Friday, October 31, 2008

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded..."

Obama mentioned this in his infomercial the other night, and apparently this has been part of his campaign stump speech. I for one would like a little clarification on this matter. What exactly does Obama plan to do with this domestic police force? For what purposes will it be created? Is there some sort of law enforcement void that is not being filled by local authorities that we have to create a civilian national security force? And he wants to fund it to the same degree as the military?

I tell you, I'm slowly getting more and more uncomfortable with this guy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What more can we expect?

Last night Senator Obama, endowed with unprecedented campaign dollars, gave his 30 minute infomercial selling himself to America. It was a political advertisement basically telling us all how horrible things are in this country, how miserables our lives are, and how he will save us. There was no rebuttal offered, basically allowing Obama to say anything he wanted factual or not. I call that propaganda and I pay little attention to propaganda, especially what's been put out from the Obama camp lately. But I did pick up on a few things in the news that voters should be aware of and likely won't be reported in mainstream outlets.

THe LA Times has come across a video of Obama at a celebratory dinner honoring Rashid Khalidi. For those who don't know, Khalidi is a middle east historian currently teaching at Indoctrination University (also known as Columbia). He is a palestinian supporter and has said and done some questionable things, including: claim the Palestinians have a legal right to resist Israeli "occupation"; saying the US owes reparations to the Iraqi people; accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing; calling suicide bombings a response to Israeli "aggression" and referred to the West as the "Jew hating West". Yes, a Palestinian sympathizer is on record accusing someone else of anti-semitism.

He also dedicated his book "Under Siege" to: "...those who gave their lives in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon." Khalidi has endorsed Obama because he is "the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause."

Apparently, the LA Times tape has Obama toasting Khalidi. We don't know all the good things Obama says about him because the Times has buried the convenient for us voters. Of course, Obama downplays his relationship with Khalidi, something he has become quite good at recently. According to him, the two are just casual acquaintances and nothing more. Well, the facts don't seem to agree with that description. In 2000, Khalidi held a fundraiser to benefit Obama's House campaign. An anti-Israel group led by Khalidi's wife has received $75,000 in donations from the Woods Group, a Chicago nonprofit for which Obama was a board member. And then there's the new tape showing Obama toasting his casual acquaintance. Regardless what he says, this guy has some very shady people raising money for him, and yet he warns us not to give in to "guilt by association". The question is: how many radicals must you associate with before guilt by association becomes appropriate?

And speaking of fund raisers, recent news reveals that Obama has been accepting a lot of untraceable donations from internet sources and prepaid credit cards. These donations can't be tracked, therefore Obama can't verify that he is not violating campaign finance laws. Yet, he accepts the money and is happy to spend it, only returning it when he gets caught breaking the law. In September alone, these donations accounted for over 60% of the money raised by Obama's campaign. That is fraudulent.

And just two days ago, a senior ACORN official testified under oath that the Obama campaign provided ACORN with a list of its top donors. Why is this important? Because the law only allows a person to give so much to a political campaign, it does not limit how much can be given to a nonprofit like ACORN. So the easy way around the law is to provide a list of your top donors to a friendly nonprofit and you can get more money. This may not be illegal but it is certainly unethical. What more can we expect from this man?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Always temporary in nature...

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

This was said many years ago by a man named Tyler, and later repeated by Alexander Hamilton. I couldn’t agree more, which is the basis of my concern for America’s future. Our democracy has been in existence for nearly 233 years and I don’t recall in history any other democracy lasting that long. How exactly did the Roman empire fall?

And when the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia, the moderate members of the Russian parliament walked out in protest, prompting Trotsky to say this to them: "You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on — into the dustbin of history!" Sound familiar? Shortly thereafter, the Bolsheviks passed the Decree on Land, which ratified the actions of the peasants who had been seizing private land and redistributing it amongst themselves. In addition to this, the Bolsheviks: nationalized all banks, granted control of all factories to the soviets, confiscated private bank accounts, seized all church properties, fixed wages at higher rates and implemented a shorter 8-hour work day, repudiated all foreign debts.

Indeed, I have seen a trend in the Democrat party for several decades, basically one of alienating the wealthy and pandering to the middle and lower class. I’ve heard some call this class warfare, and Barack Obama has taken it to an even higher level. This man’s campaign tactic, taken right from the writings of Saul Alinsky, is to cast away the 5% of America’s wealthiest and pander to the other 95%, literally promising them money for their votes. We hear things like “bottom up” growth and “fairness”. And it just may work.

During the primaries, Obama did an interview and was asked about his tax policy. The questioner pointed out that past tax increases have often led to a DECREASE in government revenue. Obama acknowledged this to be true, yet when pressed about his tax plan he responded by saying that it was a matter of “fairness”.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” – Karl Marx

I have a deep problem with Obama’s perspective. In my mind, taxes are a necessary evil. I don’t believe in anarchy, so we must have a functioning government to provide things like courts, roads and national defense. This costs money and the citizens are responsible for providing that money. It’s simply the toll we pay for reaping the benefits of a free society. But Obama, and most democrats, take a much different approach. They see taxes as means of balancing society, establishing “fairness” whatever that means. They describe the rich as “fortunate” and the poor as “less fortunate” as though the only difference between the two is varying degrees of luck, and they use taxation to balance the good and bad luck as a matter of fairness. In other words, taxation is the government’s way of exerting control over its citizens, by punishing the upper class and giving to the middle and lower class, essentially redistributing wealth. But more than that, taxation is the democrat’s method of self-preservation, a means of achieving and maintaining power by nothing else than taking from the minority and giving to 95% of the citizens. You buy votes, implement programs that encourage government dependence, and in doing so you guarantee yourself power. The more citizens depend on the government, the less likely they are to vote you out, this is how communists keep power by ensuring the citizens need them in power. Cater to the middle and lower class, isolate the upper class because you don’t need their vote to gain power, and if that’s not enough then you literally promise the “less fortunate” money for putting you in power, thus the ability to vote themselves rewards from the treasury. It’s simple.

And, folks, if Obama DOES win this election and he is given a super-majority in Congress with a filibuster-proof Senate and just one or two Obama Supreme Court choices – easily appointing the most radical of liberals with his rubber-stamp Senate - then exactly how close will we be to a dictatorship? In theory, they could pass any law they wanted. Honestly, who will stop the Dems from doing it? This makes me very uncomfortable.

I believe Obama’s economy will be disastrous. The last time our economy was this bad was 1980, when Carter lost 10 million jobs, had a 21% interest rate and inflation was at a staggering 12%. Reagan stepped in and immediately dropped taxes to the floor. The top rate was cut from 70% to 28%. As a result, 20 million jobs were created, and government revenues doubled. This is historical fact, yet Obama claims that trickle down economics doesn’t work. Obama plans to do the exact opposite. His plan couldn’t be any further from Reagan’s and instead represents a hybrid of Carter and Hoover. Remember, it was Hoover’s policy that turned the recession of 1929 into the decade-long Great Depression by minimizing free trade and raising income taxes. Obama’s plan is dangerous, and McCain is committing campaign malpractice by not hammering home this issue enough. You NEVER raise taxes in the midst of a recession. NEVER!

