NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

November 3, 2012

Scary sights haunt us from Halloween to the election

Barbara Anderson
Newburyport Daily News

---- — From frights and fears may we be spared by breath of wind and quiet of rain. — Madeleine L’Engle

This rune from a children’s book seems to fit this past week’s occasion, though I’m not sure exactly why: The wind’s breath from Sandy was dangerous, the rain hardly quiet.

Frankenstorm Sandy was a temporary distraction from the holiday of frights and fears and the coming election; but Halloween arrives, like Whoville’s Christmas, regardless of weather or other external events, and so will the election. Still, I find the quote reassuring: I recall it was meant to be helpful during some cosmic adventure.

This election-year Halloween, my front porch was visited by scary political creatures:

The Vampire Letstax, which just flew in from the fiscal cliff on the 2013 tax hikes we and the economy will get if Washington doesn’t act responsibly during the coming lame-duck session.

The lame duck itself, acting like a victim of partisan politics that couldn’t do its job, even though Democrats controlled both branches for two of the three years they haven’t passed a budget.

Sen. Hairy Werewolf Reid, pledging to continue the gridlock if he still controls the Senate and Mitt Romney is elected.

The traditional Tierney Trickster, carrying nasty attack fliers against his challenger — 20 of them so far, apparently created for independent voters who won’t deplore “guilt by association.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, her hair styled like Medusa’s, assuming that women are dumb enough to believe that their “reproductive rights” are threatened even by pro-choice Republicans like Richard Tisei and Scott Brown, and it’s the only issue we can wrap our silly female brains around.

Devil Patrick accompanied by the Ghost of Massachusetts Present, with its abused EBT cards; its appropriations intended for construction projects for low-income families and programs for special-needs children but misused for administrative indulgence; the bankruptcy of the Waltham company that burned through $100 million in taxpayer “stimulus” funds including a $5 million loan from the Patrick administration that now hopes to recoup the money “if possible.” What can be scarier than guilty prisoners being freed because there was no oversight of the crime lab at which an employee faked tests, or people across the country getting meningitis because a Massachusetts state board didn’t discipline a pharmacy that violated state regulations since 2002? Is anyone doing management here?

I’d give Deval Patrick a break if, while Democrats try to convince America that Mitt Romney wasn’t fully engaged here as governor, our present governor wasn’t running around the country campaigning for President Obama’s ongoing incompetence. The creatures on my porch are minor goblins compared to the most horrible event that hit America this year: the terrorist attack on the consulate at Benghazi on Sept. 11, during which four Americans died.

I’m afraid most voters may not have learned enough about this ongoing issue from major mainstream media like the New York Times and its affiliates, or from the network television that can’t be bothered with Obama’s misdeeds yet covered Cindy Sheehan for weeks as she berated President Bush over her son’s death in Iraq.

This is why it’s a bad idea to vote early, as people can in other states, before major events unfold. While we were told by the Obama administration that the consulate was attacked by a Muslim mob outraged about some obscure video, Fox News was doing a follow-up investigation. Its report that the attack was carefully planned by well-armed jihadists using the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center has been confirmed. Fox later reported that the Obama administration was warned that this attack was likely, yet withdrew security forces, then refused requests for adequate protection.

It gets worse. Fox now reports that as the attack was happening, as Ambassador Chris Stevens was being murdered, on-site Americans were calling for help which never arrived. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, asked why there had not been a quicker response to the assault, said he and top military commanders had judged it too dangerous to send troops without a clearer picture of events. Then comes the accusation that armed drones were flying overhead, then the question as to whether one was armed and could have been laser-directed to take out the attackers, then the refusal of Obama spokesmen to answer that question — which we can assume means the answer is yes.

We are looking at decisions not to protect our ambassador, followed by a giant attempted cover-up that the major mainstream media is allowing, at least through the election. It takes me back to 1972, when Richard Nixon handily won re-election, then was later forced to resign when the Watergate cover-up was exposed — except that no one died because of Watergate.

I am outraged about this, and hopeful that Americans will insist on change again.

Well, the storm and holiday are over, the election will soon be over, too. I’m ready to vote for Romney, Brown, Tisei, vote “No” on ballot question 1, “Yes” on 2, “Yes” on 3. Then I’ll go home to eat the last of my Halloween candy and watch the returns.

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Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation and a regular contributor to the opinion pages.