Obama’s minority voters: Indefinite detention? “Sí, se puede!”

These two Obama voters are thinking: “Indefinite detention without a trial! Only in America … and Venezuela! And Cuba! Si se puede!”

President Obama was propelled to re-election on Tuesday by minorities, prompting one Fox commentator to quip that a policy that requires people with a darker skin tone to show “papers” pushed them away from Romney — even though those same voters were not scared by the current commander in chief, who signed into law the ability to bypass the request for papers and indefinitely detain anyone. Without a trial. Anywhere.

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act during his first term, which gives the commander in chief expanded powers to deal with terrorism. It’s public policy from a liberal’s worst nightmares, which would have been the perfect left hook (interspersed with plenty of shots from the right) to blunt to Mr. Obama’s fear-mongering on immigration. Romney needed to puncture the Democrats’ choke hold over the notion that they have immigrants’ best interest at heart. He didn’t and paid a price; Mr. Obama received the support of 72 percent of Hispanics, America’s fastest-growing population.

Many conservatives are scared of intellectually hitting Democrats from the left. Indeed, it is a task requiring great skill. Do it the wrong way and you wind up looking like a faux conservative like Chris Christie, who turned to Jimmy Carter price controls when he was in a bind.

It is tough to nail an opponent from the left without simultaneously undercutting conservative principles. For instance, fighting Islamic terrorism is a complicated necessity.  The enemy wears no uniform, has expanded the battlefield to any place and any location, and isn’t always supported by a state actor. But conservatives need to find a way cut through liberal double think before it sets in, and they don’t have much time. A zinger from the left flank that points out hypocrisy without side tracking the conversation is a handy option to have. President Obama won blacks by 93 percent in 2012, and if Hispanics become similarly impervious to the superiority of free markets and limited government, the nation is in great peril.

The danger for conservatives is to assume these trends will pass when Mr. Obama leaves office. In many respects, his followers are cultish. He is the Marshall Applewhite of modern American politics, and his Keynesian economics is the Hale Bop comet that will never come. It requires supporters to ignore the debt meteor that is fast approaching, but what would be worse would be if such blind allegiance transferred to the Hispanic vote. I believe we are on a cultural precipice, and if we haven’t already fallen off, we are hanging onto the edge with white-knuckled desperation.

A harbinger of things to come, if conservatives don’t act with an urgency, can be found by looking at the re-election of Jesse Jackson Jr. in Chicago. The man has been mentally incapacitated for months, holed up in various locations, including the Mayo Clinic. The Washington Post recently cited reports that he thought he was a reincarnated chariot driver, and to top it off federal investigations are looming if he recovers. (Or is the whole thing a ruse to stall the inevitable?) Regardless, Jackson Jr. won in a landslide.

If we’ve reached a point where minorities are scared of conservatives because of requests for photo identification at traffic stops, but they’re not terrified of a liberal president who already codified into law the ability to indefinitely detain them without trial, there is much work to be done.

Duty, honor, country: Drive on, conservatives

When I was in the military, there was a phrase that was barked when things went sour: “Drive on with a hard on!” Crass? Perhaps. But it captures what conservatives need to do in the wake of President Obama’s re-election.

Stop whining. Don’t cry. Get up off the ground, regroup, compose yourself and get back into the fight. President Obama eked out a popular vote win be garnering 50 percent to Romney’s 48 percent. The country is essentially divided between those who believe in free markets and limited government, and those who would willingly abdicate individual liberty for confiscated goodies doled out by their bureaucrat slave masters. The problem? We’re already $16 trillion in debt. It’s a math problem that doesn’t add up, but we have to successfully make the case because when the financial house of cards implodes they will try to shift blame elsewhere. We are watching it unfold in Europe, and it will happen here, only much worse.

And so, we must “drive on with a hard on.” You must love the fight. You must revel in it. And we do, because the timeless principles embedded in the Declaration of Independence and codified into law by the U.S. Constitution made America the greatest country the world has ever known. We once had men like Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. Our country was shaped by titans like Abraham Lincoln. And yet, who among us would intellectually roll over and die — who would wave the white flag of surrender — to the likes of Joe Biden?

The nation is ill. It is very ill. But unlike liberals, who always look for ways to end life at both ends of the spectrum, conservatives will not give up on America.

