The Credibility Gap, the Real State of the Union

While I don’t wish to speak too harshly about President Obama’s state of the union address, we live in challenging times that call for candor. I call them as I see them, and I hope my frank assessment will be taken as an honest effort to move this conversation forward.

Last night, the president spoke of the “credibility gap” between the public’s expectations of their leaders and what those leaders actually deliver. “Credibility gap” is a good way to describe the chasm between rhetoric and reality in the president’s address. The contradictions seemed endless.

He called for Democrats and Republicans to “work through our differences,” but last year he dismissed any notion of bipartisanship when he smugly told Republicans, “I won.”

He talked like a Washington “outsider,” but he runs Washington! He’s had everything any president could ask for – an overwhelming majority in Congress and a fawning press corps that feels tingles every time he speaks. There was nothing preventing him from pursuing “common sense” solutions all along. He didn’t pursue them because they weren’t his priorities, and he spent his speech blaming Republicans for the problems caused by his own policies.

He dared us to “let him know” if we have a better health care plan, but he refused to allow Republicans in on the negotiations or consider any ideas for real free market and patient-centered reforms. We’ve been “letting him know” our ideas for months from the town halls to the tea parties, but he isn’t interested in listening. Instead he keeps making the nonsensical claim that his massive trillion-dollar health care bill won’t increase the deficit.

Americans are suffering from job losses and lower wages, yet the president practically demanded applause when he mentioned tax cuts, as if allowing people to keep more of their own hard-earned money is an act of noblesse oblige. He claims that he cut taxes, but I must have missed that. I see his policies as paving the way for massive tax increases and inflation, which is the “hidden tax” that most hurts the poor and the elderly living on fixed incomes.

He condemned lobbyists, but his White House is filled with former lobbyists, and this has been a banner year for K Street with his stimulus bill, aka the Lobbyist’s Full Employment Act. He talked about a “deficit of trust” and the need to “do our work in the open,” but he chased away the C-SPAN cameras and cut deals with insurance industry lobbyists behind closed doors.

He spoke of doing what’s best for the next generation and not leaving our children with a “mountain of debt,” but under his watch this year, government spending is up by 22%, and his budget will triple our national debt.

He spoke of a spending freeze, but doesn’t he realize that each new program he’s proposing comes with a new price tag? A spending freeze is a nice idea, but it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. We need a comprehensive examination of the role of government spending. The president’s deficit commission is little more than a bipartisan tax hike committee, lending political cover to raise taxes without seriously addressing the problem of spending.

He condemned bailouts, but he voted for them and then expanded and extended them. He praised the House’s financial reform bill, but where was Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in that bill? He still hasn’t told us when we’ll be getting out of the auto and the mortgage industries. He praised small businesses, but he’s spent the past year as a friend to big corporations and their lobbyists, who always find a way to make government regulations work in their favor at the expense of their mom & pop competitors.

He praised the effectiveness of his stimulus bill, but then he called for another one – this time cleverly renamed a “jobs bill.” The first stimulus was sold to us as a jobs bill that would keep unemployment under 8%. We now have double digit unemployment with no end in sight. Why should we trust this new “jobs bill”?

He talked about “making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development,” but apparently it’s still too tough for his Interior Secretary to move ahead with Virginia’s offshore oil and gas leases. If they’re dragging their feet on leases, how long will it take them to build “safe, clean nuclear power plants”? Meanwhile, he continued to emphasize “green jobs,” which require massive government subsidies for inefficient technologies that can’t survive on their own in the real world of the free market.

He spoke of supporting young girls in Afghanistan who want to go to school and young women in Iran who courageously protest in the streets, but where were his words of encouragement to the young girls of Afghanistan in his West Point speech? And where was his support for the young women of Iran when they were being gunned down in the streets of Tehran?

