The old adage "better late than never" might not apply in the case of President Obama's tardily filed budget.
It's one thing to habitually arrive late for scheduled appearances selfishly to build suspense and annoy those in attendance, but it's another to present this document two months late and after both the House and Senate have passed their own respective budgets.
For the first time, I am wondering about the long-term viability of the Republican Party. I say this not as an advocate of its demise or restructuring but as an observer of troubling signs.
The Republican Party is thought to be the institutional vehicle for the advancement of conservative policies, but for decades, the conservative movement has been frustrated with the party's deviation from conservative principles — its refusal to live up to its decidedly conservative platform.
There are three major factors that stand in the way of entitlement reform and the other responsible budgetary measures that must be taken to avert an eventual national financial catastrophe, and they have a common source.
The first is that too many American people remain, amazingly, in the fog about the scope of the problem. The second is that a certain political ideology refuses to substitute a designated driver for the intoxicated entitlement state, which is driving the American bankruptcy bus. The third is that the leader of this noxious ideology has a further conflict of interest precluding a solution to the crisis, which is that he is hellbent on inflicting harm on the only political party pushing for reform and on successful entrepreneurs, who are critical to economic growth — a key component of any reform measure.
Is it possible that Obama's arrogance, personal pettiness, sanctimoniousness and egotism (for starters) could finally be his unraveling? Even the liberal media are starting to notice, but will it last?
Up to this point, they've dutifully played along with his Alinskyite tactics — converting the office of the presidency into a headquarters for community organizing at a federal level and a position to organize and fund a perpetual campaign against his political opponents instead of governing.
President Obama told a meeting of the National Governors Association: "At some point, we've got to do some governing. And certainly, what we can't do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis." Really?
Yes, really. He added, referring to the sequestration: "These cuts do not have to happen. Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little bit of compromise."
It seems the liberal media are more concerned about Sen. Marco Rubio's midspeech sip of water than about President Obama's State of the Union commitment to double down on his disastrous policies.
What will it take for once-reasonable people to become alarmed at the state of this nation's fiscal condition, its stagnant economy and its egregious unemployment? Is there no number of irresponsible liberal policies from an extremist liberal president that will exceed their willingness to tolerate? Do liberal media — and rank-and-file Democrats, for that matter — believe that this recklessness can go on forever?
President Obama must have been stunned at the "audacity" of Dr. Benjamin Carson in challenging his core assumptions right to his face in front of thousands of people at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Obama is not used to being challenged, especially in public, even if indirectly and without being specifically named. From the look on his face, it was obvious Obama was none too pleased with Carson's message or with his "presumptuousness" in presenting it in that forum, while he had to sit still and — remain silent.
Editor's Note: This was originally slated for publication on Feb. 1. We apology for the delay | Many have rightly condemned MSNBC's serpentine editing of a video to make it appear that certain gun rights activists heckled the father of a 6-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook shooting massacre, but let's not pretend this was a one-off event.
The liberal media long ago forfeited their respected role as watchdog over the government and have voluntary descended to the status of a public relations arm of the Democratic Party and various liberal causes.
The Senate's "advice and consent" role doesn't require it to rubber-stamp a presidential appointee for secretary of defense who senators believe would weaken America in this increasingly dangerous world.
Notwithstanding former Sen. Chuck Hagel's diminished view of the post — "I won't be in a policymaking position" — the secretary of defense is an exceedingly important position and must be filled with someone who understands the complexity and gravity of the threats we face.
President Barack Obama is not just a radical leftist; he is obviously so ensconced in his ideology that he believes — or wants you to believe — that anyone who opposes him must have sinister motives.
One of his recurring themes is that some Republicans would work with him but can't do so for fear of reprisal from Grover Norquist on taxes, the National Rifle Association on guns, the conservative House caucus, radio talk show hosts and your garden-variety racists, who allegedly oppose Obama just for sport.
