God Forbid

Mormonism doesn’t work for me. I just wanted to get that straight, right off the bat. I have serious doubts about the timeline of events proffered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I just can’t swallow the idea that the Son of Man rolled away the rock and then ascended into heaven, only to make a pit stop on the other side of the planet. It’s not that I doubt that Jesus could have dropped in on the loincloth-and-human-sacrifice set; but if He did, His lessons clearly didn’t take — until Hernán Cortés and his Spanish legions reinforced it at the end of a musket. I likewise find the details of golden plates and seer stones pretty dubious.

But here’s the really cool part: I don’t spend time thinking about LDS doctrine, nor do I have to. Mormons are welcome to believe whatever the heck they want; the last time I checked, that’s the American (not to mention Constitutional) way. And I would have guessed that the Democrats would move to the front of line to join me in dismissing attempts to criticize any candidate based on his religious beliefs. After all, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) shares the Mormon faith espoused by Governor Mitt Romney; and I have heard no howls of derision pouring forth from the left regarding Reid donning any “magic underwear,” promoting polygamy or otherwise planning to impose his faith on those of us who prefer the booze to contain actual alcohol.

To be completely honest, with Congressmen like Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a Muslim, keeping company with Islamofascist-linked hate groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations while the Democrats accuse his detractors of religious bigotry and intolerance, it ought to follow that the LDS church, which has no ties to suicide bombers or their financiers, is free of the fickle finger of fatuousness.

It ought to follow, but it doesn’t. As I perused media and social networking sites, I caught a recurring theme of liberals launching venom at Romney and his faith. From Daily Beast Brit and Obama cheerleader Andrew Sullivan’s statement that “Mitt Romney belonged to a white supremacist church for 31 years of his life” to “Doonesbury” (yes Virginia, it does still exist) cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s crude attacks in a series of comic strips, there was nary a shred of religious acceptance to be found.

That sort of mouth-breathing, ignorant hate represents the worst kind of mindless political assault. And it is hardly isolated. The same Democrats who find Ellison’s pals such fun at a party have no room in their hearts for a guy who thinks of Utah as the Promised Land. The same liberals who cheered the idea of a mosque within AK-47 range of Ground Zero can’t abide the idea of a teetotaler in the Oval Office. The same Obama backers who slander anyone who opposes Obama with the rhetorical brush of racism just can’t imagine a Mormon in the White House.

If the Democrats really do want Americans to look past those matters of faith that separate us, then perhaps Romney’s religion ought not be a sticking point in 2012. There is no shortage of reasons to object to Romney, and he’s eminently preferable to the abominable Obama. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints causes me no great consternation. It’s not as if the Mormon clergy espouse a doctrine of hatred, racism and “God damn America.” Now that would be wrong, wouldn’t it?

–Ben Crystal

The End Is Near

We’re almost done with the endless parade of stupidity that has been the 2012 electoral season. We’re almost done listening to Mitt Romney try very hard to establish the conservative credentials he avoided until sometime in March. We’re almost through with enduring President Barack Obama’s daily litany of disgraceful lying. We’re almost finished watching party flacks wail, corporate media trash spin and self-appointed experts bloviate.

Almost.

On Tuesday, those of us who have yet to cast our ballots (that’s most of us) will step into polling places nationwide and partake of our still Constitutionally protected right to select the man who, right or wrong, will then become the single most important human being on the planet. In some heavily Democratic districts and selected cemeteries, some of us will partake of that right more than once. Afterward, those ballots will be counted — again, some more than once. The totals will be checked, the absentee and provisional ballot numbers (except for the ones the Democrats have thrown into the nearest convenient storm drain, Great Lake or community activist’s basement) will be tallied, and Ann Romney will begin selecting new drapes for the White House residency.

Again, almost.

What I’ve described represents the most likely scenario to unfold over the next 10 days. However, thanks to the magic of the U.S. Constitution, the possibility exists that Election 2012 may well make the George Bush-Al Gore battle of 2000 look like a disputed ballot for homecoming queen.