I leave you with the words of Douglas MacArthur, beautifully delivered to West Point cadets May 12, 1962. Today, we live in a country of man-children who are not up to the task of entrusting freedom and liberty to future generations, but on the day when circumstances force the blinders from their eyes and they must stare reality in the face, the blueprints for victory must be at hand — and you must provide them. These words have always brought comfort to me, and perhaps they will stiffen your resolve as well.

Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all that they mean.

The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.

But these are some of the things they do: They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the nation’s defense.

Romney has given 110% — Now it’s your turn

Is there a conservative alive who can say that Mitt Romney hasn’t given 110% to this campaign? Regardless of the disagreements I have with him, I must say that he has put forth an honorable, inspiring run for the highest office in the land. I believe he would make a fine Commander in Chief.

Now it turns out that he’ll be making one last whirlwind tour through a few swing states to encourage turnout, and I have to say: If you are a conservative and you don’t find a way to the polls tomorrow, you should hang your head in shame.

Aides said Mr. Romney would visit campaign offices in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Until now, his staff had said that a rally in New Hampshire Monday night would be his last event of the campaign.

The move reflects just how close the contest remains — Mr. Romney is determined to squeeze as much time in swing states as possible before polls close.

Like any good businessman, Mitt Romney figured out what he needed to do to get his campaign running on all cylinders. He went from a “59 point” plan a year ago to a succinct, persuasive pitch to do the following:

  • Cut spending and work to balance the budget
  • Unleash American natural resources to become energy independent
  • Undo unnecessary regulations that burden small businessmen and take as many uncertainties off the table as possible — giving them a reason to take a chance on expansion.

The logistics in running a national campaign must be mind-boggling. To go toe-to-toe with a sitting president, who has a war chest and the bully pulpit at his disposal — and to expose him as a paper tiger during your first debate with him — demands respect. In one night — one night — Mitt Romney dismantled a narrative that President Obama spent millions of dollars and months to build. He went from someone the American people didn’t like, to even parity with the president, and he did it despite a corrupt media apparatus that has done its best to shield the president from his own words and his own record.

Personally, I am confident that independents are going to break hard for Romney in a matter of hours, and at the end of the day propel him to victory. Deep down, many of those moderates who pulled the lever for President Obama in 2008 know that he promised to reverse the rise of the oceans (literally), but what they got was high unemployment (7.9%), $16 trillion in debt, and yearly deficits over $1 trillion dollars. Alone in the booth, I believe they will vote for Mitt Romney tomorrow in droves.

Regardless of what happens when the final tallies come in, conservatives owe it to Mitt to do their part tomorrow. We owe it to the country to do our part tomorrow. Vote, blog, use any number of social media platforms, call friends and family members, or help out in whatever way you can. There will always be people out there who are smarter, faster and stronger than you, but there is never an excuse for not putting forth your best effort. There are many things that are outside of our control, but giving 100% to the task at hand is a choice you always have the power to make.

Tomorrow, I plan on voting for love of country. I encourage you to do the same.

Romney’s chances in Colorado — our political FUBAR

Anyone who follows this blog knows that while I work in Washington, D.C., I’m generally not a fan of the overabundance of pompous, fake, know-it-all pundits who live there. Washington is just like Los Angeles, except the fakes in the nation’s capital want to play “director” with your life. They see you as a prop, and your tax dollars as the studio budget. Given my desire to stay as far away from cocktail parties and networking events as possible, I decided that when it came to figuring out what Mitt Romney’s chances were of winning Colorado, that it would be best to ask a really, really smart … Coloradan. Luckily, I happen to know one. (I’m keeping his identity anonymous since I’m not sure he would like his name out there.)

Here’s his analysis:

Colorado is a state made up of maddening political contradictions. You have uber liberal Boulder county up north, and uber conservative Colorado springs to the south. You have Colorado University (compared to Cal Berkley by many), and then you can find Focus on the Family. You also have the aforementioned home base of a powerful evangelical Christian organization with one of the lowest (by state) percentages of people who regularly attend church (11 percent). Then you have a massive influx of liberal Californians moving in, mixing with a massive influx of conservative Texans. You have a state screaming for gun laws in the wake of The Dark Knight killings and Columbine going up against a powerful NRA lobby with mountain hunters.

