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AmericanValues: 12-1-09 End of Day

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

A Decision

At West Point tonight, President Obama will address the nation to announce his long-awaited decision on sending reinforcements to Afghanistan. Press reports suggest the president will announce the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops, short of the number requested by General Stanley McChrystal.

Beyond the details, it will be interesting to see how much effort the president, in spite of his discomfort with the concept of victory, devotes to trying to convince the 67% of his fellow Democrats who oppose the surge that it is necessary to defeat the Islamofascists. I fear the president will also signal that we will leave soon. If he does, it will doom the surge to failure.

The Debate Begins

Yesterday, the United States Senate began debating Harry Reid’s 2,074-page healthcare “reform” bill. Declaring that the nation is facing a “real crisis,” Reid warned senators that they would be working Saturdays and Sundays through the end of the year in order to finish the debate as quickly as possible. Should Reid’s legislation become law, the “reforms” wouldn’t take effect until 2014. So much for the crisis. But you will start paying higher taxes next year.

The Democrats are determined to pass healthcare “reform,” but the American people are increasingly skeptical of their judgment. A Gallup poll released yesterday finds declining support for Congress’ attempt at healthcare “reform.” Gallup found that since October, support has fallen five points, while opposition has risen six points. That represents an 11-point swing in public opinion against the legislation in just a few weeks. Today, only 35% support it. According to Gallup, support for the bill is down seven points since September among self-identified Democrats and down 11 points among Independents, 53% of whom now oppose the bill.

A new Rasmussen poll has even more disturbing news for congressional liberals. The voters don’t believe them when they insist healthcare “reform” won’t raise their taxes or add to the deficit. According to Rasmussen, 60% of likely voters believe that healthcare “reform” legislation will add to our nation’s growing debt burden, and 75% believe that middle class taxes will go up as a result. This is very significant because several Rasmussen polls clearly show that voters continue to put much greater emphasis on improving the economy and reducing the deficit than on healthcare “reform.”

Political implications aside, anyone remotely interested in the idea of government-run socialized medicine ought to take a moment to thoroughly research the issue. Yet another report from Great Britain demonstrates that quality suffers when the bureaucracy takes over.

Clemmons And Clemency

This morning, cop killer Maurice Clemmons was shot dead by Seattle police officers. This thug’s unprovoked attack on four Washington state police officers is another disturbing example of violence directed at the dedicated men and women who take an oath to defend and protect the public. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families.

In a bizarre twist that demonstrates the unpredictability of politics, the shooting may have a tremendous effect on the 2012 presidential campaign. According to the Seattle Times, Maurice Clemmons had a lengthy criminal history, including five felony convictions in Arkansas for which he had been sentenced to 108 years in prison. As it turns out, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee granted Clemmons a clemency request in 2000, reducing his sentence and making him eligible for parole. In 2004, Clemmons moved to Washington state.

It is impossible to avoid media reports of Huckabee’s involvement in this case: It is front page news today in the liberal New York Times and the conservative Washington Times. It was a banner story yesterday on the conservative National Review website, and ABC News featured a story highlighting Huckabee’s history of controversial clemencies.

To his credit, Gov. Huckabee, appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show, took responsibility for his actions, saying, “I’m responsible for that and it’s not something I’m happy about at this particular moment.” And in fairness to Gov. Huckabee, all the conjecture about 2012 may be moot since he has said in recent days that a run in 2012 is “less than likely.” But given that many Democrats still think Michael Dukakis lost the 1988 election because of Willie Horton (who committed murder after then-Massachusetts Gov. Dukakis granted him release from prison), liberals are guaranteed to raise the issue if Huckabee does run.

I felt compelled to address this subject for two reasons. First, it is a very good example of how unforeseen events can determine political futures. I can safely say that George W. Bush never anticipated 9/11 or how his entire presidency would be dominated by that single event. Who knows what will happen between now and 2012 that might fundamentally alter the political landscape. The economy might rebound and, like Reagan in 1984, Obama might be easily reelected. Iran might detonate a weapon of mass destruction and, like Jimmy Carter in 1980, whose fate was also tied to Tehran, Obama might lose in a landslide.

Second, taking Huckabee at his word – that another run is “less than likely” – I would appreciate your feedback. At this early stage, is there a presidential candidate you prefer for 2012? Please use this link to respond. Thank you.

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