Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category
Natan Sharansky’s op-ed provides a stunning contrast between the Obama administration’s Iran capitulation and President Eisenhower’s negotiations with the then-Soviet Union. Check this out:
For starters, consider that the Soviet regime felt obliged to make its first ideological concession simply to enter into negotiations with the United States about economic cooperation. At the end of the 1950s, Moscow abandoned its doctrine of fomenting a worldwide communist revolution and adopted in its place a credo of peaceful coexistence between communism and capitalism. The Soviet leadership paid a high price for this concession, both internally, in the form of millions of citizens, like me, who had been obliged to study Marxism and Leninism as the truth and now found their partial abandonment confusing, and internationally, in their relations with the Chinese and other dogmatic communists who viewed the change as a betrayal. Nevertheless, the Soviet government understood that it had no other way to get what it needed from the United States.
The Soviets capitulated because they didn’t have any options. Soviet negotiators thought that President Eisenhower was a serious, hard-nosed negotiator. They didn’t fear him like they feared President Reagan but they knew they couldn’t take liberties with Eisenhower.
As a result of their capitulation, the Soviets experienced a shaming that they never recovered from. It took several more decades before the gulags closed and the dissidents were freed but the Soviets had been dealt a stunning defeat.
Imagine what would have happened if instead, after completing a round of negotiations over disarmament, the Soviet Union had declared that its right to expand communism across the continent was not up for discussion. This would have spelled the end of the talks. Yet today, Iran feels no need to tone down its rhetoric calling for the death of America and wiping Israel off the map.
The Iranians sized up President Obama and figured it out that he wasn’t a serious negotiator. To the Iranians, President Obama looked like a mark in a con man’s sights. They figured that President Obama could be flipped. That’s because they knew he was a desperate man in search of a legacy. As a result, the Iranians played hardball with him.
The sanctions were working. Iran’s mullahs would’ve been toppled if President Obama was interested in that. Unfortunately for Israel and the US, President Obama wasn’t interested in dealing the Iranian regime a death blow. Because President Obama zigged when other administrations would’ve zagged, Iran is poised to become a Middle East hegemon with a nuclear weapon.
While negotiating with the Soviet Union, U.S. administrations of all stripes felt certain of the moral superiority of their political system over the Soviet one. They felt they were speaking in the name of their people and the free world as a whole, while the leaders of the Soviet regime could speak for no one but themselves and the declining number of true believers still loyal to their ideology.
President Obama’s legacy will be his administration-long apology tour. He’s felt that the United States wasn’t a force for good. This will be his fitting epitaph:
It’ll take a generation to clean up all the history-changing messes he’s created. President Clinton said that the 1990s represented a “vacation from history.” On 9/11, history came to collect on that debt.
It might well be that 2009-2016 will be called the United States’ vacation from being the United States.
Technorati: Natan Sharansky, Soviet Dissident, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Leader of the Free World, Negotiations, Soviet Union, President Obama, Capitulation, Iran, Legacy, Sanctions, Apology Tour, Democrats
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and Dana Bash talked about Sen. Rubio’s youth and turning it around now vs. how they criticized then-Sen. Obama about it in 2008:
Here’s what Baldwin said that caught my attention:
BROOKE BALDWIN: Well, they tried to slam the then-Sen. Obama for it and now you have all these freshman GOP senators in the same situation.
It’s fair game to ask whether Republicans should’ve criticized then-Sen. Obama. The answer to that question is simple. Yes, it was fair that Republicans questioned then-Sen. Obama because he was just 2 years removed from being a back-bench state senator when he started running for president.
First, let’s remember that Barack Obama served only a total of 4 years in the Senate. In 2003, Obama was a state senator who frequently voted present. He didn’t have any accomplishments to speak of. Upon joining the Senate, he essentially started running for president. Just 2 years after getting elected to the US Senate, Obama announced that he was running for president. As a result, he didn’t take his committee assignments seriously. That’s one of the reasons why President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. (The other reason why they’ve been disastrous is because of his belief in a failed ideology.)
