All Massachusetts People Look Alike to Me

John Kerry recalls why he loathes unscripted campaign events.

When I first read that Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D–Noblesse Oblige) had been recruited to play the opponent during practice presidential debates, I considered it an inspired choice.

There is a slight problem with respective ages for the two candidates, but otherwise everything else is perfect. One pretentious, cliché–ridden windbag impersonating another is excellent practice for when the curtain goes up in October.

Nothing inspires confidence like realistic training. It’s good to know our candidate will be ready when the media starts firing probing questions regarding plans to counteract the nationwide contraceptive famine and the long lines of homosexuals crowding emergency rooms after being refused visitation rights.

And to be fair, my first thought was this action combined an impressive sacrifice on John Kerry’s part, on both a personal and professional level, with a sincere attempt to make amends for past mistakes.

I was concerned about how the Massachusetts’ black community would react and if his participation as a debate stand–in would harm the senator’s re–election prospects. But in this instance the end truly justifies the means and the loss of Kerry’s senate seat is a small price to pay if that’s what it takes to elect Mitt Romney as our next president.

But then I discovered Kerry is not portraying Barack Obama in debate rehearsals, he’s portraying Mitt Romney, which means everything is wrong. Nothing propinques like propinquity and both men are from Massachusetts, but choosing Kerry to impersonate Romney is just more evidence of an out of touch Obama campaign.

The two candidate’s personalities could not be more disparate; starting with unscripted moments on the stump. Yes, Mitt tries too hard. He’s a bit awkward. And when he tells a joke Romney acts like he’s reading from a fortune cookie in the original Chinese, but in comparison John Kerry makes Romney look like Jim Carrey.

Who will ever forget “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty?” A cringe–inducing image that pegged the hokey meter.

In a crowd or on stage Mitt almost looks natural and relaxed. Kerry looks like he’s attending an autopsy. And although the American’s With Disabilities Act has made wheelchair access to political stages much easier, the law has done nothing to ease the passage of Sen. Kerry’s sedan chair as he tries to get closer to the podium. And long walks through the crowd are always a problem, since the senator does not like to be touched.

Mike Huckabee, comparing himself to Romney, once joked, “I want to be a president who reminds you of the guy you work with, not the guy who laid you off.” Kerry reminds me of the guy wearing a cowl who says, “The executioner will see you now.”

Romney is simply a victim of driving while affluent. The MSM likes the Kerry choice because he “is uber–wealthy, like Romney” and both have changed political positions before and during campaigns. As Jack Cafferty said, “One elite, rich, emotionless Massachusetts politician filling in for another.”

But Kerry’s money arrived via his marriage to the uber–rich Teresa Heinz a sort of government–approved program called share–the–wealth matrimony style. While Romney actually earned his.

Kerry’s position changes are viewed as Darwinian in that they “evolved” from a position progressives didn’t like into one they did. Whereas Romney is characterized as flip–flopping on the beach like a mackerel stranded by “global warming” because his positions became more conservative.

Even though the Obama campaign has made a terrible choice, that does not mean the pressure is off the Romney campaign. Their choice of an Obama stand–in is even more fraught with peril. In 2008 the McCain traveling circus could get away with choosing lily–white former Congressman Rob Portman to impersonate Obama, but that was when Barack was still the “post racial” candidate.

Now that he’s “most racial” candidate, choosing a honkie for Hussein is a good way to get Al Sharpton to picket Debate Training Central. It’s got to be a black man and that, through no fault of their own, puts Republicans in a bind.

Cong. Alan West is out because he’s too intense and he obviously believes in what he says. Former Congressman J. C. Watts is out because he’s too genuine.

What we need is a black politician with a certain amount of presence and excellent speaking skills, but at the same time is an indifferent manager with a tenuous grasp of financial matters.

Hmmm. Does anyone know what former RNC Chairman Michael Steele is doing these days?

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South of the Border, Down Washington Way

Doing business in the US and Mexico has a number of similarities, although the medium of exchange is sometimes different.

