Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

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Is Barack Obama Really a Good Friend to Israel? See the Video

   Bookmark and Share   While Mitt Romney did a good job in the last presidential debate, there was one thing I really think he was remiss in not pointing out.  When the topic of Israel came up, the Governor should have mentioned the unprecedented proposal that President Obama made in 2011 when he told Israel to adopt its 1967 borders. (See the video at the bottom of this post)

With all the attempts by President Obama to claim that he has established the strongest relationship with Israel of any previous President, there are many facts which contradict that claim. Between his refusal to ever visit Israel during his entire term in office, his recent refusal to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while Bebe was visiting the U.S. last month, and a history of Obama snubbing the Prime Minister on many occasions prior to that, it is clear that the American relationship with Israel is not as warm and close as it has been under previous presidents. But one of the most egregious acts against Israel committed by President Obama was his attempt to have Israel return to its indefensible 1967 borders.   It is a point which has not gotten the attention that it should in this election but for good reason, it must.

By trying to have Israel return it’s pre-1967 borders, President Obama was providing Arab states and the Palestinians with the ability to launch ground and missile attacks on the Jewish state with ease.  As explained in this video, a return to those borders would make it impossible for Israel to effectively defend itself against the enemies who surround them and have a great capacity to exploit added opportunities to launch ground and missile attacks.  Yet this is the position that Barack Obama proposed one of closest allies in the world to put themselves in.

During the last presidential debate, Mitt Romney had multiple chances to remind voters of this major Obama foreign policy initiative. And he should have.  At one point Romney reminded voters about Obama’s the apology tour to the Middle East he went on when first coming to office.  Governor Romney reminded us that while the President took the opportunity to fly to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq, he skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region.  It was around then that Romney should have at some point pivoted to President Obama’s 1967 border proposal by adding that while he has apologized to audiences that consisted of our enemies, he has also asked our friends to make fatal concessions to our enemies.  In this case it was a concession that would have moved Israel closer to extinction.

Obama’s attempt to have Israel adopt indefensible borders is a major issue.  It is another sign of his bass ackwards policies.  Policies which seek to placate our enemies and offend our allies.  A policy that is more in the best interests of enemies than our own nation.

When it comes to the Middle East, Israel is the only nation in the region that the United States need not fear a terrorist attack from.  If it is not our only real friend in the Middle East, it is certainly our best.  For that reason alone, it should not have a so-called friend who makes it easier for Israel’s enemies to destroy them.  Yet that is a part of the Obama foreign policy which was not mentioned in any of the debates.  So I have prepared the following video to make the point that Mitt failed to and that others have forget to.

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Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech at VMI – Full Video and Transcript

  Bookmark and Share  In what was an extraordinary statement of American leadership and strength, Mitt Romney offered the nation a major foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute which echoed a forceful call for peace through strength and clarity of purpose.  Romney’s speech presented a national security and foreign policy vision that starkly contrasted with President Obama’s failing and muddled, lead-from-behind policy direction by outlining a definitive role for America in the community of nations. (See video and transcript of the speech below)

Romney’s well delivered and eloquent outline of his foreign policy vision focused on the turmoil brewing in Libya, Egypt, and Syria, where he said Obama has “failed” to lead but he also outlined his intention to restore and maintain America’s strength, especially in the case of America’s naval force which Romney pointed out is currently  at a level  not seen since 1916.

While the speech may not get the attention that it deserves, those who do take the time to listen to it will find themselves walking away with a sense of Mitt Romney that leaves them feeling confident in Mitt Romney and what is his unambiguous foreign policy direction for the nation.  Romney’s speech presented him with an opportunity to be presidential and he took full advantage of that opportunity by proving to be a clearheaded leader with the ability and plan to put the nation on a foreign policy path that will put America in  control of circumstances rather than place America at the mercy of circumstances.

