Friday, December 26, 2008
By Yomin Postelnik
Sunday, December 21, 2008
If one side is playing only (or primarily) defense and the other side has their offensive strategy down pat, the offensive team will almost always win spectacularly. That’s true in just about any field; business, national defense, exercise, politics, chess, you name it.
The inefficiency of the GOP to communicate its ideas to the public is now as legendary as it is shameful. In previous articles I’ve painstakingly pointed out how GOP policies have largely been correct, very often essentially so. As such, they are also quite easy to defend. Yet for some reason, sanity seems to have lost its voice with regard to the public perception of all major issues. For prime examples of how needed GOP policies are left to ridicule when the reasons for them should be comprehensible to a five year old, feel free to go over “What Republicans Must Do in 2008,” “Truth in Reporting – If Only We’d Insist On It” and “An Effective Conservative Response: Bush Haters Are Fools, Don’t Emulate Them .”
Enter a candidate who has yet to hold back a punch, a candidate who has routinely gone toe to toe with liberals on policy issues and has won the debate every time, winning the admiration of many of the most liberal residents of Broward County, Fla in the process. Conservatives and libertarian-minded people who attended his rallies or speeches saw in him the makings of the next Ronald Reagan. And, of course, what was the NRCC’s response to such a candidate? They ignored him. Now that he won 45% of the vote without one penny of their support or one minute of their help, past history dictates that the NRCC will finally give its attention to his 2010 race. If they don’t, then we as a party will have institutionalized idiocy, inefficiency and callousness from almost the top down.
Thankfully, Lt. Col. Allen West doesn’t care what these people do on a national level (though we who care about electing him and other like minded conservatives should). And because he doesn’t define his strategy by their support, he was able to mount a serious challenge to a Democratic incumbent in what was otherwise a Democrat blowout year. So watch out Congressman Ron Klein, 2010 is not your year and Allen West, a man who has rightly earned the title of General of Conservatism, is honing in on the conquest.
I’ve written a number of articles on Allen West since he first announced his long shot candidacy for Congress in 2007. He was unique among candidates in his ability to communicate conservative values and philosophy to mass groups. I attributed this ability to his sincerity and truthful dedication that is backed up by his record as a military hero with 20 years of service. Some of his ability to communicate also stems from his decision to dedicate his first year out of the military to teaching high school, foregoing far more lucrative lines of work to make a difference in his community. In 2007 he was a long shot. But what a long shot worth covering.
Well, now the rest is history. Allen West is a long shot no more. On election night, the only surprise on the Republican side (and the local media actually used the word “surprise” to describe the Klein-West results) was that a first time GOP candidate who had been in the race for less than a year had earned 45% of the vote. This was in spite of receiving no help from the national party and not regarding the fact that so many other Democratic incumbents had just received far more votes than they’d ever received before (in the district neighboring West’s, the Democratic incumbent actually received between four and five times his average number of votes) due to huge turnouts for Obamania (a phenomenon that West appropriately terms “the election of a prom king”). And now, after his spectacular performance, West is clearly the odds on favorite to win in 2010.
Our party needs national spokespeople who can defend the simple and rational truths of conservatism. It is far too long that 90% of those who are given the task of representing our side in media interviews are unable to articulate even the most basic reasons for our viewpoints. This should never have been the case and for whatever reason it is, our monumental PR calamity needs to stop now.
We can turn things around. Michael Steele’s convention speech this summer ended in a rallying cry. Hopefully he will be the next RNC Chair. Mike Huckabee is reaching out to voters every week, in an effective way that will enlarge our base and further our goals and Carly Fiorina is fast becoming a national voice of reason on economic concerns.
But what this party needs more than anything are people who the public can relate to, candidates who provide common sense and a clear message at a time that many of the leading voices in our nation seem to have lost all reason. For this, the Republican Party has no better voice than a military hero, a consistent voice on national security and a high school teacher who inspired students to national service and toward their own self betterment. In short, what this party, indeed what this nation needs is Allen West.
I would urge fellow conservatives to get involved in this most crucial campaign by going to www.allenwestforcongress.com or his Facebook page here.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
President-elect Obama can and must take a harsh stand against the terrorists who are behind the bombings in Mumbai. Words alone will not stop them. Swift and steady action will. For the President-elect to advocate bold reprisal would be immensely beneficial to the nation as well as to his own stature and reputation. Doing so would rightly earn him much bipartisan praise. More importantly, it would deter terrorists from any plans they may have of exploiting the weaknesses of a new administration.