Here’s an outrage: sleazy government officials approach a major business interest and want to enter into “negotiations.” The officials casually mention, “You’ve got a nice little business here. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”

Both sides know the business needs permits to operate, current regulations could be changed or delayed and the bureaucracy’s normally glacial pace could begin to approach that of plate tectonics. All it takes is a little ill will on the government side and costs and delays start to escalate for the business side. And there’s no one to complain to for obvious reasons.

The government officials say this doesn’t have to happen. We can all cooperate for “the greater good.” Spend a little money now and it will pay off tenfold in the future. Everybody’s happy. It’s just a cost of doing business in this locale.

Yeah, yeah, you’re thinking: Wal–Mart in Mexico. Old news. The bad guys have already been treed in Bentonville.

But it’s not old news and it’s not in Mexico. It’s how Obamacare was passed in Washington, DC.

The Washington Times reports that internal Obama administration documents just released by House Republicans reveal “those negotiations violated the promises of transparency Mr. Obama made during his 2008 campaign.” Well whoop–tee–do. My question is: why didn’t those “negotiations” violate the law?

Let’s compare the two stories. In “progressive” circles all cultures are relative until a non–union US corporation decides to ‘go native,’ so to speak, and conform to the cultural norms where it’s attempting to do business.

Wal–Mart is now in a heap of trouble for potentially violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Specifically, Wal–Mart is accused of paying “mordida” translated as the “little bite” to local officials. These bribes meant the officials didn’t “lose” paperwork, invent environmental problems or arbitrarily change the rules for building permits in the middle of the process. “Mordida” is a way of life when dealing with officialdom in Mexico, as many US drivers who’ve received a traffic ticket South of the border know from personal experience.

As a result, Wal–Mart’s Mexican division rapidly built stores all across the country and became the fastest growing part of the corporation with one in five stores now located in Mexico lindo.

Now compare that with the Obama administration “negotiations.” The Washington Times reports White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina and health care honcho Nancy–Ann DeParle met with major drug company representatives and told them that if the drug companies didn’t publicly support passage of Obamacare, the administration would demand a 15 percent rebate on Medicare drugs and urge Congress remove the tax deduction for consumer advertising. Times reporters estimate this would have cost drug companies $100 billion over the next decade.

This little problem went away, just like Mexican permit difficulties, when drug companies agreed to changes in Medicaid and new fees that would raise $80 billion to offset Obamacare costs. And drug companies also agreed to spend millions of their own money on an ad campaign supporting “healthcare reform.” As a bonus, druggies also got a new captive market and Obama dropped support for importing cheaper Canadian drugs.

Right here you’ve got your quids and your pro quos. In Texas, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a doyen of “progressive” circles, indicted Attorney General Jim Mattox for fund–raising calls that weren’t nearly as blatant as these “negotiations.” Yet it’s business as usual in the capital as Attorney General Eric Holder spends his time attempting a posthumous indictment of Pitchfork Ben Tillman.

Here’s another similarity between the two cases. In Mexico not one government official went public when Wal–Mart money crossed his palm, which is saying something because even in the District of Columbia’s government you can occasionally stumble across an honest man. And of course Wal–Mart paid because that’s how one gets things done in a corrupt environment.

Similarly, not one White House minion felt the least bit unclean about participating in the Obama protection racket and the drug companies paid because that’s how you get things done in a Chicago administration.

Once you get past the general atmosphere of third–world sleaziness, the really insulting fact is the Mexicans got the better deal!

Wal–Mart is the largest employer in Mexico and it is planning to add an additional 23,000 new jobs. Mexican shoppers have new, modern stores with “everyday low prices” and senior citizens asking if you “want a sticker on that” when you enter the store.

On the other hand, US taxpayers are going to get a health care system that will soon resemble Mexico’s along with ballooning Obamacare deficits and fees the drug companies will pass along to them.

Progressive moralizers passed the Corrupt Foreign Practices Act to protect the third–world from its own culture. When are they going to get around to passing a Corrupt Domestic Practices Act to protect us from “negotiations” like this?

Hell to the Redskins

The Green Bay Packers are renovating Lambeau Field without spending a dime of taxpayer dollars.

