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The debate last night was not a blowout but frankly, McCain never came close. He made a couple of good points about education, scored best with his pointed questions (that Obama never answered) about Ayers and ACORN, and had a couple of other nice moments. (I am not sure that McCain gained any support with his eye rolling, sneering, head shaking, and unmanly giggles. Those things matter to many people and I believe we might see over the next 24 hours that voters were turned off by his reactions.)

But it was hopeless from the start for McCain. This race is pretty much on cruise control now with Obama comfortably (not decisively) ahead. As long as Obama didn’t show up drunk, he accomplished what he had to accomplish at the debate.

McCain needed Obama to show up drunk. He didn’t.

Last May, when it appeared that Obama had the nomination wrapped up, I wrote a post predicting how the race in the fall would unfold:”Party Like it’s 1980 All Over Again” wasn’t breaking any new ground nor was it necessarily prescient. Democratic strategists had been predicting for months that the mood of the country and the trends were all breaking their way and that the November election had an excellent chance of being a “change” election.

But what really resonated with me back then and what recalled similar feelings from 1980 was the nature of the matchup between McCain and Obama; untested and relative unknown versus incumbent (experience). The way the 1980 race developed, people were unsure of the unknown commodity until after the one debate held between Carter and Reagan. When Reagan showed himself to be a reasonable alternative to the status quo, the floodgates opened and he won going away.

I believed then and believe now that Obama’s comfortable 6-8 point lead will mushroom in the next 3 weeks and make election day a holy living hell for the GOP with a landslide in both the popular vote and electoral college for Obama and a sweeping away of many Republican stalwarts in the House and Senate. It will be an historic repudiation of Republicans and will place the party in a position where it will probably spend a decade or more in the wilderness.

Can this scenario be avoided? McCain must find a way to keep it close enough that he doesn’t drag 2-3 additional senate candidates down with him thus handing the Democrats a filibuster proof majority in the senate. I am at a loss as to how he might do this except my sense of the moment is telling me (and the polls somewhat confirm) that most of his attacks on Obama have backfired and he has lost support because of them. Would a “take the high road” campaign where he spends the last three weeks as a wise man/Cassandra, warning of the dangers of “Creeping Socialism” and an abandonment of classic American values work? No one knows but it’s something he hasn’t tried so perhaps it is worth looking into.

If McCain is a lost cause, it is time for the Republicans to perhaps look to salvaging what they can from the disaster. And that means fighting like hell for the filibuster in the senate. It is potentially the only brake on Obama and the Democrats and given how the far left is licking its chops at the prospect of radically changing the economic and social landscape of America, it might have come to the point that we start thinking about shifting focus from the presidency to the senate.

Many of those races are extremely close but the GOP has one advantage in many of them; incumbency. If McCain really goes off the deep end, there’s nothing much that can be done. But if he can keep the presidential race about where it is now, Republicans will lose 5-7 seats and the filibuster will be safe.

Despite what Karl Rove is saying,, it appears to me that Obama has indeed “closed the sale” and is writing up the order. It is at this point that many salesmen have additional temptations to offer the customer. A car salesman might inquire whether the customer wants rustproofing or an extended warranty? A shoe salesman will ask if the customer wants shoe polish or a shoe tree.

Obama will be asking the voter from here on out whether they wish a 60 seat majority in the senate. And it could be that only John McCain is in a position to help the voter turn Obama down.


First, apologies for the slow loading. It should clear up in a few minutes.

Second, I apologize to those of you who came here expecting to read Republican boilerplate or GOP cheerleading. I am a conservative and nominal Republican. But first and foremost, I consider myself a writer. As such, my goal is giving an honest appraisal of what I believe based on 30 years of watching, reading, and writing about politics as well as working on a few campaigns.

You may disagree with my analysis based on other facts and a different reading of history. That’s fine and wonderful. But if you are going to take me to task for “not helping” McCain or “being too pessimistic” I am sorry but you made a wrong turn somewhere. Might I suggest that you visit the RNC website,, or perhaps The Corner? There you will get all the spin you could possibly hope for and all the cheerleading your heart desires.

If you want my honest opinion, then thank you for reading. If you think this blog exists to shill for Republicans or for any other reason than an outlet for my take on the news and world events, then I am sorry to disabuse you of that notion.

By: Rick Moran at 8:15 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (63)


Pardon the slow loading of the page. My little hosting company got overwhelmed by the Instalanche and Hot Air explosion.

Do you want to know why the race card—or at least the 21st century manifestation of it—is the most powerful, most effective political weapon in America?

There is no response possible. There is no answer to an African-American’s charge that what you are saying, or hinting, or thinking, or wishing, or unconsciously dreaming is racist.

Any attempt to defend yourself gives credence to the charge. Ignoring the smear is tantamount to an acknowledgement of guilt.

One may ask why all of a sudden Obama himself, his campaign, his surrogates, and his sycophants in the press are throwing the race card around with such abandon? Why the speeches, statements, editorials, op-eds, columns, and blog posts taking McCain to task for “allowing” or “enabling” or “causing” or “encouraging” racism to rear its ugly head at political rallies?

The answer is simple; use it or lose it when it comes to the race card. Short on specific charges of mass hate being whipped up at McCain political events while long on scurrilous, baseless, smears, Black legislators, columnists, and luminaries have taken up the tactics of the Night Rider in order to terrorize people into keeping their mouths shut while casting nauseating aspersions on the GOP candidate for president and his supporters.

Yeah, I know exactly what I’m saying. And the people I’m saying it to royally deserve it. I am fully aware of the history involved. I am using the term “Night Rider” deliberately and for full, unmitigated effect. For if we cannot call out these besmirches of the democratic process and put them in their place (another loaded phrase that I am fully cognizant of its history and meaning and am using deliberately), then they will have been allowed to get away with a smear so calumnious in its form and implication that the very nature of American elections will be altered and free speech as we know it and understand it will be gone.

I am not going to let that happen without a fight. And if I have to throw political correctness to the winds and compare the tactics of African Americans who play the race card with those of their mortal enemies, then so be it.

Congressman John Lewis – perhaps at the behest of Obama himself – donned the white robes and hood in order to let loose this, the most vicious and unprincipled attack on an American politician I have seen in quite a while:

“George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Lewis, who is black. “Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.”

At bottom, it is not credible to believe that John Lewis thinks for one second that John McCain’s tactics ape those of George Wallace and could lead to the deaths of innocents. If he does, then he makes himself out to be an idiot. And John Lewis is no fool. He is not only a man who fought for civil rights (and has the physical scars to prove it) but he was a savvy enough pol to advance the cause in the face of the most stringent and violent opposition.

Since Lewis can no more believe that McCain is using the tactics of Wallace than I believe in a flat earth, that makes his “critique” of the McCain campaign a lie – a deliberate, careful, decision by Lewis to bear false witness. And he has done it knowing full well the effect it will have on decent people everywhere.

Even Obama found Lewis’s lies too much and distanced himself – slightly- from the implication that McCain was the reincarnation of Wallace. In effect, Obama embraced Lewis’s lie while separating himself from the Wallace implication. He did it by agreeing with Lewis’s critique but piously giving McCain the benefit of the doubt that he was not possessed by the spirit of George Wallace.

“Sen. Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies,” said the campaign statement.”

“John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night.”

Right? Wrong? Which is it Obama? It certainly appears that Obama wants the benefits accrued by Lewis smearing McCain and his supporters without the baggage associated with its more problematic implications.

Lewis himself backtracked slightly from his original statement but still lied through his teeth:

“My statement was a reminder to all Americans that toxic language can lead to destructive behavior,” he said. “I am glad that Sen. McCain has taken some steps to correct divisive speech at his rallies. I believe we need to return to civil discourse in this election about the pressing economic issues that are affecting our nation.”

I guess there’s “toxic language” and then there’s the race card. No double standard there, Congressman.

If it were only Lewis advancing this meme of McCain and his supporters being racist pigs, one might conclude that the Congressman was some kind of loose cannon, firing off on his own accord and not part of any concerted effort to outrageously brand the Democrat’s political opponents as Kluxers.

Ah, but the sheets that terrorize need not only be hiding white faces. Here’s Adam Sewrer writing in The American Prospect, equating calling Obama a “socialist” with racism:

The hysterical accusations of socialism from conservatives echo similar accusations leveled at black leaders in the past, as though the quest for racial parity were simply a left-wing plot. Obama may not actually be a socialist or communist, but his election would strike another powerful blow to the informal racial hierarchy that has existed in America since the 1960s, when it ceased being enforced by law. This hierarchy, which holds that whiteness is synonymous with American-ness, is one conservatives are now instinctively trying to preserve. Like black civil-rights activists of the 1960s, Obama symbolizes the destruction of a social order they see as fundamentally American, which is why terms like “socialism” are used to describe the threat.

This phenomenon extends beyond Obama’s candidacy. The conservative explanation for the mortgage crisis falls neatly into this narrative, too; the country is at risk because Democrats allowed minorities to disrupt the natural social order by becoming homeowners. Never mind that this defies all data, logic, and history, the narrative resonates because it allows Obama, a living symbol of black folks rising above “their station,” to become a focus for conservative economic anxieties.

At least this guy comes by his blithering ignorance honestly. Unlike Lewis whose calculated smear was meant to damage the McCain campaign with moderates and more conservative Democrats, Sewrer’s twisted, tortured analysis starts from the bogus premise that “hysterical” accusations of socialism against Obama are rooted in a historical narrative that has white people denigrating “the otherness” of Blacks who dare to seek power and influence and that when the crowds shout “socialist” they really mean “n***er!”

I have made it clear that I do not believe Obama is a socialist. Others, either because they don’t understand the term or because they see Obama’s far left redistributive ideas and efforts at reform as “creeping socialism” disagree with me.

Whatever epithets hurled at Malcolm X or Dr. King in the past—however people viewed their problematic associations with individuals who were committed to overthrowing the government of the United States—have nothing to do with Republicans today trying to keep America “white.” It is a baseless, thoughtless, ignorant charge made by someone so intellectually besotted with identity politics that history itself gets turned on its head in service to this false and capricious theme. Did Mr. Sewrer ever dream for one moment that people might actually be sincere in their belief that Obama’s stated policies (not to mention his past and present associations with true radicals and communists) are a indicative of a form of “stealth socialism?”

People of good faith – an animal rare indeed in this race – can argue the merits of such a position. But Sewrer isn’t interested in good faith, he is interested in advancing his racialist worldview where nothing else matters save a reading of history and our present politics through the broken kaleidoscope of his own black bigotry. It is probably emotionally satisfying but as a talisman of truth, it hardly stands up to rigorous scrutiny.

The thought that there are some people who might actually believe Obama is a socialist never crossed his mind because in his narrow, intellectual construct there is race, and then there is race, and if you run out of those, you always have race to fall back on. There is no history, only race. There is no American narrative that doesn’t place race front and center. This is where our obsession with identity politics has led us: A skewing of history and politics so profound that playing the race card becomes an easy shortcut to silencing one’s opponents no matter what argument they advance.

If you can’t beat ‘em, gag ‘em.

So when Mr. Sewrer plays the race card – as he does in his article – he does it with a clear conscience. Put simply, the fool doesn’t know any better. But there are fools, and then there are coldly calculating bigots who take more pleasure than people like Lewis in throwing race in our faces (Lewis, after all, was only playing dirty politics) while gleefully setting crosses afire all across the political landscape.

There is no other way to describe this Les Payne column in Newsday except political terrorism:

Palin’s bland ferocity lends itself easily to vitriol of the type that inflames half-wits. A bald-pated Florida sheriff, one Mike Scott, got carried away under the swoon last week in Estero, Fla., in introducing Palin. Stressing Obama’s middle name, Sheriff Scott paced the stage, in violation of police rules, while inciting the crowd in his full uniform adorned with colorful patches, stars and medals befitting a grand wizard of some mystic order of white knights.

At Clearwater, Gov. Palin lathered up the crowd herself. “You’re going to have to hang on to your hats,” Palin told the rally, according to The Washington Post, “because from now until Election Day it may get kind of rough.” Linking Sen. Obama to a reformed radical of the ‘60s, Palin shrieked her signature smut line, “he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

“Kill him!” a man in the crowd reportedly responded to Palin’s rabble-rousing. Her related attacks on the media had already whipped a frenzy among the crowd of about 3,000. Tempers rose to a boil when she blamed Katie Couric’s questions for tripping her up as a seeming dimwit. The Post wrote, “Palin supporters turned on reporters … waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. ... One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African-American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

I have written twice about the incredibly exaggerated reports of “rage” at McCain campaign events. Payne goes a step further by equating a sheriff uttering the sacrilege of Obama’s middle name with a Kluxer.

Who’s the ignoramus here? A sheriff (who was fully within his rights to be at a political rally dressed as he was despite what Payne infers) who dared mention The Messiah’s middle name while introducing Palin to the crowd? I’ve seen the video of this event and the use of “Hussein” got a roar from those assembled. But was it because he used the candidate’s middle name or was it because of the context he used it in?

After saying that “there were three kinds of people in the world; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happen, Sheriff Scott threw the crowd a piece of raw meat when he said “On election day, let’s leave Barack Hussein Obama wondering what happened.”

Was the crowd roaring because of the use of “Hussein” or was it due to the punchline – a pretty damned effective one if you ask me.? Only your psychic knows for sure. If the crowd roared because of Scott’s allusion to victory on election day, it destroys Payne’s entire narrative of the event – including Scott as another Republican closet Kluxer. (What an extraordinary personal smear by Payne).

No matter. Never stop a bigot when they’re on a roll. Scott’s use of “Hussein” was out of line because John McCain believes that saying Obama’s real name is wrong. I agree.

But the implication is that he is Muslim not that he is black so how Payne and his racialist cohorts can twist what is clearly a tweak at Obama’s father and the idea that Obama is a closet Muslim is a mystery. Except that when you are playing the race card, even giving a weather report can be construed as racist.

I think it a smear to use Obama’s middle name and I wish Scott and other McCain supporters would realize it and stop it. It is questionable hardball politics not racial bigotry. And Payne mindlessly repeats the false notion that the crowd at the event and other McCain/Palin rallies was “angry” or hateful. Payne was obviously too lazy to watch the videos himself. They were happy. They were excited. And for people like Payne to take out of context the mouthings of one or two idiots at a rally attended by thousands is absolute lunacy.

I see absolutely no difference at Obama rallies when he or Biden tosses the rhetorical red meat out into the crowd. The roar becomes deafening. People are laughing and whooping it up. When Bush or McCain is mentioned, they are booed. This is politics. And anyone who would deliberately construe malice or unreasonable emotions by referring to Bush/Palin gatherings as “angry mobs” or intimate anything unusual at all is a liar – or a simple minded fool.

These hooded riders of the night might obscure their false, misleading, and vile calumnious rhetoric with pious words designed to horrify decent Americans and equate voting for John McCain with voting for a racist. But they are trying to terrorize voters into supporting Obama by smearing his opponent with the most nauseating, the stickiest label one can slap on to a candidate in American politics.

Take off your hoods and look in the mirror, those of you – all of you – who are shamelessly and so easily playing the race card. It is all of you who are playing with fire, not McCain. By your words, you are stifling free expression by trying to intimidate people you disagree with through a false and wholly misleading narrative.

And I submit that this is infinitely more dangerous than your fantasies and lies about McCain whipping up a racist mob.

By: Rick Moran at 8:47 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (34)


It is the very early morning of November 5, 2008. Despite all the predictions and polls, John McCain and Barack Obama are locked in an extremely close race for President of the United States. McCain made a furious comeback over the previous 3 weeks following the last debate where Obama fumbled several answers while looking tired.

McCain’s momentum propelled him back into the race and in a furious last minute charge that involved spending more than $25 million in combined campaign and Republican National Committee ad money that last weekend surged to within just a few points of Obama by election day.

Now, at 6:00 AM the following day, the race hangs on the results in just one state; Ohio. McCain leads by nearly 50,000 votes but suddenly, Ohio’s Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announces that several thousand McCain absentee ballots have been disqualified while additional thousands of votes in Cuyahoga county were “discovered” to have not been counted. After several more hours of confusion – which included the discovery of more uncounted votes in heavily Democratic counties by the Secretary of State – McCain’s lead is gone and Obama is declared the winner of Ohio and the election.

Of course, this scenario is not credible, is it? No Secretary of State would act so brazenly, right?

Meet Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s real life Secretary of State whose actions in the lead up to this election have been so shamefully partisan – violating both federal and state law in the process – that it is doubtful any result on election day from Ohio is going to be accepted as credible.

Coupled with the outrageously illegal registration activity of ACORN and the shockingly illegal actions of the Obama campaign itself and what you have is an effort to not only “count every vote” but also steal as many votes as will be necessary for Obama to win the state on election day.

Strong stuff. But here’s former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski writing in the New York Post:

A perfect example is Ohio. Last Monday the Ohio Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, interpreted Ohio law to allow for people to register to vote and cast an absentee ballot on the same day.

(As the three dissenters noted, this directly contradicts Ohio’s Constitution, which requires that a person register to vote 30 days in advance of actually casting that vote. But the Ohio Supreme Court is the last word on Ohio state law.)

So now the Obama campaign is using buses to take tens of thousands of people to go register and cast same-day votes. Some media reports say that the Obama camp hopes to get hundreds of thousands of votes this way.

Secretary Brunner, incredibly, got around the provision that one had to be registered 30 days before being able to vote with the following bit of Orwellian doublespeak.

Soren Dayton:

The first thing she did was issue an advisory opinion allowing people to register and vote on the same day, during the “overlap” between the beginning of early voting (35 days out) and the end of registration (30 days out). This was a reversal of the 2006 precedent. Republicans asked how someone could register and vote on the same day when Ohio statute says that you have to be registered 30 days before voting. She answered that when you vote by no-fault absentee you aren’t voting. Your vote occurs on election day when it is counted, not on the day you cast it.

Dayton links to a conservative student organization site – Palestra – that has been following this early voting in Ohio. Correspondent Shelby Holiday’s revelations are pretty shocking:
One of the biggest issues? These voters didn’t need to show ID or proof of residency in order to cast their ballot.

We witnessed dozens of homeless people being driven to the polls, and none of them had to prove that they were Ohio residents. In fact, one man I spoke with was about to hop on a Greyhound bus to go back to Chicago.

We have been trying for a week now to get a comment from the Secretary of State to see how she plans on verifying the residency and identification of all these early voters. Despite numerous phone calls and emails, we have yet to be granted even just a ten minute interview.

Who I did speak with was the Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections. When I asked him what would prevent the homeless man from voting in Illinois just weeks after he cast a ballot in Ohio, he told me that their voter checks are “just county-to-county, we do not do state by state.”

One “voter” reportedly said he was voting for Obama because of his “thug thizzle.” This was just before he boarded a Greyhound bus back to Chicago.

In addition to this invitation to fraud invented by Brunnner, she also – once again in violation of state law – prevented Republicans from monitoring this early voting.

Dayton again:

The second thing she did was to issue an advisory opinion advising county election officials that Ohio law does not require that partisan election observers be allowed to observe registration and voting. This is contrary to the practice on election day and a reversal of the 2006 precedent. Two of the largest counties, Montgomery (containing Dayton) and Franklin (containing Columbus), did not allow Republican election observers to enter the polling place. Media, however, were allowed.

Liberals especially cheered this ruling, believing that GOP election monitors “intimidate” minorities and young people in order to keep them from voting. Given the problems with out of state voters and other irregularities that occurred during this 6 day “Golden” period where people can register and vote on the same day, anyone halfway concerned with free and fair elections just might have welcomed election monitors in order to prevent obvious fraud. But Democrats do not appear to care very much about the “fair” part in elections and instead wish to be “free” to violate the law with impunity.

Another insult to the integrity of our election system was Brunner’s attempt to prevent thousands of McCain absentee ballots from counting.

Dayton again:

Brunner also tried to throw out absentee ballot applications sent out by the McCain campaign because the campaign added an extra check-box to the application. This time, the GOP won in court. Clearly Brunner was not protecting everyone’s right to vote. If that was her interest, she would have applied the same lax standards to the McCain campaign’s applications that she applies to absentee voting.

Thank the Lord for small favors. And it appeared very briefly that Republicans had won a stunning court victory on Thursday when a US District Judge ruled that Brunner must verify the registrations by checking them against the motor vehicle and social security databases. She was also ordered to share the information on how to verify registrations with Ohio’s 88 county registrars.

But a federal appeals court struck down the district judge’s ruling:

Brunner argued that it would take two to three days to create the necessary computer programs, and that nothing in the Help America Vote Act required her to do what the district court ordered. The appeals court agreed in a split decision.

“With less than a month until the election, and less than two weeks until the beginning of counting absentee ballots, the secretary cannot be required to undertake the extensive reprogramming and other changes to the election mechanics without complete disruption of the electoral process in Ohio,” the majority said in its opinion. “The irreparable harm to the voting public caused by the district court’s order is equally clear.”

No word on the “irreparable harm” done to the integrity of the election process by Brunner, Obama, and the rest of the Democrats in Ohio.

Then, of course, there are the vastly more entertaining antics of ACORN in Ohio. One must give credit where credit is due. ACORN should win some kind of award for its spectacular creativity in finding new ways to game the system and flood it with false, forged, and illegal voter registration applications.

First, it is important to recall that the Obama campaign funneled more than $800,000 to ACORN and then tried to hide it by designating it as payment to “Citizens Services, Inc.” for work such as $310,000 for “Stage, Sound, and Lighting.” Michelle Malkin looked deeper into this fraud and found some startling facts:

For your information: The New Orleans building that houses CSI also houses multiple chapters of ACORN and the SEIU– as well as the 527 group Communities Voting Together.

And for your information: A tipster points to shady business by CSI -detected by Maryland Democrat Al Wynn, of all people. His team, which filed an FEC complaint over the matter, linked several suspicious outfits used by his primary opponent to one address: 1024 Elysian Fields in New Orleans. That’s the address of CSI and ACORN.

As we’ve seen in Ohio, the Obama campaign apparently bussed in people to register and vote illegally during Ohio’s early voting period. The close connection between the Obama campaign and ACORN begs the question of whether activities like this coupled with ACORN’s registration shenanigans are a coordinated effort to set the stage on election day for the most massive fraud in the history of the United States – fraud that would make any 19th century election where votes were bought and sold look on the up and up.

Some of the outrageous actions of ACORN in Ohio were detailed in this Cleveland Plain Dealer article:

Yesterday two Ohio voters came forth and claimed that although they had made it clear they were already registered to vote, ACORN canvassers encouraged them to sign up several times. One of those was Christopher Barkley of Cleveland, who estimates that he registered to vote “10 to 15” times after ACORN relentlessly pursued him.

“I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register,” Barkley said. “They’d ask me if I was registered. I’d say yes, and they’d ask me to do it [register] again. Some of them were getting paid to collect names. That was their sob story, and I bought it,” he said.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has thus far subpoenaed at least three people as part of a wider inquiry into potential voter fraud by ACORN. The community organization looks to register low-income voters, that tend to overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

Lateala Goins, who was subpoeaned along with Barkley and others, said, “You can tell them you’re registered as many times as you want – they do not care. They will follow you to the buses, they will follow you home, it does not matter.”

Also subpoenaed was Freddie Johnson, who filled out voter registration cards a total of 72 times over the course of 18 months..

The ACORN spokesman in Ohio insists “that his group has collected 100,000 voter registration cards, and only about 50 were questionable.” How this is possible when one poor guy was harassed to sign up 72 by times by ACORN makes one wonder what other lies and frauds the far left Democratic partisan group is capable of.

There is much more. And the sad fact is nobody – not ACORN (who wouldn’t care anyway), Ohio election officials at every level, Republicans, non-partisan observers – knows just how many false, forged, or illegal registrations were dumped into Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s lap. No one knows how many early voters voted illegally. No one knows how many Republicans were discouraged from voting by absentee ballot thanks to Brunner’s original ruling on the matter. No one knows the extent of cooperation between the Obama campaign and ACORN in Ohio. And no one knows if any of this will affect the outcome of Ohio’s presidential election.

There are other states where ACORN and the Democrats have been playing fast and loose with registration and early voting. Over the next weeks and until the election, American Thinker will look at many of these states and detail the attempts to hijack the democratic process in service to Barack Obama’s presidential ambitions.

No doubt we will hear much from authorities in the coming weeks who finally appear to be aroused to the threat ACORN poses to the integrity of the election and are carrying out numerous investigations in 11 states across the country.

This article originally appears in The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 4:36 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (12)


Pardon the slow loading site. My little hosting company is trying to deal with the Instalanche and Hot Air explosion as well as links from the rest of you.  

Glenn Reynolds received an email yesterday that he termed “depressing.” Upon reading it, I agree with him.

The correspondent starts by identifying himself as a libertarian who supported George Bush until “Bush fatigue” set in recently. But what depressed Reynolds (and what should concern all of us) is how this gentleman would react to an Obama presidency:

This is surely small of me, but if Obama wins, I plan on giving him as much of a chance as the Democrats gave George Bush. I will gleefully forward every paranoid anti-Obama rumor that I see, along with YouTube footage of his verbal missteps. I will laugh and email heinous anti-Obama photoshop jobs, and maybe even learn photoshop myself to create some. I’ll buy anti-Obama books, and maybe even a “Not My President” t-shirt. I’m sure that the mainstream bookstores won’t carry them, but I’ll be on the lookout for anti-Obama calendars and stuff like that. I will not wish America harm, and if the country is hurt (economically, militarily, or diplomatically) I will truly mourn. But i will also take some solace that it occurred under Obama’s watch, and will find every reason to blame him personally and fan the flames.

Obama’s thuggish behavior thus far in this election cycle – squashing free speech, declaring any criticism of his policies to be “racist” (a word that happily carries little weight with sensible people these days), associating with the likes of Ayers, Wright, and ACORN - suggests that I won’t have to scrape for reasons to really viscerally dislike Obama and his administration. And even if he wins, his campaign’s “get out the vote fraud” activities are enough to provide people like me with a large degree of “plausible deniability” as to whether he is actually legitimately the president.

I’ve seen a President that I am generally-inclined to like get crapped on for eight years, and I’ve seen McCain and Palin (honorable people both, despite policy differences I may have with them) get crapped on through this election season. If the Democrats think that a President Obama is going to get some sort of honeymoon from the folks who didn’t vote for him, as a wise man once said: heh.

Civics 101 people; the guy who gets the most votes, wins.

You can talk about “voter fraud” and “stealing elections” all you want but the fact remains that if Obama is certified by the electoral college and the House of Representatives as President of the United States, that ends the discussion in our republic. There is no more important aspect of democracy than the minority accepting the will of the majority. The constitution gives the minority certain protections against getting steamrolled by the majority. But it doesn’t give the minority the right to torpedo the legitimacy of the winner.

This is more than a question of “fair play” or being a “sore loser.” The Constitution says we have only one president at a time. Given the importance of that office, it is stark raving lunacy to seek to destroy the man occupying it.

The fact that the Democrats and the left have acted like 2 year olds the last 8 years doesn’t mean that if Obama is elected we should throw the same infantile tantrums and look for ghosts in the machine – or accuse the opposition of foul play without a shred of physical proof, only the paranoid imaginings whipped up by people who knew exactly what they were doing – undermining the legitimacy of the elected leader of the United States government.

I can certainly understand the desire given voice by Reynolds correspondent. There would be something hugely satisfying in giving back to the left in spades what they have done to Bush and the Republicans for the last 8 years. But think about it for a minute. Our country is in a helluva fix – the worst since I’ve been alive and probably the worst since the eve of the great depression. The only comparable crisis in my lifetime is the one faced by Reagan when he came into office.

Reagan’s challenge was more a crisis of confidence than anything really systemically wrong. He restored that confidence. And he did it with the help of loyal, patriotic Democrats. Not just the 70 or so “Boll Weevils” who actually voted with Reagan on occasion in order to get his program through Congress. Speaker Tip O’Neil could have thrown a huge monkey wrench into the early efforts of Reagan to cut taxes and reduce spending. But he didn’t. To his eternal credit, O’Neil chose to fight for his principles while giving Reagan’s program a chance in Congress.

The two adversaries fought tooth and nail for every vote in the House (the GOP controlled the Senate at the time). The played hardball politics with a zest that seems to be missing in these days of obstructionism and spiteful rhetoric. In the end, despite O’Neil’s best efforts, he lost fair and square – a point he deliberately made in his televised call of congratulations to Reagan in the aftermath of the vote.

The very liberal O’Neil – as tough a political brawler as you’ll find anywhere – was also an American first and a Democrat second. He was a politician from the old school who accepted Reagan’s election as a matter of course. It never occurred to him to try and delegitimize the only president he had. The two men liked each other personally but despised each other’s politics. And yet, they were able to work together to bring America back from a deep, dark place that threatened our future.

This is how it should be. And whether Obama wins – if he wins – by one vote or millions shouldn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you believe the reason he won was because the press was in the tank for him, or ACORN cheated, or McCain didn’t get a fair shake, or any other legitimate or illegitimate reason you can think of. At the very least, Barack Obama will deserve our acknowledgement that he is the legitimate elected president of the United States.

That doesn’t mean we have to slavishly follow him or join his cult like groupies. What it means is that where what he proposes to do is reasonable and doesn’t conflict with our principles, he should expect our support. It means that we don’t have to delegitimize his presidency to oppose him either. People of good will and good conscience can disagree without tearing each other and the country apart. And in this day and age, such an outcome would be unbearable.

An Obama election will mean changes – not all of them for the better. So be it. We will fight like hell against what we believe to be wrong. But we not do it by trying to delegitimize the elected president. Get personal, sure. Satirize and make fun of him, absolutely. Argue on the merits, most definitely.

But when push comes to shove and crisis erupts somewhere in the world involving American interests – and no president in recent memory has escaped such a challenge – I plan on backing my president’s play. I may give voice to skepticism about the path he chooses. This is our right and duty.

But I will not wish that he fail nor will I work to see that he does. The fact that I even have to mention this shows how foreign an idea this is to both the right and the left. The unbalanced hatred on the right directed against President Clinton was followed up by the even kookier and dangerous rage by the left against Bush. Perhaps its time for all of us to grow up a little and start acting like adults where the survival of our republic depends on the two sides not trying to eye-gouge their way to dominance.

This may not be self-evident to some of you younger readers but this was the America I grew up in and which existed until about 20 years ago. Politics was just as raucous a game then. There was no pussyfooting. It was a game played for keeps and played to the hilt. There was little love lost personally or professionally between the two sides.

But there was also a recognition that the will of the majority was, in the end, respected and granted legitimacy. This included recognizing that there was only one president and that even if we disagreed with him, that didn’t mean he was an impostor. The fact that the 2000 election was so close (and the results confirmed by a consortium of independent media who took the time to recount the Florida votes several different ways proving that Bush did indeed win the state) no doubt was frustrating for the losers. But the idea that after 8 years the left could never get over the results and indeed, showed a derangement toward the president even after a still close but decisive win in 2004 proves that it is up to us on the right to bring our politics back to a rough equilibrium so that we can work together in these perilous times.

I plan on doing just that – while still skewering my political opponents with as much zest and glee as I can muster.

By: Rick Moran at 10:23 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (346)


It’s good to see some other bloggers questioning the latest prevarications from the media about McCain campaign audiences being “mad” or “out of control” or “racist” – all based on the comments or statements of a few idiotic audience members out of the thousands attending. (See my post from Friday on this here.)

Ann Althouse on the latest liberal attack on GOP crowds:

The video shows that Ana Marie Cox did not transcribe the quote correctly. It’s not: “I’m scared of Barack Obama… he’s an Arab terrorist…” It’s: “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not he’s not he’s a uh he’s an Arab.” “Terrorist” is simply not there. The McCain quote is a bit off too. He says: “He’s a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have some disagreements with on fundamental issues.” Don’t pin “terrorist” on the little old lady in the audience, and don’t pin “whom” on the presidential candidate.

AND: Note that Time’s Cox (or whoever did the transcription) not only added “terrorist” but also substituted “scared” for “can’t trust.” What does that say about the mind of the transcriber? It suggests the press is looking for evidence of fear and fear mongering. I think we’re seeing a grasping for more evidence to justify blaming the campaign for deranging the minds of McCain’s supporters. But if this woman’s concern is that Obama is an Arab and that you can’t trust him because of that, then it has nothing much to do with the Ayers connection that the McCain campaign promoted this week. So spike the quote with “terrorism” and “scared.”

Josh Marshall continues his descent into madness with 360 words on why the woman in the crowd really did say “Arab terrorist” and not just “Arab.” His headline for this hilariously off kilter post is “Darker and Darker” – a perfect metaphor for Marshall’s own obsession with minutia as he desperately seeks to paint GOP crowds at McCain rallies as drooling, apelike, tobacco spitting, bible thumping, racist, ignorant red necks who must be stopped before they…well, Marshall’s limited imagination can’t quite conceive of the horrors these hillbillies would be capable of but he knows it would be no good!

When I wrote about this transparent attempt to dampen enthusiasm at GOP rallies not to mention drive moderates and Democratic conservatives away from McCain, I got the usual gentle ribbing from my liberal friends (no, it is not anatomically possible to do what they suggest I do with my head). They pointed out that McCain himself had become “concerned” about the tone at these rallies and tried to tamp down some of the more idiotic notions about Obama; that he is a Muslim, a “terrorist,” “an Arab,” or “terrorist lover” to name a few.

This, I blame on some conservative bloggers and a few unhinged conservative talk radio folks who will write or say any old hogwash about Obama – the worse sounding, the better. Lies and smears perpetrated against a candidate always backfire in the end because it turns off reasonable people to your cause while enabling the real nuts who exist on the fringes of both parties.

We have seen this the last 8 years with Bush Derangement Syndrome. Glenn Reynolds explains:

So we’ve had nearly 8 years of lefty assassination fantasies about George W. Bush, and Bill Ayers’ bombing campaign is explained away as a consequence of him having just felt so strongly about social justice, but a few people yell things at McCain rallies and suddenly it’s a sign that anger is out of control in American politics? It’s nice of McCain to try to tamp that down, and James Taranto sounds a proper cautionary note—but, please, can we also note the staggering level of hypocrisy here? (And that’s before we get to the Obama campaign’s thuggish tactics aimed at silencing critics.)

The Angry Left has gotten away with all sorts of beyond-the-pale behavior throughout the Bush Administration. The double standards involved—particularly on the part of the press—are what are feeding this anger. (Indeed, as Ann Althouse and John Leo have noted, the reporting on this very issue is dubious). So while asking for McCain supporters to chill a bit, can we also ask the press to start doing its job rather than openly shilling for a Democratic victory? Self-control is for everybody, if it’s for anybody. . . .

I would disagree with Glenn that the crowds are even that angry. Yes, there are angry individuals and there seems to be some resentment directed solely at the press. But there is also a good deal of enthusiasm and patriotic fervor. If you watch the video of the fellow in Wisconsin saying that he was “mad – really mad,” you would be forced to note that after he had decried Obama’s “socialism,” and asked McCain to “fight for us,” the crowd did not call for lynching Obama but instead erupted into chants of “USA, USA.”

These are Republican crowds who want McCain to throw them red meat about Obama. They want to boo his name. They want to hiss at his radical associations. They want to shout “NO!” when McCain lists his more cockamamie plans for the economy.

Chanting “NOBAMA!” does not make these crowds “an angry mob” any more than Democrats chanting “McSame” at Obama rallies is proof that they want to kill John McCain.

McCain – who was obviously stung by press criticism that the few nincompoops at his rallies who mindlessly repeated slurs about Obama’s heritage or talked of being “scared” at the prospect of an Obama presidency – was evidently cowed enough to feel he had to make the point about Obama being a “decent” man and an honorable candidate. This is fine, except he is assisting the press in perpetrating the lie that his campaign events have degenerated into lynch mobs. And I was extremely disappointed to see that Representative John Lewis (a true patriot and courageous fighter for civil rights his entire life) had shamed himself (and the memory of Dr. King) by giving the most outrageous statement to the press, shamelessly playing the race card to the hilt:

Today, Lewis castigated McCain in the harshest of terms. “George Wallace never threw a bomb,” Lewis noted. “He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.”

This may be the most vicious, unprincipled attack on a Republican candidate since Ted Kennedy said that Ronald Reagan wanted poor children to die and old people to be thrown out of their homes. It is astounding that Lewis – a man who bears the physical scars of the fight for racial justice – would so cavalierly invoke George Wallace and the victims of the Birmingham church bombing in a wildly inappropriate and logically flawed comparison between good and decent Americans exercising their first amendment rights at a political event and the flagrant, nauseating racism that led to the murder of innocents.

There is no connection whatsoever. It was Lewis throwing political sh*t against the wall to see if it would stick – something that is so below him that it makes me wonder if Obama put him up to it just so that he could appear reasonable in criticizing Lewis while allowing the false theme of “hateful” speech (read criticism of Obama for his relationship with at domestic terrorist) to continue.

For in truth, Obama – statesmanlike – refused to endorse the Wallace comparison of Lewis’ but embraced the rest of his message; GOP crowds are racist and getting out of control:

Senator Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night, as well as the baseless and profoundly irresponsible charges from his own running mate that the Democratic nominee for President of the United States ‘pals around with terrorists.’

“As Barack Obama has said himself, the last thing we need from either party is the kind of angry, divisive rhetoric that tears us apart at a time of crisis when we desperately need to come together. That is the kind of campaign Senator Obama will continue to run in the weeks ahead.”

Oh Jesus, spare me. This is the same campaign that has savaged McCain in the most personal terms imaginable while preaching this pious crap to his adoring masses. The dripping hypocrisy coming from these people is astonishing. Obama would have us believe that any personal attack on McCain – on his war wounds, his age, his wife’s wealth, – is the kind of rhetoric that will help us “come together” but McCain talking about all the radicals in Obama’s life is “angry” and divisive.”

The naive fools who have flocked to Obama believing that politics should be some kind of encounter session or New Age tribal gathering ought to be educated a bit. The “Can’t we all get along” crap being fed these ignoramuses is the kind of stuff totalitarians are very good at – where dissent and argument is seen as unhealthy or “not in the public interest.” We’ve had enough of that crap from the Bushies with their attitude toward war protestors.

But at least Bush wasn’t in charge of a party that is so eager to stifle the voices of their opponents that they would re-institute the Fairness Doctrine. Nor is McCain in charge of a campaign that openly uses thug tactics to silence points of view that criticize their messiah. Bush may have used patriotism as a shield against war protests but the Obama campaign makes him look like a piker by comparison. They want to stifle all dissent and criticism of Obama everywhere. And they are willing to use their mindless minions to shout down opposing views, intimidate those who would pay for ads that criticize the Democratic candidate, even using the old Nixonian threat of pulling broadcast licenses of those media outlets who dare run these ads.

And of course, as Lewis shows, they are willing to play the race card to the hilt in order to not just shame critics but smear them as well.

Nice operation you’ve got their, Mr. Obama.

McCain, to his credit, came out swinging against the Lewis smear:

“The notion that legitimate criticism of Sen. Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Gov. George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign,” McCain said in the statement. “I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I’ve always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track.

McCain also put the onus on Obama to distance himself from the remarks: “I call on Sen. Obama to immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments that are so clearly designed to shut down debate 24 days before the election. Our country must return to the important debate about the path forward for America.”

Fat chance when it was probably Obama who asked Lewis to make the attack in the first place. And as we’ve seen, Obama did not distance himself very much at all from Lewis’ baseless smear.

I wish McCain had taken on the rest of the meme – that all of this “concern” over the GOP “mobs” is in fact, manufactured by the Democrats and the media; that one or two dummies shouting out some idiocy about Obama at a McCain rally does not make the crowds themselves “angry” – or at least any angrier than Democratic crowds (such as the mob that booed Palin and her six year old kid last night at a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game).

Barely three weeks to go and if Obama and his campaign had their way, there would only be one voice and one message going out over the airwaves between now and then. Welcome to Hope and Change. Here’s hoping that Obama’s changes won’t mean the death of free speech in America.


If I were the left, I’d give up on this transparent attempt to smear GOP partisans and look to their own house instead.

Michelle Malkin has at least 2 dozen examples of the kind of out of control rage that the left is weeping about with regards to Republicans at McCain rallies.

Out. Of. Control.

Not a peep from the media. Not a word from the Josh Marshalls of the leftysphere who are so intent on finding the mote in their opponent’s eye that they’ve missed the Redwood tree sticking out of their own.

It won’t deter them of course. Don’t try to stop them – they’re on a roll. While Josh Marshall examines the phone video of a woman at a McCain rally trying to determine if she was calling Obama an “Arab terrorist” or just an “Arab,” liberals are trying to incite violence and murder against both McCain and Palin in the most obvious and deliberate manner.

By: Rick Moran at 9:23 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (67)

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Barack Obama was booed at a McCain Town Hall in Waukesha, Wisconsin yesterday.

That’s right. I’m not joking. A crowd of Republicans actually had the audacity, the temerity, the gumption to show their displeasure when the name of The Messiah was uttered.

And according to this breathless, fearful account published in the Washington Post this morning, that’s not all they did:

There were shouts of “Nobama” and “Socialist” at the mention of the Democratic presidential nominee. There were boos, middle fingers turned up and thumbs turned down as a media caravan moved through the crowd Thursday for a midday town hall gathering featuring John McCain and Sarah Palin.

I weep for America. In God’s name, what are we coming to? To actually show disdain and unhappiness at the mention of The One? And what’s this about giving the finger to our friends in the press? Don’t they know that a free press is vital to our democracy? How dare they make such a vulgar display in the direction of those who toil so unselfishly in service to the republic.

Gee – you’d think the crowd believed the press was the enemy or something.

I regret to inform my readers that, in fact, there is more disturbing news to report from recent rallies featuring John McCain. Apparently, according to unnamed sources, the people attending these rallies are angry.

In recent days, a campaign that embraced the mantra of “Country First” but is flagging in the polls and scrambling for a way to close the gap as the nation’s economy slides into shambles has found itself at the center of an outpouring of raw emotion rare in a presidential race.

“There’s 26 days and people are looking at the very serious possibility that there’s a chance that Obama might get in, and they don’t like that,” said Ian Eltrich, 28, as he filed out of the crowded sports complex.

“I’m mad! I’m really mad!” another man said, taking the microphone and refusing to surrender it easily, even when McCain tried to agree with him.

I fear for this country. An ordinary citizen – a McCain supporter – is “really mad.” And what makes this even more outrageous, more frightening (if that’s possible) is that John McCain and Sarah Palin just stood there like statues and did nothing when the crowd booed Barack Obama’s name. They showed no remorse whatsoever.

I would like to digress here and thank the Washington Post for bringing this to our attention. Clearly, this is unheard of in American politics and deserves scrutiny. I mean really now, would partisans at a Democratic rally boo the very mention of George Bush’s name?

sarcasm off/ (finally)

I can’t tell you how much contempt I have for the Post and other media outlets who have been pushing this meme – that it is somehow dangerous, or racist, or indicative of something horribly ugly in the mindset of GOP supporters to show strong emotion at the mention of Obama. Not when similiar outbursts happen at Democratic rallies. Not when Democratic party partisans on the internet and elsewhere have whipped up a frenzy of hate against John McCain.

Has there ever been someone who screamed out about McCain “Kill him!” at an Obama rally? We don’t know because the idea that the press would report what one, lone, idiot shouts out at a rally of thousands is ludicrous – except if it is a McCain rally and then it becomes front page news.

And evidently, it has become verboten to even take the name of Obama in vain – his middle name, that is:

Seems like almost every day now there’s a McCain-Palin rally where the campaign has the candidates introduced by someone who hits on “Barack Hussein Obama”. Just happened again in Bethlehem, PA. After the fifth or sixth time you pretty much know on the orders of the campaign. It is obviously with tacit approval (to believe anything else is to be a dupe at this point); and quite probably on the campaign’s specific instructions.

Given the regularity of the cries of “treason” and “terrorist” and the like, and the frequency with which the screamers seem in oddly convenient proximity to the mics, we should probably be considering the possibly that these folks are campaign plants. It happens all the time. It’s just that usually they don’t scream out accusations of capital crimes.

Late Update: A thought. At what point do they start burning Obama in effigy at the Palin rallies?

“A thought” by Josh Marshall? Well, at least that’s an improvement over what we’ve seen recently from the former web journalist turned lying, hyper partisan hack. I thought that Marshall’s last electroencephalogram revealed no brain activity at all. At least this is progress.

But not much judging by his cockamamie notion that Republicans would do to Obama what Democrats and liberals have been doing to Bush for the last 8 years.


