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Is Obama’s Divisive Rhetoric & Scare-mongering
the New Kind of Politics he Promised?

Remember how so many critics of former President George W. Bush called the Texan “divisive”? One columnist contended that the Republican used “scare tactics” to “demean politics and voters.” They faulted him for deriding his opponents.

Now, I have a challenge for those who continue to berate Bush. Can you find anything in his speeches or other remarks, particularly in his first few weeks (even months) in office, when he derided his political opponents as much as his successor has in the past two days?

Did Bush ever accuse his ideological adversaries of “peddling ‘false theories…phony arguments and petty politics’“? Did he ever attack his opponents as his successor has?

Were Bush’s policy addresses in his first term, “devoid. . . of analysis,” reading like campaign speeches?

Remember how we heard ad nauseum over the past eight years that George W. Bush was playing the politics of fear?  His successor promised to change that as Charles Krauthammer reminds us declaring, in his inaugural address, that “we have chosen hope over fear.” Yet, barely three weeks into this term, he has abandoned that pledge when he needed “fear to pass a bill.”   And now, he’s using “scare-mongering rhetoric” to push his spendthrift “stimulus.”

It seems that the criticisms Bush-critics heaped upon the former president could be more readily used to describe his successor.

UPDATE: Wasn’t it just two weeks ago, an AP “reporter” heralded the new era: Obama breaks from Bush, avoids divisive stands?


Two California Senators, Two Different Reactions

I just called both my Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. And the reaction from their respective staffers reflects each woman’s political persona. As I spoke to Mrs. Feinstein’s aide, I could hear him typing, as if he were recording my thoughts to pass them on to a higher-up in hero office. He asked for my zip code.

By contrast, Mrs. Boxer’s aide kept trying to conclude the conversation before I could conclude my spiel, basically saying that she should vote “no” on the “stimulus” as it merely extends and expands George W. Bush’s fiscal policies, cutting taxes while increasing federal domestic spending.

When I praised Mrs. Feinstein for reserving the right to oppose the “stimulus,” I asked if that good woman had yet made up her mind to vote against it. He said, she hadn’t. Mrs. Boxer’s aide couldn’t tell me where her boss stood.

Just watch these remarks (h/t HotAir) to see how the White House reacts to her independence.

I disagree with her on tax cuts (see the second video on HotAir), but respect her independence in taking issue with her party leaders and daring criticize this budget boondoogle.

The “Stimulus:”
A Return to the Politics of the Past
Spending Money That Doesn’t Exist

Senator Tom Coburn, who worked together with the president on legislation when the latter was in the Senate, offers perhaps the best criticism to date of the so-called stimulus:

As a nation, we got into this mess by spending and investing money that didn’t exist. We won’t get out of it by doing more of the same.

Yet this is precisely what this bill proposes we do. Less than 10% of the bill could be considered true stimulus, if one assumes tax credits and infrastructure spending will jolt the economy. The other 90% of the bill represents one of the most egregious acts of generational theft in our nation’s history, with taxpayer money going to special-interest earmarks, an ill-conceived bailout to states, and permanent spending increases that expand government’s reach in areas like health care and education.

He contested his former colleague’s contention that the “stimulus” meant change, holding it represents instead a return to the politics of the past:

Instead of delivering change, this bill celebrates the politics of the past. The bill represents both the mindless partisanship of recent decades, and the failed interventionist policies of the 1930’s. The Senate can, and must, do much better. As currently written, this bill represents the worst act of generational theft in our nation’s history.

If the president is repeatedly decrying the trillion dollar deficits of his predecessor (based on a budget, I might add, passed by a Democratic Congress), why is he trying so hard to increase them?

Yes, I agree we need do something to help “fix” the ailing economy.  But, when has such a vast increase in federal domestic largesse done that?

I just don’t get how someone can so decry deficits and then work to saddle our nation with unprecedented (for a single piece of legislation) amounts of debt.  It’s like a guy who admitting it’s a problem that he’s maxed out his credit cards deciding to go on a spending binge.

Ronnie vs. Barry

This seems a fitting way to remember the 40th President of the United States on the anniversary of his birth.

I didn’t think Obama would botch it so badly as to put his near 70-percent approval rating in peril so quickly.

What’s wrong with this picture, and why, seemingly, can’t David Axelrod see it? No wonder Republicans suddenly have a spring in their step and a zip in their speech.

Sorry always to bring things back to my (our) hero, Ronaldus Maximus, but the Gipper didn’t make the mistake of thinking a landslide election win meant he could declare “I won.”

To the contrary, the January 2001 report of the Initial Actions Project—the detailed blueprint for Reagan’s first year in office—says this: “The election was not a bestowal of political power, but a stewardship opportunity for us to reconsider and restructure the political agenda for the next two decades. The public has sanctioned the search for a new public philosophy to govern America.”

In other words, “we’re going to need to argue for our program.”  This was a practical necessity, since Democrats still controlled the House.

Barry the Arrogant needs to find some humility within the walls of the White House.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE from Dan: Bruce, thanks for alerting us to that wonderful remembrance of the Gipper. What a great way to celebrate his birthday this year at this time.

If Bush Was Trying to Drown Blacks in New Orleans….

