DONALD TRUMP plays the press “like a fiddle” by saying “outrageous things and garnering attention,” grumbled Jeb Bush recently. “That’s his strategy, to dominate the news...”That's where I have a large issue with The Donald. His outrageous statements, coupled with the media's obsession with all things Trump, tend to obscure meaningful and significant developments. Two examples:
Mr Trump, a property tycoon and born salesman, does have a genius for dominating the headlines. This Monday has been a sorry case in point. The day began with journalists atwitter about a Monmouth University poll which showed Mr Trump losing his first place in Iowa—the farm state which will on February 1st host the first party selection contest of the presidential season—to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
As a bully, braggart and narcissist, Mr Trump does not enjoy being overshadowed. Right on cue, in the late afternoon he lobbed a large rock into the race: a breathless and confusingly-worded statement calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on..."
Mr Trump’s latest provocation duly prompted wall-to-wall analysis on cable television, online and in print media...
Hillary and Benghazi
The media obsessed with Donald Trump’s memory of “thousands” of Muslims celebrating 9/11 are giving a total pass to Hillary Clinton over her shameless lie Sunday. Appearing on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, she averred to her husband’s former aide that she never told family members that she blamed an anti-Islam video for the deaths of four Americans in the Benghazi attack, and that the video maker would pay. This contradicts the accounts of four separate survivors.Which we all know was a bald-faced lie. However, with everyone focused on Trump, Hillary slips away under the radar ... again.
… by the time the murdered Americans’ flag-draped coffins arrived home several days later, the Obama administration was in full-blown election season spin mode, which entailed muddying the waters on whether the deadly raid was, in fact, a premeditated terrorist attack. At the now-infamous Andrews Air Force base ceremony on September 14, 2012, Hillary Clinton told grieving family members that their loved ones had been murdered by a bloodthirsty mob incited by an online anti-Islam video.
Judicial Watch today released a new Benghazi email from then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak...”So the revelation of emails directly contradicting the administrations' fairy tale that (1) the Benghazi attacks were caused by a video; (2) there was no way the military could respond in time; and (3) the military was never told to stand down were buried under Trump's anti-muslim pronouncement. His comments served as a smoke screen to distract the American people from the truth.
Bash’s email seems to directly contradict testimony given by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2013. Defending the Obama administration’s lack of military response to the nearly six-hour-long attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Panetta claimed that “time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”
Example 2: obamacare has severely damaged the American health care system. It is closer and closer to totally collapsing under the weight of obamacare's rules and regulations. Another presidential candidate - Marco Rubio- has perhaps hamstrung the entire damn thing, while the other GOP candidates have been flapping their gums about it.
We conservatives think we are a hundred times smarter than liberals. So why does it seem that our representatives in Washington so often get the short end of the stick? That’s a long story, but at least part of the answer is that we need representatives of conservatism who are not only good on the stump and adept at firing up the base, but who understand the intricacies of legislation and are willing to do the hard and usually thankless work needed to beat our opponents in the trenches.
Today the New York Times headlined: “Marco Rubio Quietly Undermines Affordable Care Act.” Is that music to our ears, or what?
The Times expressed grudging admiration for Rubio’s shrewdness in derailing a key provision of Obamacare:
A little-noticed health care provision that Senator Marco Rubio of Florida slipped into a giant spending law last year has tangled up the Obama administration, sent tremors through health insurance markets and rattled confidence in the durability of President Obama’s signature health law.No, I don't understand all those confusing details either. But that's the point. Rightly or wrongly (and I strongly say "wrongly"), most legislation these days is a morass of politics, obscure legislative procedure, and stupefying legalistic nonsense. Until we can flush that crap from our political system, we need someone who knows how to navigate those murky waters.
So for all the Republican talk about dismantling the Affordable Care Act, one Republican presidential hopeful has actually done something toward achieving that goal.
Mr. Rubio’s efforts against the so-called risk corridor provision of the health law have hardly risen to the forefront of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, but his plan limiting how much the government can spend to protect insurance companies against financial losses has shown the effectiveness of quiet legislative sabotage.
Please note I'm not necessarily endorsing Rubio, or discounting Trump. I appreciate that Trump is raising serious, meaningful issues that need to be addressed. But his way of drawing attention to them also tends to arouse emotional reactions on both sides, to the detriment of substantive, serious discussion. For his sake and ours, it may be time for him to tone down the rhetoric and start offering more detailed policies and plans to fix what is currently and unarguably broken.