When compared to the $498 million fleecing Minnesota taxpayers just endured, the $6.4 million Virginia taxpayers will be spending — thanks to Republican Governor Bob McDonnell — on improvements to the Redskins’ training facilities looks like small potatoes.

Regardless of size, both the Vikings’ new stadium and the Redskins “deal” feature the same credulous acceptance of imaginary threats, insider dealing and Babbitt boosterism that undermines the democratic process and contributes to voter alienation.

In Minnesota Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell used the threat of a Vikings move to California to put pressure on legislators. In Virginia you’d have thought Irsay Moving & Storage had trucks idling in the parking lot, ready to whisk the Redskins away if the state didn’t pony up to renovate facilities that supposedly didn’t compare with other NFL franchises.

Why do politicians fall for this horse hockey? I’ve heard better rationalizations from my teenagers. Evidently Minnesota politicians haven’t been keeping up with demographic trends. In LA they do like football, only it’s spelled “Fútbol” and they don’t wear helmets. Besides, LA used to have an NFL team, but it moved and the city survived.

The Redskins organization isn’t moving because it has over 15 years left on the FedEx Field lease. But what about team headquarters and practice facilities? What are the alternatives?

There’s Maryland, where the income tax rate is 55 percent higher than Virginia’s, and Prince Georges County where the last county executive is in prison. A higher tax climate and a lower ethical climate, what’s not to like?

Don’t forget the District. Its income tax rate is also 55 percent higher and two council members have been convicted of crimes in the past year. But DC is also the home of Councilman Mary Cheh (D–I Know What’s Best) the woman who intends to mandate the color of DC taxicabs.

There is also the “Native American” question that’s always on the fringes of Redskin Nation. In Massachusetts we have Democrat Elizabeth Warren who’s running for the US Senate and claiming to be 1/32nd Cherokee because she has high cheekbones. I don’t suppose it has escaped the notice of Redskins brain trust that the first three letters of Commissar Mary’s last name are also the first three letters of “Cherokee,” making her last name three–quarters Indian. How long do they think the team will be based in DC before Ms. Cheh decides the nickname “Redskins” is racist?

There is a better chance the US Park Service move the burial location of Gen. Thomas J. Jackson’s left arm, than there is of the ‘Skins moving in this decade.

Then there’s the backroom element of these travesties. In Minnesota the legislature essentially overturned a 1997 Minneapolis ordinance requiring a referendum if the city agreed to spend more than $10 million on a professional sports facility. They rightfully assumed city voters would take a dim view of throwing money at out–of–state sports plutocrats. Republican members in the House of Delegates also felt Virginia taxpayers would take a dim view of giving tax dollars to out–of–state sports plutocrats. They twice told Gov. McDonnell the House would not approve spending the money.

This put the governor in a box. Dwight Schar is a minority owner of the Redskins and since 2009 has contributed $165,000 to McDonnell and his political organization. This kind of money gets your phone calls returned. One has to assume Schar was interested in enlisting the governor’s help. McDonnell could have told Dwight that he tried twice with the legislature and was rebuffed, but he would continue to help with Richmond and Loudoun County.

But no, the governor decided to channel his inner Obama and do it by executive order (eliminating McDonnell as a surrogate Romney speaker when it comes to attacking Obama for his Imperial Presidency). The administration justified the use of “economic development” funds by claiming it means “more jobs and increased revenue for Virginia.”

Statistics bandied about by ‘Skins boosters claim the team supports 1,832 jobs “directly and indirectly” and generates “nearly $200 million in economic activity.” These numbers sound suspiciously like the Keynesian multiplier figures used for Obama’s government spending that has brought so much prosperity to us all.

An “investment” generates a return; this money is a subsidy that will not result in anything the state does not already have. Virginia’s low taxes and business climate should have been all the incentive the team needed, unless it suffers from Buffett’s disease.

Thanks to Gov. McDonnell’s leadership, an business that wasn’t going anywhere in the first place has decided to stay. A team that is named after Washington, D.C. and plays its games in Maryland will continue to wash its jocks in Old Virginny.

Wisconsin Police: Volunteering for Defeat

Many Wi police labor leaders picked a fight they could have avoided.

