Monday, October 24, 2011
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Obama In Full Campaign Mode
President Obama, fresh off his campaign bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia, is headed to Las Vegas, Nevada for -- you guessed it -- more campaigning. Today Obama will announce yet another plan designed to help homeowners refinance their mortgages in the hopes of jumpstarting the economy. Later this week, Obama is reportedly going to announce a new policy on student loans.
Like the rest of his economic agenda, thus far his mortgage refinancing programs have been total failures. Consider these dueling headlines from the Washington Post: "Obama's Efforts To Aid Homeowners Fall Short" and "Government Announces New Program To Help 'Underwater' Homeowners."
There are distressed housing markets all over the country, but Obama is going to Nevada. Why not California or Florida? Why not just make an announcement from the White House? Why rack up another huge travel tab at taxpayer expense?
The answer is obvious. Like everything else coming out of this White House, there is only one goal in mind: Get Obama reelected.
Nevada -- just like North Carolina and Virginia -- is a key state in Obama's reelection calculus. It has voted for the Republican candidate in seven of the last ten presidential elections. Bush carried it in 2000 and 2004, but Obama won the Silver State in 2008.
Just in case you think I'm being overly cynical, even the Washington Post acknowledges, "Doing more to address the housing crisis may be crucial not only for an economy flirting with another recession but also for a president running for reelection." And NBC political reporters wrote, "So,economically, it’s unlikely that this new policy will have a big impact. But, politically, it could be more successful."
In addition, there is a disturbing theme coming out of the Obama White House now. According to various news reports, Obama's actions on housing and student loans stems from the conclusion that "we can't wait" for Congress to act, so Obama has to act unilaterally.
We have seen this president act unilaterally in the past -- dropping charges against the New Black Panther Party, ordering immigration officers to use "discretion," granting waivers without legal authority, refusing to defend laws protecting normal marriage, committing U.S. forces in Libya without authorization or clear objectives, etc.
These latest actions seem to be legally permissible within the president's executive authority. But we will be watching very closely.
Will Foreign Policy Help Obama?
As Obama struggles to win reelection with the economy hanging around his neck like an albatross, today's New York Times asks whether Obama can be helped by foreign policy. On CNBC this morning, John Harwood, who has an uncanny ability to put a positive spin on any Obama disaster, tried to argue the same point. Let's consider some of Obama's foreign policy "successes."
- Bin Laden's death and other Al-Qaeda assassinations: In these instances, the only thing that the president has to do is authorize the missions. And there is only one right decision in each case -- DO IT! President Bush initiated the policy of drone attacks and Obama has simply followed in his footsteps.
- The Arab Spring that Obama promoted is quickly turning out to be an American nightmare. The Associated Press reports that initial results from the elections in Tunisia indicate "a once-banned Islamist party is leading in the country that unleashed uprisings across the Arab world." In Libya, the rulers of the transitional government just announced the reintroduction of polygamy in accordance with Sharia law. And the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to take over Egypt.
As happy as we all are to have the troops home from Iraq, top military experts say Obama's withdrawal is a strategic mistake that surrenders the country to Iran. Retired Army Brigadier General Mark T. Kimmitt, a former deputy operations chief in Baghdad, said, "Strategically, it's obvious. This is a big win for Tehran."
Retired Army General John Keane said, "I think it's an absolute disaster. We won the war in Iraq, and we're now losing the peace. …We're losing the peace because the No. 1 strategic enemy we have in the region is Iran. And as a result of us pulling away from Iraq, we're losing our influence in Iraq. And the Iranians are gaining influence in Iraq. And that strategically should be unacceptable to us."
Obama Bows To Islamists
In an unbelievable bow to Islamists, The Daily Caller reports that the Obama Administration has ordered law enforcement and national security communities to "eliminate all references to Islam" in their counterterrorism training materials. The action was reportedly taken in response to complaints from CAIR and other Muslim apologists. In fact, the president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council recently published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times demanding a "clear and unequivocal apology to the Muslim American community" from the FBI and the Justice Department.
This is more evidence of the widespread denial and political correctness that infects our elites. This is not a war or terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic of war, but a war requires an enemy. If we are fighting a war on terrorism then World War II was a war on blitzkriegs and kamikazes. It is ludicrous to refuse to identify the enemy.
There are, no doubt, many Muslims who simply want to live peaceful lives. Most Muslims are not terrorists. But there were also many Germans who were not Nazis and simply wanted to live peaceful lives. With all due respect to the moderate Muslims, the Muslims who matter most are the ones trying to kill us. And it is vital that we understand what is motivating them to "kill the infidel."
Fact Checking Biden
In my report last week, I blasted Joe Biden's over-the-top rhetoric for suggesting that rapes and murders would go up if Congress did not approve Obama's latest $450 billion stimulus bill. Biden made those remarks in Flint, Michigan, saying that rapes and murders had spiked as the city was forced to lay off police. Guess what? As usual, Biden has his facts wrong.
According to FactCheck.org, rapes and murders in Flint are down. Consider this excerpt:
"Speaking in Flint on Oct. 12, Biden said murder and rape statistics skyrocketed in that city from 2008 to 2010 (even though, as we reported, FBI data show rapes in Flint declined during that period). Biden then added: 'God only knows what the numbers will be this year in Flint.' Actually the Michigan State Police know, for at least the first six months of the year, because the city is required to report instances of crime. And rather than supporting Biden's argument, the evidence we found undercuts it."
But if Biden really is worried about spiking crime rates, he might want to reconsider his support of the Occupy Wall Street movement. According to the New York Post, thefts are plaguing the protestors (who, ironically, are protesting greed) and shootings have skyrocketed 154%.
The Limits Of States' Rights
States' rights became a flashpoint in the campaign again last week when Herman Cain offered confusing statements on abortion and traditional marriage. I've always believed that the government that's closest to the people governs best. But the definition of society's most vital institution and the protection of its most vulnerable persons are so basic to our understanding of democracy that they must be taken up nationally. Read more in my latest column at humanevents.com.