Friday, January 29, 2010

The State of the President

The President used the occasion of his first State of the Union address to appeal for unity in our country, but true to his proclivity for avoiding blame, he refused to take responsibility for the nation’s great divide.

In the mind of Barack Obama, of course, the culpability lies with the Republicans; when our dear leader speaks of “unity,” what he really means is “acquiescence.” Failure to rubber-stamp his agenda is considered to be the chief component of disharmony in Obama-world - daring to stand firmly in opposition to his schema borders on disloyalty.

Never mind that what is offered by his lapdog Congress is terrible - and terribly radical - legislation. Most of his programs have not been passed, despite a Democrat super-majority in the Senate, simply because the bills are so bad that the American people have risen up to voice their outrage at almost every turn.

It seems that for each budget-busting, job-killing, government-expanding proposal that comes along, the Tea Party movement gains another hundred thousand followers.

So to a man (and woman), Republicans are voting “no,” and when they are not voting “no,” they are voting “HELL no.” Who can blame them? They are accused of blind partisanship, but they are merely listening to their consciences and their constituency – a pretty damned good approach to representative government, I would think.

Voting for a bad bill for the sake of Barack Obama’s definition of unity is just plain wrong, just as it would be wrong to vote for a bad bill to avoid being called an obstructionist.

There was a time, during his campaign and in the early part of his administration, that when the President would make statements that defied credulity, he would get away with it. Not anymore; he exhausted his supply of free passes long ago. He continues to defy credulity, to be sure – but now there is a real-world price that must be paid.

The American public told him as much when given the opportunity in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts.

Until now, Barack Obama has had a career in which he never actually had to perform, as one would if running a business, or a town, or an agency. Every “job” he has ever held involved only two things: offering his opinion and running for the next highest office. Now, however, he’s bumped into highest ceiling of them all – there’s nothing else to run for and he’s got to be, for the first time in his adult life, a decision-maker. And also for the first time in his adult life he’s going to be graded on his performance, not his oratorical and campaign skills.

He’s not getting very high marks - and for all the reasons we knew he wasn’t going to: his upbringing was radical and far left, and when he brought those values to the White House, they turned out to be well beyond the threshold that the majority of the American people could find palatable. He’s surrounded himself as President with the same kinds of people he’s surrounded himself with for his entire life: leftist ideologues with no real-world experience.

Obama is now being held accountable by the world’s media for his every decision, and many of those decisions are turning out to be poorly conceived, illogical and strongly driven by partisan politics. Rather than seek the haven of most Presidents – the political center – his hubris caused him to believe that such a shift was unnecessary.

So we find ourselves trying to make sense of oxymoronic policy statements, which is what we get when instead of actually offering a firm and cogent position, he tries in vain to please both the left and the right.

Epic fail. Witness a strategy (and I use the term loosely) in Afghanistan that has us surging, and then pulling out without regard to the result of the surge, a policy I like to call belli interruptus. This is no way to govern, and the people of the United States know it; some admit it more readily than others, but the realization is certainly seeping into the broader American consciousness – Chris Matthews notwithstanding.

Decision-making for the most powerful country in the world cannot be done Chinese-takeout-menu style. One from Column A and one from Column B just isn’t getting it done, and not surprisingly we find ourselves hungry for a new policy a few hours later.

Bit by bit, like a mosaic, a picture of this Administration is slowly coalescing, and it is not a pretty one. Incompetence abounds, sometime on a scale so huge (think Napolitano, Geithner and Holder) that we peer intently at the facts in order to discern some master plan so incredibly intricate that we mere mortals cannot discern it.

But that’s not it, is it? It is just plain incompetence. So when the President calls for a “change in tone,” by which he means that everyone must sing in his key, I have to say no, I don’t think so, Mr. President.

You’re not good for America, and unless you have an epiphany of the highest order, you never will be. And I’ll never stop saying so. Now that you’ve done what no other President in MY lifetime has been able to do – get me up off my butt and behind a keyboard – you’ll have to deal with me until you go away.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This past November, a tsunami swept ashore with a vengeance; an anti-Obama, anti-Reid, anti-Pelosi wave that wiped out big-government Democrat governors in deep blue New Jersey and purple Virginia – both states having been won easily by Barack Obama only a year before.

And like a tsunami, its energy was not spent at the beaches.

It continued to push on, and last night it engulfed what Democrats had smugly taken to calling the “Teddy Kennedy Seat.” Indeed, the defining moment in this campaign would be when Scott Brown reminded David Gergen during a debate that it was, despite the Left’s best efforts to re-shape reality, what it had always been – the people’s seat.

