Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders 08.24

Newsworthy

Are you a BUBBA? BUBB or BUBBA is an acronym I'm hearing a bit more these days. BUBB stands for "Break Up Big Banks," and a conservative who wants to do that is a BUBBA. Red State's Erick Erickson is the latest conservative to go public as a BUBBA. What's significant about BUBBAs is that conservatives normally oppose government regulation of the private sector. But, according to James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute, "We have created a financial situation in this country, with Dodd-Frank and other policies, that have stacked the banks against the American people. They have become so massive that they can do pretty much what they want because they can hire all the lobbyists they need to get what they want from Washington and if they falter or fail, the nation goes belly up." He then makes the conservative case for breaking up the big banks: "It is absolutely a conservative imperative to break up the big banks. Conservatism should eschew public-private partnership at this level. The banks have, in effect, become an extension of the government in that they now exist in a wholly symbiotic and unhealthy relationship with Washington. If we want smaller government, we need smaller banks, too. "

GOP platform committee stands firm. As I write this, I'm in Tampa, Fla., just a few minutes from the site of the Republican National Convention, set to begin next week. I've visited with a number of members of the platform committee, and they tell me that attempts to weaken the platform's position on life and family issues were many but that conservatives carried the day. For example, Rhode Island delegate Barbara Fenton proposed replacing the plank endorsing marriage as the union of one man and one woman with language advocating civil unions for both same-sex and heterosexual couples. The closest vote, according to CitizenLink, came after a discussion of abstinence education. Many who favor abstinence education nonetheless oppose the federal government mandating and funding it. It was one of the few times the platform committee needed to record a tally instead of use a voice vote. The committee affirmed abstinence education 41-35.

Reining in gay military. The GOP platform committee also took a strong stand on military issues. Among the positions: protecting chaplains' conscience rights and enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act on military installations. The platform committee also said the party opposes "anything that might weaken team cohesion, including intra-military special interest demonstrations." That language means to address the wearing of uniforms in gay pride events. The platform committee also made strong statements supporting women's right to advance in the military, while also saying they should be exempt from direct ground combat units.

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The abortion convention? According to conservative activist Gary Bauer, "Washington is awash with rumors that the Democrats will make abortion rights a major theme at their convention." On Aug. 22, Democrats announced that Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Sandra Fluke, the reproductive rights activist who is campaigning for free (taxpayer-funded) contraception, will be prominent speakers at the Democrat National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., just a week after the Republican confab in Tampa. According to Bauer, "Democrats are going to the mat over their extreme pro-abortion agenda." But Bauer thinks life is a winning issue for Republicans. "The Democrats are the extremists on abortion," he said. "They defend partial-birth abortions in which babies in the sixth and seventh month of pregnancy are brutally aborted by puncturing their skulls. They refuse to condemn sex-selection abortions. They insist that taxpayers pay for abortions. They oppose any parental involvement when it comes to abortions for minor children. [Vice President Joe] Biden actually made excuses for China's forced abortion policy. So please, please, Democrats. Tell us every day how committed you are to all abortions with zero regulations, abortions paid for by taxpayers who are losing their homes and going on food stamps because of your economic policies." In other words, as the old political saying goes, "Don't stand between your opponent and an approaching train."

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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