January 13, 2010

"An absolute nightmare"

From Caffeinated Thoughts, A Little Perspective on Steve Schmidt:

...Let me give you some perspective from Iowa. Here is what I learned from two former Iowa McCain/Palin Campaign staffers. Because of campaigns they are currently involved with I'm keeping them anonymous. Here's what I learned:
  • "Steve Schmidt was an absolute nightmare."
  • "Incompetent"
  • "We McCainiacs (people around from the beginning) never felt like he had McCain's best interest in mind."
  • "Was never around, and once (when in Iowa) disappeared for three days and we were unable to get a hold of him."
  • "Let his personal positions get in the way of the campaign."
  • "Did not have a clue about Iowans." (demonstrated by canceling a hunting photo op with Palin without explanation and said, "Iowans won't care about that")
This doesn't paint a picture of competence. Schmidt is not credible, he ran a horrible campaign and is trying to cover his butt.

So please do us a favor Schmidt, shut up and never, ever go near a campaign ever again. Unless it's a Democrat's campaign; that would be all right.

small b-w image of Sara Palin

Posted by John Weidner at 10:16 AM

November 10, 2008

We all criticize McCain, but keep this in mind...

This is important to keep in mind. From Now it's our turn to hope, by William Kristol...

...In politics, as one suspects in life, no good deed goes unpunished. John McCain staked everything on success in Iraq. He advocated the surge publicly and made the case for it privately. He defended it passionately and intelligently, and was indispensable in beating back critics, shoring up nervous supporters, and keeping enough public support for the surge so the Democratic party's repeated efforts to abort it failed.

The surge worked. It worked better than even its proponents expected. The strategic and moral calamity of an American withdrawal in defeat from the central front in the war on Islamic jihadism was averted. The positive outcome of a reasonably stable, democratic, and friendly Iraq is now in sight. Thanks in large part to John McCain, we did not have a second Vietnam-like humiliation. Thanks in large part to John McCain, the United States is on the verge of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

And as a result of the remarkable progress in Iraq over the past two years--progress whose possibility was scoffed at and whose reality was then denied by all leading Democrats except Joe Lieberman--Iraq faded as an issue in the presidential race. And with it, the critical question of who should be commander in chief also receded. By the fall of 2008, McCain got no credit for one of the great acts of statesmanship by a senator--let alone a senator who was also a presidential candidate--in American history...

And it is important to realize that when he mentions a "Vietnam-like humiliation," it is precisely because of such that we are now fighting a global war. Vietnam, the Iran hostage crisis, Beirut, Somalia... We have repeatedly flinched away from war and casualties, and the result was something far worse. We TOLD the terrorists in no uncertain terms that we could be safely attacked. We TOLD the world that we were afraid to fight for our civilization, and the bad guys took note. And so we have to fight.

The success of the "Surge" will make future wars less likely. John McCain is a true Christian pacifist.

The people who label themselves "pacifists" and "anti-war activists" are warmongers. They are making future wars much more likely. What they are doing is profoundly twisted and evil. It is the opposite of Christianity. (And if any lefties and "Democrats" reading this are offended, well, the comments are open. Don't snivel and whine, you cowards. Make a case! Show how I'm I'm wrong.)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:48 AM

November 8, 2008

Drives me nuts...

This is from a good piece by Dafydd....

..But let's broaden this out a bit. It doesn't matter even if a candidate has a comprehensive economic policy, if he's unable to communicate it effectively to voters. And everything said about McCain's inability to communicate a comprehensive economic policy (whether or not he had one) can also be said about his inability to communicate a comprehensive policy on energy (drill everywhere -- except ANWR), on climate change (his "drill, baby, drill" motto conflicts with his insistance that globaloney is real and the most urgent problem we face), on the war against the Iran/al-Qaeda axis (fight the war with everything we have -- but don't harshly interrogate captured terrorists, don't hold military tribunals, close Guantanamo Bay, and release the prisoners), on immigration (he argued for a process to allow eventual legalization of illegal aliens but never explained how that helps the American economy or national security)...

I remain filled with scorn and disgust at the ability of Obama to remain a cypher, and the stupidity of the American people in going along with it. But McCain is only good in comparison.

We still don't know what McCain would have been like as President. Not because he is hiding stuff like Obama is, but because his past positions don't give much clue to what his future ones would be. They don't reveal any guiding principles that organize and predict his positions. In fact they seem pretty random...

I sure hope Sarah turns to to be better in this regard. I'm pretty sure she will. But she ought to hire me as her official armchair theorist....

* Update: And there's this, by Andrew McCarthy...

