"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?" --Patrick Henry
An elderly Spanish woman recently set about the work of restoring a 102-year-old oil painting of Jesus. To put it generously, her work was less than successful. Just as she attempted to refurbish the cracked and peeling fresco, however, Democrats at their North Carolina convention tried -- and failed just as miserably -- to improve the image of their own tarnished and faded messiah.
In a video produced for the opening of the convention, Democrats succinctly summed up their entire philosophy: "Government is the only thing we all belong to. We have different churches, different clubs, but we're together as a part of our city, or our county, or our state, and our nation." Everything separates us but government. Indeed, the rest of the convention paid homage to government as the be all and end all, the Alpha and Omega, the solution to every problem. Because, let's face it, as someone once said, "You didn't build that."
The Obama campaign quickly denied having anything to do with the video, but no one doubts it's Obama's vision. And nothing could be further from what our Founding Fathers established -- a republic with limited and enumerated powers in which "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" were the rights and values to be cherished, not the bureaucratic labyrinth at the Department of Health and Human Services.
It was also no small irony that the gavel came down on the convention just as our national debt passed $16,000,000,000,000. Democrats have done more than their "fair share" to help us reach that horrendous number.
With all that in mind, we chose a few of the more egregious quotes from the DNC floor -- and believe us, the choosing was hard -- with concise rebuttals to the various attacks, distortions and outright lies.
Barack Obama: "[T]hose of us who carry on [FDR's] party's legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington. ... We don't think government can solve all our problems, but we don't think government is the source of all our problems -- any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles."
Except George W. Bush. He's definitely to blame. Obama has yet to offer a single solution to anything that isn't top-down government control. Ronald Reagan once said, "[G]overnment is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Reagan was right.
You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without wrecking our middle class. Independent analysis shows that my plan would cut our deficits by $4 trillion."
His plan will further increase our debt by about $10 trillion, regardless of a nominal "cut" in the rate of growth.
"I want to reform the tax code so that it's simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 -- the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president ... [W]hen Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy -- well, you do the math. I refuse to go along with that."
Letting people keep their own money by leaving tax rates where they've been for 10 years is NOT a spending item.
"You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth."
He should try that some time.
"[Republicans] want your vote, but they don't want you to know their plan. And that's because all they have to offer is the same prescription they've had for the last 30 years."
Yes, conservatives have offered a working free-market plan for more than 30 years. By contrast, the Left has offered the same failed government solutions since the 1930s. Forward!™
Joe Biden: "After the worst job loss since the Great Depression, we've created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months."
Who created those jobs?
"Mitt Romney grew up in Detroit. His father ran American Motors. Yet he was willing to let Detroit go bankrupt."
Barack Obama, on the other hand, had "the guts to stand up for the automobile industry" by ... letting it go bankrupt. The only difference was, Obama protected the unions.
Bill Clinton: "In Tampa, the Republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in. In order to look like an acceptable alternative to President Obama, they couldn't say much about the ideas they have offered over the last two years. You see they want to go back to the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place: to cut taxes for high income Americans even more than President Bush did; to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts; to increase defense spending $2 trillion more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they'll spend the money on; to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor kids."
No doubt the economy Obama inherited was a mess, but that certainly wasn't due to conservative policies, which didn't exactly dominate the Bush administration. Fiscal responsibility didn't cause the mess -- there was none. Free and truly deregulated markets didn't cause it -- regulation increased. Lower taxes didn't cause it. Exploding government spending and over-regulation caused it -- recall Clinton's own expansion of the Community Reinvestment Act that played a critical role in the housing crash. Obama then multiplied these failed policies to prolong the economic malaise.
Michelle Obama: "I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as 'us' and 'them.'"
Except when he's demonizing "The Rich" or those awful Republicans.
"Being president doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are."
We can all agree on that!
Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth "One-Sixty-Fourth" Warren: "[F]or many years, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed and hammered. Talk to the construction worker I met from Malden, Massachusetts, who went nine months without finding work. Talk to the head of the manufacturing company in Franklin trying to protect jobs but worried about rising costs. Talk to the student in Worcester who worked hard to finish his degree, and now he's drowning in debt. ... People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: They're right. The system is rigged."
Wait -- isn't this Honest Injun supposed to be helping Obama? Who's running the system? Obama's been president for the last three-and-a-half years, and Democrats took Congress in 2006.
