Gay Patriot Header Image

A leader shows how to handle the “birther” issue

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:40 pm - October 26, 2011.
Filed under: Leadership,Noble Republicans

Until President Obama authorized the release of his birth certificate, politicians and pundits could legitimately ask why he was withholding the document.   To be sure, there was abundant evidence that he was indeed born in Hawai’i and thus met the constitutional requirements to serve as the nation’s chief executive, but it did seem strange that his team had spent so much money (and effort) to keep the deed under wraps.

Now that we’ve seen the certificate, the issue should be behind us, yet some reporters seem intent in asking Republican candidates about the issue.  And those candidates, well, just don’t answer as directly as they should, saying bluntly that the issue is behind us.  Barack Obama may meet the constitutional requirements to serve, but has not demonstrated the political mettle and personal demeanor necessary to lead this nation, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty.

Yesterday, in what she calls, “a rare intervention into electoral politics since his departure from the Florida governorship,” blogress Jennifer Rubin shows elucidates how a Republican leader handles the issue:

In an exclusive statement to Right Turn, [Jeb Bush] e-mailed me: “Republican candidates should categorically reject the notion that President Obama was not born in the United States. It is a complete distraction from the failed economic policies of the President.” And that was it.

In two short, declarative sentences he told his party that this way lies madness. The country, the party and the conservative movement are at a crossroads. Our economic future and the viability of a Republican Party that is both responsible and forward looking are at stake. This is not the time for foolishness. That is the essence of the message.

Once again, Rubin nails it.  Read the whole thing.  And this too.  And this.

UPDATE:  Via NRO, Charles Krauthammer offers advice similar to that offered by the successful former governor of the nation’s third largest state:  “The answer is:  The case is closed. It’s a quick, short answer. You don’t say: I’m not sure, I don’t know, and you start up on this issue.

Herman Cain’s Plan To Revive The American Economy

Common sense solutions from my candidate for President….

Herman Cain in Wall Street Journal: “My Plan to Revive Economic Growth”
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last week, President Obama unveiled his eagerly anticipated jobs plan. After 43 minutes of his speechifying, Americans were left wondering: We waited 30 months for this?
Indeed, it seems Mr. Obama’s first term has been spent advancing a legislative agenda that pays no mind to our ailing economy and the Americans whose sufferings are casualties in his ideological war. After a failed stimulus package, preferential industry bailouts, and the disastrous government overhaul of the health-care industry, it seems the plight of the American worker has remained an afterthought.

This is the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression. If the Obama administration’s aim was to merely tie for last place with the previous worst recovery, it would have created eight million more jobs, based on comparative data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If our recovery were more typical of the postwar era, as former Sen. Phil Gramm reported on this page in April, we would have 14 million more jobs today.

As a longtime leader in the business community, I know firsthand that government does not create jobs. It can only create the conditions in which businesses operate. These conditions can spur growth, or they can suppress it. The conditions imposed by the current administration have suppressed growth.

Still, there is hope. That hope begins with economic certainty, a sort of assurance the president seems unwilling to provide. I, on the other hand, have proposed a plan that would stabilize and grow our economy:

“Cain’s Vision for Economic Growth,” also known as the 9-9-9 Plan, is founded upon three guiding economic principles: Production drives the economy. Risk-taking creates growth. Units of measurement must be dependable.

The plan begins with restructuring the tax code to include the broadest possible base at the lowest possible rate. The elements are:

• A 9% corporate flat tax. Businesses would deduct purchases from other businesses and all capital investment. The resulting gross income is taxed at 9%.

• A 9% personal flat tax. Individuals would deduct charitable contributions, then pay 9% on the rest of their income. Capital gains are excluded.

• A 9% national sales tax. This levy would be placed on the consumption of all new goods. Used goods purchased would be excluded.

My plan would also permanently eliminate taxes on repatriated profits, as well as payroll taxes and the estate tax.

