Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reflections on the Mid-Term Election and on the Middle East

I.Some Reflections on the Mid-Term Elections. 1. As goes California goes so goes the nation – thank G-d not this time! In a year when Republicans took back the House by a 50 seat majority, got 47 Senate seats, 30 governorships, and picked up over 500 new seats in state legislatures, California remained fiercely loyal to the Democrat Party. The party that has had control of the Legislature for the last 40+ years, the party that continues to punish business with taxes and regulations, the party that has stood by as one business after the next has left the state (including aerospace and TV and movie production – things for which California used to be known), got a resounding victory. And look at the record they created: 12.4% unemployment (2.3 million unemployed), factory jobs down from 1.87 million to 1.23 million over the last decade, about 33% of the USA’s welfare recipients (with 12% of the population), a state budget gap of $45.5 million for 2009 – 2010 (53% of state spending, the largest gap by any state ever), about $500 billion of unfunded liabilities for that favorite of the Dems – public employee pensions, and not to be forgotten, the highest sales tax and the third highest income tax in the country. (Data from the 11/5/10 Investor’s Business Daily, which itself is expanding operations of its LA based company – into Texas! Texas, a state they say has “bent over backwards to make us feel welcome.”) Texas, a state to which California has been bleeding businesses and people.

2. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment insurance fund is flat broke (per the 11/7/10LA Times). Having borrowed $8.6 billion from the feds, that number is expected to rise to $16 billion in 2012; with interest on the debt costing a small fortune ($362 million by the end of next September). (Per the same LA Times front page article.) While individual Republican Latino candidates were picking up seats across the country, the rank and file was voting 2/3 to 1/3 for the Dems over the Repubs. As Ruben Navarrette noted in the 11/7/10 Ventura County Star, Republican Latino victory was far more than the well known Marco Rubio, new Senator from Florida. It included: David Rivera to the House (Fla.), new governor Brian Sandoval (Nev.), Francisco Canseco and Bill Flores to the House (Texas; which also elected four Latino Repubs to the state legislature), Jaime Herrera to the House (Wash.), Raul Labrador to the House (Idaho), and new governor Susana Martinez with new lieutenant governor John Sanchez, and new secretary of state Dianna Duran (all New Mex.). If the Latino vote is going to the Dems because of government benefits, then the Repubs need to explain why jobs and a rising economy are far better than any government handouts. And if immigration is the issue, then all sides need to see the difference between “legal” and “illegal.” These issues need to addressed to the Latino community from now until the 2012 presidential election.

3. Who’s the party of “no” now? The 11/4/10 USA Today editorial continued the Big Lie about the Republicans being the party of “no” the last two years. When the Republicans offered suggestions on Obamacare, they were shot down at every turn. Or, as Obama told them: “I won!” Under the circumstances, the Republicans were right to vote against the unlimited spending of the Democrats. So now with Repubs controlling the House and able to assert greater power in the Senate, when the Dems say “no” to Repub plans, what will the mainstream media say? That the Dems are the new party of “no”? Don’t hold your breath. Now, unless the Repubs “compromise” on their principles, they will be labeled “obstructionists.” Even though Obama recently said it was “time to punish our enemies,” it will undoubtedly be the Repubs fault for any bad news.

4. While the Repubs may have lost the Latino vote, they picked up the Independents (59% to 41%), and importantly, picked up the South (61% to 39%) and the Midwest (55% to 45%). Those two areas of the country were solidly democratic for some time. The Repubs even picked up a few House seats in the once entirely Democrat Northeast. Also of significance, the Repubs picked up the women voters (by 51% to 49%). Notwithstanding an ever deteriorating situation in the black community, they also remained fiercely loyal to the Dems (91% to 9%). I guess no level of unemployment will sway that demographic away from the Dems.

5. Still the race card? Really? According to one Eugene Robinson (in the 11/2/10 IBD) the anger of the country directed towards Obama was due to Obama being black. Wow! This guy is as far removed from reality as Obama showed he was in his post election news conference. At least Obama did not blame the Dems defeat on racism; no, the country was just too angry and stupid to appreciate all he did for us – because he did not take the time to explain it to us (you know, us morons!). Per Robinson, why else would the Tea Partiers be talking about taking “our country back” or “our government back?” He wants to know who stole it? They did not say those things about Bush while he was in office, per Robinson. What? They said Bush “stole” the election. They said he was a “Nazi.” What is this guy talking about? If we could understand him, it would give us some insight as to why blacks voted almost unanimously for the Dems. (Which, frankly, is not healthy for any racial, ethnic or religious group).