"Mitt Romney ... wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. But for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails? His plans will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to $2,000."
Actually, that's the Democrats' plan if the GOP won't agree to hike taxes on the "rich." Romney plans to cut taxes across the board by 20 percent.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick: "We believe that freedom means keeping government out of our most private affairs, including out of a woman's decision whether to keep an unwanted pregnancy and everybody's decision about whom to marry. We believe that we owe the next generation a better country than we found and that every American has a stake in that."
Every American has a stake in our future, all right -- about $51,000 in debt per citizen, in fact, thanks in large part to redistribution for things like paying for those "most private affairs."
"In Massachusetts, we know Mitt Romney. By the time he left office, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation -- during better economic times."
National Review's Patrick Brennan replies, "While the 47th number has some basis in reality (over his four years, that was Massachusetts's rank), Patrick actually insists on distorting it anyway: He implies that Romney took a state with robust job growth and ran it into the ground. Exactly the opposite happened: Romney inherited the dot-com disaster, but boosted the Commonwealth from 50th in job creation in his first year to 28th in his final year."
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer: "When a politician doesn't want to be honest about a tax hike, he calls it a fee."
Sort of like a health care "reform" law we've heard of...
In conclusion, Barack Obama once again: "[W]hen all is said and done -- when you pick up that ballot to vote -- you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace -- decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children's lives for decades to come. On every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future."
Truer words were not spoken at the DNC.
All things considered, we drew one overarching conclusion from the Democrats' week in Charlotte: Their messiah is awfully small.
Patriots, we encourage you to set aside any and all divisive criticism of the Romney-Ryan ticket and form a unified front to defeat Barack Hussein Obama and his socialist regime. If we have the opportunity to hold a "President Romney" to the high standard of Liberty after inauguration day in January, we will be grateful!
Government and Politics
The DNC Platform Tells Us a Thing or Two
Democrats certainly sent a strong signal this week as to what their priorities are. The first night of the Democratic National Convention featured a number of speakers who actively promote unfettered access to abortion, including the heads of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius likewise made her case, and there were two videos and several lower-level speakers focusing on the subject of "reproductive rights." Former Georgetown Law School student and "free contraception" advocate Sandra Fluke also made an appearance, warning about Paul Ryan, "who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms." An astonishingly shameless lie about the Protect Life Act.
While the vast majority of voters are more concerned about jobs and the economy, the DNC grotesquely pushed the idea that any woman should be able to get an abortion any time, anywhere -- and taxpayers should pick up the tab if she can't afford it. The Democrats' 2012 platform prominently features abortion, explaining that the party "strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay."
The Democrat platform from the Clinton years called for abortion to be "safe, legal and rare." Now, in a country that's becoming decidedly more pro-life, including a third of all registered Democrats, the DNC is calling for abortion to be early, late, often and free of charge. And of course "choice" has little to do with it. ObamaCare's contraception mandate forces all employers, regardless of their personal or religious convictions, to provide insurance that covers abortion services.
The DNC platform reveals Obama's influence in many ways. He is personally cited over 200 times -- on 38 of 40 pages -- in the official party document. Obama's presence is so prevalent that the platform's writers must have figured that any mention of God would either pale in comparison or be redundant. So they removed any reference to God in the document -- at least until public outcry forced them to put it back. The deification of the president is strong enough that in a 2013 Obama calendar, John 3:16 is used to infer Obama rather than Jesus Christ. In the minds of Obama's followers, and in his own mind as well, he is the messiah. So it was especially rich last night, during his Convention speech, when he said, "The election four years ago wasn't about me. It was about you." Yeah, right.
On a related note, recognizing Israel's capital as Jerusalem was stricken from the platform until objections resulted in its return. But not to worry, as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney assured, "Cooperation with Israel between our military and intelligence communities has never been closer. Assistance provided to Israel by the United States has never been greater than it has been under ... Obama. We have an extremely close relationship with Israel, which is appropriate given our unshakeable commitment to Israel's security." Sure thing.
Our guess is that Team Obama saw the combined 75 electoral votes of Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio flash before their eyes, and decided it'd be best to keep "God" and "Jerusalem" in their phony platform. Anything to score some votes.
