Monthly archives "May 2010"

Barack Obama, Joe Sestak and Bill Clinton

Like many persons interested in politics I enjoyed following the Democratic primary race in Pennsylvania pitting Arlen Specter against Joe Sestak.   I also appreciated the humor of the Anointed One, The One We have been Waiting For, Barack Obama, going down in flames again as he did in VA, NJ,  and MA.    The candidate he backed, in this case, Specter, lost.   He is also backing Michael Bennet here in Colorado.   This may bode well for Andrew Romanoff.   More about this in a moment.

But the Pennsylvania Primary is significant because Joe Sestak has openly and frequently said that he was offered positions by the Obama Administration not to run against Specter.   This is against Federal Law.   We now have learned that the person who contacted Sestak and offered him a job in exchange for not running in the PA Primary was none other than that paragon of virtue Bill Clinton, nicknamed Slick Willie.    Why are we not surprised?

Further a job offer (not necessarily from Bill Clinton) was also extended to Andrew Romanoff here in CO not to run against Michael Bennet.   Apparently the Obama Administration feels that if you are going to break the law once you might as well go whole hog.  And this from a President who promised transparency and new ethical standards from the White House.   Must have had his fingers crossed.     Mike Littwin had a column in The Denver Post on Sunday May 30 concerning the Romanoff job offer.

Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell, appeared on FOX News Sunday on May 30 to say that, not only is there nothing wrong with this sort of clearing the field, he, Rendell, has done it himself.    In contrast, Bill Krystol, editor of The Weekly Standard, said on that same FOX News Sunday that he recalls being briefed on the ethics of this and seeking to honor the law.   He was an assistant to former Vice President, Dan Quayle, from 1989-1993.

There is always winking at the law in politics.  There are always persons who live on the ethical edge.   The Presidency took a major hit with Watergate.    But Richard Nixon resigned in the face of scandal.   I would submit that we hit a new low during the Clinton Administration.   In fact, pollsters began a new section of questions on the morality of the President.   Here Bill Clinton’s numbers were in the thirties.   When he left office 60% of the nation said he was dishonest.   And he was disbarred for his lack of ethics.  There is great irony here.   A President of the United States, sworn to uphold the law, losing his license to practice law for the breaking thereof.

Unlike Nixon. Clinton lied under oath, parsed words in a way painful to watch and refused to resign and was, thus, the second American President to be impeached.   Former Secretary of Education, William Bennett, wrote a book on the Clinton scandals entitled The Death of Outrage.   Clinton’s defenders claimed that the President’s moral failings with Monica Lewinsky and others did not hurt anyone.   But Bennett noted male students in Denver middle schools grabbing young girls undergarments.   When confronted these animals said, “We are just like Bill.”   But Clinton’s scandalous behavior did not hurt anyone.

I contrast Clinton with Harry Truman who said when asked to take a compromising stance, “I am just holding this Office, Gentlemen.  If I dirty it, the dirt does not all leave with me.   Some of it remains to rub off on the next man.  Nothing doing.”   After leaving the Oval Office, Truman was asked to serve on various boards for very large sums of money.   His reply was always the same:   “You do not want Harry Truman.   You want a former President of the United States.   I will not compromise that Office.”   He refused every time and lived very simply the rest of his life.   What our nation would give to have a man like this as President again.

It is hard to think of Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, or either of the President’s Bush calling Joe Sestak and offering hm a job not to run.   But Obama (and is there any doubt he was consulted?) knew exactly who to ask to do this deed.    When billionaire Ross Perot ran for President a second time in 1996 he had a 30 minute infomercial in which he held up a portrait of Bill Clinton and asked, “Would you run a McDonald’s Restaurant with this man?    Neither would I.   Let us not make the same mistake twice.”   And Bill Clinton, though elected two times to the Presidency, never got 50% of the vote.   Both times over half the country voted for someone else.

