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Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’
June 10th, 2013 at 7:03 pm
More Problems for a Hillary Clinton 2016 Run

On the day Hillary Clinton joins Twitter, the Washington Post reports that her popularity is dipping as Independents turn a bit sour on the former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady.

A big factor affecting the public’s perception of Clinton is the Benghazi scandal that helped to accelerate her exit from office. Because of her defiant testimony in the aftermath of the terrorist-led killings of four Americans, congressional investigators have been laying the groundwork to summon her to Capitol Hill to clarify her remarks, and this time as a private citizen.

A private citizen with an eye toward running for President of the United States in 2016, that is. So far, Clinton has been able to avoid culpability for Benghazi, in part because the fiasco seems like anomaly in an otherwise scandal-free tenure at State.

But as of today, that perception may be changing. Radically.

CBS News is reporting that “Uncovered documents show the U.S. State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal behavior ranging from sexual assaults to an underground drug ring.”

An internal investigation now made public cites examples of an ambassador being allowed to continue at his post despite deliberately losing his security detail “to solicit sexual favors from prostitutes,” and several instances where investigators “were simply told to back off investigations of high-ranking State Department members.”

If this story gets legs – and with all the attention paid to whistleblowers at the moment, I expect it will – it looks like the Hillary 2016 speculation will first have to overcome revelations of gross mismanagement that enabled criminal behavior and exposed four Americans to a deadly, and avoidable, attack.

Not exactly the profile of a future president.

February 1st, 2013 at 11:59 am
Some “Facts” For Hillary

When a serial prevaricator, plagued also by incompetence and petty corruption, blasts other people for “refus[ing] to face the facts,” it is almost beyond parody. Yet that’s what Hillary Clinton, taking time from busy life trading cattle futures, has done in a parting shot at her critics as she (thank the Lord) leaves her post as Secretary of State, where she left a footprint about as big as a pigeon’s.

As she repeatedly blamed a video for an attack the video had nothing to do with, as her own Department repeatedly refused requests or ignored recommendations for stepped-up security, as she provided evasive testimony on the whole situation, she nonetheless found the sheer gall to blame others for her own pathetic failings. Worse, by acting as if she, the prevaricator, were the one guided solely by the facts, while the others supposedly ignore the facts, she dives so far down the rabbit hole — or so far back into George Orwell’s 1984 — as to no longer have any capacity herself even to understand the difference between fact and fiction.

As she leaves the scene with bizarrely high approval ratings, she merits a full column reminding the public of her incredibly sordid history and of her utter failure to actually advance U.S. interests. Perhaps she will receive it in this space in the coming days — although here’s hoping that some other brave soul will provide such a column, and that it will contain the full, devastating litany of Mrs. Clinton’s perfidy through the years.

Hillary Clinton has been a plague on the body politic for four long decades. One only hopes her retirement from public life will be permanent.

January 28th, 2013 at 12:06 pm
Brit Hume Puts Hillary in Her Place

Actually, if anything, Hume was too nice to her. On the Fox News Sunday show yesterday, he said she qualifies as a “competent” Secretary of State, but in no means a “great” one. It’s a segment well worth watching, because Hume makes a solid argument. That said, I think she has been only a small step above a disaster. Even acknowledging that bad things happen all over the globe that no Secretary of State can really be blamed for, the sad reality is that in almost every region of the world, American interests are now in worse shape than they were four years ago. Much of the blame should be laid at the feet of Barack Obama: After all, it is ultimately his policies, not Clinton’s, that are being pursued. But there is no evidence at all that Clinton in any way deviated, even in private, from Obama’s bad policies, and in many respects it seems obvious that Obama basically followed her lead.

So, where do we stand? In the Middle Easat, almost certainly worse than before. Turkey has gone further down the road towards open and troublesome Islamism. Egypt is a disaster. Iran is closer than ever to a nuclear weapon, and not only has failed to moved closer to the West, but has crushed a real, potentially powerful “freedom movement” while the Obama-Clinton team lifted not a finger. Libya actually might be slightly better (more US-friendly and ultimately safer) than it was under the mercurial Ghadafi, but compared to about 2005, when Ghadafi was completely cooperating with us, Libya is more dangerous to us — more unstable, more unpredictable long term. (This is completely aside from the 9/11 assault there that killed four Americans.) And even the overthrow of Ghadafi was a mess, with the US administration doing the diplomatic and military hokey-pokey — one foot in, one foot out, a foot back in and shake it all about — rather than dealing cleanly with the situation. Finally, of course, Syria is a disaster area, with more than 60,000 dead.