It is far more crucial, however, for President Bush to immediately announce a cooperative military effort with India to attack the terrorist groups responsible for the massacre. Assistance may come in the form of military equipment, personnel or financing. Any such proposal would almost definitely be welcomed by the Indian government. What is imperative, not just for India, but for the safety of the entire Western world, is that such a plan be announced publicly and acted upon immediately.
Let there be no doubt. The attacks in Mumbai were an attack on America. American, British and Israeli citizens were targeted for kidnapping. Moreover, the attack, launched in India’s financial capital, was an attack on the entire Western world. If the West goes into recession, India will be a rare light on a bleak financial horizon. The terrorists would much rather see China or Russia take a dominant role on the world economic stage, not India, a nation that has fought the battle against radical Jihad for decades.
Russia’s only battle with Islamic extremism is one that it itself provoked (with the Afghan invasion). China’s problems with jihadists exist, but they are minimal. Both are amenable to working with extreme Islamic governments, be they Shiite or be they headed by radical Sunni factions. India, which has been in a struggle with radical Islam since the 1946 Muslim League resolution to separate from British India and that has battled would be Islamic conquerors since medieval times, has no interest in working with radical jihadist regimes.
Let there also be no doubt that if we fail to respond, the bombings in Mumbai can act as a prelude to similarly styled horrific strikes here on our shores. As this column is being written, the FBI has already picked up on a plan to bomb New York City subways. And while that plot may have been foiled, we cannot expect to foil each and every plot all the time. Only swift reprisal abroad can ensure our survival at home.
One important fact must be made clear to every American. It is one that President Bush has been mindful of (and we can only hope that so has President-elect Obama – and now is the time for him to show it). The single most effective move that this administration has undertaken to ensure America’s safety was the overthrow of two sympathetic regimes in the aftermath of 9/11. The message was clear: “If you attack us, we’ll take out your supporters and allies.” And so the Taliban, which harbored al-Qaeda; and Saddam, who sent money to families of suicide bombers, were removed from power. Islamic extremists a world over decided that they’d prefer not to have a repeat.
If President-elect Obama reacts, it will send a clear signal that even the left understands what needs to be done to defend the homeland. But if President Bush doesn’t react, publicly and demonstrably, if he does not publicly announce a cooperative plan with India to physically strike the terrorist groups responsible for the Mumbai massacres, it will send a far worse message; that even the right has abandoned the struggle.
Why are the actions of an outgoing President more crucial than the policy course being pursued by an incoming administration; policies that are designed to affect the next four years? The answer is simple:
If an Obama administration pursues a naïve and dangerous policy of appeasement, it will be opposed at every turn by what will inevitably be a strong and growing Republican right. The American people will not put up with repeated attacks and every time a western country has tried to negotiate or seek compromise with terrorists, the result has been a steep increase in attacks in order to secure even further concessions. This concept is considered as fact by federal negotiators, which is why their protocol forbids them to acquiesce to the demands of terrorists during an attack. The same holds true on the national level.
Just take Israel as an example. According to figures obtained from Peace Watch, a non-partisan watchdog group charged with monitoring compliance with Mideast peace agreements, in 1992, the year before the Oslo Accords, 39 Israelis were killed in terror attacks (an increase from 26 the year before, when a center right government was in place). That number increased to 73 in the year following the Accords and only receded upon the election of a tougher government under Benjamin Netanyahu (dropping to 31 in 1997). Attacks increased again in 2000, when then Prime Minister Ehud Barak agreed to negotiate further land for peace deals. If the history of the radical Islamic conquests of Africa and Europe are to teach us nothing (other than the fact that no country is immune), let us at least take those recent figures as an example of the pitfalls of appeasement.
So if President-elect Obama shows weakness in the face of terror, the opposition will quickly grow to a level that cannot be ignored. But if President Bush, a man who is viewed as “the” leader of the war on terror fails to act now, it will send a signal that even the right has lost its way and that no side is willing to take up the fight. We as a nation cannot allow for that to happen.
President-elect Obama can confound the critics, present company included. He can urge the Bush administration to react swiftly and decisively. In so doing, he will be considered to have taken part in the mission. In so doing, he can prove us at least partially wrong, and earn our thanks and goodwill. But if President Bush does not react, we are in far more serious peril than we could ever imagine.
