The Rise Of Independents

31 03 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The job for Republicans between now and November of 2010 will be to elect opponents of ObamaCare—which means opponents of Barack Obama—and undo the election results of 2008 and what they wrought.  A growing number of Americans believe they were sold a far-Leftist in “sheep’s clothing,” instead of a relatively-moderate centrist[2], so the task should not be a daunting one at all.

Independents comprise about 35 percent of the American electorate[3], and their ranks may grow even larger in the years to come. They do not care much about either the Republican or Democrat parties. Enough of them hated George W. Bush, and were not enamored with John McCain, that they gave the White House to Obama. Now, enough may turn against the Democrats and Obama to hand victories of a similar magnitude to the GOP.

Obama and the Democrats misread the election results of 2008.  The price they pay in the future may be staggering—and reminiscent of the sea changes that took place in 1968 when Lyndon Johnson was effectively run out of the White House and prevented from seeking reelection, and in 1980 when the Reagan “Revolution” swept into Washington and threw out Jimmy Carter and his ilk.

For many Americans, Ross Perot’s candidacy in 1992 was a breath of fresh air; however, he turned out to be nothing more than a flash in the pan, and he failed to produce anything lasting.  He seemed more enamored with himself than in building a viable and sustainable Independent movement.  In the final analysis, all he accomplished was to deny George H.W. Bush a second term—for deep-seated reasons that are best known to Perot and Bush—and hand the presidency to Bill Clinton.

As the ranks of Independents continue to grow if not swell, it is unlikely that they will be driven by another “savior” like Perot. Most Independents do not have lasting allegiances to either party, albeit most have come from one party or the other—or perhaps both, as I did. They will be seeking like-minded candidates from the “Tea Party” movement or wherever they can be found; and ultimately politicians will not be afraid of running as Independents and defying both established parties.

Some day in the not too distant future, we will see an Independent president; and both houses of Congress will have more and more Independents who are proud to identify themselves as such.  In turn, this may draw both the Republican and Democrat parties toward the center, as they vie for the support of voters, and jettison the extremist elements in their ranks.

First, we witnessed a turning away from the GOP because of Bush, the war in Iraq and the economy. Next, we may witness the abandonment of Obama and the Dems.[4] At some point, there will be a breakdown of our two-party political system; and ObamaCare may have served as an important stepping stone toward achieving that result, and thrusting Independents into the forefront of American politics.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See, e.g.http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[3] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_(voter)

[4] See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america’s-second-emperor and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/


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8 07 2010
naegeleblog

The Grand “Obama Experiment” May Be Finished Already

Barack Obama may be in the process of disappearing into history. The all-important Independent swing-voting block (i.e., approximately 35 percent of the American electorate)—of which I am proudly one, and have been for at least 20 years—is deserting him en masse.

See, e.g., http://www.gallup.com/poll/141131/Obama-Job-Approval-Rating-Down-Among-Independents.aspx (“Obama Job Approval Rating Down to 38% Among Independents”)

They swung in his favor to give him the presidency, and they are swinging against him now. He is “DOA” for most Independents, and that is only apt to get far worse during the balance of his presidency, which may not last beyond January of 2013. Obviously the GOP must find a standard bearer to run against him; however, for growing numbers of Americans—Independents, Republicans, conservative Democrats—the grand “Obama experiment” is finished already.

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15 09 2010
naegeleblog

While The Democrats May Be “Evil,” Is The GOP Establishment Full Of “Neanderthals”?

Newly-minted Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell, who just won the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in Delaware, condemned her Republican establishment critics. USA Today is reporting:

O’Donnell, backed by the Tea Party, scored a stunning upset victory last night and defeated veteran Rep. Mike Castle for the GOP Senate nod in Delaware. Castle, a centrist and popular fixture in Delaware politics for decades, was heavily favored to not only win the party’s nomination but also take the Senate seat long held by Vice President Joe Biden.

O’Donnell, a marketing consultant who has twice lost Senate races, lashed out especially at Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s chief political strategist.

“Everything that he is saying is un-factual,” she told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

She credited the endorsement from former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as helping her to knock off Castle. In the last weeks of the campaign, the California-based Tea Party Express also poured in more than $200,000 to help her.

See http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2010/09/christine-odonnell-lashes-out-at-karl-rove-gop-/1?loc=interstitialskip; see also http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2010-09-14-tea-party_N.htm?csp=hf (“The ‘Tea Party’ movement struck another blow. . . .”)

Those who scoff at the help that Palin is giving to candidates like O’Donnell, and minimize the impact that Palin and the Tea Party are having on American politics, are looking more “out of touch” with every day that passes. The only people more out of touch are Barack Obama and his Democrats.

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23 09 2010
naegeleblog

Independents Reject Obama And Dems, And Swing To The GOP

In an ominous sign for Barack Obama and his Democrat Party members, Independents—who are the swing group in U.S. politics, and constitute approximately 35 percent of American voters—are abandoning Obama and his Dems, and switching to Republican candidates. According to an article at POLITICO.com:

[I]ndependent voters now favor Republicans by nearly the same margins that they went for Obama in 2008 and his party in the 2006 mid-term, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released Wednesday.

“For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power,” Pew concludes.

. . .

In 2006, 67 percent of independents were not satisfied with national conditions; today, 76 percent aren’t happy.

. . .

“Trust in government is at one of the lowest points in 60 years of polling,” said [Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center]. “It’s a backlash against what is seen as government policies and programs that are too liberal or too much in the vein of government expansion.”

. . .

Among [independents who are “likely voters”], 49 percent said they will support a GOP candidate compared to just 36 percent who are likely to vote Democratic—and that “is a pivotal factor behind the Republican Party’s overall seven-point lead among all likely voters at this point in the campaign,” the [P]ew report notes.

On the issues, Republicans have overtaken Democratic advantages on managing foreign policy, national security and the economy.

However, the Democrats maintained an edge on social issues. For instance, more than twice as many independent voters than Republican voters favor allowing same-sex marriages.

Social conservative groups have tried to elevate their issues, but Kohut said Republican leaders would be wise to resist them.

“Those were issues that were very successful in keeping the base together in the Bush years,” he said. “But you don’t need issues like that to keep the base together. The base is unified in its negative response to Obama and the economy.”

See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42625.html

In the not-too-distant future, the negatives with respect to Obama’s no-win Afghan War will weigh in too, along with his laissez-faire, blasé attitude about future terrorist attacks on Americans and the United States.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/#comment-756

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29 09 2010
naegeleblog

The Tea Party Movement Is Becoming A Major Force In American Politics

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about the rise of the Tea Party movement in America, which is worth reading.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703882404575520252928390046.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

What is most important to realize is that the Tea Party movement involves Republicans, Independents, and disenchanted Democrats, who are generally united against Barack Obama, his far-Left Democrats, and their agenda for America—and who want Obama gone from Washington permanently, and consigned to the dustbin of history.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/

I am a proud Independent, and have been for more than 20 years, after first being a Democrat and then a Republican. The Tea Party movement is refreshing, to say the least.

Please read (or reread) Obama’s “Dreams from My Father,” if you have any doubts about who he is or what he stands for, or where he is taking the United States. The book is shocking . . . but the “nightmare” is playing out for all Americans to see—and to suffer from until he is removed from office.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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8 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Tea Party Participation Up As Election Nears

According to the Rasmussen polling organization:

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Likely U.S. Voters now say they are Tea Party members or have close friends or family members who are part of the movement.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 17% describe themselves as members of the Tea Party, up four points from late August. Twelve percent (12%) more say they are not members themselves but have friends or family who are involved in the small government, anti-tax movement.

Just after Democrats in Congress passed the national health care bill in late March, 24% of voters said they were Tea Party members, with 10% more saying they had close friends or family members who were participants.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/october_2010/tea_party_participation_up_as_election_nears

This does not bode well for Obama and the Democrats in next month’s elections. :-)

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25 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Neither Political Party In Congress Represents The American People

The Rasmussen polling organization has found:

[A] plurality (43%) of Likely U.S. Voters believes that neither Democrats nor Republicans in Congress are the party of the American people, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Nearly as many see a need for a new third party.

Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree that neither party represents the American people, and another 22% are not sure.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/october_2010/43_say_neither_political_party_in_congress_represents_the_american_people

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30 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Independents Break Sharply For The GOP

An excellent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Swing Voters Are Flocking to GOP,” states:

The Democrats’ final push to woo undecided voters appears to have fizzled, potentially putting dozens of competitive House races beyond reach and undermining the party’s chances in at least four toss-up Senate seats, according to party strategists and officials.

Independents, a crucial swing bloc, seem to be breaking sharply for Republicans in the final days of the campaign.

One nonpartisan prognosticator, Stuart Rothenberg, said Friday he thought the Republicans could pick up as many as 70 House seats—something no party has achieved since 1948. The Republicans need 39 seats to take the majority. Fading Democratic support among independents is also keeping alive the GOP’s longer-shot hopes of taking the Senate.

. . .

[Democrat] Party strategists say their biggest problem now is swing voters’ frustration with the president, prompting some to start fretting about the impact of this disenchantment on the 2012 elections.

. . .

“This race is all about President Obama.”

Nationally, independent voters, who backed Democrats in 2006 and 2008, have swung to the GOP. In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 52% said they would vote Republican next week. The survey found Mr. Obama, who won 52% of independents nationally in 2008, has a job-approval rating of just 40% among that group.

With enthusiasm ebbing on the left, Democratic candidates needed this year to win over even more independent voters than Mr. Obama did in 2008, strategists said. Candidates who have been banking on making up this ground in the closing days have instead seen independent voters flocking to the GOP.

. . .

“Independents who helped Obama win in ’08, are now giving GOP candidates significant edges, from the U.S. Senate to state legislative races across the country,” said Republican pollster Neil Newhouse.

Democratic strategists said independents were taking out their frustrations against Democrats up and down the ballot, even in state legislative and [city council] races.

Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant who served as a senior adviser to the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry, said the trend was striking this year. “They are behaving like Republicans,” Mr. Devine said of independent voters.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304879604575582472322281134.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

Independents, Republicans and “disenchanted” Democrats—many of whom are members or supporters of the Tea Party movement—will prove to be a potent force in American politics!

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1 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Republicans Will Send More To Congress Than At Any Time In The Past 80 Years

This is what pollster Scott Rasmussen has written in an important Wall Street Journal, which is worth reading. He adds:

This isn’t a wave, it’s a tidal shift—and we’ve seen it coming for a long time. Remarkably, there have been plenty of warning signs over the past two years, but Democratic leaders ignored them. At least the captain of the Titanic tried to miss the iceberg. Congressional Democrats aimed right for it.

. . .

Central to the Democrats’ electoral woes was the debate on health-care reform. From the moment in May 2009 when the Congressional Budget Office announced that the president’s plan would cost a trillion dollars, most voters opposed it. Today 53% want to repeal it. Opposition was always more intense than support, and opposition was especially high among senior citizens, who vote in high numbers in midterm elections.

Rather than acknowledging the public concern by passing a smaller and more popular plan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama insisted on passing the proposed legislation by any means possible.

As a result, Democrats face massive losses in tomorrow’s midterm election. Based upon our generic ballot polling and an analysis of individual races, we project that Nancy Pelosi’s party will likely lose 55 or more seats in the House, putting the GOP firmly in the majority. Republicans will also win at least 25 of the 37 Senate elections. While the most likely outcome is that Republicans end up with 48 or 49 Senate seats, Democrats will need to win close races in West Virginia, Washington and California to protect their majority.

There will also be a lot more Republican governors in office come January. It looks like six heartland states stretching from Pennsylvania to Iowa will trade a Democratic governor for a Republican one. A common theme in all the races is that white, working-class Democrats who tended to vote for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in 2008 are prepared to vote for Republicans.

