Washington Free Beacon: Opinion: Matthew Continetti: “The Old New Europe”: Defining Soft Power

The Obama Doctrine

Washington Free Beacon: Opinion: Matthew Continetti: The New Old Europe

Look I’m not crazy about President Obama’s foreign policy right now either. Just three years ago and even through 2012 I thought I had a pretty good idea about what it was. What is called the Obama Doctrine speech from early 2011 laid out clearly what the Obama foreign policy at least was then. And was built on what is called Soft Power. Which means you are strong which includes military, diplomacy and economically so you don’t have to use that strength. Meaning you are so strong that other countries would be crazy to want to mess with you.

Another part of Soft Power has to do with when you use your strength. The obvious one being when you are under attack by either another country or some terrorist group. Or when another country is protecting terrorists that just hit you. Which is the reason we invaded Afghanistan in 2001 because the then Taliban Afghan Regime was protecting terrorists in their country that were part of the 9/11 attacks. And another being you use force when your allies are under attack and do not have the resources to defend themselves. As we saw with Britain in World War II.

The third one is trickier and a hell of a lot more controversial than just the second one. Which has to do with what do you do when innocent people are being murdered especially by their own government. As we are still seeing in Syria and as we saw in Libya in 2010/11. Do you but out and say “that is none of our business what countries do to their own people”. Even if you can do something constructive about it. Or do you act and say the “developed world or West will not sit on our hands and watch innocent people being murdered”.

But again Soft Power is not just about military force. There are strong diplomatic and economic components to it as well so you never have to use the military to intervene in the first place. Under Soft Power military is always the last option. With Neoconservatives it tends to be first if not the only. With Liberals and Soft Power is a liberal foreign policy military force is generally the last option. Because you only want to risk the lives of your military when you have to. So you take advantage of all of your diplomatic and economic options first .

In the first term except as it related to Syria I thought President Obama and his National Security Council had this policy down. But lately it seems to be that they are worried about disasters and things blowing up in their faces so much which makes it very difficult to act on anything controversial. So what we see instead from this President is inaction. That “it is better to not act and rick some situation blowing up in our faces then to act and making the situation worst”. Which is not Soft Power or Hard Power, but No Power and it makes America look weak as we’ve seen with Russia with their actions against Ukraine.

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Reason: Video: Reason-Rupe Poll, Emily Ekins: Millennial’s Aren’t Liberals, They’re Social Liberals

Just to talk about this poll for a minute. Millennial’s aren’t Democrats or Republicans in the sense they tend to be registered in one party over the other. But they tend to vote for Democrats over Republicans because as Emily Ekins put it they are what she calls social Liberals. The way she puts that and I’ve heard social liberal used in different forms, but the way she puts that is that millennial’s tend to be liberal on social issues. Which means they believe in personal freedom which is the classic definition of a social liberal. Someone who believes in a great deal of personal freedom.

The term social liberal in America at least lately has been used to describe what would be called in Europe social democrat. Someone who believes in a high deal of wealth redistribution “that government shouldn’t allow for people to become very wealthy. And you stop that by government taxing people a lot and giving them back that money in a lot of different social services”. While civil libertarian has been the word to describe people who believe in a great deal of personal freedom. But the actual term for people who believe in personal freedom at least as it relates to liberalism is social liberal.

I’m actually more interested in that as a Liberal myself instead of this poll, but maybe that should be the subject for another post. But millennial’s tend to vote for Democrats over Republicans because Democrats tend to be social liberals in the classical sense. And the Republican Party is still so much dominated by the far-right when it comes to social issues and other issues. Even when they run statewide even in swing states. Leaving millennial’s a choice between a mainstream Democrat, or a far-right Republican who wants government to be guided by their vision of the Bible and tell free Americans how to live their own lives. Which is not much of a choice for millennial’s.

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The Week: Opinion: Damon Linker: The Laughable to Get Mitt Romney to Run in 2016: Mitt Who in 2016?


The Week: Opinion: The Laughable to get Mitt Romney to run in 2016

Hubert Humphrey had a great line in 1968 when he and Richard Nixon were the Democratic and Republican nominees for president. Vice President Humphrey’s line was about one of Mr. Nixon’s campaign themes for president in 1968 which was The New Nixon. And talking about Nixon’s multiple political comebacks in his career as well as attempted political comebacks.

