Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 28, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 28, 2012 

The Real State of The Union

“I write what I think is 
true. I don’t give a damn 
about ‘reputation.’ If I’m 
wrong I correct or re-think. 
Once a writer worries 
about these things, he’s 
like an actor watching the 

- Andrew Sullivan

Writer, blogger and 
TV talking-head Andrew 
Sullivan is known for 
expressing what he thinks 
is true, rather than what he thinks conforms to 
defined ideological cubby-holes.

He supported George W. Bush in 2000 and 
John Kerry in 2004.

He calls himself a conservative supporting 
limited government and a flat tax rate, while 
opposing capital punishment and condemning 
our use of torture. 

He supports gay rights and gay marriage 
(Sullivan and his partner were married in 2007), 
but opposes anti-discrimination laws as an 
example of government overreach.

Sullivan initially supported the war with Iraq, 
but later explained, “After 9/11, I was clearly 
blinded by fear of al Qaeda and deluded . . . into 
thinking we could simply fight our way to victory 
against Islamist terror. I wasn’t alone. But I was 
surely wrong.” He characterizes supporters of 
the war who have yet to acknowledge they were 
wrong as “cowards”.

 Andrew Sullivan raised his profile with a 
cover story in last week’s Newsweek, “Why Are 
Obama’s Critics So Dumb?” Characteristically, 
the article targets the president’s critics on both 
ends of the ideological spectrum: “The attacks 
from both the right and the left on the man and 
his policies aren’t out of bounds. They’re simply 
– empirically – wrong.”

Sullivan recounts the facts: 750,000 jobs a 
month being lost at the time Obama took office, 
and the last quarter of 2008 seeing a drop in 
growth at an annualized rate of nearly 9% - 
the worst since the 1930s. Measures taken to 
address the crisis were “far more successful than 
anyone has yet fully given Obama the credit for.” 

The jobs situation began improving in early 
2010, right at the time Obama’s $787 billion 
stimulus program took effect. Since then, 
the economy’s added 2.4 million jobs – more 
than the net gain during the entire eight years 
under George W. Bush. At the same, a greater 
percentage of government jobs have been cut 
than during the early years of the Reagan 
Administration. Regarding the stimulus, “It’s 
not an exaggeration to say it prevented a spiral 
downward that could have led to the Second 
Great Depression.”

Sullivan states the tax and spending polices 
under Bush cost the taxpayers $5.07 trillion 
over two terms. The policies under Obama 
are projected to cost $1.4 trillion over the same 
period. Non-defense discretionary spending 
grew by twice as much under Bush and the 
Republicans than it has under Obama.

As for the Affordable Care Act, Sullivan points 
out that we already have universal healthcare, 
but in the least cost-efficient manner: when 
someone shows up at the Emergency Room, 
they have to be treated. What Obama has done 
is adopt a policy once championed by Newt 
Gingrich, Mitt Romney and The Heritage 
Foundation – that of the “individual mandate”. 
“Making 44 million free-riders pay into the 
system is not fiscally reckless . . . It is, dare I say 
it, conservative.”

Sullivan reminds how “Obama reversed 
Bush’s policy of ignoring Osama bin Laden 
“, overruled his vice president and secretary 
of state in approving the eventual plan, and 
personally ordered the extra helicopters that 
proved crucial. Had Bush done the same, 
acquiring a “treasure trove of real intelligence” 
in the process, “he’d be on Mount Rushmore by 

Obama’s foreign policy is compared to 
Dwight Eisenhower’s and George H.W. Bush’s 
in pursuing “long term strategic advantage” 
- and it’s worked: we’re now able to exercise a 
leadership role in the world as we haven’t been 
for nearly a decade. Sullivan attributes the left’s 
frustration with Obama to his similar approach 
in domestic policy; playing the “long game” 
rather than scoring short-term political points 
he can take immediate credit for.

Sullivan describes Obama’s strategy for 
dealing with an obstructionist congress as first 
reaching out to the other side, and as they refuse 
the gesture “he demonstrates that they are the 
source of the problem”. He then pursues his 
original proposal “without being effectively 
tarred as an ideologue or a divider.”

The same approach was on display in the State 
of the Union address. The president began by 
extolling the unity of purpose exemplified by our 
military, but then vowed he’d “fight obstruction 
with action”, and “fight any action to return to 
the policies that created these problems in the 
first place.”

