Archive for July, 2008

July 31, 2008

Gallup: Obama 45%, McCain 44%

Holy freaking kamoley — Obama’s lead has slipped by 8 points since Sunday! Just wait until the MSM backseat drivers see this. I can see the headlines already:

HOPE (1961-2008) R.I.P

Getting hard to stay in the No-Gloat Zone.

Will update as further gloating develops ….

UPDATE: I’ll let Allah do the gloating for me:

The usual caveat that it’s still too early to read much into any of these still applies, but surely they mean something given (a) the sky-high expectations for Obamamania coming out of the primary, (b) the Democrats’ huge generic advantage this year, (c) the fact that Republicans traditionally trail by a decent margin at this point in the campaign, and (d) most bizarrely, the conventional wisdom that McCain’s had an exceedingly crappy 10 days or so of campaigning.

Folks, excuse my self-congratulatory glee, but I called this one from Day One:

Have a laugh with Dave Letterman:

That’s TV: Total Vindication!

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July 31, 2008

‘This big honking zephyr of lies’

Thus does my longtime blog buddy Joe describe St. Hopey:

Clinton had to deal with his bimbo eruptions . . . but Obama’s achilles heel is even more in the theme of classic tragedy: HE himself is the bimbo, the nitwit, the increasingly obvious fraud. . . .
It is not even August, and the mainstream media is tanking and desperately hungry, and they can only hate McCain a little bit, and the Obama campaign is this big honking zephyr of lies.

(Zephyr = west wind, i.e., hot air.) I’ve been doing a lot of back-and-forth, both blogwise and via e-mail, with reporters and commentators who concluded sometime in February that Obama is unbeatable.

Well, nobody is unbeatable, and my annoyance at this Conventional Wisdom has been growing ever since March, when I first went to cover Hillary in Pennsylvania and saw firsthand the “when-is-she-going-to-quit” attitude of the elite media. Here she was, basking in the cheers and applause of more than 1,000 enthusiastic supporters, and the “traveling press” was just waiting for the post-rally “availability” when they could ask her that all-important question: “Hey, you bitter old loser, why don’t you pack it in and go back to your coven?” (I exaggerate their phrasing only slightly, and exaggerate their attitude not at all.)

The elite MSM geniuses brought this arrogant know-it-all attitude with them into the general election campaign. They know the outcome already, they’ve already composed in their minds the “Triumph of Hope” ledes they’ll file as soon as the polls close on Nov. 4, and they’re getting angry and peevish because John McCain and the GOP won’t roll over and play dead.

Ah, but Joe senses the Newtonian equal-and-opposite effect. The MSM geniuses are about to start getting angry at Obama for not living up to their imagined scenarios of how he’d crush those evil Republicans like so many grapes beneath the feet of a Sicilian vintner’s daughter.

If Obama starts sliding in the polls, he’s going to be like a guy at the steering wheel of a vanload of backseat drivers, with the MSM geniuses endlessly second-guessing his every move, and the likes of Keith Olbermann and David Gregory wondering aloud what the hell is wrong with his campaign. There is nothing more beautiful to behold than the sight of Conventional Wisdom crumbling at it’s first collision with reality.
UPDATE: The grumbling from the MSM’s backseat drivers has already begun.
July 31, 2008

NRO on Authors Against Obama

Jim Geraghty of National Review Online’s Campaign Spot takes notice:

It’s an old point about Obama’s early life experience, but when I read about the formation of the book Dreams From My Father, a thought or two similar to Robert Stacy McCain’s ran across my mind.

Obama was a 28-year-old student with very little track record as a writer when he got a sweetheart book deal in 1990, a revelation that automatically provokes a “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” reaction from any actual writer who’s ever experienced the misery of dealing with the book industry.

Ann Richards once famously said of Bush 41 that he “was born on third base and thought he hit a triple.” Yeah? Well, when Obama stepped up to the plate, the ball was on a tee.

