John LeBoutillier on “Imus in the Morning” Wednesday

John LeBoutillier will be on “Imus in the Morning” tomorrow, Wednesday, August 26, at 6:30 AM EST.

Please listen on your local affiliate, or through, a great website

Obama Has Lost the Center

As the President’s ratings tank, let us quickly examine why:

His presidency is the Mirror Image of G.W. Bush’s—only he has done in six months what it took Bush six years to accomplish: while keeping his base happy, he has alienated the center of the political spectrum and thus lost his ability to lead the country.

Here is a general rule of American electoral politics: you must have a passionate base to get nominated, but to rule effectively you must also have strong appeal in the political Center.

911 gave the Center to G.W. Bush for the period from 2001 through the 2004 election. In 2005 he lost it—first with his lame attempt to ‘reform’ Social Security and then with the Katrina Fiasco. He—and the GOP—never recovered. They lost the Congress in 2006, then lost even more seats in 2008 as well as the White House

Obama was handed the center last September when Lehman Brothers crashed—and McCain picked Sarah Palin.

The uncertainty about the future of the economy last fall eclipsed the uncertainty about an almost-unknown new national candidate: Barack Obama. Yes, the Left loved him—and the dispirited-by-Bush’s failures-Right either stayed home of reluctantly voted for McCain. But the political center—those who shun the extreme positions of both ’bases’—rolled the dice with this moderate-sounding Democrat who promised “change.” These voters—many of them self-described ‘Independents’—the fastest growing electoral group in the nation—ignored the fact that Senator Obama had the most liberal voting record of all 100 US senators! Somehow that little fact escaped the electorate last year.

So we should not be surprised that as President—with an overwhelmingly Democrat House and Senate and an in-the-tank compliant press—Obama has ruled from the far Left. It is his nature. And there is nothing to stop him—no countervailing political force to nudge him back to the center.

The result: the United States of America is shell-shocked over our two parties’ successive failures, our hypocritical elected officials, the deficits, the health care fiasco, the CIA interrogation disaster, the Professor Gates Beer Summit and on and on.

While Obama and the Democrats decline, the GOP does not profit politically. Why not? Because they, too, had all the power—and they blew it from 2001-2007.

So neither political party has any credibility left.

All this—three years before the next presidential election.

We are in dangerous political times. When there is a vacuum in the political leadership, trouble ensues.

So buckle your seat belts as we are in for a bumpy ride.

The Truth About Town Halls

The first thing that needs to be known about Congressional Town Halls: they are a taxpayer-funded gimmick to justify franked (free) mailings to promote the event—and thus the Congressman holding the Town Hall.

Here’s the scoop: A Representative is given a set amount of yearly franked (free) mailings to every home in his/her district. In my time in the House it was, I believe, six per year.

These are very, very expensive and thus a tremendous advantage for the incumbent. For example, if there are 130,000 homes in a district, multiply that by first class postage plus the printing and paper costs and each mailing if probably worth close to $80,000. So six of them is close half a million dollars in free positive publicity for the Congressman!

A challenger running against that incumbent thus starts off at a huge disadvantage; name identification is boosted by these mailings—and by any other free publicity he/she garners on TV, radio and in the papers.

Well, guess what? These Town Halls are yet another way to boost the incumbent’s name ID. Yep. Each time he/she schedules one, he/she gets to do yet more free mailings to publicize the upcoming Town Hall.

What a dynamite way to jack up your profile—all at taxpayers’ expense—and all you have to do is show up at some location and answer a few questions for an hour!

Normally, few people attend these events. They are usually held on Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons in a library or school gymnasium or church basement. And usually you’re lucky if 50 people show up. Oh, and they are often the same fifty people—community activists, sometimes gadflies, or people with an axe to grind. A Congressman gets to know these activists over time—and to enjoy their presence.

But what is going on now is unlike anything we have seen. The explosion of protests across the nation at Congressional Town Halls is a direct result of the arrogance of Washington DC in trying to ram this Health Care Bill down people’s throats—without anyone knowing what is in the bill!

