Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, October 31, 2008

New Issue Up!!!

Yes, I realize it's not the first just yet, but the boss had to light out for the weekend early, and he wanted the new issue up now. And what better day to do that on than a Friday. Why? Because Fridays are slow news days. So yes the new issue of Common Conservative is up and unlike network TV, there are no Halloween specials in this issue. But we do have good authors with their views on the political and cultural world around us.

The boss starts us off with a list of things the next president should be doing. And pardon him if he doesn't agree that among those should be a raise in our taxes, or talking with the world's thugs.

Larry Simoneaux has some passing thoughts on a variety of subjects, including on a dance he once had with a first love. You gotta love memories like that.

And Marcie and I go through the five reasons why you shouldn't vote for Obama. Call it a last minute plea to voters prior to election day.

The boss kicks off the guest columns with a book review. The book is "What A Life: How the Vietnam War Affected One Marine" by Randy Kington, and judging from the review it's one worth reading.

Stew Bolno gives us ten reasons why he didn't and won't vote for Obama on election day.

Ralph Reiland explains why Obama would be a bane to small businesses should he be elected.

JJ Jackson tells you why the Democrats fail miserably in the Robin Hood department, and he points out that, like always, this is just a means to pull a fast one on us.

Jack Ward talks to us about how elections have been watered down to where we choose the sylistic candidates over the ones with brains.

And Richard Geno rounds out the guest pieces with a column about why we fought the Cold War, and he asks if we've forgotten the reason behind it?

Enjoy reading!! Have a Happy Halloween, and we'll see you at the polls on the fourth.

Publius II

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Democrat wish list is complete

Speculation has abounded as to what Democrats would do if, by some Biblical miracle, they take the White House and expand majorities in both Houses of Congress. The Hill has the skinny and it doesn't look pretty. HT to Captain Ed

A landslide victory next Tuesday would give Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape government policy dramatically.

By controlling the White House and expanding their Senate majority, Democrats would remove the most reliable weapons used by the GOP to block their agenda: the filibuster and the veto.

Those tools have thwarted Pelosi (Calif.) and Democrats since they won the majority in both chambers, leaving bills affecting labor law, healthcare and other issues to die in the Senate or on the president’s desk.

With those obstacles removed, Democrats could quickly push forward with legislation allowing labor unions to organize without secret-ballot elections and a bill expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Other possibilities include the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would overturn a Supreme Court decision restricting equal pay lawsuits; a measure that would narrow the role of a “supervisor” for collective bargaining purposes; and a mandate for paid sick leave for companies with 15 or more employees who work at least 30 hours a week — all left over from the last Congress.

“I think they want to strike while the iron’s hot and grab everything they can,” said Marc Freedman, director of labor law policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has picked up on this theme in the final week of the election, calling Pelosi, Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) a “dangerous threesome” in a last-minute attempt to win back momentum. But with six days left before the election and Obama leading in key states, most indicators point to a federal government completely in Democratic hands.

Having the numbers to move legislation on a partisan basis carries risk. Democrats and Obama, if elected, would shoulder the blame for anything that passes. That reality could prompt leadership to postpone visceral debates on issues with greater political consequences, such as dealing with illegal immigrants.

Democrats also are divided among themselves on some issues, including energy policy, where opinions are often parochial and have less to do with party affiliation. Complicating the equation further will be the overall economic environment. If the country is in recession, both parties are likely to be wary of being accused of raising the price of energy.

“At the end of the day, you still have to go home and turn the lights on,” said Martin Edwards, a lobbyist for the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.

A certain starting point for Democrats will be the financial crisis, and a stimulus package could be taken up as early as the November lame-duck session. A landslide win will boost the likelihood that bill will lean heavily toward spending on infrastructure, money for cities and states, an extension of unemployment insurance and additional money for food stamps.

“They are going to be focused on turning around the economy and anything that contributes to that,” said Bill Samuel, legislative director for the AFL-CIO. “A pro-jobs agenda.”

Business leaders are anticipating an early push of union-backed bills. At the top of the list is the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which would eliminate the right of employers to demand secret-ballot elections before a union can be certified. Instead, a majority of workers could sign petition cards certifying a union — a process known as “card-check.” The bill passed the House in March 2007, but failed three months later in the Senate to get the 60 votes required for controversial legislation.

Healthcare is another ripe topic, and some expect a vote as early as January on SCHIP expansion. Bush twice vetoed legislation in 2007 that would have expanded the program by $35 billion — enough to cover 10 million children. The party opted instead for a 15-month extension that expires on March 31.

Now what's the risk Democrats face? Simple. They'll be doing this on their own, and deliberately holding the bills back until Obama is inaugurated. When these items do get passed, and they fail they'll be the ones catching the flak. They won't be able to blame Bush or Republicans. They'll be out on a limb,and working without a net. In short, a rush to pass the sort of legislation they're proposing could lead them to electoral disaster in 2010. We wouldn't get rid of Obama, but the rush to ram these bills through could cost the Democrats their majorities in the Congress the same way it cost them in 1994.

If we go back to Clinton, we see that his tax hike, the passing of the Brady Bill, and the attempt to jam-down the Hillary health care plan cost him his majority in the House. The GOP Revolution of 1994, led by Newt Gingrich, was a watershed moment in American politics. The news networks and pundits didn't believe the landslide that year. In fact I recall the funny moment where James Carville ended up wearing a trash can on his head because his predictions fell through in the 2002 midterms. Both the '94 and the '02 midterms were surprises for pundits. In '94 no one believed the Republicans could take the House. In 2002, pundits believed the "selected not elected" meme pushed for two years would lead to greater Democrat gains in both Houses. Neither one panned out.

That is what the Democrats risk if they jump the gun -- correction, they jump the shark -- and push these things through the Congress. Even if they wait until the inauguration and ram this crap through, they risk the ire of the public when these ideas go south. Card Check is one thing in particular that will hurt the Democrats severely if they pass it. Union bosses have wanted to remove the secret ballots for the better part of a year so they could use intimidation tactics on union members. They pass this, and this is going to backfire on them badly.

To keep them from moving forward on this we need to work to ensure we keep the numbers tight. Gary Andres at the Weekly Standard's blog shows that while the Democrats are pushing for that sixty seat, filibuster-proof majority, that road isn't an easy one. He cites polls for heavily contested Republican seats, and the fact we might lose seats. I have stated that I see us losing no more than 4-5 seats. Four seats would be fine, but when it starts to inch up from there, we run the risk of RINOS such as Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Arlen Spector jumping ship to side with the Democrats. The filibuster is our key tool in the Senate, and not only is it integral for legislation, but it is a priority when it comes to federal judge appointments. (Yes, I railed about the use of the filibuster during the Democrat's continued fight against President Bush's nominees, but McCain preserved it with the Gang of 14 deal. So the tactic is fair game for any "controversial" nominations.)

The Democrats are counting their chickens before they hatch, and if they push these legislative ideas, they run the risk of losing their majorities. We believe that with that in mind, it might give them a moment of pause. On the other hand, we never gave them much credit when it comes to political strategy. Harry Reid has been outfoxed by Mitch McConnell before; Boehner has befuddled Pelosi. That's the sort of leadership we need to maintain in both Houses, but that leadership is moot if we lose a significant number of seats. Neither of us see that happening, but we're not prophets. We don't "see" the future. We can only read the teal leaves, and give an assessment based on what we see.

Publius II

Why Do We Like Sarah Palin?

Hello again. I decided to take a little time off from lunch to speak up here. Earlier today an acquaintance here on campus overheard me talking to a friend about Sarah Palin. Wrinkling her nose, she condescendingly asked "Why do you like that opportunistic b*tch?"

Needless to say I was taken aback by this. I do not discuss politics with her. I purposefully avoid it because she is, as Thomas would proclaim, "numb from the brain down, politically speaking." Yes, she is a liberal, and yes she has bragged she will vote for the man who will bring change to this nation.

The problem is, and I did point this out to her, Barack Obama does not have a record of reform. The lone piece of legislation he has worked on -- that he continually brags about working with Tom Coburn on -- was on congressional ethics reform. It had little to do with tightening ethics rules, and absolutely nothing to do with reform.

He has voted with his party -- both in the US Congress and the Illinois state senate -- over 95% of the time. And he NEVER challenged the corrupt Chicago machine. In fact no one in the media dares to shed a light on those ties despite the fact that one of his closest associates has been convicted of corruption, and another is still under investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald. Convicted Chicago fixer Tony Rezko has recently told Mr. Fitzgerald that he will tell him what he needs to bring down Governor Rod Blagojevich.

But back to the answer to her question -- why do we like Sarah Palin? Because she is one of us. She is someone who has worked her way through life, without any help from the government. She entered politics as a reformer after seeing that she could change things for the better on Wasilla's city council, and then later as Wasilla's mayor. She was willing to take on the corruption in her own party in her run for governor, and has successfully served the people of her state in the two years she has been governor.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden do not have a record even close to hers. They are partisan liberals that will bring a liberal agenda to this nation which means a larger government, higher taxes, and more entitlements. That is not the sort of change this nation needs right now. Washington is broken, and filled with those who believe the best way they can serve the people is to direct pork-spending back to their home states. That is not what we ask of our representatives in Congress. The government has a specific set of duties outlined int he Preamble of the Constitution:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Constitution outlines the limits of the government and it's three branches. What Barack Obama proposes for the nation stands in stark contrast to the founding of the nation. Sarah Palin embraces the founding principles, and stands with John McCain with a promise to uphold those ideals.

This, of course, was not my response to her. I lacked the time to go into detail. After she asked the question I simply smiled and told her that I liked Sarah because I was Sarah; we all are. I also added "Why do you like Senator Obama given the questions that still surround him? He is, after all, an enigma to a good majority of voters."

She had no answer for me, nor did I wait around to hear her stammer out an answer. Those who support Barack Obama will vote for him regardless of what comes out about him. They have excused his radical ties, his socialist ideas, and the incessant use of the race card to silence his critics.

Sarah Palin is an open book. She has been "investigated" by the media more than Barack Obama was. We know about her, her family, her husband, the businesses they have owned and run, and we know her life story. We see an honest woman -- not only in business and politics, but intellectually as well -- that has her mind set on trying to fix what is broken, and will help John McCain in those efforts.

We have long been calling out for change in Washington, DC. On one side we have two people who pay lip service to the idea, and begs people to trust them that they can do what they promise.

On the other side we have two people who have a proven track record of reform and change. It might not always work out the way they want it, but the attempt is made, and some positive changes have come about from their efforts.

Besides, how can I not like a woman who rocks out to one of my favorite songs?


Judge rules in favor of homeless in Ohio

As if we needed more verification of the fraud fiasco in Ohio, enter a Clinton-appointed judge who believes the homeless should be allowed to enter their park benches as "permanent addresses" for the purpose of voter registration:

A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren't buildings as their addresses.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus also ruled that provisional ballots can't be invalidated because of poll worker errors.

Monday's ruling resolved the final two pieces of a settlement between the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

The coalition agreed to drop a constitutional challenge to Ohio's voter identification law until after the Nov. 4 election. In return, Brunner and the coalition agreed on procedures to verify provisional ballots across all Ohio counties.

The coalition was concerned that unequal treatment of provisional ballots would disenfranchise some voters.

There is no disenfranchisement if the criteria isn't met to cast that vote. That includes being registered, and in registering to vote you must provide a permanent, stable address. A bum on a park bench doesn't have one of those, and his "address" will change as the days go on. This judge is an absolute moron.

That brings me to an aside that occurred last night. In the chat room last night, I had a disagreement with a friend over what the definition of "unconstitutional" is, and the idea that if the Supreme Court hands down a decision it is "constitutional." That's not true especially if the court hands down a decision that's not rooted in the Constitution itself.

That's how that topic ties into this story. The judge, in essence, is throwing out what the established and enacted law says to foment fraud. Living in Arizona, I've seen operatives rounding up homeless people an busing them off to the polls, paying them with money, cigarettes, or booze. That's illegal, and my complaints to the secretary of state's office fell on deaf ears. This is technically illegal as well because the judge just tossed aside the law he disagreed with.

It's crap like this that makes people skittish about this election. Let's hope that Ohio straightens things out before the election, and somehow, some way Ohio figures out a way to get rid of Jennifer Brunner.

HT to JammieWearingFool

Publius II

Poll watching and boosting the base

Yesterday it was Gallup. Today it's Rasmussen and for the last week, or so, it's been IBD's TIPP poll. They all show the race tightening as we come down the final stretch. For the most part, they're all in the margin of error which means the election could go either way.

So why am I confident that McCain will win?

That's a question I hear from friends and chat-mates; from co-workers and colleagues. They want to know how I can be so optimistic when things seem so gloomy, so pessimistic.

Well, I used to be a severe pessimist. I used to look at the bad before the good because I didn't believe the good could really be there, or at the very least it was overshadowed. But sitting here and covering this election made me realize that if I looked at this race from a pessimist's point-of-view, I wouldn't be doing anything other than bringing down the people in the base of the party which is what the media seems intent on doing this time around.

Turn on the news -- any news -- and watch as they show you scenes from Obama rallies, and talk to Obama supporters that are fired up. Then they'll switch to the talking heads who opine about the "vaunted" youth vote, the seemingly incredible record voter registrations, the large swaths of people turning out for early voting, and they'll remind you that Obama is still raising gobs of money.

That can take the wind out of your sails pretty quick, huh?

Why? Why should you be concerned? Think about it. You think that the media's going to touch this Rasmusen poll today? They didn't talk about Gallup's yesterday. Why not? Because they're in the tank for Obama, and anything that's negative to him -- and these polls are -- they're not going to talk about. They'll talk about Zogby being up by five for Obama because that makes him out of the margin of error.

The media has set this up to do one thing, and one thing only. They are trying to demoralize our base so we don't turn out. They don't want us going to the polls because they know we're not voting for Obama. So they're doing whatever they can to perpetuate this image of an unstoppable juggernaut. They'd like us to believe that an Obama presidency is inevitable. They'd like us to believe that come voting day the kids will swamp the polls, and elevate Obama to the highest office in the land.

Just one small problem. The kids have NEVER been reliable at the polls. Oh sure, you get a few that turn out -- first-timers or longtime, hardcore, activist-minded youths. But you never see them turnout in the numbers the media hypes. This year, if you listen to the media, millions upon millions of fired-up, excited youths are supposed to turn out, and we're led to believe they're going to vote for Obama.

I was talking to a guy yesterday who worried about that. I assured him that the kids today -- those college-aged kids that Obama's been targeting -- aren't stupid. Sure we think they are because they seem to think with emotion rather than logic, but when you get down to brass tacks, and root around in the specifics of an argument, these kids get it. They understand that when they get out of college, or if they're in college and working, that electing Obama means that their taxes are going to go up. If they graduate and move onto that job they've been prepping themselves for, they're gonna get knocked out of bed by the taxes they get hit with.

Toss in abortion (if they're Christian), the war (especially if they have family serving overseas), or federal judicial appointments (if they pay attention to such things) and you have the makings of a disastrous presidency if Obama is elected. these kids get it. Marcie and I have had the opportunity to talk to high school seniors who really seem pumped for Obama. Using fact and logic we have explained to them why Obama is the wrong choice this year, and why his inexperience in certain realms could invite disaster to this nation. It wasn't easy, nor was it pretty. Some raw nerves got exposed, but in the end the kids understood where we were coming from.

If the media were truly doing it's job and abiding by it's own ethical standards, then Obama wouldn't have a chance this year. Think about it. More scrutiny has been executed on Sarah Palin and John McCain than on Barack Obama. You question Obama on his past associations, you're racist. You question him on foreign policy, you're racist. You question him on taxes and his socialist ideas, you're racist. He's not throwing the race card around nearly as much as the media is. They're a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Obama campaign, and they're not hiding it.

So, again I ask why is anyone paying attention to their reports regarding the state of this race when you all know damn well that they're lying their butts off?

Here's my prescription for you for the next seven days. Turn off the news. Don't watch. Don't read it in any newspaper. You need news? Go to the 'Net. There are plenty of news sources on the 'Net that you can stay updated with what's going on in the world. Next volunteer to help the McCain camp whether it's through phone work, knocking on doors, or promising to help in the GOTV efforts. It'll help bolster your confidence that McCain can win. Lastly, when that's all said an done, pick a representative or a senator that needs help, and help them. This election is about the presidency, but it's also about the Congress.

If John McCain wins he' not going to be doing much if the Democrats have a veto-proof majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. It's a necessity for us to maintain the margins in both, or reduce the Democrat's majorities. Retaking either House this year isn't feasible, and as Hugh Hewitt would agree, to retake either is going to take this election and the midterms in 2010. (And here's a hint for any Republican in the Congress that might send a staffer on over here to peruse this. Stay true to your word and your ideology, and we can win either House back, or possibly both. Veer off again, and watch the base stay home in 2010.)

Quit fretting about election day. We have confidence that McCain will win. While I've had to adjust our electoral vote map, it hasn't changed as to who will win. Barack Obama is the most non-vetted, inexperienced, unqualified, liberal person to run for the highest office in the land ever. John McCain has been tested and proven to be a real reformer; a reformer that has upset his base more times than we can count, but one who has always put his country first.

So close up ranks, and make sure you show up at the polls with as many friends as possible to vote for John McCain. If we can turn out the vote this year, we can surprise the media into humiliation. And nothing tends to brighten our day more than watching a bunch of glum chumps moan and gripe about their guy not winning an election they thought they had sewn up.

Publius II

Monday, October 27, 2008

Heartbreak -- Dean Barnett, 1967-2008

Forget the rest of the crap I've posted today. The blogosphere has lost a good man. Dean Barnett passed away today. About three weeks ago, while subbing for Hugh Hewitt, Dean had to leave in the final hour due to an asthma attack. Since then, he was fighting for his life in intensive care. Unfortunately, he lost that fight. From Bill Kristol:

It's my sad duty to report that our good friend and valued contributor Dean Barnett passed away today. He was a remarkable man--principled, witty, and to all of us, a model of grace and courage. We mourn his passing and cherish his memory.

This is a blow to Marcie and I. We had heard that he was getting better, and then this happens. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family in this time of grieving.

I'm going to miss talking to "Chowdah" when he subs for Hugh. We know that the Hewitt "family" (family, friends, colleagues and listeners) will be joining Dean's family in mourning his passing.

God speed, Chowdah. You will be missed.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: I know, I know. It's been some time since I put this post up, but Marcie reminded me of an Irish blessing tonight. And it seems fitting:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

And I'm also reminded of a song that best fits this day.

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
I feel you everywhere I go.
I see your smile, I see your face,
I hear you laughin' in the rain.
I still can't believe you're gone.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who'd you be today?

Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family,
I wonder what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue,
I feel like I can talk to you,
An' I know it might sound crazy.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who you'd be today?

The song is by Kenny Chesney, and it's called "Who You'd Be Today." We all know that Dean had a wife and family, and they he loved them more than the world. But we also know that he lived his life to the fullest. It's still cruel that he was taken from us at such a young age. He was 41. I'm 36. I can't even begin to fathom what he still wanted to accomplish and see before he passed. It hurts. It really does. When I told Marcie about this, she was silent, and when she got home I could see she'd been crying.

That's how Dean touched us. Sure he was a Red Sox fan (we can't all be perfect), and sure he had that accent (Hey, I dubbed him "Chowdah" the first time I called in) but you could forgive him those minor faults. And they weren't even really faults. They were just my prejudices against him. But I liked him. WE liked him a lot. Out of all of the fill-in hosts that we heard on Hugh's show he was the best. To sit there and say he'll be missed is an understatement.

This world was robbed of a very, very good and intelligent man. But look at the bright side. He's up in Heaven right now with William F. Buckley, Tim Russert, and Tony Snow.

I'd pay money to hear what they're talking about right now.

God speed Chowdah. We'll see you again someday.

Publius II

Geraghty -- Obi-wan speaks up

Geraghty the Indispensable has been speaking with his longtime mentor -- self-dubbed Obi-wan -- on the state of the presidential race. Here is what Obi-wan has to offer today: [Emphasis mine]

Last week told us what we need to know about the election.

First our celebrated and opulently-compensated experts showed they not only don’t get it, but they had missed probably the most important single event of the campaign.

The shocker polls last Wednesday came out indicating McCain had had a seven point rise over six days and essentially tied the race. (And had gone back into a slight lead in Florida and Ohio ) The
AP’s article about their poll putting Obama ahead by 1 percent was crediting what no one else saw, that McCain’s performance in the debate had actually been a game changer

The Uncommitteds saw McCain not only as better leader, but he moved up on key issues. So in the mano-a-mano comparison he was not only way ahead but he had set up his issues for the rest of the campaign — he had control of the foreign policy issue and then he took away his opponents main issue with “spread the wealth.” And he had a great visual — Joe the Plumber.

In the week following the debate, McCain had gotten the magical turn that campaigns sometimes get – great positioning on the issues, the candidate finding his voice, effective visuals with the “Joe the Plumber” ads and four polls showing his Florida tour pulled him out in front there. [Insert from Jim: Survey USA, Rasmussen, Mason-Dixon, Strategic Vision.]

This all seemed like a repeat of September when McCain had risen 9 points in six days and had started winning every key state and showed strength all over the country, even in the northeast (remember those
4 point polls in Jersey and six points in New York?) And the Republicans were leading among likely voters in the generic poll and going to pick up house seats.

The experts didn’t see any of that coming.

Just as they missed the debate’s impact.

Anyway, trajectories like the one McCain was on are almost impossible to stop. Obama had to do something or McCain was going to go into the weekend with a lead.

Having sat on his lead in the debate, he now seemed frozen. In normal times that should have sealed the deal.

But… this is the most unusual political environment since the Depression.

Because by Thursday, McCain had stalled and Obama got points back going into the weekend.
Obama didn’t do anything. The stock market did a lot.

Last week told us what this election is going to come down to.

First, Obama has not made the sale about himself, McCain has. McCain also has the edge on several key issues. The uncommitted vote is large and they want to vote for McCain.

But the fear and anger factor over economic disruption is powerful. It could rise to a 1974 level where voters just want to express their anger and take it out on the incumbent and his party. That’s the nightmare scenario, where you lose all sorts of good Republicans in the Senate and House.

But probably the least emotional pollster around told somebody I know about Obama’s lead returning late last week. This pollster said, “They aren’t voting for Obama. They are angry about what has happened to their 401(k) and are voting against Bush. They actually favor McCain.”

That’s the question what will happen on Election Day—which uncommitted voter will show up?

The frustrated one the polls have measured so far?

Or will they pivot? Come out of the fear and anger? Realize they are voting for their children’s future in a dangerous world and take the Election-Day decision as soberly and patriotically as they almost always have?

So this is the election of the Janus-faced uncommitted voter. Are the uncommitted going to vote their mood or their judgment?

SO ENOUGH ANALYSIS IS THE GREAT SEER OPTIMISTIC OR PESSIMISTIC? Normally you would be nothing but optimistic. But we have never seen a situation like this before. No one really understands it. It is just irresponsible for pollsters and networks to do their electoral maps without mentioning how McCain has already surprised them twice and that they are polling in an unprecedented atmosphere.

That’s why optimistic or pessimistic are the wrong words. They only apply to situations when you have some handle on most of the big variables. The biggest variable here we haven’t seen before.
That’s why key Obama people are nervous. People like Ed Rendell ought to feel good about Pennsylvania. He doesn’t. He knows it can slip away. And don’t forget Obama lost primaries where he had an eight point lead. [Insert from Jim:
New Hampshire.]

What is justified is hope. A stable week economically and a little bit of a finish by McCain and it is doable. Remember this isn’t 1974 or even 1976 in one important way. There’s a GOP candidate who probably had [a] blow-out debate. And that may be the single most important thing voters most remember on election day.

And once again there’s that thing Reagan used to say about the American people coming through when it counts.

He makes a lot of good points about this race, but the one that sticks out is his disdain for the pollsters. He's right. They're not paying close enough attention to how McCain can turn this race. He's done it before. Remember that last year as November and December were rolling around, the GOP had basically written off McCain. But over the holidays he surged back. (This, I believe, was due in no small part to so many of the New Media pundits taking the holidays off. We had been the ones hammering him the hardest, and when you let up in a fight, your opponent will get back up.)

There's another thing about the pollsters that many have recognized, but they don't mention. There is a significant difference in who these people poll. It's obvious that they're polling more Democrats than Republicans, and it wasn't until just recently that they started injecting independents into their polls. But there is another factor that has been overlooked, and it's one I noticed this weekend.

This race isn't just about McCain and Obama. Bob Barr and Ralph Nader are in this race too, and while they won't win, there is a nagging question in the back of my head. How many will Barr peel off from McCain, and how many will Nader take from Obama? (It should also be noted that pollsters aren't putting either candidate in any of their questions, and that has been done by pollsters for some time. The '96 election was the last time I can recall that they put ALL of the candidates int he polls. WE contend that they're doing this to downplay the so-called "Perot factor." Had it not been for Ross Perot, we wouldn't have had a President Clinton most likely.) If Barr and Nader can take enough votes away from both McCain and Obama then this election is up for grabs.

But he's right as to what will help McCain. As of this writing, the market is up, barely. If it continues to make modest gains this week, and McCain hammers home specific points of contention then he will pull this out. He needs to remind the people that if they're skittish about the economy the last person they want in the White House is Obama; the last people we want to see fiddling with the economy are Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

We only have two gripes about McCain in this election. First, he hasn't been as hard-hitting as he should have been, and he lacks the feistiness we're used to seeing from him. Second, he hasn't done a good job, except during the last debate, contrasting himself with Obama. There are significant differences between these two men, and John McCain needs to hammer that point home this week.

Publius II

An anniversary worth noting

Readers of our site know how much we love the Constitution and how ardently we defend it. This is a most important date in this nations history. Why, you ask? Because 27 October marks the day that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay published the first of 85 Federalist Papers.

From the online Encyclopedia Britannica:

The authors of the Federalist papers presented a masterly defense of the new federal system and of the major departments in the proposed central government. They also argued that the existing government under the Articles of Confederation, the country’s first constitution, was defective and that the proposed Constitution would remedy its weaknesses without endangering the liberties of the people.

As a general treatise on republican government, the Federalist papers are distinguished for their comprehensive analysis of the means by which the ideals of justice, the general welfare, and the rights of individuals could be realized. The authors assumed that the primary political motive of man was self-interest and that men—whether acting individually or collectively—were selfish and only imperfectly rational. The establishment of a republican form of government would not of itself provide protection against such characteristics: the representatives of the people might betray their trust; one segment of the population might oppress another; and both the representatives and the public might give way to passion or caprice. The possibility of good government, they argued, lay in man’s capacity to devise political institutions that would compensate for deficiencies in both reason and virtue in the ordinary conduct of politics. This theme was predominant in late 18th-century political thought in America and accounts in part for the elaborate system of checks and balances that was devised in the Constitution.

In one of the most notable essays, "Federalist 10," Madison rejected the then common belief that republican government was possible only for small states. He argued that stability, liberty, and justice were more likely to be achieved in a large area with a numerous and heterogeneous population. Although frequently interpreted as an attack on majority rule, the essay is in reality a defense of both social, economic, and cultural pluralism and of a composite majority formed by compromise and conciliation. Decision by such a majority, rather than by a monistic one, would be more likely to accord with the proper ends of government. This distinction between a proper and an improper majority typifies the fundamental philosophy of the Federalist papers; republican institutions, including the principle of majority rule, were not considered good in themselves but were good because they constituted the best means for the pursuit of justice and the preservation of liberty.

All the papers appeared over the signature “Publius,” and the authorship of some of the papers was once a matter of scholarly dispute. However, computer analysis and historical evidence has led nearly all historians to assign authorship in the following manner: Hamilton wrote numbers 1, 6–9, 11–13, 15–17, 21–36, 59–61, and 65–85; Madison, numbers 10, 14, 18–20, 37–58, and 62–63; and Jay, numbers 2–5 and 64.

Next to the Constitution itself, the Federalist Papers were the first real political writings I ever read, and it was due to the fact that I wanted to learn more about the Constitution itself. They are a fascinating read, if you haven't read them, and I would've been remiss had I not read their opposition, the Anti-Federalist.

The Federalist Papers was the motivation for changing our blog from our original site to this new site. At the time, there were three of us here, and while Sabrina doesn't blog here any longer, the door is always open for her to return should he find the time. This was the reason behind the name of this site -- Hamilton, Madison, and Jay. And while all three of the original Federalist authors signed their pieces with the pseudonym "Publius" in honor of Publius Valerius Publicola, I am the only one that took that pseudonym; I have used it for years in honor of those three men. (Some have accused me of being egotistical in using the name in an effort to compare myself to them, and that is a fallacy. Those men were brilliant. I'm just plain yogurt.)

HT to Joe Gringo for reminding me of this anniversary.

Publius II

About that wealth redistribution thing ...

The "wealth redistribution" quote has been dogging Obama since he uttered it. He tried to spin it away, especially when the charge of socialism came to the forefront. His surrogates have attacked those who claim that the idea is socialist despite the fact that it is. Stop The ACLU has a bombshell of a report about Obama. They have the video, and transcribed it. Transcription below:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.

A couple of points here. First, the court doesn't address wealth issues because that isn't under their purview. The court's constraints were put in place to ensure it would be the weakest of the three branches, able to guarantee our rights, and not a tyrannical threat. Second, the court wasn't supposed to break away from the imposed constraints. In fact to do so would have been a direct violation of their powers enumerated under Article III. Such a change wouldn't be construed as "good Behaviour." Third, the Preamble lays out the duties of the government, be it State or Federal.

I'd also like to address the idea of "negative liberties." What, exactly, does that mean? It almost sounds as if he's complaining about the way the Constitution was amended to allow him to sit at a lunch counter. It sounds like he wanted more than what he's been given. He's mad that the government is limited. Now, I've got no problem with the fact that we have done our best to ensure equality for all, but when they start complaining it's not enough, and that the government should be in the business of ensuring equality in the realm of wealth, then I get a tad irritated.

The Obama camp has fired back with a response to this:

“In this interview back in 2001, Obama was talking about the civil rights movement – and the kind of work that has to be done on the ground to make sure that everyone can live out the promise of equality,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton says.

“Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with Obama’s economic plan or his plan to give the middle class a tax cut. It’s just another distraction from an increasingly desperate McCain campaign.”

Burton continues: “In the interview, Obama went into extensive detail to explain why the courts should not get into that business of ‘redistributing’ wealth. Obama’s point – and what he called a tragedy – was that legal victories in the Civil Rights led too many people to rely on the courts to change society for the better. That view is shared by conservative judges and legal scholars across the country.

“As Obama has said before and written about, he believes that change comes from the bottom up – not from the corridors of Washington,” Burton says. “He worked in struggling communities to improve the economic situation of people on the South Side of Chicago, who lost their jobs when the steel plants closed. And he’s worked as a legislator to provide tax relief and health care to middle-class families. And so Obama’s point was simply that if we want to improve economic conditions for people in this country, we should do so by bringing people together at the community level and getting everyone involved in our democratic process.”

Captain Ed calls BS to the Obama spin:

I’d say that the first hint that the initial analysis was correct was in Obama’s estimation of the Warren Court — one of the most activist in history — as somehow not radical in its nature. Second, in the quote itself, Obama calls the failure to “bring about redistributive change” a tragedy. That doesn’t sound like someone who hails the court’s limitation on redistributionism — or, to use Obama’s analogy, liked the fact that the court allowed him to eat at the lunch counter but didn’t pick up the tab for him as well.

The point about the courts is really secondary. In this passage, Obama identifies himself as a redistributionist, even if he’s saying that the courts are not going to be a successful venue for it. Despite Burton’s little bit of misdirection, it’s very clear that Obama is highly sympathetic to “redistributive change” — and with an Obama administration coupled with a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress, the courts won’t be necessary to effect that redistributive change anyway.

Obama can claim whatever he wants, but the simple fact is he believes it, and this is nothing more than socialism. That's the direction he wants to drive this nation in. He would love nothing more than to have this little soundbite go down the memory hole like so many other "distractions." But this isn't a distraction to us. It's the truth. He fully believes in redistributing the wealth of others to people who don't deserve it. Of course I'm of the mind that welfare should be ended, and reevaluated because it's not a solution to a problem. It's a drug, of sorts, to those who are on it. After all, why would one work when they get a free hand out from the government.

But that's an aside that I'll address on a later day. The focus of this is Barack Obama's ideas for this nation, especially his economic vision. That vision isn't one that's remotely close to the vision of the Founding Fathers. And if he wins, and the Democrats get their majorities in both Houses, he'll be able to do whatever he wants, and we'll be the ones getting the shaft. It's clear this man is dead-set on trying to create a socialist utopia in this country.

This is why he must be stopped. This is our October surprise. If we can get this out there -- either via 527s or urging the McCain camp to hammer this home in ads -- we have a chance to stop him. This is socialism, plain and simple.

Publius II

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Senator Obama Dislikes Tough Questions

He was not the focus of the interview. Senator Joe Biden was, and Senator Obama was apparently not happy with the line of questioning in the interview given by WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West. Allah @ Hot Air has the video. Hal Boedeker @ the Orlando Sentinel's blog has the synopsis, and the resulting fallout:

WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday. A friend says it's some of the best entertainment he's seen recently. What do you think?

