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Obama Watch

Courtesy of ZH, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping stand together – away from President Obama.

Other news: Jonathan Gruber, Obamacare’s architect, brags about voter “stupidity” (his word) and how excellently he exploited it:

The conservative group American Commitment posted Jonathan Gruber’s remarks, reportedly from an Oct. 17, 2013, event, on YouTube.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” says the MIT economist who helped write Obamacare. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

Ed Morrissey’s piece gives you the video, and Ed adds:

Gruber goes a little farther than that. He tells the crowd that the bill was written to fake out the CBO — which is the Congress’ own analytical group. “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber tells the audience with a smile. “If CBO scores the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”…

Democrats insisted that CBO’s initial scoring showed that the bill was deficit-neutral in its first ten years, thanks to…dodges like trawling revenue before making outlays a few years later. How much else did Democrats lie to get that initially positive scoring? How much else are Democrats still hiding about the ACA and the HHS implementation of it?

And now HHS tells us that they’re projecting Obamacare’s 2015 enrollment to be kind of a failure.

Last, but not least: Yes, the media helped Obama cover up his flailing on Benghazi.

The day after the Benghazi attack, Obama gave an interview to Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes (CBS) where he pointedly refused to call the attack terrorism. But later, in a debate with Mitt Romney, Obama claimed that he had always been prompt in calling it terrorism. Obama spoke falsely. And CBS helped him, by hiding the relevant interview clip – until after the election.

UPDATE: A report that when Democrat senators need to know White House plans or positions, they ask MSNBC. (Which shows Obama’s isolation, as well as MSNBC’s deep subservience to the White House.) Via Citizens News.

Wait…Who underestimated ISIS?

Obama says US ‘underestimated’ rise of ISIS, admits ‘contradictory’ Syria policy:

President Obama acknowledged Sunday that U.S. intelligence officials “underestimated” the threat posed by the Islamic State and overestimated the Iraqi army’s capacity to defeat the militant group…

Let’s be clear: Officials who were chosen and supported by Obama. The administration of Barack Hussein Obama underestimated ISIS.

Or else, we can make this entry #39,422 in the files of “Obama pretends that he hasn’t been president all these years”. In the interview, Obama goes on to also blame Iraq’s PM al-Maliki for the problems; never himself.

One more thing. Does Obama still have the U.S. backing the world’s evil dictators? It seems so:

Obama also acknowledged that the U.S. is dealing with a conundrum in Syria, as the U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State is helping Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom the U.N. has accused of war crimes.

“I recognize the contradiction in a contradictory land and a contradictory circumstance,” Obama said…

Bush practically would have been impeached, for saying that. (And Bush wouldn’t have said it because Bush did what he could, to push U.S. policy in the direction of overthrowing the world’s evil dictators.)

One more thing. Has Obama made it a thing of the past, that the U.S. might strike its enemies pre-emptively (or perhaps unilaterally, as the Left calls it)? Not so much:

Obama called the threat from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and other terror groups a more “immediate concern that has to be dealt with…” “…in terms of immediate threats to the United States, ISIL, Khorasan Group — those folks could kill Americans,” he said…

Both groups have been targeted by U.S. airstrikes in recent days…

Barack Obama: Just what the Left always *accused* Bush of being. And of course, the media lets him get away with it.

UPDATE: Some Democrats agree that it was the Obama White House, more than the U.S. intelligence community, which underestimated ISIS.

Former Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, a two-term Democratic member of the House of Representatives…appeared to surprise his MSNBC interlocutor when he noted that the only people who got ISIS wrong work in the Obama administration.

“If you remember back in January and February, the head — the general, the Defense Intelligence Agency, actually testified before the House and Senate that in 2014, ISIS would take over large swaths of territory,” the Navy veteran asserted. “In fact, at the time he testified, they had already seized Ramadi and Fallujah — 35 miles from Baghdad.”

A decade ago, Fallujah was a crucial victory for the Marines (some of whom gave their lives) against an earlier version of ISIS. I guess Obama threw it back.