President Obama's latest news conference was further confirmation that his voracious appetite for spending was not satisfied but whetted by the fiscal cliff deal, which he views as an appetizer.
We were told that the GOP achieved a coup in the fiscal cliff negotiations because they lured Obama into an agreement to lock in the Bush tax rates except for the highest-income earners. Never mind that Obama agreed to no spending cuts or entitlement reform after demanding a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction; they told us he'd be forced to address those matters in a couple of months in the debt ceiling negotiations. They argued that by agreeing to make the Bush rates "permanent," Obama had tacitly admitted that he couldn't sustain the welfare state through tax increases on the middle class and that he'd now have to — grudgingly or not — turn his attention to spending cuts and entitlement reform.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tells us the tax issue is behind us and that we can now move on to spending. Really? What makes him think the GOP will succeed this time when it couldn't last time?
The just-concluded fiscal cliff deal included no material spending cuts, which the GOP justified by saying it had achieved locked-in rates for most of Bush's tax cuts, which would force Obama to seriously discuss spending cuts and entitlement reform as part of the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations.
I hate to break it to those deniers who believe that President Obama's tax-guzzling capacity has somehow been diminished by the fiscal cliff provision to fix "permanent" tax rates. You're dreaming.
Several smart columnists and respected conservative editorial pieces tell us that a major silver lining in the crisis deal just concluded is that by agreeing not to reinstitute the Clinton tax rates (and leave the Bush rates in place) for all but the "wealthy" (income of $400,000 for single filers and $450,000 for marrieds), Obama and the Democrats made a major concession. They argue that if Democrats couldn't do better after Obama was just re-elected and when the debt is so high, they'll never be able to. They'll have to realize that they will never be able to sustain their desired welfare state through raising taxes alone and have to come to the table on serious spending cuts and entitlement reform.
NBC's David Gregory interviewed President Barack Obama on "Meet the Press" Sunday, and a conversation ensued that would have been more fitting for a show called "The President Meets One of His Many Mainstream Media Enablers."
Let's take a look at just some of the exchanges and fantasize how different the nation's political and electoral climate might be if the liberal press were doing its job as watchdog instead of taking sides.
It is really getting old to hear liberal politicians and pundits complaining about conservative media as being destructive, as if the country would be better off returning to the halcyon days of the monolithic liberal media.
That seems to be the view of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who complained about "the right-wing control of the American media, particularly starting with Fox News." During a discussion on HuffPost Live, Kennedy said, "Ninety-five percent of talk radio in our country is right-wing ... so a whole section of our country that's what they're hearing."
Isn't it tragically ironic that the man who rode the perfect storm into public office on the horse of national unity has now perfected the politics of division so spectacularly that he won re-election despite the worst record in decades?
For when you sift through the rubble from the Republican Party's 2012 nuclear catastrophe, you find consistent clues pointing to a simple explanation: We lost because Barack Obama convinced enough voters that he cares more about people than Mitt Romney, a rich white guy who is contemptuous of the poor, women, blacks and seniors. Never mind results; Obama cares and Republicans don't.
Obama's first post-election press conference, if you could call it that, tells us a great deal about his attitude and the approach he intends to pursue in his second term, which is the same failed policy mix on steroids.
Obama's re-election, of course, gives him the right to pursue these policies, but it doesn't deny elected Republicans the right or relieve them of the duty to oppose them.
We conservatives may never reach a consensus among ourselves as to the main factors that caused our election defeat, but surely we can agree that we must do a better job of selling our ideas.
Never mind, you say. The electorate has irreversibly become a taker class, and conservative ideas of self-reliance, personal responsibility and individual liberties will never appeal to a majority again, especially with demographics working against the GOP.
Mitt Romney was very wise to pivot on Barack Obama's impromptu statement that "voting is the best revenge" and frame the campaign in the final days as a choice between that negative message and Romney's "love of country."
