While I don’t wish to speak too harshly about President Obama’s state of the union address, we live in challenging times that call for candor. I call them as I see them, and I hope my frank assessment will be taken as an honest effort to move this conversation forward.
Last night, the president spoke of the “credibility gap” between the public’s expectations of their leaders and what those leaders actually deliver. “Credibility gap” is a good way to describe the chasm between rhetoric and reality in the president’s address. The contradictions seemed endless.
He called for Democrats and Republicans to “work through our differences,” but last year he dismissed any notion of bipartisanship when he smugly told Republicans, “I won.”
He talked like a Washington “outsider,” but he runs Washington! He’s had everything any president could ask for – an overwhelming majority in Congress and a fawning press corps that feels tingles every time he speaks. There was nothing preventing him from pursuing “common sense” solutions all along. He didn’t pursue them because they weren’t his priorities, and he spent his speech blaming Republicans for the problems caused by his own policies.
He dared us to “let him know” if we have a better health care plan, but he refused to allow Republicans in on the negotiations or consider any ideas for real free market and patient-centered reforms. We’ve been “letting him know” our ideas for months from the town halls to the tea parties, but he isn’t interested in listening. Instead he keeps making the nonsensical claim that his massive trillion-dollar health care bill won’t increase the deficit.
Americans are suffering from job losses and lower wages, yet the president practically demanded applause when he mentioned tax cuts, as if allowing people to keep more of their own hard-earned money is an act of noblesse oblige. He claims that he cut taxes, but I must have missed that. I see his policies as paving the way for massive tax increases and inflation, which is the “hidden tax” that most hurts the poor and the elderly living on fixed incomes.
He condemned lobbyists, but his White House is filled with former lobbyists, and this has been a banner year for K Street with his stimulus bill, aka the Lobbyist’s Full Employment Act. He talked about a “deficit of trust” and the need to “do our work in the open,” but he chased away the C-SPAN cameras and cut deals with insurance industry lobbyists behind closed doors.
He spoke of doing what’s best for the next generation and not leaving our children with a “mountain of debt,” but under his watch this year, government spending is up by 22%, and his budget will triple our national debt.
He spoke of a spending freeze, but doesn’t he realize that each new program he’s proposing comes with a new price tag? A spending freeze is a nice idea, but it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. We need a comprehensive examination of the role of government spending. The president’s deficit commission is little more than a bipartisan tax hike committee, lending political cover to raise taxes without seriously addressing the problem of spending.
He condemned bailouts, but he voted for them and then expanded and extended them. He praised the House’s financial reform bill, but where was Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in that bill? He still hasn’t told us when we’ll be getting out of the auto and the mortgage industries. He praised small businesses, but he’s spent the past year as a friend to big corporations and their lobbyists, who always find a way to make government regulations work in their favor at the expense of their mom & pop competitors.
He praised the effectiveness of his stimulus bill, but then he called for another one – this time cleverly renamed a “jobs bill.” The first stimulus was sold to us as a jobs bill that would keep unemployment under 8%. We now have double digit unemployment with no end in sight. Why should we trust this new “jobs bill”?
He talked about “making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development,” but apparently it’s still too tough for his Interior Secretary to move ahead with Virginia’s offshore oil and gas leases. If they’re dragging their feet on leases, how long will it take them to build “safe, clean nuclear power plants”? Meanwhile, he continued to emphasize “green jobs,” which require massive government subsidies for inefficient technologies that can’t survive on their own in the real world of the free market.
He spoke of supporting young girls in Afghanistan who want to go to school and young women in Iran who courageously protest in the streets, but where were his words of encouragement to the young girls of Afghanistan in his West Point speech? And where was his support for the young women of Iran when they were being gunned down in the streets of Tehran?
Despite speaking for over an hour, the president only spent 10% of his speech on foreign policy, and he left us with many unanswered questions. Does he still think trying the 9/11 terrorists in New York is a good idea? Does he still think closing Gitmo is a good idea? Does he still believe in Mirandizing terrorists after the Christmas bomber fiasco? Does he believe we’re in a war against terrorists, or does he think this is just a global crime spree? Does he understand that the first priority of our government is to keep our country safe?
In his address last night, the president once again revealed that there’s a fundamental disconnect between what the American people expect from their government, and what he wants to deliver. He’s still proposing failed top-down big government solutions to our problems. Instead of smaller, smarter government, he’s taken a government that was already too big and supersized it.
Real private sector jobs are created when taxes are low, investment is high, and people are free to go about their business without the heavy hand of government. The president thinks innovation comes from government subsidies. Common sense conservatives know innovation comes from unleashing the creative energy of American entrepreneurs.
Everything seems to be “unexpected” to this administration: unexpected job losses; unexpected housing numbers; unexpected political losses in Massachusetts, Virginia, and New Jersey. True leaders lead best when confronted with the unexpected. But instead of leading us, the president lectured us. He lectured Wall Street; he lectured Main Street; he lectured Congress; he even lectured our Supreme Court Justices.
He criticized politicians who “wage a perpetual campaign,” but he gave a campaign speech instead of a state of the union address. The campaign is over, and President Obama now has something that candidate Obama never had: an actual track record in office. We now can see the failed policies behind the flowery words. If Americans feel as cynical as the president suggests, perhaps it’s because the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.
