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CATEGORY: Decision '08, Ethics

One can hardly blame Barack Obama for opting out of publicly financing his campaign for President of the United States. After all, Jesus was only tempted with all the kingdoms of the earth if he would worship Satan. Obama ’s temptation was winning the presidency at the expense of his image as a truthtelling agent of change and new political messiah.

I think Obama is getting much the better of the deal.

Look at it this way. The Obamabots could care less what their candidate says or does. He could be caught tomorrow in a bathtub, naked, with Larry Sinclair, puffing away on a crack pipe while getting serviced by 3 Boy Scouts and 2 altar boys and they’d still think he was the bee’s knees. And while his political foes have gone ballistic over the flip flop on public financing, most of us would hit the ceiling if he walked on a crack on a sidewalk, hysterically accusing him of wanting to break his mother’s back.

It is the 30% or so of voters in the middle that matter as far as this imbroglio is concerned. And the American people, being eminently practical (and recognizing a good thing when they see it) will probably not think much of Obama breaking his promise to accept public financing. First and foremost, the voter today is a pretty cynical creature and they don’t believe too many promises from any politician – even if he claims to be the human manifestation of goodness and truthfulness. But beyond that, I don’t think that 30% would trust anyone who turned down what Obama is getting by eschewing federal financing; somewhere around $250 million. They would look strangely indeed at anyone stupid enough to keep a promise made months ago at the expense of winning the presidency.

This, after all, is the real reason Obama is going for his own little Fort Knox rather than sticking to his principles and taking his money from government. It would be the biggest mistake in the history of American politics if Obama had stuck by his guns and taken the federal funding route. Imagine if he had taken the public financing and then lost. The Democrats would be beside themselves and Obama’s name would be mud.

Going the private funding route is the safe play, the easy play, and dare I say it, the winning play. John McCain is going to hardly know what hit him. He will be outspent 3-1 at every level. Already Obama is flexing his muscles by running ads in Alaska, Montana, and Georgia – three states, not coincidentally, that Libertarian candidate Bob Barr expects to make his best showings. The thinking is that Barr can siphon enough votes away from McCain to make Obama more than competitive in a three way race. Personally, I think they’re wasting their time with Alaska and Montana – probably even Barr’s home state of Georgia as well. But the point isn’t so much to win those states as to force McCain to defend them – with the limited resources he will have available to him because McCain will indeed find it necessary to accept public financing of his campaign.

Every red state they force McCain to defend means less money the Republican candidate can spend in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio. Eventually, the McCain camp will be faced with the horrible strategy of writing off states like New Mexico and Nevada while pouring his limited resources into just a few battleground states, hoping against hope that the rest of his base can remain relatively solid.

There is already talk in the McCain camp of an election day scenario in which their candidate wins enough electoral votes but loses badly in the popular vote – perhaps by as much as 3 million votes. By September, that may be the official strategy.

Despite the obvious advantages for Obama in taking private money for the campaign – advantages that any half wit can see – the candidate decided to give the most bizarre and certainly the most dishonest explanation for turning down federal funds:

“We’ve made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election,” Obama says in the video, blaming it on the need to combat Republicans, saying “we face opponents who’ve become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we’ve already seen that he’s not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.”

Amazing. Obama is really getting the hang of this lying thing. Of course, he’s had a lot of practice lately so perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us.

It is disingenuous in the extreme for Obama to complain about the RNC getting PAC and “special interest” money when his own campaign will raise $50 million from big donors:

Michael Coles, a former Clinton fund-raiser from Atlanta, said in an interview that he was one of 20 to 30 Clinton supporters who joined Mr. Obama’s national finance committee at a meeting on Thursday in Chicago. Members of the committee have each pledged to raise $250,000 for Mr. Obama.

People from both camps said they expected most of Mrs. Clinton’s top fund-raisers to align behind Mr. Obama, and that they could raise at least $50 million for him.

That $50 million will be about 25% of his total haul. Who does Obama think these fat cats and heavy hitters who will be raising this cash are? They are hardly Joe Blow Democrat who worship at the altar of Obama. These gimlet eyed men and women are giving money not out the goodness of their hearts but because they expect something in return. If there is another definition of “special interest” I haven’t heard it.

But the real whopper in Obama’s statement – the real nose grower is that he must refuse to take federal financing because Republican 527 groups will raise “millions and millions” of dollars to smear him.

I know Obama has been busy lately and perhaps has not had time to catch up with the news, but it’s been known for months that the GOP 527 effort is a shadow of what the Democrats are going to throw at McCain:

Obama’s alarmist prophecy — a bit of typical campaign rhetoric meant to scare his own donors into reaching for their credit cards — is wildly at odds with the flatlined state of conservative third-party efforts.

The truth is that, less than five months before Election Day, there are no serious anti-Obama 527s in existence nor are there any immediate plans to create such a group.

Conversations with more than a dozen Republican strategists find near unanimity in the belief that, at some point, there will be a real third-party effort aimed at Obama.

But not one knows who will run it, who will pay for it, what shape it will eventually take or when such a group may form.

More worrisome for Republicans who believe such an outside attack apparatus is essential to defeating Obama, some key individuals and groups who were being looked to for help say they won’t be involved.

Obama’s 527 worries are a mirage – or more likely – an out and out lie that he had no reason to tell. Why not just say “Look folks, I want to win. It would be stupid to forgo the opportunity my brilliant fundraising has given me. And you don’t want a stupid president, do you?”

I daresay Obama would have impressed a helluva lot of people if he had said something like that rather than raise the canard of evil Republicans plotting to smear him.

One amusing sidelight to this story is the way the New York Times reported it. It’s almost as if the left hand didn’t know what the far-left hand was doing.

Here’s a snippet from the Times editorial on the matter:

Public financing, which Mr. McCain has indicated he would accept, limits spending to $84.1 million in the general election. Mr. Obama expects he can raise three or four times that. He insists he needs the larger flow to hold off unscrupulous Republican “masters at gaming this broken system” via separate party funds and Swift Boat-style smear campaigns.

Mr. Obama’s power to excite average donations of less than $100 also is admirable, and his concerns about his opponent are understandable. The Republican Party is raising a great deal of money, and shadow groups known as 527s have tens of millions to spend. Mr. McCain knows the power of these groups since they slimed him out of the 2000 Republican primaries. Now that he’s the presumptive nominee, however, he is inviting them into the fray on his behalf.

