Category Archives: Carter

Inside the Beltway ‘Wisdom’ Isn’t So Wise

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by PoliticalArena.org Editor Chuck Norton

Sometimes beltway wisdom can reflect certain truths not apparent to many nice folks in “fly over country”, but often the beltway wisdom caters to government largess and the message can be sold to large donors and bundlers.

Inside the beltway, insiders from both parties treat small government conservatives as “extreme” because all of them make their money from government largess either directly or indirectly.  There are also factors that swing the public that those inside the beltway never get exposed to. The greatest example of this was in 1976 and in 1980 when “insiders” believed that Ronald Reagan was a joke, a stupid B-movie actor whose eloquent speeches about the dangers of communism, socialism and collectivism should have went out with the 1950’s. Now those same pundits claim to be the very fathers of his success. While some of the names of the insiders and pundits have changed, the beltway mentality has not.

Please examine these comments from the insiders poll at National Journal and enjoy my comments which will appear in red.

National Journal:

The Gingrich Moment has yet to catch on with National Journal‘s Political Insiders. Despite former House Speaker Newt Gingrich‘s surge in the Republican presidential nomination contest, overwhelming majorities of both Democratic and Republican Insiders still say former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has the better shot at beating President Obama in 2012.

[This is what the left and the elite media say. They said the same thing about McCain and Dole. The elite media is essentially the Democrat media complex, so if Mitt Romney is so much of a threat why are they avoiding piling on and trashing Romney like they have the other candidates? In each case where the most “moderate” candidate was considered the most electable the Democrat campaigned to the right of the GOP nominee and won. When there is a bold difference between the two candidates the conservative Republican wins.

Some insiders know this and are simply rooting for the two candidates who are most likely to guarantee continued government largess. Other insiders start out with the best of intentions, but end up adopting the very mentality that they came to DC to change in the first place. Having been to DC events I can tell you that the temptation to meld in to that mentality is highly seductive. Make no mistake, the media and the White House want to run against Romney and several White House staffers have let that leak out. They believe that the same strategy the GOP used against John Kerry in 2004 can be used against Mitt Romney. They also believe that Obama can fool voters by campaigning to the right of Romney’s record. They will say that Romney talks like Reagan, but governed like Dukakis. Obama will also run against what he will describe as a namby-pamby do nothing Congress that talks about grandiose reforms but ends up with a schizophrenic big government record like Romney’s. ]

For some of the Insiders, Romney’s well-oiled campaign and potential for moderate appeal gave him the edge.

[The well oiled campaign with huge state machines is not as overwhelmingly effective as it used to be for two reasons.

The first reason is that with the power of the internet and multiple 24 hours news channels voters have more unfiltered access to information and the candidates. Herman Cain had almost no ground machine to speak of, and the truth is that if it weren’t for his repeated stumbling when it comes to basic foreign policy questions and messaging, he would still be the front-runner. The allegations of sexual harassment by women, all of whom have direct ties to David Axelrod and the Chicago Democrat machine were so transparent, that most people were not swayed by them. The fact that the Cain allegations didn’t stick in spite of a massive elite media campaign to try to make them otherwise is yet another indicator of just how powerful new media really is (note, remember when Cain was asked if he would take a lie detector test about the allegations and he said yes? Only local media shared the results).  A wealthy massive machine is no longer necessary to get a message out.] 

“He [Romney] almost beat a liberal icon in a blue state and went on to win the governor’s race,” said one Democratic Insider. “He is a very strong general-election candidate.”

[And Newt nationalized a mid-term election, brought in a GOP majority in the House for the first time in 40 years, cut taxes, balanced the federal budget, created a surplus, and passed welfare reform with a Democrat President, yet our Democratic insider knows that. Also, since when has Massachusetts ever been a political gauge for the rest of the country? ]

“Mitt Romney is better positioned to speak to independent voters,” said another Democrat, “including key voting blocs like swing unmarried women.” A Republican strategist agreed. “Romney is more acceptable to moderate voters, especially female voters.”

[Nonsense. And this brings us to the second reason why massive state machines on the ground are not as effective as they used to be. Those machines were needed to get the attention of ordinarily more apathetic independent voters (and conservatives could not be more motivated already). Independent voters have been anything but apathetic since 2009.  Independents are engaged and informed in a way I thought I would never see again in my lifetime. They are also far from what beltway insiders would consider moderate. 