He calls for a “new” new deal, which makes sense considering his basic beliefs. The New Deal was our first brush with socialism as the government basically began acting as a major employer, attempting to replace the private sector, which had been choked by excessive taxation. It was very costly and, more importantly, it didn’t work. The Depression continued until the industrial boom of world war two revitalized the economy.

Obama’s tax plan will no doubt increase unemployment, hitting small businesses especially hard. He says only 5% of small businesses will be affected, but this is not the whole story. The truth is 50% of small businesses who employ 20 or more people will see an increase in taxation. These are America’s major employers.

And I just don’t get the “bottom up” theory. How exactly does the economy grow bottom up? The economy grows through employment, and a $1000 check doesn’t get you employed. In fact, it will probably not even pay one month of credit card bills. If people are employed, they have money to spend. If they have money to spend, then investments increase, especially if capitol gains rates are low; retail sales increase; borrowing and major purchases increase; and all of this ultimately leads to more business growth and more employment. There’s a reason why immigration became such a major issue and it’s because our economy was so strong that we actually had to import workers to fill the need.

And business taxes are passed to consumers. Let’s be clear about this, businesses DON’T PAY TAXES, they simply pass the cost to the consumer. As a result, the cost of living goes up, investments decrease and the economy staggers. You can write checks to the middle and lower class, but those will quickly be consumed by the higher cost of living and does nothing to create jobs. This was tried just this summer when we all got rebate checks, and it amounted to nothing more than a speed bump in the economic decline. Bottom-up economics is unsound. It just doesn’t make sense. If you want to grow the economy it starts by growing business since they are the ones who employ people. Instead, it is the businesses and corporations – the “petite bourgeoise” - that are demonized by the Left in their class warfare tactics as they maintain efforts to appeal to the middle and lower class.

And one sector of the economy that continues to thrive is exports. The US is still the world’s largest exporter, accounting for $1.3 trillion annually or 20% of our GDP. This has come mainly through free trade, which has also resulted in a net GAIN of US jobs despite the dem’s claim to the contrary. Obama wants to limit free trade in the name of keeping jobs from going overseas. Again, this is nothing but pandering to key swing states hit hardest by some of the negatives of free trade, despite the fact that free trade is overall beneficial for the whole country. If trade is affected, it could potentially affect 16 million US jobs that would be threatened by trade restrictions. This is on top of what could be lost by the taxation on small businesses. And this doesn’t take into account the fact that free trade increases the buying power of middle and lower class citizens, who can buy cheaper goods and make their dollars last longer. Restrict free trade and you raise the cost of everyday goods, on top of the cost of living that goes up with higher corporate taxation. When Hoover restricted trade by imposing a 40% tariff on imports, it led to a loss of 6.5 million jobs in his 4 year term, half of these were lost in his final year, and the GDP dropped by 25%. Obama is talking about doing much of the same. Our economy simply can’t handle it and if he has his way the recession of 2008 could quickly become the next great depression. And if this happens it will compel the Dems to enact more government programs, make more people dependent on their power. Again, McCain has failed to make this point clearly enough.

Biden says Obama will be tested by an international crisis and that’s concerning enough, but still not nearly as concerning as what will happen to our economy. The signs of disaster couldn’t be any clearer. I wonder if the chaos on Wall Street is somehow related to his current position in the polls, and I fear that on Nov 5 if he’s declared the winner the market could plummet. His ideas are radical, hardly those of a moderate democrat, and he has a radical as House Speaker and as Senate leader. Not a good combination when we are in dire need of economic growth. Mark my words, if he wins we’re looking at some very dark days ahead.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New perspective...

I read something today that gave me a new perspective on Obama’s associations, and it’s something that his defenders need to hear. For the past several weeks, all I’ve heard from the Obamatrons is that his association with Bill Ayers doesn’t matter, his friendships with Reverend Wright and Father Pfleger are inconsequential or, as Obama says, are just a distraction from the “real issues”, as though a man’s character is not an issue.

So, I rely on my military roots for this assessment. Having served a total of 11 years of active and reserve duty I can speak from experience. During this time, I had a security clearance as all active duty members have. This isn’t exactly an easy process. It’s more than just signing a piece of paper and then being granted a clearance. There is some probing involved. During my active duty time, I also wrote a book and in order to have it published I had to get it cleared through the Pentagon. Yes, they actually read my book page by page before allowing me to publish it. In fact, maintaining this very web site while on active duty required that I follow certain rules, one of those still apply in the sense that I am not allowed to divulge any sensitive information regarding national security (not that it matters since I was never privy to such information, but the rule still applies and I was briefed on it after I separated from service). The point is a security clearance is a serious thing.

And based on Obama’s prior associations, I can safely say that obtaining an upper-level security clearance would be impossible for him. The minute the Pentagon discovered his Wright association alone – never mind the one with a domestic terrorist – he would be denied access to any significant national security information. If he joined the military, he would not be granted the most basic security clearance. Yet, as President and Commander in Chief, Obama would have access at the highest level. This man wouldn’t be qualified to be a White House staffer, much less President unless, of course, the American people voted to put him in charge. And there are some who believe his associations don’t matter? Yeah, right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden: "Obama will be tested"

Joe Biden recently made comments to donors that Obama will be tested by an international crisis within the first 6 months of his presidency. He compared it to Kennedy who – as history shows – was tested in Vienna by the Soviets and apparently failed the test since not long after this meeting the Soviets built the Berlin Wall. So, the comparison was probably not ideal for Biden to make. But I agree with his basic notion. Bush was tested early in his presidency, as was Clinton. So I think it’s safe to assume the same will happen to Obama. Our enemies are no doubt curious to see how Obama responds to certain actions. I don’t think they have any doubt how McCain will respond.

What concerns me is Biden’s other comments. Basically he said Obama’s response won’t seem right initially and it will be important to stick with him through it all. What is Biden saying? Is he suggesting that perhaps Obama will respond in a “weak” manner? If so, then the comparison to Kennedy would be accurate, although this doesn’t bring me much comfort. After Kennedy’s weakness at Vienna, we got the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis. These aren’t things that I would be eager to see replayed. It certainly gives voters something to think about.

