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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!...

It had to happen sooner or later. Once the emptiness of Obama’s “Hope and Change” campaign was realized by the voters, the Democratic candidate for president had precious little substance to fall back on.

Political attacks only resonate if the voter perceives a kernel of truth in them. And the way John McCain has been pounding away at Obama’s non-existent plans for what exactly he would like to accomplish as president, it was bound to have an effect on the polls.

It has.

Abandoning all pretense of being a candidate who can unite the country by reaching across the aisle to Republicans and reforming Washington, Obama has dramatically shifted his campaign rhetoric to the Bill Clinton strategy of telling voters “I feel your pain:”

Barack Obama sounds more like a man trying to shake a rain cloud these days, dispensing a teeth-clenching, I-get-your-pain stump speech in town after town that offers only snippets of the unbridled optimism that long permeated his campaign pitch.

Beginning in the days before his party’s convention, the inspirational has given way to the traditional: attacks on John McCain, a register of policy prescriptions and partisan language with the sting of a needle.

Over the summer, Obama would often simply say that he and McCain “fundamentally disagree” on key issues. In New Hampshire on Saturday, Obama said the Arizona senator “doesn’t get it. He doesn’t know what is going on your lives. He is out of touch with the American people.”

The poetic defenses of hope, the playful jokes about being a distant relative of Vice President Cheney and the glancing attention to policy have been replaced by an emphasis on economic fears – an issue-by-issue argument of why the American dream is slipping away and the Republican ticket has no plan to rescue it. He furrows his brow, wags his finger and broadcasts exasperation at the idea that a 26-year veteran of Washington is co-opting his mantra of change.

The Obama campaign has even replaced the wistful slogan, “Change We Can Believe In,” with the more imperative “Change We Need.”

This is the sign of a desperate candidate who doesn’t have a clue how to go about regaining the momentum he enjoyed in the early summer. Gone is the messiah who will go to Washington and save us from partisanship and race hatred. Gone is The One who’s campaign once promised to transcend politics and enter the realm of a crusade.

Now the brawling, Chicago trained street fighter is emerging – and it isn’t pretty. One wonders how his younger, more naive fans are taking this switch. I would have to say that based on history, many of them will become disillusioned and could stay at home on election day – as their older brothers and sisters and even their parents did when they were young and impressionable and had their eyes opened about politics and politicians.

One group this change won’t affect is Obama’s African American base who would probably vote for him if he was found to be the devil himself.  This part of the equation could still make the difference in some blue state races in Michigan and Pennsylvania (among other states) where large African American populations in Detroit and Philadelphia respectively could supply Obama with the margin of victory in very tight races.

But the millions of new voters who answered Obama’s call and saw him as a different kind of politician will, unless they are completely unaware of what is going on in the campaign, have second thoughts about this new version of Obama. This is the Machine pol who kicked his challengers off the ballot in his first state senate race by challenging their signature petitions. This is the “reformer” who walked into Illinois senate leader Emil Jones’ office and made a deal with the devil in order to have some kind of legislative record to run on for his US senate bid. And this is the Obama who threw the Chicago reformers under the bus by endorsing some of the worst Machine candidates at the expense of those running on a “hope and change” platform. All of these critiques will now resonate with voters.

That’s why Obama’s new strategy is so risky. Cynically, he is banking on the economy getting so bad that the voter will respond to his Clintonesque class warfare claims which will allow him to barely squeak out a win in November. He apparently feels that’s all he’s got left.

One thing is certain, however; Obama has totally abandoned all that made him different and exciting to so many voters and now appears to be just another Democratic politician.

This blog post originally appears in The American Thinker


As usual, Ed Morrissey and I are on the same page this morning:

Obama has had to turn back towards his base rather than make a play for independents and centrists. The base has begun to get dispirited, if not outright mutinous, and Obama needs an enthusiastic effort to win battleground states. Instead, he’s begun to fade in formerly safe states like Minnesota and New York, and Pennsylvania and Michigan may have already slipped through his fingers.

Make no mistake about it. Obama may claim this as going on the offensive, but this is a purely defensive move that ignores his one major theme: being different enough to transcend partisanship. John McCain has pushed him out of his comfort zone and forced him to play this election by McCain’s rules, and apparently he isn’t adept enough to figure that out for himself.

By: Rick Moran at 11:00 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (32)

Maggie's Farm linked with Tuesday links...

If you are totally in the tank for Obama, no doubt you loved the speech and thought it was one of the greatest in history. That’s fine. I’m glad you’re proud of your candidate and believe he did a great job.

But you will forgive me if my own, somewhat more honest and analytical take on what Obama said doesn’t quite match your gushing, effusive, unrealistic assessment.

It was a very good political speech and unmatched political theater. As I pointed out in my post on the Top 10 American Speeches of all Time, there are three elements that make a great speech. The first is the moment in time when the speech is delivered. The second is the venue where it is delivered. And finally, the words themselves must be as powerful when read as they are when spoken.

Obama did very well with all three, although the last element dragged down the overall ranking a bit. Without a doubt, the moment in history was there – first black man to accept the nomination of a major party is a huge historical deal and is one of those identifying moments in history; a “hinge” of history, if you will.

The venue was good but more because it was the Democratic convention and because of the number of people watching it rather than the speech having a grand backdrop like an inaugural address or King at the Lincoln Memorial. (As a convention speech having a lasting impact, it fell far short of Kennedy’s 1980 speech or – love it or not – Pat Buchanan’s 1992 barn burner, not to mention Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” stemwinder in 1896.)

Where the speech failed the test of historically “great” were the words themselves. In places, it soared. In others, it was just liberal boilerplate. Rereading it this morning, I was struck by how ordinary it truly was. There was hardly a policy proposal we haven’t heard from Democrats over the past 2 decades. To say that this represents “change” is arguable.

So not one of the great speeches of all time but a very good address that accomplished some of the things Obama set out to do. Obama. Obama got “specific” in the sense that he attached some concrete proposals to the idea of “change.” But he was no more forthcoming in how he was going to achieve this “change” as he has been in the past.