In questionnaires about civics and current events independents score almost as high as Republican voters, before 2009 they scored below Democrat voters.

In the 2009 state and local elections voters swung towards GOP/TEA candidates by 18 points in the key swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania. The independent voters in those key swing states were not energized by a “moderate message”. They were energized by the bold TEA Party message of Rick Santelli and Sarah Palin. In New Jersey the firebrand fiscal hawk Chris Christie was elected governor. 

In 2010 GOP/TEA Party candidates swept the elections in nine of the top ten swing states. For the first time since 1984 when Ronald Reagan won 49 states, traditionally independent and slightly left leaning voters such as women and Catholics voted Republican by big numbers. There is no way that anyone could say that they were energized by Mitt Romney or anyone like him. Florida, which Obama won, tossed out their own Republican Governor Charlie Crist who was a wishy-washy Mitt Romney like moderate, and replaced him with reaganesque Marco Rubio. Governor Crist tried to take the independent vote away from Rubio by running as an independent and guarantee the Democrats a win, but independent voters such as women and Catholics voted for Rubio by significant margins.] 

Other Republican Insiders named Romney as the stronger candidate, but couldn’t muster much enthusiasm about the prospect.

“Romney’s shape-shifting might not be appealing for conservatives in the primary, but he’s far more disciplined than Gingrich and is the only candidate that can win in November,” said one Republican.

[Romney is more disciplined, but not as disciplined as one might think, already since the debates started Romney has changed his messaging and positions. What is the bold Romney vision for America other than “I’m not Barack Obama and don’t I look sweet on TV? Also Newt has come back from the early missteps in his campaign with a new discipline and has avoided his previous academics ways of getting himself off message with excessive nuance.]

“Mitt Romney will be hard to hate in the general for the same reason he is hard to love in a primary,” said another Republican. “There isn’t much ‘there’ there, so the spotlight will gravitate to Obama. Romney makes it a referendum on Obama; Gingrich makes it a choice.”

[Indeed, 1980 could have been a referendum about Carter, but Ronald Reagan went out of his way to make it a choice. Gingrich gives you something to vote for.]

Concerns about Romney’s charisma led a small number of Insiders on both sides of the spectrum made the case for Gingrich as the stronger Obama opponent. “Romney seems like he is the most formidable on paper and in debates,” said one Democrat, “but the American people will struggle to take to him, just as the Republicans are struggling to take to him.” “The president’s money will dwarf ours,” warned a Republican strategist. “So our candidate must frame his message more clearly and forcefully. That’s Newt’s strength and that’s Romney’s weakness.”

[Hey someone in DC is thinking! Obama and his team led by David Axelrod will try to mottle everything, change history, and make the facts into a soup until people don’t know what to think. Newt has the boldness and razor like clarity in his presentation that can cut through the nonsense.]

Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham are for Mitt Romney. Why?

Ann & Laura are singularly focused on Romney’s ability to speak and have been quite up front about this when discussing it.

I understand their point of view, but I do not totally agree with it. During the Bush administration while I was getting my latest degree at IU, I had to constantly defend what the administration was doing right because the administration made almost no attempt to articulate it themselves (with the exception of hiring Tony Snow).

This became very tiresome and was a reason why the GOP got pasted in 2006 and 2008. Since communication is the life of Ann and Laura (and it is my life too) I see how their point of view can be so unbalanced.

When George W. Bush was debating John Kerry can anyone honestly say that Bush dominated Kerry in any of those debates? Yet Bush still won convincingly.

The want to have Romney for the reasons stated is defensive in nature. Just as the Democrats picking Dukakis was defensive, picking Mondale was defensive, and picking Kerry was defensive. They were all picked because the Democrats “settled” on who they thought was “electable”. The GOP did this with Dole and McCain and today many “insiders” want to follow that line of thinking for 2012. Don’t be fooled.

Ann and Laura had a conversation on The Laura Ingraham Show and agreed that Mitt Romney will never be as conservative after the primary as he is now, and he will not be as conservative in the White House as he would be in the General Election. They both laughed and said how it will work out great for them because they will have yet another [liberal] Republican that they can make fun of for four years.

The state of the country is so dire that we no longer can afford the luxury of having a president talk radio can make fun of.

