Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 15, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 15, 2012 


HOWARD Hays As I See It


 - Survey question from Public Policy Institute

 I’ve written the past couple weeks about Republican reliance on demonstrable 
falsehoods in their campaign, so this week I thought I’d cover something else.

 But then I read Greg Welborn’s last column.

 I’d noted before an observation that few voters bother with fact-checking, and this seems especially 
true with Republicans. Last week, a Republican voter in the swing-state of Ohio, for instance, in 
answering the above survey question would be more likely to select either “Not sure” or “Mitt Romney” 
than to give President Obama credit for bin Laden’s killing. (Among Ohio Republicans, 38% 
answered Obama, 15% Romney and 47% “Not sure”.) You can’t make this stuff up.

 Greg complains that “conservatives have been called, bigoted, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, 
sexist and intolerant”. I don’t think that’s the case; rather, it’s that most Americans don’t want to see 
bigotry, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism and intolerance codified in our laws and national 

As Greg focuses on the “craven and deceitful” speech Bill Clinton delivered at the Democratic Convention, 
he invites, “Recall if you will that this is the man who told his staff, ‘you have to understand, 
Bob Dole is evil, what he wants is evil.’” I didn’t recall that, so I looked it up.

 The only source I could find for that allegation is the memoir of former Clinton aide Dick Morris. 
At the time (late-1996), a congressional committee called a prostitute to testify on her claim that 
during a professional session, Morris told her that First Lady Hillary Clinton was responsible for 
900 FBI files showing up at the White House.

 Nothing came of that investigation. Morris resigned amidst revelations of a propensity for regaling 
prostitutes with stories of the inner-workings of the presidency – and a fondness for women’s toes.

The Morris story Greg cites as fact has no corroboration; certainly not from any of the “staff” referred 
to, many of whom were present when President Clinton awarded Dole the Medal of Freedom 
honoring “his clear embodiment of the common values and beliefs that join us as a people.” 

“Or recall that Democratic Congressman, John Lewis, called Republicans ‘Nazis’”, adds Greg. I 
didn’t recall that one, either, so I looked it up. What I found was a 1995 floor speech during the 
welfare reform debate, where Rep. Lewis (D-GA) says, “Read the Republican contract . . . They’re 
coming for our children. They’re coming for the poor. They’re coming for the sick, the elderly and 
the disabled.” Republicans saw an uncomfortable similarity to the famous anti-Nazi passage of 
Martin Niemoller (“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not 
speak out . . .”)

 The speech received renewed notice fifteen years later. At the height of the healthcare debate, Reps. 
Lewis, Andre Carson (D-IN) and Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) walked through a crowd of tea-
baggers on their way to the Capitol and heard shouts of “nigger”. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) heard 
“faggot”. Rep. Cleaver said he was spat upon. Republicans suggested it never happened and advised 
- hey, look what Rep. Lewis said on the House floor in 1995. 

 John Lewis as a Freedom Rider was beaten by a North Carolina mob in 1961. He had his skull fractured 
by Alabama State Troopers at the Edmund Pettis Bridge in 1965. I have no evidence he ever 
“called Republicans ‘Nazis’”. I don’t think Greg has, either.

 Getting to the bottom of the “Bob Dole is Evil” and “Rep. Lewis calls Republicans Nazis” allegations 
was fairly easy. Much harder was researching Greg’s statement referencing “studies which clearly 
show that tax decreases motivate business owners to hire more people, and tax increases reduce 
employment.” I was unable to find a single “study” that suggests anything of the kind.

 It’s something I do recall, though; it’s a claim I’ve heard for over thirty years, and which has been 
repeatedly debunked. If it were true, then the Bush years would’ve seen the largest employment 
boom in history. Last July, used new CBO figures to confirm the total federal tax 
burden dropped to a thirty-year low under Bush, and then fell again the first year under Obama. If 
only unemployment figures did the same.

 I couldn’t stop there. Greg referred to “the fact that Clinton didn’t see employment grow during his 
two terms until he reduced taxes in the second term”. As soon as I saw the word “fact”, I knew I had 
to look it up.

Under Clinton, taxes were raised in 1993, and the capital gains rate dropped in 1997. For private 
sector employment, the years ending March 1994 through March 1997 saw a net increase of 10.8 
million jobs. For years ending March 1998 through March 2001 there was a 9.1 million increase.

For comparison, under George W. Bush, taxes were cut in 2001 and again in 2003. The years ending 
March 2005 through March 2008 (the last figures available before the crash) saw a net increase of 
6.2 million private sector jobs.