UPDATE: A report that Obama was warned about ISIS in 2012. As Ed Morrissey puts it:

…the US intelligence community told him of the danger at the same time Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney during the presidential debates…for wanting a residual force in Iraq to prevent exactly what Romney warned would happen.

Yet another ‘limousine socialist’

Left-wing NYC Mayor de Blasio has released his tax return. Guess what?

  • “$165,047 in total income” (probably includes his “$52,000 in rental income”)
  • “Mr. de Blasio’s effective tax rate was 8.3%.”
  • “reported $5,597 in gifts to charity, roughly 3%”

So de Blasio got a 6-figure income and gave basically 11% back to the society in which he lives.

I seem to remember lefties screeching with drama and contempt in 2012 when Mitt Romney paid an effective tax rate of 14.1%, plus another whopping 29.7% to charity, for a total give-back to society of 44% of his income, or four times the rate of de Blasio.

How the wheel turns!

We’ve gone from liberals who’d make fun of former GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney (on Russia), to…well…Russians openly mocking President Obama.

Now being remembered, a typical example of liberals who made fun of Romney:

Arianna Huffington
@ariannahuff

So I guess if Romney is elected we can get ready for a new cold war with Russia.
#justwhatweneed
8/31/12, 8:56AM

Romney got in his (well-justified) “I told you so” last weekend:

Why, across the world, are America’s hands so tied?

A large part of the answer is our leader’s terrible timing. In virtually every foreign-affairs crisis we have faced these past five years, there was a point when America had good choices and good options. There was a juncture when America had the potential to influence events. But we failed to act at the propitious point; that moment having passed, we were left without acceptable options….

Meanwhile, Obama’s sanctions on a few individual Russians, and calls to try to make their stock market go down and stuff, have provoked their contempt:

“The US and EU sanctions against Russia are absurd and unreal,” State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman Alexander Romanovich told Itar-Tass…“This is an operetta, and we can only laugh…”

Ordinary Russians are none too impressed, either.

UPDATE: Russia and China drawing closer together. “The worse Russia’s relations are with the West, the closer Russia will want to be to China. If China supports you, no one can say you’re isolated.” It’s just like Obama, to not get that.

Remember, conservatives, many Americans do* want to like President Obama

I believe it’s been a week, maybe more, since I even checked this blog.  I did not get to the post I wanted to write on JFK, contrasting that smart Democrat’s record with the media coverage of his murder and his legacy.  I had a few notes for posts on Obamacare and honesty and one on Obamacare and prediction. Reading something this morning in the Daily Caller reminded me of a piece I had read yesterday in Commentary, articulating an idea which gets at the meaning of Obama’s reelection last year.

Peter Wehner wrote:

In their fascinating behind-the-scenes book on the 2012 election, Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann write that the campaign’s research showed “that there was a deep well of sympathy for Obama among voters.” In focus groups after the first debate, they write, “people offered excuse after excuse for his horrific presentation. In Florida, one woman said, almost protectively, ‘I just bet you he wasn’t feeling well.’”

That deep well of sympathy–that willingness to give the president the benefit of the doubt and the attachment and connection voters felt for Mr. Obama–has been crucial to his success for his entire political life. He has always been viewed as a likeable and decent man, even when his campaign employed fairly ruthless tactics. But the days of broad public faith and trust in this president appear to be over. And no wonder.

I think this is why the image of Obama responding to Hurricane Sandy was so beneficial to the incumbent.  People do want to like him.  And in the coverage of the storm and his response, that Democrat looked very much like the man they wanted to like.

It remains to be see whether the disaster of the Obamacare roll-out and the realization (despite his many promises) that many Americans who liked their health care plans couldn’t keep them will erase the goodwill many Americas feel for the incumbent.  That said we on the right should not lose sight of the fact that as Halperin and Heilemann put it, many Americans do have a “deep well of sympathy for Obama”.

——

*And the question now becomes whether we should change the tense on this verb from present to past.

NB:   (more…)

2012 unemployment numbers: the next Obamascandal?

We know that the Obama administration lied to America during the 2012 election, about Benghazi. And about “If you like your plan you can keep it”, and many other matters, such as the fact that the IRS was helping to stifle Obama’s grass-roots opposition.

