Obama fiddles while Republicans burn

James Delmont Contributor
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The celebrity-in-chief is in full campaign mode, having learned from Bill Clinton that if you don’t have what it takes, just get out there and campaign endlessly and it will seem like you’re doing something. One of the worst decades in history is within reach: Imagine Vladimir Putin back in power in Russia and a Russian naval base under construction in Venezuela while Russia also helps the dictator there build the nuclear facilities that will lead to nuclear weapons; a North Korea fully armed with nukes and the missiles to deliver them to our West Coast cities and naval bases, looming over South Korea, itching to grab Seoul in a blitzkrieg strike; Iran with nuclear weapons and rockets to deliver them to Israel or Europe; multitrillion-dollar debts year after year; a moribund economy with unemployment at 8 or 9 percent; open borders bringing in ever more prospective Democrat voters and ever more welfare and Medicaid checks. You can be certain that, regarding these many crises, Barack Obama will do little or nothing.

Now that Obama is throwing South Korea and Israel under the bus, not to mention various Eastern European states facing a sharp bite in the near future from Vladimir Putin, it is clear that Obama is not really with us. His pathetic need to be loved in the Muslim world may owe something to the fact that the father he scarcely knew was a Muslim from Kenya and his step-father, with whom he lived a few brief years in Indonesia, was also a Muslim. Neither was very serious about the religion, but it seems to have made a deep impression on Obama. Although he spent most of his childhood with his Christian white grandparents, Obama didn’t identify with his grandparents. In fact, he seems to have little interest in Western civilization in general — its dominant religion, its economic system or even democracy itself. Where were his impassioned defenses of the Syrians and Iranians demanding political freedom and being gunned down in the streets? He accepts the overthrow of dictators friendly to us — but bites his tongue when they are deadly enemies. This part-time schoolteacher with moony leftist views of a New Third World Order will be the man facing Putin in a few years — what could be worse?

Meanwhile, the people who could do something to derail Obama’s reelection — the Republicans — are burning on their own funeral pyre. Handed a perfect issue (Obamacare) with which to pound Obama again in 2012 as they did in 2010, the Republicans shove the issue off the table and replace it with their own “kill Medicare” policy, thus turning a strength into a weakness. If the vote in New York’s special election is close or goes Democrat, it will be a sure sign that the Democrats will carry the “save Medicare” banner into the 2012 election season. Paul Ryan is a smart man, but as long as Obama is in the White House and the Democrats have a majority in the Senate, nothing can be done about the deficits. Obama is obviously going to do nothing because he can gain political traction watching the Republicans furiously do their imitation of a hamster on an exercise wheel.

The Republicans have several big deal issues: Obamacare, the deficits, the economy. Lurking in the background, totally ignored by the news media, is a fourth one — national security. Obama is a disaster in that department. But, as in ’92, “It’s the economy, stupid!” Republicans have several governors who look good on economic issues, including Mitt Romney and Texas governor Rick Perry. Lots of combinations are possible; Romney-Perry, Romney-Christie, Perry-Romney and so forth. Forget about Medicare. It may or may not be sustainable in the long run, but saying you are going to kill Medicare for everyone under 55 is pulling a knife across your throat. Deal with the issue after winning the election. In the meantime, talk directly to the American people, endlessly and indefatigably, about Obama and the economy, Obamacare, national security, and the deficits. Hang onto those issues with bulldog tenacity and someone else will be facing down Putin a few years from now.

James Delmont is a widely published journalist and college teacher with a PhD in history. He has recently finished a book, The Great Liberal Death Wish.