(Courtesy of Zombietime)

Perhaps Republicans could get a few tips from Democrats on the proper way to burn someone in effigy. Maybe Marshall could publish them on his website.

As for taking the middle name of our Lord in vain, I would simply say that those who are inclined to believe the idiocy that Obama is a Muslim will not be swayed by anything John McCain would say. Or Sarah Palin for that matter. The idea that speaking Obama’s middle name is in and of itself racist or bigoted presupposes that making the charge gives the accuser insight into another’s soul – nice job if you can get it but something that liberals do on a regular basis so they have a lot of practice. All liberals are mind readers and psychics.

The question is it done deliberately in order to inspire feelings of fear and revulsion against Obama I would have to answer almost certainly yes. But this is a political campaign not a society ball. Raising the specter of fear if McCain is elected is part and parcel of the Obama campaign as well. It’s how elections have been conducted since Jeffersonians warned the re-election of Adams would lead to the establishment of a monarchy.

Denying this singular fact of life in political campaigns only shows liberals to be naive and ignorant. For 4 years, the left has been screaming at their own candidates to get tough on Republicans. Well congratulations, you’ve found your man in Obama. Schooled as he was in the rough and tumble, corrupt Machine politics of Chicago where you don’t defeat your opponent, you bury them, Obama needs little urging to hint at McCain’s advanced years, mock his war injuries, bring up past questionable associations, level charges of personal malfeasance – all the while piously insisting that he is staying above the fray. That kind of hypocrisy is enabled by his partisans and syncophants in the party and the press who never seem to find the time, the space, or the guts to call Obama out for his descent into the politics of personal destruction.

So get over it and get on with it.

Speaking of getting on with it, many of us were wondering when the race card, heretofore used only sparingly would become more prominently used by the Obama campaign.

We needn’t have wondered:

As the McCain campaign ratchets up the intensity of its attacks on Barack Obama, some black elected officials are calling the tactics desperate, unseemly and racist.

“They are trying to throw out these codes,” said Representative Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York.

“He’s ‘not one of us?’” Mr. Meeks said, referring to a comment Sarah Palin made at a campaign rally on Oct. 6 in Florida. “That’s racial. That’s fear. They know they can’t win on the issues, so the last resort they have is race and fear.”

“Racism is alive and well in this country, and McCain and Palin are trying to appeal to that and it’s unfortunate,” said Representative Ed Towns, also from New York.

In recent days, as polls have shown a steady lead for the Democratic ticket, Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin have used reports of Mr. Obama’s loose association with Bill Ayers, a former member of the ’60s radical group the Weather Underground, as evidence that he is different from them.

“Our opponent,” Ms. Palin told donors in Englewood, Colo., “is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

She added, “This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said. “We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism.”

An Associated Press analysis characterized those remarks as “unsubstantiated” and carrying “a racially tinged subtext.”

Actually, if we are to believe Obama, he too sees America as a “force for good” in the world. The question asked is can we take him at his word? Given his numerous, unbelievable prevarications involving people who don’t see America as a force for good in the world – Ayers, Wright, Meeks to a name a few – it is eminently practical and logical to ask if he is telling the truth when he says it. This goes to the heart of the reason his associations with radicals is so problematic. We all have friends and associates we disagree with on politics. But the level of hatred of America espoused by people like Wright and Ayers begs the question of why Obama has had such long term associations with these nutcases.

I have answered that question to my own satisfaction – Obama does indeed love America and he is not a radical in the sense that he shares most of the views of Ayers-Wright. But is it legitimate to ask if Obama’s idea of America is the same as mine and most Americans? This is a perfectly reasonable question to be answered by each of us individually based on what we see and hear from each candidate.

It is not racist to ask this question nor is it a personal attack. We are about to elect a president who is going to take charge amidst economic carnage the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Great Depression. It would be immensely helpful if voters had a good sense of what kind of America each man would like to see emerge from the wreckage. We will be a different country, of that I have no doubt. My own concerns center on whether the next president will seek to save the free market or throw it out with the rest of the bad paper that must have its way with us economically before an upturn in our fortunes can begin.

So how each candidate sees America is vitally important. And by playing the race card, the Obama campaign only causes us to ask more questions along those lines. I can’t believe people will be shamed into voting for our next president – not with what’s at stake. I can’t imagine voters being fearful of being called racist for failing to vote for Obama – a fear deliberately fostered by Obama playing the race card. In our current situation, it is understandable why Obama would do so, the race card being an extremely potent weapon. But will it play with the voter? I would hope that the voter has other criteria by which to judge the candidates.

“Angry” GOP crowds notwithstanding, all Americans are upset and fearful of the future. It is a fact of life that politicians would seek to capitalize on this fear. Both sides are trying to do it and both have done it in the past. Many voters no doubt will give in to this fear. Perhaps many more will not and it is among those voters that the election will be decided.


My boss, Tom Lifson,  at American Thinker writes about proof that there are Democratic plants at McCain rallies holding signs and shouting stuff about Obama.

And I just watched the video of the guy getting up and saying he was “mad – really mad” and let me tell you something friends. Any rational, objective observer watching the crowd in that video would violently disagree that they were an “angry mob.”

This is really pathetic. Transparent and stupid. And we have got to make sure that the American people don’t fall for it.

By: Rick Moran at 8:08 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (47)

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I received close to a dozen emails this morning linking to this article that breathlessly breaks the news that Obama was a member of “The New Party” – a “fusion” party made up of hard line Maoists, Communists, American socialists, and far left liberal Democrats in Chicago.

Readers of this site may recall that I wrote about this connection back in late May. The blogsite Yid With a Lid did all the legwork as far as I can determine. Eric Ericson and Warner Todd Houston  then fleshed out the connection at RedState and added some great analysis.

I have written frequently about Obama’s connection with the New Party including  here and here as well as several posts at The American Thinker. (See also Tom Lifson’s excellent post today.) The point being, there is absolutely nothing new here – even the archived links to The New Party website have been floating around the web for 6 months.  David Freddoso included information in his book The Case Against Barack Obama and Stanley Kurtz at NRO has mentioned the fact that ACORN members staffed Obama’s campaign in his first run for state senate. ACORN was a prominent member of The New Party coalition.

Does this make Obama a Marxist? A socialist?

I may be going over old ground here for daily readers but this is such an important aspect of Obama’s political personae that it bears repeating. Barack Obama’s political beliefs are secondary to his using anyone and everyone – from corrupt Machine politicians to wild eyed radical Maoists – to further his political career. All of the radical associations in his past (and present) represent nothing more than stepping stones to aid him in his political advancement. As early as 1987 he told Jeremiah Wright that he had his eye on the Governor’s mansion in Illinois (no doubt his sights were set higher). The arc of his career has always been headed toward high political office. Of this, there is no doubt.

Besides using these radicals to get ahead and making common cause with groups like ACORN and The New Party, it is a legitimate question to ask if Obama shared their ideology. The answer is almost certainly no. I believe that there is something about these radicals that attracted Obama. Perhaps it was their utter certainty and belief that they are in the moral right. Or maybe it was that their personalities are so driven and single minded. Given Obama’s own doubts about his place in the world as a young man as well as his apparent aimlessness early on, it stands to reason that people who believed so strongly in something and seemed to know where they were going in life would be able to interest the young, ambitious politician.

Calling Obama a “socialist” simply isn’t logical. He doesn’t share the belief that industries should be nationalized by the government or even taken over by the workers as many American Marxists espouse. He may not be as wedded to the free market as a conservative but he doesn’t want to get rid of it. He wants to regulate it. He wants “capitalism with a human face.” He wants to mitigate some of the effects of the market when people lose. This is boilerplate Democratic party liberalism not radical socialism.

I detest conservatives throwing around the words “socialism” and “Marxism” when it comes to Obama as much as I get angry when idiot liberals toss around the word “fascist” when describing conservatives. I’m sorry but this is ignorant. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge of what socialism and communism represent as well as an ignorance of simple definitions. Obama will not set up a government agency to plan the economy. He will not as president, require businesses to meet targets for production. He will not outlaw profit. He will not put workers in charge of companies (unless it is negotiated between unions and management. It is not unheard of in this country and the practice may become more common in these perilous economic times.).

An Obama presidency will have more regulation, more “oversight,” more interference from government agencies, more paperwork for business, less business creation, fewer jobs, fewer opportunities. It will be friendlier to unions, more protectionist, and will require higher taxes from corporations (who then will simply pass the tax bill on to us, their customers). But government won’t run the economy. And calling Obama a “socialist” simply ignores all of the above and substitutes irrationalism (or ignorance) for the reality of what an Obama presidency actually represents; a lurch to the left that will be detrimental to the economy, bad for business, but basically allow market forces to continue to dominate our economy.

Obama’s friendship with Ayers, Rezko, Wright, Pfleger, Meeks, Khalidi, as well as his working with Richard Daley’s Chicago Machine was the result of his overweening ambition and not due to any ideological affinity or strain of corruption in his makeup. He may have taken a scholarly interest in some of the ideas put forth by Ayers and he might have seen working to approve some of Ayers’ radical ideas as good politics (Ayers was an ally of Daley in the School wars of the 1990’s).