All of these measures would free up capital, spur production, and incentivize risk-taking, thereby fueling the economy and creating jobs. The plan has been designed to be revenue neutral initially, and then revenues would grow in line with the economy.

But these policies must be coupled with sound money. A dollar must be worth the same tomorrow as it is today. Stabilizing the dollar’s value starts with the federal government taking significant measures to rein in its spending and pay down the national debt. Americans must be assured that the federal government will live within its means and get serious about eliminating our crippling debt. Repealing ObamaCare, Sarbanes-Oxley and the Dodd-Frank bank-regulation bill would be critical steps.

Finally, my plan promotes enterprise zones, also known as “empowerment zones.” Coupled with tax reform and monetary stabilization, empowerment zones would revitalize inner cities by providing tax credits to businesses that hire workers living and working in underprivileged areas.

Some of the most tragic unemployment numbers can be found in minority communities and in urban centers around the country. Empowerment zones would create a whole new generation of wage-earners providing for their families. The late Jack Kemp, a secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development and a dear friend, was one of the first lawmakers to propose empowerment zones. He understood the tremendous economic benefits they would provide.

Each job lost today is not merely a statistic. Americans are struggling to determine whether to pay their mortgages or buy groceries, whether to buy school uniforms or pay the electric bill.

Such despair is unfitting for the greatest nation the world has ever known. After all, it is inherently American to work, to risk and to dream. Our government’s policies should encourage that, not stifle it.

Mr. Cain, a Republican, is running for president of the United States. He is a former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a former chairman of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.


I am proud this morning to announce my support for Herman Cain for President.

This is a personal decision by me and does not reflect the views of my co-bloggers nor should be construed as an official endorsement by GOPROUD of which I am a board member.

Now that I’m done with that disclaimer….let me shout this from sea to shining sea — AMERICA NEEDS HERMAN CAIN!!!! I have been flirting with the Cain candidacy for over a year now. I had the pleasure to meet him at CPAC and I have been closely following his campaign long before most people knew his name.

I felt it was important to declare my preference publicly today as I have decided to become actively involved in Team Cain to assist in the South Carolina primary and beyond. I owe my readers the transparency of knowing why I am writing about certain things and not to be confused by my intent.

Why Herman Cain? Well, haven’t been this excited about a Presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984 (the first year I was old enough to truly know anything and make a difference).

Some will now say, “now Bruce….there will never be another Ronald Reagan!” And that is true. And I am NOT equating Mr. Cain to Mr. Reagan. What I am saying is that Mr. Cain excites me with his common sense ideas, love of country, and ability to connect to the American psyche. Choosing a President has always been a “gut feeling” thing for America. I have a great feeling about Herman Cain.

Herman Cain has been plucked by destiny to arrive at America’s electoral doorstep at just the right time. He has a solid business background, is an inspirational leader of people, and understands the complexities of the world economy. He wasn’t a community organizer, he is a jobs and growth creator. He wasn’t a concocted creation of America’s radical left and academic centers of power, he is a true child of the American Experience. He has never scoffed at American values, he embraces our nation’s special place in the history of mankind and knows we are teetering on the edge.

Mr. Cain is familiar with rescuing failing enterprises, which to me is his most important qualification. In a sheer coincidence to the timing of my announcement, Daniel Henninger wrote this yesterday in the Wall Street Journal:

Does a résumé like Herman Cain’s add up to an American presidency? I used to think not. But after watching the American Idol system we’ve fallen into for discovering a president—with opinion polls, tongue slips and media caprice deciding front-runners and even presidents—I’m rewriting my presidential-selection software. [Emphasis added.]

Conventional wisdom holds that this week’s Chris Christie boomlet means the GOP is desperate for a savior. The reality is that, at some point, Republicans will have to start drilling deeper on their own into the candidates they’ve got.

Put it this way: The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain’s life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality.

No other GOP candidate can bring the fight to Obama over the sorry state of the American economy than Herman Cain. Our other choices are, I’m sad to say, more of the same old thing — career professional politicians. Yes, even Ron Paul, folks.

