Gary Hofmeister: A telling clue


Our good friend, the brilliant (late) Tony Blankley, told me shortly after President Barack Obama was inaugurated a truly scary story. Obama’s first major executive order to be signed as he entered his first term in office was for the eventual closure of the Guantanamo Bay facility. Upon signing it, he handed one of the pens to his lead counsel, Greg Craig, while offhandedly asking, “Where are we going to put them?”

Now just think about that. Here was a front-and-center campaign promise that had both sides of the aisle debating for a couple of years just how this could be accomplished without diminishing our security and he hadn’t even thought it through. If you’re thinking this is just what a disengaged ivory tower professor might do thinking out loud in his classroom because it had no real world significance, you’re probably right on the money.

I have run this over so many times in my head since that time. The unbelievable hubris and naivete of his foreign policy dismissing the work and experience of professional diplomats who had labored for years making recommendations of what should and shouldn’t be approached with various nations essentially trashed in favor of his personal narcissism. The refusal to become involved in the minutiae of a plethora of initiatives both domestic and foreign where generalities are irrelevant because the “devil is in the details.” Now this makes sense if you are a dorm proctor discussing how to save the world with a bunch of 18-year-old college freshmen but is absolutely lethal when you actually have the power to implement your ideas.

This may also be the leading clue to why so many, even former acolytes and supporters, are now labeling him a liar (full disclosure: I’m one of them). Fuzzy-headed academics virtually never get called to task to explain why their theories don’t work in the real world. So without accountability, they can pretty much let their minds wander into the hypothetical without fear of a challenge. As President Obama has had his claque within the mainstream media defending him with starry eyed devotion that even with the multitude of blatant failures, he’s been given a pass. The Syrian debacle, the Benghazi cover-up, the Fast and Furious murders, the NSA disclosures and, my personal non-favorite, the IRS scandal have all had to default to “the poor guy just didn’t know.” Since most of us live in the real world neither academic nor political, this doesn’t really wash. We think either this guy doesn’t care enough to know or he has no idea what the presidency or management actually means. So maybe he’s not truly lying in his own mind. Maybe he is still academic enough to rationalize that if you think it should be so, it is. But remembering the last Democrat president, a certain Bill Clinton, “ it all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

The telling characteristic of true liberals is their adamant belief that they are smarter, better informed and certainly more well-intentioned than that great unwashed mass of humanity out there, which doesn’t have a clue. Those folks are to be occasionally patted on the head and told they will get their crumbs when we are ready to disburse them. But in the meantime, just shut up and do what you’re told. You might misunderstand what I actually said about keeping your doctor and health insurance but that’s because you’re a bit stupid. And in the infamous words of my fabulous Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “What difference does it make?”

Gary Hofmeister is the owner and operator of Hofmeister Personal Jewelers in downtown Steamboat, a company he founded in 1973. He is a director of the Steamboat Institute and a former Republican nominee for Congress in the 10th District of Indiana. He made 18 trips to the former USSR to teach democratic-capitalism during the 1990s.


Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago


There are substantial factual errors in this letter.

First off, there is no evidence that at a signing ceremony Obama's lead counsel, Greg Craig, while offhandedly asking, “Where are we going to put them?”. That was a public ceremony and no such comment was recorded. There was a question of what will happen to those incarcerated and Greg Craig said "we will set up a process".

"This may also be the leading clue to why so many, even former acolytes and supporters, are now labeling him a liar (full disclosure: I’m one of them)"

When did you ever support Obama? Your July 5th 2009 letter was highly critical of Obama as was every other letter that mentioned Obama.

Your letters to the editor have consistently argued that liberals are wrong, don't think, are immoral, and are ignorant. They also are generally just rhetoric lacking in facts. And in this letter, you have included the above outright lie.

The funny part is that you also make the best possible case against Republican candidates because, for most of the population, your narrow views are not acceptable.


jerry carlton 1 year, 8 months ago

I voted for Obama the first time. I did not the second because in his first term he proved what an incompetent he is. The really scary part is that Hillary Clinton will most probably be our next president.


Thomss Steele 1 year, 8 months ago

Poor Scott...

