Obama: An Incompetent Executive

Obama: An Incompetent Executive

June 15th, 2010

By Dick Morris

Contrary to what the Constitution says, the president does not run the executive branch of the federal government. It runs itself. Following Newton’s Laws of Motion, it is “a body in motion that tends to remain in motion in the same direction and at the same speed unless acted upon by an outside force.” The bureaucracy keeps doing what it is programmed to do unless someone intervenes.

And that intervention is the proper job of the president. He has to step in, ask the right questions, get inside and outside advice, and decide how to intervene to move the bureaucracy one way or the other. President Clinton had an excellent sense of how to do this and when to get involved. President Obama does not.

When the spill started, he and his campaign staff – now transplanted to the White House – reacted the way a Senator or a candidate would, blaming British Petroleum, framing an issue against the oil company, and holding it accountable. But what he needed to do was to review the plans for coping with the disaster and intervene to move the bureaucracy in untraditional but more appropriate directions. Instead, he let business as usual and inertia move the process.

The president’s tardy requests for international assistance and his government’s bureaucratic response to their offers demonstrates his lack of command and control…

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Disasters and Double Standards

 

Posted By Andrew Cline On June 4, 2010 @ 12:26 am In FrontPage | 24 Comments

Remember the big stories in the national media when George W. Bush waited four days to tour New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit? Here’s a pop quiz: How long did it take President Obama to visit the Gulf coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil leak began?

The answer is 13 days. Here is how The Washington Post described that visit:

“He flew in and out of New Orleans on May 2, drove two hours to a Coast Guard station and got a briefing before taking a quick helicopter tour. He did not even see the oil slick.”

Mark Knoller of CBS News reported last week that in the first 39 days after each respective catastrophe, Obama visited the Gulf coast twice; Bush visited New Orleans seven times. But remember, this is not Obama’s Katrina!

Now imagine if President Bush, five weeks into one of the largest oil leaks in U.S. history, and without ever having seen the slick, jetted across the country to headline a $17,600 per-person fund-raiser at the home of an oil-fortune heir. How do you think the national press would have treated that? Bush didn’t do that, which is why you didn’t hear about it. President Obama did — which is why you didn’t hear about it.

The media covered Obama’s trip to San Francisco to raise money for Barbara Boxer. Some news outlets even reported that Obama spoke at a private reception at the home of Democratic Party donor Gordon Getty. But few reported that Getty is the heir to the Getty Oil fortune. For instance, the New York Times reports on Obama’s trip never identified Getty as an oil heir. Do you think that would have been omitted had Bush been Getty’s guest?

What if, hours after the head of the U.S. Minerals Management Service left her job over Washington’s mishandling of that giant oil spill, President Bush held a press conference (his first in months) and, when asked about that agency head, could not say whether she had resigned or been fired? What if, hours later, the White House stated that the President knew all along that she had been dismissed, but that story was contradicted by the Cabinet secretary — the one who supposedly did the dismissing — having said that morning during a congressional hearing that she’d resigned voluntarily?

That happened in the Obama administration last week. Where are the outraged cries of incompetence and dishonesty?

Can you imagine the charges of buffoonery that would pour forth from New York, Washington, and Los Angeles, if the George W. Bush administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a state law that had been signed into law by one of Bush’s own cabinet secretaries?

Well, last week the Obama administration did exactly that. The Department of Justice asked the court to overturn a 2007 Arizona immigration law that punishes employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano signed the bill into law when she was Arizona governor.

All of these events were reported in the mainstream media. But they were not reported in the same way they would have been had a Republican been president. The point of this criticism is not to say that Bush was great and Obama stinks. Bush was not a great president. The point is to illustrate the double standard most of the media have.

Media bias exhibits itself in the subtle favoring of liberal politicians and ideas. The same rules don’t apply to the left and the right. The left is presumed to have good intentions, the right bad. So when Bush took four days to get to New Orleans after Katrina hit, it was evidence of racism, elitism, a general lack of concern for the little people. But when it took Obama three times as long to visit the Gulf Coast, there was silence.

When a left-wing administration makes mistakes or contradicts itself, that is simply human nature. When a right-of-center administration does, it is incompetence or duplicity. Or both.

At least some on the left are calling out Obama for his inattentiveness to the Gulf oil spill. That’s no substitute for the press setting the national narrative by holding him to the same standards to which it held Bush. But it’s a start.

Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. Follow him on twitter @Drewhampshire.

Obama’s Competence

Obama’s Competence

June 4th, 2010

Obama doesn’t have a clue

Obama doesn’t have a clue

June 2nd, 2010

BY Dick Morris, The Hill

 clueless…

Conservatives are so enraged at Obama’s socialism and radicalism that they are increasingly surprised to learn that he is incompetent as well. The sight of his blithering and blustering while the most massive oil spill in history moves closer to America’s beaches not only reminds one of Bush’s terrible performance during Katrina, but calls to mind Jimmy Carter’s incompetence in the face of the hostage crisis.

America is watching the president alternate between wringing his hands in helplessness and pointing his finger in blame when he should be solving the most pressing environmental problem America has faced in the past 50 years. We are watching generations of environmental protection swept away as marshes, fisheries, vacation spots, recreational beaches, wetlands, hatcheries and sanctuaries fall prey to the oil spill invasion. And, all the while, the president acts like a spectator, interrupting his basketball games only to excoriate BP for its failure to contain the spill.

The political fallout from the oil spill will, indeed, spill across party and ideological lines. The environmentalists of America cannot take heart from a president so obviously ignorant about how to protect our shores and so obstinately arrogant that he refuses to inform himself and take any responsibility.

All of this explains why the oil spill is seeping into his ratings among Democrats, dragging him down to levels we have not seen since Bush during the pit of the Iraq war. Conservatives may dislike Obama because he is a leftist. But liberals are coming to dislike him because he is not a competent progressive.

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The death of the myth of Obama’s competence?

The death of the myth of Obama’s competence?

Rick Moran

During the campaign, President Obama called George Bush’s response to Katrina “unconscionable incompetence.”

What can our president say about his own lackadaisical response to the BP oil spill catastrophe?

As pointed out by Toby Harnden in a devastating piece in the Telegraph , Obama’s only recourse is to lie:

Even judging Obama by his words, he has fallen woefully short over what has now eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez wreck as biggest oil spill catastrophe in American history. He may have described it as an “unprecedented disaster” in last Thursday’s press conference but a week into the crisis he was blithely stating that “this incident is of national significance” and rest assured he was receiving “frequent briefings” about it.George W Bush’s unpopularity and perceived incompetence was encapsulated by the way he dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Candidate Obama branded it “unconscionable incompetence”.

Central to Obama’s appeal was his promise to be truly different. His failure to achieve that is now at the core of the deep disappointment Americans feel about him. At the press conference – the first full-scale affair he had deigned to give for 309 days – he appeared uncomfortable and petulant.

His approach to the issue was that of the law student suddenly fascinated by a science project. He displayed none of the visceral indignation Americans feel about pretty much everything these days – two-thirds now say they are “angry” about the way things are going – resorting instead to Spock-like technocratic language and legalese. “I’m not contradicting my prior point,” he stated at one juncture. During those 63 minutes of soporific verbosity, about 800 barrels of oil poured into the Gulf.

Harnden includes the Sestak scandal as adding to the perception that whatever claim Obama had to being “competent” has flown out the window with the twin scandals.

Is this wishful thinking on Harnden’s part? There is a segment of the press that appears to have given up on Obama and feels no compunction about highlighting his shortcomings. But as long as most of the major media is willing to carry water for the president – covering for his mistakes in these and other matters – the public will be satisfied with pretty much whatever Obama does.

In short, the media has not deserted Obama. It remains to be seen whether the continued environmental disaster and the government’s inadequate response to it will become obvious and unleash anger in the president’s direction. If that happens, the press will be forced to change its tune and the president’s already low approval numbers will sink even further.

“I’m 63 and I’m Tired” — Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.

“I’m 63 and I’m Tired”
By Robert A. Hall
 
 

I’m 63.  Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.  

 

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.  

 

I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.”  Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.  

 

I’m tired of being told how bad  America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities  America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of  Zimbabwe , the freedom of the press of  China , the crime and violence of  Mexico , the tolerance for Christian people of  Iran , and the freedom of speech of  Venezuela .

 

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.  

 

I’m tired of being told that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of US. Senators from  Illinois .  

 

I think it’s very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln  wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.  

 

I’m tired of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News?  Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.  

 

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in  Saudi Arabia  to teach love and tolerance.  

 

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a  three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.  

 

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don’t think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I’m tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.  