I realize that both political parties have ethically challenged persons in leadership roles.    But somehow it seems that the Republicans still realize there are moral fences, know where they are, and jump them with an uneasy conscience.    And when caught they tend to resign.   In contrast, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Bill Clinton stay in office backed by most of the Press.   For too many Democrats:  “What moral fence?   I don’t see any fence.”   Then the law becomes arbitrary and capricious and the Constitution expandable if not expendable and anything goes.   And even a good man like Ed Rendell says this doesn’t matter.   No barriers.   No fences.   No rules.   Anything goes.   And the general public wonders why they should obey the law when their leaders do not.

But this is a false freedom that brings on all sorts of social ills that can destroy a nation.    The freest flying bird flies because it obeys the laws of aerodynamics.    No society remains free for long under these conditions.   We have a choice as voters.   Slick Willie and those who retain his services?  Or Ethical Harry?   Slick Willie or Honest Abe?

I will be voting for Conservative Republicans.   I will be voting for persons who see the Moral Fences.   I will be voting for my children and grandchildren.

Eutychus

Thirteen Presidencies

I have lived under thirteen Presidencies.   Two of these Presidents are considered great–FDR and Ronald Reagan.   While these two men had different political philosophies they both gave a shaken nation confidence.   One defeated the Nazis and the other defeated Communism–two scourges of the 20th Century.

Two Presidents of this time are considered near great in many circles–Harry Truman and Ike Eisenhower.   Truman stopped the advance of communism in Korea, established that MacArthur was not President but a 5 star general and Eisenhower demonstrated that a 5 Star General could be President and balance the military and the industrial complex.

One Presidency was tragically cut short before it could reach fruition but, before his assassination, JFK made the Soviets blink during the Cuban missile crisis.   His style and grace inspired millions of young people including this one.   Two very bright men ruined their Presidencies through carelessness and corruption.   Nixon resigned and Clinton was impeached.   David Gergen worked for both these men and speaks of their own self-destruction in his work, Eye Witness to Power.

One President, though average in ability, helped restore order and decency to the office left soiled by Richard Nixon.   Gerald Ford’s pardon of Nixon probably cost his reelection. However, most feel today it was the right thing to do.   But Ford was a giant when compared to his successor, Jimmy Carter, who was simply not up to the task, and is the weakest of the lot.

But now we are led by a man who is dangerous to our liberties and to the greatness of this nation.    We lived near Springfield, IL for six years.   Three of those years Barack Obama was a state senator from Chicago where he consistently voted “Present” on tough votes.   It is known as the Coward’s Count.   For another three years he was our junior U.S. Senator and managed to be on the job for about 140 days.   The rest of the time he was absent as he sought the Presidency.   As a side note our Senior Senator was Dick Durbin who once said our troops were acting like Nazis.   What a pair.   Add to that disgraced former Governor Blago and persons wonder where are the Lincoln’s and Reagan’s so shaped by the Midwest. 

Obama is by far the most inexperienced of these thirteen Presidents.   But that is not the major problem here.   No, the flaw is that this man is of the Far Left. surrounded by radical friends and advisors.   He does not understand freedom nor free enterprise which he seeks to dismantle if not destroy in an effort to make us more like Europe.   And this from a man who has never met a payroll or run anything other than protesting those who make things work.   He does not deliver on promises of transparency and a new tone.

Paradoxically, this dangerous man is also a comic figure.   He remains arrogant when most everything he has done has fallen short or failed all together.   There are shades of Inspector Clouseau here-a bumbler who does not recognize he is seen by the sensible as a dolt.   Republican Senators noted recently in their face to face with the President that he has a very thin skin.   No ability to laugh at self which leads to lack of balance.   At long last what Bernie Goldberg calls the “Lamesteam media” and Laura Ingraham refers to as the dinosaurs of communication are also recognizing the President is not up to the task.