Most importantly in the Middle East, our ally Israel feels more isolated than ever. This is terrible.

In Africa, meanwhile, al Qaeda is resurgent. Algeria and Mali are especially worrisome.

Then there is Russia. The “re-set” failed spectacularly. Russia is more recalcitrant, less US-friendly than it has been since about 1992.

Eastern Europe? Our would-be friends there rightly feel insulted, stabbed in the back, and abandoned.  Western Europe? Well, the US image or influence there is about the same as when Hillary first walked into Foggy Bottom, but the state of Western Europe’s affairs is horrendous, with 26% unemployment in Spain and economic difficulties throughout.

The Far East? No progress against North Korea. Continuing militarily provocative actions from China.

How about the Western Hemisphere? Nothing good. Ecuador has joined Venezuela as uber-leftist anti-US agitators. Brazil has moved leftward and more corrupt, even as Obama has sucked up to it repeatedly. Argentina is again making noises about owning the Falklands (!).

Everywhere we look, the United States interests are no better off, and often worse off, than when Clinton took the reins at the State Department. As Hume rightly said, there have been no triumphs — but there have been spectacular failures, such as the murder of four Americans in Libya and the ascension of Mr. Morsi in Egypt.

Combined with Clinton’s repeated evasions of real answers, and of real responsibility, for the Benghazi fiasco, this record is one of failure. It would be a good thing if Mrs. Clinton’s retirement from State would turn into a retirement from public service altogether.

January 25th, 2013 at 10:05 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Difference Between Life and Death
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez. 

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

October 15th, 2012 at 4:27 pm
Clinton Lawyers Up After White House Lays Blame for Libya

John Fund says that the White House blame-shifting for the Libya fiasco is causing a rift inside the Administration:

Obama officials may have made a key mistake when, in their panic, they attempted to lay blame for the Libyan fiasco solely on others. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that responsibility for Libya lay with the State Department, not the White House. Ed Klein, a former New York Times editor who has authored recent biographies of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, says his sources tell him that Bill Clinton is already pulling together an informal legal team to create a defense in case Obama officials continue to point the finger in Hillary’s direction.

“If she is left with this stain on her reputation, it could seriously damage her chances for election” as president in 2016, Klein told the Daily Caller.

So, after four years as a loyal Secretary of State, THIS is how Hillary Clinton gets rewarded by the man who beat her in the 2008 Democratic primaries?

Bill must be fuming.  Barack should beware a Bubba-eruption.

September 25th, 2012 at 3:18 pm
Obama Continues Foreign Policy by Apology at the U.N.
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In my column last week, I noted how preposterous it was that the Obama Administration continued to bend over backwards to distance itself from the video (falsely) claimed to have ignited the recent round of violence in the Middle East:

Speaking shortly after the attacks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pronounced, “that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message… to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage.”

Let’s assume for a moment that Clinton is right and that the film was made for the express purpose of working global Islam into a lather. Even taking that as a given, should the apology come from the nation of 300 million where one man produced some two-bit agritprop or from the part of the world where thousands took to the streets in violence because of a bit of inert satire tamer (and, remarkably, less coherent) than the average “Saturday Night Live” episode?

Speaking earlier today at the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama prolonged the inanity:

That [violence and intolerance] is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.

Contra the president, this video doesn’t demonstrate “intolerance.” Stupidity? Yes. Bad filmmaking? Yes. Garden variety prejudice? Maybe. But being critical of the beliefs of others, even to the point of gratuitious rabble-rousing, is not the same thing as “intolerance.” The filmmakers were tolerating Islam; they weren’t advocating that anyone be silenced or harmed. By contrast, Islamists who engaged in violence to the point of cold-blooded murder ostensibly because of a YouTube video were the intolerant ones.

