The Louisiana governor’s race aside for a moment, though perhaps it should be center stage in this discussion (we’ll know for sure on Saturday), the damage the Obama administration is doing to the Democrat Party nationally is eye-popping.
The issue of taking Syrian refugees, particularly after the chaos in France of the past week, is becoming the hottest issue of the 2016 presidential campaign and of American politics in general. It’s dominating news coverage in nearly every venue and it’s dominating the press conferences the president is giving while traipsing the globe this week.
For example, a dispatch from Manila yesterday…
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — President Barack Obama lashed out Wednesday at Republicans who insist on barring Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., deeming their words offensive and insisting “it needs to stop.”
“Apparently they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America,” Obama said.
Mocking GOP leaders for thinking they’re tough, Obama said overblown rhetoric from Republicans could be a potent recruitment tool for the Islamic State group. He insisted the U.S. process for screening refugees for possible entry into the U.S. is rigorous and said the U.S. doesn’t make good decisions “based on hysteria” or exaggerated risk.
“We are not well served when in response to a terrorist attack we descend into fear and panic,” the president said.
Obama’s comments during a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino marked his harshest condemnation yet of Republicans’ response to the Paris attacks blamed on IS that killed 129 people last week. Republicans in Congress and on the 2016 presidential trail have urged an immediate closure of America’s borders to Syrian refugees, but the Obama administration has shown no sign of backing off its plans to bring an additional 10,000 Syrians fleeing civil war into the U.S.
Obama took particular ire at a proposal by GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush to admit only Christian Syrians. Bush later clarified he wants to give preference to Christians but not exclude properly vetted Muslims. Still, Obama said the idea of only allowing Christians in amounted to “political posturing” that runs contrary to American values.
Except Obama doesn’t have a particularly good read on the temperature of the American street where this issue is concerned. From Rasmussen…
President Obama says the Syrian refugees he hopes to move here are no more dangerous than tourists. The governors of more than two dozen states, citing the links between those refugees and the weekend massacres in Paris, aren’t convinced and have asked the president not to settle them in their states.
Sixty percent (60%) of Likely U.S. Voters oppose the settling of Syrian refugees in the state where they live, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 28% favor their state taking in those refugees. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The president is still planning to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into this country next year with more to follow, but only 23% favor allowing those refugees to come here at all. Sixty-three percent (63%) oppose Obama’s plan, while 14% are undecided.
Those numbers have declined from September, when Obama’s refugee plan was underwater by 35-50 margin.
Most Americans want the U.S. to stop letting in Syrian refugees amid fears of terrorist infiltrations after the Paris attacks, siding with Republican presidential candidates, governors, and lawmakers who want to freeze the Obama administration’s resettlement program.
The findings are part of a Bloomberg Politics national poll released Wednesday that also shows the nation divided on whether to send U.S. troops to Iraq and Syria to fight the Islamic State, an idea President Barack Obama opposes, and whether the U.S. government is doing enough to protect the homeland from a comparable attack.
Fifty-three percent of U.S. adults in the survey, conducted in the days immediately following the attacks, say the nation should not continue a program to resettle up to 10,000 Syrian refugees. Just 28 percent would keep the program with the screening process as it now exists, while 11 percent said they would favor a limited program to accept only Syrian Christians while excluding Muslims, a proposal Obama has dismissed as “shameful” and un-American.
The American public isn’t sold on the idea that these people could be properly vetted to settle in the United States, and a large portion of the American public is concerned about the societal impact a mass immigration of Middle Eastern Muslims would have here – particularly in the wake of what the French have brought upon themselves. Andrew McCarthy in National Review…
Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, regarded by many, including the Muslim Brotherhood, as the world’s most respected sharia jurist, instructs Muslims that the “quest for an Islamic state” calls for integrating into Europe and then pressuring Western leaders to accept a Muslim “right to live according to our faith — ideologically, legislatively, and ethically.” The Organization of Islamic Cooperation — a bloc of 56 Muslim countries (plus the Palestinian Authority) — has decreed that “Muslims should not be marginalized or attempted to be assimilated, but should be accommodated.” Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist president of Turkey who has systematically dismantled that country’s secular, pro-Western system, similarly pronounces that pressuring Muslims to assimilate in the West “is a crime against humanity.”
On immigration, our national-security challenge is not limited to keeping Islamist terrorists out. It demands the exclusion of populations that breed, encourage, aid, abet, and materially support Islamist terrorism, particularly Islamists themselves: Muslims who adhere to an interpretation of Islam that promotes the sharia system of governance. That interpretation is mainstream in the places from which Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other Washington politicians want us to accept immigrants by the thousand.
Like us, France has a big problem in Syria. Unlike us, France has a bigger problem in Saint-Denis. When we can see how that problem is rending French society, why would we voluntarily replicate it here?
If David Vitter is able to pull out the governor’s race here in Louisiana on Saturday, he’ll have Syrian migrants to thank for it – because more parochial issues on which he should easily be carrying the state simply haven’t resonated with the public. John Bel Edwards has a record which ought to make him unelectable on a host of issues; on taxes, on spending, on across-the-board opposition to reform of any kind in state government, on economic development, on education. None of those are vote-movers, and Edwards has steadfastly avoided any real discussion of those issues in favor of a non-stop assault on Vitter’s character and a single-minded focus on Vitter’s extramarital sexual exploits of 15 years ago. So far, that has produced a lead in the polls of either a small or large size, depending on the pollster.
And yet Vitter unquestionably has the momentum because of the unpopularity of the president’s handling of the Syrian migrant issue and the threat perceived as a result. Edwards’ initial waffling on the issue, ties to Obama and shrill howling that Vitter is lying about his initial statement (Vitter is not, and has the video of Edwards in Monday’s debate repeating his initial statement seeking conversations on how to accomodate the refugees to prove it), plus the dispatch of his unofficial flunky Bob Mann to attack Vitter’s wife over the issue, is indicative of panic in the Democrat camp.
If Saturday’s result is a Vitter victory, don’t be surprised to see a full-on rout among Democrats on Capitol Hill where this issue is concerned and mass departures from Obama’s “full speed ahead” position. They’ll have to find defensible territory on the issue, or else 2016 could be a year they’d rather forget.