Robert Bennett: President is not omnipotent, honesty needed in campaign

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  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 26, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    Mr.Bennett is a bit dishonest when he says "Bush was not responsible for al-Qaida's attack on 9/11 in 2001 and Obama didn't cause the collapse of Greece in 2011, but both events changed their agendas significantly." The Greek collapse was definitely out of Obama's control, but Bush was given many warnings about al-Qaida's plans to attack within the US. He chose to ignore those warnings. In these two examples, Bush clearly was more culpable than Obama.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 25, 2012 9:26 p.m.

    The man at the helm sets the course for the ship of state. Obama is headed for the shoals. He doesn't have the experience to guide a ship. He has never even served as a crew member. He favorite tactic is to blame the former skipper, as if that skipper were still at the helm.

    Obama may not be able to fix everything, but he has fixed nothing. He has destroyed two car companies. He has cost millions of Americans their homes. He has cost thousands of Americans their lives in foreign battle fields.

    What has he done? He plays golf. He bowls. He plays cards. He complains about the former President. He takes credit for work done by the military. He pays off unions. He pays off George Soros. He pays off Solyndra. He stops all drilling in the West, even as he gives Soros $2 billion to drill off the coast of Brazil.

    Not ALL of the blame can be passed to Obama, just most of it.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 6:55 a.m.

    Bob, why didn't you run as an Independent? We ended up with Lee, a baby throwing a tantrum instead of an adult working for our Country.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 25, 2012 5:06 a.m.

    WRZ said....

    "And call out Romney for making outlandish claims of what he will do..."

    "You mean like reducing unemployment and getting the economy going again?"

    Exactly! The US is heavily dependent on foreign trade. And yet with much of Europe still being in recession, a region that represents up to 50% of some firms annual business it is impacting our own recovery, Neither Romney nor Obama have the magic beans to turn on or off other world markets.

    Neither Romney nor Obama can sign a budget they don't get. Romney can't force a budget through congress, no matter how much he wants to. In reality being President of the United States, you hands are much more tied than they are being president on Bain Capital and you have dictator like powers.

    As President, you do everything through consensus and by the will of others. One can argue Obama has not done well at this... but you can't argue Romney will be able to do any more without compromise and consensus - something neither party seems willing to do.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 11:29 p.m.


    "And call out Romney for making outlandish claims of what he will do..."

    You mean like reducing unemployment and getting the economy going again? Those claims would be outlandish for the current White House occupant. He's had almost four years and our economy is still sputtering.

    "... and when Romney has utterly no details of what he would do nor even has a consistent stance on most issues."

    Well, we're certainly lucky that Obama has come forth with his detailed plan of 'hope and change.'


    "It used to be common to at least allow a vote to take place but now republicans just block voting"

    Perhaps it's called 'payback' for the treatment the Democrats leveled on the Republicans when the Senate was putting Obamacare together. Republicans got entirely shut out of the process.

    @Eric Samuelsen:

    "What happened is Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, threw together some bogus numbers..."

    Is Sessions the only Senator who can propose a budget?

    "But the level of polarization is just appalling."

    Perhaps it got some real impetus while the Senate was putting Obamacare together (see above).

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 8:42 p.m.

    Buford Buckley
    Are you really that out of touch with reality? The 47% of "freeloaders" as you call them include disabled vets, retired workers who have paid into social security, medicare, and medicaid their entire adult lives. They also include your LDS friends with large families.
    And Romney can't do any of those things you claim. Congress has the constitutional duty of passing a budget, not the president. Even if Romney becomes president, he does not have the constitutional authority to balance the budget. And I seriously doubt he handled the Olymipics "all by himself" like you claim.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 24, 2012 6:24 p.m.

    Buford Buckley - I would love to see the list of accomplishments your My-way-or-the-highway types have managed to get done versus what he did for both Utah and the country in general. Frankly, the naive idea that this country should ever have single party rule is scary at best.

    What exactly has the tea party achieved over the last four years other than creating a huge divide between people. Anything?

    They haven't lowered spending...

    They haven't improved the quality of life of a single person...