Is Obama trying to kill poor white people in Kentucky?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Nearly 168,000 emergency meal kits sent to Kentucky in the wake of an ice storm had been recalled more than two weeks earlier because some contained peanut butter that could have been contaminated by salmonella, federal officials said Thursday.

An apparent communication breakdown among federal officials allowed the kits to be sent to Kentucky to help feed hundreds of thousands of people left without power at the height of last week’s storm.

If the liberals held Obama to the same standard (um, lies) as Bush in Katrina — then Obama is definitely trying to kill poor white people in Kentucky.

Regardless of the peanut butter development — this disaster is definitely Obama’s Frozen Katrina.

UPDATE from PatriotPartner (John):  “Quite a sticky situation that Barry has on his hands.”    Ba-dum-dum.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan!

It seems my friend Rick Sincere was the first in the blogosphere to wish Americans a Happy Reagan Day on this, the ninety-eighth anniversary of the birth of the greatest American president of the second half of the twentieth century, the chief executive with the most successful economic policy of that entire century.

In a nice summary of Reagan’s reputation and political philosophy, Rick also references Reagan’s outspoken opposition to the Briggs Initiative. That pernicious proposal would have banned gays from teaching at California public schools. Indeed, the eponymous Senator Briggs attributed the Gipper’s opposition to the measure’s “ignominious defeat”. And the Gipper did this in 1978, at a time when, as Rick reminds us, such opposition “would not help him politically. He did it because it was the right thing to do.

Indeed, such opposition could hurt him, it risked alienating the Gipper from the Christian Right, then an emerging “faction” of his party.

As we celebrate Reagan’s birthday during the Administration of the first of his successors trying to repudiate his ideas, it’s important that we remember what those ideas were.  He provided a nice summary in his 1964 speech on behalf of then-GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. Those ideas would not just explain his support for that principled Arizonan, but also come to define his own basic political philosophy for his subsequent political career.

So, today, as we remember the Gipper on the anniversary of his birth, let us not just recall Ronald Reagan the man. Not just the successful president and charismatic leader. Let us also remember Ronald Reagan, man of ideas.

As we recall his ideas — and affirm them ourselves — we will be better equipped to debate the issues of the day. When others call our party’s attempt to block a spendthrift “stimulus” as obstructionist or rejectionist, tell them that in opposing this boondoggle, we are not merely rejecting a proposal which, we believe, will be harmful over the long term, we are affirming the vision of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Let us always remember the Gipper’s guiding idea: freedom. Freedom. Freedom.

And the less government intrudes on our freedom, the better off we are. And the stronger our economy is. And will be.

Obama’s Change = More of the Same

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:18 am - February 6, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Economy,Obama Watch

Speaking to staffers at the Department of Energy yesterday, President Obama pushed his “stimulus” plan and misrepresented the ideas of his critics:

They’re rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems; that government doesn’t have a role to play; that half-measures and tinkering are somehow enough;

While President Bush may have premised his economic policy entirely on tax cuts, he never believed that such cuts alone could solve all our problems. And his successor would be hard-pressed to find any Republican who did. Save Congressman Ron Paul, no leading Republican believes government doesn’t have a role to play.

In elaborating on conservative ideas (without detailing any), the president really got in some strange territory given the legislation he’s been pushing:

Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed.  They’ve taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars, and they’ve brought our economy to a halt.  And that’s precisely what the election we just had was all about.

Now, I agree that the notion that you can promote economic health by cutting taxes and increasing federal domestic outlays has been tested and failed.

If the president’s knowledge goes back beyond “”the last 10 years”, he would know that conservative economic policies do work.   In the 1980s, they helped lift us out of a severe recession. And we enjoyed prosperity throughout Clinton’s tenure because that Democrat never repudiated them.

But, if the policies he’s decrying led to trillion dollar deficits and brought our economy to a halt, why then is he proposing policies which will create ever larger deficits?  Does he really believe policies which expand the deficit even further will bring that halted economy back to life?

Um, Mr. President, that last election was about “change.” You should know you–and your supporters–repeated that word ad nauseum. For the past eight years, we’ve seen ever increasing levels of domestic spending. Are you saying it’s change to keep increasing such spending, only at a faster rate of increase?

Oh, and, um, did you campaign on a multi-hundred billion dollar stimulus?

AP “Reporter” Can’t Let Go of his Bush-Hatred

In an article on President Obama’s first flight on AIr Force One, AP “reporter” Mark Smith couldn’t resist making some gratuitous digs at the president’s predecessor.  The article led the Yahoo! headlines and it made me wonder if, eight years ago, AP had commissioned a similar piece on that good man’s first flight on the presidential plane.

Did Mr. Smith need mention the “bitter 2000 recount battle” in recalling that flight?

But, here’s the real evidence on his animus against W.  Take a gander at the paragraph on the first President Bush’s first flight as president on the presidential jet:

In 1989, Bush’s father, a former Navy pilot, took his first Air Force One trip as president to the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia. Long before his son’s notorious “Mission Accomplished” speech, Bush spoke on an aircraft carrier — about wasteful military spending.

What does that supposedly “notorious” speech have to do with his Dad’s flight on Air Force One?

Wow, just like Keith Olbermann, these guys just can’t let go of their hatred of George W. Bush.