My Concerns About the Operation in Libya & Egypt

[Flashback March 2011 (LINKLINK). Since our Egypt and Libya policy are ending in disaster with the Muslim Brotherhood taking power in both countries, with Christians being slaughtered and in the case of Egypt, being attacked by government armored vehicles, and the Obama administration selling tanks, choppers, small arms, and missiles to Egypt and other countries in the Islamic world, we thought a second look at the editor’s previous coverage of this category is in order. The category list is on the lower right hand pane of the page. – Editor]

I have had this column in my head for over a month, but I resisted posting it because I was using history as a guide along with my knowledge of the Middle East and the Obama Administration to make a trajectory. I had little evidence to go on but my instincts were strong. I ended up being correct and it was a valuable lesson in trusting onesself as a columnist and a person who does hi homework.

While I support the idea of the international community stopping a mad dictator from orchestrating a mass slaughter of his own people when able, we have only seen uprisings in Arab countries where the governments are not associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no freedom in Gaza or in Lebanon since Hezbollah took over and yet there are no democracy, peace and love protests. This did not look spontaneous to me.

On the English web sites of the Muslim Brotherhood they spoke of “peace, love, democracy, and social justice”, while watchdogs reported that on the Arabic web sites, sub groups were saying to get ready to deal with the Christians, infidels and Jews.

The Muslim Brotherhood is making moves to take power in Egypt and the elite media is keeping that pretty hushed in spite of the fact that it was in the NYT. If the Muslim Brotherhood does take over Egypt and Libya, it would mean that the United States under the Obama Administration helped them to do it.

Prof. Niall Ferguson spoke of this very concern on MSNBC – be sure to watch the ENTIRE video:  

Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist whose family was close to the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood agrees – LINK

Now we have learned that the rebel commander in Libya fought against the United States in Afghanistan and al-Qaeda is fighting alongside the rebels – LINK. Imagine a Muslim Brotherhood with al-Qaeda that have oil revenue at their disposal.

We have been fooled before. Jimmy Carter actively helped the Mullah’s in Iran take over the country and they too spoke of “peace, love, democracy and social justice”. When they took over the killings, rapes,  stonings and suppression of freedoms began. The United States pressured Lebanon to show the Islamists tolerance. As their numbers grew by immigration and they used our Western tolerance as a weapon against them.  Then the violence began. Now Hezbollah has taken over the country and freedom in Lebanon is fast coming to an end. They did so using the exact same tactics the Mullah’s used in Iran and the same tactics that Islamists are using in European countries now.

Traditional conservatives like myself have said that we believed that Obama would be the second administration of Jimmy Carter, it seems that we were even more correct than we feared. If the Muslim Brotherhood and its splinter groups like al-Qaeda manage to take over Egypt and Libya with our assistance this could prove to be the biggest disaster since we helped the Iranian regime come to power in 1979.

Why didn’t I say this so directly before? I have been concerned since I noticed the almost simultaneous rumblings of uprisings starting in mid to late January only happening in countries with governments opposed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its associated factions. Other than my noticing that particular coincidence I had no strong evidence to go on to bring to you here at IUSB Vision. I was not confident enough to make a declaration based on my gut feelings and the tiny craps of information I had.

Even after I saw that Prof. Ferguson and Walid Shoebat suspected as I did, at the time it was still a prediction, a suspicion of what they believed might come. After the chaos was over, the largest organized force in these countries is the Muslim Brotherhood. Now the evidence is coming in and it seems we have a real problem.

So lets examine the path we are going down.

Remember when the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) said that the Muslim Brotherhood was a secular organization? – LINK. The DNI was mocked my many including Niall Ferguson for this preposterous testimony. It is like he swallowed the propaganda on the Brotherhood’s English web site and regurgitated it as gospel.

Then Obama came out and said that the Muslim Brotherhood should be a part of the new Egyptian Government.

LA Times:

The Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamist organization, in a reformed Egyptian government.

The organization must reject violence and recognize democratic goals if the U.S. is to be comfortable with it taking part in the government, the White House said. But by even setting conditions for the involvement of such nonsecular groups, the administration took a surprise step in the midst of the crisis that has enveloped Egypt for the last week.

/facepalm Iran II here we come…

So Thursday, after the train has left the station, here comes the New York Times to play catch up:

CAIRO — In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.

It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment.

As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it.

“There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,” said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. “It makes sense if you are the military — you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.”

There is a battle consuming Egypt about the direction of its revolution, and the military council that is now running the country is sending contradictory signals. On Wednesday, the council endorsed a plan to outlaw demonstrations and sit-ins. [Yup real democratic – Iran & Lebanon here we come – Editor] Then, a few hours later, the public prosecutor announced that the former interior minister and other security officials would be charged in the killings of hundreds during the protests.