The 1952 Checkers speech that kept then Senator Nixon on the Republican ticket for Vice President.

The experienced and ready to serve Nixon in 1960 when he ran for President the first time.

The New Nixon 1962 when he ran for Governor of California in after losing the 1960 presidential election to Jack Kennedy.

And what Hubert said about these new Nixon’s was that “a man who has had as many political face jobs and touch-up’s in his career can’t be very new”. I’m paraphrasing here but that is damn close. And you go to Mitt Romney and doesn’t matter which Mitt you choose and I’ll get into more of that later, but Mitt Romney has had a similar political career. One of the differences between Tricky Dick Nixon and Flip Flopper Mitt Romney is that Dick won most of his political elections. Nixon was 8-2 as a political candidate and incumbent which covers all of his Congressional, Vice Presidential and Presidential elections. Mitt is 1-3 not exactly as winner as a politician.

But let’s take a look at Mitt Romney’s political career because that should explain that 1-3 record. He was Liberal Democrat Mitt in 1994 essentially running as a New Democrat in Massachusetts (even though he is a Republican, go figure) for U.S. Senate against the progressive champion Senator Ted Kennedy. He lost that election overwhelmingly an election where he was a strong favorite going in. Then Moderate Mitt shows up in 2002 when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts. And of course that is still the only election Mitt has ever won in now sixty-seven years on this planet. Moderate Mitt managed to stay around as Governor until he ran for President the first time in 2007.

In 2007-08 Religious-Conservative/Neo-Con Hawk (even though he’s a Mormon and comes form a religion that believes in multiple spouses) Mitt shows up to run for President the first time. Mike Huckabee deserves the credit for the best line about Mitt Romney in that campaign. When Governor Huckabee said that “Mitt looks like the man who fired your father”. Mitt Romney has Wall Street country club Northeastern conservative establishment Republican written all over his chess and back. And yet he’s never run as someone who is proud of his success in life. But the candidate who runs as the guy who tries to please everybody, but instead offends everyone at the same time.

In 2009-10 was probably the best part of Mitt Romney’s political career where he was once again out of public office because he couldn’t get a job in it. But that is a time when he did some real studying about current affairs especially foreign policy and learning about the United States Government and issues that the country was facing. The problem was that he didn’t use that knowledge very well to communicate a reason for why he should be elected President in 2012. But instead focused on who does he need to vote for him and how to talk everyone at the same time with different messages for each group.

2012 is the biggest stain not only on Mitt’s career and something the Republican Party is going to have a real hard time living down especially if they lose again in 2016 and fail to win back the Senate in 2014. Because 2012 at least based on history and the economy was an election they should’ve won at least on paper. Going up against a fairly weak incumbent (but not weak enough for Mitt Romney) in President Barack Obama who was somewhere around 45% approval nationally with a struggling economy that had eight-percent unemployment most of the year that was barely growing. With a high budget deficit and national debt.

But again we are talking about Mitt Romney here so what does he do, but of course changes his political appearance once again. Who is Mitt Romney? You ask Mitt and put him on truth serum and he might say “I’m who I need to be to accomplish what I want to accomplish at any given time”. You ask him off of truth serum and you may get five different answers to the same question at the same time. 2012 was Flip Flopper Mitt because I’m still struggling to figure out what his campaign theme was about because he changed it multiple times. At best it was successful businessman with a history of turning struggling organizations around who would turn the American economy around Mitt. Not exactly inspirational.

When the main question about a politician or a politician wannabe in Mitt Romney’s case who has spent only four years of his entire life in public office (not for a lack of trying) because he lost most of the elections he’s run in, but when the main question is after twenty years on public life as far as being well-known and the number one question is “who are you?” Or “who is he”? You know you are in trouble as a political candidate. And that pretty much summarizes the political career of Mitt  Romney. The man who didn’t even have the guts to let voters know who is he and what is he about and why they should vote for him.