So there you have it. My big announcement. Herman Cain is the first Presidential candidate I will actively and ENTHUSIASTICALLY campaign for through blood, sweat, money & tears since Ronald Reagan in 1984. That’s a long time of being unmoved by GOP nominees, don’t you think?

There will be more to say about Herman Cain and the issues. But I wanted to stand up today and proudly declare my support for the 45th President of the United States of America and the next true heir of the American Experience — Mr. Herman Cain.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Why Tyler Clementi Still Matters

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:54 pm - July 8, 2011.
Filed under: Gay America,Individuation,Integrity,Leadership

It has been nine months now since Tyler Clementi’s suicide dominated the news.  And I fear many of have forgotten that sensitive young man’s difficult transition to college life.

While it has become easier to come out America today (than it was twenty years ag0), it will always be difficult to be different, even if we do achieve the “full equality” to which many gay activists aspire.  To be sure, young gay people currently have a plethora of places to go for guidance and support.  Through the “It Gets Better” videos and other social (as well as traditional) media, they have testimony and images of older gay people who are open about and comfortable with their sexuality.

They still, however, face the challenge of being different at a period in life when many aspire to conform to their peers.

One concern I’ve had with those videos, the most enduring legacy of the suicide, is that they lack the personal contact that many young people need at difficult moments as they take their first steps on their path of adulthood.  They have just a face and voice on a screen and not a hand on their shoulder or a kind word directed to them personally.

It’s important that we always remember that for as much good as those videos may accomplish, we must also always pay attention to the personal.  We may feel good about recording our experiences for such a video, but we do better when we take the time to listen and respond to a young person in need.

If my experience as an uncle has taught me anything, it’s that an older adult’s encouragement of and interest in a child, adolescent or young adult can help give them the strength to weather life’s storms.  And this applies most particularly to those who differ from the social norm.

RELATED: On Tyler Clementi & the Importance of Mentors

What bold choices, Mr. President?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:48 pm - June 8, 2011.
Filed under: Congress (112th),Leadership

On Monday, Jennifer Rubin wondered about the president’s contention on his latest road tour that “he’s made tough decisions that will pay off over time“.  Rather than make bold choices, she contends the president . . .

. . . is intentionally avoiding them. His budget did not pass the laugh test. His budget speech 2.0 was a partisan attack on the House’s budget plan and failed to present a scoreable, specific budget. He refuses to put forth a coherent plan of his own to restructure entitlements.

In the past, President Obama yielded to Congress, letting House Democrats write his “stimulus” (er, the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and Senate Democrats craft his health care overhaul.  Given that history, it is no wonder the president has failed to put forward a coherent plan of his own.  The Democratic leadership in Congress hasn’t put forward its plan, so he has nothing to go on.

As Ed Morrissey observes:

Republicans have taken great pains to continually refer to the number of days since Senate Democrats have produced a budget, now at Day 769 and counting.  Democrats have begun to chafe at Harry Reid’s strategy of attempting to grab a world record for punting, especially since Democrats have to argue in next year’s elections for voters to trust them with leadership for the next two years.

Perhaps, the president is also chafing, waiting like the Senate Democratic caucus for its leadership to move.  Wouldn’t a bold decision-maker prod Harry Reid et al. to act?  A man who touts himself as making bold choices does so not just in word, but also in deed.  Releasing such a budget proposal with real reforms would just be the kind of deed a bold leader needs to undertake; a real leader is willing to risk opposition, to risk criticism for the sake of the country he loves.

Newt’s Loose Lips Sink His Presidential Ambitions

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - May 19, 2011.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Leadership,Media Bias

As part of his apology tour, Newt Gingrich demonstrated why, despite his keen political insight and abundance of ideas, he is not presidential timber.  As if we didn’t know already from, to paraphrase Brit Hume, the promiscuity of his pronouncements.  Unlike the heroes of many Westerns (indeed of many myths), the former Speaker doesn’t know when to hold his tongue.  Great leaders also know to use their words sparingly — and so make them, when spoken, more significant.