The cherry on top of this whole debacle was the President’s statement on the video to the ladies(?) of The View. As reported by the Weekly Standard:

In the age of the Internet, and you know, the way that any knucklehead who says something can post it up and suddenly it travels all around the world, you know, every country has to recognize that, you know, the best way to marginalize that kind of speech is to ignore it.

Not a terrible idea. And you know what’s a great way to begin implementing this strategy? Not devoting paragraphs to this film at the U.N. when we know that it wasn’t the catalyst for the recent blood lust.

September 13th, 2012 at 11:49 am
John “Winter Soldier” Kerry: Rank, Vile Hypocrite

I just saw CNN run a clip of John Kerry castigating Mitt Romney for Romney’s criticism of the Obama administration re the statement from the embassy in Cairo. Kerry, blowing enough hot air to power his own windsurfing excursion, called Romney “irresponsible” and “reckless,” among other harsh adjectives. He said Romney spoke without knowing what he was talking about, and that Romney was way out of line.

Kerry isn’t the one to talk. May I remind him of a little incident where he said he knew fellow American soldiers, apparently in large numbers, who “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country”?

That statement from Kerry was a vicious, vile, reckless, irresponsible, damnable lie. It should have disqualified him forever not just from public life, but from all polite company forevermore.

Meanwhile, Romney was right: The embassy statement was craven and pathetic, and it was fully in line with longstanding messages, also craven and pathetic, coming from the Obama administration since Day One — and even largely consonant with the tenor of statements TODAY from Hillary Clinton, who again spent the entire opening of her statement wasting time blasting a stupid online movie rather than dismissing it in one quick sentence and then moving on to what still, even after that segment of her statement, was an inadequately worded bit of advocacy of American rights, interests, and goodness.

Kerry, Clinton, and Obama know absolutely nothing about promoting American interests or about defending our people or our rights.

July 18th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
The Perversity of “Doing Something” for It’s Own Sake
Posted by Troy Senik Print

With most media attention focused on the thrust and parry of the presidential race, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 13-day trip abroad garnered precious little media attention. That’s a shame, because an important message came out of the Secretary’s stop in Israel. It just wasn’t the one she intended. As Seth Mandel notes at Commentary’s “Contentions” blog:

According to an Israeli official who was briefed on the content of the meetings, Clinton told the different Israeli officials that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad are the best partners the Israelis ever had, adding that “it is unclear who will come after them.”

If Abbas and Fayyad–who resolutely refuse to even meet with Israeli leaders face to face–are the best Palestinian “peace partners” Israel has ever had, it is clear the peace process has gone practically nowhere since it began.

Mandel is precisely right. Peace in the Middle East is such a talisman to American presidents that they often stop thinking about the quality of any potential deal, looking solely for the achievement. That’s easy to do when you’re thinking of it as nothing more than a wing in your presidential library, but harder when you’re considering the lives of the people on the ground.

We may be waiting beyond our lifetimes for meaningful peace in the Middle East. But that’s a far preferable outcome to an agreement reached in haste that condemns the region to increased strife in coming years.

June 7th, 2012 at 1:19 pm
Bill Clinton’s Id Endorses Romney
Posted by Troy Senik Print

For a man who successfully campaigned for the presidency twice, you have to marvel at Bill Clinton’s lack of message discipline (or any discipline, for that matter). During the 2008 presidential campaign, Bill was a consistent thorn in Hillary’s side, what with his pronouncement that Barack Obama was “playing the race card” against him and his characterization of the presentation of Obama’s record as “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

Back then, the pop psychoanalysis of Clinton was that he couldn’t handle the idea of Hillary in the White House, occupying the spotlight that was rightly his, and was thus subconsciously serving up self-destructive rhetoric to dampen her prospects for beating Obama. This theory wasn’t particularly plausible given the Clintons’ joint lust for power and the fact that it violated Occam’s Razor — which would have instructed us that Clinton is simply impulsive and egotistical.