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USA Today: Opinion: Jonathan Turley: Fighting Pot With Water: The Anti-Federalist Big Government Obama Administration

USA Today: Opinion: Jonathan Turley: Fighting Pot With Water

All the evidence that you need to know that Barack Obama is not a Liberal (even though I wish he was) is to look at his administration’s approach when it comes to the failed War on Drugs, marijuana, privacy and civil liberties. It’s always security first with this President and his security team. Security always before freedom with them. I’m not saying President Obama is not a Liberal, but certainly not a Liberal in the classical sense. And at best a Progressive in the paternalistic prohibitionist sense when it comes to these personal and security issues. But with clear liberal or progressive leanings when it comes to economic policy.

And the Obama Administration’s water policy with their federal water agency when it comes to shutting down marijuana farmers and their water by refusing water to these farmers and saying they can’t have water for their marijuana growth is a perfect example of that. They’ve concluded that taking a big government anti-federalist position when it comes to marijuana and saying that even though two states have now legalized it that they’ve decided they aren’t going to shut down their marijuana in the old fashion way. By continuing to arrest marijuana users, dealers and growers. Because now they would be on their own and without the help from state police. And politically it wouldn’t look good with their own liberal base.

So what the Obama Administration does instead of breaking through the front door to prevent marijuana use of all kinds, they sneak through the backdoor and cutoff marijuana farmers supply of water so they can no longer grow their product that is now legal in their own state Colorado or Washington. And that is where the anti-liberal, anti-federalist, pro-big government leanings of the Obama Administration comes in. To prohibit things they see as dangerous even if they are now legal in some states.

What the Obama Administration could do to help themselves with their liberal base and with Independents and with Congressional Democrats who are facing tough elections in November is to back off on marijuana where it is now legal at least at the state level. Back off technically and in actuality and to say “we are going to see how these experiments go and see them through. Because we know prohibition is not working because people use marijuana anyway regardless if it’s legal or not and generally smart enough not to get caught”. That would help them with Congressional Democrats who are in tough races because it help bring Democrats to the polls and give them a reason to vote Democratic in November.

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The Week: Opinion: Ryan Cooper: Conservatives Vastly Exaggerate the Unity of the Left

Makes Sense to Me

The Week: Opinion: Ryan Cooper: Conservatives Vastly Exaggerate the Unity of the Left

I agree that there isn’t a liberal version of the Tea Party as much as I wish there was as a Liberal myself. Occupy Wall Street obviously is not it for a few reasons. They are so much smaller because they aren’t able to raise money. Because they are not only anti-business, but are much further to the left than the average American voter. Which makes to difficult for them to even raise small contributions because the people who would give them money tend to either work for non-profits. Or are political activists generally on the far-left. Or are civil service employees who can’t afford to make major contributions. Occupy Wall Street represents somewhere between 10-15 percent of the population . Sort of like MSNBC talk.

But another big one and not so obvious Occupy Wall Street is not a liberal movement. Yes they are on the Left, but certainly not center-left and represents Social Democrats and other Socialists and to a certain extent Anarchists. The Democratic Party is a broad-ranging leftist party that represents center-left Liberals such as myself. And far-left Socialists people like Senator Bernie Sanders who is technically not a Democrat yet because he doesn’t believe the Democratic Party is far enough to the left. And FDR New Deal Progressives like Senator Elizabeth Warren a bit to the left of me.

But the thing I’m really interested in is why isn’t there a liberal and I mean a real liberal version of the Tea Party. Especially with all the money that is in the Democratic Party with Democrats ability now to raise a lot of money from business’s, labor and individuals. With all the liberally owned for-profit business’s and not just the ones that are in Hollywood. But in Silicon Valley and Seattle and Starbucks to use as an example. With all of the wealthy liberal individuals like George Soros. I mean the Democratic Party is now the party that reaches everyone from the lower classes economically to the super wealthy.

It was President Barack Obama that raised the most money from Wall Street in 2012, not Mitt Romney who you think would be Wall Street’s best friend. And President Obama is not only the man who pushed for financial reform of Wall Street in his first term, but signed the Dodd-Frank financial reform act of 2010. And with the New Democrats taking over the Democratic Party from the New Left McGovernites who took control on the party in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but then lost control of the party in the late 1980s and early 1990s you would think you would see this liberal center-left version of the Tea Party. But that hasn’t happened at least yet.