Which brings up another point about Obama that I’ve been meaning to make for a while. Obama likes to boast that he was right about Iraq. I have a problem with that. First, Obama wasn’t in the Senate at the time so he never had to actually cast an up-or-down vote. He would have us believe that if he were in the Senate, then he would have voted against the Iraq War. Fair enough, but therein lies the problem. Bush was given intelligence that basically said Iraq had WMDs and the potential to use them posed a significant threat to the US, its allies and the surrounding region. The same intelligence was given to Congress. Every major intelligence organization worldwide concurred, and based on that information the Congress voted overwhelmingly for action to protect our nation. Obama says he wouldn’t have done so. Does this concern anyone besides me? What compelled Obama to dissent? Did he not believe the intelligence reports or did he simply not think that action was necessary against the “threat” that was being described? Suppose a similar situation presented itself - this time without the convenient hindsight - and Obama was faced with a threat supported by loads of evidence.

Granted, hindsight showed that the intelligence was wrong, but nobody knew that at the time. All we knew at the time was what we were told, that Iraq had WMDs and was dangerous. Even the most liberal, most dovish of our political leaders voted to take action, yet Obama says he would have ignored this intelligence and opted for something different. Sorry, but I don’t count that as good judgment. It doesn’t bring me comfort to think Obama may be in charge when Iran continues to pursue nukes. Suppose the CIA comes to President Obama and says that Ahmadinejad has succeeded, and he now has nuclear capability. What will Obama do? Will he believe the CIA and take action or will he dissent as he did regarding Iraq? Or will he wait for definitive proof of Iran’s nukes like a test detonation or, perhaps, an actual attack? He says a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, would be a “game-changer”, but his judgment on Iraq doesn’t back that up. So is this what Biden is talking about?

Today, discussing Iraq is difficult because that means distinguishing between what we know now and what we knew at the time. Bush didn’t have the luxury of knowing then what we know now and he had a decision to make regarding our national security. I’m certain that he considered the possibility that the intelligence could be wrong; but counting on that and doing nothing carried with it potentially disastrous consequences. Imagine the uproar if he had ignored the reports and Iraq subsequently launched a WMD attack. That would have been an impeachable offense. He opted to trust the intelligence and take action to protect American citizens. I think it was the right decision. Yes, he should have listened to Powell instead of Rumsfeld and ironed out a distinct exit strategy. Yes, he should have reacted faster when evidence of insurgency first developed. There are many things he should have done differently, but the core initial decision was right. And Obama says he wouldn’t have done the same.

Certainly, there were many mistakes regarding Iraq, but the initial decision to go in wasn’t among them. The government’s primary responsibility is to protect its citizens. The government was given significant information that its citizens were potentially in danger and they responded appropriately. Some things were mishandled, but the initial decision was the right one. I’m concerned that Obama would fail in this regard, and Biden’s comments seem to be somewhat prophetic.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Powell endorses Obama

General Colin Powell is a man that I respect and admire very much. He is one of the most decorated military leaders in modern American history, and you don’t get to that point by being a dishonorable man. So when Rush Limbaugh says that he can’t think of any “inexperienced, white liberal candidates” that Powell has endorsed, I take exception. He is basically accusing the General of racism, and racism is dishonorable. Powell is career military, and the military has a zero tolerance policy on racism; plus battlefield commanders – more than anyone else – know that we all bleed red. I find Limbaugh’s comments in very poor taste. I think Powell would have endorsed just about any Democrat candidate this year and I have my reasons for thinking this.

First, Powell is not a Republican. He hasn’t said or done anything to give me the impression of GOP loyalty. Plus, you’ll find that most military folks are not partisan either way, and many have voted for both parties at one point or another. Powell is a moderate and he seems to me to lean Left on most things, including foreign policy. He served as Bush’s SecState because Bush ran as a moderate and because Powell served under his father, and obviously respected the elder Bush very much. Bush Sr was a moderate on foreign policy…he stopped short of Baghdad for a reason and you can bet that Powell was in agreement. The notion of furthering combat, perhaps unnecessarily, was something that Powell would never agree to. Ditto for pre-emptive military action.

You see, in history there are basically two kinds of military commanders. The first is the hawk, the bloodthirsty leader who likes nothing more than combat. He is aggressive, relentless, and often looked at as egotistical. Think of Patton, MacArthur, Napoleon. The other is the dove, the general who hates to see blood spilled for any reason and absolutely despises war. He recognizes that combat is sometimes necessary but will avoid it whenever possible and will end it as soon as possible. Names like Lee, Eisenhower and, yes, Washington come to mind. I also place Powell in the latter group. Keep in mind that I don’t think one type of general is any better than the other. Instead, I think the context is the deciding factor. In times of peace, I want the dove commanding the army. But if you’re facing extermination and literally fighting for survival, then I want Patton out front.

Something else came to mind when I heard of Powell’s endorsement. This was no surprise to me, since I don’t think of Powell as a Republican, but I still couldn’t help but think of George Pickett after Gettysburg when he said of Lee, “That old man destroyed my division.” You see, generals have very special regard for the troops they command, and even though Powell was no longer commanding the troops he still felt connected to them. Every life lost in Iraq was taken personally, and I don’t think Powell will ever forgive Bush for it.

Powell does not believe in pre-emptive military action. That’s just the sense that I get from him. And I honestly don’t think George W Bush was a pre-emptive war kind of guy either, since his father wasn’t the type. But 9/11 changed a lot of things, including Bush’s own foreign policy, and this is where he and Powell eventually split. He decided that pre-emptive action was better than waiting to respond to an actual attack. I get the sense that Powell still disagrees. Yes, Powell argued the case against Iraq to the UN, but I felt he did this against his better judgment. And when Bush sided with Rumsfeld on how to handle post-war security, Powell was done. He wanted no further part of it. Again, he is honorable, and it’s hard for an honorable person to support something they don’t believe in. It’s no secret why he left after Bush’s first term.
To put it simply, Obama will not continue Bush’s policy of pre-emptive strikes, McCain will, and that’s why Powell endorsed Obama. Make of that what you will. On that matter, I will respectfully disagree with the General and continue to always wish him well with a deep sense of appreciation for his service to our country.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My own theory about the election...

Today I’m feeling a bit theoretical. Maybe because it’s Friday, who knows? But actually I’ve been cooking up this theory for several weeks now. There’s nothing scientific about it. This is based on a sense that I get from the overall mood of those around me and what I consider interesting trends that seem to be reinforced every day. Call it a hunch, maybe even personal bias, but I believe that this country and the major media outlets are in for a shock on election day. I believe the outcome will either be very, very close, closer than any election in our history, or will end up as a big win for McCain. By “big win” I mean McCain takes the traditional red states including Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Ohio; and additionally wins New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and possibly wins close races in Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. Is this my own partisan bias? Not likely, since I am hardly a partisan. But I admit that my conservative blinders may be affecting my objective thought, which is why I say this is a non-scientific observation. Nonetheless, I see things this election cycle that I haven’t seen before which, in a nutshell, is a hesitancy among people to admit that they either support McCain or don’t support Obama.

