Obama Foreign Policy: Seriously Sub-Optimal

Pictures of Barack Obama bowing courtesy of today’s Drudge Report.

Overview.

I’m not going to hammer on the president for his choice of words on Jon Stewart. I’m not a fan of the Dems’ insulting attempts at faux outrage over things like “binders” so I’ll not do anything but quote our president. But we can safely say, as President Obama did, when Americans die our president’s foreign policy is obviously “not optimal.” And when you look back at the past four years, really, we can’t say what’s happened are mere “bumps in the road,” either, but the result of having chosen the wrong road altogether. Today in the New York Post Amir Taheri put it more succinctly: the president’s foreign policy has “failed.”

So before tonight’s debate about foreign policy, let’s remind ourselves just how sub-optimal this president’s foreign policy has been, and how bumpy the road was. People may criticize Mitt for not having foreign policy experience, but Obama only has four more years than Mitt has, having had none when he started on the job training. The question is whether Barack Obama learned anything during that time, and perhaps the biggest indictment contained in the mess in Libya is that his record indicates he hasn’t learned what he needs to, and is willing to close his eyes to the obvious in favor of a narrative that supports, if tenuously, his world view. Meanwhile I’m sure someone else with a different philosophy, like peace through American strength, would do a lot better.

His One Argument: bin Laden

Let’s start by giving the president partial credit for his one “achievement.” In a true team effort, American intelligence, after years of searching that culminated during the Obama administration, was able to find Osama bin Laden. The president then sent a team of experts into Pakistan to kill him. Still, a number of things still trouble me about this “success.”

First, the president’s beaming over the mission and “spiking the football.” While it’s a comforting thought bin Laden is no longer a threat, call me old fashioned but it does not seem appropriate to throw a party when anyone is killed, even if a confessed terrorist and murderer. The appropriate attitude seems to be one of quiet gratitude, and confidence we were able to accomplish what we needed to protect American citizens from harm. But not elation.

Second, the president’s taking personal credit for the achievement. What happened was a success due to years of work starting in the Bush administration and involving hundreds if not thousands of people from intelligence gatherers to planners of the raid to those who actually executed it. Let’s not forget the president watched it on TV, and was not on the ground personally in Pakistan. He deserves credit as the person at the head of the team, but to the extent he deserves that credit, he deserves as much blame for what went wrong in Libya. And gracious leaders give credit where due. I agree he should be congratulated for making the decision to move forward. He took a risk and it paid off. But I disagree with President Clinton’s assessment that this decision took any special fortitude. I believe Mitt’s right that any president would have made the same decision. So Obama’s credit is for being in the seat at the head of table when the team succeeded, and for calling for the two-point conversion to win the game. He succeeded, and gets the credit for that strategic decision. But it was the team on the field, not him that deserves any glory, and an end-zone dance seems particularly inappropriate.

Third, in his desire to take personal credit, the president shared sensitive intelligence information. He volunteered the identity of the team that carried it out, putting them and their families in danger. And this was one of many leaks, coming per Dianne Feinstein directly out of the White House, of sensitive US information. The president seems willing to compromise security when it suits his political purposes, which I find difficult to condone.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the success of this one mission does not mean Al Qaeda is really “on the run,” as has been claimed by the Dems. They’re still in Afghanistan and now are in Libya. And whatever the president’s policy in this regard, despite bin Laden’s removal, the date of Al Qaeda’s last successful terrorist attack is no longer 9/11/01. It’s 9/11/12.

Now, to more problematic issues: world hot spots

1. Libya. Four Americans are killed in Libya despite pleas for additional security. Reports out of the State Department, the intelligence community and the White House contradict who knew what when. Immediately after the attack the president made a generically deniable statement about not letting terrorism deter us, but spent the next two weeks allowing the American people to believe it’s somehow the fault of our freedom of speech and an obscure YouTube video, using rhetoric that could suggest we somehow deserve what happened. Why? Again President Obama and the Democrats insisted on “spiking the football” over Osama bin Laden’s death at their convention, such that it’s an inconvenient truth that Al Qaeda is not really “on the run,” especially in Libya where the president is trying to take credit for “leading from behind.” Contrary to his assertions, Libya is not a model for American foreign policy success as it is now the site of the first assassination of an ambassador in 30 years.

