Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When idiots speak truths, redux.

This week's truth-telling idiot? Howard Dean.

Last October, I penned “When idiots speak truths”, in which I lambasted Joe Biden for saying that, if Obama were to be elected, America’s enemies would test the administration with an international crisis within six months. I had no doubt he was right (and we’ve already seen the Obama administration fail a number of tests); I thought the statement was stupid on various other levels. But it was also amusing because it was such a great example of Joe gaffe-a-minute Biden at his best.

We now have a replay of that moment, but it’s former DNC Chair Howard Dean whose mouth “doth runneth over”. And I’m not attacking Dean for lying or obfuscating (his usual tactics), but rather using Dean’s momentary clarity against the Dems push for the “health reform” bill.

In a series of interviews with Vermont Public Radio and MSNBC, Dean has attacked the health reform bill that is nearing completion in the Senate. On VPR, Dean said “Honestly, the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill."

Hey, I like that advice. For once, Dems, listen to Dean.

But what is really astonishing is what else he had to say about the bill.

Dean said that the current bill will force citizens to pay for healthcare and fine them if they don’t. "A very small number of people are going to get any insurance at all, until 2014, if the bill works.” “IF” the bill works? Do I detect a hint of doubt?

So, did Dean just reveal that Democrats, for all their pompous statements of confidence, honestly have NO IDEA if the changes they are proposing to 1/6th of the US economy will work? Is that a gamble that YOU, Dear American Citizen, are willing to let them take with your health?

The bill does more harm than good,” he stated.

He stated on VPR: “You have the vast majority of Americans want the choices, they want real choices. They don't have them in this bill. This is not health care reform and it's not close to health care reform."

You are right, Americans want “reform”. What we don’t want is socialized medicine. And this bill is not “reform”, but rather a path to socialized medicine. Thank you for that moment of clarity.

Mr. Dean has, in the past, uttered absurdities that solidly confirmed his status as either an idiot or a liar. For whatever reason, this idiot has finally started to tell the truth—a truth, by the way, which happens to agree with the criticisms coming from Conservatives.

One problem Dean has with the bill is that the “pre-existing conditions piece” (which would have prohibited insurance companies from charging people with pre-existing conditions more for their coverage, forcing the companies to either absorb the loss—which is not likely—or spread that out to everyone else—which the companies have said they will do) has been stripped from the bill, enabling the companies to charge more to the elderly (who have a higher rate of illness than the young) and sick. Well, no kidding, Mr. Dean! So his solution is to force insurance companies to charge the same to everyone, no matter what conditions they have and how much they have neglected their health up to that point. Under his idiotic plan, the rest of us will see our rates skyrocket as a result of that insanity.

MSNBC Interviewer and liberal-apologist George Stephanopoulos tried to counter Dean’s arguments by stating all the things the bill allegedly does to “control cost:” 1) A tax on the “Cadillac health care plans”, 2) New incentives for doctors and hospitals to focus on quality, 3) and two new Medicare panels to try to control cost.

Dean replies: “George, you just named a whole bunch of bureaucracies and a lot of promises, I don’t see cost control in this bill; I really don’t.” Now, isn’t this one of the things Conservatives have been saying? Isn’t this one of the so-called “lies” for which Democrats have attacked Conservatives? Dean has again revealed that the Dems KNOW that their plan will NOT control costs!

I’d like to say that Mr. Dean might be on the road to recovery of his senses, but other comments clearly reveal that he is not. He’s still an idiot, but for political reasons alone he has finally let the truth slip. It sounds very much like the Conservatives were right all along.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Democrats & Victory: Never the twain shall meet

Current events are perpetually confusing and confounding to those who lack a sense of historical perspective. To the citizen with a reasonable education and a bit of curiosity, to he who is willing to dig and research, current events become a fascinating subject of contemplation.

I am astonished by the events surrounding the Obama administration’s handling of the war in Afghanistan. The Obama team ran their 2008 campaign not so much against the Republican presidential candidate, Senator McCain, as much as against former President George Bush, and tirelessly reiterated that the war in Afghanistan had been the “good war”, while the war in Iraq had been a disastrous misadventure and a “distraction” from the real “war on terror” (or “International Contingency Plan”, or whatever the phrase may be now).

That argument seemed somewhat reasonable and even many independents and moderate Republicans might have agreed. When Obama took office, he immediately risked alienating himself from his base when he decided to send 20,000 troops to Afghanistan to reinforce our small forces already in place. He then decided to form a “better strategy” that considered the “end game”—a swell phrase actually meaning: “how do we get the hell out of there”.

He appointed General McChrystal to head up the forces, and in March announced they had a new strategy. When General McChrystal wrote his report and requested around 40,000 additional troops in September to add to the 68,000 that were currently deployed, Obama seemed to stumble. He dithered around until December, excusing his pathetic inaction on the need “for a new strategy”—perhaps we should dub it “Obama War Strategy 2.0”.

He finally committed himself to a plan in December. Obama has decided to send—not the 40,000 troops requested—an additional 30,000. I can imagine that this must have been a tough decision on his part, since it is sure to alienate him from his far left base, which is already on the attack against him. So I feel it is fair to praise his “courage” for deciding to send additional troops and to shore up the forces.