But none of this means that Republicans are winning. The reality is that voters in 2010 are doing the same thing they did in 2006 and 2008: They are voting against the party in power.

This is the continuation of a trend that began nearly 20 years ago. In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president and his party had control of Congress. Before he left office, his party lost control. Then, in 2000, George W. Bush came to power, and his party controlled Congress. But like Mr. Clinton before him, Mr. Bush saw his party lose control.

That’s never happened before in back-to-back administrations. The Obama administration appears poised to make it three in a row. This reflects a fundamental rejection of both political parties.

More precisely, it is a rejection of a bipartisan political elite that’s lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve. Based on our polling, 51% now see Democrats as the party of big government and nearly as many see Republicans as the party of big business. That leaves no party left to represent the American people.

Voters today want hope and change every bit as much as in 2008. But most have come to recognize that if we have to rely on politicians for the change, there is no hope. At the same time, Americans instinctively understand that if we can unleash the collective wisdom and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.

In this environment, it would be wise for all Republicans to remember that their team didn’t win, the other team lost. Heading into 2012, voters will remain ready to vote against the party in power unless they are given a reason not to do so.

Elected politicians also should leave their ideological baggage behind because voters don’t want to be governed from the left, the right, or even the center. They want someone in Washington who understands that the American people want to govern themselves.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703708404575586063725870380.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop (emphasis added)

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3 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Independents’ Triumph!

As a Wall Street Journal editorial states:

Independents turned with a vengeance on the same Democrats they had vaulted into the majority in the waning George W. Bush years, rejecting the economy-killing trio of $812 billion in stimulus spending, cap and tax and ObamaCare.

. . .

One of the great ironies of the last two years is that the Administration that has expanded government more than any since LBJ has left the reputation of government in shambles. By constraining government to its more legitimate role, by contrast, Reagan left office after eight years with the reputation of Washington enhanced.

All of this reflects the epic overreach that has typified the House under Nancy Pelosi, who will now have one of the shorter speakerships on record. A Republican President, even a lame duck one in Mr. Bush, could hold the Democratic House’s worst instincts in check. But with the arrival of Mr. Obama, the party’s liberal barons, most of them creatures of the 1960s, unleashed all of the ambitions they had been forced to submerge during the post-Reagan era.

. . .

The exit polls show clearly that voters still view the GOP as skeptically as they do Democrats, a sign of the overall sour public mood. But Tuesday’s vote was above all about Americans stopping the Pelosi Democrats.

. . .

American voters make mistakes, but in their wisdom they usually correct them. Four years ago they gave the Pelosi Democrats another chance to govern. Yesterday they revoked their liberal license.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704462704575590871101994524.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

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16 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama And His Democrats Did Not Get The Message—Their Ranks Need To Be Thinned Even More, Starting With Obama

In the lame-duck session of Congress, the “Obama Tax Deal” has cleared its first political hurdle in the U.S. Senate, and now it is heading for passage by the House.

See, e.g., http://www.cnbc.com/id/40672357

As the Wall Street Journal points out in an important editorial that is worthy of repeating in its entirety entitled, “Harry Reid’s Holiday Jam”—which is subtitled, “What the Senate wants to pass while you’re not paying attention”—this is a travesty, pure and simple:

In Majority Leader Harry Reid’s rush to beat the looming expiration of the 111th Congress, the Senate has become the express lane to jam through changes in military rules, a giant spending bill and even an arms treaty—and all with virtually no deliberation. Why are Republicans putting up with it?

The lame duck Congress was supposed to limp out of town this Friday, but yesterday Mr. Reid announced that in the dwindling days before Christmas he plans to pass the bipartisan tax deal, the New Start arms treaty with Russia, the immigration Dream Act, a “lands bill,” and a bill to let gays serve openly in the military. Oh, and yesterday he also dropped on his colleagues a 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2011 that no one but a few Appropriators have read, if even they have.

Any one of these issues could warrant at least a week of debate if the Senate were playing its designated constitutional role. But the New Start pact and spending bill in particular deserve at least eight or nine legislative days of debate, with opportunities for Senators to educate the public and offer amendments. As it is, most Americans are preoccupied with their busy holiday lives and have no idea that the world’s greatest deliberative body isn’t deliberating at all.

The rush for New Start is a special affront to Senate prerogatives under the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote for ratification precisely to guarantee a considered debate. The Administration claims that failure to ratify the treaty in two weeks will offend the Russians, though the Russians have said they feel no such urgency. GOP leaders have given Mr. Reid dates in either January or February to bring the treaty to the floor, and upwards of a dozen Republicans seem to be leaning in favor of the pact.

At a minimum the GOP ought to insist on a debate that is long enough to clarify the U.S. understanding of the treaty. That’s especially important on missile defenses because the pact’s preamble includes the major blunder of re-linking offensive and defensive weapons. At the time the pact was negotiated, the Russians claimed this language meant they could leave the treaty if the U.S. developed new missile defenses. In remarks at the time, U.S. officials did not forcefully counter that claim.

The Obama Administration has since said the Russians are wrong, but the Senate must make this absolutely clear during the ratification debate. GOP Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl are preparing a formal “understanding” to accompany the treaty that would stipulate that specific future U.S. missile defense plans aren’t part of the deal.

The next decade is likely to see a proliferation of nuclear weapons states with the missiles to hit U.S. or allied soil. The Senate should not tolerate a ratification debate in which Jon Kyl offers one interpretation, Democrat and missile defense opponent Carl Levin offers another, and the Russians are able to exploit the ambiguity.

The last-minute omnibus should also offend Senators who claim to have heard the voters on November 2. This jam-job is a substitute for the 12 individual spending bills that Congress was supposed to have passed during the summer. But for the first time in modern memory, Democrats never got around to passing a budget outline, much less specific spending bills. So now they want to rush one giant bill into law when no one is paying attention.

Congress does have to fund the government, but it can do that with a simple continuing resolution that maintains the status quo for three months or so until the next Congress gets up and running. The catch is that this would mean no earmarks, and no riders for this or that special interest that Members on the Appropriations Committee can write into a formal spending bill. This includes 10 or so GOP Appropriators, some of whom are leaving the Senate and want a last hurrah. Their fellow Senators deserve the chance to offer amendments on the floor at the very least, assuming their staff members get the time to read 2,000 pages.

This rushed, non-transparent, all-about-the-Members brand of legislating is precisely what voters rebelled against a month ago. Senate Republicans have the power to stop this railroad exercise if they stick together and insist that the Senate do its business the right way. Pass the tax bill, fund the government into the New Year, and go home for the holidays.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576019810447429074.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

Hopefully the legislation is killed in the House, and better legislation is written next year when the Republicans control that chamber of the Congress. Indeed, the idea that Obama and his Democrats—who were soundly defeated in last month’s elections—can continue to enact their agenda, is a travesty and a tragedy of unfathomable proportions. Apparently they did not get the message that American voters sent loud and clear.

The ranks of Democrats need to be decimated further, starting with Obama. If necessary, the ranks of the Republicans in Congress need to be thinned too—to remind them that it is not “business as usual” with the American voters.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

. . .

Obama is using the same tactic that he did when the passage of ObamaCare was in doubt—because a majority of the American people opposed it, and still do—namely, he is telling lawmakers that not passing the tax deal could end his presidency. However, the sooner his presidency ends and he is gone from Washington, the better off America will be.

See http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/133909-obama-tells-lawmakers-not-passing-tax-deal-could-end-presidency-dem-says

The Republicans do not seem to have the courage or skill to kill the legislation, which is pathetic. Not only is this true of the tax deal, but it is true of Senate ratification of the New START Treaty and other measures.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1136) and http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/stop-the-start-treaty-and-senatorial-pork/ (“[B]ring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world“)

The Republicans have known for months now that the Democrats planned to ram through legislation during the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress, especially if the Democrats suffered major defeats in the just-completed mid-term elections, which they did. Nonetheless, the Republicans seem sufficiently inept and incompetent that they have no strategy developed—much less implemented—to counteract what the Democrats are doing.

How pathetic, how very pathetic!

The Democrats are “evil,” but the Republicans are weak and spineless. Both should be thrown out of Congress—in wholesale numbers, even more staggering than the mid-term election results—by Independents, “disenchanted” Democrats, and members of the Tea Party movement. It is time to sweep out of office existing members of Congress!

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and http://www.gallup.com/poll/145238/Congress-Job-Approval-Rating-Worst-Gallup-History.aspx (“Congress’ Job Approval Rating Worst in Gallup History“) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_or_wrong_track (23% Say USA Heading in Right Direction, Lowest Since Obama Took Office)

. . .

Lastly, most American voters do not believe Obama will win reelection, or that he deserves to. Most see him losing in 2012.

According to Politico.com:

Just 29 percent of the registered voters surveyed by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics said they believed Obama would win in 2012; 64 percent said they expected him to lose.

See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46499.html

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17 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Republicans Got Shellacked, And Cleared Obama’s Path And Sprinkled It With Rose Petals

This is the conclusion of the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer in his latest brilliant column entitled, “The new comeback kid,” which is set forth here in its entirety:

If Barack Obama wins reelection in 2012, as is now more likely than not, historians will mark his comeback as beginning on Dec. 6, the day of the Great Tax Cut Deal of 2010.

Obama had a bad November. Self-confessedly shellacked in the midterm election, he fled the scene to Asia and various unsuccessful meetings, only to return to a sad-sack lame-duck Congress with ghostly dozens of defeated Democrats wandering the halls.

Now, with his stunning tax deal, Obama is back. Holding no high cards, he nonetheless managed to resurface suddenly not just as a player but as orchestrator, dealmaker and central actor in a high $1 trillion drama.

Compare this with Bill Clinton, greatest of all comeback kids, who, at a news conference a full five months after his shellacking in 1994, was reduced to plaintively protesting that “the president is relevant here.” He had been so humiliatingly sidelined that he did not really recover until late 1995 when he outmaneuvered Newt Gingrich in the government-shutdown showdown.

And that was Clinton responding nimbly to political opportunity. Obama fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance, an even more impressive achievement.

Remember the question after Election Day: Can Obama move to the center to win back the independents who had abandoned the party in November? And if so, how long would it take? Answer: Five weeks. An indoor record, although an asterisk should denote that he had help—Republicans clearing his path and sprinkling it with rose petals.

Obama’s repositioning to the center was first symbolized by his joint appearance with Clinton, the quintessential centrist Democrat, and followed days later by the overwhelming 81 to 19 Senate majority that supported the tax deal. That bipartisan margin will go a long way toward erasing the partisan stigma of Obama’s first two years, marked by Stimulus I, which passed without a single House Republican, and a health-care bill that garnered no congressional Republicans at all.

Despite this, some on the right are gloating that Obama had been maneuvered into forfeiting his liberal base. Nonsense. He will never lose his base. Where do they go? Liberals will never have a president as ideologically kindred—and they know it. For the left, Obama is as good as it gets in a country that is barely 20 percent liberal.

The conservative gloaters were simply fooled again by the flapping and squawking that liberals ritually engage in before folding at Obama’s feet. House liberals did it with Obamacare; they did it with the tax deal. Their boisterous protests are reminiscent of the floor demonstrations we used to see at party conventions when the losing candidate’s partisans would dance and shout in the aisles for a while before settling down to eventually nominate the other guy by acclamation.

And Obama pulled this off at his lowest political ebb. After the shambles of the election and with no bargaining power—the Republicans could have gotten everything they wanted on the Bush tax cuts retroactively in January without fear of an Obama veto—he walks away with what even Paul Ryan admits was $313 billion in superfluous spending.