Then you have Gary Johnson of the Libertarian party polling at 4 percent, I believe the second highest behind new Hampshire in political polls by state. Basically, we are a perfect storm of political clusterf***.

Two of Romney’s biggest talking points get blunted here:

  • The economy is better than national average and we have thus far survived the economic downturn relatively well.
  • There are few Jewish people here, so only conservative Christians would consider relations with Israel a voting issue (remember 11 percent, and not all of them are conservative). Also, by far our biggest minority is of Mexican decent, and they are by and large not fans of Republican immigration stances.

I will say (though it’s hard to quantify) that the “excitement” for Obama is not at the fevered pitch it was in 2008, partly (just as we’ve seen nationally) because he’s been president and you don’t have that same euphoria of getting your guy in there, and partly because we didn’t host the DNC this time around.

To be fair, even though the economy is decent here, Coloradans recognize it can be better and that it is still nationally sluggish — there are no quick fixes. This being said, Obama is still very popular with the Democratic base, whereas Romney is liked, but not venerated by the Republican base.

It is a statistical tossup, and we really won’t know until Tuesday. If you forced me to bet, I’d say Obama wins by 2-4 percent. Sorry to have a wishy-washy conclusion, but that’s how I see it.

So there you have it. I really have nothing much to add. I devour news on a daily basis for work, and this is one of the most succinct, informative, non-wonkish breakdowns of Colorado’s political complexity that I’ve seen.

My only question would be for our Libertarian friends: Is there a particular reason why you don’t sink your resources into building a movement at a local and state level, first? Is it really helping anyone to put all your eggs into one basket every four years, self-righteously beating your chest about the “two party system” before disappearing into darkness shortly after the election is over? Good grief.

Anyway, thanks again to my eyes and ears on the ground in Colorado. Great job, my friend. Here’s to hoping that Independents break hard for Mitt.

End game: Obama courts women willing to wear giant birth control costumes

This is how President Obama’s campaign sees women — weirdos who are willing to dress up as a giant package of contraceptives at the direction of Planned Parenthood or White House political adviser David Plouffe.

With less than three weeks before the election, polls for Mitt Romney are looking good. Trend lines have given conservatives a boost of confidence, and the liberals who once said this election was in the bag are suspiciously quiet. Some, like Bob Beckle, are still saying “it’s over,”  but the prediction now applies to Mr. Obama. While I am on record as saying that the first debate was Romney’s “Rocky IV” moment, there are aspects of his momentum that can traced to the Obama campaign’s strange calculation: Most women are single-issue voters who are one Planned Parenthood roll call away from buying a giant contraceptive costume to wear to a campaign event.

As National Journal notes:

[W]ith white women, several polls suggest that Obama’s advantage has narrowed or vanished since his disastrous first debate.

Most ominous for Obama is evidence that the slippage has occurred not only among usually Republican-leaning blue-collar white women but also their white-collar counterparts. Largely because most college-educated white women hold liberal views on social issues, the Democratic nominee has carried them in four of the past five presidential elections; in 2008, 52 percent of such women backed Obama. Until Denver, national surveys consistently showed him winning a majority of these white-collar women. Number-crunchers in Romney headquarters believe their candidate is unlikely to prevail unless he can reduce that margin.

Several polls since the Denver debate say that Romney has done just that. Both this week’s ABC/Washington Post national survey and the cumulated results from the past two weeks of Gallup nightly tracking polls found that Obama had fallen behind Romney among college-educated white women and was attracting 45 percent of them or less, according to data provided to National Journal.

The Obama campaign saturated the airwaves early on with attack ads that painted Mitt Romney as some sort of cutthroat businessman who looked at people and saw numbers on an accounting spreadsheet. They painted Romney as a guy who dreamed he was Scrooge McDuck, hoarding gold coins acquired from the exploited “masses,” and the stolen uteri of unsuspecting females.

And then Denver came — and Romney said this about deficits:

“I think it’s a moral issue. I think it’s, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation and they’re going to be paying the interest and the principal all their lives.