Judge Jeanine of Fox lets it out here:

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Romney: More to Gain Than to Lose in Last Debate

Well, the final Presidential debate will be over in less than 24 hours.

I’m sensing a certain level of stress among some Romney supporters in the lead up to this debate. Sure, it’s human nature to feel anxious just before a big event … especially when we are so invested in Mitt’s success. But I’m not nervous one bit, and here’s why ….

Governor (soon to be “President Elect”) Romney has much more to gain than to lose in this debate. It’s Obama that has the tough job tonight. The non-incumbent challenger generally has a low-bar to clear in these debates. They only have to 1) show that they can credibly be Commander-in-Chief and 2) avoid major gaffes. Mitt has shown that he is more than capable of achieving this based on his first two debate showings.

Much of the “who won the debate?” game is about expectations. Obama was widely expected to be a superior debater/communicator, and it was a race-changing event when he lost the first debate so dramatically. This set up debate number two, where Obama had reset his bar down to the floor. As such, many observers felt that he “won” the second debate (by a much narrower margin than the 1st debate, and more on style than on actual issues according to polls). But the President’s “win” was really more of a “most improved” award … we’ve seen no bounce in the polls for him at all.

Conventional wisdom is that Obama is supposed to trounce Governor Romney tonight, since the topic is Foreign Policy. The problem for Obama, is that his supposed foreign policy superiority is already “baked into the cake” of his poll numbers/support. Obama’s problem arises from the fact that his foreign policy successes begin and end with “Bin Laden is dead.” Sure, that’s a HUGE point, but it’s sort of hard to talk about THAT for 90 minutes straight. And no voter is going to change his mind to vote for Obama on this issue. “Hey yeah, Obama got Bin Laden … I had forgotten that. I guess I’ll vote for him now.”

Even those formerly on Obama’s foreign policy team decidedly do NOT see this as a strength for him (be sure to read that scathing rebuke!).

The debate will give Mitt an opportunity to, once again, unexpectedly impress voters on the depth and breadth of his international experience and knowledge. The media have painted him as a lightweight on foreign policy, someone out of his depth. Mitt can and will highlight his substantial foreign exposure through his public, private, and religious experiences.

The wildcard issue for tonight is Banghazi … and not in a good way for Obama.


Despite the President’s higher foreign policy numbers in general, this recent Ohio poll (that was even a +8% Dem sample) showed Mitt UP 49%-47% on the question: “Do you trust Barack Obama or Mitt Romney more on the issue of Libya?” Mitt did miss an opportunity to fully expose Obama on Libya in debate #2. Don’t expect a replay of that tonight …

Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech (VIDEO, full text): Confidence, Clarity, Resolve

Mitt Romney delivers a foreign policy speech at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA., today, Oct 8, 2012. (Photo – Charles Dharapak/AP)

In a sweeping critique of Obama’s lead-from-behind foreign policy, Governor Mitt Romney today delivered a powerful, robust foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute. Speaking of the recent explosion of violence and upheaval in the Middle East, Romney said it is “time to change course in the Middle East.”

Punctuating his national security positions before his next presidential debate on October 16th with Obama (foreign policy will be the topic), Romney said, “That course should be organized around these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might. No friend of America will question our commitment to support them… no enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them… and no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America’s capability to back up our words.”

Foreign policy expert and columnist, K.T. McFarland, today on television program ‘The Five’ (FOX News) enthusiastically exclaimed, ”I’ve been waiting 20 years for this speech! He [Romney] was channeling Reagan!” She also went on to say Romney’s “speech was actually really phenomenal and I commend him for doing it!” (MccFarland served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1985 and speech writer for Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.)

‘The Mantel of Leadership’:


Transcript:

I particularly appreciate the introduction from my good friend and tireless campaign companion, Gov. Bob McDonnell. He is showing what conservative leadership can do to build a stronger economy. Thank you also Congressman Goodlatte for joining us today. And particular thanks to Gen. Peay. I appreciate your invitation to be with you today at the Virginia Military Institute. It is a great privilege to be here at an Institution that has done so much for our nation, both in war and in peace.

