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Addison Gardner: Always Right

Addison Gardner
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

According to the media script, Dick Cheney delivered a 5,000-word rebuttal to President Obama’s speech last Thursday.

The fact that Cheney’s speech was scheduled, and penned, weeks before Obama’s staff loaded the president’s teleprompter, won’t persuade the media that Cheney wasn’t “rebutting” Obama, any more than 10 years of planetary cooling will persuade Gorebots that the Earth isn’t erupting into flame.

(We’re following that piper to the pier: hold the life preservers…)



Cheney delivered his speech to the American Enterprise Institute, and, as usual, acted like he was in a race to conclude his remarks before the bug up-his-butt reached the lemon wedge in his teeth.

Nobody delivers a speech less sympathetically than the former vice president. He’s Ferris Bueller’s dyspeptic principal, and the rest of us are all Ferris Buellers.




The fact that watching Cheney makes you want to brick your television, makes it all the more remarkable that anybody still listens, instead of joining the mooing herd that’s transfixed by Teleprompter Man’s whistlestop wooing.

Obama’s 6000-plus-word speech touched all the familiar bases ” blaming Bush, and dispensing pacifiers to the far left ” but it couldn’t convince Nancy and Harry to fall into line. The speaker and majority leader won’t move the Gitmo detainees, and won’t ignore the tremors presaging Congressional mutiny.

Promises to close Gitmo drew applause during the primary season, but they’re drawing flies during the governance season.

Democrat legislators regard sowing 250 terrorists throughout pastoral America with the same enthusiasm that Teddy Kennedy greeted wind-farms off his Martha’s Vineyard beach. It’s one thing to promise habeas corpus and “due process” to the terrorist; it’s another to find out he’s moving to your hometown, tomorrow.

Obama Charm School meets Pelosi Political School of Hard Knocks: Chapter I.

It’s been a week of campaign promise repudiation and bitter political pills. Now that Obama has forsworn releasing the pictures of Abu Ghraib inmates sporting Victoria’s Secret, the ACLU (and The New York Times) will have to resort to stealing those snapshots from the White House back door.

This will delay “exposing our soldiers to danger!” by about a week, if the past predicts the future. So, pick up a copy of The New York Times later this week, or set your Tivos to record MSNBC, May 28, if you’re headed out of town.

Obama will never deliver his vision of “post-partisanship,” until he stops politicizing everything from the White House Easter Egg Roll to the Notre Dame graduation ceremony.

Nor will his presidency be anything more than a black-and-white postcard of “post-racial America,” until he stops treating every news event as though it’s just another chapter in his next “Out of Africa” autobiography.

A campaign is an appropriate venue for documenting a candidate’s personal journey ” the African heritage, the call to serve the downtrodden, the lighter-than-air rhetorical flourishes that vaulted him to political prominence, the repudiation of all things Bush.

But the White House is the residence of Everyman’s president, embracing both adenoidal academics and flannel-shirted lumberjacks: The Obama presidency has become too little about the elective office and too much about the elected personality.

President Obama needs to stop rolling all his political miscues, rearward, toward the receding shadow of Bush.

Bush didn’t create terrorism, nor did Bush construct the naval base at Guantanamo Bay. The base has been leased from Cuba for more than a century; and Camp X-ray was used during the Clinton administration to detain tens of thousands of Haitian and Cuban rafters.

In fact, Clinton transformed Guantanamo Bay into the Caribbean immigrant’s involuntary Ellis Island: Once a Haitian/Cuban was processed there, he couldn’t leave.

Clinton campaigned in 1992, promising to undo George HW Bush’s “cruel policy” of holding Haitian refugees “with no legal rights in U.S. courts.” After his election, Clinton reversed himself, remodeled Camp X-ray, and held Haitians in conditions that make today’s terrorist accommodations look like King Abdullah’s penthouse at the Alrriyadh Ritz Carlton.

Dubya faced the same terrorist detention dilemma, post-9/11, that Obama faces, today ” only Bush faced it while viewing a smoking crater in lower Manhattan, instead of while ordering up Air Force One publicity stunts.

Bush couldn’t house terrorists in American prisons, then, any more than Obama can do so, today ” not even with a Democrat Congress pulling all the strings in Obamerica. There is teleprompter rhetoric, and then there is rubber-meets-road political reality.

Today brings news that the North Koreans detonated a nuclear device and launched three more missiles on Memorial Day, mere weeks after lobbing an ICBM toward California.

It’s time for Obama to give the politics a rest, and it’s time to awaken the presidential.