And so, I will end off with an appeal to President Bush: Mr. President, no leader has shown a greater determination to fight America’s enemies or to protect this nation from terror than have you. For almost eight years you have resisted the voices of those who favored political expediency over national survival. While I know that you require no encouragement to do what is needed in defense of our homeland, I also recognize that any parting administration is loath to engage in new projects of any magnitude. Still, I and many supporters have full confidence that you will do what is needed to protect America, a mission that will, in retrospect, go hand in hand with any historical depiction of your administration. Indeed, it is within your grasp to ensure that the term “Bush administration” is one day viewed as being synonymous with the words “American safety.”
Mr. President, while you have stood up and faced the task of keeping this nation safe time and time again, the events of the last few days may well be the greatest and most formative challenge of your administration. These latest events may well be your defining moment and if history is to provide any indication, you are more than up to the task.
As a parting note, I would ask readers to contact the White House (email@example.com) and encourage the President to once again do what is needed to safeguard the nation. It pains me to pressure a leader who has shown tremendous dedication to our national security, to the point of putting his entire political career on the line for our safety. But the pressures against him are strong and he needs to hear our voices. When all things are considered, there are only three words that terrorists understand: Swift American Reprisal.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
As Conservatives in
Consider the Mulroney years. Even the Liberals eventually realized that from a policy standpoint, the plat
But none of the above stopped the venomous hatred of the left from being spewed at him. His government, much as is the case with any administration not deemed worthy of endorsement by the left, was set aside
The same phenomenon of all out media attack turning into baseless public loathing was seen more recently in the recent American elections. While Canadian Conservatives, overall, have more differences than similarities with American conservatism, both are the same in one regard (one that they share with British Tories and indeed with the conservative movements of all Western countries): Intense and constant opposition on the part of the left with complete complicity on the part of the media.
Liberals do not temper criticism of American conservatives with acknowledgement that conservative policy has kept the country safe
The media onslaught of the Mulroney years and the over the top criticism of American conservatives (to the point of ridiculous insinuations that offend logic if said of anyone short of Pol Pot) took its toll on public perception. And what is painfully evident is that it doesn’t matter how right or left leaning the conservatives in question are. Your plat
If coverage of the Conservative convention is any hint, the media masses are at it again. Every party holds strategic meetings and unless their members are insane, those meetings are held behind closed doors. It’s what prevents minute by minute internal debate possibly peppered with insults from being reported on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, You Name It campaigns. It’s what prevents any strategy session from being twisted to sound like a gathering of
It doesn’t matter that at the same time as the media is trying to portray the entire event as a closed door session, they somehow manage to report on every aspect of the floor debate, where key policy is
But Conservatives need to point this out. They need to call a spade a spade, a Liberal lacking, and a reporter a hypocrite.
Countering a media onslaught requires more than this. Even if the party constantly calls out every case of media idiocy, they who control the message are more powerful. Direct addresses to the nation works somewhat, but must be extremely limited, especially in a country where such messages are not the norm.
Conservatives need to do much more if they are not to suffer the same fate that they have met be
· Whenever a pressing issue arises, do find a way to address the public directly. While few will take kindly to their primetime programming or sports game being interrupted, many would be willing to watch at a time when relatively little else is on. Do this in tandem with a radio address. You won’t get most people, but you will get many. Far more will be aware (and will share your points with their friends) than are now. As well, the media will be harder pressed not to ignore your side of the issue. After all, there’s only so much distortion that can be done repeatedly to publicly aired press conferences. If mass distortion does take place, appeal to the public to watch one
· Shock the nation – Look
· *This one is key – Mobilize a grassroots movement of supporters to refute the insanity of the other side. Get them to spread key counterpoints to their friends and to local media. This is done more easily today than ever be
The last point needs to be comprised of several activities:
- Organize lists of supporters by riding. Call them (direct contact is needed, and this task can be accomplished by riding boards, with national direction) and ask each of them to learn the reasons
for conservative policy from the points outlined in emails to supporters. Ask them to share those points with friends.
- Provide each person recruited by their riding board with a list of emails (or submission websites) to their local print, radio and TV media. Include contact in
fo for national media as well. Appeal to them strongly to take action and to write letters. Even most supporters won’t do so unless urged repeatedly.
- Concentrate this ef
fort on large metropolitan ridings where national media can be reached, but don’t forget or leave out the smaller ridings in any way, even those ridings where Conservatives haven’t traditionally done well.
- Reach out to college students and
form active college groups. Share your talking points with them and encourage the officers of each group to spread the message to all who are interested. Fund this ef fort with gatherings/parties that will attract new members or questioning undecideds. It will pay off in the short as well as long term.
