Mr. Obama Goes to Cuba

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As I write this, President Obama is in Cuba as a part of his Administration’s attempts to normalize relations with the island country. And with this Administration’s track record in dealing with foreign countries with a history of hating America, what could go wrong?

Well, plenty, actually.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. Our relationship with Cuba is Ike and Tina Turner level bad, and no amount of good will on our part will change that. Why? Because Cuba hasn’t changed yet. It’s still being ruled by a Castro, Raul to be precise. And Raul is just as reluctant to give up communism as his brother Fidel was. That means there is a natural tension between the US and Cuba. After all, we took down communism in the form of the USSR in the 80s, and some things don’t just fade away. There are still plenty of leaders willing to try to fill in the gaps left by the absence of the Soviet Union, including the current dictator…I’m sorry, leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin. You know, the guy who still thinks the Soviet Union was a good idea and refuses to be swayed by pesky things like facts and history?

And that’s not counting China, North Korea, and much of the Middle East, all of whom have not just a beef with us, but an entire cattle ranch.

On the other side of the equation, we have America, a country that has fallen pretty far down the world rankings in the past couple of decades. Our leader is a man who isn’t geopolitically savvy by any stretch of the imagination making the third worst foreign policy decision in his Presidency. (The first and second being making Hillary Clinton and John Kerry Secretary of State, although they flip-flop positions like…well, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.) The Iran Deal was bad. The Cuba trip has all the makings of Bay of Pigs II: Electric Boogaloo because there really is no logic behind it, just President Obama’s decision to make it so.

To put it another way, our enemies get a foothold 90 miles off our mainland, and we get…photo ops with Obama standing in front of a giant Che Guevara mural. With Photoshop and Twitter, we could have accomplished the same thing under Obama’s “hashtag diplomacy” strategy and without having to add to Obama’s carbon footprint. Then again, maybe he’s getting some cigars out of the deal and didn’t want the hassle of trying to go through Customs with illegal contraband.

Either way, normalizing relations with Cuba just doesn’t sit well with me because we’re not getting much out of the deal. Just like our attempts to normalize relations with China under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton by ignoring their human rights violations and giving them Most Favored Nation status, I see Obama’s efforts with Cuba winding up as a big blunder that is quickly forgotten by both sides.

The President We Deserve

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If current events are any indication of future outcomes, we are looking at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the Presidential nominees for the Republican and Democrat Parties respectively. People on both sides of the aisle are salivating at this possibility of these two titans locking horns in November.

On the one hand, we have a man who isn’t known for his tact being the head of the diplomatic corps of the most powerful country in the world. On the other hand, we have a woman who isn’t known for her integrity having the ability to sic the power of the federal government on anyone who dares oppose her. And when these two forces clash, we could be seeing a bloody political war that will make Thunderdome look like a church picnic.

There was a time when Trump and Clinton wouldn’t even be elected assistant to the assistant to the dog catcher, let alone to the most powerful position in the country. But here we are on the verge of electing either one of them.

Is anyone else really scared right now? As we prepare for the first post-Obama Presidency, we have to be careful not to give in to our worst instincts and elect someone unprepared for the gravity of the position. With both Trump and Clinton, I’m not sure either one is ready to be President. After nearly 8 years of an unprepared and unwilling student as President, we can’t make a mistake this time.

Trump could turn out to be a Republican Obama, and Hillary could be Obama’s third term. Neither one appeals to me all that much. But unless something major happens to one or both campaigns, we’re looking at the possibility one or the other happening.

And then we’ll get the President we deserve.

An Open Letter to President Obama

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President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC

Mr. President,
Hey! How are the wife and kids? How’s the short game treating ya?

If I may be serious for a moment, I know you’re in the process of picking a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and you’ve run into some opposition from the Senate Judiciary Committee (who is using the same argument you, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Charles Schumer, and Senate Democrats in 1960 used, but, hey, who’s paying attention right?). You and I are not on the same page politically, but it’s time we put that aside for the betterment of the country.

That’s why I’m offering to be your nominee to replace Justice Scalia.

Now, before you start sending the authorities to my house to determine my sanity and whether I’m a threat to myself and others, let me explain. I have given this a lot of thought and I think I would be the perfect candidate for many reasons, the most compelling of which are as follows:

  1. I wouldn’t consent to a Senate confirmation hearing. The Constitution states the role of the Senate is to give “advice and consent” to any nominations the President makes. As a Constitutional scholar yourself (or as your followers…I mean supporters keep reminding us you are), you can see there is no requirement to hold any hearings on my nomination, just to give advice and consent. Instead of a stuffy Senate meeting room, we could have the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee come over to either my house or yours and just hang out with a few beers. And from what I’ve heard, you guys do make a pretty good brew in the White House!2. I wouldn’t allow my feelings to get in the way of doing my job. This country is fractured on many levels, so clear thinking from the highest court in the land is essential. Unfortunately, the High Court has allowed emotions and political leanings get in the way of making just decisions with respects to the Constitution. I may not like some of the things you’ve proposed, but I would give them a fair hearing before I rendered my decision. If your ideas are great, they should be able to stand on their own merits in the marketplace of ideas.

