(Video) Up or Down? American greatness is a choice.

**Posted by Phineas

In his latest Firewall, Bill Whittle looks at two recent incidents — a MSNBC host having trouble referring to Americans killed in battle as heroes, and the resupply of the International Space Station by a private American company — to illustrate two possible paths for America: “Up or Down.”

Bill ends by saying “decline is a choice,” perhaps echoing the title of Charles Krauthammer’s brilliant analysis of modern liberal foreign policy.

But I prefer a more positive framing: that national greatness —American greatness— is our choice. It’s the choice between the diffident, enervating, and self-absorbed navel-gazing of a Chris Hayes on the one hand, and the belief of Americans-by-choice that here humanity can still achieve great things — liberate a nation, defend civilization, or build rockets to carry us into space. We have all the resources and people we need; we have the spirit.

We just have to make a choice.

LINK: More at Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(Video) “Fine?”

**Posted by Phineas

At a press conference last Friday, President Obama asserted that the “private sector is doing fine,” something that approached Biden-like levels of detachment from reality.

It didn’t take long for the Romney campaign to say, in effect, “Oh, yeah? On what planet?”

Expect to see this on TVs everywhere in the coming months.

This moment is especially revealing:

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government.”

(transcript via Hot Air)

Obama’s concern isn’t with the private sector, regardless of the feeble state of the so-called “recovery” or the danger of another recession. His priorities are those of the statist — the primacy of government in society. His solutions to “problems” in the public sector are those of the Socialist (1): more government, more borrowing and spending, in spite of the evident failure of the first stimulus (2).

It’s the view of someone so trapped by his ideological paradigms that he literally cannot see what’s all around him, like a horse with blinders on. Hence, “the private sector is doing fine.”

Next November, we take the blinders off for him.

PS: Romney 2012

(1) But more on that, later.
(2) For a good explanation of why fiscal stimulus fails, see Bruce Reidl.

UPDATE: Louisiana’s Governor Jindal also noted Obama’s “government first” orientation:

“I suspect that many in the Obama administration really don’t believe in private enterprise. At best they see business as something to be endured so that that it can provide tax money for government programs,” said Jindal.

Responding to Obama’s statement that the private sector was doing fine, he added: “Mr. President, I’ve got a message for you: The private sector is not doing well when 23 million Americans are unemployed and underemployed in this great country. This president, the private sector is so foreign to him he might need a passport to actually go visit and he might need a translator to help him talk to folks in the private sector.”

Yep. (via ST‘s Hot Headlines)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#NN12: Dems threatening not to vote for Obama, not “progressive” enough

CBS DC reports disenchantment in the air at the liberal Netroots Nation 2012 gathering over President Obama’s time in the WH:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBSDC/AP) — They are trying to be hopeful, but the Democratic Party’s most passionate voters are struggling to hide their frustration with President Barack Obama.

Republicans attack the president as a big-government liberal. Many liberals meeting Thursday at Netroots Nation — it describes the annual convention as “a giant family reunion for the left” — argue instead that Obama hasn’t fought hard enough for progressive priorities on taxes, health care and the economy.

Even more problematic for the president: With the election just five months away, some are threatening not to donate money or time or even vote in November for the man who overwhelmingly ignited their passions and captured their imaginations four years ago.

“I want to be happy with him,” said Democrat Kristine Vaughan, a 45-year-old school psychologist from Canton, Ohio. “But I am finding that he has succumbed to the corporate influence as much as everyone else. I think he has so much potential to break out of that, but overall he has been a disappointment.”

Vaughan isn’t sure whether she’ll vote for Obama a second time and probably won’t donate money as she did during his first campaign. She refuses to support Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but is considering writing in another candidate in protest.

The sentiment is not unique among the 2,700 people gathered on the first day of this three-day convention. More than a dozen liberals interviewed here indicated some level of frustration with the president, despite widespread praise for his recent decision to support gay marriage and ongoing push to scale back military action in the Middle East.

Most plan on voting for Obama and their gripes are not unlike what the White House has heard for much of the president’s term. But these left-leaning backers’ varying levels of enthusiasm could spell trouble for a president whose 2008 victory was fueled by a massive network of grass-roots volunteers and small-dollar donors. Polls show the president locked in a tight race that’s likely to be decided in several swing states where he scored narrow victories four years ago. Places like Ohio, Florida and Virginia are expected to be especially competitive, and Obama will need liberal supporters to both work on his behalf and turn out in droves on Election Day.

Stoking the anti-Obama discontent, in spite of a pre-recorded video message from the President shown prior to the keynote address at NN12, was former Obama green czar Van Jones – the keynote speaker himself:

“He stands up for Trayvon; he stands up for gay marriage; we like him,” Jones said of Obama in the keynote speech of the evening. “But we’re not in love with him.”

“We went from having a crush to feeling crushed,” he added, as the convention hall — which at about 1,500 activists was about half-full compared with where it stood during Warren’s address on Friday — responded with cheers and applause.

Jones in September 2009 resigned from his “green czar” post amid pressure from the right over his past activism, including the appearance of his name on a petition for a group suggesting the Bush administration was responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Jones has maintained that he never signed the petition and does not agree with the statement.

In the years since, he has remained popular among the left and has stayed active in politics as a fellow at the Center for American Progress and as founder of the Rebuild the Dream campaign.

His Saturday night remarks, which came on the heels of Democrats’ loss in the Wisconsin recall election and as Obama has stumbled on the campaign trial, underscored the challenge the president faces in energizing his base in November.

“We have a quandary,” Jones said Saturday night. “We know we’re supposed to be fired up, and we know we’re supposed to be ready to go. But we’re pissed off! We’re mad. And we have reason to be. … Somebody said, ‘I feel like I’m caught between Barack and a hard place.’”

Jones urged the progressive base to be “twice as committed and twice as passionate as we were in 2008,” calling on them to both work to reelect Obama and “hold the president accountable to progressive values.”

“We have to have a president who’s willing to be moved, and you have to have a movement that’s willing to do the moving. And we have not had both at the same time,” he said.

But even as he called on activists to rally behind the president, Jones backed up his argument with a list not of reasons to be enthusiastic about Obama, but rather of reasons to oppose Republicans, including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

All I have to say is that these people are batsh*t crazy if they think Obama “hasn’t been liberal enough” – from ObamaCare, to “spread the wealth”, to higher taxes, to a deep disdain for capitalism,  to the belief in the power of government over the rights of the individual, to far left beliefs on social issues like abortion, this guy is undoubtedly a liberal – well to the left of any Democrat president in modern history — in fact, possibly in all of US history.  And if the nitwits at Netroots Nation really believe he isn’t, than they’re even further to the left than I had previously thought.

Twitter has been a hotbed of discussion about #NN12 by both conservatives and liberals. Read the diversity of opinions here.