Sen. McCain did not allow a nanosecond to go buy without issuing a sanctimonius, full-throated condemnation of any Republican who dared use Sen. Obama's middle name, mention Jeremiah Wright, or otherwise trash The One.

So where is the vigorous defense of his running-mate?
Posted by John Weidner at 1:28 PM

October 12, 2008

"I will be proud to have lost with Sarah Palin"

Mark, writing about how certain "conservative intellectuals" are jumping ship...

Sara Palin with ski plane....As for the "old" vs the "new" McCain, I've had little use for either, as NR subscribers who read my cover story on him from eight-and-a-half years ago might dimly recall. I support him faute de mieux, and that's it. Clearly, he's found it difficult (to put it mildly) to make the transition from running against his party to running for it. There's a lesson there: "Maverick" is an attitude, not a coherent worldview, which is why McCain has been unable to make maverickiness (maverectomy?) into a viable electoral platform. Of course, "hope" and "change" are attitudes, too, but so fluffy as to float free of the constraints of reality.

But, if the combination of gazillions of dollars in illegal foreign donations, Acorn's Dig-Up-The-Vote operation, a doting media that would embarrass Kim Jong-Il and the Republican nominee's inability even to speak up on issues where he was right all along (like Fannie Mae), if all that is now unstoppable, I will be proud to have lost with Sarah Palin, who (unlike Brooks and Buckley) runs a state bigger than most European Union nations, has fought an honorable campaign, and has been responsible for such energy and enthusiasm as the ticket can muster.

Given that neither of us are likely to be in the club-car caboose with Brooks et al come January, if she's ever in New Hampshire, I'll be happy to thank her and buy her dinner at the state's least worst restaurant. Which should set me back all of 12 bucks, but it's the thought that counts.

Amen, Brother Mark. Can I come too?

Look folks, things are bad. Everything is probably going to go by the board. I shall go down honorably, spitting my contemp for David Brooks and Christopher Buckley.

BUT, the birds still sing,, the sun still rises, and......there is, awesomely, Jewgrass Music! Enjoy.



Posted by John Weidner at 8:37 PM

September 21, 2008

Obama squirted with seltzer water...

Peter Robinson has a good article on what could be Mr Obama's big lack as a presidential candidate. A sense of humor....

...True, you could have argued that so far he hadn't needed much of a sense of humor. Hillary Clinton hadn't had them rolling in the aisles herself. That changed the following week, when the Republicans held their own convention. In an acceptance speech of just 3,000 words, Sarah Palin provided no fewer than six laughs--real belly laughs, each followed by thunderous applause--five of which came at Obama's expense.

Gov. Palin's performance undermined Sen. Obama in two ways. It made him appear prim and self-serious by comparison. And it thoroughly unnerved the man. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,'" Palin told the GOP convention, contrasting her work when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, with Obama's efforts on the south side of Chicago, "except that you have actual responsibilities." For several days afterward, Obama appeared dazed. "Community organizer," he kept insisting at campaign appearances, was so a real job. Even now, more than two weeks later, he has yet to employ humor effectively. Instead he has "sharpened his speeches," to quote the Associated Press, adding "bite." Obama can take a blow. What he can't take is a joke.

Sen. Obama's self-seriousness is understandable. At Columbia and Harvard, the faculty would have seen him, an exceptionally gifted African-American, as destined for great things. In Chicago, he would have been seen as destined for great things because he had attended Columbia and Harvard. What no one anywhere appears to have pointed out to him, however, is that humor itself is great thing....

Obama's problem is that humor is always conservative. Leftish thinking is based on the possibility of fixing this world. Making things OK, making the trains run on time. Making people happy.

We conservatives are sure those aren't possibilities. Not only will Utopia never be achieved, but if we even think we are within telescope-distance of the most minor sort of utopia (or just a veto-proof majority in the Senate) we are probably about to crash spectacularly and look like fools. And humans will never be happy or contented.

Sara Palin with ski planeThe old name for this is Original Sin. And even those who are not religious at all can understand it. (An atheist can be a conservative, but he really ought, out of simple justice, to admit to himself every half-hour or so that Irenaeus got this one right.) And it's funny as long as you don't expect perfection. We conservatives slip on a banana peel, and laugh at ourselves. Or at least admit that other people have a right to laugh.

But the liberal is the Grand Dame whose very body-language radiates, "That's NOT funny!" Whose elegant party is reduced to chaos by the Marx Brothers squirting bottles of seltzer.

