not likely

Our lovable Vice President Joe Biden talking to Larry King:

I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.

I spent — I’ve been there 17 times now. I go about every two months — three months. I know every one of the major players in all of the segments of that society. It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.

I’m obviously blinded by my anti-Obama bias, because it’s not clear to me how this administration gets credit for Iraq.

I would say that the credit for that should go to President Bush, just like the credit / blame for deficits, the stimulus, the bailouts,  and every struggle that our new President has to deal with right now.   Didn’t President Obama run for president as an anti-war candidate?  Why yes.  Didn’t VP Biden propose that Iraq be divided up into three partitions to keep the peace there? Yes again. It takes an incredible amount of nerve for this administration to attempt this argument when President Obama has opposed the war from the beginning.   But it could just be VP Biden talking out of school, as he is often prone to do…

Fair is fair.  If everything previous to the Obama administration is Bush’s fault (and Iraq is part of that), then any success there should be credited not to President Obama, but to his predecessor.

Now, that said — if Iraq becomes a stable ally to the United States, and a useful partner in that dangerous region of the world, ultimately I don’t care who gets the credit.   The end game is far more important to me than political points for Republicans or Democrats.


What Alan Bock said in the OC Register:

It’s not that there isn’t a good deal of truth in such criticisms of the ways of a “Washington” he invoked more as an epithet than a place. But at what point does a president of the United States take responsibility for his part in feeding the atmosphere of distrust?

Barack Obama has been president for a little more than a year, during which time his party has had a theoretically filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (a rare occurrence) and a substantial majority in the House. During that time he has engaged in a goodly share of partisan sniping while making only empty gestures toward the will-o-the-wisp of bipartisan cooperation. He’s the ultimate insider. Yet he took no responsibility for the poisonous atmosphere in Washington, trying to make believe that he is still quite above it all.

Yep.  You can only convincingly run against Washington when you aren’t part of its culture of failure.  That’s part of the reason for Scott Brown’s success in Massachusetts.  At some point  — and God only knows when this will happen — the statute of limitations on blaming Bush will run out and President Obama will have to take responsibility for his own actions.  Until then, we all must suffer through complex explanations of why the consequences of Democrat / Obama policies are all Bush’s fault.  Yay.

It’s going to be a very long three years…

grading on a curve

We certainly can’t say that the President of the United States lacks self-confidence. When asked to grade his performance as President, he gave himself a B+.  Can’t imagine what kind of curve he was using to come up with that grade.   Obviously our citizen king knows better than we do about, well, everything, so his falling ratings have nothing to do with the great job he’s doing.  Got that, fellow citizens?  Also, he has the hardest Presidential job ever of any administration, because President Obama had to follow the flawed administration of George W. Bush.  There’s no question that President Obama has faced tough challenges, but his reaction to them hasn’t even been close to getting these problems fixed.

Forget about grades.  Let’s talk about objectives.

“You don’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.” – P.J. O’Rourke

How about fixing the economy?  One way to help with that is to support American businesses by creating conditions that allow American businesses to succeed, prosper, and add critical new jobs for the American people.   What has he done about that?  Nothing.  The stimulus has not gotten the job done, and besides that, I think Bush deserves most of the blame / credit for the end results of the current stimulus package.  Instead of rolling back the Bush spending, and spending less taxpayer money, the Obama administration is spending MORE.  Odd way to prove your differences from the previous President.  While President Bush wasn’t exactly known for his fiscal discipline (which I have pointed out on numerous occasions – look it up), President Obama also knows that there is no money for all of these ambitious programs he plans to implement.  There is no money for health care “reform” as he would like to see it, or for the greenies’ fave – cap and trade.  You don’t fix an economy by raising taxes on the few productive taxpayers who still have jobs and the employers who supply these jobs.  That’s what this administration has in mind.   The common phrase we most hear is “taxing the rich”.  Well, who exactly is rich?  Eventually, the answer will be YOU.


But maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe the reason President Obama was elected had more to do with his foreign policy views than with his ambitious domestic agenda.  Let’s see how he’s progressing with the kinder, gentler America through non-cowboy diplomacy, shall we?

The desirable objective is for our allies to be able to trust us and for our enemies (rogue states, terrorist sympathizers, and similar other bad actors) to fear and respect us.  I don’t think this is the perspective of our current President.  He doesn’t seem to make the distinction between countries who can be legitimate partners in our struggle against the jihadists, and countries who need to be controlled in their quest for world domination through nuclear power.  Without any sticks in sight, the bad actors will continue to be bad actors, because they know the threats of the UN and of the United States are worthless.