Case in point:

That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now.

So—so let me—let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.

Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I’ll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will—listen now—I will cut taxes—cut taxes—for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.

1. What does it mean when he says he will give tax breaks to companies that create “good jobs right here in America?” Eliminating capital gains for small business that create high tech jobs sounds fine but we are talking about jobs in the thousands not millions. And is that part of his plan to give tax breaks to companies that “create good jobs right here in America.” What’s a “good” job? What kind of tax break? Who gets it?

And doesn’t Obama realize that 45 million Americans already pay absolutely no federal income tax? Hard to cut someone’s taxes when they’re not paying any. There are another 18 million taxpayers who pay less than $500 in federal taxes. The point being, somebody has to pay for what you are proposing in the rest of your speech. And after you’re through upping the tax burden on the richest two percent (who already pay 88% of all the taxes from individuals in America) and carry through with your Carteresque idea to reduce domestic oil production by taxing “windfall” profits from oil companies, the well goes pretty dry.

Then there are these “specifics” on energy policy:

And in that time, he has said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil than we had on the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution, not even close.

As president, as president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.

I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.

There are a couple of jaw droppers in there. First, if this is his energy “plan” I would start laying in a generous supply of firewood and go out and buy a good bicycle. The government doesn’t “invest” in clean coal technology. It can incentivize the changeover or mandate it by simply changing the clean air standards for coal fired power plants. And if Obama thinks his own party – his own liberal base – is going to allow him to start building nuclear power plants, he doesn’t read blogs very much nor does he listen to his own members of Congress.

But “helping our auto companies retool?” Is he planning on making the government a partner with Ford, GM, and the rest? Auto companies don’t need to retool, they need better leadership. Relying on profits from gas guzzling SUV’s and trucks is why automakers are in such dire straits today – despite signs all over the place that the price of gas was going to go up because of tight supplies. Executives at the auto companies took the easy road of short term profit and sacrificed the long term viability of their companies.

And Obama wants to reward this bad behavior by helping them “retool?” It would be nice if the designers actually had cars for which the retooling would be necessary. Maybe we should solve that little problem first and then think of big giveways to giant corporations and big labor.

And then there was Obama’s “chicken in every pot” line, promising to ” make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.” Can he get any less specific than that? I leave it to your imagination for how this particular giveaway might work.

Finally, there was this:

And I’ll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy—wind power, and solar power, and the next generation of biofuels—an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced.

It might seem like a lot of money – $150 over the next decade – but it is less than a drop in the bucket compared to what we spend every year on energy. And Obama wants to spread that paltry sum out over 10 years.

No we will not drill our way out of this crisis. But wind and solar power are not the answer to our long term energy needs either. Those technologies too, will be stop gap measures and never supply more than a couple of percent of our energy needs. The answer is the most abundant element in the universe – hydrogen. And Obama never mentioned it in his speech.

So Obama’s specificity on how he will bring about “change” was slightly better than in the past but not much. Education, health care, paid sick leave, and the rest of liberal policy proposals all sounded wonderful. But as far as how he was specifically going to implement them or even what some of them meant, we are still in the dark.

He even borrowed from Republicans:

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I’ve laid out how I’ll pay for every dime: by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow.

But I will also go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less, because we cannot meet 21st-century challenges with a 20th-century bureaucracy.

I believe Gerald Ford was the first candidate to make this promise at a convention. The Democrats had Bill Clinton and Al Gore making similar promises. It is a ridiculous political premise that the president (actually whoever he chooses to head up OMB) will go through the budget “line by line” and find savings. The old Grace Commission did something similar and had less than 10% of their recommendations passed by Congress.

The fact is, many of those “obsolete” programs benefit someone somewhere. Trying to cut programs much less eliminate them causes such screams of anguish that no president has come close to realizing significant savings in the federal budget. With only around 15% of the budget “discretionary” spending with the rest tied up in defense and entitlements, there is only one place Obama can go to pay for his “change;” the Department of Defense.

He has already said he will cut tens of billions by slowing down programs and eliminating others including missile defense. This doesn’t “save” much at all because what you do by cutting a defense contract in the “out” years is simply extend the contract while the contractor keeps adding “cost +” accounting.

But Obama didn’t say he was going to cut the military budget in Denver:

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly and finish the fight against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts, but I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.

I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation, poverty and genocide, climate change and disease.

First, the next person that tells me Obama was being “specific” last night is going to make me scream. This is about as non-specific as you can get and still be on the stage. Just how does he create a world without nuclear weapons? It is nothing more than liberal pablum and for people like Andy Sullivan to gush about Obama “specifics” last night is simply ignoring reality.

But Obama’s talk of “rebuilding our military” flies in the face of what he said last year:

Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems…and I will institute an independent Defense Priorities Board to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.

Third, I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal I will not develop new nuclear weapons…I will seek a global ban on the development of fissile material…and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off of hair-trigger alert…and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.”

Which is it, Barack? “Rebuild” the military or tear it down?

Obama’s speech last night still fell way short of specifics – despite what shamelessly gushing reporters had to say. I nearly had a stroke when Carl Bernstein, appearing on CNN as an “analyst” said that this was “the greatest convention in modern times” – as if the first two nights weren’t incredible yawners not to mention near disasters for Obama. And apparently, the press showed their true colors during the speech:

Several members of the media were seen cheering and clapping for Barack Obama as the Illinois senator accepted the Democratic nomination Thursday.

Standing on the periphery of the football field serving as the Democratic convention floor, dozens of men and women wearing green media floor passes chanted along with the crowd.

Two members of the foreign press exchanged opportunities to take each other’s picture while wearing an Obama hat and waving a flag.

Several others nearby screamed “woo” during some of Obama’s biggest applause lines.

No doubt they just couldn’t help themselves.

