Views on the News – 3/17/2012
By: David Coughlin
Analyzing the latest polls and races across the country, it’s looking really good for Republicans in the 2012 election. The latest Rasmussen Report found 25% of likely voters Strongly Approve of Obama’s performance, while 44% Strongly Disapprove for a Presidential Approval Index of -19. Half of all Americans polled by Gallup and USA Today are ready to pronounce Barack Obama’s performance a failure! Although most conservatives understand the important of defeating Obama, the next Congress has to be almost equal in importance. The structure of the Senate races in 2012 and also in 2014 favors Republicans with almost a certain gain of a few seats and a possible gain of twelve seats. In the House, the outlook is better for Republicans. Partisan identification of Democrats in February 2012, with 32.4% self-identified Democrats, is the lowest ever recorded. There is a growing “enthusiasm gap” between the parties. In 2008, Democrats had a +35 point enthusiasm advantage. Today Republicans have a +8 point enthusiasm advantage. ObamaCare cannot be repealed without control of the House of Representatives and not only control of the Senate but enough senators to forestall a filibuster. Appointments to the federal bench, especially the Supreme Court, require Senate approval. Many of the reforms which conservatives see as vital to economic growth, reform of the tax code, de-regulation of environmental extremism, and changes to the entitlements systems, will require Congress concurrence. It is easy to focus only on the Presidential race, but there are a number of indicators that Democrats in every elective office may take a beating because of Obama, and 2012 could be the biggest electoral victory for Republicans in the last 100 years.
(“Will 2012 be a Republican Year?” by Bruce Walker dated March 9, 2012 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2012/03/09/will-2012-be-a-republican-year/ )
President Obama wants everyone to listen to his words, but ignore his actions since our President believes he knows everything, but unfortunately, that is the only thing he knows. Unless the nation craves four more years of economic suicide, Obama’s stifling regulatory tsunami, high energy prices, and deliberate demagogic discord, the meek and mild on the right will need to learn how to fight. America must Breitbart Barack; it’s the only way he can be defeated. The left will scream. It will be called negative campaigning, racist, and worse. Conservatism will become synonymous with “negative racism” — at least in the written press, televised news, and progressive blogosphere. Yet if the right wages a polite and dignified campaign, eschewing negativity and “in your face” advertising, the Republican candidate still will be labeled negative and racist. It should be learned at an early age that one cannot resort to reason with a bully; it ensures only more bullying; and make no mistake – Barack Obama is a bully. Every paragraph written, speech made, or commercial commissioned, between now and Election Day, must be about Obama, his past, who he has associated with, and his mentors, as well as who he is today and what he has done to this nation, the havoc he has wrought economically and the doom he has relegated to the world with his policy of serial apologies and weakness. Conservatives and Republicans tend to be civil, despite what is said by the left and the “all Barack, all the time” press. Yet the left still sets the parameters of every discussion, led by the New York Times, which now fits all the news into what it wants to print, and it wants to print that everything is peachy and that Barack Obama is great. Until now, the right has been forced to play defense on progressive terms, fighting not to lose, instead of to win, politically, leading from behind. It’s the way John McCain campaigned, and it will guarantee a loss in November. There is no room for civility in this election battle. This is not a game, we are fighting for our children and the future of America, the last, best hope for humanity. The voter to target is the guy barely paying his mortgage, whose home has lost value, hurt by the price of gasoline and making less than he was before hope and change. Formerly comfortable, before Barack, but now everything has changed. He now hopes to be able to pay off his house and retire five years after his death. He is too busy trying to survive to pay much attention to politics. He gets most of his information from the legacy media, which is so in bed with Barack that for its acolytes, every day should be a walk of shame. He is not the right, or the left, and he is not the middle; he is an American. He will listen, and he will vote so conservatives must say something that resonates. It is not that he is uniformed as much as that he is misinformed, he simply needs to be informed. Conservatives need to accept that all coverage of their candidate will reflect the liberal delusion that Obama is a genius. Conservatives need to help educate the voting public by telling people the truth about Barack Obama, with Breitbart aggressiveness. Spike Lee was right that America will be defined as pre-Barack and post-Barack, but not in the way he intended. We are on the cusp of history, the dawn of a new age, the epoch of post-Barack prosperity, post-progressivism and post-”post-Americanism.” We must chase this President from office before he destroys us all, and it is not enough to beat him in November: he must be driven from any position of influence; he must be relegated to unimportance and irrelevance; so let him vacation and play golf; those are the only things he’s good at anyway.