Mr. Robinson goes on: “I wonder how he can be seen as “elitist,” when he grew up in modest circumstances – his mother was on food stamps for a time – and paid for his fancy-pants education with student loans.” (How much you want to bet Mr. Robinson would not make those excuses for a current-day titan of industry, say CEO of BP, no matter how modest his background?) How does he NOT see Obama as elitist? We have the “clinging to their guns and religion” comment. We have a man pushing an agenda contrary to what the American people wanted, as expressed at the Town Hall meetings, at Tea Party rallies, and in the recent elections. Still, Obama says we the people are wrong and he was right to do everything he did. And you want elitism – just listen to how his arrogance and holier-than-thou attitude drips off every word out of his mouth. Finally, the complaints were generally against the Obama, Reid, Pelosi agenda; and the last time I looked Reid and Pelosi are white.

6. Finally, let’s hear it for the people of Oklahoma. According to the 11/6-11/12/10 edition of The Economist the people of Oklahoma “overwhelming voted to amend their state constitution to ban international law – specifically sharia law – from being used in their state courts.” While the writers say the people there were a “touch paranoid,” I say it is a lesson from which the other states ought to take heed.

II. The Latest on the Middle East. Now that the mid-term elections are over, it appears that Obama wants to put pressure on the Israelis to make a deal with the “Palestinians.” (According to Aaron Klein in the 11/3/10 Jewish Press online.) Such pressure would include allowing anti-Israel resolutions to be passed at the UN; and no longer opposing a “unity” government between the PA and Hamas. (Which would mean Hamas would be in control, just as Hezbollah is in Lebanon.)

According to Caroline Glick, Obama has proposed that Israel give up eastern Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, and then lease those areas back for a period of, say, seven years. Netanyahu apparently wants the lease back for 40 to 99 years. (Per her article in the Jerusalem Post online, 11/5/10.) Seven or 99 – it’s all the same. After all, Israel has been a country for 62 years and the Arabs are just as determined to see it destroyed today as they were then. And as readers of this blog know, the Arabs of Palestine sided with Hitler in WWII; and massacred Jews in Palestine in the 1920’s. So 7 years or 100 years – it makes no difference. If the past is prologue, why would the next 100 years be any different? If Obama thought rationally, rather than through his leftist colored lenses, he would see this. He would see that the Arabs continue to teach their kids that Israel does not exist, that all the land is theirs, to hate the Jews, and to want to kill every last Jew. As the Hamas Charter says: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jews will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Jimmy Carter, on yet another trip to the Middle East to visit the “Palestinians,” told them he would press the US (Obama) and UN for sanctions against Israel. He said he would ask Obama to open a dialogue with Hamas (although that may be a done deal if Obama gave the go-ahead for Abbas and the PA to make a deal with Hamas). So we have a current President who bowed to the Saudi King, and a former President who embraced the Hamas leaders on his 2009 trip to the Middle East. I guess they don’t get that Hamas and Hezbollah are funded, armed, and directed by Iran, a country that wants Israel wiped off the map. I guess they don’t get that if Israel gives up part of Jerusalem, it is giving up its soul; and if they give up the West Bank they are giving up the ability to defend their country.

Dennis Prager had a recent article in the LA Jewish Journal discussing how man is not basically good, and must fight his nature to do good. Not surprisingly, the liberal Jews of LA took great offense and blasted Prager in a series of letters appearing in the 11/5-11/10 Jewish Journal. In the same edition, Prager replied to those letters. He then concluded: “A distinguishing characteristic of liberals and leftists is their aversion to acknowledging sad facts (the Soviet Union wasn’t evil; Islam has no more moral problems than Judaism or Christianity; the Palestinians don’t seek Israel’s destruction; there are no inherent differences between boys and girls, just sexist upbringing; the United Nations isn’t a moral wasteland, it’s mankind’s greatest hope; the list is almost limitless.)" Each one of these beliefs is explained by my oft-used truism: Liberals let their beliefs dictate their reality; conservatives let reality dictate their beliefs. Let’s hope Netanyahu remains a conservative.