The Patriot Post® · Daily Digest
“The principle of the Constitution is that of a separation of legislative, Executive and Judiciary functions, except in cases specified. If this principle be not expressed in direct terms, it is clearly the spirit of the Constitution, and it ought to be so commented and acted on by every friend of free government.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1797
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Obama Dismisses Election Results
On Sept. 7, Barack Obama told his adoring MSNBC audience, “I think elections matter. I think votes matter. … If Democrats hold the Senate … I think what it does is to send a message to Republicans that people want to get stuff done.” Predictably, Obama showed not an ounce of humility Wednesday, and dismissed the election and vote as not representative of the support and admiration he demands from Americans. “As president I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work. So to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process [Tuesday], I hear you too. … What we’ve got to look at is the two-thirds of people who were eligible to vote and just didn’t vote.” Of course, despite the fact that his voter math is contorted, the assumption that two-thirds of eligible voters who did not vote would have supported his “policies on the ballot” is ludicrous. Obama added, “I’m the guy who is elected by everybody,” affirming his modus operandi that assumes the executive branch is superior to the legislative. Obama concluded, “[Voters] expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. … I plan on spending every moment of the next two years rolling up my sleeves and working as hard as I can for the American people.” Except of course when he is taking exotic vacations, playing golf and jetting around the nation for fundraisers – all at taxpayer expense.
Oh, Now Reid Wants to Play Nice
Harry Reid (D-NV) brought hardball to a whole new level during his years as Senate majority leader. He blocked virtually all efforts by Republicans to do anything. Heck, he even blocked his own party from advancing so much as a budget so Democrats wouldn’t have to be on record with anything politically inconvenient. That strategy backfired badly Tuesday, as Republicans retook the chamber. After the carnage, Reid extended congratulations to his likely successor, Mitch McConnell. In a statement, Reid said, “I’d like to congratulate Senator McConnell, who will be the new Senate Majority Leader. The message from voters is clear: They want us to work together. I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class.” Actually, voters are quite tired of Democrat political plays.
Left Blames Election Loss on Low Voter Turnout
The Democrats have found their reason why they lost in Tuesday’s elections. Democrat supporters, such as young liberals, mostly stayed home Election Day. Despite Democrats’ get-out-the-vote campaigns and manipulative race-baiting rhetoric, overall voter turnout was 36.6%, down from 40.9% during the 2010 midterms. Nate Cohn at The New York Times reported, “There is no question that turnout among core Democratic groups was lower in 2014 than it was in 2012 or even 2010. Many Democrats would have won if turnout had resembled a presidential election year. But Democrats also lost in states where turnout surpassed 2010, according to an Upshot analysis of preliminary returns and voter turnout data.” Voter turnout is always lower during midterm elections – causing the Los Angeles Times to contend that 2016 will be a hard race for the GOP to win despite this year’s red wave. But as Cohn pointed out, the numbers show a subtle shift towards Republican support.
DOJ Releases Fast and Furious Documents
Just as everyone focused on the elections, Eric Holder’s Justice Department released 64,000 pages of documents it had previously withheld from Congress regarding the Fast and Furious scandal. And it’s still only a partial release. “When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first attorney general held in criminal contempt of Congress, he can read the judge’s order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said in a statement. Make no mistake: The timing of the release was politically calculated. Holder displayed his contempt for the whole process when he complained in one released email, “Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country. All they want to do – in reality – is cripple ATF and suck up to the gun lobby. Politics at its worst – maybe the media will get it.” It was Holder and his boss who shamefully politicized their own gun trafficking. More…
The Democrat Civil War
“There are really two Democratic parties,” writes Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. “One is the old corrupt party of thieves and crooks. Its politicians, black and white, are the products of political machines. They believe in absolutely nothing. They can go from being Dixiecrats to crying racism, from running on family values to pushing gay marriage and the War on Women. They will say absolutely anything to get elected. … The other Democratic Party is progressive. Its members are radical leftists working within the system. They are natural technocrats and their agendas are full of big projects. They function as community organizers, radicalizing and transforming neighborhoods, cities, states and even the country. They want to win, but it’s a subset of their bigger agenda. Their goal is to transform the country. If they can do that by winning elections, they’ll win them. But if they can’t, they’ll still follow their agenda. … The 2014 election was a collision course between the two Democratic parties. … Reid is blaming Obama. The White House is blaming Reid. This isn’t just a showdown between two arrogant men. It’s a battle between two ideas of what the Democratic Party should be.” One thing is certain: Obama’s agenda will trump anything else Democrats have to offer. Indeed, “In the time honored tradition of the radical left, Obama would rather have a Republican senate than a Democratic senate won by going to the center.” More…
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read A Referendum on Obama … and Republican Leadership, on the shellacking Obama took in the midterms.
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For more, visit Right Hooks.