Geraghty is welcome to join Authors Against Obama, whose members already include Kirby Wilbur, Phil Kent, Mike Adams, Roger Simon and Doug Giles.

July 31, 2008

‘But we still have hope’

In August 2006, Obama visited his father’s hometown in Kenya, and promised assistance to Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School — built on land donated by his grandfather and renamed in his honor in 2005. Michelle Malkin updates the narrative with this story from the Evening Standard of London:

After addressing the pupils, a third of whom are orphans, and dancing with them as they sang songs in his honour, he was shown a school with four dilapidated classrooms that lacked even basic resources such as water, sanitation and electricity. . . .
[Principal Yuanita] Obiero was not the only one to think that the US Senator from Illinois, who had recently acquired a $1.65 million house in Chicago, would cough up. Obama’s own grandmother Sarah confidently told reporters before his visit: “When he comes down here, he will change the face of the school and, believe me, our poverty in Kogelo will be a thing of the past.” . . .
Yet there is disappointment and hurt here, too. Granting us access to the school and its records, Principal Obiero, 48, tells us: “Senator Obama has not honoured the promises he gave me when we met in 2006 and in his earlier letter to the school. He has not given us even one shilling. But we still have hope.”

A charity to help fund the school has been set up by conservative blogger Baldilocks, and you can send money online via credit card.

July 31, 2008

Obama Watch

Lisa De Pasquale now has a regular feature at Human Events, Obama Watch:

In Berlin, Obama spoke to 200,000 Germans, giving him the distinct honor of being as popular as the two German bands he followed, but less popular than David Hasselhoff. It’s a shame that German citizens aren’t allowed to vote in American elections, but surely ACORN is working on it.

She also notes that Obama appears to have plagiarized part of his Berlin speech from Bono. You should read the whole thing.

July 31, 2008

Not in the LA Times

Circulation plummeting? Check. Ad revenues declining? Check. Newsroom layoffs? Check. But whatever you do, LA Times, don’t publish the funniest syndicated columnist in America:

To put it another way, it would appear that ambulances aren’t the only things John Edwards has been chasing lately. . . .
Who knew that “my father was a mill worker” could be such a great pickup line? In his defense, Edwards had to do something to kill time between giving $50,000 speeches on poverty. . . .

Just read the whole thing.

July 31, 2008

"I Am Woman, See Me Blog!"

Having done my share to stir up strife and turmoil amongst the distaff side of the Web, I’m now content to let you ladies fight it out:

In this year when a record percentage of people are going online for political coverage, women who want equality on the web — and by that, apparently, they mean getting as many calls from the mainstream media as well as ad revenue from their blogs — might want to consider whether there’s really a glass ceiling, or whether they themselves have shut out a wider, more profitable audience. The internet’s 50 most influential women have figured out something that you, apparently, have not.
Call yourselves “Mommy Bloggers” if you want, organize conferences and “online communities for women,” and attend conferences supposedly about technology but write only about the “hunky” celebrity chef‘s cooking demonstration or the cocktail
parties.
But don’t blame over half of the internet — in other words men, as well as women looking for serious news coverage — if they assume you aren’t going to offer anything they’re interested in.
It’s not because you’re a female. It’s because you bore them.

What Katherine Berry is saying is, write about subjects of general interest. If the daily tedium of your humdrum existence is boring to you, what makes you think anyone else would be interested?

But wait a minute, ladies — I feel a rant coming on. Because you know what you people remind me of?

“Writers.” That is to say, the type of pretentious fakes who enjoy thinking of themselves as “writers,” because that’s so much more glamorous and prestigious than having an actual job, even if that actual job might involve … writing.

“Writers” are people who spend more time going to workshops and seminars and conferences than they spend actually … writing.

“Writers” count themselves a success if their poem or short story gets published in some “little magazine” that only exists because its editors are academics who’ve managed to get a bunch of college libraries to subscribe to their literary quarterly, so it has a “circulation” that doesn’t actually circulate, but just sits gathering dust on college library shelves.

