Interesting Post Election Reads

The post election whining has begun!  Here are a couple of coulda-woulda-shoulda articles that caught my eye.

First, the Wall Street Journal continues its never ending crusade for open ended amnesty.  Amnesty now, amnesty tomorrow, and Amnesty forever!      ¡Estimados Republicanos!

But wait!  National Review has a rebuttal.  Polling shows that only 7% of Hispanics were turned off by the immigration position of Republicans.  Instead, they mostly hated everything else the party stands for:  Why Hispanics Don’t Vote for Republicans

Here is another NR article that doubles down on Heather MacDonald’s article, only with more polling data:  Now What?  Immigration Edition

Some People didn’t take the election news so well:  Obama has the “same goals” as Al-Qaida

Why Obama won:  Obama’s Edge: The Ground Game That Could Put Him Over the Top

Why Romney lost:  The Unmitigated Disaster Known As Project ORCA

This article posits that since the number of white voters fell from 2008 to 2012, that white voters stayed home.  I think it’s more likely that they just got old and died.   The Case of the Missing White Voters

In the “Heh” Department:

Blue States voted heavily for Obama…

Vote was astronomical for Obama in some Philadelphia wards

Castro and Saddam Hussein should be so lucky to get vote totals like these!

Even as the blue model of governance collapses all around them…

Philadelphia’s school commission borrows $300 million to pay its bills

And the Chicago way continues to show it’s a model for the nation… for politicians!

Jesse Jackson Jr. Wins Reelection From Mayo Clinic

Jesse Jackson Jr. wins even though he has been out of sight since June bouncing from addiction treatment centers to the Mayo Clinic.  Now that’s a politician!

But he does have time to make a plea deal with the Feds:  Jesse Jackson Jr.in Plea Deal Talks With Feds

I would say that’s a Congressional district that’s lost the ability to complain about the political system without the rest of us smirking!

I commented on another bloggers website why the Republicans were such sore losers.

One of my favorite columnists, The wittiest doomsayer in the Anglosphere, Mark Steyn, explains that we’re screwed, but at least he does it well:  Reality doesn’t need to win Electoral College

Looking for an escape plan from Obama tax hikes?  ‘Super-Earth’ Alien Planet May Be Habitable for Life

Although I imagine the trip will take many election cycles.

Anyway, this twitter message sums up how I feel about the election!

How Much Is Media Bias Worth?

Although the media consensus was that Obama won the 2nd debate “on points”, and the polling on who won seems to bear that out (Gallup Obama win 51%, Romney win 38%), he hasn’t had the big bounce back in the polls that one would expect.  With the extra help he had from the moderator from DNC, err… I mean, CNN, Candy Crowley, you would expect a rebound to bring the polls back to something similar to what they were before Romney’s big first debate win.  But it hasn’t happened.

HEMPSTEAD, NY - OCTOBER 16:  U.S. President Ba...

HEMPSTEAD, NY – OCTOBER 16: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) listens and moderator Candy Crowley (C) plots to help President Obama (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Why not?

In the days prior to the first debate, Gallup showed Obama at 50% and Romney at 45%, a five point advantage.  In the days after the first debate, the race had shifted substantially to dead even; Obama and Romney both at 47%.    After the second debate; the one that Obama won?  The Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll for Saturday the 20th shows Romney 49% and Obama 48%.  In other words, Obama didn’t benefit from his win.

There have been a couple of theories as to why Romney was able to make up such ground on the strength of one debate performance.  One is that Romney just looked more Alpha next to Obama on stage, helping Romney close the gender gapamong women voters.  Another is that this was the first opportunity much of the country has had to see Romney, and surprisingly, they liked what they saw.  Considering that Romney has been the prospective nominee for most of the year, how is it that just now, the American people are getting their first unfiltered look at the Presidential nominee mere weeks before the actual election?  Particularly with the amount of media attention shown on this race?

As I predicted back in February, this was going to be a campaign between the Republicans against the Democrats and the mainstream media working together.  That is a tough combination to beat, but from the moderating in the Republican Primaries to the moderating in the second debate, the MSM has abused the position of power they hold in our society to take sides in this political contest.  It’s hard to draw another conclusion when during the 2nd debate President Obama made reference to the moderator about a transcript of a speech he had made that the moderator just happened to have with her at the moderator podium. How would he know she had a copy with her?  And why, of all the data and information that she would have, would it include that particular speech?  Curious indeed.