(“Breitbart Barack” by William L. Gensert dated March 15, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/breitbart_barack.html )
The comparisons of President Obama to President Carter have something to them besides the dull gray feeling of each Presidency, with its four-year wallow in economic quicksand. Both men were born into office on a surge of good feeling with a clean slate, renewal, possibility bordering on exhilaration, and both men seemed hurt, embittered and overwhelmed when history fell short of hype. Carter is still defending the extraordinary 1979 prime-time address in which he chided America for its “crisis of confidence” (though Carter never used the word, it will forever be known as “the malaise speech”). President Obama is fond of blaming his troubles on an “obstructionist Congress,” though he had massive majorities in both houses for two years, and the reason the House of Representatives now opposes him is simply because it was ordered to do so by the same voters he believes wanted him to go even further down the path he was heading. In essence, in every speech, Obama is telling citizens, “Don’t blame me. Blame yourselves for voting in all those Republicans.” Liberals are forever fantasizing about militarizing social problems. In his first inaugural, FDR declared “war against the emergency.” LBJ declared “war against poverty.” Carter said reducing energy consumption (by, for instance, turning down thermostats at night to a bone-chilling 55 degrees) was “the moral equivalent of war.” In his latest State of the Union, Obama said of our armed forces, “They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences . . . They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.” Generals who say the mission failed because the troops didn’t follow orders shouldn’t be surprised when the troops start to mock them. Blame deflection isn’t leadership. That’s why both Carter and Obama came to seem so tired, dull, repetitive, scolding, inept and irrelevant. Carter’s words gave him an anti-halo – the shadow of a whiner. “You can’t castigate the American people,” his Vice President, Walter Mondale, told Carter, “or they will turn you off once and for all.” Mondale was right: If Americans think their President is blaming them, they’ll turn off him once and for all, but Obama has Joe Biden as his Vice President, who wouldn’t dare tell him anything negative.
(“Obamalaise” by Kyle Smith dated March 11, 2012 published by New York Post at http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/obamalaise_1MVxkFhreLzcohyi8RGRqJ )
The verdict is in on the last three years: President Obama has produced a steady stream of broken promises, failed policies, and misplaced priorities, but if you thought Barack Obama’s first term was bad, you don’t want to see a second. The only way Obama can get four more years is to pretend the last three years never happened. If the President ran on his record, he’d lose in a landslide. We have seen the liberal agenda the President has pursued over the last three years: government run healthcare, cap-and-trade, pet projects disguised as “stimulus,” card-check, taxpayer-funded loans to now-bankrupt energy companies, and reckless deficit spending. Now imagine what he would do in a second term, when he does not have to face reelection. We already know what the year 2013 would look like, and it’s not pretty. By President Obama’s own admission, he wants higher taxes. His fiscal year 2013 budget calls for exactly that, $1.9 trillion in higher taxes. But if he cannot get that budget through Congress, he has another option: do nothing, because if the President and Congress take no action, taxes will automatically increase by $3.6 trillion in 2013. Along with his plans for tax increases, the President’s 2013 budget also calls for increased spending, much of it in the same style as the failed $833 billion stimulus. Voters are demanding responsible government, but the President wants more budget deficits, which will require raising the debt ceiling again and again. The credit rating agency Fitch has warned that unless the United States comes up with a “credible plan” to reduce the budget deficit, it will join Standard and Poor’s in revoking America’s AAA credit rating. Obama earned one credit downgrade in his first term, so without any plan for deficit reduction, it seems he wants another downgrade for a second term. The 2013 forecast also includes a weak economy and unacceptably high unemployment, thanks to the President’s policies. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said, “The economy will continue to grow at a sluggish pace over the next two years.” They also predict the unemployment rate will remain above 8% in 2013. Without a Republican President to lead the repeal of ObamaCare, the unpopular act would come alive in 2013. In a second Obama term, regulatory agencies would ramp up their assault on jobs and domestic energy. The President has promised that the EPA can consider imposing more regulations in 2013, which the agency has estimated would cost affected businesses as much as $90 billion a year. The inevitable result: fewer jobs and higher prices. The only way the economy looks good is to compare it to earlier in the Obama term when he first made it much worse, but relative progress has not even managed to return the economy to the performance that he inherited. America has already been devastated by the first term of President Obama, but for those who would still consider casting a vote for him in November, just consider what a second Obama term would bring – and hope we never see it.