“Writers” dream of getting published in Harper’s or something like that, so that their name might one day be listed in the same index as the big-name “writer” who spoke to the break-out session at a “writers conference” they paid $400 to attend in 1997.

“Writers” don’t want to get jobs at newspapers or magazines where (God forbid) they might have to take orders from a boss and do unglamorous stuff they don’t want to do, like go cover a school-board meeting or compile “community calendar” items or do any of the other dull-as-dirt stuff that I did for years at low pay for long hours under miserable conditions while trying to work my way up the ladder in a business that — I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not — has been in meltdown mode for the past 10 years.

Oh, no — they’re “writers” and they can’t be bothered to do any work that a profit-oriented operation might actually pay them to do. They’d rather sit around bitching and moaning because their latest short story got rejected somewhere, and then go chitchat at another seminar or workshop, just so that when someone asks them what they do, they can have the pleasure of answering, “I’m a writer.”

No, you’re a fraud, is what you are. You’re as phony as that dude at the bar trying to tell me he’s in the CIA and has a blackbelt in the martial arts. “Writers” are the Nigerian scam artists of the literary world.

And pretty much the same thing can be said for people who maintain blogs purely for the pleasure of telling other people they’re “bloggers.” It’s a status hobby, a faux career, the Internet equivalent of “writers” whose greatest accomplishment is to be included in one of those stupid short-story anthologies that nobody ever reads.

You self-styled “women bloggers” are merely the most annoying subset of this variety of online chaff. You think that a pair of ovaries entitles you to some special distinction: Oh, I am a mighty champion of my gender, a crusader for The Sacred Cause of Womanhood!

Whine your way into the pages of the New York Freaking Times, then bitch because you’re not taken seriously enough? It’s a scam, a hustle, a racket — “discrimination” and “inequality” as euphemisms for the “me, my, mine” of a selfishness that refuses to condescend to the fee-for-service arrangements of the workaday world where us mere mortals have to scratch out our livings.

Well, you can’t run that crap on me, sister. Just because you’re a woman phony doesn’t make you any less of a phony, and you cannot compel my respect as if you were entitled to it.
July 31, 2008

Who’s that dude on my radio?

PJM Political on XM Satellite Radio hosted by Ed Driscoll, and featuring VodkaPundit, with Jennifer Rubin, John Nolte and . . . uh, some guy who says “uh” too much (at the 35-minute mark, discussing “The McCain Contraption”).

Thanks, Ed!

July 30, 2008

John McCain and ‘Ordinary Americans’

One of the hardest things for a stone-cold political junkie to do is to step outside his obsession long enough to consider politics from the viewpoint of the non-junkies — the non-partisan, apolitical people who pay little notice to the continual sturm und drang of Beltway combat.

These so-called “swing” voters, who ultimately decide every presidential election, regularly confound the expectations of us political junkies. Today, I had an exchange with my American Spectator colleague Philip Klein that raised this topic. In response to my AmSpec blog post about Barack Obama’s apparent slump in the polls, Phil wrote:

I wonder what it would take to get McCain’s numbers up into the high 40s, let alone low 50s. The larger point I’m making is that historically, convincing voters that your opponent is bad can only get you so far. At some point, you have to give voters a reason to vote for you rather than merely against the other guy. . . . Even if he can raise doubts about Obama, what does McCain have to do to get more people to rally behind him? I’m not so sure.

This is a perfectly valid point, and a troubling concern for Republicans. In recent days, I’ve repeatedly referenced Patrick Ruffini’s argument that, in order to win, the McCain campaign must fight the election as a choice between Obama and Not Obama. Given the Republican “brand damage” problem and given Maverick’s alienation from the conservative base, his only real shot is to make the election a referendum on his opponent.

