Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's The Kelly File, Thursday 9:10pm ET/PT

New York Times Spins Leftist Social Agenda into 'Governing from the Center'

What does The New York Times call it when liberals concoct schemes to soak taxpayers for more government health programs, more sex and abortion clinics, and more predatory, Kinsey-based sex “education” courses?


Answer: “Governing from the center.”


In a Jan.16 front-page article, “Democrats Seek the Middle on Social Issues,” Times reporter Robin Toner cites the Prevention First Act, a colossal increase in Title X “family planning” spending, as an example of the Democrats' “new approach” away from high-octane liberalism. The trouble is, it's just more high-octane liberalism.  The price tag on this one is more than $600 million, a hefty increase from the usual $200 million or so that Planned Parenthood has come to expect as its annual entitlement.


Congress has funded Title X, condom-based “safe sex” programs and clinics, to the tune of more than $3 billion over the past three decades. A cost-benefit analysis would conclude that the government has been highly successful in generating more out-of-wedlock pregnancies, more abortions, and a plethora of sex diseases such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which triggers more than 4,000 cervical cancer deaths annually. Literally tens of millions of Americans now have incurable sex diseases. Instead of reversing their disastrous strategy, liberals are now talking about mandatory inoculations of 11-year-old girls with a new HPV vaccine.


This latest “family planning” bill isn't even “new.” Sen. Harry Reid introduced it on Jan. 24, 2005, along with co-sponsors Hillary Clinton, Jon Corzine, John Kerry, Diane Feinstein, Maria Cantwell, Ted Kennedy and a host of other Senate liberals.    


The center-loving Democrats also plan to focus on a federal hate crimes law and a homosexual jobs bill called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  The Times's Toner describes these two bills, which represent the heart of the radical homosexual political agenda, as “much less polarizing than the debate over same-sex marriage.” 


Toner also quotes Rep. James E. Clyburn, who leads a “faith working group” in the House and who is “broadening the definition of values-related issues.” That means downplaying the Democrats' slavish devotion to pouring gasoline on the roaring flames of the sexual revolution, and getting back to “economic” issues, such as raising the minimum wage, expanding government health insurance and tinkering with Social Security.


“That's Old Testament Bible, taking care of widows and orphans,” Mr. Clyburn says, neatly twisting the Biblical command for charity into an excuse for further expanding the overflowing trough at which Caesar grows fat in the name of the poor.  By the way, the Old Testament's most direct comment on widows and orphans, other than their creation sometimes because of human rebellion against God, is found in Psalm 68:5:


A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.


Perhaps James Clyburn was thinking about another James, the apostle who wrote the New Testament Book of James, who puts it this way:


Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27). 


I may be reading this wrong, but I don't see any green light for government to facilitate the sexual revolution with more spending, which amounts to spreading a worldly blemish.  I do see an admonition for Christians to assume personal responsibility to provide for widows and orphans.


Over in the House, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, whom Toner accurately describes as “an abortion rights supporter,” is busy working on legislation that would “try to reduce the need for abortion and provide economic support to new parents.” 


Before you get too misty-eyed at Ms. DeLauro's charitable impulse, recall that she cast votes in 2003 against banning the grisly and medically unjustifiable killing of half-delivered babies in what Toner describes as “the procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion.” 


Toner also manages to trot out the tired media theme that Republicans do poorly when they stick to principle and would do better by moving left. The article actually contends that the GOP's “intense pursuit of a ban on same-sex marriage and other conservative causes ultimately backfired, making them seem out of touch.” 


That's right. Being on the side of an issue that polls far higher than nearly all office seekers, even among Democrats, is costing the GOP. Stop the bleeding! Move left now!


We know it hurt the GOP to defend marriage because, as Toner tells us, “many strategists” said so. These folks probably range from James Carville on the left to James Carville on the right.


If we need economic incentives to solve cultural problems, perhaps Congress should fund a new type of heart research -- the type that will lead to changed hearts, so we will stop funding the killing of babies on demand, and stop destroying children's innocence with graphic sex education. At the same time, Toner and The New York Times should stop spinning the liberal agenda as “governing from the center.” 


Robert Knight is the director of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.