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Arianna’s Prominence: a Sad Sign for Political Discourse

On Friday while working away on the step-master at my gym, I glanced up to see Arianna Huffington puffing away on CNN (or was it MSNBC?), calling into question John McCain’s national security credentials. This former McCain supporter claimed her one-time candidate has made repeated public statements showing he doesn’t understand the difference between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam.

Posturing for the netroots, Arianna is merely repeating a notion propagated on the left (most notably by the New York Times) about the presumptive Republican nominee’s confusion of the two leading Muslim sects. A number of conservative bloggers have exposed this MSM interpretation for that fraud that it is. Simply put, it twists McCain’s statements out context (See e.g. these two Powerline posts: here and here).

What struck me about Mrs. Huffington was how far she had come since 2000 when she enthusiastically backed the Arizona Senator for the Republican nomination. While supporting that good man, she frequently badmouthed his GOP rival that year, then-Texas Governor George W. Bush. Her anti-Bush barbs helped her get the attention of Hollywood left-wingers who were already unfavorably disposed to the man, but who had only previously known her as a Republican pundit.

Once she began bashing a Republican, they started taking notice of her political comments, praising her where once they had ignored her. That praise become like an aphrodisiac to this Angelena.

Realizing she could find a greater welcome among the Angeleno political set as critic of Republicans rather than as an advocate for a revitalized conservatism (which she had been throughout the 1990s), she shifted her focus in order to better appeal to her neighbors. Her new-found anti-Republican identity has afforded her a degree of prominence she had not previously enjoyed. Her books now get more mainstream attention. Her web-site, the Huffington Post has become a leading source of left-wing opinion.

So eager has she become to retain her position of leadership in the netroots commentariat that she is now spurning the man whom she once so eagerly supported, merely because he is the Republican nominee. What a delicious irony. Had she not supported John McCain in 2000, she would likely not have gained the media platform from which she now denounces him.

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Obama’s Woes & that ol’ Clinton luck

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:57 pm - May 4, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,American History

During the 1992 campaign, a number of people noted Bill Clinton’s extraordinary luck. Paul Tsongas, the only man to offer him a serious challenge for the Democratic nomination, didn’t demonstrate much of an appeal outside the Northeast. Then-Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, the man who promised to be his most formidable opponent, foundered in New Hampshire (finishing a distant third) and never became a serious threat nationwide.

When the primary campaign moved South, no one could rival the Arkansas Governor on his own turf and he built up a formidable lead.

While spring and summer polls showed him running third behind then-President George H. W. Bush and businessman Ross Perot, that eccentric executive dropped out during the Democratic National Convention, giving an added boost to that party’s nominee. When Pat Buchanan spoke later that summer at the Republican National Convention, going way beyond his allotted time and bumping the Gipper out of prime time, the media focused more on his angry rhetoric than on the actual Republican nominee.

That GOP nominee compounded his problems by running an inept campaign, even looking at his watch during one debate.

Later, after Clinton won the White House, but his party lost Congress, he was able to play off the most visible Republican of the day, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. When that Georgian whined that Clinton made him exit the back door on AIr Force One, the Democratic incumbent turned the tables in budget negotiations with congressional Republicans, setting the stage for his 1996 reelection victory.

Bill Clinton had amazing good fortune in the opponents he drew.

Lately, I’ve been wondering if, by some process of osmosis, his luck has rubbed off on his wife. Just when her opponent seemed to be bouncing back from his loss in the Keystone State, Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor goes on a media tour, showing to the world how seriously radical and apparently unhinged he really is. Americans begin to question more seriously the associations of this relative newcomer to the national political stage.

And Ms. Hillary, as I noted in a previous post  “is improving in the polls . . . because she is the only Democratic alternative to Obama.

That ol’ Clinton luck. Both Bill and his wife seem blessed by the opponents they’ve drawn.

Should she manage to wrestle the Democratic nomination from Obama (a question which remains open), let us hope that John McCain emerges as a more formidable foe than have been past Clinton adversaries.

You know you’re gay when . . . .

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:25 pm - May 4, 2008.
Filed under: Gay Culture,Movies/Film & TV

. . . you watch Beaches on DVD for the umpteenth time and realize the film’s flaws do not detract from its overall message or emotional impact. And you’re delighted to discover an Ethel Merman CD in your car so you can teach a friend about that diva’s uncanny ability to belt out a tune.

And I do mean belt.