Fmr. Bush Speechwriter: Obama Plagiarized Bush’s 2007 SOTU Speech

Barack Obama has developed a troubling reputation for blaming the results of his incompetence on his predecessor, George W. Bush. According to one of the 43rd president’s speechwriters, however, Obama can legitimately point the finger at Bush regarding much of the content of his latest State of the Union address.

Marc Thiessen, who was the lead speechwriter for the 2007 State of the Union speech delivered by Bush, publicly accused Obama of plagiarizing a large portion of that address when composing Tuesday night’s delivery.

“It was eerily familiar,” Thiessen explained, noting that while none of Bush’s lines were repeated verbatim, both speeches contained many of the same very specific themes.

“There were lines like, ‘Our job is to help Americans build a future and opportunity, a future of hope and opportunity begins with a  growing economy, a future of hope and opportunity requires that all citizens have affordable and available health care, extending opportunity and hope depends on a stable supply of energy,’” he said. “All of that came from the 2007 State of the Union from George W. Bush.”

Obama is often praised for his oratorical skills; however, much of his latest speech was marred by his stunted annunciation and tendency to stumble over his words. Of course, according to Thiessen, they weren’t even his words.

Accusations of plagiarism are nothing new in the world of politics – or in Obama’s career.

Researchers have identified several passages and themes from his book, “The Audacity of Hope,” that were apparently lifted or heavily inspired by previous works. Additionally, several speeches – including his 2011 State of the Union address – have elicited similar accusations.

That speech, according to an opinion piece in U.S. World and News Report, “contained enough recycled ideas and lines lifted from speeches of others to make historians wince.”

For comparison, transcripts of both the 2007 and 2014 addresses are available online.

–B. Christopher Agee

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Defining Conservatism Down

Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey (Creative Commons)

FRONT ROYAL, VA — Every New Year, the usual suspects on the Left generously offer their advice on how to preserve and protect the Republican Party.

This time around, two of the liberal media’s anointed “conservatives,” Peter Wehner and Michael Gerson, take their turn.

In several recent offerings, these co-authors attack the Tea Party and insist that, to “save the Republican Party,” rational folks like them must embrace Big Government Conservatism – or the GOP will fail.

But didn’t the Tea Party save the GOP in 2010?

Ah. Be not deceived: as a preamble to their prescription, we are required to acknowledge their view that the Tea Party’s victories in 2010 were an “aberration.”


Because Gerson-Wehner consider the Tea Party to be an aberration.

Its “anti-government fervor,” they write, is “intensely felt.”

Gee. Is that a compliment?

No. Notice how the movement’s principles are reduced to emotions (“felt,” “fervor”), while Gerson-Wehner claim the Olympian summit of intellectual virtue.

Next, the Tea Party is “anti-government.”

This straw man comes right out of Obama’s lexicon, conveniently diverting the public eye from the corruption, illegality, plundering, and other incipiently totalitarian realities of the Washington’s bipartisan establishment.

It is not government, but its corruption, which the Tea Party opposes.

That’s why the Tea Party supports constitutional candidates for – yes – government office.

They intend to do exactly what the Founders expected the “virtuous people” to do: clean it up.

Next, the neocon duo insists that constitutional conservatives fail “to articulate a vision of government,” but then assert that the Tea Party’s “fervor” is “justified by an apocalyptic narrative of American life.”

Stop right there.

The “apocalyptic narrative of American life” is visionary indeed – and it inspires not the Tea Party, but Pastor John Hagee’s “Christians United For Israel,” who very fervently supported George W. Bush.

They advocated ever-wider American wars in the Middle East because, for purportedly biblical reasons, they wanted Armageddon to happen in their lifetimes.

They wanted Bush to help, so they helped him.

In fact, millions of Dispensationalist Evangelicals were indispensable to George W. Bush’s reelection victory in 2004.

Constitutional conservatives, on the other hand, were not.

In fact, conservatives rejected Bush’s war fervor (which nostalgia buffs can watch live on YouTube).

And conservatives actually turned against Bush’s Big Government debacles in the elections of 2006 and 2008.

George Who?

Which brings us to another curiosity: Wehner and Gerson insist that “intellectual honesty is the first requirement of self-renewal.”

Well, gentlemen, let’s be honest, then.

Both of these distinguished authors held important and influential positions in the George W. Bush Administration.

Yet, in well over ten thousand words written to save the GOP from the Tea Party, these two scions of the Bush legacy never mention President George W. Bush!

Perhaps that was unavoidable. After all, in offering to “Save the Republican Party,” they tout the same “Big Government Conservatism” that destroyed the GOP under their old boss.

Alas, with characteristic neocon amnesia, they’ve consigned poor “W” to the Memory Hole.

So what’s the honest truth?

Frankly, the Tea Party has already saved the GOP – from George W. Bush!

Gerson and Wehner, steeped in denial, apparently long to put the party back in the permanent minority – but firmly under Establishment control.

“Intellectual honesty,” indeed.

And yet, there’s a lesson here: Gerson and Wehner are featured favorites of the liberal media precisely because they represent the “Republicanism of Losers” – the “Me Too!” tradition that goes back all the way to Wendell Willkie and Tom Dewey, and runs right up through John McCain and Mitt Romney – losers all.

That’s why Washington loves them.

Caution: Left Turn

Ironically, it’s a wily leftist who comes along to blow their cover.

E.J. Dionne graciously announces that Gerson and Wehner are wasting their time. When it comes to party differences, he writes, there really aren’t any: we all agree already!

And when it comes to Gerson-Wehner, he’s right.

“Why,” Dionne teases, “are we arguing about issues that were settled decades ago? Why, for example, is it so hard to extend unemployment insurance at a time when the jobless rate nationally is still at 7 percent, and higher than that in 21 states?”

“Don’t criticize,” he implies. “You’re one of us!”


The florid prose of Gerson-Wehner cracks at the edges as the stiletto draws near: “It was not some socialist,” Dionne smirks, “but a president named George W. Bush who declared: ‘These Americans rely on their unemployment benefits to pay for the mortgage or rent, food, and other critical bills. They need our assistance in these difficult times, and we cannot let them down.’”

Gerson and Wehner might want to forget Bush, but Dionne won’t let them.

He borrows their own Big Government argument and rubs it in their face.

“We’re all liberals now!”

Well, who could possibly oppose the Bush-Obama consensus then, Dionne asks?

Guess who.

“A substantial section of the conservative movement is now determined to blow up the national consensus that has prevailed since the Progressive and New Deal eras.”

And who is the common enemy of that consensus of the Left and the “Big Government Conservative” neocon “Right”?

The Tea Party.

And how inhuman they are!

“This bipartisan understanding meant that conservatives such as Bush fully accepted that it was shameful to allow fellow citizens who had done nothing wrong to suffer because they had been temporarily overwhelmed by economic forces beyond their control.”

So Gerson, Wehner, and Dionne agree: the Tea Party is indeed a “shameful aberration,” because it rejects what Dionne has generously revealed to us: a “hidden consensus” on “core questions involving social justice” that unites all thoughtful people.

Namely, the welfare state.

Here, however, a sidebar is in order:

Dionne hijacks “social justice” – a legitimate principle of Catholic social teaching – perverts it, and then slaps it gaily on his vision of the welfare state.

Where it becomes a deadly sin.

“Envy used to be just a human failing,” writes economist Thomas Sowell, “but today it is a major industry. Politicians, journalists and academics are all part of that industry, which some call “social justice.”

By turning moral language upside down, Dionne and Co. would have us believe that anyone who disagrees with their ideology is not only unjust, but craven, selfish, and un-Christian.

After all, it would be “shameful” not to embrace their left-wing agenda – right?

And thus, the anointed among us have every reason to condemn the backward, taxpaying naysayers.

This irresponsible bombast stokes not only envy, but its dangerous companion, resentment.

“There are nearly unlimited opportunities to pander to people’s sense of injustice, victimhood and entitlement,” Sowell writes. It’s part and parcel of “the politics of our time – the politics of envy and resentment.”

Dionne’s farcical “hidden consensus” aside, his hidden agenda plainly encourages envy, resentment, and, ultimately, hatred of those hard-hearted Tea Party taxpayers who would callously allow women and children “who had done nothing wrong to suffer.”

Madame DeFarge, call your office. And bring your knitting.

The Not-So-Hidden Consensus of the Neo-Left

Both Dionne and Gerson-Wehner are united in their desire to distract and dissemble. Dionne is as desperate to distract us from the disasters of Obama as Gerson and Wehner are in disowning those of George W. Bush.

This is their common cause. There is an elephant in the room, as well as a donkey.

Nothing happening here, folks – move along.

All three of these characters write for the Washington media establishment – which pays well, but can exact a high cost in character.

Their common purpose is clear: to foment scorn, condescension, and contempt for taxpayers outside the Beltway who have had enough of “Republicans” like Gerson and Wehner and Democrats like Dionne and the bipartisan corruptos they shill for.

Which goes to show that, when the chips are down, the bipartisan liberal establishment will forget its partisan “differences” in the name of that “hidden consensus,” and unite to defend itself against the efforts of people from the rest of the country who want to unplug the Beltway Hot Tub.

So much for “intellectual honesty.”


From Under the Rubble is copyright (c) 2013 by Christopher Manion. All rights reserved. This column is sponsored by the Bellarmine Forum, and distributed by Griffin Internet Syndicate and FGF Books,

Christopher Manion, Ph.D., is Director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae , a project of the Bellarmine Forum. See his biographical sketch and photo:


Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey (Creative Commons)


ABC Still Promoting Discredited Bush “Scandal”


Spy scandals might be sexy; but does the Valerie Plame “scandal” really deserve to be ranked alongside the sex scandals of Larry Craig, Anthony Weiner, and John Edwards? Earlier this month, ABC News ranked the Top 10 Political Scandals of the 21st century in a primetime special. Eight of the ten were sex-related scandals; one was about Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor now serving a prison term for corruption; and the other was what the Bush administration supposedly did to the career of “outed CIA agent” Valerie Plame.

“Tonight an outrageous, irreverent, top 10 list of the bad boys club,” stated the voice-over for the special. But they never quite say who the “bad boy” is in the case of Valerie Plame. The real scandal is ABC’s inclusion of this story as one of its Top 10.

A spokesperson for the network said that “A panel of politicos helped us put together the top ten scandals of the century.” Those politicos reached outside the “bad boy” box to target what they considered an abuse of power, but they widely missed their mark. One might question whether the IRS or Benghazi scandals of the Obama administration might deserve to be included as top political scandals of the 21st century, given the direction taken with Plame and the abuse heaped on the Bush administration here. Then again, those might have actually reflected badly on the Obama administration, a theme almost always off-limits for the mainstream media.

When asked about the motivations behind choosing these particular scandals, a representative for ABC wrote AIM that “Part of what made this show unique was the input from political players and pundits across the political spectrum. Many scandals were discussed—these generated the most and the most passionate discussion so that’s where we focused our efforts.” It was described as “an unscientific and fun countdown.”

However, early on, viewers of this program (produced by Lincoln Square Productions, a production house owned by ABC News) were assaulted with two minutes of error-filled misrepresentations and lies about Valerie Plame and the Bush administration, ranked Number 9 of the 10 scandals.

The section heavily features Plame talking about her husband and those who “outed her,” supposedly for political reasons. “It just felt like I had been sucker-punched. I was concerned about the assets with whom I had worked with over the years, because they were in jeopardy,” said Plame in the segment.

Now she gets to make movies, write books, and go on television to talk about what happened to her—all the high profile actions of someone who doesn’t seem at all concerned about what happens to those who knew her in her former career. Or maybe she thinks at this point it doesn’t matter. But at some point, it did. “To expose Valerie Plame, and put her at some risk, shows just how angry they were and how vindictive they could be. It was an abuse of power,” claimed Terry Moran, ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent, during the broadcast. This fits with the set of events as Plame and Wilson would wish their audience to see them.

It ignores the fact that Wilson deliberately placed himself in the spotlight in the first place. “Those news stories about that unnamed former envoy who went to Niger? That’s me,” wrote Wilson in a 2003 op-ed. Not content to be cited as a source regarding the evidence for the absence of nuclear weapons in Iraq, Wilson had to go on record as the source himself. He outed himself to the media, as this column shows.

I pointed out in a report critiquing the movie based on Plame’s book, Fair Game, many of the distortions and inaccuracies built into her story. Stan Crock, in World Affairs Journal, wrote, “Valerie Plame says in her memoir that she read the report that the CIA wrote immediately after debriefing Wilson on his trip and also read his column before it was published. She added that she thought the column was accurate. She said the report was only a few pages long. No one, let alone a professional intelligence officer, could have missed the part about Iraq trying to buy yellowcake. She had to know the column was wrong, but evidently said nothing. So she was anything but an innocent bystander as her husband created a political firestorm.”

The late Christopher Hitchens, in 2006, reported that there was indeed evidence that Saddam Hussein may have sought uranium from Niger, contrary to Wilson’s report.

Even The Washington Post called Joe Wilson a “blowhard,” and said that all of the major claims in his op-ed “were false.”

But, according to the ABC broadcast, “Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA spy until someone in the White House blew her cover because they were pissed at her husband. Wow.” Actually, it was State Department official Richard Armitage, who was himself opposed to the war in Iraq, who leaked Valerie Plame’s CIA identity to the late Robert Novak. Novak was also opposed to the war, and wrote regarding the duo, “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me that Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report.”

The ABC segment on Plame took the time to highlight the film Fair Game, but not what the media has said about its falsifications and misrepresentations. As I wrote in 2011, “The three basic lies of the story they tell are these: 1) The Bush administration knowingly lied us into war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq by twisting evidence to make people believe that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and was a threat to this country; and 2) when former ambassador Wilson blew the whistle on Bush and Cheney for doing so, they got back at him by outing his wife, a covert CIA agent; and 3) Scooter Libby led the White House effort to out Ms. Plame and discredit her husband, and then took the fall for the administration.”

“Within these lies are a whole series of lies and misrepresentations and deliberate damage done to the reputations of a lot of people.”

The Washington Post said the film is “full of distortions—not to mention outright inventions.”

This ABC segment continues Wilson and Plame’s lies and misrepresentations by appearing to rely on the same tales that we and others have already debunked. They should know better. It’s unfortunate that this story has to be re-litigated time and again.

If political scandals were in their pile of considerations, what about the scandals of the Obama administration, including Operation Fast and Furious, Solyndra, using the IRS to target and hamstring political enemies during an election cycle, Benghazi—not to mention lying to the American people to sell them Obamacare, promising “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. Period.” No scandals there?


This commentary originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.

The Audacity Of Drones: Keeping Americans Uninformed (Part 4)

Drone SC The Audacity Of Drones: Keeping Americans Uninformed (Part 4)

After four years of the Obama administration’s increasing use of remote-controlled, unmanned drones to kill our enemies, there are suddenly a few more in the media feeling obligated to report on the policy.

A new set of ethical issues is being discussed. The FAA is looking into how to regulate what some call ‘the drone age.’ When liberals say things like ‘Bush would have been impeached if he did what Obama is doing,” rest assured it’s newsworthy and conservatives should jump on the story.

Tina Brown, editor for the Daily Beast/Newsweek basically admitted to media hypocrisy saying:

“He’d be impeached by now for drones if he was George W. Bush… a Republican president; the outcry about drones would be far greater.”

Recently, memos on the president’s drone-use policy were released, perhaps to make Obama look stronger in fighting terror. Ironically, when first elected, Obama used the word “terror” only once in his 2009 inaugural address. Times have changed. The Obama administration has openly carried out more than six times the drone attacks approved by the Bush White House; and the main reason most Americans are unaware is the media looks the other way.

Obama made closing the Guantanamo Bay prison a campaign issue and has been unable to follow up on his promise. Instead, he now seems to favor a policy of killing to avoid prisoner detention. With few exceptions, the media has apparently been fine with openly using drones – that have killed many innocent bystanders – when they feverishly protested the use of enhanced interrogation techniques under Bush. They and Obama considered waterboarding prisoners to be ‘torture’; but they justify this policy of bombing suspects with no judicial review or trial.

The drone controversy has been brewing for months now. Judge Andrew Napolitano recently emphasized that the government’s legal memos on Obama’s policy to kill people overseas includes American citizens. Memos were released after a year of stonewalling federal judges who were seeking legal justification on drone use. What is this administration’s legal basis for claiming the right to kill without due process, thus suspending guaranteed constitutional protections?

The undated and unsigned 16-page document leaked to NBC refers to itself as a Department of Justice white paper. Its logic is flawed, its premises are bereft of any appreciation for the values of the Declaration of Independence and the supremacy of the Constitution, and its rationale could be used to justify any breaking of any law by any “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government.”

Under the Constitution, the president can only order killing using the military when the United States has been attacked, or when an attack is imminent. Obama and his advisers have used the word “surgical” to defend the use of drones as humane and necessary; but the fact is that out of the 2,300 drone-caused deaths, approximately 14 percent have been innocent civilians.

Such gravitas caused PBS’s Bill Moyers to question those who gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, implying it has become tarnished. Moyers now feels the president is indifferent to collateral damage and even called Obama’s drone use “cold-blooded.”

Ultra-liberal Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill even admitted the media refuses to hold Obama accountable, saying “I think the problem is we [Democrats] have convinced ourselves that Obama’s drones are somehow softer and kinder and gentler than Bush’s drones.”

Eric Holder’s Justice Department provided justification for killing the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, born in New Mexico, in an American drone strike in September 2011. Note that Obama and Holder had the audacity to denounce the legal method of interrogating terrorists by waterboarding, decrying former VP Dick Cheney’s defense of the policy. The double standards are astounding.

For once, I give the ACLU credit for calling the new memo a disturbing document, saying it’s a “stunning overreach of executive authority.” In his confirmation hearing for the CIA, John Brennan defended Obama’s counterterrorism program; and despite evidence, he stated that drone attacks are carried out “as a last resort, to save lives when there is no other alternative.”

Where is the line drawn? It should alarm us that our government also has the authority to use drones against its own people. During the Obama administration, conservatives, Tea Party participants, and even our veterans can be scrutinized by as dangerous or suspicious.

Referring to a 2012 DHS report, retired Army lieutenant colonel Robert Maginnis writes:

Is this a slippery slope whereby the government might turn drone technology on Americans at home it labels “terrorists”? That’s an alarming thought, but so are past statements made by this government…  [The 2012 report advocates] warning police to be suspicious of anyone that feels their way of life is endangered, anyone that is religious, and anyone that might be interested in “personal liberty” and/or firearms.

The domestic drone market is now expected to grow quickly. Congress must debate this controversial policy and set clear boundaries before it gets out of hand. I’m all for defending America, but not at the expense of increased government power and authority over the very citizens they’ve pledged to protect and serve.

Evangelist Ray Comfort produced a documentary (180 movie) in which he gets people thinking about ethical dilemmas involving life. Comfort asks: “It’s 1939, you have a high-powered rifle, and you have Hitler in your sights. Would you pull the trigger?” After most respond “yes,” he then asks: “If it was 30 years earlier, would you have killed Hitler’s pregnant mother knowing what you know now?”

If drone killing isn’t controversial enough for the media to report on, either they don’t value all life – including life in the womb – or they prioritize protecting the president they voted for over telling American citizens the truth. Maybe it’s both.


*To catch up on the first three articles in this media malpractice series, click here.

Photo credit: axeman3d (Creative Commons)

After Credit Downgrade, the Tea Party Must Dump Obama

Michael Reagan,

President Obama, the Democratic Party and its members of Congress have spent years blaming former President George W. Bush for the nation’s current economic woes, which is akin to blaming the bank’s tellers for a bank robbery, or for the dishonesty of their bosses, the bank’s executives who were looting the till.

Nobody in the liberal-dominated media bothers to note that in the last years of the Bush presidency Democrats controlled the Congress and thus had a death grip on the nation’s economy, having complete control over the nation’s purse strings. They spent (and spent, and spent) the yet-uncollected taxes of future generations — as well as our own — as if there were no tomorrow.

It wasn’t a Bush Congress that jammed the incredible costs of ObamaCare down the throats of the American people and their children and grandchildren — it was our spendthrift president and his allies on Capitol Hill doing their classic imitation of the legendary drunken sailors on shore leave.

It’s simply common sense to understand that spending money one doesn’t have in the hopes that the future will provide the needed funds is something like believing that some beneficent tooth fairy will come up with the money in the future.

Now the president and the national Democratic Party have suddenly discovered a scapegoat for the latest economic mess they have thrust upon the American people. They insist that the credit-rating downgrade was the fault of the Tea Party trying to control the nation’s purse strings. I’m not kidding. They really expect us to swallow this whopper as the Gospel truth.

They expect us to ignore the fact that the millions of Tea Party members are simply Americans, deeply and sincerely concerned about the nation’s economy and the tendency of the government to spend their hard-earned tax money on whatever scam strikes its fancy.

It’s time to place the blame for our economic malaise where it belongs — on the shoulders of the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress.

Tea Party members have been the voice of reason, not the wild-eyed terrorists portrayed by the Left’s crazy spin doctors.

What would have averted the credit-rating downgrade and the subsequent turmoil in the markets? Precisely the spending cuts advocated by the Tea Party.

According to a statement by Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder and national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, the debt-ceiling compromise was….

Read more.