You’d think Gingrich would have learned something in his 22 years (since his 1989 election as House Republican Whip) on the public stage.

Just look at how he explained his controversial statement (of which all those who follow Republican politics are now familiar) on “Meet the Press.”   As per Ed Morrissey who participated in a blogger conference call with the soon-to-be former presidential candidate, “Gingrich opened by saying that his remarks on MTP were not intended to be controversial, but says that David Gregory and the venue are partly to blame.

Blaming the venue and a talk show host known for his hostility to Republicans?!?  Where has Newt been for the past forty-odd years?  Had he ever seen Gregory in action in the Bush era?  The NBC journalist has not been particularly successful at concealing his bias.  When he agreed to go on “Meet the Press,” Gingrich should have been prepared for a hostile round of questioning.

Calling Gregory’s question asking “whether Republicans ‘ought to buck the public opposition” and “really move forward to completely change Medicare” “tendentious“, Michael Barone provided an answer that should have come naturally to the lips of a seasoned political professional:

The smart response would have been to challenge the premises of Gregory’s question. The Ryan plan is not necessarily unpopular; public sentiment depends heavily on how poll questions are worded. And the plan wouldn’t completely change Medicare. The current system would remain in effect for everyone now 55 and over.

But Gingrich accepted Gregory’s premises. “I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich responded. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”

So a former Republican speaker of the House who wants to become a Republican president has just given Democrats a warrant to label a major Republican proposal “right-wing social engineering” and “radical change from the right.”

I had once been a fan of Newt Gingrich, having interned for him before he became Speaker.  He has a first-rate political mind.  Without his leadership in the early 1990s, Republicans would likely not have won back the House.  But, he never learned verbal discipline.   (more…)

Obama’s Much Deserved Victory Lap

Even as information comes our showing Obama’s hesitation in the run-up to Sunday’s successful operation to kill Osama bin Laden and as the White House bungles in providing that information, the fact remains that the operation succeeded.  And that President Obama gave it the go-ahead.  While many people contributed to its success, most notably Navy SEALs, the president deserves a great deal of credit.  And I for one am hesitant to criticize him on this — or other matters — at present.

Let this be a moment of national unity when we all rejoice that the man who declared war on the United States first in 1996 and then again in 1998 has, thanks to our men at arms, lost the ability to declare war on anyone.  I agree with Allahpundit that it’s “fitting” for the president to visit Ground Zero on Thursday to “mark Bin Laden’s demise by paying his respects on the public’s behalf. And if that respect-paying just so happens to produce a 24-karat photo op for his upcoming campaign, well, that’s his reward for icing the man Americans hate most.

That blogger eminds us that the immediate past president would likely have

. . . have done the same thing and, yes, unquestionably, the left would have screeched about “politicization,” but I would have taken his side then so I’ll take The One’s side now. So much goodwill has he earned in the last 24 hours, in fact, that not only are Republican leaders congratulating him but even — gasp — Donald Trump is patting him on the back.

The President of the United States should be allowed to get some political capital out of his accomplishments.  And yet when a Republican does it, we see the mainstream media castigate him for politicizing national security or whatnot.  Recall how back in 2004, when then-President George W. Bush released his first ad, the media went apoplectic that he used an image from 9/11 — as if it were blasphemy, violating some sacred compact, to show that good man’s determination in the face of attack. (more…)

Paul Ryan: New Leader of the GOP

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:42 am - April 29, 2011.
Filed under: Congress (112th),Leadership,Noble Republicans

To the consternation of Roger L. Simon, whose guest I was on Pjtv on Election Night 2008, I proclaimed that, in the wake of Democratic victories that night, Rush Limbaugh was the interim leader of the GOP.  While I might have missed the mark a bit, the talk show host did offer a robust defense of conservatism at CPAC the following February at a time when many of us were despondent and liberal pundits were proclaiming the death of conservatism.  The Tea Party had just been born.  And Sarah Palin seemed content to remain in Alaska, governing the Last Frontier.