As of this moment, polling indicates Romney holds a slight lead in the popular vote, but he and Obama are running neck and neck for the Electoral College vote. Although a disparity in the popular and Electoral College results is highly unlikely (such an outcome has occurred only twice), lurking in the ballot booth is an even less common — but even more potentially catastrophic — finale. Romney and Obama could tie.

As is the norm for Presidential elections (they can’t all be Ronald Reagan v. Walter Mondale), neither of the major party candidates is likely to steamroll the other. However, should a couple of swing States fall in a certain way, Romney and Obama actually could wind up with 269 Electoral College votes apiece. For the victims of teachers’ unions, that’s one short of the number needed to forward your mail to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Indeed, the website 270towin.com offers different scenarios, some of which don’t stretch credulity particularly far, in which the swing States from Nevada to New Hampshire split between Romney and Obama and create the worst Constitutional crisis since Obamacare.

Just imagine the fun we would all have. With Romney and Obama splitting the Electoral College down the middle (presuming some elector doesn’t bolt his party, itself the political equivalent of a hand grenade in the proverbial potato salad), the responsibility for electing the next President would immediately fall to the 435 passengers in the Capitol Clown Car: the U.S. House of Representatives.

If one believes the Democrats’ overt threats of murder, rioting and other behavior currently spreading across Twitter and social media outlets like a scorching case of something carried by Lady Gaga and reminiscent of the so-called “Occupiers” (or of Detroit when the Pistons win the NBA title), then the House will convene while the Nation burns.  Given the current makeup of the House and the fact that even the most extreme liberal outlets like The New York Times and Dailykos agree that the GOP will keep control of the body through the elections, the House subsequently will proclaim Romney the new President.  Following that announcement, the aforementioned Motor City and a host of America’s other garden spots and States will fall into the sort of chaos that normally accompanies a pack of Skittles and what the media calls a “white Hispanic.”

Presuming said unrest doesn’t make the rest of the country look like East St. Louis, Ill., after a Louis Farrakhan speech, we’ll all get to enjoy the second act: the election of the Vice President. That’s right, kids. The House elects the President, and the Senate elects the guy (or gal; we’ll get back to that) who stands next to the Commander in Chief and gazes longingly at “the button.” And the Senate is projected to remain under the thumb of reprobate liar and accused serial farm-animal abuser (that’s what I heard, anyway) Senator Harry Reid and his Democratic do-nothings. Therefore, President Romney would be joined by Vice President Joe Biden. Even the gridlock of the 2006-2008 House under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi would seem like a meeting of the ladies’ sewing circle compared to the legislative pileup that would ensue.

In actuality, the real outcome of an Electoral College split actually would send us even farther off the deep end. Instead of staying in the Naval Observatory, Biden would join his boss, Obama, at the Michael Dukakis Home for Formerly Relevant Politicians. Biden is a national embarrassment whose invitation to all the cool parties at the White House depends entirely on Obama’s largesse. Once Obama hits the unemployment line, the Senate Democrats would experience no qualms about placing someone less likely to make racist comments about the guys behind the counter at the 7-Eleven, someone more likely to set the stage for a resurgence of Democratic power in Washington, someone like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

With Romney in the Oval Office, Clinton just down the hall, the House controlled by the GOP and the Senate controlled by the Democrats, the pace of business in Washington would likely roll to a pace slower than Al Sharpton running uphill in a hurricane. Scandals would follow scandals with even more frequency than they do currently. Voters nationwide would unite in ubiquitous disgust at the stupendous incompetence of and hyper-partisan quibbling by the people charged with the day-to-day operation of everything from the military to the Federal prison system.

The above scenario is hardly the most likely outcome of next week’s festivities. But it is a possibility — a worst-case result that could plunge the Nation into absolute disarray. However, the long-term blowback from an Electoral College tie between Romney and Obama actually offers a real light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the failure of the two major parties to reach meaningful accord, there was no realistic chance for a third party candidate to legitimately challenge them for the Presidency in 2012.

