Views on the News – 5/25/2013
By: David Coughlin
Barack Obama’s second term is currently imploding from a confluence of scandals involving Benghazi-Gate, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Justice, and don’t forget “Fast and Furious.” The very first example of the changes that would mark his administration was the announcement of Obama’s “czars”, a shadowy group of advisors whose power to set and influence government policy without any congressional oversight appears to have transcended that of his cabinet members, many of whom would contribute to lengthening the recession he “inherited” as the result of the 2008 financial crisis while increasing the national debt and deficit to heights never before seen in the history of the nation. What we learned through his first campaign and first term was that Obama lies about everything, starting with his personal life. What we have learned is that his answer to everything is to give another speech, hold another press conference, issue another executive order, to dismiss any criticism as “a sideshow”, and to host a number of dinners to give the impression he is willing to work with Republicans in Congress. Obama has never addressed his duty to govern. He has maintained a non-stop process of campaigning and fund-raising. His priority on September 11, 2012, the night in which he was informed of the attack on the Benghazi consulate in Libya, was to go to bed in order to get a good night’s sleep before flying off to Las Vegas for more fund-raising the next day, skipping his daily intelligence briefing. This is a President whose foreign policy in the Middle East failed to address events there while delegating responsibility to his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton who as of 2 AM the morning of September 12th knew that it was an orchestrated attack by al Qaeda, and then, in concert with the White House, told Americans that it was the result of a video and was a “spontaneous” event. This is a President who has withdrawn U.S. troops from Iraq, a nation now wracked with daily bombings and has set in process the withdrawal from Afghanistan, a nation that will fall once again under the control of the Taliban. The alleged ally of America, Pakistan, now fears for its stability from the same threat. In the years prior to Benghazi-Gate we have now learned that Obama was using the Internal Revenue Service to harass organizations associated with the Tea Party movement, that identified themselves as “patriots”, or had a pro-Israel agenda. In a similar fashion his Environmental Protection Agency was denying Freedom of Information inquires to organizations opposed to its policies while granting access to those who supported it. In his first term, his Department of the Interior pursued policies that denied access to drilling for oil and natural gas on federally owned lands and while his Department of Energy wasted billions on “renewable energy” companies manufacturing solar panels no one wanted to purchase, going bankrupt one after another. This is a President who promised his “stimulus” program would put Americans back to work and revive the economy. This is a President who has continued to tell Americans that global warming is the greatest threat to the nation and the world despite a sixteen-year cooling cycle in progress. The worst of his offenses is ObamaCare, described by members of his own party as “a train wreck”, and a program to be administered by the IRS! It is not hyperbole to say Barack Obama is the worst President in the history of the nation. The question is how long before Obama is either impeached or forced to resign as the dream of “hope and change” has turned to hopelessness and the change has become the “transformation” of America from the greatest economy the world has ever known to a debtor nation disrespected by allies and enemies alike.
(“The Worst President Ever” by Alan Caruba dated May 16, 2013 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/55287 )
I’ve always come to trust that, though they were committed to different priorities and policies, Democrats still had America’s best interests at heart. I no longer think they do. Obama is a continual campaigner, not a leader. He’s a problem avoider; not a problem solver. He’s aloof and arrogant instead of engaged in reaching across the aisle. It is increasingly clear that instead of bringing hope and change, he’s brought a culture of intimidation. Good leaders take more than their share of the blame and less than their share of the credit. As the growing list of scandals swirl around your administration, the buck never stops with him. His scandal playbook is painfully predictable. He discounts the problem, cautions to wait for “all the facts,” or describe them as “old issues.” He blames low-level staffers, President Bush, Rush Limbaugh, racial bigotry, or “straw man” caricatures of conservatives that don’t remotely match reality. When Weekly Standard and ABC broke the story that the Benghazi talking points took twelve rewrites to blame an irrelevant YouTube video that no one on the ground in Libya could defend, more citizens and media supporters took notice. When he made the false claim that he publicly labeled the Benghazi attack a terrorist act the day after it had occurred, even more lost trust. Mr. President, it’s increasingly clear that your team lied about Benghazi to protect your campaign from an embarrassing failure that cost four Americans their lives and could have cost you an election. When IRS officials admitted to improper treatment of hundreds of conservative political and religious groups, you blamed out-of-control low-level staffers and fired an interim administrator already set to leave in June. When the Associated Press was faced with evidence of the Justice Department secretly monitoring the personal phones of Associated Press reporters and editors, even the media began to turn. AP CEO Gary Pruitt called the action “a massive and unprecedented intrusion.” Before President Nixon resigned in 1973, he had won a resounding election victory, but as more and more Watergate facts were revealed, it wasn’t the Democrats who brought Nixon down; it was when Nixon’s own party lost trust in their own leader and refused to defend his Presidency that Nixon realized it was time to leave.