What to do?   First, let us elect men like Ken Buck in 2010.   He is more experienced than current Senator Bennet and more current than former Lt. Governor, Jane Norton.  At the same time, Mr. Buck is not of the Establishment and is unafraid to speak up on controversial issues in a non-P.C. manner.   This is a freshness that appeals to the new Tea Party movement as well as those who may be more jaded by politics as usual.    There is a Reaganesque quality here.   This man really means it.  May his tribe increase. On March 10 my wife and I attended a breakfast where Mr. Buck said that with enough conservatives to take over one or both chambers of Congress, we can stop the Far Left’s agenda, including Obamacare.

Second, we must defeat the President and his Party in 2012 as well.    As George Will has said, this is not time to play well with Democrats.   It is time to send them into the wilderness.  A second term for this crowd may well make disaster irretrievable.   Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will become a more distant memory.  

I have lived under thirteen Presidents.    This one is a true Radical.   We are stuck with Obama until 12:00 noon, E.S.T., January 20, 2013.   Let us make sure it is not one hour longer than that.

Eutychus

The Radical, Incompetent Left

I once dealt with a totally incompetent United Methodist bishop.    Some called her evil.   I generally replied that in order to be evil one has to be bright enough to know the difference between right and wrong.   I also suggested that if someone knew nothing about the role of bishop, observe what this woman did, do the opposite and they would come out ahead.

Many are beginning to draw the same conclusion about President Obama.   We hear he is very bright and very cool.   Perhaps, but it is hard to think he has common sense or any wisdom.   He said the 800 Billion dollar stimulus package would keep unemployment below 8 %.   It now stands near 10.   Obamacare would bend the cost of health care down.   The CBO has now concluded it will cost much more than estimated.   At a time of high unemployment he pushes a radical agenda on Cap and Trade which will further cost jobs.  And we are already crushed with debt. It is hard to think of much where the President has been right or wise.

Obama  turns his back on allies like Israel, and distances us from friends like Britain and France but holds a state dinner for Mexican President Felipe Calderon after the leader of our neighbor to the South trashes our land.  Beyond that he joins the Mexican President in piling on Arizona.  In the summer of 2009 Obama stood by silently while Iranians protested corrupt elections and said nothing when a young Iranian woman was gunned down by their radical regime.  

Beyond all this he seems not to care for the nation he purports to lead, apologizes for our land at every opportunity, ignores the will of the population and seems determined to weaken a great people.   One part of this is especially dangerous–Obama’s stance on Israel.    Nations that stand with Israel stand.   Those who do not–fall.

Let us take a speedy trip through history.   The Amalekites attacked Israel constantly from the time of the Wilderness Wanderings in 1500 B.C.   They have disappeared from history.   So have the Edomites and other ancient peoples who stood against God’s Chosen.   Mighty Mesopotamian Empires, the Assyrians and Babylonians are gone.   Persian Prime Minister, Haman, sought to eliminate the Jews and was hanged around 480 B.C. in the time of Esther, Hebrew Queen of Persia.   The greatest of the Empires, Rome, destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and scattered the Chosen to the 4 winds.  Rome fell and today no nation speaks the language of the Empire, Latin.

In modern times, the Nazis sought to kill all the Jews in Europe.   Hitler said his Reich would last a thousand years.   It lasted thirteen.   The U.S.S.R. sided with the Arabs against Israel.   The Soviet Empire is gone.   It is never a fair fight when one stands against Israel because as Nehemiah said in the face of their enemies in 445 B.C., “Join us.  Our God will fight for us.”  (Nehemiah 4:20)

American Presidents from Harry Truman until now have always stood with Israel.   Our troops helped liberate the Jews from the Nazis in 1945.   President George W. Bush was called as fine a friend as Israel has ever had.   Now  President Obama distances our nation from Israel,  appears quite content to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, and rudely treats Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, when he recently visited the White House.   No State Dinner for Bibi.   What happens to nations who fail to stand up for God’s Chosen?   They Fall.   What is happening to our Land?   We are weakening economically, morally and socially.