(“Obama’s Unthinkable 2013 Agenda” by Reince Priebus dated March 8, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/reincepriebus/2012/03/08/obamas_unthinkable_2013_agenda )
The President and the left aren’t about one election; they’re about radically altering the nation, its morality, society, culture, and adherence to faith which is a long-term project, with its beginnings in the early 20th century. Politics is a means, not an end, for leftists. It’s doubtful that Obama wants to lose his re-election bid; Congressional Democrats certainly don’t want electoral setbacks, but the President and Democrats “get” the game. They get that a particular election is a battle, not the entire war. No one battle lost over many decades has proven fatal to the left’s goals. Obama is steeped in leftist doctrine; his Presidency is about advancing statist goals. The President and leftists possess a sort of Asiatic patience and persistence. What Obama and his cohorts figure is that once precedents are established, once inroads are made, they stand, perhaps with some short-term adjustments or rollback, but at the core they won’t be erased or reversed entirely. Perhaps a better analogy is cancer, with each political “victory” a separate cancer instance that metastasizes into other cancers in other areas, each contributing to a growing burden of disease eroding America continued survival. Since the New Deal at least, the left’s precedents in law and policy have served as beachheads for the left’s successors, who expand on those precedents, rooting them deeper in the nation’s life at every opportunity. Since the New Deal, the left has wanted government-run health care. They couldn’t get it outright for decades, so they choose to accomplish it incrementally and insidiously, through stepped up regulations, oversight, grants, and subsidies and through partial government health care with Medicare and Medicaid. It took the left about a generation, from FDR to LBJ, to get Medicare and Medicaid enacted. The point being that despite setbacks, meanderings, and slow going at times, the left never surrendered its goal of a government takeover of health care. In fact, rather depressingly for freedom-lovers, the left is on the verge of entrenching ObamaCare as the vehicle for a final triumph over the nation’s health care system. As citizens are witnessing with Obama’s clash with the Catholic Church (and, by extension, all churches and synagogues), the President and the left are seeking to use ObamaCare as a wedge to undercut the basic right to the free expression of faith. Obama and the left desire to aggrandize the state (a long-range goal) and will shrewdly leverage health care laws and policies, or whatever, to creatively accomplish that end, which is so critical to radicalizing society. Court challenges on Constitutional grounds to the President’s 1st Amendment insult may eventually succeed, but for leftists, a high court ruling will never be the final word, the ultimate obstacle, to gaining the power they seek over churches. Leftists will keep pushing and pushing, burrowing and burrowing, seeking pathways and routes, obvious but often hidden, to undermine the basic right to faith’s free expression. The remedy to the decades-old leftist onslaught isn’t easy. It involves big doses of vigilance, willpower, and Breitbart guts. It means aggressively challenging the very legitimacy of the left’s principles and outing the left’s anti-liberty intent, politically, culturally, and morally, in the face of vicious counterattacks. The left is playing for keeps, and always shows a determination to go the distance to win and freedom-loving Americans need to match or surpass the left’s tenacity to reclaim the nation and secure liberty for posterity.
(“The Left Finally Goes for the First Amendment” by J. Robert Smith dated March 10, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/the_left_finally_goes_for_the_first_amendment.html )
There’s so much hidden unemployment in the labor force that even improved jobs numbers failed to decrease the official unemployment rate of 8.3%, because according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) rules, only by seeking work do individuals get counted as unemployed. That’s because BLS does not count workers as unemployed unless they have actively searched for work in the last four weeks. If the BLS rules weren’t in place, the current unemployment rate would be somewhere around 11%. The most comprehensive alternative unemployment rate measure, which includes people who want to work but are discouraged from looking and people working part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs, is underemployment which was 14.9% in February. By that measure, almost 24 million people are unemployed or underemployed. America remains mired in the longest jobs recession since the Great Depression. It’s been 49 months since the U.S. hit peak employment in January 2008. There is more to economic performance than just counting jobs. Voters are looking at their budgets and not liking what they see, because they are hurt by high gasoline prices, they are hurt by high food prices, they continue to see their health insurance premiums go up when the President promised they would be lower, and those aspects of economic performance are ones that the President simply has not delivered on and indeed continues to go the wrong direction. This fight over expectations is a key battle as the November elections approach. Obama and his allies have tried to manage expectations, arguing that the nation’s unemployment rate and debt would be even greater without Obama’s direction of the economy. By contrast, free-market advocates say the President’s progressive policies are preventing a faster recovery from the impact of the government-inflated property bubble. Labor data has been massaged to give an incomplete view of economic health, but politicians are exposing this flimflam for what it is, and endeavoring to provide a more comprehensive view of the economy to better diagnose and prescribe what needs to be done to accelerate its recovery.