Well, the mainstream media may have declared that accomplished reformer and charismatic conservative the leader of the GOP, but while many on the right respected her, few acknowledge her at Reagan’s heir.  Then-RNC chairman Michael Steele never really gained a following with the rank-and-file (it’s fun to speculate how much better the GOP would have done last fall had we had a man with the political acumen and Washington experience of Haley Barbour helming the RNC in the early Obama years).  The Republican congressional leaders, House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, remain focused on running their respective chambers than aspiring to national leadership.

The media seem eager to declare Donald Trump, currently the most prominent Obama critic, as the GOP leader—without bothering to ask whether his political platform aligns with that of rank-and-file Republicans.  They do seem to forget that since Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party has been built on a set of principles, of small government, personal freedom and a robust national defense, principles of which (alack!) all too many GOP leaders have lost sight.

Until this month.  When, after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released the Republican budget plan, left-of-center pundit Jacob Weisberg wrote that if “the GOP gets behind” this proposal “in a serious way, it will become for the first time in modern memory an intellectually serious party—one with a coherent vision to match its rhetoric of limited government”, he all but declared Ryan the leader of the Republican Party, pending the party getting behind said proposal.  And get behind it they have.  To be sure, while most support its general outline, not all Republicans back the plan.  Four House Republicans voted against his budget.  And last week, Senator Susan Collins of Maine was “the first Republican senator to state publicly that she will not support the Ryan budget.

Back in his southeastern Wisconsin district where he is set to conclude today “his 19th town hall meeting of the last two weeks“, Ryan “is also garnering more attention and bigger crowds than the presidential hopefuls“.  As he meets with his constituents, he’s been explaining why we must cut federal spending and reform entitlements.  In short, he’s been standing firm not only on core Republican principles, but also defending an actual plan to enact them into law. (more…)

Libya operation could use George W. Bush’s coalition-building skills

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:01 pm - March 27, 2011.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Leadership,War On Terror

Isn’t this,” Jennifer Rubin asks, “proof that George W. Bush’s rap as a ‘unilateralist’ is bunk?

President Barack Obama has touted his emphasis on multilateralism in the U.S. military intervention in Libya, but, for political, operational, and legal reasons, Obama’s “coalition of the willing” is smaller than any major multilateral operation since the end of the Cold War. The Cable compiled a chart listing all the countries that contributed at least some military assets to the five major military operations in which the United States participated in a coalition during the last 20 years: the 1991 Gulf War (32 countries participating), the 1995 Bosnia mission (24 countries), the 1999 Kosovo mission (19 countries), the 2002 invasion of Afghanistan (48 countries), and the 2003 invasion of Iraq (40 countries), at the height of the size of each coalition. As of today, only 15 countries, including the United States, have committed to providing a military contribution to the Libya war.

. . . .

Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that the administration’s effort to build the coalition was hampered by its stated desire to hand off the leadership of the Libya intervention to NATO.  

“[I]f you [focus on the handoff], you don’t deserve a lot of credit for leadership,” he said. “Obama in his deference to [getting out of the lead] has not only wanted other countries to do as much as they could, he has essentially forgone his responsibility to build the coalition.”

Is that scholar from a left-of-center think tank thus saying that we’d be better off with the type of leadership George W. Bush provided?

Rush: ‘I Wish Rubio Would Run For Prez’

That makes two of us….


Rush Limbaugh offered that off-hand endorsement of Marco Rubio after Florida’s newest Senator announced that he would oppose any more short-term spending bills in Congress.

Meanwhile, Rubio has a few other ideas as well, notably to cut off the EPA’s efforts to expand its regulatory reach. His office announced earlier today that Rubio would attach an amendment to “every major bill” in the Senate to cut off funding for EPA enforcement of “job-destroying numeric nutrients regulations,” as well as rescind authority for spending of any unused stimulus funding.