Including a $6 billion subsidy for ethanol. Why, just a few weeks ago Al Gore, the Earth King, finally confessed that ethanol subsidies were a mistake. There is not a single economic or environmental rationale left for this boondoggle that has induced American farmers to dedicate an amazing 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop—for burning! And the Republicans have just revived it.

Even as they were near unanimously voting for this monstrosity, Republicans began righteously protesting $8.3 billion of earmarks in Harry Reid’s omnibus spending bill. They seem not to understand how ridiculous this looks after having agreed to a Stimulus II that even by their own generous reckoning has 38 times as much spending as all these earmarks combined.

The greatest mistake Ronald Reagan’s opponents ever made—and they made it over and over again—was to underestimate him. Same with Obama. The difference is that Reagan was so deeply self-assured that he invited underestimation—low expectations are a priceless political asset—whereas Obama’s vanity makes him always needing to appear the smartest guy in the room. Hence that display of prickliness in his disastrous post-deal news conference last week.

But don’t be fooled by defensive style or thin-skinned temperament. The president is a very smart man. How smart? His comeback is already a year ahead of Clinton’s.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/16/AR2010121604846.html (emphasis in original)

Again, the inept Republicans in Congress should pay a very heavy political price for what is being touted as “a huge victory for President Obama.” Granted the damage might have been even greater if the omnibus spending bill had been enacted too, but bad is bad however it is “sugar-coated.”

Democrats abandoned their efforts to push the omnibus spending bill, and said they would support a short-term, stop-gap measure instead. The Republicans had demanded the short-term solution since they will be the majority party in the House come January and have more seats in the Senate, and will be able to create their own spending plan.

However, exactly the same thing is true of the tax deal. There is no difference!

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/17/us/politics/17cong.html?_r=1&hp and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1140

. . .

Political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, has a fine article discussing the tax deal and its implications entitled, “To Obama: Wimps don’t win,” which is worth reading. The only problem is that the Republicans proved to be bigger wimps than Obama.

They should have kicked over the tax bill to next year, instead of making any concessions to Obama at all. He has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, politically—or as Charles Krauthammer has written, he “fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance”—which did not have to happen, and may foretell the future.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/to-obama-wimps-dont-win/

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20 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Inept Republicans Have Snatched Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory Again

Following their victories in the 2010 mid-term elections last month, the Republicans have been shamelessly outmaneuvered and disgraced politically by Barack Obama—losing in the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress. The Tribune Washington Bureau has reported:

In just the past week, Obama signed into law the deal he forged with Republicans—an $858-billion package of tax cuts and unemployment benefits—and saw Congress redeem one of his campaign pledges, allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces. Before this week is out, the Senate could deliver another major victory—ratification of a new arms reduction treaty with Russia.

. . .

[T]he year-end victories have gone a long way toward reshaping the image of a president who seemed isolated and out of touch only a month ago, after an enormous midterm election defeat.

Obama now looks like a dealmaker who can reach across party lines to get things done and, perhaps, make progress that Americans found lacking when they went to the polls.

The soon-to-depart Democratic Congress, under prodding from Obama, will likely go down as among the most productive since President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, almost half a century ago.

. . .

Obama’s aides realize that recent victories could turn out to be fleeting.

Many parts of the country have yet to pull out of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Unless the recovery gathers steam, the public’s mood will remain dark and Obama’s re-election will stay in doubt.

“The economy isn’t only the number one issue, it’s issue one through 10,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “It dwarfs everything else. We have made a ton of progress, but there is much more work to do. The tax cut package signed into law this week is an important step in that direction.”

See http://dailyme.com/story/2010121900003293/late-victories-boost-obama-electoral-defeats.html

It is time that Independents—who make and break American elections—join with members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats, to put some spine back into the GOP; to seize the initiative from Obama, and reject his agenda; and to insure that he and his far-Left and mainstream Democrats are not reelected in 2012!

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1149

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22 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Tea Party Rises!

According to the Rasmussen Reports:

A plurality of voters nationwide expect [the] Tea Party candidates [who were elected in last month’s mid-term elections] to sell out and become just like other politicians. However, Tea Party activists are much more confident that these candidates will remain true to their beliefs. Pressure from the Tea Party clearly played a role in the lame duck session of Congress and may be largely responsible for the tax cut deal that was signed by President Obama.

Forty-one percent (41%) believe the Tea Party movement will be stronger in 2012 than it was in 2010.

At year’s end, 21% of voters nationwide consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement. Another 11% have close friends or family members who are involved.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/december_2010/tea_party_at_year_s_end (emphasis added)

When the members of the Tea Party movement are combined with Independents—who constitute approximately 35 percent of American voters—and “disenchanted” Democrats, these three groups may constitute a potent force for change in U.S. politics. Granted, there may be “overlaps” of membership among the three groups; however, even discounting for that, Republicans and Democrats may find that it is not “business as usual” anymore, in 2012 and thereafter.

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26 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Great Republican Ascendancy Of 2010 Lasted Less Than Two Months!

This is the verdict of the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, and he is correct. In the concluding paragraph of his latest column in the Post, he writes about the inept Republicans:

“Harry Reid has eaten our lunch,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, lamenting his side’s “capitulation” in the lame-duck session. Yes, but it was less Harry than Barry. Obama came back with a vengeance. His string of lame-duck successes is a singular political achievement. Because of it, the epic battles of the 112th Congress begin on what would have seemed impossible just one month ago—a level playing field.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/23/AR2010122303877.html

Krauthammer discusses the New START Treaty, the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with respect to Gays, and other issues, and writes—in accurately summarizing where American politics stands on Christmas Day 2010:

Riding the lamest of ducks, President Obama just won the Triple Crown. He fulfilled (1) his most important economic priority, passage of Stimulus II, a.k.a. the tax cut deal (the perfect pre-re-election fiscal sugar high—the piper gets paid in 2013 and beyond); (2) his most important social policy objective, repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”; and (3) his most cherished (achievable) foreign policy goal, ratification of the New START treaty with Russia.

Politically, these are all synergistic. The bipartisan nature of the tax deal instantly repositioned Obama back to the center. And just when conventional wisdom decided the deal had caused irreparable alienation from his liberal base, Obama almost immediately won it back—by delivering one of the gay rights movement’s most elusive and coveted breakthroughs.

The symbolism of the don’t ask, don’t tell repeal cannot be underestimated. It’s not just that for the civil rights community, it represents a long-awaited extension of the historic arc—first blacks, then women, now gays. It was also Obama decisively transcending the triangulated trimming of Bill Clinton, who instituted don’t ask, don’t tell in the first place. Even more subtly and understatedly, the repeal represents the taming of the most conservative of the nation’s institutions, the military, by a movement historically among the most avant-garde. Whatever your views, that is a cultural landmark.

Then came START, which was important for Obama not just because of the dearth of foreign policy achievements these past two years but because treaties, especially grand-sounding treaties on strategic arms, carry the aura of presidential authority and diplomatic mastery.

No matter how useless they are, or even how damaging. New START was significantly, if subtly, damaging, which made the rear-guard Republican opposition it engendered so salutary. The debate it sparked garnered the treaty more attention than it would have otherwise and thus gave Obama a larger PR victory. But that debate also amplified the major flaw in the treaty—the gratuitous reestablishment of the link between offensive and defensive weaponry.

One of the great achievements of the past decade was the Bush administration’s severing of that link—first, by its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major advances in missile defense, and then with the 2002 Treaty of Moscow, which regulated offensive weapons but ostentatiously contained not a single word about any connection to missile defense. Why is this important? Because missile defense is essential for protecting ourselves from the most menacing threat of the coming century—nuclear hyper-proliferation.

The relinking that we acquiesced to in the preamble to New START is a major reversal of that achievement. Sure, Obama sought to reassure critics with his letter to the Senate promising unimpeded development of our European missile defense system. But the Russians have already watched this president cancel our painstakingly planned Polish and Czech missile defenses in response to Russian protests and threats. That’s why they insisted we formally acknowledge an “interrelationship” between offense and defense. They know that their threat to withdraw from START, if the United States were to build defenses that displease them, will inevitably color—and restrain—future U.S. missile defense advances and deployments.

Obama’s difficulty in overcoming the missile defense objection will serve to temper the rest of his nuclear agenda, including U.S. entry into the test-ban treaty, and place Obama’s ultimate goal of total nuclear disarmament blessedly out of reach. Conservatives can thus take solace that their vigorous opposition to START is likely to prevent further disarmament mischief down the road. But what they cannot deny is the political boost the treaty’s ratification gives Obama today, a mere seven weeks after his Election Day debacle.

The great liberal ascendancy of 2008, destined to last 40 years (predicted James Carville), lasted less than two. Yet, the great Republican ascendancy of 2010 lasted less than two months. Republicans will enter the 112th Congress with larger numbers but no longer with the wind—the overwhelming Nov. 2 repudiation of Obama’s social-democratic agenda—at their backs.

See id. (emphasis in original)

In the final analysis, none of this would have happened without the complicity of the Republicans. They need to pay a heavy price; and their members must be targeted, as political pundit Dick Morris has suggested.

See, e.g., http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/which-republicans-sold-out/

Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats must unite to make sure that what just happened during the lame-duck session of Congress never happens again; and that Barack Obama is not reelected in 2012. Also, what has happened legislatively—and ObamaCare—must be rolled back in 2011 and 2012.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1164 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1149

The GOP has no backbone . . . or so it would certainly seem!

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31 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Never Has An American Congress Done So Much And Been So Despised For It

This is the Wall Street Journal’s assessment of the Democrat-controlled Congress that just finished its work. The Journal added in its very important editorial:

The liberal wing of the Democratic Party had been waiting since the 1960s for its next great political opening, as we warned in an October 17, 2008 editorial, “A Liberal Supermajority.” Critics and some of our readers scored us at the time for exaggerating, but in retrospect we understated the willful nature of that majority.

Democrats achieved 60 Senate votes by an historical accident of prosecutorial abuse (Ted Stevens), a stolen election (Al Franken) and a betrayal (Arlen Specter). They then attempted to do nearly everything we expected, regardless of public opinion, and they only stopped because the clock ran out.

The real story of 2010 is that the voters were finally able to see and judge this liberal agenda in its unvarnished form. . . . The public was able to compare the promise of 8% unemployment if the government spent $812 billion on “stimulus” with the 9.8% jobless result. They stood athwart liberal history in the making and said, “Stop.”

Note well, however, that the Democrats still standing on Capitol Hill remain unchastened. In her exit interviews, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she would do it all the same way again, and her colleagues have seconded her lack of remorse by keeping her as their leader despite their November thumping.

. . .

Note, too, that the organized left and its media allies are also beginning to rewrite the story of the 111th Congress as an historical triumph. The same people who claimed that ObamaCare was a defeat because it lacked a public option are suddenly noting it will put 32 million more Americans on the government health-care dole. It won’t be long before liberals and the press are defending the 111th Congress’s every achievement as historic.

There is a lesson here both about modern liberalism and for Republicans who will soon have more power in Congress. For today’s left, the main goal of politics is not to respond to public opinion. The goal is to impose the dream of an egalitarian entitlement state whether the public likes it or not. Sooner or later, they figure, the anger will subside and Americans will come to like the cozy confines of the cradle-to-grave welfare state.

This is the great Democratic bet with ObamaCare. The assumption is that once the benefits start to flow in 2013 the constituency for “free” health care will grow. As spending and deficits climb, the pressure for higher taxes will become inexorable and the GOP will splinter into its balanced budget and antitax wings. A value-added tax or some other money-machine will pass and guarantee that the government will control 40% to 50% of all economic resources.

If the price of this bet was losing control of the House for a moment in time in 2010, Mrs. Pelosi’s view is so be it. You have to break a few Blue Dog careers to build a European welfare state. Liberals figure that as long as President Obama can be re-elected in 2012, their gamble will pay off and the legacy of the 111th Congress will be secure. The cheerleaders will write books about it.