I’ve had friends recently ask me, with some concern, what I think about the polls. If you believe what you see then basically Obama wins in a landslide, taking all the aforementioned states. The question is: Does anyone actually believe that? My answer to those friends is that I get the sense that people are angry right now and many are taking it out on the GOP, especially when a pollster asks the question. But inside the privacy of the voting booth it will be different, and many people will be unwilling to allow their anger to cast a risky vote, making it very difficult to punch Obama’s name. If Barack Obama were a moderate Democrat then the answer would be yes. And let’s face it, a moderate Dem in our current environment would slaughter any GOP challenger. If the Dems had nominated Hillary (hardly a moderate, but seen by many as such), or Richardson this thing wouldn’t even be close. But they didn’t. Instead, the Dems have once again nominated a far-Left candidate along the lines of Kerry, except this time the candidate is far-Left with extremist economic policy, foreign policy, questionable associations and virtually no prior political record. Contrast that with McCain, a man who is well-known as a centrist and someone that can be trusted with the people’s money. Folks, this is a center-right country and McCain is a center-right candidate opposing a radical Left candidate. Am I to believe that Obama wins in a landslide? That would mean an incredibly sudden and dramatic shift in the American political landscape that would be historic and that I simply don’t think is likely to happen.

I noticed something during the debate the other night. When McCain said “I am not President Bush…” there was a subtle spattering of applause from the audience. This is rare in a debate and the first time it’s happened this year. I had to rewind the TiVo to be sure of what I heard, but it was there. The audience that promised no outbursts actually applauded this line, and in the past two days of debate analysis it has been this line that has gotten the most attention. Why? I believe it’s because people simply don’t buy the assertion that McCain is another Bush. Again, people know McCain, they are familiar with his record and the vast majority of folks see him as I see him, a centrist. They don’t think McCain is what Obama tells us, and this is a problem for Obama because it’s basically the foundation of his entire campaign of change. If he can’t convince people that McCain equals a Bush third term then he loses his role as the only “candidate for change” and has nothing to stand on but his thin record of far-Left principles.

So what about the polls? I’ve had my own theory on that and yesterday I read this column by Jonathan Morris describing his experiences nationwide. It’s very interesting. McCain supporters are apparently hesitant to be vocal about their support for him, or perhaps their unwillingness to support Obama. Morris asks: Would you be willing to stand in front of a divided crowd and tell them that you will vote for McCain? I get the sense that many would not. Why? Well, I think it’s because this is a Dem year. The GOP has become the focus of anger and mistrust in a truly unique political environment. Voting for them isn’t the “in” thing. And in this campaign McCain has defended himself against subtle accusations of racism, war mongering, grouchiness, and erratic absent-mindedness. Standing with him carries the risk of similar accusations hurled your way. And the “general consensus” is that the Dems are better on economic matters, thus a vote for them is good for you economically while a vote for the GOP suggests a degree of naïve subservience. It’s like what Marx described as “false consciousness” at a different level, so when pollsters ask they may not be getting truthful answers since no one wants to appear naïve or self-detrimental. Morris described a group of GOP ground-pounders who say repeatedly that they go to people’s doors, get a “wink” of support, but then are turned down when they ask to put a McCain sign in the yard. We saw this in 2004 to some extent. Remember the excitement in the Kerry camp when the exit polls showed him winning handily, yet the actual vote count was dramatically different? At the time, the media brushed it off as faulty exit polling techniques, but I think there is more to it. Many Americans just seem to vote differently than they may want to admit. I find this fascinating.

Let me give my own little example. Even here in the conservative stronghold of Texas I see something similar. As recent as three weeks ago, in the midst of the economic meltdown, there wasn’t a single McCain sign on my street. I live in a conservative neighborhood in a conservative city. Why no signs? So, as I said before, for the first time in my life I planted a sign in my yard, not as a challenge but simply to show my support. Something impressive happened. Within a period of two weeks, four other signs appeared on my street, all McCain. Did I have something to do with this? I don’t know, but I find the timing a bit odd. Is it possible that even my neighbors on a street of about 20 homes in a conservative stronghold were reluctant to show their support fearing that they may be the only one, concerned about how their neighbors may view them? If so, certainly my neighborhood isn’t alone, especially when you consider some of the states that show Obama leading. When is the last time states like Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri and Florida voted Liberal? Yes, some of them went for Clinton but Obama is hardly another Clinton.

And when I look at the polls I’m frankly surprised that they are so close. Again, a moderate Dem would probably have a 20 point lead right now, but Obama is having some serious trouble closing the deal. There is no explanation for this other than the fact that voters simply don’t trust him, that they are uncomfortable with him and I think that’s because he is just too far Left for the average American. I think the folks want to vote Democrat, but it will be simply too much to vote for Obama.

The shame of it all – if my prediction holds – is that the Left will blame racism as the cause. I just don’t buy it. In a time where conservatives adore people like Condi Rice, Michael Steele, Clarence Thomas, Lynn Swann and, to some extent, Colin Powell, it’s hard for me to accept the notion that Americans will vote based solely on race in a large enough extent to sway a national election. Plus, if someone were truly voting on racial grounds, I don’t think they’d have a problem telling a random pollster that they will vote for McCain. True racists aren’t exactly ashamed of their thoughts. But ask someone who trends center-right, is angry at republicans, and sees the pollster as a vent for that anger and you may be more likely to get a protest “vote” for Obama that won’t play out when it counts. That is my prediction. No matter what the polls show I think this election will either be a late-night squeaker or will end up being a near-landslide shocker for McCain. America may be ready for a Democrat president, but I don’t think it’s ready for an ultra-Liberal.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Final debate

I never really paid much attention to the who-won-who-lost discussion regarding debates. We’re not talking about a football game where you methodically score points to win. No, we’re dealing with people’s opinions, something that can be swayed by many things. So the question isn’t who won, but rather who helped themselves the most in the campaign. A few things stand out:

Sitting at a table doesn’t compliment Obama well. He doesn’t have the same commanding presence as he does while standing at a podium. I noticed the same thing in the primary debates and with his O’Reilly interview. He isn’t as aggressive and seems to be more on the defensive (granted, McCain was on the attack more last night), and that isn’t just some obscure observation. This man may one day meet with world leaders and, yes, dictatorial leaders. Maybe he can have those meetings while standing.

Obama didn’t condemn John Lewis’ words comparing McCain to George Wallace. He should have. Yet, he still criticized McCain for negative ads.

Obama didn’t say Sarah Palin was qualified to be President and I think that was a missed opportunity. Obama is trying to make the case that he is qualified despite having a thinner record than Palin, so how can he be qualified if Palin is not?. I think it would have been wise for him to seize the opportunity and I expect the GOP to point this out in the coming days.

