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Obama, the Mortgage Mess & His Record on Tough Issues:
Identify a Problem, Fail to Offer a Solution, Pass the Buck*

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:07 pm - October 10, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Economy,Obama Watch

In perhaps the most hopeful column for Republicans in recent days, Karl Rove wrote yesterday in the Wall Street Journal that, “There are probably more undecided and persuadable voters open to switching their choice than in any election since 1968.”  He still thinks Obama hasn’t sealed the deal.  Peggy agrees.

But, as Peggy noted, it doesn’t help McCain to be going negative at this point.  “To win,” Rove contends, “Mr. McCain must demonstrate he stands for responsible conservative change, while portraying Mr. Obama as an out-of-the-mainstream liberal not ready to be president.”  He seems to be trying to do both, but the media dwells on the second half rather than the first.

McCain didn’t doenough in the second debate to push that kind of change.  Nor did Obama offer much in the way of solutions. He kept harping on how bad the “last eight years” of deregulation were (without providing any examples of actual deregulation). 

Just as McCain failed to call him on that, he also failed to call him on something else. Rove got at in his column:

For those leaning to Mr. Obama, there was no evidence of bipartisanship. There was no talk of accomplishments. Did he really think it was smart to answer Mr. McCain on Fannie by dismissing the GSE [government sponsored enterprise] reform bill and pointing to a letter he wrote? In the Senate, is the pen mightier than legislation? And Mr. Obama’s say-one-thing, do-another approach was apparent. Blast Mr. McCain for talking up the economy, then say, “I am confident about the American economy.” Blame Mr. McCain for the credit meltdown, and end the assault with “you’re not interested in hearing politicians pointing fingers.”

Here’s what Obama said in the debate:

I wrote to Secretary Paulson, I wrote to Federal Reserve Chairman [Ben] Bernanke, and told them this is something [sub-prime lending crisis] we have to deal with, and nobody did anything about it. . . . . Now, with respect to Fannie Mae, what McCain didn’t mention is the fact that this bill that he talked about wasn’t his own bill. He jumped on it a year after it had been introduced and it never got passed.

Nobody did anything about it, Senator? Including you. Remember, you serve in the United States Senate where you can introduce legislation to address such problems. Or support bills already on the floor.

Given that McCain did something, he should have jumped on Obama’s statement and replied:

A year after it had been introduced? So what? That was two years before the current crisis when when we had enough time to prevent it. I at least supported actual legislation that the Senate considered. I tried to get it passed. I warned of the dangers of its failure. By contrast, you wrote a letter, asking someone else to do something. As president, you have to take action, not pass the problem on. Do you remember the sign on President Harry S Truman’s desk? “The Buck Stops Here.” It seems you just want to pass the buck.

For Obama, there is no taking responsibility, no offering of solutions, save repeating his mantra of hope and change. What’s he going to do if he wins next fall? Wait for Congress to act? Obama may have the right rhetoric for this anxious time, but his record includes few proposals for actual solutions even to problems he identified.

Is this the kind of president we want? A man who identifies a problem and writes a letter asking someone else to address?

Related: Is that the best you can come up with, Barack?

*Please note I changed the title from the original because I thought it was lame. Not sure this is much better, but seems to capture post’s essence more accurately.

Why I was Wrong about Prop 8’s Impending Defeat

Even before the Connecticut Supreme Court’s ruling this morning mandating gay marriage, I had begun to think that the prospects for defeating Proposition 8 were becoming increasingly bleak. The ad that I once though was so bad it would cause swing voters to oppose the initiative seems to have had the opposite effect.

As Brian Carney wrote in today’s WSJ.com Political Diary (available by subscription):

A big reason [for new poll numbers favoring 8] appears to be a promotional effort by the National Organization for Marriage that reminds voters that a previous 2000 ballot initiative had been supported by 61% of voters but was overturned by “four activist judges” last May. The ad campaign also emphasizes the heavy-handed approach used by same-sex marriage supporters. One ad features San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom saying same-sex marriage is here “whether you like it or not.”

Referendums are notoriously difficult to poll, and the numbers are likely to remain volatile. But the “take it or leave it” attitude of the State Supreme Court, as well as Attorney General Brown and Mayor Newsom, seems to have handed Prop. 8’s supporters a powerful rhetoric weapon. Mr. Brown wanted voters to interpret the proposition as taking something away. NOM’s new campaign argues that what was really taken away is Californians’ right to vote for policies they support.

Having watched the ad repeatedly, I have come to agree with his assessment.  As I rarely watch TV at home, I first saw the ad while doing cardio at the gym.  Without sound, it looks like a late-night television commercial hawking something some lonely man invented in his basement.  That’s why I thought it wouldn’t help the “Yes” campaign.

But, most people who watch TV heard those words.  The repetition of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s exclamation that gay marriage would happen “whether you like it or not” combined with the inclusion of the line that “four judges ignored four million voters” makes it appear that the initiative merely restrains an overzealous judiciary and restores sovereignty to the people.

People don’t like courts resolving controversial social issues.

The task now for the “No” force is to come up with ads which focus on the choice this initiative offers us.  Proposition 8 gives us, the voters of California, the choice to determine the state’s standard for civil marriage. By voting “no,” we get to have our say.

They need to junk this “equality” talk (as it assumes state mandates equality of result) and focus on freedom.

I don’t think the new “No on 8” ad which takes on the “Yes” ad will accomplish those goals:

If I didn’t know who had proposed the ad, I wouldn’t know who the ad’s producers were referencing when they referenced “their attacks” and the “they” behind those attacks. They need to be more specific from the outset.  I’m not quite sure how I would do the ad, but I would focus on the issue of choice.

I might begin by addressing the “Yes” ad, then say, “Well, they’re wrong. Voting “No” on 8 won’t effect church status or teaching in schools, instead it will allow all couples the choice to seek state recognition of their civil marriages. Of course, you’d need wording a little more catchy.

The one thing I do like about the ad is its tag at the end, “Keep government out of all of our lives.” Wish we could tell that to the folks in Sacramento as well as Washington.

Connecticut Supreme Court Mandates Gay Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:26 pm - October 10, 2008.
Filed under: Gay Marriage

Earlier today the Connecticut Supreme Court became the third such state supreme court to overturn the state’s marriage laws and mandate gay marriage. (H/t the Corner.)

My sense is this couldn’t come at a better time for gay marriage opponents. Whenever a state court acts against the will of the people who, in this case, through their elected representatives, had actually already passed landmark civil unions legislation, it increases popular support for initiatives banning gay marriage as are now on the ballot in California, Arizona and Florida.

In 2004, the year after Massachusetts’ Goodridge decision mandating gay marriage in the Bay State, such propositions appeared on thirteen state ballots (eleven in November, two earlier in the year). They all passed by comfortable margins, even in such “blue” states as Michigan and Oregon.

Two years later, however, after the highest courts in Washington and New York State respectively failed to mandate gay marriage, leaving such matters to state legislatures, initiatives and referenda on various state ballots saw much smaller margins of victory, with the draconian proposal in the Grand Canyon State defeated.

The Connecticut decision may well have sealed the deal for Proposition 8 in California and not the way those who cheer the decision today would like.

UPDATE:  The Connecticut Supreme Court just created a great fundraising appeal for “Yes on 8” and reminded voters of the CA court decision.

UP-UPDATE:Â To show you just how clueless are the folks running the campaign against Proposition 8, Geoff Kors, NO on Prop 8 Executive Committee Member, just released a statement:

Today, another state recognized that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry . . . .  This is another indication that more and more Americans are recognizing the fundamental right of loving couples to marry.

Sorry, Geoff, it’s not. It’s not an indication that Americans support same-sex marriage, but that another court does.

Aren’t you familiar with the backlash against such decisions? Or how this decision will galvanize supporters of Proposition 8 and increase their fundraising?

Obama’s Friend Ayers and Their Shared Vision of Education

No, not from the 1960s when little Barry was just 7.

1970s?  Nope.   Maybe this is from the 1980s when Barack was you know, young and impressionable and “just getting started?

No.  This is Barack’s political mentor, Bill Ayers, in 2006.

With [anti-American Venezuelan despot Hugo] Chavez at his side, Ayers voiced his support for “the political educational reforms under way here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez.  We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution. . . . I look forward to seeing how . . . all of you continue to overcome the failures of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane.”

Ayers told the great humanitarian Chavez: “Teaching invites transformations, it urges revolutions large and small. La educacion es revolucion.” It is that form of socialist revolution that Ayers, and Obama, have worked to bring to America.

Ayers, now a tenured Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago, works to educate teachers in socialist revolutionary ideology, urging that it be passed on to impressionable students.

This is the man who helped fund and launch the entire “idea” of Barack Obama-Politician.  Senator Obama needs to fully disclose AND explain his long ties to Bill Ayers, American Terrorist & Socialist.  Otherwise we are going to wake up in January with Bill Ayers, Secretary of Education.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Fisher-Price Meets Al-Qaeda?

You decide.  Frankly, the baby is scary enough without spouting jihadist cries!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Obama Demagoguing Deregulation?

One of the things I’ve noted in following Obama’s campaign is how much he dwells on the supposed failures of the “last eight years.”  In the second presidential debate, the Democrat used the term nine times.  By contrast, in the vice-presidential debate, Sarah Palin only used the term “maverick” (including its plural form, “mavericks”) six times.  (I wonder if Saturday Night Live will mock the Democrat for this excess when they spoof the exchange.)

On the stump (as well as in his book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream), the Democratic presidential nominee claims the Bush era was one of deregulation. Indeed, in the most recent debate, he contended McCain’s policy was identical to that of those last eight years in that regard:

He believes in deregulation in every circumstance. That’s what we’ve been going through for the last eight years. It hasn’t worked, and we need fundamental change.

Yet, unless I’m missing something, Obama hasn’t specified any particular Bush-era policies which led to deregulation, particularly in the financial sector. (Readers please alert me if he has with links so I can update the post accordingly–thanks!) From my own research into the financial meltdown, I can only come up with evidence that Bush favored increased regulation of at least one sector of the financial industry, the government-sponsored enterprises.

I am aware the president signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 which created “a new quasi-public agency, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB . . .  charged with overseeing, regulating, inspecting, and disciplining accounting firms in their roles as auditors of public companies.”  Rather than deregulate the industry, this bill increased regulation of corporations.  Some have claimed the added cost of compliance with this legislation is causing American financial markets to lose their competitive edge, with some corporations choosing to move their headquarters overseas to escape its requirements.

(Has the Bush team, at the administrative level then decreased regulation?)

The long and the short of it, is my query:  is Barack Obama demagoguing the deregulation issue?  From my perspective and I’m a guy who has followed the news pretty regularly these past eight years, I don’t know of much deregulation pushed by the Bush Administration.  But, then again, finance is not my area or expertise.

It just doesn’t seem we’ve been going through much deregulation these past eight years, as Barack Obama has claimed.  And with Sarbanes-Oxley, it seems quite the opposite is true.