Witch’s Will For A March Morning
My Pick Of The Litter Today
Obama increasingly comes across as devious and dishonest.
by Peggy Noonan
Something’s happening to President Obama’s relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, “Nothing new there,” but actually I think there is. I’m referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.
It’s not due to the election, and it’s not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn’t happening.
What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who’s not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it’s his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it’s a big fault.
The shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? “You’re kidding me. That’s not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it’s not even constitutional!” Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church’s religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.
What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who’d been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.
Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for “space” and said he will have “more flexibility” in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he’d been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.
Stories/Articles You Might Find Interesting – or not
Another Legislative Defeat For Obama
Another (not totally unexpected) defeat for one of President Obama’s legislative proposals today. This time, the Senate rejected a measure to repeal oil company tax breaks, which the president urged them to pass in a stern speech this morning. The vote wasn’t completely split along party lines, with two Republicans supporting the measure and four Democrats opposing it.
Obama will continue to frame this as the GOP protecting the interests of Big Oil, but the fact that it failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate takes the edge off that slightly:
Obama has sought to deflect blame for high gas prices, in part by casting Republicans as allies of big oil companies. He used a Rose Garden speech to urge lawmakers to back the plan.
“Today, members of Congress have a simple choice to make,” Obama said. “They can stand with big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people.”
I know this fits nicely with Obama’s class warfare strategy, but it sounds completely counterintuitive. Even if there’s no hard evidence that repealing these tax breaks would raise the price of gas at the pump, it still sounds like a reasonable outcome to the average voter. And that’s the argument the GOP has been making:
Republicans alleged the Democratic proposal would hit struggling consumers.
“That was their brilliant plan on how to deal with gas prices: raise taxes on energy companies; when gas is already hovering around $4 a gallon, then block consideration of anything else, just to make sure gas prices don’t go anywhere but up,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said the bill “is not a policy that will do anything but increase the price at the pump and decrease supply.”
“That is the opposite of what we need,” Vitter said on the floor ahead of the vote.
So there is honest disagreement about whether repealing tax breaks for oil companies would raise gas prices. But everyone can at least agree it certainly won’t lower the price at the pump. Which is why this is a puzzling and politically stupid move for the Democrats. Their plan to deal with high gas prices isn’t even designed to lower high gas prices.
The “flexibility” doctrine
by Charles Krauthammer
You don’t often hear an American president secretly (he thinks) assuring foreign leaders that concessions are coming their way, but they must wait because he’s seeking reelection and he dares not tell his own people.
Not at all, spun a White House aide in major gaffe-control mode. The president was merely explaining that arms control is too complicated to be dealt with in a year in which both Russia and the United States hold presidential elections.
Rubbish. First of all, to speak of Russian elections in the same breath as ours is a travesty. Theirs was a rigged, predetermined farce. Putin ruled before. Putin rules after.
Obama spoke of the difficulties of the Russian presidential “transition.” What transition? It’s a joke. It had no effect on Putin’s ability to negotiate anything.
As for the U.S. election, the problem is not that the issue is too complicated but that if people knew Obama’s intentions of flexibly caving on missile defense, they might think twice about giving him a second term.
Court defeat will hurt Obama
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s hearings on the constitutionality of ObamaCare this week, speculation is now rife about the impact of a defeat for the president’s signature legislative achievement. Arguments are being marshaled that claim an overturning of the legislation will help the Republicans, while others insist it will rally the Democrats. That all of this is a bit premature is a given. No matter how the question and answer session with the justices went, we still don’t know for sure how they will vote. But even if we are to assume, as panicky liberals and triumphant conservatives are saying today, that the bill is headed to the dustbin of history, the ultimate impact of such a decision can only be guessed at.
The issue can help and hurt both the Republicans and the Democrats. Each party has something to gain and something to lose from the outcome. Nevertheless, the two main points to be derived from a defeat is that it will diminish President Obama and get Mitt Romney off the hook for his own Massachusetts health care bill. Seen in that light, if the judges vote the way so many people seem to think they will, the decision may well be a harbinger of defeat in November for the president.
Media Behaving Badly:
For Two Straight Days, CNN Harps on Romney’s Wealth as Potential Voter Turn-Off
Worth reading :
We Will Battle Obama With The Candidate We Have – Not The Candidate We Might Want
New York being stupid again
DOE ‘thought’ police
by Michael Goodwin
Romney’s Labor Pains
Republican GOP Primary takes back seat in Wisconsin
54% Expect U.S. Supreme Court To Overturn Health Care Law
Most voters continue to believe the federal government does not have the authority to force people to buy health insurance, and they expect the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn President Obama’s health care law that includes that mandate.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters would like to see the Supreme Court overturn the health care law, and 54% predict that that’s what the court will do.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) would like to see the high court uphold the legality of the law, but just 26% think that’s what the court will ultimately decide. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided about the law, and 21% aren’t sure what the Supreme Court will do about it
Four in 10 Americans Say Energy Situation Is “Very Serious”
Americans are divided as to whether U.S. will face critical energy shortage in next five years
PRINCETON, NJ — As gas prices continue to rise in the United States, 42% of Americans describe the energy situation as “very serious,” slightly above the historical average of 38%, but lower than at several other points since Gallup first asked the question in 1977.
What’s Going On In The World?
Violence Erupts In Spanish Strikes
Quote For Today:
“The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” ~ Virginia Woolf