Four years of a Romney/Clinton “Administration” would not only break the stranglehold in which the current two-party system holds our future, it could even force the Republicans and Democrats to meet in a new battle: the fight to determine who gets to remain one of the two “major” parties and who gets to hang out with the lunatics from the Green Party at the also-rans convention in 2016.

–Ben Crystal

The First Time

Oh, my! The kiddies do seem riled up about the newest video sensation that’s confusing the Nation. As the clock ticks down on President Barack Obama’s chances to avoid being a Presidential footnote, Obama turned in an unusual — and not just a little bit creepy — direction to rally what he seems to think is some vast reservoir of untapped teenage voting muscle. And when I say “creepy,” I really mean “unmarked panel truck parked across from the elementary school for three straight days” creepy.

As last week drew to a close, a new viral ad hit the Web. In it, a young woman named Lena Durham — otherwise noteworthy for acting in, writing, directing and producing some witless, juvenile shlock named “Girls” for HBO (It’s not TV; it’s HBObama!) — describes voting for Obama in tones that I might use to describe Rebecca De Mornay showing up at my door with a bottle of The Black Grouse and a winning Powerball ticket. Actually, the “My First Time” ad is worse than my idea — if only because I’m not using sex to sell the most duplicitous President in history to children.

Here’s the ad.

 

 

Yikes. Now, don’t lump me in with the puritanical types who are screaming bloody murder about the unbelievably inappropriate tone of “My First Time.” Pointing out that this unsettling little bit of pro-Obama hype represents the sort of thing that makes my older brother consider sending my niece to a convent in the Yukon Territory is as obvious as suggesting Obama occasionally struggles with the truth. But I learned back when I was a kid that harping on overtly sexualized entertainment is a fool’s errand. Democrats responded to criticism of the spot by claiming that only “old white guys” criticized the ad. They might be right. By the standards of the audience at whom apparently everything produced by young Durham is aimed, I’m an old white guy; and I thought the project needed crampons and a pickaxe to reach insipid.

But being old and white doesn’t make me wrong. “My First Time” is supposed to inspire kids to cast their ballots for Obama.  It inspires me to wonder if we should reexamine the 26th Amendment. Of course, I don’t really think we should raise the voting age. Nearly 70 million Americans voted for Obama in 2008. The overwhelming majority of them were well past their 18th birthday. Given the Democrats’ predilection for — ahem — electoral mischief, some were likely well past their final birthday. But I would suggest that the Nation is in dire need of serious civics tutoring; and I don’t just mean the kiddies.

Perhaps I’d be better served by addressing the kids directly.

Hey, kids. Forget about Obama’s unprecedented failure as a diplomat, an economist and a man. This guy is right in the middle of record National debt; record underemployment; record loss of wealth; record numbers of Americans requiring government assistance to survive; record job losses; the cover-ups of Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi and the murders (which could have been prevented) of at least five Americans; the most arrogantly corrupt Federal government since the Warren Harding Administration; and the most divided populace in 150 years.

But ignore all of that. Instead, consider this: If you think that casting a ballot for some jug-eared, mom-jeans-wearing blowhard who lies as easily as you breathe and who runs and hides in the girls’ locker room whenever he gets caught is anything like doing “it,” then you’re doing “it” wrong.

–Ben Crystal

No Laughing Matter

All right, the “horses and bayonets” meme sweeping the Internet like one of those cat-doing-something-adorable pictures actually made me laugh. And the “ships that go underwater” Facebook fad is pretty damned funny, as well. Hell, I even considered the “binders full of” meme that dogged Mitt Romney last week worth at least a grin. Hey, I joke as much as the next pundit. Actually, the next pundit is Bob Livingston; so I joke a great deal more than the next pundit. But I don’t let the laughter distract me from the bigger picture.

I’m well aware that Barack Obama knows what a submarine is. Well, I’m fairly sure. Come to think of it, perhaps we should move along. But lost in the snickering was the fact that Obama was trying to belittle Romney’s expertise in the foreign-affairs arena. And, in doing so, Obama was also trying a little too hard to distract us from the very real failures that have defined his own tenure.