There has been much discussion of winners, losers and the effect on public employee unions elsewhere in the US after the failure to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But there has been little comment on one group of unionized workers that were unaffected by public employee union reform, yet joined the losing side anyway. And not once, but on three different occasions.

When Gov. Walker first introduced his plan to eliminate public employee collective bargaining, automatic union dues deduction and require annual union recertification votes there were two notable exceptions: police and fire unions.

This exemption was a godsend and it would have been perfectly natural, and tactically sound, if Wisconsin police labor leaders had simply breathed a sigh of relief as the Angel of Death passed over their house on its way to visit AFSCME households.

Instead many police leaders shinnied up the downspouts so they could get on the roof and try to flag him down.

One expects this type of behavior from firefighters. They’ve always been more committed to labor “solidarity” and most probably know the words to “Joe Hill.” Firemen are accustomed to volunteering in political campaigns and charitable efforts. (Cops say it’s because firemen only work part–time.)

So when Wisconsin firemen began beating on drums in the state capital and protesting the reform legislation it was not surprising. (One unexpected side effect of the Migration to Madison was the absence of fire trucks blocking the curb at grocery stores and the welcome shortage of firemen brandishing boots in left turn lanes.)

Cops, on the other hand, don’t volunteer.

Part of the difference is attributed to how police and fire unions are organized. Firefighters are much more hierarchical, with the locals sending dues money up to the state and national organization, where spending decisions are made. Consequently fire locals usually have a shortage of money, but plenty of manpower.

Police unions are feudal. Many locals are independent baronies and keep all the dues money within city limits. Even those locals affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Police or other national organizations, still keep local dues money at home and remain politically independent. That’s why effective police unions (those with over 450 dues–paying members) usually have money for political action, and the disinclination to volunteer is not so damaging.

I’ve worked with police (and some fire) unions for over 20 years and aside from union officers, you get almost no rank–and–file participation. Clients have had to hire temporary workers to gather signatures for a police pay raise election because the officers wouldn’t volunteer.

Which is why it was so surprising to see all those motivated cops enjoying “mic check” communication and employing their decoupage talents on poster board.

Other public employee unions want the cops to join their campaigns because conservatives and taxpayers usually support police. Consequently, police participation can generate public approval.

Unfortunately for cops, labor “solidarity” usually runs in one direction. When is the last time you saw AFSCME members picketing city hall when some rabble–rouser accuses the police of brutality? How many times have public employee union leaders defended police officers accused of “racial profiling?”

The answer is never.

Gov. Walker treated law enforcement differently and police union leaders should have done their best to make sure the precedent continued. Instead of encouraging members to join a pointless and destructive protest in the capital, (the notable exception being the Milwaukee police union that stayed with Gov. Walker), officers should have been meeting with individual legislators to thank them and explain how law enforcement is the equivalent of domestic defense: a spending priority conservatives can and should support.

In Congress few if any members are calling for military pay cuts, reductions in health coverage and limiting pensions, even though the tail–to–teeth ratio in the military is much higher than it is in domestic law enforcement.

Police officers have a difficult and inherently dangerous job. Librarians are rarely shot down during the course of their duties and they almost never have to fight a patron when it’s time to pay an overdue book fine. Cops are faced with this possibility on a daily basis.

It makes sense for them to be able to retire after 25 years on the job, have access to comprehensive medical coverage before and after retirement and receive a hazardous duty pay differential, just like the military. What’s more, police unions, in stark contrast with other public employee unions, have fought to maintain strict hiring standards, extensive background checks and stringent physical qualifications.

Law enforcement, like national defense, is not an area where wise conservatives seek to cut corners. I doubt even the most frugal Tea party member would want to exchange US law enforcement for Mexico’s.

Fortunately for Wisconsin cops they have a chance to recover from their leadership’s serial errors. Currently there is no sentiment in the legislature to revisit public employee union reform or public safety employee status. Wise police union leadership should take advantage of this truce and seek to repair their relationship with Republicans.

Do You Hear a Droning Sound?

Conservatives need to remember, you can’t be a little bit “private” either.

When Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell casually mentioned during a radio interview that he supported the use of “military–style” drones by law enforcement it sparked an immediate uproar, but not from the usual suspects.

