Rich Tucker

Who says newspapers are obsolete? Sometimes a single front page can explain as much as a weighty Washington tome.

The latest example of the latter is “Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy,” by Leslie Gelb. It’s well written, entertaining and has some good advice for the Obama administration (which will likely ignore it).

Gelb remains admirably non-partisan right up until the end of the book, when he slides off the rails for a moment. “Republicans act like rabid attack dogs in and out of power, and treat facts like trash,” he writes. “Democrats seem to lack the decisiveness, clarity of vision and toughness to govern.”

On the contrary. It’s liberals who are ready to trash facts, and the left that maintains a single-minded focus on gathering political power. The front page of the May 9 Washington Post featured three stories that prove that point.

“The Obama administration still plans to spend tens of billions of dollars reviving the nation’s financial system, even after the government’s unexpected finding that major banks need only a little bit more direct government aid,” began one story.

Of course. That’s what liberal administrations do. Spending is how they gain and hold power. So, whether it’s necessary or not, the administration is going to spend. Facts be damned.

Another story says, “the Obama administration is preparing to revive the system of military commissions established at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under new rules that would offer terrorism suspects greater legal protections.”

That’s odd. Then-Sen. Obama opposed such commissions. “By any measure, our system of trying detainees has been an enormous failure,” he announced on the campaign trail. But now, “it looks a lot more difficult now than it did on Jan. 20,” an anonymous “government official” told the Post.

It’s always easier to criticize the party in power’s ideas than to come up with your own. That’s why we’re still waiting for a liberal plan to fix Social Security, more than four years after congressional Democrats blocked a Bush administration proposal to create personal retirement accounts.

But possibly the best example of the left’s eagerness to take and hold power comes from the debate over what top congressional liberals knew about interrogation techniques.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for