Monday, January 26, 2009

See you in June

On or about 15 June 09, to be exact.

I mean, with all this Hope and Change, what could there be to write about, in any event? I jest, of course.

Closing Gitmo ... "stimulating" the economy ... soon Pres. Obama's worldview will meet reality, and hopefully some Republicans with spine. I saw that even today ol' Johnny Mc was saying he couldn't vote for the stimulus. Wow, it must be really bad.

We'll be okay, folks.

Keep up the good fight in your sphere of influence, and I will do the same.

God bless and keep America.

Talk to you in June.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Bush Legacy ... An Honorable Man in a Treacherous Town

As I sign off until June, I thought it appropriate to say a few parting words about Pres. George W. Bush, who in part inspired this site.

It's funny, but I have found myself comforted these past few weeks that he is still the president ... even as we prepare to swear in a new one. I continue to wish Barack Obama well, and I sincerely hope he will prove conservatives wrong by embracing the challenge that is the global struggle against Militant Islam. I am also mindful of the gigantic historical significance of his election, with his inauguration coming on the day after MLK Day.

This is a great country, ladies and gentlemen.

Still, I am going to miss Pres. Bush. I've had my moments with him over the past eight years (who hasn't?), but he has fulfilled two terms in some of the nation's most tumultuous times. He managed to keep his word and his honor while doing so, as well.

In thinking through the legacy of Pres. Bush, I concluded that he is an unusual bird in politics for a couple of reasons: 1) He doesn't politick and/or explain and argue for his positions very well; and 2) He does what he says he is going to do. This would seem to make him a sitting duck in political circles, but all told, he has done pretty well.

Yes, Pres. Bush has angered conservatives with his immigration and spending policies. But he has always believed this way; he campaigned as a "compassionate conservative", after all. He never said he was coming to Washington with a huge budget axe. On immigration, Pres. Bush's views were well-known when he was Texas's governor. His views on immigration (which I happen to disagree with) grow out of his faith (which I happen to share). I think he is misguided, but he never wavered on this point.

Pres. Bush said he would appoint judicial conservatives, and he did so. Whether Harriet Miers (whom I vigorously opposed) would have been one, we won't know. But we do know that Pres. Bush did something that he doesn't do often -- he changed his mind -- and withdrew her nomination to appoint Justice Sam Alito instead. Bush's Supreme Court appointments of Chief Justice Roberts and Alito are simply outstanding. His record on judicial appointments is far better than his father's (Souter, any one?) or even Pres. Reagan (who appointed O'Connor and Kennedy).

Remember the dreadful Prescription Drug Plan? I didn't like it when he campaigned on it, but Pres. Bush enacted it. He vowed to work with Democrats and try to "change the tone" in Washington; thus, one of the first things he did was to have Ted Kennedy over the to the White House for a movie and to set the groundwork for the Education Bill. There was a lot of problems in proceeding this way, not the least of which was that Kennedy and Co. were busy putting knives in Bush's back while he was trying to forge a new path.

He said he would cut taxes and he did. Come to think of it, Pres. Bush pretty much did all of what he said he was going to do.

As for the "new tone", recall that one of the things that Pres. Bush promised to do was "restore the dignity to the White House" after the Clinton era. In doing so, I think he was misguided and failed to defend himself and his party too often, but it is clear that Pres. Bush believes that the president shouldn't be a mere petty politico. He did what he said he was going to ... again.

Arguably, one of the very few areas where Pres. Bush wavered from his campaign rhetoric is that he did, in fact, engage in "nation-building" in Iraq. However, as he did with Harriet Miers, Bush changed course only when it was clear that such a move was consistent with the larger principles he had laid out.
Recall that he said after 9/11 that national security and the terrorist threat would become the principal focus of his administration. Again, he kept his word. People can debate the merits of the Iraq War -- especially in hindsight. However, I remember what virtually all thought just one year after 9/11 -- that Saddam Hussein either had or was about to acquire WMD. Even Obama never argued that Hussein did not have WMD. As such, going into Iraq was consistent with the Administration's focus as articulated after 9/11.

More fundamentally, though, Pres. Bush stayed on track to win in Iraq -- even after he had to remake his own team and strategy to win. This happens in wars, even though it can't be communicated effectively to a text-messaging populace.

Pres. Bush stayed on course during an unpopular war; again, he stayed consistent to what he had said he would do. Obama will get the credit for ending the war; Pres. Bush and his team deserve the credit for winning it.

In the end, Pres. Bush didn't explain himself well enough or often enough. That's too bad. However, I think history will.

I think history will be kind to Pres. Bush. He kept his word and he did restore honor the White House. He pledged to make it his first priority to protect the nation from a terrorist attack, and he did just that.

