Friday, January 20, 2012

Whatever Happened to...?

By Alan Caruba

In the run-up to the South Carolina primary election on Saturday, it strikes me that the overwhelming coverage of the campaign process has shoved some important stories to the sidelines.

There is noticeably little coverage of the nation’s obscene unemployment problem; one that is comparable to the Great Depression.

With ample good reason, we no longer hear anything about (a) global warming or (b) climate change. We don’t hear “renewable energy” stories in the wake of the Solyndra scandal or the demise of comparable “Green” companies, but Obama’s decision to refuse to permit the XL Keystone pipeline was a reminder that all his talk about job creation is just that—talk.

The rising price of a gallon of gasoline is never mentioned in the news, up from $1.86 when Obama took office to $3.40 now. That sort of thing used to get incumbent presidents defeated in the past.

Events beyond our shores continue whether we are in a primary season or not.

The future of the European Union is still somewhat precarious. Whether the Euro continues as the currency of the EU is an important issue affecting America’s trading partners. The U.S. Sovereign debt rating has already been reduced but now nine EU nations have been put on notice as well.

The Obama/Clinton foreign policy in the Middle East continues to erode. Egypt, a major player, is moving into Islamist—anti-American, anti-Israeli—control. For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood was suppressed as a political force in Egypt and today they have emerged as the biggest player. Egypt is moving out of our orbit of influence.

Iran continues inexorably toward acquiring the capacity to make its own nuclear weapons. Its growing desperation regarding the sanctions is generating a lot of bellicose threats. The entire Middle East is silently praying that Israel attacks and disables its nuclear capabilities. Anything else is morally indefensible.

Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Iraq is in shambles once again with bombs going off in its cities and little likelihood it will be able to function as a nation despite its vast oil riches. Libya has lots of oil, too, but it is still struggling to create a functioning government in the wake of Gaddafi’s overthrow. Syria has everyone in the Middle East on edge watching to see if Assad can avoid what appears to be his inevitable overthrow. His late father, though, did just that by slaughtering thousands.

The seemingly endless political debates continue minus Jon Huntsman who is backing Mitt Romney and Rick Perry who has endorsed Newt Gingrich. Pretty soon we shall be calling Romney “Teflon Mitt” because the voters appear to be bored with all the sniping from his opponents regarding his success in the private sector. Newt Gingrich seems to have no idea what capitalism is or does.

Even the calumnies heaped on the Tea Party movement don’t get much attention these days. We have learned, however, that the current Congress has been the least productive, accomplishing less in 2011 than any other year in recent history. Records have been kept since 1947. In light of the disaster called Obamacare, that is probably a good thing.

One trend is noticeable. With the exception of the Keystone decision, any news that might harm the reelection of President Obama is hard to find in the mainstream media.

© Alan Caruba, 2012


Will Harmon said...

We have congressional gridlock today because of Harry Reid and a Democrat majority in the Senate who are in lock-step with Obama. With a Republican majority in the House we have at least been able to slow down the Democrat agenda.

I'll take gridlock, stalemate, and no legislation over the stunts and shenanigans the Democrats pulled when they owned the House, Senate, and the Oval Office and passed the trash legislation they did that saddled us with generations of debt and guaranteed higher taxes for everybody. If Americans really want to get out of the mess we are in, get the economy going again, and save our country, they had better vote to put an overwhelming number of Republicans and conservatives in the House and Senate so the Democrats have no control over the legislative process. With enough votes in the House and Senate, it won't matter if Obama gets re-elected because anything he vetos could be over-ridden and put into law in spite of him.

A Republican president with a Republican House won't be enough. The President can't sign anything until it gets to his desk and a Democrat Senate will continue to torpedo anything that comes out of the House.

unclescott said...

Great post, I still don't understand your views of Newt though...I like Romney and will vote for and support him if he is nominated, same for Santorum but after reading and appreciating most of your columns for quite a while now, I have a hard time understanding your stand on Romney as the only choice in the long run for the White House...I still think that he is less than the best in the conservative field, and this coming from a fellow Latter Day Saint like myself....
Lots of us out here in bloggerville depend on your articulate, well written insight, so keep writing, we will keep reading! Thanks

Alan Caruba said...

