Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ahead, Yes, But For How Long?

Remember this time last week when Gallup announced Barack Obama had a 9 point lead over John McCain after the former's trip overseas? Now, it's down to anywhere from 1 to 2 points. If that wasn't bad enough, the media have started to question Obama a bit more harshly than they were in their "childhood crush" phase (which, admittedly is still going on).

Could it be Obama's campaign is in freefall?

You probably won't hear it from too many sources yet, but in spite of a fawning media and a lead, albeit slight, in the polls, this is not a good time for Obamania to be on the wane. In a matter of weeks, the Democrats will have their national convention in Denver, Colorado, and Obama needs some momentum to give him a better chance of coming out of the convention and the Republican National Convention with a lead.

At this rate, I don't see that happening, mainly because of the last 24-48 hours. With Obama's recent speech where he "predicts" the Republicans will attack him because of his race, he's going back to the race card, something that he has played time and time again during this campaign. But he's doing it in a subtle way.

There's a concept called a self-fulfilling prophecy in which something comes true because a person is conditioned to believe it will happen. By saying Republicans will attack him because of his race, Obama is setting up the premise. And with some of his campaign staff setting up a website to "combat the smears," he has people who can take any criticism levied against Obama and make it racist. Combine that with the efforts of Media Matters, a Fringe Left group whose main purpose is to distort anything said by conservatives in the media, and you have an army of people finding fake racism under every Republican statement.

Ah, but this is where Obama's desperation comes into play. After his bounce in the polls, Obama's starting to see McCain nipping at his heels and many criticisms about him being repeated, such as the perception that he's arrogant. When someone is in a bad way and doesn't know what to do, he or she tends to go back to a place where he/she feels secure.

And with Obama, it seems his "safe place" is one of hate and racism. The fact he lashed out against McCain and the GOP before they even mentioned his race shows his staff is concerned, as they should be. Obama has underperformed for months and is barely staying ahead of a weak Republican candidate in McCain in most polls. It doesn't matter how many Germans came to listen to him speak; they don't translate into votes, and they don't make the case that he'll be a good President.

And right now, Obama's not convincing too many of the "non-believers" that he's worth the gamble...or their votes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The House of the People?

Since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, we've seen some pretty asinine things being done in the name of the people. Yesterday was no exception. With all of the other problems the House could be addressing (the war on terrorism, offshore drilling, the scourge that is Carrot Top), what did they do?

They formally apologized for slavery and Jim Crow laws.

Slavery and Jim Crow laws are certainly no bright spots in our history, but I think we've gotten past them by and large. Sure, there are people who point to both as "proof" that America is a racist nation, but they need only look to the media's fawning treatment of Barack Obama to see a great example of how far we've come as a nation. Maybe it's me, but the fact there are a number of people of all races willing to vote for Obama tells me the people who think America is a racist nation are wrong.

But not nearly as wrong as the House was in apologizing for slavery and Jim Crow laws. When bad situations happen, we need to look at the chain of command, and for that we can look to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Under her pathetic excuse for leadership, the insignificant has been elevated to worthy of House consideration and the important has been relegated to the back benches. Who cares about approving offshore drilling, a move that would ultimately benefit millions of Americans? We need to apologize for things most people have already gotten over!

The worst thing about this apology is that it's not even sincere; it's political. Yes, this apology was the brainchild of Tennesee Democrat Steve Cohen, a white man from a predominantly black Congressional District in a tough primary fight with an African-American. Gee, that wouldn't have anything to do with the timing of this apology he sponsored, would it?

With boneheaded plays like this apology, I'd say Congress has earned their record low approval ratings.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Audacity of Arrogance

Within the couple of days, I have seen more than a few examples of arrogance from Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, Barack Obama, just to name a few. And if you go back in recent history, you'll find plenty of other examples.

Take this gem of egotism, for example. Madame Speaker responded to a question about her tactics to block efforts to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling by saying, "I'm trying to save the planet; I'm trying to save the planet. I will not have this debate trivialized by their excuse for their failed policy." Madame Speaker, I don't recall anyone asking you to save the planet because, well, if I were looking for someone to save the planet, I'd want someone competent. And, I'm sorry Ms. "I Got Congressional Approval Ratings To Single Digits", but I don't think you qualify.

