Jun 01 2010

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Have you been listening to talk radio or watching Fox News?

Is it just me, or does it seem as if commentators have come down with a bad case of “I told you so,” rolling out seemingly endless clips of past predictions to build credibility for policy or political positions today?

In light of this, I’m sure most of you have worried to no end whether your Journal of choice was worth the considerable time and effort necessary to digest these formidable essays, as others have justified the soundness of their judgements based on the guesses of yesterday.

Fear not Loyal Readers.

I have combed the Duffy archives, dating back to 2006, for golden nuggets that should restore faith in your humble scribe.

The best are below for your perusal, with a few that are still awaiting history’s nod. I have taken the liberty of italicizing passages that might be particularly relevant…..

Many thanks for your continued patronage and enjoy.

March 28, 2006 (McCain’s Prospects)

“The irony for McCain is the inverse relationship between Republican political fortunes in 2006 and his own in ‘08.  If…the Republicans are blown out, and the Democrats return to power in one house or both, McCain will solidify his status as the pragmatic and consensus choice… Right now, it’s looking like it may be McCain’s to lose.

June 27, 2008 (Obama VP Prediction)

“If Obama makes a pure foreign policy pick, it will be Biden.” (In fairness, Duffy ultimately picked Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) as the consensus choice).

September 23, 2008 (TARP Debate)

Righteous indignation is no substitute for tangible solutions. Blame is no substitute for action. Victimhood should be dispelled, not celebrated.
None of this would be particularly worrisome if it weren’t for the fact that Nancy [Pelosi] and the Democrats may very well get the keys to the country, lock, stock and barrel in 40 days.

Blaming George W. Bush and the GOP may be immensely satisfying emotionally, but it’s a disturbing and egregiously incomplete substitute for governing a nation.
Come November 4th, don’t say you weren’t warned.”

October 25, 2008 (Campaign & Governance)

“Obama’s…promise belies his record. He promises post-partisanship but has never taken on his own Party or reached across the aisle. He promises sweeping government reform, but has done little legislative work in the Senate or even in the Illinois Senate. He speaks to the sensible middle, but his voting record is entirely liberal.

His policy program stripped of its rhetoric, redistributes wealth from rich to poor, tightens regulation and increases taxation on business, builds impediments to free trade and creates new and complex bureaucracies to manage health care and greenhouse gas emissions.”

October 19, 2008 (Democratic Governing Priorities)

“And don’t be fooled. The new [Democratic] agenda won’t be post-partisan.  In fact, it will be the most toxically partisan, liberal agenda since the Great Society or New Deal.

When Obama talks about unity he is not talking about compromise. Indeed, he has no record of compromise; only of towing the Party line… The irony here is that instead of Bush-Cheney partisanship based on small majorities, this is partisanship based on larger majorities.”

February 2, 2009 (Stimulus Debate)

Today we stand on the precipice of utilizing liberal social dogma as an economic tool to end recession. This would be laughable but for the gargantuan amounts of money contemplated in the experiment, which pose enormous fiscal risks.

Over the horizon we have a debate on reforming national health care that involves 1/7th of the US economy…Start adding the trillions together and suddenly we are talking about real money here.

Team Obama has unaccustomed political running room… The President enjoys the trust and good will of the American people, formidable majorities in Congress and a fawning and compliant media.

It is a unique moment of reckoning where he can reach for statesmanship or rely on ideology.

Who is Barack Obama?  We’re about to find out.”

February 10, 2009 (Stimulus Debate)

“For all the frivolous hype on “44”, the “wonton lawlessness and arrogance” of the Bush administration seems to have been replaced by the restive impatience of a new crew no less committed to getting their way.

West Texas assurance has simply been replaced by Ivy League impertinence.

Of course, that’s all the elite media ever really wanted, arrogance it could relate to.”

February 18, 2009 (Iran)

“We have reached the nexus where revolutionary Islamic ambition and national pride runs headlong into US foreign policy priorities in a region critical to US economic and security interests.

Can Obama stop Iran through talks? Will he have to give more than is prudent to reach a greater nuclear good? Or is talk, as it has been with the Europeans, only a time-wasting device for the Iranians whose very revolutionary foundation prevents meaningful settlement with the ‘Great Satan.’

Duffy bets that the Iranians won’t compromise meaningfully. We are left with less than satisfactory options; Containment, Regime Change or Appeasement. Will Obama be a revered peacemaker, or will he fatefully have to address an evil now to avoid a bigger evil later.