The lesson for Republicans is to understand the nature of their political opponents and this long-term bet. The GOP can achieve all kinds of victories in the next two years, and some of them will be important for economic growth. But the main chance is ObamaCare, which will fundamentally change the balance of power between government and individuals if it is not repealed or replaced.

While repeal will no doubt founder in the Senate in the next two years, Republicans can still use their House platform to frame the debate for 2012. They can hold hearings to educate the public about rising insurance costs and other nasty ObamaCare consequences. And they can use the power of the purse to undermine its implementation.

. . .

The difference between the work of the 111th Congress and that of either the Great Society or New Deal is that the latter were bipartisan and in the main popular. This Congress’s handiwork is profoundly unpopular and should become more so as its effects become manifest. In 2010, Americans saw liberalism in the raw and rejected it. The challenge for Republicans is to repair the damage before it becomes permanent.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703909904576051803529108190.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

What is clear is that the American people—Republicans, Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats—must unite as they did last month, and throw Barack Obama and his “fellow travelers” (aka far-Left and mainstream Democrats) out of office once and for all, and repeal their legislative accomplishments entirely.

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2 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Let The Investigations Begin—The More All-Encompassing And Far-Reaching, The Better!

There is little doubt that Barack Obama and other members of his administration, and the Democrats in Congress, have broken numerous laws. Now, investigations will begin to ferret out their wrongdoing, and expose it to the American people, so that—at the very least—they can be purged from their political offices no later than the elections of 2012.

Among other things, CNN has reported:

The incoming House Oversight and Government Reform chairman on Sunday tried to clarify his recent remarks to Rush Limbaugh where he called President Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.”

Rep. Darrell Issa said he meant to say the Obama administration instead of the president.

“When you hand out $1 trillion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus, that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect,” Issa said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Although TARP—the program passed in 2008 intended to strengthen the financial sector by purchasing assets from financial institutions—was passed by Congress under the Bush administration, Issa said the unregulated funds were used by Obama like “presidential earmarks.”

But the California Republican also admitted Congress shares some of the blame.

“All of that would not have been possible if Congress had done its job,” Issa told CNN Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry. “Instead what happened was we gave President Bush (the money and) President Obama inherited $800 billion worth of walking-around money with no guidelines.”

See http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/02/goper-calls-obama-administration-corrupt/; see also http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/01/02/new.congress/index.html

If members of the GOP like Issa are timid and weak, or they give in to Obama like they did during the lame-duck session of the 2010 Congress (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1186), then Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats should unite and throw the Republicans out of office too.

If the 2010 elections meant anything, they stood for the idea that it will not be “business as usual” in Washington anymore, for members of either political party, which is long overdue!

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/

If the congressional investigations into the Obama presidency uncover the depth of wrongdoing that might be expected, the House Republicans should begin impeachment proceedings against Obama, and at the very least force him to resign like Nixon did. For Obama to resign in disgrace would put a “dagger” through the far-Left and its agenda that might take them decades to recover from.

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5 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Is There Hope For The GOP?

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial that is worth reading.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704723104576061922890057168.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

The GOP failed miserably during the just-completed lame-duck session of Congress, and its members were pathetic. Based on this performance, they too should be driven from public office. They got shellacked.

Paraphrasing the words of Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, they cleared Barack Obama’s path and sprinkled it with rose petals. Indeed, Krauthammer probably said it best when he added: “Obama fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance,” thanks to help from the GOP—help, in the Journal’s words, for “the man who has added $4 trillion to the deficit in two years.”

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1149 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1186 (“The Great Republican Ascendancy Of 2010 Lasted Less Than Two Months!”)

Never has an American Congress done so much and been so despised for it. Independents—who constitute approximately 35 percent of American voters—must join with members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats, (1) to put some spine back into the GOP, if that is possible; (2) to seize the initiative from Obama and reject his agenda, or his “abiding goal” (which is how the Journal aptly describes it) to reverse Reaganism permanently; and (3) to insure that he and his far-Left and Leftist Democrats are not reelected in 2012!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-1217

Lastly, the Journal is correct: it would be political suicide if the GOP attempts to “gut” Social Security or Medicare . . . but this does not apply to ObamaCare, the signature legislation of the Obama presidency so far. Also, the strength of our military must be maintained and augmented to insure that the national security challenges of this decade are met and addressed from a position of unparalleled strength.

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6 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Current Financial Crisis Is The Second Great Depression

These are the words of American political pundit Ann Coulter in an article entitled, “Investigate This!”—which is worth reading.

Coulter adds:

Goo-goo liberals with federal titles pressured banks into making absurd loans to high-risk borrowers—demanding, for example, that the banks accept unemployment benefits as collateral. Then Fannie repackaged the bad loans as “prime mortgages” and sold them to banks, thus poisoning the entire financial market with hidden bad loans.

. . .

So far, Fannie and Freddie’s default on loans that should never have been made has cost the taxpayer tens of billions of dollars. Some estimates say the final cost to the taxpayer will be more than $1 trillion. To put that number in perspective, for a trillion dollars, President Obama could pass another stupid, useless stimulus package that doesn’t create a single real job.

. . .

Over and over again, Republicans tried to rein in the politically correct policies being foisted on mortgage lenders by Fannie Mae, only to be met by a Praetorian Guard of Democrats howling that Republicans hated the poor.

In 2003, Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee wrote a bill to tighten the lending regulation of Fannie and Freddie. Every single Democrat on the committee voted against it.

In the House, Barney Frank angrily proclaimed that Fannie Mae was “just fine.”

. . .

As the titanic losses were racking up, Fannie Mae’s operators, Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick, disguised the catastrophe by orchestrating a $5 billion accounting fraud—all the while continuing to pressure banks to make absurd, politically correct loans and denouncing Republicans as enemies of the poor.

. . .

As Peter Schweizer points out in his magnificent book “Architects of Ruin,” which everyone should read, Enron’s accounting fraud was a paltry $567 million—and it didn’t bring down the entire financial system. Those involved in the Enron manipulations went to prison. Raines and Gorelick not only didn’t go to jail, they walked away with multimillion-dollar payouts, courtesy of the taxpayer.

(Here’s more fascinating Jamie Gorelick trivia: That giant wall she built between the FBI and the CIA, making 9/11 possible? It was financed with a risky loan from Fannie Mae.)

Under the Democrats’ 2010 “Financial Reform” bill (written by Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Goldman Sachs), Raines keeps his $90 million, Jamie Gorelick keeps her $26.4 million, and Goldman keeps its $12 billion from the AIG bailout.

See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41005

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22 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Obama Win Reelection?

This is the issue discussed in a new article by political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, which states in pertinent part as follows:

President Obama is clearly showing a determination to change his image, replacing his hard left dogmatism with a seeming flexibility and openness to the views of the center. Will it work? Will it lead to his re-election? Are we only one-quarter of the way through a two term Obama presidency?

If the Republican Party wimp[s] out and embraces a moderate agenda, trying to meet him in the middle, Obama will succeed and will be with us for six more years.

. . .

The key is to test Obama’s centrism by confronting him with bold demands to rollback health reform, undo his massive spending, . . . enable state bankruptcies, and block pending executive orders to impose carbon taxes, card check unionization, and FCC regulation of talk radio and the Internet.

. . .

The Republican Study Committee proposal calling for $2.5 trillion in spending cuts over ten years is a great place to start. The GOP should take the key elements of it and tack them on to the debt limit increase bill and demand that Obama either sign the bill with the cuts or get no rise in the debt limit.

. . .

The Study Committee proposal is especially brilliant in its avoidance of any cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Republicans squandered their momentum from Bush’s re-election in 2005 by pushing Social Security reform and won in 2010 by fighting Medicare cuts.

. . .

The key to winning the election of 2012 is to force Obama to defend his agenda of 2009-2010 by demanding its repeal and rollback. Republicans need to make him spend 2011 and 2012 defending the programs that brought him down in 2010. And we must also enact budget riders blocking his attempts to jam through by executive orders (even as he postures about cutting federal regulation) carbon taxation, FCC regulation of talk radio, and card check unionization. These issues are all winners.

Obama hopes we forget his past liberalism. After all, in 1996, who remembered Hillarycare? Who voted against Clinton because of his 1993 tax hikes? Nobody. So we need to force these issues to the fore again in 2011 and 2012. We must make Obama run on his record of 2009-2010 by demanding its repeal and forcing him to fight again the same battles that cost him the House in 2010. That is the path to victory.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/will-centrist-obama-win/; see also http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/dick-morris/154089-gop-chicken-run-fatal

Having made Obama “relevant” again in last month’s lame-duck session of Congress, after his stunning defeat and that of his fellow Democrats in the 2010 mid-term elections, the “Neanderthal” Republicans are fully capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. They have demonstrated how skillful they are at that again and again.

If there were better alternatives, lots of Independents—such as yours truly—and members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats might never vote for a Republican again.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-1240

. . .

However, the Republican Study Committee’s “Spending Reduction Act” seems to be a step in the right direction.

See, e.g., http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=220713 and http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/01/gop-lawmakers-unveil-25-trillion-spending-cuts-package.html (“GOP Lawmakers Unveil $2.5 Trillion Spending Cuts Package“)

. . .

Barack Obama is a far-Left, anti-war, naive, raving narcissist whose actions have saddled the United States with unprecedented debt. He spurned any notions of bipartisanship during his first two years in office, until last November’s election losses. Now, all of a sudden, he feigns having newfound “religion,” which falls on deaf ears. He is a demagogue, pure and simple.

Fortunately, the twin pincers of the economy and his failing Afghan War are likely to end his presidency in January of 2013, and send Michelle and him either to Hawaii or Chicago to write their memoirs and work on his presidential library full time. The sooner, the better.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

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10 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

It Wasn’t The Fight Webb Dreaded; It Was The Prospect Of Another Victory—And Having To Spend Another Six-Year Term In The U.S. Senate

This is a political assessment of why Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) decided not to run for reelection. Having worked in the Senate for three and a half years, and having dealt with the Senate for many years after that, I understand.

Senators only have two basic duties: (1) make speeches, and (2) try to enact legislation. The speeches get tired after a while, very tiresome; and legislation is enacted, but seldom (if ever) is it taken off the books—long after it has outlived its usefulness.

Aside from that, senators have larger staffs than members of the House; however, the need to engage in fundraising to pay for vastly more expensive campaigns is almost endless. Many of them are forced to raise money year around, and it is not a lot of fun. I have helped raise money for Senate and House campaigns, and donated to them as well.

Lastly, as the article points out:

Webb personally warned President Obama that the all-out push for health-care reform would be “a disaster” for the party. Webb’s sort of Democrat fell from favor within the party during the course of one senatorial cycle, and became a vanishing breed by last November.

When Webb declared himself out of a re-election run, it was widely supposed that he had little chance of winning anyway. This is probably true. His likely opponent in 2012 would have been George Allen, who only narrowly lost to Webb in 2006 even after running a campaign that was a classic of self-immolation. But Webb’s closest friends believe that it wasn’t the fight Webb dreaded, it was the prospect of another victory—and having to spend another term in the Senate.

He loathed the elemental chore of incumbency—the endless fundraising loop—and was temperamentally ill-suited to the pace and grind of Senate work. . . . His closest pals weren’t Beltway pundits, or his political peers, but the remaining band of Vietnam buddies that still rally to his side when summoned (as he has always rallied to theirs).

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-02-10/jim-webbs-senate-career-ends-peter-j-boyer-on-the-real-reason/

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12 04 2011
Raj

Dear Sir,
I was just wondering about your comments on Russia in the Economist earlier, why America needs to replace Putin and impose a peaceful democratic system in that country.

