Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

This morning, RCP linked to a column by Gideon Rachman titled “Obama: The Right Man At The Wrong Time“. That isn’t a title I can agree with. Mr. Rachman opens his column this way:

And so it was that Barack Hussein Obama visited Europe. In London, he rescued the world economy. In Strasbourg, he healed the Nato alliance. In Prague, he rid the world of nuclear weapons. In Ankara, he reconciled Islam and the west. And on the seventh day, he got back on to Air Force One and disappeared into a cloudless sky.

Was it all a dream? I fear so.

I don’t want to be disrespectful but I’ve never seen proof that President Obama has a commanding substantive presence, though I’ll readily admit that he’s got a commanding artificial presence.

For people living in the real world, President Obama hasn’t done much to tell us he’ll fight for us or that he’s interested in making America prosperous again. He’s only proven a willingness to fight for his warped vision of supersized, unsustainable government and his vision of controlling major sectors of the American economy.

Here’s the nagging question I haven’t answered: Is there EVER a right time for President Obama’s policies?

Thus far, I don’t think there is.

Here’s a more detailed list of rhetorical questions I have for President Obama:

  • Is there ever a right time for abandoning allies like Israel?
  • Is there ever a right time for reaching out to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and the Taliban?
  • Is there ever a right time for reaching out to the biggest state sponsor of terrorism at exactly the time that they’re developing nuclear power?
  • Is there ever a right time for a president seeking unconstitutional powers over major segments of our economy?
  • Is there ever a right time for letting Central European bankers regulate American financial institutions?
  • Is there ever a right time for spending money as this unsustainable and this irresponsible a rate?
  • Will there ever be a right time for proposing a nuclear weapons-free world?

It’s time that we publicly admit what we privately know: President Obama is a well-spoken guy (as long as his teleprompter is working) who is a policy lightweight who’s in over his head.

When I do a word association game for President Obama, the first word that pops into my head is articulate. The next word I think of is artificial. The word that I’ve never associated with President Obama is gravitas.

I’m glad I put this post together. It was the right time to say what others have been thinking.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Based on what I’m reading in the G-20’s communique, it’s apparent that President Obama is ignoring the Constitution. Here’s the part that’s most troubling:

14. We each agree to ensure our domestic regulatory systems are strong. But we also agree to establish the much greater consistency and systematic cooperation between countries, and the framework of internationally agreed high standards, that a global financial system requires. Strengthened regulation and supervision must promote propriety, integrity and transparency; guard against risk across the financial system; dampen rather than amplify the financial and economic cycle; reduce reliance on inappropriately risky sources of financing; and discourage excessive risk-taking. Regulators and supervisors must protect consumers and investors, support market discipline, avoid adverse impacts on other countries, reduce the scope for regulatory arbitrage, support competition and dynamism, and keep pace with innovation in the marketplace.

15. To this end we are implementing the Action Plan agreed at our last meeting, as set out in the attached progress report. We have today also issued a Declaration, Strengthening the Financial System. In particular we agree:

  • to establish a new Financial Stability Board (FSB) with a strengthened mandate, as a successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), including all G20 countries, FSF members, Spain, and the European Commission;
  • that the FSB should collaborate with the IMF to provide early warning of macroeconomic and financial risks and the actions needed to address them;
  • to reshape our regulatory systems so that our authorities are able to identify and take account of macro-prudential risks;
  • to extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets. This will include, for the first time, systemically important hedge funds;
  • to endorse and implement the FSF’s tough new principles on pay and compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and the corporate social responsibility of all firms;
  • to take action, once recovery is assured, to improve the quality, quantity, and international consistency of capital in the banking system. In future, regulation must prevent excessive leverage and require buffers of resources to be built up in good times;
  • to take action against non-cooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens. We stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems. The era of banking secrecy is over. We note that the OECD has today published a list of countries assessed by the Global Forum against the international standard for exchange of tax information;
  • to call on the accounting standard setters to work urgently with supervisors and regulators to improve standards on valuation and provisioning and achieve a single set of high-quality global accounting standards; and
  • to extend regulatory oversight and registration to Credit Rating Agencies to ensure they meet the international code of good practice, particularly to prevent unacceptable conflicts of interest.