To quote the cool kids: “You got jokes, Mr. President?” I’m not really laughing. Obama’s attempts to change the narrative on what happened in Benghazi, Libya, feature more plot twists than a M. Night Shyamalan film festival. I’ve noticed Chris Matthews at the Democrat Channel is back to claiming a crappy YouTube video is responsible for the brutal murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three fellow innocent victims. How many versions have they offered? Seven? I’m just waiting for the Huffington Post inevitable banner headline:

NEW DETAILS EMERGE ON BENGHAZI — COLONEL MUSTARD SOUGHT FOR QUESTIONING
Retired officer rumored Romney bundler; Authorities claim he did it in the conservatory with a B-40

During Monday’s debate, Romney stated: “Is al-Qaida on the run? No.” Liberals lit up the blogosphere with outrage over what they characterized as Romney’s complete lack of awareness. Most took to chest-thumping over the execution of Osama bin Laden by SEAL Team 6. And perhaps Romney is mistaken; al-Qaida is indeed on the run. Unfortunately, it’s running directly toward and over our people.

Obama is currently running an ad that claims he dropped the curtain on “a decade of war which has cost us dearly.” Of course, he’s referring to our exit from the Iraqi theater. But while he conjures up images of himself surrounded by olive branch-toting doves, our servicemen and servicewomen continue to face ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. And the enemy there has become even less predictable and more sinister than ever, likely in response to perceived weakness. To paint himself as worthy of that Nobel Peace Prize wasted on him a few years back, Obama is not only brushing aside the fires of Benghazi, he’s turning his back on the thousands of flag-draped coffins he claims to meet at airports in between fundraisers and golf outings.

Obama’s reaction to increasing hot air from the Islamofascists who own Iran — including both their bellicosity toward Israel and their brazen attempts at loading their missiles with “the good stuff” — is about as funny as a Bill Maher therapy session, albeit with less rancor toward the ladies. As Romney pointed out during the debate, “Iran is four years closer to a nuclear bomb.” Nuclear bombs are seldom funny. Nuclear bombs wielded by guys whose idea of kicking back involves a nice brick of C-4 and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” on Blu-ray Disc are scarier than a night with that thing the TV tells me used to be Cher.

I’m not suggesting we start kicking in doors worldwide, looking to aerate the cranium of every two-bit jihadi, narcoterrorist and/or tin-pot dictator; although, I wouldn’t mind if they all simultaneously contracted terminal cases of lead poisoning. But as much as Obama seems to want to make jokes when he’s not out on his worldwide “apology tour” and as much as I enjoy making jokes about his endless parade of disgraces, Obama’s term has been less “funny ha-ha” and more “funny pile of corpses.”

We are the United States of America. We get to deal from a position of strength. We don’t forget the names of our soldiers, sailors and Marines — or those of our border agents and ambassadors. And that’s no joke, Mr. President.

–Ben Crystal

 

What I Did On My Debate Monday

As I write this, the hours tick inexorably toward the final Presidential debate of the 2012 electoral season. Millions, if not hundreds of millions, of  people the world over will sit in rapt attention as Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama tear into each other for our ballots like crackheads fighting over the wallet they just grabbed from the mugging victim. Candidates will bloviate; the moderator, CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer, will try to steer the forum to port while pretending to appear impartial; pundits will mock the participants; “fact-checkers” will eviscerate the candidates’ remarks in an effort to promote the agenda they swear they’re not promoting; and MSNBC hosts will suffer various degrees of mental breakdown — again.

Since the debate is supposed to focus on foreign affairs, Obama will point to our exit from Iraq combat operations as an accomplishment worthy of re-election. Romney will respond that Iraq is still a hellhole and has been reformulated with even more Islamofascist terrorism. Obama will claim to have delivered the promise of Nobel-worthy peace to the world. Romney will retort that the promise of peace carries about the same worth as all of Obama’s other promises and his Nobel Prize combined and that the situation in the Mideast is every bit the powder keg it was 40 years ago. Obama will then suggest that Romney lacks the experience to step into the Presidency. And Romney will say something like: “If I do the opposite of what you’ve done over the past four years, that’s probably a good start.”