Next move Obama.”

April 19, 2009 (Executive Overreach)

“As the Fourth Estate was busy sanctifying President Obama as a modern day Admiral Halsey over his role in the “pirate hostage crisis” in the Indian Ocean, the Obama administration was busy back home declaring war on your car.

Did you miss that?

The proposed [EPA] finding represents a tectonic shift in the debate over climate change and a genuinely audacious expansion of government power with consequential costs to citizens and the economy. If [finalized], unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats will have power to regulate everything from vehicles to coal fired power plants.”

April 26, 2009 (Healthcare & Reconciliation)

“In contrast to Bush and 2001, Obama and the Democrats are so uncertain of their prospects in garnering one or two Republican votes [for health care] that they must employ Reconciliation. Or even worse, they have concluded that despite their lopsided advantage in the Senate that they cannot keep their Caucus in check and could conceivably lose 5-7 votes unless Reconciliation is utilized.

That demonstrates a stunningly narrow, ideological agenda, which like the Stimulus bill, could not withstand the scrutiny of the normal legislative process. It is provocative, breathtaking and chilling all at once.”

June 13, 2009 (Terrorist Interrogation Tactics)

“In the run up to the 2004 election, Democrats were frothing with indignation that President Bush had been asleep at the switch, and that the Administration had failed to “connect the dots” to prevent the attacks of September 11th…But now, nearly eight years after September 11th, the Obama Administration’s concerted efforts to rebrand and restructure a War on Terror as a “Mob take-down” creates an alarming possibility for unconnected dots.

As much as we bend and even deny reality, we ultimately cannot run from it. It is not a September 10th world. In a vernacular that it finds itself most comfortable with, the Obama administration may consider itself so advised.”

July 11, 2009 (Obama-nomics)

“The emerging, fundamental paradox of the Obama legislative program is that robust economic activity is at the heart of its success. Yet the legislative program itself is the biggest drag on economic growth through misallocating resources, increasing public debt, new direct and indirect taxation, market uncertainty and  colossal federal intrusion into the workings of the private market at all levels and sectors.

In sum, the goals of the Obama administration are at war with the means to achieve it – indeed are undermining it.”

August 2, 2009 (American Exceptionalism)

“The American Left believes Exceptionalism is jingoism, which is an obvious misnomer. Over the span of history, American Exceptionalism is not only America’s story, it is a story about enduring ideals that have freed peoples, transformed countries, created wealth and knowledge, and advanced culture and science unequaled in the human experience.

We didn’t have a misunderstanding with the Kaiser, Nazism or Communism. There were consequential values at stake; a right and a wrong.

Our greatness as a nation is no sin. Our strength as country is no threat. Our willingness to engage tyrants is no virtue. While the necessity to speak for freedom is no vice.”

August 5, 2009 (Democratic Governance)

“By focusing on the abstract of President Obama’s impatience to get everything done at once, instead of focusing exclusively on the real life concerns of voters for whom bread and butter issues were frighteningly real, the entire Democratic agenda is suddenly in danger.

As the President’s rhetoric and Democratic defense of the Stimulus ultimately is proved false, so voters are now looking with a keen eye regarding rosy rhetoric on health care reform that seems disquietingly similar today.

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”

August 15, 2009 (Healthcare)

“President Obama will sign a health care bill this year. Democrats won’t hang their own man out to dry on what he himself has said is his single most important legislative priority.  They have the votes.

If there is angst here, it should be focused on Obama’s leadership.  He promised something different during the campaign; united change. In practice, he has been the most conventional of politicians, rewarding loyal constituencies, marginalizing opponents and insisting upon his course.”

September 14, 2009 (9-12-09 Tea Party Protest – Washington, DC)

“The Democrats who dismissed the town hall meetings were quick to dismiss the [9-12] rally as well as some form of fringe movement, out of the mainstream. This is a crucial mistake. These folks weren’t goons; I couldn’t find anyone who had been paid to come.  The signs were home-made and hilarious in many cases.  These were not conservative counterparts to the SEIU, ACORN and other paid, Democratic trouble makers who stir trouble through protest.

This is a genuine grass roots movement that Obama and the Democrats ignore at their peril.”

October 31, 2009 (Healthcare)

In sum, you have a health care proposal that is advertised at less than half its cost. You have tax increases on businesses and individuals during economic uncertainty, undermining incentives to create and grow in the private sector. You have vast new bureaucracies and mandates; federal agencies criminalizing the market mechanism. And you are effectively stripping older Americans of coverage to provide it to the uninsured [or] under insured.