- Reach out to all ethnic groups individually. Start a dialogue with their leaders and explain how Conservative solutions are best
for society and for their communities. Solicit the support of those who are receptive and guide them with talking points and events planning (such as a meet and greet with their local candidate and with national leaders) for their community.
Conservatives have to cultivate a broad base of supporters who understand the reason
Friday, November 07, 2008
A number of crazed Obama fans in
Here’s my response. The sad thing is this is no laughing matter.
And new, from the Obama Store, we present to you:
Baby Hugo cries and wets his pants whenever the Chinese Communists aren't around. Pull the string and cuddly Baby Hugo says "Me Love Ahmadinejad."
And now there's change. So the Obama Store presents:
Baby Hugo 2.0
Baby Hugo 2.0 is older, wiser and comes with a little Baby Book called “new
Buy the Baby Hugo 2.0 dolls at the Obama store now. Buy today, be
New, from Mattel. Brought to you by the hapless Republican PR machine and millions of American Idol voters who actually made it to the polls after losing the number to text message in their vote
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Any economy has its ups and downs. But the correlation between lower taxes and job growth, economic stability and even increased government revenue is documentable. It’s economic fact; when you lower taxes, you free up revenue. This allows businesses to expand, thereby creating jobs and greater tax revenue overall. This has been proven every time that it’s been tried. It’s what was largely responsible
Even the mortgage crisis can and should be laid squarely at the feet of the Democrats. Not only was it they who rebuffed Republican ef
But ask a man on the street and more than likely he’ll give you another reason
Why is this? The question does not even need to be asked. The obvious answer is the lack of able PR coming from our side.
While President Bush has been, contrary to conventional opinion (opinion that will change within months of his departure from office), an able leader on defense and on many economic issues, he has never been allowed to communicate the true reasons
President Bush’s actions will speak louder than the words of his opponents. But this will only be apparent upon retrospect. And when it does, it will not automatically translate into confidence in just any Republican, especially not in one who cannot communicate to voters. To win the confidence of the American people, the next standard bearer of the GOP must be a sincere and able communicator. Fortunately, our party has someone who fits that mold.
Gov. Huckabee was relatively unknown when the manner in which he connected with voters, his sincerity and his steady determination caught on. But being relatively unknown, far less conservative competitors were able to raise doubts about his fiscal conservatism.
But his record shows another story. Gov. Huckabee is a true fiscal as well as a social conservative. The programs he proposed, such as arts education, a program that has been shown to be effective at reducing drop out levels and lowering teen crime, were qualitative, not costly in nature. In fact, dating as far back to his first years in office, Gov. Huckabee pushed
But the key to a Huckabee candidacy in 2012 is his ability to connect with voters. He does this without compromising his conservative principles. Indeed, he articulates them with a clarity that allows others to see where we’re coming from on key issues. If the GOP’s biggest problem has been its inability to communicate, then common sense dictates that it nominate a candidate who excels in this area. Huckabee is among the best we have and his candidacy would propel us farther than would any other.
A Huckabee candidacy would solve the GOP’s greatest problem. Were President-elect Obama to try to paint GOP policies as being harmful
By connecting with voters, by explaining policy in ways they understand, and by demonstrating his sincerity and his unwavering commitment to core values, Gov. Huckabee is best prepared to lead the GOP and to advance conservative principles, principles that he has successfully
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Far more important than congratulating the new President-elect, is to give him the advice he needs to guide this nation well. He may not take it. In large part, I suspect he won’t. And that would be both his loss and that of the nation. But it is our duty as citizens to give it, and sometimes doing so may have a beneficial effect upon the nation’s wellbeing.
Much of President-elect Obama’s rhetoric shows that he naively believes that negotiation with terrorists will solve the world’s problems. He has yet to learn that such action only emboldens them. We must be vocal reminders of same.
President-elect Obama also risks falling
Another key demographic that will play
Along those lines, I’d like to offer a few suggestions:
President-elect Obama, if you are serious about bringing change and expanding minority opportunity then demand that financial literacy be a part of every high school curriculum, so that graduating students have some business skills and understand the pitfalls of credit, as well as the tangible benefits of hard work and savings. To this end I’d be happy to donate a course I wrote on this subject to the cause.
Then take the advice and idea of Dr. Marion Thorpe,
Then switch the
Note that these are conservative ideas and implementing them would be the conservative thing to do. Conservatism is the most compassionate philosophy and one that produces the most beneficial results. Not nanny-statism.