One could argue that Rubio is too “inexperienced” to be a serious Presidential contender.  Well, I don’t recall the current Oval Office occupant sticking in any job longer than two years.  Rubio has him up on that by a mile.  And, Rubio was the Speaker of the House in the Florida Legislature.  Those two facts are just off the top of my head.

I’ve been wondering when Rubio would begin to flex his leadership muscles in the Senate.  Mark this week as the beginning of the rise of Marco Rubio.

[RELATEDHouse Budget Chmn. Paul Ryan explains how America is screwed by our debt problem.]

-Bruce (GayPatriot) 

Obama may not love the Gipper, but he gets his impact

Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not, and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. . . . He put us on a fundamentally different path, because the country was ready for it … he tapped into what people were already feeling, which is we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism, and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

Barack Obama, Jan. 14, 2008

Ronald Reagan in a nutshell

Like many fans of the greatest domestic policy president of the last century, I’ve been trying to find an appropriate way to remember/honor this great man on the centennial of his birth.

Many have written eloquently about his nature, his background, his political philosophy and his accomplishments.  Others are planning magnificent celebrations.  We here at GayPatriot are putting together a small event in Los Angeles.  E-mail me for details.

Yet, as I remember this marvelous man, two things stand one, first, his love for Nancy.  He was born good, but she made him great.  And the second thing perhaps stands out because of the times we’re in and the solutions his successor (in the White House) has proposed.  In contrast to the incumbent chief executive, Ronald Reagan knew in his heart that Americans didn’t need the heavy hand of the state to get them out of an economic mess.  Indeed, he believed that it was the heavy hand of the state which got them into that mess — and which was preventing them from finding a means of egress.

“Government,” he reminded us in his first inaugural address, ” is not the solution to the problem.  Government is the problem”:

Seems that the ideals which define the Tea Party parallel nearly perfectly those put forward so eloquently by the Great Communicator.

Ronald Reagan had great faith in his fellow Americans.  He didn’t believe in seeking solutions in Washington, D.C., but in the ingenuity of the American people, in factories in Ohio, farms in Iowa, labs in North Carolina and yes, even in garages in California.

The Gipper had confidence in the American ideal, belief in American exceptionalism and was convinced that America’s best days were ahead.  Oh, and, he had a deep and enduring love for Loyal Davis‘s little girl.

On Tyler Clementi & the Importance of Mentors

Perhaps I’m wrong and it wouldn’t have made a difference if Tyler Clementi had had an older gay friend or mentor to whom he could turn in his moment of mental anguish.

To be sure, it’s not just this story that makes me think of mentoring.  The issue of mentoring has been much on my mind since I first started wrestling with my sexuality.  The first gay “role model” I had was perhaps one of the most negative influences on my life and on my family as well.  And I always wondered if my coming out would have been any smoother had I met an older gay man capable of showing any compassion for my particular situation.

It is perhaps due in large part to his (negative) influence that I was so drawn to the goddess Athene when I read, re-read and listened to the Odyssey in the years after college and in the course of my graduate studies in Mythology.  Her gentle guidance stood in stark contrast to his arrogant indifference.  She both helps the hero’s son Telemachus find his first (male) friend — and facilitates his reconciliation with his own father.  It’s as if Homer knew that we human beings need divine guidance to navigate the treacherous waters when we first leave home and find our way in the world.

This story has stirred up so much with so many of us, in large part because we see ourselves in this young man, recalling the awkwardness of our freshman year in college, our first year away from home, when our aspirations often (unbeknownst to us at the time) conflicted with one another, finding our way in the world while seeking to belong in a new (and often) foreign environment.

Perhaps, the mentor issue comes to my mind because of my own experiences.  And other things surely must come to mind to other individuals, gay and straight alike.

The bottom question we need to ask is what can we do to make that journey less treacherous for young men and young women who differ from the social norm.   (more…)

On the president’s advisors & his wisdom

Perhaps, it was reading about the paucity of men and women with experience in the real-world of job creation coupled with this article about Donald Berwick’s associations last night that caused me to take note of this fragment from Sophocles’ play about the “lesser” Ajax:

Kings are wise because of the company of wise men.