    3. I’m not a lawyer or a judge. Yeah, at first that sounds like a knock against me, but hear me out. I have been studying the Constitution since 1987 and feel I have a pretty good grasp and respect for it. That cannot be said of some of the people on your short list. Instead of relying on the simple language of the Constitution, too many lawyers and judges attempt to use legal reasoning so tortured it’s against the Geneva Convention just to get what they want codified into law. I don’t care about being famous; I just want to make something complex simple, and I bring that to the table.

    4. I would make both major parties mad at me at some point. Again, this seems like a negative, but it’s actually a positive. Democrats and Republicans (and their lawyer buddies) love to push for their agendas to be reflected in judicial rulings. I eschew that kind of thinking in favor of original intent. That’s bound to put people’s panties in a bunch!n I mean, how DARE a Supreme Court Justice do his or her job the way the Constitution says!

    5) I would be a LOT of fun! Ask anyone who has worked with me in a cubicle farm about how I would decorate my desk. Imagine that kind of spirit in a black robe and, BINGO!

    The ball’s in your court…er, green. I will await your call, email, Secret Service detail, cease and desist order, whichever you feel is appropriate to address my offer.

If You Break It…

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Former Senator and 1996 Republican Presidential candidate Bob Dole recently endorsed Marco Rubio, saying Rubio “wants to grow the party unlike [Ted] Cruz.” Dole went on to say in National Review:

We have to have a nominee, Republicans, who can bring the party together and reach out to moderates and independents and not just the far right-wing.

Although this is an admirable goal on paper, it hasn’t really worked out so well. Since Ronald Reagan, moderate Republicans won 3 out of the past 7 Presidential elections (which Dole should know considering he was one of the moderates who lost the Presidency). And the moderates who won? They both had the last name “Bush.”

Republican leadership loves to talk about attracting moderates and independents, but it tries to do it by acting more like Democrats. In a battle between real Democrats and Democrat Lite, the real Democrats will always win because they are the genuine article. Or at least as genuine as current Democrats can be.

So, this begs the question of why Republicans keep trying to be Democrat Lite when they keep losing Presidential elections using that approach. Say what you will about Ted Cruz, but he stands for something. Whether you agree with that something is immaterial to the point I’m trying to make. In fact, the rise of Donald Trump can be linked to the growing disappointment with how quickly Republican leadership rolls over for Democrats.

That’s right, kids. Trump is a monster created by…the squishiness of Republicans like Bob Dole. Of course, they won’t admit it, but they don’t need to.

But here’s the other thing Dole and his cohorts are missing. How many people would be willing to vote Republican if the GOP started acting like Republicans again? I have been greatly disappointed in Republicans in recent years because it seems most of the leadership seems to be ashamed to stand for the conservative/libertarian position. Perhaps it’s because they have spines of Jello, or maybe they’re afraid of what the media would say about them if they dared to challenge the Leftist narrative.

Guess what, kids. The media don’t care. They will continue to say whatever they want, regardless of whether it resembles the truth. Why try to curry favor with that nest of vipers? On the off chance they’ll say something nice about you (which usually only happens when these Republicans attack the ones taking a stand)?

It’s moderate Republicans like Bob Dole who broke the GOP, and unless grassroots Republicans stop settling, the party will be broken for elections to come.

There’s Something About Bernie (and Donny)

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This post may get me in a bit of hot water with frequent readers, but here goes.

Here’s a hypothetical situation for you. Let’s say there was a candidate named John Smith who decided to run for President. At first, he’s seen as a lightweight because of a decided lack of experience in the public arena. Yet, Mr. Smith overcomes this by promising the moon and the stars without actually providing specifics. The electorate, not being as informed as they should be, started listening to Mr. Smith and even agreeing. As a result, Mr. Smith gains enormous popularity with segments of the electorate and eventually wins office.

Of course, this isn’t really a hypothetical situation. It happened in 2008 with Barack Obama, and it’s happening again with Democrats and Republicans. In the blue corner, we have Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist promising free college educations, free health care, Free Willie, and anything else that comes to mind. In the red corner, we have Donald Trump, a businessman with a penchant for controversy and promises of building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. In both cases, their followers are as fired up as they can be and believe whatever the candidate tells them. When pressed for specifics…well, let’s say neither one has solid footing.

This is a problem, kids. Although this is still the prelims, it’s getting close to the time when candidates actually have to show their work. Repeating “red meat” phrases doesn’t do that and, if anything, shows there isn’t much meat there.

And when you consider those “red meat” phrases have already come under scrutiny (progressive economists say there’s no way for Sanders’ plan to work, and Mexico has already laughed off paying for the wall), it’s time we start looking for specifics, lest we get caught up in a cult of personality.

When you consider how the last one ended up, we should be very careful right now.