The Reagan Legacy

Why Mitt’s flip-flops matter

The Union Leader presented an excellent closing argument heading into the New Hampshsire Primary. It is a nice send-up to Super Tuesday as well.

Any candidate for office is allowed to change his mind. People learn new facts or have personal experiences that bring them to new understandings. Not every switch is an opportunistic flip-flop.

The reason Mitt Romney has drawn our scrutiny on this issue, and we are not alone, is not because he is the only candidate who has changed positions. He is not. It is because the totality of his record gives the distinct impression that most of his positions are subject to change when politically expedient.

Whenever Mitt Romney has run for office, his public positions on the issues of the day have been in general agreement with the voter base whose approval he was seeking.

In Massachusetts he was pro-choice, then pro-life, then pro-choice, then pro-life again. He was even more pro-gay rights than Ted Kennedy, for strict gun-control laws, for affirmative action, against the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexual scoutmasters, for what he now calls “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, and against the Bush tax cuts.

How can he have changed his mind on all of those issues and others so soon after deciding to run for the Republican presidential nomination?

In addition to his rightward shift, Gov. Romney’s record includes some personal statements that make him appear less than completely candid about who he is and what he believes.

He claimed to have been a lifelong hunter. He wasn’t. He claimed to have had the NRA’s endorsement. He didn’t. He claimed to have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. He didn’t. These cannot be explained away as conversions.

We have found Romney’s enthusiasm for conservative princples to be situational at best. And we are not alone. We have listened carefully to Republicans who knew Gov. Romney during his political rise in Massachusetts. They do not believe he is a far-left liberal. But they don’t believe he’s as conservative as he now claims, either.

Against the Boy Scouts. Good grief.

We must defeat islamofascism

satellite.jpgI have had the pleasure of visiting Israel, our staunch ally, our great friend and the most exemplary democracy in the Middle East, a total of nine times. On one of those trips, I took my then 11-year-old daughter, Sarah, to Yad Vashem. As we faced the grimly surreal pictures from Dachau and Auschwitz, she confronted the horrors of the thousands of bodies stacked on top of one another like so much lumber – six million dead. At the end of our visit, Sarah went to the guest book and wrote simple words that I will never forget: “Why didn’t somebody do something?”

That is all she wrote, but with those words, I knew that, in her own way, she “got it.”

Unfortunately, some in America, even some running for president, don’t get it. Those who don’t understand that the war in Iraq is a critical part of the war on terror, don’t get it. Those who pledge to withdraw our troops according to some politically-motivated rationale before this war is won, don’t get it. Iraq must be stable and secure within its borders. It is not just Iraq’s security that is at stake, but the security of the entire region and of the United States.

But among those who seem to want to leave as soon as possible, regardless of the strategic and humanitarian consequences, is Sen. Barack Obama, one of the two remaining Democratic candidates for the presidency.

I have another grave concern about Sen. Obama, which was well-expressed by Matt Brooks, Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition:

“We are deeply troubled by Senator Obama’s desire to ‘hold a summit in the Muslim world, with all heads of state’ many of whom have yet to renounce terrorism or refrain from anti-Semitic incitement. …Senator Obama said he wanted to listen to the ‘concerns’ of these nations. For many, their biggest concern is Israel’s existence. It’s worrisome that Senator Obama wants to ‘listen’ to those calling for Israel’s destruction.”

AMERICA MUST be effective in the Middle East, and we must of course listen – and learn, and safeguard. But most of all, we need to be resolute in our strength, military and moral. Specifically, we must not pay any sort of tribute to terrorist states – including the honor of “listening” in some formal setting, where every splenetic utterance will be aired worldwide. For example, what would the president do in the face of some outrageously anti-American or anti-Semitic statement: Just sit there? Get up and walk out?

We shouldn’t engage in impromptu diplomacy based on a misplaced sense of “empathy.” That’s why I am concerned about Sen. Obama’s suggestion.

I don’t want to hear the “concerns” of terrorist states – but I do want them to hear me.

I want everyone in the Middle East to know that America is committed to its strategic interests in the region, including a safe and secure Israel. Does Senator Obama really want to meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, for example? Sen. Obama has said he wants to, both as part of his summit, and privately. Hard to believe, but true, according to his interviews with Paris Match (January 31, 2008) and the International Herald Tribune (November 1, 2007). Iran and its partner Syria bring danger and death to Americans and Israelis on a daily basis though their support of terrorists – in Gaza, Lebanon, and of course, in Iraq.

If the annihilation of six million Jews taught us anything, it is that appeasement doesn’t work; it just results in the deaths of innocents and makes the job of eradicating evil all the more difficult.

So I share Israel’s concern about an aggressive unchecked Iran. And I share Israel’s determination that Iran will not become a nuclear power. As president, I will not take the military option off the table. I will work to strengthen sanctions against Iran both through the United Nations and the European Union.

No one seeking the presidency in either party is more steadfastly committed to Israel’s security, survival as a Jewish state, and ability to defend herself than I am. As president, I will ensure that Israel always has the state-of-the-art weaponry and technology she needs. And in addition, I will dramatically increase American defense spending. Before there can be true peace, there must be the basic recognition of Israel’s right to exist and an end to anti-Semitic and anti-Israel lies and propaganda.

Together, we must prevent nuclear proliferation and defeat Islamofascism. Together, we must be the people who confront and overcome evil. We must be the people who take action now, so that future generations of Sarahs don’t look back and ask “Why didn’t somebody do something?”

by Mike Huckabee in the Jerusalem Post 

tastleless, but funny

Sorry, folks, coudn’t resist posting this.

-Smith

Romney “bundler” could face insider trading charges

A billionaire fundraising “bundler” of presidential candidate Mitt Romney could face a criminal investigation into insider share dealing after selling over $200 million of shares just days before Societe Generale’s rogue-trader losses were reported.robertandkellyday.jpgRobert Day, a member of the French bank’s board, disposed of a million shares on January 9 and 10, plus a further 500,000 on January 18, according to official disclosures to Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), France’s market regulator.

The $8 billion losses at the bank were not disclosed to the public or investors until January 24, despite reports that Societe Generale bosses were aware of the crisis several days earlier.

A file lodged with public prosecutor Francois Foulon also demands an inquiry into alleged insider trading and fraud.[…]

But a spokesman for Mr Day, a major cash backer of Mr Bush who is now helping Mitt Romney’s White House bid, said last night that it was coincidence that he unloaded the stock just before it plunged. “He received no inside information before the sales were made,” he added.

He said Mr Day had no idea the bank was in trouble until a board meeting on January 20, two days after the last of his share sales.

He added: “Mr Day still holds 1.9million shares in Societe Generale.” source

This marks the second fundraising kerfluffle for the Romney campaign. Last August, Romney’s national finance committee co-chairman, Alan B. Fabian was charged in a 23 count indictment. Money laundering, mail fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice were charged. According to reports, Fabian ran a scheme that netted him millions of dollars which were used to purchase beach front property and travel. Although similar to the Norman Hsu-Hillary Clinton scandal, Romney refused to return funds donated by others through Fabian, returning only Fabian’s $2,300 campaign donation.

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