And we saw it happen! Think of sober Mr Obama with his Greek temple and stadium full of fans and his not-quite-thrilling climactic moment. And then the next day John McCain grins and waves his cape, and poof! Presto! The anti-Obama! The most stupendous political reversal of our lifetimes. It was wacky! It was FUNNY. It's still funny.

Has ever a joke produced such a quantity of sputtering outrage from the fat ladies? From the straight men? We keep trying to analyze the Leftist responses to Palin, but really they all add up to, "How DARE they!"

Posted by John Weidner at 11:12 PM

September 18, 2008

There are things to really like about John McCain...

I'd recommend this, by Nibras Kazimi, What would a McCain presidency mean for the Middle East?

A McCain presidency can't be a very reassuring thing for the House of Saud. Senator McCain is probably one of a handful of Washington players that the influential former Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, couldn't get through to over the last two decades. The Saudis never saw the need to do that; they assumed that McCain was too anti-establishment, given his integrity-bound internal compass and natural maverick-ism, to ever make it to the highest rungs of the power game.

They may be proven wrong.

The Saudis can't rely on existing channels to McCain that he has trusted and is likely to trust, whereas even with President George W. Bush, though he may have been alerted to the idea that the Saudi regime may be a liability more than an ally, at least he could be reached and reasoned with either through his father's network, the Republican Party 'realist' foreign policy camp or the oil companies.

No such long-standing channels connect the Saudis to McCain. He is too off their navigational charts, making him too dangerous for the long-term survivability of the Saudi royals for comfort; McCain is not a card-carrying member of the "This is how it's always been, and this is how it should stay" elite--both Republican and Democrat--that's been rubbing shoulders with the Saudis for decades.

Let's posit a hypothetical: How would America respond to another attack of the same or greater magnitude as 911, either on U.S. or European soil, and with young Saudis again being heavily involved?

With McCain as president, the White House would be ready to contemplate a future Middle East that does not include the House of Saud remaining in power. A McCain presidency would challenge the conventional status quo, pushed by the Middle Eastern-related bureaucracies at the State Department, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, that the Saudi royals are needed to maintain stability within their country and throughout the region.

McCain would likely see the Saudi royals are part of the problem, rather than as part of the solution. Alternatively, McCain may seek to invest more heavily in Iraq, a country and a cause dear to his heart, as the new regional power, and as America's most important Muslim ally in the region...

Read on; he's got Obama figured out too...

And I'll go out on a limb and guess that President Palin will not be wildly impressed by Saudi princelings and their loot either....

Posted by John Weidner at 3:39 PM

September 10, 2008

All shook up...

re: the lipstick on a pig remark, I think the McCain campaign made a mistake in claiming sexism.

Let other people make that connection. Their point should be that this guy is obviously rattled. By a Girl! Do we want such a brittle character in charge of the government if there's a crisis?

Posted by John Weidner at 8:42 AM

September 8, 2008

I'm not a Michael Savage fan, but....

....I love this bit that Charlene heard on the radio today, words to the effect of:
"Why am I voting for McCain? It's a choice between someone who shot rockets at the enemy and someone who shot staples into telephone poles."
Posted by John Weidner at 6:56 PM

August 30, 2008

The best joke of the year...

Mark Steyn, of course, sees the joke...

First, Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, "all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy...

...Fourth, Governor Palin has what the British Labour Party politician Denis Healy likes to call a "hinterland" - a life beyond politics. Whenever Senator Obama attempts anything non-political (such as bowling), he comes over like a visiting dignitary to a foreign country getting shanghaied into some impenetrable local folk ritual. Sarah Palin isn't just on the right side of the issues intellectually. She won't need the usual stage-managed "hunting" trip to reassure gun owners: she's lived the Second Amendment all her life. Likewise, on abortion, we're often told it's easy to be against it in principle but what if you were a woman facing a difficult birth or a handicapped child? Been there, done that.

Fifth, she complicates all the laziest Democrat pieties. Energy? Unlike Biden and Obama, she's been to ANWR and, like most Alaskans, supports drilling there.

Sixth (see Kathleen's link to Craig Ferguson below), I kinda like the whole naughty librarian vibe.

This is the best joke of the year! Maybe the decade. Us intellectual conservatives have been debating about identity politics and leftist nihilism endlessly, without much success. Who reads boring arguments? And we have been thinking John McCain hasn't been really seeing things clearly enough for our taste. But the party-loving wise-cracking flyboy is wiser than we. And the pie in the face of the pompous fat lady---perfect.

Sarah is a joke that everyone can see at a glance. She is worth a thousand issues of National Review...
Obama, Palin, Three Stooges-1
As I said in a comment to a previous post....

