Source: Michael Goodwin
If you think of the United States of America as a store, its recent decisions and scandals resemble a sale, perhaps a fire sale. Or maybe even a “Going Out of Business” sale.
The list of dramatic markdowns is breathtaking. They include trading away five murderous terrorists for a likely Army deserter, an open invitation to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to cross the Mexican border, and a decision to recognize the terrorist group Hamas as part of the Palestinian government.
On the home front, environmental regulations will cost thousands of coal miners their jobs and drive up the cost of electricity for millions. The ObamaCare mess is hardly resolved, and the Veterans Affairs scandal keeps getting worse. The acting agency head reported the deaths of 18 more vets who were kept off the official waiting list in Phoenix.
Ticking quietly in the background is the mother of all threats — an Iranian nuclear bomb. That ticking grew louder last week as the ayatollah mocked our nation by standing in front of a banner that proclaimed, “America cannot do a damn thing.”
Technically, he’s wrong. It’s not that we cannot stop the mad mullahs’ march. It’s that President Obama has taken the military option off the table, and without it, Iran has nothing to fear. Our impotence was a choice.
Add to the combustible mix the expansionist moods in Russia and China, and the series of events recalls an observation by the late economist Herb Stein. Speaking in another context, he said that, “If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.” That sums up the current sense of the nation as a whole.
What seemed for years a steady and slow decline increasingly feels like a headlong race to the bottom. America is careening downhill, and a crack-up appears inevitable.
It is no coincidence that the deal with the Taliban to release five terrorist leaders from Guantanamo brought the first threat of presidential impeachment from a respected member of Congress. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that if Obama tried to release others without lawmakers’ approval, it would lead to “people on our side calling for his impeachment.”
That is the nuclear option, and there is good reason why it has been so rarely invoked throughout history. And yet the intense fever gripping Washington, largely created by Obama’s go-it-alone approach, needs to be broken. The country simply cannot continue to remain the beacon of the free world if we are consumed by our own dysfunction and distrust.
Impeachment is one way to try to resolve a political crisis, but as former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argues in his new book, public opinion is a vital ingredient, and it is missing. Titled “Faithless Execution,” his book’s subtitle, “Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment,” is based on McCarthy’s claim that the legal case is solid that Obama has violated his oath to execute the laws faithfully.
That’s an arguable point, but even to concede it means nothing because the Democratic Party has been so cowed into supporting Obama, regardless of what he does, that there is no chance to make the political case.
Indeed, we have reached this crisis largely because centrist Democrats have failed to stand up against Obama and demand more moderate policies.
Leaving aside occasional grumbling from party elders, he gets almost unanimous support from every Dem in Congress for every piece of his radical agenda. Evidence shows that one of his most pernicious practices, using the IRS to punish conservative groups, grew out of congressional demands from liberals. While that doesn’t excuse Obama’s role, it does demonstrate that his party has enabled and encouraged his improper conduct.
The framers put a high bar on impeachment, and merely attempting to draw up the articles is viable only when there is a bipartisan consensus that the president’s immediate removal is necessary. We are a long way from that consensus.
Still, something has to give. And unless Democrats begin to put duty to country over loyalty to Obama, America as we know it is headed to a point of no return.
Pol-pal unions wal the shots
After reading the City Council letter demanding that Walmart stop giving money to city charities, it’s easy to conclude the council members are misguided, mistaken or just plain nuts.
They may be all of those things, but they are something else, too: They are union puppets who have sold their souls for votes.
The 26 council members who signed the letter — a majority of the entire body — claim that Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation are trying to “find a foothold in New York City” by buying “influence and support.”
Shrinks would call that projection — accusing others of your own sins. Or maybe it just takes a sellout to know a sellout.
Whatever its motives, Walmart is doing something good with its philanthropy and ought to be applauded.
It announced that it distributed $3 million last year, including $1 million to the New York Women’s Foundation, which offers job training, and $30,000 to Bailey House, which provides support to low-income residents with HIV/AIDS.
Faced with such generosity, council members demanded that it “stop spending your dangerous dollars in our city” and added: “That’s right: this is a cease-and-desist letter.”
Tsk, tsk. The issue is that unions don’t want Walmart’s non-union competition, and the scandal is that local pols blocked the company from opening a single store in the five boroughs. Never mind that New Yorkers would benefit from new jobs and low prices on a wide array of products.
Almost as shameful, Mayor de Blasio voted “present” on the issue. Asked by reporters, he declined to take a stance on the letter.
Apparently he wants to confront inequality only when it means keeping unions happy. Otherwise, the poor can take a hike.
Salute to the heroes of D-Day
The importance of the D-Day invasion cannot be overstated, but its meaning becomes more easily understood during times of global chaos, such as the one we live in now. The 70th anniversary, then, captured both the magnitude of the unmatched operation and the stakes that led so many young men to bravely face the German guns.
To fully appreciate their courage, make yourself a promise. Promise that, before you die, you will go to Normandy. Promise that you will stand on the beach, climb into the bomb craters and bunkers and that, most of all, you will walk quietly through the cemeteries, which hold the remains of 9,386 Americans.
My promise is that you will never regret your visit, nor will you ever forget those brave souls.