Posts Tagged ‘Jake Tapper’

Flash: Obama to Push Fake Accommodation to Religious Institutions

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Jake Tapper, ABCNews

In a move that is clearly aimed at lessening the political damage to his administration, but will factually do almost nothing to address the issue, ABCNews is reporting that Barack Obama or some spokesman will reportedly make a statement Friday on an alleged concession to or accommodation of religious organizations on the contraception coverage  mandate.  The proposed “solution” would mere shift the responsibility under the edict to  insurers.  All of this is an attempt to satisfy his leftist base, while making it appear that he’s substantially changing his position where the rest of us are concerned.  Shifting the object of the edict from religious institutions to their insurance providers is not really making a factual change in the results, but it changes the way it will operate, giving the President political cover.

Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be fooled: Obama still intends to shove this down the throats of people of faith, and the fact that they’re going to put the onus on insurers does nothing to alleviate the concerns.  It simply means that religious organizations will have no choice except to insure people on policies that will have federally-mandated coverage requirements, because what the administration will now do is bully insurers instead of religious entities.  That’s not a concession, and it’s not an accommodation, and while it may offer a technical out for Obama to claim he hadn’t been oppressing the religious freedoms of Americans, it merely means that he will oppress their religious free exercise indirectly.

The insurance mandate will remain.  All that will change is who will be compelled to enforce it.  At that point, what you must admit is that Obama is accommodating anything, but merely shifting the means by which his goal will be obtained.  This is the typical leftist approach: When caught with your hand in the cookie jar, quickly withdraw it, while merely reaching with the other hand into the same jar, hoping you will not notice.  Expect the media to portray this as “Obama caves,” but that’s a lie.   He isn’t caving.  He isn’t changing his objective.  He still intends to force Catholics, and other Christians to comply with the goal of seeing to it that all contraceptive measures are available to all women through health-care insurance.

Don’t fall for it.  It’s a political show, but the net effect is meaningless. He isn’t surrendering the idea of coercing people of faith, but merely trying to convince them that his coercion is aimed at insurers.  You can watch Jake Tapper’s report on ABCNews here:

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This isn’t even accommodation. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that Obama is still going to shove this down the throats of faith-based organizations, and there is no way around it. This may fool some people into believing that Obama has made an accommodation, but at the end of the day, this still results in a government edict on how money from people of faith will be spent.  So he shifted responsibility to the insurers, but this changes nothing about the results. Nothing.  Don’t let up.  This isn’t Obama surrendering on the issue, but instead  merely trying to re-frame the issue to his advantage.  It’s still a dictatorial action, no matter how we slice it.



Note to Newt: Stick to Obama

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

How Much Has Newt Matured?

Since Newt Gingrich is offered advice to Herman Cain about what he should do in the wake of the latest allegations that Cain had a thirteen year affair, I suppose it would be permissible to offer a bit of friendly advice to the former Speaker of the House:  Mr. Gingrich, stick to Obama.  By this, I mean simply that you ought not be goaded by media or political analysts into breaking form by going after your fellow Republicans.  That would be a terrible mistake, and you’re by all estimations a very intelligent fellow, so my advice to you is an old refrain: “Dance with the one who brought you.”  In this case, that one has been your strategy of focusing on Obama’s inept, miserable leadership.  Don’t become boastful in pronouncing that you will be the nominee.  Earn it by doing it.  One of your past problems that you have recently admitted has caused you some trouble over the course of your career is immaturity.  At times, it seems your immaturity still rears its ugly head when you seem not to know when to shut up.  Your interview Thursday with Jake Tapper makes the point well enough:  It’s one thing to say you believe you can and will win the nomination, but its another to state boastfully that you will be the nominee.