    All they have done is complain, and say no. Now that takes some skill... some effort.... some creativity. We might as well have sent cranky two year olds to Washington... more would have done.

    Bennet, Simpson and a lot others represented a truly productive Republican party, even Newt was far more productive then this crowd of spoiled children we have in Washington now.

    I am dying to see how Romney is going to single handedly go after the Chinese for their cheating ways, all the while investing in Chinese companies himself. He will not be able to do it alone.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 5:04 p.m.

    Republicans will be sorely diappointed IF Mitt Romney gets elected and suddendly discover this...

    [They seem to have made Pres. Obama into some sort of Demi-God, capable of controlling the weather, reading minds, fixing gas prices on the Gobal Market, and calling edict after edict destroying America.]

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    @ Counter Intelligence, Obama did not have a blank check. But if he did, and he didn't totally socialize America, then your argument undercuts one of the top talking points of the right wing, doesn't it? You can't have it both way, dude.

  • Buford Buckley Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    This is why we voted Bennett out of the Senate. Republicans should never compromise their principles. Vote for Romney if you want a president who really can make the economy grow 8 percent a year and create millions of high paying jobs. He'll get rid of those 47 percent free loaders who just want a government hand out. And he will balance the budget all by himself, just like he did with the Olympics.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 24, 2012 2:43 p.m.

    bluedevil writes

    "No one party has the answer. No one party can do it alone. No oen party represents the needs of a very diverse population."

    Refreshing. Unfortunately, only moderates left of center seem to espouse that concept.

    Budget? - reform entitlements, cut spending, raise taxes - more common sense ideas that seem to be only embraced by moderates left of center.

    The rights stance is GOP good, Dems bad. No tax increase EVER. My way ONLY.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 2:29 p.m.

    @Eric Samuelsen
    Did the Senate pass Obama's budget?

    No (neither the fake or real ones)

    I thought, unlike every president before him, Obama was going to eliminate polarization.

    Guess what he really meant was that he would blame everyone else for it (while taking NO responsibility for his part in making things worse)

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 24, 2012 2:15 p.m.

    Just ignore what Counter says...don't put extra calories into trying to make sense of it. It is counters ideas that are the exact problem. No one party has the answer. No one party can do it alone. No oen party represents the needs of a very diverse population.

    Utah isn't worried about the losses of jobs in tobacco, textiles and furniture. Why would they. In North Carolina, we don't care about the state land issues in Utah. Republicans here don't care. It isn't that these aren't issues that are valid, it is just they are not important to all people, even if they all are in the same party.

    The "I hate Obama" comments and the variations of these are completely counter productive. The blame everything on Bush isn't totaly fair either - these problems were decades in the making, and both parties had their roles in setting up the circumstances to brought to bear.

    George Bush showed enormouse courage to do the right things to save our economy when things started to fall apart. Obama showed courage in not backing down in the middle east.

    Bennett is spot on here. Kudos.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 1:21 p.m.

    Counter Intelligence
    The Senate did NOT reject the President' budget. You do know that, right?
    When you see "Senate rejects President's budget 99-0" you have to know that that didn't happen. It would be completely unprecedented: even Presidents like Andrew Johnson or Nixon at the peak of Watergate or Chester Arthur enjoyed SOME congressional support.
    What happened is Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, threw together some bogus numbers and submitted it with the title 'President Obama's budget'. Which then didn't get a single vote. It was an election year stunt, not an actual budget, not an actual proposal. The US Senate did NOT reject President Obama's budget. They rejected Jeff Sessions "President Obama's" fake budget.
    That doesn't mean that they shouldn't try to pass a real budget. But the level of polarization is just appalling.

