Obama’s Red Badge of Courage

From listening to the tale retold, you would think that not only was Obama on Seal Team 6, but that the choice to pull the trigger was as a more difficult decision then say giving military the order to shoot down civilian planes, as one President did ten and a half years ago.

Don’t get me wrong.  Obama deserves as much credit for giving the kill order as Bush does for letting the CIA waterboard the terrorists who eventually gave Bin Laden up through actionable intelligence.    In fact, the one thing the Bin Laden anniversary should do is bring the country together.  Instead, Obama has made a political blunder by seeking to use the Bin Laden killing for divisive political gain.

Obama has released an ad suggesting that the decision he made to allow Seal Team 6 to take out Bin Laden is a decision Mitt Romney would not have made.

The only word I could think of to describe this crazy political  attack is disgusting.  The next word that comes to mind is ridiculously unbelievable, which is a reputation that Obama cannot afford.  Obama won 2008 based on a fraudulent image of George W. Bush and Sarah Palin which was promulgated by an overzealous media and semi-unbelievable overselling of hope and change.  Now that 2012 is here and Obama’s hope and change have not materialized, he is in desperate need of credibility.  This idea that he is the hero of the Bin Laden raid and Romney would have flinched destroys Obama’s credibility even with the most ardent leftists.

But this blunder also highlights a bit of Obama hypocrisy that can only hurt his chances in 2012.  When things go bad, Obama finds a scape goat.  Three and a half years later, he is still blaming the last eight years.  When things go good, even if he simply gave the go on a plan that started with an invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, included waterboarding, and was only possible because of the intelligence community and strong military who he has sought to minimize and defund, Obama suddenly is riding a metaphorical victory chariot in full military garb through the cities.  Ironically, Obama campaigned on shutting down Gitmo and ending the wars.  I’m sure those are two promises Obama is pretty happy he failed to keep.

The two days of the Obama administration that we haven’t felt the full contempt of the left towards the military were the day Obama gave the order to take out Bin Laden, and the one year anniversary.  In fact, the Democrats used the military as a pawn in budget talks when Obama had spent us out of house and home.

Whether they approve or disapprove of military spending or war,  I would have to think that at some point news outlets would have their own reputations to think about.  Obama has skipped through this Presidency like a comic character in a movie, surrounded by straightmen who clean up after him.  The media has happily turned their heads as though the only reality is the one they report.  But moves like this that display unbelievability and hypocrisy will change American minds.

For those who continue to either blindly follow Obama, or put up with his gaffes for the “greater good”, I hope they at least pause for a moment and think: It would have been nice if the President used today to unite the country.  It would have been nice if he allowed liberals and conservatives to raise their glasses together and toast the death of one of the most infamous war criminals in American history.  Instead, Obama tried to make today all about his re-election.

And that’s time

In a short hour and a half, made up of minute responses and thirty second followups, the GOP candidates once again took the stage to answer questions from semi-respectful moderators.  In a debate most looked forward to by Ron Paul fans, Paul received very little time. We have seen pretty much all there is to be seen about candidate style, and many of these questions were repeats.  So here are the winners and losers:

The Good

Mitt Romney won this debate.  His answers were calming, yet clear and determined.  He portrayed the very stature Americans are looking for in a Commander in Chief, and he highlighted American Exceptionalism.  This area is a strong suit for Mitt, and one that does not involve any sort of past flip flops or policy changes.  His answers should give him a bump among social conservatives who are inspired by terms like American Exceptionalism.

Newt at one point had to school the moderators on war versus criminal law.  In some ways this debate seemed frustrating for Newt, but that is an aspect of him his followers often like to see.  Newt brings the fight to the moderators and to the left and usually wins.  Many of his answers were right on, but others were somewhat vague.  One thing that Newt will lose points for is how loosely he called for covert operations in countries like Iran and Syria.  This is something Newt has brought up as a policy in debates and speeches in the past, but is something better left unsaid.

Jon Huntsman did well in the debate.  The question on a tradewar with China is a favorite of most media moderators because it gives them a chance to toss Huntsman an easy softball.    Foreign policy hits many of Huntsman’s strong points without touching many of the issues that conservatives hate him for.  It won’t matter though, Huntsman is done.

The Bad

Santorum did pretty well.  He has the unfortunate bad luck of being a candidate on the back end of two long wars and sharing a policy that sounds eerily like Bush’s.  On the other hand, Santorum seemed to be saying that we need to keep funding Pakistan and being their friend because they have a Nuke.  True or not, Santorum is not going to win American hearts saying implying that we must borrow from China to pay off Pakistan to be our friend.

I have a feeling that media moderators purposefully cut Paul’s debate time short on debates like this to get his supporters riled up.  Get ready, we are going to hear about that for the next week or so.  Paul didn’t do bad for most of the debate, but some of his stances are really not correct.  The idea that the United States must capture a citizen who has declared war on the United States and bring them in to face civilian court, or that non-uniformed terrorists have any sort of rights under US law is wrong and violates precedent.  Gingrich and Perry were absolutely right on those counts.  Paul’s supporters were being their typical selves in the debate as well, to the point where the mods had to admonish them to be respectful.  They are another liability of Paul’s with the overall GOP.

