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Commander In Chief Ignores Troops on Eve of 9/11 Anniversary

Unlike Dan (below), I did watch the president’s speech to Congress tonight and couldn’t have been more disappointed in his choices.

While there is a lot to say that I’ll address when I get a chance to reflect a bit more on the text of the speech, I didn’t want to go to bed tonight before making the following observation and getting something off my chest:

The last time a Joint Session of Congress was addressed by a president for other than the State of the Union (and a SotU-lite after being Innaugurated) was September 20, 2001 when President George W. Bush addressed the Nation as being “a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom.” We were about to enter a war that persists to this day.

Nearly eight years to the day after terrorists attacked defenseless civilians in the most dispicable act of destruction on the United States by a foreign entity in history, following the deadliest month so far in the war that ensued, and as a weary Nation begins anew to waver on the necessity of the battle, our current president decided that matters were so dire that another Joint Session needed to be called for an address by him. Things indeed are so grave, that, in his own words, if we do not act, “more will die”.

Only problem is that what was so dire to him is not the very existence of our Nation at the hands of these terrorists, nor the desperately needed pep-talk to reinvigorate the spirit that led us once to nearly unanimously support the need for action in this battle.

No, it was the need he feels to Stalinize the most productive and effective health care industry in the world.

In fact, so unimportant are our troops’ current efforts to defeat the terrorist threat to their Commander in Chief that the words “Afganistan” and “Iraq” passed his lips exactly one time each, and in the same breath, and only to dismiss them as having cost more (in dollars, mind you, not lives) than his (erroneous) projection for this government take-over. What’s more, his use of the present perfect sense (to nit-pick) makes it seem as though he’s speaking of a war already over, not currently being waged.

I have given this man incredible credit over the past 8 months for correct positions he has taken on (some) national defense issues and military concerns. His timing and explicit avoidance of those of us who are fighting and dying daily in the war he did support on the eve of this solemn anniversary and on the heels of such a devastating month of losses is completely inexcusable.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

Barone on Green Jobs

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:40 pm - September 9, 2009.
Filed under: Economy,Entrepreneurs

If there were money to be made in green jobs, private investors would be creating them already.

Michael Barone

Watching the President’s Speech

I had not intended to watch it, but switched on FoxNews at about 5:40 and was surprised that he was still in the middle of it.  And he’s still going.  He seems quite angry, shouting the speech rather than giving it.  (And it seems others agree with me as a blogging friend observed as his Facebook status, “Why is the President yelling at us?”

“If you misrepresent what is in this plan, I will call you out.”  Um, so does that mean he will be calling himself out?

UPDATE:  Stephen Green drunkblogs to similar effect: “The president is LECTURING people he needs to win over. How’s that gonna go over, you think?” His summary:

Obama will see a brief spike in the polls, but not enough. He delivered a divisive speech to a divided nation — and that’s no way to spur a divided Congress into action.

I agree.  Read the whole thing.

UP-UPDATE:  Please note I include this post in the “Dishonest Democrats” category because of the way he misrepresented his plan and his critics.  Hope to address this in a subsequent post.

UP-UP-UPDATE:  Jim Geraghy also thought he “shouted” the speech:

Tonight, we saw a surprising amount of “shouting” delivery, and a lot of promises. A lot. A big reason the public skeptical is that they doubt any plan passed by Congress will meet the litany of pledges Obama offered this evening.

Obama’s Health Care Speech:
An Unnecessary Exercise Intended to Save an Unpopular Program

When most Presidents speak to a joint session of Congress, it is in response to a personal tragedy (as was Reagan’s speech in 1981 after he recovered from being shot), a national crisis (as was George W. Bush’s September 20, 2001 speech to the attacks of 9/11),  or to deliver the State of the Union address.

It seems today the only tragedy for Obama is personal, the precipitous drop in his poll numbers, the only crisis the loss of popular support for his legislative initiatives.  The current state of the union (while not calling for a constitutionally mandated address) is economic unease and increased political polarization with Americans growing increasingly upset about the Democrats’ statist solutions to pressing social, economic and political problems.

