E.J. Dionne has thoughtfully provided us with his "feelings" concerning the last 10 years in his article "Finding meaning in the last decade," which was published on 12/31/09. The miasma of misinformation was such that we at Conservative Refocus felt it simply must be responded to--as Mr. Dionne pretty much ran the gamut of Liberal nonsense that is salaciously unloosed on a day to day basis by the Mainstream Media and others.
But before we get to E.J.'s piece, we thought you might wish to take a look at some of the news items that presented themselves this past week. In the "global warming" section we have news item after news item--both in the US and abroad--of bitterly cold winter weather that has already caused the deaths of many--and we are just getting into winter. The argument for global warming and Cap and Trade seems to be deflating as quickly as Obama's popularity numbers.
Terrorism has been brought front and center yet again in the Government's miserable failure at securing our borders from terrorists. The more we learn, the more we are concerned about the resumption of terrorist attacks that has found it's reach to our shores yet again. The Obama administration has seen fit to blame Bush's administration for the seemingly burgeoning problem and yet--any fool could see that these events have now started up again-- only after scant months of Bush leaving office and Obama's administration entering office. It's not difficult--at all--to draw logical conclusions from these events as they unfold.
Professional Apologists, Cigarettes, Donuts and Soda Pop
The Washington Post, surprisingly, came out in an all-out defense mode of attack defending the Obama administration against the criticism that the publication knew was coming from the Right, thereby proving that it is nothing more than a glorified propagandist mouthpiece for the administration rather than a bonafide news outlet--among many others. The Post did nothing more than illustrate one of the many reasons for the inception of this website. To the editors of the Post, we can only point out that they exemplify the problems within the Mainstream Media of this country--obviously withdrawing from questioning their government's anti-terrorism efforts despite being a major news outlet whose reason for being is to question everything. Traditional journalism is, indeed, dead for the most part.
The President, in his one-world government efforts, also signed away American strictures on limiting Interpol, the world police organization's abilities to harrass American citizens. The administration also, in an apparent total state of confusion, is now wondering why America was so easily compromised by a Nigerian terrorist. This after Obama has severely impaired the Bush administrations security imperatives on curtailing terrorist incursions into the US. John Brennan, the current Deputy National Security Advisor, has stated that despite removing the military from the terrorist investigative equation and allowing civilian law to take over, the US still has an array of tools at its disposal. I, personally, do not think that donuts, cigarettes and soda pop, or the lack thereof, is going to work very well, Mr. Brennan, but hey! that's just me...
We also have new and even more depressing information coming out about the Healthscare bill in the Senate which we will certainly address as events unfold--this in addition to Congress apparently allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue to wreak their mortgage lending havoc by granting them a blank check even after they are in receivership apparently for not screwing up enough the first time. However, since George W. Bush and the few remaining Republicans are apparently to blame for everything that is going wrong in Obama's administration and the world, we turn our attention back to Mr. Dionne and his broad summation of the evils that have been brought to bear by the former President (and apparent powerful Wizard) Bush by causing all of these bad events to happen even while out of office for one year.
E.J. Searches for Alice Down Rabbit Hole: Finds Barney
E.J. Dionne has apparently decided to journey down an illusory rabbit hole in a vain search for Alice as his apparent New Year's "Resolution of Unending Liberal Nonsense" takes flight. E.J. has decided that the decade that is the 00's "has been a waste" and in my opinion denigrates every soldier and sailer and airman and civilian whose life was lost in the valiant and so far successful effort of Liberty loving people everywhere. This not to mention the Twin Towers falling, which marked the exact point where freedom and religious jihadism clashed and the war of good against unredoubtable terrorist evil began. Make no mistake, history will look back on this period as a crucial point for a multitude of reasons so that to say it was wasted ignores so many truths that even the shallowest of historical thinkers will bookmark this period as integral in world and US history.
E.J. begins his soft diatribe by, of course, bashing Bush in saying that the US badly lost its way by using our military power carelessly and misunderstanding the real challenges to our long-term security. Ok... so E.J. apparently thinks that terrorists high-jacking civilian aircraft and slamming them into trade centers, defense installations and even an attempt at our Capital itself did not warrant an aggressive counter-strike? Bombing our ships and striking at our civilians abroad was just a slip in the terrorists' bombing techniques? I suppose E.J., of course, wanted to battle these forces with his artful silvery tongue. He then goes on to point out that our pursuit of domestic policies was a needless constraint on future options and a threat to our prosperity.
Indeed, E.J! If you are speaking of the Democrat's "bright idea" which was the "revised" Community Reinvestment Act's efforts at throwing loan money at everyone--whether they could afford a mortgage or not--in addition to the goverment's congressional wink and a nod at allowing sub-prime lending practices, then you, Sir, have mistook the wrong "group of culpables," which actually and ultimately caused the financial meltdown of 2008. It has been well documented that the Bush administration's efforts along with multiple Republicans to quell this conflagration of unsecured mortgage loans in visits to Congressional Commitees in 2003, 2006, and 2007 were pushed back by members such as Barney Frank and his like.
