RTCS

Views on the News

October 15, 2011

Views on the News*

Conservatives and liberals clash frequently on a wide array of issues, from taxes to trade, from deficits to defense, but their greatest conflict may lie in their contrasting attitudes toward civil society. Conservatives regard the institutions of civil society, families, churches and communities, as sources of hope and renewal. Self-styled "progressives" see these institutions as seedbeds of prejudice and ignorance. Conservatives believe that poverty stems largely from a lack of spiritual resources, resources that are typically transmitted through private, voluntary groups. Progressives view poverty as a simple lack of resources. Conservatives believe that social justice is best pursued through the restoration of community, familial love, self-respect and responsibility, all products of a robust civil society. Progressives believe that social justice requires that we redistribute material wealth. Conservatives believe the TEA Party movement is a classic example of civil society in action: Ordinary Americans, appalled by the sudden, massive expansion of Big Government, and by the equally sudden, explosive growth of the national debt, have spontaneously organized into associations demanding change. Progressives support the centralizing ambitions of the state, thus attacking the TEA Party movement with a fury that might have reminded Tocqueville of the French Revolution's hatred of religion. Prominent progressives have denounced Tea Party members as "terrorists," "racists" and "Nazis" who deserve to be "taken out." This is how the "ruling class" invariably reacts whenever the "lower orders" start acting uppity. Make no mistake: although today's "ruling class" calls itself progressive, but it is in fact profoundly reactionary. Progressive hostility to the Tea Party movement has reinforced my conviction that strengthening civil society is more urgent today than ever before. A Gallup poll documented a trend Gallup itself cannot explain: a “recent surge” in the percentage of young adults who say government should “promote traditional values.” The American people remain strong and resourceful and opened our minds to the untapped potential of freedom, to the hidden strengths of civil society, and to the indomitable power of the American spirit.

(’Recent Surge’ of Young Adults Want Gov’t to ‘Promote Traditional Values’” dated October 6, 2011 published by Cybercast News Service at http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/gallup-recent-surge-young-adults-want-gov-t-promote-traditional-values

“The Power of Civil Society” by Ed Feulner dated October 8, 2011 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/edfeulner/2011/10/08/the_power_of_civil_society )

Republicans can guarantee a landslide in 2012 by driving the economy like a juggernaut to the November polls, because Gallup has discovered that voters approve of Republicans to handle the economy by gaping margins.  With the U.S. and world economic and financial situations darkening, the trust-gap on the economy should continue to widen to the GOP's advantage.  Yet while the economy is the pile-driver for GOP election fortunes, there's got to be something more, much more.  Surely the economy leads for the GOP, but freedom must be the cause, the theme that undergirds the entire GOP enterprise to capture the White House and Congress.  These critical times call for nothing short of the GOP to mount a great freedom campaign.  A freedom campaign must provide a high resolution contrast to the Democrats' ongoing campaign to grip America in a soft tyranny of socialism. If Republicans choose to run on particulars, the economy, jobs, a sound dollar, less government, without tying up those issues in a grand package called freedom, they may just miss the historic moment, the rare opportunity to shift the nation's course tectonically, like Roosevelt and liberals did back in the 1930s.  Not just the nation's future, but its fundamental character is up for grabs.  That's why it matters greatly who the next GOP presidential nominee is.  Presidential nominees set the course for their parties.  If the 2012 elections are chiefly about a restoration of 2007 America, the GOP will have lost the moment, much to the distress of future generations.  Left-wingers are a resilient bunch; they live for government and the power and control it confers.  Merely retarding the federal government does little to effectively roadblock a resurgence of Uncle Sam's power in outlying years.  Washington needs a root-and-branch job, a sizing down that's dramatic and that makes restoring big government a frustrating, arduous task for the left.  America needs a freedom revolution powerful enough to redirect the nation as the progressive revolution did in the early twentieth century.  A Republican President and Congress need to be the groundbreakers, who build a momentum that will roll across the republic for decades.  Conservatives would do well to provide the spine and the prod for Republicans throughout the 2012 election cycle and into 2013, when Republicans take the reins in Washington.  The elections in 2012 are about more than the economy, stupid.  They're about freedom, or if freedom will survive the onslaught loosed by the left, in the persons of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.  2012 is about driving a stake through the heart of the eighty-year statist experiment that has been inflicted on the republic and replacing it with a rebirth of freedom and the GOP must have the clear-sightedness and courage to strive mightily to do so.