Abortion finally came up and it exposed one of Obama’s many weaknesses on policy. First, he argued that the Constitution guaranteed a right to privacy, which it most definitely does not. Then he argued for fewer abortions as a means of finding “common ground”. Let me explain something here. People who oppose abortion do so because we believe a fetus is a human life. We don’t want common ground on the matter because we believe that abortion equates to murder. We won’t work for common ground because that ultimately means that we would have to agree to keep it legal in return for fewer abortions and we don’t want murder to be legal…period. That’s simply unacceptable. And besides, if a fetus is just a mass of lifeless tissue then why would it be necessary to reduce abortions? If it is nothing more than removing a hangnail then there shouldn’t be a need to make it rare. McCain missed a chance here.

Obama’s associations finally came up and McCain missed another chance. He should have described in detail what Ayers did, who Tony Rezko is and how he is associated with Obama. He should have mentioned Reverend Wright, Father Pfleger, Louis Farrakhan and should have talked more about ACORN. Obama was not very truthful here. He didn’t mention the money that he gave ACORN and flat-out denied that his political career was launched in Ayers’ living room. McCain should have also pointed out Jesse Jackson’s recent comments that Obama would stop putting Israel’s interests first in the Middle East, and John Murtha's recent comments describing western Pennsylvania as a "racist area".

McCain should have used the word ‘Marxist’ to describe Obama’s tax plan. Instead it was Joe the Plumber. McCain didn’t do enough. He should have mentioned how Reagan brought the economy out of dire straits in 1981 with policies opposite those of Obama. He should have pointed out how Obama mirrors Jimmy Carter in taxes. And yet again he failed to mention that 40% of Americans don’t pay taxes and that much of Obama’s plan amounts to nothing more than government handouts to those people.

McCain did a good job arguing for free trade but should have called Obama’s policy for what it is: corporatism and economic nationalism.

Overall, McCain was more aggressive and that’s what he needed to do. Obama was on the defensive all night, probably because he leads in the polls. But I think McCain accomplished something important…doubt. All he needs to do is keep people in doubt of Obama’s ability, judgment and experience. We face the most difficult economic times in decades, with some of the most difficult foreign policy challenges. At the same time, we stand poised to elect the most inexperienced, most socialist President in our history who – coupled with Pelosi and Reid – will form the most liberal US government in history. I think that will resonate. The polls may be a bit misleading because people are angry, but I see things being a bit different inside the voting booth. It’s not going to be as easy as some think to pull that lever for Obama because such a vote would be a risk. If McCain keeps stoking that fire he will continue to be in this race, and the outcome may end up being a shocking surprise.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The latest low point...

It seems to me that the Left has committed to doing whatever it takes to gain total control of Washington and the latest media tactics are further evidence of that. Obama’s failure to condemn these attacks haven’t gone unnoticed. Perhaps his ambition has gotten the better of him. The latest craze in the mainstream media is to actually accuse McCain of inciting hatred and, yes, racism. This is a different version of the same game the Left has been playing for over a year, one that suggests that Obama will become a victim because of his race. The race card has been dealt many times, usually from Obama himself, but what’s happening now is beyond grotesque. Accusing John McCain of racism is dirty politics personified and is unfair on many levels. I think it’s a preview of what an Obama presidency will be…perhaps the most divisive administration in our nation’s history. At least Lincoln’s primary goal was to preserve the union. The Obama campaign seems more willing to rip it in half if the end result is an electoral victory. My disappointment in the man grows day by day.

I provide this link to a Boston Globe article as the latest low point in politics. It criticizes John McCain for things that people say at campaign rallies. These are people in the crowd not event speakers or sponsors. So John McCain is now responsible for things that people who attend his events say out loud. Preposterous.

Keep in mind that mentioning Reverend Jeremiah Wright is considered off-limits, in fact some claim that it would be a subtle form of racism. Can’t mention him. And Bill Ayers is also an illegitimate issue. Father Phleger can’t be discussed. Neither can Tony Rezko. And when Louis Farrakhan claims that Obama is “the messiah” John McCain can’t say anything about it or he’s just playing dirty politics. Remind people that Obama once represented ACORN and recently donated $800,000 to their fraudulent get-out-the-vote efforts and again you’re guilty of racism (and to this day Obama has yet to condemn ACORN for their voter fraud). These legitimate associations of Obama are all off-limits in any discussion of character or judgment but when a random citizen allegedly blurts out something offensive then suddenly John McCain is guilty of divisive politics. The Left has stashed the race card up their sleeves and they continue to deal it from the bottom of the deck. And to think, I at one time felt that America had progressed enough from its darker days of racism that a black man or woman could run for office without race becoming an issue. Obviously, I was wrong. Race has become a huge issue and Obama and the Left are the ones who won’t let it fade away like it should. That’s why I say that he will usher in the most divisive presidential administration in history and it saddens me to see it.

But I won’t stop at race. Obama has run a shameful campaign in many ways. Granted, misrepresentation is common in politics but Obama has turned it into an art form. First, his claim that McCain is a Bush third term, which is the foundation of his campaign. If you had said such a thing one year ago you would have been laughed at. McCain is hardly Bush Light. On many occasions, he has been the lone voice of Republican dissent in Congress. He has opposed Bush on many major issues, yet Obama uses procedural votes as a way of saying that McCain voted with Bush often. When I think of centrists in Congress two names come to mind: McCain and Leiberman, and if America needs anything it would be a centrist in the Oval Office and another centrist heading the State Dept (Leiberman’s likely cabinet post). Yet, Obama has run his entire campaign on the notion that McCain is some far-right Bush supporter while portraying himself, a 94% Liberal voter, as a moderate. Can anyone find a single issue where Obama parted with his party to vote with Republicans?

Obama ran ads portraying McCain as out-of-touch because he doesn’t use a computer very often, ignoring the fact that his war injuries make computers painful and laborious for McCain. He tells people that lobbyists work for McCain, as if the man who brought down Abramoff will be in the pocket of lobbyists. He tells people that McCain’s health plan will tax corporate benefits, this is not true. He ignores McCain’s history of calling for reform of Fannie Mae, ignores his own guilt in the matter (and that of ACORN and his democrat friends) and tells people that deregulation caused the problem…just another argument for bigger government. He tells people that McCain is for big business and against the middle class, when McCain voted against the largest tax raise on the middle class in US history that was signed by Clinton and supported by Joe Biden. He tells people that McCain will give billions of dollars to oil companies. Also not true. He ran a Spanish ad painting McCain – the man who proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants – as anti-Latino and xenophobic and a friend of Rush Limbaugh. For those who don’t know or may have bought into Obama’s propaganda, I’ll say that Limbaugh doesn’t like McCain. No hard core conservative does. The two are hardly pals. In fact, Obama has a closer relationship with Bill Ayers than McCain and Limbaugh, but I can’t say that or else I’ll be accused of racism.