 

I’m tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime. What’s next?  Calling drug dealers, “Undocumented Pharmacists”?  And, no, I’m not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion.  I’m willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn’t have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military…. Those are the citizens we need.  

 

I’m tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war?  You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave?  Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are?  Not even close.  So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.  

 

I’m tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in  Illinois , where the “Illinois Combine” of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama’s cabinet.  

 

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.  

 

Speaking of poor, I’m tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor.” The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.  

 

I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.  

 

Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making.  I’m just sorry for my granddaughters.  

 

Robert  A. Hall is a Marine  Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the  Massachusetts   State  Senate. 

 

There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on!  This is your chance to make a difference.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/imtired.asp

Morning Bell: “We’ve Come to Take Our Government Back”

Morning Bell: “We’ve Come to Take Our Government Back”

Posted By Michael Franc On May 19, 2010 @ 8:57 am In Ongoing Priorities | No Comments

[1]

Last month the Pew Research Center reported [2] that only 22% of Americans trusted the government to do the right thing always or most of the time. And that was the good news for incumbents:

Favorable ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows while opposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb.

Significantly, a majority of Americans (52%) see the members of Congress themselves as the source of their dissatisfaction. Only 38% attribute their frustration to “a broken political system.”

Last night’s election results in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas seem to bear that out:

  • In Kentucky, political newcomer Rand Paul trounced Secretary of State Trey Grayson. As a proxy for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Grayson had inadvertently become the Washington insider in the race despite never having been elected to federal office. And, as the son of libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, the younger Paul was also a proxy of sorts. He came to embody the desire of voters in the Bluegrass State to send the ultimate outsider to Washington. His mission? Shrink the federal behemoth, balance the budget and reduce the federal debt while exhibiting some long overdue humility from our public servants.
  • In Pennsylvania, given the opportunity to oust a five-term incumbent Senator with plenty of inside-the-Beltway clout, Democratic primary voters cheerfully complied. They dumped Arlen Specter in favor of a relative newcomer, second-term Rep. Joe Sestak. In his victory speech, Sestak struck a defiant populist tone, characterizing his victory as a “win for the people” over “the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, D.C.”
  • In Arkansas, Democratic primary challengers from both the right and left squeezed incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln into a run-off against the state’s leftist Lt. Governor, Bill Halter. While Halter galvanized Arkansas’ Democratic base on the political left, businessman D. C. Morrison ran to Lincoln’s right as a conservative, Reagan-loving Democrat. Morrison cast his vote for Ron Paul in 2008 and spent considerable time railing against Obamacare, bailouts, the stimulus bill and mounting government debt, Morrison pulled a not insignificant 13% of the Democratic vote.

Seniority on the most powerful congressional committees and endorsements from Washington’s most powerful insiders, including President Obama, were liabilities last night.

So, what explains the outcome in the special House election to replace recently deceased Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)? An aide to Murtha, Mark Critz, handily defeated Republican businessman Tim Burns in a contest many pundits felt would serve as an early barometer of Republican prospects in November. As one political consultant noted last night: “I think us pundits in Washington are going to have to revise our thinking about whether this is a wave election year for Republicans.”

Ron Brownstein, the brainy political expert at National Journal, argues that to regain control of the House, Republicans must prevail in seats such as this one. Districts where there is little racial diversity (i.e., where whites comprise 90% or more of the electorate) and few attended college. Murtha’s seat, Pennsylvania-12, fits this profile to a tee.

Get ready for an outpouring of new analyses spouting a new conventional wisdom, one that dismisses the power of the Tea Party movement, and questions whether 2010 will be a watershed election after all.

But, if Critz’s victory is to serve as some sort of a blueprint for Democrats, it will require some serious triangulation. Critz, after all, campaigned (rhetorically, at least) to the right of most Washington Democrats. “I opposed the health care bill,” he insisted during a debate, and then added for good measure that “I’m pro-life and pro-gun. That’s not liberal.” As with the outcomes in those Senate primaries, Washington’s Democratic establishment cannot draw much solace from this development.

There is an overriding lesson for conservatives from last night’s results as well.

Many are prematurely confident that November will be one of those rare “wave” elections that upend the Washington power structure and realign our politics. Maybe. But the early warning signs have been there for everyone to see for awhile now, at least since Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) historic election in January. Savvy liberal political strategists and worried Democratic primary voters, moreover, have had ample time to adapt to the demands of an angry and increasingly conservative electorate. Few Democrats in swing or conservative districts will run as Pelosi or Obama liberals. Instead, expect their rhetoric to morph the populism of Joe Sestak into the conservatism of Mark Critz. As Rand Paul said [3] last night:

I have a message, a message from the Tea Party. A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We’ve come to take our government back.