A final note: It's not at all clear that the delegates actually agreed by two-thirds to amend the platform to return the missing words. Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles and Convention Chairman, simply decided that the "ayes" had it after three tries when the vote was closer to 50/50. See for yourself the result that was predetermined. At least the original platform was truth in advertising.
Campaign Trail: Spread the Wealth? Not Obama!
Barack Obama's re-election campaign hasn't been slowed by having to share time and resources with Democrats campaigning further down the ballot. The one president who has held more fundraisers and spent more money on his campaign than any other in U.S. history has done next to nothing to help out House, Senate or gubernatorial candidates in his party. It's customary for presidents to pitch in for the big win on the campaign trail, appearing with candidates and maybe even throwing some campaign cash their way. Obama has done neither, opting to keep the stage to himself at events and rarely calling on voters to volunteer their support for any campaign save his own.
Obama's narrative for re-election is to blame the failures of his first term in part on an ineffective Congress, but to do this, he has to keep his distance from them. He runs the risk of losing the Democrats' Senate majority in close races where his appearance may make a difference. On the other hand, for every candidate that would like Obama's help, there are probably two or three who don't want anything to do with him, particularly in conservative-leaning districts where he remains deeply unpopular.
Part of the problem with Obama not sharing his wealth may be that he's having such a hard time keeping up with Mitt Romney. The Republican candidate reported raising more than $100 million again in August, the third straight month surpassing nine figures. Obama's best month so far has been $75 million.
Hope 'n' Change: The Union Label
The extent of union influence on electoral politics has been well documented, but recent studies have also exposed the extent to which unions exploit their own membership in order to push their political agenda. A report published in July by Tom McGinty and Brody Mullins of The Wall Street Journal noted that unions spent over $4 billion between 2005 and 2011 on political activity, including supporting federal candidates, "polling fees, persuading union members to vote a certain way, to bratwursts to feed Wisconsin workers protesting at the state capitol last year."
This money came from union dues that workers were forced to pay in order to remain employed in one of the nation's 27 states that don't have right-to-work laws. A more recent study by the Heritage Foundation's James Sherk explores how unions have been able to maintain a stranglehold over their members when it comes to political donations. Some 60 percent of private-sector union members disagree with how their yearly dues, which can sometimes reach into the thousands of dollars, are spent on political action, but this hasn't stopped unions from becoming one of the biggest cash cows in electoral politics today.
Jobs Numbers: Are You Better Off Than Four Years Ago?
The bad news? Reuters reports, "Nonfarm payrolls increased only 96,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday." The worse news? "While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, that was because so many Americans gave up the hunt for work" -- 386,000 to be exact. If the labor force had remained the same, unemployment would be 8.4 percent. Labor participation is at just 63.5 percent -- "the lowest since September 1981" -- and the adult-male participation rate is at a new all-time low. June and July's jobs numbers were revised downward, too. Adding 96,000 jobs in an economy that needs 150,000 a month just to tread water won't cut it, and the Congressional Budget Office predicts that headline unemployment will surpass 9 percent again next year. Remember all that the next time you hear the question, "Are you better off?"
Once a Democrat governor admitted it, the furious backpedaling and spin was fun to watch. But Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's nationally televised statement that people weren't better off than they were four years ago rang true with political observers, despite O'Malley's subsequent protests to the contrary. Democrats defiantly dug in their heels and tried to tell us again that we are better off. Obama campaign flack Stephanie Cutter attempted to deflect blame on -- surprise! -- former President George W. Bush, adding for good measure that Republicans "think lying is a virtue." And she should know! She then proceeded to cherry-pick the facts so that she could claim Obama has "created" 4.5 million new private-sector jobs.
As columnist Rich Galen notes, "The private sector, non-farm people payroll figure stands at 111.3 million. When Obama took office, that number was 111 million. Thus the 4.5 million new jobs is really only 300,000 new jobs."
Cutter wasn't finished yet, though. "In the six months before the president was elected," she said, "we lost 3.5 million jobs, wages had been going down for a decade, [the] auto industry [was] on the brink of failure. Our financial system, this is just about the time you're seeing banks go under." What Cutter neglects to mention is that jobs, wages, and the auto and banking industries are still not back to the point they were before the recession began.
