Views on the News – 7/14/2012
By: David Coughlin
In 2008, Barack Obama’s rhetoric was “exciting,” especially when he talked about a “different kind of politics,” but there is no trace of that Obama today and all that is left is a tired liberal trying to leverage identity politics to retain power. His rhetoric is aimed just at specific groups of people, not as someone who would bring the country together. Identity politics is something you do when you don’t have the worst economy since World War II. From his mini-amnesty pitch to Hispanics, his support of gay marriage and his “identity” comments on the death of a black youth, to his turning contraception into a wedge issue, President Obama is shaping his electoral path to victory with identity politics. After the 2008 election, he began losing white voters almost immediately. That began with stimulus spending, escalated with the health-care vote, and was cemented by a series of speeches and seemingly inconsequential decisions, such as getting involved in the goings-on of a Massachusetts police department that led to an awkward “beer summit.” In the 2010 midterm election, when Republicans crushed Democrats up and down the ballot nationally, less than 33% of the white working class voted for House Democrats – a record low. The latest Gallup in-depth poll shows only 43% of white 18- to 29-year-olds plan to vote for Obama, down 9 points from the 52% backing him in 2008; his support is down 9 points among postgraduate women, too. Obama’s strategy is creating a majority coalition of “hyphens” (African-American, Mexican-American, gay/lesbian-Americans, etc.) When the Supreme Court upheld the health-care law, one thing missing in the noise following the news was the sudden intensity within the conservative base. Obama already has lost the white working class and rural votes; both only needed to be convinced to come out and vote for Romney – and the Supreme Court gave them that reason. If northern suburbanites and young professionals turn, then he is doomed to a huge loss. Persuadable voters are looking for a compelling reason to abandon him; divisive rhetoric is turning them off, and economics is only half the story. Couple that with independent voters souring on Obama over the economy, and this is the perfect storm for Romney. If Romney can reassure suburbanites that America is exceptional because it doesn’t vote for or against anyone based on skin color, ethnic heritage or religion, that it votes based on a candidate’s principles, priorities and performance, this may be a perfect storm to rout him in a landslide.
(“Obama’s Hyphenated America” by Salena Zito dated July 8, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/salenazito/2012/07/08/obamas_hyphenated_america )
The essence of Barack Obama’s Presidency is not easy to define, since he is such a multifaceted individual, but it can be summarized as one of contempt. On any given day, Obama may seem like a play-for-keeps Chicago pol who rubs elbows with some shady characters; a hardcore environmentalist wedded to a radical green agenda; a crony capitalist with surprisingly close ties to deep-pocketed corporate interest groups; a progressive wanting to sunder the chains of the constitution to hugely expand government à la Franklin Delano Roosevelt; a Jimmy Carter clone, whose foreign policy is marked by turning his back on America’s allies while wooing, if not embracing, the leaders of unfriendly regimes; a Fabian socialist, too cagey to advocate outright socialism, but always in favor of more government economic planning and more redistribution of wealth; a hardcore radical with close personal and ideological ties to various militant revolutionaries, political revolutionaries, and communists. All these assessments ring true, but they are incomplete. The ideological influences acting upon Barack Obama are multifarious. There is, however, an attitudinal quality that seems to be the common denominator linking those ideological underpinnings. The salient, definitive characteristic of the man and his Presidency was crystalized for me when Congress cited his attorney general for contempt. Never have we seen a president so full of naked contempt for any person or idea or policy that does not accord with his own vision, plans, and beliefs. Obama doesn’t just disagree with others; he holds them in contempt. Obama has shown contempt for American friends and allies. He insulted the Czechs and Poles when he unilaterally and without warning repudiated our missile defense agreements with them. His contemptuous snubs and denigrations of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are notorious. He showed contempt for the British by refusing to say he would recognize Britain’s claim to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, even if the Falklands’ residents voted for British sovereignty in a plebiscite. Just as Jimmy Carter ensured the shah’s departure by rejecting him, so Obama paved the way for the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt by snubbing, ignoring, and abandoning a flawed ally rather than work with him to encourage reforms. The President has shown his contempt for American voters in various ways, from whispering to Russian leader Medvedev that he will be able to concede more to Putin after he wins re-election to having the Justice Department fight state voter ID laws to decreeing that illegal immigrants be given work permits that will lead to driver’s licenses that will lead to illegals being registered to vote under various “motor voter” statutes. He has shown contempt for Republicans, bluntly telling them “I won” in one of his first negotiations with them; storming out of negotiations when Republicans try to represent their constituents, and even by looking out the window rather than engage politely with a GOP congressional leader on the rare occasion of being alone in the Oval Office with him. Obama has contempt for our