Meanwhile, the news story covering Obama’s decision contains this little goody:

Mr. McCain has been highly critical in the past of 527s and other independent groups, but he seems to have softened his rhetoric lately, saying his campaign could not be expected to “referee” such groups.

Nevertheless, Republican strategists said many affluent donors who might be in a position to finance 527 groups were wary this time because of the legal headaches that bedeviled many of these groups after the 2004 election, as well as the possibility they might incur the wrath of Mr. McCain.

And I always thought there was no difference between the Times editorial page and its news reports. Guess I was wrong.

When all is said and done, this issue – like all issues that reflect badly on Obama – will quietly die, Obama’s falsehoods and hypocrisy just a distant memory. And the press can go back to its non-stop, full court Obamamania that is turning this election into a farce.

Meanwhile, Obama will have more money than God and will win this election in a walk.

By: Rick Moran at 9:36 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (22) Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Obama's Father's Day Speech Stirs Reaction...

If I were you, I would go immediately to my favorite gas station and get in line now. Because if, as some (Many? Most?) Democrats desire, there is a government take over of the refinery business in America, we can be sure of only one thing; a lot less gas will be manufactured and at a higher price.

I would ask my lefty friends the following; name one – just one – government enterprise that was ever run so efficiently that it could compete with market driven companies? And what makes you think the government will suddenly acquire the wisdom found in the markets and be able to adequately supply 300 million people with enough refined petroleum products so that the economy doesn’t collapse in a heap at your feet?

I’ll say this, the Democrats sure are ambitious in implementing a plan to socialize America. You’d think they would have started with something easier – like, say, the banking industry. Banks don’t make anything tangible, they just have a lot of money.

If not banking, maybe the fast food industry. Now there’s a group of companies crying out to be taken over by government. Their products already suck so the government couldn’t ruin them. And anyone who has been to a Burger King around dinner time can attest to the gross inefficiency with which they deliver a meal to the customer. I have been going to Burger King for 40 years and have yet to get exactly what I ordered. Besides, with government in control at McDonalds, maybe they could finally lose the clown and get a decent mascot – like maybe a greasy french fry or frozen beef patty.

But no, the Democrats had to get ambitious and want to take over an industry where the margin for error is less than zero and the consequences for screwing up are life and death. Sorry everyone in the Northeast but we goofed ever so slightly and you are going to run out of heating oil about half way through the winter. Might we suggest having a lot of sex to keep warm? Great fun and very educational for the kiddies.

Mess up at a bank and it’s just a few million in taxpayer dollars. Screw the pooch at a fast food restaurant and someone doesn’t get their order of fries with their Happy Meal. But make a mistake in the refining industry about how much gas or heating oil will be needed down the road and you have something approaching catastrophe on your hands. One must possess breathtaking arrogance to believe that government could do as good or better than profit driven companies in determining the needs of the market at any given time.

But to our Democratic Socialist friends (Can we start calling them that now? Can we?), the point is not supplying the American people with gasoline or heating oil but rather control – control of the industry so that it functions for “the benefit of the people.”

How often have we heard that battle cry in history? And oh how miserably those who have uttered it have failed to deliver promised benefits. From Lenin to Castro to Mugabe, the nationalization of industry to benefit “the people” has been a spectacular economic disaster. In the end, production in nationalized industry always declines. In the end, the industry has always fallen into ruins.

Why Democrats want to experiment with nationalizing the most efficient, the most successful market based industry in the history of the world – the oil and gas industry – is beyond comprehension. It is almost magical that tens of billions of barrels of oil taken from the ground or the sea every year can be transported in a few days to refineries here in the US and through a complex process turned into gasoline and other products which are then whisked around a continental nation of 300 million people to fill up automobiles or trucks not to mention supply raw material for the tens of thousands of products from chemicals to plastics without which our economy would grind to an ignominious halt.

And Democrats want the government to take over this process? Sheer idiocy.

Goldstein draws the frightening – and depressing – conclusion:

The question then, is this: have the American people, either through progressive bromides or an educational system that has been battling to turn government into a secular godhead, become so dumbed down that they will fail to recognize explicit calls for communism when they see them? I honestly don’t know. But I will say that the fact that they’ve managed to pit Obama against McCain — two nannystatists with progressive tendencies — in the presidential election, makes me fear the worst.

For more than 100 years, a titanic struggle has been going on between those who worship at the altar of collectivism and those who wish to make freedom of the individual paramount. Even a cursory look around the western world today would tell you that collectivism is winning, that forced altruism, nationalization, and a retreat on individual freedoms has now taken hold in Europe.

Meanwhile, conservatives in this country have been fighting a rear guard action against the creep of socialism, promoted shamelessly now by both parties to the point, as Goldstein states, we now have two major party candidates for president who are enamored of the nanny state. Despite Goldwater, despite Reagan, despite a supposedly conservative takeover of the House and Senate, and despite 8 years of a “compassionate conservative” president, the slide toward collectivism has continued – aided and abetted by a Supreme Court that seems to be making things up as they go along rather than using the Constitution of the United States as a guide.

This open call for nationalizing a vital industry – something that if done at the height of liberalism’s power back in the 1960’s and early 70’s would have been laughed off even by most Democrats – sickens me.

I despair for the future. In 10 years time, will we be able to recognize anything of the United States after the Democrats have transformed it?

By: Rick Moran at 7:24 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (26)

CATEGORY: History, Politics

I had a dream the other night.

In my dream, I was standing on the curb of a street watching a parade go by. There was something about this parade, though, that wasn’t quite right. The marching bands, the drum and bugle corps, the floats – even the pretty girls twirling batons – all looked pretty much the same. They were vaguely familiar; like you’ve met them in your dreams before but never in real life.

Then it hit me. That high stepping drum major looked just like George Bush. The little girl twirling the baton? George Bush. The beauty queen on the float? Ditto. Even the trained dog looked like Bush.

Everywhere you looked, George Bush looked back. Then I noticed the crowd around me. OmiGod! Those beady eyes. That smirk!

At that point, I woke up in a cold sweat. Thank God. I puttered into my office and turned on the internets, going immediately to Memorandum to see what people were writing about. An article caught my eye and after reading the headline, my blood froze, my mouth opened in a silent scream of anguish and despair.

It can’t be, I told myself. But there it was in black and white – my metaphorical dream come to life:

President Bush was asked by a SkyNews correspondent whether the end of his term marked the end of the Bush presidential dynasty that began with his father’s Oval Office tenure 20 years ago.