...In postmodern literary terms, what we are doing is subverting the narrative. The text we have presumes a hierarchical distinction of canonical forms whose dialectic cannot be resolved without inverting the bourgeois typos and collectively redefining and reifying the paradigm.

In other words, we are playing with your heads, you silly stuffed-shirts...

Mooseburgers!!!!

Posted by John Weidner at 7:53 AM

August 29, 2008

Palinesques....

Jay Nordlinger writes, at The Corner:

Will Sarah P. be considered a woman — by the media, by the “chattering classes”? That is a question worth pondering. Possibly, she’ll be considered just a conservative Republican. Did anyone ever consider Mrs. Thatcher a woman — in a political-electoral context? Are black conservatives considered black? Are Cuban Americans considered Hispanic?

One of my favorite facts about a recent Supreme Court case had to do with this last question. The case was the University of Michigan Law School case (relating to race preferences). According to documents submitted, an admissions officer questioned whether Cubans should be counted as Hispanic, saying, “Don’t they vote Republican?”....

The feminazis will hate her like poison, and will try to say she's not a "real woman." Good luck with that!

Lexington Green:

....In fact, as I think about it, this is the first moment when I have not been absolutely certain McCain would lose.

McCain is also showing, as he has generally, that he is very aggressive and confident, almost cocky. His congratulation message to Obama was classic. It showed class and it showed fearlessness, and a certain condescension to Obama. It reminds me of David Hackett Fischer’s depiction of the Backcountry selection process for leaders: Tanistry. The Border Scots selected a Thane based on age, strength and cunning, not mere seniority. McCain is a backcountryman by ancestry. They are wily and they are fighters. McCain already seems to be inside Obama’s OODA loop. Making this pick the day after the Donk convention, to steal the buzz, is tactically perfect.

Apparently Palin talks like a hick. She calls herself a “momma” unironically, instead of a mom or a mother. This will cause her to be mocked and jeered at in states the GOP is already going to lose. But it cannot hurt with blue collar voters in WV, OH, PA and MI, which are states Obama could lose....

I don't think Lex quite gets America, if he thinks an old Jacksonian is at a natural disadvantage. Inside his OODA Loop, yeah. Yesterday a graceful congratulation to Barack, then less than 24 hours later, Ker-Whaaap! Ha ha ha. So who do you like, the tough sneaky old fighter or Mr Nuance from Harvard?

And Palin will be mocked as a hick? I can't wait. There are few better indicators of political success in the USA.

Ladyblog: "She has children named “Track”, “Bristol”, and “Willow”. It’s like NASCAR meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer..."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:21 PM

Good move, I'm thinking...

Jennifer Rubin writes:

Sara Palin ...Who is Sarah Palin? She is 44 years old, a former mayor, and the first-term governor of Alaska who ran on an anti-corruption platform. She is a strong advocate of offshore drilling. She is the mother of five including a child with Down Syndrome. In her tenure as Alaska governor she has pursued ethics reform, budget reduction, and natural gas development. In short, she is unlike anyone on either ticket and unlike anyone ever to be on a major party’s ticket. Two large questions loom: How will she handle questions about national security? Will she help McCain?

As to the first question, Palin will argue that in fact Obama has no more experience than she does, and that Palin has the advantage of sharing McCain’s views (and thus being right) on the surge, Russian ambitions, and meetings with state terror sponsors. The VP debate against Biden may be dicey, but the McCain camp knows full well that a vice-presidential debate isn’t going to make or break their candidate. In short, McCain is hoping that Palin is good enough on this score for a number two pick against a Democratic ticket headed by a man with virtually the same meager national security credentials.

As to the second, Palin has much to offer McCain. On a non-political level few can doubt her Q-factor. (She will be the first former beauty queen to run on a national ticket.) The daughter of a teacher and mother of five, she has an ebullient personality and an excellent TV presence. The Right will be entranced: a pro-life hunter with a passion for domestic energy development? And in the battle for “change” she has the record of reform and the identity of a complete Washington outsider. Finally, as a lifelong NRA member, an outdoorswoman, and a western governor she may provide extra help in mountain and western states such as Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico which are certain to be in play.

On the policy front, Palin can make the case that the Democratic program of higher taxes, more spending, and a government takeover of health care is a proven loser. She will argue that she can bring practical experience from as far outside the Beltway as one can get. And, of course, the presence of a woman on the ticket creates instantaneous excitement and puts into play Clinton voters looking for a new champion...