For more than 170 years, VMI has done more than educate students. It has guided their transformation into citizens, and warriors, and leaders. VMI graduates have served with honor in our nation’s defense, just as many are doing today in Afghanistan and other lands. Since the September 11th attacks, many of VMI’s sons and daughters have defended America, and I mourn with you the 15 brave souls who have been lost. I join you in praying for the many VMI graduates and all Americans who are now serving in harm’s way. May God bless all who serve, and all who have served.

Of all the VMI graduates, none is more distinguished than George Marshall—the Chief of Staff of the Army who became Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, who helped to vanquish fascism and then planned Europe’s rescue from despair. His commitment to peace was born of his direct knowledge of the awful costs and consequences of war.

General Marshall once said, “The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.” Those words were true in his time—and they still echo in ours.

Last month, our nation was attacked again. A U.S. Ambassador and three of our fellow Americans are dead — murdered in Benghazi, Libya. Among the dead were three veterans. All of them were fine men, on a mission of peace and friendship to a nation that dearly longs for both. President Obama has said that Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues represented the best of America. And he is right. We all mourn their loss.

The attacks against us in Libya were not an isolated incident. They were accompanied by anti-American riots in nearly two dozen other countries, mostly in the Middle East, but also in Africa and Asia. Our embassies have been attacked. Our flag has been burned. Many of our citizens have been threatened and driven from their overseas homes by vicious mobs, shouting “Death to America.” These mobs hoisted the black banner of Islamic extremism over American embassies on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

As the dust settles, as the murdered are buried, Americans are asking how this happened, how the threats we face have grown so much worse, and what this calls on America to do. These are the right questions. And I have come here today to offer a larger perspective on these tragic recent events—and to share with you, and all Americans, my vision for a freer, more prosperous, and more peaceful world.

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2007: Obama Prophesies “The Day I’m Inaugurated Muslim Hostility Will Ease” Frighteningly Ignorant!

While a presidential candidate in 2007, our now security briefing-averse President made the case for himself by confidently pronouncing he was uniquely qualified to stabilize America’s relationships in the Muslim world. Why? Because he lived in an Islamic country when growing up and his half-sister is Muslim. (Thanks to Breitbart for the video.)

DUE TO THE AUTO-START FEATURE ON THIS VIDEO, CLICK HERE TO VIEW IT.
Then-Senator Barack Obama’s bragging interview on New Hampshire Public Radio on November 21, 2007 (inked above):

The day I’m inaugurated, not only the country looks at itself differently, but the world looks at America differently … If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country and I may be a Christian, but I also understand their point of view … My sister is half-Indonesian. I traveled there all the way through my college years. And so I’m intimately concerned with what happens in these countries and the cultures and perspective these folks have. And those are powerful tools for us to be able to reach out to the world … then I think the world will have confidence that I am listening to them and that our future and our security is tied up with our ability to work with other countries in the world that will ultimately makes us safer.

Tear gas! Molotov cocktails! Rocket propelled grenade launchers! Rocks and concrete chunks! Battering rams! Obama effigies! Bin Laden posters! Blood! Murder! Death to America! In just three days, violence and riots have spread like wildfire to a total of 20 Muslim countries spanning North Africa, through the Middle East, and into Southeast Asia.

Obama’s prognostication was frighteningly ignorant.

FOX News’ Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum report this morning on the spreading violence in Tunis, Tunisia:



FULL-BLOWN crisis ongoing in Middle East:

With an effigy of Barack Obama in the background, Afghans shout anti-American slogans in the Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 (PHOTO – Rahmat Gul/AP)


Smoke billows overhead as thousands of demonstrators massed outside the U.S. embassy in Tunis, Tunisia and several were seen climbing the outer wall of the embassy grounds, an Associated Press reporter on the scene said. An American school, next to the embassy, was burned to the ground. Sept 14, 2012 (AP Photo: Amine Landoulsi)


An Egyptian protester flashes the victory sign next to a burning police car during clashes near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Sept 13, 2012. (PHOTO – Khalil Hamra/AP)


Protesters rage at the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Sept 13, 2012. (PHOTO Hani Mohammed:AP)


A branch of Hardee’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken, visible symbols of Americanism, were set on fire in Tripoli, Lebanon during anti-US protests on Friday,Sept 14, 2012. (PHOTO – KeystoneUSA-ZUMA / Rex Features)

Followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burn the U.S. flag during a demonstration against the U.S. in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Sept 13, 2012. They are demanding the closure of the U.S. embassy. (PHOTO – Karim Kadim:AP)

See more incredible photos here.