One would assume the ACLU would be filing a lawsuit claiming a drone–born invasion of “privacy.” (Although after legalizing almost all the old perversions, what could liberals possibly be doing now that requires so much solitude?)

And instead of objections from Fairfax County police pilots who stood to be grounded and Fairfax Auxiliary Police officers who stand to lose one of the few perks of their unpaid job: helicopter ride–alongs — it was John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, who declared, “…a rapid adoption of drone technology before properly vetting the safety, privacy and civil-liberties issues involved would be a disaster for your administration and the people of Virginia.”

Shaun Kenney, former communications director for the Republican Party of Virginia, blogged, “Who the hell wants to give government the right to fly a drone over your home?” And Bearing Drift, a conservative political blog, complained, “Say it Ain’t So, Governor!”

Unfortunately for my fellow conservatives these complaints are 151 years too late. Air power for observation dates back to September 24, 1861 when Thaddeus Lowe went aloft for the Union near Arlington. George Armstrong Custer, who had his own problems with practitioners of unconventional warfare, floated serenely over the Peninsula later in the conflict.

Today police helicopters already fly over homes in Northern Virginia and the General Assembly has passed a law authorizing state police aircraft to cite drivers for speeding. Drones just replace existing technology with a less expensive alternative that does the same job with a smaller government footprint, a development that would normally appeal to conservatives.

Helicopters have proven to be both very useful and very expensive. Currently the estimated yearly budget for two Fairfax choppers is approximately $1 million, producing an average of 150 hours total flight time each month. The budget includes pilots, cross–trained police/EMS officers, ground technicians, mechanics and all the rest of the infrastructure. The use of drones, which Fairfax already has permission to do, would reduce some of these costs while increasing flight time.

Objections to drones frequently mention the “right of privacy,” which is a shaky Constitutional reed for conservatives to grasp. Privacy, as such, does not exist in the Constitution. It originated in Griswold Vs. Connecticut when Justice William O. Douglas discovered heretofore unknown “penumbras” and “emanations” leaking from the document that when run through a gas spectrometer were found to protect “privacy.” From this small step the court later leaped to a right to abortion.

Conservatives can’t be a little bit private any more than they can be a little bit pregnant. Relying on this flawed Constitutional reasoning validates the liberal intellectual framework that protects the “right to abortion.”

Limitations on drone usage don’t depend on an invented right from a liberal court, but are already found in the plain language of the 4th Amendment which says ““The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” To be Constitutional and admissible in court, drone usage would have to conform to existing case law surrounding the 4th Amendment.

Banning drones because of “privacy” concerns would be small comfort when PeePaw wanders off into the woods and civil libertarians fail to volunteer to join the search party.

Drones will prove invaluable during pursuits, allowing police to maintain aerial contact with suspects without filling the streets with a conga line of speeding cruisers careening around corners and risking collisions with innocent bystanders.

The use of drones by local police also conforms to the conservative principle of subsidarity, which posits that power or governmental functions should be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority, that is consequently closest to the people. Anyone who has ever tried to complain about TSA damaging luggage will instantly realize the difference between local police supervising drone usage and Department of Homeland Security’s Janet Incompetano.

Personally, I don’t think we should allow the fact that certain Middle Eastern religious fanatics have had unpleasant experiences with drone technology to color our impression of how the domestic use of UAVs would affect us in Northern Virginia.

The chance that a resident of Prince William County or Fairfax County would have a rendezvous with a drone–launched Hellfire missile is nonexistent. Adding a Hellfire line item to the budget would put a big dent in Fairfax’s pet “affordable housing” program and here in PWC Police Chief Charlie Deane would have to choose between air interdiction and outreach to illegal aliens.

Unelected, Unaccountable Boards Like Spending Your Money

Dinner wine selections are somewhat limited under the new austerity rules at the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority.

It’s been a rough few weeks for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that manages airports in the Washington, DC area and coordinates board member travel to luxury destinations.

