Views on the News

February 5, 2011

Views on the News*

The Ronald Reagan–era concept of the Right is as an integrated whole of foreign-policy, economic, and social conservatism. Conservatism absolutely involves core tenets about economics, about foreign policy, and about the family, and the core social conservative causes, life and marriage, should have the same standing as core economic and national security conservative causes. The recent Republican National Committee chairmanship race, in which candidates worked overtime to prove their social-conservative credentials, the road for a candidate who endorses such an idea will be difficult. Polling of voters who identified with the Tea Party movement suggested they are conservative on social issues, not just on the economy. The Tea Party Movement will no longer vote for scoundrels and no longer accept political betrayal as a way of life, because you get what you tolerate. Sometimes it may be wise to vote for the lesser of two evils, but in general, they will not continue to be enablers to those who betray us. The burden is not on the Tea Party patriots to relax their principles. The burden is on the Republicans to get with the program; give us decent candidates to vote for. They are reasonable and not asking for candidates who can walk on water and feed five thousand with a few fish and a few loaves of bread. All the TEA Party people ask is candidates who they can believe in and are committed to the principles and values the Republican party claim to stand for.

(“Republicans Fear Tea Party Will Be a Spoiler” by Lloyd Marcus dated February 1, 2011 published by The Land of the Free at http://www.thelandofthefree.net/conservativeopinion/2011/02/01/republicans-fear-tea-party-will-be-a-spoiler/

CPAC’s Culture Club” by Kathryn Lopez dated February 1, 2011 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/258516/cpac-s-culture-club-kathryn-jean-lopez )

It is clear why American liberals hate Sarah Palin, because it is obvious why she gets under their skin… the woman is on their minds all the time. Palin has emerged as the spokeswoman of the right — a speaker for all seasons and all situations. The woman is a 2011 phenomenon. She makes news without lifting a finger. Every politician should be so lucky. Can the Palin juggernaut be stopped? The answer is probably not. The Republicans need to use someone to counter the Democrat in the White House. Palin is perfect for this purpose because she is no longer viewed by the smart money as a serious threat to win the Republicans' 2012 nomination. Ironically, Palin's appeal to the television networks as a right-wing spokeswoman has intensified as she ceases to be regarded as a political opponent to Obama. Now he has competition for the microphone in Palin. While the left exults in Obama's resurgence, the left must still contend with Palin, and there is no doubt she is not going away any time soon! Palin has mastered this landscape and run circles around her critics.  In the future, Palin will have endless opportunities to harness her acumen to advance policies and lead a political movement, since she may just become to her era what Reagan was to his.

(“Do Not Underestimate Sarah Palin” by Jon Friedman dated February 2, 2011 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/JonFriedman/sarah-palin/2011/02/02/id/384698

The Mama Grizzly and the Gipper” by Tony Lee dated February 5, 2011 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41605 )

Profit is not only “in the eye of the beholder,” but is also the root source of “American exceptionalism.” China’s economy has been rising because it has been rapidly moving toward a concept that made America the envy of the world, while America has been gradually moving away from that same concept. In The Wealth of Nations, first published in 1776, Adam Smith argued that the interests of society as a whole are best promoted when the profit motive of individuals is allowed to thrive in an economic environment that includes capitalism, the free market, and a minimum of government interference. The founding fathers believed that people are motivated primarily by self-interest and that allowing that motivation to thrive in a conducive economic environment leads to the highest level of prosperity. They viewed the free market as a natural law for the marketplace, which matched their philosophy of natural law applied to politics and society.  Those who favor socialism over capitalism also favor ideology over pragmatism.  In the real world, socialism has never worked because it is just a utopian theory.  It cannot fairly be compared to capitalism, which works in the real world.  Capitalism works because it accounts for human nature; socialism fails because it does not. Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China's economic rise, favored pragmatism over ideology.  In 1978, when he could see that socialism was not working, he began to transform China into a market economy.  It has since evolved into state capitalism, which works because it accounts for human nature. While self-interest is dangerous in politics and may seem selfish in other areas of life, it can benefit society as a whole in economic interactions.  Through capitalism and the free market, self-interest -- in the form of the profit motive -- creates wealth and raises the standard of living. Despite human nature and the proven track record of Smith's principles, America has been moving away from the profit motive.  Increasingly, the government has been embracing socialism and interfering with the free market and this has led to a crumbling American economy. The economy is like a huge and complex puzzle in which each piece must find its own place through the free market.  Government planners in America believe they are smart enough to place the pieces, but they are wrong and they have been putting the pieces in arbitrary places and making a mess of the economic puzzle. Deng understands that the best way to make China the envy of the world was to grow its economy by allowing the profit motive of individuals to thrive, and unfortunately Obama apparently does not understand this same truism.

(“China’s Insight into Human Nature” by Bill Costello dated February 1, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/chinas_insight_into_human_natu.html )


