A Nation in Decline

When people used to say “Only in America,” they intended it as praise, highlighting the promise that anyone – no matter his religion, his nation of origin or the circumstances into which he was born – could succeed in America beyond anyone’s expectation. But when you see a Marxist slacker like Obama twice elected to the highest office in the land, the words take on a cynical connotation, and are definitely no longer a compliment.

Speaking of Obama, it recently occurred to me that Obama’s grandparents did as rotten a job raising him, a lazy, pot-smoking, punk as they did raising his mother, their daughter, a certified dingbat with round heels and a flat head, who made a habit of looking for love, as the country song once put it, in all the wrong places.

As a result, it’s no surprise that Obama has shown far greater compassion for a handful of Democrats up for re-election next November than for the millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance. It continues to shock me that so many people still refuse to acknowledge that when he swore to fundamentally transform America, he fully intended to change America from being the shining city on the hill to being just one more unexceptional third world slum.

I have generally objected to presidential debates because I think they are a waste of time. For one thing, it is too easy for the moderators, who are generally liberals, to tip the balance, as Candy Crowley did in 2012 by siding with Obama when he was, as usual, lying about the Benghazi massacre; but also because debating skills are about as important to a president as the ability to play the accordion or knit a sweater. Once elected, the only person he’s ever likely to debate is his wife, and not even Ms. Crowley can save him there.

Speaking of presidential debates, considering the way that Obama has flip-flopped on such matters as same-sex marriages, the federal debt, the Patriot Act, the war in Afghanistan and the Senate’s nuclear option, a far livelier debate than any of those between Obama and Romney would have been one between Obama and himself.

That being said, thanks to Obama, things that were previously regarded as non-partisan – federal departments such as the IRS, the Justice Department and the Census Bureau –are merely adjuncts to the DNC, ready at a moment’s notice to do anything asked of them by this sleazy administration. As a result, they are now about as non-partisan as Jay Carney, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett.

Although the media has reported on the dismal rollout of ObamaCare, you can tell they didn’t have their heart in it. That’s why most of them were delighted to promote any narrative, no matter how bizarre, that he and his stooges concocted. For instance, even though it’s the Affordable Care Act that forced insurance companies to cancel individual policies, reporters and left-wing pundits were only too happy to tie a tin can to the insurance industry and blame them for the inevitable chaos.

On the chance that notion didn’t fly, the White House was ready with the excuse that the rollout would have been as smooth as glass if only those darn Obstructionists, formerly known as Republicans, hadn’t sabotaged the computer program.

If the Democrats keep it up, I may have to seek a restraining order against them. I feel as if I’m being stalked. Every time I turn on my computer, there’s yet another email from some mucky-muck in the party, each one addressed to “Friend.” Frankly, I had barely gotten used to hearing from all my friends in Nigeria, who wanted nothing more out of life than to send me millions of dollars. But now I find that in spite of all the nasty things I’ve written about liberals, even Barack Obama, Dick Durbin and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, are ready to forgive and forget.

Even Harry Reid is ready to smoke the peace pipe. In November, he wrote simply to explain why he had exploded the nuclear option on the floor of the U.S. Senate, blowing up over two centuries worth of tradition. “Last Thursday,” he wrote, “Democrats stood up to reform the filibuster because we believe in democracy, not obstruction.”

Because it’s not my way to spit in the eye of someone who sincerely seeks my friendship, I didn’t write back to remind him that a few short years ago when the Republicans were in the majority and merely toying with the idea of utilizing the nuclear option, he had grumbled: “What they are attempting to do in this instance is really too bad. It will change this body forever. We will simply be an extension of the House of Representatives, where a simple majority can determine everything.”

As I see it, the real problem with the nuclear option is that, alas, it was merely a catchy term. If it had actually been an explosive device, we might finally have come up with a way to introduce long over-due term limits to Washington.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

Romney Won It on Points

After you’ve read this special bonus article, Burt hopes you’ll enjoy Deciphering the Left.

If the second presidential debate had been a prize fight, the ringside announcer would have said, “In the right corner, wearing white trunks, is Mitt (“The Gentleman Pugilist”) Romney. In the left corner, wearing black trunks, are Barack (“The Low Blow Kid”) Obama and Candy (“I Wuv You, Barack”) Crowley.

I know that people were complaining about the replacement referees, who officiated at the first few football games this season, but at least they were merely incompetent, they didn’t play favorites.

It figured that at a debate where the live audience was asked not to cheer or boo, the agreement would be broken by Michelle Obama, when she led the applause after Ms. Crowley backed up Obama’s lie about referring to the Benghazi attack as an act of terrorism, in the Rose Garden, on 9/12.