The disregard of our allies, especially the Brits, is a glaring mistake when we consider that there are only a few countries left in the the world who share our views on potential nuclear opponents like Iran and North Korea.  We need all the support we can get in trying to keep Iran and North Korea from extending their nuclear capability into dangerous weapons that threaten the security of the United States and our allies.  President Obama, with all his grand rhetoric about America being a friend to the world, needs to spend more time talking to our allies than proposing grand schemes to single-handedly talk rogue states out of their nuclear ambitions.  Right now, our allies don’t trust us.  That has more to do with the fluid foreign policy strategy of President Obama, and not as much to do with Bush and the Iraq war.

How are we doing with stopping the bad guys?  As far as Iran / North Korea is concerned, it’s a push.  But Iran is getting more vocal and belligerent day by day, and at some point, it will be too late to stop them from getting nukes.  It may already be too late.  North Korea is still out there, although we haven’t heard much from them lately.  Afghanistan is still a struggle, and I hope that the additional troops Obama is sending will be enough to get the job done.

Both the left wing and the right wing have reasons to be frustrated with the Obama administration.   I just pray that someday there will be enough Americans who disagree with current administration policies that they will vote out the Democrat Congress  in 2010 and President Obama in 2012.  It can happen.  The Republican Party just needs to get its own house in order first.

what’s different

I don’t like federal interference in private industry.  Have I made that clear enough yet?  That means I would have been opposed to former Treasury Secretary Paulson, acting (I assume) on the orders of President Bush,  putting heavy pressure on the head of AIG to step down after AIG received one of their many sacks of bailout cash.  But somehow it doesn’t register quite the same way with me as President Obama forcing the GM CEO to resign.  Maybe I didn’t pay as much attention to AIG’s internal employee shuffling as I have been to what’s going on with the auto industry.  It’s just that the failure of AIG, while terribly detrimental to the economy (and many 401ks) in the short term, wouldn’t have nearly the impact of GM or another one of the Big Three closing up shop.  The Big Three are American institutions, and it would be harder to imagine an America without them than without one of the many insurance companies we have in this country.  Sentimentality aside, if we continue to interfere with the free market the way former President Bush has done with his bailouts,  and  the way President Obama continues to do with his multi-million dollar taxpayer gifts to various entities,  the economy will not improve.

Neither President had (or has) the expertise to make personnel decisions at insurance companies (Bush) or to make the right choice for the next GM CEO(Obama).  Thank goodness President Obama says he has no intention to run GM, and that he will draw the line at forcing their CEO to step down.  GM and Chrysler owners can also be thankful that their warranties are now guaranteed by the United States Government.   What a slippery slope it is for companies who take their fair share from the federal money tree — now the feds pretend to have the right to exercise direct control over these companies.   It’s a painful lesson to learn — next time the feds come with the offer of cash — the correct answer is: Just Say No.

I rarely link to Wonkette, due to the fact that it’s not exactly (hardly ever, in fact) family-friendly, but this quote is priceless:

Hmm, so this auto bailout problem, is it a good thing or a bad thing? Good, because the government should continue to withhold money from GM and Chrysler until they get their acts together. Bad, because GM and Chrysler cannot get their acts together without money, plus the demise of the manufacturing sector etc. President Obama assures us, however, that no matter what happens “we will not let our auto industry simply vanish.” This is liberal socialist code for “we will raise taxes on the wealthy and give everyone a free Geo Metro.” [Washington Post]

Awesome.   But see, Wonkette’s got it all wrong.  President Obama will give us all free bicycles, since he doesn’t want us using more fossil fuels, even in a tiny car like the Metro.   Just can’t wait for all my free stuff that my taxes are paying for…

better to remain silent

But no…Chuck Schumer must speak and say something stupid.

Here he is:

Why else would the American people oppose this bill?  This stimulus bill will NOT fix the economy for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is that most of the new spending projects won’t provide any immediate benefit to the average person.  At least with Bush’s stimulus, taxpayers (along with non-taxpayers) got a tangible benefit in the form of a check as a result of that plan. The Republicans (and President Bush) spent too much taxpayer money on previous spending bills.  That’s been acknowledged many times.  But what President Bush started,  President Obama has spent much more taxpayer money on all this new stimulus legislation than even I expected him to do.  What do we get with the Democrats and President Obama? Money for special interests and ACORN.


Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t see the bellicose calls for World War III and / or the use of military force against Russia — that the left is claiming — from anyone who has the authority to execute such a plan.  The Bush administration isn’t offering the use of our military to do any fighting, and even if it were, does anyone expect that the Democratic Congress led by Pelosi and Reid would approve any sort of military action against Russia?  I doubt it.  This is a tough situation for the current administration, and Russia will continue to defy the international community whether they have to deal with a President Obama or a President McCain.

What can we do to punish Russia for their invasion of a sovereign country?  There’s always international sanctions, a strongly worded letter from the UN, and getting them kicked out of the G-8.  Something must be done to show Russia that there are consequences to their actions.   I wouldn’t presume to know what the best way to deal with this situation is, but I don’t think that President Bush intends to take military action against Russia.  I’m not sure there is a way to contain Russia by diplomatic means, but we don’t have any other options.  The challenge we have is how to be a strong ally of Georgia and other allied countries in that region without taking steps toward war with Russia.

Sending humanitarian aid to Georgia is a good idea and we should be supporting them in that way.  But there has to be more we can do to show support for countries like Georgia who have been good and loyal friends to the United States of America.  We will be more likely to get international support for fighting global terrorism and the threat of radical lslam if we show that we can be trusted to defend our allies when it is required of us to do so.  The trick is attempted containment of countries like Russia and Iran without the threat of military force.  History tells us that this is impossible, but if the UN imposed enforceable sanctions with some real bite to them, it might delay any future aggression by Russia for a few years.  That would be a good place to start, but I don’t expect the UN to do this, because accountability for rogue actors is beyond their limited authority and ability.

are they serious?

Non-“right wing crazies” also question the Democrats’ (and specifically Obama’s) patriotism.

Like Joe Klein, for example.

This is a chronic disease among Democrats, who tend to talk more about what’s wrong with America than what’s right. When Ronald Reagan touted “Morning in America” in the 1980s, Dick Gephardt famously countered that it was near midnight “and getting darker all the time.” This is ironic and weirdly self-defeating, since the liberal message of national improvement is profoundly more optimistic, and patriotic, than the innate conservative pessimism about the perfectibility of human nature. Obama’s hopemongering is about as American as a message can get — although, in the end, it is mostly about our ability to transcend our imperfections rather than the effortless brilliance of our diversity, informality and freedom-propelled creativity.

That’s what the right is questioning about the Democrats and about Obama. It’s not that he doesn’t wear a flag pin. I could care less whether Democrats or Republicans wear flag pins. The attitude and mindset of a potential President is what’s important here. I want someone who, while admitting the challenges and struggles we face as a country, will also acknowledge the possibility that we can overcome those challenges. I’ve said on several occasions that it’s customary to have the party out of power tell the voters how terrible everything is to win elections, and that both sides do this. However, the Democrats seem to have perfected this particular argument, and it’s often hard for them to admit that the country isn’t doomed, because this ruins all of their stump speeches.

It also damages their push for national health care, pulling out of Iraq — forget for a minute that both Hillary and Obama have flip-flopped on their commitment to immediate withdrawal from Iraq — and all of their other grand social experiments and new government spending. This aversion to Bush has really tied the Dems in knots to the point where they can never give him credit for anything, even when it’s obvious they agree with what he does. According to the Democrats, Bush has ruined this great country, and all the bad things happening to you in your life are indirectly caused by your President. This period of misery will continue under President McCain, because “he’s just like Bush”. McCain will also ruin your life, so the only choice you have is to vote Democratic. That’s their whole argument. McCain = Bush.

At some point, the Democrats will have to make the case for their nominee, and it has to be more than “We’re not like Bush!”. President Bush isn’t running again, and running against him won’t work this time.

smackdown: the carter vs. bush edition

If I had former President Jimmy Carter’s dubious record of achievement, I would be more careful about calling another President’s administration the “worst in history”. Someone might actually call him on it, like Deputy WH Press Secretary Tony Fratto, who said, ” I think it’s sad that President Carter’s reckless personal criticism is out there…I think it’s unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments.” Indeed. He’s entitled to his opinion, but to suggest that Carter would have had more of a clue on foreign policy (especially Iraq) is to totally ignore his history. He might not want to give us an opportunity to look at it again. I’m just sayin’.

Tags: ,