Expanded access, affordability and quality? Nonsense. This bill is a recipe for disaster. No better terror could be unveiled right before Old Hollow’s Eve.”

November 4, 2009 (Election 2009)

“In sum, 2009 was not so much a win for the Republicans as it was a loss for the Democrats. The centrist Obama of the campaign of 2008 gave way to the Leftist, partisan Obama of Washington in 2009, captive of Pelosi and the liberal special interests.

Republicans found a winning formula amid Democratic policy excess. Whether they themselves overreach in developing a winning strategy for 2010, based on this year, will be the key to victory next November.”

November 9, 2009 (Governance & Healthcare)

If they stay the current course, the Democrats, with a highly partisan and ideological agenda, increasingly ignore the wishes of the electorate at their own catastrophic electoral peril.”

December 2, 2009 (Afghan Surge)

“My unfettered congratulations to President Obama for making the right decision on Afghanistan in his speech to the nation last night.

It was both useful and necessary for the President…to lay out the rationale for his troop surge in Afghanistan…And as difficult as this decision clearly was for the President, it is a geopolitical necessity, a test of his resolve, and for many, a test of his credibility.”

December 30, 2009 (Christmas Terror & the Government Response)

“After eight years and the literal creation of a vast domestic security apparatus from scratch, channeling hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars ostensibly to keep Americans safe, a 23 year old Nigerian beat the system just as the 9-11 hijackers did.
That should give you pause.

Now what would you think that says about the government’s ability to run something mundane, say, like health care?”

January 17, 2010 (Preview on Scott Brown)

“So, can Scott Brown win?

Yes he can. A win ironically enabled by the very politics he does battle against.

And in a Brown win, the shear improbability of victory will serve as the measure of his consequence to Washington and the nation. Democrats should be scared. Very, very scared.”

February 14, 2010 (Lost Opportunities of 2009)

“It is hard not to conclude that we have sadly lost a year, fiddling in a variety of ideological policy experiments, while the real economy teeters.

Does anyone really believe that the corrupted health care bill or the growth inhibiting and scarcity inducing Cap N’ Trade bill will solve the financial crisis? Will a slimmed down government stimulus under a different name succeed where a much larger bill failed? That we have seemingly not learned from the mistakes and inaction of 2009 is a wake-up call for concerned Americans.”

February 21, 2010 (Tax Increase Predictions)

“Two predictions on what the Obama tax increase will trigger.

First, there will be a fall off in the stock market toward the end of 2010 as wealthy investors cash in before the tax increase kicks in, so they can take their profits and escape taxation. This will create… a problem with financial instability [and] with claims of “recovery” as capital flees equities and the stock market drops, with any number of unintended consequences.

Second and longer term, it is much less likely that the Treasury will ever see the full $678 billion over the next decade, since capital will simply move to where it can get a better return. This has the regrettable impact of depriving the US market of at least some of that capital for investment, innovation and jobs creation at home.

It the end, it is the irony of President Obama’s commitment to social justice that his highly ideological view of wealth creation will likely hobble – not incentivize – robust economic recovery, meaning enduring hardship for the very people in whose name Obama and liberals claim to be working for.”

May 10, 2010 (Rising to the Challenge of Fiscal Calamity)

“Can our democratic political institutions adapt to make the fundamental changes essential to our continued prosperity? As Moody’s said, changes that will test the “social cohesion”’ of our society?

Ultimately, can a nation substitute shared sacrifice for personal gain, not to the detriment of their individual economic freedom, but in their expectation of what government can and will do for the individual; effectively rescuing us from our own public-sector avarice?

Can we take responsibility for ourselves once again? The jury is out, but the wave is still coming. That is chilling.”

May 19, 2010 (The Road Forward)

“We are at a fork in the road as a nation. Right now we have the wealth, the knowledge, the intelligence, manufacturing plant, the culture of ideas and wealth creation, which can rescue us from precarious financial circumstances, if only we stand up and acknowledge them.

But time is running short. We have wasted a lot of time on denial, ignorance and selfishness, feeding at the public trough and approving of every strong cut that does not affect our own government revenue stream.

[W]e have to want to…we need to want to pass along the promise of America that was given to us by our parents, to our children and grand children.

That future is worth fighting for sacrificing for, working for, and dreaming for.

And it is still possible.  But not for long.”


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