Close-ups of opposition leaders listening to 
the speech revealed to a nation-wide audience 
which side of the argument they were on. House 
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) scowled in 
disapproval as President Obama suggested that 
we “stop rewarding companies that ship jobs 
overseas and start rewarding those that keep 
jobs at home.”

As others roared approval, House Speaker 
John Boehner (R-OH) pouted at the suggestion 
“women should earn equal pay for equal work.” 
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell 
(R-KY) looked like he got a jolt of bad news 
when Obama announced that the percentage 
of oil consumption from foreign sources is the 
smallest it’s been in sixteen years.

President Obama seemed to be looking 
beyond congress to the rest of us when he said, 
“I’ll do what I can by myself, but I could do a 
lot more with your help. There’s nothing that 
together we can’t achieve.”

Andrew Sullivan made his observations in a 
Newsweek cover story, but Chris Matthews of 
MSNBC summed it up in a brief comment a few 
moments after the president finished speaking: 
Mitt Romney and his supporters point out 
that the incumbent has never run a company. 
They’re right – but Barack Obama has shown he 
knows how to run a country.

President Obama’s state of the union address 
should more appropriately have been titled “the 
state of my campaign strategy”. It had less to 
do with where we really are after 3 years of his 
governance than it did with admitting that the 
only way Liberals are going to win in 2012 is by 
hoping Lincoln was right about being able to fool 
all of the people some of the time.

This really shouldn’t be a surprise. President 
Obama doesn’t dare admit on national television 
that the state of the union has gotten worse on 
his watch. His administration has exploded 
government spending with no real benefit, 
ballooned the national debt and promises to 
inflate it even more, co-opted the independence 
of the Fed Chief to create an inflationary 
bubble which inevitably will burst, pushed 
unemployment to unacceptable highs, vastly 
increased the authority and meddling of the 
federal government in our daily lives, achieved 
only one major legislative program – Obamacare 
– which is hated more now than when it was 
passed and promises to be despised when actually 
implemented, and his administration has turned 
its back on the promise of decreasing dependence 
on Middle East oil by killing the Keystone 
pipeline project. 

When you can’t base your re-election 
campaign on your accomplishments, what’s a 
sitting president to do? Create a new story line, of 
course. You can count on the mainstream media 
to carry the story for you and lob only softball 
questions to you and your representatives. 
Hence, we are told that this election will be 
about some contrived problem with fairness and 
inequality which demands more Liberal policies 
to solve.

This isn’t really all that new. We’ve seen this 
story line before and lived through the logical 
results. Think back to the Jimmy Carter years 
when we were treated to the then-unheard 
of phenomenon of “stagflation” – economic 
stagnation and inflation simultaneously. The 
story has been updated a bit. Today we hear 
about the 99% vs. the 1%. Somehow this is meant 
to portray a society struggling under the burdens 
unfairly imposed by the rich 1% on the poor 99%. 
The subplot has the Republicans as the protectors 
of the rich and the Democrats the champions of 
the downtrodden. Sadly, few of our media elites 
even ask if the story is true.

Let’s look at inequality 
first. How much should 
the rich pay in taxes is a 
fair question. The most 
recent statistics show 
that the top 1% pays 
30% of all taxes. The 
middle 60% pay 15% 
of all taxes. Ironically, 
that does sound unequal 
to me, but in a way 
Liberals won’t like to admit. It’s unfair to ask 
1% of the population to pay 30% of all taxes. To 
go further, though, let’s anchor these statistics 
with something. How much of our nation’s total 
wealth does the top 1% generate? You read that 
correctly – “generate”. This is something that the 
mainstream press doesn’t cover. Wealth doesn’t 
just exist. It has to be created. The top 1% created 
17% of the wealth in this country, yet they then 
have to shoulder 30% of the tax burden. No 
matter which way you look at this, the top 1% are 
paying far more than what they should.

In terms of fairness, when we live in a free 
society, we have to accept the fact that some 
people will succeed at a different rate than others. 
In fact, some people will fail. They will start a 
business or take on a job that they can’t perform. 
This doesn’t make them bad people. We’ve all 
had our failures. But if we don’t let successful 
people reap rewards, they will stop investing their 
money to build businesses and employ people. If 
we protect people from their bad decisions, there 
won’t be any motivation to make better ones in 
the future. Freedom to succeed and freedom to 
fail are fair by definition.