The Obama administration had two years with a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in Congress to repair the economy but instead chose to ram through ObamaCare as its priority item, further weighing down the economy. As the CBO also predicts, federal health care spending will exceed all discretionary spending by 2016. If you think that helps the economy, well, you might be an Obama voter.
"[T]he Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are now." --Paul Ryan
Income Redistribution: The Truth About GM
Look what the government's done for you! That was the message this week at the Democratic National Convention. Thanks to Big Labor and the "huge success" of the auto bailout, GM has come roaring back. If only those Republicans would stop the lies and get out of the way, the economy could get rolling again. That's the gist of the pabulum peddled by the donkey party.
Columnist Michelle Malkin points out, "GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received." According to National Legal and Policy Center's Mark Modica, that doesn't include foreign investment: "In addition to U.S. taxpayers anteing up, Canada put in over $10 billion, and GM was relieved of about $28 billion of bondholder obligations while UAW claims were protected. That's an improvement of almost $90 billion to the balance sheet, and the company still lags the competition." In fact, GM could file for bankruptcy again.
Just how bad are sales? National Review's Kevin D. Williamson sums it up: "It is true that sales have improved at U.S. makers -- but those increases have far lagged the increases seen by overseas competitors such as Volkswagen and Kia. GM's August sales are up about 10 percent over last year; Kia's are up 21 percent. Volkswagen is up 37 percent. Hell, Porsche is up 40 percent. ... The Democrats are not exactly telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but when it comes to the auto bailout." Some recovery!
Additionally, amid all the talk about how Romney and Ryan want to outsource American businesses, the demagogue-in-chief has done enough of that himself. With $7 billion invested in China, $1 billion in Mexico, $1 billion in Brazil, and a $600 million sponsorship with the UK's Manchester United soccer team, GM is about to invest another $1 billion in Russia. But nothing to see here folks, move along.
Natural Gas Proponent Concedes Private Sector Can Do the Job
It wasn't too long ago that the "Pickens Plan" was all the rage among alternative energy buffs. Simply put, energy investor T. Boone Pickens wanted the federal government to subsidize the conversion of America's automotive fleet to natural gas power through tax credits while simultaneously financing the generation of electricity by wind power rather than through natural gas-burning power plants.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Pickens Plan -- the private sector began moving in the direction of switching over from diesel fuel to less expensive natural gas, at least for large truck fleets. Moreover, Pickens concedes, "I've lost my [rear]" on wind-energy investments. With those things in mind, Pickens stated last week that he's no longer going to back the NAT GAS Act in Congress, a proposal that was going nowhere fast anyway despite nearly 180 co-sponsors.
Much has changed in the four years since the Pickens Plan was introduced, as natural gas became more plentiful thanks to new technology while wind power began falling from favor with investors once government subsidies dried up. Given that the price advantage of natural gas is now about $2 over a gallon of diesel fuel, shrewd companies are seeing the opportunity and making the investments in natural gas pumping stations and retrofitting engines themselves. That's the type of plan with which we can all prosper.
Warfront With Jihadistan: Aiding Egypt
In the ever-churning Middle East, it appears that the Obama regime will throw its support behind the Egyptian government of Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi and his cohorts were elected to power last June after the "Arab Spring" uprising of 2011 ousted Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak. Morsi's government says that Egypt's struggling economy is their most urgent priority, but given their short time in power and the radical Islamist history of the Muslim Brotherhood, it remains to be seen if that's the majority opinion. Lending a helping hand, Barack Obama will forgive $1 billion of the $3.2 billion that Egypt owes U.S. taxpayers and also throw his support behind a $4.8 billion loan being negotiated between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund. If only Americans could receive an equivalent 31 percent tax break.
This assistance highlights the importance of a stable Egypt at a time of change across the Middle East, especially amid the continuing Syrian bloodshed and the looming showdown over Iran's nuclear weapons program. Given Egypt's influence in the region, economic and political stabilization could have enormous effects on its neighbors. Still, hopes shouldn't be raised too high, for Obama's debt forgiveness followed the very public pronouncement last weekend by the Egyptian terrorist group Gamaa Islamiya that they are once again sending young Egyptian men abroad to wage jihad. Sadly, the Morsi government made no objection, in spite of the debt forgiveness.
