You are currently viewing archive for March 2009
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Watching C-SPAN this afternoon:

Chris Dodd is mad. I mean really mad. Nobody can be angrier than him. He is livid.

Nobody is any more incensed about all these rich guys taking advantage of the American people. Really.

But don't any of you worry, he doesn't care about the politics of any of this. He is going to keep on fighting for the people of Connecticut.

He has spent a career doing what is right, and no matter how many lies anybody might tell about him, he is going to just keep right on a fighting for you.

Sleep well tonight, America. Congress is in session and protecting your interests.

NYT here with the politics of being Dodd.

UPDATE: How ANGRY is he? Video from RCP here.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Eighty-five Republicans joined 243 Democrats to impose a 90 percent retroactive tax on bonuses given to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at American International Group and other companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money.

So many big and obvious things wrong with this bill that I don't even have the time or energy to enumerate them.

Just when you thought the plunging market on Republican integrity and principle had bottomed out. Think again.

Political kudos to Nancy Pelosi for setting the buffoonery trap.
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
I move we make Pelosi the poster child for the 2010 Congressional campaigns.

Here's another reason she needs to be the target. From Wizbang.

Pelosi abuses power in securing military flights.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
One of the pundits who understands that the "Party is Over" is Robert Samuelson.

The following paragraph is only one highlight in his must-read op-ed that appears in the Washington Post today.

"A prudent president would have made a 'tough choice' -- concentrated on the economy; deferred his more contentious agenda. Similarly, Obama claims to seek bipartisanship but, in reality, doesn't. His bipartisanship consists of including a few Republicans in his Cabinet and inviting some Republican congressmen to the White House for the Super Bowl. It does not consist of fashioning proposals that would attract bipartisan support on their merits. Instead, he clings to dubious, partisan policies (mortgage cramdown, union card check) that arouse fierce opposition."

Another gem: "If Obama were 'responsible,' he would conduct a candid conversation about the role of government. Who deserves support and why? How big can government grow before higher taxes and deficits harm economic growth? Although Obama claims to be doing this, he hasn't confronted entitlement psychology -- the belief that government benefits once conferred should never be revoked."

Read the whole thing.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
I like Barack Obama. I have a picture of him prominently displayed on my office wall. I respect him as the forty-fourth president of the United States. I appreciate his style and bearing, and I am at times utterly enthralled with his eloquence. I wish him good health and happiness. I hope he succeeds grandly as a father, husband, and a child of God.

But that does NOT mean I support his recently revealed ambition to transform American government into a post-Reagan liberal leviathan. Moreover, my admiration for the President does not keep me from noticing that he indulges in some intellectual sloppiness: misleading rhetoric, a propensity for false choices, and he never met a straw man he didn't like.

However, in addition to those quibbles, I am starting to wonder if our President does not have a fatal flaw. I am not sure if he is just thin-skinned or egregiously egotistical, but he possesses a destructive inclination to pick fights with right-wing talkers?

Exhibit A: have you ever heard the opening of the Sean Hannity show? It includes a montage of our President criticizing the host by name (audio here via YouTube). I cringe (for Obama) every time I hear it. I ask myself: what was he thinking? Why did Obama allow himself to go on-record lashing out at Sean Hannity?

Exhibit B: inconceivably, the President and his White House advisers have NOW concocted a strategy to "call out" Rush Limbaugh.

The President of the United States versus Rush Limbaugh? Really?

Why would the President lower himself to the level of a talk-show host? Once again, what is he thinking?

An Aside: I don't remember George Bush ever mentioning Dan Rather or Chris Mathews or Keith Olberman. Ironically, Bush-43 was either too smart or too well-raised for that kind of self-indulgent and destructive political behavior.

From the recent reportage available from Politico and other reliable sources, this appears to be a "Clintonista" operation led by Rahm Emanuel, the President's White House chief of staff, and partly executed by his old Clinton-era compatriots Paul Begala and James Carville (although they deny it--sort of). According to Jonathan Martin's reporting, an attack on Rush polls well for the President, and the old Clinton hands are just the crew to take the fight to the venerable but perhaps now vulnerable King of Conservative Talk. The Clinton connection is significant, for we have seen an earlier version of this tawdry drama once before--back when the Clinton administration went to war with Rush during the mid-1990s (back then a few cards had Rush slightly ahead on points, but I would call it a draw in retrospect).

Now, evidently, the old gang in the new White House is taking another pass at settling an unfinished score. There was a frenzied bloodlust in the air over the weekend and earlier this week. With their quarry in the open and on the run, the President's men seemed positively giddy as they breathlessly stalked this biggest of all big game trophies. But, I cannot help but believe that this great quest can only end in tragedy--and possibly for the hunters. "Call me Emanuel." Let me tell of the pursuit of the great white obsession, Maha Rushie. I fear that Captain Obama "has that that's bloody on his mind."

Once again, the nagging question: why elevate Rush Limbaugh to the status of heroic antagonist? Suddenly, this imbroglio has the quality of an epic Thomas Jefferson- John Marshall clash of the titans, or, perhaps more analogous, the FDR versus Charles Lindbergh death-match. Moreover, regardless of the polling that assures the White House that Rush is wildly unpopular with the people who count most, bullying rarely plays well in the long run. Make no mistake: this is David and Goliath. Every time the President of the United States picks up a rock to sling at somebody--he is Goliath, and the intended recipient is David. The Obama White House runs the risk of making the not especially lovable Limbaugh into a much more sympathetic character.