Complete Transcript of Romney’s Speech

For more than 170 years, VMI has done more than educate students. It has guided their transformation into citizens, and warriors, and leaders. VMI graduates have served with honor in our nation’s defense, just as many are doing today in Afghanistan and other lands. Since the September 11th attacks, many of VMI’s sons and daughters have defended America, and I mourn with you the 15 brave souls who have been lost. I join you in praying for the many VMI graduates and all Americans who are now serving in harm’s way. May God bless all who serve, and all who have served.

Of all the VMI graduates, none is more distinguished than George Marshall—the Chief of Staff of the Army who became Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, who helped to vanquish fascism and then planned Europe’s rescue from despair. His commitment to peace was born of his direct knowledge of the awful costs and consequences of war.

General Marshall once said, “The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.” Those words were true in his time—and they still echo in ours.

Last month, our nation was attacked again. A U.S. Ambassador and three of our fellow Americans are dead—murdered in Benghazi, Libya. Among the dead were three veterans. All of them were fine men, on a mission of peace and friendship to a nation that dearly longs for both. President Obama has said that Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues represented the best of America. And he is right. We all mourn their loss.

The attacks against us in Libya were not an isolated incident. They were accompanied by anti-American riots in nearly two dozen other countries, mostly in the Middle East, but also in Africa and Asia. Our embassies have been attacked. Our flag has been burned. Many of our citizens have been threatened and driven from their overseas homes by vicious mobs, shouting “Death to America.” These mobs hoisted the black banner of Islamic extremism over American embassies on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

As the dust settles, as the murdered are buried, Americans are asking how this happened, how the threats we face have grown so much worse, and what this calls on America to do. These are the right questions. And I have come here today to offer a larger perspective on these tragic recent events—and to share with you, and all Americans, my vision for a freer, more prosperous, and more peaceful world.

The attacks on America last month should not be seen as random acts. They are expressions of a larger struggle that is playing out across the broader Middle East—a region that is now in the midst of the most profound upheaval in a century. And the fault lines of this struggle can be seen clearly in Benghazi itself.

The attack on our Consulate in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012 was likely the work of forces affiliated with those that attacked our homeland on September 11th, 2001. This latest assault cannot be blamed on a reprehensible video insulting Islam, despite the Administration’s attempts to convince us of that for so long. No, as the Administration has finally conceded, these attacks were the deliberate work of terrorists who use violence to impose their dark ideology on others, especially women and girls; who are fighting to control much of the Middle East today; and who seek to wage perpetual war on the West.

We saw all of this in Benghazi last month—but we also saw something else, something hopeful. After the attack on our Consulate, tens of thousands of Libyans, most of them young people, held a massive protest in Benghazi against the very extremists who murdered our people. They waved signs that read, “The Ambassador was Libya’s friend” and “Libya is sorry.” They chanted “No to militias.” They marched, unarmed, to the terrorist compound. Then they burned it to the ground. As one Libyan woman said, “We are not going to go from darkness to darkness.”

This is the struggle that is now shaking the entire Middle East to its foundation. It is the struggle of millions and millions of people—men and women, young and old, Muslims, Christians and non-believers—all of whom have had enough of the darkness. It is a struggle for the dignity that comes with freedom, and opportunity, and the right to live under laws of our own making. It is a struggle that has unfolded under green banners in the streets of Iran, in the public squares of Tunisia and Egypt and Yemen, and in the fights for liberty in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Libya, and now Syria. In short, it is a struggle between liberty and tyranny, justice and oppression, hope and despair.

We have seen this struggle before. It would be familiar to George Marshall. In his time, in the ashes of world war, another critical part of the world was torn between democracy and despotism. Fortunately, we had leaders of courage and vision, both Republicans and Democrats, who knew that America had to support friends who shared our values, and prevent today’s crises from becoming tomorrow’s conflicts.

Statesmen like Marshall rallied our nation to rise to its responsibilities as the leader of the free world. We helped our friends to build and sustain free societies and free markets. We defended our friends, and ourselves, from our common enemies. We led. And though the path was long and uncertain, the thought of war in Europe is as inconceivable today as it seemed inevitable in the last century.