Romney’s coverage in the media has consisted of Democratic attacks and then pundits sitting around and discussing those attack ads.  That was the bulk of the political coverage over the past few months.  With that sort of coverage model, how is the public ever going to be able to draw informed conclusions on the candidates?  So when the public actually got to see Mitt Romney for the first time, in a 90 minute unfiltered debate, he didn’t appear at all to be the image that had been carefully crafted of him by the media.  He didn’t seem to be a racist, sexist, homophobe, or a cross between Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, and Mr. Potter from, It’s a Wonderful Life.  Instead they saw a serious competent businessman, not a murderer or tax evader.

That wide divergence of perception explains the polls.  Even if Obama has another win “on points” in the 3rd debate on Monday, I don’t see the race changing based on the debate.  The perception of Romney has already changed.

So to my original question, how much is media bias worth?  Since Romney was 5 points down before the first debate and the race is neck and neck now, that’s your answer.

Five percentage points.

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The Talking Points Debate

When even the MSNBC hosts agree that Romney won last night’s debate with President Obama, and Chris Matthews looked like he had been crying off camera, then yeah, I guess Romney won.  I admit I called this one wrong.  Not that I didn’t think Romney would do well, but I thought no matter how well he did the MSM would call it a tie at best.  I figured they could only call it for Romney if Obama totally screwed the pooch, Obama wasn’t quite that bad (no major gaffes) but I honestly didn’t expect Obama to do as poorly as he did.

Obama was clearly poorly served by his debate preparation team.  His habit of scowling when hearing things he doesn’t like is well known, and he knew he was going to hear things he didn’t like so he should have been prepared for that.  Also his annoying habit of looking down and not looking at his opponent… come on guys, that’s basic freshman Speech class stuff!  All this from someone who allegedly prepared more for these debates, “than any sitting President in the modern era.

Obama didn’t even bother to offer “the audience a sandwich.”

Even Jeff Greenfield, no fan of the right, said:

Yes, it wasn’t the best atmospherics for Obama to look down, purse his lips, appear distracted, while Romney was attentive, engaged, relaxed. But this was much more than atmospherics. This was about one candidate who came with a frame for the evening, and who was prepared to engage on every question; and another who, perhaps because of his documented faith in his own abilities, felt he could wing it with snatches of familiar verbiage.

One really feels the loss of the teleprompter.

But optics and atmospherics aside, the real difference is that Romney came to the debate armed with facts and familiarity with the issues.  Obama came with his talking points, such as the one about the tax break for shipping jobs overseas.

Obama: “But I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States,”
“Right now, you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas. I think most Americans would say that doesn’t make sense. And all that raises revenue.”

Romney: “Look, I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant, but the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case.” 

There is no tax deduction for moving businesses overseas.  Costs of business are deductible, like closing (or opening) manufacturing plants, but that isn’t a deduction that gives a special break to a company to move overseas.  However this has been a leftie talking point for years.  They listen to themselves repeat the same things over and over until they never doubt the truth of it.  Romney made Obama look like he had no idea what he was talking about, which was actually the case; Obama didn’t know what he was talking about.  Sorry lefties, there is no special tax break for outsourcing American jobs.

 The other issue was that Romney’s tax plan would raise the deficit 5 trillion and raise taxes on the middle class in order to give the rich a tax cut.  Once again, Obama relied on his dubious talking points only to be confronted by a Romney denial that his tax plan would raise taxes on the middle class, lower taxes on the rich, and increase the deficit by 5 trillion dollars.  I know a little something about this issue since I demolished a claim made by the Tax Policy Center in August that Romney’s tax plan couldn’t work as planned.  You can get the details here, however the gist is:

Romney’s plan is revenue neutral, so there is no, I repeat, no cut in tax revenues.

Even though rates are lowered, the deductions and credits are removed to make up the difference.  This makes for a simpler tax code.

The Tax Policy Center admitted that the plan they actually scored, was only similar to Romney’s plans, and they had to make up the details.

The Tax Policy Center counts the 20% cuts in tax rates on top of the Bush tax cuts, which will no longer be in force when Romney would be President.

There were probably more talking point moments by Obama, but these were the big ones.  Meanwhile, over at MSNBC, the gang was apoplectic about Obama not using even more talking points!