The Constitution treats ratified treaties between the United States and foreign nations as having the same force as the Constitution because we want the treaty’s co-signees to know that we’ll live up to treaties. The Constitution does not, however, view communiques in the same light. In fact, communiques aren’t ratified. They’re simply a written communication that doesn’t even have the force of law.

The only way the things outlined in this communique will have the force of law is if they’re in a signed and ratified treaty. The GOP’s message should be simple: President Obama has agreed to let unaccountable Central European bankers regulate our financial system because he wants financial institutions subject to draconian regulations.

Republicans should be clear that, contrary to the Democrats’ talking points, they’re for sensible regulation of this important industry.

What’s most bothersome to me is that our president didn’t stand up for America while he hobnobbed with Europe’s leaders. He seemingly caved on a daily basis. That isn’t leadership. That’s the definition of weakness through appeasement.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Then-Sen. Obama promised that he’d restore America’s image around the world if elected. That’s hit a bump in the road:

The president of the European Union slammed President Barack Obama’s plans to have the U.S. spend its way out of recession as “a road to hell,” underscoring European differences with Washington ahead of a crucial summit next week on fixing the world economy.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, told the European Parliament on Wednesday that Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the liquidity of the global financial market.”

It doesn’t sound like respect for us is increasing. Instead, it sounds more like people are criticizing our new president, almost to the point of mocking him. In this instance, I think that’s appropriate. Peter Orszag, President Obama’s budget director, has even been quoted as saying that the current debt and deficit levels aren’t sustainable.

That isn’t a starling revelation for anyone with a high school math comprehension level.

I appreciate Prime Minister Topolanek speaking bluntly about President Obama’s budget. It’s time people started telling President Obama that his economic policies aren’t sustainable and his spending habits are irresponsible.

Prime Minister Topolanek’s statement undercuts something President Obama said during Tuesday night’s dismal press conference:

At the end of the day, the best way to bring our deficit down in the long run is not with a budget that continues the very same policies that have led us to a narrow prosperity and massive debt. It’s with a budget that leads to broad economic growth by moving from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest.

At the end of the day, President Obama’s budget sends the deficits skyrocketing. Because they invest most of their money in ideological policies, they’re really creating alot of things that simply won’t last. That means high inflation.

President Obama’s cap and trade policies are nothing more than a backdoor attempt to ratify Kyoto without formally ratifying the treaty. It’s also the enactment of a massive job-killing, regressive tax increase. Enacting this tax increase will hurt every blue collar family in America. President Obama said so in this video:

There you have it. Then-Sen. Obama told people that his cap and trade legislation will bankrupt coal power plants. In this video, President Obama admits that “energy prices will necessarily skyrocket”:

President Obama is putting Democrats in a difficult position by pushing this legislation. If they vote for cap and trade, Capitol Hill Democrats will be on record as saying they’re for energy prices “necessarily skyrocketing.” That’s a difficult sell when times are good. It’s understatement to say that times aren’t good.

President Obama campaigned with the mantra that “95% of Americans won’t see a tax increase.” While that might be true in terms of income taxes, his cap and trade tax will hit blue collar families, especially those in nortern tier states, with an earthshattering hit. That’s before considering the inflation spike it will cause.

That’s before considering the inflationary, anti-growth effect the stimulus bill, the omnibus bill and his first budget will have.

That’s before considering the possibility that Mr. Geithner’s TARP II blueprint might fail miserably.

The closer you examine President Obama’s policies, the more difficult it is to see the economic worthiness of his policies.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Yes, you read that headline right. What I haven’t told you is that the Reid I’m refering to is the AP’s Robert H. Reid. Surely, you didn’t think I was talking about Sen. Reid. Anyways, here’s what Robert Reid is reporting:

The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost.

Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace, a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.

Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government.