While I disagree with this comment, I would like to ask you (whom I regard to be a very knowledgeable person) a few questions regarding democracy:

Basically, I come from a by and large highly democratic but for practical reasons a failed state (India).

So, I keep wondering if democracy (if I am not wrong, you seem to have a high regard for it) is really an effective system. As far as Asia is concerned, the four Asian tigers had more or less authoritarian governments (Taiwan and S.Korea by Generals until recently (1980s), Hong Kong by the British till recently (1990s) and Singapore, currently the wealthiest of the four is still ruled by a largely one party system). So, India with its multi party consensus driven politics seems a mess, which cannot really plan long term. China, which became PRC after India became a Republic has a per capita income 4-5 times higher, its government just gets things done.

Now, its not just democracy in India but also in other places. Say, California’s referendums seem to be always in favour of subsidies, building more prisons etc but always against any tax rises. How does that add up?

In democracies, I believe, politicians give you a feel good aura, they say something like sit back and relax, we’ll take care of everything! When they are just piling on debt which is will become some other governments problem after say 5-10 years!

Whereas authoritarian governments know that they’ll be around to clear the mess 10-20 years later. Then, as I note democracy is also kind of ridiculous, take Ireland’s debt package for example, despite the fact that others were kind enough to bail them out, the Irish voted against their debt restructuring! That’s fantastic that anyone can vote out of debt and the required restructuring just like that!

I believe that individuals act rationally but communities act rather naively. It’s weird but in my home state (Kerala), the electorate has a fierce anti-incumbency mentality. As a result long term planning is rare an political responsibility is low, say like, how more often the US only gives two terms or very rarely three terms continuously for one party to control the White House.

Do you think some form of authoritarianism would be great for India and less frequent elections be good for America as I believe. Please help me add more reasoning to my position.

Thanks.

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12 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Raj, for your lengthy and thought-provoking comments.

First, you seem to be in France now, or are using a French e-mail address, having come from India and having your comments center around India’s democracy. If indeed you are living on the continent—in France—how do you find its politics?

Second, I have nothing against the Russian people, but regard Putin as the thoroughly-repugnant moral equivalent of Stalin, Hitler and Mao—albeit a weaker and more incompetent version. Since his reign began, he and his thugs have usurped democratic forces in that country, which might have flourished in the absence of his authoritarianism. At some point he will meet a brutal end.

Third, you say: “India with its multi party consensus driven politics seems a mess, which cannot really plan long term,” and that India is a “highly democratic but for practical reasons a failed state.” I assume this is a function of its vast population, much of which has been impoverished, as well as its ethnic and religious diversity.

Is there a realistic need to “plan long term,” or isn’t that really at odds with the very essence of a democracy? Don’t democracies and capitalism go hand in hand, which means that central planning is not possible? Or as Adam Smith described it, doesn’t an “invisible hand” govern, namely the natural force that guides free market capitalism through competition for scarce resources? Isn’t this really preferable?

Perhaps like Russia’s multi-ethnicities, India is “ungovernable” to a certain extent. However, as it continues to improve economically, it would seem that its democracy will become stronger and flourish.

Fourth, I believe there is nothing inherently wrong with democracy, or capitalism for that matter; and indeed, democracies will prove to be the most successful systems of government throughout history. Yes, they can have inefficiencies and flaws that are numerous; however, on balance the acts of unleashing the human spirit is a marvelous sight to behold.

Fifth, America is a totally diverse culture, and the only true “melting pot” in the world, as I have written. Yet, I believe this is the very essence of its strength, stability and longevity. Also, I do not rule out the fact that it has been blessed by God.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god

Sixth, as far as China “just [getting] things done,” this was true of the Soviet Union too, until it collapsed. I believe authoritarian regimes have inherent weaknesses that ultimately sow the seeds of their own destruction. China is introducing capitalism, and democratic forces are being unleashed in that country, which may be sowing the seeds of its communist regime’s destruction. Only time will tell for certain.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Seventh, you describe California’s referendums as seemingly being “always in favour of subsidies, building more prisons etc but always against any tax rises.” More precisely, I believe what you are referring to is California’s “Initiative” process, whereby a ballot proposition enacted by the initiative process may alter the state constitution, or amend the ordinary laws of the state, or do both.

Those propositions that have been placed on the ballot in California through the Initiative process have generally represented attempts to curb government, which I believe is healthy. You may view this process as being “helter skelter,” but I believe it has a positive effect: it is truly the people speaking, directly.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_California_ballot_propositions (“Notable propositions”)

Eighth, you state that in democracies, “politicians give you a feel good aura.” Clearly, this is their goal; namely, to be reelected. However, in the case of the American democracy with which I am most familiar, the people have inherent wisdom—or so I believe—which means that over time they see through the hypocrisy, demagoguery and narcissism of their politicians, and throw them out of office. Indeed, I believe this is happening with Barack Obama now.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Ninth, you state that “authoritarian governments know that they’ll be around to clear the mess 10-20 years later.” I respectfully disagree. Hitler and the Nazis weren’t around to “clear the mess” they created, and the same is true of Stalin and Mao. Most authoritarian regimes during the 20th Century fell within the 10-20-year time frame that you have described, if not sooner; and their destruction was unfathomable.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/

Tenth, you state:

I note democracy is also kind of ridiculous, take Ireland’s debt package for example, despite the fact that others were kind enough to bail them out, the Irish voted against their debt restructuring! That’s fantastic that anyone can vote out of debt and the required restructuring just like that!

I have spent lots of time in Ireland, and have written about its problems, which really represent a microcosm of economic problems facing other global economies. Somehow the Irish will muddle through.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1451

Eleventh, you describe your home state of Kerala as having an electorate with “a fierce anti-incumbency mentality.” You equate that with the United States and our presidency, which is true—and by and large, I believe it is healthy. There is action and reaction in American politics; and the people elected Barack Obama and his Democrats in 2008; and last November’s elections marked the first step in throwing them out of office . . . two years later.

Twelfth, you ask whether “some form of authoritarianism would be great for India and less frequent elections [would] be good for America.” I do not favor any form of authoritarianism, period. Also, I believe America’s political system is not perfect, but I would not change it.

Lastly, the foregoing are my responses. They may in turn elicit additional comments by you; and with great respect, my time is limited and hence additional detailed responses may not be possible. I am sure you understand.

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12 04 2011
Raj

Dear Sir,

I am very grateful for your reply.

And I used the French e-mail address to aid me in my study of the French language. I’m actually studying in Singapore right now. So how do I find politics in Singapore?

Great actually, there are going to be elections this year but everyone one knows the People’s Action Party (PAP) is going to win and the opposition, as always, will win, at the best four seats in Parliament. Singapore has a lot of restrictive laws to protests, free speech and fierce anti-libel laws used by government members to sue the opposition to bankruptcy. But when it comes to governance (hence the great comment even though its boring and authoritarian) , I find that the government has huge reserves (of money kind of like how China is sitting on trillions of dollars but smaller at a few hundred billion, I think), a very well run public service and great long-term planning. Long term planning as in medisave (the government top ups individual accounts), major infrastructure investments, coherent foreign policy and effective management of government spending.

Even though, the people here like to address Singapore as a republic, I would think it is quite hard to consider a country in which there is no real opposition and where you can only protest in a designated speaker’s corner with a police permit (issued after having approved the contents of your speech) as a real democracy.

But during the General election period (now), there is an ongoing debate about the value of the opposition and why Western style (read: American) ‘confrontational politics’ is bad for Singapore. The Singapore government cites the near shutdown of US government due to the budget crises and America’s piling debt as reasons why the opposition is a curse and the effective one-party rule should be maintained.

Which makes me wonder why authoritarian nations (especially Asian ones)are more fiscally prudent. Japan is sinking in debt but both Singapore, Hong Kong and China and the oil-rich states sit on huge amounts of reserves. Europe’s, America’s and India’s governments just seem very unable/helpless to control their debt levels. In the US, EU and India, the unions hold much power whereas in Singapore (also China) the government crushes non-sanctioned union protests and locks up activists. So, the retirement age in Singapore was raised by two years and government pension was banned without much of the mess you would see in the three places when the state’s financial health depended on it. Also, hiring and firing under-performing teachers and bureaucrats are much easier in Singapore. I can’t imagine entrenched bureaucratic privileges being so easily discarded in democracies.

Then about the Putin comment, I was just opposing a US intervention that’s all. I do see a highly corrupt and opaque Russia as being a damage unto itself and the world. But what I am actually thinking about now is not Stalinist or Maoist authoritarianism but what’s loosely referred to as the ‘Beijing consensus’ in which people sacrifice some personal freedoms in exchange for better economic prospects – in some ways a ‘new-age’ authoritarianism.

And regarding India, I believe you are right in pointing out to India’s ethic and religious diversity as well as the impoverished population. Principally, the caste system, the Hindu-Muslim rivalry and the ethno-linguistic rivalry have all affected India. But the government has a prominent role in it, in China or Singapore, religious disharmony is silenced rather brutally by house arrests, extended detainment. Whereas in India, a measure to introduce a common language (Hindi) as the sole national language failed spectacularly, in China, the government effectively crushed pro-Cantonese and other activists to introduce Mandarin as a compulsory language. Needless to say, a common language has many advantages. And I would accuse India’s politicians of playing vote-bank politics and heightening tensions (which is ever so typical in a democracy like Europe’s anti-Roma and anti-Muslim parties).

Then, I note that part of India’s impoverishment is due to the fact that the economy was closed until the early 1990s when the IMF and World Bank kind of forced open market reforms (undemocratic but ultimately good). The government of India had apparently been too concerned with the income gap and the wealth redistribution that it almost completely ignored wealth creation, analogous to what happed in post World War II Great Britain where in the Socialist but democratic governments succeeded in almost completely bringing the Empire Island to its knees when Britain also came to be known as the ‘sick man’ of Europe. There were definitely such disastrous episodes in China as well but the realisation of it created a ferocious desire for wealth and launched an extensive array of reforms not seen in Asia since the Meiji Restoration in Japan. In India, the government finds socialism hard to let go and continues to spend a vast amount of money on largely ineffective policies.

Then as far as planning goes, Soviet style central planning maybe kind of unthinkable in today’s complex economies. But as mentioned in the Singapore government’s case, a coherent foreign policy, good long-term budgeting and urban planning is necessary. And well, I notice that in India (or for that matter most democracies), things just don’t get done speedily. A major highway or infrastructure project will take years to be authorized by environmental agencies, to complete acquisition of land et cetera. Whereas in China or Singapore, these problems are kind of minor or non-existent.

And regarding California’s referendums, healthy as it maybe to engage the general public, people do tend to vote against anything that affects them adversely in the short term eventhough in the long term it may actually benefit the state. But I suppose limiting an over-bloated state is necessary as you said.

And I agree with your point of voters being able to see through the veil. But the damage as already been done. Some politicians just want to stay there for one term and make as much money as they can (East of the Balkans) or please corporations or unions which will help them in their retirement (west of the Balkans). In the US, a fairly well educated public is a good check against self serving politicians but what of countries with lower public education (like India), would democracy be the best system as I notice politicians frequently taking advantage of the public’s simple trust and faith and sell all kinds of false promises.

Then, I must say, I have been waiting for the Communist regime in China to fall for such a long time owing to their aggressive stance against almost all of their neighbours except North Korea. But being in East Asia tells me eventhough there maybe some dissent, the people here are overwhelmingly conservative politically and would rather spend their effort in wealth generation.

Also, regarding anti-incumbency, shouldn’t good custodians of the state be able to last multiple terms for a job well done?

Thank you very much again for your reply.

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12 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again for your thoughtful comments, Raj.