Does Obama believe his “unique” background absolves him from being an active, listening, questioning participant in daily security briefings? WaPo’s Marc Thiessen weighs in:

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Romney Talks to Hugh Hewitt: Super Committee, Obama, Foreign Policy

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt


Nationally syndicated talk radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Mitt Romney yesterday. During the course of the exchange, Romney answered questions about Republican Super Committee offerings to eliminate key tax deductions, the Dept of Defense, Obama’s rhetoric, and more…

Mitt Romney On The Supercommittee, The President’s Rhetoric About America, China and Afghanistan
By: Hugh Hewitt
Friday, November 18, 2011

Just taped an interview with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney which will air with the transcript posted here. My projection of the state of the race slips into the conversation when I call him “Mr. President” before correcting myself. On a serious note, he asserts that now is not the time to (1) be tinkering with the home mortgage interest deduction or (2) withdrawing the surge troops from Afghanistan even as he predicts it would be very difficult to reintroduce troops into Iraq after our bases our shuttered there.

[...]
HH: … Senator Pat Toomey and Representative Jeb Hensarling, two of our Supercommittee Republicans, have put forward a plan that calls for lowering tax rates across the board, and extending the current tax rates permanently, but to do so by cutting three key deductions – mortgage home interest, state and local taxes, and charities. What do you make of their plan, and the extra $300 billion in extra revenue it says it will raise?

MR: Well, I haven’t seen their specific proposal, so I’m not going to sign up for it, of course, without reviewing it. My own view is that the idea of limiting deductions in the way the Bowles-Simpson panel recommended makes a good deal of sense. I’d like to see us have lower tax rates, and have a broader base. And it sounds like their idea is looking for a way of doing that. I must admit, I don’t think that this is a great time to be eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction. We obviously have a lot of trouble in the housing sector right now, but I haven’t seen their proposal. It may work just fine, but I just haven’t seen it, so I wouldn’t want to comment on that. But the home mortgage interest deduction right now is something that I think we need to keep in place.

HH: Let me talk to you about the charitable deduction, because obviously without it, churches, synagogues, schools, hospitals, colleges, they’re all going to get hammered. Is that a good idea for us to weaken the not-for-profit sector?

MR: Well, you know, anytime you talk about lowering the rates and expanding the base, why, you’re talking about eliminating certain deductions. And I for one value the charitable contribution deduction. I recognize that in my own view, the American people do a better job picking charities that make a difference in the lives of people than government does. I mean, government wants to get our money so they can take care of people. I don’t think the government does as well as our charities do, and I’d rather let people in the marketplace of ideas send their money to charities they think will have the biggest impact. So I don’t like getting rid of the charitable deduction, either.

HH: There is a $600 billion dollar sequestration over the horizon, Governor Romney, that if the Supercommittee doesn’t get a deal done, will kick into the Department of Defense in 2013 with devastating consequences. If that happens, if that’s on the calendar to happen because of the failure, will you campaign, if you’re the nominee against President Obama, to reverse that sequestration?

MR: Absolutely. This is a Faustian choice that the President and his people put in place. The idea of drastic cuts to our national security at a time when the world is as dangerous as it is, and when frankly, we have men and women in harm’s way around the world, is a terrible idea. Even Secretary Panetta, who works for President Obama, has said that these cuts would be draconian. And I just, I vehemently disagree with the course that’s being set. I think it was a very bad idea to put our national security on the chopping block, and will, if elected president, reverse those cuts, and reverse the prior cuts that President Obama has made to Defense as well. Look, my view is we need to upgrade our weapons systems, we need to have more troops, more active duty personnel, and we need to increase our commitment to caring for our veterans. We’ve got a lot of veterans who need a lot of help.

Governor Romney has stated his intent to eliminate Defense Dept waste/duplication spending and to implement vigorous bidding for armed services procurement. Savings will be reinvested in our military.

