Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Head Start update

On a basically party-line vote (the ayes included Democrats Heath Shuler, Jim Marshall, Lincoln Davis, and Mike McIntyre; the nays, Republicans Chris Shays and Mark Kirk), the House turned back Republican efforts to protect the hiring rights of faith-based groups that participate in the federal Head Start program. The measure then passed overwhelmingly, including only an anodyne amendment offered by Heath Shuler that would affirm that faith-based organizations continue to be eligible for participation in the Head Start program. For more background, see this portion of the committee report on the bill.

Barry Lynn and his allies are happy.

Update: There’s more here and here. If you read the debates roughly transcribed here, you’ll note how easy it is to slip from opposing federally-funded "discrimination" to "discrimination" tout court, as if churches and faith-based organizations that hire only co-religionists are doing something wrong rather than exercising the right to be true to their missions. Note also the rewriting of history, as if the Clinton Administration never acquiesced in such co-religionist hiring exemptions. Bobby Scott (D-VA), a long-time enemy of the faith-based initiative, is perhaps the most unpleasant of the speakers whose comments are transcribed (and I’m being restrained in my characterization). (I never thought I’d long for the good old days of Bill Clinton as President, but he was in some respects friendlier to genuine religious diversity than are the Democrats in Congress. Don’t forget that he signed both RFRA and RLUIPA.)

Discussions - 2 Comments

Maybe if we'd gently asked the Democrats to "please be bipartisan about this" (or "post-partisan"), we'd have gotten somewhere. Heh ...

This is good...they are acting like Democrats. I was afraid they would do something clever like being centrist until 2008, but I guess the stupidity runs deep.

And it is EXACTLY these cultural issues (visceral and conspicuous) that will kill them in 2008. We need to paint them as the hostile totalitarians they are. We should hope for many more such 'defeats' in the coming months (just so long as Bush remembers to use "the pen" at the necessary times - a gamble, certainly).

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