Archive for October 2nd, 2008

October 2, 2008

Team Maverick hoists the white flag

They’re surrendering Michigan. And Allah is right, Pennsylvania’s next. It’s over. Get used to saying, “President Obama.”

Earlier today, I started to do a poll roundup, then got distracted and didn’t finish it. Why bother now? Crazy Cousin John has already given up.

That’s why he was so bitter and sarcastic in that Associated Press interview. Last week’s idiotic gesture — “Suspend the campaign! Cancel the debate! Pass the bailout!” — blew up in his face and destroyed all rational hope that he can win on Nov. 4. So now he’s looking around for scapegoats, and any reporter (or columnist) who gets within range will do.

Pathetic. Three weeks ago, McCain led by 3 points in the Real Clear Politics average (and one poll showed him +1 in Michigan). A week later, when the polls started to slip, he freaked out and tried to blame the mortgage meltdown on SEC Chairman Chris Cox. When that didn’t work, and with his poll numbers slipping even further, he decided to take ownership of the unpopular $700 billion bailout.

Look, I’ve been following politics since 1968 when I was (believe it or not) a staunch 9-year-old Hubert Humphrey booster. I know a losing campaign when I see one and, having more than a few friends who are political operatives, I know what goes on inside a losing campaign.

The top people inside a losing campaign know the final score long before it becomes apparent to outsiders. Ask anybody who was involved in the Bob Dole ’96 campaign. After Labor Day, they were just going through the motions, playing out the season, collecting a paycheck.

The top folks at Maverick HQ — who in early September were thinking about what their positions might be in the McCain administration’s transition team — are now on Travelocity, booking their Caribbean vacations for the second week in November. They will furiously deny this of course, but the ability to lie through one’s teeth with apparent sincerity is a prerequisite to being a professional political operative.

Do not be deceived, then, by “here’s-how-we-can-win” talk coming from Maverick HQ or the Republican talking heads you see on Fox News. Do not get your hopes up by letting Hugh Hewitt or Sean Hannity draw you into their miracle-comeback fantasy talk. Ain’t gonna happen.

Alas, I am a sucker for miracle-comeback fantasies. So if, at any point in the next 32 days, it should appear that I’m being sucked into an optimism vortex, please remind me of this post, where I append this time-capsule note to my near-future self:

Hey, idiot, get a grip! That latest tiny bump in Maverick’s poll numbers in Ohio and Colorado is a glitch, a statistical anomaly, and is insufficient cause to ignore every previous indicator of the impending Obama landslide. And why the heck should you care, anyway, since you swore a blood oath on Feb. 7 that you were going to vote Libertarian this year? Or did you forget that, too, you moron?

I feel better now. There is peace in pessimism.

October 2, 2008

Video: Union goon to members: OBEY!

AFL-CIO Goon-in-Chief Richard Trumka warns the proletariat that Hope and Change are mandatory:

“There’s not a single good reason for any worker — especially any union member — to vote against Barack Obama, and there’s only one really, really bad reason to vote against Barack Obama, and that’s because he’s not white.”

Gee, maybe Allen West should try this tactic down in Florida: If you vote against a black candidate, you’re a racist.

I have argued for years that labor unions are not democratic. Rather, they are extortionist conspiracies that represent the interests of the hired goons rather than the interests of the members. To quote my favorite blogger:

The whole purpose of labor unions is to collect money to pay fat salaries for the lazy goons who do no actual work. Unions exist exclusively to serve the interests of their leadership, and the poor saps in the rank-and-file — forced to pay dues as a condition of employment — are merely the prey of the parasitical goons.

If you are a union member who believes otherwise, let me ask you a simple question: Why do you believe otherwise?

Who told you that the union represents your interests? Who told you that your employer is wrongfully exploiting you? Who told you that, without the representation of a labor union, you’d be helpless and impoverished?

The goons taught you that. And if you say, “No, I learned it in school,” guess what? The goons of the teachers unions control what’s taught in public schools, too. If you’re such a chump that you’re going to let the goons tell you what to think, I guess you don’t mind them telling you how to vote.

Why is Trumka so desperate to make sure that all those dues-paying chumps follow orders and vote for Hope and Change? Two words: “Check card.”

Obama has promised to abolish secret ballots in unionization votes, so that the goons will know whose tires to slash and whose windows to smash in their terror campaigns against workers who’d rather keep their own wages rather than being forced to pay union dues to support the goonocracy.

Did I forget to explain that “corrupt union official” is redundant? You’ll find a virgin in a bordello before you’ll find an honest man running a labor racket. Union goons aren’t merely detestable scum. They’re the poisonous bacteria that infests the vicious parasites that feed on the rancid slime that encrusts the detestable scum.

The difference between the labor movement and syphilis is that occasionally decent people contract syphilis through no fault of their own. And syphilis is curable, while it seems nothing can eradicate the menace of labor unionism.

October 2, 2008

Government: Big enough already

Quin Hillyer observes that, despite cries of “crisis,” existing institutions are meeting the credit crunch adequately:

Without a greater accretion of power, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation stepped in to help stem the panic. So did the Securities and Exchange Commission. So did the Federal Reserve. All of them helped. And more can be done, within existing authority.
The point here is not to celebrate the bureaucratic state, but only to note that the bureaucratic state already is large enough and powerful enough to handle parts of this crisis. It doesn’t need to get much bigger.