On Obama:

HH: Governor Romney, in just the last six weeks, President Obama has said three extraordinary things. In Orlando, he said, or to an Orlando television station, he said this is a great, great country that has gotten a little soft, and we don’t have the same competitive edge that we needed. In San Francisco, he said we’ve lost our ambition, our imagination and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam. And in Hawaii, just this week, he said we’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. He’s gone from apologizing for America abroad to a soft sort of contempt for it at home. What do you make of this?

MR: You know, I don’t think that President Obama understands America. I don’t think he understands what makes America work. I think his failure to get this economy going flows from the fact that he doesn’t understand how free individuals and free enterprise drive the American economy. He is under the mistaken impression that government is what makes America work. And so he’s done the governmental things he wanted to do, and not surprisingly, they have not worked to help the economy, so he’s trying to find someone to blame. And having begun by blaming President Bush, and then blaming Congress and Republicans and ATM machines, he’s finally come down to blaming the American people. And the truth is, as Harry Truman pointed out, the buck stops at his desk. His desk is where the mistakes have been made, and it is not the American people that don’t know what to do. It’s American people who are being oppressed and overwhelmed by a government that is simply too intrusive in our lives. We’ve got to scale back the size of the federal government. And if we do that, America will be cooking again, and he’s simply wrong to suggest it’s the American people’s fault.

(emphasis added )

Governor Romney also offered his opinion on the European debt crisis and foreign affairs, including China, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Read the entire interview here.

Note: Hugh Hewitt is also a columnist for the Examiner, an author, a law professor at Chapman University Law School, and an evangelical Christian. He blogs daily at HughHewitt.com.

► Jayde Wyatt

Who Won the CBS GOP Foreign Policy Debate from South Carolina? Full Debate Video Added

Republican candidates debated each other tonight on the topics of National Security and Foreign Policy. If the chat box starts moving too fast with all the chatting during the debate, feel free to start or respond to a topic at our forum. As soon as the entire debate is available, we will post the video below.

Full debate below followed by a compilation of just Mitt’s answers from the debate!

UPDATE: Looks like Mitt will be participating in the first Election 2012 Fox News Google+ Hangout with Bret Baier on Tuesday. Click here to learn how you could end up being one of the lucky few to “hangout” with Mitt on Tuesday.

UPDATE 2 by Jayde – Mitt Romney’s Special Adviser on Foreign Policy and former Reagan Administration official, Ambassador Rich Williamson, and S. Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis issued statements following tonight’s debate in Spartanburg, South Carolina:

Ambassador Williamson:

“Mitt Romney left tonight’s debate showing that he is the candidate best equipped to secure a more peaceful and prosperous world for the United States and our allies. Mitt Romney deeply understands that the only way to meet the challenges we face abroad is to rest our foreign policy on a strong military, a strong economy, and the strength of our values. For three years, President Obama’s feckless policies have weakened our country’s standing and influence across the globe. Mitt Romney is the candidate who will restore our standing and ensure that America leads the world.”

SC Treasurer Curtis Loftis:

“Mitt Romney won tonight’s debate by articulating a strategy to ensure that the 21st century is an American century. Unlike President Obama, Mitt Romney will conduct a foreign policy that acknowledges America’s exceptional role in the world, and he will do so with clarity and resolve. In a Romney administration, our friends will never question where we stand – and neither will our adversaries.”


FINAL UPDATE: The National Journal conducted a poll of Republican insiders and the results are as follows:

Troops in Afghanistan: What Does Rick Perry REALLY Believe?