(“To a President Losing America’s Trust” by Terry Paulson dated May 20, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/terrypaulson/2013/05/20/to-a-president-losing-americas-trust-n1599440 )
Whatever else happens as a result of the multiple controversies that have engulfed the administration, one thing is clear: President Obama has failed to meet one of the most important goals he set out when he was first elected, which was to demonstrate that activist government could also be smart government. Liberal policy makers and intellectuals promised good government forever via something called the administrative state, in which dedicated bureaucrats would carry out benevolent public policies designed by smart social scientists. The Obama Democrats enacted the Affordable Care Act and Dodd Frank, both were supposed to represent the promise of a benign administrative state, but these new laws are un-implementable. More Americans favor smaller government over bigger government than when he was first elected, according to exit polls from last November. Public confidence in the federal government is as low as it has ever been, according to a Pew Research Center survey released this spring. Four of the government’s most important agencies are beset by political controversy, management breakdowns or both: State (what happened in Benghazi, Libya), Treasury (targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service), Justice (leak-related investigation of the Association Press) and Defense (rising numbers of sexual assaults). There are many reasons for the public’s diminished confidence in the federal government, reflecting general disapproval with the way Washington has worked during the Obama years. Obama bears a particular responsibility for failing to do what he said he had to do, which was to convince the public that he could make the part of government that he directly controls, the executive branch, smarter, more effective and more deserving of trust. Public skepticism about government put an extra burden on Obama, as it has on all activist Democrat politicians over the past three decades. To do what he wanted to do through government required building greater confidence in government. The multiple failures at the IRS speak of an agency that, at worst, was politically motivated in going after opponents of the President’s agenda and that, at best, showed terrible judgment, lacked vigorous oversight by its managers and misled members of Congress about what happened. There is much about the DOJ’s leak investigation that isn’t known and may not be known, given that it involves national security issues. The collection of telephone records from the AP appears to be so broad that it cannot easily be explained. The argument over what happened in Benghazi last Sept. 11 is mired in politics and probably will continue to be. The findings of the State Department’s internal investigation, which cited “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies,” stand as harsh criticism of what happened on Obama’s and Clinton’s watch. The full political impact of what is unfolding now may not be clear until closer to the 2014 elections. Obama has been damaged, but no matter how the electoral politics turn out, Obama’s goal of creating confidence in bigger government has taken a big hit.
