some thoughts on the infomercial

Since I didn’t watch it, I will leave it to others to analyze the content.  I would just like to point out that no one does political infomercials like Ross Perot.  The accent, the big ears, and the pie charts were very entertaining, and that’s where the American people got the real Straight Talk before McCain came along — from a Texas billionaire with nothing to lose.  That’s the only way any of us will ever get complete honesty from a politician running for president.  What was the effect of Perot’s effort?  Did it switch the race in his favor?  Hardly.  But at least he has a lifetime guest spot on Larry King Live, so the presidential bid wasn’t a total loss.

Barack Obama is a great salesman, at least to his sheep followers and the media (but I repeat myself there). To this point, he has convinced the American people that he will only raise taxes on the rich (now defined down to $200,000 a year) and big oil.  His ads lie about how McCain’s health care plan works, and he gets away with it because McCain doesn’t have the ad budget to dispute his ad-a-minute promotional blitz.  When all the ads you see are Obama ads talking about how great his health care plan is and how much he cares about the middle class, it’s hard for the average person to resist this narrative unless they have an compelling alternative argument.  Surrender is the word I would use to describe the reaction to Obama’s ad blitz.  McCain should have done more to present that alternative vision before now, but even with all the mistakes he has made, this is still a close race.

parker, palin, and our flawed republican nominee

If you’re wondering why more conservative Republican women aren’t volunteering to run for higher office, or even for state races, witness the attempted destruction of Sarah Palin.  How many other women could handle such abuse with the grace and class that Sarah has shown throughout this process?  There are fair criticisms of her resume, just as there are legitimate concerns about some of the items on Barack Obama’s resume — like the time spent as a community organizer — but no public figure deserves the treatment she has received, even by some columnists most would consider conservative-friendly.

That leads me to National Review columnist Kathleen Parker.  She had previously written a rather unflattering piece on National Review Online about Palin questioning McCain’s judgment in picking her, and she received a lot of negative feedback for writing that column, including a few death threats.  I don’t believe in censoring opinions I disagree with, and I certainly condemn those loons who actually threatened Parker’s life.  There’s no excuse for such a violent reaction.  In addition to that, I think Parker raises a valid concern about Palin’s readiness for the national stage in that first article (written before the VP debate).  I’m sympathetic to that original argument.

What I don’t understand is the motivation behind her current article suggesting that McCain picked Sarah Palin because he had some kind of crush on her.  What would possess her to write something like that?  I have no idea.  I guess being a member of the conservative pundit class allows you to get stupid stuff like this published in National Review.    If McCain loses, all Republicans will be looking for someone to blame for it, and I get the frustration many of us feel because McCain and his campaign staff have missed many great opportunities to make the case for him and against Obama.  It would be easy and convenient for us to blame the Palin choice as the reason for a McCain loss.  It’s not the reason, and we should find another scapegoat…someone who looks an awful lot like John McCain.

Conservatives warned that John McCain was a very flawed candidate, but the party leadership, in keeping with current tradition, was more interested in the opinions of those indies and moderates than it was with our opinions.  We have what we have.  As for me, I will join fellow conservatives and other Republicans on November 4th and vote for John McCain.  Abandoning him now ensures the election of Barack Obama, and I refuse to have that on my conscience.  There are also local and state Republicans who have races to win on November 4th. Sitting this election out is not an option. It’s crunch time.  We can still fight on until Election Day and see what happens.  We are assured of a loss if we give up.  I’m not giving up until we count the votes.  Who’s with me?

vote for fred

If only Fred Thompson had decided to make a serious effort to run for President at the beginning, we might not be stuck with McCain now.  So thanks Fred.

Now that Fred has zero chance of being President himself, he tries his best to inspire the people for McCain and to make the argument McCain has thus far failed to make against Barack Obama.

Here’s a part of it:

Obama and the Democrats believe that Americans in a time of crisis will be willing to sacrifice their freedoms, abandon their founding principles and common sense and ease into the mediocrity of the warm embrace of the Washington papa bear who will take care of all of our problems for us.

These are not the ideals of the America that drew brave men and women from all over the world to our shores.  In most cases, they were fleeing nations with the heavy hand of government, intolerance and class warfare.  They risked everything to experience our Founding Fathers’ notion of a limited government with powers that were delineated, checked and balanced, in a land where they could live and prosper in a free, dynamic, upwardly mobile society – the kind that existed no where else in the world. But Obama and his liberal friends don’t see things that way.

The liberal agenda is based upon the belief that there are elites among us who know more and know better than the rest of us.  And that with the application of their intellect and power … and our money … they can impose regulations and establish programs, bureaus and agencies that will solve all the problems of the masses’.

Senator Obama and his supporters essentially see society not as dynamic and changing or full of opportunity.  They see one that is divided by economic classes into which every one of us is permanently assigned.  In their worldview, those in a lesser economic class are presumably resentful and envious.  So it’s the government’s job to level things out … or as Senator Obama would say “spread the wealth around.”  It’s about dividing the pie among static classes, not trying to make the pie bigger for everyone or creating opportunity in an upwardly mobile society.

This is the reason why they do not understand Joe the Plumber.  Because he doesn’t have a higher income today they assume that he never will and that he believes he never will. They expect him to resent anyone whose doing better than he is, instead of planning to do better himself. They don’t understand the Joes of the world.  Never have.  Never will.

Read more here.

For all his flaws, Fred Thompson is something John McCain will never be to conservatives — a true believer.  He’s able to make the conservative case and the argument against Barack Obama because at his core he buys into the philosophy.  Of course there were a few areas where Fred agreed with McCain (campaign finance reform is one example), but on most of the important stuff, Fred was solidly conservative.  The same is true of Sarah Palin.  I hope that this temporary alliance with McCain won’t make her more moderate. The Republican party doesn’t have a deep bench full of conservative women who, with a little more experience and knowledge of national and foreign affairs, could be great leaders for the Republican party.  Our party needs her, but as a true maverick, not the McCain version of the term.

another meaningless endorsement for barack

Didn’t realize the Obama bandwagon had any empty seats after Colin Powell endorsed him on Meet the Press.  Now he gets the support of another former Bushie, Scott McClellan.  Now all those undecided voters can finally make up their mind to vote for Barack.  No doubt they were waiting on those two endorsements to figure out which candidate to support.  Doesn’t it bother Obama that so many former Bush administration people support him?  After all…Bush has been the worst president ever, right?   How much are these endorsements really worth?

I suspect…not very much.

average joe

McCain has a new ad continuing with the Joe the Plumber theme. Here it is.

Personally, I think the original was much more effective.

Something I’ve been wondering lately though — isn’t it possible that an alarming number of people have already bought into the myth that everybody benefits when Barack Obama spreads our wealth around?   I don’t think Republicans have been able to make the argument that higher taxes on the rich harm the economy, or that big government is undesirable.  Thanks in large part to President Bush, the distinction between Republicans and Democrats has been blurred.  Now both parties (or at least much of the Republican “leadership”) support big, activist government.  Even our standard-bearer John McCain has been ok with higher taxes for the wealthy in the past, and he’s also promoting more government involvement in the economy with his $300 billion.  That’s why he can’t convincingly sell himself as an alternative to Barack’s wealth spreading and tax-raising agenda.  McCain is not an ideologue.  He’s not a conservative, although he’s closer to being right on taxes and spending than Barack Obama is.

This election is winnable for John McCain, but his strategy has been terribly flawed.  Senator McCain should have started questioning Senator Obama’s judgment with all these radical friends and associates a long time ago.  Now is the time to poke holes in Obama’s tax plan and set the record straight about his own health care plan.  Obama has been running all these misleading ads about McCain, and there has been no answer from McCain.  That’s no way to win an election.

debate thoughts

This was Senator McCain’s strongest debate yet.  He came out swinging, and it was great to see that.   He was able to take advantage of Obama’s conversation with Joe the Plumber and to make the case that Obama’s tax plan is the wrong solution to the country’s financial struggles.   The whole discussion on taxes should have been a clear advantage to Senator McCain, because increased government spending and increased business taxes will hurt the economy.   John McCain is hardly a perfect representative of responsible government spending when he wants to spend an additional $300 billion (that he proposed in the last debate).  That said,  it’s an unwise suggestion for someone who says that he wants to increase productivity, job creation, and to strengthen our economy to propose higher business taxes.  That’s what Barack Obama wants to do.   Proposals to increase government programs and spending are just as irresponsible — considering that the average American doesn’t have the luxury of spending more than they can afford once their credit cards are maxed out.  The government’s credit cards must be shredded. NOW.  This is a message that resonated with me, if not the “undecided” people in Frank Luntz’s focus group.

Were there missed opportunities for McCain? Of course.  He wasn’t able to close the deal on his economic argument or explain why Obama’s radical friends should concern the average person.  McCain has the right philosophy on the economy and taxes, which is that lower taxes promote growth, both for businesses and for individuals.  Obama seems to concede some of that argument.  Why else would he brag about his various tax credits and claim that 95% of workers get a tax cut?  Interesting wording there.  It doesn’t specify that they have to be tax-paying workers.  But that’s a argument for another day.

Finally we hear about William Ayers and ACORN.   McCain didn’t make the right connection here.  No, we weren’t asking him to call Barry a socialist or a terrorist just because he had some friends who could be described that way.  (At least I wasn’t.) The question should have been about Barack Obama’s character and judgment.  What drew these assorted malcontents to Barack Obama?  Did he know the full extent of Ayers’ crimes and political philosophy?  Why couldn’t Barack Obama recognize that it was unwise to be friendly with people like Ayers, Rezko, Wright, and those famous community organizers who enable voter fraud?  If he truly was unaware about all the questionable activities these people engaged in,  isn’t it possible that he would be just as clueless about the foreign leaders he might meet as President?  Those are only a few of the questions I had.   Surely McCain’s campaign staff can figure out a way to stick this subject in one of their “ready to lead” ads.

Some random observations:

Loved McCain questioning Biden’s judgment on foreign policy.  About time someone did.

Barack Obama is like a robot.   He never strays from his script, and even when McCain made some very serious charges against him, he was always able to bat it down with very little effort.  He may lie and disassemble, but he’s very smooth, and nobody can ever pin him down on it in a way the audience at home could notice.  That’s such an annoying characteristic.   He is even more of a Teflon Man than Bill Clinton ever was.

I would strongly advise the McCain team to get some ads together on three themes.  The first is the economy.  Explain in 30 seconds or less how your tax plan is being misrepresented by the Obama campaign.  In a separate ad, talk about the effects of implementing Obama’s tax plan on people like Joe the Plumber.  If you could get the original for an ad, that would be outstanding.  The second is health care.  Make the case for your $5000 tax credit and explain the additional benefits on it — portability, etc.  The reason Obama is winning on these issues is because the only ads we see on these issues are Barack’s.  The third is an ad about all Barack’s radical friends that would improve on the previous ads.   One sentence each on Ayers, ACORN, Wright, and Rezko explaining the relationship each had to Barack Obama.  Then say, Barack Obama didn’t see anything wrong with these relationships until they harmed his political career.  Bad associations.  Bad judgment.   He trusted these people.  Do you trust Barack Obama with the White House?

(or something like that)

That’s all I have…glad the debates are finally over.

that explains it

So we were all wondering why McCain was hesitant to attack Obama on ACORN. Now we know. Grrr.

Via Michelle Malkin, a February 2006 press release showing that McCain and ACORN shared space at an amnesty rally:


Major Rally in Miami to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Senator John McCain and many others to speak at the rally at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus

Miami, Florida – February 20, 2006 ? Leaders from a diverse array of sectors will hold a rally in Miami on Thursday, February 23, 2006, in support of comprehensive immigration reform in an effort to keep immigration reform at the forefront of the public debate. Leaders from both political parties, immigrant communities, labor, business, and religious organizations will gather to call on Washington to enact workable reform.

The rally will feature Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the headline speaker along with elected officials, immigrants and key local and national leaders. Sen. McCain is one of the chief sponsors of the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act; bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation introduced last Congress and scheduled for consideration by the Senate in the coming weeks. A similar rally with Sen. McCain is planned for New York City on February 27.

WHO: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL.), and immigrant, religious, community, business and labor leaders.

WHAT: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Rally

WHEN: Thursday, February 23, at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Miami Dade College – Wolfson Campus

Chapman Conference Center
Bldg 3000
300 NE 2nd Avenue

EDITOR’S NOTE: Miami Press Availability: Sen. McCain will be available for interviews starting at 4:15 p.m. on location, Feb. 23.

The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) and in the House by Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). It addresses border security and illegal immigration while bringing the 11 million undocumented immigrants out from the shadows and onto a path to legal permanent status; setting up legal channels and realistic caps for workers and family members to enter in the future; providing for tough enforcement; and enabling more immigrants to learn English and prepare for citizenship.

The rally in Miami is being sponsored by the New American Opportunity campaign (NAOC) in partnership with ACORN, Catholic Legal Services – Archdiocese of Miami, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Miami Dade College, People for the American Way/Mi Familia Vota en Acción, Service Employees International Union, and UNITE HERE.

Nice job Senator. You can’t raise legit criticisms of Barack Obama because it turns out that you had a relationship with ACORN too. Just as we have criticized Senator Obama for working with ACORN, we now condemn you for doing so. Can the news get any worse for Senator McCain? That’s hard to imagine right now. I’m becoming even more concerned about voter fraud, whether enabled by ACORN or some other organization, because this election will be close — despite the media’s effort to end this election early. Get the lawyers ready. We must do our best on the grassroots level to make sure each vote cast is a legal one.


The slumping economy has become a primary contributing factor to McCain’s current struggles.  McCain hasn’t helped matters by fumbling his first response to it.   He has allowed Barack Obama to win the argument on taxes, and it certainly doesn’t help matters when every single ad we’re seeing on TV talks about Barack’s middle class tax cuts and McCain’s tax breaks for big oil and corporations.  Senator McCain has a winnable argument on his economic policies and on his health care plan.  He hasn’t effectively sold either one, and he hasn’t been able to break free from the Bush administration’s economic policies — only some of which played a part in the financial crisis we are in.  All this is good for Barack Obama’s viability as November 4th approaches.

McCain’s lack of a coherent message to counter Obama’s claims about his economic proposals is only part of the reason Republicans are frustrated with McCain.  Some of us just can’t understand why legitimate questions about Barack Obama don’t seem to affect his electability.  As I’ve said in previous posts, I think that the relationships with Ayers and ACORN matter a great deal, but the Democrats’ involvement and complicity in enabling Freddie and Fannie to do what they did is more relevant.  This should be part of the message when we are focused on the economy — the Democrats, including Barack Obama (who took campaign cash from Fannie and Freddie) are complicit in the financial mess we are in today.  It goes without saying that I believe that the Bush administration has made the situation worse by this bailout deal, but we have yet to see the full impact of Congress’ approval of that deal.

Another frustration I have is that McCain doesn’t have a problem with trashing his fellow Republicans whether or not they deserve it, but up until this point in the campaign, he has been relatively hands-off with Obama.  He criticized the NC GOP for running the Wright ad, and the media approved of that move.  He absolutely destroyed Mitt Romney in the primaries with negative attacks.  He clearly did not like Mitt Romney, so it’s no surprise that he hit Romney hard.  What we want from McCain is not to act out of character (as far as the way he normally treats Democrats), but to explain why Barack Obama is the wrong choice for our country.  We aren’t asking for scorched-earth rhetoric from McCain against Obama (at least I’m not) — we are just asking for him to keep raising questions about Obama’s record.