And the amount of debt we’re adding, at a trillion a year, is simply not moral,” 

So how do we deal with it? Well, mathematically, there are three ways that you can cut a deficit. One, of course, is to raise taxes. Number two is to cut spending. And number is to grow the economy, because if more people work in a growing economy, they’re paying taxes, and you can get the job done that way, (Mitt Romney, 4/10/12).

When you intellectually hit someone over the head with the fact that not only are we bankrupting the nation with reckless spending, but that it is morally bankrupt to leave our kids and grand kids saddled with a mountain of debt, it resonates. That is something women care about. Because they’re smart, they know that the nation has a spending problem, as opposed to a revenue problem. Because they’re smart, they know that if you lower the tax rate on small businesses and it jump starts economic growth, the nation will actually see its tax revenues increase.

The Obama campaign once had promoted an ecard that read: “Vote like your lady parts depend on it.” While this was thrown down the memory hole in Orwellian fashion when it blew up in their face, there is an aspect of the line that rings true. Our kids are a part of us. Our grandchildren are a part of us. And so, in that sense we should vote like our “parts” depend on us. Mitt Romney treats women like complex spiritual beings, as opposed to myopic drones mentally stuck in 1920.

While Mitt Romney obsesses about job creation, the Obama campaign obsesses about binders and Big Bird. We’ll see how that works out for them in only a matter of weeks.

Binders and Big Bird: Obama campaign becomes Billy Madison

The Obama campaign has become all about kid stuff: Big Bird and Binders. While Mitt Romney obsesses over job creation and debt, Obama’s supporters obsess over which passing reference from each debate can be turned into a multi-news cycle punchline. They’re like Billy Madison without Adam Sandler’s likability.

The Obama campaign is in trouble. Big trouble. And that’s because it is increasingly making itself about small things. Kid stuff, like Big Bird and binders. Forced to defend President Obama’s dismal economic record over the past four years, his disciples look to latch onto anything that could be turned into a meme or a Saturday Night Live sketch.

There’s one problem with their strategy: independent voters with half a brain aren’t in the mood for jokes. The United States had over 40 months of 8 percent unemployment. Currently, the jobless rate stands at 7.8 percent. The nation is $16 trillion dollars in debt and we just had an American ambassador slaughtered in the Middle East by terrorists. The guy who ran on the soaring vagueness of “Hope and Change” now has a record to defend, and it’s not one that has your average American in the mood to crack jokes.

Immediately after the second presidential debate, a liberal friend of mine said it was a bad night for Mitt. I told him to take off his partisan goggles, and he made a joke about binders. Fair enough, but it’s illustrative of where Obama’s supporters are at the moment, which happens to be somewhere outside the realm of reality.

For a guy who didn’t do so hot last night, the CNN snap-poll and the MSNBC focus groups seem to suggest otherwise.

Obama won the overall debate, 46-39%, but Romney beat him senseless on all the important individual issues like the economy, health care, deficit, and taxes.

Unlike the CBS poll, CNN polled registered voters, not just undecideds.

Economy: Romney wins 58-40%
Health care: Romney wins 49-46%.
Taxes: Romney wins 51-44%.
Deficit: Romney wins 49-36%.
Strong leader: Romney wins 49-46%.

The worst news is that 25% of voters switched their vote to Romney and 25% went to Obama. In other words, Obama didn’t move the ball, which is what he needed to do.

Romney’s goals last night were nothing like Obama’s. Romney simply needed to look presidential. He needed to look a like a reasonable, intelligent man who could be trusted in the Oval Office. The first debate established his credibility with 70 million Americans, and the second was an opportunity to further flesh out his ideas and win over voters. He did that — and then some.

When voters are alone in the voting both they will think first and foremost about the economy. Romney pounded the president on that all night, and he landed some serious blows.

He said that by now we’d have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work. I wasn’t the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president’s plan. Didn’t get there.

He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they’re on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He’d get that done. He hasn’t even made a proposal on either one.

He said in his first year he’d put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. Didn’t even file it.

This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he’d do. He said that he’d cut in half the deficit. He hasn’t done that either. …

The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. He keeps saying, “Look, I’ve created 5 million jobs.” That’s after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. The unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is still 23 million Americans. There are more people in poverty, one out of six people in poverty.

