Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Don's Tuesday Column
THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News
Tet, Farrakhan, a speech, the memo
How very different things look in hindsight. Within the last week, we’ve been able to revisit the 50-year milestone of the Vietnam War’s Tet offensive, and the closeness of then-candidate and Senator Barack Obama to the odious racist, anti-Semitic, Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan. We now know of misuse—by the FBI and DOJ—of the FISA (foreign intelligence) process to help Hillary win the election, hobble the Trump transition and bring about Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, based on false pretenses and fake Trump/Russia stories.
We also were elated to witness President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union speech (since overshadowed by the House Intelligence Committee’s memo on that last item above). His speech, while rather long, was a triumph in focusing not on the person of the President, but rather on the good economic fortunes of America, on the Reagan-like, conservative approach guiding Trump’s decisions, and on moving stories of heroism by some of our fellow citizens.
“Whether Trump heralded the stock market, employee bonuses, or the destruction of ISIS, glowering Democrats remained the evening’s most consistent theme. It’s understandable for progressives to sit on their hands for conservative jurists, the Second Amendment, and cutting regulations, but again and again they fumed at America’s very success.
“Let a thousand midterm campaign ads bloom…The speech focused primarily on the American people. Instead of promising all the wonderful things the government would do, Trump underlined that its citizens were her salvation. The modern Democratic Party believes that the American people belong to the government—and fervently wish the rabble won’t embarrass them” (Jon Gabriel, Ricochet.com). In November, we’ll see which message wins the votes.
Frankly, their glum, downbeat, pained facial expressions, together with stone-cold reactions to every Trump mention of universal, bipartisan themes—low African-American unemployment, for God’s sake—demonstrated for the nation that Democrats stand for nothing but negative, hateful, anti-Trump “resistance.” Trump: “Americans are dreamers, too.” Democrats practically shouted “How dare you!” and seethed at such an aspiration. It’s early, but I predict little loss of Republican House seats and big wins in the Senate this fall. The Democratic Party is not yet dead but is on a dying trajectory, based on that revolting display.
The Tet offensive must be remembered as 1) a success for the American and South Vietnamese military against 2) the massed forces of Communist China-backed North Vietnam and Viet Cong, which were 3) turned back, defeated. It was years before they could mount another major campaign. Victory was achievable, but for political will and shameful betrayal.
It also marked the emergence of antiwar reporting as the theme of American journalism. As I outlined last summer, when American success could be diminished, it was (as in Walter Cronkite’s dismissal of the Tet offensive as evidence of the futility of America’s “quagmire” in Vietnam); when enemy failures could be ignored or explained away, likewise; when the Viet Cong lost heart and switched loyalties to the South, Americans knew not; when American support could be undermined by all of the above, it was. Bravery in war fell to cowardice in Congress.
Before the spread of conservative internet blogging, Fox News, radio talkers, or activist groups, the Democrats—having seized on Richard Nixon’s perfidy to effect his resignation—could bring down South Vietnam by refusing President Ford’s pleading for promised resupplying of the South. No American lives were in jeopardy, no draft existed; only the goal of giving America a black eye before the world remained. Democrat anti-Americanism won.
How timely that the movie, “The Post,” showed up in theaters to obfuscate what was, and remains, the despicable use of the “Pentagon Papers” to craft the antiwar historical theme of misleading behavior by our military and political leaders. Well, if it was so horrific to lie to the people about failures in Vietnam (Churchill rightly said, “In war-time, truth is so precious she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”), how horrific was it for the news media to spread our enemies lies without shame? Little has changed.
The item about Nation of Islam (NI) leader Louis Farrakhan and then-Sen. Barack Obama refers to a recently-revealed picture of Obama smiling among NI members, shoulder-to-shoulder with Farrakhan, taken by a NI member and reporter. This was not a public event with politicians shaking everyone’s hand. No, the implication of collegiality and shared values was so obvious that the reporter withheld the photo from the public. It would have been disastrous for Obama’s image, just like his closeness to Rev. Wright, who married the Obamas but was so racially toxic that Barack distanced himself from the offensive pastor.
Farrakhan—whose record includes calling white people “a race of devils” and called Hitler a “very great man” at a Congressional Black Caucus gathering in 2005—endorsed Obama; Farrakhan met with CBC members to plot post-Katrina strategy in 2009. He spent decades spreading noxious anti-Semitic and racist conspiracy theories to African-Americans. Look up “The Media’s Ugly David Duke-Louis Farrakhan Double Standard” (by David Harsanyi, Jan. 31, TheFederalist.com). Remember that when Democrats falsely, hypocritically call Trump a racist.
The “memo” laid out specifics of the FISA warrant abuses by partisan FBI officials—during the presidential campaign—that allowed the infamous, lie-filled Steele dossier to be used to authorize surveillance of Trump et al during the campaign, his transition and presidency. Every word I’ve heard from the media and Democrats has been a mix of misstatements, propaganda, or twisted, intentional lies; the truth is worse than Watergate. I’ll have more next week.