Me, I think she has the most important national security qualification of all. She believes in America, and won't be too nuanced to fight when necessary. If she had been president on 9/11, she would, I am confident, have done the right thing, just as President Bush did...

Charlene just called her "the anti-Hillary!" I love it. My only complaint is that this looks a bit like identity politics, which I utterly despise. Part of me would prefer that presidents be grumpy old white men.

* Update: I recommend this profile of Sarah Palin, by Beldar. From back in June´┐Żnow that's thinking ahead!

Posted by John Weidner at 10:46 AM

July 25, 2008

Gold in the fire....

Presidential campaigns always bring lots of stuff out in the open. People from the candidates' pasts come out of the woodwork. Of Republicans they tend to tell stories of kindness, decency and courage. [link, link] For Dems we get the women who've been groped, the money-men going to prison, the former comrades who say "not fit to be President.") Charlene recommends this piece, by a guy who spent 5 years in Communist Progressive prisons with McCain.

“Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.” That was retired Gen. Wesley Clark’s condescending assessment of John McCain’s military service. Clark’s words have great weight because he was speaking as a key political/military advisor to Barack Obama.

If Gen. Clark had been talking about me, his remarks might be true. After all, I rode in a fighter plane and got shot down over North Vietnam. In no way do Clark’s words apply to McCain. I know, because I was a firsthand witness to his singular leadership and courage. In the years I spent as a POW in North Vietnam, I saw McCain inspire and lead under trying circumstances that Gen. Clark has not the imagination to understand.

As for the role of a president, I was fortunate enough to serve as a domestic policy advisor to President Ronald Reagan. Seeing him in action, and seeing John McCain in action, I know they are equals in character, ability and political courage.

I met John McCain in a POW camp in Vietnam. He told me his father and grandfather read history every evening. Since our release, I have done the same. From my study of history I know what we need in a leader....

(And no, I have not become a gushing McCain fan. I still have many points of disagreement with him. But the fire of this campaign is so far revealing McCain to be the real coin. And Barackmo is looking more and more like a thin layer of gilt over nothing at all.)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 AM

July 21, 2008

John who?

An editorial written by Republican presidential hopeful McCain has been rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES — less than a week after the paper published an essay written by Obama, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned...[link]

Well, why not? He's obviously not newsworthy; nobody they know is voting for him...

Posted by John Weidner at 2:05 PM

July 3, 2008

"I have a little list"

Hugh Hewitt has a good summary on Mr Obama, ready for discussions while standing around the barbecue enjoying the sizzle: Obama In Focus On The Fourth...

I recommend it.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:10 AM

May 17, 2008

Fisk du Joor...

There's a certain sort of article where every sentence brings a sarcastic reply to the tip of my tongue. And now, thanks to the magic of the Interweb, I can share my snark with all of you! [Heads nod towards sleep, eyes glaze over, the crowd shuffles away. That's OK, I do this mostly for my own fun. You've read it before, so feel free to skip.]

Harold Meyerson | May 15, 2008 | The American Prospect

If the McCain campaign is still trying out songs, there's one by a couple of Brits, W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, that it should consider. We have to change the words "an Englishman" to "American" to get it to work, but, that done, the song expresses succinctly and entirely the case for John McCain and, by implication, against Barack Obama:

For he himself has said it,
And it's greatly to his credit,
That he is American!
That he is American!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the sum total of the Republican message this year. That is why McCain's first post-primary ad proclaimed him "the American president Americans have been waiting for." Not the "strong" or "experienced" president, though those are contrasts he could seek to draw with Obama. The "American" president -- because that's the only contrast through which McCain has even a chance of prevailing. [Uh, right now, Obama fans are howling because he's being tarred as an appeaser, and pounded for associations with Wright, Rezko, Hamas, etc. If these attacks have no "chance of prevailing," why the fuss?]

Now, I mean to take nothing away from McCain's Americanness by noting that it's Obama's story that represents a triumph of specifically American identity over racial and religious identity. It was the lure of America, the shining city on a hill, that brought his black Kenyan father here, where he met Obama's white Kansan mother. It is because America is uniquely the land of immigrants and has moved beyond a racial caste system that Obama exists, has thrived and stands a good chance of being our next president. [But, curious thing, Barry achieved the "American dream" (Harvard Law, Wall Street, big $, etc.) and then proceeded to SHED that American identity, becoming a "community organizer," joining an "Afro-centric" church, and reinventing himself as a black person. In fact, re-inventing the racial caste system! So why, exactly, should pointing this out be a bad thing?

