Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hopefully, the Obama camp is right about Romney

Obama's latest campaign strategy, outlined by White House advisor David Plouffe, is rather baffling. The goal is to depict Mitt Romney as the Republican Party's most conservative nominee since Barry Goldwater. Apparently, the Obama camp has forgotten Ronald Reagan. That's especially ironic considering that Democrats gave Reagan's conservatism its greatest confirmation. What better proof of a man's conservative credentials can exist than for leftists to call him a racist warmonger who hates the poor? Liberals called Reagan all of that and more.

In all fairness to President Obama, he has expended so much energy attempting to rewrite and co-opt Reagan's legacy that he may not recognize the real "Gipper." That's the problem with political spin; you eventually lose sight of the actual truth. It may be debated whether the Obama camp believes its nonsense or is just tossing about a ridiculous premise in hope of hitting upon a political advantage. But there's no question they've missed the point of Reagan's presidency and the reason for his popularity.

Reagan's ease behind the microphone is legendary. His title of "Great Communicator" wasn't bestowed; it was earned. But Reagan's oratorical skills weren't rooted in intellectual superlatives. That's today's political trend, where speakers adopt incomprehensible positions on every conceivable issue until it's impossible to determine what they actually believe about anything. Reagan didn't have that problem, although he was well-versed on intricate domestic and foreign policy issues. Reagan succeeded because he presented a clear message that resonated with his audience. 

Ronald Reagan refused to complicate the simple. Rather he stayed committed to three key themes: economic growth, America's image, and opposing communism. He never struggled with his message because he spoke from those core convictions, which recognized his audience's desires above his own.

Reagan wanted America to regain its economic confidence, which produces growth. He accomplished that goal. Yet he was no magician; he didn't rely on sleight of hand and favorable media coverage to create jobs and boost the GDP. Reagan didn't worry about convincing the media or his Washington colleagues that he was right; he convinced the American people that he believed we were right. He developed a rapport with the public that forced even ardent political adversaries to coalesce to some extent. Reagan bet on the entrepreneurial spirit rather than on the political manure. It was a winning hand . . . twice.

Reagan recognized and appreciated America's desire for national pride. The Vietnam War, a deteriorating military preparedness, the Iran Hostage Crisis, and a long economic malaise had taken a toll on America's confidence and prestige. His military initiatives represented an approach to national defense that everyone, friend and foe, could understand. Reagan's "peace through strength" doctrine allowed him to take a stand when necessary and walk away when practical.

Communism is invariably immoral and wholly incompatible with liberty. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the Soviet Union, which Reagan rightly recognized as the evil empire. Simply put, communism is political bullying, and years of backing down to Soviet bullying had weakened America. The Soviet leaders soon learned that Reagan differed from his predecessors. He was determined to prove to the USSR, the world, and America itself that endless supplication was no longer an option.

That's not to say that Reagan was a stubborn mule. But he saw no reason to hamstring America with one-sided arms treaties that banned our revolutionary defense systems while requiring the Russians to abandon only their obsolete technologies. Moscow threatened war over plans to deploy Pershing missiles in Europe. Reagan called their bluff. The Soviets huffed, puffed, and snarled, then folded their hand. Their harsh fa├žade was irreparably compromised. 

You'll seldom find me supporting an Obama initiative. But he has, albeit unwittingly, given Mitt Romney a solid campaign strategy. Conservatives should hope the Obama camp is 100-percent correct and Mitt Romney is the most conservative Republican presidential nominee since Barry Goldwater. Mitt can determine his own three core themes. But sincere conservatism carried Reagan to two landside victories. There's no reason it won't work for Romney, too, if he's willing to embrace it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The odds are against John Edwards' rehabilitation

The justice system is apparently through with John Edwards. But according to the former Senator and presidential candidate, God isn't. If the Almighty needs a helping hand, Edwards -- the legal albatross removed from his neck -- is ready to help. He began rehabilitating his image the minute his trial concluded, vowing his devotion to selfless charity on behalf of the children. And then there's the one about Little Red Riding Hood.

I'm not saying Edwards is beyond redemption. Numerous people with checkered histories have undergone radical transformations. Norma McCorvey comes to mind, as does Shelley Lubben. Neither woman may come up for sainthood. However, their behavioral change is exemplified in their actions. John Edwards is just shoveling the same manure that liberals shovel each time they need a public relations boost: God, children, and poverty. In the aftermath of his acquittal, Edwards seems determined to confirm everyone's worst suspicions about him.

Frankly, trying John Edwards for corruption was a redundancy. No sworn witness or jury conviction was necessary to understand this man. We needed no testimony from the equally corrupt Andrew Young. John Edwards' entire political career confirms his turpitude.

Edwards entered the political scene with a "Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific" coiffure and a smile worthy of the seediest used-car salesman. He built his platform on a "Two Americas" class envy theme so seasoned with nanny state hogwash that it would've made Lyndon Johnson barf. Edwards presented himself as a "stand by your woman" man. Yet he used his wife and her illness to gain public sympathy, and its related contributions, for his presidential bid. Behind the scenes he was committing the "Big A" with campaign staffer Rielle Hunter. He then blamed Rielle's pregnancy on an associate whose moral compass was no more dependable than his own. Oh, and he conned a naive old hag into paying his hush money.

Edwards is corrupt whether he broke the law or not. Anyone who failed to recognize his lack of character must've spent the last decade with their eyes closed. Edwards is a world class narcissist and first rate con artist. But alas, so are many politicians. Retrying him would prove as wasteful of time and resources as it is uninteresting.