In my eyes, Romney won the night. But he won on a decision. He would have scored a clear knockout if he had been more verbally aggressive. Instead, he came across weakest when he tried to come across strongest, as when he engaged in childish face-to-face squabbling with Obama. It was then that he lowered himself to his opponent’s level.

If I had been prepping Romney for the debate, I would have made certain that he blasted Obama for lying about his plans for immigration reform. During his first two years in the White House, Obama had super majorities in the House and Senate. He didn’t need a single Republican vote, as he proved all too well when he shoved through ObamaCare. In 2008, he lied to Hispanic voters and they rewarded him with two-thirds of their votes. We will have to wait and see if they are equally gullible this time around.

Romney missed a great chance during their exchanges on energy by neglecting to mention that not only had Obama done what he could to destroy the coal industry, to cut oil leases on federal land and doing nothing to counteract soaring gas prices, but he squandered billions of tax dollars investing in solar and wind companies like Solyndra, which quickly went belly up. Apparently, the only collateral these outfits required was proof that their CEOs had donated big money to Obama’s war chest.

What’s more, when asked about the reason that gas is two or three times more expensive in 2012 than when he entered office, Obama said it’s because the economy was so weak in 2009. That is perhaps the looniest answer to a question I’ve ever heard. If the state of the economy had anything to do with the price of gas, shouldn’t the price be the same or even lower in 2012?

Romney also goofed when he let Obama get away with defending Planned Parenthood for providing cancer screenings. They do not offer those services. They merely refer women to places where they are done. Planned Parenthood, which, on top of everything else, flies under false colors, and should be called Planned Non-Parenthood, is in fact the world’s largest abortion mill.

He might also have pointed out that the actual “War on Women” is being waged in the Obama White House, where women doing the exact same job as men, and not an arbitrarily determined comparable job, are paid less than their male counterparts.

When it comes to capitalism, Romney would have done well to point out that Obama is vehemently opposed to the free market version. It’s only crony capitalism that makes his eyes light up and his tail wag.

I also thought that Romney should have done more with the first question from the audience. When 20-year-old Jeremy Epstein, who is apparently a college sophomore, asked Obama what sort of job market he could expect two years down the road, Obama gave one of his canned speeches about the way he planned to improve manufacturing in America. Romney should have pointed out that not only had Obama overseen the loss of many such jobs during his term in office, but, as nice and as necessary as factory jobs are, neither Jeremy nor anyone else goes to college in order to wind up working on an assembly line. But because so many of those jobs require union membership, they are the only ones that Obama really cares about.

Finally, although Romney mentioned the fact that the middle class has been buried for the past four years, it would have been nice if he had mentioned that he heard this from none other than Joe Biden.

As everyone knows or should know by now, the reason that Obama bailed out GM with our tax dollars is because he could then screw the bond holders and turn the company over to his groupies at the UAW.

The most offensive moment during the entire debate came when Obama claimed he had described what occurred at Benghazi as a terrorist attack the day after it occurred, and when Romney tried to rebut, the moderator chimed in to say that Obama was telling the truth. If Obama had actually been telling the truth, we wouldn’t have needed Ms. Crowley to tell us so. The tipoff would have been the moon turning blue and hell freezing over.

Romney’s best moments came when he described his five point plan for restoring America to her full potential and when he described Obama’s agenda as “trickle down government.”

Where Romney’s handlers have let him down is in not providing him with a Reagan-like “There you go again” line with which to underscore every lie Obama tells.

On the other hand, the big story of the evening wasn’t anything Romney said. It was the one-two combination of Obama lying and Candy Crowley backing him up.

If Obama had actually described the attack on our Libyan consulate as a terrorist act, why would he have sent out UN Ambassador Susan Rice five days later on five different Sunday news shows to lay the blame on some dumb video? And why would Obama go to the UN a week later and blame the murder of four Americans on that same video?

For that matter, why would Jay Carney deny the true nature of the attack for two entire weeks, pretending that they needed an FBI investigation to get to the bottom of things, when the consulate cameras and Ambassador Stevens’ own journal told us everything we needed to know about the non-existent demonstration that allegedly led up to the al-Qaeda attack.

And, finally, why 30 days after 9/11, was smarmy Joe Biden still lying about what had taken place in Libya during his debate with Paul Ryan?

Still, I shouldn’t complain. After all, the media has spent four years providing cover for Obama, propping him up and whitewashing his endless lies to the American public. But the one thing they will not abide, we belatedly discovered, is Obama and his stooges lying to them. As a result, instead of the media helping him bury the mess in Libya, they are now helping to bury him.