I would simply add regarding anti-incumbency—in response to your question, “shouldn’t good custodians of the state be able to last multiple terms for a job well done?”—that American senators and congresspersons tend to have long terms of office. The voters generally vote in favor of those who serve them directly, but vote against national parties and national office holders, and change them with regularity, as you noted in your first set of comments.

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13 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The American Political System Is Wonderful

The American people are wiser than they are given credit for—certainly by those people in other countries—and our political system works more brilliantly than most people believe it does.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

We elected Barack Obama, whom lots of Americans hate today; and before him, we elected George W. Bush whom people hated too. He was preceded by Bill Clinton, whom people tried to impeach and remove from the presidency. Lyndon Johnson was hated too, and he was followed by Richard Nixon who was hated and forced to resign.

Clearly, our political system has “checks and balances,” and we elect presidents and then throw them out of office. Lyndon Johnson could not run for reelection; and it is not inconceivable that the same thing might happen to Barack Obama between now and next year’s elections.

We veer from conservatism to liberalism, and then back again. Reaganism was followed by Bill Clinton’s liberalism, which was followed by George W. Bush’s conservatism . . . and then by Obama’s liberalism.

MSNBC has reported:

In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry that will air on Tuesday’s show, President Barack Obama said that if he were Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner right now, he would resign in the wake of the scandal in which Weiner admitted to sending explicit photos of himself to women online.

“I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign,’’ Obama told Curry.

See http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43385259/ns/today-today_news; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1635 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1636 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1643 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1644

As with this issue and so many others, Obama is America’s “Hamlet” on the Potomac. He is betwixt and between, unable to do what is right. He should be calling for Weiner’s immediate resignation in no uncertain terms on moral grounds, just as Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer—the Democrats’ No. 1 and 2 leaders in the House—and other party leaders have done.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2003475/Anthony-Weiner-fate-decided-Democrats-Huma-Abedin-flies-in.html (“‘You MUST go': Pelosi repeats calls for Weiner’s resignation as wife flies in to confront errant husband”)

Instead, Obama equivocates. We can only assume that if he finds himself in a comparable or similar situation, he will do the honorable thing and resign like Richard Nixon did. Indeed, at some point in the future, he may be tested. Also, there is the possibility that Obama might not run for reelection, just as Lyndon Johnson decided during the Vietnam War.

Obama is in the midst of four wars, and an economic depression; and it is not beyond the pale to believe that he is reviewing internal polling that paints a bleak picture of the campaign ahead—or other factors might influence his decision not to run. If so, he will likely retreat to either Chicago or Hawaii prior to January of 2013, to write his memoirs and work full time on his golf scores and presidential library.

See, e.g., http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/06/13/Commentary-Half-pregnant-strategy/UPI-97361307964099/ (“Today, President Obama has got the United States involved in four wars: Afghanistan, Iraq (where U.S. troops are still being killed), Libya and Yemen (where the confusion of a civil war gave U.S. drones open skies to target al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula)”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1637 (“CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise”)

Indeed, the Associated Press has reported:

President Barack Obama says his wife and daughters aren’t “invested” in him being president and would have been fine had he decided against running for re-election. But he says they believe in what he’s doing for the country.

Asked about his family’s reaction to his wanting another term, Obama said: “Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, `You know, guys, I want to do something different,’ They’d be fine. They’re not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president.”

He says first lady Michelle Obama would be the first one to encourage him to do something “a little less stressful” if she no longer thought that what they were doing was worthwhile for the country.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110614/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_family_1 (“Obama: My family would be fine with just 1 term”)

Stay tuned, as the American saga continues . . .

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16 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

When A Giant Named Senator Bill Walked Through Washington

William Proxmire

Having “trashed” our great nation’s capital and its politicians in the article above, and in many other writings that appear at this blog, I found it refreshing to reread what I wrote in January of 2006, as a tribute to former U.S. Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin. The article is not important because I wrote it, but rather because of the man whom it described.

I believe its contents are important enough to be read and reread by those who are interested in American government and politics at their best, devoid of the anger and hatreds that seem to dominate and mar public discourse today. Proxmire stood out, and he was special in an age when most politicians “blend in” or disappear, or are remembered for their rancor or petty partisan ways.

A few brief excerpts are worth mentioning, which hopefully will entice you to read more:

The likes of Bill Proxmire seldom pass through Washington—bringing to mind the honesty and decency of Abe Lincoln.

. . .

I probably learned more about the decency of American politics from Proxmire than anyone else. Even though he was a Democrat, he worked with legislators on both sides of the aisle, bringing civility and forging bipartisan alliances that got things done. He was at the opposite end of the spectrum from the partisan fire-eaters of today, who seem never to have met a member of the other party whom they truly like or respect.

. . .

In his last two campaigns of 1976 and 1982, it is reported that he refused to take any campaign contributions and spent less than $200 on each, out of his own pocket, to cover the costs of filing for reelection.

. . .

He championed the “little guy” on Capitol Hill, which is overrun by high-paid lobbyists representing every conceivable type of special interest.

. . .

[H]e was not the product of pollsters or teams of slick advisers; and he was not a demagogue like so many of today’s politicians.

I came to Capitol Hill as a Democrat, and later became a Republican and then an Independent. In many ways, Proxmire was the quintessential independent who marched to a different drummer.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/AGiantHasLeftUs.pdf; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Proxmire and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/

Lastly, to be totally accurate, Senator Bill seldom “walked through Washington.” He literally jogged to work, and was always on the move. :-)

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13 08 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan-hunter

Yesterday I was hiking next to the Pacific Ocean, and I came across two young deer grazing in a field 15 feet or so away from me, and I stood there watching them spellbound for quite a while. They were majestic.

I saw a deer by the side of the road today as I was driving to where I hike, and it had been killed by a car, which was sad.

I have fished for many years, since I was a kid, but I remember being shocked when I saw a dead deer in the back of a pickup truck in Virginia one day, which had been killed by a hunter.

I have followed herds of deer with my camera in the lovely Wicklow Mountains of Ireland, south of Dublin, but I do not view killing them as a sport or being macho. In fact, hunters like Ryan may lack one or more cojones and be too stupid to realize it.

Only a coward pulls a trigger from some distance away and kills a deer. Hunters should be the hunted, quite literally.

If Mitt Romney was not at the head of the GOP ticket, I would vote against Ryan. Imagine being proud of killing the animal in the photo above.

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3 01 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

The GOP Saw The “Fiscal Cliff” Looming, And Drove Over It—Into A Fiscal Abyss

Fiscal Cliff

The “deal” is done, and Americans will suffer because of it.

See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/01/fiscal-cliff-deal-passed-_n_2394022.html (“Fiscal Cliff Deal Passed By Congress After Republicans Cave“); see also http://thehill.com/homenews/house/275295-boehner-tells-gop-hes-done-with-one-on-one-obama-talks (“Boehner tells GOP he’s through negotiating one-on-one with Obama”) and http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/01/02/inside-obamas-kailua-beach-vacation-homes (“Obama’s Hawaii vacation has cost taxpayers $7 million, due to the costs of flying Air Force One and an extensive security operation”)

After working on and with Capitol Hill for much of my adult life, I concluded many years ago that the Democrats are “evil” and the Republicans are “Neanderthals,” which is why I have been an Independent for approximately 25 years—having first been a Democrat, and then a Republican.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/

The latest madness in Washington is that the “loyal opposition,” the GOP, caved into Barack Obama to avoid the so-called “Fiscal Cliff,” and instead they drove over it and into a fiscal abyss of unknown depths. Now, the Republicans are fighting among themselves; and the only clear victors are Obama and his Democrats, who completely routed the hapless Republicans as they did in the 2010 lame duck session of Congress.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-1190 (“The Great Republican Ascendancy Of 2010 Lasted Less Than Two Months!”)

The Republicans are pathetic, which is among the many reasons why they do not control the White House today. African-Americans and Hispanics turned out in record numbers to reelect Obama, while large numbers of Republicans did not vote. Thus, they are getting what they deserve, with much worse coming, while Americans will suffer enormously because of their ineptitude, cowardice, and spinelessness.

See http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2012/president/2012/12/23/the-story-behind-mitt-romney-loss-the-presidential-campaign-president-obama/2QWkUB9pJgVIi1mAcIhQjL/story.html (“The story behind Mitt Romney’s loss in the presidential campaign to President Obama”)

. . .

As I have written in the article above, the economic tsunami continues its relentless and unforgiving advance globally, and will not run its course until the end of this decade at the earliest.

Hold on tight. Things will get much worse.

The human suffering will be unfathomable—in Europe, the United States, and globally. Governments are not part of the solution; they contribute to the problems, intensify them, and move us closer to the financial abyss.

Today, politics on both sides of the Atlantic is “fractured,” to say the least. While U.S. politicians and their counterparts in other countries have been trying to convince their electorates that they have the answers, they are simply holding out false hopes that real solutions are at hand.

See, e.g., http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/20601722/1-in-3-illinoisans-lives-in-or-near-poverty-level-report (In The Land of Lincoln—and Obama—1 in 3 Near Poverty)

. . .

There are at least three theories that are operating with respect to Germany’s future—which bears on the future of Europe: (1) the rest of the Eurozone will take down the German economy; (2) Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be able to save the other countries, and Germans will retreat economically to “fortress Germany” and abandon the euro; and (3) Germans will achieve what they did not in World War II, namely to become the “masters of Europe.”

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1732 (“Will The Euro Crisis Will Give Germany The Empire It Has Always Dreamed Of?”)

Indeed, it must be noted:

(1) “Germany’s Bundesbank is to repatriate gold reserves held abroad to tighten control and combat currency crises in the future, pulling a chunk of its holdings from New York and all its bullion from Paris.”

(2) “Many analysts say the world is moving towards a de facto gold standard again as China, Russia and other reserve powers boost their holdings to diversify out of dollars and euros.”

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/gold/9804444/Bundesbank-to-pull-gold-from-New-York-and-Paris-in-watershed-moment.html (“Bundesbank to pull gold from New York and Paris in watershed moment“); see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9789086/Brussels-fears-poverty-trap-for-half-of-Europe-as-North-South-gap-widens.html (“Brussels fears ‘poverty trap’ for half of Europe as North-South gap widens“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9809723/SandP-sees-deeper-house-price-falls-in-eurozone-as-slump-engulfs-core.html (“S&P sees deeper house price falls in eurozone as slump engulfs core”—”France’s house . . . sales collapsed by 24pc in September from a year ago, the usual precursor of price capitulation by sellers”)

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13 02 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Google Is “Pimping” For Obama!

Google pimps for Obama

What appears directly above is a “screenshot” of a Google search page today—replete with an “ad” for Barack Obama; an American flag, just as he is trying to “gut” our military; and a link to another Web page touting him.

See https://plus.google.com/events/ck7p5i47e2pfqlq4bkk6lo8sml8 (“State of the Union: Fireside Hangout with President Obama”)

It is crystal clear that Google is “pimping” for Obama, which is outrageous and a travesty. Republicans, Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and other political factions in the United States deserve and must demand equal time . . . and/or boycott Google+.

More and more Americans are tuning out Obama. Most of them refused to watch his State of the Union speech to Congress last night; and they change to another channel when his image comes on the TV screen, or that of Moochie aka Michelle “Marie Antoinette” Obama.

See http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/02/obamas-state-of-the-union-lowestrated-since-156993.html (“Obama’s State of the Union lowest-rated since [Bill Clinton’s final State of the Union address in] 2000“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1172 (Michelle Obama: “Let Them Eat Cake!”)

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13 06 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

ANN COULTER: IF THE GOP IS THIS STUPID, IT DESERVES TO DIE

Truer words were never written. Indeed, Coulter opines:

Democrats terrify Hispanics into thinking they’ll be lynched if they vote for Republicans, and then turn around and taunt Republicans for not winning a majority of the Hispanic vote.