Then, there's Republican Senator Ted Stevens. He was indicted for concealing over $250,000 in gifts he received from VECO Corporation, an Alaskan oil services company. He was also indicted of seven counts of giving false information on his Senate financial disclosure forms. If the name sounds familiar, it should; he was also the mastermind behind the "bridge to nowhere" to get more pork money to Alaska. If he's found guilty, I say he should be thrown in jail just for the "bridge to nowhere."

From Pelosi to Stevens and all points in between, our elected officials have gotten arrogant and seemingly above the law. They are the new untouchables, according to them. They can do whatever they want, screw whomever they want, and make us pay for it. And the sad thing?

We let them do it.

We stopped holding our elected officials accountable a long time ago, and they know it. In our attempts to do more, be more, and have more, we've forgotten that our republic is participatory in nature, meaning we have to take part in the process for it to work properly. The minute we stop participating, something has to fill the void. And that something, boys and girls, is political ego.

But there is some hope left. Republicans voted out their Washington counterparts in the 2006 midterm elections. This may have given us Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid, but that was an example of the people taking back the power they gave up. If the people we elect aren't doing the job, we shouldn't sit on our hands and gripe. We should vote to get better candidates on the ballot, and that goes for Republicans and Democrats. If you're unhappy with your Representative or Senator and he or she is up for reelection, vote them out. If one of your Representatives or Senators is guilty of a crime, support their prosecution and removal from office. We aren't their peons, folks. They work for us and if they can't or won't do the job, I'm sure we can find people who will.

Take back the government of the people, by the people, and for the people!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quick Hits

Since I have a big weekend ahead of me, I wanted to put together something to think about over the weekend. Enjoy!

- Barack Obama's trip overseas has made a splash with his followers and the media (who are pretty much in the former category), and made waves with others. But I keep flashing back to the point that Obama didn't go on this overseas jaunt until after John McCain did it and after McCain called him out on it. If Obama were the leader he and his followers said he was or will be as President, why the delay?

- Speaking of the Obama overseas tour, his speech in Germany has brought up two troubling ideas to me. First, Obama referred to himself as a "citizen of the world" while at the same time giving what appeared to be a campaign speech modified for the situation. This is troubling because it sounds like Obama is counting on world support to make him more popular at home, and undoubtedly it will in some circles. But remember Europe is known for being a haven for rabid anti-American Leftists. If you thought the Left was bad here, in Europe they're ten times worse. So, for them to have "Obamamania" tells me everything I need to know about them and about Obama.

- The other troubling idea is how easily conservatives in America have made the Obama-Hitler comparison. I'm of German heritage, so whenever anyone brings up Hitler it causes my ears to perk up. I don't like it when the Left compares Bush to Hitler, and I don't like it when the Right compares Obama to Hitler because the facts just aren't there to support the comparison. I can see where both sides are going with the comparisons, and it disgusts me that we're so willing to compare someone we don't like to a brutal dictator for purely political purposes. Hitler was Hitler and he will always be Hitler. Everyone else falls short of the sheer evil he was. Stop comparing politicians to him just because you don't like said politicians. It cheapens the process and what we sacrificed to bring Hitler down.

- Democrats and their Leftist allies love to portray John McCain as too old to be President. Some have even gone so far as to mock McCain's age. This may get high fives from the Leftists, but it's a major mistake because the old vote. Some older people have said they feel McCain is too old to be President, but so far we haven't heard too much from the bulk of the older voters. If the Left continues to mock McCain's age, it may not sit well with those voters and get them to go for McCain. And when you consider older people tend to vote in greater numbers and with greater consistency than younger people, this has the potential to blow up in the Left's face.

- Speaking of Leftists mocking McCain, have you noticed the lame names they've called him? McLame. McSame. McGeezer. McBush. McDull. For people who are supposed to be so much smarter than the rest of us, these names absolutely suck. Seems to me the real McLame ones are the ones who use "McLame."

- Phil Gramm has resigned from the McCain campaign after the flap over his recent comments about the "mental recession." McCain threw him under the bus because it made him look bad. But looking bad doesn't mean Gramm was wrong. Gramm's point was that so many people believe things are worse economically than they actually are, and he was exactly right. McCain admitted he didn't know too much about economics, and this move confirms it. If he did, he'd have supported Gramm and told the people who attacked Gramm to shove off.

- You know how the Left says "we can't drill our way out of the oil problem"? Minutes after George W. Bush announced he would lift the Executive Order banning offshore drilling, the price of oil dropped, and has been in freefall since. Hmm...maybe we can drill our way out of this problem after all...

- San Francisco has an initiative on the ballot to name a sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush. Again, the Left may be high-fiving themselves at their "wit," but such a move reflects how badly they've taken George W. Bush surviving their best attempts to undercut him. Since they can't impeach him (due to the pesky lack of any impeachable offenses), they'll demean him. And Bush will simply ignore them like he usually does, thus accomplishing nothing. In other words, San Francisco has accomplished exactly what it normally does when it tries to mock Bush and the Right.

And finally...

- Usually during the last year or two of a President's second term, he's called a "lame duck," meaning he really can't shape too much policy or do very much due to the dwindling amount of time he has left in the office. Democrats thought Bush would be a lame duck President after the 2006 midterm elections since his party no longer controlled Congress. As it turns out, Bush has been more engaged in setting policy this year than his Congressional counterparts. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have given us the very first Lame Duck Congress.

Enjoy the weekend, kids!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yet Another Example of the "Cutting Edge" Missing the Point

Sometimes it takes a Leftist to kick-start a blog post, and this one falls into that category.

As you might have guessed watching the media, they have a serious crush on Barack Obama, as do the Leftists. (Coincidence? I think not!) With the three major network anchors following Obama during his overseas tour, talk radio has been abuzz with cries of "liberal media bias"! Of course, this is to be expected. If the press were any more in Obama's back pocket, they'd have stitch marks on their bodies. That's not the story here.

What is the story is how this media lovefest with Obama negates the Left's argument in favor of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. One of the reasons they give to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine is that talk radio is dominated by conservatives, so no alternate views could be heard. Therefore, the Fairness Doctrine had to be brought back to ensure the electorate hears both sides of the story.

Yet, when we have a Presidential election where the press give overwhelmingly positive coverage to one candidate and overwhelmingly neutral at best coverage to the other, it's hard to believe they could be truly fair to both sides. Look at the headlines and the stories written about both candidates. The media treat Obama as the Second Coming, while they subtly (okay, not so subtly) take pot shots at McCain by underscoring any negative notions about McCain. Glenn Beck has a great bit on this on his show where he compares actual headlines to determine who "wins" the media war that day. To date, Obama has yet to lose, and that's not because of any bias from Beck.

It's because of the bias of the media.

Of course, the Left isn't saying a word about how unfair the media coverage is in favor of their candidate because, well, it's their candidate. No comment about how newspapers, magazines, and TV news all are carrying Obama's water, but when talk radio is dominated by the right, it has to be made to be balanced? The duplicity is not surprising, but it shows that the Left cannot be trusted to control the balance of talk radio or anything else.

Score one for talk radio...not that they recognize it yet.

A New Post from Stella Rondo

More Stella Rondo goodness for you. :-)

I have to agree with my good friend Mr. Lindaman in his recent criticism of talk radio ("The Cutting Edge Sliced the Wrong Way.") I've been a little miffed at Rush and Sean and Laura et al myself for some time now. Rush in particular seems to have some personal animus towards McCain, although I'm certain that will abate as the prospect of President Obama looms larger.

But why am I annoyed? Because for people who profess how much they 'get it' - they are REALLY not getting it in regards to McCain at all. Their criticism of McCain's campaign is seen through their prism of the media, and like all media people, they think it all begins and end with them.

But let me suggest another perspective: McCain is a military man, and is viewing his campaign as a war. He didn't survive 20+ years in the military, 5+ years in a POW camp, and 26+ years in the Senate by being an affable people pleaser. (If Obama fears for his manhood, it's not Jackson he should watch - McCain will have them in his back pocket before Obama even knows they're gone, all the while smiling that smile right in Obama's face.) The tactics McCain is employing are quite different from those the press keep hammering on him to use.

First, I think McCain took the measure of Obama in short order and has decided he's a self inflated featherweight. Consequently, he knows that Obama will eventually start believing his own press clippings, and will start tripping over his own - um - you know. As General Patton once said, "If your enemy is intent on destroying himself, don't stand in his way." And the Democrat record for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is well documented.

So McCain has nothing to lose at this point by being the gracious gentleman, killing his enemy with kindness. He must also know it doesn't hurt to let your enemy think that you are befuddled, maybe a little weak, and a lot confused.

Media people do not understand that 'not having a strategy' and 'not telling the enemy your strategy' are two different things. I think McCain knows full well what he is doing - he just doesn't feel the need to telegraph it to the world. (I've often said that if I ever played poker, I'd want to do it with a table full of liberal media types. These folks would be showing me their hands after the third deal, in the name of 'fairness.')

McCain, as a military man, also knows that you don't fire off all your ammo until your enemy is in one place. You especially don't fire all your ammo until you're sure who the enemy IS. (Can any of us say for certain that Hillary WON'T mount a floor fight at the convention, and end up with the nomination?)

So I think that McCain is holding back, allowing Obama to trip all over himself (which he is starting to do), saving his ammo for the time when it's going to count the most, and keeping his own counsel. Patience and silence are two things anyone who works in the media cannot hope to understand.

A final word to Rush/Sean/Laura, and anyone else who laments that McCain is not Reagan Redux. Regardless of how you feel about your team, you don't win by telling the world how lousy you think they are. At some point, you get over that 'your guy' didn't win, put your emotions aside, and support the guy who did. And if you can't muster up enough screaming FOR McCain, perhaps screaming AGAINST Obama will have to do.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The "Cutting Edge" Sliced the Wrong Way

This won't come as too big a surprise to you, but I'm a fan of talk radio. Hearing hosts pontificate on the issues of the day gets my mind going on those issues. Sometimes, I come away from the experience with a new perspective. Sometimes, there's not a lot of disagreement and, thus, not a lot to pick up from the experience. And sometimes, I'm the one who sees what the big guys don't.

Take Barack Obama's trip overseas, for example. From where I sit, John McCain took Obama to school at least twice. First, he undercut Obama's image as a leader by calling him out to go to Iraq. Then, while Obama is drawing in crowds overseas, McCain today announced that, weather permitting, he would be holding an appearance at an offshore oil rig on the same day Obama is giving a speech in Germany. Combine this with the rumors that McCain would be picking a Vice Presidential candidate this week, and McCain is looking more and more like a serious "under the radar" candidate.

And what did Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, both of whom brag of being ahead of the curve and comprehensive in their coverage, say about this? Nothing. Glenn Beck kinda gets it, but he's not quite there yet. And down the line, I haven't heard any of the people who get paid to do what I do for free make this point. Regardless of how they may not like McCain, if they're puffing up their status of being the cutting edge, they had better deliver.

Oh, but Rush and Hannity both talked at length about the media bias in favor of Obama. Gee, how shocking is that? Way to push that cutting edge, you two.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Four Words Democrats Don't Want to Hear

In a previous post, I mentioned reasons why the Democrats are anything but a lock in November. Yet, as time has gone on, I've found another reason the Left should be very scared right now.

Michigan has been a Democratic stronghold for many years, mainly due to the strong union presence there. In recent years, however, Michigan has experienced a serious economic downturn. Sean Hannity had as appropriate a description as any I've heard: a one-state recession. Instead of dealing with the economic realities the state faces, the Democratic leadership in Michigan have done...nothing good. If the economy is going to be the major issue in this campaign, the situation in Michigan should seriously worry the Democrats.

One of the ideas Republicans have tossed out there is the possibility of John McCain picking Mitt Romney as a running mate because it would put Michigan in play. This idea has merit, but I wouldn't just use Romney to turn a blue state red. The bad economy in Michigan combined with the apparent lack of concern from the Democrats in leadership there (and nationally, I might add), puts Michigan in play with or without Romney.

What it will take is a Republican brave enough to go into the Democratic strongholds in Michigan and say, "This is what the Democrats have done for you. And if Obama wins, it will be more of the same." That alone should be enough to get the working people on McCain's side and force Obama to win the state. That costs money and time that might be spent on other states and other matters. If they don't, they validate McCain and the GOP, which is something they can't afford to do. The minute McCain gets traction in Michigan, the stronger the possibility becomes that the Democrats lose Michigan.

Don't be surprised if the media, mainstream or real, turn around on this in the near future and say the four words Democrats never thought they'd hear.

"Michigan is in play."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Methinks the Laddy Doth Protest Too Much

There are times when the best thing to say is nothing. Barack Obama doesn't seem to know this yet, as he has turned a relatively small and not that widely known story into a much bigger and widely known firestorm. I'm speaking of the controversial New Yorker cover. At first, he brushed it off and was content to make what I felt was a strong stance on it.

Then, he had to go and bring it up again. On CNN's "Larry King Live", Obama was asked about the controversy and said the cover and the emails circulating questioning whether he is a Muslim were "actually an insult against Muslim Americans."

Now, let that comment sink in for a moment. The cover made no visual reference to Muslim Americans and, aside from Obama's garb and the picture of Osama Bin Laden on the wall, it made no reference to Muslims at all. The emails themselves, of which I've seen a number, also don't insult Muslim Americans; they merely raise the question of whether Obama is a Muslim. For the record, I don't care one way or the other what his religion is because I don't think he's fit to be President, and his responses about the New Yorker cover only confirm this in my mind.

Having said that, there are a number of people who will not accept Obama's explanation or proof that he's a Christian, not a Muslim. His comments on "Larry King Live" really don't quell the issue, in my opinion, and if anything keeps the fires of controversy going. Why would he say the emails and cover were "an insult to Muslim Americans" when they don't really target them?

The most obvious answer is that he was trying to turn the controversy into a campaign ad, and I found it as effective as the "satire" of the New Yorker cover. Instead, his response leaves the door open for more speculation about his religious affiliations.

And this guy wants to be President?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A New York(er) State of Mind

Unless you've been living under a rock (or posting on DemocraticUnderground, which is pretty much the same thing), you've heard about the controversial New Yorker cover featuring caricatures of Barack and Michelle Obama. Barack is featured in what looks to be Islamic garb giving a fist bump to Michelle, who has a wild Afro and is dressed like a black militant. As you might expect, the Obama campaign came out and blasted the cover. John McCain jumped into the fray and said it was disgraceful. The New Yorker defended the cover as satire, saying the intent was to poke fun at the various rumors circulating about the Obamas.

Maybe it's me, but I thought satire was supposed to be funny.

Anyway, the cover got me to thinking about a couple of things, ranging from whether it wasn't a stunt to give Obama a boost (like the recent flap involving Jesse Jackson) or if we weren't making too much out of a minor issue. But there's one possible angle that isn't being considered yet, but should be because it's just as plausible.

The New Yorker cover is the Left's first broadside against Obama.

Make no mistake, not everyone in Democrat ranks is happy that Obama is the presumptive nominee. There are a number of diehard Hillary Clinton supporters who still trash Obama, and it's a safe bet that a number of them are in the media in one medium or another. And considering Hillary's a Senator in New York State, where the New Yorker is based...

Let's just say the conspiratorial side of me isn't convinced the cover is satire. It's a tidy explanation, given the New Yorker's reputation for satirical covers, but it's not nearly as tidy as they hope. There are some questions that can be and should be raised to determine whether there's a political angle to the cover beyond featuring the Obamas. It may be a flight of fancy on my part, but if Hillary's involved, nothing is ever too farfetched to be believed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Dark Side

Earlier this week, John and Patsy Ramsey were cleared of suspicion in the murder of their daughter JonBenet. After years of living under a cloud of speculative suspicion, it's good to know we've eliminated two possible suspects. Now, everything has to start all over again. Which means, invariably, more media coverage.

Maybe it's me, but I've never really gotten caught up in the JonBenet Ramsey story because I find it...well, creepy. It was bad enough that JonBenet was involved in the child beauty pageant circuit and dressed like a miniature version of Anna Nicole Smith. But when you consider that people have found this story newsworthy since JonBenet's murder in 1996, I'm beginning to wonder where our collective heads are at.

First off, the child beauty pageant circuit. Having seen some of the videos of JonBenet performing, dressed up in sequins and wearing more makeup than a little girl should be, I am disgusted by what some parents will do at these pageants. The "pageant mothers" are setting their daughters up for failure, in my opinion, by creating in them a false sense of reality and pride. It's cute now, but what happens when one of the mini pageant queens stops winning? What does that do to the girl's self-esteem? Considering young women are the hardest hit by self-doubt as they grow older, the child beauty pageant circuit is not the best place for a little girl to be.

Fortunately, not all mothers are like this and they truly have their daughters' best interests in mind. Some, on the other hand, aren't so forgiving. They are the infamous "pageant moms" that, like their male counterparts the "Little League dads," put tons of pressure on their children to succeed. I'm no psychologist, but I am a thinker, and I think the motivation behind both the pageant mom and the Little League dad is living vicariously through their children. For some reason, the parents have a self-esteem issue, so they think that they can resolve it by having their progeny be better than they were. And when the children fail (which they usually do), the parents just go off. I'm not sure that's what happened here, but I do know that I'm not a big fan of child beauty pageants because it can really screw up a child.

Then, add to that all the attention this story has received. Since 1996, the JonBenet Ramsey murder has been a fixture in our culture. It seems to have the "perfect storm" of newsworthiness in modern society: a beautiful victim, incompetent police investigators, suspicion of people close to the event, and a media willing to cover every aspect of it for years on end. Quite the cocktail.

At times, it almost seems as though people, especially media people, don't want anybody to find JonBenet's killer. The minute we get to the bottom of this whodunnit, the lifespan of the story starts to wane which means the media won't have any reason to cover it. And in the end, I don't think we've gained anything from it. It's a tragedy, yes, but does it truly warrant the amount of coverage it received year after year?

All I see from the JonBenet Ramsey murder is darkness with no possible source of light. But it's not just the darkness eminating from the event itself, but in our own souls for allowing such a situation consume so much time in our lives.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Why Democrats Should Be Nervous for November

If you've read the news in the past couple of weeks, you've seen Republicans come out and lament their chances in November's elections. Personally, I think reports of the GOP's demise in November are greatly exaggerated, and there are more than a few signs that the Democrats may be counting their victories before they're won.

- Congressional approval ratings are low. How low? According to Rasmussen, the lowest they've been since Rasmussen has been polling. We're talking single digits here (9% to be precise). Is it any wonder, considering things are getting worse under Democrat control of Congress and they're too busy playing a pathetic game of "gotcha" with the Bush White House? The Democrats may claim 3 election victories for the House, but there won't be too many more victories if they keep falling lower in the polls.

- Obama has high disapproval ratings. For a man who is supposed to be wowing people on the campaign trail, Barack Obama has high disapproval ratings. As of this writing, they are above 50% (53-56% to be precise). For a man who has been running for 1 1/2 years right now, that's not a good sign. Democrats will say that Obama's still beating McCain in the polls, but McCain still enjoys lower disapproval ratings than Obama. This is one of the reasons Obama is going out on the campaign trail showing a new side to him: because we've seen the old Obama and we don't like what we've seen.

- Democrats are having trouble raising funds. After the 2006 Elections, 2008 was all but a lock for the Left. All they had to do was show up. Then, they started running into trouble raising funds for their convention in Denver. That tells me there's more than a little dissent within Democrat ranks that could spell danger later on in the campaign. This also has an impact on Congressional races, since the DNC can divert funds to candidates' war chests. If the funds aren't there, candidates will either have to do more independent fundraising or they will lose the elections.

- Democrats facing challenges...from other Democrats! In previous election years, Democrats in safe districts would rarely, if ever, face a challenge when going for their party's nomination. This year, though, Democrats are facing challenges from within in a number of races. Take Cindy Sheehan, for example. She's running against Nancy Pelosi as an Independent, which could sway that race if enough Democrats and Leftists stay home or split their votes. Even my local Congressman, Leonard Boswell, had to run against a fellow Democrat in spite of being a fixture within the District for years. This doesn't bode well for Democrats if there are hard feelings or withheld votes for the Democrat who wins.

- The Fringe Left isn't happy. Now that Obama has pretty much secured the nomination (barring some weird situation at the convention), he has to try to attract more middle-of-the-road Democrats and Independents. This will not sit well with the Fringe Left, like the DailyKosmonauts, MoveOutOfOurParentsBasements, and the Soros Sock Puppets, who have a very immature approach to politics. See how they went after Joe Lieberman in 2006, and how they still attack him if you need proof of that. Now that Obama's moving right on them, don't be surprised if the Fringe Left starts going after Obama and hard.

- Obama isn't ahead by much. Obama may be ahead in the polls, but most of the time, it's not by much. Media polls usually run around a 3-5% margin of error, meaning the numbers could be off by the margin of error. Right now, Obama's lead in the polls is a little more than the margin of error. For as much as the media say Obama is drawing major crowds and is an agent for change, the numbers aren't reflecting it. I think if McCain stays within striking distance of Obama or even pulls ahead shortly after the conventions, he will win the general election.

And finally...

- The media are pushing Obama a bit too much. It's no secret that the media are so far in Obama's back pocket they're getting stitch marks on their bodies. But they've been putting Obama is a near-divine light since the beginning. Part of that, in my opinion, is because they're reading their own polls and realizing that Obama is vastly underperforming what they've said he's capable of doing. And their love-fest with Obama has embarassed them more than a few times with stories they missed, but other news sources (i.e. the New Media) didn't. So, instead of adjusting their coverage to give a more realistic view of the man, the Old Media are treating him even more like a rock star in the hopes that the McCain voters will get frustrated and think Obama is a fait accompli for the White House.

So, my Republican and conservative friends, fear not. The Democrats aren't nearly as invulnerable as they think they (and some Republicans who will remain nameless to protect the innocent and the wussy) think they are.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Fireworks Display

In case you didn't see it, a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer named Chris Satullo wrote a piece titled "A Not-So-Glorious Fourth" where he took America to task for "crimes" committed by the Bush Administration ranging from having the world hate us to condoning torture. If you want to read the original piece, here's the URL for it:

After reading it, I was inspired to write the following. Feel free to pass it along to anyone who thinks America's worth fighting for.

An Open Letter to Chris Satullo
By Thomas Lindaman

Dear Mr. Satullo,

Your column of July 1 was…interesting to say the least. It worked a lot better than a hot cup of coffee to awaken me, that’s for sure. But, I do have to take issue with a few things you said in your column about how Americans don’t deserve a Fourth of July celebration this year because of the “atrocities” you say we’ve committed.

First, it’s not just the Fourth of July. The alternate, and in my opinion the more accurate and appropriate, name is Independence Day. Regardless of what you think we’ve done or even what we’ve done, calling it “America’s birthday” and, to a lesser extent, the “Fourth of July” diminishes the significance of the day. Without the Founding Fathers being willing to sacrifice everything for independence, “America’s birthday” wouldn’t be much of a celebration, wouldn’t you say?

I couldn’t help but notice that you took issue with how the current Administration has waged the war on terrorism. Without going into the fearmongering you’re probably predicting I’d utilize to defend the Administration’s actions, I’m sure we can agree that countries run by Islamic extremists aren’t exactly the freest countries in the world.