Frederick the Great of Prussia once asked one of his priests to prove the Bible was true in one word.   The priest replied with great wisdom, “The Jew, Your Majesty.”   “The Jew.”   Whatever God’s People have faced at the hands of great and lesser empires, they have survived.   Those who persecute the apple of God’s eye find themselves in the dust bin of history.
 
Like the erstwhile bishop, I would suggest to a new President, watch Obama and do the opposite, and you will come out ahead.    But it is easy to change churches when one is led by radicals and incompetents.  There are many alternatives.    But leaving one’s country is not an option.   There is only one America.  

Well what to do?   First, be unafraid to speak up and to stand for liberty.  Do not fear pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes.   Our Founders had that kind of courage.  Second, support sensible conservatives like Ken Buck for the U.S. Senate in Colorado and Bill Brady for Governor of Illinois.  Third, let us check our own moral compass and pray for personal wisdom as leaders of our families.  And finally, let us also pray for national renewal.   Pray for national leaders who also pray AND who stand up for Israel–come what may. 

I heard a leader in my church say once, “When a nation turns from God, He withdraws His wisdom from their leaders.”   We live in that day, but it is not too late to call back the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.   “Restore us to Thyself, O Lord, that we may be renewed.”   (Lamentations 5:21)   Dear God, may it be so!!

Eutychus

  

Holder, Obama, and Arizona

The 1968 movie Finian’s Rainbow had a character, Senator Billboard Rawkins, portrayed by Keenan Wynn.   He was asked if he had ever read the Constitution.   His response was “Read it?   I am too busy defending it to read it.”

There is a sad twist to this humorous line that is not in a movie but grounded in reality.    Attorney General, Eric Holder, was asked by Republican Congressman Ted Poe, 2nd District of TX at the House Judiciary Committee on  May 13 if he had read the AZ immigration bill.   Holder said he had glanced at it but not read it.   In essence, the Attorney General is saying, “Read it?   I am too busy demagoguing it to read it.   I am too busy trashing AZ over this bill to study it.   I am thinking of filing a law suit against the state of AZ but I have not read the bill.”

One wonders if the President has read it.   The AZ bill is well within the parameters of the Federal statutes on immigration–which are not being enforced.    This is why The Grand Canyon State had to take action as they are overrun with drug runners, kidnappings and the murder of an AZ rancher.

Increasingly the Obama Administration appears hapless and the Attorney General to be Senator Billboard except Holder is serious.  As the late Art Buchwald used to say, “I cannot make this stuff up.”   These are very trying days and we are led by persons beginning to strongly resemble the Jimmy Carter Administration.   What makes this crowd so dangerous is that they remain arrogant and self confident when they ought to be sobered and reflective.

C.S. Lewis wrote in The Pilgrim’s Regress, “And what is this Valley called?”   “We call it now simply Wisdom’s Valley, but the oldest maps mark it as the Valley of Humiliation.”    Most of us can respect persons who admit errors and learn from them.   This Administration seems incapable of either.   If it is not going right, they inherited this mess or it is George Bush’s fault.  Ah, for Harry Truman’s “The Buck Stops Here.”   

Fortunately the American people have wisdom the Administration lacks and have elected Republicans in VA, NJ and MA.   Bring on November 2010.

Eutychus

P.S.   We plan to vacation in AZ but will not travel to the state once called Golden but is now iron pyrite.   Join us at the Grand Canyon 

An Encounter

Around 3:30 PM on Saturday, May 8, my wife and I went to Safeway to pick out some Mother’s Day flowers and to finish shopping for the family dinner we planned for the next day.   As we entered the store I saw a gentleman with ball cap and sweatshirt against the spring season standing at the other door.   He had clipboard in hand and various shoppers leaving the store were stopping to visit.  If it was a poll I wished to participate.

We exited around 4:15 and he approached us with a smile and asked if we were Republicans.   We said we were and the happy scene continued as he said, “Good!   I am here to collect signatures to place Jane Norton on the ballot for the U.S. Senate from our Party.”   We thanked him for his effort but told him we were supporting Ken Buck.   The smile vanished and he brusquely said, “All you had to say was ‘No.’ ”   He turned away to catch another exiting shopper.