Overall, not bad at all for Obama. Lacking many specifics (although more specific than he has been in the past) with his usual excellent delivery made the night a triumph for him.

I would grade him out at a B minus. It should give him a bounce in the polls even when McCain names his choice of running mate. The question will be, how long that bounce will last and what will things look like after the dust settles from the Republican convention which, as we speak, may be postponed due to Tropical Storm Gustav.

My guess is that by mid September, we will be back to the 4-6 point Obama lead from July. And the number of days that McCain will be able to carve into that lead will start to dwindle.

By: Rick Moran at 9:01 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (11)


In choosing Senator Joe Biden of Delaware as his running mate, Barack Obama has acknowledged his own shortcomings while recognizing that the election he and his people thought a cakewalk a few months ago is now a battle royale along the lines of the 2000 and 2004 contests.

Republicans would do well not to celebrate too much over this choice. On the surface, it may appear to be a mistake – an almost comically bad selection by Obama due to Biden’s well known (and well documented) verbal gaffes. And, as Politico points out, this should worry the Obama camp:

But while Biden, 65, made strides during the primary season on curbing his legendary penchant for leaving no thought unspoken, those who have watched him (and listened to him) over the years know the Obama team will spend some sleepless nights wondering what he might say at any given moment.

Leaving that aside, Biden is a formidable presence and brings quite a bit to the table. He is, by Democratic party standards, a moderate, especially on foriegn policy where he has distinguished himself as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Senate. He voted for the Iraq War and has consistently advocated victory in that conflict. An early and harsh critic of Administration Iraq policy (like John McCain), Biden and McCain have been seen as the biggest advocates for putting more troops into Iraq as far back as 2004. He supported Bush’s Pakistan policy until he began to run for president. He has taken a tough stance against the Russians. He has fully backed our efforts in Afghanistan.

He can be called a foreign policy realist – something he will have to abandon now that he is running with the most idealistic and naive candidate in history. But Obama doesn’t care where he stands on issues as much as his perceived “experience” overcomes his own lack of foreign policy credentials.

Domestically, he is further left but has been known as a friend of credit card companies and banks. He is very liberal on social policy (he received a 0% rating from the Family Research Council) and does well with organized labor. He got a perfect score from the liberal ADA in 2005 and 2006.

What are Obama’s expectations? What does he bring to the ticket?

Joe Biden is an attack dog, a savage puncher who brings some skills to a debate. He will more than ably fill the traditional role of a running mate by attacking McCain like there’s no tomorow while Obama preaches his hope and change mantra staying above the fray.

It is true that Biden is in love with his own voice (most senators are) and he can be very windy at times. But the Obama camp will keep him on a very short leash which will help and I expect he will also be somewhat protected from the press. This may minimize the gaffe potential.

As far as his personal attributes he is an emotive sort of fellow which plays well with most voters. He has a working class upbringing although after 36 years in the senate, he is far beyond those humble beginnings. He is a Catholic and may help shore up Obama’s working class Catholic base that Hillary won so handily in Pennsylvania and other states.

I’ve listed most of his negatives except the intangible. Joe Biden is the consumate inside the beltway, Washington insider. For Barack Obama to go before the people now offering “hope and change” is ludicrous. Also, Biden is only 7 years younger than John McCain so using his age against him is now under the bus.

But it is his ability as a back alley brawler that Obama probably chose him. His sarcasm can sometimes be too biting and at times he comes off as just plain mean. But when he smiles that huge, teeth baring grin and lets loose a torrent of invective against his opponent, he can be fearsome.

This campaign started with both men saying they wanted to elevate dialogue and stay away from personal attacks. But any student of history can tell you that this is the strategy of the loser and the winner is usually the one who is most able to portray his opponent as the devil incarnate. Negative politics is like torture; it is used because it works. And with the country still in a 50-50 split,  the candidate who can hit first and hit the hardest will probably come out on top.

This blog post originally appears in The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 9:03 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (9)

The Command T.O.C. linked with A Very Good Analysis of The Joe Biden Selection... Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Obama selects Biden to be veep running mate ...

Face it, friends. Forget all the media hype you’ve heard about the superiority of Obama’s campaign. Forget everything you’ve heard about what geniuses these guys are. The fact is, these fellows are not very smart. And they have proved it by jumping on a McCain gaffe without realizing they were leaping into a pool of quicksand.

First, either of these men who tries to portray themselves as a “Man of the People” or “more in touch” with average Americans should be horsewhipped. Neither of these gents has a clue how most of us live and both probably hit their knees every night thanking God they don’t. It is a distressing fact here in the first quarter of the third century of the American experiment that running for federal office is a rich man’s game and has become so for both parties. They are all out of touch with the average American which is why both campaigns have thrown up smokescreens instead of dealing with the hard issues that threaten our future.

Obama’s surprisingly aggressive attack on John McCain’s inability to remember how many houses he owns without thinking of how McCain could turn that attack and have it redound in his favor shows Obama is more concerned with appearing to “fight back” than with formulating any logical plan on how to attack his opponent. The netroots and other Democrats have been screaming at him to get tough on McCain, to respond in kind to McCain’s digs at Obama’s celebrity and haughtiness.

Just this morning, James Carville writes that Obama “needs to get mad about something:”

And my last piece of advice to Obama and his team is to just get mad about something. Obama’s campaign seems so intent on branding him as a “cool and calm” leader.

Well, voters want to see a sense of urgency and outrage in their president: Outrage over our dependence on foreign oil; outrage over our increased cost of living, health care and education; outrage over declining incomes; outrage over an endless war and an idiotic foreign policy; and outrage over our country’s loss of prestige over the last 7½ years.

To put it bluntly, Obama needs to get outraged over something other than “attacks on his patriotism.”

Is Obama capable of getting mad? His attempts to counter McCain’s non-existent charges that he isn’t patriotic came off like whining rather than outrage. Indeed, if there is one thing the Obama campaign does extremely well it’s whine.