Would it not then follow that kings become fools with the company of foolish men?  Haven’t I seen something like this in Proverbs before?

INSPIRED BY THE COMMENTS:  Gene in Pennsylvania reminded me of something else I had seen on the web related to this post:

Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Sunday that President Obama’s political advisers are out of touch with average Americans and need to “spend some time outside Washington.”

“The people around the president have really misjudged what goes on elsewhere in the country, other than Washington,” Dean told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I don’t think this is true of the president, but I do think his people, his political people, have got to go out and spend some time outside Washington for a while.”

But, Howard, by Sophocles’ standards, Obama is out of touch with the rest of the country.

Reagan Leads The Way… Again

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:31 pm - July 26, 2010.
Filed under: Great Americans,Great Men,Leadership,Ronald Reagan

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 24, 2010) The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) transits the Pacific Ocean with ships assigned to Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 combined task force as part of a photo exercise north of Hawaii. RIMPAC, the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise is a biennial event which allows participating nations to work together to build trust and enhance partnerships needed to improve maritime security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord/Released)

Awesome photo!  I wonder if the USS Obama will be an oil skimming boat?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Obama Prefers Holding to his Ideology of Governing than Considering the Circumstances of his Administration

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - June 29, 2010.
Filed under: Leadership,Obama Arrogance,Obama Incompetence

Last week, Roger Simon asked a question which has kept me thinking well into this one, “Does Barack Obama want to be president?

Ever since viewing his depressing and disconnected “energy” speech last week, I have been mulling whether Barack Obama actually wants to be president anymore. That was an address given by a man who looked very much like he didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to continue. He appeared slumped and worn, as if he aged eighteen years in eighteen months. His demeanor was oddly distracted.

I am not being metaphorical here — I am quite serious. The more I have thought about this, the more I am convinced Barack Obama no longer wishes to be president. The degree that he admits this to himself, I am not sure. But I rather suspect that in the small hours of the morning he fantasizes he were anywhere but 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And who could blame him?

Now, much as I admire, respect and just plain like Roger (having met him and his lovely bride Sheryl) on numerous occasions, I have to disagree with him on this one–even as I think he’s onto something with his question and his post.  (Just read the whole thing.)

Roger’s right that Obama didn’t seem very engaged in that speech, treating it as most of us would treat a visit to a grouchy relative, an obligation we must perform to keep up appearances.  The president just plain seems frustrated by the unexpected crises a chief executive must face.  He’d rather give speeches and otherwise get the adulation of his fans (including especially various assorted celebrities).

Not just that, instead of considering the circumstances of the day, he wants to stick to the big-government agenda he’s been pushing all along.  It’s as if nothing has changed since the campaign.  (No wonder he and his fellow Democrats stick to their tired bromides about “inherited” problems and “failed [GOP] policies.”) (more…)

Obama & the Unexpected

One notion that comes up frequently on conservative blogs, including this one, about the president’s agenda is that it is nothing new, merely the codifying of various items which have been on various items on the Democratic wish list for the past generation or two (or three).

Just, look at health care, Obama pushed through an overhaul whose unpopularity seemed to grow in direct proportion to the attention he gave to it.  And yet even after Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, largely on public opposition to said legislation, the president persisted in pushing it through Congress — even though the American people made clear they didn’t want it.  

He seeks to move public opinion after the legislation has passed, not pass the legislation in response to public outcry.  For the president and his Democrats, their agenda trumps the popular will — and the current needs of American society.

A real leader addresses the concerns of the people and responds to circumstances with solutions appropriate to the problem at hand.  When crises emerge, he turns his attention to them, working relentlessly at meeting the needs of the day, even putting aside other items on his long-term agenda to do so.  See George W. Bush and the attacks of 9/11 or Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Second World War.