By comparison, Sen. Rubio and Sen. Paul are in the fifth year of their respective terms in office. They’ve taken their committee assignments seriously. Sen. Rubio, for all his faults, is an expert on national security and terrorism. I said here that Sen. Rubio would mop the floor with Hillary’s behind if they ever debated foreign policy or national security.
It’s substantially different to go from being a state senator to president in 5 years than to go from Speaker of the Florida House to presidential candidate in 7 years. Sen. Rubio’s understanding of the issues is significantly better than President Obama’s understanding of the issues.
I don’t doubt that Sen. Rubio was nervous initially when he started his presentation. It’s an emotional moment for him and his family. I’d be worried if he wasn’t a little emotional. It’s worth noticing that Ms. Bash said that he settled down once he got a little ways into the speech. That’s why I wrote that Sen. Rubio blew Hillary away.
I’ve frequently said that Marco Rubio will highlight the image that he’s the future and that Hillary’s ‘sell-by date’ had passed. This article verifies that I was on the right track:
Portraying Clinton as a candidate of the past, Rubio, 43, talked about the opportunity awaiting the GOP as it seeks to recapture the White House after eight years out of power.
“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said on the call. “Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”
Hillary will do her best to run away from Washington, DC, partially because the average voter doesn’t have a positive opinion of DC but partially because she’s had a high profile, non-productive career as a Washington fixture. When initially asked what her accomplishments were, State Department officials touted the fact that she’d put on more air miles as Secretary of State than any of her predecessors.
Appropriately, Carly Fiorina brought the house down at CPAC with this riff:
In a debate on foreign policy, there’s no question in my mind that Sen. Rubio would convincingly win that debate with Hillary, starting with her giving the Russian foreign minister that gimmicky-looking reset button. Part of the reason why Sen. Rubio would convincingly win that debate is because Hillary would either have to defend a pathetic Obama foreign policy or she’d have to distance herself from President Obama’s foreign policy.
If Hillary runs away from the Obama administration’s foreign policy, she’d open herself up to charges of being less than forthright. That plays into the narrative that’s haunted Hillary for 25 years in DC. That’s a damned if you, damned if you don’t situation.
The other thing working against Hillary is the fact that he’s youthful and energetic, 2 words that aren’t associated with Hillary. That isn’t sexist. It’s politics in the TV age. Starting in 1960, image has mattered. In that Kennedy-Nixon debate, people that listened to the debate thought Nixon won it. People that watched it thought JFK won it.
It’s been that way ever since.
The other thing that’s working against Hillary is that she isn’t a great campaigner. Her book tour was a disaster. Yesterday, Hillary’s team botched it with this:
Bill’s people never would’ve made that mistake. Period. For all the credit she’s been given for being a top-tier candidate, there’s ample proof that suggests she isn’t. Winning the Democratic nomination will be relatively easy. Winning the general election is an entirely different matter.
This weekend, after he met with Raul Castro, President Obama continued his hate America tour, declaring that he was “very aware of the fact that there are dark chapters in our own history.”
There’s no doubt that this nation has seen dark chapters during its history. While the darkest of those dark chapters is either the Civil War or the bombing of Pearl Harbor, not all of this nation’s darkest chapters involve war. The Obama administration is one of those dark chapters.
Betraying Israel is a sad chapter in US history. President Obama has frequently betrayed Israel, whether it’s through revealing Israel’s sensitive nuclear secrets or by sending his political operatives to Israel to defeat Israel’s sitting prime minister. Frankly, betraying Israel is betraying the United States’ Judeo-Christian heritage.
Frequently ignoring the Constitution is another instance where the Obama administration has led the United States into a dark chapter in our nation’s history. No other administration has had the Supreme Court rule unanimously against their power grabs thirteen times. That’s a record that’s as likely to get broken as Cy Young’s 511 victories as a pitcher.