In part, the President is making this speech to address these issues, and Byron York doubts Obama will succeed:

. . . when a president makes such a rare request, he’s sending a clear message that there is an emergency, or at least an urgent issue, that must be addressed in the most solemn national forum. . . .   Is Obamacare such an issue? Hardly. So it will be the president’s job to convince the public that the need to pass a national health care bill is so urgent that it ranks alongside war and other national emergencies.

It can’t be done. No matter what Obama says on Wednesday, the audience will see the speech for what it is: A president speaking not as the nation’s leader in time of crisis but rather as a salesman pushing a troubled product.

Sales jobs are the least successful joint addresses. Clinton’s didn’t work. And it hasn’t been pointed out very often, but the president in the last half-century who used the joint session format the most was the one who got the least done: Jimmy Carter.

Read the whole thing.  Simply put, no matter how polished is the President’s performance tonight, it’s the ideas he espouses which have caused the current crisis (his crumbling public image).  Perhaps, if he announced tonight that he was shifting his strategy to focus on the economy or launching a health care reform do-over, he might find himself standing on more solid political ground. (more…)

Perez Hilton Praises Obamacare:
Refuses to Criticize Obama for Opposing Gay Marriage

So, Perez Hilton cuts a video for Obamacare, but won’t criticize the President for having the same view on gay marriage as does beauty queen Carrie Prejean who earned multiple tongue-lashings from this left-wing celebrity blogger?

Once Again, President Misrepresents Opposition

There he goes again.

It seems that whenever someone criticizes Barack Obama’s policies, he offers the same response, contending that his opponents just raise objections, but don’t offer solutions.  In remarks to the AFL-CIO in Cincinnati on Sunday, he repreated his standard misrepresentation:

“What’s your solution?” Obama asked of his critics . . . . “You know what? They don’t have one. Their answer is to do nothing.”

Guess neither the President nor his people have been paying much attention to the right-of-center blogs, the editorial pages of major newspapers, websites of libertarian and conservative think tanks or legislation pending before Congress.  Conservatives (and libertarians) have come up with a plethora of ideas for reforming health care.

Not just that, in conversations with blog readers in Denver, even exchanges with my Democratic Aunt in Colorado Springs, all of whom are at odds with Obama’s statist approach, I have heard a number of friends, relatives and acquaintances offer some interesting alternatives to Obamacare, from a requirement that any able-bodied person receiving government benefits for health care be required to “volunteer” at a health care facility (in exchange for the services) to limits on malpractice claims to portability (across state lines) of health care benefits.  I’m sure you all have had similar experiences in conversations with your various circles.

And yet instead of hearing our suggestions, Obama dismisses us as wanting to “do nothing.”  I wonder why that it is.

How pathetic that the President of the United States would so misrepresent the ideas of his adversaries.

UPDATEMaybe this will get his attention:  “Plus, Republicans will unveil their bill — in Obama’s presence. Tired of being ignored, I guess.”

Has Obama ever persuaded people to support his policies?

As the President prepares to make another pitch for his health care overhaul as the American people turn against his statist approach, Jim Geraghty wonders if Obama has ever persuaded Americans to change their minds and support his liberal policies:

There’s a rather glaring problem with public expressions that “this is the moment for Obama to change people’s minds.” Other than persuading people to vote for him, has Obama ever done this? Ever? Can anyone point to a circumstance where he encountered a group that wanted X, and he persuaded them to embrace “not X”?

Indeed.

His strength has never been his power to persuade but rather to inspire.  It always struck me how many of his most zealous supporters could never identify the particular changes Obama would institute once elected (save to replace George W. Bush and be different from him).  They were just impressed by the Democrat as a man, the sound of his voice and the figure he cut.

So, my sense is that while Obama may get a momentary bounce (in the polls) from tonight’s speech, the numbers will not hold and we will not see a significant increase in support for a radical overhaul of our healthcare system.