 My figures came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Labor. I wonder where Greg got 

 As I write this on 9/11, Dick Cheney is all upset about President Obama seeking “sole credit” for 
the killing of Osama bin Laden. The assertion is a lie - with no evidence to support it, and everything 
to contradict it. But as George W. Bush explained, “. . . you got to keep repeating things . . . to 
kind of catapult the propaganda.”

 Perhaps Cheney is frustrated that credit for killing bin Laden is not going to the fact we tortured 
people. Or that in Ohio, more than one-in-seven Republicans will give credit to Mitt Romney. You 
can look it up!

Foreign policy has taken center stage in the 
presidential election, but not, as the press would 
have us believe, because Mitt Romney has 
acted un-presidential. It is because our current 
president is acting un-presidential. The President 
who currently directs our foreign policy lives in 
a fantasy world, unaware of the dangers from 
appeasement, and is leading the world toward the 
brink of a major regional war.

The reason Mitt Romney is positioned at center 
stage with regard to the last several days’ events 
in the Middle East is because the mainstream 
press is desperately trying to position him there 
in a negative light. The press is uptight that Mitt 
Romney had the cajones to criticize the State 
Department for an dangerous and ill-conceived 
statement it made in response to the hooliganism 
that passes for serious conduct in many parts of 
the Mideast.

In response to the anger over a low-budget, and 
let’s admit totally unflattering, movie about Islam, 
the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement 
saying that “the Embassy of the United States 
in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by 
misguided individuals to hurt the religious 
feelings of Muslims”. After Egyptians besieged 
the U.S. Embassy and breached its walls, the 
Embassy doubled down and informed the world 
that the statement “still stands”. 

The events of later that day in Libya were even 
more extreme, but they are somewhat tangential 
to this story because the Libyan government 
really isn’t fully formed yet and exercises very little 
control in its cities. This is not to excuse in any 
way the murder of our ambassador to Libya. That 
was an inexcusable act, demanding the severest 
punishment we can bring to bear, that both 
Obama and Romney have rightly condemned. 
But to expect the Libyan government to have 
prevented the violence and murder is unrealistic.

Egypt is another story. Egypt is a more mature 
government, with an active police and intelligence 
force. Egyptian authorities had advance notice 
that an assault on our embassy would be 
attempted, and, in a country where little happens 
that is not sanctioned by the now-controlling 
Muslim Brotherhood and the military, the 
Egyptians allowed the attack to occur. Theirs is 
the more outrageous act because they could have 
and should have stopped the violence from ever 
happening. International law has for decades 
– if not at least a century – acknowledged that 
attacking another country’s embassy is an act 
of war. No country takes that fact likely unless 
they perceive that the aggrieved country is a 
paper tiger unworthy of fear or respect. It is 
crucial to understand the setting here in order to 
understand the righteousness of Mitt Romney’s 
comments and the cravenness of the Obama 
administration’s comments. 

The appropriate administration response to an 
attack on any of our embassies – or on any country’s 
embassy – is to condemn those attacking. There 
is no excuse for this. There are no circumstances 
which warrant or excuse these actions. To 
issue a statement, as the Cairo Embassy did, 
which sympathizes with the supposed reasons 
and justifications for such an attack is cowardly 
appeasement, and Mitt 
Romney properly called 
them on it.

Romney stated, “It’s 
disgraceful that the 
Obama Administration’s 
first response was not to 
condemn attacks on our 
diplomatic missions, 
but to sympathize with 
those who waged the attacks.” When questioned 
about whether he should have waited for more 
details to be released, Romney responded with 
the observation that, “it’s never too early for the 
United States government to condemn attacks 
on Americans and to defend our values” – one 
of those values, of course, being free speech, even 
when that speech is stupid. 

Hopefully all objective readers can see that 
Romney’s comments were accurate, absolutely 
appropriate and desperately needed. In the time 
that has passed since the Embassy first offered 
its comments, even the Obama Administration 
is backtracking on them. The statements have 
been removed from the website, and a senior 
Administration official commented that the 
“statement by the Embassy in Cairo was not 
cleared by Washington and does not reflect the 
views of the United States government.” It’s 
difficult to see how Mitt Romney was wrong for 
criticizing a statement that the administration is 
now disavowing.

What’s not difficult to see is the bigger issue 
exemplified by the violent outbreak in Egypt, 
Libya, Yemen, and now in other countries as 
well. The Obama Administration’s decision to 
appease Muslim extremist views does nothing 
but embolden them. From the apology speeches 
in Cairo and elsewhere to the abandoning of 
our allies in the region to the acquiescence in 
the face of Syrian butchery to the dithering 
over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and efforts, this 
administration has systematically diminished the 
U.S.’s influence and credibility in foreign affairs. 
There are bad actors in the world, and the only 
thing that will stop them is the threat or actual 
use of force. But that demands credibility. As 
the U.S. retreats in order to “lead from the rear”, 
these bad actors, dictators and murderers step 
into the vacuum with no fear that the U.S. will 
demand a reckoning. 