Continue reading

why it all matters

While it would be wise for Senator McCain to focus on an economic message — and that must be his first priority —  he should not ignore the influence of Ayers and ACORN on Barack Obama’s political development.  Because Senator Obama doesn’t have much on his resume before becoming a US Senator,  we have to take all of his prior work experience into account.  If Senator Obama wants to make his community organizer days a part of his relevant experience to be president, then it’s not unreasonable to ask questions about what he did in that position and about those who helped him form his political philosophy.  I’m not accusing Obama of being a terrorist, wanting to blow up buildings,  or supporting voter fraud.  I suspect he just used their political influence to win elections, which is cynical but not criminal.  However, it does damage his image as someone who is going to change Washington and fight corruption.

All we are asking for is a little transparency here.  You know, the same kind the Democrats promised in ’06 when they won Congress.  The argument from the Obama campaign has always been that he has better judgment than John McCain and George Bush because he opposed the war in Iraq, and that all that Washington experience doesn’t matter if it leads to bad choices.  Shouldn’t we judge Obama by the same standards he uses for his opponents?  Isn’t it bad judgment to have a friendly relationship with an unrepentant terrorist, no matter what your personal views are on using explosive devices to cause destruction?  Shouldn’t we question the judgment of someone who has ties to a group that has clearly been involved in voter fraud?

There are two uncomplimentary explanations of Barack’s relationship with Ayers and ACORN.  One is that he knew about the radical stuff and it didn’t bother him.  The other is that he was completely unaware of all this, and now that he knows, he condemns those activities.  Either way, it should concern Americans about Barack Obama and his ability to serve as our president.  Do we want someone who is so incapable of recognizing a bad guy when he sees one to face off against foreign bad actors like Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad?  I don’t.

That’s why Ayers and ACORN are relevant to the discussion during this presidential race.

What will resonate with the American people down the stretch?  Telling them the truth about the economy.  That means not only mentioning the culpability of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank in this financial mess, but also providing a clear break from the policies that got us in the situation we are in today.  It’s much easier to find Democrats to blame for what happened with our economy than it is to find Republicans, and it’s almost impossible to blame John McCain.  But the blame game will only move the ball so far.  Senator McCain needs a better answer to Barack’s economic plan, and he also needs to propose reforms that can prevent the mistakes we made from happening again.  Right now Barack is winning on the economy.  If McCain doesn’t poke some holes in Barack’s economic plan, he loses the election.

where we stand

A couple thoughts on the debate — the format was awful, but I expected more of Tom Brokaw.   We didn’t get any new information out of this debate (other than McCain’s call for more bailouts, but I’ll get to that).  Neither candidate was able to challenge his opponent’s comments in any depth, and this worked great for Obama.  It drives me nuts every time I hear Obama’s claim that 95% of the people will get a tax cut under his tax plan.   As we all know,  a much lower percentage of Americans actually pay taxes.  He is never challenged on this claim.  Since we know the economy will continue to struggle for a while, it makes sense to force the government to sacrifice some of its largesse for the good of all Americans.   That’s why I believe John McCain was on the right track when he proposed a spending freeze (with a few obvious exceptions).   If we are forced to make tough budgetary choices in our own lives, then the government must make some spending cuts as well.

While I have serious doubts about many of Barack Obama’s spending proposals,  John McCain insists on proposing to spend $300 billion more taxpayer dollars on buying up mortgages.  Can’t we start this election over with two different candidates?  If there’s any other candidate who is more tone-deaf to conservatives than John McCain, I have yet to see one.  As a candidate of reform, he should have fought the bailout and the pork added to it, as well as casting a vote against it.  This bailout was eventually going to pass, so there would have been no political risk to McCain if he made a real maverick choice for once.  He also should have promised to review the bailout deal after becoming president to see if that deal is producing the desired results.  This would have put him in a much stronger position on the economy, since there was and is much public opposition to the bailout deal. 

It’s because of my opposition to Barack Obama and his plans for this country and for our economy that I am supporting John McCain and encouraging others to do the same.  One thing’s for sure…no matter who wins this election, it won’t be a fun 4 years.