Now the New York Post alleges that the declining unemployment rate (announced in the last few weeks of the election) was faked.

It looks like lower-level employees did it; probably tough to blame it on Obama directly. But that touches on a classic ethical question. If the guy at the top is kept in a bubble by people who cheat and lie extensively on his behalf (and don’t usually tell him), is he culpable? At what point?

Also, how much election-year lying does it take to de-legitimize a Presidential election? (If, or since, he only won by giving people false information.) Did President Obama reach that point in 2012?

Romney, on Obama’s credibility problem

Via HotAir.

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My thoughts: Glad to see Romney in decent form and telling it like it is.

Your thoughts?

Thoughts for the day

“Gaius Gracchus proposed a grain law. The people were delighted with it because it provided an abundance of food without work. The good men, however, fought against it because they thought the masses would be attracted away from hard work and toward idleness, and they saw that the state treasury would be exhausted.”
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Politicians get up and promise you all sorts of free stuff. They say, I’ll give you more and more stuff, and you won’t have to pay for it…My own view is that we have to tell people the truth, and we’re going to have to demand sacrifice of the American people. The idea of borrowing a trillion dollars more than we take in [each year] is not just bad economics, it’s immoral. I’m not going to do it, and I’m not going to promise what can’t be delivered.” – Mitt Romney

“We had a chance, in 2012, to elect as president a man who built his entire career and fortune on turning around financially troubled enterprises. But the voters rejected him because Obama claimed he was going to give women cancer and outlaw tampons. That is when I knew our country was f—ed.”
- V the K

What’s with all this talk about a terrorist attack?

In 2008, certain liberals told me face-to-face that electing a brown-skinned President (Obama) would make the terrorist threat recede, by making the rest of the world like America and feel closer to us.

And in 2012, the Obama administration told us that al Qaeda had been “decimated” and “the War on Terror is over”.

So, why all this public talk of a coming terrorist attack? Is it real, or a distraction from other issues? It doesn’t smell right to me, for several reasons.

One reason is, the public spectacle. I can’t remember the Bush administration closing almost two dozen U.S. embassies. Or them having Congressional leaders disclose intelligence and raise public alarm over a short-term threat, which is usually counter-productive because it tips off the attackers about how much we know. (I except the Iraq war buildup since it was a different animal, a multi-decade debate over a threat that everyone usually conceded to be long-term.)

For another reason, the timing seems odd. We’ve just had bombshells in the Benghazi scandal. It is very convenient, right now, for the Obama administration to NOT have to talk about them. What bombshells?

Speaking of Benghazi, some suggest that Susan Rice may simply be trying now for a Benghazi do-over, erring on the side of caution. (Wait…so…Benghazi really was an al Qaeda attack?)

So, it’s hard to know. But if I’ve misunderstood the situation – if there is a serious terrorist threat here – Please feel free to set me straight in the comments.

The Obamacare implosion

A number of conservative commentators and writers have been speculating for some time how long it will be from the time it is implemented until Obamacare collapses under the weight of its own poorly-conceived structure.  I think few have anticipated the situation we’ve been witnessing in the past two weeks, where first the administration announces that businesses won’t have to comply with the “employer mandate” until January 2015, and more recently, that the administration won’t be investigating eligibility for Obamacare subsidies, thereby opening the door to massive fraud and abuse.

Although the reasons that the Obama administration is making these changes are cynically transparent to anyone who realizes that the Democrats don’t want to lose big in the 2014 election cycle when voters will have a chance to express their displeasure with Obamacare at the ballot box once again, the more interesting question at the moment concerns the meaning and implications of the administration’s latest maneuvers for its ability to enact policies and govern going forward.

I think some people believe the public is paying closer attention to all this than is most likely the case, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the triumphalism and mockery of the administration’s opponents.  After the last election, it’s refreshing to see the administration increasingly on the defensive over the actions it has taken with regard to its signature piece of legislation.  Even better is getting to watch the likes of Dick Durbin (D-IL) admit that the disastrous bill “needs changes and improvements.”

