The Corner

What’s a Ban?

The White House has announced new restrictions on the reassignment of some military gear (grenade launchers, tracked armored vehicles, etc.) to police departments, along with restrictions on the use of federal funds for the acquisition of such hardware. The Fraternal Order of Police, among other parties, is none too pleased.

I am with the White House on this one, but I couldn’t help but notice something in the Left’s reaction: Confronted with the FOP criticism, guests on Sirius XM Progress (the lefty radio station I listen to so you don’t have to) complained the FOP was overreacting, that they were responding as though the federal government were enacting “a ban” on their acquiring such equipment rather than prudently restricting the use of its own funds, that this amounted to “fear-mongering.”

Well . . .

Am I the only one who remembers the so-called federal ban on stem-cell research enacted by the Bush administration? That was a ban that was not, in fact, a ban at all, or even a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but a restriction on federal funding for research using newly created lines of embryonic stem cells. When the FOP complains that police departments cannot use federal funds the way they did before, the Left insists that the word “ban” is inappropriate, that the complaints amount to “fear-mongering.” But Mother Jones wrote of a “Stem Cell Research Ban” under Bush, CBS News reported “Obama Ends Stem Cell Research Ban,” Wired wrote of a “Bush stem cell ban,” U.S. News and World Report wrote of “Bush’s Stem Cell Research Ban,” etc.

A funding restriction is not a ban; it isn’t now—but it wasn’t then, either. It is too much to expect even a modicum of consistency from our feckless, lollygagging media, which is mainly composed of people who were too thick for law school and too lazy to sell real estate, and certainly not from the intellectually dishonest Democratic operatives within the media (Hello, Mr. Stephanopoulos!). But we should always keep that dishonesty in mind.  

So, about that fear-mongering . . . 

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