Additionally, President-elect Obama, and this part is more controversial, show political courage in defense of minorities and speak out against Planned Parenthood’s targeting of Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. I understand that you are pro-choice and that you have no intention of switching sides on this issue, but certainly you are not pro-abortion. You must at least wish to reduce the number of abortions. Certainly you object to the targeting and destruction of the potential birth of the next great moralist, scientist, educator or even the next minority President by a group that targets minorities
Lastly, be fair to those who oppose you. You would do yourself no favor by being anything but, nor would you be serving your own political interests. Strongly resist any temptation to deviate from this precept. Your leadership and your legacy will be judged accordingly.
And now some advice to fellow conservatives:
Guide this man. Make it very well known when you are doing so, so that the left can’t take credit
If Democrats had supported the President, President Bush, on
Let us not be like them,
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Then there was early voting in
During the wait, someone with a certain temporary and minor physical disability pulled up in a car with a McCain bumper sticker. She saw the line and thought of coming back the next day. Several people who had been waiting
Our volunteers in
So what’s happening? Why are the polls wrong?
80% OF THOSE ASKED TO BE POLLED REFUSE TO RESPOND
Now most people who are asked to respond to a poll refuse. But that number has traditionally been about 66%. Most of those are Republican and the increase in that number can be attributed almost exclusively to McCain supporters. When the media portrays a candidate as being hip and labels all kinds of accusations against all who refuse to support him, those who aren’t supportive will be incensed and will rally to vote against him, but they will keep it to themselves.
Many who are phoned also wonder whether the dialer is really a polling firm. They are apprehensive, especially given the heavy handed tactics employed by the Obama campaign and by its supporters (see below).
EXIT POLLS WILL HAVE THIS EFFECT ON AN EVEN WORSE LEVEL
There’s another reason why people are hesitant to answer polls. Obama’s supporters seem especially crazed this year. They are made up of more loud and threatening college activists, wannabe hippees and the like than in any year since ’72. Even during the primaries, there were reports of physical fights between Obama supporters and those who supported
This has nothing to do with race. Many of my Black friends, most of whom vote Democrat, have crossed over and an actively supporting McCain. They simply do not believe the hype about Obama, and are offended by it.
The refusal of McCain supporters to respond to exit polls will have everything to do with the heavy handed tactics of Obama supporters, including the incessant demeanor many of them portray when canvassing neighborhoods and asking people to put up yard signs.
Generally speaking, don’t expect mild people to be tremendously vocal. But do expect them to turn out the vote.
IN THE END WE’LL WIN – EVERYTHING LOOKS THAT WAY ON THE GROUND
In 2004, pretty close to the end, Zogby predicted 311 electoral votes
The large and unusual amount of McCain supporters I was privileged to witness at early voting were almost all quiet or hushed in their support. Most would probably be apprehensive about announcing their selection in public, which is exactly what you do when responding to an exit poll. Many of these polls are conducted within earshot of voter lines and people worry about a few of the frenzied Obama supporters, like the ones we see shoving past security guards on televised rallies. Many were canvassed by pretty insistent Obama workers and some would just rather avoid any possibility of an argument. For these reasons, exit polls will be meaningless.
As the night goes on, it will be clear that the real votes do not match the polls. John McCain will win. This has nothing to do with race. If one campaign has student activists/other activist types and puts them at the
We will pray and do everything we can to ensure that the better candidate prevails. And on the ground, the situation is the exact opposite of how the media’s portraying it. John McCain is winning.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Let there be no mistake. While a capital gains rate increase would hurt American corporations, and there
There are other economic reasons to support John McCain. It is no secret that our economy faces some serious tough times and that concrete, well thought out real results are needed. It is there
In his unwavering battle against reckless spending, Sen. McCain has often
It should be emphasized that Sen. McCain’s abhorrence of spending should not be viewed lightly. According to non-partisan federal budgetary agencies, the
Central to his economic proposals is the fact that he recognizes the need to re
John McCain is also the only candidate who can work with both parties in Congress to actually achieve economic change. He enjoys wide respect that crosses party lines. This is largely because his proposals are reasonable and widely recognized as being needed.
Furthermore, under the Obama plan, payroll taxes would increase
In short, based on his 25 year consistent record of fighting wasteful spending, the fact that his economic program is innovative and hits on all major economic issues facing
Saturday, November 01, 2008
The media, however, isn’t. How can they turn a blind eye as Obama has a team of prosecutors and sheriffs in Missouri threatening to prosecute anyone who airs ads against their candidate which they deem to be untrue? Note that Obama has taken great liberties to try to distort statements made about him by McCain as being untrue. His objection to anything unfavorable as being “false” is a prelude to what he and his team would go after in their quest to stifle debate. Can there be a bigger challenge to free speech?
It is also worth mentioning that their call to action comes at the same time as the Obama campaign is airing ads throughout the Northeast saying that McCain and Palin would ban all stem cell research. I’d point out that no one wants to “ban” “all” stem cell research. In fact, President Bush, someone considerably to the right of McCain, is the first president to fund any embryonic stem cell research at all. President Clinton deferred the issue over possible moral objections, leaving it to the current administration to determine proper ethical grounds. And the current Administration did not “ban” research on existing lines, they just did not allocate grants for it.
The Obama campaign is threatening to sue television stations in Pennsylvania if they air negative ads about him. And what is the reaction of Chris Matthews, who is looking to run for the US Senate in Pennsylvania in 2010? Well, don’t ask him. He’s too busy offering sickeningly vivid renditions of how Obama makes him feel. Here’s a message to Chris: If you can’t stand up for free speech and against what can only be called thuggery, then you have no business even being a reporter. Forget about holding public office.
And it doesn’t stop there. Just this morning the Obama campaign removed reporters for three newspapers from its campaign. The three papers, the NY Post, the Dallas Morning News and the Washington Times had all endorsed McCain. If McCain pulled a similar stunt he’d be left without any of the mainstream media, who have sold whatever journalistic integrity they had left as they fight for their beloved orator of the Greek Temple.
Can we believe that this is what journalism has come to?
As for the news media themselves, certain reporters with a conscious have been able to examine the dangers of the wholesale sellout to Obama on the part of their industry. Notable thanks goes to Michael Malone of ABC who has shown himself to be a true journalist, and therefore writes that he’s embarrassed by recent media coverage to identify himself as same.
A free press allows for access to information. A press that turns the other way as freedom of speech is run roughshod over endangers the public. The effect upon the public interest can be devastating and we have a moral duty to stand up against this.
And here’s what the McCain campaign needs to do:
In the last days, go after Obama’s insane attack on civil rights and on free speech. Make an issue out of his supporters’ attacks on Joe the Plumber, an average man who dared to ask Obama a question he did not like. Expose the thuggish tactics of his so called “Truth Squad” in Missouri and his threats upon the free press in Pennsylvania.
Then point out that the capital gains rates under the Obama plan would first and foremost affect seniors who are living on their meager retirement savings. Capital gains rates do affect the middle class. McCain-Palin: Expose the Obama pipedream for what it is, in ways that the public can understand.
Note: In recent days I’ve had the opportunity to visit several key battleground areas first hand. The situation on the ground is far more pro-McCain than the media would have you believe. Things look good for our side.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
And here’s another prediction. If the pompous cast of liberals at ABC are still made up of the same group of clueless windbags in 2016, the Democrats will be the hands down winners of the entire debating season. In fact, if Robert Byrd, Barney Frank, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi ever form their own baseball team, you may as well cancel the World Series, as the outcome will be a foregone conclusion, at least in the eyes of the media. Indeed, who needs Roger Clemens at the mound when you can have Charlie Rangel?
Among the past debates that Democrats “won,” at least as far as the talking heads were concerned, was the second Reagan-Mondale debate, the one in which President Reagan decided “not to capitalize on the youth and inexperience of (his) opponent.” That debate is legendary now, and not exactly as a smashing success for Mondale. But at the time, the network pundits declared Fritz the winner.
Here’s another debate that the talking heads once saw fit to award the Democrats: The 1980 debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, the “there you go again” debate. Yes, I’m serious. No, I’m not drunk. Neither were they. They’re just media liberals.
The agenda driven crowd also gave Al Gore the win in all three debates in 2000, and this great victory helped Al Gore go from plus 8 in the polls to minus 4 during the same time period. In 2004 they rightly awarded the first debate to John Kerry, but then wrongly awarded the last two to him as well. Their analysis that year is even more shocking than their 1980 call when one watches the third debate in that series (the one in which Kerry attacks Cheney’s daughter as Bush delivers the funniest line in recent presidential sparring history).
Which brings us to last night’s debate:
McCain rocked the house.
Yes, he could have done more. He should have exposed Obama’s “tax cut” to 95% of Americans as the lie that it is. Yes, the marginal rates would be cut under the current incarnation of Obama’s proposal, but anyone earning slightly over 100K would see a 6% tax increase on part of their earnings and who knows how much seniors and anyone who owns stock would have to pay on their investment savings. Families selling their primary home after less than two years would also face higher taxes. And that’s just the beginning.