(“The Economy’s the Wedge, Freedom is the Cause” by J. Robert Smith dated October 11, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/the_economys_the_wedge_freedoms_the_cause.html )

 

The biggest single obstacle that Obama faces in getting reelected is that Americans don’t trust him anymore, nor should they, based on results, history and the false premise under which he was elected. If you want to know what Obama’s going to do in the future, just look at what he’s done in the past. He might be the only President in the history of the country to vote “present.” People wanted to believe in the hope-and-change hype; they gave Obama every opportunity to live up to the promise of a post-racial America.  They gave him the Congress; they gave him the money; and they gave him the time. They even gave him a Nobel Prize in anticipation of his great, healing accomplishments. But he fell far short of the braggadocios, walk-on-water, Presidential campaign that practically amounted to a confidence swindle out of a Mark Twain story. The harder Obama campaigns, the less likely people will rally to his support. Faux outrage by Obama will only serve to highlight how Obama fumbled his opportunities to cut some Gordian knots, politically. Here are ten other reasons Americans don’t trust Obama to save the economy:

·    People have seen the President as disengaged from his job as President.

·    Obama has no fixed principles on which the mass of Americans agree.

·    The president comes across cocky, not confident on issues.

·    He seems to always be hostage to some special interest.

·    Obama “doubles down” on problems rather than recognize something isn’t working.

·    The economic plan he’s tried hasn’t worked, and the only things he’s changed are the excuses he uses.

·    Americans admire business success.

·    The President’s base is hostile to the economic ideas that foster growth and reward merit, which are really the same thing.

·    Obama won’t take responsibility for his failures.

·    Obama lied about _____ {fill in the blank and then report it to AttackWatch.com}.   

The more President Blah Blah Blah talks, the less Americans listen, since his actions rarely match his words and his solutions rarely address the crisis that he has caused.

(“Obama’s No Harry Truman” by John Ransom dated October 8, 2011 published by Town Hall at http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/johnransom/2011/10/08/obamas_no_harry_truman )

 

Unlike the election of 2008, Republicans must go on offensive, focus on winning the election and demand equal coverage by the mainstream media. Last election Barack Obama didn’t have to win because all he had to do was show up for his coronation. He just had to show his face, remind Republicans at every weak moment that he was black and the mainstream media sang his praises almost as much as his Democrat enablers. This election, America is clinging to the economic cliff’s edge with one chance to pull ourselves back from the brink of history’s dustbin. We can all see Greece from our bedroom windows and Republicans must get their act together and start winning the propaganda war. Here are five essentials that will turn the tide:

·    Acknowledge the darned media war, stupid! The Left’s mainstream media propaganda machine is a complicit ally for all Democrat incumbents and candidates and can no longer be trusted as an objective media outlet.

·    Embrace Tea Party principles or prepare to perish. Every single Republican, whether on a town council or in the U.S. Congress, must boldly and rightly declare his support of Tea Party principles: government according to the Constitution on the morally right footing of prudence and frugality.

·    Establish a message-war office and find a general able to see clearly and talk plainly. If Republicans want to win, they had better learn that in a propaganda war for hearts and minds, there is no room for off-message gadabouts. There should be aggressive message-points sent out to every single Republican every single day, so find a general and learn to follow his lead.

·    Defeat Alinskyite political ridicule with unvarnished truth. Saul Alinsky is the father of community organizing for leftist revolution, he is also the progenitor of the politics of personal destruction, using ridicule as a propaganda weapon. Every time a Republican gets ridiculed, the liberal lies must be forcefully rebutted with the unvarnished truth.

·    Stop playing defense, and develop a strategy to win against the Democrats! Concentrate on defeating the Democrats, not each other.

Republican candidates had better get in touch with their inner Vice Lombardi, or prepare to hand the game ball once again to Barack Obama because only complete victory for the Republican liberty party can save America now.

