It was the late comedian Jimmy Durante who popularized the comment: “Everybody’s got to get into the act.”
There is certainly no shortage of opinions about what to do about Syria. The recommendations, so to speak, usually boil down to “we should” or “we shouldn’t.” Not very illuminating, I would have to say, but it’s hard to find an original analysis that makes you say, “Hmm, I never thought of that.”
Most mornings I go to Peet’s coffee shop – in part to avoid doing anything helpful around the house – and I actually listen to what other people have to say. Yes, there’s a deep distrust of anything President Barack Obama has to say, and with good cause. Of course, those who voted for Obama support him, and we’ve even “allowed” some of them to join us.
I’ve been frustrated with the lack of new ammunition to fire at them, and in any event one rarely can change anyone’s mind.
This is all by way of talking about a commentary by the founder of Commentary magazine, Norman Podhoretz. He has been a leader of the “new conservatives,” those who have been on the right side of the spectrum as the Democrats, they claim, have gone more and more leftward. I follow what he has to say, and he has influenced my thoughts over the years.
You might say when Podhoretz talks, conservatives listen.
In Monday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, he dropped a bombshell about what he thinks Obama is doing. He says – flatly and with solid reasoning – that the president is deliberately setting action in Syria up for a delay. That’s why he handed the ball to Congress, knowing they would fumble around with it until the urgency for action disappeared. The plan this week out of Russia just provided another “out.”
This quote from “Obama’s Successful Foreign Failure” will give you an idea of what Podhoretz thinks is behind asking Congress for approval: “For how else to characterize a president who declares war against what he calls a great evil demanding immediate extirpation and in the next breath announces that he will postpone taking action for at least 10 days – and then goes off to play golf . . . .”
There’s no denying that Podhoretz was undeniably accurate as he described the sequence of events. Whether he is right about Obama’s underlying motivation we may never know. But, what we do know is that the pre-White House, and even the pre-Senate, Obama was way out there on the fringe.
How can I be so sure? Well, if you heard some of Obama’s speeches before he became a senator from Illinois, they might give you the chills. You could not differentiate between Barack Obama and Louis Farrakhan. He was fiery and extremely anti-white. But when he got into national politics, Obama had to move, sort of, to the middle.
What’s the old saying? The leopard doesn’t change his spots, and that’s what Podhoretz has concluded after observing politics for more than 50 years.
The question is, will anyone – in the media, at least – say, “Gee, I never knew Obama was that much of an extremist, and even a racist.”
We do know the undeniable truth: It’s very rare for anyone in the so-called mainstream media to say anything that would cause embarrassment to the president. There are at least two reasons for that: one, they don’t want to be accused of being racist for criticizing the first black president, and two, they agree with most everything he stands for.
Judge for yourself as you watch the news: See if the networks are “fair and balanced.”
Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at Bsteven254@aol.com.