Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Confirming Mike Pompeo

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When Obama selected Hillary to be Sec. of State, the Republicans respected the people's choice for president and gave Obama his nominee, 94-0. Same when he picked John Kerry for the same important position.

That was then. This is now.

Democrats and one Republican are unwilling to do the same for Trump's choice for Secretary--Mike Pompeo.

What's behind the opposition?

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that "A Senate committee is on track to vote...against endorsing the nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State, which would mark an unusual rebuke to a central member of President Donald Trump's foreign policy team."

That Senate committee includes Republican Rand Paul who has objected to confirming Pompeo. Late yesterday, Paul reversed his position and said he will support Pompeo, thus ensuring his confirmation.

Under Senate procedures, the nomination could have still been brought to the chamber's floor, where Pompeo would have most certainly been confirmed anyway.

But why the reluctance to confirm Pompeo?

The Hill, not a conservative publication, says "Pompeo's credentials are superb: first in his class at West Point, a Harvard law degree, a distinguished (if brief) career in the House of Representatives, a tenure as CIA director marked by both competence and vision. The accolades go on and on. But none of this would matter much to foreign leaders if they didn't believe he has the president's ear."

He does. And world leaders know it. Whereas, Rex Tillerson did not.

The Hill says he is an excellent choice for several reasons---Trump has nominated him after a year of working closely with Pompeo as CIA director and obviously trusts him and his abilities. The Hill says Pompeo's congressional experience gives him a good understanding of how the institution works---And Pompeo was deeply involved in the breakthrough with North Korea, including a face to face negotiation with the North Korean dictator himself, an encounter that advanced peace talks.

Interestingly, CBS interviewed Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, this past Sunday. When asked about Pompeo's nomination, Zarif said it shows---like all the recent nominations show---"that the United States is not serious about its international obligations."

Translated to the truth: "We're scared to death Trump and Pompeo will actually do what Trump promised during his campaign. Make America Great Again. And we feel like North Korea is getting too much attention."

And when did we start asking Iran to weigh in on our president's nominations? We never heard any of that during the Obama administration.

So the reluctance to confirm Pompeo is rooted in deep opposition to anything President Trump wants to do.

But there's more.

So, what's the real problem with Pompeo?

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Ca.), who opposes Pompeo, told CBS she is concerned about his past statements---"they were a bit of a put-off for me," she said.

Former pastor, governor, and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told Fox News, "A thumbs down to Mike Pompeo is a middle finger to the American people who voted for Donald Trump and expected he would put people on his team that he could work with."

Huckabee says he hopes these guys can forget the politics and "do the right thing" like Republicans have done in the past.

They won't, because they can't.

Perhaps Feinstein's remarks are closer to the real problem. Secular progressives really dislike Mike Pompeo, and Mike Pence, and Ben Carson, and Betsy DeVos, and a list of other top Cabinet members who do not fit the freshly minted "norm" for tolerant, inclusive, pro-abortion, anti-family and anti-marriage "Christians" who populated these offices during the Obama administration. And would have in a Hillary Clinton administration.

Joe Biden is a shining example of this new norm. Former VP Joe claims he is a devout Catholic who holds to the church's teaching on abortion, but as a public figure, he must support abortion so as to represent everybody--- and the law. The same, I assume, would apply to his deep embrace of same-sex marriage, also a sin and heresy condemned by his church.

Trump's election and his continual appointment of highly qualified deeply committed conservative Christians to these posts (and the Supreme Court) is a bitter pill---a pill the secular and religious Left are unable to swallow. So they continue to fight the president and the people who voted for him.

The Economist says, "The relationship between religion and American diplomacy has never been simple," pointing to Tripoli and the treaty of 1797 between America and Muslim overlords of North Africa.

But that was about merchant ships, not deeply held Judeo-Christian principles and values.

The Economist notes some of the same concerns Diane Feinstein has, if she were to be open about it.

The Economist on Pompeo, in regard to Muslims: "Several things have earned Mr. Pompeo the reputation of being a kind of latter-day Crusader...What is more striking is the remedy of Christian solidarity he purposes: Islam inspired terrorists' will continue to press against us until we make sure...we know that Jesus Christ is the only solution for our world."

That would, of course, "put off" Feinstein a bit.

The Economist quotes veteran global-affairs writer Robert D. Kaplan:

"Mr. Popmeo emblemizes an increasingly theological bent in American politics, and in particular in a strand of American conservatism. This contrasted with earlier eras when American leaders were often churchgoers but their governing spirit was refreshingly secular."

And he notes that Pompeo is a lot like VP Mike Pence, a "passionate evangelical."

There you have it. The problem with Pompeo is the problem with Pence and Carson and DeVos and Sessions and a whole bunch of other top-level people who are leading this country---they are conservative biblical Christians who are living out their faith much like many of our Founding Fathers did.

They are not as Kaplan defines some leaders of the past--"churchgoers with a secular spirit," but Spirit-led people who understand that only spiritual renewal can restore our great nation. And God's blessing can only be secured by embracing His principles and values.

Be Informed. Be Encouraged. Be Steadfast. Be Prayerful.