MWAA is the unelected and unaccountable board former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (Obama’s choice to head the Democrat National Committee and current candidate for the US Senate) unilaterally selected to oversee construction of Metrorail to Dulles. The board is really great choice since the its prior transportation empire had consisted solely of a rattle–trap collection of ambidextrous shuttle buses at Dulles Airport that caused departing travelers to add an extra 30 minutes to the time necessary to arrive at the gate and arriving passengers to wonder if they were being taken to a re–education camp.

For Kaine’s handoff to work the board needed a source of revenue, preferably one insulated from voters. Kaine accomplished this by transfering ownership of the Dulles Toll Road to the board. The turnpike was worth nearly $3.52 billion and almost paid off, but Kaine didn’t even get a free E–ZPass transponder in return for his gift.

Once MWAA was the proud owner of a slightly–used toll road the board could use toll revenue to pay for construction of a rail line drivers might never use. All without any messy accusations of tax increases or votes in the legislature.

Plus the board is larded with liberal Democrat appointees from Maryland and DC that outnumber Virginia appointees. So regardless of any Republican cretins that mouth–breathing Virginia voters might send to Richmond, management of the project would be Democrat dominated.

Everyone wins except the taxpayer who wants a more direct voice in how his money is spent.

Kaine’s taxpayer–sponsored legacy was in danger when we last visited the board, because funding for Phase II of rail to Dulles was in doubt. The MWAA was insisting Virginia boost its contribution to $300 million and agree to a mandatory Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that specifies only union contractors — or contractors that agree to pay union wages and observe union rules — may bid on the project.

Board members made the usual justifications for the mandatory PLA: Labor goons won’t picket our homes and tinkle in the shrubbery. Unions will endorse Tim Kaine in the 2012 Senate race. Union PACs will continue to contribute millions to other campaigns to elect Democrats. And, oh yes, we might get around to building a railroad.

But that’s old bad news. The new bad news is all that free taxpayer and toll road money allows the MWAA to be as generous with themselves as they are with unions.

The U.S. Transportation Department’s inspector general has blasted the board for a lack of adequate oversight on how it awards contracts and pays for travel and entertainment. In addition, the report says board member financial disclosure forms are approximately as detailed as those required to obtain a frequent shopper card at Ace Hardware.

My favorite quote from the report refers to an MWAA “culture that is largely unaccustomed to external audits…(and the board is) reluctant to provide access to key documents…”

However, the documents we have are bad enough.

Dennis Martire — the Tim Kaine appointee and labor union vice president who didn’t think it was a conflict of interest to vote for a PLA requiring union labor — also didn’t have a problem spending $9,192.30 of public money for a business–class airplane ticket to attend a conference in Prague.

Dennis also had a good time at an event in Hawaii (notice how these conferences never take place in say, Oklahoma City?) where dinner for board members came to a three–day total of $4,800. The menu included lobster, lamb, veal, crab cakes and seared hide of taxpayer.

Then there was the board dinner at the Ritz–Carlton where two bottles of wine totaled $238.

Fortunately, according to Jack Potter the new MWAA chief executive, there is no cause for alarm. The WaPost quotes him as assuring disgruntled taxpayers those expenses were “very exceptional” and in “no way represent what happens on a day–to–day basis.” We can rest easy knowing Potter now insists board members stick to the house red during catered lunches and the cleaning staff has been instructed not to order extra cheese on late night pizza deliveries.

And as for the $100,000 contract with Jenner & Block, a law firm the wife of board chairman Michael Curto works for, well the Harvard Business Review says word–of–mouth is the most effective form of advertising.

As a result, even the WaPost editorial board has grown disenchanted. It criticizes MWAA for “picking a largely gratuitous fight” over the PLA and urges it to drop the provision.

And I’m happy to report it did. In Wednesday’s meeting the board removed the PLA by an overwhelming vote, so a check for $150 million from Virginia is in the mail.

Now the only remaining hurdle is the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. If they opt out of phase II, it will delay and might kill the Dulles airport station. Maybe if the MWAA promises the rail line will be opened with a ribbon cutting and not a christening with a $15,000 bottle of Chateau Lafite, Loudoun supervisors will have fewer qualms about voting yes.

Democrats Undermining Defense for Over 200 Years

24’s Chloe O’Brian can tell you about the problems with drone technology.