These are the issues that concern the American people at this time. They do not care about Big Bird. They do not care about how Mitt Romney phrases an anecdote about his attempt to hire highly qualified women for his cabinet. And as long as President Obama’s supporters want to laugh at trivial matters while the country faces serious issues, they will be setting themselves up for a crier on November 7th.

Romney must use Cruise’s ‘Few Good Men’ strategy in the debates

What does President Obama have in common with Jack Nicholson’s Col. Nathan R. Jessup, besides the fact that Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is open under both of them? Each man has a huge ego, capable of bringing his career crashing down.

Mitt Romney has a slew of big debates coming up — the biggest of his life — and he needs to win. With early voting in many states, candidates don’t have the luxury to really “come from behind” any more.  A lot will be determined on election day, but with almost 40% of voters expected to have cast their ballot by Nov. 6, candidates need to be on their game as much as possible. If Mitt Romney wants to win his debates, he will use Tom Cruise’s strategy from ‘A Few Good Men.’ Lt. Daniel Kaffe played to Col. Jessup’s ego, and the world had its “You can’t handle the truth” moment. Likewise, every chance Romney has to goad President Obama’s massive ego into the open, he should take it.

Shortly after I mentioned this strategy to a coworker, I came across a piece by Politico that essentially said the same thing:

Obama is an experienced debater but an inconsistent performer who is years out of practice, capable of projecting a calm, commanding image — or appearing bored, testy or condescending enough to snark out the unforgettable “You’re likeable enough, Hillary” crack four years ago. …

“This is not a guy who can hide his contempt, and the only thing that can really hurt is if he’s smug and thinks he’s got this in the bag,” said a Democrat close to the Obama campaign.

President Obama is an intelligent guy, and he’s tough to pin down. He’s the master of the straw man and the false dichotomy, and he always has a healthy supply of red herrings at the ready. While he now has a record that Romney will expose in ways only Univision has come close to (and that’s not counting its Fast and Furious coverage), Romney would be wise to systematically set the stage for a “you didn’t build that” or a “spread the wealth around” or a “there are plenty of smart people” moment.

Because President Obama is a True Believer that only Eric Hoffer could appreciate, Romney should find ways to get Obama to defend the basic tenets of liberalism, as opposed to random tit-for-tat stats over yearly deficits or Obamacare provisions. Obama is extremely tough to pin down on public policy specifics because he knows how to play professor, but it’s a lot harder for him to hide when he must defend or shun liberalism.

President Obama, whether conservatives like it or not, is a “likeable guy” to many Americans. Attacking him personally isn’t going to work. What will work is to expose his core beliefs — the things that drive him — because when he does that there is a high probability he will sink himself. Remember when President Obama said: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism”? He still believes that, and while he would word it very differently if forced to discuss the issue again, there are other telling quotes that are just waiting for Mitt Romney to tease out.

If Mitt Romney is smart, he will lay a large trap with a trigger mechanism that is activated by President Obama’s massive ego.

If Mitt Romney follows the strategy employed by Cruise’s Lt. Daniel Kaffe, I believe one of his debates will include Obama’s “you can’t handle the truth” moment. Make it happen, Mitt. The 2012 election is riding on it.

Peggy Noonan: Being the star exhibit in a liberal zoo still makes me a star

Poor, poor Peggy Noonan can’t seem to find a conservative who pleases her. Perhaps it’s because she isn’t conservative. The pained expression on her face, seemingly learned from studying film of Ben Affleck like a quarterback studies his opponents, allows liberal media outlets to try and pass her off as something she is not.

Peggy Noonan once wrote speeches for President Ronald Reagan. She’s been trotted out as a “conservative” ever since, despite the fact that she couldn’t pull the lever for John McCain. I touched on it not too long ago here and here, and now so does John Zeigler:

RINOs can instantly feel the warm embrace of mainstream credibility by simply criticizing other Republicans in a way that the media can use to achieve their agenda. Meanwhile, when an occasional Democrat goes in the other direction (Joe Lieberman) they suddenly get shunned and discredited. …

There is no better/worse example of this than the actions of former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan. Noonan has suddenly become a big name in the media again because she is taking every chance she can to rip the Romney campaign and help the press with building their narrative that his campaign is in collapse. …

One, Noonan hasn’t done a thing for the conservative cause since she wrote a few good speeches for Reagan over 25 years ago. Secondly, and even more amazingly, she clearly endorsed Obama in 2008 in both print and on TV. Somehow, not only did that not take away her ability to once again play the “I am a sensible Republican telling the truth about my guy” card, but it doesn’t even ever get mentioned that she has ZERO credibility on this issue!

