Friday, May 20, 2011

Dog on a Hot Car Roof

There's a weird but true story that Mitt Romney once strapped a dog carrier to the top of the his car and took his family, with the dog up top, on a 12-hour drive to visit his parents in Canada.  This isn't the same thing as beating or starving the poor animal but it is odd, and I think it's fair to wonder if this might be a small glimpse into the real man behind the haircut.

Be that as it may, Romney currently is facing an obstacle more serious than weird stories in his quest to be nominated:  his own record in office.  The Wall Street Journal last Friday published an editorial slamming Romney's insistence on defending the health care plan in Massachusetts that was the cornerstone of his term as governor, while at the same time criticizing Obama's federal health care plan, which was largely based on the Massachusetts model.  Romney reacted with a letter claiming the Journal editorial distorted the history of Romneycare, and that what was important was ending Obamacare and allowing each state to work out the problem as the citizens of that state see fit.

That last bit is a nod to the principle of federalism, and it's good that Romney recognizes that this is an important part of the argument against Obamacare.  Part of the trouble with Romney continuing to defend his now-disastrous plan in Massachusetts is that it will give the Democrats a very large club in trying to destroy Romney's credibility when he attacks Obamacare, should he become the Republican nominee.  The trouble Romney is currently facing on this issue from conservatives, though, is that Romneycare was a "big government" style solution to the health care issue, and I think the fear is that Romney is a technocratic, big solutions guy at heart. In the wake of the Tea Party movement and the conservative electoral victories of last November, the prospect of yet another "big government" Republican as the presidential nominee isn't going to go down well with a sizeable number of voters who wants to see Obama defeated, and the government downsized.

Meanwhile, another Republican seeking the nomination inserted a very large foot into his even larger mouth last Sunday on Meet The Press.  When pressed on whether or not Paul Ryan's approach to Medicare reform might hurt Republicans with voters, Newt Gingrich described the reform plan as "right wing social engineering," a remark that was poorly received just about everywhere on the Republican side.  This is an early but serious crisis in Gingrich's campaign, and he has spent the last week trying to repair the damage by speaking to conservative radio talk show hosts, among them Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, and Mark Levin.  From the way things look now, I think his campaign is in serious danger, and I see few signs that he'll be able to recover from this mistake.

I think that what we'll be seeing in the battle for the Republican nomination is a contest between the candidate that the Republican establishment decides is acceptable, versus some sort of "outsider" candidate with a mandate to go to Washington and turn things upside down.  At the moment the establishment doesn't seem to be entirely happy with any of the candidates who have announced, and there is a casting about to convince acceptable candidates to enter the race, such as Mitch Daniels, Rick Perry, even Marco Rubio.  Meanwhile, presumed outsider Sarah Palin appeared yesterday in an interview with Greta van Sustern, to me sounding very much like someone who has nearly made up her mind to run for office.

In presidential primaries, there is always a faction that seems to be working for an early and insurmountable lead by the candidate who is supported by the party leaders, under the theory that the party can then approach the general election with more time and unity.  While that faction does sometimes prevail (as in the case of Bob Dole, for instance), it isn't remotely a guarantee of winning the final election.  I doubt that any such effort is going to succeed in the race for the Republican nominee for 2012, but if the establishment somehow manages to get their candidate nominated in a way that makes Tea Party types and other conservatives feel shut out, I think there will be an electoral rebellion against the party establishment throughout the country that will make 2010 seem only the prelude.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Somehow Blogger deleted my last post, called "Home of the Whopper".  It was about Obama's problems with telling the truth.

I can't remember all of what I wrote, so I'll just have to let this be the one that got away.  The only lesson I can learn from this is one I already knew--back it up!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Father Obama Knows Best

Barack Obama proves himself unfit for office in an interview to be shown Sunday on CBS, saying he will not authorize release of photos of bin Laden's dead body.

My view:  Release the photos.  We paid for them. They belong to us.

Note:  In my original post on this subject I quoted from the CBS announcement on their website where they attributed the following quote to Obama: “Imagine how the American people would react if Al Qaida killed one of our troops or military leaders, and put photos of the body on the internet.  Osama bin Laden is not a trophy – he is dead and let’s now focus on continuing the fight until Al Qaida has been eliminated.” They now are attributing that quote to Rep. Mike Rogers of the House Intelligence Committee, with no mention of the correction. I guess being CBS means never having to say you're sorry.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thank You, President Obama

The killing of Osama bin Laden by a U.S. military team last week is indisputably a welcome event to anyone who believes in punishing evil, no matter how long it takes.  The Obama Administration deserves commendation for this part of fulfilling President Bush's promise to bring to justice bin Laden and anyone else involved in committing the 9/11 massacres.

Beyond that, however, as in all things Obama, there are contradictions and unsettling questions that come to mind.

First, it appears that if the Obama Administration had gotten its way in closing down the Guantanamo detention facility, the information that led to discovering where bin Laden was hiding might never have been obtained by our intelligence services.  In addition, the special attack team that carried out the mission in Pakistan has long been derided by the left as a malevolent creation of America's prince of darkness, former Vice President Dick Cheney.  Whatever the nature of the attack team's creation, it sure did come in handy when Obama needed it.  Somehow it seems to me it would be nice if the Obama Administration was more forthcoming in giving credit to those in the Bush Administration who helped make this mission possible.

Second, the method of disposal of bin Laden's body, and the apparent indecisiveness on whether or not to present conclusive evidence that bin Laden has in fact been killed is a bit disturbing, if only for the fuel it might provide for yet more conspiracy theories surrounding the events on 9/11.  I have to wonder if the concern with showing bin Laden's remains proper Muslim respect isn't going to sicken relatives of victims of the 9/11 attacks, given the Administration's support for holding trials for the terrorists in Manhattan and for the mosque at Ground Zero.  Also, if I recall correctly from my short naval career, burial at sea from a naval vessel is granted for those who have served the nation honorably, clearly not the case with bin Laden. And given that U.S. taxpayers have paid for all this, I have trouble conceiving of any valid reason why we shouldn't see the pictures of bin Laden's dead body, whatever the potential for inflaming the endlessly-offended Muslim world.

Third, the Administration appears already to be using this to make political gains. The White House released photos of Obama and senior officials in a room watching the operation as it went down, I suppose to show how incredibly involved and committed Obama & Co. were to the success of the mission.  Would they have released these same photos if the mission had been a failure?  I find this reminiscent of the failed rescue mission in Iran during the Carter presidency, an indication that Obama may practice the same sort of micro-management that was so spectacularly unsuccessful during the Carter years.

The liberal media has been spinning all this as a wonderful triumph for Obama personally, and as something that should put to rest the notion that his reelection is in danger--in essence, that the election is already over.  Obama himself at a "bi-partisan" dinner (planned before the raid) remarked that he hopes this will bring back some of the unity in the country that has been lost since 9/11.  Whatever.  If he wants more "unity" in the country, he might try backing off on destroying the economy and circumventing the Constitution, for a start.

The notion that Obama has done something extraordinarily courageous and visionary in this affair is simply ridiculous.  The American people have long demanded that bin Laden be brought to justice.  If it became known that Obama (or any other President) had refused to attack bin Laden once his whereabouts were discovered, he would surely have faced calls for his impeachment and likely would have been driven from office.

So, let me thank you, Mr. President.  For once.