That these financial acts of malfeasance were endorsed by the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank along with virtually every Democratic member of Congress and the Senate either shows how disingenuous Dionne is or how ignorant he is. The non-validated loans that caused Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go under while pulling the rest of the world's economy along with it are in large part the reason for the meltdown. The banks who tried to silver coat the "turdles" of mortgage-backed securities into something that they could somehow profit from--or greedily run off with while the house was on fire--only made the problem worse. So E.J., then you would be right about that as far as the Congressional Democrats go. In fact, I could probably reformat your article and cut and paste "Democrats" everywhere you have written Bush and/or the Republicans and your article would be dead to rights.
You have simply indicted the wrong "party of responsibility" whether intentional or not. But then we are used to this sort of thing.
Elitists Appologies: Proclamations of Disclaimation and Recycling!
E.J. unheroically then makes a vain effort to disclaim his just-spouted opinion by saying that "it is controversial" but then literally destroys his credibility by stating the following: "much of the contention surrounding Barack Obama's presidency is simply a continuation of our argument over the effects of George W. Bush's time in office." What in the holy hell has this E.J. been smoking? To truthfully make an attempt at drawing a correlation between Bush and Obama, in this instance, is nothing but another bold attempt to defend the current administration's obtuse and ineffective efforts. E.J. is trying to say that Obama's, as well as the majority of Congress' authoritarian grab at auto manufacturers, our healthcare , our banks and many others too numerous to mention was a continuation of what Bush started? This E.J. Dionne piece is beginning to look like an "elitist's apology" for the summa cum laude world of "the Liberal now government," which has already been proven pathetically ineffective thus far.
"The Academian World" meets "Real World" and emerges gasping that their simple equations will not hold forth in a world of complex algorythms. The first thing that students learn when entering real world from bizarro world is "this ain't what I expected." So we can now see why E.J. is following Alice down her rabbit hole, and who can blame him? His effete world of Liberal Academia is not faring well in the real world thus far. E.J. goes on to state that the reason that Obama's efforts at consensus have been abyssmally unsuccessful is because of Bush. Hmmm....I must say E.J., you Liberals have gotten so good at recycling you can now do it with ideas, too! But as with all recyclibles, at some point even ideas cannot be recycled anymore. To use your extremely faulty reasoning--we could say that Bush's time in office was so fraught with corrections to Clinton's time in office that he spent most of his time correcting Clinton's errors. Hey! I think we may be on to something.
The Two Liberal Excuses for Current Failure and the Two Truthful Answers
Indeed E.J.'s entire liberal stance seems to be set upon a foundation of blaming Bush, and yet Bush did not engulf the banking industry, or auto manufacturers, nor did Bush run up a $14 trillion dollar budgetary deficit--that was all Obama's and Congress' doing. Bush also did not appoint an extreme panel of Socialist Czars in an effort to gobble up and command and control every targettable industry in America. This was all Obama's doing, also. E.J. then goes on to point out that "domestically Obama inherited an economic catastrophe," and "dealing with the wreckage required a large expenditure of public funds."
#1: Yes; however, we have already shown that the catastrophe was brought about by Obama and others who did indeed vote for the intensifying of the Community Reinvestment Act while he was in Congress and continued his sanctimonious hedgimoney of said CRA in the Senate. So, in essence, Obama is actually dealing with something that he helped to create, although you will never see him or E.J. admit it--which is why we have thoughtfully included the facts behind our contentious includion to the record.
#2: The banks are paying out the TARP allocation so that money is now coming back to us--however, the massively ineffective Stimulus that has stimulated nothing but our deficits was something that Obama and his democratically controlled Congress dreamed up and then allocated out to their liberal pet projects that does not, in the least, have an impact on the general populace. So, once again, E.J.'s self-serving reasoning falls on its face by shining even a penlight of a beam in it.
Deliberation or De-libertization? The Battle for Our Future
E.J. continues on, stating that Obama "is more deliberate in his use of American power than his predecesor was" to which I would say "INDEED"--one man's "deliberation" is another man's "procrastination," although we have gone on the record as applauding the Prez for his 3 month decision concerning the troops. Dionne then states that Obama "does not believe that a war on terror should define American Foreign Policy", to which I would remark that my trundling off to work every day does not define my life; however, it's something that I feel compelled to do. How others view that is their own business. To wit--Stop worrying about what others think and do what's right.
