scientist in a bow tie.”

On the surface that could come off as sour grapes or petty jealousy. Calling a colleague a “pretend scientist in a bow tie” could be regarded as professionally tacky, until you realize that Bill Nye is not Coleman’s colleague. He actually is a pretend scientist who wears a bow tie.

Yes, Nye earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Yes, he worked for Boeing for a short period of time. But after that, Nye won a contest impersonating comedian Steve Martin and used that as a springboard to launch a career in comedy. Following a lackluster few years in the business, Nye landed his renowned gig as a knock-off Mr. Wizard on the PBS Kids program, “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

In other words, Bill Nye was and is a performer. He’s built a nice career as a performer, and while no one should deny him that success, neither should they confuse what he does with science. And that was Coleman’s point:

“As a man who has studied the science of meteorology for over 60 years and received the AMS (American Meteorological Society’s) ‘Meteorologist of the Year’ award, I am totally offended that Nye gets the press and media attention he does.”

You can understand his frustration. Nye consistently gets “science” wrong.

  • He says that tornadoes are an indication of more severe weather coming because of the very real problem of climate change. Science proves that the frequency of violent tornadoes has decreased.
  • He seemingly coined the bizarre term “Sou’wester” for West Coast weather patterns, equating it with the East Coast’s “Nor’easters.” Science rejects any notion of there being anything like a “Sou’wester.”
  • He actively promotes the silencing and imprisonment of those scientists who would disagree with his position on climate. Science demands open-mindedness and a humility towards ideas, theories, and beliefs.

Nye is a cartoonish performer with dangerous tendencies towards political authoritarianism. Confusing that with being a scientist is a mistake that sane people will no longer tolerate.

My Conversation With Glenn Beck About the Conservative/Liberal Divide

After reading my post from yesterday, Glenn Beck Rebooted, Glenn and his happy warriors Pat, Stu and Jeffy were kind enough to invite me to appear on the show.  We talked about Glenn’s efforts to bridge the liberal/conservative divide and get people talking to each other rather than screaming at each other, and the risks and difficulties involved in kicking that particular hornet’s nest.  We also took a little stroll down memory lane and shared a few laughs over what the Glenn Beck Program was like back when it first started in my home market of Tampa Bay.

Thanks, guys!  It was a lot of fun!

Click below if you’d like to check it out:

Did GOP Leadership Consult Conservatives?

There is a lot of buzz on the Hill today and it starts with the question: Did the GOP Leadership, lead by Paul Ryan, even consult with conservatives before writing Ryancare?

I’m sure they did talk to everyone. But there’s a difference between “listening sessions” and active negotiations.

To my knowledge there was no SERIOUS discussion ever of: “Here’s our draft plan, tell us what you think and if you see needed major changes and we’ll see what we can do BEFORE we make it public”

To my understanding, all they had were different listening sessions, then went behind closed doors and only allowed leaders and chairmen (most of whom you cannot label “conservative”) the ability to negotiate details.

Also, I would point out that what the whole conservative movement really wanted on repeal is completely public and widely known for years. These are as follows:
  1. Full repeal
  2. Stop Medicaid expansion
  3. Take out the regs that drive up costs
  4. Interstate competition
  5. Supersize HSA’s
  6. Allow people to pay for premiums out of it so they can control their care
  7. Equalize tax treatment (deductions preferred but tax credits could be considered if tightly structured)
This bill literally does none of those things except attempts the tax equalization component and botches even that part of it.
Now, to address Kim Strassel’s column from this morning in the Wall Street Journal.
I don’t think she’s completely off base. Operating with a Republican House, Senate and White House is going to be different than in years passed.
I really believe we have one or two years of opportunity to get stuff done and we need to approach fights differently and drive the policy as close to conservative principles as possible. What we are seeing is that overall is the conservative movement is absolutely acting differently and doing that.
On Ryancare, the movement held its fire until the bill was out then said openly it is willing to work with leaders and White House to improve the bill. Obamacare repeal is a no brainer. It is literally what the GOP ran on (very successfully, I might add) for the last three election cycles. Mitch McConnell promised to “rip it out, root and branch.” President Trump said it would be one of the first things he did when he won.
The really interesting point about this moment is that it is Ryan/McConnell leadership that has changed ZERO from their previous failed strategies. They are still head patting conservatives with rhetoric but catering to moderates with policy. They are still secretly negotiating deals without conservative input then daring conservatives in a “binary choice” to oppose “the best chance to fix health care/taxes/regulations/education” and if you oppose their crap sandwich, you are the problem.
Why can’t Ryan just simply say: I’m hearing some good ideas from our conservative colleagues and we’re going to work with them to address their concerns. Thats what they do with moderates. But no, instead they insist the bill is the most conservative thing ever and anyone who disagrees is a liberal who doesn’t understand conservative policy.
Take a look at Ryan’s interview with Tucker Carlson. He literally says the reason we can’t do repeal the way conservatives want is because of reconciliation and conservatives just don’t understand how things work. Really?! We repealed MORE under reconciliation with Obama in the White House than we are with the GOP holding the majorities in the House, the Senate and our guy in the White House!
Sorry. We know for a fact more can be repealed because we did it already.
President Trump has said he wants to work with conservatives and fight for the people. Conservatives have openly said they are willing to take less than they want. GOP leaders say: you get nothing like always and we’ll just primary you like we did before.
My only contention with Kim Strassel’s column is this:  the conservative movement has grown up and understands the moment. GOP leadership has not and does not.