This line of attack has real resonance with our stupidest Republicans. (Proposed Republican primary targets: Sens. Kelly Ayotte, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio.) Which explains why Republicans are devoting all their energy to slightly increasing their share of the Hispanic vote while alienating everyone else in America.

It must be fun for liberals to manipulate Republicans into focusing on hopeless causes. Why don’t Democrats waste their time trying to win the votes of gun owners?

As journalist Steve Sailer recently pointed out, the Hispanic vote terrifying Republicans isn’t that big. It actually declined in 2012. The Census Bureau finally released the real voter turnout numbers from the last election, and the Hispanic vote came in at only 8.4 percent of the electorate—not the 10 percent claimed by the pro-amnesty crowd.

The sleeping giant of the last election wasn’t Hispanics; it was elderly black women, terrified of media claims that Republicans were trying to suppress the black vote and determined to keep the first African-American president in the White House.

Contrary to everyone’s expectations, 10 percent more blacks voted in 2012 compared to 2008, even beating white voters, the usual turnout champions. Eligible black voters turned out at rate of 66.2 percent, compared to 64.1 percent of eligible white voters. Only 48 percent of all eligible Hispanic voters went to the polls.

No one saw this coming, which is probably why Gallup had Romney up by 5 points before Hurricane Sandy hit, and up by 1 point in its last pre-election poll after the hurricane. Only two groups voted in larger numbers in 2012 compared to 2008: blacks aged 45-64, and blacks over the age of 65—mostly elderly black women.

In raw numbers, nearly twice as many blacks voted as Hispanics, and nine times as many whites voted as Hispanics. (Ninety-eight million whites, 18 million blacks and 11 million Hispanics.)

So, naturally, the Republican Party’s entire battle plan going forward is to win slightly more votes from 8.4 percent of the electorate by giving them something they don’t want.

As Byron York has shown, even if Mitt Romney had won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, he still would have lost. No Republican presidential candidate in at least 50 years has won even half of the Hispanic vote.

In the presidential election immediately after Reagan signed an amnesty bill in 1986, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote actually declined from 37 percent to 30 percent — and that was in a landslide election for the GOP. Combined, the two Bush presidents averaged 32.5 percent of the Hispanic vote — and they have Hispanics in their family Christmas cards.

John McCain, the nation’s leading amnesty proponent, won only 31 percent of the Hispanic vote, not much more than anti-amnesty Romney’s 27 percent.
Amnesty is a gift to employers, not employees.

The (pro-amnesty) Pew Research Hispanic Center has produced poll after poll showing that Hispanics don’t care about amnesty. In a poll last fall, Hispanic voters said they cared more about education, jobs and health care than immigration. They even care more about the federal budget deficit than immigration! (To put that in perspective, the next item on their list of concerns was “scratchy towels.”)

Also, note that Pew asked about “immigration,” not “amnesty.” Those Hispanics who said they cared about immigration might care about it the way I care about it — by supporting a fence and E-Verify.

Who convinced Republicans that Hispanic wages aren’t low enough and what they really need is an influx of low-wage workers competing for their jobs?

Maybe the greedy businessmen now running the Republican Party should talk with their Hispanic maids sometime. Ask Juanita if she’d like to have seven new immigrants competing with her for the opportunity to clean other people’s houses, so that her wages can be dropped from $20 an hour to $10 an hour.

A wise Latina, A.J. Delgado, recently explained on Mediaite.com why amnesty won’t win Republicans the Hispanic vote — even if they get credit for it. Her very first argument was: “Latinos will resent the added competition for jobs.”

But rich businessmen don’t care. Big Republican donors — and their campaign consultants — just want to make money. They don’t care about Hispanics, and they certainly don’t care what happens to the country. If the country is hurt, I don’t care, as long as I am doing better! This is the very definition of treason.

Hispanic voters are a small portion of the electorate. They don’t want amnesty, and they’re hopeless Democrats. So Republicans have decided the path to victory is to flood the country with lots more of them!

It’s as if Republicans convinced Democrats to fixate on banning birth control to win more pro-life voters. This would be great for Republicans because Democrats will never win a majority of pro-life voters, and about as many pro-lifers care about birth control as Hispanics care about amnesty.

But that still wouldn’t be as idiotic as what Republicans are doing because, according to Gallup, pro-lifers are nearly half of the electorate. Hispanics are only 8.4 percent of the electorate.

And it still wouldn’t be as stupid as the GOP pushing amnesty, because banning birth control wouldn’t create millions more voters who consistently vote against the Democrats.

Listening to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus burble a few weeks ago on “Fox News Sunday” about how amnesty is going to push the Republicans to new electoral heights, one is reminded of Democratic pollster Pat Caddell’s reason for refusing to become a Republican: No matter how enraged he gets at Democratic corruption, he says he can’t bear to join such a stupid party as the GOP.

See http://www.humanevents.com/2013/06/12/coulter-if-the-gop-is-this-stupid-it-deserves-to-die/

As I have written: “Once again, Democrats are ‘evil,’ and Republicans are ‘Neanderthals.’”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-2484 (see also the article above, as well as the other comments beneath it)

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14 08 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

The Clintons: Corrupt As Always, But Better Than Obama

Writing for the UK’s Telegraph—in an article entitled, “The New York Times takes down the Clinton Foundation[, which] could be devastating for Bill and Hillary”—Dr. Tim Stanley has observed:

Is the New York Times being guest edited by Rush Limbaugh? Today it runs with a fascinating takedown of the Clinton Foundation – that vast vanity project that conservatives are wary of criticising for being seen to attack a body that tries to do good. But the liberal NYT has no such scruples. The killer quote is this:

For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.

Over a year ago Bill Clinton met with some aides and lawyers to review the Foundation’s progress and concluded that it was a mess. . . . But what complicated this review—what made its findings more politically devastating—is that the Clinton Foundation has become about more than just Bill. Now both daughter Chelsea and wife, and likely presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton have taken on major roles and, in the words of the NYT “efforts to insulate the foundation from potential conflicts have highlighted just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs Clinton’s political future.” Oh, they’re entangled alright.

The NYT runs the scoop in its usual balanced, inoffensive way – but the problem jumps right off the page. The Clintons have never been able to separate the impulses to help others and to help themselves, turning noble philanthropic ventures into glitzy, costly promos for some future campaign (can you remember a time in human history when a Clinton wasn’t running for office?). And their “Ain’t I Great?!” ethos attracts the rich and powerful with such naked abandon that it ends up compromising whatever moral crusade they happen to have endorsed that month. That the Clinton Global Initiative is alleged to have bought Natalie Portman a first-class ticket for her and her dog to attend an event in 2009 is the tip of the iceberg. More troubling is that businessmen have been able to expand the profile of their companies by working generously alongside the Clinton Foundation.

. . .

The cynical might infer from the NYT piece that the Clintons are willing to sell themselves, their image, and even their Foundation’s reputation in exchange for money to finance their personal projects. In Bill’s case, saving the world. In Hillary’s case, maybe, running for president.

It’s nothing new to report that there’s an unhealthy relationship in America between money and politics, but it’s there all the same. While the little people are getting hit with Obamacare, high taxes and joblessness, a class of businessmen enjoys ready access to politicians of both Left and Right that poses troubling questions for how the republic can continue to call itself a democracy so long as it functions as an aristocracy of the monied. Part of the reason why America’s elites get away with it is becuase they employ such fantastic salesmen. For too long now, Bill Clinton has pitched himself, almost without question, as a homespun populist: the Boy from Hope. The reality is that this is a man who—in May 1993—prevented other planes from landing at LAX for 90 minues while he got a haircut from a Beverley Hills hairdresser aboard Air Force One. The Clintons are populists in the same way that Barack Obama is a Nobel prize winner. Oh, wait…

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100231113/the-new-york-times-takes-down-the-clinton-foundation-this-could-be-devastating-for-bill-and-hillary/; see also http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/us/politics/unease-at-clinton-foundation-over-finances-and-ambitions.html

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8 01 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Record-High 42 Percent Of Americans Identify As Independents

According to the latest Gallup polling:

Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Republican identification fell to 25%, the lowest over that time span. At 31%, Democratic identification is unchanged from the last four years but down from 36% in 2008.

Gallup Independents Graph

The results are based on more than 18,000 interviews with Americans from 13 separate Gallup multiple-day polls conducted in 2013.

In each of the last three years, at least 40% of Americans have identified as independents. These are also the only years in Gallup’s records that the percentage of independents has reached that level.

Americans’ increasing shift to independent status has come more at the expense of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. Republican identification peaked at 34% in 2004, the year George W. Bush won a second term in office. Since then, it has fallen nine percentage points, with most of that decline coming during Bush’s troubled second term. When he left office, Republican identification was down to 28%. It has declined or stagnated since then, improving only slightly to 29% in 2010, the year Republicans “shellacked” Democrats in the midterm elections.

Not since 1983, when Gallup was still conducting interviews face to face, has a lower percentage of Americans, 24%, identified as Republicans than is the case now. That year, President Ronald Reagan remained unpopular as the economy struggled to emerge from recession. By the following year, amid an improving economy and re-election for the increasingly popular incumbent president, Republican identification jumped to 30%, a level generally maintained until 2007.

Democratic identification has also declined in recent years, falling five points from its recent high of 36% in 2008, the year President Barack Obama was elected. The current 31% of Americans identifying as Democrats matches the lowest annual average in the last 25 years.

Fourth Quarter Surge in Independence

The percentage of Americans identifying as independents grew over the course of 2013, surging to 46% in the fourth quarter. That coincided with the partial government shutdown in October and the problematic rollout of major provisions of the healthcare law, commonly known as “Obamacare.”

2nd Gallup Independents Graph

The 46% independent identification in the fourth quarter is a full three percentage points higher than Gallup has measured in any quarter during its telephone polling era.

Democrats Maintain Edge in Party Identification

Democrats maintain their six-point edge in party identification when independents’ “partisan leanings” are taken into account. In addition to the 31% of Americans who identify as Democrats, another 16% initially say they are independents but when probed say they lean to the Democratic Party. An equivalent percentage, 16%, say they are independent but lean to the Republican Party, on top of the 25% of Americans identifying as Republicans. All told, then, 47% of Americans identify as Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party, and 41% identify as Republicans or lean to the Republican Party.

Democrats have held at least a nominal advantage on this measure of party affiliation in all but three years since Gallup began asking the “partisan lean” follow-up in 1991. During this time, Democrats’ advantage has been as high as 12 points, in 2008. However, that lead virtually disappeared by 2010, although Democrats have re-established an edge in the last two years.

3rd Gallup Indepedents Graph

Implications

Americans are increasingly declaring independence from the political parties. It is not uncommon for the percentage of independents to rise in a non-election year, as 2013 was. Still, the general trend in recent years, including the 2012 election year, has been toward greater percentages of Americans identifying with neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party, although most still admit to leaning toward one of the parties.

The rise in political independence is likely an outgrowth of Americans’ record or near-record negative views of the two major U.S. parties, of Congress, and their low level of trust in government more generally.

The increased independence adds a greater level of unpredictability to this year’s congressional midterm elections. Because U.S. voters are less anchored to the parties than ever before, it’s not clear what kind of appeals may be most effective to winning votes. But with Americans increasingly eschewing party labels for themselves, candidates who are less closely aligned to their party or its prevailing doctrine may benefit.

See http://www.gallup.com/poll/166763/record-high-americans-identify-independents.aspx?ref=image

As I concluded in the article above:

Some day in the not too distant future, we will see an Independent president; and both houses of Congress will have more and more Independents who are proud to identify themselves as such. In turn, this may draw both the Republican and Democrat parties toward the center, as they vie for the support of voters, and jettison the extremist elements in their ranks.

First, we witnessed a turning away from the GOP because of Bush, the war in Iraq and the economy. Next, we may witness the abandonment of Obama and the Dems. At some point, there will be a breakdown of our two-party political system; and [Obamacare] may have served as an important stepping stone toward achieving that result, and thrusting Independents into the forefront of American politics.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/; but see http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/01/08/record-numbers-are-identifying-as-independents-why-it-doesnt-really-matter/

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25 02 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

American Leadership Is Missing

The New York Sun has an editorial that is worth reading, entitled “The American Option”:

It’s one of the most consarned things we’ve ever seen. The revolution in Ukraine is being levied by a citizenry desperate to move out of the orbit of Russia and to become part of the European Union. Yet on the other side of Europe a movement is building for Great Britain to exit the Europe Union and return to English ideas of liberty. Why in the name of George Washington isn’t any American leader—the President, the Secretary of State, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the leader of the opposition—why isn’t someone making the case for an American option?

These columns have been banging on this drum for years now, most recently in May, when we read a headline in the London Financial Times that said: “Obama warns Cameron that Britain would lose influence in the US if it pulls out of EU.” Mr. Obama was then publicly advising Prime Minister Cameron to try to “fix what’s broken” in the European Union rather than pull out. That amounted, we noted in our editorial, to an intervention by Mr. Obama into Britain’s domestic political situation.

That was a reference to the United Kingdom Independence Party that has been challenging Mr. Cameron’s government over Europe. The party forced Mr. Cameron to promise, in January 2013, that if the Conservatives won the next election, a referendum would be held on whether Britain should stay in the European Union. The next election is now little more than a year off, so the question gets hotter, particularly since almost every poll taken in the past year has found more people favored a British exit, or “Brixit,” as it has come to be known. Just the other week the Guardian described the referendum with the word “time bomb.”

Why should it be America’s policy to oppose this? Why should the maundering socialists of Europe be the only option for countries ambitious of freedom? Has America no longer anything—no combination of trade relationships, common language, shared heritage of liberty—to offer in the way of a new pact cementing the special relationship? Can we not think of a way to invite into such a pact other countries who share our values, maybe someday even a free Ukraine that has been tested by time and revolution?

This idea has been met with some derision. . . . The idea that in the Era of Obama, with America in retreat and with our economy hobbled by a dysfunctional system of justice and a hectoring intelligentsia . . . well, let us just say that . . . the American idea as it is now practiced would be a hard sell in Europe.

For our part, we would respond that it’s a question of leadership. Right now, our president is being urged on nearly every quarter to make threats and bluster in respect of Kiev that he has no intention of keeping. He’s like an “oh, dear” in the headlights. He couldn’t even raise a political mandate for an attack on Syria in the midst of its massacre of its own people. How is he going to make a credible threat in the back yard of the Kremlin? The Republicans themselves are hobbled by a rift between the neo-conservative heroes of the Cold War and the libertarian wing that is wary of war and expeditions.

Well, here is an opportunity for both of them. While the Democrats wage their campaign to reduce the Army of the United States to pre-World War II levels, let us engage with the ideas of liberty. Surely something can be put together that is better for the aspiring Ukrainians than the dirigisme of Brussels. Surely the Britons who are polling so consistently that they want out of the trap of the European Union need not be met with opposition from the White House. Surely America can find something to offer other than hollow threats or paeans to retreat. We’d like to think it’s a job that could unite such champions as Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and Paul Gigot.

See http://www.nysun.com/editorials/the-american-option/88603/ (emphasis added)

This is an excellent editorial. However, it flies in the face of everything that Barack Obama is and stands for.

He was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, and only came to the American mainland when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles. He does not believe in American exceptionalism. Rather, he believes in “global exceptionalism,” and the notion of a pan-global government, perhaps under the leadership of the United Nations.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

After World War II, the United States achieved what this editorial is suggesting . . . and much of the world flourished. Obama is going in the opposite direction. He is not the American leader to achieve this. Paul Ryan is not either. After all, he could not even carry his own State for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Ironically, Romney might be the American leader whose beliefs and accomplishments come closest to emulating what this editorial is suggesting.

According to the latest Gallup polling: “Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago.”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-3244 (see also the article itself, as well as the other comments beneath it)

Americans are thirsty for the type of leadership that this editorial suggests, but they are not finding it. And there is no question that the revolution in Ukraine presents considerable opportunities; the United States has a dysfunctional system of justice; Obama and his Democrats are waging their campaign to weaken our military; the EU has severe problems; the brutal Putin’s Russia is teetering economically; and China is challenging American leadership globally.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3627 (“Ukraine Is On the Verge Of War And Putin Is To Blame”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/#comment-3207 (“Barack Obama Is Gutting Our Military Forces, Which Will Affect Our National Security For Decades To Come”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-3516 (“The Eurozone Crisis Is Just Getting Started”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3541 (“How Long Can Killer Putin Figure Skate While The Ice Beneath Him Melts?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-3651 (“US v China: Is This The New Cold War?”)

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6 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

As Long As A Democrat Sits In The White House, America Will Become A Much More Dangerous Place

This is the conclusion of conservative pundit Ann Coulter:

It’s pointless to pay attention to foreign policy when a Democrat is president, unless you enjoy having your stomach in a knot. As long as a Democrat sits in the White House, America will be repeatedly humiliated, the world will become a much more dangerous place—and there’s absolutely nothing anybody can do about it. (Though this information might come in handy when voting for president, America!)

The following stroll down memory lane is but the briefest of summaries. . . . John F. Kennedy was in the White House for less than three years and, if you think he screwed a lot of hookers, just look what he did to our foreign policy.

Six months after becoming president, JFK had his calamitous meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna—a meeting The New York Times described as “one of the more self-destructive American actions of the Cold War, and one that contributed to the most dangerous crisis of the nuclear age.” (The Times admitted that a half-century later. At the time, the Newspaper of Record lied about the meeting.)

For two days, Khrushchev batted Kennedy around, leaving the president’s own advisers white-faced and shaken. Kennedy’s Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze called the meeting “just a disaster.”

Khrushchev was delighted to discover that the U.S. president was so “weak.” A Russian aide said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.”

Seeing he was dealing with a naif, Khrushchev promptly sent missiles to Cuba. The Kennedy Myth Machine has somehow turned JFK’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis into a brilliant foreign policy coup. The truth is: (1) Russia would never have dared move missiles to Cuba had Khrushchev not realized that JFK was a nincompoop; and (2) it wasn’t a victory.

In exchange for Russia’s laughably empty threats about Cuba, JFK removed our missiles from Turkey—a major retreat. As Khrushchev put it in his memoirs: “It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba—for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. We ended up getting exactly what we’d wanted all along, security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey.”

– LBJ:

Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, famously escalated the war in Vietnam simply to prove that the Democrats could be trusted with national security.

As historian David Halberstam describes it, LBJ “would talk to his closest political aides about the McCarthy days, of how Truman lost China and then the Congress and the White House and how, by God, Johnson was not going to be the president who lost Vietnam and then the Congress and the White House.”

LBJ’s incompetent handling of that war allowed liberals to spend the next half-century denouncing every use of American military force as “another Vietnam.”

– CARTER:

Jimmy Carter warned Americans about their “inordinate fear of communism”. . . .

His most inspired strategic move was to abandon the Shah of Iran, a loyal U.S. ally, which gave rise to the global Islamofascist movement we’re still dealing with today. By allowing the Shah to be overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1979, Carter handed Islamic crazies their first state.

Before the end of the year, the Islamic lunatics had taken 52 Americans hostage in Tehran, where they remained for 444 days.

The hostages were released only minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration for reasons succinctly captured in a Jeff MacNelly cartoon. It shows Khomeini reading a telegram aloud: “It’s from Ronald Reagan. It must be about one of the Americans in the Den of Spies, but I don’t recognize the name. It says ‘Remember Hiroshima.’”

– CLINTON:

Bill Clinton’s masterful handling of foreign policy was such a catastrophe that he had to deploy his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, to steal classified documents from the National Archives in 2003 to avoid their discovery by the 9/11 commission.

Twice, when Clinton was president, Sudan had offered to turn over bin Laden to the U.S. But, unfortunately, these offers came in early 1996 when Clinton was busy ejaculating on White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton rebuffed Sudan’s offers.

According to Michael Scheuer, who ran the bin Laden unit at the CIA for many years, Clinton was given eight to 10 chances to kill or capture bin Laden but refused to act, despite bin Laden’s having murdered hundreds of Americans in terrorist attacks around the world. Would that one of those opportunities had arisen on the day of Clinton’s scheduled impeachment! Instead of pointlessly bombing Iraq, he might have finally taken out bin Laden.

– OBAMA:

When Obama took office, al Qaida had been routed in Iraq—from Fallujah, Sadr City and Basra. Muqtada al-Sadr—the Dr. Phil of Islamofascist radicalism—had waddled off in retreat to Iran. The Iraqis had a democracy, a miracle on the order of flush toilets in Afghanistan.

By Bush’s last year in office, monthly casualties in Iraq were coming in slightly below a weekend with Justin Bieber. In 2008, there were more than three times as many homicides in Chicago as U.S. troop deaths in the Iraq War. (Chicago: 509; Iraq: 155).

On May 30, The Washington Post reported: “CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays (al-Qaida) as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world. . . .” Even hysterics at The New York Times admitted that al-Qaida and other terrorist groups had nearly disappeared from Southeast Asia by 2008.

A few short years into Obama’s presidency—and al-Qaida is back! For purely political reasons, as soon as he became president, Obama removed every last troop from Iraq, despite there being Americans troops deployed in dozens of countries around the world.

In 2004, nearly 100 soldiers, mostly Marines, died in the battle to take Fallujah from al-Qaida. Today, al-Qaida’s black flag flies above Fallujah.

Bush won the war, and Obama gave it back.

Obama couldn’t be bothered with preserving America’s victory in Iraq. He was busy helping to topple a strong American ally in Egypt and a slavish American minion in Libya—in order to install the Muslim Brotherhood in those countries instead. (That didn’t work out so well for U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans murdered in Benghazi.)

So now, another Russian leader is playing cat-and-mouse with an American president—and guess who’s the mouse? Putin has taunted Obama in Iran, in Syria and with Edward Snowden. By now, Obama has become such an object for Putin’s amusement that the fastest way to get the Russians out of Crimea would be for Obama to call on Putin to invade Ukraine.

See http://www.humanevents.com/2014/03/05/crimea-river/ (emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (“John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History”)

However, to be absolutely fair, the Republicans are not blameless either.

We have been through two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the American people are “bone tired” of wars, and rightly so. Our economic and human treasures have been spent in those wars; and we have led when no other country in the world was capable of leading.

I opposed the war in Iraq because, like so many others, I believed Saddam had WMDs that would be used against our brilliant and courageous military forces, like he had used them against Iran and the Kurds. I did not believe the cost was worth it.

In Afghanistan, we should have destroyed the poppy crops from Day One, which give rise to Heroin trafficking that funds the brutal Taliban. What the Taliban have done to women and young girls has been nothing less than savagery.

In the case of Putin, he is an “old school” Stalinist who learned his trade well as a KGB operative. He must be viewed in this context, not as some Westernized Russian democrat, which he is not.

He only understands raw power; and the niceties of diplomacy are a sign of weakness for him. Like Hitler and Stalin before him, he preys on weakness. To him, Barack Obama is a coward, who can be cowed.

Perhaps Putin has misjudged Obama; and finally Obama may rise to the occasion. Certainly, we have the capabilities to do so.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#Chart_by_country_or_organization; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3765 (“The Defining Hour For Barack Obama And His Presidency“)

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