When Demos were fighting FISA (before some switched there votes to help win elections), the leader of the fight for all of us was Pres. Bush. He was doing what he said he would do after 9/11.

In the course of the presidential campaign and since being elected, Obama has already changed his course more than Pres. Bush did in eight years. Obama already doesn't measure up to the standard set by Pres. Bush.

A lot of people are glad to see Pres. Bush go, and I personally think it's time for a change after 8 years, as well.

But I will miss Pres. Bush come Jan. 21.

In a dangerous and difficult time, he was an honorable man in a treacherous town.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Go Israel: As the Opaque Gaza Glass is Broken, We See Inside a Lot of Places

Go Israel.

These are my simple sentiments as the IDF proceeds with its ground offensive into Gaza. In the past, the Israelis have vacillated between firm responses and collateral-damage squeamishness in dealing with both Hamas and Hezbollah jihadis.

Here's hoping they see the operation through. Most of the world will always be squeamish about doing the dirty work necessary to defeat evil.

The Gaza incursion illuminates and illustrates, on a number of fronts.

First, isn't it interesting that the Arab and Muslim allies of Hamas continue to appeal for a cease fire when the IDF is on the march? What gives? If you've got them surrounded, why do you need help? If you are winning, you don't need the other side to let up. Whose side is Allah on any way?

Oh, hold on. These are the same nations that breed, house, and finance the bulk of the world's deadliest jihadis ... those who "boldly" commit deadly strikes against unsuspecting civilians.

And who do the Arab nations and Hamas appeal to? The weak-kneed former powers in the West. I mean, what a sight to see the terrorists asking the non-believing infidels for a little love. Seemingly, only America stands tall with Israel in these times. However, as long as America and Israel stand together in such a time, it will be enough.

Will Obama follow the lead of Bush here? Here's hoping. Maybe the Chosen One will speak on a difficult subject at some point. He seems to me to be overwhelmed. Maybe he is just worried that his cabinet won't survive until Inauguration Day. Perhaps he is preoccupied with a government stimulus. Keep the check, Mr. Pres.-elect.

But back to Israel, why should it care ... or any one else ... what people think about its decision to defend itself? The Israelis have every right. Who cares what jihadi-sympathizing protesters and governments cowed by militants say?

If Mexico or Canada were lobbing missiles over the border, we likely wouldn't take a poll of world opinion.

Harry Reid might. But most of us wouldn't. We'd just go.

Go Israel.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year? I Report, but You Decide

Happy 2009. So will it be a good year for you and yours ... or not? Perhaps your inclination is to wait to see what circumstances will bring. My retort is that you are a lot more in control of how your year goes than the circumstances you will face.

It appears that a lot of my conservative and Christian brethren are down in the mouth, wondering how we are going to survive these perilous times with the Obama crowd at the helm. I understand their sentiments. This is why I worked to help get the most uninspiring Republican alternative since Bob Dole elected -- genuine concern about the alternative.

However, when concern becomes fear and then fear leads to paralysis, well, we do then become subject to our circumstances. We are, in fact, then the subjects of our masters -- the unfortunate circumstances that we fear and even loathe.

As for me, I refuse to live in such a way. Rather, I am going to face the Obama years with both dogged determination and a smile. I know that these days will present opportunities for me and mine to shine. The Carter Malaise spawned the Reagan Revolution, after all. Then, the happy-footed Clinton Adminstration led to the Contract with America and Republican control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

These sorts of opportunities are about to begin presenting themselves again. Of course, the country (and indeed the world) continues to face the great peril that is Militant Islam. My belief is that we'll see more realism -- at least abroad -- from the Obama Administration as a result. I think we have already seen a dose of this in his national security picks.

Here's another thing that really keeps me upbeat: My side is right. That is, I really get a charge watching post-modern lemmings charge headlong off reality cliffs. The global warming crowd ... the gay "marriage" crowd ... the "we need more taxes" crowd ... the "we can reason with jihadis" crowd ... and the "God is dead" crowd all find that facts are stubborn things when power requires their theories to be tested.

There is a reason why the left uses unelected bureaucracies and judges to push much of its agenda. People want something else; people want what works.

Sometimes I think that insecure conservatives just aren't sure that we are right or perhaps worry what others might think about us when we stand for what is right. As for me, I don't pretend to have the answers to all questions large and small; however, I do believe that I have most of the important stuff right. Thus, I don't fear the post-modern barbarians. They will win some battles here and there, but they'll fold ultimately. I will be there to watch it.

I refuse to waste my time wringing hands and getting down. There is a lot of opportunity in this time. So, let's seize it and make it our time.

Happy New Year.