In comments published from an interview this afternoon, a Rick Perry campaign adviser said Perry does NOT support a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry kicked up a firestorm inside the GOP when he seemed to endorse Jon Huntsman’s call for a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan during this week’s debate, but his real views on Afghanistan don’t match those of Huntsman, the GOP hawks, or President Barack Obama, a senior Perry foreign policy advisor told The Cable. ‘In the dynamic of a debate when you follow someone, you kind of play off of them, and what Gov. Perry wanted to do was to express a similar sentiment to Gov. Huntsman that he very much wants to bring the troops home, we all do, but he wasn’t saying “I want to bring the troops home now,”’ the advisor said.” (Josh Rogin, “Rick Perry Clarifies: No Speedy Withdrawal From Afghanistan,” Foreign Policy’s The Cable Blog, 9/15/11)

Perry adviser:

“A precipitous withdrawal is not what he’s recommending.” (Josh Rogin, “Rick Perry Clarifies: No Speedy Withdrawal From Afghanistan,” Foreign Policy’s The Cable Blog, 9/15/11)

However, Governor Perry – on two separate occasions within the last week said he wanted to withdraw our forces from Afghanistan:

On Monday, Perry said that the best way to “deliver our aid” to Afghanistan is to “bring our young men and women home.”

PERRY: “I think the entire conversation about, how do we deliver our aid to those countries, and is it best spent with 100,000 military who have the target on their back in Afghanistan, I don’t think so at this particular point in time. I think the best way for us to be able to impact that country is to make a transition to where that country’s military is going to be taking care of their people, bring our young men and women home, and continue to help them build the infrastructure that we need, whether it’s schools for young women like yourself or otherwise.” (Gov. Rick Perry, CNN Tea Party Debate, Tampa, FL, 9/12/11)

Perry, from remarks published earlier today:

“I think we need to try to move our men and women home as soon as we can – not just in Afghanistan, but in Iraq as well.” (“Rick Perry Exclusive,” Time’s Swampland Blog, 9/15/11)



What does Rick Perry really believe? Will he change his mind tomorrow?

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney Central Says Thank You as Combat Mission in Iraq Ends

U.S. soldiers run to Kuwait border as combat mission ends in Iraq, Aug 18, 2010

After seven long years and five months, today marks the formal end of U.S. combat troops in Iraq. For us, it is not a day to delve into Iraqi war history, the politics involved, the debate on Iraqi preparedness to govern their nation, or U.S. involvement as Iraq moves forward.

To our courageous U.S. military and all coalition forces who were part of Iraq’s liberation, Mitt Romney Central wishes to say…

Thank you!


★ To the 50,000 troops who remain in an advisory capacity, thank you!

★ To those who will deploy in the future to replace said troops, thank you!

★ To the wounded, thank you!

★ To the disabled, thank you!

★ To the brave families and loved ones who support you, thank you!

★ To the soldiers who gave their lives for freedom, thank you! We honor your memory.

When Johnny [and Jane] Come[s] Marching Home (Lyrics to this song were written when gay meant happy.)

Goodbye Iraq! August 14, 2010

Last US Combat Brigade Leaves Iraq

Your courage, perseverance, sacrifice, and patriotism are forever emblazoned on our hearts.

WELCOME HOME!

► Jayde Wyatt

The Year of Our Obama

In the beginning, Obama created massive deficits and new entitlements.

And the earth was without respect for the west, and darkness was upon the face of America.

And Obama said, let there be Change. And there was Change.

In Massachusetts.

Year One of The One is history. And so it is with some sense of vindication that I, and many conservatives, look back at that year and realize that those hesitations, objections, and concerns that we voiced about what an Obama presidency would mean for the United States of America were all completely justified, utterly valid, and in their own (probably racist and heretical) way prophetic.

Has it only been one year? It seems so long ago that the newly inaugurated president ignored common sense, logistical reality, and the underlying difficulty of the task, and promised with doe-eyed optimism, shored up with that now trademark and pseudo-stern manner of his, that he’d be shutting down the American Gulag in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. Of course, today that insidious prison still has its doors open, and its halls crowded with misunderstood parishioners of the Religion of Peace. And never mind that those who once knelt in prayer within those dastardly cinder blocks, but were set free to be “reeducated” are busily plotting and carrying out yet more “man caused disasters” as retribution for… the failed policies of the last eight years.

And now instead of the triumphant and promised closing down of the Great American Blot, Barack Obama celebrates his first anniversary as our Regulator in Chief with a stiff and bitter piece of humble pie. Boston Cream Pie, to be exact, evenly Browned over the flames of righteous indignation and the cold, fierce reality that Americans tend to be a rather pushy lot, quick to recognize and reject any obvious and overbearing attempt to drive us down that road to serfdom. Even in a state that repeatedly elected Ted Kennedy and J.F.K(erry).