Despite speaking for over an hour, the president only spent 10% of his speech on foreign policy, and he left us with many unanswered questions. Does he still think trying the 9/11 terrorists in New York is a good idea? Does he still think closing Gitmo is a good idea? Does he still believe in Mirandizing terrorists after the Christmas bomber fiasco? Does he believe we’re in a war against terrorists, or does he think this is just a global crime spree? Does he understand that the first priority of our government is to keep our country safe?

In his address last night, the president once again revealed that there’s a fundamental disconnect between what the American people expect from their government, and what he wants to deliver. He’s still proposing failed top-down big government solutions to our problems. Instead of smaller, smarter government, he’s taken a government that was already too big and supersized it.

Real private sector jobs are created when taxes are low, investment is high, and people are free to go about their business without the heavy hand of government. The president thinks innovation comes from government subsidies. Common sense conservatives know innovation comes from unleashing the creative energy of American entrepreneurs.

Everything seems to be “unexpected” to this administration: unexpected job losses; unexpected housing numbers; unexpected political losses in Massachusetts, Virginia, and New Jersey. True leaders lead best when confronted with the unexpected. But instead of leading us, the president lectured us. He lectured Wall Street; he lectured Main Street; he lectured Congress; he even lectured our Supreme Court Justices.

He criticized politicians who “wage a perpetual campaign,” but he gave a campaign speech instead of a state of the union address. The campaign is over, and President Obama now has something that candidate Obama never had: an actual track record in office. We now can see the failed policies behind the flowery words. If Americans feel as cynical as the president suggests, perhaps it’s because the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.

Real leadership requires results. Real hope lies in the ingenuity, generosity, and boundless courage of the American people whose voices are still not being heard in Washington.

- Sarah Palin

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ALERT ALERT

Trump National Diversity Coalition's Bruce LeVell: President’s Support Among Blacks, Hispanics Will ‘More Than Double’ In 2020

Bruce LeVell, the National Diversity Coalition for Trump executive director, said on Sunday evening he predicts President Donald Trump will win even higher levels of support in the black and Hispanic communities in 2020 than he did in 2016.

“Pastor Darrell Scott is the CEO, we started this back in 2015,” LeVell said on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel on Sunday evening about the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. “It is the largest diversity coalition platform in history for a Republican candidate, not to mention a sitting president, and there are millions of guests that sign on and sign up that are part of this. If you look on the website, you see African Americans for Trump, Haitian Americans for Trump, Korean Americans for Trump, Chinese Americans for Trump, Hispanic Americans for Trump–all very large. They all stand in one agreement that they believe in this great president and that he is here for all and wants everyone to be successful. It’s pretty flattering, honestly, to be a part of this. It just totally debunks everything that they try to make him out to be–a racist, which he’s not. The numbers prove that he’s not. You can see where he’s rising in terms of the Hispanic vote, and the African American vote. It’s just really going to be mind-boggling on the next go-around. I guarantee it. It’s going to more than double because people are happy; they’re working.”

LeVell, when asked for his rationale on why he thinks Trump’s support in 2020 among blacks and Hispanics will more than double, attributed it to the results President Trump has gotten for those communities.

“Sometimes you have to speak things into existence,” LeVell said. “The president said, ‘What do you have to lose?’ That challenge, especially in the underserved communities, well, yeah, what do we have to lose? We tried it this way for 30 or 40 years. Some of these cities and municipalities were under Democrat rule, as you might say, for many years, and then you say, ‘You know what? Let’s make the ask.’ You know, the president made the ask. Sometimes, you just have to ask, ‘Hey, what do you got to lose? Try this.’ Let’s try one of the biggest, strongest bills that he’s signed, that was so beneficial, called the Opportunity Zones. This bill right here alone is bringing a lifeline to some of these underserved communities and is projected to bring in over hundreds of billions of dollars in these underserved communities, which are predominantly African American communities. For example, in Atlanta, there are minority business contractors teaming up with other business contractors building a hotel in an Opportunity Zone. This community has just been blighted for God knows how long. These are the things that people are starting to see–the light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s a businessman that understands what I call a balance sheet, a P & L sheet of profit and loss. The president wants to see the country profitable, not losses. So that’s what he does. He says, ‘Okay, where can we improve? What can we do?’”