Herman Cain reminded me a lot of Rick Perry in recent debates.  Without 9-9-9 to fall back on, Cain was slow in responses, vague, and seemed as though he would happily defer to a future self, surrounded by knowledgeable generals and advisers.  That’s great, but that is not leadership.  In that respect, Huntsman showed up Cain, and even Gingrich, when he said if a nuke was loose in Pakistan he would secure it.  Cain really did not give a performance that screamed “I am a leader”.  Instead, each response sounded like “How can I answer this without ruining my campaign”.

The Ugly

Michele Bachmann continues to be unimpressive and unmemorable.  She scored some points rebutting Ron Paul, but seemed to spend most of the night trying to get the moderators to let her respond to other candidates.  She also seemed to get less time.  However, I will give her a great deal of credit for her answers on ways to trim military spending without hurting the military.

Rick Perry still doesn’t debate well.  And once again he found himself as the butt of several jokes, made both by the moderators, himself, and Senator Graham.  Perry’s idea of zero based budgeting for foreign aide is a great idea, but the only reason it’s his is because he got to say it first.  Gingrich and Romeny both articulated it better when Perry was done.

But allow me a Newt Gingrich moment to say this.  The real loser was Barack Obama.  The candidates made it clear, once again, that every single one of them would run foreign policy better than Obama.  Several drove home the point that Obama had a range of good choices and bad choices and made all the bad ones and none of the good ones.  The only ambivalent candidate who actually seemed to end up on Obama’s side for some things was Ron Paul.  This is one of the aspects of Newt Gingrich’s leadership because he has focused these debates on defeating Barack Obama, and when Newt sets the tone the other candidates usually follow.

The First Presidential Debate. How’d They Do?

Bookmark and Share The first Republican presidential debate of the 2012 election most likely did little to influence the electoral fortunes of any of its participants. The forum did however provide many concerned voters with a decent introduction to candidates like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and Gary Johnson. As for the fifth debate participant, Congressman Ron Paul, many already know him and for those who do, Paul provided the consistency of his mix of true fiscal conservatism and Libertarian isolationism.

If one had to name a winner of the night, that decision might range widely. Initially, Herman Cain seems to have had the most impact among viewers who got their first real look at him. As I predicted in a previous post, Herman Cain did produce some of the wow factor that he has come to be known for. But in the final analysis I would have to say that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty got the most out of the night. While each of the candidates were gaffe free, Pawlentys performance was poised, polished and presidential. He demonstrated a clear level of confidence and comfort that helped convey both a command of the issues and the capacity to be a formidable force as the 2012 presidential campaign moves forward. Igt wasn’t the showstopper that he needs to become an automatic frontrunner, but it was the type of performance that keeps him in the top tier of the field.

The opening question was thrown to Governor Pawlenty who was asked about the statement he made a month ago in which he called President Obama weak. Moderator Brett Baier asked the Governor if he thought President Obama still looked week after the successful mission that killed Osama bin Laden? Governor Pawlenty made sure to give the President credit for his decision but he added that moment is not the sum total of Americas foreign policy.

In a similar question, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum bluntly stated that all the things President Obama has done right in foreign policy are continuations of Bush policies He cited the Presidents continuation of the Gitmo policy, finishing the mission in Iraq, and continuing our efforts in Afghanistan, as proof of his point.

On Afghanistan, Herman Cain claimed to not necessarily be willing toannouncea final decision on the war in Afghanistan until he was in a position where all the facts that only a President is privy to, are before him. Pointing to his successful business career he added that he takes pride in making an informed decision. Cain did however make some good points in insuring that wemust define our mission in Afghanistan more clearly than it currently is.

As for Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, they shared the position that the United States should pull out of Afghanistan no later than tomorrow. Paul did however go further by claiming that now that bin Laden has been taken care of, we should end our efforts in Afghanistan because it hasnt helped us or anybody in the Middle East. That statement will be seen by many as a slap in the face to the men and women who continue to keep the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the run and are insuring that Afghanistan does not again become a breeding and training ground for the type of terrorism that was responsible for 9/11 and triggering the War on Terror.

The sharpest exchange of the evening came when the issue of enhanced interrogation came up.

Tim Pawlenty offered support for such extreme measures and in an impassioned defense of his position, explained that if possible, the terrorists would havekilled not 3,000 Americans, not 30,000 Americans but 300,000 Americans if they could have on 9/11 and in response to that harsh reality, harsh policies may at times be necessary.

