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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 05/21/2012

Morning Bits

Where’s the outrage? President Obama never had his heart in the surge in Afghanistan, according to an adviser. “ I think he hated the idea from the beginning. He understood why we needed to try, to knock back the Taliban. But the military was ‘all in,’ as they say, and Obama wasn’t.”

Where’s the president’s explanation? Mitt Romney in a stinging indictment of Obama on national security. “Last year, President Obama signed into law a budget scheme that threatens to saddle the U.S. military with nearly $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. President Obama’s own defense secretary, Leon Panetta, has called cuts of this magnitude ‘devastating’ to our national security. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has plainly said that such a reduction means ‘we would not any longer be a global power.’ Despite these warnings, the Obama administration has pledged to veto an attempt to replace these cuts with savings in other areas. This is reckless.”

Where’s the Scoop Jackson wing of the Democratic Party? Cliff May reminds us that “by 2015 Iran is likely to have intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the United States — including the East Coast. That means if we build an East Coast site after the Iranians acquire that capability, we’ll only be vulnerable to a missile attack from Iran for a few short years.” Republicans are “pushing to spend money on a missile-defense site on the East Coast,” but not the Democrats.

Where’s the party of the average guy? “Weren’t Democrats supposed to be the party of Everyman? If you went to work and obeyed the rules, Dems would ‘make work pay’ — plus give you unemployment compensation and Social Security and medical care in old age. White male workers are sort of the indivisible denominator in American politics — they have no special economic leverage, and no race- or gender-based claim to special privileges. They’re naked as far as favoritism goes, and thus (not unlike Marx’s proletariat) are the representatives of universal privileges (such as Social Security). The new Obama coalition threatens to abandon this universality, becoming instead the party of non-universal skills, ethnic and gender identities — of special pleaders, victims and causists. Not of citizens.”

Where’s the White House? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on “Face the Nation”: “We got nothing in return about the long-term debt problem facing this country, and we all know that it’s on the entitlement side. So at some point here, this president needs to become the adult because the speaker and I have been the adults in the room arguing that we ought to do something about the nation’s most serious long-term problem.”

Where's Democrats’ Plan B in the Massachusetts race against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)? Larry Sabato: “It leaves [Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren] . . . with a mess on her hands and a continuing controversy. . . . Clearly you shouldn’t claim minority status unless you have minority status. And, look, let’s remember, the law schools listed her proudly as having this minority status, because you have to remember, back in the ’90s, many of these prestigious law schools like Harvard and others were being criticized for a lack of diversity on the law school faculty. So this was actually a big deal, or at least a medium-term deal, and they pointed it out to people. So it’s not insignificant.”

Where’s the Romney campaign going to find a better vice president? Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) : “[W]hat we have in the Obama administration is this crony capitalism, this corporate welfare where President Obama thinks it’s right that we . . . [give taxpayer dollars] to private companies and take bets on these private companies. That’s wrong. What is right is a private sector that you have risked that capital. You put capital in businesses whether they’re struggling or not to try and grow those businesses, some succeed, some don’t. On the net, when Mitt Romney ran Bain, they were very successful. They created thousands of jobs, great success stories.” Indeed.

Where’s the commitment to making the Afghan army self-sufficient? “They say their M16s are dust-prone antiques. Their boots fall apart after a couple of months, they complain, and many of their helmets are cracked and patched. Yet they set out on patrol. They are the men of the Afghan National Army, the critical part of the huge machine being built to protect Afghanistan’s security after the NATO alliance is gone in less than three years.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 05/21/2012

 
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