President Obama is following his final State of the Union address with a “victory lap” beginning in Omaha. He will be “celebrating the successes” of his policies by coming to a city that neither embraced them nor supported them, and certainly didn’t benefit from them. His vision for the next decade outlined in the SOTU looks remarkably like the fetid carcass of a welfare state already bloated beyond our ability to maintain.
Things like “wage insurance” (where the government makes up the difference when a displaced worker has to take a lower paying job) are more of the same greased skids to chronic dependency that is the hallmark of a pliant and supine citizenry. Hardly the stuff of soaring pride.
The occasion of President Obama’s visit has generated an organic backlash among a significant number of Omahans, the tone of which could best be described as disdain (coupled with a healthy dose of revulsion).
Omaha, Nebraska has largely avoided the economic and social paroxysms that have beset our nation in the last decade; not because we are protected by our many famous and powerful residents, but because we yet adhere to the core values of personal responsibility, rock-solid work ethic and old-fashioned Midwestern good sense.
As the rest of the nation honed their “peak and valley” skills, Omaha wisely avoided the fads, ignoring the siren songs of the economic hucksters and the job-killing fantasies of the social engineers, preferring instead to fix the road ahead rather than blindly blaze new trails to old destinations.
As a result of our collective common-sense, Omaha has enjoyed one of the lowest sustained unemployment rates in the country (averaging nearly 4% below the national average), the nation’s most affordable real estate market, a business-friendly mindset with a cost of living 19% below national average and a job growth rate nearly 10% above the national average. Not to mention a rate of crime low enough for other cities to routinely ask “What’s your secret?”
Now, after Omaha has endured seven long years of Democrat misrule in Washington DC, the leader of that mediocrity parade intends to come to our city to claim our success as his own.
Our president is unduly cognizant of his own existence and this common failing of the hopelessly self-absorbed is what animates his final-year strategy. He’s leaving, and those of us in the hinterlands need to understand just how much we’ll miss him…or so it goes in the fevered recesses of his legacy-obsessed mind.
It would appear that Omaha – long known for pragmatism and good sense – will be offering some of each to the “boy-king.”
When word reached Omaha that Obama intends to tout the “successes” of his policies by citing Omaha as an example, the reaction was swift. The Omaha-based Global Faith Institute immediately released a statement saying, in part:
The Global Faith Institute (GFI) believes the President ought to know the citizens of Omaha have a definition of “success” that differs greatly from his, and we have some questions…
Is it "success" to insist on resettling Syrian refugees knowing we can’t adequately screen them?
Is it “success” to protect known front operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in America by halting a pending indictment against them in federal court?
Or perhaps it's a "success" when the [resident says that "something must be done" to make America safer, and that "something" turns out to be making life difficult for lawful gun owners, rather than dealing with Islamic supremacists and border security.
Omaha anxiously awaits the president’s arrival. We'd like to talk about all that "success.”
The statement gained traction on social media (still growing) and among conservative groups well beyond Omaha. It is now leading to plans to organize a counter-rally to the president’s visit. The way it looks now, there will likely be more protestors outside the arena where Obama is to speak than attendees inside listening.
Omaha is also the home of the Tri-Faith Initiative, a project that plans to co-locate a Mosque (with a Muslim study institute) a Church and a Synagogue on the same physical campus, about which I have written previously. The project has attracted international attention, as has the opposition to it. The opposition is led by the same Global Faith Institute and its founder, myself. I am a former Imam who converted from Islam to Christianity. I have family members who yet remain high-ranking advisors to the Muslim Brotherhood in my native Egypt. I am well aware of the dangers the Brotherhood poses and have dedicated my life to protecting America from them.
We can't help from wondering: Is the involvement of Susan Buffett (billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s daughter) in bankrolling much of the Tri-Faith-Initiative a part of the reason for the president choosing Omaha to begin his post-SOTU tour? He is expected to visit the Tri-Faith campus, or at least discuss the project in his speech. Is this a "thank you" for Warren’s support? Regardless of reason, there are many people in Omaha who do not support the Tri-Faith Initiative because of its affiliation with Muslim Brotherhood front groups (CAIR & ISNA), Many of us in Omaha don’t wish to see the president laud a project that is likely to make our city a target for terrorism.
If the spontaneous reaction immediately following the announcement of the President’s visit is any indication, Omaha’s “unwelcoming” committee may be the real story coming out of Omaha that day. Certainly, it appears that the first stop on Obama’s magical victory tour is likely to be spoiled by a dose of Midwestern reality.
It’s about time.