Democrats targeting red states and other commentary

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Conservative: Dems Target Red States

Democrats are alarmed by the number of residents fleeing blue states, but “instead of trying to fix the policies” that push people away, liberal lawmakers “want to impose those unpopular mandates nationwide,” observes Liz Peek at The Hill. To “eliminate the competition between states that they are losing,” lefties are “pushing bills that would put the federal government in charge of states’ labor laws, fiscal policies and voting rules” — from stimulus funds that prohibit state-level tax cuts to ballot-box “reforms” intended to enhance blue turnout in red places. These “egregious power-grabs” are “downright authoritarian.”

Conservative: Private-Sector Censors

Thursday’s congressional tech hearings saw Democrats trying to get around the First Amendment, recruiting Facebook and Twitter to “abridge the freedom of speech,” warn the editors at the Washington Examiner. Democrats made it clear that they “have the power to subsidize, tax, regulate and protect the giants, so they expect these companies to crack down on bad speech” — or in other words, “to censor the other side.” They label as “misinformation and hate speech” any facts and opinions against the left, including “pro-lifers, conservative commentators and investigative reporters who have unearthed unflattering news about President Joe Biden” and his clan. Knowing they can’t outright ban pro-life opinion or stories like The Post’s Hunter Files, Democrats seek instead to “limit the public square to a handful of companies and then pressure those companies to do the censoring.”

Tech beat: Zuck Punts to Congress

At Vox, Peter Kafka sums up Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s “message for Washington: We’re happy to change the way we run Facebook. Just tell us how.” That was the upshot of Zuck’s testimony before Congress Thursday. Everyone in Washington “wants to do . . . something about Facebook,” from GOPers worried about censorship of conservative views to Democrats who think the platform might “destabilize democracy.” Facebook’s answer: Congress should force it and other platforms to put “systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it.” In exchange, Congress would leave in place Section 230 protections that allow Facebook to act as a publisher without a publisher’s liabilities. The effort needn’t be entirely successful, so long as Facebook is seen spending “a lot of time and money” trying.

From the right: Noem’s Capitulation

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was a rising star among the GOP’s Trumpian base, which adored her for resisting drastic lockdowns — “then, in one fell swoop, she messed it all up,” sighs Gavin Wax at American Greatness. She did this by opposing “a measure pushed by South Dakota Republicans in the state legislature that would protect female sports” from biological males, a move that has left Christian activists “enraged at the latest betrayal of traditional values and mental sanity from a Republican leader.” The governor “says that the legislation to protect female athletics would undermine the ‘great strides we have taken to gain national exposure and increase opportunities for our next generation over the past two decades’ ” — code for fear of the large corporations and pro leagues that are in complete thrall to gender ideologies. “While liberals exploit the powers at their disposal to achieve success, Republicans parrot silly excuses made up by lobbyists to confuse their constituents and disenfranchise their grassroots supporters.”

Foreign desk: How China Punishes Companies

Clothing giants H&M and Nike are paying the price for speaking out against Beijing’s forced-labor practices: H&M has had “its products ­removed from several major e-commerce retailers,” The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board note, while Chinese “celebrities cut ties with Nike, as netizens rained scorn on the brands” on Chinese social media. The companies issued statements last year “decrying forced labor in the concentration camps Beijing operates to imprison Uighurs in Xinjiang” — a ­region known for cotton production. The Chinese Communist Party’s sinister response: “to use China’s market power as leverage to shut down critics anywhere in the world.” 

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board 

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