Ronald Reagan vs George W. Bush

Obama screwed up.  Instead of portraying Romney as George W. Bush, which has been a major campaign goal of the left, he instead tied Romney to Ronald Reagan.  Oh, Obama was so clever.  “The 80s called, they want their foreign policy back”.  The modified version of the old high school punchline is backfiring.

The problem with tying Romney to 1980s foreign policy is that we didn’t fight any major wars during Reagan’s Presidency.  Instead, our greatest enemy sat across the ocean with thousands of nuclear warheads pointed at us, not daring to attack out of fear of mutual destruction, until eventually they just collapsed under the weight of their own oppressive economic system.  That’s a foreign policy I could live with.

Biden Smiling

The real reason we are out of Iraq

Contrast that with Obama, who defended the Bush doctrine with his surge in Afghanistan and his own foreign policy which came across as a comedy of errors.  Obama praised himself for getting us out of Iraq.  The truth is, he barely managed to keep to Bush’s timeline.  Then Obama tried to negotiate to keep some of our intelligence troops in Iraq, but he sent “Chuckles” Biden to secure the terms and we ended up getting kicked out of the country.  After all the work, and blood, we have little influence over the direction of Iraq and we share their friendship with Iran.  Great job, Mr. President.

Romney was no cowboy in the debate.  He was calm, collected, and unfortunately even pulled his punches.  But I would feel much more comfortable with Romney sitting across the table from our foreign leaders than Obama.  Obama’s cowboyish attacks and disrespect showed the greatest evidence for why his foreign policy is a trail of failure and disaster.  We can only pray that his meetings with foreign leaders didn’t follow the same tone.

And of course we saw arrogant Obama in the debate last night too.  When he talked about killingsmiling obama Bin Laden and having Bin Laden in his sites, I had to laugh.  I’m picturing Obama with a sniper rifle.  I wonder if it was just a Freudian slip when Bob Scheiffer accidentally said “Obama’s Bin Laden”.

Commentators can say what they want about Obama’s new found aggressiveness and ability to attack Romney with zingers, truth be damned.  But I think most American families watched last night and saw a clear choice between which candidate they would like to see sitting down with Assad’s replacement to discuss the future relationship between our country and Syria, or which candidate they would like to see negotiating how we end our involvement in Afghanistan.  Or perhaps which candidate they would like to see negotiating trade with China.  I think we would prefer Reagan-esque Romney to arrogant Obama and “Chuckles” Biden.  The 21st century called, and we could use a little 80s foreign policy.

How Will The Media’s Double Standard Play Out Regarding Obama’s Osama Ad?

Bookmark and Share   To mark the anniversary of Osama bin Laden receiving his just desserts, President Barack Obama decided to air an ad which suggested that his all but officially nominated Republican presidential opponent would not have given the go to the operation that allowed SEAL Team Six to do the job that brought bin Laden down.

The ad entitled “One Chance”, is based entirely on one quote made by Mitt Romney in an Associated Press interview back in April of 2007, some five years ago. The ad shows an incomplete quote from that interview as it reads “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person…”.

On its own, those words may seem to suggest that bringing justice to Osama bin Laden was not a priority for Mitt Romney, but for the record, the inference created by Team Obama after some very careful and artful political editing is totally incorrect.  When asked by the Associated Press,“Why haven’t we caught bin Laden in your opinion?”, Romney offered the following response;

“I think, I wouldn’t want to over-concentrate on bin Laden. He’s one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He’s by no means the only leader. It’s a very diverse group – Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person… Global Jihad is not an effort that is being populated by a handful or even a football stadium full of people. It is – it involves millions of people and is going to require a far more comprehensive strategy than a targeted approach for bin laden or a few of his associates.”

In other words, Romney suggested that while the capture or execution of bin Laden was desired, the AP reporter asking the question should try to not lose focus on the broader War on Terror which involves many more people than just Osama.  Clearly though, Mitt Romney did not suggest that he would not pursued bin Laden or that he would not have approved of the operation that led to his death, as inferred by the President’s ad.

But the story here is not that a rival candidate and his political campaign took his opponents words out of context.  This is politics folks and if you don’t know it yet, politics is all about perception.  Truth has little to do with it and reality is merely what those we elect can convince the majority of voters of.  Sad but very true.  And besides, Mitt Romney already did a similar thing to President Obama back in late November of 2011, when one of his own ads used a statement by the President to mislead voters.  Back then, the Romney campaign used video of the President giving a speech in which viewers saw and heard the President say;

“If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”

The problem is that those words actually came from candidate Obama in 2008 when he was quoting something supposedly said by the McCain campaign.

Then Senator Obama’s full quote was;

“Senator McCain’s campaign said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”.

So I guess you can say that the President’s new ad was simply payback to Romney.  Or you might say it is just politics as usual.

