President Obama used his weekly radio address — delivered on Thursday — to chide Americans for not throwing open their arms and gladly welcoming tens of thousands of Syria refugees.
Being generous is one thing. Being naive and stupid is another. Apparently, the president can’t tell the difference as he tries to reassure us that all is well.
Dubbing the Pilgrims the country’s first refugees, President Obama used his weekly radio address Thursday to chide his fellow Americans for their reluctance to accept Syrian refugees, insisting the U.S. has a duty to accept them and other immigrants.
“Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims — men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families. What makes America America is that we offer that chance,” Mr. Obama said. “We turn Lady Liberty’s light to the world, and widen our circle of concern to say that all God’s children are worthy of our compassion and care. That’s part of what makes this the greatest country on Earth.”
This is not the first time Obama has warped, twisted, and mutilated history to make a point. In fact, the Pilgrims’ land patent made them entrepreneurs, not refugees. They were granted permission to found a colony in order to make money for investors. The fact that they were seeking religious freedom and escaping persecution is true, but they never would have reached the New World unless they were willing to abide by a commercial contract that gave considerations to the company that let the land patent.
It was a stark break from the usual Thanksgiving Day address, where Mr. Obama has thanked the troops, praised the country and offered a few encouraging words about generosity and the push for justice and equality.
Mr. Obama has committed to resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. this fiscal year, and has been stunned by the vehement reaction from Americans who overwhelmingly oppose his plan in the wake of the Paris terrorist attack, where one of the suicide bombers is believed to have sneaked in as part of a group of refugees.
The president said the U.S. situation is different than Europe, where refugees arrive and then have to be sorted out.
“No refugee can enter our borders until they undergo the highest security checks of anyone traveling to the United States. That was the case before Paris, and it’s the case now,” he said.
Oh, really? There is an ongoing debate about just how well we are able to vet refugees. But with the FBI saying they can’t vet all Syrian refugees completely, and evidence that some refugees are, in fact, radicalized jihadists, the president’s assurances ring hollow.
Mr. Obama is hoping to stiffen spines among senators, who will be asked next week to consider a bill passed by the House last week that imposes a new check on Syrian refugees. The legislation does not end the program, nor does it impose a religious test — both claims Mr. Obama has hinted — but instead requires the FBI director, Homeland Security secretary and the country’s intelligence chief to sign off on each refugee.
The bill’s backers say if the Obama administration has really vetted all of the refugees as it says, such a certification should be easy and will go a long way toward ensuring Americans that someone is directly responsible for the program.
Why the resistance to these reasonable measures? It’s because such caution goes against the narrative established by Obama and the left that these Syrians are mostly women, children, and old people who wouldn’t harm a fly. Republican resistance to their resettlement is the result of racism or bigotry — take your pick.
Republicans are right to seek to hold up funds for the resettlement of the Syrians until all possible effort is made to vet them. This is not unreasonable, or illogical. It is common sense — something the White House appears to lack.