Tag Archives: ronald reagan

NEWS TO MUSE: Being Bibi; using polls to influence; the Chevy Chase presidency and political correctness v. the Constitution

Bibi beats Obama

Make no mistake about it.  President Obama’s people were behind a major effort to unseat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Obama’s own doubletalk was designed to scare Israeli voters into believing that Netanyahu’s re-election would hurt the Israeli-American alliance.  Operatives, clearly aligned to Obama, and paid for by Obama’s financial backers, such as George Soros, were on the ground working against Netanyahu.  (This may result in a congressional investigation).  The Obama anti-Netanyahu sentiment was reflected in the post election comments by the President’s personal Rasputin, David Axelod.  When exit polls suggested a win by Bibi, Axelrod ranted, “Tightness of exits in Israel suggests Bibi’s shameful 11th hour demagoguery may have swayed enough votes to save him. But at what cost?

Polling  or wishful thinking

Speaking of the polls.  Was the failure of the polls to predict the Israeli election outcome yet another example of polls leaning to the left only to be upset by the reality of the voting booth?  We see this often in American elections.  It was also evident internationally during the Reagan administrations when the American left was rooting for a Daniel Ortega Sandinista victory in Nicaragua.   In a remarkable similar situation to the Israeli election, the polls showed an easy victory for Ortega.  Left wing organizations were also on the ground working for the Communist leader against Reagan’s policy.  Ortega was buried in a “surprise” election landslide.  I do know that some polls are corrupt enough to be rigged, but I think most liberal pollsters have a tendency to include too many left wingers in the polling samples.  They then save face by alleging a “last minute shift” or “surge.” That is a bogus excuse.  Within the last month of an election, most voters a locked in.  They do not change their vote.  Even the so-called independents are pretty much decided before Election Day.

The Obama’s channeling the Griswolds

In a 2008 pre-presidency interview, candidate Barack Obama promised the American people of workaholic president.  He said “The bargain that any president strikes with is, you give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone, I am giving myself to you.”  He added “that people should only run for president if they’re willing to make that sacrifice.”

Is this yet another example of a man who will say anything and mean none of it?

Obama and family have given new meaning to the term, “imperial presidency.”  The President seems to enjoy the trappings of the office more than the responsibilities.  The Obamas have logged a record breaking 38 vacation trips (exceeded only by the seemingly endless sequels of Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon vacation movies).  That averages to more than 6 vacations per year, not counting the many official business trips with time for play.

The extent of the Obama’s sense of privilege was evident when the President and Michelle left from the same location at approximately the same time for the same destination and they travelled in two different White House jumbo jets.

Your and my vacations have one thing in common with the Obama’s – we pay for all of them.  No need to budget when rich Uncle Sam is footing the bill.  So far, these pleasure trips have cost you and me officially more than $40 million.  I say “officially” since there are untold additional millions that are not charged as vacation expenses.

This does not include his 219 days on the golf course.  That comes to 10 percent of each year on top of vacations.  The president is also known to be off the deck during a lot of major events.  When as his whereabouts at moments of crisis, Obama engages the press in a White House version of “where’s Waldo”

The Lincoln-style rocking chair was the icon piece of White House furniture during the Kennedy presidency.  For Roosevelt it was the wheelchair.  In that spirit, I propose the Lazy-Boy lounge chair as the most appropriate symbol of the Obama presidency.

Liberal gulag politics.

This is really scary.  The hard core left in American politics it in full assault on free speech – among the most sacred of our Constitutional liberties.  We have long believed in a quote attributed, correctly or wrongly, to Voltaire “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”  Over the years, the Supreme Court has protected virtually all speech – even speech offensive to the sensibility of the general public.

Under liberal oppression and political correctness, however, that concept is being declared null and void.

Not long ago, New York Governor Cuomo said that conservatives have no business in New York.  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. stated that those who question global warming should be jailed.  More recently Al Gore said that people who question global warming need to suffer severe consequences.