Obama will note that “I” got Osama bin Laden. Romney will note that SEAL Team 6 “got” bin Laden and then Obama took credit for it — even forcing active duty personnel to sit for interviews with Hollywood vultures for some movie that will probably enrage Muslims. Obama will state that, under his watch, terrorism is on the run globally. Romney will state that terrorism may be on the run, but under Obama’s watch, it’s running at a dead sprint. Romney will express his revulsion at Obama’s mishandling of Benghazi, Libya; Obama will tell either the fifth or sixth version (I’ve lost count) of that sad story.

Obama will point to Romney’s finances in the Caymans and business interests in China. Romney will point to Obama’s finances in the Caymans and business interests in China. Obama will blame Romney for “outsourcing jobs to China.” Romney will blame Obama for forcing businesses to outsource jobs in order to stay in business despite union thugs, regulatory storm troopers and Obamacare costs.

On immigration, Romney will promise to enact stringent enforcement of illegal alien laws and increase border security. Obama will say he’s already done that. Romney will ask how Operation Fast and Furious fits into that claim. Obama will ask if “that’s the one with both Vin Diesel and ‘The Rock.’”

They’ll hem; they’ll haw; they’ll push and pull, accuse and counter-accuse, flex and bow, and try desperately to paint the other as grossly unqualified to lead America, much less the world, into the future. Their respective supporters will crow over their candidates’ victorious performance as their detractors shriek of lies and failings. It ought to be some spectacle.

Someone tell me how it turns out. I’m tired of these debate dog and pony shows and have the same respect for them that I reserve for “The Real Housewives of the Jerry Springer Shore” or whatever. I’m going to be watching the Bears-Lions Monday night football game. It’s not that I’m a big fan of either team; it’s just that I can always tell the two teams apart.

–Ben Crystal

It’s Not Debatable

I wasn’t expecting much Tuesday night. I knew President Barack Obama would be declared a winner by the effete elite if he managed to show up and not vomit on himself.

Since Vice President Joe Biden’s smirkfest last week against Congressman Paul Ryan— which looked very much like a cry for either help or a Thorazine prescription— Obama has been granted amnesty for everything from faked jobs reports to wildly divergent tales about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi. The Democrats have backed him through the endless stream of scandals, assaults on individual freedoms and even murders which have defined Obama’s tenure. At this point, I think he could stomp on a box of puppies and/or murder a Border Agent (heaven forbid!) and the Democrats would still snuggle up with him in the morning.

I would be remiss if I failed to note that these guys went after each other like fat guys fighting over the last piece of real cake at a vegan birthday party. Any voters who place “likeability” at or near the top of their list of criteria about which they give a damn will probably be writing in their own names come election day.

Both candidates behaved like slightly less-creepy versions of Biden from last week; although Obama appears to have missed a few days of rehearsal. If American politics had a live soundtrack, this debate would have been accompanied by one of those sad trombones they use in cartoons.

I originally intended to present a condensed version of the running commentary I maintained throughout the night’s festivities; but then something occurred to me: None of it really matters.

Obama and Romney are in a true horse race; and though Romney has nosed ahead in recent days, the question is still very much in doubt. As evidenced by the desperate enthusiasm feigned by liberal mouthpieces following Obama’s even-weirder-than-Biden’s-performance, Obama can’t really lose these dog-and-pony shows we call debates.

He double-, triple- and even quadruple-talked virtually every answer he proffered; most notably his tortured and twisted response to the aftermath of the Benghazi nightmare; and the Democrats cheered him for it. His answers on gas prices and so-called “green” energy boondoggles not only failed to meet the stink test (he claimed they would lower gas prices; when might those lower prices be kicking in?), they didn’t really even make sense. He presented himself as a friend of the coal industry; which might actually have been the biggest howler of the night; although none of his supporters even noticed, much less cared.

Romney and Obama will go toe-to-toe once more next Monday night. Obama will either go back to the cowering passivity which marked his disastrous debut debate, or he’ll come out swinging— and missing— wildly like he did in Hempstead, N.Y. Either way, his supporters will cheer his rudeness, ignore his mendacity and shriek at the opposition; just like every other day during the long national nightmare which has been his Presidency.