Quick Hits:

Obama’s Tireless Efforts On the Basketball Court and Golf Course Cause BP to Successfully Insert New Pipe to Siphon Oil to Surface

Obama’s Tireless Efforts On the Basketball Court and Golf Course Cause BP to Successfully Insert New Pipe to Siphon Oil to Surface

By Doug Powers  •  May 16, 2010 03:06 PM

I’ll leave it to Chris Matthews to find a way to link the two, but first, the potentially good news:

Engineers trying to stop an oil leak deep below the surface of Gulf of Mexico have successfully inserted a mile-long pipe to siphon oil from the disastrous spill, British Petroleum said Sunday.

BP says they are now capturing some of the leaking oil, and hopfully all of it eventually.

President Obama was notified, but only after bees swarmed his motorcade on the way to chur… er, I mean, on the way to play basketball:

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Keith Olbermann has dismissed the swarm as racist “Beebaggers” upset at the health care bill. Congressman Clyburn was in the car and claims to have heard at least two of the bees buzzing racial slurs, though news footage doesn’t as yet support that claim.

As luck would have it, smoke has a calming effect on bees, so all the president had to do was roll down the window and the bees slowly headed back to Michelle’s garden.

And if shooting hoops wasn’t enough, yesterday Obama spent majority of his Saturday trying to plug up the oil leak by jamming golf balls into every hole in the ground he could find:

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And it might have worked!

If BP’s latest effort doesn’t go as well as expected, the administration’s going to offer the stubborn leak a Medal for Courageous Restraint and see if that’s enough to get it to stop.

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

The Roots of the Tea Parties

The Roots of the Tea Parties

Posted by David Boaz

The sight of middle-class Americans rallying to protest overtaxing, overspending, Wall Street bailouts, and government-directed health care scares the bejeezus out of a lot of people. The elite media are full of stories declaring the Tea Partiers to be racists, John Birchers, Glenn Beck zombies, and God knows what. So it’s a relief to read a sensible discussion (subscription required) by John Judis, the decidedly leftist but serious journalist-historian at the New Republic. Once the managing editor the journal Socialist Revolution, Judis went on to write a biography of William F. Buckley Jr. and other books, so he knows something about ideological movements in the United States. Judis isn’t happy about the Tea Party movement, but he warns liberals not to dismiss it as fringe, AstroTurf, or a front group for the GOP:

But the Tea Party movement is not inauthentic, and—contrary to the impression its rallies give off—it isn’t a fringe faction either. It is a genuine popular movement, one that has managed to unite a number of ideological strains from U.S. history—some recent, some older. These strains can be described as many things, but they cannot be dismissed as passing phenomena. Much as liberals would like to believe otherwise, there is good reason to think the Tea Party movement could exercise considerable influence over our politics in the coming years.

Judis identifies three strains of American thinking that help to define the Tea Party movement:

The first is an obsession with decline. This idea, which traces back to the outlook of New England Puritans during the seventeenth century, consists of a belief that a golden age occurred some time ago; that we are now in a period of severe social, economic, or moral decay; that evil forces and individuals are the cause of this situation; that the goal of politics is to restore the earlier period; and that the key to doing so is heeding a special text that can serve as a guidebook for the journey backward.

I’ve offered a dissent from the common libertarian perception that we have declined from a golden age of liberty, but declinism is certainly a strong theme in conservative thought. (Not to mention in Club of Rome environmentalist thought.) Judis suggests that declinism often takes conspiratorial form and wonders “how could a movement that cultivates such crazy, conspiratorial views be regarded favorably by as much as 40 percent of the electorate?”

That is where the Tea Party movement’s second link to early U.S. history comes in. The Tea Partiers may share the Puritans’ fear of decline, but it is what they share with Thomas Jefferson that has far broader appeal: a staunch anti-statism.

And the final historical strain that Judis identifies:

They are part of a tradition of producerism that dates to Andrew Jackson. Jacksonian Democrats believed that workers should enjoy the fruits of what they produce and not have to share them with the merchants and bankers who didn’t actually create anything….