Boom. Ziegler drops an intellectual nuke on Noonan’s squishy “conservative” head. She was an Obama girl in 2008. End of story. No conservative in their right mind would vote for Mr. Obama. Peggy Noonan is at best the RINO Superwoman — accomplished, intelligent and quick — to Bizarro Meghan Mccain. Both are used by liberal media to destroy conservatives, only Noonan isn’t the embarrassing train wreck that McCain is (a woman who barely stays afloat in the intellectual kiddie pool going up against MSNBC’s Al Sharpton).

Perhaps the best take down of Noonan of late comes, oddly enough, from Fox’s Chris Wallace, who called Noonan “New York City’s idea” of a conservative. A stinging critique if I ever heard one. And he’s right. Noonan is part of an incestuous bunch of intellectual hobnobbers, but because of her conservative past, her penance is that she must sit in her social circle or on a cable television panel and demurely respond to savage attacks on the conservative worldview. She accepts ridiculous premises and argues on liberal terms. She rhetorically licks her liberal media masters’ toes, who collect docile kittens with names like Joe Scarborough and David Frum.

What Noonan and McCain and the rest don’t understand is that at the cocktail parties and social events they attend, they are seen as curious little animals, to laugh at and poke fun of. Noonan sees herself slinging highbrow rejoinders, whereas her liberal “friends” see her as a monkey slinging poo. They’re not chuckling with you, Peggy — they’re chuckling at you.

The sad thing is, some of these faux conservatives get it, and they don’t care.  Being the star exhibit in someone’s zoo, in their mind, still makes them a star. Sad.

Obama’s ‘Finger Painting Foreign Policy’ makes a mess; media think he’s Jackson Pollock

Asked whether Egypt was an ally of the United States, the president wasn’t sure. He might have wanted to figure that one out before forking over $1.5 billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Mideast has been a basket case long before President Obama took office. It’s a place where you can still find women being stoned, executions of gay people, and bizarre meltdowns of large swathes of the population over cartoon drawings. It wasn’t too long ago that the Taliban brought women to soccer stadiums and blew off their head with semi-automatic rifles, and on a sunny Spring afternoon you could hear a child say, “It’s such a nice day outside. I’d fly a kite, but it’s against the law.”

Given that, I’m willing to cut any American president a little slack when it comes to dealing with irrational nut jobs with a deep-seated desire to remain in the stone age. However, that is no excuse for having a bad foreign policy, which is the case with Mr. Obama. At best, I consider it “Finger Painting Foreign Policy,” in which he takes a globular mess, rubs his hands in it, makes a bigger mess and then smiles with what he’s accomplished — while the media likens him to Jackson Pollock. An example of his thought processes might go something like this:

“I’ll use military might with this guy over here in Libya on “humanitarian grounds,” but not this guy over here in Syria who commits genocide while the United Nations watches with its thumb up its butt. I’ll support the ouster of this guy whose been our ally in Egypt for decades so we can replace him with … a bunch of guys who maybe, sorta could be good guys or maybe sorta could be really bad guys. I’m going to kill a whole lot of civilians with drones, but tell everyone I’m not killing a whole lot of civilians with drones.”

Don’t believe it? Let’s look at the President’s most recent interview with Telemundo, in which he said: “I don’t think that we would consider [Egypt] an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy.” When you elect a Lawyer in Chief or a Professor in Chief, those are the sorts of answers you get. Unfortunately, the United States needs a Commander in Chief, one who knows that defenseless ambassadors in an unstable Islamic country need Marines before they’re apparently raped and murdered — not after. The better answer (from a Democrat’s perspective), would have been to say, “Yes, Egypt is still an ally,” but to then acknowledge that there are elements within the new regime that are trying to undermine that status, and that the United States will do everything within its power to strengthen Egypt’s saner-heads coalition.