But Obama has responded to the political equivalent of Sparta’s 300 with the same tired, arrogant, and narcissistic rhetorical nonsense that is coming to define this man: He blamed Bush. “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office, people are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.” It would appear that voters in Massachusetts were listening when Mr. Obama had admonished us all to “grab a mop…help clean up“.

But the President was right about our anger. We are angry. At him.

If we are to believe the leg-tingled, sycophantic backscratchers and bootlickers known as “the media,” then this unprecedented president has had an unprecedented year, achieving the unprecedented and long clamored for change, that is, “the fundamental transformation of America” that has forever been the utopian vision of the American people. Or something. After 223 years of inequality and that hampering inconvenience known as the Constitution, true social justice had come to Washington, in the form of a “light-skinned African American, with no negro dialect.” Truly, Progressivism has come out of the fringe and wilderness of political exorcism and into the red, white, and blue of the American mainstream. We are all Socialists now!

Apparently, however, fundamental transformation means a 30% rise in what was already an absurdly, and statistically abnormally high rate of unemployment. The United States now enjoys the double digits heretofore only common in Europe and elsewhere. Burgeoning models of enterprise and freedom, like, say… Cuba. And despite claiming to have “saved or created” a million (or was it a billion?) jobs, more Americans today find themselves without one since the days of Jimmy Carter. Could it be that Statism leads, inevitably to job loss? How many jobs were lost in 2009? Nearly 3 million. Personally (granted, I’m a right-wing nut job) I think I liked the “status-quo” wherein people had jobs, and were even paid for doing them!

The unprecedented unemployment rate was supposed to be staved off by the wonderfully Randian named “American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.” This so-called stimulus was Keynesian binge drinking – but we taxpayers are the ones left with the hangover. To Obama, and other redistributionists, it certainly sounded like a much better idea than it turned out to be. Costing nearly 800 billion dollars (which I think is the new revised number of jobs that were “saved or created”) and promising to “put Americans back to work” (and capping unemployment at 8%) the bill hampered economic recovery by redistributing wealth to important and shovel ready projects like creating robotic bees ($9.3 million), and the relocation of an unimportant bridge ($54 million). Indeed, it can be argued (if you are Paul Krugman) that this monstrosity did keep its promise of putting Americans back to work. That is, back to work hunting for… work.

Riding the success of economic futility, Mr. Obama pressed forward, determined to not only run the United States into the ground, but also the iconoclastic, union-laden symbol of can-do-it Americanism: General Motors. After dispatching of GM’s hapless CEO, Obama placed his hand-picked successor into the driver’s seat of a company crippled by unionism and government mandated lunacy. In the process, Uncle Sam became an owner of the company, ensuring that it will never more turn a profit. General Motors, meet Amtrack; and welcome to a life of subsidization. Sensing that inevitability, The President of the United States offered to help everyone in America buy a new car, pending government approval of course. And so Cash for Clunkers took the market by storm, creating false demand and compressing years of sales into a very short, very haphazard several weeks. Since the boondoggled program ended, auto sales have slumped, and dealers from coast to coast have been left asking, “Dude, where’s the government money for my car?”

Emboldened at the remarkable success he was having in the 57 states, Obama set out on several foreign tours that presented him ample opportunity to bow to the pressures and special interests of countries considered both friends and enemies (all of whom the Lightworker has managed to anger). He shook hands (bro’ style) with Hugo Chavez, and nearly kissed the feet of the Saudi King. All the while never missing an opportunity to dismiss American exceptionalism, its military power and of course, cultural influence. After all, we obtained such status through exploitation, profiteering, slavery, and uninhibited greed. At long last the chickens of American Imperialism were coming home to roost. It was time for our global comeuppance, humble pie on a national scale, baked with love by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Only, I suppose in that case, he is busy not baking pies, but yellow cake.

