- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2008


“It is time for Barack Obama to pay the piper,” Andrew C. McCarthy writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“For years, he and his fellow Democrats delighted in demagoguing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the military is still holding approximately 250 alleged enemy combatants men (down from over 800). Now, after all their bombast about the urgent need to close the facility the better, they harangued, to improve our standing in the ‘international community’ (compared to whose prisons Gitmo is actually a model of humaneness) the president-elect must face a harsh reality.

“For the American community, Gitmo was never the problem, and closing it will not solve anything,” Mr. McCarthy said.

“Candidate Obama called for a return of pre-9/11 counterterrorism thinking, meaning full-blown civilian trials for all captured terrorists. Come January 20, though, President Obama’s principal task will be to protect the national security of the United States, not to secure the admiration of Human Rights Watch. Thus he will confront the stubborn fact that not every jihadist who poses a danger to American lives can be brought to trial and proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in accordance with our civilian due process standards. …

“A certain component of human nature the one that watched the left mercilessly drub President Bush as he tried to protect the country yearns to revel in Obama’s self-induced straits. That impulse needs to be resisted. The president-elect promised a host of things he won’t be able to deliver. For those seeking to score political points, it’s not like there won’t be opportunities aplenty. National security, however, is something we need him to get right.”


“Political races are about candidates and issues. But election results, in the end, are about numbers. So now that the dust is settling on the 2008 presidential race, what do the numbers tell us?” Karl Rove asks in the Wall Street Journal.

“First, the predicted huge turnout surge didn’t happen. The final tally is likely to show that fewer than 128.5 million people voted. That’s up marginally from 122 million in 2004. But 17 million more people voted in 2004 than in 2000 (three times the change from 2004 to 2008),” Mr. Rove said.

“Second, a substantial victory was won by modest improvement in the Democratic share of the vote. Barack Obama received 2.1 points more in the popular vote than President Bush received in 2004, 3.1 points more than Vice President Al Gore in 2000, and 4.6 points more than John Kerry in 2004. In raw numbers, the latest tally shows that Mr. Obama received 66.1 million votes, about 7.1 million more than Mr. Kerry.

“Four out of five of these additional votes came from minorities. Mr. Obama got nearly 3.3 million more votes from African-Americans than did Mr. Kerry; 2.9 million of them were from younger blacks aged 18-29. A quarter of Mr. Obama’s improvement among blacks — 811,000 votes — came from African-Americans who voted Republican in 2004. Mr. Obama also received 2.5 million more Hispanic votes than Mr. Kerry. Over a third of these votes — 719,000 — cast ballots for Republicans in 2004.

“One of the most important shifts was Hispanic support for Democrats. John McCain got the votes of 32 percent of Hispanic voters. That’s down from the 44 percent Mr. Bush won four years ago. If this trend continues, the GOP will find it difficult to regain the majority.”


“I’m delighted that Barack Obama has been elected president and that foreigners are delighted, too. But I never viewed eliciting delight from non-Americans a reason for choosing a president, including one of color,” Froma Harrop writes in the Providence (R.I.) Journal.

“No other people so fervently seek the admiration of others as do Americans. On the left, that tendency is obvious. There has been much talk of Obama ‘rebranding’ America as a liberal land of race-blind equality. It is remarkable how many Americans, young people especially, yearn for an ‘openness seal of approval’ from people in countries whose records on racial integration is worse than ours,” the columnist said.

“The right suffers its own hypersensitivity, though that gets manifested in different ways. If a Frenchman claims that the cheese is better in his country — much less goes off on a general anti-American tear — the super-patriots launch a carpet-bombing attack on everything that has happened in his country for the last 20 centuries.

“The left tries to please, and the right tries to hit back. Either way, it’s an overreaction.

“America is a land of ideas, not ethnicity. That’s its strength. If a change in how America deals with the world is what voters wanted, then a president of any color could have done it. On this score, John McCain would have been a vast improvement over the current White House occupant. Obama’s job is to offer a sage foreign policy — not heartwarming proof that Americans will elect a biracial leader with a Muslim middle name.”


“The folks over at Newsweek have a sly sense of humor,” Fred Siegel writes at www.weeklystandard.com.

“They put New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the cover of their November 3 issue and let him dispense fiscal advice to the next president. In the article, Bloomberg, who has presided over record levels of spending and debt increases, chastised ‘Washington’ for putting us in a hole by ‘spending with reckless abandon for years.’ The lofty Bloomberg told Newsweek’s readers, ‘Programs that don’t pass a cost-benefit analysis, that have been driven by politics rather than economics, should be cut.’

“This is excellent advice. But Bloomberg has never taken it,” Mr. Siegel said. “One of the few things economists agree on, for example, is that subsidized sports stadia are a bad investment of public funds. They are also one of Bloomberg’s passions. …

“The man who has helped preside over the gigantic hole at Ground Zero — where rebuilding is many years behind schedule and massively over budget — nonetheless insisted in Newsweek that the federal government hold the states and the cities ‘accountable for building on time and on budget.’

“Newsweek’s offices are in New York City; shouldn’t Bloomberg’s assertions have raised a few red flags?”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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