Obama Readies Immigration Order
As Mark Alexander noted in his analysis of the midterm election, “A Referendum on Obama,” the next move for the president will be to issue an executive order with the objective of flooding the polls in 2016 with votes from illegal immigrants.
“How is Obama going to make sure that Democrats recover the Senate and take the White House in 2016? Did you know that more than a million illegal immigrants were unlawfully registered to vote this week, particularly in states where voter ID is not required?
"Right now, Obama and his strategists are conspiring to package an executive order providing amnesty for the fastest growing population in America – illegal immigrants from south of the border. Once in place, Obama will take steps to fast-track citizenship for this massive emerging Democrat constituency.
"Thus, by 2016, the number of illegal alien voters could exceed 10 million, and all their relatives and friends certainly will be voting for Democrats unless Republican leaders embrace and promote the fact that Liberty is colorblind.”
Indeed, Obama declared Wednesday, “Before the end of the year we’re gonna, uh, uh, take whatever lawful actions that I can take that I believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system. … Whatever executive actions that I take can be replaced and supplanted by action by Congress. You send me a bill that I can sign and those executive actions go away.” In other words, if Congress won’t do what he tells them to do, then he will act unilaterally with executive orders. If Congress doesn’t like it, all they have to do to make those executive orders go away is just do what he tells them to do.
Columnist David Harsanyi explains the serious consequences of this plan: “Obama has basically admitted again that he believes the president – if he’s passionate enough about a certain issue – is free to craft legislation. And by consistently equating his forthcoming executive action with bills passed by Congress, Obama acknowledges the purpose of his unilateral moves is to enact new policies or pressure Republicans into giving him what he wants. Which is a big problem if you care about the Constitution.”
We certainly do care about the Constitution. The problem is Obama doesn’t – unless you define “caring” as “shredding.”
Presumptive Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to Obama’s threat, saying, “I think the president choosing to do a lot of things unilaterally on immigration would be a big mistake. … [I]t’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull to say, ‘If you guys don’t do what I want, I’m going to do it on my own.’ I hope he won’t do that because I think it poisons the well.”
That’s exactly Obama’s intent.
The president in turn replied to McConnell, “I have no doubt that there will be some Republicans who are angered or frustrated by any executive action that I may take. Those are folks who – I have to say – are deeply opposed to immigration reform, in any form.” And, again, if they don’t give him what he wants, he’ll simply take it.
Regardless, he tires of waiting for people to agree with him. “What I’m not going to do is just wait. I think it’s fair to say I’ve shown a lot of patience and tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as possible.” Patience? Bipartisan? He has shown nothing of the sort. He’s used immigration as a bludgeon against the GOP, and he plans to do so again.
“Congress will pass some bills I cannot sign,” Obama acknowledged, before adding, “I’m pretty sure I’ll take some actions that some in Congress will not like.” That’s an understatement.
Political analyst Charles Krauthammer, a former psychiatrist, has regularly noted Obama’s narcissism and how it affects his decisions. Krauthammer argues immigration is a great example: “I think the president’s threatening this [executive order] because he wants to do it, and I think he’s all the more anxious to go ahead and do this because it makes him relevant, it makes him the center of the universe again. He is not a happy man that he was asked for a year by his own Democrats to stay away and be invisible. This is a guy who doesn’t enjoy being invisible. … He’s back in the game, he’s relevant now. This is exactly why he wants to do immigration.”
Obama’s narcissism is one of the biggest reasons why he’s so dangerous.
U.S. Propaganda Not Breaking ISIL’s Inherent Resolve
During the Cold War, the United States attacked the very idea of communism by sending jazz musicians to Budapest and sneaking novels like “Dr. Zhivago” into the Evil Empire. Propaganda was itself a weapon.
Today, the counter-propaganda arm of the U.S. government is taking on the beliefs and rhetoric of the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL). The mission is critical. The Department of Defense and the State Department battle ideas reaching the very computer monitors of Americans, trying to parry ISIL’s attempts to radicalize Muslim youth.
But like the airstrikes in Kobani and on the slopes of Mount Sinjar, this latest U.S. effort has fallen short, and hasn’t stopped the march of ISIL propaganda. Instead, American propaganda visible to anyone with Internet access can see the U.S. government bickering with ISIL online like an ordinary teenager.
Ret. Gen. John Allen, special presidential envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, told the coalition in Kuwait, “[I]t is only when we contest Da'esh’s [the Arabic term for ISIL] presence online and deny the legitimacy of its message – the message that it sends to vulnerable young people – and as we expose Da'esh for the un-Islamic, criminal cult of violence that it really is – it is only then that Da'esh will be truly defeated.”