  • jttheawesome Scranton, PA
    Sept. 24, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    Esquire: Thank you for your feedback. Just to clarify, I did not expect Mr. Obama to claim all responsibility for the fiasco in the Middle East; that quagmire has many hands in the mix, going back centuries. However, Mr. Obama is rejecting even a modicum of resposibility for what's happening there; witness his policy of appeasement and apology, not to mention the fact that his administration has not at all been straightforward and honest about the embassy attack in Libya, and members of his own party are calling for heads to roll. About Mr. Romney, vis-a-vis Israel, I'm not so sure about subordination to Israel. Yes, he and Bibi are friends, but I would trust Mr. Romney to have a balanced approach to his foreign policy. In any event, Gov. Romney would not be wasting time by going on a blatantly liberal tv show, pandering to voters, instead of having face-to-face meetings with world leaders, which is what Mr. Obama did today. It looks like you and I are on opposite sides of the divide, but God bless you, sir, and thanks again for your feedback - and thanks be to God for America!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 24, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    One only has to read this article to understand why Mr Bennett is a FORMER Republican Senator.

    The GOP has no room for anyone who cannot find a way to blame the democrats for any and everything that is wrong in the universe.

    To even suggest there could be shared blame is completely and totally unacceptable.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 24, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    Republicans control the house and it takes 60 votes in the Senate to even get something voted on. It used to be common to at least allow a vote to take place but now republicans just block voting. How is that NOT obstructionist?

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    Obama had a blank check for two years
    Republicans have only had control of one half of one third of governmental for the last 21 months
    and they arguably won that election because the electorate wanted Obama's policies (specifically health care) to be obstructed

    The Democratic controlled Senate has not adopted a budget in three years - even rejecting Obama's joke of a budget (while the Republican House has forwarded several)

    So it would be even-handed to point out that the electorate, the Democratic Senate and even Obama himself is obstructionist

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    Great article. Something that needs to be said. How much of the problems can be attributed to the president or congress or a political party and how much of it is just the circumstances of the times. We need a leader who we can really trust, who is wise and who has the inclination to reach out to others who don't always agree with him and the ability to work with these "others" for the best good of the nation.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    @ jttheawesome, the problem with people, particularly neo-cons, is that they think the U.S. can control everything that goes on in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. They assume that the entire world has to bow to the whims and demands of America and get mad when other countries try to assert their own self-determination and will. To blame President Obama for the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East is beyond absurd. No president, including both Bushes, Reagan, Ford, and Nixon could fix it. And Eisenhower toppled a democratically elected government in Iran, for which we are still paying a dear price. Romney offers nothing new, except a subordinate buddy role to Bibi, which will, if he is elected, prove to be a disaster to the U.S. and to Israel.

  • jttheawesome Scranton, PA
    Sept. 24, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    Mr. Bennet: Thanks for presenting some truths which badly needed to be told. Unfortunately, most people that need to read and hear these truths will never have that opportunity, due to a remarkably liberal-biased news media. While it is so very true that no sitting president can be held legally responsible for everything that happens on his watch, the president is much like the captain of a ship: as the highest authority, he is in fact held accountible for not only the actions of those under him, but how he responds to these actions. Mr. Obama has, to his credit, admitted to his inability to come through on numerous campaign promises, yet he has also blamed much of that on the previous administration. The Middle East is disintegrating, and Mr. Obama has yet to accept any blame for this situation; he is apparently trying to cover up the inept actions of people who acted, supposedly, on his behalf. You're absolutely correct in stating that what we need is honesty, everywhere, from both political parties. I hope and pray, as well, that Mr. Romney will continue to decry Mr. Obama's record, and not his character.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 7:32 a.m.

    Bennett's points are well taken, and President Obama would be the first to agree. So rather than just give examples of President Bush, cite some examples of the current president and how the Congress has been obstructionist. And call out Romney for making outlandish claims of what he will do, particularly when he would actually be riding the efforts of President Obama, and when Romney has utterly no details of what he would do nor even has a consistent stance on most issues. Take your good argument a step further. If you want to be a statesman, apply the principles even-handedly. It would not really be going out on a limb because this one is done.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 6:41 a.m.

    Bennett: "Bush wanted to reform entitlements and rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but Congress wouldn't go along."

    Bailout Bob is talking about himself here, as one of the Congressmen who wouldn't go along. Fannie and Freddie went un-reformed, and we're living with the consequences today.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 1:23 a.m.

    Good editorial.