Negotiating a nuclear proliferation treaty with Iran, which is what John Kerry’s framework really is, is a betrayal of our allies in the region. That’s before talking about how it establishes Iran as the regional superpower. That’s before talking about how it endangers our national security by pumping new money into Iran’s coffers to support regional and worldwide terrorist attacks.
That’s before highlighting this foolish statement:
“The cold war has been over for a long time and I’m not interested in battles that have been over frankly, before I was born,” President Obama stated.
It’s stupid for President Obama to insist that the Cold War is over. Putin’s on the march, gobbling up huge parts of neighboring countries. Further, I’m interested in hearing him explain how the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, when he was 28 years old. Perhaps he didn’t notice because he was too busy selling cocaine?
The only potential positive that might come out of the Obama administration is the stench that will remind us we’ve survived a national nightmare of incredible intensity.
Technorati: Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, State Sponsors of Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Iran, Appeasement, Terrorists, Cuba, National Security, Israel, Pearl Harbor, Civil War, Supreme Court, Constitution
Anyone who watched Rand Paul’s interview with Megyn Kelly last night saw Sen. Paul’s less-than-elegant side:
Simply put, Sen. Paul was combative, argumentative and vague. He was argumentative when Kelly pressed him for a definition of who he meant when he talked about neocons. By comparison, Sen. Paul said that Charles Krauthammer was “just wrong” in his opinion about Sen. Paul. Finally, Sen. Paul refused to even say what the ‘neocon’ philosophy consisted of. The only thing Sen. Paul said about neocons was that Sen. McCain “is always right and wants to have troops in 15 countries…”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. When Kelly showed clips of Paul criticizing Savannah Guthrie, telling her how to conduct an interview, Sen. Paul looked petulant and thin-skinned. While there’s no denying the fact that Sen. Paul is more open-minded than President Obama, there’s no denying the fact that he doesn’t like getting challenged, either.
Right after Kelly’s interview with Sen. Paul, she interviewed Dana Perino, who had some great advice for Sen. Paul. Ms. Perino said he should put the tapes in of his interview with Savannah Guthrie and the CNBC anchor where his thin skin showed the most. Ms. Perino said that his wife could point out things that he isn’t seeing and offer him an opinion of what comes across through a woman’s eyes. Perino wasn’t harshly critical. She simply offered constructive criticism.
Sen. Paul’s other ‘skin’ problem that showed during his interview was his constant insistence that he was the only Republican who fought against bombing Libya. He wasn’t. I’m hard-pressed to think of a single Republican who thought invading Libya was a good idea. Sen. Paul insisted that he was right about Syria and ISIS and that only a matter of degrees separated Republicans from President Obama.
That’s warped thinking. President Obama didn’t want to take any action. That’s because he’s a pacifist as is Sen. Paul. That’s what Sen. Paul meant when he said that he didn’t support arming the Free Syrian Army. Sen. Paul didn’t think ISIS was that big of a threat until after they beheaded the reporters. Then his attitude changed. That’s what happened with President Obama. It sounds like Sen. Paul is more like President Obama than the neocons supposedly are.
Tonight, Charles Krauthammer will be part of the Special Report All-Star Panel, along with Judge Napolitano and Juan Williams. It’ll be interesting to see if Bret Baier gives Charles the opportunity to defend himself against Sen. Paul’s charges. If it doesn’t happen there, it’ll happen somewhere. That’s something Sen. Paul should fear because he’s a novelty item. He can’t afford taking a credibility hit from a respected conservative like Krauthammer.
If Sen. Paul doesn’t get control of himself, he won’t last long enough to be a flavor-of-the-month candidate. He’ll be able to stay in the race. It’s just that he’ll be treated like a pariah if he’s stripped of his credibility.