And here is the crazy thing: it is a terribly odd and unnecessarily risky gambit on the part of the President, who had this historic opportunity to truly unite some disparate constituencies. A few weeks ago Hannity and Rush were seemingly on the ropes. One could tune in and almost hear the approaching obsolescence in their voices. They were swinging wildly and not connecting, growing increasingly frustrated and embarrassingly out of touch. For a fleeting instant, Rush looked like he might soon be down to leading only a small band of dead-enders.

Obama had stumbled onto this wonderful moment in American history in which the vast majority of us really did want him to succeed and hoped for a political revolution of pre-partisan statesmanship on a scale envisioned by the founders but never executed. Obama had me and Judd Gregg and David Brooks and a lot of others including my friend and colleague, Paul Holder. We were willing to give this new Democrat the benefit of the doubt. He wanted to be our president, and we were almost persuaded.

Then, the stimulus of abominations came to fruition--surprising us like a Southern California tremor in the late afternoon. We all looked around a bit stunned and said, "what was that?" Then the early morning 8.0 earthquake hit soon after--and we suddenly understood that Obama meant revolution, but not the kind for which we had foolishly hoped.

If you turned on the radio during all this, you could feel Rush and Hannity getting well and gaining strength. By the time Obama rolled out his 3.6 trillion-dollar "New Deal 3.0" budget, they were on fire. Once again relevant, reinvigorated, and vindicated.

"Bamp, baump, baump, the Radicals have taken over..."

Sometimes our president makes some curious choices. Joe Biden as veep was one that still has me scratching my head (and keeps me up at night). Perhaps worse, picking Nancy Pelosi over my optimistic band of well-intentioned conservatives strikes me as a decision with tragic consequences. But the decision to go to war with Rush seems just plain silly. It demeans the presidency--and it elevates Rush Limbaugh.

I don't own a picture of Rush. I would not enumerate him in my pantheon of personal heroes. Nor is he an intellectual wellspring for conservative thought. But he is a bright, self-educated, entertaining, and articulate "popularizer" of the faith. I respect him as a modern Horatio-Alger story and an exceptionally gifted polemicist. Moreover, give him his due; he was conservative media when conservative media wasn't cool. We all owe him a debt for his courage and implacable tenacity in the face of twenty years of vicious enemy fire. He deserves our protection.

For those reasons, as well as the sheer unseemly character of this presidential assault on a political enemy, I support Rush and his right to speak truth to power.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Newsweek writes this week that President Obama has a Pelosi problem. That is, although the stout-yet-tender-hearted Mr. Obama really does pine for an era of bipartisan statesmanship, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a "sharp-elbowed San Francisco multimillionaire" intent on stuffing her agenda down the throats of the minority, intent on avenging myriad slights suffered over time as a political minority and a grizzled veteran of the gender wars, "who battled her way to the top of a club still dominated by men."

Wow! Can you say "good cop; bad cop." Shameless. Although I actually penned a post a month ago myself detailing the battle between the entrenched Speaker and the fresh-faced modern-day Jeff Smith goes to Washington ("Obama & Pelosi: the real contest to watch"), in truth, the train has left the station on that hopeful Hollywood narrative. No more of the fantasy for me.

After last week, the President has chosen his path. To blame his obviously deep-seated bent for traditional liberal politics on San Fran Nan borders on cowardly--as well as the ridiculous. The President is the president--and he occupies the desk on which the buck stops. No more excuses for him from me. From here on out, I will address my complaints to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where they belong.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
The Democrats have found their "do you support the troops" question.

I always cringed when Republicans tormented anti-war Democrats with that interrogatory. Do you support our troops who are in harm's way? It was a "damned if you do; damned if you don't" kind of question. If you did NOT support the troops you were the worst kind of freeloading ingrate, running down the way of life our fighting men have fought and died to keep. If you supposedly did support our troops, then how could you say such ugly things about our president and his war while our troops were in the field fighting for your freedom?

It was always an ugly spectacle.

Unfortunately, what goes around comes around.

Fast forward: the Democrats have found their cudgel.

"Do you hope the President fails?"

Of course not! His success will be our success. Right? I have written and articulated that line myself many times since November 4th.

The first time Rush Limbaugh said he hoped this president would fail I winced. I knew immediately that it was a horrible public relationships misstep. Worse than that, it struck me as the perfect example of partisanship run amok. Limbaugh obviously hated Democrats more than he loved America.

Why? We are in an exceedingly precarious position. Wishing for the failure of this president is tantamount to hoping for a national economic cataclysm. If this president does not meet the exigencies that threaten our union, the next president may be too late.

But that was before this president showed his true colors and proposed New Deal 3.0. Now that it is clear that this president is determined to turn back the clock on the Reagan Revolution and lead us into the promised land of a European-style welfare state, it is not so easy to say I hope he succeeds. In my heart of hearts, I am convinced his program of unabashed liberal restoration would be disastrous for our nation at any juncture--but especially so in our currently compromised state of economic weakness and indebtedness.

Therefore, I guess I am with Limbaugh for now. I hope the guy fails in his current push for radical transformation of American society.

Do You Hope the President Fails?

Get ready to be beat about the head with this malicious question as a basic measure of your patriotism and good will.