~ Presidential Election 2004
~ Presidential Election 2000
# THE OBAMA ERA
One of Robert F. Kennedy’s favourite passages
of poetry was drawn from Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’: ‘Come, my friends,/ ’Tis
not too late to seek a newer world./ Push off, and sitting well in order
smite/ The sounding furrows… strong in will/ To strive, to seek, to find,
and not to yield.’ On 4 November, the American people decided unambiguously
to embrace that spirit of hope. Like Ulysses in the poem, John McCain embodied
the doughty virtues of the veteran warrior. But it was the chance to ‘seek
a newer world’ — the mesmeric promise of ‘change’ — that America voted
for in its overwhelming endorsement of Senator Barack Obama...
The best-case scenario is that the new President unites his country, moves America on from ‘identity’ politics and restores its image as a city upon a hill; that he is able to address the issue of race with an honesty that no white politician can; that his status as an African-American father enables him to take on the teachers’ union and create an education system that expands opportunity. The worst is that his newness and inexperience prove to be an end not a beginning: that he signs bad bills sent to him by an emboldened Capitol Hill; that he wrecks Nafta and takes the protectionist path; that he is simply overwhelmed by the scale of the crises he faces, as hapless a practitioner of the prose of government as he is a genius at the poetry of campaigning.
- Spectator Editorial
There will, I am sure, be a brief moment
of shock and surprise when the rest of the world learns that one of its
most treasured beliefs -- "whatever happens, the Americans are always more
racist than we are" -- is untrue. There will also be a good deal of rejoicing
at the passing of the hated Bush administration. But reality will set in
quickly as foreigners discover, along with American voters, that the American
president isn't as powerful as they think, can't change everything immediately
and won't be able to change some things at all. A President Obama would
not be able to end the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, he would not be
able to make the stock exchanges rise, and he would not be able to halt
the recession right away. And that's only the short-term disappointment.
In the long term, foreigners, along with American voters, will also discover
that America is not about to give up on global capitalism and start "redistributing"
the nation's wealth to others. Kenyans in particular will be disappointed.
- Anne Applebaum, on the consequences of an Obama victory, "Washington Post"
The current president of the EU Council of
Ministers has dismissed the US Government's economic rescue plan as "a
way to hell". Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country holds
the EU presidency, was severely critical of the Obama administration's
stimulus package during a speech to the European Parliament today. He said
the hugely costly stimulus and financial bailout plan would undermine the
stability of the global financial market.
- Seen in "The Irish Independent" (Mar'09)
Presidents throughout history have kept lists
of political foes. But the Obama White House is the first I am aware of
to pick targets based on polls. Even Richard Nixon didn't focus-group his
enemies list. Team Obama -- aided by Clintonistas Paul Begala, James Carville
and Stanley Greenberg -- decided to attack Rush Limbaugh after poring over
opinion research. White House senior adviser David Axelrod explicitly authorized
the assault. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel assigned a White House official
to coordinate the push. And Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gleefully punched
the launch button at his podium, suckering the White House press corps
into dropping what they were doing to get Mr. Limbaugh.
Was it smart politics and good policy? No. For one thing, it gave the lie to Barack Obama's talk about ending "the political strategy that's been all about division" and "the score-keeping and the name-calling." The West Wing looked populated by petulant teenagers intent on taking down a popular rival. Such talk also shortens the president's honeymoon by making him look like a street-fighting Chicago pol instead of an inspirational, unifying figure. The upward spike in ratings for Rush and other conservative radio commentators shows how the White House's attempt at a smackdown instead energized the opposition. Did it do any good with voters not strongly tied to either party? I suspect not. With stock markets down, unemployment growing, banks tottering, consumers anxious, business leaders nervous, and the economy shrinking, the Obama administration's attacks on a radio talk show host made it seem concerned with the trivial.
- Karl Rove, "Wall Street Journal" (Mar'09)
Take the AIG debacle. The global insurance
and financial-services company is broke and needed a federal loan guarantee
of $180 billion to prevent bankruptcy. Some $165 million (about 1/1000th
of that sum) had previously been contracted to give bonuses to its derelict
executives. That set off a firestorm in Congress. Politicians rushed before
the cameras to demand all sorts of penalties for these greedy investment
bankers. Soon, they passed an unprecedented special tax law just to confiscate
90 percent of these contracted bonuses. Those who shouted the loudest for
the heads of the AIG execs had the dirtiest hands. President Obama was
outraged at their greed. But he alone signed their bonus provisions into
law. And during the recent presidential campaign, no one forced him to
accept over $100,000 in AIG donations... Sen. Chris Dodd (D, Conn.) was
the fieriest in his denunciations of Wall Street greed. Yet he was the
very one who inserted the bonus provision into the bailout bill, despite
later denying it. And Dodd has taken more AIG money than any in Congress
— in addition to getting V.I.P. loan rates from the disgraced Countrywide
- Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"
When someone screams about a terrible policy
of the present administration, just pose four questions: First, was the
controversial decision taken with bipartisan support? Second, were there
precedents for such action in prior Democratic administrations? Third,
will such polices continue under the newly elected Obama administration?