In 2012, the analysis seems to have become inverted. Last week, Clinton praised Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital on CNN, calling his record “sterling.” Then, earlier this week, he told CNBC that there is nothing much wrong with private equity, that the country is in “recession,” and that the Bush tax cuts should be extended, even for high earners (he’s walked back that latter part since). Putting Clinton back on the couch (never a safe place to be with the former president), the armchair shrinks are now speculating that Clinton’s eruptions owe to a desire to undermine Obama and set the stage for another Hillary presidential run in 2016.

Allow me to offer another, less convoluted thesis. Clinton knows that his presidency was historically inconsequential. Apart from his impeachment scandal, the only notable occurrence of his time in office was the expansion of the economy — not small ball to be sure, but also largely the product of co-opting Republican ideas on spending and deficit reduction, balanced budgets, welfare reform, tax cuts, and free trade. Still, it’s what Clinton hangs his hat on and it gives him an opportunity to sneer at Obama’s economic shortcomings, a pastime he no doubt has enjoyed ever since candidate Obama gave the Clinton Administration’s legacy short shrift during the 2008 campaign. So, if you’re Bill, why not take your affection for the business world out for a spin every once in a while just to rub it in Barack’s face?

Clinton’s habit of repeatedly undermining Obama is not evidence of a Freudian ego orchestrating a brilliant Machiavellian plot to install his wife back in the White House; It’s simply the product of an id that has broken its leash, relentlessly and uncontrollably attempting to establish Clinton as the alpha dog of the modern presidency. As we should all know by now, the former president is motivated more by desire than by reason.

This is not the work of a grand strategist. This is a sort of cry for help from a man so insecure that he needs constant validation even after eight years in the White House. He is to be pitied.

May 3rd, 2012 at 12:39 pm
In China, U.S. Abandoning Commitment to Human Rights
Posted by Troy Senik Print

The story of Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who took safe haven at the U.S. embassy in Beijing last week, should have been a cause for American pride. Chen, who has been an outspoken critic of the forcible sterilizations and abortions that accompany China’s one-child policy has served time in prison and, more recently, house arrest for daring to challenge the communist regime’s barbarism. By providing him refuge, the U.S. was fulfilling its traditional role as a defender of freedom throughout the world. Until yesterday, that is.

On Wednesday, Chen left the American embassy amidst coos of delight from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Here’s how Politico reported Clinton’s reaction:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her support for a deal with China that allowed activist Chen Guangcheng to leave the American embassy in Beijing without fear of arrest.

“I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values,” Clinton said in a statement. “I was glad to have the chance to speak with him today and to congratulate him on being reunited with his wife and children.”

With apologies to the secretary, this hardly looks like a triumph of “his choices and our values.” Here’s the Associated Press report shortly after Chen’s release:

On Wednesday, after six days holed up inside the American embassy, he emerged and was taken to a nearby hospital. U.S. officials said they had extracted from the Chinese government a promise that Chen would reunite with his family and be allowed to start a new life in a university town.

Hours later, however, a shaken Chen told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his hospital room that U.S. officials told him the Chinese authorities would have sent his family back to his home province if he remained inside the embassy. He added that, at one point, the U.S. officials told him his wife would have been beaten to death.

“I think we’d like to rest in a place outside of China,” Chen said, appealing again for help from U.S. officials. “Help my family and me leave safely.”

If this is true, it represents nothing short of a moral stain on the State Department. This should come as no surprise, however. I noted over three years ago at RealClearWorld that this sort of amoral policy stance towards China looked to be a hallmark of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy:

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Beijing in February [2009], she told her Chinese hosts that “Our pressing on [human rights] issues can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis.” Translation: don’t think about standing in front of a tank anytime soon. While America’s economic dependence on China is undeniable given the profligate spending that we have indulged thanks to Beijing’s line of credit, voicing that reality out loud is destined to crush the spirit of the friends of liberty in the Far East. How many Tibetan monks will be able to take inspiration from the Declaration of Independence if they think it truthfully reads “all men are created equal … but some hold hundreds of billions of dollars in American treasury bonds”?

Of course, these days the Dalai Lama visits the White House (when he’s invited at all) through the back door, next to the trash heaps. That’s a not-so-subtle metaphor for what Cheng Guancheng is experiencing at our hands now. All involved from the American side should be ashamed.