This is what makes America exceptional: It is not just the character of our country—it is the record of our accomplishments. America has a proud history of strong, confident, principled global leadership—a history that has been written by patriots of both parties. That is America at its best. And it is the standard by which we measure every President, as well as anyone who wishes to be President. Unfortunately, this President’s policies have not been equal to our best examples of world leadership. And nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East.

I want to be very clear: The blame for the murder of our people in Libya, and the attacks on our embassies in so many other countries, lies solely with those who carried them out—no one else. But it is the responsibility of our President to use America’s great power to shape history—not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events. Unfortunately, that is exactly where we find ourselves in the Middle East under President Obama.

The relationship between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel, our closest ally in the region, has suffered great strains. The President explicitly stated that his goal was to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel. And he has succeeded. This is a dangerous situation that has set back the hope of peace in the Middle East and emboldened our mutual adversaries, especially Iran.

Iran today has never been closer to a nuclear weapons capability. It has never posed a greater danger to our friends, our allies, and to us. And it has never acted less deterred by America, as was made clear last year when Iranian agents plotted to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in our nation’s capital. And yet, when millions of Iranians took to the streets in June of 2009, when they demanded freedom from a cruel regime that threatens the world, when they cried out, “Are you with us, or are you with them?”—the American President was silent.

Across the greater Middle East, as the joy born from the downfall of dictators has given way to the painstaking work of building capable security forces, and growing economies, and developing democratic institutions, the President has failed to offer the tangible support that our partners want and need.

In Iraq, the costly gains made by our troops are being eroded by rising violence, a resurgent Al-Qaeda, the weakening of democracy in Baghdad, and the rising influence of Iran. And yet, America’s ability to influence events for the better in Iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence. The President tried—and failed—to secure a responsible and gradual drawdown that would have better secured our gains.

The President has failed to lead in Syria, where more than 30,000 men, women, and children have been massacred by the Assad regime over the past 20 months. Violent extremists are flowing into the fight. Our ally Turkey has been attacked. And the conflict threatens stability in the region.

America can take pride in the blows that our military and intelligence professionals have inflicted on Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including the killing of Osama bin Laden. These are real achievements won at a high cost. But Al-Qaeda remains a strong force in Yemen and Somalia, in Libya and other parts of North Africa, in Iraq, and now in Syria. And other extremists have gained ground across the region. Drones and the modern instruments of war are important tools in our fight, but they are no substitute for a national security strategy for the Middle East.

The President is fond of saying that “The tide of war is receding.” And I want to believe him as much as anyone. But when we look at the Middle East today—with Iran closer than ever to nuclear weapons capability, with the conflict in Syria threating to destabilize the region, with violent extremists on the march, and with an American Ambassador and three others dead likely at the hands of Al-Qaeda affiliates— it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the President took office.

I know the President hopes for a safer, freer, and a more prosperous Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy. We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds, when our defense spending is being arbitrarily and deeply cut, when we have no trade agenda to speak of, and the perception of our strategy is not one of partnership, but of passivity.

The greater tragedy of it all is that we are missing an historic opportunity to win new friends who share our values in the Middle East—friends who are fighting for their own futures against the very same violent extremists, and evil tyrants, and angry mobs who seek to harm us. Unfortunately, so many of these people who could be our friends feel that our President is indifferent to their quest for freedom and dignity. As one Syrian woman put it, “We will not forget that you forgot about us.”

It is time to change course in the Middle East. That course should be organized around these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might. No friend of America will question our commitment to support them… no enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them… and no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America’s capability to back up our words.

I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. I will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on Iran, and will tighten the sanctions we currently have. I will restore the permanent presence of aircraft carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf region—and work with Israel to increase our military assistance and coordination. For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions—not just words—that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated.

I will reaffirm our historic ties to Israel and our abiding commitment to its security—the world must never see any daylight between our two nations.

I will deepen our critical cooperation with our partners in the Gulf.

And I will roll back President Obama’s deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military. I will make the critical defense investments that we need to remain secure. The decisions we make today will determine our ability to protect America tomorrow. The first purpose of a strong military is to prevent war.

