The UK Telegraph’s Nile Gardiner is one of my favorite columnists. He always offers a great perspective. Today he has a great piece turning the tables on Newsweek’s pitiful piece on Obama’s critics. Check it out!
Prominent Obama-backer Andrew Sullivan has a rather pompous piece in this week’s edition of Newsweek, which the magazine has subtly headlined on its cover page: “Why are Obama’s critics so dumb?” You can read the whole article here atThe Daily Beast, but his conclusion pretty well sums up the entire piece, which reads a lot like a desperate White House press release:
If I sound biased, that’s because I am. Biased toward the actual record, not the spin; biased toward a president who has conducted himself with grace and calm under incredible pressure, who has had to manage crises not seen since the Second World War and the Depression, and who as yet has not had a single significant scandal to his name. “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” George Orwell once wrote. What I see in front of my nose is a president whose character, record, and promise remain as grotesquely underappreciated now as they were absurdly hyped in 2008. And I feel confident that sooner rather than later, the American people will come to see his first term from the same calm, sane perspective. And decide to finish what they started.
In response to Sullivan’s provocative article, which has stirred up a good deal of debate in America, here are five reasons why President Obama’s conservative critics are significantly smarter in their approach and thinking than his failing Left-wing administration in Washington:
1. Obama’s critics have a far better understanding of the concerns of the American people and the mood of the country
If Obama’s critics are so dumb why do most Americans agree with their view that the United States is moving in the wrong direction under this president? The latest RealClear Politics average has roughly two thirds of Americans (65.3 per cent) believing the country is moving down “the wrong track”. Just over a quarter of Americans (28.3 per cent) believe it is heading the right way. To see just how disillusioned Americans have become with Obama’s America, look at this Gallup poll from December, which showed US public satisfaction at its nearly lowest level since 1979 when Jimmy Carter was president:
throughout 2011, an average of 17% of Americans said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the United States. That is the second-lowest annual average in the more than 30-year history of the question, after the 15% from 2008. Satisfaction has averaged as high as 60% in 1986, 1998, and 2000.
2. Obama’s critics reject big government and the ludicrous idea that bureaucrats know best
Barack Obama’s presidency has been a disastrous experiment in big government, one that has racked up the largest budget deficits since the Second World War,adding $4.2 trillion to the national debt since taking office. Obama’s attempt to refashion the United States into a kind of supersized Belgium with Greek-style debts tacked on is hardly a winner in a nation with a deep-seated tradition of limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty. Unsurprisingly, as Gallup’s recent polling shows, nearly two thirds of Americans now see big government as “the biggest threat” to their country:
Americans’ concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession. Relatively few name big labor as the greatest threat.
3. Obama’s critics reject appeasement of America’s enemies, support America’s allies and don’t believe in apologising for their country
In his Newsweek piece Sullivan points to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as evidence of Obama’s decisive leadership. The president certainly deserves credit for ordering a risky and successful operation, but so does the Bush administration for launching the global war on terror that ultimately led to bin Laden’s downfall.
As for the rest of Obama’s foreign policy however, it has largely been a disaster. The Obama administration’s strategy of engagement with Iran has only bought valuable time for Tehran to develop its nuclear weapons programme, and the Islamist regime is now close to possessing a nuclear bomb. In addition, Obama’s decision to withdraw US forces from Iraq has led to a wave of terrorist attacks there, and paves the way for Iranian domination of the south. Hillary Clinton’s “reset” with Russia has been another failure, with Moscow increasingly emboldened in the face of Washington’s weakness.
America’s key allies, including Great Britain and Israel, have been treated with indifference and at times hostility. The Secretary of State’s decision to side with Argentina in its call for UN-brokered negotiations over the Falklands was a betrayal of America’s closest friend and ally. The Obama team’s policy of kowtowing to some of America’s biggest strategic adversaries while kicking her allies has been coupled with a series of embarrassing apologies on behalf of the United States on the world stage, which I have outlined here. Obama’s critics have been vindicated in their criticism of this administration’s foreign policy, which has made America weaker, less feared and more vulnerable on the world stage.
4. Obama’s critics believe that a presidency should behave with decorum, and show respect for opposing views
As I’ve noted previously, this is probably the nastiest US presidency in decades. There is nothing “dumb” about the administration’s critics questioning attacks on political opponents, which have been a hallmark of this administration. Take Joe Biden’s appalling comparison of the Tea Party to terrorists last August. As I wrote at the time, “there is something deeply sad and disconcerting when the vice president decides to compare opposition legislators in Congress with terrorists simply because he disagrees with their views and principles. This is the kind of ugly, threatening rhetoric that has no place at the heart of the US presidency.”
Obama’s critics have also been smart to criticise the arrogance of an imperial-style presidency with a penchant for acting without Congressional restraint. The president’s hubris, from accepting the Nobel Peace Prize just months after taking office, to declaring himself the fourth best president in US history, knows no bounds, and has been a defining characteristic of a presidency that is out of touch with ordinary Americans.
5. Obama’s critics know a gaffe-prone, embarrassing administration when they see one
For all its talk of “smart power”, this is a gaffe-prone presidency that makes mistakes so elementary they are embarrassing. Instead of calling Obama’s critics “dumb”, the president’s supporters should be telling their own Executive Branch friends to smarten up their act and do a bit of homework, especially when it comes their less-than-stellar knowledge of current affairs. From Hillary Clinton’s description of murderous Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad as a “reformer” to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s calling the Muslim Brotherhood“largely secular”, this administration’s foreign policy track record has been a mess. And as for the myth that the current president is smarter than his Yale-educated predecessor, I don’t recall George W Bush ever referring to “the English Embassy”, or incredibly describing France as America’s strongest ally.
More…. WHY ARE NEWSWEEK’S SUPPORTERS SO DUMB? – The American Thinker
CRITIC’S CORNER TUESDAY – ‘JUSTIFIED’ – Robert Bianco @ USA Today
One of last year’s best shows is back, and happily, Justified (**** out of four, FX, tonight, 10 ET/PT) already looks set to be one of this year’s best as well.
Smart, sly and entertaining, Justified returns with Raylan (the laconically, amusingly sexy Timothy Olyphant) still recovering from his victorious clash with the Bennetts, a recovery instantly challenged by new threats.
Boyd (the equally wonderful Walton Goggins) is determined to step into the Bennett breach, a decision likely to be challenged by new guests Neal McDonoughas a cold-eyed killer from Detroit and Mykelti Williamsonas the leader of an African-American enclave that had been carved out for emancipated slaves.
Dramatic, comic and shockingly violent in turn, Justifiedbubbles along, building a season-long story while setting up a weekly case to solve.
As you’d hope from a show based on Elmore Leonard‘s work, the plots snap, the dialogue crackles and — to press on with the point — the characters pop.