But in piling on about McCain’s house gaffe, hitting on the twin themes of elitism and McCain being “out of touch” along with the unspoken charge that McCain is forgetful because of his age, Obama has led with his chin. Barack Obama is the very last person in America who should bring up the subject of houses – and John McCain is going to remind Americans why that is so. His campaign released this statement:

Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people “cling” to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans? “The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.”

Taking the house attack and turning it 180 degrees on the Democrat, the McCain campaign has come out with a blistering attack ad that savages Obama over his relationship with convicted Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko and the still unanswered questions on how Rezko helped Obama move into a house he couldn’t afford at the time.

This isn’t the only “Glass House” offensive that Obama is trying. He also has released an ad attacking McCain’s associations – specifically with Ralph Reed who was involved in the Jack Abramhoff scandal.

Talk about leading with your chin, this is incredible. First, McCain’s ties to Reed are nebulous at best, damn near invisible unless you include money raised by Reed (and we won’t get into a fight over who is donating to each campaign now, will we?).

Beyond that, trying to attack McCain associates once again highlights Obama’s own problems with people he hangs around with. And for that, we have to look no further than Barack Obama’s long term association with Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers.

Wright will no doubt make another appearance later in the campaign. I suspect the McCain strategists are holding Wright in reserve and will unleash an attack connecting Obama with his long time preacher and mentor when it will have maximum impact – sometime after the first and before the last debate.

In the meantime, the University of Illinois has done a great service to the McCain campaign by making an issue of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records in their refusal to release them. What might have been of minor interest to the anti-Obama internet and a story for a few days on the news nets has now piqued the interest of the national media and will be big news when (if?) they are released.

What is in those documents that could be damaging to Obama? No doubt they will show the candidate had a relationship with the former terrorist that was much more than the “just some professor who lives in my neighborhood” meme that Obama was trying to push on the press a few months ago in Philadelphia during the debate. And they could reveal some ideas that Obama has about how to reform education – ideas that could be so far out in left field that exposing them to the voters might make him look even more like an extremist.

But Obama, in raising the question of McCain’s associations, has only opened up the Pandora’s Box that leads to his own much more problematic friendships. And by doing so, the Obama campaign has proved that either they are so supremely arrogant that they think their candidate invincible or they are supremely stupid and don’t quite realize what they have done.

By: Rick Moran at 12:39 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (17)


One of the big reasons I love American politics is that nowhere else in the world can you find such a colorful cast of characters that pop up to add a little comedy to our otherwise deadly serious proceedings. Even the crooks are entertaining – if not personality wise then certainly in their marvelously inventive methods of purloining from the public purse.

Duke Cunningham may not have been much of a Congressman but he belongs in the Super Bowl of graft for his enormously inventive plans to enrich himself. “Dollar Bill” Jefferson gave a whole new meaning to the term “cold, hard cash.” Larry Craig’s straddles on more than just issues. And their friends in Congress can be even more entertaining and original in the ways they seek to separate the hard earned taxpayer coin from its owner.

Then there are the gadflies, the hangers on who wish to make an impact on our politics but only end up making idiots of themselves. Not surprisingly, I include myself in this group along with most (not all) bloggers, most columnists in major newspapers, most TV pundits, and anyone who writes for The Nation.

We are in “the boredom killing business,” as William Holden famously said in Paddy Cheyevsky’s brilliant and prescient take on TV news, the movie Network. And one of the best ways to alleviate ennui is to read books that purport to explain, analyze, or otherwise comment upon politics as it is currently practiced here in the United States.

Now the French, God bless ‘em, have a theory that you shouldn’t write about politics or history until at least 50 years have passed from the period you wish to study. Only after everyone is dead and their papers, diaries, letters, and post it notes are published can an author truly know and understand his subject.

This may be true. Then again, it might be a typical French excuse not to do any work. (Oh for God’s sake lighten up, I’m kidding you nitwits).

Be that as it may, today’s political authors immerse themselves in their subjects about as deeply as the puddle that forms after it rains in the utility room of my basement. Anything written by Sean Hannity must come with a piece of string so that the book can be tied to your desk lest it float away. The same goes for Ann Coulter and double for anything ever written about the Bush Administration by a liberal.

Then there are the books written to do a number on a candidate or political figure. There is nothing new about political hit pieces – Jefferson employed Philip Freneau to skewer Washington, Hamilton, and other federalists. The difference today is that they claim to be documented and “thoroughly researched.” Where Freneau would take great glee in airing all sorts of dirt on Alexander Hamilton (most of it untrue), political hatchet men today mask their attacks by hiding behind “scholarship.” Dolts who read these books are generally impressed because they contain hundreds of footnotes and feature a bibliography that rivals the Library of Congress.

But bad sourcing is still bad sourcing, even if you footnote it. And that appears to be the case with Jerome Corsi’s newst effort to insert himself into the presidential race with the publication of his book An Obama Nation.

Corsi’s career as an author is interesting. He’s written two books about a nuclear Iran that accuses politicians of actually paving the way for the mullahs to get the bomb. He’s written another book that tries to debunk peak oil. He wrote a book about border control with Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist whose main thesis is apparently that Bush is lax on border control because he wants to advance the idea of a North American Union with Canadians and Mexicans.

In short, Corsi is no ordinary Gadfly. He is a certifiable loon. He’s two shakes short of a martini. You cannot take anyone seriously who claims that US politicians are helping Iran get the bomb. Nor can you put any stock in anything written by a guy who thinks that any American president would give up American sovereignty just so he doesn’t have to pay any import duties on his Canadian bacon. It’s stupid. It’s cracked. It’s nutzo.

In a sane world. Jerome Corsi’s stuff might appear on the comic pages. Or placed next to the newest issue of Mad Magazine in the bookstore. But in today’s zany political culture, Corsi rates 100 guest appearances on talk shows and news programs. And apparently there are enough people out there who are either unaware or don’t care about his cockamamie views because Obama Nation will appear this week on the New York Times bestseller list at #1.

