Vail Daily letter: Befuddled, indeed
Hats off to Butch Mazzuca (Valley Voices, Jan. 19). He’s acknowledged what many have thought; he’s befuddled. This time it’s over the Obama administration’s admitted blunder of not sending a high ranking official to the spontaneous rally in Paris condemning the newspaper killings. He mentioned that he had written a previous commentary stating “that we cannot win the war against militant Islam until the president of the U.S. combines the words Muslim and terrorist in the same sentence.” He believes that the incident required some kind of response on the order of Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” or Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech. Comparing the content of those speeches to the difficult task of dealing with an ideological, fanatical threat like ISIL is silly. They are not remotely similar to the terrorist threats facing the civilized world. To expect Obama, or any president, to make some blanket statement that just because a person is a Muslim they must be a terrorist shows how truly befuddled Mr.Mazzuca really is.
He’s befuddled because there is a distinction between militant Islam and Muslim and terrorists. To suggest that if a man is a terrorist and the terrorist is a Muslim implies that all Muslims are terrorists is a clumsy syllogism.
But let’s not stop there. He must be befuddled by all the Obama accomplishments despite Republican efforts to stonewall just about every Obama initiative. How can it be that total government spending under Obama has increased less than 1 percent from 2009 to 2014, after “W” increased spending by 59 percent? How can it be that revenues have increased every year from $2.105 trillion in 2009 to $3.03 trillion in 2014? How can it be that the deficit has shrunk every year from $1.41 trillion in 2009 to $483 billion in 2014, a drop of 66 percent? How can it be that GDP has increased every year from $14.12 trillion in 2009 to $17.44 trillion in 2014, and that the deficit, as a percent of GDP, has fallen from 10 percent in 2009, to 2.8 percent in 2014? How can it be that under “W” in eight years, jobs increased by only 1.1 million and under Obama in six years, jobs have increased by 10.6 million? How can it be that unemployment has dropped from 10 percent in 2009 to 5.6 percent in 2014, a drop of 44 percent? How can it be that the stock market bottomed out at 6,549 in 2009 and reached 18,000 in December? How can it be that the U.S. taxpayer has seen a $30 billion profit from all the bail out efforts? How can it be that every Republican president since Ike spent more than Democrats and employment is far greater under Democrats than Republicans?
It must have all come to a head on Nov. 21, when the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee cleared the Obama administration of all the most serious charges related to the Benghazi tragedy, debunking allegations that the administration fell down on the job. That must have been really befuddling.