Obama’s decision to send troops was also announced with a planned time-table for departure—or should I say, “retreat”: Summer 2011 and end in 2013.

Curiously, in his article in the Guardian UK, Ewen MacAskill, titled “Obama’s War: the final push in Afghanistan”, MacAskill wrote that “US officials said Obama wants almost all the US troops out before the end of his first term in office in January 2013, leaving behind a small contingency force. Gibbs said the president did not want to leave the problem to his successor.”

For a team that crowed that the GOP is in decline and will be out of power for the next forty years, the year 2013 should be not be considered the first year in office for “his successor”. What happened to all that confidence that Obama was “The One”? It almost appears that the Obama team has come to the conclusion that the battle can’t be won. No, not in Afghanistan: I’m talking about Obama’s re-election!

So, in one article, we find three amazing blunders by the Obama team.

First, it seems somewhat foolish to take the political risk of sending troops, an action that will irritate the left, but to send a smaller number than requested and which may not be enough—a decision that leaves him open to harsh criticism if he has to send more later on, or if he decides to abandon the effort as “futile”, since he can be accused of having provided insufficient support in order to win. His inability to make up his mind made him look weak, indecisive, and perhaps—dare I say it—cowardly. He has exposed himself thusly on both political flanks.

Second, by announcing a time-table for departure, he has not only signaled to our enemy what our plans are and the limits of our resolve, he has also boxed himself in. What if we are losing and need new troops? He won’t be able to send more without appearing foolish. What if things have stabilized but we need a little more time? He will be out of time, and will have to back-pedal in an election year. His only way of coming out ahead is if we suddenly win the war, the Taliban pack their tents and give up, and Al Qaeda is destroyed. What are the odds of that happening?

Third, it appears that, like Obama inadvertently signaling weakness and lack of confidence to our enemy, Whitehouse spokesman Robert Gibbs seems to have signaled a loss of confidence within the Whitehouse about the possibility of re-election.

There are even more bizarre statements being made by the left. When MSNBC’s analyst Chris Matthews discussed the speech, he actually called the West Point venue “the enemy camp”.

"They start with a lot of excitement. I remember the scene in ‘Gone with the Wind' where the rebels are so excited about going to war with the North, a country they can't beat because of its industrial advantage and population advantage. They are going to lose that war eventually. I watched the cadets, they were young kids - men and women who were committed to serving their country professionally it must be said, as officers. And, I didn't see much excitement. But among the older people there, I saw, if not resentment, skepticism. I didn't see a lot of warmth in that crowd out there. The president chose to address tonight and I thought it was interesting. He went to maybe the enemy camp tonight to make his case. I mean, that's where Paul Wolfowitz used to write speeches for, back in the old Bush days. That's where he went to rabble-rouse the "we're going to democratize the world" campaign back in '02. So, I thought it was a strange venue."

What is strange is that our “elite” journalists actually think that West Point is enemy territory. They must be fantastically out of touch with reality, to be surprised to not see “much excitement” among the young cadets who are facing being sent to war. Does he honestly think those kids should look forward to risking life and limb in a very dangerous engagement? Is Matthews really stating that the limit of his understanding of the military mindset was formed by his viewing of “Gone with the Wind”? He says he didn’t see much “warmth” from the older officers…well golly, Chris, when your president has left their troops without sufficient reinforcements for nine months after the initial request for troops came in, what do you expect to see? When they hear the Commander in Chief alert the enemy about the limits of our commitment, when that commander sets new and dangerous precedent by forcing troops to “Mirandize” enemy combatants and places enormous new burdens on those troops that puts their lives at danger, do you actually expect them to “get a shiver up their legs” to hear your beloved Ditherer in Chief speak?

There was another phrase in Matthew’s idiotic statement that made me raise an eyebrow. When he says that the Southern Rebels were enthusiastic to go to war against the North, “a country they can’t beat because of economic and population advantage”, he again reveals a profound ignorance and contradicts the very argument about the war that he and other liberals are making.

“Ignorance”, I say, because the “under-populated” and “economically disadvantaged” South damn near beat the North. If Matthews would read more history, he might find out that the North, which had anticipated a swift and decisive victory, was greatly surprised by the tenacity, determination and military prowess of the Southern army. The mood in the North turned decisively against the war, and President Lincoln was beset by the “Copperheads”, AKA “Peace Democrats” who petitioned him to negotiate an end to the war—without victory (I guess then, as now, “victory” was never the objective in war for Democrats).

What’s truly amazing is that Democrats have been saying that victory is “impossible” against these “insurgent forces”—even though the Afghan insurgents are challenged by a much smaller population and economic disadvantages when compared to the might of the USA. So, which is it? If the defeat of the South in the Civil War was inevitable due to these limitations, then isn’t the defeat of the Taliban also inevitable for the same reasons?

Of course not. What defeated the South, and what will defeat the Taliban, is something that none of these effete and arrogant “Peace Democrats” have to offer: true grit. That is something George Bush had in Spades, and which Obama appears to aspire to, but has no experience with.

Is it any wonder the older officers were visibly skeptical?