President Obama is a masterful politician, and 
he may yet be successful in selling us his story. 
But a true state of the union has to acknowledge 
that he has ruined our economy, and that’s not 
fair for anyone. 

Gregory J. Welborn is an independent opinion 
columnist. He writes and speaks frequently 
on political, economic and social issues. His 
columns have appeared in publications such 
as The Los Angeles Daily News, The Orange 
County Register, The Wall Street Journal and 
USA Today. He can be reached at gwelborn@


Portantino Introduces Bill to Continue Efforts to 
Protect Public Safety Measure to Ban Openly 
Carrying Unloaded Long Guns in Public

Assemblymember Anthony 
Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) 
has introduced AB 1527, a measure 
that will prohibit individuals from 
openly displaying unloaded rifles 
and shotguns in public. Portantino 
introduced the legislation at the 
urging of law enforcement as a follow 
up to last year’s successful AB 144, 
which banned openly carrying an 
unloaded handgun in public places.

In reaction to the enactment of AB 
144, Open Carry Organizations across the State 
began hosting open carry events brandishing 
rifles and shotguns in place of the now illegal 
handguns. In at least once instance, they showed 
up at a police fundraiser wielding unloaded 

“Last year, the state made it clear that this 
type of behavior had no place on Main Street, 
California,” said Assemblymember Portantino. 
“Unfortunately, the Open Carry community has 
decided to once again force our hand by escalating 
their unnecessary activities and entering our 
communities with AR-15s and other 
long guns. I had hoped cooler heads 
would have prevailed and this law 
wouldn’t be necessary, obviously that 
hasn’t been the case and I must once 
again take action to ensure the 
safety of our communities.”

AB 1527 builds on the newly 
enacted law authored by Portantino 
last year and provides a similar 
list of exemptions to enable safe 
transportation, lawful hunting, and 
use by law enforcement officials.

“The Brady Campaign supports AB 1527,” said 
Dr. Dallas Stout, President of the California Brady 
Campaign Chapters. “These public displays of 
shot guns, rifles, and live ammunition intimidate 
and scare people. This is not the kind of society 
Californians want to live in, and we support 
ending this dangerous practice.”

AB 1527 currently awaits referral from the 
Assembly Rules committee and will likely be 
set for hearing in the Assembly Public Safety 
committee sometime in late March or early 

Independent’s Eye by

JOE Gandelman

A Tempestuous Wind Blows 

Through The GOP Primary

AUSTIN, Tex. – 
It’s a new, unsettling 
era for Republicans 
on many fronts. For 
instance, take Texas 
Gov. Rick Perry. 

Many Texans still love Perry and felt badly 
about his wipe out on the national political 
stage. The Dallas Morning News had this big 
headline: “Perry’s dream dashed…With S.C. 
out of reach, he bows out, backs Gingrich.” 
A story underneath that: “After failed bid, 
what’s his future?” Columnist Jacquielynn 
Floyd’s headline: “Take Comfort, Rick 
Perry: you have Texas to call home.”

Some analysts now predict Perry faces a 
new era: he returns with reduced clout and 
is viewed by foes as weaker. Texas House 
Democratic Leader Jessica Farrar is already 
demanding Perry reimburse the state money 
the Governor spent on out-of-state-security 
costs during his failed White House bid. 
And the liberal group Progress Texas has 
collected over 3,000 signatures online to try 
and force Perry pay the state back.

But Perry’s new era is nothing compared 
to the new era facing the Republican Party.

It’s now in a new era where the conventional 
wisdom has been upended, its former 
presumptive front-runner is on the run and 
the party’s traditional establishment seems 
about to be evicted. Is former Massachusetts 
Gov. Mitt Romney about to lose yet 
ANOTHER well-funded presidential bid? 
Is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on 
track to become the party’s nominee despite 
having enough baggage to occupy six TSA 

The Republicans’ new political era was 
best summarized by The National Journal’s 
Ron Fournier: “Gingrich’s stunning South 
Carolina victory, coupled with his surge 
in Florida polling, has created near-panic 
among Republican consultants, lobbyists, 
elected officials and staffers, particularly 
in Washington, who believe Gingrich is 
too volatile and scandal-plagued to defeat 

Romney once enjoyed a 22 point lead going 
into the Florida primary, but then he caught 
front-runner-itus and did his best Thomas 
E. Dewey imitation, while Gingrich roared 
in the South Carolina debate, becoming 
the kind of polarizing Rush Limbaugh-
esque candidate that many 21st century 
conservatives crave. Romney’s tepid debate 
performances and politically negligent 
handling of the tax issue then sparked a 
huge shift: a Rasmussen poll gives Gingrich 
a 41-32 point lead. Public Policy Polling puts 
Gingrich ahead of Romney 38 percent to 33 
percent: a Gingrich gain of 12 points during 
a week when Romney dropped 8 points. 
Still, poll numbers are fluid.