And those of you that have been active in the Tea Party movement – born less than one year ago – should know that last night’s results had more to do with you than the Republican Party.

I am proud of you all; when you had to do it, when it was all on the line, after you got knocked down by the media and academia and the effete snobs of the chattering class you got up, wiped off the slime, and punched back. Hard.

For years, for decades, while you were educating yourselves, building your future, raising your families, and paying your taxes, you – ordinary, hard-working Americans – were demonized, insulted, taken for granted and told to shut up and like it. Those who spoke up against the politically-correct insanity that slowly crept over our society like a fungus were labeled as racists, bigots, xenophobes, homophobes and worst of all, ignorant, bitter people clinging to your guns and bibles.

They thought they had you beaten. They did not.

Having no real grasp of the history of this country, they underestimated you, and they underestimated the intensity of the fire that burns within Americans who believe that they should be free from the burden of nanny-state regulations and a controlled economy; free from the burdens of misguided wealth-redistribution; and free from the insulting left-wing drumbeat that somehow the United States of America, the greatest force for good in the history of the world, was somehow to be blamed for all that was wrong with the planet.

And so you rose up and did what you had to do. Not the Republican Party, not your elected representatives, not the slick media-men, not the well-funded think-tanks – you. And me. And millions of other plain folks who had had enough.

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." These words were attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who led the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. How ironic that an enemy of America understood this country better than the man who occupies the Oval Office today.

The victory in Massachusetts last night belongs to the Tea Party movement far more than it belongs to the Republican Party, who lately seems to be hesitant to enter the fight until the little guy has softened up the bully for them. But for a small handful, no Republican was quick to embrace the Tea Party movement, frightened, as they were, that we were unacceptably politically incorrect.

Our work has paid off, but of course our work is not yet done; we should be encouraged, but not complacent. Do NOT be fooled into thinking that an astounding victory in January guarantees a sweeping victory in November – it does not. We cannot let up – now is the time to push harder and harder; as long as there is an attempt to pass radical, anti-free-market legislation, the pressure must be intensified, not relaxed.

This Democrat Congress has been an unmitigated disaster for America, and they must be recalled.

November looms.
Mary Jo Kopechne
July 26, 1940 – July 18, 1969

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Healthcare Reform Bill: Nothing Will Change - Neither Should McMahon's Vote

Back in 2006, Democrats self-righteously mourned the "death of deliberative democracy," amidst much wailing and gnashing of teeth:
"Republican leadership abused the Rules of the House to block Members, both Republicans and Democrats, from legislating in an informed and thoughtful manner. House-Senate conferences are a critical part of the deliberative process because they produce the final legislative product that will become the law of the land."
Now, at a time when the party that trumpeted their intention to be the most transparent in the history of government adjourns to reconcile the two healthcare bills in smoke-filled back rooms with blacked-out windows, sans even the slightest whiff of opposition, we should all be mindful of what a politician's word is worth. Spit.

And please bear in mind that some pledges are worth even less than others:
"We'll have the [healthcare] negotiations televised - on C-SPAN - so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituencies and who ise making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies..."
Thus spake Barack Obama on the campaign trail. Spit, again.

The Democrats have decided to "ping-pong" the bill, which means that there won't be any bicameral horse-trading, and that the House will merely take the Senate bill, tweak it, and return it. So at this juncture, and with the expectation that the complete removal of any dissenting voices will quicken the pace of negotiations mightily, we need to take a brief look at Congressman McMahon's statement after he voted "nay" on the House version of the healthcare plan:
"I believe that we need to reform the healthcare system, reduce spending, cut waste, fraud and abuse and expand coverage for more Americans. Unfortunately the bill that passed the United States House tonight does not do that.

The cuts to Medicare will affect seniors in my district, the cuts to the Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) will make it harder for hospitals to service Staten Island and Brooklyn and the cost containment doesn't go far enough. There is no guarantee that this bill will reduce the cost of healthcare premiums for Staten Island and Brooklyn families."
Now that we have seen what the Senate version contains, there seems to be little hope that many, if any, of the Congressman's quite appropriate concerns could possibly be alleviated. No matter what parts of either bill are kept or dumped, no matter how they are ultimately reconciled, he is bound to find the final product of the Pelosi/Reid tete-a-tete offensive, obligating him to vote no yet again.

That is, as long as he meant what he said and is a man that stands by his convictions. And unless and until he proves us wrong, we believe that he is.