In the 1990s, Gamaa Islamiya's spiritual leader was the "Blind Sheik," Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted of the first World Trade Center bombing and, a few years later, of murdering 58 tourists in Luxor. Now the group is sending jihadis to Syria to fight the Assad regime. While the U.S. has legitimate interests in a stable Egypt, there should be no illusions as to what Egypt could eventually become, and the U.S. should be wary of throwing more money down a rat hole.
Second Amendment: When Self-Defense Matters
When it comes to bearing arms in self-defense, it seems the Brits would rather have someone dead and robbed than alive and armed. This past week, a businessman and his wife across the Pond were arrested after the man shot intruders breaking into his home. Never mind that he successfully foiled the robbery attempt. Never mind that the would-be robbers will never try that home again. Never mind that the man and his wife escaped injury. In Britain, gun bans have effectively criminalized the innocent and victimized the guilty.
Yet while the Brits have all but abandoned the centuries-old Castle Doctrine -- which asserts the right to use force to defend one's home -- 92-year-old Earl Jones of Kentucky has not. Jones, a World War II veteran, this past week shot and killed an intruder who had entered his home. "It was simple," Jones said. "That man was going to take my life. He was hunting me. I was protecting myself." Our Founding Fathers recognized the God-given right to bear arms in self-defense and codified it in the Second Amendment of our Constitution -- a Constitution Jones fought to preserve. "I didn't go to war for nothing," he said. "I have the right to carry a gun." When it comes to who we want guarding our back, we'll take Jones any day over the entire British government.
Faith and Family: We'll Have a Gay Old Time
In June, we noted the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) conducted by Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas. Regnerus found that individuals raised by same-sex couples tend to have an increased risk of depression, unemployment, marijuana use, and a negative perception of their childhood. They may even be more likely to be unfaithful to their spouse. However, the study was far from an indictment, but rather an invitation to explore the issue further.
The Left, of course, had an aneurism. When the NFSS was published in the June 10 issue of Social Science Research, blogger Scott Rose wasted no time in calling it "dangerous propaganda" and accusing Regnerus of scientific misconduct. Rose's demands for an investigation were echoed by the Leftmedia, who said this heralded the end of Regnerus' credibility as an academic.
Thankfully, there are still people out there more interested in academic liberty and the dispassionate pursuit of knowledge than a witch-hunt. On Aug. 31, UT issued a press release exonerating Regnerus's study; furthermore a four-person panel vindicated the NFSS as more comprehensive than others of its kind and one that "advanced the inquiry" into the topic.
If anyone is guilty of professional misconduct, it's the Leftmedia. They think nothing of trying to destroy a man's career because his findings contradict their view, yet they have no problem bending facts in an attempt to manipulate public opinion.
A catchy headline is a powerful tool; after all, it's what draws readers to the piece. But even for those who don't read on, the headline can create a powerful "snapshot" impression. Salon.com took advantage of this recently with an article entitled, "Do gay couples have happier kids? Studies show that the traditional nuclear family is not better. It's a dying model -- and that's a good thing." The article featured an excerpt from the book, "Why Have Kids: A New Mom Explores The Truth About Parenting and Happiness." The problem is that the book itself does not make the claim that kids raised by same sex couples are happier, rather just happy in general. Salon's stunt is an all-too-common example of the Left's lack of journalistic integrity.
From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File
In 1990, Robert Kosilek was convicted of murdering his wife, Cheryl. Having been strangled by her husband and left in her car in a parking lot, Cheryl has been all but forgotten by the media, which are enamored by Robert's gender-disorientation pathology. This week, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf, appointed by Ronald Reagan, granted Kosilek's request for "gender reassignment" surgery -- paid for by the taxpayer -- because denying the surgery, he says, would violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. In fact, Wolf declared, surgery is the "only adequate treatment" for Kosilek's "serious medical need." It's outrageous that taxpayers will be on the hook to indulge this murderer's pathology.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, representative from Florida and serial delusional liar, announced this week her admiration for the socialist wasteland of California -- not exactly her words. "Let me just tell you how much I appreciate the oasis of Democratic politics that California is," she said. "I know that you all feel like you live in heaven." Not only that, she added, "I like to say that I'm Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Paradise." We think the oasis she's seeing is nothing more than a mirage. Perhaps she's feeling the effects of staying at one of the nine Charlotte hotels infested with bed bugs. And we're not even talking about the Democrat delegates.
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team