(“Five Things Republicans Must Do to Crush the Left in the Propaganda War” by Kyle-Anne Shiver dated October 10, 2011 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/five-things-republicans-must-do-to-crush-the-left-in-the-propaganda-war/ )

 

Rational people realize that President Obama's policies have been an abysmal failure, which is why his only hope for re-election is to try to sow confusion among the voters, such as those populating "Occupy Wall Street." People often say the success of democracy depends on an informed electorate, but given his record, that's the last strategy Obama can afford to embrace. Short of a fortuitous economic miracle falling into his lap, his only hope for re-election is that enough voters are misinformed. From day one, Obama has practiced “blameshifting” trying to attach the cause of all his problems to anyone but himself:

·    He first savaged George W. Bush for bequeathing him "the worst economy since the Great Depression," and then blamed him for everything bad that he didn’t like from bad weather to technology innovations.

·    He also impugned "fat cat bankers" on Wall Street and other evil corporations for "creating the mess" and for being its primary beneficiaries while everyone else was hurting, but conveniently, he didn't point his accusing finger at the real culprit, the liberal affordable housing policy that Democrats supported for decades.

·    He leveraged his vague slander against Wall Street to bolster his case against free markets and "crony capitalism" and to lubricate the public for his statist remedies across the board.

His goal was to fundamentally change America with an accelerated push toward socialism, all while insisting he was a "fierce advocate of the free market" and committed to the American ideal. He just loved capitalism, but it couldn't possibly work when all the powerful and moneyed interests were loading the dice. So he presented himself as the great reformer who would save capitalism, which was just an unsophisticated recycling of the case that history revisionists have argued since the 1930s and '40s to rationalize Franklin D. Roosevelt's socialist crusade. The scope of Obama's undertaking has been breathtaking, as has been his level of deceit in promoting and implementing it. Borrowing from both the Saul Alinsky and Cloward-Piven models, he excused the real culprits and demonized false ones to saddle the nation with historically reckless spending programs. He didn't just give us his stimulus bill on the heels of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which he decried despite having his fingerprints all over it. He loaded his omnibus spending bill with earmarks after promising he'd radically reduce them, took over auto companies, crammed through socialized medicine and pushed through a staggeringly problematic financial reform bill that further empowered the government to engage in the same types of tyranny that led to all this. Though he failed to pass his cap-and-trade measure, his Environmental Protection Agency has engaged in a systematic pattern of circumventing Congress to impose further smothering regulations on American businesses. Despite his profound incompetence on many levels, Obama has been an adept propagandist who has blamed capitalism for problems caused and magnified by socialist remedies to justify further socialist solutions. He's now doing the same thing all over again as his new socialist solutions are failing. Obama not only eschews responsibility for his primary role in the nation's economic and debt catastrophes but also is using class warfare to foment unrest in his malcontent leftist base and marshaling union thug muscle to attach a veneer of authenticity to Occupy Wall Street, a largely AstroTurf-like phenomenon. They are taking up all the popular causes of liberalism as they protest against problems spawned by those very causes. Meanwhile they give a complete pass to government and even demand that it be given more power to further destroy what still does work in America. Nothing illustrates their collective cluelessness more than their fulminating against the national debt while demanding a redoubling of the policies and programs that caused it and will make it immeasurably worse. Obama now has a new understanding of Lenin’s term “useful idiots” as he tries to uses them to leverage this chaos and class envy to eke out re-election in 2012, and Obama's protesters are occupying Wall Street while he is occupying America.

(“Obama is Occupying America” by David Limbaugh dated October 11, 2011 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/2011/10/11/obama_is_occupying_america )

Obama has essentially given up on his governing responsibilities (at which he has shown himself to be terribly inept) and instead he has become the most intentionally divisive President we’ve seen in quite some time. It’s not unusual, of course, for the policies of Presidents to divide the nation, and politicians running for re-election often highlight differences. Each day, it seems, he and/or his supporters are seeking to divide us. The rhetoric employed by the President and his allies is meant to fan the flames of resentment, to turn Americans against one another, and to stoke up feelings of envy, grievances, and rage. This is not healthy for our country or good for our political culture. While we all contribute to what constitutes public discourse, there is one officeholder, the President, who bears the greatest responsibility for creating a sense of common purpose and for reminding us that we are, in the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Yet the president is trying, with almost every speech, to pry us apart. It is a strategy he clearly believes is necessary for him to win re-election. That doesn’t make what he’s doing any less shameful or any less hypocritical. It was Obama, after all, who promised to heal the breach:

·    On February 10, 2007, “We’re distracted from our real failures and told to blame the other party…” He would not sink to such depths, he promised us.