When McCain runs an ad pointing out Obama’s vote for child sex education, it is called deceitful. Well, I read the language of that bill and McCain was spot on. It called for comprehensive sex education, including HIV/AIDS for children K-12. McCain was right, but never mind that. Obama has the press on his side. When’s the last time Obama voted for a tax cut? Never mind, now he is all about tax cuts, and don’t get me started on his “95% of Americans get a tax cut” nonsense. His tax plan is welfare reincarnate, but you’ll never hear him admit to that and it will never make the front pages. Now, I’ll concede that McCain went below the belt with the “lipstick on a pig” fiasco, but overall when you measure the two campaigns you’ll see Obama has waged the dirtiest and he seems determined to drag McCain through the mud as much as possible if it leads to victory. Why? Because he can. Don’t count on the mainstream media to call him out for his transgressions.

And the biggest lie of them all will come if Obama actually loses the election. Obama and the Left are already setting up a defeat as evidence of racism in America, suggesting that voters will reject the better candidate simply because he’s half-black. James Carville even predicted riots as a consequence. This is beyond shameful and is evidence that the Left won’t allow racism to become extinct as long as they can exploit it for political gain. McCain was recently compared to George Wallace of all people.

An Obama victory will be bought on deceit. He has deceived people into believing that Bush is to blame for the economic crisis and McCain helped him. He has deceived people into believing that he is a moderate and McCain the radical. And, worst of all, he has deceived people into believing that anything negative about him is race-based and thus untrue. If elected, Obama will become the most pro-abortion, anti-gun, pro-socialist, pro-authoritarian and, yes, most divisive president in our history. And with Pelosi and Reid they will form the most radical Left US government we’ve ever known. His economic policies would be absolutely disastrous for an already struggling economy and he will implement income redistribution like we’ve never endured in our history, rubber-stamped by his friends on the Hill. We need checks and balances for our government to be fair and effective, but this will go out the window if Obama wins. He will be Jimmy Carter times ten. The only comfort I will take on inauguration day will be the knowledge that it took the Carter years for America to vote for Reagan. Perhaps history will repeat itself. But that doesn’t make me any less fearful of the next four years…should Obama succeed in deceiving his way to the White House.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I fear the day...

The debate the other night was okay, nothing impressive, basically two stump speeches given in debate form. It was hardly a typical town hall and frankly I think the American people were cheated. However, Brokaw did somehow manage to ask an interesting question that grasped my attention: Is health care a right, a privilege or a responsibility? McCain answered – correctly of course – that it was a responsibility. Obama said – in a rather flip, immeasured way – that it was a RIGHT.

Let me explain why this is so wrong on so many levels. Healthcare is a service. A product. The result of a person’s labor. When he says that other people have a RIGHT to your labor he begins to walk a very dangerous line. If the product of my labor is the right of others, then that makes it a bit difficult for me to charge them for it. We’re getting much too close to socialism for my comfort and I wish someone else would start voicing these concerns as well. The notion that people are rightfully entitled to the labor of other people is about as Marxist as it gets and I think Obama should be very careful in how he chooses his words. It didn’t appear to me that he thought much about his answer, which makes him reckless, and if he did think about it then that only confirms my previous notion that he is a socialist.

When we say that healthcare is a right, then we are basically saying that the government must provide it for the people. How? The government doesn’t have money of its own and doesn’t employ medical professionals. So the government will take money from some of its citizens to spend on the healthcare of others. Again, this is a socialist notion. Redistribution of wealth, unequal protection. Justice is not blind, instead she removes her blindfold long enough to ask what you do and how much money you make. I have similar problems with the progressive income tax, but that’s another post.

And how, exactly, does Obama plan to define “healthcare”? When we say this is a right, how far are we going? I could argue that the nation’s network of emergency rooms meets the obligation. People can receive life-saving care regardless of ability to pay. No, it’s not the ideal place to get basic healthcare, but it does serve as a safety net. But that’s obviously not enough for Obama. So he’s not saying that “healthcare” is a right, but is saying that having healthcare from a primary care physician is a right. This opens another can of worms. How will a doctor’s practice be restricted? If I identify “drug seeking” behavior from a patient and refuse to continue caring for that person, have I opened myself to a lawsuit for violating someone’s rights? What if I refuse to prescribe an antibiotic for a common cold, have I just violated someone’s rights? What if I get behind and patients are in my waiting room too long? What if I’m booked full and don’t have appointments available? Are we prepared to say that people have the right to Viagra? Narcotic pain medications? Cosmetic surgery? Weight loss surgery? And what about the pharmaceutical industry? If I am the CEO of a drug company and the POTUS states that people have a right to my product, then I’m going to demand government subsidies. In fact, expect the entire medical community to do this once Obama opens his Pandora’s Box. God knows there are enough lawsuits in the medical field, Obama threatens to create even more.

When we say that the people have a right to a doctor’s labor, then we aren’t far from saying that the government should be the doctor’s employer on government salary to administer to the rights of the citizens; and that hospitals should be public, nonprofit, government operated facilities. What this does is effectively removes the profitability in the medical field. And I’ve long argued that if you ever do that you will see quality of care plummet to something unimaginable. Access? Forget it. Getting an appointment with a doctor will be very difficult. Quality? Once you remove market competition you remove the motivation for quality care, top to bottom (this includes the nursing and rehab fields as well).

Look at Medicaid, it’s a complete disaster. I have trouble finding consultants and specialists willing to see my Medicaid patients because it usually results in a loss of money. Just recuperating one’s expenses is difficult. When I order something for a Medicaid patient I often find myself having to call and explain my actions to some government bureaucrat who has absolutely no medical background…NONE! This is like having my mechanic call a local high school cheerleader to tell her what he wants to do to my car. What’s worse is that sometimes the bureaucrats tell me that I can’t order a particular test and have to try something else instead. Who has the medical degree here?! Do people want their doctors delivering medical care or fighting with government bozos over their decisions? Because of red tape and bureaucracy Medicaid patients have been stigmatized in the medical world, and medicare isn’t much better. Every year Congress discusses cutting medicare payments. Do they want these people to get healthcare or not? Doctor’s offices are businesses and we have bills to pay. And another thing, the old notion that doctors make lots and lots of money is bogus, consider me a living testament to this. Many of us are middle class citizens and now Obama wants to say that people have a right to my services!

Now, the AMA favors universal health care but that’s basically because the AMA is a lobbyist organization and they want access to government money. I’m not a member of the AMA for this reason. I want people to have quality healthcare and I don’t believe the government is capable of delivering that and I don’t believe the AMA is looking out for patients.

The shame of it is that these patients are good people and should be cared for. The government is clueless to this fact and clueless on how best to do it, and now Obama wants to further the government’s involvement. This will be a disaster!

Healthcare is a responsibility. PERIOD. People have a responsibility to obtain healthcare for themselves and their family. The medical community has a responsibility to deliver QUALITY care to the community, something government involvement will hinder. Doctors have a responsibility to care for a certain number of people who, yes, can’t afford to pay. Drug companies have a responsibility to manufacture quality products and keep prices reasonable. The insurance industry has a responsibility to keep premiums low and relax their restrictions on pre-existing conditions. And the government has a responsibility to allow the healthcare industry just compensation for their labor to ensure that QUALITY is not sacrificed.