Except the American people weren’t having it. In fact, they were not having much of anything. Retail sales slumped, jobless claims rose, and Obama reached never before seen approval ratings. The bad kind. Unprecedented lows. Not even the detestable George W. Bush attained such cellar-dwelling numbers in his first year as were reached by Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

He implemented a surge in Afghanistan after surging to victory in the Democratic primaries by disparaging the surge in Iraq. Which by the way, is still an American theater of war, even though his promised withdrawal date of March 2009 has long come and gone. Coming to his Afghan decision was difficult. He pondered the foggy bottom of options for days. And weeks. And months. In the meantime, while he dithered, he managed to wage war on Fox News, which, if you had not heard, is not a “legitimate news organization,” on Rush Limbaugh, who had the audacity of hoping Obama would fail, and on the American taxpayer. Keeping his pledge to “not raise taxes by one singe dime” he managed to, in fact, raise taxes by several dimes. An underachiever, this man is not.

Using such monumental success, and wielding the magical mantle of Best. President. Ever. Mr. Obama traveled to Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to cast his spell on would-be voters and plebeians who were engaging in off-year special elections. In every case, and rather soundly, that candidate he championed fell to Republican challengers. The only possible explanation for such defeats: racism and bigotry and subterfuge Tea Party maniacs. A referendum on Him these elections were not. Obama was, and will ever be guiltless. Instead these elections are merely the manifestations of those bitter, God-loving, gun clinging neophytes who are so easily confused, and so quickly whipped into irrational frenzies orchestrated by the GOP Machine, nefariously led by Dick Cheney and his Evil Designs.

One can only hope that the president will continue to campaign for Democrats in this upcoming election year.

After 411 official speeches, comments and remarks, 178 TelePrompTer appearances, 42 news conferences (none since July), 158 interviews (a staggering number) 23 Townhall meetings (with SEIU?) 46 trips to 58 cities and 30 states (only 27 more to go!), 10 overseas expeditions to 21 nations, 160 Air Force One Flights, 28 fundraisers (Bush did six and raised more money), a 1.6 trillion dollar increase in debt and 26 vacation days, the Year of The One has come to a close.

And what of us who no longer believe (or never did) in the Gospel of Barack? We hope for change. And then, we vote for it.

Even in Massachusetts.

~VoxPatriota

Romney to Visit Iraq and Afghanistan in the Next Couple Months

Romney to Return to  Iraq and Afghanistan

Romney to Return to Iraq and Afghanistan

I don’t think many of our readers doubt that Romney is setting the stage for a second run at the presidency in 2012. For those few that do, perhaps this news will lay those doubts to rest.

From CNN Political Ticker:

Mitt Romney says he wants to return to Iraq and Afghanistan

Eric Fehrnstrom, an adviser for the the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, tells CNN that “we are working through the appropriate channels to make this happen.”

“I’m going to Afghanistan and Iraq in a couple of months,” Romney declared in an interview published Sunday in the Washington Examiner. “I’ll get an assessment of what’s happening there and what the prospects are. But I certainly would support our troops with the additional troops which are being called for by General McChrystal, and provide the equipment and the manpower and the budgetary support which our troops deserve.”

The article states that Romney once visited Iraq and Afghanistan in May of 2006, as Governor of Massachusetts in a trip that was sponsored by the Department of Defense. I’d also like to point out the Fehrnstrom, mentioned in the article, is Romney’s official spokesperson and a current adviser.

Recently, I wrote the post entitled Romney Burnishes His Defense Credentials noting that Governor Romney has recently taken several opportunities to highly criticize President Obama and his missteps on foreign policy. He did so in interviews, in several media appearances, at the Values Voter Summit, and particularly at his “conversation” at the Foreign Policy Initiative luncheon. This news about Romney’s visit to the war zones is a clear indication that when he runs in 2011 he will be as knowledgeable and experienced as possible on foreign policy to ensure he can lock up the DefCon vote. It seems to be working as he is already receiving great reviews concerning his “grasp” on policy.

I reiterate the fact that there is currently a void amongst potential POTUS candidates as the obvious go-to person for DefCon voters, which void was previously split between McCain and Giuliani. DefCon voters will be looking for a place to go. More and more we will see them gravitating to Romney. This week’s fundraiser that McCain is hosting for Romney might be one of the first steps in that process.

Good luck on your trip, Governor.

(Hat tip to Bill at GOP Toast for the news. You can read his blog here.)

UPDATE: Romney Afghan trip delayed