In fact you are only bothered by this issue because you know that the charge is TRUE. I live among people like you and the Obama's. I know you. I know perfectly well your utter alienation from ordinary Americans who enjoy Christian faith, bowling, Nascar, deer-hunting, suburban life, and the Superbowl. Why, exactly, should they not reject a candidate who rejects THEM, who rejects the very things the ARE? Why should McCain not point these things out?]

That's not the America, though, that the Republicans refer to in proclaiming their own Americanness. For them, "American" is a term to be used as a wedge issue, a way to distinguish their more racially and religiously homogeneous party from the historically more polyglot Democrats. Such separation has a long pedigree: Campaigning for GOP presidential nominee Alf Landon in 1936, Republican leader Frank Knox said that the Democratic Party under President Franklin Roosevelt "has been seized by alien and un-American elements. Next November, you will choose the American way."

Knox meant two things: that the New Deal represented an ideology outside the pale of American thinking and that the New Deal coalition, which represented record numbers of foreign-born, non-Protestant Americans, was therefore un-American.[Well, it was true. Socialism IS outside the "pale of American thinking," and we now know that some of the New-Dealers were secret agents for Stalin.] In more recent elections, Republicans have depicted Democratic presidential candidates as un-American cultural elitists heading up a dangerously diverse party. [Diverse is an interesting word to pick, since it has become a code-word for racial quotas, which are very un-American. So much so that a code-word is necessary. And, come to think, Obama probably favors racial quotas, but will lie like Ananias about the subject, and many other similar subjects. So really, calling him "un-American" is a proxy for real and substantive ISSUES that he would prefer to duck.]

This year, we can expect to see almost nothing but these kinds of assaults as the campaign progresses. The Republican attack against Obama all but ignores the issue differences [Obama is currently under attack on the issues of foreign policy and Federal judicial nominations, to name just a few.] between the candidates to go after what is presumably his inadequately American identity. He is, writes one leading conservative columnist, "out of touch with everyday America." [Obviously.] His reluctance to wear a flag pin, writes another, shows that he "has declared himself superior to an almost universal form of popular patriotism." [It's the simple truth. I live in SF, I know.]

There are good reasons Republicans are focusing on identity rather than issues this year: In poll after poll, there's not a single major issue on which the public agrees with them or their presumptive nominee. [Surrre. Americans are SO ready for higher taxes, abortion, gay marriage, nationalized health care, appeasement, speech-codes and multiculturalism.] Not Iraq, certainly. Not the economy. Should the election turn on the question of "What are you going to do for America?" rather than "Are you a real American?" Republicans are doomed. They offer no solutions for the stagnation (or decline) of American living standards, [So why is building extra storage space for people's stuff a booming business?] or for the weakening of America's economic power. [The EU, China--they're gonna steam-roller us any day 'cause they're so superior!] They offer no resolution to America's war of choice in Iraq. [Except winning--we are providing that one. I know it disgusts you lefties, but Americans go for winning our wars.] Their party leader, the incumbent president, let a great American city drown. [Oh right, he had a little button he could push that would re-build the failed levees, and cause the Democratic leadership of Louisiana to be honest and effective. But he just sat there and didn't push it.] They are the American party, and McCain the American nominee, that hasn't a clue about how to help America in its (prolonged, I fear) moment of need. [We're sinking, we're sinking! We need Big Government and Barack to save us. Glub, glub.......]

What remains for the GOP is a campaign premised more on issues of national identity, aimed largely at that portion of our population for which "American" is synonymous with "white" and "Christian," than any national campaign has been since the American Party (also known as the Know Nothings) based its 1856 campaign chiefly on Protestant bigotry against Irish and German Catholic immigrants. In Appalachian America (the heart of which went to the polls yesterday in West Virginia), as Mark Schmitt notes in the forthcoming issue of the American Prospect (which I edit), a disproportionate number of people write "American" when answering the census question on ethnic origin. [That is so disgusting, "American." Ugh! Horrid rednecks. And they've only been here since the 18th Century! They should think of themselves as an ethnic group oppressed by white Christians, and needing Affirmative Action.] For some, "American" is a race -- white -- no less than a nationality, and it's on this equation that Republican prospects depend. [We get the picture. In fact,the real point of this piece is preparing for defeat. if Obama loses, it means we are RACISTS, not that we are rejecting Obama's leftism. I spit, with the utmost contempt, upon that formula. In fact, we Republicans would be delighted to consider voting for a black person. IF they were also, like Colin Powell or Condi Rice, or Bobby Jindal, or Janet Brown, AMERICANS. Not anti-American leftists.