In response, Bush singled out his brother, who has often been mentioned as a possible Republican presidential contender. “Well, we’ve got another one out there who did a fabulous job as governor of Florida, and that’s Jeb,” he said. “But you know, you better ask him whether or not he’s thinking of running. But he’d be a great president.”

There had been wide speculation in 2000 that Jeb Bush would enter the Republican primary race that was won by his brother.

During the SkyNews interview, first lady Laura Bush added that public service was an “unbelievable” life.

“One of the reasons George and his brother, Jeb, served in office is because they admired their father [Presient George H.W. Bush] so much,” she said.

Asked whether that meant her husband was not “the last Bush,” she responded: “Well, who knows. We’ll see.”

No, no, and I say no again. I cannot – will not – accept this affront tothe sancity of our republic. Bad enough that Hillary ran this year. But three presidents from one family? Makes us look like a goddamn banana republic. I don’t care how competent Jeb is. I don’t care if people think he’d be the best president to come along since Michael Douglas played that guy who got to do the slap and tickle with Annette Benning (“I’m going to get the guns.”). I will pray to the political gods that they spare us the prospect of another Bush – Jesus I don’t believe I’m saying it – ANOTHER BUSH IN THE WHITE HOUSE!

We have suffered through rah rah Bush and now compassionate conservative Bush with a guy possesing the morals of an alley cat and the hormones of a teenager in between. No wonder people are going crazy over Obama. The guy seems almost normal by comparison. Who cares if he hangs around with bigots, crooks, radicals, and terrorists? At least his name doesn’t conjure up nightmares of dynastic wars as one branch of the Bush family eventually splits off and we have our very own “War of the Roses.” Imagine the horror! Legions of Bushbots ravaging the countryside, raping and pillaging in the name of one Bush or another.

Some may bring up the Kennedy’s as a example of true dynastic American politics. They would be right to a point. Many expected Bobby Kennedy to win in 1968, serve for 8 years to be followed by Ted Kennedy for another 8 years. From there, any one of a half dozen of the 2nd generation Kennedy children could have vied for the presidency.

This nightmare never came to pass thank God. But the political success of the Kennedy family nevertheless shows a disconcerting eagerness by the American people to embrace this kind of “royalty in all but name” that we get from the Bush’s and Kennedys.

Witness the goo goo eyes the American people made at that little waif of a princess Diana. I found it creepy that her death would have elicited such an outpouring of grief in this country. The “People’s Princess” indeed. Spoiled, rich, bratty, a shameless publicity hound, the fact that she actually believed that because she was porked by some Duke or other and her resulting whelp was deserving of being King of England just because of who his father was is so un-American that I thought I heard John Adams crying out in pain and anguish from the grave. Diana did absolutely nothing in the entire span of her privileged, sheltered existence to warrant anything except our contempt. She shamelessly used her children in her war with her philandering Dumbo of a husband while jumping from bed to bed herself. The antics of the super-rich may make for interesting tabloid reading but should hardly interest good republicans such as ourselves.

Speaking of Adams, his son became president of course. But not until a decent interval had passed – nearly 25 years. Now we are looking at the nauseating prospect of three Bush’s as president in about a generation. And God knows how many lord and lady Bushes are waiting in the wings out there, just waiting for their chance.

True nightmare scenario; Jenna is eligible to run in 2020.

It used to be that children of privilege either spent their lives in dissolute hedonism, burning through the family fortune as fast as their self-destructive behavoir would let them. Or, they were groomed to enter the family business in order to protect the assets of those who came before them.

The Kennedys and Bushes enter politics and run for president for exactly the same reason. And from my point of view, it’s no way to run a republic.

By: Rick Moran at 8:07 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (18)

Conservatism Today linked with Say 'no' to Jeb, Jenna and the Rest of the Bushes...

You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show,, one of the most popular conservative talk shows on Blog Talk Radio. Tonight’s show will be co-hosted by American Thinker’s Political Correspondent Rich Baehr.

Tonight, Rich and I will take a look at the presidential race as it now stands. We’ll have the latest state polls, analysis of both candidate’s strategy, and our usual scintillating commentary

Almost like the “Algonquin Round Table” except I don’t live in Algonquin anymore and Dorothy Parker died years ago.

The show will air from 7:00 – 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

For the best in political analysis, click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.” A podcast will be available for streaming or download around 15 minutes after the show ends.

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By: Rick Moran at 5:54 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)


I don’t think Barack Obama would be a good president and am not voting for him. But his speech on the responsibilities of parenthood before the 20,000 member Apostolic Church of God – an almost all-black church near the loop in Chicago – revealed something about the man that I didn’t know was there; a basically conservative outlook on personal responsibility and the importance of family.

Too often, the left dismisses the family as the anchor on which our civilization rests. They are much too busy trying to stretch, twist, or otherwise mutilate the definition of “family” to pay much attention to the impact it has on society and its members.

Far be for me to deny that there may be many definitions of “family” and that some of those definitions includes people of the same sex raising children. The only requirement I’ve ever heard of for a family is that there are loving, caring relationships irrespective of the gender or sexual orientation of the parents or children.

But in seeking to expand the definition of family, the left has chosen to denigrate the traditional nuclear family and traditional family values as somehow poisonous to society rather than embracing them as the central fact of life in any culture. By promoting a culture of permissiveness – which is at odds with the traditional role of the family as a bulwark against chaos and the major force for discipline and prudence in society – the left sacrifices the meaning of family for the abstract and superficial changes in definition that would include gays and gay couples.

Obama didn’t mention gays in his talk on the family yesterday. He didn’t mention alternative lifestyles or that “it takes a village” to raise a child. He eschewed every liberal talking point on the family to ram home the notion that families need fathers to be whole and that those who refuse to take responsibility for fatherhood aren’t real men:

Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it.

But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

One commenter at Balloon Juice had an interesting take:
I do think that this is an interesting piece of dog whistle politics. The tough truth is that ninety percent of all male humans can knock a girl up, and that doing your part to raise the kids is what makes you a real man. That’s a message which applies no matter what color your skin is. It’s a dog-whistle to intimate that African Americans or Latinos or other beige folks need to hear it more than the rest of us do.

Do I think that Barack Obama is acutely aware of this? Oh, yes, indeed. Do I think the reporters who are dealing in stereotypes in reporting his sermon are? Not so much.

