New on NewsReal – What Donald Trump’s Popularity Means for the Rest of the 2012 Field

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Before I sat down to write this article, I pinched myself just to make sure I was awake and today’s subject wasn’t some weird dream. But alas, talking heads on both sides of the political spectrum really are seriously entertaining the possibility of President Donald Trump.

At the Daily Beast, Jim DeFede reports on why several Florida Tea Partiers have said they’re backing the Donald:

“We need a real businessman,” said Linda Kogelman, 63, a retired postal worker. “The lawyers don’t know how to run the country. They bow down to too many people.” Kogelman said no one else in the Republican field excites her.

“There is no one there,” she continued. “Romney is old hat. Newt is old hat. It’s just the same old same old. We need new blood.”

Her husband, Ken, 64, who closed his crane business in 2009 because of the downturn in the economy, nodded in agreement.

“They’ve destroyed this country,” he spit. Who?

“The Democrats.”

Standing nearby, 78-year-old Richard Walters was holding on to a letter he had written. He was hoping to be able to hand it to Trump.

“I used to be the Rolls Royce dealer in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach,” said Walters, who is now retired. “And he was one of my customers.”

Fond memories of The Donald?

“I didn’t like him,” Walters said. “He was an arrogant bastard. But I love him now. He is the only person in this country who can right the ship.”

Lest you think DeFede has cherry-picked some outliers to exaggerate Trump’s popularity, note that The Donald has some formidable poll numbers in the Republican primary field (he fares worse, however, in general election match-ups). Among the conservative punditocracy, the reaction is more mixed—Sean Hannity has been giving Trump substantial interview time, while Mark Levin has been intensely critical, and with good reason—Trump has flip-flopped on abortion, healthcare, and his party affiliation, used to be far more favorable to Barack Obama (calling George W. Bush “evil” in the process), and has donated substantially to Democrats.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

New on NewsReal – Ex-Carter Official Blames Neocons for "Trapping" Obama Into Acting in Libya

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The Left has a problem. Attacking countries that haven’t attacked us first is a major no-no, but the president who’s initiated the latest campaign in Libya, Barack Obama, is their standard-bearer, not a warmongering right-winger. What to do?

On the Daily Beast, Leslie Gelb, Assistant Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter, has an analysis of the situation which liberals eager to give Obama cover might find useful: the neocons made him do it!

Neocons and liberal interventionists stampeded Obama into imposing a no-fly zone against Libya—despite the absence of vital U.S. interests there […]

The manufactured crisis in Libya is a prime case in point. No foreign states have vital interests at stake in Libya. Events in this rather odd and isolated land have little bearing on the rest of the tumultuous Mideast region. Also not to be dismissed, there are far, far worse humanitarian horrors elsewhere. Yet, U.S. neoconservatives and liberal humanitarian interventionists have trapped another U.S. president into acting as if the opposite were true.

Obama’s been “trapped” into ordering airstrikes? How?

Once this terrible duo starts tossing out words like “slaughter” and “genocide,” the media goes crazy. Then, the chorus begins to sing of heartless inaction by the U.S. president, blaming him for the deaths. White House common sense crumbles into insanity. The reason why neither President Obama nor his coalition partners in Britain and France can state a coherent goal for Libya is that none of them have any central interest in the outcome there. It is only when a nation has a clear vital interest that it can state a clear objective for war. They’ve all simply been carried away by their own rhetoric.

The drama usually starts when leaders and thinkers are seduced by the feeling they must do good. Sometimes, they essentially ignore the killings, even as deaths climb into the hundreds of thousands, as in Rwanda and millions as in Congo. Other times, the deaths number in the hundreds or so, as in Libya—and the guy doing the killing is someone they have good reason to dislike, and so they want to do good and stop him. It was just so with the irresistible trio of Senators—John McCain, John Kerry, and Lindsey Graham—and with their counterparts in foreign-policy land.