(“Hidden unemployment numbers stymie Obama’s job growth claims” by Neil Munro dated March 9, 2012 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/09/hidden-unemployment-numbers-stymie-obamas-job-growth-claims/ )
President Obama may think gasoline is the “fuel of the past,” but for families facing record prices, it’s very much a today thing and unfortunately for them, Obama has no credible ideas for getting energy prices down tomorrow. As gas prices continue to break records, Obama’s running around the country trying to convince the public he’s doing everything he possibly can. He claims to have sharply increased oil production, but adds that the U.S. can’t affect the global price of oil because we sit on so little of it. It’s all bogus, which has been pointed out many times. The recent production gains have nothing whatsoever to do with Obama, but resulted from advanced drilling techniques on private lands or from offshore leases granted long before he entered the White House. Whenever Obama’s had a chance, he’s tried to cut off supplies to appease environmentalists, the latest of which is his killing of the Keystone XL pipeline. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in 2008 “Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe” which is approaching $10 per gallon. Saying the U.S. can’t do anything about world prices is false as well, resting on the phony claim that we have only 2% of the world’s oil. In fact, we’re awash in oil, with enough to meet all our needs for 250 years if the government would stop roping so much of it off. Having a President who’s willing and eager to deceive the public is bad enough, but it’s made all the worse when Obama offers his own ridiculous energy proposals, not one of which will make a dent in energy costs today, tomorrow or in the foreseeable future. The one solution to the country’s energy woes that Obama absolutely refuses to consider is the one that would actually work, and if Obama announced that he would aggressively go after our own abundant supplies, rather than pretend that oil is a scarce commodity, prices would drop immediately.
(“Obama’s Energy Policy is Running on Empty” dated March 9, 2012 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/article/603866/201203091837/obama-has-no-ideas-on-energy-.htm )
Displaying weakness at every turn, Obama has damaged the nation’s international position to the point where war with Iran is now unavoidable. The United States has been at war with Iran since 1979, even if it’s been a quiet war, where we have consistently refused to fight back. Iran has been relentless in its pursuit of confrontation, with one provocation after another, and Barack Obama, just as Neville Chamberlain, has been ridiculously reasonable. Weakness in the face of aggression is the father of war. The coming conflagration will be born of Barack Obama’s inability to stand up for the interests of the nation he is supposed to be leading. Obama considers America intrinsically unfair, to its citizens, and to humanity. For him, the world’s problems are a function of America’s arrogance and unbridled use of its military to protect its unfair economic advantage. Our President does not consider himself an American. He believes he understands our enemies and can cure all the world’s ills, because he transcends the petty partisanship of mere mortals. Yet, sometimes an enemy is just an enemy, no matter how great America’s leader believes himself to be:
· When Barack Obama ascended to the Presidency, there was still time to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear capability. Later that year, when millions of Iranians took to the streets in opposition to the mullah regime and its oppressive policies of poverty and piety, he was presented with the perfect opportunity to help affect regime change. He didn’t want to interfere and make the mullahs angry, so instead, he went to Martha’s Vineyard.
· When presented with a war already won in Iraq, our genius bungled the negotiations to leave a token American force in the country as a tripwire against attacks on the nascent democracy. Failing to do so, he declared victory and abandoned the country, ceding it to Iranian domination.
· In Egypt, he discarded Hosni Mubarak, a multi-decade American ally, ceding the nation to the Muslim Brotherhood, and relegating Coptic Christians, to the murderous urges of the Arab spring.
· In Libya, he led from behind, prolonging the bloodshed, when a cruise missile into Gaddafi’s compound in the first hours of the conflict would have ended it. He eventually turned the country over to al Qaeda– again declaring victory.
· In Afghanistan, he changed the rules of engagement, preventing American soldiers from firing first, or returning fire against positions where civilians might be present. Fighting a war and not being able to shoot first or fire back has increased casualties. Withdrawing our troops early, he is well on his way to giving Afghanistan back to the Taliban – another victory for Barack.
· Syria’s Assad, Iran’s only ally, so misunderstood by Bush, and “reset” by Obama, is now a killing machine, slaughtering thousands of his own people in a desperate attempt to hold onto power.
The world sees Barack Obama as weak. Iran, in particular, thinks he lacks the guts to confront them, regardless of how far they push. At some point between now and Election Day, Israel will be forced to attack Iran, before they reach a “zone of immunity,” after which it will be too late to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon. With Barack’s bungling, the Israelis really have no choice since Iranian nuclear breakout is an existential threat to Israel. After all, when someone tells you they are going to kill you, you should believe them. Yet, even a limited first strike seems improbable for our very tough President. This is why an attack on Iran by Israel is not only likely, but nearly inevitable. More probable, the Israelis will attack and Barack will abandon them, too afraid, too post-American, to do what is best for the nation, unable to offer support, even if only rhetorically but in doing so he will lose America, and the election!
(“How Iran Could Save America” by William L. Gensert dated March 9, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/how_iran_could_save_america.html )
David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).