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Hope in West Hollywood

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:28 pm - November 3, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,LA Stories

Just returned from Trader Joe’s. As I was putting my groceries into the car, I chanced on a McCain sticker in the windshield of the car next to mine.  At the same moment, the owner of this vehicle was returning to his car, the same guy who stood behind me in the checkout line.

He and his wife were delighted to meet another Republican from the neighborhood.

It just seeming so uncanny that of the all the cars to park next to mine in a crowded parking lot would be another McCain supporter in a town as full of Obama-supporters as this one.

And this wasn’t the only good sign today, I learned that a friend who had voted for Obama in the Democratic primary may well be leaning towards McCain, admiring the Republican’s service to our country and concerned about his opponent’s tax plan.

Obama’s “Coolness” Key to His Success?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:54 pm - November 3, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Economy,Leadership

When John McCain suspended his candidacy last September to respond to the financial crisis, my gut feeling was that it was foolhardy.  Later, as I read a few blogs, I saw the rationale behind it so that by the time I weighed in, I had “mixed feelings.”  At the end of the day, I thought McCain’s bold action showed his leadership qualities, a man wanting to be in arena, fighting for his fellow Americans, the country he loves.

He did succeed in getting negotiators to include proposals from House Republicans, making the final package more palatable to conservatives.  But, this demonstration of leadership hurt him politically, perhaps dealing a fatal blow to his campaign.

Commenting last month on the campaign suspension in the context of McCain’s reaction to the financial, Peter Wehner wrote:

Senator McCain, desperate to do something to change the trajectory of the race, ended up acting in ways that deepened the public’s doubts about him. And Senator Obama, while contributing absolutely nothing to the policy debate and constantly invoking Warren Buffett’s support, looked smooth and unflappable in the process.

In reflecting on McCain’s actions–and Obama’s–it seems the Republican wanted to govern, the Democrat to campaign. And that did not play out as I had thought it would.  The American people did not recognize McCain’s commitment to action.  They saw instead Obama’s appearance of leadership.

Michael Barone offers perhaps the best summary of Obama’s success since then:

Yet the narrow lead that McCain had after the conventions vanished (if the tracking polls can be trusted) precisely on September 18, the day that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke observed a coagulation of credit that threatened to bring down the economy and, in response, advanced the 1.0 version of their financial bailout/rescue package.

In the days that followed, voters seemed to be unnerved by McCain’s impulsiveness and reassured by Obama’s calmness. A majority reverted to the default mode of those long-ago days before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary: In bad times, throw the candidate of the in party out and put the candidate of the out party in.

Yet, Obama’s calmness masked his own indecision.  He didn’t know what to do and deferred to Democrats in Congress. Obama benefited by being cool and by heading the ticket of the party out of power.

McCain suffered by appearing impulsive and by leading the the ticket of the party in power. As a result, Bruce Kesler believes, the Republican nominee “earned none of the points he should have for trying to tackle the credit-economic meltdown, even by comparison to Obama’s passivity.

Obama may have appeared cool, but he did nothing.  He is a master of appearances.  And that’s what his potential victory tomorrow troubles me.  Appearing calm in a crisis is one thing, a requisite, to be sure, for a leader.  But, leaders have to do something.  And in the most recent crisis, Obama deferred to others.

A president can’t do that.  He has to act.  Lacking experience in positions of executive authority, Obama has not provided us any clues how he would respond to a crisis.

Obama Can’t Keep His Promises, Keeps Changing his Mind

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:55 pm - November 3, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Obama Watch

Over at The Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty observes that all Barack Obama’s promises have an expiration date:  “Consumers should be aware that promises, pledged, and soul-healing rhetoric are only effective for a limited time; upon expiration they become ‘just words.’

Jim then lists the various statements and promises the Democrat made, followed by the expiration date, when he changed his mind.  (Just read the whole thing to see how this sort of behavior defines the Illinois Senator.)

In another post, Jim links what he calls Mary Katharine Ham’s “YouTube Masterpiece” on the flip-flops which “triggered” his post.  Putting this together, this blogress found

. . . surprising, even to someone who’s followed the entire presidential race in great detail, the extent to which Obama has gotten away with blatant position switches, political opportunism, and outright lying while floating above us all as the post-partisan redeemer of America.

To show you just how opportunistic this Democrat is, watch the video:

Like Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama has made lots of promises. The Georgia Democrat didn’t keep many of his, but at least he waited until after his election to start breaking them. How can we trust a man to lead who can’t keep his word?

What does it say about a man’s ability to lead when he switches stands in order to tack to prevailing political winds?