The U.S. government has understandably talked very little about its counter-propaganda programs, except to say that it’s important. It doesn’t have evidence it has stopped a single Muslim from taking a one-way ticket to Turkey to make their way to ISIL-controlled lands.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, spokesman for the Pentagon, told reporters, all the bombing, all the counter-propaganda has not slowed ISIL. “[T]here’s no question that they still possess the ability to reconstitute their manpower,” Kirby said. “[T]hat’s an indication of the strength of their ideology right now.”
One counter-propaganda program is the Think Again Turn Away campaign run by the U.S. State Department. Think Again Turn Away occupies social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. On Twitter, it tweets links to stories about ISIL, shares videos of ISIL defectors giving an unvarnished view of life amidst ISIL, and directs messages to Twitter users in vocal support of radical Islam.
While Think Again Turn Away says its mission is succeeding, that it’s muddling ISIL’s message and preventing the radicalization of some Muslims, critics say its efforts are too little, too late at best. At worse, it’s a springboard for even more ISIL propaganda, according to SITE Intelligence Group’s Rita Katz, because it gives jihadists’ ideas legitimacy and a prompt to rail against Western ideas.
The U.S. State Department tweets a handful of times a day, according to Katz. Contrast this to the speed at which ISIL distributes its message. According to a think tank in Saudi Arabia cited by Think Again Turn Away, ISIL tweets 90 times a minute.
ISIL was built on the ashes of al-Qaida’s old social media strategy. Osama bin Laden recorded videos, sent by messenger to mass media, who would turn around and publish the video. Lina Khatib, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center, says ISIL’s propaganda campaign is jihadi propaganda 3.0.
Using many individual users, ISIL spreads its message that no media organization will publish like a multi-headed hydra. It wins the propaganda war because it draws attention to itself through acts of violence, according to Khatib. It’s a vicious cycle. ISIL creates propaganda for social media. Social media fuels ISIL.
Granted, as the United States tries to counter ISIL’s war porn, it’s sticking to its values. It’s not endorsing or condemning any type of religion. Instead, many of the posts appeal to a sense of morality or honor.
But what makes ISIL propaganda so compelling is that it has an element of truth when it points to the atrocities of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime and positions itself as a force of revenge. The U.S. must present the different side of ISIL, the one that is not idealized, the one full of infighting, human greed and senseless violence.
National Review’s David French writes that ISIL “jihadists psychologically dominate the battlefield,” and they have more fighting spirit than their Iraqi opponents. But destroy ISIL’s propaganda, and the spirit of its fighters will be dulled.
The U.S. cannot remain silent. During the Cold War, we used novels and Jazz, and anti-ISIL ideas must be packaged in equally compelling mediums. But the U.S.‘s method, using the State Department to talk Muslims down from the edge of radical Islam, makes about as much sense as Michelle Obama’s campaign to get kids to like veggies. It’s the wrong speaker for the job.
For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- George Will: What Republicans Must Do Now
- Ben Shapiro: Lessons for the GOP for 2016
- R. Emmett Tyrrell: The Elections and the Last Racists
- Victor Davis Hanson: A Democratic Waterloo
- Cal Thomas: Iran Nuclear Talks Like Bargaining With the Devil
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006): “Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.”
Columnist George Will: “Having completed their capture of control of the legislative branch, [Republicans] should start with the following six measures concerning practical governance and constitutional equilibrium: Abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. … Repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board. … Repeal the ACA’s tax on medical devices. … Improve energy, economic and environmental conditions by authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. … Mandate completion of the nuclear waste repository in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. … Pass the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. … Such measures may be too granular to satisfy the grandiose aspirations of those conservatives who … aspire to have their way completely while wielding just one branch of government. But if, as is likely, the result of Congress doing these and similar things is a blizzard of presidential vetoes, even this would be constructive. The 2016 presidential election would follow a two-year demonstration of how reactionary progressivism is in opposing changes to the nation’s trajectory. Congressional actions provoking executive rejections would frame the argument about progressivism. And as Margaret Thatcher advised, first you win the argument, then you win the vote.”
Columnist R. Emmett Tyrrell: “[M]any voters were glad to vote for Barack Obama, if for no other reason, to put the issue of racial prejudice behind us. What other Western power had elected a black man to such an exalted office? Four years later they voted for this black man yet again, many suspecting that they were electing a failing president. Still they thought they would give him the governance of the country one more time, so proud were they to have overcome racial prejudice. … The only Americans who talk about race as a controversial issue today are Democrats and so-called educators, about whom there is nothing to be done. They are hopeless. … Last week Ben Stein was right when he said on Fox News that President Obama 'is the most racist president there has ever been,’ at least since the arrival of the 20th century. It is time for race to be abjured by the president and by the Democratic candidates. America has moved on.”
Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Obama spent Election Day away from any press coverage, attending closed-door meetings inside the White House. But on the bright side, it is nice to see some doors actually closed at the White House.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.