November 16th, 2011 at 5:29 pm
State Department Creates Energy Bureau, Redundancy

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hillary Clinton’s State Department is opening a brand new “Bureau of Energy Resources” today.  Amid the bureaucrat gushing about a “six-fold increase in personnel,” perhaps it’s worth considering just how unnecessary is this new office since its mandate seems to overlap substantially with other agencies.  Here are the “new” duties according to the article:

  • Shore up stable supplies of affordable energy for the U.S.
  • Promote clean energy and changes in markets to make alternative-energy technology more competitive
  • Manage the geopolitics of the energy world
  • Unabashedly support the export of U.S. technology, working with countries to put in a level playing field so U.S. goods can compete internationally
  • Direct the development of the shale gas revolution in the U.S.

If you thought all of these mandates already apply to other entities, you’re right.  Someone should alert the Department of Energy, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Commerce – as well as a host of smaller outfits known only to the industries they regulate – that yet another federal agency is open and ready to do business harm.

March 10th, 2011 at 7:51 pm
Obama, Clinton Dither While Cameron, Sarkozy Act

Somebody better tell Team Obama that world crises abhor leadership vacuums.  With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton incapable of acting without a UN permission slip, American allies are taking matters into their own hands.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is pressing for a no-fly zone.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy granted diplomatic recognition to Libya’s opposition, and will open an embassy in the rebel capitol of Benghazi.

It’s clear Britain and France aren’t waiting for Belize and Lichtenstein to approve sensible responses to the Libyan crisis.  Is President Barack Obama so contemptuous of America’s superpower status that he’s willing to cede its leadership role to countries whose foreign policy significance ended with the demise of their colonial empires?

October 29th, 2010 at 1:23 pm
Clintons Currying Favor Amid Dejected Democrats

Power abhors a vacuum.  So too do the people seeking it.  From Rhode Island comes another example of the chit-building Bill Clinton is possibly doing while President Barack Obama dithers.

You may recall the now-infamous “shove-it” line to President Obama came from the Democratic nominee for Rhode Island’s governorship.  It was presaged by the president’s refusal to endorse Democrat Frank Caprio in deference to Obama’s friendship with former Republican, current independent candidate Lincoln Chafee.  In his rebuke of the president, Caprio did more than reject Obama’s aura; he embraced Bill Clinton’s.

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:

Despite the furor his crude suggestion caused, Mr. Caprio not only is sticking by his “shove it” comment. His campaign has just announced a weekend event with Mr. Clinton, whom it says is much more popular in the state than Mr. Obama. The campaign told Politico.com that Mr. Caprio “aims to be a governor in the mold of President Clinton.” Zing, zing. It also noted a Gallup survey showing that voters of every affiliation would be more likely to vote for a candidate backed by Mr. Clinton than one backed by Mr. Obama.

A new poll by the local NBC affiliate suggests that “shove it” may have unsettled the race, with Mr. Chafee now running at 35% and Mr. Caprio, with 25%, running third behind Republican John Robitaille, who has 28%. How much confidence to put in such polling amid a fluid three-man contest is debatable. In any case, Democrats will be watching closely. An eleventh-hour victory by Mr. Caprio would be fodder for those dreaming of a Clinton-Obama rematch in 2012.

If Caprio wins, don’t expect a make-up session between him and the president.  If he loses, don’t be surprised if he emerges 18 months from now as a top hand in Hillary’s bid to challenge for the 2012 nomination.

October 28th, 2010 at 2:37 pm
Obama Not Shining in His Spectacle of Me

Which of these sounds like the person currently serving as the leader of his party and nation’s chief executive?  On one side is a man crisscrossing the nation in a mad-dash to raise his members’ hopes, and squeeze out a few more votes and volunteers by Election Day.  He is upbeat, full of self-effacing humor, and mindful of long-term perspective.

The other man is in a television studio in Washington, D.C. defending the results of a campaign that ended almost two years ago.  To a comedian.  And failing.

The first man is former president Bill Clinton.  The latter is his current successor Barack Obama.  While Clinton is preaching a “we’re-all-in-this-together” sermon in battleground states, Obama seems lost in self-absorption, unable to feel anyone’s pain – including the crushing news that one’s political career is over because of votes the president asked you to take.