John McCain & Improving Situation for Gays in GOP

In making his case for John McCain, Dale Carpenter notes some of the Republican’s flaws, but gets at the essence of his appeal to gay conservatives, offering that “As the practical differences on gay issues get smaller, non-gay issues grow in salience:”

You wouldn’t know it by listening to gay pundits and organizations, but McCain is the most gay-friendly Republican presidential nominee ever. That’s not just faint praise. Despite election-season pandering to the religious right, he’s not one of them and they know it. He has openly gay staffers and campaign officials. He has defended his gay colleagues in public office against attacks by religious conservatives. The convention that nominated him was free of anti-gay rhetoric. Even marriage, long a crowd-pleaser, was rarely mentioned. In fact, 49 percent of the delegates to the GOP convention supported civil unions or gay marriage. And unlike Bush in 2004, McCain’s campaign has not exploited homophobia.

The most gay-friendly Republican presidential nominee ever? And yet still we gay McCain supporters experience the worst vitriol we have seen in fifteen years.

It doesn’t seem some of these gay pundits and organizations are much interested in a Republican’s record on gay issues, they’re just focused on that annoying (R) after his name. It somehow causes them to writhe in agony and fall into paroxysms of anger.

Dale makes a great case for John McCain and shows how frequently the gay media got this good man wrong. In short, he’s good for gay Americans because he’s good for all Americans.

Will Joe Biden Please Explain what “Girl-Boy” Is

Last month in Reno, Nevada, Sarah Palin quipped, “The most looming crisis that threatens Obama’s campaign right now is Joe Biden’s next speaking engagement.”  That threat might be greater if the media paid as much attention to Biden’s gaffes as they do to hers.

Just this morning in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee said:

My sister is smart, runs every one of my campaigns, is beautiful. Graduated with honors from college. Is homecoming queen, but shes a — she is what I call a girl-boy growing up, you know what I mean? And I tell you what. Girl-girls are tougher than girl-boys. But theres one important thing I noticed.

Huh?

What’s this guy saying? Can anyone parse this and tell me what he means?

Is a guy who says such things fit to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Why isn’t this less newsworthy than Palin’s comment about being able to see Russia from the state she governs?

With comments like this, you’d think Democrats would be rushing to vote for John McCain because they question the competence of Barack Obama’s choice of running mate.

Finally, if Sarah Palin had spoken so strangely about gender, the national gay organizations would be lining up to attack her, demand an apology and use it as proof of her bias against gay men, lesbians and transgenders.

Worst Vitriol against Gay Conservatives in 15 years

In their blind hatred of the GOP, many gay activists have missed one of the biggest stories impacting gay and lesbian Americans in this election.

While the Republican vice presidential nominee did indicate her support of a federal marriage amendment, on at least four occasions in this campaign, she has said we should treat gay and lesbian citizens fairly, not judging us by our difference.

At the same time, we’ve learned that when John McCain learns “a friend is gay, he says it doesn’t make any difference.”  The Republican nominee conducted an interview with the Washington Blade, “the first known time a Republican presidential nominee has agreed to an interview with a gay publication.”

And as I recounted in an essay for that paper, not only was I, an openly gay man, credentialed as press at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, but the GOP also made Log Cabin welcome there as well, even dispatching top campaign aides to their various events in the Twin Cities.

Despite this clear evidence of progress, Dale Carpenter wrote last month, “Time and again gay conservatives have been called self-hating, treasonous, and selfish. It’s the worst vitriol against gay conservatives I’ve seen in fifteen years in this movement.“  (Emphasis added.)  As with anything by Dale, just read the whole thing?

What explains this bile, this failure to see a Republican Party becoming increasingly open toward gay people?

I see it constantly in the comments to our blog, some so vicious I don’t approve them when they’re caught in our (increasingly capricious) spam filter (but do save them as .pdfs).  Why do these people hate us so?  Why do they persist in describing a Republican Party which may once have existed but lives now primarily in the fevered imaginations of its critics.

Why, if they claim to favor a society inclusive of gay people, do they fail to note increasing evidence of that inclusion?  Is it because they “need” an enemy to demonize and find villain in the GOP?

Is it that their partisanship defines them?

Presidential Election: Closer than it Ought to Be

With the financial crisis hitting seven weeks before the general election, it is amazing John McCain, the presidential nominee of the party in power, is still standing.  He may not win tomorrow, but, as Gerard Baker notes, “the presidential election still looks like being a closer contest than it has any right to be.”

Just look at the factors which work against the Arizona Senator:

  • He has struggled until the last weeks of the campaign to articulate a message on the chief issue of this campaign:  the economy.
  • Economic concerns always favor the party out of power.
  • The media have been in the tank for his opponent.
  • That opponent has outspent him by a considerable sum.