Egyptians are searching for signs of clarity in such declarations, hoping to discern the direction of a state led by a secretive military council brought to power by a revolution based on demands for democracy, rule of law and an end to corruption.

“We are all worried,” said Amr Koura, 55, a television producer, reflecting the opinions of the secular minority. “The young people have no control of the revolution anymore. It was evident in the last few weeks when you saw a lot of bearded people taking charge. The youth are gone.”

Suckers.

Fool me once shame on you (Iran). Fool me twice shame on me (Lebanon). Fool me three times and you’re a far left Democrat (Egypt). Fool me four times and you’re a progressive secular leftist who writes for the Washington Post. That’s right folks, even after all we have seen, the far left in the media are still fooled (or shall I say duplicitous). The Washington Post had a piece today saying that we should do the same in Syria – LINK. I see talking heads on the news say that we are supporting lawful democratic governments to take over. What nonsense.  The ties between the radical left and Islamists are no secret, especially on campus.

On a side note, Joe Biden once said that if President Bush took us to war without consulting Congress he would move to impeach him. Of course the Senate cannot impeach, another gaffe the elite media ignored, but now his administration has done just that in Libya.

UPDATE I – Let us be very clear just who it is that we are likely helping to take over a country.  This LINK will take you to a video of members of a different islamic sect being stoned and brutally murdered by a large group of Indonesian Islamists shouting Allah Akbar. This was done under police supervision according to the up-loader. I have the video cloned in case it is removed. The video is horrible and is not for the timid. Consider yourself warned.

UPDATE II Amnesty International:

EGYPTIAN WOMEN PROTESTERS FORCED TO TAKE ‘VIRGINITY TESTS’

23 March 2011

Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month.

After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

‘Virginity tests’ are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced.

“Forcing women to have ‘virginity tests’ is utterly unacceptable. Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women,” said Amnesty International. “All members of the medical profession must refuse to take part in such so-called ‘tests’.”

20-year-old Salwa Hosseini told Amnesty International that after she was arrested and taken to a military prison in Heikstep, she was made, with the other women, to take off all her clothes to be searched by a female prison guard, in a room with two open doors and a window.  During the strip search, Salwa Hosseini said male soldiers were looking into the room and taking pictures of the naked women.

The women were then subjected to ‘virginity tests’ in a different room by a man in a white coat. They were threatened that “those not found to be virgins” would be charged with prostitution.

According to information received by Amnesty International, one woman who said she was a virgin but whose test supposedly proved otherwise was beaten and given electric shocks.

“Women and girls must be able to express their views on the future of Egypt and protest against the government without being detained, tortured, or subjected to profoundly degrading and discriminatory treatment,” said Amnesty International.

“The army officers tried to further humiliate the women by allowing men to watch and photograph what was happening, with the implicit threat that the women could be at further risk of harm if the photographs were made public.”

Journalist Rasha Azeb was also detained in Tahrir Square and told Amnesty International that she was handcuffed, beaten and insulted.

Following their arrest, the 18 women were initially taken to a Cairo Museum annex where they were reportedly handcuffed, beaten with sticks and hoses, given electric shocks in the chest and legs, and called “prostitutes”.

Rasha Azeb could see and hear the other detained women being tortured by being given electric shocks throughout their detention at the museum. She was released several hours later with four other men who were also journalists, but 17 other women were transferred to the military prison in Heikstep

Carter Vouches for Muslim Brotherhood….

[Flashback February 2011. Since our Egypt and Libya policy are ending in disaster with the Muslim Brotherhood taking power in both countries, with Christians being slaughtered and in the case of Egypt, being attacked by government armored vehicles, and the Obama administration selling tanks, choppers, small arms, and missiles to Egypt and other countries in the Islamic world, we thought a second look at the editor’s previous coverage of this category is in order. The category list is on the lower right hand pane of the page. – Editor]

They are in with Hezbollah and Hamas and help control Gaza, but oh no they love freedom and secular Democracy…

…and you can fool some of the people all of the time. This is coming from the president that said the same thing about the Iranian Mullah’s when he helped them come to power in Iran.

[Note: As is so often the case, when a video is damning to a leftist YouTube sees to it that the video is removed. Conservative bloggers and commentators are harassed by YouTube which is why so many conservatives are posting video at DailyMotion and other similar services.]