During the 1970s, conservatives began invoking producerism to justify their attacks on the welfare state, and it was at the core of the conservative tax revolt…. 

Like the attack against “big government,” this conservative producerism has most deeply resonated during economic downturns. And the Tea Parties have clearly built their movement around it.Producerism was at the heart of Santelli’s rant against government forcing the responsible middle class to subsidize those who bought homes they couldn’t afford…. Speaking to cheers at the April 15 rally in Washington, Armey denounced the progressive income tax in the same terms. “I can’t steal your money and give it to this guy,” he declared. “Therefore, I shouldn’t use the power of the state to steal your money and give it to this guy.”

Judis could have cited Ayn Rand’s analysis of “producers” and “looters” in influencing this strain of Tea Party thought. Not to mention a much older classical liberal version of class analysis, one that predated Marx’s theory, which focused on “conflict between producers, no matter their station, and the parasitic political classes, both inside and outside the formal state,” or “between the tax-payers and tax-eaters.”

Judis concludes on a note of despair:

their core appeal on government and spending will continue to resonate as long as the economy sputters. None of this is what liberals want to hear, but we might as well face reality: The Tea Party movement—firmly grounded in a number of durable U.S. political traditions and well-positioned for a time of economic uncertainty—could be around for a while.

There’s plenty for libertarians to argue with in Judis’s essay. But it’s an encouraging report for those who think it’s a good thing that millions of Americans are rallying to the cause of smaller government and lower spending. And certainly it’s the smartest, most historically grounded analysis of the Tea Party movement I’ve seen in the mainstream liberal media.

Obama’s invisible Islam–Democrats refuse to admit who the jihadist enemy is

EDITORIAL: Obama’s invisible Islam

Democrats refuse to admit who the jihadist enemy is

By THE WASHINGTON TIMES

During questioning before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, a visibly nervous Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. tried valiantly not to utter the expression “radical Islam.” The twisting began when Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, asked whether the men behind three recent terrorist incidents – the Fort Hood massacre, the Christmas Day bombing attempt and the Time Square bombing attempt – “might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam.”

Mr. Holder said there are a “variety of reasons” why people commit terror attacks. That can be true, but in these cases there was one reason: radical Islam. The attorney general said you have to look at each case individually. That’s fine, but when that is done, one comes face to face with radical Islam every time. He said that of the variety of reasons people might commit terror, “some of them are potentially religious.” Yes, like radical Islam. When pressed, what Mr. Holder would finally allow is, “I certainly think that it’s possible that people who espouse a radical version of Islam have had an ability to have an impact on people like [Times Square bomber Faisal] Shahzad.”

Mr. Holder mentioned Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born radical cleric now holed up in Yemen who has been mentioned in connection with all three attacks. Mr. Holder said that Mr. al-Awlaki “has a version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of [the faith].” Mr. Holder did not go into details to back up his assertion that Mr. al-Awlaki, an Islamic scholar, is somehow at odds with his own faith, nor did he pinpoint exactly what Muslim teachings he was referring to.

The Obama administration seems to have issued an internal gag order that forbids any official statements that might cast even the most extreme interpretations of the Islamic religion in a negative light. The “force protection review” of the Fort Hood massacre omitted any mention of shooter Nidal Malik Hasan’s openly radical Islamic worldview or the fact that he made the jihadist war cry “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire. Initially, the Obama administration refused to even call the massacre an act of terrorism, much less radical Islamic terrorism.

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Extremist Lexicon, which was pulled out of circulation in the wake of controversy with other department publications, listed Jewish extremism and various forms of Christian extremism as threats but made no mention of any form of Muslim extremism. The Feb. 1, 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review discusses terrorism and violent extremism but does not mention radical Islam as a motivator, or in any context. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review likewise avoids any terminology related to Islam.

The Obama administration may not like to think of being at war with radical Islam, but the jihadists are definitely at war with the United States. Rather than running from the expression “radical Islam,” the administration should be openly discussing the ideological motives of the terrorists and finding ways to delegitimize them. Instead of hedging, obfuscating and ignoring, these Democrats should confront the challenge frankly, openly and honestly. Pretending that a radical, violent strain of Islam does not exist will not make it go away. To the contrary, it will make the situation much worse.

President Obama’s continuing solicitude toward the faith of Muhammad is inexplicable, and as these acts of denial continue, it is becoming dangerous. The United States will not defeat an enemy it is afraid to identify.