I would argue that how we got here in the first place is through the blunders of a too-big government that needs to be substantially reduced, but we can have that argument later. Quin’s larger point — that the alleged financial emergency seems not to require extraordinary intervention — is solid enough.

October 2, 2008

Coulter on Biden

Some advice for Sarah Palin:

Shockingly, Sen. Joe Biden was one of only five senators to vote against the first Alaskan pipeline bill in 1973. This is like having been a Nazi sympathizer during World War II. If Sarah Palin does nothing else, she has got to tie that idiotic pipeline vote around Biden’s neck.
The Senate passed the 1973 Alaskan pipeline bill by an overwhelming 80-5 vote. Only five senators voted against the pipeline on final passage. Sen. Biden is the only one who is still in the Senate — the other four having been confined to mental institutions long ago.
The stakes were clear: This was in the midst of the first Arab oil embargo. . . . But Biden cast one of only five votes against the pipeline that has produced more than 15 billion barrels of oil, supplied nearly 20 percent of this nation’s oil, created tens of thousands of jobs, added hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and reduced money transfers to the nation’s enemies by about the same amount.
The only argument against the pipeline was that it would harm the caribou, an argument that was both trivial and wrong. The caribou population near the pipeline increased from 5,000 in the 1970s to 32,000 by 2002.
It would have been bad enough to vote against the pipeline bill even if it had hurt the caribou. A sane person would still say: Our enemies have us in a vice grip. Sorry, caribou, you’ve got to take one for the team. But when the pipeline goes through and the caribou population sextuples in the next 20 years, you really look like a moron.

The moron debates Sarah Palin tonight, and everybody’s worried about Palin making a gaffe?

October 2, 2008

Morality and markets

From my latest American Spectator column:

Why, after all, are so many Americans so fiercely opposed to this plan, even though bailout proponents warn that the alternative is a complete meltdown of the economy?
The president has told us that “the government’s top economic experts” believe the bailout is necessary to avert an economic collapse. The plan is supported by leaders of both parties in Congress, and endorsed by both John McCain and Barack Obama. One eminent pundit has denounced bailout opponents as “nihilists.”
Yet I cannot escape the conclusion that the bailout is wrong. Not just wrong as a matter of politics or policy, but wrong as a matter of morality. And I suspect that the same moral instinct fuels the fervor of many citizens who have been burning up the Capitol Hill switchboard with calls demanding that lawmakers vote against this bill.
Ordinary Americans cannot ignore the “still small voice” telling them that what is being proposed is nothing less than government-sponsored grand theft, and that in a government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” this crime is to be carried out in their name.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a list of congressional phone numbers. She writes:

I keep hearing and reading that public opposition to this rushed-through monstrosity has “softened” in the wake of the Senate’s approval last night. I’m not sure why the bailout pimps keep touting that talking point when countless Americans trying to express their vehement disapproval can’t even get through the FUBAR House e-mail system!

The congressional switchboard is also FUBAR, but call it anyway: 202-224-3121.

UPDATE II: My friend and co-author Lynn Vincent comments:

The redistributionist state long championed by Democrats now seems to be operating in reverse, with Main Street Americans expected to subsidize Wall Street, upside-down McMansion buyers, and troubled mortgage lenders.

PREVIOUSLY:
October 2, 2008

UPDATE: Senate OKs bogus bailout bill

UPDATED & BUMPED: The Senate votes 74-25 to approve the “crap sandwich” bailout bill. The lefties at Firedoglake are shocked that Obama voted “yes.”

The very worst thing about this bill? I find myself on the same side of an issue as Glenn Greenwald. I feel like a sockpuppet.

PREVIOUSLY: Hot Air has an open thread for those following the debate over the bailout in the Senate, but this is just political theatre since, as Allah notes, there’s little chance of the House doing anything and certainly no chance they’ll do anything soon.

Public opposition to the plan is simply too fierce for the House to ignore. The bill fell 10 votes short of approval Monday, with 94 Democrats voting no. If Pelosi couldn’t buy, beg, borrow or steal another 10 votes out the majority caucus, there’s no reason why Republicans should lift a finger to help her.

October 2, 2008

Justice Alito to headline Spectator gala

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito will be the keynote speaker at the American Spectator’s 2008 Robert L. Bartley Gala Dinner, Dec. 3 at the fabulous Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington.

The gala will also honor syndicated columnist Robert Novak with the Barbara Olson Award for Excellence in Journalism. Entertainment will be provided by the Alex Donner Orchestra.

The annual Spectator gala, as anyone who’s ever been to one can attest, is a star-studded event attended by all the big shots of media and politics in Washington. If you ever wanted to hang out and have cocktails with some of the most famous faces of conservatism, this is a shindig you don’t want to miss. (Hey, if Alito’s speaking, I’m betting Scalia and Thomas will be there.)

Tickets are $250, and additional information is available from Patrick Pyles at 703-807-2011, ext. 25, or by e-mailing pylesp@spectator.org.