I found it fascinating that Secretary of State Clinton agreed to go through the motions of falling on her sword for Obama. But that sword was more like a wet noodle. It seems to me that once the Secretary of State takes responsibility for removing security from a consulate and it leads directly to the murder of four members of the diplomatic service, a letter of resignation is called for, and not just a phony pledge to learn from her mistakes and to do better next time.

As we rush towards Election Day, I am reminded of a story a reader sent me a while back. It seems that the director of human resources at a large company was told to hire a black man named Barry to fill an executive position. It was soon discovered that he lacked the necessary skills to do the job, and the director was told to fire him.

When he called the guy into his office to break the bad news, Barry accused him of being a racist.

Patiently, the human resources director explained to Barry that whereas he had been hired because he was black, he was being fired because he was incompetent.

Perhaps during the third debate, Mitt Romney could find the time to share this anecdote. It strikes me as highly relevant.
Now that you’ve read this special bonus article, Burt hopes you’ll enjoy Deciphering the Left.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

Candy Crowley Gets Obama Off the Hook on Benghazi – Blunder or Bias?

One of the most anticipated topics in this week’s presidential debate was the terrorist attack on our U.S. consulate and murder of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Many analysts were curious how President Obama could possibly defend the way his administration cited phony players and motives in the attack (a spontaneous mob angered by a YouTube video), when they knew all along that it had been committed by terrorists as part of a coordinated effort on the anniversary of 9/11.

Though the topic didn’t come up until surprisingly late in the debate, it did come up. And when it did, Mitt Romney had a good opportunity to nail the president on his refusal to label the violence as an act of terrorism until weeks after the event. There was only one problem: Soon into Romney’s charge, debate moderator Candy Crowley substantiated President Obama’s assertion that, on the day after the attack, the president used the term act of terror when speaking about the incident. This clearly threw Romney off his game, and led to some quibbling back and forth between Obama and Romney before Crowley shut down the topic all together, and the president was effectively let off the hook. Viewers could read the relief in Obama’s eyes when the topic was changed. Who can blame him? He dodged quite a bullet.

Crowley has since taken a lot of heat from mostly conservative commentators, and I do think she certainly deserves some criticism. However, I don’t believe this was a case of media bias, as many are charging. I think she made the honest mistake, as consequential as it was, of trying to break down the semantics of the argument, instead of letting the candidates engage in the merits of the argument itself. For the most part, she did a fine job of moderating. Did she blow it on Benghazi? Yes. Was it a concerted effort to rescue President Obama? I don’t think so.

You see, President Obama did use the term “acts of terror” in his speech on September 12th. The problem is that he didn’t use it in reference to the attack in Libya. It was a passive reference, spoken in general terms to explain historical, American resolve in the face of tragedy. There’s certainly been a conscious effort by the Democrats to retroactively contort the president’s words into a condemnation of the people who carried out the Benghazi attack, but that’s not at all what he did.

The far more important issue was the conduct of the Obama administration over the two weeks following the attack. We now know that the U.S. government knew from the onset that the attack on our consulate was committed by terrorists. So what happened during those next two weeks? President Obama was asked directly and repeatedly if terrorism was to blame. Each time, he claimed that he didn’t know. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, was sent out on five Sunday morning talk-shows, five days after the attack, and repeated the story that the attacks stemmed from an overzealous mob. Both President Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, blamed the infamous anti-Islam YouTube video for inciting the violence. None of that was true. There was no mob. There was no influence from the YouTube video because no one knew of its existence.

Yet, because Candy Crowley mangled the issue, President Obama escaped having to answer for any of that in Tuesday night’s debate. The media should not let the president off the hook for this, but if ABC News’ George Stephanopoulous is of any indication, they may very well do just that. Wednesday, on Good Morning America, Stephanopoulous repeatedly tried to convince guest Paul Ryan that the controversy is essentially now a dead issue for the GOP ticket, due to the debate exchange. I can’t say that I’m surprised.

To her credit, Crowley did concede, in an interview immediately following the debate, that Mitt Romney was right. She expressed misgivings in distracting from the issue, and she verified that the Obama administration did indeed avoid linking the Libya attack to terrorism by misdirecting the media and the public. Unfortunately, that’s not the news coming out of the debate.

Rather than a president publicly being held accountable for what was a clear cover-up of a serious failure, the post-debate headline is that all important question of what Mitt Romney really meant by “binders full of women.” How anyone can feel proud to wear the title of “Journalist” in this environment, I’ll never know.