According to my old friend Pat Curley, Corsi is also a 9/11 truther who thinks that physicist Steve Jones is the bomb and Alex Jones worthy of an appearance on his show. In fact, the New York Times Caucus Blog informs us that the Obama project caused Corsi to delay his next big revelatory best seller; a book exposing the “lies” told by government in the 9/11 investigation.

Among the follow-up efforts to Jerome R. Corsi’s “Unfit for Command,” which inspired the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacks on Senator John Kerry in 2004, is “Obama Nation.” But the conservative commentator’s book about Senator Barack Obama appears to have distracted him from another project he was planning in January: exposing what he calls the government’s inadequate explanations about the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

A YouTube video making the rounds, especially among Obama supporters, mocks Mr. Corsi for a Jan. 29 interview on Alex Jones’s radio show, a forum for those who take a deeply skeptical view of government claims about the attacks. (Mr. Corsi also frequently talks about the “North American Union” and other threats from globalization during his appearances).

The clip has Mr. Corsi discussing the findings of Steven Jones, physicist and hero of the “9/11 Truth” movement who claims to have evidence that the World Trade Center towers collapsed due to explosives inside the building, not just the planes hitting them, during the attacks.

Alex Jones is a popular radio host – especially with the tin foil hat crowd as well as that upstanding, all American, all White bunch at Stormfront, the neo Nazi site that gave a lot of luvin to Ron Paul recently. And Pat has also dug up the fact that Corsi apparently has no qualms about appearing anywhere at anytime to discuss his book – even if the radio show he agrees to appear on is geared toward the sub-60 IQ set:
Perhaps Corsi’s most telling appearance, however, has been on The Political Cesspool, an overtly racist, anti-Semitic radio show hosted by self-avowed white nationalist James Edwards. Corsi was interviewed on the Cesspool on July 20 and is scheduled to appear again this Sunday, August 17, joining a recent guest roster that has included Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters, Holocaust denier Mark Weber and former Klan boss David Duke.

Along with promoting Corsi’s appearances, Edwards is boasting on his website that the three-hour weekly show will join the Republic Broadcasting Network in September. This conspiracy-minded network, heard via satellite and the web, features talk about a sinister “New World Order” and wild theories about the causes of 9/11. Shows that air on the network include The Piper Report, named after host Michael Collins Piper, who has contributed to the holocaust denial magazine The Barnes Review, and Mark Dankof’s America, which has interviewed Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, a leading Holocaust denial group.

Nice company you’re keeping there, Jerry.

And nice company my fellow conservatives are keeping if you buy his book. There are oodles of things to criticize, denounce, make sport, and laugh at Barack Obama about without having to use anything from this screwball’s book. In fact, I would chastise folks like my good friend Jon Henke of The Next Right, the excellent Peter Wehner of Commentary, and numerous other conservatives and center/right bloggers and pundits who have actually taken the time to try and seriously discredit Corsi and denounce his inaccuracies and idiocies. The best possible thing to do about Jerome Corsi is point a finger and laugh at him. Laugh at his utter, hopeless stupidity at believing that there is a plot to form a North American Union. Giggle at his belief that the World Trade Centers were blown up by the government. Snicker at his notion that currently serving American politicians knowingly aided the Iranian mullahs in their efforts to get the bomb.

Why waste time and effort in a dedicated and well researched effort to critique someone who actually believes Obama is some kind of closet Muslim or at best, has “ties” to the Muslim religion he is not telling us about. This is especially wrongheaded considering that when the subject of Obama’s religion comes up, there is a ready made campaign killer all set to make a spectacular comeback this fall.

Jeremiah Wright as a tool to defeat Obama is a helluva lot more potent than any Islam worshipping Obama did as an 8 year old kid. All that bringing up the fake and foolish story that Obama is a Muslim does is distract from the public concentrating on Wright as Obama mentor and friend. In short, by trying to “prove” a baseless, ridiculous, nutty story about Obama’s radical Islamic past, those pushing this meme are only hurting their own cause.

I frankly don’t care how much of Obama Nation is true and how much is part of Corsi’s overactive imagination. I don’t care what his conclusions are nor do I care to know his views on Obama as a man or a politician. To my mind, a book on Obama written by Mickey Mouse would have more credibility.

At least Mickey isn’t responsible for what comes out of his mouth.


This very well may be the funniest, the most disturbing, the most outrageous video ever seen in a presidential campaign.

It’s a joke, of course – what Slate V imagines would be a viral video response to a McCain attack ad. But it captures the essence of what our friends at Maggie’s Farm refer to as “a typical Obama supporter” – emotional, juvenile, stunted intellectually, and oblivious to the realities of politics. These are the screamers, the swooners, the goo goo eyed 20-somethings who get their news from “The Daily Show” and Letterman and who are supporting Obama frankly because they don’t know any better. They wonder why we have to have arguements about politics, actually believing that everyone should think the same way as they do about all the issues. They are dangerous because they can easily be manipulated into supporting just about anything Obama wants to do.

And there are millions of them.

This is not a majority of Obama supporters. But it is a significant portion of them. And if that doesn’t chill your bones, nothing will.

By: Rick Moran at 12:22 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (14)


Barack Obama has given us several real doozies in this campaign. Some of his utterances have been notable for their gooey vacuousness – harmless tufts of rhetorical fluff that cause his disciples to swoon but initiates the gag reflex in the rest of us. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” may draw huge applause and chants of “O-Ba-Ma, O-Ba-Ma” but forces the rest of us to listen to his speeches on an empty stomach lest our most recent repast make an unwelcome appearance in the form of industrial sized chunks of barely digested Cheeto’s.

Recently, Obama tried to explain why he is running for president to a seven year old kid at a town hall meeting. This is a question any presidential candidate worth his salt should be able to tee up, take a mighty swing, and hit the ball out of the park. Even a Democrat should be able to muster the appropriate patriotic bombast and teary-eyed evocation of how much he loves this country and wishes to make it better.