Constitution, as shown by his willful and blatantly unconstitutional non-recess “recess appointments.” Similarly, he shows contempt for the rule of law by arbitrarily deciding what laws he will enforce. He ignored two centuries of settled bankruptcy law by shafting GM’s and Chrysler’s secured creditors and giving the loot to the UAW instead. His Justice Department has refused to prosecute black violations of civil rights laws, disdained to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and perennially declined to enforce federal immigration laws. He also decided earlier this year that the No Child Left Behind Act would apply to some states, but not to others. He has shown contempt for federalism and for leaders of state governments that exercise their Tenth Amendment rights. More recently, when the Supreme Court said that Arizona could take some steps to deal with illegal immigrants, Obama immediately announced the suspension of existing agreements between federal and state officials and directed federal authorities to refuse to take official calls from Arizona that reported illegal immigrant activity. Speaking of the Supreme Court, Obama has manifested a contemptuous attitude toward members of the Court by publicly scolding them for their Citizens United decision during a State of the Union address, and this year by waging a public campaign to influence the Court’s decision on ObamaCare. Obama has shown contempt for fellow Democrats, too. He has contempt for America and our place in the world, disavowing American exceptionalism and making exaggerated bows to foreign leaders. Apparently, he gains some personal satisfaction in American abasement and apology and rather than showing his respect for the country he represents, a country that, despite occasional missteps, has done more to free people from political and economic tyranny than any other republic in the history of the world. Obama manifests a contempt for truth that is egregious even by the low standard of politicians. He has fabricated parts of his life in his autobiographies and told multiple whoppers about his signature “achievement,” ObamaCare, and his habitually contemptuous attitude itself has made a mockery of his promise to bridge gaps and unite Americans. Living and breathing contempt for others is a lousy way to live, and it must make him miserable. The larger problem, though, is whether the government of a democratic republic can function effectively enough to address our country’s mammoth problems with a President who discourages dialog by chronically oozing scorn, disrespect, and contempt. Obama has such an imperious, supercilious attitude that it seems more appropriate for a Caesar than an American President, so unless we want to subject ourselves to four more years of such a toxic, we have to vote this guy out of office in November.
(“Contempt: The Defining Characteristic of the Obama Presidency” by Mark W. Hendrickson dated July 7, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/contempt_the_defining_characteristic_of_the_obama_presidency.html )
One would think, given so much practice, that the Obama White House would have been better prepared for the latest wretched jobs report. Instead, we witnessed the five stages of bad public relations.
1. Delusion: It was a “step in the right direction.”
2. Dismissiveness: Don’t “read too much into any one monthly report.”
3. Grudging acceptance: “It’s still tough out there.”
4. Cliche: “There are no quick fixes.”
5. Self-pity: “I suspect that most people in Cincinnati would acknowledge that I’ve tried real hard.”
I suspect that most people in Cincinnati and elsewhere would prefer an economic strategy that consists of something more than blame shifting and the systematic lowering of expectations. Obama’s economic agenda is debilitated by a political problem. Announcing an ambitious new set of policy proposals would be an admission that previous approaches were insufficient — that the economy is not moving in the right direction. Up to this point, Obama has successfully finessed the issue — recalling the initial challenges he faced, urging patience and criticizing congressional obstruction on a series of incremental reforms. Given the federal budget crisis, prospects are poor for major new stimulus spending or backfilling state and local budgets. Obama is left with a series of smaller-scale proposals — maintaining existing middle-class tax breaks, spending on infrastructure, funding some jobs for teachers — that no self-respecting Keynesian economist would judge sufficient. Obama is showing signs of ideological exhaustion. He seems incapable of producing an economic agenda equal to his political challenge. Obama has done several things to hinder American recovery. He turned a temporary expansion of government, through TARP and the auto bailouts, into a permanent expansion of government. Government, measured by federal spending, is this year about 15% bigger than the historical average, measured relative to the economy. … This drains resources from private firms and individuals and means slower productivity growth.” Obama’s major regulatory initiatives, particularly ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform, have added to economic uncertainty. Businesses are waiting for the implications of these laws to become clear, and federal rules to be written, before making investment choices. Given both the state of the economy and his policy performance, the buoyancy of Obama’s polling is a political marvel. A portion of this depends on doubts about Mitt Romney, which can be eased. A humanizing Romney convention speech, some reassuring debate performances, a few innovative policy proposals appealing to Latinos or suburban women — and Romney becomes a more broadly imaginable president. Obama could well suffer a Carter-like collapse, not because of an ideological shift but a simple, collective judgment: He did not deliver recovery.
