Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When all else fails, whip out the race card

I suppose it was only a matter of time before we started seeing the "opposing Obama's socialist agenda=racism" tactic. Today it is the voice of the worst President in modern history telling us that any opposition to Obama is inherently racist.

Carter, though, said in an interview with NBC that race is the driving factor.

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American," Carter said. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way and I've seen the rest of the country that shared the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time ... and I think it's bubbled up to the surface, because of a belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country."

At a town hall at his presidential center in Atlanta Tuesday, Carter also said Wilson's outburst -- the South Carolina Republican shouted "You lie!" at Obama during his health care address to Congress -- was racially motivated.

"I think it's based on racism," Carter said in response to an audience question. "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president."

We didn't listen to Jimmy when he was the worst President in modern history, so why does anyone listen to the worst ex-President in modern history? I am sure that even Jimmy Carter is not so ignorant as to think that the "overwhelming portion" of the opposition to Obama is race based. It is just a political ploy and one that too many people fall for again and again. I would vote for a conservative black in a second and vote against a liberal white just as fast. This sort of race baiting politics and implied slander of millions of tax paying citizens who oppose socialism is far more damaging to the political process than Joe Wilson's outburst. That was in poor taste, what Carter has done is outright lying.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Have we got a deal for you!

Each day it seems that we get more bad news, more ominous rumblings from Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is clearly alive and well, and would like nothing more than for the U.S. and NATO to move out of Afghanistan so he and his terrorist organization could move back in. While Osama is alive, he must be pretty hampered operationally by hiding in the mountains. Exhibit A for that is that we have not been attacked on American soil since 9/11. That stability and safety is in danger now. Liberals love to say that we are less safe after 8 years of Bush but the truth is that the American people have been spared a terror attacks for eight years now, and keeping Americans safe is one of the primary responsibilities of the President of the United States. That security is under assault now because of one war where the will of the American people is wavering: Afghanistan.

Remember when Democrats complained that because of the Iraq War, Bush had “taken his eye off the ball” in Afghanistan?

Who has their eye on the ball in Afghanistan today?

Where are those Democrats now? Oh that’s right, now they are not worried about taking our eyes off the ball, now they want to take our ball and go home. Having failed in Iraq to revisit the policy of cut and run that led to our retreat from Vietnam, they now seek to assuage their taste for nostalgia in Afghanistan. There is nothing so satisfying, nothing so sweet to the Western Left as a perceived humiliation for America. This is especially true in America itself where liberal self-loathing finds a wide audience in the very country that makes it easy for them to espouse their suicidal geopolitical worldview.

Abandoning Afghanistan is not as easy or without cost as many talking heads would have us believe. The resulting instability in that region cannot do anything but cause harm to us and to our allies. I would rather see a constant state of unrest in Afghanistan than see an abandoned struggle lead to a victorious Osama bin Laden triumphantly returning to Kabul and setting up an invigorated terror base. Can you imagine him crowing about having driven the American infidel invaders from Afghanistan? How much would that increase their recruiting? A man on the run in the mountains of Afghanistan/Pakistan is an impotent symbol. A man who can rightly claim to have driven the sole remaining superpower from Afghanistan, a man who can claim to have defeated not one but two of the mightiest militaries in the modern world becomes a leader in fact, not just in theory. With a permanent base of operations and an emboldened Al-Qaeda, how long would it be before Pakistan and her arsenal of nuclear weapons fell to radical Islam? You think Islamic terrorism is scary now, imagine what it would be like with the Pakistani economy and armed forces behind it. You think terror is bad now, imagine a war between India and Pakistan that goes nuclear or the Pakistan puppet government run by Al-Qaeda providing nuclear weapons to jihadists around the world.

Meanwhile, President Obama is…selling insurance. I love the image of President Obama with a cheap suit going door to door trying to sell insurance to skeptical housewives. I don’t love the idea of the war in Afghanistan going by the wayside as he tilts the socialized medicine windmill in a Quixotic struggle to force a plan on Americans that they don’t want.

All joking aside, this preoccupation with a failed and unwanted policy is dangerous for America and the world. We are long overdue a surge in Afghanistan. It worked in Iraq and it can work in Afghanistan. In a great editorial today, Senators McCain, Lieberman and Graham make this statement:

More troops will not guarantee success in Afghanistan, but a failure to send them is a guarantee of failure.

That is about the truest thing you will ever hear out of the mouths of politicians. If President Obama gives in to the Woodstock nostalgia crowd in Washington and pulls out of Afghanistan now, the results will be far worse than our retreat from Vietnam. In Vietnam we saw one country fall into communism and the people of that nation have suffered since. The results of a retreat in Afghanistan very possible will result in smoldering American cities. This is one of those times that the President needs to be a leader, to abandon his ill-fated attempt to seize the health care system and grab hold of Afghanistan with both hands before it slips through our fingers and into the waiting arms of Osama bin laden.

