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Peggy’s Tacit Endorsement of John McCain

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:36 pm - October 31, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

Reading Peggy Noonan’s column before bed last night, I had at first thought she offered a kind of neutral piece, highlighting the strengths of each of the two major party presidential candidates.  She had kind words for Barack Obama.  She had kind words for John McCain.

It was a unique piece of opinion journalism.  The tone was quintessentially Peggy, a wise female voice, looking at things from a distance without passion or rancor.  Such articles remind me why I once compared her to the Greek goddess Athena.  She did not attempt to demonize, but to understand.

As I finished the essay and pondered the passages I had underlined and the comments I had scribbled in the margins (of my print-out), it seemed that without saying so directly, she favored the Republican nominee.

The first clue was when she recounted a conversation with two former U.S. Senators:

The talk turned to presidents they had known, and why they had wanted the job [the presidency]. This one wanted it as the last item on his résumé, that one wanted it out of an inflated sense of personal destiny. Is that why Mr. McCain wants it? “No,” said one, reflectively. He wants to help the country.” The other added, with almost an air of wonder, “He wants to make America stronger, he really does.

She then questioned those “who have historically been sympathetic to the Republican Party or conservatism, and who support Barack Obama,” countering:

But conservatives must honor prudence, and ask if the circumstances accompanying an Obama victory will encourage the helpful moderation and nonpartisan spirit these supporters attempt, in their endorsements, to demonstrate.

Borrowing an expression from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, she described an Obama victory with increased Democratic control of Congress as a “runaway train:”

A runaway train with no one to put on the brakes, to claim a mandate for slowing, no one to cry “Crossing ahead”? Democrats in Congress will move for innovation when much of the country hopes only for stability.

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Obama’s “Victory” Speech Leaked

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:13 pm - October 31, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Obama Watch

Just learned that a blogger somehow managed to obtain a draft version of Obama’s speech declaring victory in the presidential contest Tuesday night.  Apparently, the Democrat is convinced he’s going to win.  You can find the complete text here.  But, I provide a few excerpts below:

Isn’t it great to have defeated George W. Bush and his failed policies?”

. . . .

We have a lot of hope and change to talk about, but before I get started, let me first thank some people. Thank you, Tony Rezko. I couldn’t have made it here without the $168,000 you raised for me early on. You were there before my other big donors.

Thank you to the banking industry. Especially you, Fannie Mae. In just four years in the Senate, you’ve already given me more money than you give most Congressmen in 20 years.

I’d like to thank some individual citizens now. Pro Doodad. Good Will. John Galt of 1957 Ayn Rand Lane. You are the backbone of my publicly financed campaign!

People like you, who donated without having your identities verified by the credit card companies, have together raised over $160 million in unreported small donations.

I wonder what he’s going to say should the results differ from expectations.

Legitimate Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage

Yesterday, I linked a video showing one pretty crazy proponent of Proposition 8.  Opponents of the initiative would be wise to focus on anti-gay marriage zealots like this guy in order to defeat the initiative.

Yet, this focus won’t help us understand many people who have legitimate concerns about gay marriage.  Nor convince them to change their minds.  As one reader commented yesterday:

Let gay couple have all the same rights (which they do, therefore it is not discriminatory) but don’t call it “marriage.” Don’t call it marriage because it is not the same thing. On one hand it is same sex and on the other it is opposite sex. . . .  [T]here are fundamental differences between men and women. The fundamental difference between gay couples and heterosexual couples is the gender make up of the couple.

(I have addressed this issue before, notably here and here.)

For as long as humans have recorded their history, we have defined marriage, to paraphrase Rick Warren, as a contract between a man and a woman.  Yet, despite that history, even Jonathan Rauch, perhaps the most thoughtful advocate of gay marriage, dismisses those who raise the gender difference argument as “reducing marriage in its very essence, to–forgive my bluntness–main-boinks women.”

Jonathan’s words notwithstanding, for millennia, gender difference has been the essence of marriage.  And that is why so many people are troubled by calling our unions marriage.  It’s too bad that all too many advocates of gay marriage assume all opponents are as narrow as the nut in that video.  Such hateful opponents allow them all to easily to dismiss legitimate opposition to this rather significant social change.

While we should ignore (save to mock) such silly spokesmen, we need to acknowledge the legitimate concerns of those opposed to same-sex marriage.  After all, those favoring same-sex marriage are the ones proposing to change the longstanding definition of marriage; they should have ready responses to those defending the status quo.

But, too many advocates of gay marriage want to pass the buck and let judges decide the issue for us when the burden should on those pushing the change.  We need show why such a change is good for society.

Of course, we all want our opponents to be like the nut in that video.  While he may be a spokesman for the “Yes on 8″ movement, he does not speak for all opponents of gay marriage.  We need recognize the sincere opposition of many less narrow opponents, responding to their arguments with respect for their opinions and understanding of their ideas.

Electoral Surprises? October Surprise?

I’d always thought this year we’d see some surprises come next Tuesday, perhaps McCain stronger in a state where he has been ruled out, a challenger not even on the national political radar defeating an incumbent in a House or Senate race.

Back in 1990, no one expected Christine Todd Whitman to come within a whisker of unseating incumbent New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley.  Her low-budget campaign tying the popular Democrat to the unpopular tax-hiking Governor Jim Florio paid off.  “Two weeks before the election, Mr. Bradley had held a wide lead in the polls. . . .   His final margin of victory was 55,180 votes out of 1.9 million cast.“  Three years later, Mrs. Whitman would unseat Florio.

We’ve heard of the woes of Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha so his defeat, while welcome, wouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

I have a sense we’re in for some surprises, likely Republicans doing better that we fear, just wish I could identify them so come next Wednesday people would praise me for me foresight.  :-)

Do y’all have any idea what surprises might be in store for us?

And now, we’re getting to electoral crunch time when the Democrats invariably release their October surprise designed to blunt any Republican advantage in the campaign’s final days.  As polls show a tighter race, with undecideds possibly poised to break for McCain, this “surprise” could stop any stop any last minute surge to the Republican.

Let’s hope that should there be such a surprise, the McCain camp and its allies are ready to counter it.

To Democratic Ticket:
Raising Taxes=Patriotism, Opposing High Taxes=Selfish

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:26 pm - October 31, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

Remember, back in September, when Joe Biden said that increasing taxes on the most productive members of our society was patriotic?

Well, now his running mate has done him one better, calling those who oppose higher taxes selfish.

Seems the Democrats believe the only way we can serve our country is by being forced to give an ever increasing share of our income to the government.  And the only way we can serve others is by having the government do it for us.

How many people oppose higher taxes so they can better decide the charities to support with their disposable income?  Given the greater alacrity of Republicans to donate to charities than Democrats, it doesn’t seem we’re entirely selfish in wanting to prevent the government from taking our money.

With the Democrats’ rhetoric on taxes, it becomes increasingly clear that they see government as the solution to all our problems.  The more we hear them speak, the clearer it becomes how little confidence they have in the American people and the private institutions we have established not just to provide essential products and services, but also to help the less fortunate and otherwise improve our society.

Like Carter in ’76, Obama Makes Lots of Promises
Unlike Him, Begins Breaking Them Before Election

During the 1976 campaign, Jimmy Carter became renowned for all the promises he made.  Likely aware of this when he conceded defeat four years later he began by acknowledging the one promise he did keep, that he wouldn’t lie to the American people.

Well, it seems yet another Democratic candidate for president has made a similar raft of promises.  Jack Tapper lists those he made just yesterday in Sarasota, Florida (via Instapundit).

Carter didn’t keep most of his promises.

In 1976, however, as the untested Georgian made his pitch to the American people, voters had no way of knowing that.  Carter appeared on the scenes as a contrast to Richard Nixon, the memory of whose duplicity was still fresh in Americans’ minds.  The Democrat who had never worked in Washington, appeared honest and trustworthy.  People thought they could take him at his word.

In contrast to Carter, even accepting the Democratic nomination for President, Obama had already begun breaking his promises.  If he can’t keep a promise he made about the way he was going to campaign, how can we trust him to keep the promises he has made about how he’s going to run the country?

How Many Obama Supporters Will Switch to McCain?

Since the mortgage meltdown last month, I’d always thought a good number of those who then switched to Obama as the candidate of the party out of power would take a second look at the Democrat and return to the Republican fold.  With increasing evidence of Obama’s redistributionist ethic, they have greater reason to fear the economic policies he would enact if elected.

Other voters who had long opted for Obama as a change after eight years of a Republican president, or because they were impressed by his presence or due to economic anxieties, might, in the end, have concerns about his readiness to lead.  At the last minute, they could switch to McCain as a Democratic friend of mine switched to Bush just a few days before the 2004 general election.

With Joe the Plumber’s help, John McCain has finally found his footing on economic issues.  That has helped him better articulate an economic message while rattling Obama supporters.  Indeed, it caused one former Obama speechwriter, Wendy Button, to switched to John McCain.

While Button had been having doubts about the Democrats since the summer, it was the party’s treatment of Joe the Plumber which finally turned her:

The final straw came the other week when Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (a.k.a Joe the Plumber) asked a question about higher taxes for small businesses. Instead of celebrating his aspirations, they were mocked. He wasn’t “a real plumber,” and “They’re fighting for Joe the Hedge-Fund manager,” and the patronizing, “I’ve got nothing but love for Joe the Plumber.”

. . . .

The party I believed in wouldn’t look down on working people under any circumstance. And Joe the Plumber is right. This is the absolutely worst time to raise taxes on anyone: the rich, the middle class, the poor, small businesses and corporations.

Will Joe the Plumber’s message–and the treatment he suffered from the Democrats–resonate with other Obama supporters?  Will, in the campaign’s final days, will other less prominent supporters follow Button’s lead and switch to John McCain?

I would expect that there will be some, but wonder if it will be enough to make a difference. John McCain can only help himself–and our nation–by hitting the economic message as he has these past few days, talking about our party’s respect for the common working man and woman, how we celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship, how we resent excessive regulation and out-of-control spending.

The Republican message still resonates with the American people. We just need a good messenger.

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A reader alerted me to a blog post quoting another Obama aide wary about her one-time candidate.  Because I can’t confirm her identity, I include an excerpt from her post below the “jump.” (more…)