(“Obama in Denial” by Michael Gerson dated July 9, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelgerson/2012/07/09/something )
For our President with a compliant press and a multitude of minions, confronting the Republican candidate directly is not a necessity, so Mitt Romney needs to get in Barack Obama’s face. Scurrilous sycophants will act in Obama’s stead as proxies with accusations and personal attacks. Mitt has no such luxury. He must transform himself into a latter-day Patton and “attack, attack, attack!” Romney needs to bloody our President’s face with questions about his character, associations, truthfulness, work history and life experiences, as well as his effectiveness as President. For Mitt Romney to vacillate on ObamaCare made him look weak and ineffectual. The Supreme Court made a bad decision that was bad for America, but it was a gift to Mitt Romney, who clearly dropped the ball by waiting days to agree that a tax is a tax is a tax. RomneyCare is a negative for the Republican Presidential candidate, but, skip the self-indulgence, most people have never even heard of it, and in any case, be a man, stand up and say the program was a mistake. America can be very forgiving, so Mitt will need to bludgeon Obama with the abomination that is ObamaCare. In this election, “caution” is a synonym for cowardice. People are looking for a reason to abandon Barack, if Mitt does not give them one, they’ll either vote for Obama or stay home. I want a candidate who is going to square off against this loathsome liar of a loser-President, throw down his gloves, and ala Bruce Lee, point in his face and beckon, while saying. “Come on, let’s do this.” I want to hear Romney directly challenge this man. I want to hear him come right out and call Barack Obama a “liar.” Incendiary rhetoric will win this campaign. Polite and nice will ensure a path to defeat. Obama is ripe for ridicule. The man has kept zero promises, has had zero success and for all practical purposes, sounds like a virtual moron most of the time, with clueless statements like “the private sector is doing fine.” He is only competitive because his backers tell us he is, and our side is too non-confrontational to make a dent in the lie “Obama is the favorite.” Just because bottom kissers in the mainstream media won’t say our President sounds like and inexperienced, uninformed idiot, doesn’t mean Mitt Romney can’t say it. What Romney needs is some hard hitting commercials to call out Obama’s weaknesses:
· I want to see TV ads, talking about the rogue’s gallery of Obama associations and staff.
· I want to hear about his plan to explode the price of gasoline and all energy in order to make green energy seem more attractive and affordable.
· I want to see commercials talking about Obama’s usurpation of the constitution, and how he behaves less like a President and more like a king.
· I want to hear how the stimulus spent almost a trillion dollars to reward backers of Barack and crony capitalists, with financial incentives to continue the destruction of the economy, while citizens lost their jobs and their homes declined in value.
· I want to hear about the backroom deals and legislative trickery used to enact ObamaCare.
· I want to see explanations of why ObamaCare is terrible for healthcare, horrible for Americans and disastrous for employment and the economy.
· I want a discussion on Obama’s abandonment of allies, especially Israel, and how he seems to care little whether Iran gets a nuclear weapon.
· I want to hear about his record setting 100 rounds of golf and the serial parties, the naked arrogance and the unashamed narcissism.
· I want to see his bitter half, Michelle, as the nasty, selfish America-hating leftist she is.
· I want the country told about the budget deficits, and the $5 trillion he has added to the national debt in less than 4 years.
· I want to hear about his environmental radicalism and excessive regulation and taxes.
There is so much ammunition to use against Barack Obama, any competent, and unafraid campaign should be able to wipe the floor with this most abysmal of Presidents. Minions and the mainstream media have kept the USS Obama afloat for this long with lies and hero worship, but a willingness to fight should easily be able to sink this Titanic. Obama fears nothing, he is the supreme solipsist, because in his mind there is no one else but him, and we exist as mere inconveniences he needs to pay sporadic attention to in order to realize his dream of being the greatest man to have ever lived. The question is whether Mitt Romney has the courage to clean Barack Obama’s clock.
