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On Sarah Palin & the Vice Presidential Debate

In the eyes of the media, Sarah Palin has a high bar to clear in tonight’s debate, she has to be perfect.  As Jim Geraghty put it, “any mistake she makes will be trumpeted as a sign she’s not ready for office.“  Her gaffes will be rebroadcast ad nauseum on the major networks and replayed ad nauseum et ad infinitum on MSNBC.

In the eyes of the American people, however, if she comes across well, able to relate to their concerns and in command of a basic knowledge of most issues facing the nation, she’ll help reverse the recent doubt people have expressed about her competence.  That won’t stop the media from its rush to belittle her nor stop their search of Alaska dumpsters for any evidence of her imperfection.  They’ll continue to examine her lunch receipts and question her acceptance of floral gifts.

I highly doubt there’s any network or talking head (save FoxNews) will call her the winner of this debate even if she performs masterfully, even after they have overwhelmingly lowered our expectations about her ability.

Personally, I don’t know what to expect tonight.  I have seen clips of her performance in Alaska gubernatorial debates in 2006 — where she addressed questions nimbly, thoghtfully.  Her command of the specifics of certain legislation was not as great as that of her various rivals, but her understanding of the impact of certain policies on the lives of the fellow citizens was impressive.  She was able to talk in terms the average viewer (as opposed to pundit or policy wonk) could understand.

I hope we see that Sarah Palin tonight.  Such a woman might not impress the pundits, but she will relate to the American people.  And she’ll help restore confidence in John McCain’s choice of her as his running mate while calling into question his campaign’s decision to, by and large, hide her from the media these past few weeks.

Sick Feeling about the Financial Mess & the Election

The financial meltdown could not have come at a worse time for John McCain.  When it started, he had a slight lead in the polls, with party regulars confident and energized.  The Obama campaign seemed to be losing focus.

The credit crunch, however, made it seem Republican policies were responsible for a projected significant economic downturn.  After all, a Republican had been in the White House for nearly eight years, with his party controlling both houses of Congress for four of those years and Democrats only recently taking charge.

Yet, people think that just because a party is in power, it gets its agenda through.  And even if the president’s party does not control Congress, he (and his party) take the rap for an economic slowdown as happened to George H.W. Bush in 1992.

That president’s son, warned repeatedly about problems and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) at the heart of the current mess.  Despite presenting numerous proposals fo reform, he failed to see any enacted in time to avert the crisis.  Overwhelmingly, Democrats thwarted his efforts while assuring us of the soundness of the GSEs.

Now that they have collapsed, the same Democrats, notably Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd, are leading efforts to fix the miss they made while their party blames Republicans. Even Bill Clinton acknowledges the responsibility of members of his party:

As John Hinderaker put it:

The current economic crisis should, by rights, hurt the Democrats, who bear far more responsibility for causing it than the Republicans. But the public doesn’t understand that, and blames anything bad on the party that controls the White House, however irrational that may be. And, of course, the television networks and newspapers aren’t going out of their way to enlighten the voters.

That’s why I’ve had this sick feeling of late. The Democrats block Republican reforms, then blame Republicans for their allegedly failed policies — even though they were never enacted. And the MSM lets them get away with it.

Outside of FoxNews, what major networks or newspapers have devoted any significant time to John McCain’s co-sponsorship of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 designed to reform FannieMae and FreddieMac?  And Democrat opposition to that plan?

Why Proposition 8 Will Lose

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:37 pm - October 2, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Elections,California politics,Gay Marriage

When the California Supreme Court mandated gay marriage in the Golden State, I was convinced that the then-proposed initiative for the state ballot defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman would pass.  Citizens would resent the court overturning a popular vote and taking this matter out of our hands.

When, however, state Attorney General Jerry Brown changed the ballot language to read that Proposition 8 “eliminates [the] right of same-sex couples to marry.”  That heading leads the section on the proposition in the California General Election Official Voter Information Guide.   To read the actual text of the proposed constitutional amendment (“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”), you have to go to the end of the guide where the print is much smaller.

Voters would be less likely to vote to eliminate a right than to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage.  With this change, I thought the odds moved in favor of defeat.

But, with a good campaign, the the initiative could still pass.  Then, I started hearing from hearing from proponents of the Proposition, noting that the most extreme social conservatives had taken over the “Yes on 8” campaign.

It seemed extremists would be running the campaigns on both sides of the issue.  Opponents would be appealing to their base in West Hollywood, San Francisco and San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood.   Proponents to anti-gay (and sometimes even anti-Semitic) churchgoers.

Indeed, the first stuff I saw from the No on 8 folks make me cringe, more left-wing drivel, out to attack any defender of traditional marriage as narrow-minded and mean-spirited.  I still refuse to put their bumper sticker on my car (while supporting their cause) because their slogan “equality for all” is a perversion of the American creed.


NBC sends team to Hanoi to investigate McCain, doesn’t send one to Chicago to investigate Obama

On Monday, Glenn Reynolds posted a note he received from a reader who works in a “major newsroom:”

Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working.

NBC even has sent a team as far away as Hanoi in to confirm John McCain’s stories of the torture he experienced when he was captured by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War.

You’d think that if NBC would pay to send a team to Hanoi, they might be able to send some reporters to Chicago–or even tap reporters from their local affiliate in the Windy City–to investigate some of Barack Obama’s stories, say, his response that unrepentant terrorist was just “a guy who lives in his neighborhood,” dodging the question about his relationship to William Ayers.

Noting this failure, Rush observes:

Did they go to Chicago to delve into Obama’s ties to terrorists and real estate frauds? No. And did they go investigate his ties to the church? No! They still have not done that, and they won’t. Did they follow up on any of Joe Biden’s lamebrain claims during his long and not-illustrious career? No, they did not, they have not, and they will not. But they have to go back to Hanoi and check and see if McCain’s version stands up to what the North Vietnamese torturer remembers. No mention of torture in this report, none whatsoever.

Given economic anxieties which always hurt the incumbent party and the media bias, it’s a wonder John McCain is even competitive in this presidential election. If the media treated Obama as they have John McCain, we wouldn’t be reading reports about Democrats clamoring to replace Joe Biden as the number two man on the Democratic ticket, but about their efforts to replace the man at the top of the ticket.

More Good News About McCain’s Attitude toward Gays

The evidence keeps coming in about John McCain’s attitudes about gays. And guess what? It confirms what we already know about this good man from Arizona: he harbors exactly the attitude toward gays we would want from our friends, family, colleagues, employers and leaders. He treats us as individuals and does not define us by our sexuality.

Yesterday, when checking my e-mail upon returning home from celebrating the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah and running various errands, I discovered a myriad of e-mails from readers and other friends about McCain’s interview with the Washington Blade, “the first known time a Republican presidential nominee has agreed to an interview with a gay publication.”

He cites his friendship with former Congressman Jim Kolbe and former Tempe, Arizona Mayor Neil Giuliano as shaping his views on gay issues. He calls 9/11 hero Mark Bingham a “role model.”

Asked whether he would decline to appoint someone because of his sexual orientation, McCain replied, “I have always hired the most qualified and competent people — regardless of their political party, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.”

While he currently opposes repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, he indicated he would consider changing his position based on what military commanders say:

I promise to give full consideration to any legislation that reaches my desk. On “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I’m going to defer to our military commanders. So far they have told me it’s working. I’m willing to have the policy reviewed to make sure that’s the case, but at the end of the day, I’m going to rely on the commanders who will be impacted by a change in the law.

He supports the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and offers a responsible view of sex education:

I have supported including abstinence as a component of sex-education programs. Decisions regarding programs targeted specifically at gay youth should be made based on a review of the scientific data to determine what works and what doesn’t, but they must encourage responsible individual behavior.

When asked about his position on gay adoption where he has been widely misrepresented in the gay (and sometimes even mainstream media), he points out that adopion “isn’t an issue the president deals with. I’m a federalist, and this is an issue reserved to the states in our system of government.”