@unclescott: I have followed Newt's career for decades and have grown wary of his claims, his enthusiasms, his general lack of a consistent view. I am not a fan of his personal life either.

Glad you enjoy my blog. If you're not a "member" sign up!

Alan Caruba said...

@Will: We are in agreement on the present gridlock. Harry Reid is the worst Senate Majority leader in decades.

Chris said...

Actually, having congress locked up in gridlock is a GOOD thing, that way those idiots can't do as much damage. In regards obmama's alleged jobs policy, there can be no doubt, this man is presiding over the INTENTIONAL destruction of this nation. If that oil goes to China or Russia, we will lose a big opportunity to dig us out of this grave the progressives have dug for us. I don't car who this offends, but, anyone, and I mean anyone who gets their news from the MSM is not only a fool, they are in deep denial. The MSM have lost any credibility, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and yes, even FOX, should be grouped together and called the ministry of propaganda, isn't that what all good communist regimes do?
One way I keep my sanity is through prayer and going to church, it refreshes the soul and allows me to distance myself from the carnage that is happening to our nation, if only for a while. One thing we still have is hope, we can never lose hope, for if God is for us, who can be against us?

Lime Lite said...

@Alan - what I'm seeing of Romney isn't any better than Newt's baggage. I'm looking at him from afar, and his demeanour looks artificial, cold and forced. Newt is intelligent, is not scared to take on the media (like Reagan) and is much more conservative than Romney – and he is lively; whereas Romney stutters when he gets excited and comes across as rehearsed. Newt or Romney to take on Iran?? Newt! I also can't see the American public getting excited if Romney's the nominee. You don't need safe, you need action and someone who is not an Obama-lite candidate. Romney also not wanting to release his tax records is not a good look. I don't have a problem with him paying a low tax rate, but many in the USA will and it plays into the current Obama rhetoric about billionaires and millionaires. I am convinced that the OWS movement was constructed to bring down Romney - that's why the MSM are brainwashing everyone into believing he's the only true candidate to defeat Obama by getting the independent vote, which is only at 30% approval for BO. I can’t see the other 70% all voting for Obama just because Newt is the nominee! This is not over yet until the fat lady sings.

Alan Caruba said...

@Lime: When not in the debates, Mitt is a very lively, impassioned speaker. The debates are a fairly artificial environment in which far too much is riding on a single misstep. They killed Rick Perry's campaign with a single gaff.

Ronbo said...


The Newtster is a Republican Big Government Progressive who admires Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin FDR.


So getting rid of the Socialist Obama in favor of the Nationalist Gingrich in 2012 is like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

I do agree with the Newtster on one thing: We need a Second American Revolution to purge the Left from all American institutions.

However, we don't need to replace them with Republican Big Government Nationalists who think the fascist FDR was peachy keen.

LarryOldtimer said...

Romney had great business failures too. Moreover, his Romneycare in Mass. was the model for Obamacare.

Romney is all for even more big government, whereas Newt was quite effective in his "promise to America".

Except for Newt's belief in "carbon dioxide" is a threat to the planet, a decent science advisor, with knowledge in the fundamentals of biology, chemistry and physics would clear that up quickly enough.

Newt has a long and positive (conservative) track record, whereas Romney is full of promises, and a questioning mind could see that Romney's promises are nothing but hot air.

I personally don't care what a politicians "morals" are, nor what goes on in his or her personal life.

BTW, from my own personal knowledge, government can not be run as private enterprises are run, which Romney has never figured out.

Lime Lite said...

@Ronbo - you don't follow Glenn Beck by any chance?

@Alan - then Romney needs to start showing who he really is as the American people will be making up their minds based on the debates with BO. When is he going to catch on fire? Seems to me he's gone into his shell, too scared to stand up for his convictions. It doesn't help that he's flipped-flopped on key issues and is a millionaire. That to me is far more baggage than Newt. Anyway, lets' see what happens. In the end, the conservatives will have to back whoever the nominee is.

Alan Caruba said...

@Larry: We shall have to disagree on Mitt v Newt.