Speaker Gingrich is indeed a smart fellow, and at the moment, he seems very able to fulfill what will seem awfully boastful to some who are not yet sold on his presidential potential.  There’s another old saying that tells us “It isn’t bragging if you can do it.”  The problem in this case is that with such things, you’re better off to let the tell be in the show:  Do it and no bragging will have needed justification.  In short, just shut up with the prognostication and do it.  This sort of thing has gotten Mr. Newt into trouble before, and while he speaks to a greater maturity these days, this is the sort of thing that leads some to wonder:  Has Newt really wised-up with age, or is he just a better pitch-man?

If I were Gingrich, I would get myself as far away from the internecine battle for the nomination, and focus instead on the real opponent he would be forced to beat.  In the first instance, this helps sharpen the debate that is going to count most, should he fulfill his boast.  In the second instance, it permits him to appeal to the positive side of the debate, instead of getting drawn down into the weeds with other Republicans.  Yes, he will need to rebut them when they make charges of their own, but the key here for Gingrich will be remaining above that fray and instead focusing on the battle with Obama and the Democrats.  After all, he is now the verifiable front-runner, and if the strategy of staying positive with respect to his fellow Republicans helped propel him to this lead, it will surely help maintain him there.

Of course, all of this supposes that Gingrich is listening to anybody, never mind some bumpkin out on the Texas prairie, but nevertheless, Gingrich has always possessed the gift of gab, and I remember fondly his Renewing American Civilization lecture series that aired in the early and mid-1990s on Paul Weyrich’s National Empowerment Television network.  It was educational and captivating, in part because of Gingrich’s mastery of history, but also because he was speaking in the manner of a teacher without talking down to students.  That was classic Newt Gingrich, and it was very effective.  Newt’s singular failing in this respect has been his seeming inability to integrate feedback in real time.  He can get out ahead of himself and his audience, and this is where the trouble frequently begins.

Such may be the case with his interview with Tapper.  It’s not that Gingrich said anything wrong, per se, but it is the manner in which he said it that may rub some people raw:

“I’m going to be the nominee,” the former Speaker told ABC News. “It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.”

To his credit, in this interview, he went on to say that he thinks Republican prospects ought to avoid attacking one another:

“And by the way I don’t object if people want to attack me, that’s their right. All I’m suggesting that it’s not going to be very effective and that people are going to get sick of it very fast. And the guys who attacked each other in the debates up to now, every single one of them have lost ground by attacking. So they should do what they and their consultants want to do. I will focus on being substantive and I will focus on Barack Obama.”

This is a better approach.  Getting sucked into commenting on the Herman Cain story doesn’t help.  That’s fodder for the kind of “gotcha politics” he has so often decried, and it helps the media spin the story into headlines that prompt divisiveness.  Maybe Speaker Gingrich is learning a little maturity after all.  Sometimes, learning when to say nothing is that final bit of wisdom.  That’s always been something of a challenge for Gingrich, and there have been instances when his own words were clipped and snipped to his detriment.  Back when he said “wither on the vine,” I would bet that while he really meant nothing like his comments were portrayed to have been, in retrospect, he probably wishes he had found another way to say what he meant without giving his opponents an easily decontextualized sound-bite. Even now, if you type “wither on the vine” into a search engine, a reference to Gingrich will still appear in the first few entries, though that idiom has been around for a very long time.

It’s great that Newt Gingrich is still quick-witted when it comes to policy and politics.  If he’s right, that he will be the nominee, he’s going to need all his wits about him, and this time, there will be no room for error.  Many have lately remarked that Gingrich’s mouth often has been Newt’s worst enemy may have a point.  Time will tell, but I suspect we will know it if he begins to focus ever more narrowly on Obama, Obama’s administration, the Obama policies, and and all that go with a campaign against Obama.  Many Republicans and conservatives are ready to take the battle to the President, and if Gingrich bears that in mind, he may not only succeed in becoming the nominee, but he may also find himself able to rally the party in a unified effort to defeat Obama.

Psssst… Hey, Speaker Gingrich: If you do get the nomination, don’t run about in the media giving interviews in which you’ll tell us that you will be the President. As a friendly suggestion, since advice is all the rage, don’t tell us – just show us.