Rest assured and mark my words. Each day the government furthers their involvement in this industry is another day that healthcare becomes more mediocre. I fear the day that my words become reality.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pending home sales INCREASE

The National Association of Realtors says pending home rose 7.4% from July to August, an unexpected piece of positive news for the battered U.S. housing market.
The group said Wednesday its seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for existing homes rose to 93.4 from an upwardly revised July reading of 87. The reading was the highest since June 2007.
Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR had predicted the index would fall to 84.9.
The index, which sunk to a record low of 83 in March, stood at 85.8 in August 2007

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

ACORN office raided in voter fraud investigation

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada state authorities are raiding the Las Vegas headquarters of an organization that works to get low-income people to vote.
A Nevada secretary of state's office spokesman said Tuesday that investigators are looking for evidence of voter fraud at the office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also called ACORN.
No one was at the ACORN office when state agents arrived with a search warrant and began carting records and documents away.
Secretary of State spokesman Bob Walsh says ACORN is accused of submitting multiple voter registrations with false and duplicate names.
The raid comes two months after state and federal authorities formed a task force to pursue election-fraud allegations in Nevada.

Volunteers supporting Barack Obama picked up hundreds of people at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and drug-rehab centers and drove them to a polling place yesterday on the last day that Ohioans could register and vote on the same day, almost no questions asked.

The huge effort by a pro-Obama group, Vote Today Ohio, takes advantage of a quirk in the state's elections laws that allows people to register and cast ballots at the same time without having to prove residency.

Republicans have argued that the window could lead to widespread voter fraud because officials wouldn't have an opportunity to verify registration information before ballots were cast.
Among the volunteers were Yori Stadlin and Vivian Lehrer of the Upper West Side, who got married last week and decided to spend their honeymoon shepherding voters to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Early today, Stadlin's van picked up William Woods, 59, at the soup kitchen of the Bishop Cosgrove Center.

"I never voted before," Woods said, because of a felony conviction that previously barred him from the polls. "Without this service, I would have had no way to get here."

Friday, October 03, 2008

What is he talking about???

I just read over the transcript from last night’s debate and found this from Biden, not sure how I missed it last night:

“When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.” Now what’s happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.”

Honestly, does anyone know what the hell Biden is talking about? We kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon? And France helped us do it? Can anyone explain this to me or was I in a coma at some time during a Franco-American war in Lebanon? And then Biden and Obama demanded NATO forces move in and secure the area? Where did this come from? Biden completely fabricated a war in Lebanon. Why isn’t the press talking about this?

Biden prefaced this by saying that no one has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I wonder how the Israelis feel about Biden creating a completely fictional history of the Middle East.

The VP debate, as seen by a "joe six-pack"

I’ve often wondered about the football coach who first faced the wishbone offense. He’d never seen anything like it before and must have been blown away with how to defend it. I wondered about the look on his face when that 3-back offense first appeared. I think I saw that look last night on Joe Biden. He had never seen anything like Sarah Palin and he had no idea how to defend against her. And it showed.

Going into the debate, I said McCain needs to let Palin be Palin. Do this and she wins. That’s what happened last night. I never bought this nonsense that Palin isn’t intelligent. You don’t become a Governor with an 80% approval rating by being dumb. She is different. She lacks national experience. She isn’t like any other politician we’ve ever seen. But dumb she is not. It would be a major disaster for the Left to underestimate her. American citizens just spent the last week telling their Congressmen that they would rather endure a recession than pay for a government bailout of Wall Street. Assuming these same people will reject Palin because she isn’t an expert on the issues will be a big mistake.

Biden no doubt had a command of the issues. He knew what he was talking about. He knew the records of Obama and McCain (even though he lied more than once about it). He drew on his 36 years of Senate experience. In short, he knew much more than Sarah Palin. The problem is he sounded like someone who’d been in the Senate for 36 years. Palin didn’t. He sounded like someone who has been debating issues all of his life. Palin didn’t. He sounded like a Washington insider. Palin didn’t. And in times like these, that gives her an insurmountable advantage.

Sarah Palin is a truly unique politician. Her syntax is odd. She uses “there” and “also” repeatedly. Her grammar is off. It is very strange and something I am not used to. But it would be foolish for someone to claim she is not intelligent based on that alone, which is likely to happen from the Left. Apparently, the only thing that qualifies as intelligence is the proper use of adverbs and prepositions.

Maybe this is a geographical thing. I mean, I find Canadian’s and Minnesotan’s verbiage odd as well and I’m sure those people will see my Mississippi/Texas English similarly. I’m used to politicians having oratory talent like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. It seems to be a prereq for politics. But Sarah doesn’t have that gift, and she is most definitely not a typical politician. Get beyond her bizarre dialect and you saw someone who had good knowledge of the issues. She is by no means an expert in anything but energy and taxes, but I think she made a strong case against the elites that she is indeed qualified to be Vice President. She certainly debunked the claims of “another Dan Quayle”. Liberals will no doubt pull their hair out over her less-than-commanding use of the English language and will most certainly cite this as a means of claiming that she lacks intelligence. That will be a monumental mistake. Her verbiage is part of her charm and part of what appeals to average Americans. It serves as a constant reminder that she is not a Washington insider. She is very much different. She is much more like your neighbor than your Senator and that’s tough to defend.

I was disappointed that she didn’t hammer at the Democrats more on the financial crisis. She missed the chance to point out that Biden himself voted for the deregulation that he blamed for the crisis. She didn’t drive home the point that McCain argued for more reform of Fannie Mae, and while Obama claims he warned of the crisis neither he nor Biden stood with McCain in that fight for reform. That was a missed opportunity. She failed to call Biden out on several occasions when Biden outright lied about records. He said that Obama never proposed unconditional presidential-level meetings with Ahmedinijad. That was a lie. He said McCain voted to repeal Bush’s tax cuts. That was a lie. He said McCain voted to cut funding for the troops. That was a lie. She let him get away with it, probably because she isn’t very well familiar with the Senate records of all the candidates. I think Biden was banking on this, which is probably why he did what he did. He wouldn’t have tried this with an experienced politician. It worked for him, but the facts will certainly be set straight in the coming days.

In a traditional sense, he outdebated her. He was on point. He answered questions. He repeated typical dem talking points. If he was up against Dan Quayle, he would have won hands down. The problem is that this was a very non-traditional debate. Palin dominated the conversation. She took over. Not even the moderator, though she tried, could control her. Palin answered the questions with one or two word answers then immediately changed the topic, often to challenge Biden on his record or Obama’s record. Again, the Left will probably consider this a negative, and in a traditional sense it would be. But Palin is something new, something non-traditional. Biden stayed on message but there were times when she seemed to get under his skin a bit. At one time, he almost strained to tell people that he too – a 6 term Senator – was a typical middle-class average Joe. It didn’t work.

