Brace for a weekend brimming with speculation about President Obama‘s splashy Nuclear Security Summit and reassurance tour, which begins Monday. There will be diplomatic hand-holding and noble sound bites for the press. Progressives, pacifists and Mr. Obama’s liberal base will be reassured that he’s still all hopey-changey. Military brass will ease into appropriate supportive roles and say “commander in chief” a lot. The president will not wear a leather flight jacket. But wait. Does it all mean anything?
“This move by President Obama is actually typical liberal feel-good nonsense. It feels good because big, scary nukes are somehow going to destroy the world on their own, using the same kind of reasoning that says guns alone kill people. The truth is different. Nuclear weapons have given us all a far safer political world,” Dan Gainor, an analyst with the Business and Media Institute, tells Inside the Beltway.
“Add to it that the biggest danger isn’t Russia, and certainly not the U.S. The danger is tiny, lunatic regimes like Iran, which Mr. Obama refuses to do anything about. That strategy got us a nuclear-armed lunatic in North Korea, and now the president will deliver more of the same to one of the most sensitive areas of the world - the Mideast,” Mr. Gainor adds.
One-time CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson is one of many notables publicly opposing nuclear weapons. She once tracked “HEU” - highly enriched uranium - from one rogue nation to the next in her clandestine role. These days, Ms. Plame Wilson has written an anti-nuke Op-Ed for CNN, and taped a dramatic message for the network titled “Nukes Not OK.”
The no-nuke notables have a nook, however. Many have flocked to Global Zero, a motley, noisy group that has partnered with MoveOn.org and other groups to promote a planet free of nuclear weapons.
Among the many members: Queen Noor of Jordan, Jimmy Carter, “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Lawrence Bender, former Sens. Jake Garn, Gary Hart and Chuck Hagel; former U.S. ambassador Thomas Pickering, career diplomat Lawrence Eagleburger, former Reagan administration adviser Robert McFarlane and former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci.
But there’s showbiz afoot, too. The group’s street activists will deliver a “global petition” to the aforementioned summit, and there’s much ado about Mr. Bender’s newest oeuvre, “Countdown to Zero,” a docudrama that warns of assorted nuclear dangers.
Wait, there’s more. The group also is launching “a Global Zero ‘road tour’ in which young volunteers travel the country organizing campus and community-based screenings of the film to build momentum toward its theatrical release and to enlist more people in the Global Zero movement.”
Hmm. Bring on the polar bears.
“Palin/Bachmann 2012: Strong Women Scare Libs.”
Bumper sticker spotted in Waldorf, Md.
“The Tea Party is being pilloried by many who claim that their slogan ‘Take back our country’ is racist, elitist or exclusionary. But the tea partiers didn’t originate that pithy expression. James Carville and Paul Begala had a book published in 2006 titled ‘Take it Back: Our Party, Our Country, Our Future.’ Perhaps those gentlemen were ahead of their time,” says observant Inside the Beltway reader Stan Welli.
Well, they were ahead of, uh, something.
“According to Begala and Carville, the Democrats should stop being weenies and get out there and win,” publisher Simon and Schuster noted at the time.
RIGHT OF WAY
There’s the new Human Events editor Jason Mattera and CNN analyst Erick Erickson. Now add Brenton Stransky and Dr. Andrew Foy to the list of feisty “conservadudes.”
The pair has penned “The Young Conservative’s Field Guide: Facts, Charts and Figures” for those who intend to “soundly defeat liberal arguments not with rhetoric, but cold, hard, indisputable evidence,” they say. The guide is available at Amazon and other online sites; for a look-see, visit www.ahardright.com.
“Too often, conservatives fall prey to liberal traps intended to make them appear heartless and radical. Our book isn’t about name-calling or emotion-based arguments; it simply presents arguments supported by irrefutable evidence and facts,” says Dr. Foy.
“The best way to stop the insanity of what is happening with the government takeover of our lives is not to yell or rant,” he adds. “It’s the truth that will set this country free again.”
The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s upcoming “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State” reports that more than 8 percent of the entire U.S. gross domestic product is eaten up by “regulatory costs” - a cruel fact to consider at tax time.
“A regulatory monster is eating America’s economy. Not only do federal regulations cost Americans more than the income tax, they cost about as much as the entire GDP of Canada,” analyst Ryan Young tells Beltway. “Since regulatory costs don’t show up in the budget, more than a trillion dollars of government’s cost go largely unnoticed. The burden of government is actually about a third larger than most people think.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 83 percent of U.S. voters say nuclear weapons are important to national security.
• 55 percent oppose President Obama’s new policy that limits use of nuclear weapons in response to a chemical attack by a non-nuclear country.
• 54 percent say it’s unlikely other countries will reduce their number of nuclear weapons.
• 53 percent say the U.S. should not reduce its number of nuclear weapons.
• 45 percent say the U.S. should continue to develop new nuclear weapons.
• 34 percent disagree and 21 percent are not sure.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted April 6-7.