The question of whether African Americans and Hispanics “need” to hear the message of responsible fatherhood is moot. A few figures courtesy of Presto-Pundit:
The nation’s out-of-wedlock birth rate is 38%. Among white children, 28% are now born to a single mother; among Hispanic children it is 50% and reaches a chilling, disorienting peak of 71% for black children. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly a quarter of America’s white children (22%) do not have any male in their homes; nearly a third (31%) of Hispanic children and over half of black children (56%) are fatherless.

This represents a dramatic shift in American life. In the early 1960s, only 2.3% of white children and 24% of black children were born to a single mom. Having a dad, in short, is now a privilege, a ticket to middle-class status on par with getting into a good college.


A study of black families 10 years ago, when the out-of-wedlock birthrate was not as high as today, found that single moms reported only 20% of the “baby’s daddy” spent time with the child or took a “lot” of interest in the baby ..

Clearly all races have a percentage of deadbeat dads. But it is equally clear that Obama was targeting African American men in his speech if only because when confronted with a choice of treating a couple of cases of the flu or an epidemic, the good physician triages the situation and treats those most in need. In this case, Obama’s own background with an absent father resonated deeply with his audience:
I know what it means to have an absent father, although my circumstances weren’t as tough as they are for many young people today. Even though my father left us when I was two years old, and I only knew him from the letters he wrote and the stories that my family told, I was luckier than most. I grew up in Hawaii, and had two wonderful grandparents from Kansas who poured everything they had into helping my mother raise my sister and me – who worked with her to teach us about love and respect and the obligations we have to one another. I screwed up more often than I should’ve, but I got plenty of second chances. And even though we didn’t have a lot of money, scholarships gave me the opportunity to go to some of the best schools in the country. A lot of kids don’t get these chances today. There is no margin for error in their lives. So my own story is different in that way.

Still, I know the toll that being a single parent took on my mother – how she struggled at times to the pay bills; to give us the things that other kids had; to play all the roles that both parents are supposed to play. And I know the toll it took on me. So I resolved many years ago that it was my obligation to break the cycle – that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father to my girls; that if I could give them anything, I would give them that rock – that foundation – on which to build their lives. And that would be the greatest gift I could offer.

So what do we make of this clear break with liberal orthodoxy on the family? It appears to me to be heartfelt and something that has come to the surface as a result of his own personal experience. The fact that much of what he says reflects conservative orthodoxy regarding the family, African American culture, and personal responsibility will probably raise some grumblings on the left and within the African American leadership which is terrified that any talk of responsibility that does not include white racism as a cause will diminish their roles in the black community.

In fact, this thoughtful rumination on the left and personal responsibility raises many interesting questions:

The big myth lurking around out there in our highly charged partisan war of ideas is that liberals don’t believe in personal responsibility. That we want government to take care of everything while everyone gets to do whatever the hell we want.

Of course this is more caricature than characterization.

One of the things that I was impressed with in regards to Senator Obama early on is his approach to the status of the American family, and we’re not just talking about deadbeat dads either, but the whole deal, from making sure your kids sit down and do their homework, to knowing when to turn the television off, to providing a healthy diet. In his book The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote passionately and honestly about the responsibilities of parenthood, and how too many parents aren’t meeting those responsibilities.

And it was these themes that took center stage in Obama’s father’s day address yesterday. I’m sure there’s a way to twist this, but here’s the thing, and perhaps it’s a key difference. Republicans, I believe, too often hide behind a cloak of personal responsibility; a shadow of the small government theme they claim to be so steadfastly for.

But sometimes, and this necessity is apolitical, it takes a leader to stand up and demand from the people that they actually adhere to those precepts of personal responsibility. That Obama is black will likely dominate the coverage from many corners much along the vein of; he’s black, so he can tell this to black people when non-black people can’t.

But the familial problems that face this country are not strictly held within the confines of the African American community, and I don’t think it is the color of Obama’s skin that makes him the best equipped to speak on these issues.

For all the discussion of who is the elitist, and who isn’t, what gives Obama the authority to speak on these topics is not the color of his skin, but instead the nature of his youth. He was not born into a rich family, and his father wasn’t an Admiral. He grew up, like many of us, in a broken home, and worked his way up from humble beginnings. As a boy whose own father in many ways abandoned him, Obama knows exactly the kind of world many children are coming in today, and yet he stands as an example of not only what can be accomplished, but also, well, how to be a father and a man of a strong family.

I would say amen to most of that except the author ducks and dodges the question of where personal responsibility fits in with liberal ideology. He seems to be making the case that Obama has the cred to talk about responsibility because of his life story. Okay, I’ll buy that. But aside from accusing conservatives of “hiding behind” personal responsibility, he is silent on whether Obama’s call for taking responsibility for one’s actions is ultimately a liberal or conservative notion. An ideology that promotes permissiveness almost to the exclusion of everything else can hardly make claim to be promoting personal responsibility when telling males (of all races) “if it feels good, do it” and don’t worry about the consequences.

Nor can an ideology responsible for creating a welfare state that is directly responsible for many of these same ills Obama spoke about yesterday suddenly turn around and embrace Obama’s message unless adherents are willing to alter fundamental precepts regarding personal responsibility and ultimately, the family. What Obama was saying is that poverty and hopelessness are only part of the problem and government solutions, while important, are only part of the answer. Obama has correctly identified the family – with both parents intimately involved in their children’s lives – as the fundamental life preserver for the African American and other disadvantaged communities.

Will the left listen? Or will they simply see this speech by Obama as a political “dog whistle?” If they wish to make the 2008 election a “hinge” election where the political realities are altered and a new, liberal era is ushered in for the next quarter century or so, they best heed Obama’s words and make them their own.

By: Rick Moran at 8:25 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (21) Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Obama considers post-surge trip to Iraq...

Tiger Woods celebrates after sinking an impossible 66 foot eagle putt at #13 during the US Open at Torrey Pines.

He’s 32 now and not a kid anymore. The boyish face is still there, unlined but revealing a heaviness that comes with age and experience. His still lithe frame now features a suit of armor – rock hard, sinewy muscle that is fully in evidence only when he swings the club. Not muscle bound but hugely muscled up -both strength and flexibility giving him an advantage over almost all of his competitors.

The frightening intensity has, if anything, become even more a dominant factor in his game. His ability to tune out all the myriad distractions – the huge, raucous galleries, the hordes of photographers, the unbelievable pressure to perform up to expectations bespeak a discipline and mental toughness unheard of in golf or any other sport.

And then there is the final edge, the one part of him that above all others, separates him from other golfers and indeed, other athletes; his fierce, unbending will to win. Only one other athlete in my lifetime came close to possessing such a high level of competitiveness; Michael Jordan’s “refuse to lose” mindset was an astonishing thing to watch when the game was on the line and the ball was in his hands.

For Tiger Woods, it is this competitiveness that drives him to excel, to practice the game more than most, to constantly prepare his body and mind for the rigors of the tour while taking extra time to consciously elevate the level of his game for each of golf’s 4 major tests; The Masters, the US Open, the Open Championship (British Open), and the PGA Championship.

This week at the US Open Championship held at Torrey Pines golf club in San Diego, Tiger Woods is demonstrating once again – as if we ever need reminding – that he is not only the best golfer who ever lived but also the most remarkable figure in sports who ever competed. And he is doing while playing on one leg – barely 8 short weeks removed from knee surgery and without a competitive round of golf since the Masters in April.

The rust was evident that first round on Thursday as Woods struggled with a wayward driver and finicky putter to finish 1 over par. The second round didn’t start out much better as Woods bogeyed 2 of the first 4 holes and ballooned to +3. It seemed as if the rust and the sore knee would be just too much to overcome for Tiger.

But then, lightening struck on Tiger’s seventh hole as he sank a 25 footer for eagle. But once again, Torrey Pines reached up and bit him as Woods bogeyed his 8 and 9 holes putting him right back at +3 and 5 shots off the pace at that point. It seemed that Tiger’s driver accuracy had deserted him. His errant shots were finding the Torrey Pines super rough, making it nearly impossible to get a good approach shot into the green.

But all that changed starting on #1 (Woods began his day playing #10). Tiger ran off a strong of 3’s that gave him 4 birdies on the first 5 holes and finished his scintillating back nine on Friday shooting an eye-popping 5 under par 30 giving him an aggregate score of -2, just one shot off the lead.

Such a round would be enough for any superstar’s resume. Tiger, however, isn’t just “any superstar.” He is a phenomenon. At times he is nearly a force of nature – terrifyingly unstoppable. And like any storm or disturbance in nature, the only thing you can do is get out of his way.

It is Tiger’s Saturday round that will etch itself forever in the memory of the sport and those who witnessed it. You know you have seen something special when sportscasters simply give up trying to explain what was just seen and drop all efforts to describe it, to cover it in cliches or superlatives. Woods’ back nine on Saturday will simply stand on its own with no hyperbole possible or necessary – a testament to talent and courage that will live as long as sport itself.

Once again Woods started off a round poorly, finding himself 3 over par after 4 holes and dropping back in the pack to +1. He got back to even par with a nice birdie on #7 but fell back a stroke once again on 12. Woods was beginning to grimace after some swings. Obviously his surgically repaired knee was giving him some trouble.

On the par 5 13th, Woods drive went way to the right ending up near a concession tent. Given relief because of a TV tower that was in the way, Woods made the most of his break, smacking a 5-iron 240 yards on to the green. It appeared that with a two putt, Woods would get a stroke back with the birdie. Tiger had other ideas.

Standing over his putt 66 feet away from the hole, Tiger gently stroked the treacherous triple breaking downhill putt and watched as it snaked one way, came back another way, and finally broke again heading right toward the center of the hole, disappearing into the cup with a satisfying rattle for an eagle. The crowd went wild and Tiger fist-pumped his way to the next tee.

Unfortunately, the next hole saw Tiger give a stroke back to the field as his knee, now obviously hindering his swing, caused two wayward shots. The look on Woods face every time he prepared to shoot was not dissimilar to a man preparing to walk on hot coals. At that point, it was a question whether Woods would be able to make it through the last three holes.

After a par on the 16th, Tiger’s tee shot on 17 went wildly to the right. The pain in his knee almost caused Woods to collapse on the tee and he walked gingerly down the fairway. His second shot from 220 yards found the rough on the downslope of the green on the left side with a tricky downhill pitch to come.

By his own admission, Woods hit the ball too hard. It came out of the rough “hot” but took one bounce, hit the flag stick, and dove into the hole as if a magnet pulled it there. The improbable birdie had Woods smiling in embarrassment. He was fully aware that if the ball had not hit the flag, it would have been 10 feet past the cup.

That miracle shot gave him an aggregate score for the tournament of -1, just one shot off the lead. But his second shot from the 17th had proved costly. The knee was a constant source of discomfort due to the tremendous torque Woods initiated on his lower body when swinging.

So Woods adapted to the pain. On the 18th tee, he slightly altered his stance, opening his hips so that they now were at a 45 degree angle to the target rather than 90 degrees. This allowed his upper body to do most of the heavy lifting on his swing but also caused the ball to “cut” or veer hard to the right when struck. Woods compensated his aim perfectly, driving a ball 300 yards to the perfect spot on the fairway. His knee still bothered him but evidently, the pain was bearable if he swung the club this way.

His second shot was an absolute thing of beauty. Using the same technique, he powered a 5-wood 260 yards – a real moon shot that went over the water hazard and landed on the green about 40 feet from the cup leaving another treacherous, multi-breaking downhill putt for eagle.

Woods started his putt about 6 feet to the left of the hole, barely striking the ball because the garage floor-like greens at Torrey Pines make it impossible to hit the putt aggressively. The ball took nearly 8 seconds to curl right, veer left, and then straighten out, once again disappearing into the hole for an eagle which not only gave Tiger the lead in the tournament but gave sports fans everywhere a day to remember for all time.

Those days are special. Aaron’s 715th. Jack’s last Masters win at age 45. Mac’s last US Open run. Petty at Daytona. Gibbie’s homer on a gimpy leg. We remember these days because they featured athletes who inspired us and demonstrated an almost otherworldly talent, courage, and grace under the most trying of competitive circumstances. Tiger’s back nine at Torrey Pines is there now, safely put away in memory to be pulled out and admired again and again when we wish to be reminded of the meaning of greatness.

Thanks for the memories, Tiger…

By: Rick Moran at 10:06 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (6)

CATEGORY: Government, Politics

As both the right and left engage in their favorite pastime – The Blame Game – when it comes to assigning responsibility for the mess we’re in with gas prices, I’ve been doing a slow burn about both sides’ singular avoidance of placing blame on the one group who truly deserves it.

Every red blooded American who has voted over the past 30 years – Republican and Democrat – for federal lawmakers who promised, in effect, that this day would come bears the primary responsibility for high gas prices.

We the voters made concious and deliberate choices to elect presidents, members of Congress, and state legislators who ran on a platform that condemned nuclear power and swore to oppose the building of any more plants. If, over the last 30 years, we had replaced the majority of our oil and coal burning plants with nuclear powered generators, we could have saved about half a million bbl a day or 5% of the total imports of 10 million bbl a day.

That doesn’t sound like much but the “speculation premium” added to the current price of oil – about $40 according to the Wall Street Journal – is based on a perceived tightening of the market by 2-3%. There’s a good chance that premium wouldn’t even exist with the savings realized by using safe, clean nuclear power.

We, the voters, also made conscious and deliberate choices in electing everyone from members of Congress to local selectmen who would oppose the building of new refineries. “Not in my backyard” was the refrain of the last 30 years which has seen exactly zero refineries built in this country and 50 refineries closed down. Incredibly, we import about 3.5 million bbl of finished petroleum products every day. This lack of refining capacity has put pressure on our ability to stockpile gas, deisel, and other products that would also dampen speculation and give us a much needed cushion in supply that would stabilize oil prices.

We the voters also made conscious and deliberate choices to elect members of Congress, governors, and state legislators who promised not to drill offshore of all but a handful of states. How much oil is there just waiting for the drill bit? The government estimates around 20 billion bbl which sounds like a lot but only represents the amount of oil we would use in about 3 years. But other estimates from oil companies and other energy experts puts the amount of oil offshore considerably higher. The point isn’t that it would supply ALL of our needs for just a few years. It could never be pumped out that fast anyway. But no one doubts that it could make a sizable dent in our current 10 million bbl a day fix we need from other countries.

A word about the Bakken field which has been receiving some press lately (for obvious reasons). There is a huge disparity between government estimates of how much oil is under South Dakota and Montana and how much there is according to independent energy groups. The government says 21 billion bbl. Other scientific studies put the number at 500 billion bbls. As contrast, Saudi Arabia has proven reserves of about 260 billion bbls.

What has scientists and drillers so excited about this huge field of oil is that recent advances in oil drilling technology may make a large part of that field available for exploitation. To give you an idea, as recently as 1995, the government claimed the field contained only 150 million bbls of recoverable oil. To raise that estimate to 21 billion bbl astonishing.

The key is a breakthrough in drilling technology known as “sideways drilling.” Apparently, most of the oil is unavailable unless that technology is used to exploit the find. At the moment, no one knows how much of this light, sweet crude could contribute to our stocks of oil. But they are finding ways to extract more and more of the find all the time which can only bode well for the future.

This doesn’t help our immediate pain which brings me back to where the blame should lie for this fiasco. We voters made perfectly rational and logical choices to elect politicians who refused to drill offshore, in ANWR, on federal lands – anywhere one spotted owl or caribu might be affected.

There is nothing wrong with this, I might add. There are many among us who continually pat themselves on the back for being good stewards of the land, fighting the good fight against greedy oil companies who would rape the land and coastline in the name of profit.

These same people are much less willing to pat themselves on the back for getting us into our current dilemma. Again, there is nothing basically wrong with being in favor of protecting the environment at all costs – the most obvious cost being cheap gasoline. The question is why are we not accepting responsibility for what is clearly something that is our collective fault.

It has been proven that environmental protection is a luxury that only rich nation’s can afford. We have been willing to pay this price both because it is the right thing to do and because we could afford a small loss in economic growth in exchange for cleaner air and water as well as protecting wildlife.

But times change. The world is changing. And unless we can find a way to balance legitimate concerns about the environment with our need for more oil, the present situation will continue and get worse. This means that environmentalists have to acknowledge that the policies they support are leading us to ruin while the pro-drilling crowd must acknowledge that we can’t go drilling everywhere there’s a drop of oil to be found.

And we the voter have to start electing politicians to office who are realistic about what needs to be done. Can we maintain our committment to a clean environment while increasing our domestic oil supply? I think it can be done – if the political will to do it can be found.

By: Rick Moran at 7:36 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (17)

Conservatism Today linked with Assigning Blame (Correctly) for High Oil Prices...

Watching the cable nets talk about the death of Tim Russert at age 58 – and they are all on the story – you are struck by the sheer number of journalists and on air personalities whose professional lives had been touched by this man.

Tom Brokaw put it well with his typical understatement:

He was “one of the premier political journalists and analysts of his time,” Tom Brokaw, the former longtime anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” said in announcing Russert’s death. “This news division will not be the same without his strong, clear voice.”

In addition to his on-air duties, Russert was a Vice President of NBC News – a position in which he fought almost daily battles with the corporation over what to cover as news. He was a Bureau Chief in Washington as well which made him something of a rennaisance man in the news business handling executive, administrative, and talent duties with a practiced ease.

But Russert will be known for his combative yet polite interview techniques that had the effect of breaking down a target into a quivering hunk of jello while boring in and, with bulldog tenacity, not letting go until a particular question was answered. He would ask the same question a half dozen times until he was satisfied that he had at least a partial answer to his question.

The list of honors is impressive:

Russert’s March 2000 interview of Sen. John McCain shared the 2001 Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television Journalism. He was also the recipient of the John Peter Zenger Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Journalism Award, the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication and the Catholic Academy for Communication’s Gabriel Award. He was a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

I really feel like we are losing one of the last of a dying breed with Russert. Only in their dreams can an Olbermann or Matthews or O’Reily or Cooper be the kind of relentless searcher for truth as Russert clearly was. Despite the fact that his background was in politics rather than journalism, it seems he took to journalism like a duck takes to water.

Some may find bias in the way he interviewed conservatives compared to his interviews with liberals. But I didn’t see it. His job was to ask questions and get answers. And few in the business were so relentless in pursuit of answers be they Democrats or Republicans. There was no such thing as a softball interview where Russert was concerned.

According to people who knew him, he was extremely well informed, spending hours every morning scanning the wires and news reports so that he was up to speed with what was going on. Speaking from experience, I can tell you it is no easy task. I might spend 3-4 hours before sitting down to write anything reading MSM coverage as well as blogs. Russert spent that amount of time and more just so that he could do his job.

A life cut short – a well lived life. We mourn the passing of someone and will miss the spice he brought to political journalism.

By: Rick Moran at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (6)

preciseTruth linked with Tim Russert RIP...

Well, duh.

The last seven and a half years have seen the world in turmoil. Growth pains due to globalization, the rising challenge of China and India, a newly autocratic Russia, an EU increasingly going its own way economically, and related to that, the slow collapse of NATO as a viable coalition, dying a slow death in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan.

Oh…did I mention 9/11 and the American invasion and occupation of Iraq?

Those looking for a common thread may be tempted to lump all of these civilization altering changes under the rubric of “Bush’s incompetence” or “Bush’s stupidity.” But seriously now, are you really that shallow and stupid? All of those challenges have been developing for at least a decade or more. The growth and rapid advancement of globalization has resulted in unparalleled economic growth as well as massive economic dislocation. Bush policies have accelerated some of the local effects of globalization – some good some bad. China and India would be on the verge of economic superpower status regardless of anything America could do.

The EU is still trying to emerge from infancy, still unsure of itself politically. It’s economic performance is improving but nowhere near what was promised. Nevertheless, the EU seems willing to strike out on its own and become a separate entity from the US. Europe had always defined itself through its relations with America through NATO. No longer.

And NATO itself is dying. Unable to face the growing challenges in Afghanistan as most of its members refuse to commit combat forces to the fight, NATO’s reason for being is being challenged with no good answers emerging to give justification for its continued existence. It was thought adding former Eastern bloc countries to the organization would reinvigorate it. Instead, it has simply delayed the inevitable.

And then, there is Iraq.

To say that the Iraq War has made America unpopular in the world is something of a misnomer. It would be more accurate to say the war has made us more unpopular. In truth, it is a myth – one generated for obvious political reasons by the left – that post 9/11, the world was on “our side” and that we were an object of affection and that the world was with us.

Poppycock. I’ve been trying to debunk this myth almost since I started blogging. Much more of the planet celebrated the collapse of the WTC than wept. Those that laid flowers at memorial sites or wrote heartfelt missives to America were showing their solidarity with the American people, not our government.

This was made evident less than 48 hours after the attacks when audience members attending the BBC TV show “Question Time” brought the former ambassador Philip Laden to the verge of tears as they blamed America for the attacks:

Mr Lader had been attempting to express his sadness over the attacks when a number of audience members had shouted him down to voice their anti-US opinions. Mr Lader had looked close to tears.

At times, David Dimbleby struggled to control the discussion as voices and tempers became raised.

Some audience members said the US was ultimately responsible for the attacks because of its foreign policy.

William Shawcross, stuck in London following 9/11, reported what happened on the TV program “Question Time” and gave voice to the predominant view on the continent and most of the rest of the world regarding America:
But the response of some of the Question Time audience reveals a darker side and shows the awful truth that these days there is just one racism that is tolerated – anti-Americanism. Not just tolerated, but often applauded. Like any other nation, the US makes mistakes at home and abroad. (I wrote about some of those in Indochina.)

But the disdain with which its failures and its efforts are greeted by some in Britain and elsewhere in Europe is shocking. Anti-Americanism often goes much further than criticism of Washington. Too often the misfortunes of America are met with glee, a schadenfreude that is quite horrifying.

On Tuesday, I sat watching television numbed by the grief, wondering if anyone I knew had been murdered. Since then, I have been devouring newspapers, attempting to learn more and more of the details. Every day, the agony gets worse. The more details we read of the last phone calls, the emails, the relatives watching those they loved as they died on television, the more personal and intimate this catastrophe becomes – and the more the victims, their families and their society deserve our sympathy.

But I have an awful fear that the solidarity with the US expressed at the United Nations and in Europe this week will not last long. Fundamentalist anti-Americanism will again rear its head, as it did on Question Time. Philip Lader behaved with extraordinary dignity on saying, with tears in his eyes: “I have to share with you that I find it hurtful that you can suggest that a majority of the world despises the US.”

And the Wall Street Journal (“The Myth of Squandered Sympathy“) ices the case that the world was never “with us” after 9/11 with this scathing look at the French and the famous newspaper headline “We are all Americans” which was actually an anti-American editorial:
Thus are legends born. For the solidarity ostentatiously displayed in the title of Mr. Colombani’s editorial is in fact massively belied by the details of the text itself.

By the fifth paragraph, Mr. Colombani is offering his general reflections on the geo-political conditions he supposes provoked the attacks:

“The reality is surely that of a world without a counterbalance, physically destabilized and thus dangerous in the absence of a multipolar equilibrium. And America, in the solitude of its power, of its hyperpower, . . . has ceased to draw the peoples of the globe to it; or, more exactly, in certain parts of the globe, it seems no longer to attract anything but hatred. . . . And perhaps even we ourselves in Europe, from the Gulf War to the use of F16s against Palestinians by the Israeli Army, have underestimated the hatred which, from the outskirts of Jakarta to those of Durban, by way of the rejoicing crowds of Nablus and of Cairo, is focused on the United States.”

In the following paragraph, Mr. Colombani went on to add that perhaps too “the reality” was that America had been “trapped by its own cynicism,” noting that Osama bin Laden himself had, after all, been “trained by the CIA”—a never substantiated charge that has, of course, in the meanwhile become chapter and verse for the blame-America-firsters. “Couldn’t it be, then,” Mr. Colombani concluded, “that America gave birth to this devil?”

So much for “solidarity.” The world may have pitied our people. But the record is crystal clear that anti-American feelings were hardly dampened by the attacks on 9/11.

The fact is, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has replaced Russia as the superpower foreigners love to hate. Given all of this, it should come as absolutely no surprise that Barack Obama, according to a massive study by Pew, is favored overwhelmingly by the peoples of the world.

Unfortunately for Barack Obama, citizens of Australia, Japan, Spain and Tanzania won’t have a vote in the November election.

A new survey of 47,000 people in 60 languages by the Pew Global Attitudes Project shows that around the world, people who follow the US election view Obama more favourably than Republican nominee John McCain.

The survey in 24 countries confirms Obama as the candidate of choice among those not entitled to vote in the November election.

From gleeful villagers in his father’s native Kenya to a troupe of hula dancers in Obama, Japan, the international community has embraced the Illinois senator in a way unseen in past presidential elections.

While the US electorate is divided about evenly between the two candidates, with Obama currently enjoying a slight lead over McCain in recent polling, 84% of Tanzanians who have been following election news say they have confidence in Obama, while 50% say they have confidence in McCain. Seventy-four percent of Britons expressed confidence in Obama, while only 44% do in McCain, according to the survey.

Those results are reflected in every other country surveyed save Jordan, where 23% surveyed have confidence in McCain, compared to 22% for Obama.

There are many reason why Obama is more popular than McCain. His race gives hope to many. Then there’s 8 years of Bush and Republicans that have soured the GOP brand even overseas.

But the major reason given for preferring Obama is that he will “change American foreign policy.” In fact, Obama is the perfect candidate if you hate America. Not that Obama hates America, just that his policy proposals will enable the America haters around the globe.

