At the 2009 California Republican Party State Convention in Indian Wells, I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Fred Barnes.
With Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes is the top guy at the Weekly Standard.
He started out at the luncheon I attended in a lighthearted manner, but beneath his jovial side is a very serious message that Americans would do well to heed.
With that, I present the words of Fred Barnes.
“Abraham Lincoln once said that you can fool some people all of the time. Concetrate on those people.”
“A 50 year old man married to a 50 year old woman wanted to snap his fingers and be married to a woman 30 years younger than him. So he snapped his fingers, and immediately he became 80 years old.”
Mr. Barnes credited those jokes to others, and then began offering some political insights.
“President Obama has had two great misreadings. His first great misreading was the 2008 election results. His base is 30%, not 53%. He moved sharply to the left.”
“President Obama’s second great misreading was in his own ability to persuade. He’s not persuasive. He’s boring.”
“He is losing credibility. When asked if illegal immigrants will be covered in the health care plan, he says no. Only 22% of people believe him. When asked if there will be death panels, if senior citizens will be cut off, he says no. Only 21% of people believe him. That’s less than his base.”
“Barack Obama is trying to govern from the left ina country where a center-right coalition is the majority coalition.”
Mr. Barnes then began remarks that should forever make his speech known as the “no” speech.
“On more than one occasion Barack Obama has said that he will not take no for an answer. If there is anything that most people now realize, it is that Barack Obama will take no for an answer.”
“With the Arab-Israeli conflict, he insisted that takls be started, and then expressed impatience with a 5,000 year old conflict. He demanded that Israel freeze the settlements. Benjamin Netanyahu said no. He demanded that Mahmoud Abbas come to the table either way. Abbas said no.”
“He asked Russia to help witb Iran. Vladimir Putin said no. He asked China for help with North Korea said no. He makes overtures to North Korea, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. They all say no.”
“He asks NATO Allies to commit more troops. They say no. He asked Cuba to open up now that Fidel Castro is out of power. Raoul Castro said no. He asked Mexico and Canada to renegotiate NAFTA. Mexico and Canada said no.”
“He asked Honduras to allow their dictator President back. The people of Honduras said no.”
“He tried to get Scotland, France, and Germany to help more with war costs. They all said no.”
“He asked the world to take in Guantanamo Bay detainees. The world said no.”
“He asked Henry Waxman not to insist on cap and trade before health care was done. Henry Waxman said no.”
“He asked Eric Holder not to pursue charges against CIA personnel. Attorney General Holder said no.”
“He asked Joe Sestak not to challenge Arnold Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Sestak said no.”
“He asked New York Governor David Patterson to resign. Governor Patterson said no.”
“He asked former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder to make an endorsement in the Virginia Gubernatorial race. Governor Wilder carries a lot of weight. Governor Wilder said no.”
“I just hope that there is another “no” coming up on healthcare.”
“All of this is called the Tinkerbell Effect. Believing something will happen because you wish it would happen…this is from Tinkerbell.”
“Whether it is Guantanamo Bay or the economy, President Obama believes that the government is more efficient than business.”
“He is nice to our adversaries, tough on our allies, and they all tell him no.”
Mr. Barnes is not the only one to observe this pattern of weakness with Mr. Obama. David Letterman had a remark the other day along the same lines.
“President Obama went to Chicago to personally lobby for the Olympics to come to Chicago. He personally lobbied. Well we know that will work given how well it worked with healthcare.”
When a liberal who worships you can spot the truth, there is no more denying it.
Some will say that Mr. Barnes and other conservatives should stop saying no to the President.
What will he do if we refuse to listen?
So to those who want the President to be above legitimate criticism…I say…
Keep speaking Mr. Barnes.