And on top of the Stimulus, the 2010 budget, the astronomical deficits, the TARP, the corporate bailouts, the csars, and the Cap and Trade Bill, this Health Care Bill has pushed the majority of people into believing Obama and Pelosi and Reid have gone too far, too fast.

So the anger we see on the news at these Town Halls is real. People are scared and worried and soured by two plus years of a devastating recession. And it is a disgrace for Speaker Pelosi to blame anyone for coming to these meetings to express this frustration and fear. She works for us! They all do! And they should patiently listen to all constituents—pro and con—individuals or organized—and try to listen and then explain their own positions on these issues.

When you are an elected official and you start blaming the people you work for, then you should leave office. At once. Because you have broken the trust that is inherent in being an elected official.

Are some of these protests “organized” as the Left charges? Maybe. But so what? If Labor organizes a protest does that discredit it?

Surely most of the attendees at these Town Halls are unhappy with the status quo - and they want to let their Representative hear it. We should all applaud citizens for attending and having the courage to speak up.

Obama has mismanaged this issue. He has allowed the sour economy to bleed into his ‘signature’ goal—universal health care—or the “Public Option, as they now call it. The result is support for the Health Care bill and for Obama himself is now declining. And the decline will continue as long as the public feels Washington DC has shifted too far Left and is bankrupting the nation.

This is not the change people wanted in 2008. And thus the anger.

Prediction: other events will soon accelerate this widespread public anger.

State of Politics Today

August is here. Vacation time world-wide. Congress goes home; the President goes to Martha’s Vineyard, vacation playground of the Left.

Where are we—as a country—politically?

The Obama Honeymoon is most definitely over. His poll numbers continue to deteriorate. His opposition has firmed up—but more disturbing for Team Obama are defectors from the Obama column last fall. Indeed, the Washington Post just ran a story about Virginia voters who voted for Obama but now regret it. These voters say things like, “I thought he was going to be different… a real change… but he has turned out to be just like all the rest of the politicians favoring the special interests.” These voters say they will vote for the GOP candidate for Governor this November.

We now know our new President. Obama is a typical “tax and spend” liberal Democrat who just throws money at a problem. The Cash for Clunkers in just such an example. While the idea makes some sense, the follow-through is poor and the result is the unintended consequence of causing foreign cars to be purchased at the expense of (our) GM cars, which we the taxpayers now own. Plus a lot of good car parts are needlessly being destroyed.

Health Care: The anti-Obama campaign has crystallized in the debate over this issue. The anger seen at Town Hall meetings is indeed indicative of the over-50% of the people who do not want the “public option”—which is code for nationalized health care. Obama knew he had to get this voted on before the August recess in order to dupe the American people. Well, he couldn’t get it done. And now it looks as though this crucial aspect—the Public Option—may not make it through the Democratic Congress.

However, to save face there will be a Health Care bill of some sort this fall—with a big celebratory signing ceremony. But this will not be what the Left set out to implement.

The political cost of this Health Care fight will indeed be heavy for the Democrats. Some will lose their seats next year because of it—but probably not enough to flip Congress back to the GOP.

Speaking of the Republicans: 2009 will be a good year for them away from DC. They will win the Governorship of New Jersey—almost definitely—as the incumbent, Jon Corzine, is mired at the mid-30’s in the polls. He appears to be terminal. And Virginia is fluid, with a real chance for the Republican to win there, too.

Nationally, however, the GOP has a long, long way to go to erase the Bush Taint. As of last week, 54% of voters still blame the rotten economy on Bush. Until he is a distant memory—and until the GOP has new faces and a better, more likeable image—we will continue to be irrelevant.

Teddy Kennedy is deteriorating and may soon die. Look for major TV coverage as the “last Kennedy brother” is memorialized.

August is almost always the month of the ‘political surprise’—some unexpected event that takes the White House by surprise. With officials scattered far and wide either on break or junketing at taxpayers’ expense, the political world always seems to get caught unprepared. (Remember Saddam Hussein’s Kuwait invasion?)

So be prepared!