It’s no accident that the Iranians, Hamas, Syrians and others who hate the United States prefer an Obama presidency. Obama promises a more compliant America, a less bellicose America, a more deferential America, and a more cooperative America. Some of these changes would be welcome. Others, not. But what has Iran and Syria salivating at the prospect of an Obama presidency is a lot less pressure placed on them by the US to act like responsible international citizens and not the brigands and thugs they wish to be.

Obama – a good and honest liberal – would work within the confines of the United Nations to resolve the various crisis at large in the world today. Bush, in his second term, has tried this and has a spotty record. The biggest failure for the UN in the last few years has been Lebanon where UN forces – UNIFIL - were supposed to stop the resupply of Hizbullah and enforce Security Council resolutions which included the disarming of the terrorist militia.

The result? Utter, total, complete, and embarrassing failure. Same goes for Darfur. The same goes for any and every problem the UN insists it must address with the US in a subservient role.

The world can hate us all they want. Only little children and liberals believe that to be important. What matters is are threats to the peace dealt with or swept under the UN rug? Obama would give it the old college try at the UN but run into the same anti-Americanism, the same bureaucratic inertia that has made problems like Darfur, Lebanon, and the Congo unsolvable. So the choice is America standing in the way of the designs of Syria and Iran (and North Korea) virtually alone or as a “partner” with the UN. Since Obama has been making all the right noises about “multi-lateralism” – not as a policy but almost as religion – the world breathes easier. They can all go back to doing nothing and letting problems like Darfur fester and genocide occur.

Obama would be the perfect post-Bush president – for a large segment of the Anti-American world. Not that it matters. Americans don’t vote for a candidate because of how he is perceived overseas. But perhaps we would do well to ask why our enemies are so anxious to see Obama as president?

By: Rick Moran at 8:02 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (17)

CATEGORY: Decision '08

This is getting so painful to watch that I just had to write this piece.

I would say to my good friends on the left guys, where in all that is good and holy did you people learn how to smear someone? Jesus, Lord you suck at it. Taken as a whole, your efforts are beyond pitiful. Amateurish, disorganized, barely a grade above schoolyard bullying and taunts. Sometimes, you’re not even that good.

In the interest of practicing the “new politics,” – which basically means if you smear someone, you’re only pre-empting a “right wing attack machine” effort that only distracts from the issues in this campaign and if the right smears anyone, they are racist pigs who deserve 5 years in a re-education camp – allow me to instruct you in proper smear etiquette as well as show you the ropes on how to make that smear a winner.

The trouble is, your efforts to date have been horribly childish and uncoordinated. Allow me to give you some pointers;

When attacking another candidate, please refrain from making fun of their physical characteristics like “yellow teeth” or, more broadly, trying to smear the candidate by criticizing him for being tortured while in service to his country, receiving disability pay as a result.

From a tactical standpoint, this is a total waste of good smear material. First, you didn’t say anything about McCain’s cancer – a smearariffic gaffe in that you should always go for the jugular. You could have put it this way:

“John McCain’s teeth are yellowed as a result of his chemotherapy treatment for skin cancer – a disease that will almost certainly kill him before his first term in office is over.”

A truly inspired smear would include the disability pay and the fact that the torture McCain had to endure was so severe he can’t raise his arms above his head. Perhaps you could have thrown something in about how such extreme pain shortens the lives of those who experience it and tie it into the cancer meme.

Get the idea? When smearing someone, creativity and a keen eye for detail is a must.

As an example of exactly the opposite of creativity and originality, there was the smear yesterday that was all over the lefty internet – McCain doesn’t care when the troops come home.

The tone of fake outrage was fine. The exaggerated anger and weeping for the poor families of servicemen and women who are suffering as a result of McCain’s callous remark was pretty good but you missed an opportunity to exploit a widow or two in there.

The real problem you have is that you took the whole thing out of context and the smear was easily debunked. Taking words that someone says and then not putting them in the proper context is so…so…Clintonesque, so 1990’s. This is the 21st century guys! The YouTube of what McCain actually said was all over the place before your smear had a chance to get rolling.

Now, if you’re going to smear someone by taking what they say out of context, the quote must be more extensive and much harder to debunk – like Obama’s “bitter” remarks in San Francisco. The guy went on for 5 minutes about the misguided yokels who cling to their guns and bibles while harboring racist thoughts about blacks and Hispanics. The right wing noise machine went gaga over those remarks and turned them into political dynamite because the explanation by Obama’s camp was almost as long as the quote itself.

See what I’m getting at? Since as you know the American people are a bunch of stupid sheep who need protecting and desire to be led around by the nose, the acronym KISS should be your guide (“Keep it simple, stupid”). All McCain had to do to debunk that pitiful effort yesterday was release a transcript of what he said, for God’s sake!

Now let’s look at a successful smear, shall we? The “Obama is a Muslim” smear is so perfect, it makes me weep to think about how elegant and perfectly logical it is. First, please note the sheer volume of noise on this one. Almost every right of center blogger has posted about it at one time or another. It doesn’t matter if they try to debunk it, it’s like they say about your name in public relations; as long as they spell it right, it’s free advertising. As long as the smear is mentioned, it doesn’t matter which way the writer goes on it.

Secondly, note how impossible it is to be proved wrong. The Obama camp can try and debunk the smear all they want, they only dig a deeper hole for themselves. That’s because every time they try, some Indonesian who knew Obama back when pops up and swears the guy worshipped in a mosque when he was 8 years old or something.

Does that make Obama a Muslim? OF COURSE NOT! But you’re not thinking like the right wing attack machine. What does “true” have to do with a political smear? While an element of truth should reside somewhere in the smear – Obama was in a Muslim country when he was a boy – the rest just follows logically.

You guys just don’t get it. Maybe I should write a book, would that help?

I fear that by the time you learn the true art of the political smear, it will be too late. You people will just continue with your completely childish, schoolyard taunts, making yourselves look utterly ridiculous while we smear merchants on the right continue on our merry way, making Obama so unpalatable a choice that if people do end up casting their ballot for him, they will gag when punching his name in the voting booth.

One thing I hadn’t considered that may be an impossible obstacle for you guys on the left to overcome is that the reason your smears are so childish is because of your arrested intellectual development. Now there may be a way around that but, for the life of me, I can’t think of anything that would help.

Take it from me, fellas. You have a long way to go…

By: Rick Moran at 7:55 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (10)