The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Four More Years

Barack Obama has a bad habit of misstating historical facts. In some cases, it can fairly be attributed to weariness from the rigors of campaigning (e.g., the recent Auschwitz “misspeak”). But in others, it appears that he rewrites history to serve his own ideological needs. Sorta like what Jimmy Carter does whenever he speaks about the Middle East. As always, the left-leaning MSM never questions such things.

As an example, in a recent speech on Latin America, the candidate of hope and change said:
Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples’ lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region. No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum.

So the leftist Hugo Chavez ascendancy can be tied to George W. Bush’s incompetence, huh? A Harvard educated lawyer should take the time to learn that: (1) Chavez took office in 1999 and began dismantling Venezuela’s freedoms during the Clinton administration, and (2) Clinton remained largely silent on the matter.

Since Obama characterizes Hugo Chavez as a “demagogue,” you’d think he’d vote to help our ally and Chavez’s enemy, Columbia, with a beneficial free trade agreement. Nah, the U.S trade unions nixed the deal and like most doctrinaire democrats, Obama caved. So much for independent thought or bipartisanship. So much for a "new kind of politics" in Washington.

It's also interesting that Obama supporter and ally, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, inadvertently advocated a Chavez strategy when she stated that the US Government should nationalize the oil companies because of high gas prices. Of course, the MSM paid little attention and didn't press Obama on the issue. No need to make the chosen one feel the least bit uncomfortable.

The MSM would rather emphasize the speeches in which Obama suggests that John McCain is simply a continuation of George W. Bush. In fact, on more than one occasion Obama has suggested that the election of Senator McCain would be “George Bush’s third term.” His approach makes sense politically, even if the comparison between McCain and Bush is flawed at almost every level.

As in all things political, turnabout is fair play. In an article entitled “Jimmy Carter’s Second Term,” Paul Miller writes:
It was a cold and rainy October night when my mother and I stood outside a Skokie, Illinois Synagogue to hear and hopefully meet Georgia Governor James Earl "Jimmy" Carter. My parents and most Americans were still sickened over Watergate, President Gerald Ford's unconditional pardon of Richard Nixon and the disaster of the Vietnam War. They hungered for "change" and "new hope". Many Americans believed they found what they desperately yearned for in a peanut farmer turned politician from Georgia.

Four years later Jimmy Carter's name couldn't be uttered by my father without being proceeded by four-letter expletives. My mother cried herself to sleep believing that Carter's school-busing program was going to take me from my elementary school down the block to a school and hour away on the southside of Chicago. Supporters of Israel began to distrust him as he began showing signs of an anti-Israel bias. The economy was devastating families with double-digit inflation and the Iran hostage crisis made Americans ashamed of their President.

Today there is an eerie similarity to the election that led up to the disastrous Carter administration. All the Presidential candidates are speaking the rhetoric of "change" and "trust" in government. However, assumed Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has based his entire bid for the White House with Carter-style ideas and campaign policy advisers stemming directly from the administration and school of thought of the Carter Presidency.

I voted for Jimmy Carter for many of the same reasons as Miller’s parents. I wanted “change” and “new hope” and thought that Jimmy would deliver.

Instead he delivered catastrophic leadership, from the trivial (boycotting the Olympics) to the domestic (an economic policy that lead to high inflation and 20 percent mortgage rates—that’s right, 20 percent!) to the elevation of the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran and the ascension of modern day Islamofascism. When Iran invaded our embassy and took American hostages in Tehran (a clear act of war), Carter negotiated (pleaded) with the Iranian thugocracy for over 400 days and was voted out of office before the hostages were returned. His presidency was a disaster, and the results of his many failures are with us still.

Today, Barack Obama has named a number of ex-Carter advisors as his own. Does he think people like Zbigniew Brezinski and Anthony Lake are solid foreign policy gurus for the 21st century? These are the people who single-handedly mangled American foreign policy during the Carter years. To quote Miller: "why would Obama want advisors who have already demonstrated incompetence under a previous administration?" Unless he feels that there was no incompetence demonstrated.

In an earlier post, I suggested that Senator Obama may very well be Jimmy Redux. I say that, readily admitting that I voted for Jimmy Carter.

But over the years, I’ve learned a few things about “hope” and “change” and the kind of leader who understands that words alone, not matter how charismatic, can never deliver them. Experience, character, and above all, a willingness to face the harsh realities of a very dangerous world will trump rhetoric every time.

So … four more years of Jimmy Carter? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.