But beyond getting to see and hear the bill’s defenders feel the heat, it is gratifying to see pieces like this one speculating that the Republicans in Congress may wise up enough about the administration’s actions to finally kill “immigration reform”:

“They have shown no respect for traditional Constitutional separation of powers,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., told National Review‘s John Fund about the impact of the Obamacare delays on the immigration debate, “and that makes it difficult to pass laws where the fear is that they will simply ignore the parts they don’t like.”

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who is on the House Judiciary Committee and had been a member of a bipartisan group working on immigration reform, echoed Roe’s concerns on Meet the Press. “In fact, if you look at this Obamacare debacle that they have right now, this administration is actually deciding when and where to actually enforce the law. And that’s what some of us in the House are concerned about. If you give to this administration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law … what’s going to happen is that we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people and Janet Napolitano is going to come to Congress and tell us that the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen.”

Even the Wall Street Journal is writing about the administration’s actions in language reminiscent of that we saw with the rise of the Tea Party four years ago:

President Obama’s decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government

Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.

This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked. King James II’s use of the prerogative was a key grievance that lead to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The very first provision of the English Bill of Rights of 1689—the most important precursor to the U.S. Constitution—declared that “the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal.”

Needless to say we can certainly hope that this lively piece by Tony Katz on Townhall.com is more than just a humorous reflection on the administration’s latest foibles:

For years the Right has said that the Obama Administration was thuggish, was hell bent on revenge, and was vindictive.

The IRS scandal was perhaps the tipping point. At first, The Left tried claimed that not just conservative and tea party groups, but progressives as well had been targeted. But, as the Inspector General’s report showed, that was not the case. Obama’s minions attacked Americans who disagreed with him. The Left knows they voted for hate.

Obama is not the man (messiah) they thought he was. The Left was blinded by his skin color and duped by mainstream media.

But now they know he lies. And now they know he surrounds himself with sycophants, ready and willing to lie for him, in poetry and prose.

Lets not let them ever forget it.

Obama promotes a fool-or-liar

As expected, Obama has promoted Susan Rice to be his national security advisor.

She will head an agency that does large-scale spying on Americans’ phone records.[1] The question is, does she deserve to?

Obama wanted to make her Secretary of State but couldn’t, because that position requires confirmation hearings, at which Rice would have faced uncomfortable questions on Benghazi. Just a reminder, here’s what happened with that:

  1. Four Americans, including one of then-Ambassador Susan Rice’s fellow ambassadors, died in a terrorist attack while Obama did nothing. Obama attended campaign fund-raisers the next day in Vegas.
  2. Ambassador Rice then told the American People falsehoods about how those Americans died. The falsehoods protected an Obama campaign narrative (about their great job against terrorism) at a critical moment in the 2012 election.

The second one is the sticking point. How much chance is there that Rice didn’t know the real story of Benghazi, in the very moments when she was giving us all the fake one to benefit her boss’ campaign? In other words: is Susan Rice a liar, or a fool?[2]

———————–
[1] Whether the NSA spying on so many Americans’ phone records is right or wrong, I will leave open for now. It could be a worthy topic, not least because it ties in with the Obama DOJ’s spying on, and highly selective prosecution of, reporters and officials for national security leaks. You see, NBC reports that the DOJ will investigate this new leak about how the NSA spies on the American customers of Verizon. But the DOJ apparently didn’t care when Leon Panetta, former CIA Director, leaked Top Secret info about Seal Team Six. Wonder why?

[2] Also recall that one of the criticisms of George W. Bush was that he (supposedly) valued personal loyalty too much, in his underlings. Given that Susan Rice must be either a liar or a fool on Benghazi, could Obama have promoted her for any other reason than her loyalty to him? Is this yet another moment of “Obama is actually worse than the Left said Bush was”?

Media angry with Holder?

From The Hill:

Fox News will not attend a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder on the Justice Department’s policy of targeting the media in national security leaks investigations if the session is off the record, the network said Thursday…

Fox is just the latest media organization to say it will boycott the meeting if it is off the record. Holder asked for the meetings in an attempt to ensure [sic; assure?] the press corps that its investigations of national security leaks are conducted in a way that respects the First Amendment.

The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post and CNN have issued separate statements saying they will not attend because the DOJ is requiring the content of the meetings stay confidential…

Is saying “We will only meet with you on-the-record” the media’s way of saying “We don’t trust you, scumbag?”

By the way – not to change the subject, but: the Obama administration’s violations of press freedoms and privacy rights (far in excess of anything Bush did) has me wondering, did Obama supporters in 2008 and 2012 know what they were voting for? Are they honestly disappointed with his administration now, like “that’s not what we voted for”?

You see, I knew. I didn’t know what specific violations were coming, but already in 2008, I knew that Obama & Co. were worshippers of the State (or of Big Government) who only pretended to care about the U.S. constitution.

It followed that, once in office, the Obama administration would violate people’s rights to freedom and privacy in various ways. Now we have the growing list of scandal revelations, to prove it.

If some Obama supporter claims they didn’t know, then either: (1 – seems less likely) I am smarter than them, or (2 – seems more likely) they aren’t being honest: they saw much of what I saw *and just didn’t care*. Which means they shouldn’t look at the Obama administration now and try to say, “That’s not what we voted for.”

This morning’s Obama scandal news

It’s official: A plurality of Democrat voters are hypocrites, as they support the Obama DOJ spying on the Associated Press “after Democrats spent the entirety of Bush’s second term loudly despairing over civil liberties and freedom of the press being trod upon” in Allahpundit’s words.

But don’t worry, at least the IRS stands up for the Constitution: Lois Lerner has reportedly invoked the Fifth Amendment in her testimony before Congress, so as not to incriminate herself. Yup. Nothing illegal went on at the IRS, folks. Move along.

Seriously, the IRS scandal wasn’t just some rogue agents in Cincinnati: from the outset, they were guided by IRS lawyers in Washington. To his credit, Sen. Max Baucus (D) is asking why no heads have rolled yet over this scandal.

Kathryn Ruemmler, the top White House lawyer, may take a fall to give more plausibility to Obama’s “Nobody around here tells me anything!” defense. She may also take a fall over Benghazi.

UPDATE: The IRS had internal reports about their targeting of conservative groups, months before the election. And did not tell Congress, as they were obligated to!

It’s starting to look like the Obama crew won the 2012 election by hiding crucial information (sometimes known as lying). Had Americans known the truth about the IRS and about Benghazi, 2% (which is all it would have taken) could well have gone the other way.

In 2008, we told you Obama wasn’t the man you (thought you) were voting for. . .

[E]ven among Obama voters,” writes Heather Long in Friday’s Guardian, reflecting on a variety of factors, including the number of scandals coming to light, “there should be genuine disappointment. This not the President Obama we voted for, not even close.”

She talks about the excitement and exhilaration people felt in 2008 when Obama was elected:

It was mostly young people marching – from varied backgrounds. Many of these parades ended up in front of the White House where chants of “goodbye Bush” (or some variation thereof) began. It was the same slogan heard as Barack Obama was sworn in as president in January 2009 and Bush flew away in a helicopter.

There was a belief, especially among voters in their 20s and 30s, that Obama was going to be different. That his promises to “change the culture in Washington” were real. That his administration wouldn’t be beholden to lobbyists and conduct executive power grabs.

Interesting how part of their celebration relates to the departure of the much (and usually wrongly) maligned immediate past President of the United States.

What evidence, beyond the candidate’s rhetoric, did they have that Barack Obama was an agent of change?

They were clearly not aware, as many conservatives reported in 2008, that the great Democratic hope had always been a loyal foot soldier in the Chicago Democratic machine.  In his twelve years as an elected official based in that city, Barack Obama failed to challenged its authority — as he failed to root out corrupt practices and cronyism that defined its government.

His record, as we have pointed out repeatedly, was at odds with his rhetoric.

We (that is, conservative and libertarian bloggers and pundits) told you that back in 2008.  We told you that you were voting for an image crafted by political consultants and projected onto a charismatic Chicago politician with a mellifluous speaking voice.   But, you were so eager to see George W. Bush replaced that you trusted the words of man who delighted in maligning that Republican, but about whom you knew very little.  And are only now seeing as he is today — and was back then.

IRS Delays Reporting Tea Party Snooping Until After Presidential Election

Some news reports just speak for themselves.

In the Weekly Standard today, Daniel Halper writes:

NBC’s Lisa Myers reported this morning that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election . . .

The IRS commissioner “has known for at least a year that this was going on,” said Myers, “and that this had happened. And did he share any of that information with the White House? But even more importantly, Congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? Members of Congress were saying conservatives are being targeted. What’s going on here? The IRS denied it. Then when — after these officials are briefed by the IG that this is going on, they don’t disclose it. In fact, the commissioner sent a letter to Congress in September on this subject and did not reveal this. Imagine if we — if you can — what would have happened if this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different.”

Via Ace. Barack Obama’s much vaunted commitment to transparency notwithstanding, that Democrat is more interested in winning elections than in opening the books on his administration.

RELATED: Worse and worse: IRS claimed in 2011 that there were no documents related to scrutiny of tea-party groups

Why did the IRS keep the scandal quiet until after the election?

What did David Axelrod know and when did he know it?

To believe“, Bruce tweeted last night, “that no one in @BarackObama White House knew about IRS scandal is to, in words of @HRClinton ‘willingly suspend disbelief’.”  Perhaps, I was in too generous of a mood last night when I read that, aware that there was as yet no evidence linking top Obama officials to the scandal.

Though given the information asked of Tea Party groups — and the fact that the IRS was approving liberal groups while leaving Tea Party ones “in limbo”, it is pretty clear that some political appointee had a say in that. Once again, who decided to ask for all this information from the Tea Party folk?

Seems the IRs was interesting not just in gleaning information about the organizations, but also about learning the names of citizens participating in the organizations. Why would they need know the names of all the group’s members and its donors?

Was their goal to get those names? And for what end?

Seems there was more to this than just string out the process.

And now Breitbart is reporting that an Obama campaign co-chair was attacking Romney with leaked IRS documents. (And that co-chiar just happens to be a Mr. J. Solmonese.)

Maybe we should be asking these questions, “What did David Axelrod know? And when did he know it?”

UPDATE: Even the names of high school and college kids?

UP-UPDATE: Sounds like David Axelrod is acknowledging Obama’s incompetence, the president’s unfitness to preside over the executive branch?

UP-UP-UPDATE: The answer could be nothing and never, but one’s gotta wonder how Obama’s political allies manage to get copies of confidential forms his ideological allies filed with the IRS.

Which of these Presidents deserve to be impeached?

  1. It’s a presidential election. It’s not close; the Democrat has way more popular support. A few of his dumb zealots break into Republican headquarters to spy needlessly. No person is injured, but it’s still unacceptable. The more so, because the president and his crew then lie to obstruct official investigations.
  2. A Republican president was recently re-elected. A philanderer and “family values” hypocrite, he has an affair with his White House intern. It would have no public significance, except that it becomes a subject of testimony in lawsuits over his other affairs. And he lies about it, under oath. He, the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, has now lied to a court.
  3. A Democrat president must deal with a certain Third World dictator who has attacked four neighboring countries over a period of two decades, costing hundreds of thousands of lives. World intelligence agencies, and Republican leaders in Congress, are nearly unanimous that the dictator would be happy to launch yet another war, has been developing nuclear weapons, and may have nukes already. Acting on that consensus, the Democrat president gets legal approvals from Congress and the U.N. to invade (along with 40 other nations) and remove the dictator. The invasion works, but at a cost of several thousand American lives (including the occupation, afterward). It turns out that the dictator only had chemical weapons, plus some nuclear weapons research (no nuclear bombs, yet). That’s embarrassing, but multiple official investigations clear the President of any intentional wrongdoing.
  4. A Republican administration pushes thousands of guns into Mexico, causing the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans. Republicans claim the administration only did what the previous Democrat administration did. But that is not true: the previous operations had controls to minimize deaths and maximize the intelligence-gathering on Mexican drug cartels, controls that the Republican effort abandoned (for reasons unknown). The GOP Attorney General does everything he can to obstruct Congress’ investigation, and eventually is found to be in contempt of Congress. He does not resign.
  5. It’s a presidential election. It is going to be close; the Republican incumbent, plagued by four years of economic failure, is not way ahead. But he has been successful, he claims, in fighting terrorism. A month before the election, Islamist terrorists attack a U.S. consulate and kill an American ambassador, plus three others. The Republican administration had warnings and permitted the attack to succeed (through negligence or perhaps for reasons unknown). They lie to the American people about it, implying that it was not a terrorist attack, that they could not have stopped the attack, that the attack was somehow really a protest caused by a YouTube video that nobody ever heard of, etc. The lies work: the Republican wins re-election.

