American strength and Obama’s costly campaign

Plucked from the headlines, some stories that matter in Grand Junction, Colo., USA — and beyond:

The Wall Street Journal, covering the pomp and fanfare of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington, reported a new Pew Survey showing that 65 percent of the American people view the Asian power as a “threat” or a “serious problem.” No surprise, the American people are about three steps ahead of their elected leaders.

Chinese markets are critical to American prosperity, and now is no time for a trade war.

But Washington’s handling of the Asian behemoth is disturbingly weak, and that must change. The same newspapers reporting on Jintao’s visit simultaneously reported on, for example, China’s acquisition of stealth military technology from Russia, on China’s partnership in the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant in North Korea, and on the economic control that China now boasts over the United States, owing to the fact that the regime controls nearly $1 trillion of U.S. government securities (i.e. government debt).

Time was, the American government didn’t take its sovereignty and its foreign policy posture so lightly.

“Peace through strength.” That was Ronald Reagan’s credo.

And John F. Kennedy governed by a similar philosophy, even if under a different name. On the day he was shot in Dallas, Kennedy was to give a speech on the importance of American military and economic might.

At some point down the line, our approach to China is going to have to reset away from a de facto policy of deference, and toward a more muscular Reagan-Kennedy mindset. If we don’t, the world will look dramatically different 50 years from now, and not for the better. At least not for us.

The New York Times had much better news this past Sunday for those who still celebrate American might. The Times ran an expose on a cloak-and-dagger cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear production facilities, an electronic assault authored by an American and Israeli Geek Squad that set back Ahmadinejad’s nuke chase by upwards of five years.

At one point, the American cyber “worm” had the Iranian nuke program “spinning” in the literal sense. The virus sent Iranian centrifuges spinning irrevocably out of control, to the obvious bewilderment of Iranian scientists.

Can’t you just visualize a Jihadist with a pocket protector hitting the panic button when his centrifuge started wildly spinning, and for no apparent reason? How do you say “abort, abort, abort” in Farsi?

Iran’s nuclear ambitions are, of course, no laughing matter. This is a black cloud that will be with us and our children for many years.

But in this round, at least according to the Times, the score is: .Good Guys 1; Iranian hegemon scumbags 0.

Shifting from foreign policy to domestic politics, the online publication Politico reported last Friday what I predicted in this column two weeks ago. President Barack Obama and his political consigliores are gearing up to raise $1 billion for the president’s re-elect effort.

“Bracing for a half-billion-dollar onslaught of outside GOP cash in 2012, President Barack Obama’s advisers are quietly working to bring back together the major donor base that produced a record-breaking fundraising haul in his first run for president,” the report said.

The goal: a $1 billion campaign.

That’s a lot of 30-second TV advertisements on KREX.

Politico reports that the Obama finance push faces real obstacles, especially among the big-dollar types on Wall Street, where Obama’s pledge to be a jobs president was shredded by over-reaching financial-services reform, Obamacare and cap-and trade (to name a few).

Still, Republican presidential aspirants would do well to gird themselves for what’s ahead. The fight to defeat Obama in 2012 will be a galactic struggle and its outcome is anything but sure. And now there are about a billion reasons why.

And speaking of fights, The Denver Post reported that the top Democrat in the Colorado House of Representatives had to apologize for combative comments he made while addressing a rally of union members outside the state Capitol on Wednesday.

“I’m willing to put my fist where I need to put it,” Pace said. “I’m willing to fight …”

By the illogic of the same liberals who blamed tea partiers for the horrible tragedy in Arizona, the next act of random violence in Colorado will be the fault of the Democratic leader in the Colorado House. So much for their pleas to tone down the rhetoric in our politics.

Josh Penry is a former state senator from Grand Junction, and former minority leader of the Colorado Senate.


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