That does not mean the war has ended or that U.S. troops have no role in Iraq. It means the combat phase finally is ending, years past the time when President Bush optimistically declared it had. The new phase focuses on training the Iraqi army and police, restraining the flow of illicit weaponry from Iran, supporting closer links between Baghdad and local governments, pushing the integration of former insurgents into legitimate government jobs and assisting in rebuilding the economy.

In other words, the Surge has worked, something that Barack Obama is loathe to admit. In fact, as Sen. McCain pointed out here, Sen. Obama voted to prevent the Surge. After voting to prevent the Surge, he said that the Surge was making things worse in Iraq.

What’s worse for Sen. Obama, this Rasmussen report poll says that Americans don’t care about the Obamessiah’s trip:

While Barack Obama has touted his travel to Afghanistan and Iraq as a “fact-finding” trip, 63% of Americans do not believe it makes the Democratic candidate any more qualified to be president.

A new Rasmussen Reports national survey, taken Monday night, also finds that less than a third (32%) think Obama will learn from his trip to Iraq. Forty percent (40%) say his mind is already made up about policies to deal with the war there. The Democrat has been accused by liberals in his party of softening his long-standing opposition to the war in Iraq in an effort to appeal to more moderate voters.

I said that the Agenda Media and Europeans gathered to worship at the altar of Obama. I didn’t think that his trip was selling with blue collar workers in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. This poll suggests that this trip won’t benefit the Obamessiah as much as the media has suggested.

The other thing that this poll suggests is that people have noticed that Sen. Obama makes up his mind first, then does his factfinding. It seems to me that Sen. McCain can exploit this, even painting Sen. Obama as the anti-war left’s puppet.

People are saying that this has been a good week for Sen. Obama. I’d suggest that the pictures have been great but the AP’s article and Rasmussen’s polling has slammed the Obama campaign back into reality.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

While thousands of worshipers expressed their adoration for the Obamessiah, John McCain took aim at Sen. Obama’s decision to not support the Surge which has dramatically reduced the violence in Iraq:

Senator Obama and I also faced a decision, which amounted to a real-time test for a future commander-in-chief. America passed that test. I believe my judgment passed that test. And I believe Senator Obama’s failed.

We both knew the politically safe choice was to support some form of retreat. All the polls said the “surge” was unpopular. Many pundits, experts and policymakers opposed it and advocated withdrawing our troops and accepting the consequences. I chose to support the new counterinsurgency strategy backed by additional troops, which I had advocated since 2003, after my first trip to Iraq. Many observers said my position would end my hopes of becoming president. I said I would rather lose a campaign than see America lose a war. My choice was not smart politics. It didn’t test well in focus groups. It ignored all the polls. It also didn’t matter. The country I love had one final chance to succeed in Iraq. The new strategy was it. So I supported it. Today, the effects of the new strategy are obvious. The surge has succeeded, and we are, at long last, finally winning this war.

Senator Obama made a different choice. He not only opposed the new strategy, but actually tried to prevent us from implementing it. He didn’t just advocate defeat, he tried to legislate it. When his efforts failed, he continued to predict the failure of our troops. As our soldiers and Marines prepared to move into Baghdad neighborhoods and Anbari villages, Senator Obama predicted that their efforts would make the sectarian violence in Iraq worse, not better.

And as our troops took the fight to the enemy, Senator Obama tried to cut off funding for them. He was one of only 14 senators to vote against the emergency funding in May 2007 that supported our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. …

Three weeks after Senator Obama voted to deny funding for our troops in the field, General Ray Odierno launched the first major combat operations of the surge. Senator Obama declared defeat one month later: “My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now.” His assessment was popular at the time. But it couldn’t have been more wrong.

By November 2007, the success of the surge was becoming apparent. Attacks on Coalition forces had dropped almost 60 percent from pre-surge levels. American casualties had fallen by more than half. Iraqi civilian deaths had fallen by more than two-thirds. But Senator Obama ignored the new and encouraging reality. “Not only have we not seen improvements,” he said, “but we’re actually worsening, potentially, a situation there.”

