Thursday, June 5, 2014
From: Gary L. Bauer
The Left Deserts Obama On Bergdahl Deal
One of the striking aspects of the continuing controversy over the prisoner swap involving Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is that — unlike the Benghazi scandal, the IRS disgrace and a host of other controversies in which there has been almost no liberal dissent from the Obama Administration — the deal has produced a surprising range of opinion on the left. Indeed, many prominent liberals are criticizing President Obama’s unilateral move to trade Bergdahl for five Taliban commanders.
As we have reported, Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, slammed the administration for failing to secure congressional approval for the deal. On Tuesday, the Weekly Standard reported that more than a dozen Democrat senators it contacted refused to defend the deal. Numerous other Democrat officeholders have also come out against it.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is said to have been “very wary” of the arrangement. Obama’s former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta also questioned it. Even Vice President Joe Biden is reported to have been “neutral” on the prisoner swap.
Now even some of Obama’s most loyal media supporters are bailing on him. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who once received a “thrill up my leg” during one of Obama’s speeches and declared that it was his duty as a journalist to ensure Obama’s success, has been critical of the deal. On Hardball last night Matthews scolded the Obama Administration for assailing soldiers who served with Bergdahl and have been critical of his actions.
These responses are somewhat encouraging. If nobody on the left had these impulses, we’d be in serious trouble as a country. I’ve often said that liberals need to revive the Scoop Jackson wing of their party—that is, support for a robust foreign policy and strong military. That tradition gave us presidents likes FDR, Truman and JFK.
The current liberal dissent is a slender reed of hope for all those who value a strong American presence in the world. Let’s hope others on the left find their voices too.
The Mullahs React To Obama’s West Point Speech
President Obama’s speech at West Point went over like a lead balloon with the cadets and in many parts of the U.S. But according to a New York Times report, it was a huge hit in Iran, at least among the mullahs who rule the country with an iron fist.
Speaking to a crowd of political and military leaders under a banner that boasted, “America cannot do a d— thing,” Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that the Obama Administration had taken the option of military intervention to resolve conflicts off the table. “They have renounced the idea of any military actions,” Iran’s supreme leader proclaimed.
Khamenei’s remarks come in response to Obama’s speech in which he said that the U.S. should be reluctant to use military intervention. Just because the U.S. has the best hammer, Obama said, doesn’t mean “every problem is a nail.”
Obama seems to think that he can reshape the world merely by the power of his words. But Obama’s five-and-a-half years in office have shown that the main effect of his words has been to embolden America’s enemies and discourage our allies.
President Reagan was credible when he threatened the Soviet Union and encouraged democracy advocates across the globe. Reagan’s words signaled strength and resolve. Obama’s signify weakness and ambivalence. In contrast to Reagan’s optimism, Obama stresses not what America can do to expand liberty but what it cannot do and what, under his watch, it refuses to do.
The U.S. is currently negotiating with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Obama has said repeatedly that the military option is still on the table should negotiations fail. But, as Khamenei’s remarks make clear, Obama’s speech told the mullahs something much different. The speech all but guaranteed that these negotiations will end badly for the U.S. and its allies.
Obama’s National Energy Tax
While the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and the Taliban 5 has dominated the headlines, there was another major, albeit anticipated, announcement from the Obama Administration on Monday. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy declared that the nation’s power plants would have to reduce carbon emissions by 30% over the next 16 years.
The Obama Administration is imposing by regulation its radical cap and trade agenda that failed to pass in 2010. And the plan is radical. Consider some of the reaction to this news:
“President Obama’s new EPA rule is more proof that Washington isn’t working for Kentucky. I will fiercely oppose the president’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry.”
“There is a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and the Obama Administration has got it wrong once again. This new regulation threatens our economy…”
Those statements did not come from conservatives, but from liberals who are desperate to distance themselves from Obama’s latest big government power grab. But the notion that liberals will go to Washington and fight Obama is absurd. Every Senate liberal voted for Obamacare!
Monday’s move by the EPA is a declaration of war on coal, which the Wall Street Journal notes is “the cheapest and most plentiful source for power, providing 40% of the nation’s electricity.”
If you impose regulations that aim to eliminate the nation’s cheapest and most plentiful source of electricity, you are guaranteeing higher electricity rates by imposing a new tax on businesses and consumers.
Think your electricity bill is too high now? Barack Obama promised that under his cap and trade plan “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Now he’s making good on that promise, and it won’t be good for the economy.
For the record, carbon emissions have declined since 2007. Why? Thanks to a decline in economic activity — the Great Recession and its aftermath.
- In 2010, climate researcher Pierre Friedlingstein of the University of Exeter told USA Today, “There is a close link between the world’s gross domestic product and emissions of carbon dioxide.” According to Professor Friedlingstein’s research, “The emissions decrease … from 2008 to 2009 was directly related to the economic crisis.”
- In 2011, one British newspaper published a story on reduced carbon emissions with this headline: “Significant Reduction In UK Emissions Attributed To Recession.”
- Professor Eric Larson of Princeton wrote in 2012, “Recent declines in carbon emissions are the result of a combination of factors. …The recession, however, appears to be the most significant factor in the decline.”Do you get it, friends?Carbon emissions are one indication of economic growth. Declining carbon emissions are a sign of recession.
This is what the left’s global warming, “cap and tax” policy is all about — capping energy production and taxing our economy. It’s a lose/lose proposition.* * * * *
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