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USFL History: Video: The United States Football League Come Back

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStateNowPlus on Blogger

I have already written a blog about why the United Sates Football League failed in the mid 1980s and how it could’ve succeeded. So I’m not going to focus too much on that but the reasons why the USFL could’ve succeeded and still be in business today are the same reasons how a USFL could make it today, because there are enough non NFL markets in America, to support a USFL franchise. And enough good NFL caliber players, to make the USFL work today, who maybe aren’t ready for the NFL yet or have been overlooked and just need that one shot to make it.

The NFL is somewhat short on quarterbacks offensive lineman, defensive lineman and there are plenty of NFL players, that simply aren’t ready to be stars in the NFL today. And need time to develop and when they are sent out to play now, they simply don’t look ready to play yet, but if they are playing in the USFL and given a chance to develop and play and not have to worry about playing against the best football players in the World, then the pressure is off to a certain extent instead of trying to live up to some huge contract that they signed and would be better off starting in the USFL.

Put those players in the USFL, they would be surrounded by good young players, who just need time to develop or that shot to be a good NFL or USFL player. The USFL could serve as either a developmental league for the NFL or they could end up, however they develop their players and are able to attract players to their league perhaps one day end up being part of the NFL or perhaps merging with the Canadian Football League, the USFL and maybe we could end up with some type Continental Bowl in the future.

But in the short-term, the USFL needs to be about developing NFL players, that aren’t ready to be in the NFL yet or players that are so far down on the depth chart, that they aren’t getting a chance to develop. And they need do this by being a spring league at least in the beginning, basically starting training camp and Preseason after the Super Bowl and playing in major non NFL markets. Again a big reason why the USFL failed, was because they were in big NFL markets, like Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago etc.

The USFL can’t do that again and need to go to places like, Orlando, Birmingham, Memphis, perhaps Columbus, Ohio, San Antonio, Portland, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, perhaps San Jose or Sacramento. Major big cities like this that want pro football but don’t have an NFL Franchise yet that would especially support a USFL franchise in the spring. And you take the players from the NFL or were overlooked by the NFL, that are simply not ready to play full-time in the NFL yet, that’s how the USFL could succeed.


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The Future of Freedom Foundation: Opinion: Laurence M. Vance: Opinion: The Transportation Fiscal Cliff: How to Fund American Infrastructure

American Highway

The Future of Freedom Foundation: Opinion: Laurence M. Vance: The Transportation Fiscal Cliff

Just to respond to Laurence Vance’s libertarian argument against the Federal Highway System. The reason President Dwight Eisenhower (no one’s Socialist) and Democrats as well as Republicans in Congress created the FHS in the 1950s was because the United States is exactly that. One country and to drive from one end to the other like truckers in Dallas who have to get products to Atlanta within days you need roads and highways that connect to each other from state to state. You need a Federal authority to handle those issues so those projects get done.

The states have their highways that are used by their drivers in their states and so do the counties. But you need Federal highways to get from state to state. But as far as the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ as it relates to our American highways. That is real I just haven’t heard it put that way yet, but according to the U.S. Core of Engineers (not Socialists) we have over a trillion-dollar deficit when it comes to infrastructure in this country. As far as repairs that need to be done and projects that need to be built that aren’t getting done. Which is money that is not going into the economy. Contracts that aren’t going to construction companies and workers that aren’t being hired to complete these projects. Which also leaves our roads and bridges less safer than they should be.

The way you correct this problem is to do one of the few things that Congress is supposed to do in the first place. And that is pass a highway bill and fix the financing in the Highway Trust Fund. Which until the Tea Party took control of the House of Representatives in 2011 was never that difficult of task for Congress to accomplish. Because senators and representatives in both parties understood the importance of the Highway Trust Fund. As well as how good of a tool it was in getting reelected. By getting money out of Washington and back home to their state or district to fund highways and bridges, as well as other infrastructure.

To fund the Highway Trust Fund again is fairly simple. You can raise the gas tax, tax oil, tax pollution, tax alcohol, tax tobacco, tax things that people don’t need that are more luxury items that they will still pay for because they love those things. And put that money into our infrastructure. Or you could do something more radical that I think a real Libertarian would like or at least not hate. But that is more of a New Democrat liberal idea which would be to create an independent National Infrastructure Bank. Which would fund and prioritize our infrastructure projects and finance them by bringing in investors from the private sector that would put up the money for the projects and get that money back plus profit from the users of the projects. Which is an idea that deserves a post of its own.

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