The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916. I will restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines. I will implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats. And on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin. And I will call on our NATO allies to keep the greatest military alliance in history strong by honoring their commitment to each devote 2 percent of their GDP to security spending. Today, only 3 of the 28 NATO nations meet this benchmark.

I will make further reforms to our foreign assistance to create incentives for good governance, free enterprise, and greater trade, in the Middle East and beyond. I will organize all assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with responsibility and accountability to prioritize efforts and produce results. I will rally our friends and allies to match our generosity with theirs. And I will make it clear to the recipients of our aid that, in return for our material support, they must meet the responsibilities of every decent modern government—to respect the rights of all of their citizens, including women and minorities… to ensure space for civil society, a free media, political parties, and an independent judiciary… and to abide by their international commitments to protect our diplomats and our property.

I will champion free trade and restore it as a critical element of our strategy, both in the Middle East and across the world. The President has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years. I will reverse that failure. I will work with nations around the world that are committed to the principles of free enterprise, expanding existing relationships and establishing new ones.

I will support friends across the Middle East who share our values, but need help defending them and their sovereignty against our common enemies.

In Libya, I will support the Libyan people’s efforts to forge a lasting government that represents all of them, and I will vigorously pursue the terrorists who attacked our consulate in Benghazi and killed Americans.

In Egypt, I will use our influence—including clear conditions on our aid—to urge the new government to represent all Egyptians, to build democratic institutions, and to maintain its peace treaty with Israel. And we must persuade our friends and allies to place similar stipulations on their aid.

In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no less vigorously with our international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran—rather than sitting on the sidelines. It is essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East.

And in Afghanistan, I will pursue a real and successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. President Obama would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions in Afghanistan is arguing for endless war. But the route to more war – and to potential attacks here at home – is a politically timed retreat that abandons the Afghan people to the same extremists who ravaged their country and used it to launch the attacks of 9/11. I will evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.

Finally, I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the President has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new President will bring the chance to begin anew.

There is a longing for American leadership in the Middle East—and it is not unique to that region. It is broadly felt by America’s friends and allies in other parts of the world as well— in Europe, where Putin’s Russia casts a long shadow over young democracies, and where our oldest allies have been told we are “pivoting” away from them … in Asia and across the Pacific, where China’s recent assertiveness is sending chills through the region … and here in our own hemisphere, where our neighbors in Latin America want to resist the failed ideology of Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers and deepen ties with the United States on trade, energy, and security. But in all of these places, just as in the Middle East, the question is asked: “Where does America stand?”

I know many Americans are asking a different question: “Why us?” I know many Americans are asking whether our country today—with our ailing economy, and our massive debt, and after 11 years at war—is still capable of leading.

I believe that if America does not lead, others will—others who do not share our interests and our values—and the world will grow darker, for our friends and for us. America’s security and the cause of freedom cannot afford four more years like the last four years. I am running for President because I believe the leader of the free world has a duty, to our citizens, and to our friends everywhere, to use America’s great influence—wisely, with solemnity and without false pride, but also firmly and actively—to shape events in ways that secure our interests, further our values, prevent conflict, and make the world better—not perfect, but better.

Our friends and allies across the globe do not want less American leadership. They want more—more of our moral support, more of our security cooperation, more of our trade, and more of our assistance in building free societies and thriving economies. So many people across the world still look to America as the best hope of humankind. So many people still have faith in America. We must show them that we still have faith in ourselves—that we have the will and the wisdom to revive our stagnant economy, to roll back our unsustainable debt, to reform our government, to reverse the catastrophic cuts now threatening our national defense, to renew the sources of our great power, and to lead the course of human events.

Sir Winston Churchill once said of George Marshall: “He … always fought victoriously against defeatism, discouragement, and disillusion.” That is the role our friends want America to play again. And it is the role we must play.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity.