University of Wyoming Names Center for former Vice President:
AP Focuses on Miniscule Protest

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:00 pm - September 9, 2009.
Filed under: Media Bias

Do you think a petition generating only 150 signatures in a year’s time to protest the naming of a center in honor of a former Democratic Vice President in his home state would have generated an AP article and led Yahoo! news?

In reporting on the University of Wyoming’s naming “a new center for international students” for the former Vice President who represented the state in Congress for a decade before serving as the nation’s Defense Secretary, AP Reporter Mead Gruyer breathlessly focuses on the protest:

The university’s decision to name the center after Cheney, a former Wyoming congressman, prompted a petition that collected more than 150 signatures. The petition said polices of the Bush administration were “very controversial” and the name will affect how people perceive the center.

Cheney’s support for harsh interrogations — torture, some say — is one reason to oppose naming the center after him, said Suzanne Pelican, who began circulating the petition a year ago.

Emphasis added.  150 signatures in a year?  Wow, we got thrice that in an afternoon at a Tea Party in Santa Monica, one of the most left-wing bastions in the Golden State.  And we didn’t have a an AP report from that grassroots protest leading Yahoo!’s news.

UPDATE:  Linked on Newsbusters where a smart young blogger offers:  “Ill will against former Vice President Dick Cheney still runs high in some circles.”  Read the whole thing.

Why President Should Ditch Obamacare, Focus on Economy

The farther away I get from the 2008 presidential election, the more amazed I am at how well John McCain did in the November balloting. Our anxieties about the economy were stoked by a media eager to portray the then-President as a failure and McCain the candidate of that man’s party couldn’t articulate a coherent economic message.

McCain’s campaign slogan had little to do with Americans’ (then-) current concerns.  He did nothing to calm our fears, did not clearly articulate a plan to improve things.

And in came Barack Obama, calm, cool, collected.  He tapped into our anxieties and promised change.

People trusted him to fix the economy and yet, while there are still signs of recovery, unemployment continues to climb with only one in eight American employers expected “to add to their workforce” in the fourth quarter this year.  While hiring expectations “are improving around the world,” 14% of domestic employers “expect a decline” in their workforce.

My advice thus to the President, use his speech tonight to recall how he owed his electoral success to economic anxiety, choosing to put health care overhaul on the back burner and focus on the economy.  I mean, just imagine the speech,

Many of you have rallied this past month against radical reform of health care; I’ve heard your concerns.  I agree.  We need to slow this down, take some time to craft a solid program for reform.  Meanwhile, many Americans are losing their jobs, while others fear they could be the next to be laid off.   Let’s first fix the economy before we proceed to other necessary projects.  You elected me to fix the economy.  And that’s what I’m going to do.

Should he speak those words or something similar, he’d reverse his slide in the polls, would probably pick up a point or two (or half-dozen) and leave Republicans confused, confounded and sputtering.

My fellow partisans may declare victory in stalling Obamacare, but the President would have regained the initiative.

Thoughts about the President’s Address to Schoolchildren

On few issues have those who have taken issue with the points we have made stood on as solid ground as have these critics on the issue of the President’s speech to schoolchildren yesterday.  Indeed, despite the outcry on the right, many of our philosophical confrères shared our critics sentiments and thought the speech was “no big deal.”

Under normal circumstances, we should welcome the head of state of the United States of America encouraging children to work hard in school and to aspire to great things.  (And many on the right found much to praise in the President’s address.)

Alas, that too many of those critics refused to understand our genuine concerns about the potential politicization of the address, especially given the study guides prepared by the Department of Education.  It seems they reacted in a bitter and hateful kneejerk manner to our criticisms, as if everything we say must be discounted and every criticism we level against the President must be rooted in animus.

So, I wonder if those who reacted in such an unthinking manner to our criticism under stood some conservatives were doing exactly what Democrats did when then-President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar address to schoolchildren in 1991.   Not only did Democrats denounced the Republican Chief Executive they even held hearings: (more…)