Judge Andrew Hanen refused to lift his temporary hold on President Obama’s executive action, saying that the DOJ hasn’t “shown any credible reason for why this Directive necessitates immediate implementation.” Here are the arguments both sides are making:
The coalition of states leading the challenge filed its lawsuit to overturn Obama’s executive actions, which would prevent as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally from being deported. The states, led by Texas, argue that the action is unconstitutional and would force them to invest more in law enforcement, health care and education. The injunction is intended to stall Obama’s actions while the lawsuit progresses through the courts.
Justice Department attorneys argue that keeping the temporary hold harms “the interests of the public and of third parties who will be deprived of significant law enforcement and humanitarian benefits of prompt implementation” of the president’s immigration action.
First, it isn’t likely that the Obama administration will win this fight. If I were putting out odds, I’d say the administration’s odds of winning was less than 15%. That’s enough to stop the DOJ’s request dead in its tracks. Second, Judge Hanen’s statement that the DOJ hasn’t “shown any credible reason for why this Directive necessitates immediate implementation” is a rather chilly statement. (Ed Morrissey’s post explains why the relationship between Judge Hanen and the DOJ is frosty.)
Hanen issued his initial injunction believing that neither of those orders had taken effect. About a month later, the Justice Department confirmed that more than 108,000 people had already received three-year reprieves from deportation and work permits, but DOJ attorneys insisted the moves were made under 2012 guidelines that weren’t blocked by the injunction. The DOJ apologized for any confusion, but Hanen seemed unconvinced during a hearing last month and threatened to sanction the attorneys.
He wrote Tuesday that while the federal government had been “misleading” on the subject, he would not immediately apply sanctions against the government, saying to do so would not be “in the interests of justice or in the best interest of this country” because the issue was of national importance and the outcome will affect millions of people.
“The parties’ arguments should be decided on their relative merits according to the law, not clouded by outside allegations that may or may not bear on the ultimate issues in this lawsuit,” Hanen wrote.
I’m not a lawyer but I can’t imagine it’s a good thing for a judge to say that “the federal government had been ‘misleading'” the judge. I’ve got to think that the appellate court won’t be impressed with the DOJ’s actions.
I’d be very surprised if the Supreme Court doesn’t a) hear this case and b) rule against the administration.
Juan Williams’ pro-Harry Reid blinders are on full display in Williams’ latest column:
Republicans campaigned last fall voicing a constant refrain that voters should free them from Reid’s control of the Senate. McConnell promised that Republicans would prove they could govern once Reid’s hold had been broken. As the cynics say, “How did that work out for you?”
Frankly, I’ll take Mitch McConnell’s attempting to get things done over Reid’s one-man legislative branch veto anytime and it isn’t close. Harry Reid was and is a tyrant who should be in prison. He shouldn’t be praised.
Reid is now in the minority. He has announced he will not run again. But the GOP’s inability to get anything done in the Senate for three months and counting is leading to new appreciation for the much-maligned Reid. Compare Reid’s record to the GOP’s ongoing failure to pass legislation to stop sex trafficking, to approve highway trust-fund spending or to confirm an attorney general.
There’s no place in America’s heartland where people have a new-found appreciation of Harry Reid. Since when do celebrate a person who essentially stopped the deliberative process? Why shouldn’t such a tyrant be vilified for essentially preventing red state senators from representing their constituents?
There’s nothing virtuous about that type of tyranny.
As for not passing the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, place that totally at the feet of the Democrats. I wrote this article to highlight the fact that the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and was on its way to winning full approval in the Senate when Democrat-aligned special interest groups told the Democrats that having the Hyde Amendment, a provision that was in the bill from the start, in the bill was a deal-breaker. Dutifully like all puppets do, the Democrats who both co-sponsored the bill, and who voted for it in committee, voted to filibuster the bill.
There’s nothing virtuous about a political party that’s so wedded to its special interest supporters that it’ll turn its backs on victims of sex trafficking in exchange for ideological purity and additional campaign contributions.
Selling one’s soul for political expediency has a name but that name isn’t virtue.
“The corrosion of the Senate took place over many years,” McConnell said in an e-mail to Jennifer Steinhauer of the Times. “So restoring the institution to allow members of both parties and their constituents to have a voice in the legislative process will take longer than three months. But we’re making progress.”