If Senator Obama had prevailed, American forces would have had to retreat under fire. The Iraqi Army would have collapsed. Civilian casualties would have increased dramatically. Al Qaeda would have killed the Sunni sheikhs who had begun to cooperate with us, and the “Sunni Awakening” would have been strangled at birth. Al Qaeda fighters would have safe havens, from where they could train Iraqis and foreigners, and turn Iraq into a base for launching attacks on Americans elsewhere. Civil war, genocide and wider conflict would have been likely.

Above all, America would have been humiliated and weakened. Our military, strained by years of sacrifice, would have suffered a demoralizing defeat. Our enemies around the globe would have been emboldened.

Senator Obama told the American people what he thought you wanted to hear. I told you the truth.

Fortunately, Senator Obama failed, not our military. We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right. Violence in Iraq fell to such low levels for such a long time that Senator Obama, detecting the success he never believed possible, falsely claimed that he had always predicted it. In Iraq, we are no longer on the doorstep of defeat, but on the road to victory.

Senator Obama said this week that even knowing what he knows today that he still would have opposed the surge. In retrospect, given the opportunity to choose between failure and success, he chooses failure. I cannot conceive of a Commander in Chief making that choice.

While Europe and the Agenda Media express their adoration of Sen. Obama, serious people are questioning Sen. Obama’s decisionmaking. It’s about time.

I’ve said for a long time that Sen. Obama isn’t qualified to be president. I stand by that. Why should we trust someone that makes decisions that applaud? Why should we trust someone whose first consideration in decisionmaking is political ramifications.

Sen. McCain is right in saying that Sen. Obama played to his primary audience. He isn’t the first politician to do that. He won’t be the last. The problem with that is that presidents shouldn’t make life-and-death decisions based on anything other than the recommendations of experts.

What’s worse is that Sen. Obama sounded a defeatist after the surge started. St. Obama now speaks glowingly of the troops’ accomplishments. Prior to the nomination process, though, he spoke about how the surge had failed. There’s only one way he could reach that conclusion: He’d already reached a verdict. He didn’t take wait-and-see attitude. He’d decided that he couldn’t stay politically viable if he didn’t pander to by predicting our military’s failure.

Likewise, Sen. Obama’s rigid opposition to increasing oil production, whether it’s from the OCS or ANWR or the Bakken Field, is predicated on his capitulation to the environutters. That’s hardly taking a principled stand. Appeasement, whether it’s with a rogue nation like Iran or whether it’s to the environutters, is a guaranteed failure.

We aren’t electing a prom king. We’re electing the leader of the free world. Based on his decisionmaking thus far, the Obamessiah isn’t the man for the job.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Several portions of Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin caught my attention. Here’s the first thing he said that caught my attention:

The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.

But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city’s mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. “There is only one possibility,” he said. “For us to stand together united until this battle is won…The people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty, and we will keep on doing our duty. People of the world: now do your duty…People of the world, look at Berlin!”

Isn’t it odd to hear Sen. Obama talk about “in the darkest hours”, Berliners “kept the flame of hope burning” just after visiting Iraq, which Sen. Obama voted to abandon in their darkest hour?

The man who talks about hope and change voted to cut off funding for the troops, which would’ve handed Iraq to AQI’s terrorists and Iranian-funded militias. Ironic doesn’t begin to describe it.

Why does Sen. Obama think it appropriate to identify with the Berlin airlift but not with the heroic Iraqi people who were trying to bring hope to their country after being liberated from another madman’s clutches? Does Sen. Obama think that Berlin’s liberty is more worthwhile than the Iraqis’ liberty?

Sen. Obama, you’re a disgusting man. You voted to condemn an entire nation. You voted to let tyrants have their way with people who clearly wanted liberty. I’ve said numerous times that Bush’s failures weren’t a reason to abandon Iraq but rather that it was the Iraqis’ desire for freedom that should drive us to figure out a way to make their dream a reality.