·    Later in the 2007 campaign, “I don’t want to pit Red America against Blue America – I want to be the President of the United States of America.”

·    On March 18, 2008, “We have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division and conflict and cynicism… That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, ‘Not this time….’”

·    Later in the 2008 campaign, “I want us to rediscover our bonds to each other and to get out of this constant petty bickering that’s come to characterize our politics.”

·    On August 28, 2008, “If you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.”

·    On November 8, 2008, “I will listen to you, especially when we disagree… Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for too long.”

What he has done is the antithesis of what he said. Barack Obama has succumbed to virtually every partisan temptation, reached for every stale tactic, and bred division and conflict and cynicism across our land. He has resorted to petty bickering and pitted Red America against Blue America. He has even characterized his political opponents as “enemies.” I suppose there are worse things a President can do, but this is bad enough that he purposefully causing wounds that will be hard to heal. Obama has only just begun his divisive tactics and things will get uglier before they get better. Eventually the American people will rediscover our national bonds of affection, but it will require removing Obama from office before we begin to repair the damage that has been done to this country.

(“Obama the Divider” by Peter Wehner dated October 8, 2011 published by Commentary Magazine at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/10/07/obama-division-partisanship/#more-770354 )

Over the last 32 months, it has become more and more apparent that President Obama is not only wrong about his efforts but he has become delusional about the results. First, Obama seems to believe that his policies and efforts have been successful.  Second, Obama thinks we need to continue down the same path, that he "stood up for a different vision and did what was right. The future rewards those who press on." Let’s take a look at what Obama’s policies have actually produced

·    Largest wealth destruction in American history: Net Wealth Lost 2009-2011 --$8.7 Trillion

·    Highest sustained unemployment in decades: 9.1%

·    Brutal unemployment for minorities: Black Americans: 16.7%

·    Unprecedented unemployment: Black Teenage Americans: 46.5%

·    Historic loss in American credit: U.S. credit rating drops to: AA-plus

·    Historic jump in number of people in U.S. on foodstamps: 45.8 Million

·    Mythic green jobs: 255,000 jobs at $313,725.50 per job for a total of $80 billion

·    Stimulus Program: TARP: $475 Billion

·    Stimulus Program: Shovel-ready projects: $787 Billion

·    Stimulus Programs: Cash for Clunkers: $3 billion

·    Stimulus Programs: Cash for Caulkers: $10 Billion

·    Changes in unemployment after $1.5 Trillion of government stimulus: +3% change

·    Averaged cost of a gallon of gas: $3.45 +$1.25 change

·    New Regulations 2009-2011 : 75 major new regulations, 1,827 Rules Amended

·    Cost on new regulations: + $1.75 Trillion annually

·    Executive Orders signed by Obama: 96

·    Public Debt: $18.8 Trillion

·    2012 Federal Budget Proposed by Obama : $3.73 Trillion

·    Percentage of Americans that pay no taxes: 51%

·    Percentage of Federal Spending required from borrowing: 40%

·    Percentage of government spending on entitlements: 60%

·    Number of Obama proposals to limit entitlement spending: ZERO

By any measure, President Obama’s economic policies and leadership have produced an unambiguous tale of woe.  Not once has a single Obama policy produced the anticipated or promised benefits.  Moreover, these many policies have made existing problems much worse. During Obama's Presidency, Americans have lost a collective $8 trillion in national wealth.  Even now, his policies continue to crush business development, rob the prudent of their savings, and continue the awful trend of blaming others for his own inexperience and his policy mistakes.  Perhaps the saddest fact of all is that President Obama believes that all of his failures represent success.

