Washington’s bungling of the anti-Semitism bill

Washington stands ready to fix all our problems. This week, the Senate will consider what the House already didhow to excise hate from the human heart with a quick vote (and hopefully as little debate as possible).

The Jewish faith might be the most persecuted in history. From Babylon to Egypt and Greece to Rome, and from the czar to the führer and the king to mufti, the Jews have borne a heavy share of murder. That is, until Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) solved it with a bill last week allowing the government to protect the Jewish people by punishing hate speech, as defined by “the working definition of the Holocaust Remembrance Project.”

Much has been said exploring the how ham-fisted and overreaching Johnson’s new bill is, and you can find interesting critiques from Glenn Beck and others, but the more immediate question in the Washington snow globe is whether this bill has a chance of passing.

But first: its origins.

The anti-Semitism bill began as a “messaging bill” — something for Republicans to unify around and vote on in the House, regardless of its potential for success in the Senate, so they can force Democrats to take a stance against it, then campaign on it. To that end, Johnson kicked off the debate with a visit to Columbia University’s campus, where he rightly called violent, threatening, illegal encampments “un-American” in their style.

That visit was the last thing to go right, because after that he unveiled his new bill, which includes everything from linking Jewish people to the state of Israel all the way to criticizing the state of Israel as illegal hate speech.

The bill helps to better define Johnson and his allies. Through it, and his breaking on Ukraine aid, his folding on border security, and his advocacy for warrantless wiretapping, an image of Johnson as a caricature of a 2012-style Republican begins to emerge. This is a man who has proven incapable of applying any of the lessons of the past eight years to governance (if he ever learned them in the first place). And now he leads a center-left coalition in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The messaging part of the messaging bill quickly fell apart once introduced. Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida denounced it as so broad as to criminalize the Gospels, and Democrat supporters of the campus occupiers’ and rioters’ message joined in opposition from the other side. Republicans had lost a golden opportunity to make a simple political argument that illegal mobs cannot be tolerated and must be punished, and instead they opted to argue specific points with radicals and anarchists (always dumb) and expand federal power over speech (also bad).

So what now? Now the bill goes to the Senate, which returns on Tuesday. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is reportedly eager to pass it. Much of the disorder began in his state, and the left-wing civil war it has pushed into the open is deeply uncomfortable for the most powerful Jewish politician on the planet.

A couple of things stand in Schumer’s way, however.

First, that whole civil war thing. He’s got colleagues in his own caucus who are against passage, with trouble likely from Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), with a possible defection from Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). Leaders generally don’t like to expose fractures in their own conference (with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a notable exception), but when it comes down to it, Schumer probably could cajole the rest of his caucus into toeing the line.

The second problem is those Republicans (mostly) who remember free speech protections are necessary to protect unpopular speech and are concerned about expanding the feds’ “hate-speech” arsenal. Though even they lack the stomach for a big fight.

At the top of the new week, politicians from both sides of the aisle have holds, so a fight of some sort is brewing. But here’s the third problem: No politician in the Senate really wants to fight about Israel right now. The debate is a minefield all around, just as the presidential election shifts into a new gear.

“It’s the Senate” after all, one longtime Republican Senate aide told Blaze Media. “They’re terrified of anything relevant.”

But the candidates don’t want to talk about it either. After dragging his feet for weeks, Joe Biden finally condemned the riots late last week, while former President Donald Trump signed an executive order in December 2019 nearly identical to Johnson’s legislation. While the executive orders are closer to glorified press releases than law, the order generated little controversy when signed (and thus far has been largely ignored, rather than abused, by the current administration).

At the other end of all the holds, however, are a goodly number of co-sponsors willing to pass the bill up to the president’s desk. “It’s probably going to go through in some form,” one senior aide to a conservative Republican predicted to Blaze Media. “Nobody wants to fight it too hard in the Senate, although some senators are working to amend it so that it’s less offensive to the First Amendment and doesn’t implicate Scripture.”

But finally, there is the real prospect of nothing happening at all. It doesn’t take a lot to grind the Senate to a halt, and a lot of Democrat senators would prefer to pretend they don’t have anything to do with campus disorder. Schumer might decide it is better to use his time confirming more liberal nominees than arguing about Israel in front of the voters.

Glenn Beck at Blaze News:The House anti-Semitism bill is a hate speech law in disguise. Don’t fall for it.

IN OTHER NEWS

The Trump trial drags on

The former president’s hush money trial will enter its fourth week on Monday, with Trump and his beautiful blue eyes forced off the campaign trail and into the Manhattan courtroom once again as prosecutors continue to move through their witness list.

Last week, former Trump aide Hope Hicks broke down in tears on the stand as she testified about her role on the 2016 campaign and her interactions with Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and the Democrat DA’s star witness.

Defense attorneys for Trump are continuing to chip away at Cohen’s credibility while arguing that much of the “conspiracy” prosecutors are describing to the jury was not actually illegal.

The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, though prosecutors haven’t shared whichwitnesses they will put on the stand. For “safety.”

The numbers for the president, in the meantime, continue to fall

According to an ABC News and Ipsos poll, Biden’s support among black voters has fallen more than 20 points since his election and with Hispanics by 17 points. Young voters, the poll found, have flipped from Biden +24 to Trump +5.

While the same poll shows Trump ahead of Biden overall, the current White House occupant still leads among the all-important likely voters, 49% to 45%.

“They keep shaking the poll machine, and it keeps spitting out these same faulty numbers,” the Free Press’ Nellie Bowles joked, citing a similar findings from a CNN poll released a week before.

White boy summer

This week saw the revenge of the frat boy, with normal American students taking aim at campus radicals and their pals working to hold colleges captive.

The week kicked off with University of North Carolina students defending the American flag, while a mob that had raised the Palestinian flag in its place hurled abuse and pelted them with ice.

“Help us raise funds to throw these frats the party they deserve,” one of the bros quickly posted on GoFundMe: “a party worth of the boat-shoed Broleteriat who did their country proud.” In less than a week, the effort raised more than $500,000.

The example has spread. New York Police followed the frat bros’ lead the following day, re-raising Old Glory at City College after the mob had taken it down. Now, groups of normie college students across the country are making sport of it, chanting back at occupiers and taunting activists.

The fire rises: “‘A step back in time’: America’s Catholic Church sees an immense shift toward the old ways,” Associated Press

Politics aside, the Catholic Church in America is changing. For years we’ve seen a return to orthodoxy among young parishioners. While it’s true that the decidedly unorthodox pope rules one of the last absolute monarchies on the planet, more astute observers might recognize the Church as a more democratic institution than it seems, where shifts often come from the bottomup, rather than the topdown. Though it drips with condescension, this AP piece documents some of the changes happening now.

The shrinking numbers [of practicing Catholics] mean that those who remain in the church have outsized influence compared with the overall Catholic population.

On the national level, conservatives increasingly dominate the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference and the Catholic intellectual world. They include everyone from the philanthropist founder of Domino’s Pizza to six of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices.
“Then there’s the priesthood.

Young priests driven by liberal politics and progressive theology, so common in the 1960s and 70s, have ‘all but vanished,’ said a 2023 report from The Catholic Project at Catholic University, based on a survey of more than 3,500 priests.

Today’s young priests are far more likely to believe that the church changed too much after Vatican II, tangling itself up in America’s rapidly shifting views on everything from women’s roles to LGBTQ people.

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