The torch America carries is one of decency and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

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Still Missing from the Democratic Platform… Hamas and the Right of Return

Under direct orders from the President, on Wednesday, Democrat Party leaders amended their platform to include references to God and to formally acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  As shown here, the amendments were passed, but only after most of the delegates actually opposed adopting those amendments.  But between the initial omissions of those two references and the controversial overriding of the wishes of the delegates to pass the amendments which put those references back in to the platform, two other very sensitive omissions regarding the 2012 Democratic platform and our alliance with Israel have been lost in the mix.  They are the omission of any direct reference to Hamas and acknowledging it as a terrorist organizatio.  And while the language declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel has been restored against the wishes of Democrats delegates, President Obama and his Party’s leaders failed to restore any of the Right of Return language that gives full meaning to recognizing Jerusalem as the Jewish capital.

In 2008, the Democratic Party platform read;

“The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.”

In 2012, the platform reads;

“We will insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel’s right to exist, reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements.”

Gone is any specific reference to Hamas and the requirement to renounce terrorism.  As explained by Daniel Greenfield for Frontpage.com in a piece entitled the “Democratic Party’s New Pro-Hamas Platform”, the use of the phrase “any partner” is quite significant.  According to Greenfield’

“The standard assumption was that the Palestinian Authority under Fatah was the default partner. That’s gone now. The generic “partner” represents an end of exclusivity for the PA and a shift to Hamas. The language is a blank space into which any “partner” can now fit. The old language for Hamas has now become the default language for a Palestinian “partner”, yet to be named, but clearly meant to be Hamas.  The three demands, right to exist, rejection of violence and adherence to existing agreements, sound reasonable, but they’re meaningless. The US decided that Fatah met all three, even though it spent a decade violating all three. “Existing agreements” rather than “Past agreements” is also a significant goal-shift.”

In light of these facts, it would seem that the comedy of errors and controversies surrounding the Jerusalem and God amendments to their platform, may have actually unintentionally created a beneficial distraction for Democrats which has taken our eye off the ball.   After four years of alienating Israel by doing everything from walk out on Netanyahu during a White House meeting and going to eat dinner with his family, to calling upon Israel to return to it’s indefensible 1967 borders, President Obama has proven himself to not be one of Israel’s greatest allies.  In fact he has often gone out of his way to show himself to be more sympathetic for the cause of Israel’s enemies than for Israel.  Now, thanks to the new phrasing of the Democrat platform, President Obama will have greater flexibility to poke his fingers in to the eyes of Israel.   According to Greenfield some of the other most most significant differences in the new Democratic platform come in terms of specific commitments.  Greenfield writes;

The 2008 platform had a number of specific commitments. The most significant ones were “Peace-Supportive Commitments”, assurances from the United States that limit the scope of concessions that Israel will be asked to make.

He adds;

“For example when the 2008 DNC platform said, “l understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. ” This was a way of reassuring Israel that if it continues negotiating, it will not lose its shirt. These commitments were almost meaningless and destructive, because the United States did not actually abide by them. But removing them is a signal that Obama 2.0 will not make any commitments to Israel in return for continued negotiations, besides some of the usual joints arms development and sales that are popular with Congressmen and Senators with defense industries in their districts.”

Essentially it comes down to is this.  While the headlines are bouncing back and forth between Democrats first first not recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in their platform then adding back in and then throwing in additional headlines about the controversy regarding whether or not the Democrat delegates actually supported the amendment, most news sources are not discussing the other important issues here.  They are not addressing the fact that the new language in the 2012 platform and the deletion of specific language from the old 2008 platform makes it easier for a second Obama term to pursue a more pro-Hamas agenda and anti-Israel agenda than we saw pursued in the first term of President Obama.

 

 

Democrat Leaders Amend The Party Platform Over the Objections of the Party Faithful


In what can only be described as a major embarrassment to President Obama and his Party, the second day of the Democratic National Convention kicked off with a controversy that is sure to tarnish liberals for months if not years to come.  One day after Democrats adopted a platform that did not want to acknowledge God by name and for the first time ever, refused to refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the liberal Party leaders and managers of those behind the Obama reelection effort, quickly decided to amend the previously approved Party platform by adding the word God and a line stipulating Jerusalem as the capital of Israel back into their platform.