Four, have the media changed their position on the issue since the November
election? If the answer is yes to these questions, then the acrimony was
probably about politics and style, not principle and substance. Take the
so-called war on terror. The Patriot Act passed Congress in October 2001
by majorities in both parties — and was reauthorized in 2006. The original
versions of the FISA wiretapping accords were enacted under the Carter
administration in 1978. Both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were given
authorization by Congress. The pre-9/11 precursor for the removal of Saddam
Hussein was the unanimous passage of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act — prompted
by then-President Clinton’s warnings about Saddam’s dangerous weapons:
“Some day, some way, I guarantee you he’ll use the arsenal.”
...Many of our unpopular policies concerning terrorism, energy, and finance are of long duration. They resulted from collective decisions by Congress, past administrations — and us, the people, in our daily lives. Those decisions were no more the fault of George W. Bush than they can be easily solved by Barack Obama. We should remember that fact in 2009, when the once-messianic Obama will become all too human, as he is overwhelmed by structural problems of terror, war, and money not all of his own making — and the once-demonized but now retired George W. Bush will seem downright competent.
- Victor David Hanson, "National Review"
According to Western news reports, Vice President
Joe Biden gave a solid speech at Munich, offering a new, more flexible,
more sensitive diplomatic approach to questions regarding Iranian nuclear
ambitions. While it's great for the press and Western officials to pat
the vice president on the back and celebrate that his name is not Cheney,
judging diplomacy on only one side is like watching only one side at a
soccer match. How did the Iranians react to Biden's speech? Aftab-e Yazd,
a reformist paper, condemns Biden's speech for not fundamentally altering
the U.S. position on Iran's nuclear program, terrorism, and support for
the right of Israel to exist.
- Michael Rubin, "National Review"
In Prague on Sunday, President Obama committed
his administration to putting us on a "trajectory" toward "a world without
nuclear weapons." Of course, we had a world without nuclear weapons not
so long ago -- say, in 1939. The war that began in that nuclear-free world
led to a crash project to develop nuclear weapons. It ended with America's
use of them -- something Obama alluded to: "As a nuclear power, as the
only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has
a moral responsibility to act." It is not clear whether this statement
implies disapproval of our use of nuclear weapons in 1945. This framework
makes it possible to think of the elimination of nuclear weapons as a logical
response to the end of that conflict... Yet to justify a world without
nuclear weapons, what Obama would really have to envision is a world without
war, or without threats of war. That's an ancient vision. It's one reason
American presidents have tried to encourage the spread of liberal democracy
and responsible regimes around the world... But Obama didn't say that a
nuclear-armed Iranian regime is unacceptable. He didn't express a commitment
to preventing such an outcome, or confidence that the United States and
international community would prevent such an outcome. He simply suggested
that it wouldn't be optimal for Iran to choose that outcome. And if the
rulers of the Islamic republic disagree? In the very speech in which Obama
outlined his vision of a world without nuclear weapons, he weakened America's
stand against Iran's nuclear weapons program. So while Obama talks of a
future without nuclear weapons, the trajectory we are on today is toward
a nuclear- and missile-capable North Korea and Iran -- and a far more dangerous
- William Kristol, "Washington Post" (Apr'09)
Obama on the campaign trail either did not
grasp that Bush’s second-term foreign policy was largely centrist — or
found it politically advantageous to ignore that fact. Either way, irony
followed. The problem with Europe’s failing to get tough with Iran, or
failing to fight in Afghanistan, or appeasing Russia, was not George Bush,
but the nature of Europe. Bush inherited, he did not create, Osama bin
Laden, Putin’s authoritarianism, Ahmadinejad’s Iran, Chávez’s Venezuela,
Kim Jong Il’s North Korea, Qaddafi’s Libya, or the Dr. A. Q. Khan laboratory.
More often, Bush ameliorated, rather than exacerbated, these problems,
by being both tough and, yes, multilateral — as friendly governments in
the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and India attested. Yet by
demonizing George Bush — and that is how Team Obama prefaces each announcement
of a new initiative — Obama has only set himself up for more irony.
- Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"
Congratulations to President Obama, as we
must come to think of him. I agree with Jonah. He fought a brilliant campaign,
beginning with his total befuddlement of the supposed sharpest operators
in the country, the Clintons. Where's the old politics of personal destruction
when we needed it in the snows of Iowa, eh? As for us losers, there's no
point going down the right-wing version of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Any
shrill vicious ad hominem invective would be much better directed at each
other. The Republicans lost this election. I disagree with Lisa. I think
we are near a point at which America joins the rest of the west as a center-left
society — that's to say, a society whose assumptions about the role of
government and the size of the state are far closer to Continental social
democracies than to the Founding Fathers. In a grim media-cultural environment,
the temptation for American conservatism is to be seduced into becoming
one of those ever so mildly right-of-left-of-right-of-left-of-center parties
they have in Europe. We should have the fight about conservatism's future
vigorously and openly — perhaps at Bud's Roadhouse out on Route 137 in
lieu of All-Girl Mud-Wrestling Night.
- Mark Steyn
"I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former
opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have
often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but
to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing
is inevitable here.
Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history."
- John McCain, closing out his graceful concession speech
Could any candidate have been elected to
succeed a president of his own party whose job approval rating was 25 percent?
Probably not. Could any candidate have been elected to continue his party’s
stay in the White House when roughly 90 percent of Americans believed the
country was on the wrong track? Probably not. Could any candidate from
the governing party have been elected after the Dow Jones Industrial Average
plunged 4,000 points before one could even turn around? Probably not.
- Rich Lowry, on John McCain's insurmountable task, "National Review"
When you think of the macro-political conditions
in America in 2008, you are left wondering why the Democrats did not do
significantly better. The US is in its deepest recession in a generation.
For the first time in its history a catastrophic financial crisis erupted
right in the middle of a general election campaign, one that fatally undermined
the incumbent party. An unpopular war in Iraq has destroyed the Republican
Party’s reputation for national security reliability. The exit poll on
Tuesday found that 76 per cent of respondents thought that the country
was on the wrong track. Democrats outspent Republicans by two-to-one. It
is hard to imagine how circumstances could ever be much better for the
- Gerard Baker, "The Times"
The public has, however, clearly rejected
the Republican party in its present configuration. It is always difficult
for a party to maintain control of the White House after two terms in office.
But both President Bush and Senator McCain made the task harder. Bush took
too long to change course in Iraq and botched the response to Hurricane
Katrina. McCain rarely stuck to one message or strategy. The financial
crisis, for which we do not primarily blame either man, sealed the party’s
But Republicans have been so unpopular for so long, and their failure has been so sweeping, that it is a mistake to dwell too long on the flaws of specific men or the consequences of particular events. Neither Bush nor McCain nor congressional Republicans gave much sign that they understood the frustrations that average Americans have felt over the last few years toward the economy and Washington, let alone that they had solutions.
- National Review leader
When asked if he’d run for office again,
Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York City, responded: “No! The people
of New York threw me out of office, and now they must be punished.” The
American voters threw out the Republican party, and they were largely right
to. At least in the sense that the GOP deserves to be punished. The problem
is that the Democrats do not deserve to win.
I think McCain did better than pretty much any other Republican candidate could have. But I think the McCain campaign didn't do as well as they could have. I think McCain could have won. They blew an amazing number of opportunities. They mishandled Sarah Palin horribly. They were obsessed with unfair media coverage while doing very little to take advantage of it or even do anything serious about it. They inherited an enormous number of problems not of their own making, but they made even more problems for themselves than they needed to. There will be much more said about this, but in short I think John McCain biggest problem was that the GOP had lost any sense of intellectual or ideological definition and John McCain didn't bother to offer any definition of his own until helped by Joe the Plumber. And by then it was too little too late.
- Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"
I congratulate Senator Obama on a remarkable
and decisive victory. It was in many ways the final battle in a war the
Republican Party didn’t even bother fighting — the “long march through
the institutions.” While the Senator certainly enjoyed the patronage of
the Chicago machine, he is not primarily a political figure: Whether “educators”
like William Ayers or therapeutic pop-culture types like Oprah, his closest
associations are beyond the world of electoral politics. He emerged rather
from all the cultural turf the GOP largely abandoned during its 30-year
winning streak at the ballot box, and his victory demonstrates the folly
of assuming that folks will continue to pull the lever for guys with an
R after their name every other November even as all the other institutions
in society become de facto liberal one-party states... Obama was bestriding
the broader cultural space. Republicans need to start their own long march
back through all the institutions they ceded. Otherwise, the default mode
of this society will be liberal, and what’s left of the Republican party
will be reduced (as in other parts of the west) to begging the electorate
for the occasional opportunity to prove it can run the liberal state just
as well as liberals can.