Phil is a young political junkie and I felt that he, in seeing an absence of positive arguments in McCain’s favor, was overlooking the attitudes of Ordinary Americans. My reply to Phil on AmSpecBlog:

The obvious responses to your doubts, Phil, would be (a) George McGovern and (b) Mike Dukakis.
Richard Nixon was never a beloved hero or a rallying point for the American people. Nor was Bush 41 a charismatic figure. Yet in 1972 and 1988, the Democrats suffered blowout defeats because they nominated candidates whom the Republican Party could portray as outside the political mainstream.
For 40 years, Democrats have refused to face up to an obvious fact: Americans don’t want a liberal president. Democrats have won the White House during this four-decade span only when they have nominated Southern governors who could be depicted, however inaccurately, as moderate/centrist types.
As to the positive appeal of John McCain, ideologues like ourselves cannot resist eye-rolling, shoulder-shrugging exasperation over the man’s unprincipled Maverickhood. Yet the fact is that the guy’s POW biography, his “Straight Talk” shtick, and his non-partisan reformer “brand” have a genuine appeal to independent voters. And the powerful Geezer Vote is a factor not to be dismissed.
I am not guaranteeing that Team Maverick can pull this off, but to see how it could happen, you’ve got to think in terms of non-ideological “swing” voters out in the sticks — the people I call “ordinary Americans,” who see politics very differently from the way we political junkies do.

That was about as much as I could get into a single AmSpecBlog post (I don’t like to clog up a group blog with long-form arguments) but it’s an important point. Even if conservative ideologues can’t see it, or don’t like it, the appeal of McCain’s patriotic non-partisan image is quite real to those patriotic non-partisan people, the Ordinary Americans.

A lot of those folks are “seasoned citizens” who’ve voted for Republican presidents many times before. Since the 2004 election, they’ve been turned off by the GOP for several reasons — Bush’s 2005 push for Social Security reform, scandals in Congress, high gas prices, etc. — but this doesn’t mean that they’re automatically going to pick Obama over McCain. And the fact that McCain is 71 (a negative in the eyes of many) could actually be a big plus for him on Nov. 4.

Media elites are always fascinated by “the youth vote,” but in 2004, exit polls show 54% of voters were 45-plus, of whom 24% were 60 or older. If Obama loses the Geezer Vote, it’s going to be a sad day in Hopeville Nov. 5.

Despite all the problems of the GOP, despite all of Crazy Cousin John’s shortcomings, Obama is the kind of liberal Republicans have beaten before, and since Steve Schmidt’s taken charge of Team Maverick, they’ve made some moves that suggest they still remember how to do it. And one of the most important challenges they face is convincing Republicans that Obama can be beat.

The “we’re doomed” vibe coming from within the GOP is a major obstacle that Team Maverick must overcome. This newly aggressive strategy that Schmidt has implemented, and the consquent slump in Obama’s poll numbers, are part of knocking down the powerful myth of inevitability that Obama created by knocking off Hillary in the Democratic primaries.

Ask yourself what would happen if, going into the Democratic convention, Team Obama was looking at a string of polls showing Obama behind, with his “negatives” going through the roof? Will Axelrod and Plouffe be able to deal with that? Will Obama? And what kind of holy unshirted hell will the PUMAs unleash if, on the eve of Denver, they have every reason to believe the superdelegates have saddled them with an unpopular candidate who’s sure to lose in November?

None of this is likely, but it’s entirely possible, because if you talk to those undecided “swing” voters — the Ordinary Americans — they’ll always tell you proudly, “I vote for the man, not for the party.” And what kind of man are the Democrats asking them to vote for?

That’s the key question the GOP hopes to ask — and answer — between now and Nov. 4. As I said in a follow-up at AmSpec blog, I’m reminded of one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies:

Flounder: Will that work?
Otter: Hey, it’s gotta work better than the truth.
Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.

Cheers!

July 30, 2008

Ferragamogate

The Huffington Post has decided that it’s a scandal for Republicans to wear nice shoes, because Obama wears store-brand sneakers from K-Mart. (I don’t think so, but lack the investigative resources of the mighty HuffPo.)