As we drove home we reflected on the little drama we had just experienced.   My wife suggested what would have been a better response:  “I think I would have said, ‘Well, I am glad we are all Republicans.   Whichever Republican gains the nomination, let’s work together to defeat the Left in the coming election.’ ”   I thought that struck just the right chord as opposed to rudeness in the face of a difference of opinion within the Party.   Whether it be Bennet or Romanoff that we face we will need to work together.   There must not be a Civil War in the GOP.

I also thought of Ken Buck’s sharing at a Republican breakfast on March 10 in Greeley on the rigors of a campaign.   He spoke of retiring sometimes at 2AM after a full day of addresses and forums and then rising at 7AM to speak at a breakfast like that one in March.   His conclusion was quite revealing about the man and his graciousness:   “When one faces a schedule like this it leads to empathy for others also experiencing the demands of a campaign–whatever their Party.”

Whether we be for Ken Buck (as we are strongly so) or Jane Norton let us not act like Democrat Donkeys when we meet at Safeway on Mother’s Day eve.

Eutychus 

Barack Obama and the Supreme Court

John Paul Stevens, nearly 90 years old and 35 years on the Supreme Court, retires this summer.  He was appointed by Gerald Ford, moderate Republican President following the scandals of Richard Nixon.   It is an interesting and sad fact that Republican Presidents have often been unpleasantly surprised when their Court nominees rule from the Left rather than the Center or the Right.   Dwight Eisenhower said the worst mistake of his life was naming Earl Warren as Chief Justice.    President Ford did not expect the mild of manner, bow tied Stevens to be a Radical.   Perhaps the most infuriating was Justice Souter appointed by President H.W. Bush.   This was especially grievous when there were several brilliant conservative judges available.    Fortunately Souter did not take up space on the Court for 35 years.

On the other hand, Democrat Presidents do not seem to suffer with, in Souter’s case, a total double cross.   It is true that Colorado’s own Byron White was more conservative than Jack Kennedy anticipated but Kennedy was a very sensible Democrat with mainstream views.   But most Democrat Presidents have been able to count upon loyal Left Wing Court votes.   I give you Bill Clinton’s Justices, Ginsburg and Breyer.

Now Barack Obama has his second chance at the Court.    Fortunately, while this will be a Justice who makes law from the Court they will be replacing another of the same ilk.   The balance will not  change much but this will be a younger version of Stevens who will likely be there for years.    Let us pray that the more conservative members of the Court stay through Obama’s (hopefully) one term.   This illustrates again the importance of elections and why 2010 is critical.

It is a long shot but if the Republicans are able to take over the Senate they can block Justices that are too far to the Left.   On the Conservative side Ronald Reagan faced this with the failure of the Robert Bork nomination.   During the years of  Bush 43 the Democrats began to filibuster Court nominees.   This was a new and unseemly tactic.   Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked if Republicans might do this in the future.   The Senator from KY said this was possible as Democrats had shown the way with this method.

It would be well if all this became academic with the election of enough Republicans to the Senate in 2010  to change the balance of power.   If they are Conservative GOP members all the better.   And then let us sweep the field in 2012 with a Republican President as well.

Is it that important?   On November 6, 1988, George Will submitted a column entitled “5,000 Reasons for Voting for George Bush.”
The 5,000 are the appointments a President makes to fill various government posts.   Then George Will zeroed in on three of those thousands–the then three 80 year old Supreme Court Justices, Harry Blackmun, William Brennan, and Thurgood Marshall.   George Will rightly felt that Bush would replace some of these liberals on the Court.  He went on to say that  “almost the entire public agenda seems to pass through the courts.  It is urgent that new Justices reverse this tendency.”

Thomas Jefferson said he feared tyranny from the unelected judiciary more than that which might spring from the executive or the legislative as those two branches would cancel each other out.   Yes!   It is that important.

Eutychus