We’ve never seen anything like Sarah Palin and Biden had to be thinking “how do I defend against this?” You can’t debate a non-politician like a politician. Biden was full of boring Senate speak, Palin was dropping her “g’s” and saying things like “doggone it” and “darn right”. At one time, she actually winked at the camera. Are you kidding me? Biden’s annoying smile was proof in my eyes that you can’t debate Palin like a Washington politician. It doesn’t work. It makes you look out of touch. That’s why I say Palin won. On the flip side, charm only goes so far. You have to have enough basic knowledge of the issues to show Americans that you can handle the job. We like charm but we can see through it if there isn’t enough substance. Palin didn’t come across as an expert, but she did demonstrate enough understanding of the issues to convince voters that she is ready for Vice President. Maybe not President, not yet, but certainly she can handle the #2 job. The New York Times will most definitely disagree, but that’s not the constituency she is after.

The defining moment came after she answered a question about nuclear weapons. Fred Barnes picked up on it as well and pointed out the same thing I’m about to point out. When this happened, I turned to my wife and said “Wow, that was interesting.” Palin answered the question and then said to Ifill, “I want to talk about Afghanistan for a minute”. What? The foreign policy dunce voluntarily changed the subject to Afghanistan? She then refuted Biden’s claim that the commanding general had denounced McCain’s proposal for a surge there. Palin said Biden was wrong and the general never said that. She said the general had endorsed McCain’s counterinsurgency proposal. Biden was visibly caught off-guard. For at least two or three seconds he was silent, clearly looking down to check his notes. He had no response. The Alaskan small-town hick had just rendered the 6 term Senator speechless. It was like the stone had just hit the great giant. It was great. Even better, the Liberals snicker because she mispronounced the general’s name. Never mind that she was more familiar with the Afghanistan theater commander’s policy than the Dem’s foreign policy “expert” was, she mispronounced his name, as if to say it doesn’t matter how familiar you are with policy, it’s more important to properly pronounce someone’s name. That’s laughable. That epitomizes the elitism that we have come to know so well on the Left.

Another classic moment was when Biden said his vote for the Iraq War wasn’t meant as a vote for the war. Palin called him on it by saying she’s new to Washington and doesn’t understand how people can vote one way and then claim to believe another. Hah! Thank you, Ms Palin, for voicing the frustration of just about every American citizen.

Palin’s candidacy is Reaganesque. Every time the Liberals snicker and sneer, I soak it up. They call her dumb and out of touch, labels commonly flung at Reagan. They didn’t get him and they don’t get Palin. The Left doesn’t understand people like Sarah Palin and they don’t understand how anyone could vote for her. A normal every day American has no business on a presidential ticket (of course, the forefathers would disagree). She doesn’t talk properly. She doesn’t act like they do. She must be dumb or something. They will never get her and that is part of their undoing. Middle America gets it. The middle class gets it. She has given McCain another shot at this. I just hope he doesn’t screw it up. Either way, we haven’t seen the last of Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

McCain's mistake with Palin

The McCain camp has made a major blunder regarding Sarah Palin. Her convention speech was amazing. The base was energized. There was buzz. And then something inexplicable happened. She vanished.

It’s like McCain’s people took her away and began a crash course of Washington politics. The press was denied access. Interview requests were turned down. They began to mold her into something she wasn’t and I think it has hurt her confidence. I cite some recent missteps in interviews as evidence of this. Somewhere along the line I believe the McCain camp became afraid to turn her loose and as a result she has lost some of her luster.

I am stunned at how McCain has sheltered his running mate in this campaign. I feel this is McCain’s biggest mistake. While Joe Biden is running around the campaign trail inserting his foot in his mouth on a daily basis, Palin has not been allowed to interact with the press at all. What is going on? What is McCain afraid of? I watched her interviews, and yes she stumbled a few times. So what. Stop pretending that she has foreign policy experience. She is a governor. She isn’t supposed to have foreign policy experience. Don’t try to sell us the bogus claim that sitting between Russia and Canada gives her foreign policy credentials. We know better than that and, frankly, it reflects poorly on Palin’s credibility. She doesn’t have Washington experience because she is not of Washington…THAT’S WHAT VOTERS LIKE ABOUT HER! Embrace that quality, highlight it, celebrate it. Turn her loose on the press, let her give interviews to anyone who asks and let her be herself without having to regurgitate the talking points that McCain feeds her. Trying to script her contradicts everything that makes her a great candidate. Let her make mistakes. It won’t hurt as much as they think. Stop the damage control and let her do what she does best, appeal to middle class voters and infuriate the extreme Left. Yes, she’ll have the occasional gaffe but that just adds to her profile as a Washington outsider and elevates her above her counterpart – the supposed foreign policy “expert” who is equally prone to embarrassing gaffes. It adds to her profile as someone who is not scripted and can deliver straight talk while making the same every day mistakes that we all make. Voters want to see a candidate who understands them and isn’t afraid to have flaws. Sarah Palin isn’t perfect and it does an injustice to portray her otherwise. Don’t sell her off as someone that she’s not. It ruins her appeal to common voters.

I hope the McCain camp will hear this advice, and I am certainly not alone in offering it. Many others have noticed how Palin’s spirit has been subdued a bit. It conjures the image of a wild mustang standing in a corral, head hanging low, broken. That’s just not right. Let her out, let her run wild. McCain took a gamble on Palin, now he needs to let that gamble play out. If he tries to subdue her, it’s no longer a gamble but instead is a bad decision. He picked her for her maverick credentials, not her foreign policy expertise. If he tries to pawn her off as a Washington expert he will fail.

Tomorrow night, I want to see the real Sarah Palin, not the rehearsed talking point playback machine. I want to see her tear into Biden like she did at the convention. McCain needs to be more like McCain and Palin needs to be Palin. If she does, she could once again turn this thing around. If not, Obama could win in a landslide. Palin behaving like Palin will beat Joe Biden hands down, but as a cookie-cutter, rehearsed running mate she will be decimated. It’s just that simple.

This interview with Hugh Hewitt is encouraging. For the first time since the convention I see Palin with some latitude. Hopefully that will carry into the debate.

The polls have shifted, but the shift isn’t toward Obama. The shift is away from McCain. People are moving from the McCain column to undecided and this is widening Obama’s lead. I think the Reagan democrats are moving away because Palin hasn’t been around to continue her mission. McCain is playing it too safe, and that’s not the John McCain that America knows. It will not result in a win for him. His choice of running mate was brilliant. His convention speech was inspirational. But since then he has lost his way, starting with his attempts to reign in Sarah Palin. There will be no excuse if voters reject him in November.