He continued, “Like I said earlier, I think the Opportunity Zones is a sleeper; it has so many moving parts to it where you can sell a piece of property for $2 million and instead of paying that very high capital gains [tax] you can identify those funds over the zone, and then, you can build another little hotel or a shopping center for economic empowerment for that community. So there’s so many initiatives out there for people of color, like myself, who see opportunities. You know, how about this? You live in a black community under the Trump administration, you walk down the street and say, ‘Wow, 98 percent who live in the community are African American,’ and you say, ‘Why don’t you build that grocery store? Why don’t you build that gas station?’ Wow, you’re right. I can. The programs that are out there, like in the Small Business Administration, you get as little as five or ten percent down, and they can maturize it to 30 years, and if you’re a veteran, they waive the fees. There are so many tools out there, and you saw the president when he adjusted Dodd-Frank last year; that was a terrible, terrible deal they did in 2009 and 2010 that literally almost just choked and killed the business community because of the Dodd-Frank, going in there and regulating these small community banks, which were life support for these small communities especially in the African American community, where he readjusted that last year and made it work. These are the things this president understands that as a businessman he can bring his lifelong talents to the White House and can help America. The biggest thing about this is, remember, the president is not beholden to any special interest group; this is a very key part of this conversation right here because he can go in there and govern without having to worry about paying back favors.”

According to NBC News analysis in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election, Trump actually outperformed now-Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)–then the former governor of Massachusetts–in the 2012 election when it came to both the black and Hispanic communities.

“Trump claimed 29 percent of the Hispanic vote on Tuesday, compared to Romney’s 27 percent in 2012,” NBC News wrote. “With blacks, exit polls show Trump claimed 8 percent of the vote to the previous Republican nominee’s 6 percent.”

If Trump is able to double support in the black and Hispanic communities in 2020, as LeVell predicts he will, no Democrat will stand even close to a chance of defeating him; the margins they would need for victories in a number of states would be significantly eroded. Perhaps that is why the Democrats are now attempting to paint Trump as a racist amid his battle with the so-called “Squad” of socialist Reps. Alexandria Ocasi0-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). The new faces of the Democrat Party, the “Squad,” in other words, is worried they may lose the election in 2020 if LeVell and other Trump backers are right. But the scurrilous accusations of racism for quick political gains, which have also been leveled at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Joe Biden in recent weeks, LeVell warns, may undermine the ability to stand up to actual racism where it exists.

“At first, it was kind of bizarre,” LeVell, who knows Trump well and has known him prior to his run for president, said of the false racism accusations. “Now, it’s just plainly un-American. It’s so anti-patriotic. You know, the interesting thing about it for me as a black conservative or Republican–I like to define myself as a Frederick Douglass Republican–most of the name-calling comes from people who actually look like me, 90 percent of it. It’s bizarre, and it’s because our thinking process is not lining up with theirs. It’s the only playbook they have, like I said earlier, which is, ‘Let’s just use the race card.’

LeVell went on to say, “Getting back to the president, I’ve been around him–I was just with him at the rally–in very intimate settings, behind the scenes at the rally, and you’re right: I’ve traveled with him, been on the plane with him. I’ve been in private meetings with him. I’ve talked with him, and you know–let me tell you something: I’m 55 years old, I’ve lived my whole life in the South, and I’m world-traveled. Let me tell you: I know racism when I see it. This man is nowhere near being a racist. It’s so sad because it does such a disservice to this great nation that they would throw that name and throw those words around. I mean, you have people calling Biden racist. They’re calling Pelosi racist. They’re calling the dog-catcher racist because he impounded the black dog instead of the white dog. Come on. What’s next? You know, it’s kind of sad because it’s pretty much watered down things that are legitimate, to where people are just going to get so numb with it, and people are just being like, ‘Wow, are you serious?’”

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