Printed Letters: March 11, 2014

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As usual, Dave Kearsley’s latest offering – “Obama fails on world stage, as well as on home front” – proves just how divorced from reality he remains.

“Issues of substance” are never “a focus” of Kearsley’s letters, because he’s a captive of the fact-free bubble bloviated by Rush Limbaugh, FoxNoise, and Dave’s favorite “back-seat pundit”, Charles Krauthammer.

We now know that President Obama’s defense of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) was not “a bunch of misrepresentations”, but rather was undercut by insurers’ cynical efforts to profit from the transition to ACA-compliant policies by inducing consumers to abandon “grandfathered” coverage and by aggressively marketing non-compliant ones.

We now know that (as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid aptly observed) virtually every “ObamaCare horror story” touted by Republicans (and FoxNoise) has been proven by objective journalists to be fraudulent – including that cited by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) in the GOP’s response to the State of the Union message.

Meanwhile, studies released within the past week demonstrate that the ACA is steadily fulfilling its promise—by lowering the percentage of Americans who remain uninsured and by gradually reducing overall health care costs.

Similarly, Kearsley proves that (like Krauthammer) he is obviously unqualified to opine on foreign policy matters.  Rather, as former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned Sunday, Republican critics of President Obama’s on-going efforts to deal with complex foreign policy issues should “cool it” – noting that Democrats did not assail Republican President George Bush for failing to respond to Putin’s invasion of Georgia in 2008.

Since Mitt Romney opined that Russia was “our number one geopolitical foe”, partisan Republicans have refused to confront the fiscal policy implications of their own premise – but instead have deliberately undermined our national security by obstructing President Obama’s efforts to stimulate “renewed economic growth” (and thus American power).

The tumultuous events in Ukraine suggest that Mitt Romney’s most accurately prescient contribution to the 2012 Presidential campaign was his opinion—expressed on March 26, 2012, to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer—that Russia was “without question our number one geopolitical foe” because “they fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors”.

Of course, Romney’s assertion was prompted by President Obama’s “open mike” remark to Russia’s then-President Dimitri Medvedev that he could be “more flexible” on arms control and missile defense issues after our 2012 presidential election – recognizing the realities of our partisan politics and anticipating the return of Vladimir Putin to Russia’s presidency.

However, Romney, other “neo-con” Republicans (like Senator John McCain and pundit Charles Krauthammer), and their “Teapublican” fellow-travelers (including our own Scott Tipton), consistently fail to appreciate both the sources and limits of our strength.

American power derives – not from any self-proclaimed “exceptionalism” – but from a vibrant economy that generates sufficient revenues to sustain both a broadly attainable “American Dream” and military forces sufficient to deter aggression, but whose use demonstrates moral leadership and allegiance to long-established international norms.

Romney lost because he was inextricably associated with the same Republicans who are still preaching “trickle down” economics, who squandered a budget surplus and trillions more by concurrently initiating two unfunded wars while (over McCain’s objections) enacting massive tax cuts for the wealthy, who irreparably damaged our international reputation by resorting to official policies of “preemptive” invasion and “torture”, who imposed mindless cuts on the defense budget, and who are still obstructing rejuvenation of our economy and “playing politics” with commitments to Veterans and their families.

Nevertheless, among the GOP’s presidential hopefuls for 2016, Romney remains the most credible and competent would-be President (albeit less-so than Hillary Clinton).

True “conservatives” would recognize that Democratic policies better serve “national security”.

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