West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama's comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.

"Are you joking?" said Biden, who is Obama's running mate. "No," West said.

West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America's days as the world's leading power were over.

"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden shot back.

Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."

WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, "When you get a shot to ask these candidates, you want to make the most of it. They usually give you five minutes."

Jordan said political campaigns in general pick and choose the stations they like. And stations often pose softball questions during the satellite interviews.

"Mr. Biden didn't like the questions," Jordan said. "We choose not to ask softball questions."

Jordan added, "I'm crying foul on this one."

((GASP)) A media outlet that did not throw softball questions? No wonder why Senator Obama was upset and ceased any further interviews with those connected to his campaign. See this is what is truly asinine about his campaign. He wants the softballs. He wants the Chris "Tingles" Matthews fawning, and he dislikes hard questions that might make him, his running mate, his surrogates, or his campaign look bad. And when this happens his lesser surrogates throw a hissy fit, and spin the lies perpetuated by Senator Biden because, God forbid, they might be handed a tough question that paints them in a corner.

This is a clear example of the bias int he mainstream media this year. Sarah Palin turns in two shaky interviews with Charles Gibson (doing a poor William F. Buckley impersonation) and Katie Couric, and the Left goes wild about how bad she was. When we raise a stink over the interview, they tell us to be quiet because, in their opinion, the interview was fair.

Joe Biden has an interview where he is asked tough questions -- questions that should be asked by the media -- and the Obama campaign and the moonbats in his corner cry foul.

The pundits on talk radio are correct. We are currently witnessing the death of the mainstream media this year as they set aside their ethics, and engage in full electioneering mode to get their man elected to the White House.

This is a sad testament to the media, and it reinforces the point that many of us reached a decade a go. The media cannot be trusted to report the news any longer because they do not know how to. They have been in the tank for liberal ideas too long to be considered "fair" and "objective" anymore.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Go along with us now, or we'll do it anyway

Democrats are emboldened thanks to the media's blatant bias in their favor hyping up their electoral victory before the election is even held. Captain Ed cites the brazenness of Barney Frank and congressional Democrats that could care less about how badly they could hurt this economy. They're content on growing the government in ways this nation hasn't seen since FDR's New Deal. From Captain Ed (I'm citing what he has because he links to an AP story, and the AP is still embargoed here):

Liberal-leaning economists made the case for several new and expensive spending programs as a House panel on Friday pressed the Democratic case for legislation to try again to jump-start the sagging economy.

Even though Congress is in recess, Democrats have held several hearings this week to make the case for a $150 billion or more economic stimulus measure to follow the $700 billion bank rescue passed three weeks ago. A round of tax rebates and business tax breaks passed in February was credited with giving the economy a modest boost over the summer, but fears of a protracted recession after the credit crisis have Democrats promising more. …

If Republicans continue to resist, said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Democrats are likely to rejoin the issue in January, when they expect party standard bearer Barack Obama to take the oath of office as president.

“There’s no question the House will pass … a much bigger (stimulus plan) than we passed before,” Frank said of a postelection lame duck session. “If enough Republicans in the Senate decide to filibuster it … then we’ll just wait until January.”

And yet wasn't it a talking point of Barack Obama that he's worked in a bipartisan manner? Yeah, sure he lied his butt off, but this just goes to show that the Left isn't interested in doing what's best for the nation. They want to grow the government, they want to increase taxes, they want more control of our lives. And Barney Frank and his colleagues are willing to play dirty to get their way. Republicans don't want to go along? Fine, we'll wait until we have our rubber-stamp Congress and Chief Executive in place, and pass it anyway.

Franks words need to be put into an RNC ad, and run in every major congressional district. They also need to include a reminder of the congressional approval ratings, and how they have plummeted to record levels with the Democrats in charge of the show. John Murtha is just one of many House Democrats that might end up losing to a Republican. He trails Bill Russell by 13 points, 48-35.

Not only should their be ads about Franks statements, but there should also be ads showing the feckless nature of the Democrats. Show their pork-spending ways, and the asinine projects they've spent taxpayer money on. The people need to see that the temper-tantrum thrown by the GOP in 2006 wasn't a smart move. Yes, the congressional GOP needed to be taught a lesson, but it should have been a targeted lesson, and not the knee-jerk strategy supported by certain pundits out there. (No, I won't name names. I'm not John McCain. And those fools know exactly who they are.)

The tantrum was wrong, and this year we have a chance -- albeit slim -- to close the gap, if not retake one of the Houses in Congress. At the very least we need to close the gap. 2010 could translate to a brand-new '94 revolution. And if that should happen, we need solid, fiscally-responsible leadership to maintain the numbers.

The Democrats are counting their chickens before they hatch. They're convinced that an Obama presidency is inevitable, and that they'll grow their majorities in both Houses. If that happens this nation is in serious trouble. Obama is going to raise taxes, virtually across the board. The idea of average Americans investing in the economy will be gone because they won't be able to afford the spike in the capital gains tax. Nevermind the payroll taxes on small businesses, and the increase in small business taxes for those that bring in revenue of $250,000 or more a year. (Yes, moonbats. Go back and watch the 'Joe the Plumber' exchange in it's entirety, and you clearly hear him say he's going to tax revenues.)

So if we want to avoid this nightmare scenario, we need to hit the incumbent Democrats with Franks' statements. We need to push the facts that they don't give a rip about this nation when it comes to it's economic health or America's national security. They care only about growing the government as large and as briskly as possible. They have been for bigger government since LBJ, and it appears they show no signs of changing their tune. Let's hit them where it counts, and show them they're not the only game in town.

Publius II

Assault faked; Todd to be charged

The story exploded yesterday that a McCain/Palin volunteer had been attacked, mugged, and maimed after she withdrew money from an ATM. Supposedly, she was attacked by a black man who, upon seeing her McCain/Palin bumper sticker, decided to teach her a lesson, and cut the letter "B" into her right cheek.

Now I didn't put up a post about this yesterday because so many blogs were already covering it, AND we had read that the police were still investigating it. See, here's the thing about cops. They're taught to sniff out details, and they spotted a few inconsistencies in her story. So lat night they brought her down to the police station, and conducted a polygraph on her. They didn't release any details from their test, but they did release this statement today. She lied about the attack, and cut the "B" in her cheek on her own:

Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker. At a news conference this afternoon, offiicals said they believe the woman's injuries were self-inflicted.

Ashley Todd, 20, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police.

Todd, of Texas, initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

Police investigating the alleged attack, however, began to notice some inconsistencies in her story and administered a polygraph test.