Sen. Obama, you voted to extinguish hope in Baghdad yet you dare speak about hope in Berlin. Both peoples’ liberty is precious. Yet Sen. Obama’s vote said that one country’s hope wasn’t worth it.

Here’s another paragraph that highlights

So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

Sen. Obama speaks of “true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice” but he refused to walk the walk when it came to Iraq.

It take true determination, steadfastness and an iron will to forge historic change. Based on what we’ve seen in his abandoning his primary campaign principles, it’s fair to ask if Barack Obama is missing all three of those qualities. It’d be difficult to prove he has any of those qualities at this point.

Based on what I’ve seen, I don’t have any confidence that Sen. Obama has the requisite steadfastness that Thatcher, Reagan and JFK had. Based on this speech, I see more proof that he’s a wobbly than that he’s steadfast.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Hillary’s op-ed says that we’ve had eight years of failed leadership. Candidates say that type of thing each election cycle but this time, I thought her claims were a bit hilarious. Here’s the opening paragraph:

After eight years of failed leadership under President Bush, the next president will face extraordinary challenges: a war to end; an economy to revive; an energy crisis to solve; 47 million Americans to insure; a homeland to secure; alliances to repair; and a world in need of American leadership.

Let’s examine her priorities. Hillary says that we have “a war to end” yet she refused to say at a recent debate that she couldn’t guarantee that she’d have the troops out by the end of her first term in office. This is typical Hillary, typical Clinton. She’s attempting to curry favor with the Nutroots by suggesting that she’d end the war ASAP without committing to ending it ASAP.

That isn’t any different than saying that Gov. Spitzer’s plan of issuing drivers licenses “makes alot of sense” right before she refused to say that she endorsed his plan which was right before she said she wouldn’t give drivers licenses which was right after Gov. Spitzer officially dropped his plan.

Does that sound like leadership to you?

Next Hillary says that there’s an economy to revive. She’s actually right in saying that. The US economy is slowing down. Unfortunately, her perscription is all wrong. She wants to pass a $1 trillion tax increase when our economy is weakening. That’ll sink us into a recession that’s longer and deeper than our recessions traditionally have been.

I’ll admit that that sounds like leadership…right before we go off the cliff.

Next she says that there’s an energy crisis to solve. In the past, she’s voted for a bill that taxed oil companies. How does that solve our energy crisis? It’s a well-known fact that she’s against drilling off the coasts or in ANWR. In other words, she doesn’t have a short-term solution.

I’ll politely refuse that type of ‘leadership’.

Then she says that “we have a homeland to secure.” To be fair, she voted for the scanning equipment for screening cargo. On the negative side, she said that she’s opposed to the NSA intercept program. How do you secure the homeland if you’re opposed to learning what the jihadists are saying?

Then we come to my favorite line. She says that we have “alliances to repair”, which is wrong-headed thinking and typical liberal thinking. During President Bush’s first term, an irresponsible showboat named Jacques Chirac and his lapdog Gerhard Shroeder made a big fuss. These were weak-kneed politicians grandstanding on the world stage. They’ve now been replaced by an unabashedly pro-American Nicolas Sarkozy and helpful Angela Merkel. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown says that the most important British bilateral relationship is with the United States.

The question I have for Mrs. Clinton is simple: Which alliance is in need of repair? Implicit in her statement is her belief that the United States was the villain, not Jacques Chirac or Gerhard Schroeder. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with a worldview that automatically thinks that America’s foreign policy is wrong when a Republican is in office.

Here’s the funniest line in the entire op-ed:

You know where I stand. And you know that when I stand with you, I never give up, I never back down and I never stop fighting – no matter how tough it gets.

We don’t know where she stands because she’s refused to get pinned down to anything. As I pointed out earlier, she said that Gov. Spitzer’s plan to issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants “made alot of sense” right before she told Tim Russert that she wasn’t endorsing Gov. Spitzer’s plan.

That isn’t that different than her starting off as the most hawkish of Democratic senators on Iraq to now sounding like she’s the nuttiest of the nutroots who’s said that “If George Bush doesn’t end this war, I will.” That’s right before she said that she couldn’t guarantee that she’d have all the troops out before the end of her first term.

