A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hewitt has Jeremiah Wright. . .

. . .audio and transcripts up, and the stuff is absolutely devastating. As he points out, Obama has complained about the fact that so much of what's been said about Wright has been based on snippets and sound bites. Well, what Hugh posts can't be reasonably portrayed as such, and there's nothing exculpatory to be found in any of it.

This kind of stuff, regardless of whether or not McCain finds it a legitimate avenue of attack on Obama, is important to know. One way or another, people are going to become aware of it, and they're going to draw their own conclusions with regard to its legitimacy. There's absolutely nothing he can do to prevent it from being circulated, and it's not something he should attempt to stop even if he could.

Opposing the North Carolina GOP campaign ad was, in my opinion, the wise thing to do. But people have a right to know when a presidential candidate has sat silently in the pews while his pastor went on tirades like the ones Hewitt has unearthed.

Sen. Salazar accuses Rush. . .

. . .of a "clear exhortation" to violence in Denver during the Democratic National Convention and demands that he be reprimanded by Clear Channel. You'd think he'd reserve his outrage for Recreate '68, an organization openly dedicated to creating the unrest that Limbaugh only dreams of.

Salazar is clearly making an obvious attempt at changing the subject of media scrutiny from the growing discontent and contumely among Democrats by putting Limbaugh, the one person for whom all Democrats share a blinding hatred, in the headlines for a few minutes. I suppose it succeeded to the extent that anyone gives a damn what Sen. Salazar thinks. But, what Salazar obviously doesn't understand is that, should there actually be any serious violence or civil unrest in Denver this August, any attempt to pin the blame on Limbaugh for it will backfire, leaving the Colorado senator red-faced and shamed before his constituents and an utterly incredulous electorate.

Limbaugh may have goofed in talking up the possibility of violence in Denver, but only insofar as it gave the Democrats an excuse to stop trashing one another and start trashing Rush. But, even if you take that view of Limbaugh's statement, you have to admit that it's, at most, a very temporary distraction. And, the simple truth of the matter is that anyone who thinks that Limbaugh is saying something that the average man on the street isn't already talking about is clearly out of touch with the electorate. People have been talking about this for weeks, if not months.

But, then again, Salazar isn't the only Senate Democrat who seems not to have the foggiest notion as to what's going on among the grassroots. The single worst offender on that front is about to be the party's nominee.

The NRO fainting couch. . .

. . .is getting a workout today over McCain's condemnation of the Wright ad in the North Carolina gubernatorial race. In their hysterical swoon, they took a swipe at him while conceding that he has a legitimate reason to exercise extreme caution in matters involving race:
We understand McCain’s desire to steer well clear of any racial foul-play, but there’s none in the ad and he’s foolish to be pushed into the position of speech cop for every other Republican in the country.

The problem with that appraisal is that McCain has explicitly stated that he can't be the "speech cop" they accuse him of being. Speaking in Inez, KY, he stated, “I can’t dictate to them but I want to be the candidate of everybody,” and, “unfortunately all I can do is, in as visible way as possible, is disassociate myself from that kind of campaigning.”

NRO characterized the ad pretty accurately in calling it "a bank shot on top of a bank shot," but that while it's not a particularly effective ad, there's nothing illegitimate about it. That's a fair point, but it needs to be considered in light of the context which NRO's editors raise at the end of the piece:
From now until November, any Republican criticizing Wright will be accused of playing the race card. It’s a way to shut down discussion of Wright’s poisonous worldview, and of what it says about Obama. These rules stack the deck and stifle legitimate debate. Republicans must reject them.

Indeed, anyone who does criticize Wright from here on out is going to be accused of playing the race card. But, the fact is that this was always the case, regardless of whether McCain embraced, rejected, or completely ignored the ad. If conservatives circle their wagons around an ad that is not only ineffective, but an overreaching attempt to tie gubernatorial candidates to Jeremiah Wright, they make themselves an easy target for charges of racism. Even though the charges are false, the subject of Wright is undeniably racially charged, and if the North Carolina GOP can make a highly tenuous connection between him and their Democrat opponents, Democrats can turn it around and make a very dubious charge that the ad was racist, since it dealt with such a racially divisive subject.

By insisting on running the ad in order to display a rejection of the rules that stack the deck against Republicans, you're assuming that doing so will change the rules. There's virtually zero chance that this is going to happen. And, in the end, that rejection of the rules will only result in Republicans being accused of playing the race card while denying it. You still end up being the accused in an unfair process, whether you reject the rules or not. And, in using such a dubious connection as was used in the ad, it leaves you open to dubious charges from your opponent.

But, there's a benefit to be found in all of this. Because, at least now, there is a serious discussion taking place as to whether or not this ad plays the race card. The Democrats will make the case that, since the connection between the two gubernatorial candidates and Jeremiah Wright was virtually non-existent, it's legitimate to question the motives of the North Carolina GOP in raising him as an issue. But, what will they say when the connection between Obama and Wright, which is anything but dubious, is raised?

The Democrats will have a much more difficult time making their case when that happens.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The weekend beckons. . .

. . .and I find myself once again ripped away from my little portal looking out onto the world of politics. But, let not your hearts be troubled, for I shall return upon the morrow with some cool crap.

In the meantime, it's time for a bee-double-ee-double-arr-yoo-en.

The New Kind of Politics. . .

. . .appears to be coming solely from the McCain campaign, as this post at The Politico makes abundantly clear. While McCain decries the use of Jeremiah Wright in a North Carolina gubernatorial campaign ad as being of a tone which his campaign is seeking to avoid, Barack Obama's campaign manager is tarring McCain as the product of racist support. That's pretty low-road stuff.

Obama needs to repudiate this in strong terms, and he needs to do it now. Having his campaign manager running around defaming his opponent by implying that he courts racist sentiment to bolster his support further undermines the entire rationale of his candidacy. If you're running as a candidate who transcends racial barriers, you can't be taken seriously if your minions are engaging in fear mongering and racially divisive rhetoric at the expense of your opponents.

Of course, Obama will in all likelihood issue a terse statement that says, in effect, "I don't think John McCain is in the Klan, but I've never seen any proof that he isn't."

Ezra Klein's language. . .

. . .is pretty atrocious in this Twitter post that wasn't intended to get out, so do not click this link if you are offended by extremely crude language. If you're curious as to what it is, but don't want to be offended, I'll put it this way: Ezra Klein expressed his disdain for Tim Russert by declaring that someone should engage in homosexual relations with him, and that there should be some kind of caustic chemical involved in the process.

Sorry, folks. That's the best clean-up job I could do.

A tip o' the derby to Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot, where I found this item.

The NC GOP's Obama ad. . .

. . .and John McCain's condemnation of it have created a stir, to be sure. Everybody seems to know what's going on, except for some disgruntled grassroots activists, who are behaving like a bunch of scorned teenage girls.

Here's some advice for all the folks out there who are so hurt by what McCain has had to say about it: Butch it up, you Marys! The more whining and keening you do about this stuff, the sillier you look. When did the GOP become the party of the fainting couch?

My rebellious streak. . .

. . .kicked into high gear today. In spite of dire warnings and against the advice of the federal government, I didn't call in a HazMat team when I knocked over a lamp with one of those twisty bulbs broke it. Yep. I just swept it up, put the bulb in the trash and threw the glass shards into my cat's food bowl.

He loved it!

A great cartoon. . .

. . .by Nate Beeler has been posted by someone over at The Corner. Do check it out.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blogging will be light. . .

. . .today. I have to go and hang out with some working class white people who drink beer. I'd do a shot in Hillary's honor, but they don't serve liquor in this establishment. But, they do serve one fine rack of ribs.

I don't know why they don't have a web sitet. Perhaps I'll make that a project of mine. I'll have to talk to the owners about it.

Anyway, I'm thirsty. So long!

Bill Ayers' office. . .

. . .is described as a "Where's Waldo of lefty radicalism" by Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot. I think that's a pretty apt description. I couldn't help noticing the text in the image of Malcolm X in the center of the shot: "Allah's Angry Man" and "A Thousand More Shall Rise".

If this guy lived in my neighborhood, I think I'd know enough about him to know not to call upon him for fundraising purposes. I might even move, depending on the proximity of his home. Never know when that baby's going to blow, after all.

Obama's Ayers connection. . .

. . .is proving to get a little more troubling all the time. Samantha Sault has a great round-up post on the work going on in the blogosphere to uncover easily foreseen, yet, previously unknown details in Ayers's and Dohrn's very recent past. As expected, it turns out their days of rage still haven't ended.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

There's just something about. . .

. . .an armed woman that stokes the fires of the conservative man. Well, at least this conservative man, anyway. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in my admiration for a woman who takes it upon herself to ensure the safety of her life, liberty and property. It also doesn't hurt that so many of them are drop-dead gorgeous.

Some songs never age. . .

. . .for me. A few weeks ago, I went on and on about a couple of songs off of the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" album, and how listening to them again after a certain length of time brought about a new appreciation for them. In a similar vein, there are songs that you've heard a thousand times and still hear them frequently, but that, for some inexplicable reason, just strike you out of nowhere with how great they are.

This happened to me the other night as I was listening to the Foo Fighters' song, "D.O.A." (on the ear buds for which I'm currently seeking a replacement set). To my mind, it's four minutes of rock music heaven, even though it may have been overplayed on rock radio when it first came out. It's near the top of the list in my music player over there in my sidebar. Just scroll up almost to the top of the list and look for it. Then, crank up your computer speakers and just listen. I mean, that is one rockin' song, I don't care who you are.

Shirley Temple Black's 80th. . .

. . .birthday was spoiled when she took a very nasty spill last week, resulting in a compound fracture of her arm. By all accounts, Shirley has always been the very picture of class, which sadly makes her a relic in the Hollywood we know today.

Apparently, she's been working on the second volume of her autobiography and has yet to sign with a publisher. From Army Archerd's blog at Variety:
Until now, Shirley had been busy finalizing the second book of her autobiography -- the first is "Child Star" -- but had not yet signed with a publisher. She can add this chapter to her incredible story. And I have been lucky enough to have been present at some of her accomplishments, history and honors.

Having suffered a pretty severe fracture in my left arm some years ago, I know how painful the recovery can be. The fracture Shirley suffered was even more severe than mine, and happened just as she was turning 80, whereas mine happened when I was still in my late twenties. But, if the tone of the article is any indication as to how she's handling it, I'd say she's a far bigger trooper than I was.

Let's all hope for a very speedy and full recovery for America's real sweetheart.

The turd in The Corner punchbowl. . .

. . .otherwise known as amnesty recipient John Derbyshire, seems to be delighting in jerking the chains of the faithful these days. Ramesh Ponnuru has the proper attitude in dealing with petulant provocateurs like Derb, which is to simply ignore him while he amuses himself and Andrew Sullivan with the cool trick he learned from the big boys at summer camp. I never had the opportunity to attend summer camp, but from what I gather, it is a place where some pubescent boys learn about the physical counterpart to the cerebral act that Derbyshire is engaging in these days. After all, if you're overcome by the urge to jerk something, and there are chains all around you. . .

I'm bleggin' ya. . .

. . .could someone please give me a brand of decent, cheap ear buds with sturdy insulation? In spite of my careful efforts to prevent it, the ones I have now have developed a short. And, for me, there are very few phenomena that send me into a blind rage like having the right channel cut in and out while I'm trying to listen to some tunes. The ones I have came with my Crackberry, which I got at Christmas, so I guess I ought to be grateful that they've lasted as long as they have. But, dammit, I have rigorous expectations for audio components of any sort -- the top three criteria being (1) great sound, (2) incredible durability, and (3) stunning cheapness.

So, if any reader happens to know of a set of ear buds that fit these criteria, or if they fit the top two criteria, but happen to be sold at a place with extremely lax theft prevention (in which case I'll pay my niece five bucks to get them for me), please leave a comment. I need to replace them quickly as my neighbors won't even make eye contact with me right now. Apparently, they find it alarming to see a man screaming obscenities, jumping up and down and stomping on an object they can't see in his front yard.

Thanks to Gayle. . .

. . .over at And You Thought You were Cranky for the link, and to all the visitors coming by via her fine blog. She's one of the finest, most insightful writers in all of Blogistan, and I consider it an honor to count her as a friend. Be sure to bookmark her blog, if you haven't already. She seems to be updating it more frequently lately, which is great. I'm not the person to lecture anyone on posting frequency, but maybe if some of her readers stayed on her case about it. . .

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Armed, superstitious xenophobes. . .

. . .appear to have ridden to Hillary's rescue in Pennsylvania. As they say, the only question right now is how big the margin is going to be. Mark Levin predicted a 13-point win, earlier -- and that's right about what I was thinking. Actually, I figured it would be somewhere between 10-15 points -- that covers plenty of ground, I know. But I'm not too good at predicting numbers, so I tend to hedge. The important thing is that Hillary will have achieved the needed double-digit victory in order to move her campaign forward while reasonably claiming that she still belongs in the race.

If it turns out that she wins by less than double-digits, I will have been wrong, but Clinton will still claim legitimacy. And, the fact of the matter is that, until one candidate has the number of delegates required to capture the nomination, she has a point. As they say, it ain't over 'til it's over.

McCain's disability pension. . .

. . .has come up as an issue in a Los Angeles Times article I linked in my previous post. The fact that a paid professional journalist believes this is an avenue worthy of inquiry is, to me, indicative of just how desperate Obama's backers in the press are to shepherd their charge into the White House.

It's also a sign of the sickening depths to which purportedly objective reporters will sink in order to undermine their golden child's opposition. The way this particular item is constructed, there are only two conclusions the reader can come to: either John McCain is unfit for office due to the injuries he suffered in service to his country, or he is unfit for office for accepting the pension to begin with, since he is capable of hiking in the Grand Canyon.

As much as I hate to harp on one subject over a series of posts, I can't help but wonder if, in asking Barack Obama to explain his relationships with an unrepentant terrorist and a radical black liberation theologian, and the rationale behind his refusal to wear an American flag lapel pin, journalists do a shoddy, despicable disservice to the political process, just what in the hell would you call the LA Times piece?

In a world of my creation (and let's all thank God this one isn't), Ralph Vartabedian would be answering a few questions while hanging from broken and re-broken arms. And I doubt seriously that he'd give me very many unsatisfactory answers.

Hillary's big day. . .

. . .begins with coverage of her husband's little spat with a reporter, which will likely stir up the hornet's nest that is her base, causing them to turn out in overwhelming droves. Meanwhile, Barack Obama uses the opportunity to flop the race card, which is likely going to further alienate the already weak and dwindling support he has among working class whites.

On the same day, both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times decide to run pieces on John McCain that, should the Democrats decide to run with them as talking points, will backfire badly.

One wonders if Tom Shales can bestir himself to decry this journalistic malpractice in even the mildest of terms. I understand that he can't be expected to open a vein over the repeated underhanded depredations of the media on a Republican presidential candidate, but you'd think he might be able to wag a finger of admonishment at his fellow belligerents for their utter lack of honor. After all, the man unleashed a screed on his compatriots for asking questions of Barack Obama that were based in readily discernible fact. It seems only reasonable that he, or maybe even someone more qualified to comment on political coverage than a style columnist, take the time to assess the treatment given to someone other than Obama once in a while. Reasonable, perhaps. Conceivable, no.

As a conservative, I learned long ago that to hope for even-handed coverage of my preferred candidate at the hands of the left-dominated Washington press corps was an exercise in futility and disappointment. Consequently, I've come to rely on the fact that, by and large, the public understands just how blatant the bias is. Now, it appears that the Clinton campaign is getting a taste of life as the redheaded stepchild of the liberal media establishment. Of course, it took the arrival of the new leftwing messiah to relegate her to the status of gum on the sole of the media shoe, but at least it's now so glaringly obvious that half of all Democrat voters are now getting to see it in all its sycophantic glory.

One good thing that will come out of this election is the fact that many Democrats will have cause to consider the fact that the same folks who so cavalierly doled out derision on Barack Obama's primary opponent are the same folks doing it to John McCain. They've now witnessed how the game works once the media have their man. And they've witnessed how Obama's media allies will respond when one of their own strays from the pack the way George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson did. The reaction is, well. . .

Monday, April 21, 2008

With Tancredo unshackled. . .

. . .from the bonds of public approbation, we're starting to get a glimpse behind the Halcion-induced smiling visage that the anti-immigration movement has used to conceal the contorted snarls at its lunatic core. The first hint came back in late February, when Mark Krikorian went after Catholic Bishops, accusing them of having nefarious motives for their support of immigrants, both legal and illegal, rather than any altruistic sense of compassion.

