Archive for October 27th, 2008

October 27, 2008

R.I.P., Dean Barnett

“SoxBlog” used to be Hugh Hewitt‘s right-hand man at Townhall. Died today at age 41 of complications of cystic fibrosis.

Ace is mourning the loss of Dean’s “wicked pissah” Boston accent.
October 27, 2008

Guilty, guilty, guilty!

Good riddance to a pork-barrel Republican:

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has been convicted of lying about free home renovations and other gifts he received from a wealthy oil contractor.
The Senate’s longest-serving Republican, Stevens was found guilty on all seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial documents.
The verdict throws the upcoming election into disarray. Stevens is fighting off a challenge from Democrat Mark Begich and must now either drop out or continue campaigning as a convicted felon.

Why didn’t Stevens resign months ago? This is the same question I asked with Bob Ney two years ago. Where do these Republicans get the idea they can survive scandals like this?

October 27, 2008

‘Trust us, we’re professionals’

John Gizzi reports that a group of Republican consultants running the party’s “independent expenditures unit” are selectively pulling the plug on conservative candidates. Michelle Malkin is furious. Yesterday, I said:

There is a reason that the Republican Party has lost nearly all its grassroots energy, and it has a lot to do with the profligacy and incompetence of the overpaid “professionals” who run these campaigns. . . .
Campaign professionals are living large, billing everything to the expense account and throwing fat consulting contracts at their buddies. They get paid whether the candidate wins or loses, so it’s not like they actually care what happens.

Most grassroots conservatives I talk to aren’t so cynically specific about what’s wrong with the GOP, but there is a definite sense that there is a problem at the top levels in Washington.

October 27, 2008

Boffo box office for Obama

Andrew Breitbart:

The making of the Barack Obama franchise far exceeded the skill set of Washington’s best. In fact, the recipe for Mr. Obama’s global popularity can be attributed less to political minds and chance than to the enduring power of Hollywood. . . .
With its emphasis on star power, the Obama campaign from Day One emphasized the candidate’s perfectly cut presidential presence.
From its skillful editing to its out-of-control budget and its relentless marketing, Mr. Obama’s team played a different game at a different level than Sen. John McCain and his traditionalist staff.
For starters, top minds in Washington assessed an inexperienced ultraliberal of partial African heritage with the name Barack Hussein Obama as a hard sell.
But in his look, tone and temperament, Mr. Obama resembles some of the top domestic and foreign box-office titans of our time.

Unless, of course, hicks in sticks nix pics.

October 27, 2008

Giant blog woman endorses Obama

I never realized Megan McArdle was a terrorist-loving radical Marxist who hates America:

Yes, I still support Obama . . . .

A pro-Obama libertarian — kind of like the Mensheviks who supported the Russian revolution. When she ends up in a gulag, she’ll have second thoughts.

October 27, 2008

Glenn Reynolds sells his soul

To the New York Times. That a pioneer of New Media would allow himself to be published in Pinch Sulzburger’s Pravda-on-the-Hudson just goes to show you that every man has his price. If Obama were smart, he’d send Professor Reynolds a little e-mail, obliquely mentioning the possibility of an appointment to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

October 27, 2008

Swooning for ‘oleaginous’?

I love good language, and was amused by this liberal blogger who paused amid an article blockquote to “swoon” for Robert Draper’s use of the phrase, “the oleaginous Alaska network dominated by Frank Murkowski and Ted Stevens.”

This is actually a clever double entendre. Oleaginous means “oily,” and certainly oil is a major factor in Alaska politics. But the secondary meaning of oleaginous (when applied to a person) is “slick” or “slippery,” especially someone who greases their way to success with obsequious flattery. You can easily imagine that the Alaska old-boy network is crowded with characters like that. So oleaginous works both ways in this context.

A really clever phrase is always a pleasure, as with Tim Cavanaugh’s description of L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten as a “sanctimonious endomorph.”

October 27, 2008

Romney aides slagging Palin?

This infuriates me:

Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin’s bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading ant-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election. . . .
Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a “diva” and was going off message intentionally. The former and current Romney supporters further are pushing Romney supporters for key Republican jobs, including head of the Republican National Committee.

I’m not sure this is true, but it infuriates me either way. If it’s true, then the Romney people are collaborating with liberals in their anti-Palin crusade. If it’s false, then somebody’s trying to do a pre-emptive strike against Mitt.

I have been harshly critical of the McCain campaign, but I don’t have a dog in the fight. I’m a journalist, not a political operative, and I’m not trying to get a job in anybody’s 2012 campaign. These GOP campaign professionals are a different breed. When someone’s selling loyalty as a commodity, caveat emptor.

October 27, 2008

When Hope fails

Folks in Massachusetts are discovering that Democratic promises don’t necessarily add up.

October 27, 2008

Professor Obama on ‘economic justice’

What do you think he’s talking about?

The “failures of the civil rights movement . . . dispossessed people”? Really, what do you think he’s talking about? It ain’t “middle-class tax cuts,” I tell you that. Obama in 2001:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

Obama wants a Constitution that requires exactly what its framers intended the Constitution to forbid. That’s they kind of postmodernist crap they teach at Harvard Law nowadays.

UPDATE: ABC via Hot Air, Team Obama claims:

It’s just another distraction from an increasingly desperate McCain campaign.

But it didn’t come from the McCain campaign, it came from Obama. How is it that Obama advocates “redistributive change” in 2001, but if any critic calls attention to Obama’s own words, it’s a “smear”? Next thing you know, we’ll be told it’s “racist” for Republicans to quote Obama.