Obama's Syria Suckers - Mayors Offer Themselves as Dupes to Obama
President Obama has duped his allies before, resulting in political disaster for them, and now he could be doing it again, to a group of progressive mayors.
On March 24, 2010, a group of 12 beaming pro-life Democrats, led by Michigan’s Bart Stupak, stood aside their president, Barack Obama, as he signed an executive order vowing to prevent abortion funding in his “healthcare reform.” CNN.com underscored the importance of these Congressional Democrats to their leader: “without [their] help the landmark overhaul bill would not have passed.”
No question. Thus, pro-lifers were aghast at the naïveté of the Stupak crew. Did these Democrats really think Barack Obama wouldn’t seek abortion funding in his signature domestic policy achievement? This man’s abortion record, going back to his time in Illinois, was frightening. But yes, they believed him.
Ultimately, the final bill was stripped of the Stupak/Pitts amendment that had blocked abortion funding. More than that, Obama and Kathleen Sebelius imposed the HHS mandate requiring everyone from Hobby Lobby to the Little Sisters of the Poor to fund abortifacients. If you disagreed, you were smeared as favoring a “war on women,” and the Obama administration would see you in court -- all the way to the Supreme Court. Yes, the Obama administration will compel celibate nuns to hire lawyers to avoid being forced by the federal government to fund abortion drugs.
In the end, almost every Stupak Democrat lost reelection, resigned, or is now out of Congress. They would look back at their president’s March 24, 2010 signature as the signing of their political death warrant.
The Stupak 12 were duped -- fools for Barack Obama.
In fact, the Democrats as a whole lost Congress that year. The entire party was, in effect, sacrificed at the altar of Obama’s ideological extremism.
I mention this now because we may be looking at a new Stupak 12, a new group of loyal Democrats who have offered up themselves to Obama’s wiles and ways.
I speak of the 18 mayors who have offered their cities as safe havens for Syrian refugees -- and then some. They have opened their arms and gates with assurances from Barack Obama that all will be well. Trust him.
They actually did so back in September, before the terror attacks in Paris, before San Bernardino. Led by Chicago godfather Rahm Emanuel and New York radical Bill de Blasio -- let’s call this group the Rahm-Blasio 18 -- they signed a letter urging President Obama to “increase still further the number of Syrian refugees the United States will accept for resettlement.”
Yes, “increase still further.” They judged Obama’s 10,000 refugees insufficient. Boasting the progressive-sounding name, “Cities United for Immigration Action,” the mayors hail from Baltimore and St. Louis, Boston and Allenton, Hartford and Syracuse, Dayton and Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Paterson, New Jersey, and more.
Mayor de Blasio felt so moved that he invoked Barack Obama’s favorite Scriptural image, that of Cain and Abel: “we are reminded that the answer to the age-old question, ‘am I my brother’s keeper’ must be a resounding yes if we are to live up to the values on which our nation was founded.” As these refugees search for “salvation,” said the Rev. de Blasio, “we say welcome.”
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was likewise touched. She waxed wistful of her Baltimore remaining “a beacon of freedom and opportunity.” The refugees should come there to “grow and prosper.”
One of the mayors is from my hometown of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto. “This is where our responsibility to our fellow man is tested,” declared Peduto.
The Rahm-Blasio 18 are rallying for their president.
So, what of their call to “immigration action?”
Well, it’s obviously a security risk, but it’s especially so because it relies on Barack Obama’s assurances.
“Even as we accept more refugees, including Syrians, we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks,” assures President Obama.
Does that make you feel safe?
Look, I can speak to this issue from a unique perspective -- namely, Obama has already made a fool out of me in this refugee crisis. Consider: I teach Middle East Politics and have studied the region since graduate school and as an analyst in academia and the think-tank world. I’ve lectured and commented on Syria and the Christians there for years. Remember, it was in Antioch that Christians were first called Christians. Antioch was home to great Church fathers such as Ignatius, who knew the original disciples. Antioch was one of the five original patriarchates of the Church: Antioch, Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Rome. Only Rome remains, which is why ISIS wants to fly its black flag over St. Peter’s Basilica.
Syria was one of Christianity’s pillars, until ISIS decapitated it. Those most eager to exit Syria are Christians.
For months, I’ve been underscoring this reality to my students and saying it in radio commentary, always wagging my finger at conservatives, reprimanding them to understand this bigger picture, imploring them to realize that the vast majority of these 10,000 refugees will come from Syria’s Christian population.
I’ve cautioned those wanting to slam the door on Syrian refugees to please bear in mind that these Syrians are looking to flee ISIS, not join. I heard one commentator demand that any 18-40 year-old Syrian male not be allowed into America. Really? What if he’s a 35-year-old father of four whose ancient church was torched by ISIS, whose priest was beheaded by ISIS, and whose daughter was raped by ISIS? God help him. That man has been through hell.
Sure, this doesn’t mean that ISIS jihadists would not conceal themselves among the genuinely repressed in order to enter America to wreak murder and mayhem. But nonetheless, most of them, I argued, will be Christians; thus, fears of infiltration would be less of a concern.
Well, stupid me. What a sucker I was. Barack Obama has cracked eggs all over my face.
My point on the Christian faith of these refugees has been turned on its head by Obama, with this quite shameless divider-in-chief framing my perfectly legitimate point as one of nativist-religionist bigotry tantamount to an un-constitutional “religious test” for American citizenship. He has chosen to demagogue it as a hideous view of the Republican presidential pack, who (amazingly) he caricatures as the demagogues on this issue.
But it’s worse than that.
Not only has Obama burned us with his rhetoric but also in his actual implementation of the refugee project.
Of the roughly 2,400 Syrians that have entered thus far, reportedly a disproportionately miniscule portion are persecuted Christians. That’s downright shocking and inexplicable, and it prompted Ted Cruz and other Republicans to express concern, and in turn prompted Obama to unleash his accusations of religious bigotry.
Of course, the concern is anything but bigoted. ISIS jihadists would do anything to slither into a soft-target area, including concealing themselves as refugees seeking asylum. The chances of them successfully doing so are flatly easier when joining fellow Muslims from Syria than infidel Christians. Everyone knows this. It’s common sense. But Obama is not playing it that way.
And that brings back to the Rahm-Blasio 18. I’m just a professor and a writer, but these 18 mayors have serious responsibility for their citizens, and they have put their names and reputations on the line, as did the Stupak 12. It is in Barack Obama that they trust. And it is their citizens and their careers that they place in the balance.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage. His other books include Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.