(more…)

GOP needs to “effectively address” working/middle class concerns

Earlier this morning, caught a good piece from Byron York on why winning the Hispanic vote would not be enough to secure a GOP presidential victory.  Here’s the crucial paragraph:

But here is the real solution. Romney lost because he did not appeal to the millions of Americans who have seen their standard of living decline over the past decades. They’re nervous about the future. When Romney did not address their concerns, they either voted for Obama or didn’t vote at all. If the next Republican candidate can address their concerns effectively, he will win. And, amazingly enough, he’ll win a lot more Hispanic votes in the process. A lot from other groups, too.

Read the whole thing.  Did recall reading something about a year ago on Mitt Romney’s failure to appeal to working class votes disaffected from the incumbent administration.  York is right; the next Republican candidate needs to effectively address their concerns.

Part of the answer, ironically enough (given the premise of York’s piece), lies in a piece Jill Lawrence published last week in the National Journal, a piece on Republicans’ challenges with Hispanic voters.  Lawrence cited a focus group whose participants . . .

liked what they heard about Medicaid, immigration, economics, and education in clips from speeches by some prominent party figures. But the people they listened to—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—are unusual in how they talk about these issues and seemed like anomalies to the focus-group participants. (more…)

Cheer up, for the worst is yet to come

The title is Jonah Goldberg’s. Apologies for forgetting who/what tipped me off to his recent speech. It wanders, but covers much interesting ground.

  • On the 2012 election: Romney is a good man, but was a poor candidate from a poor field. His consultants’ disdain for ideas and making conservative arguments led to Romney often sounding like nothing more than a right-wing greeting card. This let Obama paint him (however wrongly) as a rich, greedy prude and to win voters on the basis of “who cares more about people like me”.
  • On the 2016 election: It’s rare for a party to win a third term, and we can be sure the Democrats won’t do it with Vice President Biden. Meanwhile, the Republicans will have a stronger field.
  • On the GOP’s long-term prospects: The GOP has the right ideas, the ideas that work, but a huge ‘persuasion problem’. Democrats are better at deploying the language of community – such as “government is the one thing we all belong to”, or Clinton’s remark on the politics of “you’re on your own” vs. the politics of “we’re all in it together”. This is a pity, because in real life, conservatives tend to be better involved in their families, communities and causes larger than themselves.
  • (more…)

The president who prefers campaigning to governing

In an article posted today on the Natonal Review’s website, Mona Charen quips that there “are two major parties in the United States: the party that wishes to govern, and the party that wants only to campaign.

And to show that the latter party is that of the incumbent President of the United States, one need not turn to the commentary on various conservative blogs, but instead to the reporting of the left-of-center Washington Post:

After delivering his election victory speech in November, Obama walked off the Chicago stage and made two phone calls related to his political plans — one to Israel and one to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the last Democratic House speaker.

Israel said Obama told him “how focused he would be on winning a House majority for the Democrats,” many of whom complained that the president did not do enough during his first term to help members on the Hill.

In other words, in the immediate aftermath of his election victory this past November, the president already started looking ahead to the next election.  Since the people didn’t elect the Congress he wanted, he chose to start focusing on electing that Congress, even if the 2014 elections were two years hence.

No wonder he is blaming the sequester on the current Republican House even though he made little effort to work with the leaders of that chamber after it passed the “fiscal cliff” legislation at the end of the last Congress, delaying the sequester until last week.

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