Or is it?

The story here is not that politicians are playing politics.  The story is all about what President Obama is playing politics with.

By exploiting the efforts of the the mission to bring justice to the ring leader responsible for one of nation’s darkest days in history, with a deceptive, misleading, political campaign ad, President Obama has demonstrated that nothing, absolutely nothing, is sacred in his attempt to hold on to power.  He could have been the better man here and accepted the nearly unanimous approval and credit he deservedly received for doing the right thing and allowing SEAL Team Six to do their job and not making a Bill Clinton-like call that allowed Osama to live another day.  He could have accepted that feather in his cap which Seal Team Six handed to him after they succeeded at their mission. But instead the President decided to suggest that only he was brave enough to make the decision that allowed our Special Ops forces to risk their lives and take down the most wanted man in the world.

President Obama deserved credit for making the right decision.  Afterall, I would have been the first to blame him if he made the wrong one.  The decision to go through with the operation was one of the only right decisions this President has made and as such, it could have been one of the few things he could legitimately get some praise for.  However, now that the President has taken the anniversary of the end of bin Laden’s rule of al Qaeda and used it to exploit the real heroes behind the event in such a nefarious and unscrupulous way, he now opens himself up to criticism for the one achievement during his Administration that most Americans can agree was good.

After this disgraceful interpretation of the effort to capture bin Laden I can’t help but wonder if getting bin Laden was really a priority on this President’s agenda for the nation.  It now seems to me  that it was merely a priority for his eventual reelection effort?  Afterall, President Obama was simply carrying out the search and search process for bin Laden that his predecessor, George W. Bush already had in place.  You do remember George W. Bush, the guy that President Obama blames everything on?  The guy who’s policies in the War on Terror and in Iraq and Afghanistan he criticized and contradicted but ultimately followed through on?  All of which begs the deeper question which is, does Barack Obama have his priorities straight?

Such criticism relating to the Osama bin Laden capture and kill mission might not have ever been raised had President Obama not been so willing to act so unpresidential and spike the ball after doing cartwheels on the field of play.  But the decision by the President and his campaign team to run this disturbingly tacky and dishonest ad in connection with such a sensitive topic, reveals to me that both he and his staff are nothing but disingenuous, tacky, and incompetent custodians of the Oval Office.  It also shows me that this President is scared.  So scared that he will go to any lengths to try and create a fictional national narrative that paints him in a positive light regardless of how dim, dismal, and debilitating he and his policies have been for our nation.

In the end, politicians taking politicians out of context is nothing new and the practice won’t come to an end anytime soon.  So maybe we really can’t attack either candidate for playing politics as usual.  But we can attack them for what they play politics with and for crossing any new lines that their lack of judgement allows them to.  This is just such an occassion.

Still, it would be nice to see the media do their job and hold President Obama accountable for his disingenuous conducts and deceitful distortions.  Just as we see here, when Communist Chris Matthews, the DNC bullhorn who moonlights as a responsible commentator on MSNBC, went after Mitt Romney when he took President Obama out of context this past November.  But who am I kidding?  Does anyone honestly expect the media to drop their liberal bias and give up their double stereotypical liberal double standards?

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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.

Loose Change you can believe in!

Bookmark and Share    Amid charges of “class warfare”, “betrayal” and calls to “tax the rich!” lies a very important question:

Just why are we having this debate?

Increasing taxes will not solve the problem, and what money it will bring in will amount to little more than loose change, because it will go into funding expanding government, not fixing the economy. The problem is that all the talk is about raising taxes, and not about cutting spending. The debate is about the burden on the economy, and adding to the burden, and not about generating growth.

President Obama obviously feels that what worked for Osama Bin Laden, a couple of bullets in the head, will work for the American economy too, or at least by holding a gun to its head. President Obama defies anyone to disagree with him on this one, so no change there. “This is not class warfare,” Obama said. “It’s math.” But his rhetoric is about as empty as the brains in the Fed. In case we don’t get it, Obama in his speech used all his favorite phrases: “I’m not going to allow,” “I’m not going to stand for,” “I will not support” and “I will veto.”

Um, this is America’s economy we’re talking about, not your kid’s end of year school report.

To provide support for his claims, the president turned to Warren Buffet. This is one of those maneuvers where you say, look here’s someone who knows, he’s rich! A little like, look, this program works, here’s a rehabilitated drug addict!

Yet, Mr. Buffet did not gain from his income tax deductions, but from his use of investment vehicles. And so did lots of other people. So, yes, the rich benefit greatly from the tax code. But so do the poor and middle class.