Stephen Budiansky — author of Perilous Fight: America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812–1815 ­— has written an excellent book that inadvertently reveals Democrat politicians — in feverish pursuit of imaginary utopias — have been busy undermining our national defense for the past 200 years.

It began with Thomas Jefferson, whose fantasy was the noble agrarian. The rural, independent farmer who was vastly superior to the menial paid worker found in urban areas up North. Jefferson’s was a corrupt vision built on a foundation of parasitical slavery and human degradation that allowed the “massa” at the top to pursue his noble life of the mind, while the overseer drove the slaves.

The fact that Jefferson, and many of the planter aristocracy, was chronically in debt because he couldn’t even make a slave economy produce a profit does not in any way detract from his fantasy. And he wasn’t concerned that many of the devices that made large plantations feasible — notably the cotton gin, invented by a Yankee — and life in the manor house comfortable were manufactured by those same Northern wage slaves.

During his term Jefferson was faced by an arrogant Britain that seized US merchant ships, impressed US sailors into the Royal Navy and blockaded US ports. Ignoring reality, Jefferson believed a strong navy was somehow a threat to agrarianism and liberty.

The rational response would have been to start building frigates. Jefferson’s response was to cut $ 1.1 million from the Navy’s proposed $ 2.1 million budget. Budiansky writes Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, asserted that the cost of building a navy always exceeded the value of the commerce it saved. And Gallatin claimed US merchant ships had no right to government protection once they sailed outside the US territorial three–mile limit.

Jefferson’s solution was to build a fleet of 50 small gunboats. These would have done nothing to protect merchant shipping or break the blockade since the overgrown rowboats were so unseaworthy the slightest storm made using the guns impossible. Gunboats would have been ideal if the Royal Navy could have been persuaded to engage us in a swimming pool, but otherwise his gunboats were totally unsuited for naval warfare.

Replace gunboats with drones and you are close to current Democrat thinking on naval and defense policy. Jefferson starved the Navy in the belief he was protecting his fellow slaveholder’s liberty. Obama protects his fellow Democrat politicians by starving the military so he can use the money to keep voters on the government dependency plantation.

Obama has already signed off on defense cuts that total nearly $800 billion over the next ten years and this total does not include the $500 billion cut looming in January if sequestration takes effect.

These cuts mean that while Obama claims the military will be “pivoting” toward the Pacific in an effort to counter Chinese influence, they may as well be performing a “plie” for all the good it will do. Obama’s “pivoting” Navy will have fewer carrier groups than it does today. Which brings us to the drones. Leading Obama advisors advocate buying fewer carrier–based fighters and shifting the emphasis to unmanned combat drones.

Unfortunately, there is a significant difference between using a drone to incinerate a handful of jihadis careening about the countryside in a VW bus and using drones to establish air superiority. Anyone who has ever watched 24’s Chloe O’Brian lose a suspect after the car drives into a tunnel knows there are limits to drone technology today, just as there were limits to gunboats in Jefferson’s day.

Obama’s fantasy is even more dangerous than Jefferson’s. In a world where Iran wants nuclear weapons, North Korea is trying to build a way to deliver its atom bomb, and Pakistan is playing hide–the–nuke, Obama dreams of a nuclear–free world and believes the best way to achieve it is for the US to drastically reduce its nuclear deterrent and ignore missile defense.

This is the open–mic flexibility he was talking about during his second term in his meeting with Russian President Medevev.

You may be surprised to know that the mission of the Department of Defense under Obama does not include defending you from a missile attack. Obama big thinkers truly believe missile defense is “destabilizing” and actually serves to increase the danger of nuclear war. Of course in the event of a miscalculation on their part and resulting nuclear attack, elected officials, appointees and assorted hangers–on will be whisked away to protective bunkers while the rest of us watch the sky for really bright lights.

A reality–based defense policy would put a priority on protecting Americans from potential missile attacks and offering a credible deterrent to would–be attackers. Much like Israel does for its citizens today.

But that would mean Obama has to abandon a 200–year Democrat tradition: short–sighted defense cuts in pursuit of impossible goals.