The debate ended with a member of the audience asking both candidates to describe their best features; essentially: “So, tell us why you’re awesome.” The question was silly; but Obama then made it sillier by using the time to attack Romney… again.

Look, people; Obama’s effort to reshape himself as an assertive executive has produced a twitchy, unlikeable liar with all the warmth of a teenaged prom queen. Perhaps, like Biden, Obama just doesn’t take to confrontation particularly well— although he doesn’t seem to struggle with behaving like an unruly child who feels slighted when mommy pays too much attention to the other kids. While Romney clearly stuck to his strategy of keeping Obama on defense; Obama— despite not-inconsequential help from hapless “moderator” Candy Crowley— shifted away from the cool, detached demeanor which he has cultivated throughout his term and toward a short-tempered, snide and juvenile attitude which might work on MSNBC but has no place in the Oval Office.

I understand that the true believers of the left will continue their blind support of Obama. But it strikes me that the most important lesson the Democrats SHOULD have learned during Obama’s latest public face plant missed them completely: The person for whom they should be rooting wasn’t even in the country during the debate; she was down in Peru.

–Ben Crystal

The Benghazi Shuffle

It’s probably worth noting that a Vice Presidential debate exerts the approximate impact on a Presidential election as a preseason game featuring a pair of backup quarterbacks does on the Super Bowl. However, following the drubbing former Governor Mitt Romney dropped on President Barack Obama two weeks ago, the proxy match which was the meeting between Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden offered much more excitement than any early-August NFL tilt — albeit not for the reasons Obama was hoping.

Biden’s bizarre behavior can likely be attributed to the Democratic desperation to regain momentum following Obama’s cowering performance against Romney. However, instead of bringing to mind Lloyd Bentsen making Dan Quayle look like a naughty schoolboy; Biden came off like a creepy old guy with either a serious drinking problem or a manic behavior disorder.

But Biden’s buffoonery paled in comparison to the deliberate dishonesty with which he responded to one of the defining disasters of Obama’s lamentable occupation of the Oval Office. Asked by moderator Martha Raddatz to explain the Obama Administration’s double- and even triple-talk about the circumstances surrounding the murders by terrorists of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three Americans in Benghazi, Libya, Biden didn’t even blink as he proclaimed himself and Obama merely misinformed bystanders: “Because that’s exactly what we were told by the intelligence community.”

Either Biden — and, by extension, Obama — lied through his hair plugs, or he didn’t. If he didn’t lie, then he and Obama are so insulated from the daily disgraces of their own underlings that they’re little more than figureheads. It is possible that Obama and Biden managed to avoid the facts regarding the Islamofascists’ murders of Stevens and three others; but if they did, they did so willfully.

The intelligence community passed along word of an organized terrorist action in Benghazi within hours of the attack. Even Democratic mouthpiece Newsweek reported the terrorist angle before the day was out. By the next day, members of Congress knew the score, including House Armed Services Committee member Adam Smith (D-Washington), who said as much: “This was not just a mob that got out of hand. … it was preplanned.” For Obama to enjoy a little bromance with sycophant David Letterman seven days later without accurate details required either breathtaking dishonesty or virtually complete isolation from his own duties.

Meanwhile, if Biden’s attempt to pin the blame on some phantom failure of the intelligence community stemmed from the same casual disregard for the truth that brought us other Obama achievements such as the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, then Obama’s desperate attempt to avoid responsibility for his own failures includes a willingness to throw intelligence service officers under the proverbial bus. That comes as no surprise, considering extreme disloyalty is a mere stones’ throw from extreme duplicity.

The morning following Biden’s fumble, Obama mouthpiece Jay Carney told reporters that Biden “was speaking directly for himself and for the president.” At least we can rest assured that the Vice President speaks only for himself and his boss and not someone particularly important. Actually, considering both Carney and the corporate media’s failure to acknowledge Biden’s obscene dishonesty in denying his own pro-war voting record, it’s possible that Crazy Joe speaks only to the voices in his head.

–Ben Crystal