And just like that, interventionists insist there’s “no time to deliberate,” and the president helplessly complies with their calls to arms.

There are a couple problems with this theory, though. First, polls show that, on the whole, Americans approve of the action now that we’re in it, but their support is far from overwhelming. On Capitol Hill and among the Tea Party, the battle lines are similarly muddied, with politicians of Obama’s own party blasting him for intervening while his sworn enemies in the Tea Party are more open to the idea. So if Obama really thought getting involved was a bad move for the United States, there’s certainly enough political cover for him to withstand interventionist condemnation for staying out.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Scott Walker for President?

I’ve seen the idea pop up several times over the past couple weeks (see here, here, and here). Such talk is to be expected, with the boldness of his plans and the outrageousness of the opposition’s theatrics catching the nation’s attention. It’s also an extremely appealing thought, considering the lousiness of the rest of the 2012 Republican field, the backbone Walker’s shown in the face of intense opposition, and the fact that he’s just a strong candidate – an experienced executive, a charismatic speaker with common-man appeal, and strong on both fiscal and social conservatism. He’s basically Chris Christie with less style and more substance.

However, it’s best to forget about it this time around. He just got into office (and we all remember the last time a popular Republican governor resigned to pursue a bigger platform), has a lot on his plate, and signed on to turn Wisconsin around. Sorry – we need him too much here to give him to the rest of the country just yet. But 2016 or beyond? Hmm……

New on NewsReal – In Mocking John Boehner, David Letterman Derails a Valuable Conversation About Statesmanship

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

For all of the ways in which contemporary society claims to have broken free of stereotypes, there’s still one sure-fire way for men to raise eyebrows: cry in public. John Boehner, the new Speaker of the House, is learning that the hard way. On 60 Minutes, the GOP leader tearfully confessed that he can’t bear to go to schools and see bright-eyed children running about, because the thought of those youngsters not finding the American Dream is too much to handle.

On Monday night, Late Show host David Letterman had a field day with Boehner’s emotions:

“I started sobbing and I thought, why am I crying in a double cheese…It was the Valium, so it leads me to believe…I’m not suggesting he’s using drugs,” Letterman said. “I’m suggesting, what I’m suggesting, is there has been, there has been trauma in this man’s life that he has struggled with, and that’s why he’s always sobbing.”

Seeming to justify the concept of men crying, Williams referenced the sadness he felt when Tim Russert died and the World Trade Center

was attacked.
“I’m not suggesting that he’s anything less than masculine, I’m suggesting he needs some sort of counseling,” Letterman said. “This guy can’t get in an elevator, he starts to sob.”

Letterman is one of the nastiest left-wingers around—remember his “jokes” about Sarah Palin looking like a “slutty flight attendant,” laughing about “crazy-looking foreigners entering the U.N.,” and “finally” meeting “one of those Jewish people Mel Gibson’s always talking about”; or about her daughter Willow having sex with Alex Rodriguez? So it’s to be expected that he’d use the waterworks to suggest that Boehner might suffer everything from a substance abuse problem to psychological trauma. It’s good to know that this is the level of class and responsibility CBS’s execs and audiences alike are comfortable with.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Hope Is on the Way – No, Really

With a standard-bearer who fails most of our standards facing an uphill battle against a well-positioned leftist for the presidency, the Right is less than thrilled about the current state of politics. But it’s also worth noting reasons for optimism. For one thing, we still have Mitt Romney waiting in the wings for a likely 2012 run (no, the video isn’t official; it’s just cool), and if he’s willing to put in the elbow grease, there’s nowhere to go but up.

For another, some right-wingers have noticed another rising star: Louisiana’s new Governor Bobby Jindal. Young, conservative, and boasting “
a missionary’s zeal” to get things done, Jindal just won a fight over ethics reform in his state. I think it’d be very premature to jump on any bandwagons, but if he proves he’s not merely an Obama of the Right keeping up the fight, and developing real leadership experience and accomplishments, he just might be an exciting standard-bearer further down the road…