We the people of the United States owe Scott Brown's supporters a huge debt of gratitude.
They didn't merely elect a senator. They ripped the façade off the Obama presidency.
Just as Dorothy and Toto exposed the ordinary man behind the curtain in "The Wizard of Oz," the voters in Massachusetts revealed that, in this White House, there is no there there.
It's all smoke and mirrors, bells and whistles, held together with glib talk, Chicago politics and an audacious sense of entitlement.
At the center is a young and talented celebrity whose worldview, we now know, is an incoherent jumble of poses and big-government instincts.
His self-aggrandizing ambition exceeds his ability by so much that he is making a mess of everything he touches.
He never advances a practical idea. Every proposal overreaches and comes wrapped in ideology and a claim of moral superiority. He doesn't listen to anybody who doesn't agree with him.
After his first year on the job, America is sliding backwards, into grave danger at home and around the world. So much so that I now believe either of his rivals, Hillary Clinton or John McCain, would have made a better, more reliable and more trustworthy president.
They warned us he wasn't ready.
Yes, we're stuck with him, but we're no longer stuck with his suffocating conformity. The second Boston Tea Party opened the door to new ideas and new people of both parties.
Obama's reactions were predictable. More self-pity, blaming George W. Bush, and claiming that the voter revolt is due to ignorance about the health-care plan they hate.Blah blah blah. Hasn't he heard?
The magic is gone.
Massachusetts changed everything. America's spirit of independence has been emancipated and the cult of Obama-ism is finished.
The health-care debacle perfectly captured his utter lack of governing substance.
He embraced major provisions he rejected during the campaign, misled the public about costs and impact, and got competing versions through Congress only with a grab bag of outlandish bribes and exemptions.
He pledged transparency, then retreated to secret deal-making that corruptly rewarded unions and fleeced everybody else. The result was a national scandal that would have done tremendous damage if it became law.
His sudden adoption of a bank tax springs from a baser motive -- political desperation.
He unveiled the tax as polls showed Scott Brown closing in on victory. White House flunkies said the tax marked an aggressive turn to populism and Obama obliged by trotting out the "fat-cat banker" phrase.
Which, of course, is bizarre when you want those banks to lend money to create jobs. And you can be sure Obama will hit up those fat-cat bankers for contributions at election time, as he did in 2008. Even his attacks are cynical.
His foreign policy is a dangerous muddle. He is feckless about both Iran's brave dissidents and the mullahs pushing for nuclear weapons.
He took a bad situation in the Mideast and made it worse with pernicious demands on Israel.
Muslims reject his bended-knee apologies, giving him nothing for his amateurish squandering of American power.
Frightening details are still emerging about the disastrous handling of the Christmas Day bomb plot.
The decision to quickly put the al Qaeda-trained Nigerian into civilian courts stems from his fixation on giving terrorists constitutional protections.
The talk in Washington is that he look to Bill Clinton's presidency for comeback answers, or maybe Ronald Reagan's. Political history won't help him much.
Obama's crisis is personal. The inner hollowness and facile talent that propelled his rise gave him none of the grit necessary to meet the challenges. Where would he begin?
America has survived bad presidents before and we will survive this one.
Fortunately, we're no longer waiting for him to grow into the job. Massachusetts proved the nation is ready to move forward.
Mayor must pull the plug on 9/11 trial
When it comes to fighting back against White House assaults on New York, Mayor Bloomberg acts like a man pulled in two directions. Sometimes he objects, as he did to the punitive attacks on Wall Street, and sometimes he rolls over, as he did by giving the green light to holding the 9/11 trial in lower Manhattan.
Mixed loyalties are making him look mixed up. Bloomberg needs to stand for New York and demand that the trial go someplace else.
With many residents and city officials growing angry and frightened, the mayor rejected a plea to move the trial to Governors Island as "dumb."
Actually, it's not nearly as dumb as holding it in the shadow of Ground Zero and turning the area into an armed fortress.
There is a sneaking suspicion Bloomberg agreed to the trial as a thank-you for President Obama's staying out of the mayoral race. Obama never directly endorsed fellow Democrat Bill Thompson, even though his support might have changed the outcome.
If that's the deal, the mayor needs to find another way to repay the president. Making New York an even greater terror target and disrupting downtown life punishes the city for being the victim of 9/11. Once was enough.
Bloomberg's lone objection has been cost, which he estimates at $216 million a year. He wants the feds to pay.
Money is the least of it. Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his murderous crew should never be permitted to set foot in New York or in any civilian court.
They belong in a military tribunal on a military base. Then they deserve death.
That's what Bloomberg the mayor ought to tell his buddy pal the president.
Times must be ‘special’
There was more than a whiff of hypocrisy to all the hysteria at The Times and among top Dems (oops, redundant) over the Supreme Court's allowing campaign ads by corporations and unions.
Cries of "special interests" buying elections conveniently omitted the hometown example.
Mike Bloomberg spent $270 million to win three terms, making him a one-man special interest.
Yet many of those whining about the court, including The Times, enthusiastically supported him.
Can you say Double standard?
Paterson’s petering out
Tea leaves suggest Gov. Paterson is getting close to the end of trying to keep his job. His polls remain weak and he had a lousy fund-raising report -- all before the resignation of his campaign strategist.
I hoped Paterson would defy the White House and stay in the race, but the image of weakness is corrosive.
He can't get the Legislature to do anything, from tackling the budget crisis to ethics reform to lifting the cap on charter schools.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo refuses to publicly push Paterson aside, but he may not have to: The Gov looks defeated and about ready to jump.
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