stop the madness

I think it’s only fair to call a mistake a mistake, and yes, I would consider the AIG bailout a mistake.  I would also question the wisdom of bailing out Fannie and Freddie, but there would have been far deeper financial chaos had the Bush administration decided not to make that move.  These are steps in the wrong direction, because we cannot keep sticking the taxpayers with the bills for the corporate mismanagement of these companies.  It’s fair and reasonable to call this socialism — this would be the perfect example of such,  with the government taking over private industry like this.  That said, it would take someone much smarter than myself in the ways of the financial markets to completely understand the reasons behind handing out some government checks and not others.

The Bush administration is not, and has never been, a proponent of small government.  Compassionate conservatism and limited government have absolutely nothing in common. That’s not what got him elected.  Most conservatives have been consistent in calling out the President and Republicans for spending too much taxpayer money, and they are currently questioning these government bailouts as well  — so we do not need to apologize for our criticism of Obama’s spending proposals.

If Barack Obama is so worried about spending all that money in Iraq, then maybe he should consider taking that 0.7% of GDP he wants to spend on the Global Poverty Act and use that money for domestic programs.  Shouldn’t the Democrats, who are so concerned about the working man here in America, consider a freeze on foreign aid until all these domestic problems are solved?  One thing Democrats and Republicans should recognize is that throwing money at problems doesn’t guarantee positive results.  This goes double for any money ending up in the hands of UN bureaucrats.

Both Senator Obama and Senator McCain should be more frugal with their spending proposals, because it’s fiscally irresponsible to create new programs and finance new services when the feds are flat broke.  Maybe someone smarter than me can explain how it’s possible that Barack will cut taxes for 95% of the American people, and still give us all these new exciting government programs and services.  That doesn’t sound right to me.

Even if he only raises taxes on the “rich”,  those tax hikes would trickle down to the middle class.  Corporations pass on increased costs to the consumer by charging higher prices.   These higher tax rates would also mean they couldn’t hire as many people to produce their products, and it might even mean that some of the company’s workers would lose their jobs.  None of these things would increase productivity or have a positive impact on our struggling economy, so I would hope that Barack would consider the implications of any tax hike on the rich before he makes them a permanent part of his economic policy.  After all, he has been known to change his mind when presented with conflicting facts.

conservatives and the mccain/palin ticket

There are two main issues that Christian conservatives consider important enough to threaten withholding votes from any politician who doesn’t perfectly toe the line — abortion and same-sex marriage.   When evangelicals and others hold the line on principle and refuse to endorse a candidate who doesn’t agree with them on these issues, they are called single-issue voters and derided for standing on those principles.  These issues are important to me as well, but sometimes we don’t think about the consequences of withholding support from perfectly good and qualified candidates who might be a better bet to win an election. Every one of our divided conservative groups picked a different horse, and McCain got his independents and moderates — at least in the primary. That’s how we ended up with a candidate in McCain that we are still unhappy with, despite the Palin bounce.

I agree with those who say that we should stop trying to make the experience argument for Sarah Palin, even though it doesn’t seem to bother the Obama sheep that their man hasn’t closed the deal with the American people in that category.   Her appeal is a broad appeal that has very little to do with her knowledge of foreign policy or her deep conversations with world leaders.   It’s all about her personal story — moose hunting, fishing, the NRA membership, her Down’s Syndrome son.  She’s a very sympathetic figure, and she is a happy warrior, zinging Obama and the Democrats with a smile on her face. (She does need some more variations in her scripted lines, but other than that, I have no complaints.)

While she has requested and received some earmarks, it is evident that she has made some significant changes in the way Alaska does business.  She deserves credit for that.  With an sky-high approval rating in Alaska, she must have done something right in her short tenure there.  I still think that Palin can learn what she does not know,  but unless the Democrats know something we don’t know about McCain’s mortality– McCain will be President on day one, not his VP.  Why are the Democrats even worried about Palin’s readiness anyway?  All they have to do is make sure Barack overcomes his struggles and wins the election. Not that difficult, right? 🙂

Then the 80% wrong Joe Biden can run his foreign policy.  Yikes.  This can’t be what the Democrats really want.

some advice for the mccain campaign

Stop treating Sarah as a victim. Stop being so politically correct. Let this “pig” remark die a natural death. Guess it’s too late for that now.

Take every opportunity to compare Governor Palin’s fiscal record with that of Senator Biden. She has the advantage there. There may be some doubt as far as when she started to oppose the bridge to nowhere, but she did oppose it. Both Barack and Joe supported it from the beginning.

More later….

worthy of note

I was going to give my in depth analysis of Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech Wednesday night, but wouldn’t you all rather read what Michael Barone had to say about it?  She had a very strong debut, but she does have more work to do.  The McCain campaign is doing a smart thing by keeping her away from the Sunday shows for now, but eventually she’s going to have to do some interviews and finish off Joe Biden to show that she can handle herself without a script.  I feel more confident about this than I did before her speech on Wednesday, and I am cautiously optimistic that she can survive whatever the media decides to throw at her. The McCain campaign should be wary of casting Palin as a victim, because it’s quite clear that she can take the punches.

About McCain’s acceptance speech — he got through it ok, no thanks to the Code Pink morons who interrupted him at the beginning.  Obama will always have the edge in speechmaking ability, but John McCain’s life story is compelling, and McCain told that story as well as he could.  The McCain campaign does need to be more judicious with the use of McCain’s military service and former POW status in speeches and rallies, because he runs the risk of trivializing that service.  Take John Kerry for example — the running gag is that, by the way, did you know he served in Vietnam?  McCain’s military service is a wonderful example of service to our country above and beyond the call of duty.  I respect it, but he can’t win an election without talking about kitchen table issues in addition to his bio.

rnc: random thoughts from red meat day

Before I get to Governor Palin’s wonderful speech,  there are several other things that struck me as the RNC proceeds forward to the acceptance speech by McCain tonight.  The first is that there aren’t many conservative women in the GOP pipeline contesting Senate races or any higher state offices.  What does it say about this party that the “qualified” women suggested for McCain’s VP pick aren’t conservatives?  Olympia Snowe, Elizabeth Dole, and Kay Hutchison, while they may be conservative enough for some people, don’t bring much to the table for McCain, and it wouldn’t bring in those independent and moderates, or even the Hillary voters.  They would have done even less for the social conservative base than any other candidate on McCain’s shortlist.

There is more work that needs to be done on the grassroots level to recruit more women and minorities.   While it’s a myth that the Republican party doesn’t have anything to offer those two groups and working people,  we have continued to allow the media to push this narrative — and we don’t have much ammo to use even if we fought back against it.  This needs to change.  We do have ideas that work for these groups — at least conservatives do — but the failures of current Congressional Republicans have damaged the Republican brand, and it’s hard for the American people to trust us to deal with everyday problems.

This is why Mitt Romney’s message fell flat last night.  Republicans are part of the problem in Washington.  Many of them have surrendered to Democratic rule, and they have allowed too many earmarks to go through.  They compromised on pieces of bad legislation with the Democrats.  It fires up Republican crowds to talk about all those bad “liberals”, but what resonance would it have with the rest of the American voters?  Mitt isn’t comfortable in the role of the attack dog.  The speech he gave last night was fiery, and full of stuff conservatives like to hear, but I thought that his delivery was slightly over-the-top.  Just a minor style point in an otherwise effective speech.

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rnc: the end and the beginning

There were three major storylines at the RNC today that had nothing to do with Sarah Palin.  The first was the ceremonial end of the Bush era.  The second was Fred’s red meat speech and his stirring account of McCain’s military service.  The third — Joe Lieberman incinerating those bridges between himself and the Democrats once and for all with his direct attacks on Barack Obama.

The Republicans need to do more to emphasize the differences between Bush and McCain, but they need to do this without completely abandoning Dubya.  There are those in the party who still love the guy, and we need all the votes we can get to defeat Barack Obama.  That’s why the President had to speak at the RNC, no matter how brief the speech would have to be.  I’m not sure that the President did much to advance McCain’s candidacy, but it was nice to give him one last hurrah in front of an appreciative crowd. We also saw a video tribute to Bush Sr. It was fitting that they gave all the Bushes their due at the last convention they will have with a Bush in the White House.  (Unless Jeb surprises us all someday…)

Fred Thompson’s speeches will never approach the eloquence of Senator Obama’s, but he was on fire tonight.

Here’s some of what he said about McCain:

Now, being a POW certainly doesn’t qualify anyone to be President. But it does reveal character. This is the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders. Strength. Courage. Humility. Wisdom. Duty. Honor. It’s pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, ‘Who is this man?’ and ‘Can we trust this man with the Presidency?’ He has been to Iraq eight times since 2003. He went seeking truth, not publicity. When he travels abroad, he prefers quietly speaking to the troops amidst the heat and hardship of their daily lives. And the same character that marked John McCain’s military career has also marked his political career. This man, John McCain is not intimidated by what the polls say or by what is politically safe or popular. At a point when the war in Iraq was going badly and the public lost confidence, John stood up and called for more troops. And now we are winning. Ronald Reagan was John McCain’s hero. And President Reagan admired John tremendously. But when the President proposed putting U.S. troops in Beirut, John McCain, a freshman Congressman, stood up and cast a vote against his hero because he thought the deployment was a mistake. My friends … that is character you can believe in.

Zing.  Character matters, at least it does for Republicans.  That’s the main question we have been asking about Barack Obama from the beginning — who is this guy and can we trust him with the Presidency?  Love or hate John McCain — you know where he stands.

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cut it out

So says Barack to the rumor mongers:

At a press avail in Monroe, Mich., Barack Obama on Palin: “Back off these kinds of stories.

“I have said before, and I will repeat again: People’s families are off-limits,” Obama said. “And people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn’t be a topic of our politics.”

On charges that his campaign has stoked the story via liberal blogs:

“I am offended by that statement. There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us,” he said. “Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I thought there was somebody in my campaign who was involved in something like that, they would be fired.”

partisan hackery

The new politics of the Obama fans — sheep, I call them — sure looks a lot like the old politics.  Is it too much to ask that attacks on Governor Palin are based on facts and not idle speculation by the Daily Kos and Andrew Sullivan???  I’m not going to give either site the benefit of a link because they should be ashamed of themselves for printing the rumors about Governor Palin’s son Trig actually being her daughter’s child.  No proof here…but why should that surprise us?  If Daily Kos or Andrew Sullivan had any credibility with me before, this stunt would have changed that in a hurry.  Like I said, old politics.  Time for Obama to throw some more acquaintances under his bus.  There should be no place for this in this campaign season.

Now before I am accused of a double standard, let me just say,  I had nothing to do with any rumors that may have been spread about Senator Obama being a Muslim, or terrorist, or any of that.  I don’t believe any of those rumors, and neither do the American people. That’s the point.  As despicable as this is, these rumors won’t stick without proof.  Same with Governor Palin.  The burden of proof doesn’t lie with the McCain campaign, it lies with Sullivan and Daily Kos, because these sites are the ones making these serious allegations.

We can all be partisan without being ugly and resorting to this garbage.

And for the record,  Amanda Carpenter at Townhall reports that:

DailyKos is is wrong on when the photo was taken. It was taken, and published, by the Anchorage Daily News in 2006. Baby Trig, a Down’s Syndrome child, was born on April 18, 2008. That’s a long time for a teen girl to be carrying a “bump” which looks nothing more than the curve of a tight sweater.

Indeed.  I know what to expect from those two sites I mentioned, but I never expected this guy would be part of advancing this fraudulent story.

mccain makes his vp pick

What a pleasant surprise this is — John McCain shocks us all by choosing the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.  The McCain campaign did an outstanding job keeping us in suspense until the last 2-3 hours before her official introduction. This is one heck of a risk, as we are presently seeing with the current Democrat attacks on her, but the payoff could be huge. If Friday was the country’s first introduction to Governor Palin,  it was an impressive debut for her.  She came across as very personable and as someone who can sell the conservative message in a way that McCain cannot.  Her appeal is more than just gender-based.   She has working class credibility.  She’s a mom as well as a lifetime member of the NRA.  She’s not only pro-life, but she has practiced what she preaches by deciding to have a baby that she knew would have Down’s Syndrome.  Then there’s her record of fighting corruption in Alaska even against fellow Republicans.  What’s not to like?

Conservatives dodged a bullet with this pick, because apparently McCain was very close to picking Joe Lieberman.  He was still considering it as late as this past Monday.  When I first heard about McCain’s choice, my initial reaction was that the base may have sabotaged McCain by suggesting Governor Palin.  I love her story, and I think she’s a great representative for women and for Republicans, but I’m not sure she’s ready to be Vice President.  It’s entirely possible that she’s more ready to be VP than Barack Obama is to be President, but this isn’t the best argument for her.  The following weeks before the election will give us an indication of how ready she is to handle the demands of the national spotlight, and I will be watching her and cheering her on, because conservatism needs representatives like Governor Palin in Washington, D.C.

dnc: barack’s historic night

Is anyone else tired of Al Bore’s “I really won the 2000 election” canned jokes?  If we could just find a way to harness the hot air coming from our former Vice President, we would have a endless source of renewable energy.  Give the Democrats credit though.  They have a group of skilled attack dogs who allow Barack Obama to stay above the fray.

As far as the historic nature of Senator Obama’s achievement, I want to join with Senator McCain and others in applauding the Senator for being the first African-American presidential nominee from the Democratic party.  That is worthy of note, and the country is better off for Barack’s candidacy, because it shows that we continue to make progress against racism and discrimination.

Even as a Republican who still remains skeptical of Obama and his grand plans for the country, I have to admit that there would be no way that McCain could fill up a football stadium with people willing to listen to his acceptance speech.  McCain is not and will never be Mr. Excitement,  but that shouldn’t be the determining factor in choosing a president.  The whole spectacle was impressive, and Barack gave an excellent speech.  It had quite a few center-right elements, like when he talked about individual responsibility and the desire for fathers to be there for their children.  There were many things I liked about what he had to say, but there were many more areas where Senator Obama and I sharply disagree. That’s why I cannot vote for him.

We should not underestimate Barack Obama.  He is a threat to win this election, and even though the DNC was divided at the beginning of this week — and distracted by the Clintons’ long (and temporary) goodbye speeches — Barack Obama owned the stage Thursday night and became the lasting memory of the 2008 DNC. If it weren’t for McCain’s shocking announcement Friday morning, Obama’s speech would be the main topic of discussion at the political water coolers today.  Thanks to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, it is not.  She’s quite the distraction.

For must-read hilarious coverage of the DNC, go read Dave Barry’s column.