Not our Barack. Forget the bombast. Forget love of country. Let’s just say America sucks and if you want it to be less sucky, elect me:

At a campaign stop in Elkhart, Indiana, a seven-year-old girl asked the Democrat why he wants to be President — and he told her that America has gone downhill:
“America is …, uh, is no longer, uh … what it could be, what it once was. And I say to myself, I don’t want that future for my children.”

Of course, as Ed Morrissey points out, we have heard similar deep thoughts from Michelle Obama as well.

The problem is Obama’s incoherence. Is he saying that America is not what it could be? This is standard lefty grist that illustrates their definition of patriotism. Extrapolate out from that thought and you get the “highest form of patriotism,” according to the left – dissent. In order to improve America you must dissent from what is, in order to achieve what should be. I have written of this definitional difference of patriotism between the right and left and Obama himself has spoken of it on more than one occasion.

But Obama slips in an entirely different thought; that America is “not as it once was.” This goes far beyond holding America responsible for its promises of equal opportunity for all and equal justice under the law. In fact, Obama demonstrates an extraordinarily lack of understanding of what America is all about. Of course we’re a different nation today than we were 10 years ago or 50 or 100 years in the past. America was designed that way. It was the Founder’s intent that America re-invent itself at the drop of a hat to reflect changing realities.

Prior to America coming into being, the only way that could occur was through bloody revolution. We have revolt built into our system of government as every four years, we have the opportunity to alter course 180 degrees or, in rarer cases, strike out in a new direction entirely.

This is the essence of America and it is revealing that Obama is disappointed that we have changed. But let’s forget Obama’s ignorance for a moment and look closer at just what kind of country we have today compared to the one that I grew up in.

I use my own life experience as a yardstick because it was roughly 40-50 years ago and that seems a sufficiently long period to contrast the America of today with the America of yesterday in order to judge whether Obama’s critique holds water.

First, allow me to interpret what Obama finds so horrible about today’s America.

  • Health care costs are out of control and people can’t afford health insurance.
  • The middle class is disappearing as wages have failed to keep up with inflation and real earnings have been dropping steadily (this has been happening since the 1970’s but for the purposes of Obama’s critique, let’s pretend it’s George Bush’s fault).
  • Our industrial base is eroding. We are losing thousands of jobs every month to outsourcing and foreign competition.
  • The world is warming up and we’re not doing anything to stop it.
  • Housing is a mess thanks to the mortgage crisis.
  • We have lost respect and no one in the world loves us because we act in a unilateral way on the world stage and pay no attention to the sensibilities of the rest of the world.

I would say that is a pretty fair partial rendering of what Obama thinks is wrong with America today. To draw a complete picture would require a surface the size of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Obama is very fond of telling people that this is the most important election in his lifetime which may be one of the bigger exaggerations of his campaign. Perhaps he means it’s important because he’s in it. If he means the 2008 election is more important than 1968, 1972, or 1980 contests, he is full of it. I would even throw in 1964 if only because it handed the left it’s biggest victory and gave LBJ a mandate to create the welfare state in earnest.

But the question is, to which point does Obama want to return in American history that would secure his children’s future? Where in the past would Obama take us that would make us better than we are today?

The very nature of his campaign destroys his rationale as Ed Morrissey points out:

Everyone feels that we can improve ourselves, but we don’t usually cast it in terms of the country no longer being what it once was. Coming from the Obamas, that doesn’t even make sense. They have talked about how difficult it was to break through barriers, not without some justification, to reach this point in their lives and American history.

Doesn’t that speak to the point that we continue to grow and to learn? And if not, which “good old days” did Obama mean? The 1980s? I doubt it, and if he means the Clinton era, then why did he run against Hillary in the first place?

Once again, Obama got off the teleprompter and put his foot directly in his mouth. He’s not selling Hope, he’s selling Despair, and himself as the snake oil that will cure us of all our ills.

The problem in returning to an America that once was is that the very idea of doing so is a chimera, a dream imagined only by those who fail to grasp the dynamism of the American experiment and how changes made in the past continue to mold and shape America today.

Yes we could return to a time when there was no health insurance crisis. There was a time where virtually every working American got their health insurance through their employer. But that world no longer exists, replaced by an extraordinary revolution in medicine that has allowed us to live a decade or more longer while also seeing government crowd out private insurance carriers by an ever more intrusive presence in the health insurance field. And that 1950’s world would also see Mr. Obama’s opportunities for the kind of life he leads now shrivel to damn near nothingness because of the color of his skin.

And yes, we could travel back to a time when unions were very strong and the pay of average Americans had no problem growing far beyond the cost of living. But that world was one still recovering from World War II with all of our major competitors today still rebuilding from that devastating conflict. Where a kid out of high school in Allentown, PA could be assured of a job at the plant and as long as he punched in and out, stayed out of trouble, and worked hard, he could expect a comfortable, middle class existence.

Those days are long gone never to return. The period from 1946-66 was an historical anomaly, a quirk, a hiccup on the historical timeline. Our industries weren’t just dominant. They were “it.” If a European wanted a car, chances are he bought a Ford or GM product rather than wait 2 years for a Euro-mobile. American steel, rubber, machine tools, and anything else manufactured in the US was in high demand around the world because no one was making them better or cheaper.

The reasons why that is no longer so speaks to our enormous success in remaking the world after the war rather than any intrinsic superiority in the way government worked at that time. How does Obama intend to bring them back? Limits on executive pay? Mandatory unionism? Maybe a well placed nuke or two to recreate the utter devastation in Germany, France, England, Japan, and the rest of the world that took a decade and more for them to recover?

Global warming? As long as we play lapdog for the Europeans on this issue and ignore the fact that China will be doing nothing to refrain from pouring carbon into the atmosphere as fast as their coal burning industries can shovel it, what good will it do? We’ve already cut our carbon emissions more than the Europeans over the last decade.

