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Mike Huckabee On 2016, The Supreme Court And Same Sex Marriage, And The War Against Radical Islam

Tuesday, January 20, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee joined me at the start of today’s show to discuss his new book God, Guns, Grits and Gravy and the 2016 race and many6 of the issues it will focus on.

Audio:

01-20hhs-huckabee

Transcript:

HH: Two years down the road, we might see a new figure there by the name of Mike Huckabee. The former governor of Arkansas is the author of a brand new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, and he joins me now on State of the Union night. Governor, welcome back, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you.

MH: Thank you, Hugh, great to be back with you.

HH: Governor, the last time I saw you, you were exiting the Fox building with your instrument. And I’m wondering if you ever do give the state of the union, would you consider taking it along and playing a riff up there?

MH: You know, given what we’re probably going to hear tonight, I think it would be better if we substituted the State of the Union for any piece of music, even if it was bad, because I don’t have a lot of optimism about the President’s State of the Union. He’s clearly going to ask for more money, which is the last thing these people need. It’s like thinking that a 16 year old needs more of his daddy’s liquor. It’s just the worst message at the worst time. And I don’t even know why he’s proposing it. He knows the Republicans are not going to give him a $320 billion dollar tax increase. Continue Reading

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A SOTU Over Before It Is Begun

Tuesday, January 20, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

When George W. Bush and the GOP got “thumped” over the conduct of the war in Iraq in November 2006, 43 responded to the will of the people, made changes, announced the Surge, and graciously welcomed Nancy Pelosi as the first woman Speaker at the start of his 2007 State of the Union Address.  Not much else is remembered from the next two years, except victory in Iraq and a market panic in the fall of 2008 brought about by the popping of the housing bubble.  That panic brought us President Obama.

Tonight President Obama will give a speech few Americans will watch much less remember, and it will lack even a gracious gesture such as Bush’s appreciation of Pelosi.  “Petulant” has been the tone of the past ten weeks, and while Bush acted within his constitutional authorities to dispatch troops to Iraq in 2007 in sufficient numbers to secure victory in Iraq, and while President Obama has acted within his constitutional authority to begin the return of those troops after his withdrawal of them gave terrorism new life and force can in the rise of ISIS, most of the news now is about a president acting domestically far beyond any established precedent in order to try desperately to stay relevant even as his Class D set of advisors manage to miss the moments –like the march in France– that could make extend President Obama’s shelf life as a force on the world and national stage.

In truth –the hard, cold political truth– President Obama is a spent force in American politics.  Capable, of course, of creating more mischief and of obstructing urgently needed repairs brought about by his epic incompetence, but spent.  Like a zoning board packed with no-growthers after an earthquake, President Obama can veto rebuilding, for a time.  His inactivity and inane decrees can make a terrible situation worse on the health care front, and can accelerate the collapse of care even as meaningless numbers march out of the mouths of his advisors.  His EPA can continue its job killing assault on every industry that employs high wage blue collar workers.  He can continue to deliver nonsense speeches about his Harvey-the-rabbit programs he expects Congress to pass.

President Obama can, in short, pretend all is well and major initiatives are afoot.  But Washington is a hard place for such posing.  Everybody knows, and increasingly, everyone is laughing out loud.

Valerie Jarrett is the president’s closest advisor, and appears set upon enjoying her last two years of giving extraordinarily bad advice, aware she is doomed to rough treatment by the waterfall of memoirs that will spill out and by historian’s judgments.  Her appearance last week on CNN with Wolf Blitzer was, well, a bit other-worldly as Blitzer tried to get her to say something relevant about terrorist arrests and gun battles in Belgium while Jarrett clung to talking points about paid sick leave. The most powerful woman in America turns out to be, well, vacuous.  Rasputin, without an idea of what to do other than be Rasputin and dine out.

So watch if you will, and pity the poor network anchors who are going to have to try and fill a couple of hours after Senator Ernst finishes up with talk about what the president can and cannot do via executive order, all the while knowing that any executive order can be undone on the first day of the next presidency.  Mitt Romney’s 15 minutes on the Midway Friday night had more relevance to the next 24 months than the president’s hour plus tonight.

The president might have been relevant to the next two years had he signaled anything except contempt for the people’s decisions this past November.  Perhaps he will turn towards engagement still, but the slight rise in his polling probably looks to him like an oasis rather than the mirage it is.  Expect instead of engagement more pettiness mixed with promises he cannot deliver, and the steady deterioration in conditions abroad.  We already know that these two years could be as bad as Bush’s last six months because the crises ahead are with killers, not share prices.

He is out of ideas and out of gas, and the country is out of patience with the in-over-his-head president and his D Team of short-timers, already pocketing matchbooks and other souvenirs.  A lock to finish last in presidential polls for the balance of his life, his name anchored to a law that is sinking the health care realities of millions, and the man who threw not just his allies under political buses, but millions into the hands of ISIS, The Taliban and Boko Haram while systematically undermining constitutional government –this is the president as he begins his last lap.  Perhaps he has some kick left and won’t just limp on in, but that kick could only come from working with the very people he has spent ten weeks insulting, and by appealing earnestly to voters to whom he has been messaging indifference since they pummeled him in the fall.

Don’t expect much from tonight, or from all of 2015 and 2016 except one grand GOP nomination scramble.  Put your hope in the French and the Israelis, and a veto-proof majority in favor of imposing sanctions on Iran, and watch as the country experiments with an all-but empty Oval Office for two years.

RNC Chair Reince Priebus On The 2016 Debates

Monday, January 19, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

RNC Chair Reince Priebus opened my Martin Luther King Day program talking about the new debate schedule and format for the 2016 GOP primaries.

Audio:

01-19hhs-priebus

Transcript:

HH: I begin today’s program with the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. Mr. Chairman, happy MLK day to you.

RP: Well, happy MLK day to you, and what an American hero and a fighter for freedom. And we put out a video this morning and visiting the monument, and it was, it’s a great day of service as well. And thank you for mentioning that. Continue Reading

”Bush, Romney, Who: Picking the GOP 2016 Nominee” By Clark S. Judge

Monday, January 19, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The weekly column from Clark Judge:

“Bush, Romney, Who: Picking the GOP 2016 Nominee”
By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute

Is 2015 the new 2016? You tell me.

This past week the New York Times ran two front-page stories about Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.

This past Sunday (yesterday) panel after panel of TV interview show commentators focused the GOP field in the 2016, which by now seems to include everyone except my mother – and my mother tells me she’s forming an exploratory committee. I think she’s trying to keep me out of the race.

Meanwhile, to show that president is determined to set 2016 politics aside and govern, the White House has let it be known that, in this week’s State of the Union address, Mr. Obama will double down on redistribution-of-wealth rhetoric and proposals to tax the nation’s largest earners. Continue Reading

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