Trying to justify the stupidity of voting for a man you must truly know in your heart has no right being leader of the free world. All politicians and their respective parties are narrow minded and deceptive. That's what power brings. But honestly how do you lay your head down at night for a peaceful rest while justifying the actions of that liar in the White House?


Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago


So lying and making up facts to justify your political opinions is fine with you? On these forums I have called out people whom make up facts regardless of their political leanings.

I do not regret voting for Obama despite his flaws. Neither of his opponents have given any indication that they would have been any better. McCain's decision making process is so poor that he selected Palin as his VP candidate. And Romney was so inept that he couldn't even beat Obama despite the bad economy.


Fred Duckels 1 year, 8 months ago

Romney was not willing to lower himself to Obama standards in order to be elected. On the other hand a functioning media would have exposed this charlatan and his ilk. Candy Crowley certainly did her best to help O buy time when cornered. This administration will come up with any whopper in order to buy time, knowing that an adoring press will participate in the hoax. Scott, are you a liberal masquerading as a logical thinker?


Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Romney lowered himself to whatever group he was meeting. The Romney that was governor was a moderate. The Romney that was running for president had sold out himself out trying to cater to conservatives. Romney's campaign had hundreds of millions of dollars and he was not able to "expose" Obama? Instead Romney proposed healthcare "reform" that was more of a budget buster than Obamacare.

I am old enough to remember a Democratic Party arguing whether to include a full employment plank in their platform. A promise by the government to provide everyone with a job that couldn't find one in the private sector. I remember when many Democrats would say that corporations are inherently evil. I also remember that a Republican president signed the EPA into law. I remember a Republican Party with a strong libertarian wing.

The terms "conservative" and "liberal" are so inadequate to describe politics and the choices available. The parties end up picking policies that are supported by their core demographics. So the Democrats can support gay rights as a small government personal liberty issue and the Republicans can wish to use government laws to enforce personal morality. And on other issues, the parties will take the exact opposite viewpoints. The parties are not about any sort of ideological consistency, but upon mirroring their supporters.

And the Republican Party has largely shifted to uneducated Southern white males and the Democratic Party has basically accepted everyone else. Silicon Valley was once a Republican stronghold for fundraising and with Republicans winning seats depending upon the gerrymandering. Now Silicon Valley is a Democratic stronghold and the residents haven't changed much. The Democrats are willing to talk technology while Republicans are debating evolution and variations of Creationism.

So am I a liberal? Not in the old school sense of government guaranteed full employment and viewing corporations as evil. But I do agree with definitions of a liberal generally supporting liberty and equality including issues such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property.


Scott Wedel 1 year, 7 months ago

What about filibusters?

I think the Senate ruined the filibuster when they removed the need for the senator to stand there and speak for hours on end. The old style filibuster put a price on the objecting senators. Not just a physical effort, but they had to publicly justify what they were stopping.

The revised rule allowed senators to make an objection and kill anything that didn't get 60 votes at that moment. So there were more "filibusters" of Obama's appellate court appointments than in the entire history of the senate. And some of those appointments where then approved by wide majorities in the final vote.

The recent situation of large number of appellate judges and mid level administration appointments being blocked was intolerable. Personally, I would gone back to the speaking filibuster, but apparently the Democratic senators had tired of the situation and decided to allow appointments to proceed.

The filibuster is not a constitutional provision and was a senate rule so it could always be changed.


jerry carlton 1 year, 7 months ago

Oz is the founding father of fillibusters on this forum.


mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

The mistakes you folks make are:

Scott, being outraged by someone lying over politics, or trying to make us believe your indignation is sincere. Hillarious that you have not wrote extensively about the liar in the White House and that you still hold your head high and are proud of your votes... funny but sad.

Jerry, voting for Obama... the first time or ANY time. You seem smarter than that.

Fred, et al, trying to distinguish between two political parties by supposing they are significantly different.

While the Democrat and Republican parties are somewhat different, they are by no means distinct. More like arguing that a persons left brain and right brain are seperate. These two parties are one, playing a fantastic game of good cop/bad cop as theatre for the sheeple.

How and why anyone acceptsm much less condones the conduct of either one is completely beyond me.