(“Obama – The Numbers Don’t lie” by Lorita Doan dated October 10, 2011 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/luritadoan/2011/10/10/obama--the_numbers_dont_lie )

 

Misery loves company from the demonstrators on Wall Street, to the halls of Congress, and the potential result of the policies that spread the misery now stand as a potential and potent threat to the economic outlook. With the unemployment rate at 9.1%, and the 12-month change in the CPI at 3.77%, the “misery index,” the sum of the two, in August was 12.87, its highest level since May, 1983.  The fact is the growth in the U.S. economy and the consequent job creation remains anemic at best.  In addition, wage gains continue to lag the increase in the price level.  With little relief in sight, there are strong grounds for those most affected to take to the streets and demand change. The young, minorities, the disadvantaged and a huge slice of the middle class who were promised they would benefit from the massive increase in the government’s control over the economy are beginning to realize that they are, in fact, bearing the burden of those policies through unemployment, limited job opportunities, and falling living standards.  Worse, those who were supposedly going to pay are still doing just fine. Adding to the resentment against those who have managed to prosper are the government bailouts of Wall Street firms, the politically connected, including General Electric, and the United Auto Workers, and the wasting of billions of dollars on “green jobs.” As it turns out, empowering government in the name of the greater good inevitably means empowering the special interests and the rich with political pull. Faced with the stark failure of their policies to create jobs or to produce a “more just” society, progressives are replacing “spread the wealth” with “spreading the misery” as their polar star. Thus, President Barack Obama champions a so-called “jobs bill” calling for the very same policy mix that produced today’s high misery index.  Misery may love company, but policies that spread the misery are not the answer.  The true polar star for moving forward is increasing the liberty of the American people: reduce the barriers to the expansion of private business; acknowledge and reward success through private initiative; condemn riches gained through political connections and government largess; reduce the scale, scope and burden of government; and trust in the ability of individuals living within communities to manage their lives, pursue happiness and create a better future for themselves and their families.

(“From ‘Spreading the Wealth’ to ‘Spreading the Misery’” by Charles Kadlec dated October 10, 2011 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/charleskadlec/2011/10/10/from-spreading-the-wealth-to-spreading-the-misery/ )

 

Some libertarians and liberals allege that the policy of building up and generously funding a strong military is inconsistent with the principle of limited government, but in reality defense is one of the core roles of the federal government and not a discretionary expenseDespite libertarians' and liberals' pathetic attempt to cast their weak-defense-plus-isolationism policies as "conservatism" by calling themselves "paleo-conservatives", the fact is that they didn't found the conservative movement and were never conservatives; they are and always have been libertarians.  Providing for the common defense is not an option; it's a constitutional obligation of the federal government.  It's a function that the government must, not merely may, perform unlike bankruptcy laws, which the Congress may pass, but doesn't have to and didn't bother to enact until the late 19th century. It is therefore wrong, ridiculous, and insulting to treat defense as if it were just another budget line item, or just another government function, as various "fiscally conservative" organizations and most Republicans do. One of the principles of conservatism is adherence to the Constitution and that means obeying the Constitution as it is written, and one of the parts of the Constitution is the obligation to provide for the common defense. So, as stated clearly by the fathers of the conservative movement, by the Constitution, by the Founding Fathers, and by 20th-century conservative leaders like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, defense is consistent with conservative ideology (including the principle of limited government) and with the goal of seeking peace.  Further, it is a constitutional obligation of the federal government. Just spending more on defense will make America safer, but it does mean that providing for the common defense, including funding it adequately, in line with America's defense needs, not arbitrary budget constraints, is a constitutional obligation, which must be met even during a time of financial crisis. It is the policy of a weak defense that is actually inconsistent with the Constitution and un-conservative, and it's time to stop pretending that supporting robust funding for defense and a strong peacetime military is a big-government policy.

(“Defense and the Principle of Limited Government” by Zbigniew Mazurak dated October 8, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/defense_and_the_principle_of_limited_government.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:

·  Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/culture/education.php

·  Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/hamelandsecurity.php

·  Social Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/socialsecurity.php

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

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com