Joining Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, conservative columnist Rebecca Hagelin in her column today likened President Obama to the captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship who is currently facing manslaughter charges. Captain Francesco Schettino was arrested on “charges of manslaughter, failure to offer assistance and abandonment of the ship,” and as a result of the disaster seventeen people have died and sixteen people remain missing. For Hagelin, Obama is just like the “brash and arrogant” Schettino because of his use of “‘fairness’ rhetoric” and his “feasts for his Hollywood friends.” Her comparison of the President to a person charged with manslaughter over her disagreement with his political beliefs stands in stark contrast to her call last year for Americans to work against the political “environment of intense, partisan division”:
Who can forget the images last month of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, tipped on its side, half submerged in frigid waters off the coast of Italy? The cause: arrogant recklessness and devastatingly poor leadership. The cost: 16 dead, 16 missing, and millions of dollars in damage.
The captain—brash and arrogant—deviated from the proven course to pursue his own agenda. He maneuvered too close to the rocky shoreline and nature did the rest, resulting in a crippling tear to the ship’s hull. Worse, as the ship began to list, the captain ordered a meal, denied fault, failed to summon rescuers or direct a safe evacuation, and eventually jumped ship ahead of his panicked passengers. His actions cost precious lives and untold millions.
Now think of last week’s State of the Union, given by President Obama. His “fairness” rhetoric obscures the calamitous journey we’ve endured under his leadership, a journey devastating to American workers, families, and institutions. And his response is eerily similar to the Italian Captain’s. Obama re-directs blame, pointing fingers at Congress and Republicans for America’s fiscal problems. He convenes feasts for his Hollywood friends, in the White House “Wonderland,” and admires America’s decaying moral fabric. He won’t rescue the American economy, preferring to shackle business with onerous regulations and confiscatory taxes. And he’s insulated himself from the devastating effects of his own policies. It’s only a matter of time until he jumps into his own secure lifeboat of pensions, book deals, and board memberships.
While our “Captain” deludes himself about our problems—and solutions–America’s ship founders on the rough shoals of energy dependence, empty public coffers, and disappearing jobs. The ship is sinking, people are drowning, and the Captain can’t lead.
So when it is your turn to cast your vote, just think of that Italian cruise ship—listing left and on the verge of sinking. We need a leader of integrity, worthy of our trust, with the conviction and courage to be conservative, no matter what. We need Rick Santorum. And he can win – if only conservatives ignore the media elite who don’t want us to think he can. We must support the best man for the job and make him electable by voting to elect him. Iowans proved it can be done – we just need the moral courage to do it too.