Obama should thank Bush for bequeathing to him a set of defense and foreign policies that, by and large, have been successful, and which, for the most part, he has adopted. Unfortunately, Bush’s most important foreign policy, the so-called “freedom agenda,” is something for which Obama has been decidedly lukewarm, if not ambivalent and dismissive. His ambivalence and indifference have come with a cost: he has damaged America’s international standing and undermined our global strategic interests. Obama assumed that the damage done to relations by George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda” was a mistake that needed to be repaired. In fact, Bush’s push for political liberalization was widely viewed, in Egypt and in the region, as the saving grace of an otherwise bad administration policy. The United States wields tremendous influence worldwide, and people still look to us for leadership. People still see America as a moral exemplar, despite our flaws and our problems, or perhaps because of them: because we candidly acknowledge our errors and our wrongdoing, and we seek to make amends. Bush may have been an imperfect President who made more than his fair share of mistakes; but no one ever doubted that, under his leadership, the United States stood squarely and forthrightly on the side of freedom and opportunity worldwide. Bush realized that liberal democracy is the great alternative to repression and radicalism. What really matters in international politics, not how well people “like” us, but rather, how much they respect and heed us. International politics is not a popularity contest; it’s a test of wills and underlying strength. Of course, the United States should not needlessly antagonize people and countries. However our foreign policy cannot be held hostage to the global opinion polls and a desire to be “liked”: Because if we try to appease international public opinion, we will end up being neither liked nor respected, and our country will be less secure and less safe as a result. The secret to Reagan’s success lied in his formulation of explicit public policies and public pronouncements that put America on the side of liberal democracy not just at home, but internationally as well. Reagan’s commitment to liberal democracy at home and overseas was also championed to good effect by George W. Bush. We’re the United States of America and we have a foreign policy that proclaims and champions the revolutionary principles of our founding fathers, and our President must wake up to this reality.

(“It’s time for Obama to champion the freedom agenda” by John R. Guardiano dated January 28, 2011 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/28/its-time-for-obama-to-champion-the-freedom-agenda/ )

The demonstrations and the genuine possibility of a radical Islamic state eventuating in Egypt are in part the result of President Obama's foreign policy being reactive and not proactive, and the United States has placed itself in an era of “driftwood diplomacy.” It is often said that when a person has no core and in its place exists a muddled and uncertain belief system, he tends to float along from one crisis in life to another.  When the leadership of a great country exhibits these traits, the consequences can be catastrophic.  Barack Obama, the product of a lifetime of leftist indoctrination, has as the basic foundation of his muddled and uncertain belief system a conviction that the United States has been the epitome of oppression and arrogance throughout its history.  Beyond that one tenet, Obama grudgingly accepts only crony capitalism, European-style socialism rather than rigid socialist theory, constricted freedom of speech and assembly, and a modified version of self-determination.  All of these are anathema to the hardcore left whence he came, but they are also far from the central rights and liberties as determined by the nation's founders. In short, Barack Obama is a leader without a core.  Thus, he is able to rationalize saying anything as long as the end justifies the means.  An outright lie is not a lie, but "spin."  Obama therefore cannot be trusted by other leaders on the world stage. In a century that has already been beset with economic turmoil, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, unprecedented terrorist activity, and a rapidly changing world order thanks to enormous advances in communication and information, the American people could not have chosen a worse leader: a man with no core who is incapable of understanding the importance of planning for and anticipating events. Obama began his presidency by putting on the hair shirt and groveling before the nations of the world, begging forgiveness of what he perceived to be the sins of America's past.  He did not understand that while other nations may have complained about past U.S. policy, it was more out of a combination of envy and grudging respect, as is normal when dealing with the world's only superpower.  The world since the 1950s has looked to the United States for leadership and stability, not faux humility and a servile attitude. This approach has projected an image of weakness which begets chaos, and chaos is what the international scene has become, whether in the Middle East, Asia, Russia, or Latin America. Obama, determined to become the Muslim world's best friend, has in spite of his efforts unleashed the dogs of war in the Middle East.  He has essentially told Iran that they are free to develop nuclear weapons and to meddle in the affairs of Lebanon with no consequences.  He has given Hamas and the Palestinian Authority a green light to confront Israel, as U.S. policy is now to browbeat and intimidate the Israelis to accept any agreement.  In his Cairo speech in 2009, Obama shamelessly blamed the West for all the problems with Islam and never once used the words "terrorism," "terrorist," or "war on terror."  Earlier in the same year, he met secretly with the Muslim Brotherhood -- the progenitor of Hamas and al-Qaeda -- thus legitimizing the organization with a wink and a nod. Once the riots began in Egypt and other North African countries, regardless of what may have triggered them, the Islamists knew they had nothing to fear from the United States, as the American President and his administration had made no meaningful overtures to the true democratic elements in those countries that were governed by despotic rulers.  Had Obama bothered to study history, he would have realized that this is the same scenario that was repeated throughout the twentieth century, from the initial Russian Revolution in 1917 to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, which opened the door to the current despotic theocracy in Iran, the modern-day wellhead of radical jihad.

·    Beyond the Middle East, Russia and China are more emboldened than ever, openly mocking the United States and its leadership.  China has begun acting as if it were already the preeminent power in the Pacific basin, which is not surprising, considering the abject deference shown by President Obama to the Chinese leadership as he begs the Chinese to continue buying American debt created by the incomprehensible fiscal policies of this administration.  The other nations of the region are modifying their policies to deal with the reality of the vacuum created by U.S. uncertainty.

·    Russia has succeeded in intimidating Obama into abandoning a crucial missile defense system and into allowing Russia a free hand to effectively reconstitute the old Soviet Union while browbeating its neighbors in Europe. 

·    Chávez and his fellow travelers in Latin America have been given a tacit green light to continue their socialist rampage throughout the continent with no fear of any consequences from their neighbor to the north.

Today, American foreign policy is adrift on a sea of uncertainty because there is a dishonest occupant of the White House who has no coherence in his personal beliefs and convictions except that American exceptionalism is a myth.

(“Driftwood Diplomacy” by Steve McCann dated February 3, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/driftwood_diplomacy.html )


* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news. I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning. Updates have been made this week to the following issue sections:

·  Preface at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/preface.php

·  Budget at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/budget.php

·  Economy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/economy.php

·  Energy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/energy.php

·  Foreign Trade at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/trade.php

·  Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php

·  United Nations at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/unitednations.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY