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As the Final Presidential Debate of ’08 Approaches

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:01 pm - October 15, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to watch tonight’s presidential debate. After last week’s snoozefest, I have far better uses for my time, especially given how far behind I am in a number of endeavors.

Basically, John McCain needs to do two things tonight:

  1. Raise questions about Obama’s fitness to serve in a time of crisis.
  2. Shows he’s aware of the scope of the current financial crisis, knows how it impacts the average voter and has a workable plan to strengthen the economy.

He can’t appear too aggressive lest voters think his only plan is to attack his opponent.

Obama has not yet closed this deal.  While the Democrat leads in most polls, people still have doubts about his ability to lead.  McCain needs to play into those doubts while convincing undecided voter and even wary Obama supporters that he’s the man to take the helm in a time of economic crisis.

From the assassination of Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto last winter to the Russian invastion of Georgia this past summer, McCain has seen his political fortunes rise when there’s been uncertainty abroad.  People trust him to handle an international crisis.

Tonight, he has to show that he can handle a domestic crisis as well.

Better ad Against Prop. 8

The folks at “No on 8” have decided to take a different tack in opposing the ballot measure.  Instead of reassuring us that the parade of horribles described by the “Yes” ads won’t come to pass (if Proposition 8 is defeated), they’re now challenging the Proposition itself.  I’m how sure how effective this ad will be, but at least it won’t be counterproductive as was the second “No” ad:

This ad quotes various interest groups and newspapers who oppose the initiative.  The last third is perhaps the most effective part, with the narrator saying, “Because regardless of how you feel about marriage, it’s wrong to treat people differently under the law.”

Including that line seems to be a good strategy.  On Monday, I spoke with a friend who is phone-banking for the “No on 8” campaign.  Unlike some callers, she doesn’t lash out against those ambivalent about the initiative.  She asks their concerns and has learned that some voters remain undecided because while they believe marriage is between a man and a woman, they don’t want to eliminate a “right.”

To that end, the line I quoted above may help push some of these currently undecided citizens to vote “No” on November 4 as it addresses their ambivalence. The question remains:  how well the “Yes” ads resonate?

The “Ideology-Free” Election of 2008

If people voted this year on which party’s general philosophy more closely matched their own view of government, John McCain would win in a walk while Republicans picked up seats in both Houses of Congress.  While the GOP does not now have the standing it did four years ago, conservative ideas still hold sway.  Voters still distrust government solutions to our problems, economic as well social.  America remains a center-right country.

Alas that political ideas don’t seem to matter much in this election.  As Dick Morris put it in his column this week:

But [voters] are more likely just distracted by the financial meltdown all around them. We have never had a presidential race, since 1944, where the contest was not the most important news in the four weeks before the election. (In 1944, the war overshadowed the election much to the frustration of the Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey).

Indeed, former Bush adviser Michael Gerson attributes Obama’s current standing in the polls to the economic crisis:

In the middle of September, the net favorable rating for each candidate was about the same. By Oct. 7, Obama was ahead on this measure by about 16 points. Did McCain suddenly become a stumbling failure? No, the world suddenly went into an economic slide.

As a results, voters turned to the candidate of the out-of-power party, primarily because he represented change (how prescient his campaign slogan) from the party in power.

This election is not a referendum on conservatism, as some on the left would have it. If it were, the GOP would have a better-than-even chance of winning.  Given John McCain’s failure to articulate a consistent conservative message of change (from a less-than conservative Administration), his economic message has so far failed to resonate with voters.

At the same time, Obama has, in the debates and his speeches, tried to distance himself from his far-left record, appearing in the first debate “as a moderate Democrat — even a David Boren or Sam Nunn.” (Only in unscripted moments does he let his real views slip out.)

As a result, this election seems the most ideology-free campaign at least since 1992, possibly even 1976. People seem to be judging the candidates by their apparent differences from the powers that be in our nation’s capital, not evaluating them by their basic political philosophy.

Should Obama win and govern as his record suggests, we should have that debate four years hence.

Why Would the Left Rather Attack than Engage?

Yesterday while doing my cardio at the gym, I was subjected to another of Keith Olbermann’s rants on MSNBC.  I could not believe the effrontery of the man whose TV show has become little more a forum for Bush-bashing and Republican ridicule to claim that his political bête noire (the GOP) had become a party of hate because yet another (that makes two, with some doubt cast on the first one) participant at a McCain-Palin rally cried, “Kill Him” (about Obama). (Brian Faughnan has more on Olbermann’s outburst.)

[UPDATE: Secret Service says “Kill him” allegation unfounded. I wonder if Olbermann will admit his mistake and apologize.]

Yet, it is Olbermann’s party (particularly with cheerleaders like him) which has become the Party of Hate.  John Hawkins documents some of their mean-spirited outbursts, including this comment from Democratic Talk Radio’s Stephen Crockett:

If I had my way, I would see Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell strapped down to electric chairs and lit up like Christmas trees. The better to light the way for American Democracy and American Freedom!

Does the MSM so find a trend of hatred when they uncover such rhetoric? Do they even bother to look for it? Or maybe it’s like Joe Biden’s gaffes, the news media don’t find the left’s angry rhetoric newsworthy because, well, it’s so commonplace.

Attacking one’s rivals, often in the most vicious terms seems to have become the modus operandi of the left these past few years. Yeah, there are a few loons on our side as well, but nearly all serious conservatives distance ourselves from them, denouncing their angry rhetoric.

Comparing conservative and left-wing responses to criticism, noting particularly the comments section to his Pajamas blog, Victor Davis Hanson writes:

In that regard, I often note the tone of the hard left at this site; the right disagrees and adduces arguments, the left often by spewing invective. I know that when I give a lecture to businessmen suggesting greed is endemic on Wall Street and has discredited much of their own ethos there are serious but professional retorts; at a university the professorial response to criticism of the Left is shrill and occasionally unhinged.

What is it that has made the left so unhinged? Why do they rather revile us than engage us on the plain of ideas?

And do so, while they accuse us of being narrow-minded hate-mongers?  And claim to be smarter and better educated.  If they’re so well-read and smart, shouldn’t it then be easy for them to dismiss our ideas with rational argument?

Happy Birthday, Bruce!

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:37 pm - October 15, 2008.
Filed under: Blogging,Great Americans

Today, Bruce Carroll, Jr. the GayPatriot, celebrates his birthday!

Bruce, with much appreciation for your work in setting up this blog and wishing you all good things on this happy day!

On Madonna, Her Divorce & Media “Respect”

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:31 pm - October 15, 2008.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV,Pop Culture

One thing struck me when I briefly scanned an article on Madonna’s upcoming divorce from filmmaker Guy Ritchie.  In the couple’s joint statment, they “asked the media to “maintain respect for their family at this difficult time.”

Now, that’s rich.  A woman who has built her career on media stunts, now asks the media to leave her alone.  And the media should leave her alone.

But, as Madonna ponders her request, she needs to look in the mirror. Flaunting for the cameras helped secure her rise and keep her in the public eye.  It made her antics fodder for the tabloids.  She welcomed that as it helped her career.  Thus, she is largely responsible for media interest in her life which could result in the tabloids prying into her divorce.

That is, what once helped her career could now cause her personal anguish and possible embarrassment.

Media exposure is a double-edged sword.  If the media do indeed invade her space (so to speak) in their zeal to cover this story, Madonna has only herself to blame.

Canadians Give Conservatives Larger Plurality

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:48 am - October 15, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Politics abroad

Not even three years ago, I posted on the election of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister of Canada, ousting the liberal government of Paul Martin, a leader often at odds with President Bush.

Well, our neighbors to the north had another election yesterday and returned Harper to power with an increased plurality in the House of Commons:  “The Conservatives won 143 seats, up from 124 in the last election, while the Liberals were down to 76 from 103.”  With the French having recently replaced an anti-American pseudo-conservative and with the Italians bringing Silvio Berlusconi, a pro-American conservative and in Italy, back to power, the world seems to be moving right.

Free market ideas are triumphant, but here, polls indicated Americans are poised to elect perhaps the most liberal man ever to run for the White House.  His policies, however, aren’t helping him as much as the fact that his party is not the incumbent party, at least at the executive level.

If Americans paid attention to his redistributionist rhetoric, they might reconsider their support for the presidential candidate of the opposing party.

As Mark Steyn put it earlier this week:

If Obama is elected in November, at G7 meetings, for the first time since they began, America will have a more left-wing leader than any other member of the group – Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Britain (and that’s before Gordon Brown loses to David Cameron). Right-of-center government throughout the western world – except Washington.

So, let’s hope that in the next three weeks, Americans learn about Obama’s liberal agenda so we could see a result next month similar to that our neighbors in Great White North saw yesterday.