Monthly archives "June 2014"

Hillary’s Botched Book Roll Out

More and more leading Democrats are looking like the gang that cannot shoot straight.   We all remember the Obamacare roll out which was painful to watch even if one is for Obama’s plan to take over healthcare, which most Americans decidedly are not.   Just 48 hours before reports that a vicious new stream of terrorists, ISIS, is taking over much of Iraq, President Obama said the world has never been better, more peaceful and more tolerant.   Tin ear does not describe these remarks.   They are so silly that one would think a GOP operative authored them and slipped them into Obama’s ubiquitous teleprompter.

Not to be left out, Hillary is on her book tour and made several gaffes that have supporters puzzled and opponents openly laughing.   She chose to appear with Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts who would, on the surface, appear to be easy interviewers for the former First Lady.   But Mrs. Clinton could not wait to tell Ms. Sawyer that she and Bill were broke when they left the White House–so broke that we could hardly afford “our house-s”–plural.    But both the former President and First Lady had signed multi-million dollar book deals with the money upfront.   So she spent several days back tracking, defending and explaining.  

Mrs. Clinton then made a big, unforced error by saying that the 5 Taliban released from Guantanamo were a threat to Pakistan and Afghanistan but no threat to the U.S.   Wonder if citizens in those two nations find that comforting.   And they are a threat to the U.S.   Kirsten Powers, a fan of Democrats and  Hillary, said on FOX that she does not understand why this was said when it can so easily come back to bite her.  This was a place the front runner for the Democrat nomination in 2016 could have distanced herself a bit from the President which she is going to be forced to do in a campaign.   Barack Obama is nearing Bush country in 2007 in terms of being unpopular.

And then there is the book itself which has been reviewed by book critics for The New York Times and The Washington Post.   It has been described as a “big snore,”  “easy to put down,” and even the title, Hard Choices,  has been called banal and prosaic.   It is also typically Clinton:   “I take responsibility for Benghazi, but those decisions never reached me.”   So it really was not “Hard Choices,” nor does she take responsibility.  

By way of her book she is also indicating that she is laying Benghazi out there so it will be old news and she is not going to stoop to partisanship in discussing it.   Charles Krauthammer says this will not work as the investigation into this tragedy will be starting at the same time as the campaign for 2016.   Chairing the investigation is Trey Gowdy, a tough and experienced prosecutor.   And the families of the four brave Americans who died have certainly not forgotten.

Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard  and FOX News has asked a relevant question:   “Is Hillary rusty or is she just not that good?”    Bill Clinton was a masterful politician of Reagan stature without the Gipper’s statesmanship.   Hillary is not masterful at either one.    Bill Clinton was also likeable.   Newt Gingrich has noted that President Clinton would roll up his sleeves and work with the GOP House, of which Newt was Speaker.    Barack Obama does not work at his job and Hillary seems more of that nature of disdaining opponents.   Bill was likeable;   Hillary is not.   Even when she is smiling her eyes do not smile.   In fact, they appear to be made of steel.   And the camera does not lie about this.   It is evident even to the casual observer.

Bob Beckel, a liberal on FOX, has said on his program, “The Five,”   that after watching this botched book roll out that Hillary is not running.   She is making speeches and making money but will not run.   Time will tell, but in any case she is off to a stumbling start.    From my side I hope for more of the same.   And some Democrats who are not big fans of the Clintons are saying, “Do we really want to go through this again?”    The tone would indicate they do not.

Barack Obama has over two years more to ruin it for all the Democrats and has shown himself capable of doing that with their loss of the House in 2010 and, hopefully, a GOP take over of the U.S. Senate in 2014.    And then the White House.    Maybe we can yet save the Republic.   Heaven help us!


D-Day Plus 70 Years

D-Day and H-Hour are military terms for the hour and day of a major military campaign.   The first known D-Day designation was September 7, 1918 during WWI when the Americans under General John Pershing attacked the German positions at St. Mihiel-Salient, France.  The  best known is D-Day, June 6, 1944 with the invasion of Normandy, France.   This was the largest amphibious landing in history and the beginning of the end of Hitler’s occupation of Europe.

Some people who would later be famous were part of the Normandy invasion including Lawrence Peter Berra, better known as “Yogi” from St. Louis who would become the most honored catcher in baseball history.   Others such as Eldon Kincaid of Homer, IL were known mostly to family and friends.    I officiated at his funeral on September 9, 1996 when he died at age 74.    He was a medic who hit Omaha Beach.   He said it was not long that day before the Red Cross on the helmet meant nothing as the Germans shot at the medics as well. 

World leaders gather in Normandy each June 6 to remember–especially those anniversaries that end in zero as this year did.   I especially recall the moving address of President Ronald Reagan on the 40th anniversary in 1984.   With breaking voice a great President said:   “These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc.   These are the men who took the cliffs.   These are the champions who helped free a continent.   They are the heroes who helped end a war.  In the words of Stephen Spender’s poem, ‘Your lives left the vivid air signed with your honor.’ ” 

Future President,  General Dwight Eisenhower was the Commander of Allied Forces in  Europe.   As he gave the order for the invasion of June 6, 1944, he wrote two communications.   If the operation failed, one said, “I am responsible and I alone for this failure.”   The other was if the invasion succeeded and praised the men of the armed forces with no mention of Ike himself.    This was the kind of leaders we had then.   When the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961 turned out to be a debacle,  President Jack Kennedy, in office only three months, took full responsibility.    That is a real man talking who was a WWII veteran of the War in the Pacific.

The operation was actually set up before he assumed the Presidency, the Joint Chiefs assured the young President it would work, and, against his doubts, Kennedy gave the order.    After, the Joint Chiefs scattered to the tall grass, and the President stood alone as he said, “I am Commander-in-Chief, I gave the order and I alone am responsible.”   I appeal again to the Samuel Walter Foss poem:  
        Bring me men to match my mountains,
        Bring me men to match my plains.
        Men with empires in their purpose,
        And new visions in their brains.
Kennedy was a real man.

It is different today and we are a weaker nation because of it.   Whether it is our leaders who lead a people not as independent or a weaker people electing lesser men is a discussion for another time.   But there is no question it is different.

When Hillary Care failed,  President Clinton stood tall and said, “Talk to the First Lady”   When the F.B.I.  invaded the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, TX on April 19, 1993 resulting in the deaths of 76 men, women and children President Clinton said, “Talk to the Attorney General, Janet Reno.”   He had no problem hiding behind women, yet he is the Democrat Darling.   

Barack Obama is a Johnny One Note when it comes to passing the buck–“I inherited this mess.  It is Bush’s fault.”   That does not wash anymore so it is all the fault of partisan Republicans.   At last the public seems to be catching on to the fact that we made a mistake in 2008 and certainly in 2012 with his re-election.    Charles Krauthammer is a psychiatrist as well as a gifted columnist.   He says Obama is delusional.   A friend of the President was asked if Obama can admit an error.   The response was that it is very hard for him to take responsibility.

I am reminded of the “Psychiatric Folk Song,”  popular in the 1960’s:   
        At three I had a feeling of ambivalence toward my brothers,
        So it followed naturally that I poisoned all my lovers.
        But now I’m happy, this is taught,
        Everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault.

I am grateful for men like Yogi Berra and Eldon Kincaid who risked their lives to free a continent and Presidents like Eisenhower and Kennedy who did not blame others for failure nor did they take credit for success.   May we see their like again for the sake of freedom loving people everywhere and for the sake of our children and grandchildren and a generation yet to be.   And thank you to the men who took the cliffs: “Your lives left the vivid air signed with your honor.”