Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I see a bumper sticker from time to time that says, "If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention". It's not a stretch for me to assume that those people posting these things are liberals. I live in a city, the politics of which are somewhat to the left of Hugo Chavez. Also, liberals are more likely to believe the only reason that anyone could take an opposing view to theirs' is due to lack of interest. Well, I am paying attention, I am outraged and I'm decidedly not liberal.

Barack Obama seems to have (at least) three negative characteristics.
The first of these is his basic dishonesty concerning his positions and those of his opponents. Recall how Obama distorted statements made by John McCain during the Presidential campaign. Responding to a question from Rick Warren, McCain made the flip comment that he considered the threshold for being "rich" to be $5 million. In a rare moment of Randian clarity he was trying to convey his opinion that the government shouldn't be in the business of determining what "rich" is. The $5 million figure was just some arbitrary number he threw out to illustrate his viewpoint. However, Obama (and his supporters) used this $5 million as a definitive figure and used it (relentlessly) to show how "out of touch" McCain was.
Obama also took McCain's statement that the U.S. might need to maintain a presence in Iraq for 100 years and twisted it, saying that McCain wanted 100 years of war in Iraq.
This pattern of deception continues. Charles Krauthammer has noted how Obama has absurdly blamed the financial crisis on our lack of spending on education, energy, and health care so that he can pursue his agenda of government control of those areas. (See my post, "Say What?" March 7 )
In the April 13 issue of the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes calls Obama's deceit "misdirection" in reference to the football tactic meant to trick a defense into thinking that a play is going one way while it's actually going the other. Barnes points out that Obama uses this tactic when he says he says he wants GM to remain independent of the government, or when he says he wants to strengthen the free market system, or when he says he wants to tax only the "rich" or he says he wants to cut the deficit. Obama's actions run counter to his words.
I quote Jonah Goldberg's short piece (National Review, 4/6) at length because it illustrates how ridiculous Obama's distortions and false choices are.
What Obama goes on and on about is how President Bush was a tightwad who refused to spend a dime on vital domestic priorities. Here’s Obama responding to the charge that he’s doing too much: “To kick these problems down the road for another four years or another eight years would be to continue the same irresponsibility that led us to this point.” In his address to Congress, Obama constructed a Potemkin army of straw men, and they were all Republicans and conservatives: “I reject the view that . . . says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity.” In another speech he boldly rejected “a philosophy that says every problem can be solved if only government would step out of the way; that if government were just dismantled, divvied up into tax breaks, and handed out to the wealthiest among us, it would somehow benefit us all. Such knee-jerk disdain for government — this constant rejection of any common endeavor — cannot rebuild our levees or our roads or our bridges.” Ah, yes, I believe it was Milton Friedman who said, “Bridges must never be rebuilt.”
Anyway, Obama often goes on to lament the deficit he “inherited” from George W. Bush, suggesting that if only someone like Barack Obama had been at the helm these last eight years, things would be better. So here’s what I don’t get...Spending under George W. Bush went through the roof: education (up 58 percent), Social Security (17 percent), Medicare (51 percent), health research and regulation (55 percent), highways and mass transit (22 percent), and veterans’ benefits (59 percent). Spending grew twice as fast under Bush as it did under Clinton. But Obama thinks that amounts to laissez-faire.
...Obama says Bush ignored necessary spending, which is why our new president needs to borrow $7 trillion just to spend enough money to catch up to where we should be. But he goes on to suggest that if he — or some other responsible party/messiah/lightworker type — had been running the show, we wouldn’t have this Republican-fueled deficit that he inherited, because Democrats would have spent two, three, or ten times as much money as Republicans.
Another discouraging Obama characteristic, disdain for the country he leads, is more serious than his dishonesty. He's been touring Europe lately, making speeches apologizing for and promising to reverse supposed American disregard for other nations' interests. Some of these nations aren't even allies. Iran is one example. Calling that country "The Islamic Republic of Iran" shows a groveling deference to an oppressive regime. (It's been pointed out that he doesn't say "The Islamic Republic of Pakistan"). Bret Stephens' excellent column today in the WSJ exposes Obama's flawed reasoning in seeking...
"another treaty to end the production of weapons-grade nuclear material. "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon," said the president, "the United States has a moral responsibility to act."
Now there's a line to linger over. Implicitly, it suggests that the nuclear challenges we now face from North Korea and Iran all stem from America's original sin of using atomic bombs to bring World War II to the swiftest possible conclusion. Never mind the estimated one million American and Japanese lives saved as result, or the peace kept and the prosperity built for six decades thereafter under the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

...as the journalist Walter Lippmann observed in 1943, the disarmament movement of the interwar years only proved "tragically successful in disarming the nations that believed in disarmament."
In a current NRO article, Rich Lowry calls Obama's strategy "excuse me diplomacy." That strategy has been getting rave reviews in foreign capitals and that alone is a major incentive for Obama to continue it. After all he envisions himself as the leader of the nations of a new world order. He acts like a man dissing his wife to the amusement of his drinking buddies. He should understand, however, that his wife is listening and is not amused. Obama was elected as leader of our nation. And there are those of us who are not so enamored with having that leader disparage our nation's noble and mostly effective attempts to promote peace and prosperity around the world. Hopefully, enough people will start paying attention and generate a sufficient degree of outrage.
A third characteristic of Obama is naivete. He offers to consider ending U.S. plans for a missile defense in Eastern Europe. In return he hopes Russia will use its influence to pursuade Iran to dismantle its nuclear program. Only the missile defense doesn't threaten Russia one iota. And, it's in Russia's interest to have the Iranians kick up trouble. Any crisis involving Iran pushes up the price of oil which helps fund Vladimir Putin's kleptocracy.
Obama seems to sense his foreign policy cluelessness. In his column, Lowry notes that Obama felt compelled during his Prague disarmament speech to insert the unplanned line, "I'm not naive".
And Nixon wasn't a crook.


Goldberg (embedded in) http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=MGY2ZWE1OGRmNjlkNDAyYzBkYjJkYzA5ZGNhYjc2NzI=

Barnes http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/361xkadt.asp

Stephens http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123906007566594937.html

Lowry http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MGI5ZTkzYzY4OWM3NmEzNzllZTk5OTZhNDk4ZTgyODQ=

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