Sure, politics is a big-boy business with harsh outcomes.  But it is jolting to watch President #44 missing so many lessons from #42 about the importance of running through the finish line instead of stopping several yards out.  Just like winning, sometimes people need to feel like they’re losing for something; in this case the president’s uber-liberal agenda.

The failure to lead and inspire in the face of certain defeat will not be forgotten by those Democrats who survive to fight in 2012.  Chance are, the memories of Clinton helping and Obama not will do much to make Hillary Clinton’s dark horse candidacy all the more appealing.

September 23rd, 2010 at 8:15 pm
E.J. Dionne Thinks Tea Party is a Scam

Pulling out a scribble of notes from his tickler file, columnist E.J. Dionne thinks the Tea Party is “one of the most successful scams in American political history”.  Why?  Because the “so-called” liberal media is giving an obscure, ideologically-driven set of voices a microphone big enough to capture the nation’s attention.  To Dionne’s dismay, few of his fellow gatekeepers “recognize that the tea party (note the intentional lower case lettering) constitutes a sliver of opinion on the extreme end of politics receiving attention out of all proportion with its members.”

I don’t think Hillary Clinton could give a better summary of the media’s unyielding adulation for Barack Obama.  Like Clinton, Obama was a one-term senator with nary a public achievement to his credit, but somehow his lack of a record was billed as “fresh” and “exciting.”

News flash to Dionne: the media likes a good story, and the TEA PARTY is the most compelling political drama this year.  Hate it if you must, but don’t call it a scam.  That’s a project for bloated institutions and the candidates who support them; not sporadically organizing coalitions of free people.

September 23rd, 2010 at 7:18 pm
What is the Liberals’ Constructive Alternative to GOP’s ‘Pledge to America’?

Conservatives can be forgiven for thinking that every member of the liberal establishment has read and memorized Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  The subject of Hillary Clinton’s college senior thesis and the inspiration for a young Barack Obama’s zeal for community organizing, the Rules stand alongside Chairman Mao’s little red book in the Leftist’s canon.  But time and again, the liberals running the Democratic Party into the ground seem to be as clueless about the rules as they are about the laws of economic gravity.

Consider Rule #12: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.  On some level, liberals knew this when they spent the better part of a year castigating Republicans as ‘The Party of No’.  They knew that the public wouldn’t accept the GOP as a credible governing party until it produced a constructive alternative.  (Though worthy of support, Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Roadmap for America’s Future has yet to gain widespread acceptance in the GOP caucus.)  With this week’s ‘Pledge to America’ the GOP is now a party with a constructive alternative.

The field is open, liberals.  And time is dwindling.

August 9th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
GOP Copies Democratic Insanity on Presidential Primaries
Posted by Troy Senik Print

After observing the 2008 death-match between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, you would think that any political mandarin in his right mind would want to avoid a similar war of intraparty attrition. But since the Republican National Committee is in the business of failing to meet even the lowest of expectations these days, you’d be wrong.

Hotline profiles the RNC’s recent resolution to change the way the party of Lincoln picks its presidential candidates. The gist:

The proposal will move the earliest nominating contests — in IA, NH, SC and NV — back from early Jan. to Feb. It will also require states that hold nominating contests in March to award delegates based on the proportion of votes candidates win, eliminating the prospect of an early winner-take-all state that would effectively end the nominating process.

Proponents said the measure would avoid the calamity of a national primary. Already, nearly 40 states have primaries scheduled for the first possible day in the nominating calendar.

Let’s stipulate that there’s no such thing as perfect primary process (a point that New Hampshire GOP chairman — and former White House Chief of Staff — John Sununu makes in the Hotline piece). This is a political Rubik’s Cube to rival Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.

That being said, proportional allocation of delegates is one of the worst of many bad ideas. One of the reasons that Republicans had a presidential nominee three months prior to Democrats in 2008 was because the winner-take-all system is centripetal. The proportional model used by Democrats is centrifugal, creating a party that can be just as fractured coming out of a primary season as going in. This is a road to a long and divisive primary season.

2008 should have permanently killed proportional allocation for both parties. But in professional politics, an idea’s worth is ofter inversely proportioned to its recurrence.