Although one debate can probably be dismissed as a bump in the road, I hope that the President does take Chris Matthews advice and start getting his talking points from MSNBC.  Obama armed with even more inaccurate talking points would make the rest of the debates must see TV right up to the election.

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Romney goes all in with Ryan

This was not the Vice Presidential pick I was expecting.  I was going along with the conventional wisdom on this one and assuming either Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty.  Usually, you almost always can count on going wrong when relying on the conventional wisdom, but Mitt Romney seems like a conventional wisdom kind of guy, so the safe guesses seemed likely to me.  So I was surprised when I heard on the news that Paul Ryan was Romney’s VP pick.

In general terms, Ryan is a good pick.  He’s bright; in fact, bright enough that the average IQ of the House of Representatives will drop a good deal when he leaves. He can also present his arguments clearly and concisely.  One of my favorite all time political video clips is the Obamacare Health Summit, in which Ryan demolished the fiscal rationale behind the Obamacare CBO report in a few minutes, with a scowling Obama looking on.

Ryan was right on Obamacare, but it still passed.

And that’s the problem with the Ryan pick.  The President’s campaign strategy for this year has been to avoid economic issues and engage in personal attacks and demagoguery.  That’s the purpose of the various “war on…” ads.  2010’s “Throw Granny off a Cliff,” featuring a Ryan look alike rolling a wheelchair bound grandmother type off the edge of a cliff, is a harbinger of the type of campaign we can expect from the Obama administration.  When Democrats portray Republicans, they are usually shown as either stupid or evil, depending on what they think fits better.  With Ryan, it’s clearly going to be evil.  Will we see ads portraying Ryan as a blade welding, hockey mask wearing killer, slicing and dicing the elderly in rest homes?  Don’t laugh; after throwing granny off a cliff, will Ryan stop at nothing?

Ryan doesn’t really bring the key battleground States, like Portman (Ohio) or Rubio (Florida) would.  Romney is going for an ideological and ideas pick.  With Ryan, he’s showing that the thrust of his administration is going to be to get our fiscal house in order.  That’s a great thing and a vital one, but it plays into the Obama administration’s yearlong campaign strategy.  The White House is probably popping the corks on the bottles of champagne.  If you’re running a campaign based on demagoguery, you couldn’t have hoped for better than a Ryan pick.

Just like on Obamacare, Ryan is right on our budgetary and fiscal issues, but as Obamacare shows, being right doesn’t mean you will win the votes.

Looking at the race in the beginning of the year, I figured it would be Obama winning in a squeaker.  Months later, with the Ryan pick, I still lean that way.  But at least the battle grounds are clearly drawn, and we know what the race is about: saving our country from fiscal chaos and trying to restore the nation, or stripping the treasury of every dollar and eating our seed corn; eat, drink, and be merry, because tomorrow we may be a third rate, ruined power.  I think if the American people are given that clear choice, they’ll make the right decision.  The problem is, the few undecided voters will be viewing the race through the lens of the big three network nightly news programs, and they are all three firmly on Team Obama.

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The Left Makes Up Their Own Romney Tax Plan

At one of the web forums I visit, some liberals had caught notice of this bit of news:

(CBS News) President Obama is seizing on a study out Wednesday to support his argument that Mitt Romney is focused on boosting the rich at the expense of the middle class.

The study from the Tax Policy Center looks at the impact of Romney’s tax plan, which he promises will be revenue neutral. Romney has vowed to cut tax rates by 20 percent across the board, repeal the estate tax and get rid of taxes in investment income for those making up $200,000. He says the reduction these tax cuts will have on tax revenue will be offset in part by eliminating deductions and loopholes, though he has refused to say what deductions and loopholes he would eliminate.

The Tax Policy Center – a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute – found that if Romney wants his plan to be revenue neutral, it will result in “large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.”

They found that would be the case no matter how he ultimately structures the plan. In fact, the group operated on the assumption that Romney would first eliminate deductions and loopholes for the wealthiest Americans.

“Even when we assume that tax breaks – like the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the exclusion for health insurance – are completely eliminated for higher-income households first, and only then reduced as necessary for other households to achieve overall revenue-neutrality- the net effect of the plan would be a tax cut for high-income households coupled with a tax increase for middle-income households,” it said.

I read as far as “…a joint project of the Brookings Institution…” when I realized the study being referred to here was a phony.  The Brookings Institution is of course a left-liberal think tank.  Officially, it’s “non-partisan” as is required for a 501(c)3 organization, but it is generally staffed by researchers who are left leaning and provides reports and analysis that supports Democratic Party initiatives.  That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t do legitimate research, but it’s helpful to know which direction the bias is coming from.