Here in Minnesota, the cliche is that “If you don’t like our weather, wait an hour. It’ll be different.” We can adapt that to fit Hillary by simply changing a couple words “If you don’t like Hillary’s positions, just wait until the next poll comes out. Her position will change.”

That isn’t leadership. It’s Hillary’s promise of an eight year panderfest. People have a right to know how she’ll “never stop fighting – no matter how tough it gets” if she’s willing to abandon her positions at the drop of a hat.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Bill Clinton used to be a great campaigner. He’s clearly lost part of that reputation. This AP article offers a perfect illustration of how far he’s slipped.

Clinton said that his wife’s positions on education, health care, the economy and international affairs make her the best qualified candidate to be president.

Question for Bill: What positions? It’s charitable to say that she’s tried triangulating. Frankly, she’s tried avoiding taking firm positions the way Superman tried avoiding Kryptonite. Her polar opposite answers on giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants is a perfect example of her trying to have it both ways.

The United States needs to get out of Iraq, but “we have to do it in a way that doesn’t leave it worse than it is now,” he said. “Hillary was the first to ask the Pentagon for a plan for orderly withdrawal.”

Question to voters: Is that the type of answer you’ll accept from a presidential candidate? That’s a mushier answer than her reply to Tim Russert’s Spitzer drivers license question, which is saying something.

The nation must restore its standing in the world, something Clinton said has been damaged during the Bush administration. “They think we act alone whenever we can and cooperate only when we have to,” he said, adding that his wife will seek to cooperate first and have the United States act alone only when necessary.

Question for Bill: Haven’t you been paying attention lately? Nicolas Sarkozy gave a stirring speech about America’s virtues last week. This week, Gordon Brown said that the “It is no secret that I am a life-long admirer of America.” Brown added this:

“I have no truck with anti-Americanism in Britain or elsewhere in Europe and I believe that our ties with America, founded on values we share, constitute our most important bilateral relationship.

“And it is good for Britain, for Europe and for the wider world that today France and Germany and the European Union are building stronger relationships with America.”

The truth is that Bill Clinton was more worried about being liked than being respected. That’s why his foreign policy record is only superior to LBJ’s and Jimmy Carter’s. What did he accomplish in terms of winning Pakistan over prior to their going nuclear? Nothing. That was dumped in President Bush’s lap after 9/11. Let’s remember that Bill Clinton was foolish enough to have Jimmy Carter negotiate a treaty with North Korea that they immediately broke.

Here’s what President Clinton said that sounded whiney:

“It’s a great time to be a Democrat,” Bill Clinton told more than 800 students and supporters at Trident Technical College. “Even though those boys have been getting tough on her lately, she can handle it.”

Frankly, he’s better being optimistic. He’s a lousy whiner. One characteristic of the Clintons is that they’ll talk about how great America is right before they try sticking the knife into one of their opponents. The other thing I’ve noticed, along with pretty much everyone else in America, is that their digs at their opponents don’t have to be fact-based.

That used to work back when they only had Rush to villify. That doesn’t work now that they have to villify the Right Blogosphere, Rush, Sean, Glenn Beck and Hugh Hewitt. Frankly, the Right Blogosphere is more proficient at being the conservative War Room. The good part is that we don’t have to make things up. We just have to tell people what Hillary said, then get out of the way of her words. Once the American people have the information, they’ll figure things out.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

If you’ve listened to any Democratic presidential candidate, you’ve likely heard them bemoaning the fact that we aren’t liked throughout the world, that we need to elect a Democrat for the world to like us again. Based on this article, I’d say that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown disagrees with that notion:

Mr Brown told the audience at Mansion House the UK had to work with “all those who share our vision of the future”, including Nato, the UN, the EU and the US.

He said: “It is no secret that I am a life-long admirer of America.

“I have no truck with anti-Americanism in Britain or elsewhere in Europe and I believe that our ties with America, founded on values we share, constitute our most important bilateral relationship.