Similarly, when Obama made the outlandish claim that that McCain’s $5,000 tax rebate for purchase of health insurance amounts to “one hand giveth and the other hand taketh” or some other spin, McCain should have told Obama that he was “almost as funny and as big a distortion as your economic package is, Senator,” or something along that line. It is spin. The McCain plan gives people $5,000 to purchase $2,000 or so of insurance. Only the most elaborate plans in the nation would receive a net negative. The average American would save thousands. Of course, expect Obama to try to block that in the Senate, assuming he isn’t offered a more attractive position from his friends in the Weather Underground.
All in all, McCain’s attacks need to be sharper and more on point, especially when countering those lies with the simple truth. And yes, he must strive to do so in the last debate. After all, it’s not “simple truth” if it’s not simple.
But that doesn’t change the following:
- McCain was sharper, livelier and more pronounced at all times than Obama, the latter giving off the impression that someone had been short on Nyquil the night before (though even Obama looked positively vigorous compared with Biden last week, who also “won” his debate according to ABC - which he did if his goal was to drag his ticket down, as shown by the CBS poll conducted in its aftermath)
- McCain, not Obama, hit hard on foreign policy and came across as a real Commander in Chief. Add to that; one who shows understanding and caring for our soldiers on the ground
- McCain, not Obama, was the only one to offer anything of substance on the economy. Even the talking heads marveled over this fact, saying that McCain’s new proposal would be tomorrow’s headlines. Of course, they still saw no irony in giving the night to Obama
- McCain was in touch with voters while Obama’s performance was more robotic than even the general demeanor of his Obamaton followers, assuming that such a thing is possible.
All in all, McCain was in control, had clear ideas and connected with voters. Obama, in turn, allowed chronic insomniacs to get a good night’s sleep. And that was his only accomplishment in last night’s debate.
As for the media, don’t worry. If Dan Quayle had been a Democrat in 1988, Lloyd Bentsen would have been said to have “blown it” with “an over the top attack” in “one of the worst displays of presidential politics.”
At least the media is finally getting their act together. In 2000 and 2004 they awarded 5 out of 6 debates to Bush (all but the 1st in 2004), only to change their minds hours later. This year, they know that the Greek templed one must not be denied his (perceived) victory for even one minute. The trouble for them is that no one is paying attention to their amateurish analysis antics any more. And that’s good news for
Judicial activism threatens innocents. Allowing a judge to be biased and to administer revenge for a previous acquittal, no matter what the circumstances, is a dangerous precedent that threatens innocents as well. It’s judicial activism run amok and amounts to the shirking of the important duty of judges, those whose responsibility it is to uphold the laws and the tenets that the Founding Fathers saw fit to ensure as a safeguard for innocents.
If any defendant is, in any case, seen to be clearly guilty of a past crime for which they were acquitting, ignoring that verdict and seeking to punish them twofold for a future offense is not only wrong and not only against the law. It’s against the very cornerstone of the legal tenets set to safeguard innocents and sets a dangerous precedent whereby a judge can become accustomed to allowing personal biases influence his or her decisions.
Not only are OJ and the far less controversial C.J. Stewart at stake. Such activism is what led to real innocents being ensnared in prosecutorial overreach. When Healthsouth founder Richard Scrushy won acquittal on charges involving his business based on the facts, at a time when juries were generally hostile to CEOs, the facts of the case played little role in the next step that prosecutors took. Upset over their lost, they accused Scrushy of bribing former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. All Siegelman had done was to appoint Scrushy, a donor, to the board of a hospital regulatory board that Scrushy had previously been appointed to by three prior administrations. Yet because prosecutors had presented flimsy “evidence” against Scrushy and Siegelman before, and lost (dropping the criminal charges themselves a day after they were brought in Siegelman’s case), they were bent on getting them no matter what, and were allowed to do so as justice slept. All would have been avoided if the tenets of fairness and justice had been insisted upon.
When a local judge decides, rightly or wrongly, that a person is guilty of other crimes, acting on it and not recusing oneself in such a case is both harmful and dangerous. In the case of OJ Simpson, and especially in that of C.J. Stewart, who would have been given probation for the same acts had they been committed with another lead participant, that principle must hold true as well. Slippery slopes are very real and a just system of law accounts for that.