So rather than just accept the CBS news article, as I was meant to, I followed the link to the actual abstract of the Tax Policy Center’s analysis here.   One of the first things I noticed is that they are not even scoring Romney’s plan.  “We do not score Governor Romney’s plan directly, as certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail, nor do we make assumptions regarding what those components might be.”  So rather than score Romney’s plan, they make up a plan similar to what they think the final legislation will be.  And of course, make assumptions as to its components. Now, that should have ended the matter right there, but apparently the non partisan researchers at the Tax Policy Center will be more than willing to fill in any of the blanks themselves.

Another error the author’s make, (and this one is even more egregious than making up their assumptions) is that they assume that Romney’s 20% tax cut is on top of the Bush/Obama tax cuts.  The author’s point to Mitt Romney’s website as the source of this information; however that condition is nowhere on Romney’s website.  In fact, Romney’s site emphasizes that his plan is a variation of the tax plan from the Simpson-Bowles deficit plan, lower marginal rates, with few deductions; exactly what Democrats say they want, until a plan is actually offered.

So given that the authors add two tax cuts on top of each other, it’s easy to see how they came up with a plan that they don’t regard as workable.

This was all information that I dug up in just a few minutes, however I’ve yet to hear this counter argument in the main stream media.  It’s an example of the media’s bias of course, but specifically, confirmation bias.  The press release for this report fit the media’s prejudices so there was no need to even look at the abstract.  It just sounded right.   On Morning Joe this morning they spent 10 minutes talking about the report without anyone, even alleged conservative Joe Scarborough, challenging its assumptions.

The win goes to Obama on this one, but only because the truth was successfully embargoed by the media.

For Us, Who Didn’t Build That

I wasn’t planning to comment on Obama’s idiotic “you didn’t build that speech.”  I mean, after all, it’s idiotic.  So I ignored some of the push back and response from the conservative blogosphere.  It was minor anyway compared to MSNBC’s “All Bain, All the Time” news coverage that has been inflicting the network for weeks?  Months?  But it must have been stuck in my brain somewhere, even if covered by Romney’s tax returns and financial disclosure statements.  Sometimes I’m sure that my brain is processing things even when I’m not aware of it.  Or at least that’s what I tell myself to justify hours of mindless television; my brain is busy processing something.

So sometime this morning, between deep sleep and my second cup of coffee, I realized a few exceptions to Obama’s idea that government makes all things possible.  One of them was my grandpa’s road.   Decades ago my grandfather built and maintained a road coming off of a county road in order to get to his property.  It was all on property he owned and over the years he sold parcels all along the road he had made.  Eventually there was quite a cluster of homes coming from this private road, and when my grandfather died, in his will he left the road to the county.  So there was a clear case of infrastructure being built by private hands and the government picking it up after all of the hard work had already been done.

Of course in the United States that had been the norm.  Settlements popped up long before there were local governments to build roads and other infrastructure.  By the time government showed up, the town and infrastructure were already there.  That still goes on today.  New communities and subdivisions built by private interests pay for and build their own infrastructure; which local governments end up inheriting.

But there was something else, about the speech, something familiar, and no, it wasn’t that it was basically cribbed from Elizabeth Warren’s rant against’ producers.  It took me a bit to place it but then it came to me why I was familiar with the philosophy of that speech.

Science Fiction.

Cover of "For Us, The Living: A Comedy of...

Cover of For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs

One of the earliest works by Science Fiction author Robert Heinlein was a book called, For Us, The Living.  Although it was written in 1938 it was an incomplete work and never finished or published until after Heinlein’s death, when it was found and finished up by another SF writer, Spider Robinson.  As a Heinlein fan I was anxious to read it when it was first published in 2003, but this isn’t the libertarian Robert Heinlein I was familiar with from such novels as, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, or Time Enough for Love.  This was the Robert Heinlein in the midst of the Great Depression, who worked on the 1934 California Governor’s race for Socialist Upton Sinclair.