(“Obama’s trust-in-government deficit” by Dan Balz dated May 18, 2013 published by The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obamas-trust-in-government-deficit/2013/05/18/5c0bb23a-bf21-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_story.html?hpid=z1 )
The scandal eruption currently surrounding the Obama regime was inevitable and the only question was when and what would finally break through the wall erected around the White House by the media. It has long been obvious to conservatives in America that Barack Obama and his fellow travelers are devoid of any honor or integrity and have been immersed in not only socialist/ Marxist philosophy but the belief that they are preordained to govern the masses. This mindset was bound to lead to excesses that even the many sycophants in the mainstream media could not ignore or effectively sweep under the rug. The tacit alliance with a media not only infatuated with the historical nature of an Obama presidency but sympathetic to many of his policies also instilled in Obama and his cabal an air of invincibility. Never has any previous administration in American history so blatantly and repeatedly for months lied about a crisis that took the lives of American citizens as has the Obama White House in the Benghazi consulate murders. The same is true of the IRS and the Justice Department, which under the Obama regime has apparently become the new American secret police, intimidating and threatening the administration’s political enemies or covertly spying on the media and Congress. There will be more such scandals, some of which are already bubbling under the surface, such as the shakedown of insurance companies, already under the thumb of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, in order to fund the rollout of ObamaCare. This is not the time for conservatives to celebrate or anticipate the potential downfall of this deceitful and corrupt administration. The fact of the matter is Obama will serve out his full term because there will never be the national will to impeach the first African-American President. Much of the media will, in due course, return to their role of protector of the man they did so much to get elected. Some in the media will not be as willing as they were in past to accept without question the talking points and propaganda emanating from the White House; nonetheless, they will not pursue a story with anywhere near the same vigor as they would a Republican or non African-American president. While the nation cannot be freed from the oppression of the Obama administration, by sensibly approaching the current scandal eruption and planning for the 2014 mid-term elections, the United States could be spared any further damage.
(“Scandal is no Enough” by Steve McCann dated May 19, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/05/scandal_is_not_enough.html )
Now that the low-information/low-knowledge segment of the country is waking up to what conservatives have been pointing out since Barack Obama was first sanctified by the left, we are being treated to the spectacle of a liberal epiphany. How could they have been suckered so completely? After all, liberals/progressives tell us all the time, they are a superior manifestation of the species. How it’s possible that those troglodytes, those conservatives, might have been right all along about the pathological dishonesty of the lords of progressivism while they, the ever-evolving, were duped. The answer lies in the modern practice of progressivism. It exists to indulge a complete and utter lack of maturity and responsibility in large enough numbers that it is assured of getting its way. It celebrates vices. It must be imposed coercively. Overt fraud and deceit are admired skills. Its practitioners wallow in behaviors and beliefs that prior generations recognized as embarrassing character flaws. It is the belief system of spoiled, antisocial children and misguided enablers, rather than responsible grownups. Mature adults disapprove of outright deception. It is a violation of the social code. Progressives, however, need it like air. Every achievement attributed to progressivism is a product of pure dishonesty. Welfare, illegal immigration, gun control, socialized medicine, energy policy, our present concepts of diplomacy and foreign policy, all are based on lies, as to both the original object and the ultimate progressive claims of success. Progressives have thus brought us social division, Socialism, economic paralysis, rampant unemployment, officially endorsed discrimination, rejection of God and traditional morality, the hyper-sexualization of children, devaluation of all human life, and absolutely no hope of improvement. We have never had a more dishonest President than we do at this time in our history. He lies effortlessly. It is not merely second nature to such a man. It is his essence. Every public statement he makes is the perfect opposite of truth. He has never done anything, approved anything, or been informed of anything that can be held against him. He is not merely Teflon: he is invisible. Those working for the most powerful man in the world also know nothing. Those in his Cabinet know nothing. They do nothing. They see nothing. They sign nothing. They produce nothing. They are responsible for nothing. Those who have shielded and coddled the liars from scrutiny and criticism have themselves been bitten by the spoiled brats. Are there enough serious people left in this country to see progressivism clearly, as it is being laid bare before them, and punish the liars who have already done so much damage?