The embarrassing and deeply disturbing part of this attempt to correct the previously approved position of the liberal Democratic Party came when convention chair, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stood before the delegates gathered at the Times Warner Arena and asked for a voice vote on the amendment.  Passage required two thirds supports and when he asked for all those delegates who supported passage of the amendment to signify so by saying aye, a reasonably large number shouted “aye”.  But when he asked those who opposed the amendment to signify so by saying no, the response he received was louder and stronger than than the one he heard from those who approved the two amendments.  The reaction visibly stunned Villaraigosa and left him an uncomforatble position of making a ruling that Obama reelection strategists wanted him to make in defiance of a democratic vote that clearly opposed the will of the liberal strategists.  After standing in shock for a brief moment, Villaraigosa asked delegates to vote on the two amendments for a second time.

This time the nays in opposition of the two amendments was even louder than they were in the first vote.  Clearly two thirds of the delegates did not wish to acknowledge God in their or platform and they did not want to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  In fact as seen in the video, many of them vehemently both notions.

But following his marching orders from the Party hierarchy, Villaraigosa ruled the amendments as passed.

It was not only a major public demonstration of anti-democratic behavior at the Democratic National Convention it was also proof positive of just how truly out of touch the liberal base of the Democratic Party that is represented by President Obama actually is.  Many of the delegates voting on the two amendments were vehemently opposed to the pro-Israel position and the nod to any respect for religion.

The issue would have been avoided if Democrats and the President initially insisted that their Party platform acknowledged God and that it recognized Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel  from the very beginning.  Both are basic to most Americans but after forgetting to make those points in the initial Democratic platform, the Party leaders unwittingly made it possible to record for all the world that most Democrats don’t hold those same beliefs.

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The left will say anything to win in 2012, even if it is verifiably false.  The latest example comes from the attempts by the left to woo the Jewish vote, even after embracing a disastrous foreign policy that has left anti-Israel coalitions in charge of Egypt and threatening to take over Syria.  Nancy Pelosi, when asked about the Jewish vote claimed that Republicans were exploiting them and that President Obama has “visited Israel over and over”.  This, of course, is not true.  In fact, as President, Obama has never visited Israel.

The administration has embraced a strategy of generally influencing public opinion.  They have no policies to run on and facts are not on their side.  However, they have written off both.  Obama’s claims regarding Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital have been proven to be false.  Yet, Obama continues to follow that line of attack with hopes that the negativity towards Romney will influence and control public sentiment.

Obama has also predictably tried to convince people that he is a tax cutter and Romney would increase taxes.  This is laughable considering simply the taxes in Obamacare alone.  Nevermind that Obama wants to raise taxes for people making over $200,000 by letting the Bush tax cuts expire, and the Democrat party has signaled they are ready to raise taxes across the board if that’s what it would take to get the tax hikes they want.  Obama is running as a tax cutter because the tax hikes he has already passed don’t go into effect until next year.  These include a poor tax on people who can’t afford health insurance.

Obama has fought furiously to backtrack and redo what he said about business owners not building their own businesses.  He claims that his words were taken out of context and what he really meant is that he wants to help business owners build their businesses.  Again, verifiably false but he says it anyway in order to influence public sentiment.

At times, Obama is even contradicting himself.  After the Colorado shooting, Obama told the Urban League that he would leave no stone unturned in finding ways to prevent another incident like this and suggested “common sense” gun control measures.  At the same time, fearing 2nd amendment supporters, the Whitehouse swore that they would not be pushing new gun control laws.  Incidentally, the Democrats then attempted to stick gun control measures into a cyber security bill.  Obama should take a lesson from John Kerry: pandering can backfire when both sides find out about it.

Pelosi and Obama are sure to discover this as they try to pander to Jewish voters while working on their anti-Israel base.  It’s going to be difficult to keep playing both sides of the fence, especially when gestures like increasing funding to Israel right before Romney’s visit come across as merely political.

A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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