So it was a very different Robert Heinlein who wrote this book.  A socialist one to be sure, and a writer more influenced by the works of the turn of the century than what passed for science fiction in the 1930’s.  In fact, For Us, The Living, is less a novel and more an exposition of what was then a popular socialist idea, Social Credit.  Heinlein’s hero is a 1930’s engineer who after having a traffic accident, somehow ends up in the late 21st Century.  How he got there is never really explained, and although a gaping hole in the plotline that big is enough to kill interest in a plot, there isn’t really that much plot.  The car crash is just a device to get Heinlein’s hero to the future where he can listen to endless lectures on how great the socialist future is.

So as an entertaining romp, it blows.  It’s more like Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward.  This is the socialist future; let me explain how great it is and why your time stank, the end.  But if anyone is interested in an archaic socialist theory from the 1930’s, this is the book to read.  Social Credit seems to have fallen out of favor as far as wacky socialist theories go, but its implementation sounds attractive.  A nations’ cultural inheritance, is considered a factor of production under this theory.  So it’s not just the infrastructure like roads that’s a factor that government provided, it’s the accumulated knowledge that lead to knowing how to build the roads, and the fact that we have a network of roads crisscrossing the country.  Since each generation doesn’t have to build the nation up from scratch, there is a “surplus.”  The long and short, and if you know socialism you could guess this already, is that the “surplus” is distributed in payments to citizens.  Nobody has to work if they don’t want to, since they can live off the “surplus.”

So you can see why Heinlein never had this published in his lifetime.  Shame.  But I can forgive him for his socialist past; that was quite common in the 30’s, when the only competing philosophies were some version of Socialism and Fascism, or as a distant third way, Keynesian Social Welfare Democracy.  There was no William F. Buckley standing athwart history yelling stop in the 1930’s.

And in fact it’s not uncommon for people to experiment with communism or some variation of socialism in their youth, particularly in college.  Just listen to the rantings of the few remaining Occupy protestors.  Blather right out of Mao’s little red book.  Probably most of your major big time Democrats were some type of socialist in college, and quite a few Republicans for that matter.

But people grow up and in time, put aside childish things.  Well not Elizabeth Warren, but she’s an academic who never really left college.  And apparently not Barack Obama. I’ve never really joined in the chorus of those calling the President “Socialist” since, when I use the word, I mean it to be descriptive, not a pejorative, but in this situation, the case Obama is making in this speech is Social Credit Socialism.

So Obama never outgrew his youthful socialist past.  After all, what grown man would want to be friends with an actual for-realsies terrorist like William Ayers?  Of course, every time he goes off script he drops hints, going all the way back to his run in with Joe the Plumber.  But America has had almost 4 years to get used to the idea, and apparently it’s not a deal breaker.  Who would have ever thought that?

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The Demands to Praise Obama

I like to participate on several political internet forums to debate politics.  A pointless pursuit you say?  Correct!  It is mostly a waste of time, and as the old meme goes…

However I don’t think of it as any sort of productive time, it’s more a relaxing hobby.  I do occasionally like to engage in a battle of the wits with political opponents.  At best, it feeds my ego that I’m the smartest guy on the internet, and at worst, it helps me hone my arguments and think about various angles to issues that I may not have thought of previously.

So not a total waste…

And occasionally it brings up some good ideas that I can expand on and write about.  Case in point, a long time internet debater of the lefty persuasion challenged me to say something good about Obama.  It’s not the first time she has made this demand, and during the Bush years, she constantly demanded that I criticize the Bush administration.  Easily done of course, but in the tradition of internet debates, it made no difference since a week later she would make the same challenge again, purposefully forgetting last week’s list; hyperlinks notwithstanding.  It was the Chinese meal of internet debates.

Although I can’t understand the psychological need for having her candidate validated by an opponent, since I didn’t feel the need to get her approval for any that I supported, I don’t mind taking advantage of it.  Has President Obama done some good things for the country?

The answer of course is an extremely qualified yes.

To elaborate, I need to go back to the expectations I had of him as President.  I fully expected President Obama to go full bore with a lefty agenda on both the domestic and foreign policy fronts.  However I wasn’t worried about domestic policy so much.  A wise Congress, counting its pennies, would bring the new President’s lofty spending agenda down to earth.

Clearly I miscalculated.

Throughout my lifetime Democratic Presidents even with a Democratic Congress had to fight tooth and nail for their priorities, so I was totally unprepared for a Congress that basically threw the checkbook at the President, telling him to have a blast.  On the domestic and spending front, Obama confirmed every hysterical fear the right had on Obama’s spending, both in dollar amount and actions.  The GM bailout could have gone in many different directions, but the President chose a path that included violating the law and getting an equity interest in the company; in other words, government ownership of the company; the very definition of socialism.