When all the candidates were asked to indicate, by a show of hands, if they would support the use of enhanced interrogation tactics under certain circumstances, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum raised their hands. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Congressman Ron Paul did not. When moderator Chris Wallace pointed this out, Ron Paul stated that such tactics dont achieve anything. To which Rick Santorum interrupted with Paul thats just not true. Santorum proceeded to argue that the information obtained through enhanced interrogation tactics of detainees at Gitmo was responsible for the information that led to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. He then punctuated the point by reminding the Congressman we wouldnt have been able to make the raid in Pakistan had we not been in Afghanistan

At that point, Herman Cain chimed in and recalled the remarks of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who two months after 9/11 said that the terrorists objective is to kill all of us, and in what turned out to produce one of the nights most rousing spontaneous round of applause added so yes I support using whatever means possible to protect the people of this nation.

On the economy, the budget and taxes, all agreed that President Obama is helplessly lost on the issue and generally agreed upon reforms to Medicare and reductions in spending. For his part, Herman Cain called for an elimination of all taxes in exchange for a 28% Fair Tax. Both Cain and Governor Johnson called for the elimination of all Corporate taxes.

In total, most all the candidates performed adequately. Probably the least inspiring though was Gary Johnson. Johnson seemed a little awkward and failed to distinguish himself from Ron Paul by demonstrating that unlike Paul, as a Governor, Johnson didnt just preach the virtues of his Libertarian-Republican philosophy, he actually implemented it. Beyond that, Johnson did find it necessary to at one point step out of order to remind the debates questioners, that he was there and that maybe they should not direct all their questions to just his four opponents.

For his part, Herman Cains first appearance to the nation, within the context of a presidential campaign, was a success. While it may not have been the breakout performance he really needs, the particular debate format he was kept to, gave no one a real chance to achieve such a thing. Ultimately, he proved himself to be exceptionally worthy of consideration for the job he is seeking.

Ron Pauls participation in the debate allowed him to offer his usual compelling arguments but continued to put forth his policy positions with a type of rigidity and extremism that make them seem unrealistic to most voters. And while there were some obnoxious yells from the crowd that are typical of some within the Paul fan base, he did little to expand his base of support and to pull himself out of his normal single digit or low teens election returns.

As for Rick Santorum, while he showed himself to be viable, the greatest benefit that he got from the debate was a definite shoring up of the social conservative base which at the moment, is all that is really keeping his fledging campaign in the game.

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AP Gets Early Start on Nov 2nd, 2012 Headlines

A Perfect GOP Candidate Is Hard To Find. Yes, that is the unbiased AP headline of a story published today by AP writer Phillip Elliot. Elliot then presents us with an expose on exactly why every potential Republican candidate in the 2012 primary season is unworthy of Republican votes.

John Huntsman worked as an ambassador for Obama. Mitt Romney implemented Romneycare in Massachusetts. Newt Gingrich had two affairs and two failed marriages. Sarah Palin has had “countless impolitical moments”.

An infamous premature headline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For every potential candidate, Elliot has a reason why they should lose.

Santorum is no good, he lost a Senate election in 2006. I wonder if Elliot knows that Abraham Lincoln lost the 1858 Senate race to Stephen Douglas, before defeating that same Stephen Douglas two years later in the Presidential race.

Tim Pawlenty apparently is too much into green energy. And of course, Haley Barbour is a racist, southern hick.

Of course, no freshman Republican is even considered in this article. After all, anyone can tell you that two years as a Senator does not give someone enough experience to run for President. Not if you are a Republican, that is.

I don’t remember the article about finding the perfect Democrat candidate in 2012. If Barbour has to defend his statements on segregation, should Obama defend his anti-white statements in his books? What about Obama’s church affiliation? How about his many “impolitical moments”?

Beyond mere gaffs and embarrassing associations, Obama brought us the failed stimulus plan that increased our debt over a trillion dollars with nothing to show for it. He gave us the unconstitutional Obamacare law and is currently in contempt of court for his executive order banning oil drilling in parts of the gulf. Obama’s attorney general has refused to follow through with voter intimidation prosecutions, refused to uphold more than one federal law on the books, and has betrayed his own racist leanings. Obama has now plunged us into a conflict with Libya where no one seems to know what the goals or end game is and where the only objective seems to be to blow stuff up but ensure that we are not responsible for winning.

But it’s not just Republicans who have reasons to not re-elect Obama. After promising to walk the picket lines wherever union rights are being denied, Obama was absent in the union showdown of our generation in Wisconsin. Obama has reversed his promise to close Guantanamo Bay, and continues to push back the date to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Obama’s legacy in Afghanistan is a surge strategy headed up by General David Petreaus. While Republicans are frustrated by the incompetent handling of the attacks on Libya, Democrats (if they are consistent) should be upset that we are getting involved at all. Obama is turning out to be more of a war hawk than his predecessor. He went back on his campaign promise to avoid an insurance mandate, skipped single payer, and extended the Bush tax cuts.

Where is the AP story about how hard it is to find a perfect Democrat candidate for 2012? The story of the 2012 election is not written yet. That is up to the voters. Do we want four more years of President Barack Obama?

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