What President Obama did when asked to give an answer that was either ‘A’ or ‘B’ was to respond with ‘Z4.’ Those are the mixed signals that Mitt Romney talked about, and the mixed signals that produced one of the most uncomfortable State Department press conferences in a long, long time.

Even NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, has to shake his head and “sit down”:

“Yeah, I almost had to sit down when I heard that. For the last forty years, the United States has had two main allies in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the other ally in the Middle East being Israel. For the President to come out and say, well, he’s not exactly sure if Egypt is an ally any more but it’s not an enemy, that is a significant change in the perspective of Washington toward this country, the biggest country in the Arab world. It makes one wonder, well, was it worth it? Was it worth supporting the Arab Spring, supporting the demonstrations here in Tahrir Square, when now in Tahrir Square there are clashes going on behind me right in front of the US embassy?”

President Obama is in over his head on foreign policy, and the nation is drowning in debt. But hey, he’s promised to add 100,000 teachers in his second term. (I’m not sure if that number includes the Chicago teachers who have been on strike or not.)

Like I said — finger painting.

Eastwood plays grandpa at RNC — and there are a lot of grandpas

Clint Eastwood’s speech at the Republican National Convention will be talked about in political circles for quite some time, but most of them are filled with jerks who like to have their ego massaged by ideological soul mates. And so, what you get is a bunch of people who either laugh at Eastwood or defend him — not because they seriously thought about what happened — but because they thought about the things they could say on television that would make them seem witty and smart. The degree between ego and reality can be small, but if you’re looking for precision then it might not be good to listen to the guy whose smile says, “look how bright I am.”

Someone very close to me deemed Eastwood’s speech a failure, and likened him to “Grandpa Simpson.” I responded by using the euphemism “unstructured” to buy myself a little time and turn over what happened for a few hours more before writing. There are a lot of grandfathers out there, and I think Eastwood’s speech was geared more towards them than the slick-suited young guys making fun of him on television. The elderly people watching Clint don’t care too much for that. A frazzled looking old icon walking on stage and speaking of-the-cuff probably carries a lot more weight with them than the guy with hair that could survive Hurricane Isaac’s best winds.

As usual, the man to turn to when it comes to finding an honest deconstruction of the latest cultural event turns out to be Mark Steyn. And why wouldn’t it be? He’s one of the few intelligent commentators out there who thinks for himself.

I’m not sure [Eastwood] could have pulled that off if he’d delivered a slick telepromptered pitch. As Mr. Hayward suggests, the hard lines packed more of a punch for being delivered in the midst of a Bob Newhart empty-chair shtick from the Dean Martin show circa 1968. Indeed, they were some of the hardest lines of the convention and may well prove the take-home (“We own this country . . . Politicians are employees of ours . . . And when somebody does not do the job, we’ve got to let them go”), but they seemed more effective for appearing to emerge extemporaneously from the general shambles.

Steyn only neglects to mention that in addition to the right hooks, Eastwood hits Obama with a left jab (at a Republican convention): “Well, I know even people in your own party were very disappointed when you didn’t close Gitmo,” and a body blow to the core:

“Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or whether you’re libertarian or whatever, you are the best. … We don’t have to be — what I’m saying, we do not have to be mental masochists and vote for somebody that we don’t really even want in office just because they seem to be nice guys…”

Are Democrats “the best”? Are Libertarians “the best”? Are confused people who don’t know what the heck they believe “the best?” I know that they’re not at a Republican convention unless the speaker is trying to appeal to voters of all political stripes. And so, while I don’t believe that I would have given Eastwood a speaking role on the final night of the Republican convention, it seems to me that his unconventional approach may have more impact with his intended audience than pundits give him credit for.

Do you want to know why ‘Honey Boo Boo’ topped the Republican National Convention in ratings? There are many reasons (some of them happen to be extremely sad commentaries on our culture), but one of them is because almost all politicians are viewed as empty suits and transparent liars these days. Citizens know that the language used by today’s political class is run through Frank Luntz style focus groups in order to better sell lies, and they’re tired of it. If the United States had more Paul Ryans and Marco Rubios more people would be involved. Instead, we have John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.

Watch a snippet of ‘Honey Boo Boob’ and then weep for the nation. Then, go out and do something to save it.