(“Take Off the Gloves, Mitt” by William L. Gensert dated July 6, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/take_off_the_gloves_mitt.html )
All conservative hands must support Mitt Romney between now and November 6th, but after the election, America will witness the final foundation-shaking battle in a long war for the leadership of the GOP, and unless they do so willingly, this may mark the end of the traditional two-party system. The GOP establishment is well known and entrenched, but vehemently denied by a few of the establishment’s most prominent representatives. These denials ought to be a heartening source of amusement to anti-establishment conservatives, as they confirm the extreme degree to which the old guard fails to recognize its exposure, and the severity of the light that has been cast upon it of late. The primary argument used to deny the existence of a Republican establishment is to point out that there are differing opinions among its alleged members. In fact, internal disagreement does nothing to countervail the reality of an establishment, as it is a given that any broad group of people in the business of creating, advocating, and defending policy positions will be beset with factionalism among its members. The problem is not the existence of an establishment, per se. There will always be an establishment; it is the nature of human social endeavor gradually to elevate certain people or schools of thought into pre-eminence. The problem is the current establishment’s refusal to accept responsibility for its failure, and to step aside for the good of the country. Playing by the present GOP establishmentarians’ rules, almost without exception, for forty years, has brought America to the brink of complete national collapse. America is no longer financially tenable; it is teetering on the edge of moral dissolution; it is today only nominally a constitutional republic; and through milquetoastism in the face of a determined leftist assault on America, the GOP has relinquished the societal reins to a man whose mentors, advisers, and cohorts include numerous Marxist and post-Marxist revolutionaries. Such a prolonged, abject failure as is embodied by the GOP establishment is possible only in the sphere of electoral politics, in which entire viewpoints are represented monopolistically by one party. The increasingly emboldened leftists who now constitute the Democrat Party establishment are winning the broader culture war, through a combination of corrupt education, media, and entitlement-inducing policy. This is where America’s soul resides, all wishful thinking aside, after forty years on the present GOP establishment’s watch. In response to the laying of the last straw in this breaking of America’s back, the GOP establishment has turned not against the left, but against the supposed extremism and instability of the TEA Party and its preferred electoral representatives. As the two-party system grants them the strategic advantage of a monopolistic hold on public conservatism, they can attempt to withstand the Tea Party threat to their privilege by challenging grassroots conservatives to a game of “king of the hill.” Constitutional conservatives will not win through a third-party challenge, at least not in the foreseeable future. Practically speaking, however, the danger of allowing Democrats to win elections in the short run, given what the Democrats have become, is simply too great to afford constitutionalists the slow gestation period that a viable third party would require. The only reasonable hope is to overwhelm the GOP establishment with sheer steadfastness and the intransigence of rationally supported truth. The obfuscating establishment, morally and intellectually weakened by its own sense of entitlement, has nothing with which to resist a well-reasoned argument. What is needed, and immediately, is a new Republican establishment, one comprising people who value George Washington over Washington, D.C., individual liberty over party privilege, and the Framers’ conception of America over their own all-too-clever stratagems for an incremental surrender masked as “conservatism.”
(“The Gathering Storm within the GOP” by Daren Jonescu dated July 9, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/the_gathering_storm_within_the_gop.html )
Americans are not happy with their health care and neither ObamaCare nor Paul Ryan’s alternative are perceived to be much better. After passing the President’s health care law, the issue helped sweep the GOP to victory in the 2010 midterm elections. When Congressman Paul Ryan introduced his Republican health care plan alternative, his plan was attacked and is now unpopular and few want to see it enacted. Both plans are unpopular because neither one puts consumers in charge of their own health care decisions. More than anything else, that lack of consumer control is the root cause of the health care problems facing our nation today. Nearly nine out of every 10 dollars spent on medical care coverage is paid by either an insurance company or the government. Since someone else is paying the bills, someone else ends up making the big decisions about things that affect every individual’s health care. That is precisely what most Americans want to change. No one wants their health care choices being made by government officials, insurance companies, or their employer. People want to make those important decisions themselves. Putting consumers in charge would require pretty radical change, but it’s the type of change that a majority of voters could support. Rather than letting the company choose the plan, 82% believe that each worker should be allowed to use that money to pick his or her own insurance plan. If that plan ends up costing less than the official company plan, most believe the worker should be allowed to keep the change. Giving consumers control of the money doesn’t mean much unless they have a variety of competing insurance plans to consider. 75% of voters think it’s time to end the antitrust exemption granted to health insurance companies. By a three-to-one margin, voters believe that increased competition among insurance companies would do more to reduce costs than increased government regulation. Rather than letting the government define a one-size-fits-all insurance plan, 77% think individuals should have the right to choose between plans with a mix of higher deductibles and lower premiums or the reverse. 78% believe everyone should have the choice between more expensive plans that cover every medical procedure and lower cost plans that cover only major medical procedures. To insure adequate choices, voters overwhelmingly believe that everyone should be allowed to buy insurance policies across state lines and that everyone should be able to purchase the same insurance coverage provided for members of Congress. Recognizing the importance of consumer incentives, most also believe insurance companies should be allowed to offer discounts to those who take care of themselves by exercising, eating well and not smoking. Putting consumers in charge threatens the status quo in Washington, but it will give Americans a more responsive, less expensive system of medical care.
(“To Fix Health Care System, Put Consumers in Charge” by Scott Rasmussen dated July 6, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/scottrasmussen/2012/07/06/to_fix_health_care_system_put_consumers_in_charge )
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).