I wouldn't say that if I thought Obama's statement was merely a slip of the tongue. Rather, I believe that in another unscripted moment, he once again revealed who he really is and the essence of his mindset.
Two recent ads illustrate the great cultural divide in this nation and which parties and presidential candidates represent these competing worldviews.
In the handling of the economy and national security, President Obama has shown he's not capable of being the adult in the room. After four years of perpetual campaigning and cheerleading for his pet projects, he still isn't prepared to deal soberly with the consequences of his ideological indulgences.
OK, President Obama, if you and your defenders insist on denying that you've repeatedly apologized for America, then let's quit mincing words and acknowledge you've done worse than apologize. That works for me.
Maybe it is technically inaccurate to attribute the word apology to you, because you would have to identify with America more before you could apology on its behalf. Besides, I suppose we should not be surprised in this Clinton-inspired age of word meaninglessness — an age in which the simple word "is" no longer feels comfortable in its own skin — that you would deny you have apologized because you didn't use the precise word "apology" in any of your shameful outings.
President Obama, I'd like to follow up on my most recent column and ask you a few more questions, please.
I am assuming you don't dispute that our nation faces a very serious financial problem, with unfunded liabilities in excess of $100 trillion. I use the word "assuming" because I don't remember you ever spending much time talking about this problem, which is odd because the very subject haunts so many Americans and makes them fearful for the future of this country.
Editor's Note: This was intended for publication pre-debate on October 16. We apologize for the delay.
As he prepares for the second debate, Obama faces a major dilemma: how to be more aggressive without jeopardizing his alleged likability, the main thing he supposedly has going for him with voters.
The Barack Obama the public usually sees is not the real Barack Obama. The former is a carefully manufactured media image designed to appear eminently reasonable, highly engaged, ultra-caring, inordinately intelligent and as one who transcends the pettiness that plagues so many politicians. The real Obama is none of those things.
Call me Pollyannaish, but I believe Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama in November. Let me give you some of my reasons:
1) Romney's campaign message is essentially positive; Obama's is overwhelmingly negative. People always prefer promises of something better, but Americans are especially hungry now because times are very tough. Romney is offering concrete and realistic plans to help America grow again and create millions of new jobs. Romney's message and agenda appeal to all Americans, not just certain groups, and tell them they are not imprisoned in their current economic "station" as Obama would have them believe. Though Obama's promises of "hope and change" in 2008 were vague, at least he presented them as something positive. Today he tells us we must accept an America in decline both internationally and domestically. He insists that 8 percent unemployment is the new normal and that we must adjust to the malaise because it is going to take a long time to make a dent in it.
So what about the Democrats' would-be tempest about Mitt Romney's alleged 47 percent gaffe? Is there any "there" there?
Mitt's statement was made at a private fundraiser, where he was trying to explain that his message of reducing taxes would obviously not resonate with the 47 percent of Americans who are not paying income taxes. It's purely logical; you aren't going to entice those who aren't paying taxes with promises of lower taxes.
The liberal media gave the ceaselessly political President Obama a pass for campaigning instead of performing his presidential duties when they were most needed, while they castigated Mitt Romney for being political when he was the only one of the two acting presidential.
To be sure, Obama is a political candidate for re-election to the presidency, but do we have to remind ourselves — as he often reminds us — that he also currently holds that office and that it includes duties that supersede his political activities?
The November elections are a Republican landslide begging to materialize, but will the GOP make it happen? I believe so. I'm not buying these negative polls, but to increase our chances, let's sharpen the message, not dilute it.
A recent Fox News story reports that Romney and Ryan are both beginning to emphasize a bipartisan message rather than sharpen the contrasts between Obama's manifest failures and their plan for America. They must not follow this suicidal path.
President Obama's casting of Mitt Romney as extreme is one of the most glaring incidents of political projection in the modern era. Romney doesn't approach extremism in substance, style or disposition. Obama swims in it.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama said Romney has locked himself into "extreme positions" on economic and social issues and would implement them if in office.