“Presidents,” David Paul Kuhn writes at RealClearPolitics, “are hostage to events“:

But that’s a half-truth. Presidencies rise and fall far more by their response to great events than to the event itself.

Presidents are ultimately judged by how they handle the unexpected,” presidential historian Richard Norton Smith wrote in an email exchange. “JFK may have blown the Bay of Pigs but more than recovered a year later in Cuba. … Just as he moved away from his cautious approach to civil rights as newspaper pictures and TV reports from Birmingham — the equivalent of today’s unstopped pipe at the bottom of the Gulf — made him realize that the presidency is, indeed, ultimately a place of moral leadership.”

Via Instapundit.  Emphasis added.

But, when facing the unexpected, Obama has been slow to shift course, preferring to keep his focus on his legislative agenda rather than focus on the unexpected crisis.   (more…)

James Bunning: An Imperfect Hero

Alright, two quick things first:

Point One: James Bunning is a 7-time All-Star, Hall of Fame pitcher who retired with a 3.27 ERA (albeit in the National League). He kicks ass.

Point Two: He’s not handled his interactions with the press very well. Perfect example is his confrontation with ABC’s Jonathan Karl we’ve all seen a million times by now. Okay, Karl was asking a very stupid question that Bunning had answered a million times already (see more below) and was just goading him for dramatic effect. But Bunning, someone who’s been in Washington since 1987, should be better at such things.

Okay, now on with the post:


What Would Thomas Jefferson Do?

If The Great American Philosopher were here, watching the State of Our Union I do believe he would reflect upon words he wrote hundreds of years ago:

1775 June 26-July 6. “Our attachment to no nation upon earth should supplant our attachment to liberty.” (Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms, B.1.215)

1787 Nov. 13. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” (to W. S. Smith, B.12.356)

I recalled the ‘tree of liberty’ quote when I wrote the James O’Keefe piece yesterday.  While luckily no blood was shed, I would submit that O’Keefe did spare some of his individual liberty in the cause of the greater good:  protecting the rest of ours.

If only all of us were as brave to stand up to the tyrannical Federal Government that has taken so much of our freedoms away for the past several decades.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Obama’s Leadership Fail

Back when I was a lad, every summer our family loaded up the Chevy Suburban (or Ford Van which replaced it) and headed West or Northeast for a camping trip.  One year, we visited Wyoming, Montana and Alberta.  After hiking i Yellowstone National Park, our parents planned to take us to Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness, but one of my younger brothers took ill. They changed the plans, we headed to Great Falls to seek medical attention.

A visit to a doctor and a few days rest at a local Holiday Inn and soon my brother was back to normal.

The lesson of this anecdote should be familiar to anyone who has found himself in a position of responsibility.  When the circumstances change, you need to change your plans.  My parents recognized that with my brother’s illness, we could not continue the trip as planned.

So too should Obama recognize that with increasing evidence of a growing terror threat and continuing uncertainty about the economy, he has to turn his attention from regulatory schemes like health care and cap and trade and focus on jobs and national security.

Sometimes, I wonder if the president pushed through such a massive “stimulus” at the outset of his Administration, assuming that releasing so much cash would be certain to create jobs.  The economy would pick up, allowing Democrats to focus on their pet big-government projects.

But, things didn’t work out as planned.

That’s why this Democrat needs to learn from FDR.  Had it not been for the wars in Europe and the Far East, had that Democrat bid for a third term in 1940, he likely would have lost the presidential contest that fall, to be known to history as an inspiring failure.  But, as the threat to Western Civilization grew, he pivoted to meet the emerging challenges.  Magazine covers notwithstanding, the latest Democrat to occupy the White House shows few signs of following in his illustrious predecessor’s footsteps.

The “stimulus” hasn’t worked.  He needs develop new and different programs to increase employment.

His national security team offered a ham-handed response to the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253.  He needs shake up that team and devote greater attention to the terrorist threat.   Obama, as Rudy Giuliani contends, may have “turned the corner” in his understanding of that threat, but he needs show that he has made countering it a priority. (more…)