Which is why Gilbert and Sullivan penned what could be the perfect McCain marching song:

But in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains American!
He remains American!
[Which in itself is good reason to vote for him, rather then Mr Fraudulent.]

PS: I hate to break it to you, Mr Meyerson, but the knuckle-draggers in Appalachia are perfectly aware that "American" is not usually considered an "ethnic origin." They do that because they loath your identity-politics, which are un-American.

Posted by John Weidner at 3:04 PM

April 15, 2008

Smart is not the same as wise...

Orrin Judd:

It would be easier to feel sorry for the Democrats if they ever learned anything from their mistake--singular, because it's the same one almost every time. While the Republicans nominate the guy whose turn it is next, a well-known and battle-tested veteran, the Democrats repeatedly serve up a neophyte Northern liberal and then act stunned when he's not ready for primetime and voters dislike him once they get to know his political views.

There's lots one could say to amplify this. One is that being smart is not the same thing as being wise. And since a large part of being wise is having the humility to realize you don't know it all, and the humility to see things as they are, rather then what your theory says they should be, you can almost bet that anyone who people look at and say "he's so smart" is not wise.

"Wise" can't really be defined. It's just one of those things you know when you see it, if you are looking. When it comes to politicians, it's even harder to be sure. But a good bet is that a "well-known and battle-tested veteran" has probably had a chance to reveal any un-wisdom he may have.

Is McCain wise? I have various doubts about him, but I feel confident that he is far wiser than Barry or Hillary. For one thing, there's no doubt that he is a patriotic American, and that in itself is deeply wise. Because this great nation is herself "a well-known and battle-tested veteran," and the results have shown this a thousand times. Betting on America is the smart bet. Betting on Europe is the sucker's bet.

And if you are a liberal reading that previous paragraph, you probably instantly thought of all the reasons you despise this country (without having the guts or conscience to move elsewhere). You thought of all her supposed hideous faults, things that are taken for granted over the Brie and Chardonnay at San Francisco soirées, where guys like Obama go to raise big bucks. If you did, you are not wise. You are a fool.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:50 AM

April 4, 2008

Excellent...

I still have my disagreements with McCain, but this is VERY cool.

And you can bet that Mr elite-white-liberal-writer here has his own retirement bucks in a 401-K, or IRA....or wishes he did. But he hates the thought of the little people getting the same "risky" opportunity.

Oh how I wish I could be a sort of Robin Hood, and take the retirement $ of every one of these lefty frauds and "invest" them in Social Security. And see how they like the returns.

He's 'McSame' on Social Security, Too
By Joe Conason
The most puzzling aspect of John McCain's political persona is his habitual attraction to George W. Bush's bad ideas. Their shared enthusiasm for invading Iraq [and our side's winning--not yours!] and then escalating the war [of course al Qaeda never did any escalating...for leftists, only America is real, only american can "escalate".] is why "McSame" will soon become the new shorthand for the Arizona Republican, replacing "maverick" -- but that isn't the only reason. He doesn't just endorse the disastrous foreign policy initiatives; he loves the failed domestic policy schemes, too.

Specifically, McCain is a longtime supporter of President Bush's Social Security privatization initiative, last seen descending into oblivion only months after its introduction in 2005. He played a cameo role in the promotion of that notion (which never became an actual plan or bill in Congress) when the White House trotted him in for one of the President's staged public "conversations" on the subject. Back then his pleas for everyone to sit down and negotiate the surrender of Social Security to Wall Street were universally ignored, yet that scarcely seems to have discouraged him. [If Wall Street is so bad, I'm sure Mr C puts his own investments in the Cuban market.]

Actually, McCain supported Social Security privatization before it was uncool, when he first ran for president eight years ago. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that a proposal to divert a portion of payroll taxes to finance private accounts, like the Bush scheme, was "a centerpiece of a McCain presidential bid in 2000." Both he and Bush have wanted to dismantle [ie: Make it actually work] Social Security for many years, in fact, and he has indicated that will be an important goal for a McCain presidency....

Notice that, even if you read the whole piece, this lefty does not make a single factual or economic argument against SS reform. It's pure politics, winning or losing, for him. He does not dare argue his case on its merits, nor does he care what's actually the best policy.

And "McSame" won't fly. Not with McCain. Not after the lefty news-media have spent 8 years eagerly pointing out his differences with Bush.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:25 AM

March 5, 2008

Vote for me, I'm sparkly...

I was just thinking about the squalid absurdity of Democrat identity politics, and the way both Obama and Clinton are running as representatives of identity groups, whose election will represent "justice" for a group. How I hate that stuff. it's un-American, and quasi-Marxist.

