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On McCain’s Campaign Suspension

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:24 pm - September 24, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

Earlier today, I mentioned both thoughts I had for potential posts as well as my mixed feelings of John McCain’s decision to suspend his campaign to focus on the Wall Street bailout.

As I said at the time, I have mixed feelings on McCain’s decision. On the one hand, I do think it shows resolve to confront head-on the most important issue facing the country at the present time. On the other hand, it does look like a political stunt.

Jonah Goldberg thinks politically is a “shrewd even wise” move: “It demonstrates McCain’s willingness to make politics and partisanship a secondary concern.”  Rich Miniter agrees:

It makes McCain look engaged in solving the number one issue on the minds of Americans, right now. It gives him a bigger bully pulpit to fight the Christmas tree of legislation that is winding its way through Congress now (even student and car loans have been added to the bailout).

Read the whole thing.  Rich also see some downsides to the move.

This follows, what I would argue, has been the worst week for the McCain campaign. Instead of responding to the Wall Street mess by pointing to the legislation he had proposed and/or promoted over the years to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (which are at the core of this problem), he lashed out at Obama before finally finding his footing on Friday.

While McCain was the first (of the two candidates) to propose a solution, he allowed Obama to appear more level-headed. Not just that, Obama has no record of reform here, no attempts (like McCain) to work across the aisle to craft legislation to address then-looming crisis. Obama could warn and call for. McCain acted. 

Bill Kristol summed up the situation pretty well:

. . . it was a poor week for the McCain campaign (though the candidate did begin to right the ship with a sensible speech Friday morning in Green Bay). To be fair, the right response to the financial crisis wasn’t so clear, either substantively or politically. Obama played it smart by basically doing and saying nothing–and simply seized on McCain’s mistakes. McCain’s flailing allowed the Obama campaign, which had been off balance for almost a month, to regain its footing.

That said, McCain may well have seized the initiative again with his move, but it’s way too soon to tell.

It is amazing how Obama, by playing it “cool” has surged ahead in most (but not all) polls even by doing nothing. Perhaps, McCain’s suspesnsion will expose the emptiness of his opponent’s rhetoric. Or perhaps people will see this as the political equivalent of a “Hail Mary” pass.

If the media were covering this campaiagn fairly, we would know that John McCain did something to try to prevent this crisis from happening while Obama sat silent in the Senate.  And that the Republican nominee righted himself last Friday with his excellent speech in Green Bay.

Maybe this move was necessary to highlight his record.

Of good workouts and improved states of mind

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:37 pm - September 24, 2008.
Filed under: Health & medical,Random Thoughts

Perhaps, I should entitle this, “Life Lesson #567 b-12” or some such.

Just returned from the gym where I did an intense workout on the Stairmaster and feel much more balanced that I did when I woke up.  I guess the lesson in all this is that when your schedule allows, if you’re feeling off, strenuous physical activity helps.  

It’s amazing how much better I feel.  Amazing.  🙂

UPDATE . . . and the Reagan movie is yet to come.

On bad movies & bad moods

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:06 pm - September 24, 2008.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV,Random Thoughts

Not in the greatest mood today and having trouble focusing. Maybe it’s that I’ve been blogging so much that the verbal side of my brain has slowed down. Kind of like how I used to feel after going on a really long run. I had to walk a bit before I could once again find my stride.

And I have a number of topics on my list of “potential blogs” and while there’s lots in the news worthy of conversation, notably McCain’s suspension of his campaign to focus on the bailout (about which I have mixed feelings). 

Maybe I’ll be better able to blog after I do my cardio — or after I see a Reagan movie with friends. The image of the Gipper may well erase the bad movie I saw last night.

As I was fixing dinner, I decided to pop in a DVD I got in some gift bag–Denied a gay movie which, well, seemed to lack a plot. And I just didn’t feel the chemistry between the two male leads.

I probably should have ejected the DVD and put it in my giveaway pile, but I have this habit of watching movies until the end, hoping to find something redeeming in them. Anyway, after watching this flick, I felt kind of empty, almost as if I have internalized the non-communicative relationship between two two ostensible lovers who often find it difficult to communicate verbally. As if that’s how all gay men relate to one another. They have sexual relationships without human connection.  

Even when they try to communicate at the end, they’re little more than actors reading their lines.

But, then as I was writing this post, I got a call from a close friend.  And it reminded me of the human connections in my world.  I immediately began to feel better.

Perhaps, the lesson of this is never watch bad movies alone.

Why Won’t MSM Explore Obama’s Lies about Ayers?

Perhaps a liberal friend of mine is right and there’s nothing much to the story of his candidate’s longtime association with an unrepentant terrorist.  But, I keep asking him if there’s nothing to that story, why does Obama keep misrepresenting his relationship with William Ayers.

First, the Democratic presidential nominee describes him as just a guy in the neighborhood, contending in April he’s “not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.”  Earlier this month, when Bill O’Reilly asked him about his relationship with Ayers and his wife Bernadette Dohrn, Obama dismissed the question, saying that those two terrorists were among the “thousands of” people he knows.

But, did Obama work with “thousands of” people on certain projects over an extended period of time.  The archives on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago reveal that “Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team:”

The Daley documents show that Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC’s first year. He also served on the board’s governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.

Such a relationship is not one one has with thousands of people. Ayers was more to Obama than just a guy in the neighborhood. Obama launched his first bid for the U.S. Senate in Ayers’s home.

If there’s nothing to this relationship, why does Obama repeatedly misrepresent it?  And why doesn’t the media look into this? If John McCain repeatedly misrepresented his relationship to a controversial figure, don’t you think the media would look into it?

(more…)

Should Palin Go Moose (& Vote) Hunting in Maine?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:41 am - September 24, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Strong Women

When I read Michael Barone’s latest post on the opportunity McCain and Palin have in the Frozen North, that tier of states from Wisconsin to Washington State (and Alaska), one passage (related to another northern state) struck me as it reminded me of one my crazy theories about this election.  First, the passage:

. . .there’s a tantalizing poll in another state that could be called part of the Frozen North: Maine. Scott Rasmussen has Obama up by only 4 percent, compared with 14 percent and 8 percent in his August and July polls there. But Research 2000, polling in September has Obama leading by 14 percent, exactly the same number as the average of seven preconvention polls from April through August.

And now the theory. As you may know, two states, Maine and Nebraska, allocate their electoral votes differently from most states. In these two states, each candidate gets one elector for each congressional district he wins, two for winning the state.

Maine, as Barone writes in his Almanac of American Politics, is “contrary-minded.” It handed Ross Perot his largest percentage of the vote in both 1992 and 1996. In ’92, Perot actually edged out the incumbent president of the United States (who maintained a vacation home in the state) by just over 300 votes.

Perot even won three counties, Piscataquis, Somerset and Waldo. All three counties are in the state’s Second Congressional District. George W. Bush lost the district by fewer than 10,000 votes in 2000 and by about 20,000 four years later.

Given the contrary-nature of the state and the appeal of Sarah Palin to rural voters in the Frozen North, it’s entirely possible the McCain-Palin ticket could carry Maine’s Second District. (And heck, the state seems to like Republican women, electing two of them to the U.S. Senate.)  The Republicans may not win the state, but they will win one electoral vote which could help in a tight race.

It just might be a good idea to dispatch Sarah Palin to Bangor.

Oh, and they do have moose in Maine, with moose-hunting permitted this week and from October 13 through 18.

The Non-story of Mark Buse’s Outing

Please note I had written this piece before John has posted his, but had been holding it.

When I first heard from a gay reader that a gay blogger had posted that a gay radio host had “outing” John McCain’s Senate Chief of Staff, I wondered where the story was.  The blogger went out great lengths to explain to us that McCain is anti-gay because, well, he didn’t support the legislation gay activists want politicians to support to demonstrate their pro-gay bona fides.

So, of course, this man, in the words of the radio host, has to be engaged in “hypocrisy.”  Give me a break.

Hypocrisy?  Huh?  How?  Oh yeah, because Republicans are by definition, anti-gay.

Well, anyway, we already know how John McCain treats friends and colleagues when they come out to him as gay.  It doesn’t matter to him.  He treats them he same as he did the day before he learned about their sexuality.  If he didn’t bother him when he found out Jim Kolbe or Neil Giuliano was gay, it wasn’t going to bother him to learn his Chief of Staff was gay.  And, heck, maybe he already knew.  So what?

Given McCain’s professed tolerance for gay friends and colleague’s, his campaign’s contacts with Log Cabin and gay bloggers, this “outing” in a total non-story.  No wonder the mainstream media hasn’t picked it up.  

And if they did, it would only redound to the benefit of John McCain, providing further evidence of his absence of anti-gay animus.

The Republican presidential nominee treats gay people as individuals.  That’s been a matter of public record at least since 2000.  I don’t know why some activists think it’s some big scoop now to report that he trusts a gay man to run his Senate office.  Maybe it’s their belief that this somehow will matter to Republican voters.  Or maybe their own anti-Republican animus.  Why else would they think people would care?

Mark Buse is assuredly a very competent administrator.   And that’s what matters to John McCain.  

End of story.