(“A Liberal/Progressive Epiphany” by Jeffrey T. Brown dated May 18, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/05/a_liberalprogressive_epiphany.html )
Do not underestimate the psychological shock currently being processed by many members of the mainstream media and the low-to-medium information voters who rely on them for political analysis because to them, the election and re-election of Barack Obama, the first African American to hold the office of President of the United States, was a cause, a fulfillment of heartfelt dreams. With his Ivy League pedigree and ability to deliver a speech, Obama charmed the liberal media folk into believing that he was the one they had been waiting for, an inspiring black man on a white horse who could heal our lingering racial wounds, if only given the chance. They hoped he could change an America their progressive belief system held to be flawed by racism, history, and greedy businessmen, and by helping him do so, they too could nudge history along in a positive direction. So they invested themselves in making the dream come true, attaching their self-concept to his cause. People react with discomfort and hostility when their self-concept, their source of self-esteem, is threatened. It is subconsciously received as a challenge to one’s status as a good person. Three serial shocks are sufficiently grave to produce a form of trauma in those who hitched their hearts to Obama:
· Facing proof from one of their own that Obama and his administration lied and then continued to lie to the faces of the White House Press Corps through Jay Carney about Benghazi casts serious doubt on other claims of his they have supported and defended;
· Continuing revelations of the IRS’s misbehavior toward the hated tea partiers and conservatives calls into question which side are the good guys;
· The revelation that all their loyalty bought them no consideration at all when it came to secretly grabbing records of their communications in AP, tells them loyalty is one way street with this guy and his crowd.
The big question now is how many of the liberal media will return to form as this process unfolds itself with more whistleblowers emerging, and with documents subpoenaed and witnesses put under oath over the coming months. Obama is too remote and disconnected to have actively instigated these shocks. He has disappointed them a little, but any overestimation they may have engaged in was out of the best of motives. If enough members of the media see the light and join in the discovery of all the deceptions proffered over the last few years, we may see the partisan divide actually diminish, as common revulsion at the dishonesty and abuses brings people together – Barack Obama may inadvertently become what he promised to be: a uniter not a divider.
(“The Mainstream Media Obama Psychodrama” by Thomas Lifson dated May 16, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/05/the_mainstream_media_obama_psychodrama.html )
The best way to win a political argument is by manipulating the rhetoric used to describe the two sides in a debate, and Democrats and the Chuck Schumer Republicans have done a marvelous job hijacking the term “reform” and deriding those who oppose their bill to grant mass amnesty, double record immigration levels, and hamper future enforcement, as anti “immigration reform.” I prefer to call the bill immigration deform instead of amnesty. It is a lot worse than amnesty; it is the antithesis of everything that is reform-minded. Immigration reform means changing our legal immigration system to one that identifies and prioritizes those who best benefit the broad country from a system that prioritizes those who benefit nobody (or special interests) and encumbers those who would be net contributors. It also means implementing enforcement and protecting our national security interests first. Real immigration reform must include:
· Immigration reform means passing something similar to Lamar Smith’s bill, which eliminates the 55,000 junk visas from the diversity lottery and reallocates them to those who graduate from US universities with advanced degrees in STEM.
· Immigration reform means eliminating all the magnets that have enticed people to come here illegally. It means blocking refundable tax credits for illegals. It means reviewing our birthright citizenship policies, which allow all illegals, holders of student visas or guest worker visas to collect benefits on behalf of their American-born children.
· Immigration reform means not only securing the border and implementing exit-entry before legalization, but also restoring 287(g) and cracking down on sanctuary cities.
· Immigration reform means making it cheaper for those who we want to immigrate to go through the process.
· Immigration reform means enforcing our public charge laws when processing applications.
· Immigration reform means to protect America first by not letting in security risks reinstating programs like the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which will help protect against such threats who come in on student or worker visas.
Protecting our borders and sovereignty is a requirement of government; reforming our legal immigration system is a necessary function of government. They must be dealt with first. Only after there is a parallel agreement from the left to deal with our issues can we discuss any sort of legalization. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have effectively blocked any amendment that could have fixed the bill’s serious flaws. What is left is the antithesis of immigration reform, and conservatives should not be bullied into supporting it.
(“’Immigration Reform’ and Political Parlance” by Daniel Horowitz dated May 22, 2013 published by Red State at http://www.redstate.com/2013/05/22/immigration-reform-and-political-parlance/ )
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).