However, it will be interesting to see how far "progressive" media hacks will go to aid Edward's rehabilitation. You have to know they'll feign and fawn over this swine at the first opportunity. Let Edwards hand a lollipop to one poor child while blaming Republicans for defunding the federal free lollipop program and we'll be inundated with stories about how this charlatan has reformed his image. In typical liberal fashion, Edwards will seek redemption in phony charitableness while contributing nothing of his own.

God might indeed mend John Edwards. They say He moves in mysterious ways. But politicians move in predictable ways. I'll wager that John Edwards remains more concerned with cultivating a persona that plays well in the media than stabilizing his personal integrity. Place your bets.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The lynching of George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman's public image took a blow when a judge revoked his bond, alleging that Zimmerman willfully misled the court concerning his financial situation. The fact that he's back in jail makes him appear guilty in the publics' eye, and that's what matters. Whether or not Zimmerman mislead the court is immaterial. In fact, his guilt or innocence is immaterial. His trial has transcended justice; it's now about capitalizing on opportunity.

Zimmerman has maintained since day one that Trayvon Martin instigated their fatal confrontation. Zimmerman's various injuries coupled with autopsy results revealing Martin's injured knuckles tend to support his story. That evidence might be the reason he wasn't charged immediately after the shooting. Yet he remains guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of many, including the federal government and national media. 

Could there be an orchestrated campaign between government and media entities to see this man imprisoned, or even executed? While Florida pursues the former, the federal government engages the later, all while the media circus cheers them on. Despite the physical evidence of which we're aware, an apparent lack of credible witnesses on either side of the case, and expert legal opinion belittling Florida's case against Zimmerman, the FBI has launched a hate crime investigation against him. And it could stick.

We might logically believe the Fifth Amendment's protection against double jeopardy would compel the Justice Department to abandon the case if Zimmerman is acquitted. Not necessarily. According to Cleveland State Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich, Supreme Court precedent has established a narrow threshold for claiming double jeopardy. “The double jeopardy clause would not prohibit a federal prosecution of Mr. Zimmerman, even if he were acquitted in Florida state court," Prof. Rich states, although he believes the likelihood of federal prosecution following a state acquittal is small.

However, FBI involvement means Department of Justice involvement, which in turn means Eric Holder involvement. Mr. Holder's idea of judicial impartiality is, shall we say, conflicted.

Under Holder's management the Justice Department engaged in a gun-running operation that if done privately would've sent all involved parties to the darkest of prisons. Imagine you or I being caught smuggling weapons to Mexican drug lords and coercing legitimate domestic firearms dealers to participate. And Holder's disregard for justice doesn't end there, nor does the media's capitulation.

Not content to simply ignore the New Black Panther's voter intimidation efforts, Holder closed the ongoing investigation. Neither he nor his predecessor investigated a hate crime when five blacks kidnapped, raped, tortured, murdered, and mutilated Channon Christian and Christopher Newsome. There was no national outrage and no political speechifying. Their brutal deaths barely registered with the national media.

For example, a search for "Channon Christian" on the New York Times website returned only 53 results, just three of which addressed the murdered woman. Two of those stories were duplicates and the third a synopsis of a television show that reviewed the crime. In other words, the New York Times ignored Channon Christian's death. Conversely, a "Trayvon Martin" search yields more than 4000 results.

A black mob attacked two white reporters in Norfolk, Virginia. Again, neither Holder nor the media showed interest. Not even the newspaper where the reporters worked reported the story. Four "minorities" beat a soldier in Tampa, Florida and the result is deafening silence. The Justice Department hasn't launched a hate crimes investigation and no civil rights leader has scheduled a march. 

What benefit exists in practicing selective justice and biased reporting? Why is black-on-white crime, like the Christian-Newsome murders, largely ignored while white-on-black crime is overhyped? It's no mere oversight. Since the "progressive" solution to every problem is more government, we can expect bureaucrats and leftist politicians to demagogue racial issues. The sympathetic press corps is content with being their cheerleaders. 

The odds of Zimmerman's exoneration are fading even as the evidence suggests his possible innocence. The Florida prosecutor may have intended to lose this case from the start. But the hate crime investigation and selective reporting from the national media serve to steer public opinion toward Zimmerman's guilt. If you dare question the prosecution or media reports, well, you're just a racist.

Whether or not Florida has overstated its case against George Zimmerman is still undetermined. He may be guilty as sin. But the federal government and its media lapdogs have engaged an agenda that transcends guilt or innocence. They've become co-conspirators in a quasi-lynching, which serves to affect not only the lynched party but anyone who questions the lynching or its motive. This trial is no longer about George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, or even about justice. The goal is to create distrust and animosity along racial, philosophical, and ideological lines. 

No matter how Zimmerman's trial plays out, whether he's convicted or acquitted, the left has achieved tactical victories. They've sown doubt regarding the right of an individual to protect life and limb. Each state's authority to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes occurring within its borders is compromised, which concentrates power in the central government. Racial tension and division increases, too, which invariably leads to less liberty.

The purpose of a lynching isn't to punish the accused ne'er-do-well. It's to intimidate anyone who shares characteristics or attitudes with the victim. George Zimmerman has been lynched no matter how his case is adjudicated. But the message behind the lynching isn't for him; it's for the rest of us.