Authorities, however, declined to release the results of that test. Investigators did say that they received photos from the ATM machine and "the photographs were verified as not being the victim making the transaction."

This afternoon, a Pittsburgh police commander told KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin that Todd confessed to making up the story. Todd told investigators that she didn't remember what happened.

Police say they do not believe any other people were involved; and her friends believed the story about the attack.

According to police, investigators working on the interview process detected several inconsistencies in Todd's story that differed from statements made in the original police report.

Pittsburgh Police Public Information Officer Diane Richard released a statement earlier today, saying: "Because of the inconsistencies in her statements, Ms. Todd was asked to submit to a polygraph examination which she agreed to do."

This was dumb, dumb, dumb. Chalk it up to her wanting her fifteen minutes of fame, or some misguided idea that should could help the campaign in the wake of vandalism committed against Republican campaign spots and against Republican candidates. Problem is this sort of behavior doesn't help our side, and just gives firepower to the other side. We don't buy John Moody's assessment that McCain's bid is over because this is a hoax. While McCain did call her to pass along sympathies, he didn't release a statement condemning Obama or his supporters in this fauxny attack.

This was her own doing, and isn't connected to anyone in the McCain campaign. So we don't see this as reflecting badly on him, and if he's questioned about this we're sure that he will express his disappointment in her. What else could you do? This is disappointing that she would pull a stunt like this. We still believe that this was done so she could get her name in the papers, and garner some sort of fame from this. Let's face it, folks. We live in an incredibly superficial world where kids pull stunts like this for attention, and nothing more. What's sad about this whole fiasco is that she lied, and used her support for a candidate to contrive that lie. It's shameful. We're happy to hear that the police will pursue charges against her for making the false report.

Now if we could just get the Justice Department to investigate ACORN's activities, and get the FEC to get off it's lazy duff and investigate the fraudulent donations made via credit cards on Obama's website we might just be able to return sanity to this election.

Publius II

"I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb"

We've been disappointed this year in conservative pundits. Peggy Noonan has either clearly gone off the rails, or she is spewing spite in John McCain's and Sarah Palin's direction for some contrived slight. Kathleen Parker has slammed Sarah Palin on more than one occasion, and often times in such snarky terms that it reminds us of a jealous 17 year old upset that she got snubbed as homecoming queen. Chris Buckley might be one of the best satirists writing today, but his political opinion has many questioning whether his father's ideology was flatly rejected by his son. And unlike some pundits out there, we don't consider David Brooks even close to conservatism.

But Charles Krauthammer calls the wet-finger wavers out today in a must-read piece:

Contrarian that I am, I’m voting for John McCain. I’m not talking about bucking the polls or the media consensus that it’s over before it’s over. I’m talking about bucking the rush of wet-fingered conservatives leaping to Barack Obama before they’re left out in the cold without a single state dinner for the next four years.

I stand athwart the rush of conservative ship-jumpers of every stripe — neo (Ken Adelman), moderate (Colin Powell), genetic/ironic (Christopher Buckley) and socialist/atheist (Christopher Hitchens) — yelling “Stop!” I shall have no part of this motley crew. I will go down with the McCain ship. I’d rather lose an election than lose my bearings.

First, I’ll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory. The “erratic” temperament issue, for example. As if McCain’s risky and unsuccessful but in no way irrational attempt to tactically maneuver his way through the economic tsunami that came crashing down a month ago renders unfit for office a man who demonstrated the most admirable equanimity and courage in the face of unimaginable pressures as a prisoner of war, and who later steadily navigated innumerable challenges and setbacks, not the least of which was the collapse of his campaign just a year ago.

McCain the “erratic” is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.

Nor will I countenance the “dirty campaign” pretense. The double standard here is stunning. Obama ran a scurrilous Spanish-language ad falsely associating McCain with anti-Hispanic slurs. Another ad falsely claimed McCain supports “cutting Social Security benefits in half.” And for months Democrats insisted that McCain sought 100 years of war in Iraq.

McCain’s critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What’s astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers.

Moreover, the most remarkable of all tactical choices of this election season is the attack that never was. Out of extreme (and unnecessary) conscientiousness, McCain refused to raise the legitimate issue of Obama’s most egregious association — with the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Dirty campaigning, indeed. The case for McCain is straightforward.

The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic, soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who’s been cramming on these issues for the last year, who’s never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign-policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of “a world that stands as one”), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as “the tragedy of 9/11,” a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign-policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

Read the whole thing because Mr. Krauthammer isn't done. He reminds us of Joe Biden's recent comments about how Obama will be tested in a "generated" crisis created just for him. National security has been put on the back burner over the last few months as people fret over the economy. And while the economy still remains to be one of the largest issues this election, national security can't be tossed by the wayside. We live in a very dangerous world.

We have Russia flexing it's muscles again. North Korea's recent nuclear shenanigans put them back on the table. And then there's Pakistan, which is shaky at best; at worst unstable. And let's not forget Iran, and their recent bluster of considering a pre-emptive strike on Israel as Israel announced their discussions of a pre-emptive strike on Tehran. Then there's Hugo Chavez down in Venezuela, and he's spouting off again -- railing against the United States as Russian bombers fly in and out of the capital.

John McCain has the knowledge and the maturity to handle running this nation. Barack Obama doesn't. We believe he wrote this article in an effort to slap some sense into the "wet-finger conservative" crowd that are content to make decisions the way Bill Clinton used to. (Lick your finger and stick it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.) Maybe those pundits are buying the polls. It's sad if that's true because it's clear that the polls are being skewed. Or maybe it's because they just can't bear to live without the clinking martini glasses at the Beltway cocktail parties with the "elites;" hob-knobbing with them rather than with the average person casting the votes, and keeping this nation going.

It'd be nice to see more pundits taking a stand like Mr. Krauthammer. At least with him, over the course of the last few months, we had an intellectually-honest person that wasn't afraid to point out mistakes by the McCain campaign, and isn't afraid to stand behind the man that is the best choice for this nation. Sure McCain's made mistakes. But his last debate performance was far better than Obama's, and he's hammering Obama on his economic ideas. We already know that when it comes to national security McCain would be better than the man who wants to sit down and have tea and crumpets with our enemies. For Mr. Krauthammer, and for us, it comes down to the guy who can tell the difference between the lions and the lambs.

Publius II

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The wisdom of Obi Wan Kenobi

Yes, I'm a Star Wars nut, but this isn't about the character. Nor is it about Ewan McGregor or the late Sir Alec Guinness. No, this is about Jim Geraghty's mentor and good friend that goes by the nickname of Obi Wan Kenobi. He has popped up again to weigh in, twice, this week with Geraghty the Indispensable. Here is the first observation from Monday:

My mentor - who goes by the nickname Obi Wan Kenobi - has reappeared again, and remains generally optimistic about McCain's chances. He felt the final debate had worked for McCain because he had finally found themes that he kept coming back to in answer after answer.