Afghanistan and socialized medicine are the two pivot points of the Obama presidency. If he mishandles them, he will be a one term President and little more than a historical curiosity as the first black President. If he does the right thing, i.e. abandoning the unpopular socialized medicine plan and focusing on winning in Afghanistan, he can be more than just a historical footnote and be a leader in every sense of the word.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Joe Wilson, Robert Bork and political discourse

So NOW political discourse has become crass. The outrage on the left over the “you lie” comment is so over the top that is has become a caricature. I have expect to see journalists fanning their peers who have fainted from shock. Oh, oh the horror of it all! Politics has always been so polite and genteel until Joe Wilson and those un-American fascists mobs who expressed their opinions to their elected public servants!

Guess what, political discourse has always been crass. Read old political speeches and cartoons and see how courteous they are. Congressman have attacked one another verbally, with canes and in one famous (at least outside of public schools where it probably isn’t even mentioned) incident where a former Vice-President of the United States killed the 1st Treasury Secretary in a duel. So please, save the phony outrage. I found Representative Wilson’s outburst unseemly. On the other hand, a two second outburst during a political stump speech to push socialized medicine pales in comparison to some of the other events that have taken place in the Capitol Building.

Let us take a trip down memory lane to one of the darkest moments in American political history.

Less than an hour after President Reagan nominated Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, an indisputably qualified man and under the exercise of the right and duty of the President to nominate Court justices, Senator Edward Kennedy rushed to the Senate floor to deliver these now famous remarks:

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is -- and is often the only -- protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy... President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice."

The language Senator Kennedy used was coarse and the opinions he presented as fact as demonstrably false. There was not a lick of truth in anything he said. In other words, he lied on the floor of the Senate. That speech galvanized the left and their media cronies and in short order Robert Bork was denied a seat on the highest court in the land. A man who is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant legal minds of our times was destroyed by a crass and illegitimate attack by a man who has no business casting aspersions at anyone else. The results of that speech go far beyond Robert Bork and have led to a dumbing down of political discourse to the point that no one is permitted to have and express a position for fear of being “Borked”.

Representative Wilson was probably right that President Obama was lying, but he was wrong to shout out during the address. In a wired world, there are plenty of ways to spread the truth about what President Obama was trying to sell. Having said that, it is a far more egregious show of poor taste and far more damaging to the governing process for liberals to get outraged over a two second outburst just weeks after canonizing Ted Kennedy as a master statesman.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Obama's last stand?

President Obama is going to try to appeal to the public one more time next Wednesday in a prime time speech to a joint session of Congress. The tone surrounding this smacks of desperation. By going on live TV in front of Congress, Obama is invoking the biggest stick in a President's arsenal. Preempting prime time TV (including Wipeout, which may be ironic given what I expect to happen). I expect lots of empty rhetoric, a little demagoguery and character assassination and empty promises to save money by spending money.

It is looking likely that next Wednesday will be the battle of the Little Bighorn for Obamacare. Surrounded and outnumbered, I expect to see the same results. Should the President fail to convince Americans, as I expect he will, it could mark the end of the health reform debate for some time to come. We can only hope that this latest attempt to socialize our medical care will fail and that like the last time it was tried will lead to a change in Congressional control.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then

Thomas Frank, token liberal for the Wall Street Journal writing about why Democrats are losing the “health care” debate….

What's dragging the Democrats down in the health-care debate isn't confusion about details. On this the president and his supporters have proven themselves the ablest of technocrats, easily identifying each plan's particulars and its shortcomings, laying everything out on nice flow charts.

It is the big questions that are tripping them up. Concerns about the size and role of government are what seem to leave reformers stammering and speechless in town-hall meetings. The right wants to have a debate over fundamental principles; elected Democrats seem incapable of giving it to them.

Mr. Frank is rarely right about anything and even when he is right, it is usually by accident. The truth of the matter is that the Left does not want to have a conversation about the proper size and role of government. It ducks that debate for a very important reason: it loses every time. Leftists programs are always spun to us on the basis of marketing, on emotional appeals that put Hallmark ads to shame. I contend, and will to my dying breath, that liberalism is indefensible on its merits and is only appealing when you skip facts and logic and try to tug the heartstrings.

Many liberals cry hypocrisy over the opposition to health care “reform” because the same people who protest will someday be eligible for government run plans like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Those plans are indeed government run. Congrats to Mr. Frank and other liberals for figuring this out! They are also inefficient, hugely expensive and charging headlong into bankruptcy as the population ages, lives longer and the supply of workers paying into the system shrinks. I am required by law to contribute to Social Security, but if I was given the option of getting back what I have paid in so far and then not paying more in return for not getting Social Security in the future, sign me up! I would much rather control and invest that money myself than let some knucklehead bureaucrat in D.C. control my retirement savings.

The health care “reform” debate is not about health care at all. It is about the role and size of the government. The town hall protestors (i.e. tax paying American citizens to conservatives or "fascist mobs" to liberals) are not protesting improved health care, they are protesting an enormous expansion of the government into yet another place that it has no Constitutional business being and thereby avoiding another huge, inefficient but impossible to reform or eliminate drag on our economy. Many Americans and more every day recognize that if Obamacare is passed, death panels and other rhetoric aside, it will in short order replace private insurance and we will never, ever be able to get out from underneath it. There is no going back and if history has been any sort of guide, there is nowhere to go but down when the government takes over a function of the private sector.