And who is responsible for that “corrosion”? McConnell’s “progress” is slowed by the same political divisions among Republicans that gummed up the works when Democrats had the majority. Maybe Republicans will now acknowledge that Reid was never the problem. The real issue all along has been the GOP’s antipathy to the president.
Let’s be blunt. Harry Reid worked to protect President Obama and Democratic senators. Sen. Reid prevented legislation that got overwhelming support in the House from even getting debated in the Senate. Sen. Reid wasn’t the Senate Majority Leader from 2007-2014. He was the self-appointed emperor of the Senate.
Sen. Reid didn’t let Republicans represent their constituents. I won’t appreciate a tyrant who won’t let elected officials represent their constituents. That’s who Juan Williams thinks we should find a new-found appreciation for.
The mission statement of contemporary Republican Senate politics was issued by McConnell himself in 2010. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he proclaimed. In response, Reid limited votes on amendments to rein in the political circus and focus attention on legislation that could win passage. “All I want to do is legislate,” a frustrated Reid told me and a small group of columnists last summer.
Harry Reid lied and Juan Williams was gullible enough to believe him. Listen to this sentence:
In response, Reid limited votes on amendments to rein in the political circus and focus attention on legislation that could win passage.
TRANSLATION: Reid shut down debate because he didn’t want debate on issues that the American people disagreed with Democrats on. This wasn’t about reining in “the political circus.” That’s pure spin. This has everything to do with a) preventing Republican from presenting their ideas and b) protecting hard-hearted Democrats who didn’t want to listen to the American people.
Sen. Reid and President Obama are only part of the Senate’s problem. The Democrats’ special interests are another part of the problem as is Sen. Schumer, Dick Durbin and their shrinking band of puppets. It’s long past time we exposed the real cancer in the Senate. We have a republic, not an autocracy.
The recently-announced framework between Iran and the P-5 + 1 is an interesting situation that’s having significant political consequences. What’s at stake is whether senators should support a freedom-loving democracy or whether they should support a terrorist-financing nation led by aging religious fanatics that chant ‘Death to America‘. That’s essentially the heart of this debate.
While Israel’s critics criticize Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, the truth is that these criticisms are pretty feeble, especially compared with the complaints Israel can make about the rockets launched by Iran-funded terrorist organizations into the heart of Israel. The Iranian-funded terrorists launch missiles into the heart of Israel. The Israeli settlers are building homes in the West Bank. The notion that there’s a moral equivalence between the 2 things is absurd.
Senators supporting the deal between the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany and Iran best be ready to defend a terrorist regime whose first ambition is to terrorize America’s most reliable ally in the Middle East and to create a region-wide hegemon with nuclear weapons. That’s what Iran’s first set of goals are. When Iran’s leader shouts “Death to America”, I’m certain he isn’t joking. Iran’s mid-term goal is to expand its hegemon into western Europe. That’s because their ultimate goal is to establish a worldwide caliphate that would give people the ‘option’ to either obey the Iranian mullahs’ dictates or die.
Here in the United States, Jewish voters are noticing who’s on Israel’s side and who isn’t:
Republicans currently in the Senate raised more money during the 2014 election cycle in direct, federally regulated campaign contributions from individuals and political action committees deemed pro-Israel than their Democratic counterparts, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and analyzed for The New York Times by a second nonprofit, MapLight. The Republican advantage was the first in more than a decade.
The alliances in Congress that pro-Israel donors have built will certainly be tested as they lobby lawmakers to oppose the deal with Iran and perhaps even expand sanctions against the country, despite objections from the Obama administration.
Donors say the trend toward Republicans among wealthy, hawkish contributors is at least partly responsible for inspiring stronger support for Israel among party lawmakers who already had pro-Israel views.