Obi-Wan particularly noted McCain's observation that Obama keeps saying he wants to "look at" drilling instead of doing it — implicitly raising the question of whether the most eloquent and melodious talker is better than a guy who actually gets things done. Even more importantly, the candidates spotlighted the clear and fundamental difference between the two on economics. Obama is clear that he will try to tax and spend his way out of a recession; McCain will cut both. Obama spoke to Joe the Plumber as if he was okay with raising taxes on those making $250,000, as if Obama presumed Joe thought he would never make $250,000.

Obi-Wan expected some sort of bump or goose for McCain after the debate, and thought we were seeing it with the Gallup poll's traditional model that had McCain only down by 2 percent. Today, that model now has Obama ahead by 5 percent. But just about
every other tracking poll has shown a narrow Obama lead, too. (The RCP average has shrunk from 8.2 percent to 5.3 percent.)

Obi Wan is wondering about the timing of the Colin Powell endorsement, too. I had figured that Powell's nod would have been a bigger help to Obama earlier in the race - recall the rumors of Powell speaking at the Democratic Convention. Obi-Wan figures this was one of the best cards Obama had left to play, and he played it in the next-to-last weekend instead of the final weekend. He wonders if internal polling prompted the Obama camp to roll out Powell a bit earlier than planned.

"McCain had a very good week," he told me. "He looked presidential at Al Smith dinner and he had everybody talking Joe the Plumber and taxes the next few days. And the debate performance may have been as big as Kennedy in '60 — that important, because the undecideds were watching."

"We have just seen the greatest economic scare since the Great Depression and everybody is looking at polls as if they are business as usual. That's crazy."

I wondered aloud whether the media's day by day coverage could push people off those gut reactions - suspicion of "spreading the wealth around," relating to Joe the Plumber, etc.

"If so, the American people aren't the American people anymore," Obi Wan responded. "Believe me, there is someone in the Obama campaign who is deathly afraid of the 'McCain pulls even or goes ahead' poll." (And in Gallup, it was within 2 percent.) "That Obama strategist knows how much depends on the whole Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel approach —.work with the media to demoralize conservatives, and keep the perception of a juggernaut going. But a day or two of a few bad polls, and that strategy backfires. The conservatives know they've still got a shot at this."

Now next to Hugh Hewitt and ourselves, Obi Wan is aware that this race is far from over, and that McCain still has a serious chance with thirteen days left to go. Captain Ed notes that the new AP poll has Obama and McCain separated by one point now. Hugh announced yesterday that the Battleground Poll shows the race in a dead heat so there's a hope on our side that McCain could very well pull this off.

But Obi Wan is right. He reiterates it to Jim Geraghty here:

Obi-Wan reappeared briefly to answer my question about why so many liberal readers get furious when I highlight polling data showing that Obama's not running away with the race...

"Why are they angry? Because their whole strategy relies on a demoralized GOP. Remember the scare they had in September?" Obi-Wan asked. "All that coronation stuff at the Democratic convention dissolved as McCain seized and held a good lead. They know how fragile things are. They need to keep the media talking about a massive GOP defeat, because all it might take is a few stories to the contrary and all of a sudden, it is mid-September again, when the rising McCain tide was lifting all boats."

I went back to look at that "scare in September."

On September 2 — when the polls were reflecting the Biden pick and the Democratic convention, but probably not yet the Palin pick of three days earlier — the RealClearPolitics average was at 49.2 percent for Obama to 42.8 percent for McCain — a 6.4 percent lead for Obama.

On September 8, five days after Palin's convention speech, the RCP average put McCain at 48.3 percent to Obama at 45.4 percent — a McCain lead of 2.9 percent.That amounts to a swing of 9.3 percent in six days.

Now, since then, Obama has turned in three debate performances that probably reassure a lot of voters, and so his lead is probably more solid than his lead on September 2. And we're basically comparing post-convention bumps; September 2 should have been one of Obama's best days, and September 8 should have been one of McCain's best days.

But that 9 percent swing does suggest that things can change in a hurry...

The point that Obi Wan makes, twice, is the strategy that the democrats are attempting to use is one which demoralizes our side. With the media constantly hyping up a variety of polls that show a significant lead for Obama, they're doing what they can to keep us: A) From going to the polls. "What's the use? McCain is going to lose anyway."; And B) To keep us from voting for the Republicans running in Congress.

The Left is determined to destroy any sort of serious unity in the party right now because if that happens they're going to lose the White House and they're not going to get those veto-proof/filibuster-proof majorities. IF they lose the White House, they're pinning their hopes on making John McCain a lame duck from day with overwhelming majorities in both Houses.

As things stand right now, if you look at the polls, the Democrats look to be standing on the edge of an electoral wave that will further minimize the Republican minorities in both Houses. But we have spoken with a couple of our contacts in Congress, and they confirm that the Democrats are seriously concerned about the down-ticket races. Take, for example, the recent polls out of Pennsylvania showing John Murtha in trouble. He handily defeated Diana Irey in 2006 by 22 points -- 61%-39%. The polls show that Bill Russel has surged, and Murtha is barely hovering at 50%. That's not good for a mainstay of the Democrat caucus in the House. Toss in the Congressional approval numbers -- now at 14% -- and we see why there's concern. In fact, we believe the biggest reason for their worry is on the financial and housing crisis, and the fact that it's been hammered home that Democrats caused the problems with their lack of oversight, and the pressure they put to mortgage lenders to give out deals to people who couldn't afford the mortgages.

What does all this mean? It means that the race for the White House is far from over, and we have a lot of hope left. Furthermore, the Congressional races aren't sealed up yet, either. That doesn't mean we don't have a tough slog ahead of us. It just means that there's a lot of optimism that can carry us through to the end.

Don't let the media take away the morale. These people clearly have their choice for president picked out, and they're riding the bandwagon with reckless abandon. The mask has slipped on the media; like their candidate of "hope" and "change," they embody the emperor that has no clothes. We know this now. This is the year where journalism dies. They know they're finished with people so that's why they're pulling out all the stops. No one buys their bull anymore. So they're going for broke and doing their level-best to make sure Obama wins, McCain loses, and the conservative movement will, hopefully in their eyes, die.

We're not going to die, and we're not going to lose. (Even if we do lose, we're not going to give up the fight.) We shouldn't give up the fight, and we won't. No matter what they do, no matter what they say, we're going out in force, and the Left is going to be surprised. They've been telling themselves the lie since 2007 that Obama will be the next president. The old adage goes that "if you repeat the lie long enough, people will believe it, and so will you." They've bought into their lies, and we haven't.

That's the point Obi Wan has made. We're not demoralized. We're united. And as long as we stay that way, we can carry the day for John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the Republican Party.

Publius II