The America that once was had its good points and bad points. The changes that have been wrought have had mixed results as well. The bi-polar world has been replaced by, well, us. Europeans like to talk about “soft power” thus making the planet into something approaching rough equality. But I ask you, when Ahmadinejad, Assad, Kim Jung, Il, and a half dozen other thugs hit their knees every night to pray to their God, are they praying to be spared the wrath of Euro soft power or a visit from an F-117 carrying a bomb with their name on it? I rest my case.

Obama is right that America is “not what it could be.” But he is dead wrong to imagine he can take us back to an America that “once was.” America never looks back. And more than any other people – sometimes to our detriment – our people look to the future. The past is erased, trampled by our headlong rush to meet what will be. The present is just a way station, a temporary stop where we catch our breath before continuing that mad dash to create what is now without regard to what happened before.

“It is good to be shifty in a new country,” was actually an adage taught to school children at one time. It spoke to the fact that America has rolled forward like a steamroller, grinding the past underfoot and recreating itself on a regular basis. I have no doubt that the 2008 election will give us that opportunity to invent a new future for ourselves.

Just as long as we elect a president who understands this essential truth that has defined America for more than 200 years.

By: Rick Moran at 8:49 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (10)


Three weeks out from the Democratic convention and Hillary Clinton is slowly emerging from her self-imposed summer hibernation to haunt the party with the prospect that she will at the very least, horn in on some of the presumptive nominee’s glory just by her presence in Denver.

Was her low profile the result of her licking the psychic wounds of being defeated for the nomination? Previous losers have indicated as much and we have no reason to doubt that Clinton was using the time between the end of the primaries and just recently to decompress from the brutal campaign and reflect on the future.

But there are some who believe she still harbors hopes that she can stampede the convention and steal the nomination from Obama right from under his nose. It certainly would make for dramatic TV if such a scenario were to unfold but frankly, the idea that Hillary Clinton would cleave the Democratic party in two, alienate millions of African American voters, destroy her position in the party, and possibly cause the loss of the election – all on national TV - is a fantasy. The party pros – Superdelegates – simply will not allow that to happen given the probable fallout for down ticket races. The pros may have serious doubts about Obama at this late stage but getting rid of him won’t solve any problems and will create even bigger ones.

The party – for better or worse – is stuck with Barack Obama as its nominee and they will win or lose with him in November – period.

This reality hasn’t stopped some bitter end Hillary supporters from dreaming there is still a chance to sway the Superdelegates, trying to convince them to abstain from voting on the first ballot in order to deny Obama a quick victory. This is the fantasy imagined by the cheeky group of Democrats who have coalesced under the banner PUMA (“Party Unity My Ass”). Every rumor of a wavering Superdelegate or hint that there are doubts among convention goers is latched on to with the fervor of the true believer, no matter how improbable or false the information might be.

However, facts are facts. Obama and the Democratic establishment have taken ironclad control of the proceedings in Denver and will do everything in their power to make sure that on the surface at least, the party is united behind the nominee. Any attempted coup or attempted coup will be brutally suppressed.

But even though these Hillaryites don’t have a ghost of a chance in overturning the nomination of Obama, that doesn’t mean they can’t cause loads of trouble for the nominee in Denver – especially if they get anywhere near a microphone. And I will guarantee you that every network and reporter covering the Democratic Convention in Denver will actively seek out the grumblers, the apostates, the bitter enders for Hillary, and any other delegates who will offer a dramatic counterpoint to the lovefest offered up by the Obama campaign. The nominee may control the floor. But he and his people have absolutely no say in what goes out over the airwaves. And since conventions aren’t “news” in the true sense of the word but rather “entertainment,” networks will seek out controversy in order to offer “drama” to the viewer.

(Don’t worry, Democrats. They will do the same thing at the GOP Convention a few days later as they seek out disappointed and disenchanted conservatives to speak against McCain.)

Given this dynamic – something the Obama camp is fully aware – what role can Hillary Clinton play in this soap opera? The two sides are currently engaged in a delicate dance of negotiations on just what the former First Lady can do to help the party without overshadowing the entire event:

The New York Daily News reported Friday that Clinton has decided not to submit a signed request to the DNC to have her name put into nomination; party rules require such a move for a candidate to be voted on.

But Clinton aides continue to say publicly that such details are still being discussed in consultations among the Clinton camp, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

“No decisions have been made,” Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said.

“Sen. Clinton is 100 percent committed to helping Barack Obama become the next president of the United States,” Strand added. “She is very appreciative of the continued commitment of her supporters and understands there are passionate feelings around the convention. While no decisions have been made at this time, they will be made collaboratively with Sen. Clinton and her staff, the DNC and Sen. Obama’s campaign and released at the appropriate time.”

Even many Clinton supporters think that offering her name up for the nomination is a bad idea. Lanny Davis thinks it would be “idiotic” and only serve to remind voters of the deep divisions in the party. But the fact that we are three weeks out and those divisions show little sign of healing, gives Hillary an enormous amount of leverage. Talk now is of making her the Keynote Speaker – a plum that might go a long way toward at least healing some of the rifts between the two camps.

The Obama campaign’s “Operation United Party” has had mixed success since the primaries ended in June. The realists like Taylor Marsh and a few other prominent netroots activists have gotten aboard, offering their full support to the presumptive nominee. But there is still stubborn resistance from many who are holding a grudge against Obama and his people. This feeling of resentment extends from the top of the Democratic party down to the base. Here’s Clinton at a recent fundraiser:

“For so many of my supporters, just like so many of Barack’s supporters, this was a first-time investment of heart and soul and money and effort and sleepless nights and miles of travel,” Clinton said. “You just don’t turn it off like that.”

Whenever she has appeared in public in the last fortnight – appearances notable for their low key, almost private nature – Hillary Clinton has gotten huge applause whenever she alludes to the loyalty of her supporters and how difficult it is to transfer those feelings to another candidate. At this same fundraiser, she got a loud ovation when she hinted that she wouldn’t mind if her name was placed in nomination but she would not actively seek it.