People who violate the rules of liberal political correctness are to be subjected to criminal punishment, or at least committed to re-education (so-called diversity) programs.  Obama & Company attack critics as racists, malcontents, enemies of the state and even terrorists.  The very agencies of the American government, such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice, are all corrupted to oppress opinion.

In the radical liberal world, you can be profane, pornographic, sacrilegious, and obscene.  Political correctness does not apply to attacks on Republicans, conservatives, southerners and those who “cling to their guns and bibles.” Liberalism, like all authoritarian beliefs, views disagreement as a form of philosophic apostasy.

All this smacks of the old Stalin/Mao approach, where disagreement with the powers that be is viewed either as criminal or mental illness.

DAILY OBSERVATION: Dictators are no friends of mine

I have come to believe that entirely too much public opinion and public policy is based on myths.  That has led me to start a book on political myths (but more about that another time).  I was reminded of one of the most common myths – the existence of right wing dictatorships.

We all know that the political continuum goes from right to left, with those of us on the right fighting for limited government, lower taxes and more citizen authority.  Starting on the extreme right is anarchy … libertarianism … mainstream conservatism … economic conservatism … etc.

Coming in from the left extreme is dictatorship … oligarchies … socialists … progressives … etc.

I am sure you can see where this is going.  We, on the right, NEVER like too much government – and dictatorships are state-of-the-art “too much government.”  We believe in what President Reagan once said.  “Government is not part of the problem, it IS the problem.”

Let me make it clear.  We conservatives do not like authoritarian government – not ever.  We may have to deal with them in a complex world, but we favor democracies and republics.  Liberals, too, must deal with dictatorships according to their relationship with the United States.  That is just international politics.

The record shows that in conservative administrations, dictatorships are more challenged and often overturned.  The Reagan foreign policy encouraged more nations to shift to participatory governance than any time since the Founders began a world trend toward global democratization.

Liberals are more accommodating to dictatorships.  They oppose “imposing” democracies on other nations.  They seem to not even understand the concept.  America does not “impose,” but rather helps remove the shackles of totalitarianism so that the people can “impose” their own government.

You see the liberal view in Washington today.  Obama is impotent in dealing with the brutal dictatorships spreading throughout the Middle East today.  He plays na na na boo boo with North Korea.  He bails out a failing brutal dictatorship in Cuba.  He gets into rope-the-dope negotiations with Iran.  After “I’m going to kick your ass” threats to Syrian despot Bashar al Assad, Obama cuts and runs.  After conservative Republican policy faced down the Russians and crushed the “evil empire,” Obama does nothing in the face of the re-emerging “evil.”

Domestically, it is the progressive mentality that believes that a powerful government must solve problems for a less apt or willing public.  They believe that the public, as Jonathan Gruber put it, is stupid.  Thanks to liberal thinking, our federal government, which should have the least influence in our daily lives, is suffocating the constitutional rights of the several states, and, in the process, our individual personal rights.

That is not to say that grass-roots American liberals want a dictatorship.  No. No. No.  It is their tendency, however, to support the shift of more and more power to the government that is most distant and least responsive to public influence.  That is so obvious, it is beyond refutation.  In doing that, they do tip-toe along the edge of a very dangerous slippery slope.

So, let’s have no more talk about right-wing dictatorships.  They do not exist.

DAILY OBSERVATION: Why is Bill Clinton so damned popular?

I was recently asked why Bill Clinton is so popular.  I decided to skip the topical news of the day to give my take on that question.  Maybe I am the one to explain because I sort of like the guy, myself.

Most Republicans, and virtually all my conservative colleagues, cringe at the mere mention of his name.  After all, he is, by all accounts, a scoundrel.  His trail to the White House is scattered with serial moral lapses and a few official corruptions to boot.  He disgraced the presidency with an inappropriate, to say the least, sexual relationship with an underling. He faced the American public via television and lied, lied and lied.  He took his lies to court and turned them into perjury.

Clinton admitted he knowingly gave “misleading and evasive” answers in his sworn depositions, but in true Clinton style, he said he was not actually lying.  The authorities did not agree, and he lost his law license and his place before the Supreme Court.  He even got himself impeached.