Real leadership requires results. Real hope lies in the ingenuity, generosity, and boundless courage of the American people whose voices are still not being heard in Washington.
– Sarah Palin
January 28, 2010
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January 24, 2010
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Obama projected a fighting tone against the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that eased limits on corporate spending on elections, saying,
“We don’t need to give any more voice to the powerful interests that already drown out the voices of everyday Americans. And we don’t intend to.”
The recent election outcome in Massachusetts should be evidence enough about whose voice was drowned out.
When you look at the contributions made during the presidential campaign, the numbers don’t back up Obama’s claim, which is turning out to be typical for him.
The overwhelming majority of McCain’s contributions came from individuals, who gave almost $200 million. The next largest contributors fell to Political Action Committees who contributed $1.4 million and represents around .712% of the individual’s total.
When Obama realized he could obtain more money from individuals Obama pledged not to accept money from PACs so his numbers are even lower. Individual campaign contributions totaled almost $659 million while PAC contributions amounted to $1,500.
January 24, 2010
Airing the liberal mindset since March 31, 2004, the radio station has signed off. This past week, Air America filed its Chapter 7 papers.
So why did it fail?
When it comes to messages, the listening audience prefer those of conservatives.
January 22, 2010
After watching coverage of the Massachusetts senatorial election Tuesday night, Miami Herald’s Glenn Gavin observed MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow practically blow out their spleens over the audacity of Massachusetts voters who dared to hope for change by voting Scott Brown, a Republican, into office.
Glenn characterized their diatribe as “two hours of nonstop bilious rage toward the state’s voters, calling them “irrational” and “teabaggers,” engaged in “a total divorce from reality,” and hinting that they’re vicious racists to boot.”
If you watched CNN or Fox News last night, you got a balanced analysis of how Republican Scott Brown pulled off the political upset of the century (or, if you prefer, how Democrat Martha Coakley blew a dead solid electoral lock). Yes, I said Fox News, without irony. To be sure, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity made it clear they were rooting for Brown. But their shows also included a steady parade of liberal-leaning guests — former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, former Dukakis campaign manager Susan Estrich, Democratic party strategist Mary Anne Marsh, NPR commentator Juan Williams and radio host Alan Colmes. And pollster Frank Luntz interviewed a panel of two dozen or so Massachusetts voters, most of them Democrats, about how they voted and why. Practically every conceivable perspective on the election was represented.
And on MSNBC, you got practically every conceivable expression of venom against Brown and anybody who voted him. From Maddow’s dark suspicions that the election was rigged — she cited complaints about a grand total of six ballots out of about 2.25 million cast — to Olbermann’s suggestion in the video up above that the same Massachusets voters who went for Barack Obama by a 62-28 percent margin had suddenly realized they helped elect a black guy and went Republican in repentance, the network’s coverage was idiotic, one-sided and downright ugly.
Olbermann was simply outraged by the vote. “The teabaggers may have elected their first guy tonight,” he declared as Brown rolled up a commanding lead. Just in case the connotations of the word teabag might be lost on his audience, he clarified his feelings: “I wanted to apologize for calling Republican Senate candidate, Scott Brown, an irresponsible homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees. I`m sorry — I left
out the word ‘sexist.'”
Maddow added dirty campaigner to the charges. Her sense of fair play was violated by a Brown campaign ad in which his daughter complained about Coakley’s attacks on her father: “Martha Coakley`s new negative ad represents everything that discourages young women from getting involved in politics, and as a young woman, I`m completely offended by that,” the daughter said in the ad. Sniffed Maddow: “It`s like using your kid as a human shield.” Oddly, Maddow made no mention of the Coakley TV ad that started the exchange, which began: “1,736 women were raped in Massachusetts in 2008. Scott Brown wants hospitals to turn them all away…”
MSNBC’s idea of “balancing” these rants was to interview former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean. (His main insight: Coakley’s loss was, honest to God, George W. Bush’s fault.) When a third MSNBC host, Chris Matthews, timidly raised the possibility that Massachusetts voters were concerned about high government spending, Maddow snapped that such thinking was “irrational” and added: “To say it`s fiscally responsible to not reform health care is insanity… It`s a total divorce from reality.”
(To be perfectly fair, I wouldn’t have believed anything Matthews said, either, after he insisted that Richard Nixon’s presidency crumbled not over Watergate but the recession of 1974.)
It may be too much to expect NBC, these days reduced to a national wisecrack, to be embarrassed over the frothing lunacy that passes for news coverage at corporate stepchild MSNBC. But both networks are part of the same news division. If news boss Steve Capus thinks his reporters can continue to appear with Olbermann and Maddow without suffering credibility contamination, he’s dumber than whoever was behind the Leno/O’Brien late-night shuffle.
January 19, 2010
With Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, Obama’s health insurance reform bill is defeated.
The irony of it is Obama’s insurance bill was always sold as something America needed to cut costs – that America could not afford to continue pouring in 1/6th of the GDP to pay for it. Yet the bill did nothing to cut costs. In fact, the bill increased them. In addition, it did nothing to reform insurance coverage for the better, it did nothing to reduce hospital and drug costs, it did nothing for tort reform, it maintained government elitist participation in separate heath care and it did nothing to let insurance companies compete across state lines. The bill represents the best work the Democrats could offer and in the final analysis it shows they are incapable of doing the job.
America won tonight.