And I didn’t even mention the failed economic policy or Obamacare!

So when it comes to domestic policy, we did get the President that Hannity and Rush promised, but how about foreign policy?

Things didn’t start out great in that department either.

The administration let us know that Democrats were back in charge of the ship of state when President Obama went on his infamous apology tour, traveling from Europe to Latin America informing the world that America was sorry for being America.  Then, the administration added a real policy change to that by cancelling our missile defense shield in Europe.  And then there was Obama’s back and forth on an Afghanistan policy.  The Administration initially came out with a policy in March 2009 that emphasized counterterrorism as the primary military strategy, and then panicked when he found out the troop commitment that was required from his handpicked General to make this policy work.  This led to a political squabble within the White House that lasted months, with the White House pretending it had never decided on a military strategy in March of that year.  It took until December  for the President to finally unveil his new and improved Afghanistan Policy during a speech at West Point, which was a political contrivance that traded an increase in troops with a promise to withdraw by a date certain.  I’ll leave it to Obama supporters to decide if the administration kept its promise on that “date certain”.

So the first year of the Obama Presidency left a great deal for Republicans to criticize.

But there were some decisions that the President made the right call on, even if they were not particularly big decisions.  Obama supporters particularly turn to two decisions of the President to burnish his alpha credentials. The first came up early in his administration with the kidnapping of the captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates.  For any other President this would have been a minor footnote in the Presidential record.  However for President Obama’s sycophants, this was considered a major military victory.  President Obama authorized force to be used if the Captain’s life appeared to be in imminent danger.  Well, of course his life was in danger, and Seal snipers took out the pirates and rescued the Captain.  A feel good story if there ever was one, but considering that the Defense Department had twice tried to get the President’s authorization for the use of force,  (Really, the President had to sleep on this?) it doesn’t seem that the White House really got engaged until they got tired of dodging the Pentagon’s phone calls.  If the Pirates had been a bit more threatening earlier in the conflict, this story could have gone in a different direction.  However to an Obama supporter, this was equivalent to Obama personally storming the beaches at Normandy.

The other was of course, the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  The news of UBL’s death was probably the best news for Americans in the War on Terror in the past decade.  It was an extremely satisfying victory and on the first anniversary of his death, it still tastes pretty sweet.  But that’s not good enough for administration sycophants, who seem to think the decision to kill Bin Laden was the most difficult Presidential decision of the past century.  To me, as far as Presidential decisions go, it was the most obvious no-brainer of Presidential decisions in the past century.  I mean really, there would even be an option of not trying to kill or capture him?  Instead, the supposedly decisive Obama had to “sleep on it” before he could give the go order.  With all of the sleeping Obama requires to make a decision, he’s probably the most well rested President in history.  Yet Obama and his supporters continue to act as if only Obama could have pulled this feat off, never mind the SEALS who actually carried out the mission, and who it’s now being reported that they are a bit unhappy with the Commander In Chief’s grandstanding on the Bin Laden issue.  In fact, Obama as much as said that if Mitt Romney had been President, he wouldn’t have given the kill order.  Of course, without the intelligence derived by techniques the President vehemently opposed, there probably would have been no trail to follow that lead to that compound in Abottabad.

Way to not spike that football!

Interestingly, the same people who hit the roof over “Mission Accomplished” seem to have no issue with the President’s manipulation of this issue for his re-election campaign.

But… in spite of the President’s foreign and national security flaws, he has been aggressive in the War on Terror, even though he won’t use the term himself.  The President has, for the most part, had to jettison most of his academic left baggage when it comes to national security since he became President.  Not only has he double downed on killing terrorists, he’s embraced almost all of the President Bush GWOT policies.  Considering the differences between Obama and Bush, they’ve achieved a remarkable consensus on how to fight the war.

Why did he change so much as to accept and use almost all of the policies that he ran against?  That will probably be left to future historians to figure out, but I suspect his first national security briefing was a real eye opener, forcing Obama to reconsider dismantling the policies he had campaigned against.  There’s nothing like a nice load of crap in your pants to make you reconsider your assumptions.  Going against a lifetime of habit of thought couldn’t have been an easy one, but the country is much safer because he was able to make that leap.  So for that, thank you Mr. President, for helping to keep the country safe!