“And it is good for Britain, for Europe and for the wider world that today France and Germany and the European Union are building stronger relationships with America.”

This follows French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s gushingly pro-American speech to Congress. Forgive me for being skeptical of the Democrats’ talking points but I don’t see alot of evidence that we aren’t respected. Forgive me but I don’t see the need in being liked as being more important than being respected. In fact, being respected is infinitely more important than being liked.

All it takes to be liked is to do what others tell you to do. Being respected often means doing things in our best interest despite knowing that we won’t be liked for doing what we have to do.

If the day comes that Democrats figure out the difference between being liked and being respected, then they’ll be worthy of running this country’s foreign policy. Until that happens, they shouldn’t be entrusted with that responsibility.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s stirring speech is the ultimate refutation of the Democrats’ mantra about needing to elect Democrats so Americans can be respected in the world again. Here’s an example of Sarkozy’s enthusiastic endorsement of America:

Friends may have differences; they may have disagreements; they may have disputes.

But in times of difficulty, in times of hardship, friends stand together, side by side; they support each other; and help one another.

In times of difficulty, in times of hardship, America and France have always stood side by side, supported one another, helped one another, fought for each other’s freedom.

The United States and France remain true to the memory of their common history, true to the blood spilled by their children in common battles. But they are not true merely to the memory of what they accomplished together in the past. They remain true, first and foremost, to the same ideal, the same principles, the same values that have always united them.

That isn’t the sound of a foreign leader dissing the United States. That’s the sound of an unabashed friend of the United States. Nicolas Sarkozy isn’t as steadfast an ally of George Bush’s as Tony Blair was but it’s close. President Sarkozy’s mentions of sharing the same ideals, principles and values speaks volumes to his indifference to Jacques Chirac’s elitism.

From the very beginning, the American dream meant proving to all mankind that freedom, justice, human rights and democracy were no utopia but were rather the most realistic policy there is and the most likely to improve the fate of each and every person.

America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who–with their hands, their intelligence and their heart–built the greatest nation in the world: “Come, and everything will be given to you.” She said: “Come, and the only limits to what you’ll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent.” America embodies this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance.

It’s obvious that President Sarkozy isn’t just an admirer of America’s accomplishments. President Sarkozy understands the essence of America’s brilliance. He’s unapologetic and effusive in his praise of the United States, too.

In my opinion, here’s President Sarkozy’s finest, most stirring, tribute to the United States:

What made America great was her ability to transform her own dream into hope for
all mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The men and women of my generation heard their grandparents talk about how in 1917, America saved France at a time when it had reached the final limits of its strength, which it had exhausted in the most absurd and bloodiest of wars.

The men and women of my generation heard their parents talk about how in 1944, America returned to free Europe from the horrifying tyranny that threatened to enslave it.

Fathers took their sons to see the vast cemeteries where, under thousands of white crosses so far from home, thousands of young American soldiers lay who had fallen not to defend their own freedom but the freedom of all others, not to defend their own families, their own homeland, but to defend humanity as a whole.

Fathers took their sons to the beaches where the young men of America had so heroically landed. They read them the admirable letters of farewell that those 20-year-old soldiers had written to their families before the battle to tell them: “We don’t consider ourselves heroes. We want this war to be over. But however much dread we may feel, you can count on us.” Before they landed, Eisenhower told them: “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

And as they listened to their fathers, watched movies, read history books and the letters of soldiers who died on the beaches of Normandy and Provence, as they visited the cemeteries where the star-spangled banner flies, the children of my generation understood that these young Americans, 20 years old, were true heroes to whom they owed the fact that they were free people and not slaves. France will never forget the sacrifice of your children.

These aren’t the polite words of a politician visiting a lukewarm ally. They’re the words of a man who admires the character of the United States, who appreciates the sacrifices of American soldiers and who has the heart of a true American patriot.

I strongly encourage everyone to read President Sarkozy’s entire speech. You’ll be glad you did.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative