Monthly archives "March 2014"

Ted’s Cruz-ade, Part II

Rush Limbaugh has noted that one can tell who the Left fears by the heat of their rhetoric.  They were demented in their hatred for Sarah Palin as they feared her.   Now that she appears not to hunger for the Presidency they have shifted their focus to Senator Ted Cruz of TX who may seek the highest office in the land.

Cruz has a most interesting background.  His father is a Cuban who fought Batiste and then Castro.  His dad left Cuba for TX where he earned a degree in mathematics.  His mother is of Irish-Italian descent and holds a degree in mathematics from Rice  University.  The future Senator was born in Canada when his parents were in the oil business there.   When their business skidded the family returned to TX where Ted’s father became a Southern Baptist pastor.   The Senator has said, “I am Cuban, Irish, Italian and Southern Baptist.  Go figure.”

He is also brilliant.  His Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, says Ted Cruz “is off the charts brilliant.”  Beyond intellectual gifts, Senator Cruz is also unusual in the sense that when he got to Washington he did exactly what he said he would do–he took on the Establishment of both Parties.  The GOP has accused him of starting a Republican civil war and Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY, never camera shy, says Cruz is self-promoting.

In reality, Senator Cruz is seeking to raise the middle and working classes to the point where they can support their families without government interference.  How?  Through the American Energy Renaissance Act which includes building the Keystone Pipeline and cutting government regulation in the energy sector of the economy.  He would also have EPA rules brought before Congress where Senators would have to vote on the red tape which destroys jobs.   As it is now, mindless, faceless bureaucrats make such decisions.   They never face voters or are held accountable.  But Congressional leaders do and are.  One can see why Harry Reid and even GOP leaders do not like Ted Cruz.   But voters do.  It is not only the Tea Party that has found a champion.   Working men and women who are often apolitical have an advocate as well.

Here in CO we have a weak U.S. Senator named Mark Udall.   He has no real record other than being an advocate for Obamacare and standing with the President on failed Green Energy policies which include Solyndra.   Udall opposes building new oil refineries, coal energy, and expansion of exploration for oil and natural gas.   He is for Cap and Trade.

His opponent in the U.S. Senate race is current CO Congressman Cory Gardner.   Udall is a generation older than Gardner and looks it.    Voters in CO in 2014 have a real choice between a young, energetic Congressman and a hapless, plodding Senator with no real record other than Obamacare and pushing green energy and electric cars.   My wife and I just returned to CO from IL where we attended a funeral for a family member.   In the 1700 miles we drove on I-80 I did not see one electric or solar car nor any cars plugged into recharging centers.  They all burned petroleum.

Mark Udall has so little to show for six years in the U.S. Senate (and nothing positive) that his record reminds me of a poem: 
                “There was a very cautious man,
                Who never laughed or played.
                He never risked, he never tried.
                He never sang or prayed.
                And when he passed away,
                his policy was denied.
                For since he never really lived,
                They claim he never died. 

Ted Cruz needs a Senate Majority and men like Cory Gardner to help pass The American Energy Renaissance Act which will boost wages and can help reduce our deficits.  And Cruz may well run for the Republican nomination for President.  If he becomes President, Ted Cruz has proven himself to be a fearless leader.  He is quite Reaganesque in his consistency. And,  like Teddy Roosevelt, Cruz knows the arena is the place to be.   He is not moved by sideline critics–of which he has many.

Knute Rockne was perhaps the greatest college football coach of all time.  One year he had lost all his best Notre Dame talent to graduation, and he was facing a tough Southern California team in the opening game of the new season.  Rockne knew if he was to win it would be by his wits; not the talent of his team as they had none.   So during the off season he traversed the college grounds recruiting the biggest men on campus for the team.   Most of these guys couldn’t play tiddly winks, let alone football, but Rockne promised them the most coveted letter in sport–a football letter from Notre Dame University if they would suit up and run on to the field before the game.

Opening day arrived.  Rockne let Southern Cal go out and warm up first.  Then with a mighty Irish yell he sent his troops on to the field.   They came on and they came on and they came on until it seemed Notre Dame could fill their entire stadium with huge men.   Southern Cal was rattled.  Their coach saw what was happening and huddled them up.  “Listen,” he said, “I don’t care how many Rockne’s got, he can only put 11 on the field at a time.  Same as us.”   But the damage was done and a weak Notre Dame team went out and beat a tough Southern California team by putting plenty of people on the field.

Let’s go out now and in 2014 and 2016 with plenty on the field and win our nation back to its founding principles.   Ronald Reagan once played the role of George Gipp, legendary Notre Dame football player.  From then on his nickname was The Gipper.   The great President now lives on the other side.  But his legend lives on in leaders like Ted Cruz.   Let’s go out again and “Win one more for the Gipper!”   And many more after that.

Eutychus

 

The Silent Artillery of Time

On September 17, 1787, 109 days after the delegates had convened for the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, the Framers felt that they had kept their rendezvous with destiny.   Benjamin Franklin, as he left the Convention, was asked what it had wrought.  He replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

America’s Founders were haunted by history’s record of the failure of republics.   President George Washington  pondered what could “prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations.”   The Founders knew the ancients’ assumption that virtue tends to be a wasting asset, that morals tend to decline, and therefore knew the fatalism that nations rise and fall by natural cycles.  But they had the boldness to believe that history could be beaten by reflections on our institutions:   our constitutional order.

Abraham Lincoln was the finest writer of all our Presidents including the author of The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.   In his most famous utterance, The Gettysburg Address, Lincoln wondered whether a nation like America “can long endure.”   On January 27, 1838, a quarter century earlier as a 28 year old, Lincoln delivered an extraordinary speech to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, IL.

All of America’s Founders were gone and Lincoln asked how we should fortify against the approach of danger to our Republic:  “Shall we expect some transatlantic giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow?   Never!   All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.   At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected?   I answer it must spring up amongst us;  it cannot come from abroad.   If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher.   As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

Lincoln then echoed Edward Gibbon’s last volume of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire which was published in 1788 as the U.S. Constitution was being debated.   Gibbon said ultimately Rome fell due to “the injuries of time.”  Lincoln, noting the passing of the Founders, “a fortress of strength. . .a forest of giant oaks,” and worried about “the silent artillery of time” leveling the walls they built. 

We see today the fruit of Franklin’s, Washington’s and Lincoln’s fears being borne. The 
previous Democrat President, Bill Clinton, had a pedigree of lawlessness that runs back to the perils that make republics perishable.  Clinton’s lying and behavior was an assault on popular government, constitutional principles, presidential duties and basic ethics.  For all of that Clinton has a decent record as President, owed in no small measure to Newt Gingrich and the Republicans who took over the House in 1995.  George Will rightly says, “Bill Clinton is not the worst President the Republic ever had, but he is the worst person ever to have been President.”

Now we have someone even more dangerous as he is not so much a cad as a radical with no respect for the Constitution or The Bill of Rights.   See Barack Obama’s efforts at Gun Control, the I.R.S.’ squelching of free speech for the Tea Party, taking over health care and rewriting the law at his whim from the Oval Office, and retreating from America’s responsibility to the world.

How can we reverse this?   I appeal to an article in The Weekly Standard, October 19, 2009, titled “Decline is a Choice” by Charles Krauthammer.   Dr. Krauthammer suggests that first we must accept our role as a Super Power and willingly commit to protecting our interests and the interests of the freedom loving in the Pacific, in Europe and in Latin America.   We are a benign Super Power which is why others welcome our presence in their neighborhood as opposed to Russia in the Ukraine or China in the Pacific.   In short, we must recover our moral self-confidence.

Second, we must restore our economy.   That is what Ronald Reagan did after the disastrous Jimmy Carter years and then he could proceed with number one above–again taking on the role of Super Power.   Under Ronald Reagan the old Soviet Union did not gain one inch of new territory for their sphere.   It can be done again.   How might our economy recover?   In part through energy independence which needs include the Keystone Pipeline.  This would mean oil from friendly Canada.   And we should build new nuclear power plants–something even Hillary Clinton does not oppose.   Finally, let us not be afraid of coal which we also have in abundance.  These efforts would help us and hurt Russia now on the march under Putin as well as put thousands of Americans to work again.

Third, we must reduce our debt.   That means entitlement reform and reducing the role of the state in our lives–less government.   That will not happen under the current regime or even an Establishment Republican.    We need a true Conservative to lead again.   And we as a people need be willing to endure some pain for the sake of our children and grandchildren.    Our Founders certainly did this for us.

Finally, Charles Krauthammer appeals to Demosthenes, Greek thinker and philosopher.   He was asked what to do about the decline of Athens.   His reply?  “I will give you what I believe is the fairest and truest answer:   Don’t do what you are doing now.”    If we wish to avoid decline by “the silent artillery of time,” we must make a choice for new leadership.   And we must be a people willing to make changes and sacrifice where needed.   Can we do this?   As a great President said at his inauguration on January 20, 1981, “Of course we can.  We are Americans.”
Lord, let it be so for the sake of our children and grandchildren and freedom loving people world wide.

Eutychus  

King Putin/Obama Pawn

Michael Ramirez is my favorite political cartoonist.    His cartoon for March 17 portrays Vladimir Putin as a powerful, threatening King on a chess board and Barack Obama as a small, lowly nearby pawn looking quite detached.   This cartoon speaks volumes about Obama’s living in Fantasy Land in terms of foreign policy.

On February 23, five days before Russia invaded Ukraine, National Security Adviser Susan Rice of “an anti-Islam video caused Benghazi” fame, appeared on Meet the Press. She said a Russian invasion of Ukraine  would be a Cold War construct which is “long out of date and does not reflect reality in the 21st century.”   She, Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama all suffer with pretending the world is what they wish it to be rather than seeing it as it is.

On February 28, with television screens across the world showing Russian soldiers crossing into Crimea, White House officials called it, not an invasion, but an “uncontested arrival” which was something different and key to understanding the new developments.  But this would not keep so President Obama delivered a statement: “The United States will stand with the international community in seeing that there were costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”  

Stephen Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard, says this “carried the snarl of a puppy,” and was a statement of a President not ready to lead.   Charles Krauthammer has noted the same weakness which reminds one of Jimmy Carter.   However, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan late in his Administration, Carter helped arm the Afghans that they might fight back and then boycotted the summer Olympics which Moscow was hosting.   Better late than never.   Obama shows no sign of realizing the Russian threat to the Ukraine and to international order.   This returns us to a foreign policy based on fantasy and King Putin vs. Pawn Obama.  

Even today Secretary of State John Kerry tempers his warnings to Russia with assurances that Vladimir Putin should not take our stance personally or as a matter of meaning harm.   It would appear that we wish to keep pushing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s reset button of relations with the Russians even as they plan a reset of Russia’s old glory.   Putin shows no sign of looking for an off ramp on Ukraine;  in fact, he appears to be looking down the road for incursions further into that country.

From the withdrawal  out of Iraq with no residual American forces, to leaving Afghanistan, to a false red line in Syria, to the dodge on Benghazi, to weakness on Iran, a thug like Putin is practically invited to make mischief.   Meanwhile Obama lives in Fantasy Land.   Give Hillary Clinton credit.   She has noted that Putin’s moving into Ukraine reminds one of Hitler’s moving into Austria at the outset of WWII.

When Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to Britain from Munich in 1938 having appeased Hitler with the partition of Czechoslovakia, Winston Churchill met him with these stinging words, “You had a choice between war and dishonor at Munich.   You have chosen dishonor and now you shall have war.”    Our President had a choice between fantasy and reality in the face of Vladimir Putin.   He has chosen fantasy and we may now have the reality of a new Cold War.   And that without even the possibility of a Winston Churchill before the Presidential Election of November 2016–2 years and 7.5 months from now.

Let us pray for such a leader to follow Barack Obama even as Ronald Reagan followed Jimmy Carter.   And let us keep a sense of humor.   Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart is good medicine.” Right now we face the renewed Russian Bear with the snarl of a puppy as Stephen Hayes notes.   But it will not always be so.  Let us trust that even now God is raising up, not a false messiah to disappoint, but a real man to stand up to a thug and lead us again to be “a shining city on a hill.”

Dear Lord, let it be so!

Eutychus 

Predictable Paroxysms of Paranoia

Steven Hayward is the author of the fine 2 volume work, The Age of Reagan.  It is praised by Michael Barone, William F. Buckley and Edwin Meese as a fascinating and most readable work on our 40th President.   In Volume 2 he has a chapter entitled “The Town Trembled” which notes the predictable paranoia of the Far Left at Ronald Reagan’s election.  Eddie Williams, black columnist for The Washington Post, wrote that we were entering the dark night of American Fascism.  More than 2000 showed up for three nights at Berkeley in protest.  Fidel Castro likened Reagan to Hitler.  Interesting take from a Communist.

Another interesting thing began to happen even before President Reagan’s passing in 2004–many on the Left started to like him.   One reason was the end of the Cold War and recognition that he was a chief author of this.    A second reason is the discovery beginning in the late 1990’s of his extensive writings on a wide range of topics.   These writings reveal a lively and informed mind of real depth.   Ronald Reagan was anything but the amicable dunce which is how Clark Clifford described him.   In fact, the President and his team were the best prepared for the tasks before them of any Administration in modern history–perhaps ever. 

Even the aforementioned Washington Post wrote that after Reagan’s Inaugural Address,
“America seemed a different place.”   Some likened it to FDR’s taking charge in 1933.  Both were men who gave a shaken nation confidence.   We need such leadership again. 

The March 3 issue of The Weekly Standard has a piece by James Ceaser, Political Science professor at the U of VA, titled “The Great Disappointment.”    The cover shows President Barack Obama addressing students who are nodding off, distracted or wearing the blank stares  
of those for whom there is no longer hope and too much of the wrong kind of change.   They know their political messiah has failed.

This may make it more difficult for Hillary Clinton to ascend to the Presidency.   She is tied to Obama’s State Department, the tragic deaths of four brave Americans at Benghazi, and her own failed 1990’s healthcare plan called “Hillarycare.”   She is not helped by a naturally mean spirit and her shouting out at Senate hearings on Benghazi with, “What difference does it make?”  

Thus, it may be that the next President of the United States spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in MD over the past three days.   Barack Obama reminds many of the failures of Jimmy Carter domestically with a faltering economy and in foreign policy with a weak President inviting Russian aggression.    Even the Left cannot escape these comparisons.   But that does not mean there will be no predictable paroxysms of paranoia over a Rand Paul or a Ted Cruz’s becoming President.

These have already begun with liberal media types like Rachel Maddow at MSNBC (though she has been more obsessed with Chris Christie and Bridgegate of late) and Wolf Blitzer at CNN.   Fortunately these programs draw almost no audience.   Newspapers like The New York Times 
and The Washington Post will also do their part to portray any conservative Republican as an extremist but they too are losing influence.

It is important for conservatives to stand on principle and not to be dissuaded by the so called Main Stream Press and the false propaganda that will be spread about them.   Here too Ronald Reagan was the master at staying focused whatever his critics said.   This became an endearing trait to a large number of undecided voters–many of whom became the Reagan Democrats.   The election of 2016 may be one of those where the nations slaps its hand on the kitchen table and says, “We’d better try something different.”  Jimmy Carter gave us such a time in 1980.   Barack Obama is giving us the same for 2014 and 16.   Here again men and women of principle must stand strong and not be turned by the chattering classes.  

Winning an election is a matter of a Party finding the right fit between message, candidate and mood.   Republicans stand to be the natural beneficiaries of the Great Disappointment of Obamaism.    Their views of Barack Obama have been vindicated.   The GOP candidate in 2016 needs be an individual who understands the mood of the time and a nation that will doubtless be done with political messianism.    And because they stand on principle they can resist bowing to the predictable paroxysms of paranoia from the Press and the radical campus.    They would do well to heed the words of the Great Prophet in Isaiah 7:4, “Be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted.”     The good guys can win again.   Dear Lord, let it be so!

Eutychus

Reagan, Carter & Obama

In 1980 Henry Kissinger summarized the disaster of Jimmy Carter’s four years as a trifecta of failures:  “The Carter Administration has managed the extraordinary feat of having, at one and the same time, the worst relations with our allies, the worst relations with our adversaries, and the most serious upheavals in the developing world since the end of the Second World War.”   Barack Obama came into office saying he wanted to be the Ronald Reagan of the Left.   Instead he is revealed as the same type of buffoon as Carter.

He finally managed a very weak statement on the Russian military adventure in the Ukraine.  A mere 30 minutes later he was across town having a happy hour with his Democrat pals.  Is it any wonder that Vladimir Putin (a strong leader) has such obvious contempt for Obama?    Is there any doubt Obama fears Putin?    He has not even called the Russian leader but rather has dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to be in touch with Russia and the Ukraine.   That is comforting isn’t it?

Give Putin credit.  He has a coherent and strategic foreign policy.  Neighboring Estonia says Putin is not Hitler but it is like having Mussolini as your neighbor.   The Russian leader appears to be Finlandizing Eastern Europe.   That is Cold War-speak for how a large powerful nation carefully erodes the sovereignty and independence of smaller states.   During the Carter years the Soviet influence expanded by roughly one Belgium each year.

Wonder if Vladimir would try this if Ronald Reagan were President.   Reagan aid, Lyn Nofziger (whom the President always called Lynwood), accurately said, “When Ronald Reagan was President, the old Soviet Union did not advance one inch.   In fact, they left Afghanistan with their tail between their legs.”    From a Belgium each year to retreat by the U.S.S.R.   What was the difference?  A President who said, “We will so build our  military that the Soviets will crack.”   And they did.  By the way, when the State Department kept taking the line out that became a Reagan benchmark, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” Nofziger kept putting it back in.   He said, “Mr. President, you are the leader of the Free World;  not the State Department.”

Even many Republicans were content to maintain détente with the Soviets and doubted Reagan’s view that the communists could not keep up with capitalism in terms of military advance.   With economic recovery after the disastrous Carter years, President Reagan set out to rebuild our military to the point that the U.S.S.R. did indeed sue for peace.   As a side note, one man who did agree with the President was Edward Rozek, Political Science professor at the U of CO, Boulder.   I had the privilege of studying under this man from Poland who was wounded three times as he fought to free his nation from the Nazis only to see the Communists take over after WWII.   He came to this land with 50 dollars in his pocket and became a leading scholar in international affairs.   He finished his career as an advisor to President Reagan and staunch supporter of beating the Evil Empire and freeing his homeland and the Russian people.

Today we have a President who came in wanting to be the Ronald Reagan of the Left.   There is no such person and never can be.   Ronald Reagan was a visionary who helped our nation and the world recover.   The Left under men like Carter and Obama destroy.   At last on Friday, February 28, 2014, President Obama spoke about the crisis in Ukraine:  “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”   Wow!  That will certainly shake Putin–especially when Obama immediately goes across town and says to his Democrat buds, “It is after 5 on Friday.   Let Happy Hour begin.”

Obama is like the parent who says to the misbehaving child, “If you keep that up there will be big trouble.”   The behavior continues and there is no big trouble.  Vladimir Putin knew he was dealing with a weak President when Obama came in and canceled a deal that George Bush made with Poland for the installation of medium range missiles for their defense should the Russian bear rear its head again.   What did our President get in return?   Nothing except contempt from a man who understands power and wields it.

We saw some of this same weakness with Bill Clinton who did little after the World Trade Towers were bombed in 1993.   It was treated as a police problem rather than a military one.   Similarly there was little response when the U.S.S. Cole was attacked.   One could see there would be major threats on the horizon as we were seen as weak.    How major became clear on September 11, 2001.  

When Bill Clinton was nominated in 1992, Pat Buchanan addressed the Republican Convention and said, “Bill Clinton’s foreign policy experience consists of occasionally dining at the International House of Pancakes.”   Barack Obama’s response to a foreign crisis is to go to Democrat Happy Hour.    

When a President of the United States does not lead as Carter, Clinton and Obama do not, there is international banditry and mischief at the hands of miscreants world wide.   We are seeing this again in the Ukraine, Syria, and Argentina.   What to do?

We must pray for a leader who is not afraid of action or unleashing American economic and military power when necessary.   The world cries for this.   And we must see a renewal of our moral compass.   This is the work of God through His people across the country and around the world.   During the Carter years there was a Ronald Reagan in the wings.   Is there such again?   Ted Cruz?  Rick Perry? Scott Walker?  Someone of whom we are not yet thinking?   Is there someone even near Ronald Reagan stature in the wings?   There better be!

Eutychus