They should all be in jail, but the masses enjoy having them shake down the taxpayers on their behalf, so they defend abhorent behavior from both "Pinky" and "The Brain".


mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago


Just wondering how someone who doesn't like lies and who seems coherent and fairly intelligent could let these 65 whoppers by him and still be proud of his powers of discernment.


Harvey Lyon 1 year, 7 months ago

There's a bigger problem than all of that. In two years no pharmacists will know what other medications you're taking and whether they poorly interact. Simply...its not their problem unless you bring your entire medical chart to them and make an appoitment. There's only one drug store in Steamboat you speak to a Pharmacist and who goes to a Pharmacy with their entire medical record.

No Doctor will know what other Docs you're seeing and what they're treating you for.

Medicare and Medicaid have dictated exactly what the "cost" of treatments and drugs are for Insurance Companys are and Docs will/have stopped treatment for those costs (rather take up fishing) and Pharmacists keep adding layers between the Patient and the Pharmacist because they can't afford to talk with the Patient given the lack of insurance reimbursement. Go buy meat and chips in Safeway, whatever you buy in Walmart or Walgreens. That's what pays a Pharmacist's Salary.

So....believe in Obama Care.....and drop dead from a Chemical mis-Mix. No one's responsible save for yourself. Perhaps you'll survive.....if you studied medicine and pharmacology.

Want to take that chance? And its really a big chance.


jerry carlton 1 year, 7 months ago

Mark I agree voting for Obama the first time was a mistake but I thought he was a lesser evil than his opponent. That is the problem, elections are almost always a choice between the lesser of two evils, At least I learned from my mistake. There are still 50 plus per cent that voted for him twice.


rhys jones 1 year, 7 months ago

Jerry -- I'd vote for him again, if I could. They're all henchmen for the Federal Reserve, talking heads reading the script, and you're right, he seems the lesser of the evils offered. You'll stem the tides or get Oz to shut up, before you'll change that. Just the way it is.

You watching the Nuggets? They're KILLING the Nets, in Brooklyn. The fans are starting to cheer for US!! Six in a row, ten out of the last thirteen -- this might be a good year after all!!


mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

Yeah, John McCain was a terrible choice for the Republicans. What a horrible Senator. He might have made some serious military sacrifices for his country, and God bless him for that,but now he should shut up and go back to Arizona.


rhys jones 1 year, 7 months ago

Mark -- You know what Republican I'd vote for? Charles Barkley.

When his daughter chided him for the Republicans being all about the rich, he said "I'm rich."

Chuck is one straight shooter. He could probably beat up the Fed by himself.


mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

Barkley would be fine. Just throwing darts at a phone book would get us better people than those we elect.


rhys jones 1 year, 7 months ago

You reveal an inherent flaw in our representative system of government: The candidates. While most claim to be driven by the urge to serve, in reality this is the least skilled segment of society not incarcerated -- most can talk a good line, and produce little else. Typically insecure, they seek the affirmation of the vote to provide self-esteem and bolster their egos. If they had skills, that's what they would be doing, not begging for your vote.

We could not place our future in worse hands. You're right, Mark -- any random choice would probably be more skilled than the choices we get.


mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

While I agree, I would add a considerable variation to your statement by using the following analogy:

You know there are mice.

You know mice have a proclivity for cheese.

You are supposed to be smarter than mice so you are supposed to put the cheese where the mice can't get it, ie the fridge.

Instead you (not you personally) choose to leave the cheese out on the kitchen floor all night and then bitch about the damned mice taking it.

Who is really at fault?

The mice are, quite predictably, doing exactly what mice do.

It is the person in charge of the cheese, with the power to put the cheese away but who chose to leave it out that is at fault.

THEY are the ones not doing their job.

The american electorate puts people in command that they should absolutely, positively know better than entrust with anything. Then they wonder why it's falling apart.

I used to blame the politicians, now I blame the electorate. The politicians are doing EXACTLY what the mice do when you are stupid enough to leave the cheese out on the floor. I don't like mice, but I don't blame them for the loss of the cheese. I blame those who are supposed to be smarter than the damned stupid mice.


mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

And even though it's not the mices fault I still think all mice should be squished when cornered...


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