Archive for October 26th, 2008

October 26, 2008

Harvard genius vs. college dropout

Ross Douthat (Harvard ’02) vs. Rush Limbaugh, who dropped out of Southeast Missouri State in 1971:

[Limbaugh’s argument] has a certain surface plausibility – just enough, I suspect, to be persuasive to the many, many conservatives eager to be convinced that the ’08 outcome had everything to do with John McCain’s heresies and the treason of the Beltway elites, and nothing whatsoever to do with them.

In other words, Rush’s 20 million listeners are what’s wrong with the Republican Party. If only they’d listen to these young Harvard graduates who know everything . . .

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

UPDATE: Linked at Conservative Grapevine.

October 26, 2008

TNR misses the point

Noam Schreiber of The New Republic infers that complaints from supporters of Sarah Palin about McCain campaign aide Nicolle Wallace are somehow related to Wallace’s ties to CBS news.

In fact, Wallace is a Bush loyalist, and if you think Wallace’s old boss Jeb Bush isn’t looking ahead to 2012 — if you think the Bush clan doesn’t views Palin as a potential threat to their dynastic succession — you’re crazy.

If Palin is suspicious of her handlers, it’s like that old joke: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t really out to get you.

October 26, 2008

Palin coming to Pa. on Tuesday

She will join John McCain at a Tuesday morning rally in Hershey (a 100-mile drive for me) and then do an afternoon event solo in Shippensburg (a 50-mile drive for me). Meanwhile, Fred Barnes has a piece about the anti-Palin punditocracy:

In judging Palin, it comes down to who is more credible. Is it those who’ve worked with her, or know her, or have at least met and talked with her? Or those who haven’t? The answer is a no-brainer. Okay, I may be biased on the subject of Palin, having been impressed after spending nearly two hours with her on one occasion and an hour on another.
My advice is ignore the critics who know far less about Palin than she does about foreign policy. A good example is Ken Adelman, who headed the arms control agency in the Reagan administration. Adelman recently endorsed Obama and said he “would not have hired [Palin] for even a mid-level post in the arms control agency.” Well, I know both Palin and Adelman. And Ken, I’m sorry to tell you, but I think there are an awful lot of jobs in Washington that Palin would get before you.

Fred is a squish on immigration and his fawning hagiography of Bush infuriated me, but I agree with him about Palin’s critics, who are clearly trying to make her the scapegoat for Republican failures she had nothing to do with.

One reason Palin is so disdained by the elite punditocracy is that Team Maverick botched the rollout, which allowed the MSM to depict her as a shallow, clueless lightweight — the perfect scapegoat for the know-it-all pundits. It is to Palin’s credit that she reportedly recognizes the gigantic PR blunder committed by her “campaign handlers.” Unlike any of them, Palin has actually worked in a newsroom.

October 26, 2008

That there’s funny . . .

. . . I don’t care who you are!

October 26, 2008

The ‘pro-life Democrat’ scam

This would be amusing, were it not so sad:

The political advertisement that aired in Montgomery, Ala., spoke plainly to conservative voters’ values. As an image of three toddlers in diapers flashed across the screen, a narrator intoned that Mayor Bobby Bright, who is running for Congress, “supports their right to life.”
The anti-abortion pitch is standard fare in Alabama’s Second Congressional District, a deeply conservative area that President Bush carried twice and that has been represented in Washington by a Republican for four decades.
What makes the spot unusual is that Mr. Bright is a Democrat. And that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has been pushing hard for Mr. Bright’s election, paid for it.
In fact, Mr. Bright is one of a dozen anti-abortion Democratic challengers the party has recruited to run for the House this year and has aggressively supported with millions of dollars and other resources in culturally conservative districts long unfriendly to the party.

On this issue, there is no arguing that the Democratic Party is completely controlled by Planned Parenthood, NARAL and Emily’s List. Obama will name pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage activist judges to the courts, and a Democratic-controlled Congress will pour even more money into Planned Parenthood’s coffers through Title X. And yet some people are foolish enough to believe that there is something to be gained by voting for “pro-life Democrats.”

Remember the “conservative” Democrat Jim Webb, who won the Virginia Senate race in 2006? Webb gets a 100% rating by NARAL, a 100% rating by the AFL-CIO and AFSCME, and rates 85% with the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. Meanwhile, Webb scored an F from the American Taxpayers Union.

The idiots who vote for “pro-life Democrats” don’t pay enough attention to realize they’re being bamboozled, just like they don’t notice that “Catholics for Obama” shill Doug Kmiec is funded by George Soros.

October 26, 2008

Irony triumphant

Multiple layers of irony are being exposed in the denouement of this campaign, including “Cakewalk Ken” Adelman’s Obama endorsement and the choice of animal-rights kook Matthew Scully to write speeches for moosehunting Sarah Palin.

The latest irony? Remember John McCain’s screwball idea of naming Andrew Cuomo as SEC chairman?

“Andrew Cuomo has distinguished himself by going after wrongdoing on Wall Street — that’s exactly the kind of bulldog we need at the S.E.C. to fight for American investors and taxpayers.”
Peter Feldman, 9/22/08

Peter Feldman — that name ring a bell? He was the guy pushing the Ashley Todd hoax to the media. None of the liberal bloggers trashing Feldman for pushing the hoax seem to have noticed his previous role as the “Republicans for Cuomo” spokesman.

October 26, 2008

National Greatness redux

David Brooks offers a historic pedigree for big government:

There are two major political parties in America, but there are at least three major political tendencies. The first is orthodox liberalism, a belief in using government to maximize equality. The second is free-market conservatism, the belief in limiting government to maximize freedom.
But there is a third tendency, which floats between. It is for using limited but energetic government to enhance social mobility. This tendency began with Alexander Hamilton, who created a vibrant national economy so more people could rise and succeed. It matured with Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Republicans, who created the Land Grant College Act and the Homestead Act to give people the tools to pursue their ambitions. It continued with Theodore Roosevelt, who busted the trusts to give more Americans a square deal.

The problem is that (a) Brooks’ argument lacks a basis in historical and political fact, and (b) his “third tendency” is practically identical to “orthodox liberalism” and inimical to limited government.

First, Hamilton did not “create a vibrant national economy,” and I defy anyone to demonstrate that he did any such thing. Hamilton was an advocate of various policies, but these policies did not in any sense “create” the American economy, which is a product of the labor and intelligence of the American people. The Homestead Act is utterly useless as a model for future policy for the very reason that there are no longer any Western lands to give away. And the efficacy of Teddy’s “trust busting” is by no means universally applauded by economic historians.

What do Hamilton, Lincoln and Roosevelt have in common, other than occupying pedestals in Brooks’ mental pantheon? All were advocates of protective tariffs.

So if Brooks wants to endorse the protectionism of Patrick Buchanan, Lou Dobbs, et al., he could have found no better historic icons than Hamilton, Lincoln and T.R. Exactly how Brooks proposes to pursue “National Greatness” without the protectionist measures advocated by his idols, he doesn’t say. However, he does proclaim:

The Hamiltonian-Bull Moose tendency is the great, moderate strain in American politics. In some sense this whole campaign was a contest to see which party could reach out from its base and occupy that centrist ground. The Democratic Party did that. Senior Democrats like Robert Rubin, Larry Summers and Jason Furman actually created something called The Hamilton Project to lay out a Hamiltonian approach for our day.

The Rubin/Summers faction is not calling the shots at the Obama campaign, nor do they have any influence with Howard Dean, who calls the shots with Democrats in Congress. The “Hamiltonian tendency” of the Democrats is a figment of Brooks’ imagination, the same imagination that conjured up the “National Greatness” concept that has done so much to lead the GOP to ruin.

UPDATE: Linked in Pirate’s Cove roundup (which features a haunting hottie).

October 26, 2008

The crisis meme

This is the kind of “GOP gotterdammerung” story you can expect more of in coming days:

Aides to George W.Bush, former Reagan White House staff and friends of John McCain have all told The Sunday Telegraph that they not only expect to lose on November 4, but also believe that Mr Obama is poised to win a crushing mandate.
They believe he will be powerful enough to remake the American political landscape with even more ease than Ronald Reagan did in 1980.The prospect of an electoral rout has unleashed a bitter bout of recriminations both within the McCain campaign and the wider conservative movement, over who is to blame and what should be done to salvage the party’s future.

The good news? The prospective “bloodbath”:

Jim Nuzzo, a White House aide to the first President Bush, dismissed Mrs Palin’s critics as “cocktail party conservatives” who “give aid and comfort to the enemy”. He told The Sunday Telegraph: “There’s going to be a bloodbath. A lot of people are going to be excommunicated. David Brooks and David Frum and Peggy Noonan are dead people in the Republican Party. The litmus test will be: where did you stand on Palin?”

Mr. Nuzzo, if we should ever meet, I owe you a drink for that one.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

October 26, 2008

Schmidt pushed McCain to back bailout

New York Times:

On the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 24, John McCain convened a meeting in his suite at the Hilton hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Among the handful of campaign officials in attendance were McCain’s chief campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, and his other two top advisers: Rick Davis, the campaign manager; and Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime speechwriter. The senator’s ears were already throbbing with bad news from economic advisers and from House Republican leaders who had told him that only a small handful in their ranks were willing to support the $700 billion bailout of the banking industry proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. . . .
Schmidt pushed for going all in: suspending the campaign, recommending that the first debate be postponed, parachuting into Washington and forging a legislative solution to the financial crisis for which McCain could then claim credit. Exactly how McCain could convincingly play a sober bipartisan problem-solver after spending the previous few weeks garbed as a populist truth teller was anything but clear. But Schmidt and others convinced McCain that it was worth the gamble.
Schmidt in particular was a believer in these kinds of defining moments. . . .

“Defining moments” = idiotic stunt that blew the election.

October 26, 2008

Roll Tide!

FINAL – Alabama 29, Tennessee 9
Not a bad game, but not a great one either. The defense was strong, but Alabama didn’t really drive the ball consistently on offense. The Crimson Tide is now 8-0, and that’s nothing to complain about, but they’re really going to have to play better Nov. 8 at LSU. Next week, ‘Bama hosts Arkansas State for homecoming — and let’s hope there’s no shocking upset.

4th Quarter — 7:26 — Tennessee goes 63 yards in six plays for a touchdown. Two-point conversion attempt fails. Two 15-yard pass interference penalties hurt ‘Bama on that drive. Alabama 29, Tennessee 9

9:43 — TOUCHDOWN! — Now ‘Bama’s really wearing out the Tennessee defense. Strong running by Glenn Coffee and Roy Upchurch key an 80-yard drive for the Tide (with another big penalty against Tennessee). Upchurch runs 4 years for the TD. Alabama 29, Tennessee 3

14:14 — Tennessee gets a first down, but then a penalty sets them back. Punt. Alabama takes over at their 20.

3rd Quarter — 1:38 — TOUCHDOWN! — Now that’s what I’m talking about. Alabama goes 79 yards in 12 plays, burns more than six minutes off the clock. The key play was Wilson’s third-down pass that got a first down at the Tennessee 36. Then five carries by Roy Upchurch pounded it down to the 1-yard-line, where Wilson carried for the TD. A two-point conversion attempt failed. Alabama 22, Tennessee 3

8:03 — Three downs and punt for Tennessee again, and Alabama starts from their own 21. Man, a good solid drive would be an excellent idea now.

10:28 — ‘Bama picks up a first down, then faces a 4th-and-1 at the Tennessee 13, decides to bring on Leigh Tiffin for the field goal. Alabama 16, Tennessee 3.

13:44 — Three downs and punt for Tennessee, Alabama returns the punt down to the 33.

HALFTIME — Tennessee put together a drive all the way to the Alabama 14 before two costly penalties set them back, and a field-goal attempt was blocked. So we dodged a bullet. But at halftime, Tennessee’s leading in time-of-possession (16:06 to 13:54), and if it keeps up like that, the Tide defense will start getting tired. ‘Bama really, really needs to get its running game on track.

2nd Quarter: 3:10 — TOUCHDOWN! — Finally, John Parker Wilson gets the passing game going with two quick connections to Julio Jones. On 4th-and-1 from the Tennessee 3, Glenn Coffee carries for the touchdown. (And that 66-yard drive puts ‘Bama ahead once more in time-of-possession.) Alabama 13, Tennessee 3.

5:44 — Tennessee can’t move the ball, misses a field-goal attempt, Alabama takes over at its own 34.

6:40 — Three running plays net 9 yards, so that at least Alabama doesn’t have to punt from the end zone. But what a lousy punt! Tennessee takes over at the Alabama 32.

9:25 — Tennessee puts together a drive, but stalls at midfield. Punt pins down Alabama at its own 3 yard line. Tennessee now leads in time-of-possession. The Crimson Tide offense needs to put together a good drive here.

14:39 — Tennessee’s defense is hitting hard, Alabama can’t move the ball. Punt. Dang it.

1st Quarter: 0:21 — Stopped ’em again — 3 downs and out for the Vols. No complaints about the defense — Tennessee’s only got 11 total yards in the first quarter — but Alabama simply must establish its ground game and put together a sustained drive.

1:37 — Alabama kicks a field goal. We’re still relying too much on the passing game, not driving it like we should. Alabama 6, Tennessee 3.

3:37 — Tennessee goes 3-and-out, shanks a punt, Alabama takes over at midfield. Now, let’s drive it, boys.

6:28 — Alabama goes three downs and out. So far, nine of our 13 plays from scrimmage have been passes. This bodes ill.

Dang. We stopped Tennessee and forced them to punt, then Javier Arenas fumbled the ball and set the Vols up at the ‘Bama 10. A turnover by special teams wastes a solid defensive effort. We managed to keep them out of the endzone, but they got a field goal. Alabama 3, Tennessee 3.

Alabama takes the opening kickoff and drives 50 yards down to the Tennessee 21 before settling for a field goal. Alabama 3, Tennessee 0

Tonight, 7:45 p.m. ET, Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, ESPN. Tennessee (3-4) is having an off-year, but the Vols will be psyched up for the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide (7-0), which last week lost 362-pound nosetackle Terrence Cody, a potential all-conference player who had become the anchor of the Alabama defense. Fortunately, Cody’s knee was only sprained, but he’ll still miss this week’s game. That means John Parker Wilson and the Tide offense will need to take it up a notch, control the ball and mount some clock-chewing drives in order to relieve the pressure on the ‘Bama defense.

Being a Southerner means understanding that politics is not as important as football. America can survive an Obama presidency, but if Alabama loses, the terrorists win.