Being the informed individual you are, I’m sure you’re aware of the actions of Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and how they shut down newspapers critical of how they are ruling their respective countries. In many Muslim countries, women aren’t allowed to go out in public without being almost completely covered and a male escort. Rapes in Muslim countries are automatically considered to be the fault of the woman, even if she did nothing to deserve the treatment.

This, Mr. Satullo, is who we’re fighting in the war on terrorism.

I won’t cast aspersions on your commitment to human rights as some already have. I have no reason to believe you to be anything but an opinionated man who wants the best for America, warts and all. But, let me point out that you do no one a service by undercutting the current Administration, Congress, and the American people merely because we didn’t act in a manner you felt was timely or correct. You have fallen into the trap of so many anti-war folks: you assume that anyone who disagrees with you is fundamentally flawed and, thus, not worthy of your consideration.

If this were your only transgression, I would be willing to cut you some slack. However, it was not, so I cannot. Reading your column over and over again as I have, I noticed there was an inordinate amount of time spent lambasting the Bush Administration, not by name, but by deed. It should be pointed out that many of the actions you’ve pinned on the Bush Administration were practiced and condoned by previous Administrations. It doesn’t make it right, but it also doesn’t mean Bush alone is responsible. The singular focus of your outrage does not serve your argument well. If you are truly against torture and the other “crimes” you’ve attributed to the Bush Administration, then be against those “crimes” under all circumstances and treat those who condoned them with the same condemnation you’ve given to President Bush. Otherwise, you give your critics more than enough ammunition by which to tear down your rhetorical constructs.

I also noted the frequent use of anti-war and anti-Bush canards, as noted in the following passages:

“In our name, innocents were jailed, humans tortured, our Constitution mangled.”

“Heroes in uniform, judges in robes, they opposed the perverse logic of an administration drenched in fear, drunk on power.”

“We’ve shamed the memory of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin. All for a scam. The waterboarding, the snarling dogs, the theft of sleep – all the diabolical tricks haven’t made us safer. They may have averted this plot or that. But they’ve spawned new enemies by the thousands, made the jihadist rants ring true to so many ears.”

All of these are examples of partisan hyperbole without much basis in fact. The war against terrorism isn’t a video game where there are rules and you can restart a level if you don’t get past it. We are dealing with people who have no qualms about using our freedoms against us to serve their ends. They have no rules of engagement, no battleground honor, not even a sliver of remorse. They hate us and everything about us, and they have for far longer than George W. Bush has been President.

I urge you to think about what you’ve written. You’ve served no one, not even yourself, with your column.

And don’t worry. I’ll enjoy Independence Day enough for the both of us.


Thomas Lindaman
Des Moines, Iowa

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Patriotism "Redefined"

Barack Obama gave a speech in Independence, Missouri, yesterday where he talked about patriotism. During his speech, he made it a point to mention he wouldn't question anyone's patriotism and would defend against anyone who questioned his, but one thing stuck out in my mind: he wanted to change the definition of patriotism.

This got me to thinking whether the definition of patriotism needed to be changed. Since it's my blog, we'll use the definition I use as a baseline. To me, patriotism is simply love of country. This isn't a "America-Love-It-Or-Leave-It" sentiment by any stretch of the imagination. I love my country enough to be honest about its flaws and to strive to overcome them.

Is my definition perfect? Not in the least. Is it workable? I think so. Would it fly with Obama?

That's the big question. Obama really didn't offer specifics as to what his definition of patriotism entailed, so we're left speculating. Even so, there are elements in Obama's past and the pasts of people close to him (his wife, Michelle and his former spiritual advisor Jeremiah Wright, to name two) that can point us in a certain direction.

And let me tell ya, it doesn't look that good for Obama.

Patriotism isn't about wearing a flag lapel pin or holding your hand over your heart when the Star Spangled Banner is played. Those are outward expressions that may or may not reflect a love for one's country. A true sense of patriotism comes from within. How one feels when the Star Spangled Banner is played. Whether a sense of pride wells up when you see an American flag waving in the wind. Outward trappings mean nothing to the inner patriot.

And so far, all I've seen from Obama has been outward trappings.

Maybe that's why Obama wants to change the definition of patriotism. He can't live up to the actual one.