There’s a reason for double jeopardy laws in particular and no one is worth breaking them, certainly not OJ. The reason for this is that a) it prevents an innocent person from fear of retrial and b) a murderer should be put to death swiftly and humanely, not tortured through a never ending process. Charging OJ with crimes that carry sentences similar to murder, in a case that would be treated as a disturbance of the peace under normal circumstances, violates the spirit of double jeopardy. He was essentially convicted for the murder he had previously been acquitted of.
Yes, the first jury should have been an honorable one (but likewise, so should the second), the government should have been more competent and a whole other host of facts are true. But
Breeching those tenets led to the wrongful conviction of a former governor. Society must err on the side of mercy as the law provides (in OJ’s case, one didn’t even need to “err” just to uphold the law as it is written) and there are reasons for that, the least of which is not protecting the innocent. Most importantly, there needs to be a quick remedy against judicial overreach when the liberty of a defendant is at stake. Because there was no such remedy, it took over a year for Siegelman to be released when he was ensnared in a similar act of overreach, one that was, in his case, totally unwarranted (it should be noted that 3 judges threw out over 100 charges and the lead prosecutor was married to his rival’s campaign manager).
Double jeopardy wasn’t the only law violated in the Simpson case. A judge cannot decide to be exceedingly harsh on a defendant for past crimes of which they were acquitted. In OJ’s case, prosecutors cut deals involving no prison time for all others defendants involved in the case. In other words, they deemed no one involved to be a risk to society. Well that’s what prisons are for, people who pose serious criminal risk to society and who cannot be easily rehabilitated otherwise. Sentencing someone to jail, such as C.J. Stewart (the real human tragedy in that trial) for refusing to accept a plea deal is amoral, unjust and a threat to a fair society. And breaking the law and its tenets in order to “get” OJ runs a greater risk for society as well. Especially as similar tactics have previously been used unfairly against others.
I can’t stand OJ. But we do need to protect society. And that means safeguarding the tenets that protect the falsely accused, tenets which must be upheld universally, so that there’s no room for guesswork, as guesswork is the very thing that has ensnared innocents in the past.
May G-d protect all.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Exclusive Statement by Marion Thorpe, Congressional Candidate for FL-23 to MythDebunker
Late last week, members of both parties saw fit to set aside $700 billion to bailout banks and other financial institutions that had acted recklessly. To be sure, some of their actions were caused by improper interference on the part of the government to begin with, prompting them to issue reckless loans that in the end did nothing to help people save money nor accumulate wealth. Categorically, the banks that are now in trouble far exceeded their mandate and, as such, their problems are in large part of their own making.
As an active Republican within the African-American Community, I have often preached the need for (and benefits of) personal responsibility. My message has been simple and straightforward: Self-reliance is the duty and birthright of every American. As such, I am shocked and dismayed by the wholesale bailout of financial institutions that have not placed this basic tenet above of their own survival.
Throughout America, there are many individuals and small businesses that have enjoyed far less privilege than those entities that will benefit most from this bailout. If the government, Democrats and Republicans alike, are so enthralled with the notion of bailing out faulty corporations at any cost, perhaps they should start with small businesses that are the bedrock of jobs, and often of family life, in our nation.
While the Republican additions to the initial legislation provided at least some benefit to the middle class, and are a great improvement over the original proposal, the entire philosophy behind the bailout is flimsy and highly unlikely to produce substantive outcomes. Most importantly, we must ask ourselves what this action will teach our children.
The answer is easy to deduce, as follows: The message that this bailout sends to our youth indicates that personal responsibility no longer matters. I am profoundly disappointed that my opponent, the Honorable Alcee Hastings, who has claimed to represent the interests of his constituents since first being elected in 1992, is a strong proponent of the bailout, including the original Democratic bill which was full of insidious measures that helped large corporations but did nothing for the middle class.
The people of US Congressional District 23 need a clear signal that our government will heretofore facilitate conditions that promote the success and independence of hard working families, not bail out large banks that make bad decisions. While the Democratic proposal was shocking, and Republican support for it constitutes an unfortunate act of folly, Mr. Hastings’ support of both bills is unfathomable.
Having immersed myself in District 23 for the last 5 years, I know the real struggles facing our community. For this reason, I highly support and promote personal responsibility as the soundest method of correcting the multiple deficits of our community. You have my word that my Congressional vote will be cast in a manner that helps small family businesses in the district survive during tough times while simultaneously ensuring that my people thrive in all parts of US Congressional District 23.
See more at www.marionthorpe.com.