To this day, I have trouble understanding how so many conservatives didn't see this coming. The signs were clearly there all along. All one had to do was to look at the origins of the groups most responsible for the ratcheting up of anti-immigrant sentiment and the histories of some of their more prominent members and boosters.

Throughout all the rancor of the past few years, Kathryn Jean Lopez has been exceedingly tolerant of the rhetorical excesses of Tancredo, Krikorian and others, but it seems she has finally had it up to here. Ramesh Ponnuru was pretty charitable in his assessment of Tancredo when he originally pointed out the idiocy he's currently foisting on the public. I suspect he'll be less so in days ahead, though I've never been very good at predicting which side he's going to come down on with regard to any given issue. Nevertheless, unless something as changed in recent months, he has taken a tack on illegal immigration that is pretty similar to my own: that following the monomaniacs on the matter would be absolutely disastrous.

(Oddly enough, one of those monomaniacs surfaced in the Washington Post's page-1 hit piece on McCain, yesterday. These people are frighteningly angry, and the fact that McCain is going to be the nominee of the Republican Party -- which they feel they own lock, stock and barrel -- is absolutely maddening to them.)

But, what's more frightening than these people's ideas is the fact that they so recently held such sway over mainstream politicians. You couldn't hear the Washington D.C. traffic over the sound of the knocking knees in the Senate when they organized their blast-fax campaign to kill immigration reform.

It ought to be clear now to every senator on Capitol Hill that these people were punching way over their weight class, given the fact that enough Republican primary voters saw through the disguise to hold Tom Tancredo to a pathetic one percent of popular support. And, thanks to Tancredo's recent antics, this passel of eccentrics is going to cast a much smaller shadow from now on.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

When polticians live in fear. . .

. . .of the little guy, then you're doing something right. And, sometimes, it takes an outside perspective to remind you when you're doing something right. For me, that perspective came in the form of a column in the London Daily Telegraph, by Janet Daley. She says it just about as well as it can be said here:
Unlike in Britain, where the opinions of ordinary people are held in pretty much open contempt, at least insofar as they do not conform to the acceptable limits of what might be called BBC received orthodoxy, in the US (which takes mass democracy very seriously indeed) they are treated with immense, electorally significant respect.

That is why Mr Obama's remarks were jaw-dropping stuff in the course of a presidential election: no politician with serious ambitions ever, ever insults the great mass of small-town, working-class America.

That's the reason the American left is sputtering with rage right now. That's why Tom Shales is suffering from severe testicular torsion in the aftermath of the Democrats' debate on ABC. They know that the hoi-polloi was watching and the really didn't want to have this discussion in front of us. For them, it was as if they were parents forced to discuss the details of their open marriage in front of the kids. The kids are never supposed to know.

Q: What's the difference. . .

Mike Leahy plays "Kristen". . .

. . .to Obama's Eliot Spitzer in today's Washington Post, dredging up complaints from the distant past by avowed McCain enemies alongside resolved differences he once had with his current allies. It's a pure hit piece, to put it charitably. What it really amounts to is showin' some love to the Obama camp, helping to knock the dirt off the suddenly beleaguered candidate's shoulder.

Mark Salter wrote in to Ramesh Ponnuru after having seen the piece linked at The Corner and gave the McCain campaign's account of just how this story came to be, and it doesn't reflect well on Mr. Leahy. Apparently, Obama's duplicity is a trait shared by his benefactors. Whether or not they developed the trait as a result of exposure to the crepe paper messiah, or if it's just the regular old run-of-the-mill sort of duplicity normally attributable to the Beltway press corps, I don't know. But, unless Mark Salter is an outright liar, in which case it seems incumbent upon Leahy to forthrightly state so, the very genesis of this story is enough to cast doubt upon it. The fact that it appeared on Page 1 in the Sunday edition should be a source of shame, even for a publication as shamelessly biased as the Washington Post.

What this all amounts to is a several-thousand-word collection of ancient complaints by embittered sworn McCainemies interlaced with long-forgotten differences between erstwhile foes, fishwrapped and delivered to the front door of Obama '08 headquarters. Obama's greatest asset is the fact that when he needs something to take his latest gaffe out of the headlines, he has friends who can make it so by hook or by crook.

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