Baker again:

If this were a football [British for soccer] game, it would be one played on a field tilted at an angle of about 20 degrees, in which the teams did not change sides at half-time, and in which the one playing downhill had twice as many players on the field as its opponents, who, to make things a little bit more interesting, have bound their goalkeeper hand and foot to one of the goalposts. The final score? 3-2, after extra time.

Or put it another way: it has taken a mismanaged foreign policy that almost lost a war, a botched emergency response that almost lost a city, a Republican Party that almost lost its soul and an economic crisis that almost lost the country’s financial system to break the Republican stranglehold on the White House.

That a number of polls show this race tightening in the final days is either a tribute to John McCain’s strength of character or to concerns about his opponent’s associations and absence of experience. Or maybe people are finally recognizing that Obama’s attempts to style himself a moderate are just that. Attempts to cover up a partisan record. Nothing more than window-dressing.

That Obama continues to enjoy a lead in the polls suggests he has succeeded in redefining himself.  Despite his liberal record, he has sounded quite moderate on the hustings.

That the GOP still shows strength suggestsour ideas still resonate with the American people.  Had our leaders stayed truer to our principles, our fellow Americans might see the Democratic disarray and recognize how far their agenda is from our own.  Would it that that happen in the next twenty-four hours.

The Change we Really Need, not the Change Obama Offers

Last week in Columbia, Missouri, Barack Obama said, “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America,“  Hearing these words, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich remarked, “Notice he does not say he wants to change the government.  He says he wants to change America.”

Many Democrats agree that the American people don’t favor such a fundamental transformation. “Stan Greenberg, a prominent Democratic pollster, suggested . . . that voters are interested in Obama ‘because of his steadiness,’ and not because of his progressive agenda.

After a number of Bush Administration blunders in the past few years, leading even Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, to question the president’s competence as an executive.  Other conservatives offered similar criticisms.  No wonder the American people want a change.  Gerard Baker of London’s Times senses

that the change they want is for a welcome period of competence and decency. They would rather have a government that works than a new paradigm for the organisation of American society, a radical redistribution of income and wealth or a dramatically expanded public sector.

And yet with his promise to spread the wealth, offering “tax cuts” to those who don’t even pay taxes and promising to increase government spending, Obama is doing just that.  Americans want a more competent Administration, not a more expansive government.

The change Obama proposes is not the change we need.  Will the American people see past his slogan to understand that he doesn’t intend to merely restore competence to the federal government, but to fundamentally transform our nation?

(more…)

Of Sarah Palin’s Marriage — and her Strength

This campaign has perhaps seen more media bias than any previous contest for the White House.  But, of all the outrages committed by the mainstream media, few compare to their treatment of one of the most accomplished women in American politics, the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin.

In the media’s questions of the Alaska Governor, few television journalists have even asked her about her record, as if she were just a pretty face and her career a blank slate, save for the dirt they could dig up (or make up) from the Last Frontier.  Ask any person who gets his news from the MSM about her accomplishments and you’ll be met with a blank stare.

Yet, they do know that her daughter’s pregnant and the Republican National Committee (RNC) paid for her wardrobe.

Despite all the attacks she has endured, she has retained her poise on the campaign trail.  Quite a contrast to the opposing party’s standard bearer.  She doesn’t let the obsessive opposition and media obloquy get to her.

Heck, it seems to upset me more than it does her.

I think the reason she can be so strong in the face of such vitriol is that her marriage, like that of Ronald Reagan, truly centers her life.  Seeing her and Todd on stage together, one can feel their connection.  You know that man loves this woman and this woman that man.  While other politicians certainly love their spouses, few manifest it as readily as do the Palins.  And the Reagans.

Reagan also seemed unfazed by the vituperative vilification that defined much of the media reaction to his rise and election.  Today’s news reports notwithstanding, the Gipper suffered some pretty harsh blows from his political foes.  In 1988, John Kerry called the Reagan era “eight years of moral darkness.”

Just like Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan took it all in stride.  Perhaps, that’s because when a strong marriage anchors your life, you develop the strength to withstand all manner of insults.  Sarah Palin has that strength.

You’d think feminists would hold such a woman up as a model to which all women should aspire, standing tall even when others try to bring her down.

No wonder I love this lady.

UPDATE:  Just got Kimberley Strassel’s Wall Street Journal piece on her interview with Palin.  Excerpts below the jump. (more…)

Obama Surrogate: Obama Lacks Political Courage

In Boca Raton, Florida Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, defended Barack Obama’s membership in Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, but said the Democratic presidential nominee lacked political courage in not walking out when he heard that minister’s racist sermons:

If Obama’s political allies think he lacks political courage, what will our nation’s enemies think.

(Via Blogress Diva nominee Pamela at Atlas Shrugs who has more.)

UPDATE:  Jennifer Rubin has the transcript.