One of the formative moments of my life was when, back in the early 70's, having gone through the university without exposure to much solid intellectual fare, I encountered a quote by Peter Drucker. Alas, I've never found it again, but it went something like this: Christians believe that God values the individual, while socialists believe in the value of society, and are willing to sacrifice individuals—millions of them—to achieve "salvation by society."

Everything I've learned since then has just been filling in the details.

And also it occurs to me that the Republican habit of giving the presidential nomination to the senior man, to the one who's "next in line," is profoundly wise. On the surface it seems foolish, and one thinks of Bob Dole and winces. (But Dole, though a poor campaigner, was a deep old file, and would surely have made a better President than Clinton.)

I suspect there's a lot of gut wisdom involved in this. The wisdom of regular guys and gals, not clever-johnny theorists who write or blog. In the long haul, it's better to nominate seasoned old white guys (or white gals, if they resemble Margaret Thatcher) and avoid "stars" and fast-talkers and people with "charisma," whatever the heck that is. Bleccch.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:54 PM

March 2, 2008

When truth goes chasing lies around the globe...

...It helps to have a bookmark to the facts. So keep this link on hand. (Thanks to Orrin.) Jonathan Last, in the Philly Inquirer...

A Democratic line is emerging about Sen. John McCain that is voiced daily by Sen. Obama (and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton) in the presidential campaign.

"Senator McCain said the other day that we might be mired for 100 years in Iraq," Obama says, "which is reason enough not to give him four years in the White House." Or more directly, as Obama told a Houston audience, McCain "says that he is willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq."

Obama's claims are, at best, deliberately misleading. At worst, they are the type of politics-as-usual distortion that the Illinois senator usually decries. No one, in politics or the media, who voices the "100 years" canard is being fair-minded. So let's put it to rest now, once and for all:

On Jan. 3 in Derry, N.H., a voter prefaced a question to McCain by saying, "President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years . . ." Here, McCain cut him off, interjecting, "Make it a hundred."

The voter tried to continue his question, but McCain pressed on: "We've been in . . . Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me, as long
as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. It's fine with me, I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al-Qaeda is training, equipping and recruiting and motivating people every single day."

McCain's analysis is, objectively speaking, exactly correct. Throughout history, U.S. troops have remained in the field long after the conclusion of successful wars...

He goes on to list all the many places our troops have remained long after our victories. Philippines, Japan, Germany, Italy, South Korea. Iceland, even!

And of course the really important point is, Why? Why are we still in most of those places?

A. It works. We want them to stay democratic and peaceful, so we stick around and keep our eyes on things.
B. It puts our forces close to various bad guys around the globe. Mighty handy, that's been. Mostly because it prevents wars. It is the real pacifism.
C. The whole way of picturing the US as just another nation or empire fighting this war and that is stupid. We are, actually, the cops on this planet. We are not fighting "wars" (in any classical sense of the word) at all. We are cleaning up bad neighborhoods. And if a police station is built right in the middle of gang territory, and the cops start aggressively patrolling and walking the beats--that just makes sense. It's good. It's good that we will have troops sitting right next to Iran and Syria and Saudi Arabia. That's one of the many excellent reasons we are in Iraq.
Posted by John Weidner at 2:05 PM

February 29, 2008

Pummel him...

Orrin Judd, on John McCain

...We can argue about whether it's a good or a bad thing, but it pretty undeniably seems to be the case that Maverick dislikes even the usual political back and forth with colleagues he respects, but revels in going after those he holds in contempt. Thus, the gentlemanly tenor of his contest with his main GOP rival, Mike Huckabee, as opposed to the cold-bloodedness with which he dispatched the poseur, Mitt Romney. Because of this dynamic, he'd be fairly unlikely to really pummel Ms Clinton, who he likes, but appears eager to get it on with Senator Obama. The free ride Mr. Obama has received from the press and his fellow Democrats will serve him ill in this regard, as he's utterly unprepared to deal with criticism...

One of the really evil ideas of our time is that it is wrong to criticize someone who is black, or of another favored minority. In fact, this notion is racist.

Most Democrats are racists. That is, they hold blacks to a lower standard, they do not treat them as equals.

And they have institutionalized their racism, so that the entire country tiptoes around any criticism of certain minority groups. I certainly feel it; I would hesitate here to criticize certain minority groups, lest lame-brains pounce on me and say I'm "filled with hatred," or similar garbage.

So McCain will be doing the country a big favor if he really tears into Obama. And then, when he's accused of "racism," he should forthrightly confront the issue, and say that the double standard is the real racism.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:44 AM