The reality which is more and more framing the 
upcoming election is that President Obama is 
an arrogant amateur playing a game with deadly 
consequences. 8.2% unemployment is bad 
enough; looming tax hikes which will further 
destroy growth are bad enough; but standing 
idle, issuing appeasing statements of sympathy 
for the hurt feelings of murderers, pirates and 
thugs, may yet result in a major regional war 
and nuclear exchange with Iran. This is the real 
world, not the pretend world so many lefties 
believe exists, and we need a president who can 
right the economy, build confidence in our allies 
and instill fear in our enemies. Mitt Romney 
would be such a president, and his comments the 
other night went a long way to proving it.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a 
freelance writer and has spoken to several civic 
and religious organizations on cultural and moral 
issues. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his 
wife and 3 children and is active in the community. 
He can be reached at


PUEBLO, Colo. 
-- When President 
Dwight D. Eisenhower 
Raymond G. "Jerry" 
Murphy with a Medal 
of Honor in 1953, he 
noted that Pueblo 
nicknamed "the Steel 
City," has had several 
Medal of Honor recipients 
and wondered: "What is it... something in 
the water out there in Pueblo? All you guys turn 
out to be heroes!"

 And so the city and the Congressional Record 
dubbed Pueblo "Home of Heroes" due to its having 
more recipients per capita than any other city in 
the United States. In our political world, oh, boy, 
do we need the City of Pueblo to produce some 

 When you look at today's mega partisanship, both 
parties dabbling in the politics of division, differing 
partisan worldviews of reality and a debate 
over whether stating actual facts matter, you have 
to wonder if there's something in America's water 
these days. Whatever it is, it's a form of Kool-Aid 
more people are now swallowing than rejecting.

 You have to wonder as American hurtles further 
into the 21st century if the next President or any 
future President will be given leeway by the other 
side to put their policies in place and govern. 
Are the once-respected concepts of consensus 
and compromise totally dead? Is there an American 
political hero waiting to emerge who can lift 
America from its D-R and MSNBC- Fox News divides, 
and reverse the current trend where American 
political debate has now devolved into snarky 
talk show-like personal riffs, in-your-face confrontations 
by people seemingly acting out personal issues, 
and silly juvenile publicity stunts? 

 Two recent events were symbolic of where America's 
political culture now stands.

The first was actor Clint Eastwood's absurd riff 
with an empty chair at the Republican convention 
as he was about to introduce GOP Presidential 
nominee Mitt Romney. NBC's First Read called it 
"the Eastwood debacle." Democrats and many Republican 
analysts and operatives quoted in news 
stories agreed. Eastwood's monologue shoved the 
excellent Romney biography out of the sole 10 
p.m. hour the networks devoted to the convention 
that night and the next day sucked up discussion 
time that should have been devoted to Romney's 

 Even so, some GOPers began insisting it was a 
political masterstroke. Eastwood's appearance was 
wonderful, they said, it'd help Romney win the 
election. On Monday, conservative websites, egged 
on by a BIG HEADLINE on the Drudge Report, 
even declared Labor Day "Empty Chair Day."

 In political terms, it might more accurately have 
been called Empty Head Day. Polls in North Carolina 
and Florida found voters did NOT like Eastwood's 
riff, but still respected Eastwood, which 
is why some believe Eastwood may campaign for 
Romney. Empty Chair Day was thinly disguised 
name-calling. Precisely how many independent 
voters, unhappy Democrats and non-Tea Party Republicans 
was calling Obama an empty chair likely 
to win over? (Zilch.)

 Another insight into our political culture came 
when MSNBC's Chris Matthews got into what was 
reportedly a loud confrontation with delegates to 
the Republican National Convention in a Tampa 
restaurant. They taunted Matthews, who chose to 
go over and confront them and it got verbally ugly. 
It was an insight into our new political soul: delegates 
were quick to move into personal, in-your-
face-verbal mode and Matthews -- rather than just 
moving on -- decided to jump into the political 
trenches to confront them.

 On so many media and political levels American 
politics is now all about name-calling and in-your-
face confrontation. Problem solving and serious 
discussion is secondary as the key driving force is 
a 24/7 need to restate and reaffirm existing beliefs, 
even if they're not accurate. It's all about getting to 
attain that nirvana moment when your own political 
sports team can give high fives in victory and 
gleefully, slowly, and deliberately rub the other losing 
side's face in it.

 Will America find a political hero who can help 
reverse the tide on the ugliness and stalemate being 
cooked into our political system? Or will he or 
she find it's like talking to an empty chair?