The bottom line? Before the South 
Carolina primary Romney was Big Mo. 
After the primary he was Big Shmo. 

Mitt Romney now has more riding on 
Florida than Lady Godiva had on a horse.

Gingrich is preaching to the very 
conservative Republican primary voter choir 
on stage right and Romney is preaching to 
the national audience in the middle as well 
as the choir on stage right -- and the choir 
does not like or trust the signals Romney’s 
giving to the general audience. Primary 
voters seem to be looking for a Talk Show 
Host in Chief. Meanwhile, a new ABC 
News/ Washington Post poll puts Gingrich’s 
negatives at 51 percent and Romney’s at 49 
percent -- a whopping 15 percent increase in 
Romney’s negatives since the Post’s last poll. 

Where is this all heading? 

To another new era. If the current pattern 
holds, a Republican win would mean the 
consolidation of the Republican Party’s Tea 
Party movement, talk radio political culture, 
and Republican infomachine as the new 
Republican establishment. “Country Club 
Republicans” will have definitely gone the 
way of some country clubs in the recession: 
out of business. But if the Republican 
nominee loses big time in November, it’ll 
likely mean the emergence of a Jeb Bush 
or Christ Christie to pick up the pieces 
-- GOPers closer to the 20th century’s 
Republican World Order.

Many say the secret to winning the 
Presidential election is to win the country’s 
center, but the question will be where the 
country’s center is and which party can try 
to shove it towards its own center. Which 
could be center left – or far right. And will 
independent voters agree?

Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who 
wrote for newspapers overseas and in the 
United States. He has appeared on cable news 
show political panels and is Editor-in-Chief 
of The Moderate Voice, an Internet hub for 
independents, centrists and moderates. CNN’s 
John Avlon named him as one of the top 25 
Centrists Columnists and Commentators. He can 
be reached at jgandelman@themoderatevoice.
com and can be booked to speak at your event at 

Making Sense by


They Pick and Choose 

Which Ox to Gore

He had a mistress 
who was pregnant and 
his wife had terminal 
cancer; he was 
running for president 
and the press knew all 
about it.

But there was no 
firestorm in the media about this juicy scandal 
until after the election of 2008 because John 
Edwards is a Democrat!

Too bad Newt Gingrich is a Republican -- 
otherwise the media would see to it that he’d be 
home free, warts and all, just like John Edwards. 

But he is a Republican and he’s running for the 
presidency, so members of the liberal media feel 
free to apply their traditional double standard, 
which always seems to come into play when the 
target is a member of the GOP.

Now we have ABC -- with absolutely no 
corroboration -- putting Gingrich’s ex-wife on 
the air to boost ratings and help keep their guy in 
the White House.

How things have changed in America since 
my mother and father divorced. My mother, 
the sainted Jane Wyman, was offered hundreds 
of thousands of dollars to write books and do 
interviews or anything else that could help 
undermine Ronald Reagan, her ex-husband and 
40th president of the United States.

In fact she told producers of her hit TV series 
“Falcon Crest” -- for which she won a Golden 
Globe award -- that any interviews she granted to 
promote the show would end the very moment a 
single question was asked about my father.

My mother remained quiet about their marriage 
-- which ended in 1948 -- until my father’s funeral 
in 2004, and then she merely remarked that the 
world had lost a wonderful man. I wish more 
people would follow my mother’s lead instead of 
following the ratings and the money.

Shame on you ABC and ex-wife Marianne! 

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald 
Reagan, a political consultant, and the author 
of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s 
Press, 2011). He is the founder and chairman of 
The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan 
Legacy Foundation. Visit his website at www., or e-mail comments to Reagan@

©2012 Mike Reagan. Mike’s column is distributed 
exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper 
syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. 
E-mail, (800) 696-7561.


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