Thursday, June 24, 2010
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 131 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!
“Change Of Personnel, Not Policy”
At the White House yesterday, to the surprise of no one, President Obama accepted the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal. Having been put in the difficult position of sacking the battlefield commander, President Obama then pulled the proverbial rabbit out of a hat.
To the surprise of virtually everyone, President Obama announced that General David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Central Command, would take over in Afghanistan. This is somewhat of a demotion for Petraeus – as CENTCOM commander, he was technically McChrystal’s boss. But there is probably no one better suited for the job.
There is considerable irony in Obama’s selection of General Petraeus. During the Iraq war, then Senator Obama vehemently opposed the surge in Iraq, which was brought to a successful conclusion under Petraeus’ leadership. Senator Obama also conveniently missed a vote in the Senate condemning Moveon.org’s despicable “General Betrayus” ad.
In his announcement yesterday, President Obama stressed that his decision was a “change of personnel, not a change of policy.” That’s unfortunate because the successful strategy that General Petraeus pursued in Iraq was not built on a deadline for defeat or a timetable for withdrawal. Without a change in policy, it’s doubtful that a change in personnel will make much difference. I am hopeful, however, because Petraeus may be the one man who can convince President Obama to change his policy.
One person who was not surprised by the announcement was my friend Bill Kristol, who wrote two days ago that if McChrystal goes, Obama should pick Petraeus. In a separate column, Kristol recommended that Obama “not waste this crisis” but instead go even further and change his policy. Here is an excerpt:
“Barack Obama’s commitment [to Afghanistan] is famously and publicly uncertain. No one—not his lieutenants, nor his cabinet, nor his generals, nor the American people, nor our allies, nor the Afghans, nor our enemies—can be sure whether the president wants to win the war or just to end the war. …The imposition of a troop-withdrawal deadline, in particular, has poisoned our Afghanistan strategy. …
If the United States fails in Afghanistan, it won’t be because Gen. McChrystal or his staff were indiscreet or insubordinate… Indeed, if the war can’t be quickly won in Afghanistan, it won’t be quickly lost there, either. And in fact it can be won, though it will take some time. The war can, however, be lost rapidly in Washington.”
The Battle Here At Home
While the news of late has refocused our attention from the oil leak to the war in Afghanistan, I want to look ahead to the war being waged for the future of our country. A major battle – perhaps even a decisive one – will be decided in 131 days. Are we focused? Are we prepared? Are we committed to victory?
I’m writing this item because I have received a surge of despondent emails in recent weeks from good folks who feel like there is nothing they can do to make a difference. I won’t deny that these are difficult days in Washington, D.C. But we cannot give up and retreat now. This is our country and we must fight for it!
I am focused on the one thing that will make a tremendous difference – winning the November elections! Anything else – from internet conspiracy theories to calls for impeachment – are distractions. (See next item.) We must win in November. If we do, we can stop a lot of Obama’s agenda. If we fail this November, we may never get another chance.
Several weeks ago, we outlined a “Blueprint for Victory.” What we described in that plan is exactly what the Democrat National Committee and Obama’s Organizing for America are doing right now – against us! They are spending $50 million to register new voters and turnout first-time Obama voters from 2008. They are going door-to-door, precinct-by-precinct. They are asking their supporters to find one more vote for their side.
Why? Because they understand that elections have consequences. They believe that there is a big difference between the two parties and that it matters a great deal which party controls Congress. They are engaged and fully committed to this fight. We must be too! Let me remind everyone who cherishes faith, family and freedom about simple things that each of us can do in the days ahead.
* Find one person who voted for Obama in 2008 and convince that individual to vote conservative in 2010. Many of you can start with a family member, friend or co-worker. Don’t waste time trying to convert die-hard liberals, but concentrate on folks who generally share our values but who got swept up in the hype about hope and change.
* Make sure all your like-minded friends and family members are registered to vote.
* Volunteer for conservative candidates. Campaigns for office are expensive, labor-intensive efforts–our candidates need help!
* Donate to conservative groups who are on front lines fighting for our values. I know many of you support your church and other ministries. But we cannot ignore the political arena. Of course, I hope you will support CWF too, and I will be asking more directly in coming days.
I’m also getting a lot of messages from good folks desperately grasping at straws, looking for a silver bullet, focused on things that won’t make a difference. Worse, there are all kinds of wild conspiracy theories out there burning up the Internet – everything from desert detention camps to martial law and the suspension of elections. Virtually all of them are nonsense.
But there are some things that could happen in the next few months that we should be concerned about. Here are a few to watch for:
* Eight Republican senators sent a letter to President Obama Monday after learning of a possible illegal immigrant amnesty by executive order, a Plan B if Congress fails to pass amnesty legislation this year. According to the letter, the administration is exploring a massive use of “deferred action or parole” for illegal aliens currently in the country. This would be a gross abuse of power as “deferred action or parole” decisions are supposed to be made on case-by-case basis, not “wholesale.”
* As I’m sure many of you have noticed lately, insurance companies are raising rates. But wasn’t the new healthcare “reform” law supposed to make healthcare more affordable? Only in the minds of delusional liberals do government mandates result in lower prices. In the real world, government mandates always have one guaranteed consequence: higher prices.
Fearing that these higher prices might be the death knell of ObamaCare, the president summoned insurance executives to the White House this week. He read them the riot act, warning them not to “enact unjustifiable rate increases.” According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama also warned them that the government would hold insurance companies accountable for rate hikes. How?
One inside story has it that the Department of Health and Human Services may institute rate freezes or price controls. Price controls never work. But given the administration’s socialist sympathies and the unilateral shutdown of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try them.
* If the Gulf drilling ban is reinstated and other radical environmental policies lead to higher gas prices, don’t be surprised if Obama taps the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to temporarily inflate supplies and lower the price of gas just before the election. As the name implies, the Strategic Reserve is intended for national emergencies, like the supply disruption that occurred after Katrina or a possible war with Iran. Sadly, it has been subject to political manipulation in the past.
* We need to be vigilant about Democrat dirty tricks, like fake “Tea Parties.” We know Harry Reid’s operatives are behind the formation of a “Tea Party” party that will be on the ballot this November in Nevada. Rep. Alan Grayson, the obnoxious Democrat from Orlando, Florida, is behind a similar effort. These underhanded tactics demonstrate how desperate the Democrats have become. They know they can’t win on their own, so they are resorting to dirty tricks to divide the conservative vote.
* And the biggest “dirty trick” of them all would be a post-election lame duck session where Reid and Pelosi try to ram through the worst of their agenda before the new Republican majorities are sworn in. Lame duck sessions are legal and would even be supported by the American people in the case of national emergency that justified immediate action. But it would be unconscionable to abuse the rules just to stick it to the country after having been rejected at the ballot box.