But frankly, Obama is someone who impresses me as having no real ideology save that which can get him elected. His campaign has shown him to pander to whatever audience he is addressing at the moment. His contradictory positions on issues is simply dismissed as his words “being taken out of context” or the candidate himself “misstated” his position. The press gives him a pass and its off to the next audience where he tells them exactly what they want to hear.

This is not a man with a radical ideology. It is a man with no ideology at all, no set beliefs in anything save his own supreme abilities. It is this more than anything else that will cause him to fail if he is elected president. When the political winds are blowing the strongest, he will have no set of beliefs he can cling to in order to ride out the storm. His efforts to “reform” Washington will come a cropper because of this and in the end, his empty rhetoric will be all that is remembered of him.

By: Rick Moran at 10:00 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (68)

locomotivebreath ( a rose by any other name) 1901 linked with Obama: The Stealth Candidate?...
Public Secrets linked with The Prophet Barack has some explaining to do -- Updated!...

The McCain campaign is perplexed, bothered, and bewildered of late. Despite Barack Obama’s past associations with radical bombers, nauseating racial bigots, and anti-semitic Palestinians, the media doesn’t seem to want to expose the extent of those relationships nor ask tough questions as to how the views of these extremists might have shaped or impacted his own.

We can – and in many cases we should – chalk this up to a shameless bias on the part of the media toward Barack Obama and the Democrats. But something much simpler is at work, something that makes any attack on Obama by McCain using his radical associations as a backdrop to question his judgement an exercise in futility.

The voters don’t care.

America did not invent the fine old custom of tar and feathering crooked, lying, corrupt charlatans and riding them out of town on a rail (the English have been doing it for 800 years). But the mood of the American voter is so outraged at the financial crisis we are in that if I were a Congressman campaigning at home, I’d steer clear of pillow and asphalt factories for a while.

The fact is, the economy is of such overriding concern, all else in the campaign pales in comparison. The voter simply doesn’t want to hear about Ayers, Wright, Rezko or any other problematic Obama friendship. Nor, I suspect, are they keen to relive the Keating 5 fiasco or read about any other manufactured McCain association by the press.

This piece this morning by Peter Yost of the AP is a stretch – a laughably ridiculous attempt to equate John McCain’s tangential relationship to a group that later assisted in training El Salvadoran death squads with Obama’s close, personal, association with William Ayers. Yost is sticking out his tongue and saying “neener, neener, neener,” hoping that the reader will nod their head and say “By Jiminy! McCain hung around with terrorists too!”

The problem is, Yost destroys his own case in the body of the piece:

The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. The group was dedicated to stamping out communism around the globe.

The council’s founder, retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, said McCain became associated with the organization in the early 1980s as McCain was launching his political career in Arizona. Singlaub said McCain was a supporter but not an active member in the group.

“McCain was a new guy on the block learning the ropes,” Singlaub told The Associated Press in an interview. “I think I met him in the Washington area when he was just a new congressman. We had McCain on the board to make him feel like he wasn’t left out. It looks good to have names on a letterhead who are well-known and appreciated.

“I don’t recall talking to McCain at all on the work of the group,” Singlaub said.

McCain says he resigned from the group in 1984 and asked to have his name removed from the letterhead in 1986. Singlaub also had this to say about McCain’s “involvement:”
“I don’t ever remember hearing about his resigning, but I really wasn’t worried about that part of our activities, a housekeeping thing,” said Singlaub. “If he didn’t want to be on the board that’s OK. It wasn’t as if he had been active participant and we were going to miss his help. He had no active interest. He certainly supported us.”

Compare McCain’s “involvement” with these nuts to Obama’s working relationship with Ayers, their friendship going back 20 years, and Obama’s clear desire to implement the radical educational agenda of Ayers when he was president of the Annenberg project. There is absolutely no symmetry here – none. And yet Yost, being a good little AP hack, tries to create some out of whole cloth.

But this is a digression from the reality of what is going on in America – the America not visited much by candidates and certainly not commented on by anyone in the mainstream media.

The America of ordinary, hard working people is fearful. And why shouldn’t they be? If they’re like me – barely able to grasp what the hell is going on in the financial markets – they nevertheless know that it is unprecedented and that some very smart people are extremely worried. When 60% of us believe we are headed for a 1930’s style depression, catcalls from candidates about who their friends might be simply doesn’t resonate. People have much bigger worries on their minds.

Admittedly, there are precious few of these “wise men” who are warning of a worldwide depression. A severe downturn, yes. Perhaps even an altering of the international financial system that would not be favorable to the United States. But soup lines and massive deflation are not currently foreseeable – not as long as the Fed is able to pump hundreds of billions of dollars at will into the banking system in order to keep it afloat until some semblance of confidence and order return to the markets.

How long can that go on? From Richard Fernandez’s site, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writing in the Telegraph:

During the past week, we have tipped over the edge, into the middle of the abyss. Systemic collapse is in full train. The Netherlands has just rushed through a second, more sweeping nationalisation of Fortis. Ireland and Greece have had to rescue all their banks. Iceland is facing an Argentine denouement. The US commercial paper market is closed. It shrank $95bn last week, and has lost $208bn in three weeks. The interbank lending market has seized up. There are almost no bids. It is a ghost market. Healthy companies cannot roll over debt. Some will have to sack staff today to stave off default. As the unflappable Warren Buffett puts it, the credit freeze is “sucking blood” out of the economy. “In my adult lifetime, I don’t think I’ve ever seen people as fearful,” he said. We are fast approaching the point of no return. The only way out of this calamitous descent is “shock and awe” on a global scale, and even that may not be enough.

In the first full trading day following the bailout, stocks lost 370 points. Yes, there are alarmists out there (Paul Krugman, please go on a nice, long vacation. I hear Bellvue has some padded rooms with wonderful views.). But when Warren Buffet gets nervous, the American people who are fearful don’t appear quite so stupid and naive, now do they?

The bottom line is that attacks on character are being ignored at the moment by the voter. All they want to hear is what each candidate will do to protect them from this financial storm that is sinking so many huge and seemingly indestructible companies. The thinking goes, “If Lehman Brothers can go under, am I next?” In a free country, people have a very proprietary sense of their own money and how safe it is.

They don’t have to be told things could get a lot worse. They sense it, as a deer might sense a wolf nearby. It can’t smell the wolf but it senses danger nevertheless. Voters may not entirely understand the ins and outs of international finance, but they sense their money, their livelihoods are in peril.Hence, all other issues of the campaign – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran, education, abortion, gun rights – the whole mish mash of topics that have been fought over and discussed in this campaign now take a seat at the back of the bus as the voter wants his questions answered on the economy.

Hugh Hewitt seems optimistic that if McCain can keep hammering Obama on Ayers while showing the voters how disasterous an Obama presidency would be for the economy, he might still pull it out:

As more details emerge on the Obama-Ayers connection (here’s a short story  from 1997 on Ayers that features both Obamas and which suggests that Michelle Obama organized the program that featured both Ayers and her husband), the Obama talking heads are hysterical with outrage, which is a clear signal to Team McCain to keep digging and swinging on the subject of Obama’s judgement. Just who, after all, does he intend to staff the 3,000 executive branch jobs with?  Who will be at Defense and Justice and Treasury and State?. 

The message also has to be targeted at the reality that the dizzying declines in the markets cannot be arrested and reversed with tax hikes and unemployment benefit extensions.  Even as people shudder at the rapid decline in their savings and retirement accounts, they have to be trusted to know that anti-growth polices of the sort being pushed by Obama will simply drive business, jobs and growth overseas.  A tax hike agenda of the sort pushed by Obama right now is economic suicide, and John McCain has to forcefully say so.

If raising taxes and extending unemployment is what it is going to take to keep voter’s money safe, they would be willing to vote for the devil himself. Obama might not have good ideas on what to do about the crisis. But that isn’t the point. It comes down to who the voters believe. And the sad fact is John McCain, as a member of the party in power in the White House, has about as much credibility on the economy as my pet cat Snowball.  

I wish it were otherwise. The more we find out about Obama’s relationship with Ayers the more I am troubled. Even more troubling has been a systematic campaign by Obama and his handlers to minimize and even lie about this relationship at every turn. Despite yeoman work done by David Freddoso and Stanley Kurtz of The National Review on how Obama helped Ayers try and implement some frighteningly radical educational ideas on the unsuspecting parents and schoolchildren of Chicago, it appears that it will all go for naught. The voter sees the effort by the McCain campaign to attack Obama on his radical associations as “just playing politics.”

And that is something they don’t want to see. They are hopping mad and scared. That’s a combination that Obama is having little trouble exploiting to his own advantage.

By: Rick Moran at 6:46 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (82)


It appears this first Sunday in October that John McCain and the Republicans are in deep trouble; that the Democrats, riding a wave of disgust and revulsion among voters over what they have been told is a financial crisis wholely the fault of the last 8 years of incompetence and mis-management, appear poised to take anywhere from 6-8 senate seats and more than 20 House seats away from the GOP. Meanwhile, John McCain slips further behind in key states and a pall of gloom has descended over the GOP professional class.

The political pros I am in contact with are extremely pessimistic about McCain’s chances at this point and are alarmed at the prospect that the Democrats could slaughter the GOP in the Senate. These are no-nonsense people who have been in the business of for many years. They are familiar with the ups and downs of a campaign and are not wont to panic at the first downturn in their candidate’s numbers.

To understand their concern, we must look at history. For a candidate to be down 8 points nationally 4 weeks before the election means he would have to make up 2 percentage points a week from now until November 4 in order to overcome that deficit. (Note: As a candidate’s national numbers rise, there is a corresponding rise in state numbers although, as we shall see shortly, that isn’t always necessarily enough to win.) That doesn’t sound like a lot to overcome until you begin to consider that the number of undecided voters this late in the campaign is limited. Hence, as undecideds begin to break, the candidate who is trailing must win a very large percentage of them in order to catch up.

The fact is, there are few examples of a candidate being as far behind this late in the campaign who are able to overcome and win in the end. Humphrey was 11 points down a month before the election and then began a blistering attack on Nixon that was almost enough to overtake him. Gerald Ford was 10 points down to Jimmy Carter and made a valiant charge that came up short.

Notice anything about those examples? The candidate who was behind made it close but was never able to overcome the entire deficit. I fully expect McCain to come back somewhat in the national polls – especially now that it appears he will attack Obama with everything but the kitchen sink – but history is telling us it won’t be enough.

The problem McCain has is that he must play defense in too many states while his opportunities for flipping some blue states are few and getting fewer. Pennsylvania is a good example. Just a few short weeks ago, McCain appeared to be on the rise in the Keystone state, with some polls showing him within the margin of error. But the last 2 weeks have been disasterous. McCain now trails by 15 and 12 points in the two most recent polls and it appears that PA is now beyond reach.

One of my correspondents said that organized labor is pouring massive amounts of money and people into Michigan – resources McCain cannot possibly match – which is why he has pulled his own advertising in the state. The RNC will continue to run ads and it is possible that Palin will be dispatched to show the flag every once and a while. But Michigan also appears at this point to be a poor target for the McCain camp and they will concentrate more resources in Wisconsin and perhaps Minnesota.

As for defense, it is pretty depressing. Obama has surged ahead in Virginia, Colorado, and New Mexico while drawing virtually even in North Carolina (!) and Nevada. Florida and Ohio look especially bad considering that if McCain can’t win either of those two states, we are probably looking at a 375+ electoral vote landslide.

Iowa is another red state where McCain appears to be headed for defeat. Missouri is very close. West Virginia may be in play. The upshot is that Obama has the money, the resources, the 527’s, the unions, and an extremely angry base hungry for Republican blood. John McCain is being buried by the economic crisis and an inability to convince the electorate that Obama’s inexperience, naivete, and radical associations should disqualify him from the presidency.

There are two more debates where Obama may slip up. That’s just about all McCain has at this point I think. There is also the possibility that some outside force might intrude on the campaign; a foreign crisis of some kind would shift the race from one that is largely about the economy to one that would highlight national security. But I think that a much more remote possibility than Obama saying something stupid that would remind people what a rookie he truly is.

There is a real chance that McCain’s attack on Obama’s radical associations will backfire and he will fall further behind. If that happens, election day will see a triumphant Democratic party with the presidency, a veto-proof senate, and much larger margin in the House.

In short, conservatives worst nightmare would be upon us; an ultra liberal president who can do anything he wants. And judging by what we know of Obama, he will attempt to remake America in the image of a European social democracy.

A brave new world, indeed.

By: Rick Moran at 12:16 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (41)


My jaw hit the floor when I heard Biden say this:

Here’s what the president said when we said no. He insisted on elections on the West Bank, when I said, and others said, and Barack Obama said, “Big mistake. Hamas will win. You’ll legitimize them.” What happened? Hamas won. When we kicked—along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know—if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.”
Now what’s happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.

Wha? Who? Kicked Hezb’allah out of where? Urged we send who into what? This is really an incredible gaffe – far more serious than anything Sarah Palin has ever said anywhere.

Let’s allow a “Foreign Policy Insider” quoted at The Corner, to try and untangle this web of lies, misstatements, and downright loony contentions:

Well, Hezbollah’s been there since the early 1980’s of course, blossoming throughout the 1990’s to become now over a third of the population of Lebanon with 2 cabinet members, a host of parliamentarians, and schools, clinics, and basically an entirely separate governance infrastructure in all of southern Lebanon and elsewhere. I suppose the throwing out of Hezbollah was the dismal and failed Israeli campaign of 2006 which dislodged nothing? Or was it Israeli’s occupation of Southern Lebanon from 1982 – 1999? Don’t remember an Obama position on NATO replacing Israeli occupation then. As for NATO going in after the 2006 debacle, well, I’m the one who rounded up 8,000 French and Italians and a few thousand other Euros to go into Southern Lebanon along with an assortment of others in August 2006 and while working that issue for about 40 straight days I don’t remember a peep from Biden or Obama about NATO - which wouldn’t be budged despite our intense pressure in Mons. So, we went straight to Rome and Paris. Que sera, sera.

In any case, he was all bluff and bluster and too bad she didn’t have time during debate prep to get his very mixed record on foreign policy stuff, he’s as good as he is bad at foreign policy and that is just a comment on his mastery, not on his policy positions…which have been more bad than good.

Allow me to add a few things. First, Hezb’allah may have only two cabinet ministers but they control the entire opposition bloc of 11 ministers in the 30 seat government. They currently control 62 of the 128 member Lebanese Parliament. Now for the meat of Biden’s claims.

Of course, no one “threw Hezb’allah out of Lebanon.” They have been there all along as the expert above notes. The Lebanese people threw the Syrians out of Lebanon, with no help from liberal Democrats like Biden and Obama, but with a great big behind the scenes lift from France and the US. It was we who put the bug in King Abdullah’s ear to lobby the Syrians to get while the going was good as the French worked directly on Baby Assad. The combination worked wonderfully and the Syrians left in a hurry – after a couple of million Lebanese took to the streets in a breathtaking show of defiance to tyranny and love of freedom.

Joe Biden – or any rational human being on this planet anyway – never recommended that NATO be dispatched to “fill the vacuum.” It is a lie. If it had been proposed. Colin Powell would have been laughed out of the room – something we should do to Biden at this point because he compounded his gaffe by evidently believing that not having NATO as a buffer between Israel and Hezb’allah – an absolute impossibility mind you – led to the ascension of Hezb’allah in Lebanon as a political power.

Where has Biden been for the last 20 years – at least since the Taif Accords were signed in 1989 which gave Hezb’allah a free hand in the southern part of the country and then pressuring the Lebanese government to formally designate them as “the resistance” to Israel? Hezb’allah’s rise is directly related to Iran’s funding of their proxy to the tune of around $250 million a year.

It is unbelievable to me that no one – not one single story in the press that I’ve read about the debate last night (I haven’t read them all so there may be some analysis I’ve missed) – has seen fit to mention this monumental gaffe, this horible misstatement of history, misreading of the situation in Lebanon, and the out and out lie that he and Obama recommended NATO troops move in after Syria was kicked out. This gaffe should be the headline that comes out of the debate; “Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee is a Buffoon.” Instead, it slides by and Palin is called out for mispronouncing the name of our commanding general in Afghanistan.



Michael Totten – who has been to Lebanon several times and knows the people and politics as well as any journalist in America – writes in Commentary this morning:

What on Earth is he talking about? The United States and France may have kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon in an alternate universe, but nothing even remotely like that ever happened in this one.
Nobody – nobody – has ever kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon. Not the United States. Not France. Not Israel. And not the Lebanese. Nobody.
Joe Biden has literally no idea what he’s talking about.
It’s too bad debate moderator Gwen Ifill didn’t catch him and ask a follow up question: When did the United States and France kick Hezbollah out of Lebanon?
The answer? Never. And did Biden and Senator Barack Obama really say NATO troops should be sent into Lebanon? When did they say that? Why would they say that? They certainly didn’t say it because NATO needed to prevent Hezbollah from returning-since Hezbollah never went anywhere.
I tried to chalk this one up as just the latest of Biden’s colorful gaffes. Did he mean to say “we kicked Syria out of Lebanon?” But that wouldn’t make any more sense. First of all, the Lebanese kicked Syria out of Lebanon. Not the United States, and not France. But he clearly meant to say Hezbollah, not Syria, because he correctly notes just a few sentences later that Hezbollah is part of Lebanon’s government. He wasn’t talking about Syria. He was talking about Hezbollah all the way through, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of his outlandish assertion.

Taking a second look at it, Michael may be right – that Biden is so clueless he actually meant Hezb’allah and not Syria. This coupled with his rather strange answer on Pakistan’s stability, that it is somehow within the power of the US president to affect what is happening on the ground in Pakistan beyond doing what the Bush Administration has been doing since 2001, calls into question the depth of Biden’s knowledge about any foreign policy issue.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

This blog post originally appeared in The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 10:10 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (25)