July 17th, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Another Leftist Fantasy Film Depicts a Conservative Leader as Mentally Deficient

Seemingly, there is no end to the vitriol – subtle and otherwise – that leftist filmmakers are able to conjure up for movies about conservative political leaders.  In the latter half of his presidency George W. Bush was the depicted as a mentally unstable frat boy in the movie W and as an assassination target in Death of a President.

Now, Britain’s most consequential (and best) statesman since Winston Churchill will be portrayed as suffering from dementia while regretting her political career.  Not content to let former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s legacy be ignored by nearly all leaders in modern British politics, the people behind the film The Iron Lady are getting Meryl Streep to help create a storyline that isn’t true.  Yes, Thatcher is declining mentally, and I’m sure she regrets the fact that her party lacked the courage to maintain her defense of free markets and traditional British culture.  But that’s a far cry from regretting the very ideas that made her successful.

Is this kind of character assassination the only kind of creativity the film industry is capable of anymore when it comes to political figures?  If so, where’s the movie about an elderly version of Bill Clinton recounting all his life’s missed opportunities and wasted moments of self-indulgence?  Where is the TV mini-series about the epic match-up of egos between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?  They could call it The Plastic Lady v. The Gen-X Candidate.  The series could explore all the psychological problems propelling the main characters to forsake healthy family relationships and a normal life for the chance to run everyone else’s.

But maybe those stories would be too boring.  After all, there’d be almost no suspense.

For now, I’ll sit back and hope that Streep’s Iron Lady is at least as insightful as Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen.  As Mirren’s Academy Award for Best Actress demonstrates, even Oscar likes a performance that advances more than just a political agenda.

June 18th, 2010 at 11:32 am
Pressure on Hillary to Challenge Obama?

With most of the 2012 presidential speculation focusing on the Republican side, it’s interesting to read Peggy Noonan publicly musing about the possibility of Democratic insiders pressuring the Secretary of State to challenge President Obama for the party’s nomination.

And yet, it makes sense.  Reality or not, Hillary Clinton creates the impression that she would be obsessively involved with a crisis like the Gulf Oil Spill.  Unlike Obama, it’s hard to imagine her projecting anything other than complete control of the situation.  She is, after all, the grade school student who wrote a sixty-page term paper, and who infamously crafted her version of “comprehensive health care” reform without troubling members of Congress for their input.

For all his pretensions at remaking America in his own Progressive image, President Obama shows startling apathy for the nitty gritty of governance.  Americans need nitty gritty right now.  We need someone to show us that despite all its inefficiencies, government can still be made to work when it is absolutely necessary.

For Democrats, the person most able to do it may be just off stage left.

May 29th, 2010 at 11:28 am
Bubba Backs Blanche

Fresh off revelations over his involvement in Sestak-gate, former president Bill Clinton pounded the podium yesterday in support of a fellow member of the Democratic Party’s endangered species: moderates.  Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is facing a tough run-off against the sitting Lt. Governor who is allied with a vast leftwing conspiracy to make an example out of the on again, off again liberal.

And Bill Clinton doesn’t like it.

Playing on both local pride and a wariness of outside influence, he suggested voters would be mere pawns for an agenda of party purification if they opposed Lincoln.

“If you want to be used that way, have at it,’ he said to about 200 Democrats at Philander Smith College, speaking without notes for 20 minutes

With a detailed recitation of Lincoln’s work on behalf of Arkansas down to the jobs she saved at a manufacturer in Ft. Smith, Clinton exhorted voters to not direct their discontent at her.

Good luck with that.  Of all the endangered political species this election cycle, none seems as likely for a population reduction than “moderate” Democrats.  Liberals, like conservatives, like politicians who take a consistent ideological stand for issues.  Too often being a “moderate” is just code for policymaking as situational ethics.  If Clinton fails to push Lincoln over the 50% mark, he’ll be on the hook for letting down yet another female senator seeking federal office (his wife Hillary being the other).  With Obama 0-for-3 in hotly contested races, that means Democrats running for reelection in 2010 will have to look to someone other than the two most recent Democratic presidents to gin up enough support to get a win on Election Day.

Is Jimmy Carter available?

H/T: Politico