President Obama can’t hide his feelings for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Lately, he hasn’t bothered trying to hide his contempt for Prime Minister Netanyahu. If President Obama’s hostility continues, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Jewish support for Republicans would increase.
If you’re an Israel-loving Jewish voter, there’s no reason to support the Democratic Party.
Lynne Cheney has a bone to pick with the College Board, which she writes about eloquently in this op-ed. Here’s what’s got Mrs. Cheney upset:
If you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
—President Ronald Reagan, speech at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, 1987
It isn’t that Lynne Cheney has a problem with President Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate. It’s the context in which the College Board uses President Reagan’s speech that’s got her upset:
President Reagan’s challenge to Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev remains one of the most dramatic calls for freedom in our time. Thus I was heartened to find a passage from Reagan’s speech on the sample of the new Advanced Placement U.S. history exam that students will take for the first time in May. It seemed for a moment that students would be encouraged to learn about positive aspects of our past rather than be directed to focus on the negative, as happens all too often.
But when I looked closer to see the purpose for which the quotation was used, I found that it is held up as an example of “increased assertiveness and bellicosity” on the part of the U.S. in the 1980s. That’s the answer to a multiple-choice question about what Reagan’s speech reflects.
No notice is taken of the connection the president made between freedom and human flourishing, no attention to the fact that within 2 1/2 years of the speech, people were chipping off pieces of the Berlin Wall as souvenirs. Instead of acknowledging important ideas and historical context, test makers have reduced President Reagan’s most eloquent moment to warmongering.
This stuff might as well come straight out of the Obama foreign policy handbook.
But I digress.
It’s apparent that Mrs. Cheney thinks the College Board is filled with members of the PC Police:
When educators, academics and other concerned citizens realized how many notable figures were missing and how negative was the view of American history presented, they spoke out forcefully. The response of the College Board was to release the sample exam that features Ronald Reagan as a warmonger.
It doesn’t stop there. On the multiple-choice part of the sample exam, there are 18 sections, and eight of them take up the oppression of women, blacks and immigrants. Knowing about the experiences of these groups is important—but truth requires that accomplishment be recognized as well as oppression, and the exam doesn’t have questions on subjects such as the transforming leadership of Martin Luther King Jr.
The AP Test should be used to show which students have the best grasp of American history — all of American history. It’s cheating the brightest students when many of the most influential Americans aren’t used in a history test.
Monday afternoon, Sen. Marco Rubio was interviewed by the Five. Here’s the video of the interview:
When it was Greg Gutfeld’s turn to ask questions, he sought a clarification. Here’s that exchange:
GREG GUTFELD: I think what Julie is trying to say is that dictators might be cruel but the Islamic religious extremists that replace them are apocalyptic so once we found out what came in there, it made everything look different. I disagree but I think that’s what you’re trying to say.
JULIE ROGINSKY: Well, sort of.
GREG GUTFELD: Isn’t the underlying driver of Obama’s foreign policy was to shrink our footprint, that we were too big and we were failing and he wanted to turn a Cadillac into a Moped?
SEN. RUBIO: So the underlying argument he has for the Middle East is that this is a grievance-based problem. But these groups in there, whether they’re Iran or a radical jihadist, have grievances against us and if we just stop doing the things that make them aggrieved, things will be better. That’s not the truth. The truth is that these are not grievance-based problems we have with them. These are ideological-based problems and it’s a pretty simple ideology. They want everyone to worship like they do or die. And they view us in the short term as a threat to their regional ambitions but in the long term, once they’re done conquering the region, they intend to come for Europe and, ultimately, the United States. They’ve made that very clear. When they say that, we should believe them.
In that brief exchange, Sen. Rubio showed a better grasp of reality than our current commander-in-chief and his Secretary of State.
With the Middle East being in tatters, this election will be more about national security than most elections. In a head-to-head matchup with Hillary, Sen. Rubio would likely mop the floor with her behind. Add into that the possibility of electing the first Hispanic president and Hillary’s troubles. If that’s the matchup, Hillary will have a steep hill to climb.