E.J. then points out that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq--to Obama's view--may not have been the right approach, and that American power was wasted and "dissipated good will toward us around the world," to which I would retort--E.J., we can fight them here in our front yard or fight them there in their backyard--which would you prefer? I kind of like their backyard--but hey that's just me and 304 million other Americans. What do we know as compared to the "Messiah and his Liberal Apologists"? E.J. then rationalizes Obama's stated "disavowel" of victory and overall defeat of those who wish us harm--don't know where I'm coming from? Check out Obama's statement about the Emperor Hirohito and World War II as it regards victory (which it wasn't actually Hirohito)--but hey! we knew what he meant.
It would seem that Obama seems only to truly relish victory as it involves he himself. Any other "victory" may not serve his well-established narcissisum adequately. Dionne then falls back, in full whining mode, on "Republicans who shamelessly politicize the Obama administrations' incident" (i.e. admitted failure). So, one supposes that Dionne thinks that, as the opposition, we should enable and praise an admitted security failure even after said security failure follows massive US policy changes to previous security protocols? We have learned over time that whenever an apparatchik (thanks Paul) takes the sanctimonious position of bemoaning "politicization"--as Dionne does here-- he is in effect admitting he has no true argument.
Dionne then goes on to point up that "the battle for our future will be shaped by our struggles of the past" and then crows about the advances of social (or socialist) changes in the 30's and the 60's as times of unparalleled social advance. Indeed E.J., but how can you then not gauge that our current circumstances and existing problems within social security and our medical system issues--among many, many others--were not brought about by these "social changes" of which you Liberals are now so proud?
You speak of turning the next 10 years of our future into a decade of renewal. We Conservatives are more concerned that you are now turning the next 10 years into the decade of expiration.
Finding meaning in the last decade
Posted: Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009
Certain decades shape the country's political life for generations by leaving behind an era to embrace or, at least as often, to scorn.
The 1960s were definitely such a decade. The 1930s qualify, and so do the 1980s. But as important as all these periods have been, their significance may be dwarfed by the reckless and squandered decade that is, mercifully, ending.
I'm afraid that the past 10 years will be seen as a time when the United States badly lost its way by using our military power carelessly, misunderstanding the real challenges to our long-term security, and pursuing domestic policies that constrained our options for the future while needlessly threatening our prosperity.
I am aware that the previous paragraph is thoroughly controversial, and that befits any description of a politically consequential decade. Much of the contention surrounding Barack Obama's presidency is simply a continuation of our argument over the effects of George W. Bush's time in office.
That is why Obama, despite his fervent wishes, has been unable to usher in a new period of consensus. Bush's defenders know that Obama's election represented a popular reaction against the consequences of the 43rd president's time in office. Because Obama is both the anti-Bush and leader of the post-Bush cleanup squad, his success would complete the rebuke. So the Bush camp - Karl Rove's contributions to The Wall Street Journal's opinion pages are emblematic - must stay on the attack.
Domestically, Obama inherited an economic catastrophe. Dealing with the wreckage required a large expenditure of public funds that increased a deficit already bloated by the previous president's decision to fight two wars and to cut taxes at the same time. Bush's defenders, preferring to focus attention away from this earlier period of irresponsibility, act as if the world began on Jan. 20, 2009, by way of saddling Obama with the blame for everything that now ails us. But the previous eight years cannot be wished away.
Our current president is more deliberate about the use of American power than his predecessor was, and determined to repair America's image with other nations. Obama is committed to fighting terrorism, but does not believe that a "war on terror" should define American foreign policy.
This leads directly to another essential argument over the meaning of the last decade: whether the proper response to the 9-11 attacks included not only the widely supported retaliation in Afghanistan but also the invasion of Iraq. Obama's view - that the Iraq War wasted American power and dissipated good will toward us around the world - is a direct reproach to the core assumptions of the Bush foreign policy.
So is Obama's refusal "to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, or our interests," as he put it in his recent West Point speech, as well as his insistence upon appreciating "the connection between our national security and our economy." This measured approach to the use of force is antithetical to a foreign policy based on "bring 'em on" and sweeping pledges to "defeat our enemies across the world."
But this makes it imperative for Obama to inspire trust in his capacity to thwart terrorism, and his administration's initial response to the Christmas Day attack fell short. Republicans were shameless in politicizing the incident, knowing that rehabilitating Bush's approach to terrorism depends upon discrediting Obama's. The president can't afford to give them anything to work with, as he finally seemed to grasp on Tuesday.
It should not surprise us that the battle for the future will be shaped by struggles over the past. How often over the last 40 years have conservatives defended their policies in the name of rolling back "the excesses of the '60s"? For even longer, liberals were charged with being locked into "the New Deal approaches of the 1930s." Liberals, in turn, pointed proudly to both eras as times of unparalleled social advance.
As for the 1980s, they remain a positive reference point for conservatives even as progressives condemn the Age of Reagan for opening the way to the deregulatory excesses that led to the recent downturn.
Americans instinctively recoil at living too much in the past. Yet we have no choice but to reach a settlement about the meaning of the last 10 years. It is the only way we will successfully turn the next 10 into a decade of renewal.