This puts the Obama camp in a huge bind. The convention is supposed to be about him, about his achievements. Placing Clinton’s name in nomination and then allowing her delegates to vote for her would distract from the narrative the campaign is trying to construct for the TV audience. Not doing so, however, might instigate a backlash against him that would prove just as embarrassing.

Obama can’t hide Hillary any more than he can try and make her glory seeking husband disappear. Here’s a description of an interview with Bill Clinton that is important for what he didn’t say as much as it was for the tepid, niggardly endorsement he gave the nominee:

Bill Clinton’s resentment came through in an interview with ABC News during his recent trip to Africa. Asked what regrets he might have about his role in his wife’s campaign, he bristled and then shot back, “I am not a racist. I never made a racist comment.” He struggled to render a positive comment about Obama’s qualifications for his old job. “You could argue that nobody is ever ready to be President,” Clinton said. “You could argue that even if you’ve been Vice President for eight years, that no one can ever be fully ready for the pressures of the office.” Pressed again, he responded with an endorsement that could hardly have been a weaker cup of tea: “I never said he wasn’t qualified. The Constitution sets qualification for the President. And then the people decide who they think would be the better President. I think we have two choices. I think he should win, and I think he will win.”

Not exactly a clarion call to storm the battlements for Obama that’s for sure.

With the press eager to jump on every sign of disunity, with a former candidate whose supporters think she deserves her moment in the sun, with a former president probably secretly wishing that he loses in November, and with his poll numbers stagnating or dropping, Barack Obama faces the greatest challenge to his leadership of the party and his chances for victory in November in Denver three weeks from now.

How he handles these problems will no doubt affect the decision of the American people when they go to the polls in November.

By: Rick Moran at 8:27 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (12) Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Bill Clinton To Address Democrats...

GOP heavyweight politico Alex Castellanos weighs in at, of all places, Huffington Post today with a searing post about why Obama can’t win.

First, Castellano wrestles with the question of the moment; why isn’t Obama farther ahead?

To earn the Democratic nomination, as Fred Thompson points out, Obama ran as George McGovern without the experience, a left-of-center politician who would meet unconditionally with Iran, pull us precipitously out of Iraq, prohibit new drilling for oil, and grow big government in Washington by all but a trillion dollars. In his general election TV ad debut, however, Obama pirouetted like Baryshnikov. With a commercial Mike Huckabee could have run in a Republican primary, Obama now emphasizes his commitment to strong families and heartland values, “Accountability and self-reliance. Love of country. Working hard without making excuses.” In this yet unwritten chapter of his next autobiography, Obama tells us he is the candidate of “welfare to work” who supports our troops and “cut taxes for working families.” The shift in his political personae has been startling. Obama has moved right so far and so fast, he could end up McCain’s Vice-Presidential pick.

General-election Obama now billboards his doubts about affirmative action. He has embraced the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption saying, “I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon…everything.” He tells his party “Democrats are not for a bigger government.” Oil drilling is a consideration. His FISA vote and abandonment of public campaign finance introduce us to an Obama of recent invention. And as he abandons his old identity for the new, breeding disenchantment among his formerly passionate left-of-center supporters and, equally, doubts among the center he courts, he risks becoming nothing at all, a candidate who is everything and nothing in the same moment.

In past campaigns, there have been extremely artful pivots to the center among candidates of both parties. Obama’s turn to the right was an unmitigated disaster. Placing himself above other politicians meant that Obama – to maintain his “authenticity” – needed to stick to his leftist principles and positions in order not to ruin his brand.

Alas, Obama could never come close to winning running on the same platform he ran on in the primaries. McGovern tried it and got slaughtered. Hence, the wild lurch to the center that confused even his most rabid acolytes, angered the left, and put off the great center of American politics who recent polls have shown moving toward McCain.

And what of McCain? The contrast is startling:

In the defining moment of his life, McCain was willing to give everything for one thing, and that one thing was his country. Contrast that with Obama, who has told America that he is “a proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world.” Obama is the talented salesman who seduced one state after another saying “Iowa, this is our moment,” “Virginia, this is our moment,” “Texas, this is our moment,” and then tells Europe, “people of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment.” How many times can Barack Obama sell the same moment to everyone, before he becomes Mel Brooks in “The Producers”? Who is Barack Obama? His campaign, as it reupholsters him before our eyes, says we can never know—perhaps because Barack Obama does not know himself.

Perhaps many of us have underestimated the sheer power of McCain’s life story, it’s hold on the nation and effect on the voters. Certainly, as Castellano points out, the contrast with Obama is striking in that regard. McCain’s trial by fire says something very profound, very deep about the man that is resonating with voters as they compare the two candidates. With a spectacular lack of success, the left (not the Obama campaign) has tried to paint McCain as a panderer, a flip flopper, and a man without character or conscience.

On the other hand, McCain’s attacks against Obama are biting, caustic, sarcastic, and ringing true which is why he is staying close to Obama and why, in the end, all the re-invention Obama can muster isn’t going to matter:

John McCain is a complete and well-formed man. Barack Obama is completing himself. As he moves to fit what he perceives to be a right-of-center country, he distances himself from the simple and authentic passion of a young candidate who once pledged “Change We Can Believe In.”

The major differernce between them is in the core of the two candidates; one, rock solid while the other is molten – still forming under pressure and not yet completed.

McCain could still lose badly. People are not paying much attention to the race at this point and it very well may be that when the final determination is made by the voter, they will put aside any concerns about Obama and elect him president. The GOP brand has been damaged so badly and generated so much disgust and anger that in the end, it may be too much for McCain – despite his heroic life story and the heroic effort he is making in the campaign – to overcome.

But Obama will have hurdles to overcome as well. And whether he can define himself sufficiently in the voter’s minds will go a long way toward determining his fate.

This post originally appears in The American Thinker 

By: Rick Moran at 9:55 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (29)

Maggie's Farm linked with Why Obama cannot win the election...