Should the Media Point Out the “I Told You Sos?”

romneyIt sure has been fascinating over the past couple of days to turn on Fox News and see clip after clip of President Obama and other prominent Democrats mocking Mitt Romney, during the 2012 campaign, for recognizing Russia as a serious geopolitical threat.

“The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” chided the president in one of his debates against Romney. “The Cold War has been over for 20 years.”

John Kerry (now our Secretary of State), with his arms flailing in condescension as he addressed the audience at the Democratic National Convention, went even further. He called Romney’s notion that Russia was our number one geopolitical foe “preposterous,” adding that “Mitt Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.”

Well, I’d hate to break it to Mr. Kerry, but with all that’s going on right now between Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is looking an awful lot like Ivan Drago while our president appears to be portraying the part of Apollo Creed.

No one could have predicted this, some on on the left would probably insist. The only problem is that someone did. Back in 2008, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin observed Senator Obama’s reaction to the Russian Army invading the nation of Georgia. She called it “one of indecision and moral equivalence” and went on to say that it was the kind of response “that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

Her comments were widely derided at the time, much as her famous “death panel” remarks were that liberal journalist Mark Halperin later felt compelled to concede had some validity.

Now, I’m the first to admit that Sarah Palin was not (and still isn’t) an expert on foreign policy. She was, however, echoing the sentiment of the man at the top of her presidential ticket, John McCain. McCain never made any bones about how seriously he took Vladimir Putin as a threat. He was calling the Russian leader out at a time when people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were still daydreaming about “reset button” props and cancelling missile defense shields with Poland and the Czech Republic in exchange for absolutely nothing from Russia. McCain was widely criticized for his strong words on Russia as well.

It sure seems that Republican leaders had a far better understanding of Vladimir Putin and the Russian geopolitical threat than the Obama administration ever has, despite the abundance of snide criticism they received at the time. Yet, Fox News seems to be the only national media outlet that is pointing this out.

Does stuff like this matter? Does the media have a responsibility, or even a professional obligation, to take a look back at pivotal times in our history, analyze past statements and proposed directions, and vindicate those who had it right but were flayed at the time?

If such an obligation did exist, the media would certainly have their hands full.

One of the first on the vindication list would have to be the Tea Party movement. You know, those small government folks who the media and the Democratic part alike regularly portray as a bunch of bitter, old, white racists who hate our president and hate the country. It’s all part of a political tactic by the left, of course, but that doesn’t mean the smear-job hasn’t been successful.

The truth is that, despite the Tea Party’s poor political judgement in certain situations, the movement has gotten it right far more often than it’s gotten it wrong.

The Tea Party spoke out against the federal stimulus package’s infrastructure spending long before President Obama enjoyed a smile and a chuckle over shovel-ready jobs not being as shovel-ready as he expected. They spoke out against the government’s picking of winners and losers long before the Solyndra’s of the country crashed and burned and took a lot of taxpayers’ money with them. They spoke out against unfair targeting by the IRS long before Lois Lerner plead the Fifth. They spoke out against the false promises of Obamacare long before millions of people were tossed off their health plans, lost their doctors, and witnessed their premiums and deductibles shoot through the roof.

Mitt Romney certainly deserves a prominent spot as well. After all, he got more than Russia right.

As many might recall, there was more media outrage in September of 2012 over Mitt Romney’s criticism of the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack than there was over the attack itself! Early on, Romney blasted the administration for offering a harsher condemnation of an American filmmaker for creating an anti-Islam video then they did the extremists who actually committed the violence. The media absolutely excoriated Romney for his comments and accused him of politicizing the event. We now know, however, why the administration was pushing that narrative, and that any political advantage Mitt Romney might have sought from the attack paled in comparison to the intricate charade put on by the administration.

From a Dead Sleep by John A. DalyWhether or not the rules for integrity in journalism (insert your joke here) call for seeking redemption for those who were wronged, it seems to me that special circumstances should warrant it. By special circumstances, I’m referring to instances in which people had their words brutally mocked and dismissed as pure fantasy by either our country’s leadership or a national media consensus.

Being ultimately being proven right when prevailing wisdom was wrong – especially in regard to a highly consequential issue – seems to me to warrant a news story by itself.

If This Doesn’t Sink Obama, What Can?

If President Obama had Czechoslovakia to give away, would he give it to religious zealots in the Middle East? Don’t bet against it. The winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize is the early-betting favorite to win this year’s annual Neville Chamberlain Memorial Appeasement Award.

It started with this statement, issued by Mr. Obama’s embassy in Egypt, in response to a movie, produced by a couple of Americans, that belittles the Prophet Muhammad:

“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Hundreds of the noble, brave Egyptian beneficiaries of the “Arab Spring” that Obama had hailed so hopefully last year then proceeded to scale the walls of the embassy that had issued that statement, tear down the American flag flying overhead, and rip it to pieces.
Whereupon the embassy proclaimed: “This morning’s condemnation still stands. As does our condemnation of unjustified breach of the embassy.”

Here’s another way they could have phrased that: “We believe in free speech, except when it offends our enemies, because this is a dangerous world. See what happened as a result of two shlubs exercising free speech? We deserved the retaliation, but we have to confess that we don’t like it. So, Americans, button your lips if you want to continue to live in a world where you can enjoy your liberties.”

Sound farfetched? You will have to argue long and hard to persuade me that essentially those very thoughts weren’t circulating through the so-called minds of the embassy spokesmen.

I am writing this as the news continues to unfold, so I can’t swear to everything in this essay.

The last I heard, there was speculation that the attack on our embassy in Egypt had nothing to do with any movie, that it was planned as part of an in-your-face counter-observance of 9/11. A sequence of anti-American demonstrations in other Middle Eastern countries today seems to lend validity to that theory.
Our very own embassy in Egypt, manned by perhaps the stupidest people in our Foreign Service, gave the helots a convenient hook on which to hang their barbarity. They didn’t have to come off looking like barbarians, but rather like devout defenders of their religion.

I don’t even want to think about the possibility that we could have avoided all this if the embassy had kept its own yap shut. Maybe there is a case to be made for not exercising free speech!

The worst incident, so far, occurred in Libya – the same Libya that Mr. Obama rescued from the tyrrany of Muammar Gaddafi and delivered over to democracy. At the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the democratic hordes stormed, pillaged, burned and murdered. They shot to death three embassy staffers, and committed unspeakable acts upon U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, whom they dragged through the streets and somehow “smothered,” to quote the official report.

Can you picture any enemy of the United States daring to do anything like this during the presidency of Ronald Reagan? And if it happened, how long do you suppose it would be before there was a cataclysmic response?

The events of the past two days in the Middle East were perhaps an inevitable result of our President’s limp-wristed foreign policy. He seems to believe, just as fervently as our enemies, that America is fundamentally evil and does not deserve any consideration from the rest of the world. That point of view is not unusual, but it seems somehow inappropriate for the principal protector and defender of our country.

“Make no mistake: We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people,” Obama said.

What an obvious thing to say, and how empty. Does he really expect the Libyan government to corral the hundreds of people who could justifiably be tried for first-degree murder, and stand them up before a firing squad – which appears to be the preferred method of capital punishment in that great democracy?

What we have seen in the past couple of days is a clear demonstration of the bankruptcy of the Obama foreign policy, the inevitable consequence of Obama’s negligence and inaction. What we have seen are two of the darkest days in the history of American diplomacy.

If Obama can get re-elected after this, then the situation is just hopeless. Our democratic system will be shown to be broken beyond repair.