His legacy in office is a bit thin.  In terms of foreign policy, it was more like a disaster.

So, what is there to like about the guy?

It has always been my theory that the American public can show fondness for a wide range of personalities – from the most moral to the more corrupt, as long as they are not hypocrites.

At one point in time, Jimmy Carter, the soft spoken moralist, and Governor John Connolly, the back room wheeler-dealer from Texas, were two of the most popular political figures in America.   One became President and one fell few yards short of the goal line.  Both let the public see what they were – sort of a personal transparency.

From day one on the public stage, Bill Clinton came across as the “bad boy” type.  After each moral or ethical lapse, he did not fall on the floor in tears, begging for forgiveness with promises of never doing whatever again. Nope.  He sort of shrugged his shoulders and gave us that what-can-I-say look.

He gains because of his wife.  She is an intense, scolding and overall unpleasant person.  To be frank, she gives Bill a little how-can-you-blame-him automatic forgiveness for his extracurricular actions.  Yes, he says the right things about her in public because he does what he has to do.  But he is perfectly happy traveling the world for business and pleasure sans Hillary.  If she became President, I doubt the maid would have to change the sheets in the spare bedroom of the White House very often.

You should also recall that when she was his number one policy person, driving her version of Obamacare, Clinton was not too popular.  Once that failed, and she was relegated to more traditional First Lady duties, he became a more centrist president and his numbers improved.  In some polls, his numbers were worst during Hillarycare than the impeachment.  Go figure.

I have always thought his domestic policies were not so terrible.  He kept the momentum of Reaganomics going.  He did some real reform in welfare.  He knew how to produce economic growth.  While there are always varying views on policy, Clinton did not use divisiveness as a political tool.

One thing I personally appreciate about Clinton, although it was not his intent and many will deny it even happened, but he virtually destroyed the hardliner feminist movement.  Their defense of his inappropriate behavior with Monica Lewinsky was so hypocritical – with one major feminist saying she would perform sex on him for all he did –really turned off the public.  It is not well noted, but after the ladies of the left came to his rescue, their credibility was critically damaged.  The once ubiquitous Gloria Steinems and Patricia Irelands (who?) rarely appeared in the media afterward.

After leaving office, Clinton not only used his popularity to make an enormous amount of money, but he set up a pretty good foundation dealing with world affairs.  He took on genuine charitable projects. He, and the man he defeated, George H. Bush developed a political bromance.  They appeared together soliciting aid after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti.

Clinton may also be the best communicator the Democrats have.  He knows how to make sense of things.  That is why he was brought in so often by President Obama to get the talking points back on track.

Clinton, like Reagan, appreciates and respects other opinions. He does not see Republicans as enemies.  He was the other side of the coin from House Speaker Newt Gingrich when the federal government was actually working to the people’s satisfaction.

Even his sell out to Obama comes across again with a shrug of the shoulders and that sense of I-do-what-I-gotta-do.  There is no secret that he does not admire or even like Obama.  Of course, the fact that it is no secret further enhances Clinton’s popularity

Moralists, like Carter, can never achieve the level of popularity as a cleaver rogue.  Call-me-Jimmy may quote the Bible, saying we are all sinners, but he leaves the impression that he does not believe it about himself. You can admire their zeal, but you can’t help that uneasy feeling when around them.  Clinton lets you know we are all sinners by living out the role openly.  There provides a sense of mutual understanding.  Carter is the type you sit up straight in the pew next to him.  Clinton, you hang in the bar until closing time.

As long as Clinton stays safely in the range of “acceptable” transgressions, he will remain popular.  I mean, if Lewinsky had been 16 years old, it would have been a very different outcome.  He maybe a scoundrel, but as far as the public is concerned, he is a lovable scoundrel.

To me, he is an engaging conversationalist. Getting past his moral lapses, Clinton is an extreme intelligent and well informed person.  He is always on my list of people I would like to dine with – maybe not first, but on the list.