The reality is that higher earners do progressively pay more. The most recently available Congressional Budget Office statistics state that middle-class families in 2007, earning between $34,000 and $50,000, paid an effective rate of 14.3 percent of their income in all federal taxes. The top 5 percent of income earners paid 27.9 percent and the top 1 percent paid 29.5 percent. The highest earners, meaning Americans with an annual income above $2 million, paid on average 32 percent of their income in federal taxes in 2005. The very rich, the top 1 percent of earners in America, paid 38 percent of income taxes in 2008.

Meanwhile, nearly half American households pay no income taxes at all, because the Tax Code says they don’t earn enough. Middle-class taxpayers get a large tax break in home mortgage interest deductions. In all, according to government statistics, last year federal taxpayers received $1.08 trillion in credits, deductions and other perks and paid $1.09 trillion in income taxes, so that’s a massive difference of $0.01 trillion.

The real problem is that this is not just a tax on the rich. It is also a tax on wealth creation, a concept that Democrats have a hard time understanding at the best of times. People pursue their dreams, and work for the rewards and to pass them on to their families and loved ones. Some people don’t want to work so hard, and so settle for less. They have a choice in how they seek their rewards in a liberal society.

In our liberal society, however, a different kind of “liberal” comes along and says government needs to intervene and tell people that they, and the government, will decide what people should do with their wealth. They do this because they believe human nature is bad, and people do not want to give their wealth away for the good of the society “liberals” want to make in their own image, so they need government to do this for them.

Yet, as Arthur C. Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute notes, “The top 10 percent of households in income are responsible for at least a quarter of all the money contributed to charity, and households with total wealth exceeding $1 million give about half of all charitable donations.”

In a liberal society, people should be free to decide how to use their wealth, and they should have the decent human nature to give some of their wealth away philanthropically. This is the moral connection, not the facile moral argument that higher taxes mean more a moral society.

When it comes to the Democrats, they are trying to legislate for their own failure of understanding human nature.

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Why Doesn’t Rush Like Daniels?

Rush Limbaugh has had his finger on the pulse of mainstream conservatism and mainstream media for decades. When the media said only McCain could beat Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, Rush was sounding the alarm. So why is Rush now sounding the alarm on Mitch Daniels?

Daniels has received some pretty glowing endorsements, or as glowing as a Republican can get, from the Washington Post and others. He has been described as the candidate in 2012 who has a serious shot at beating Obama. No doubt, Rush is hearing echos of the media love McCain received right up until the end of the 2012 primary.

Best hope of the Right? Or the Left?

In many ways, Daniels has brought this on himself. Instead of going to CPAC and announcing that if a bill cutting off all abortion funding came across his desk he’d sign it, Daniels appealed to fiscal conservatives across the country calling on a truce on social issues so that we could solve our debt crisis. When he did sign the bill banning funding even for Planned Parenthood in Indiana, for the most part it was ignored by the media. When Obama was being praised for killing Osama Bin Laden and Daniels was taking questions on Obama’s foreign policy, Daniels admitted he wasn’t ready to debate Obama on foreign policy.

Remember when McCain said the economy was not his strong suit? Trust me, if Obama has his way the economy will not be a debate topic in 2012. Foreign policy will be. By continuing Bush’s foreign policies, Obama has found something he can campaign successfully on. By wavering on foreign policy, Daniels is certainly not setting himself up as the candidate who can beat Obama.

On the other hand, Daniels has been slowly and methodically implementing his very conservative (both socially and fiscally) agenda in Indiana. After cooling off a showdown with unions in Indiana when Democrats walked out, Daniels has quietly passed many of the same provisions including limiting teacher’s union negotiating to wages and wage related benefits. Compared to the messy protests in Scott Walker’s state over the issues, Daniels is enjoying anonymity in his war on public unions. Indiana has been one of the few fiscally sound states under Mitch Daniels.

Perhaps Daniels would be a great conservative President. It’s difficult to tell at this point if he is a silent leader who could change our country for the better, or if he represents everything that was wrong with McCain, Thompson, Guiliani and the rest of the 2008 Republican class.

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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Mitch Daniels Makes The Right Decision

Update: Indiana is the first state in the union to officially ban funding not only for abortions, but for abortion providers. Recognizing the abortion funding shell game, Daniels signed the Indiana bill even though it did not need his signature to pass. The bill also requires abortion doctors to explain fetal pain to expecting mothers before they go through with the procedure to kill their unborn child.

This was not an easy bill for a politician to sign. I wrote last week about how Daniels had declared a social truce at CPAC leaving doubts as to whether he would sign such a contentious bill. In the end, Daniels decided to leave his mark on the abortion debate and through his actions assured conservatives that he is on our side.

Daniels’ hardline on abortion has received little media play, drowned by Bin Laden’s demise. But in 2012, this decision is sure to make waves. For purposes of the primary, Daniels chances have just drastically improved. While already being a strong fiscal conservative, Daniels has just shown that he can be the candidate of social conservatives too.

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