- Mark Steyn, "National Review"
Both the push from the media, the convention
wisdom from the media is Republicans are too strident and right wing and
have to move to the center, move to the center. And you know, the problem
with that analysis is that as I always say, George W. Bush is essentially
Tony Blair with a ranch. He’s a classic third way politician who occasionally
wears jeans and a cowboy hat. But his approach to government, compassionate
conservatism, no child left behind, is already way, way down toward the
center. If you look at John McCain, John McCain is nothing but the center.
He spends his whole time talking about reaching across the aisle, a phrase
I never want to hear again. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts was a centrist
politician. Giuliani a centrist on all the social issues. So the idea that
we are this movement of crazed right wing kooks is hard to detect either
from the last eight years or from this last primary season.
- Mark Steyn
The President-elect's so-called “tax cut”
will absolve 48 percent of Americans from paying any federal income tax
at all, while those that are left will pay more. Just under half the population
will be, as Daniel Henninger pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, on
the dole. By 2012, it will be more than half, and this will be an electorate
where the majority of the electorate will be able to vote itself more lollipops
from the minority of their compatriots still dumb enough to prioritize
self-reliance, dynamism, and innovation over the sedating cocoon of the
nanny state. That is the death of the American idea — which, after all,
began as an economic argument: “No taxation without representation" is
a great rallying cry. “No representation without taxation” has less mass
appeal. For how do you tell an electorate living high off the entitlement
hog that it's unsustainable and you've got to give some of it back? At
that point, America might as well apply for honorary membership in the
- Mark Steyn, "National Review"
The Bradley effect would not occur to such
an extent this time around, we were told confidently, because America had
grown up and would not vote on racial lines. Well, quite a lot of it did.
Some 97 per cent of African-Americans voted for the black candidate and
I think it is fair to surmise that many of them did so largely because
of the colour of his skin. This, however, is something we are expected
to be thrilled about, for some strange reason. The BBC News was never happier
than when showing black voters energised by the prospect of giving whitey
a good whupping. When the issue of race rears its head, weird things start
to happen to logic. Then there’s Obama himself. Is he black? I’m not so
sure. He has a white mother and a black father, so I suppose he is of mixed
race, or what the South Africans used to call ‘coloured’... Obama
became blacker as the battle against John McCain intensified; suddenly
America was not simply voting in a presidential election, choosing between
a liberal Democrat and a moderate Republican, but doing much much more
than that: fulfilling Martin Luther King’s dream, showing itself to be
a ‘mature’ democracy, lighting a beacon in a sea of eternal darkness, etc,
etc. I ought to mention that this was not how Obama portrayed the contest
himself — he was, to his credit, extraordinarily averse to be seen playing
the race card. No; this was how it was presented by the media. But, one
way or another, by the final stages of the campaign Obama had morphed into
a fully fledged African-American, hallelujah... I should declare an interest
here: I like Barack Obama. I wanted, with great fervour, Obama to win this
election. So far as I can tell, so did every other British journalist,
with the exception of Melanie Phillips, who didn’t. I think Mel was rooting
for Barry Goldwater... The American public, meanwhile, was offered the
chance to show that the USA was ‘truly the land of opportunity’ by electing
someone who had overcome the disabilities imposed upon him through his
misfortune in having been born to an oppressed minority ethnic race. The
notion persisted that despite spending ten times the amount of money on
his campaign that John McCain spent, and having in some states 50 times
the number of staff, more TV ads and the support of Hollywood and the liberal
media elite, Barack Obama somehow won against the odds. But in fact the
issue of race favoured Obama much more than it favoured John McCain. I
doubt very much that a novice senator who was perhaps the most liberal
in the country would have won if he were entirely white, rather than of
mixed race. Historic it may well be, but the odds were nonetheless heavily
weighted in his favour — and it is a mild surprise, frankly, that his win
was not even more emphatic
- Rod Liddle, "The Spectator"
Obama's beautifully judged acceptance speech
was cool. As he became part of American history, he spoke almost as an
observer of it. Quite right to remind his audience that Abraham Lincoln
was a Republican, quite right to say to those who did not vote for him
‘I will be your President too’; but the intelligence, the historical sweep,
the ability to understand more than one perspective are the opposite qualities
of those of the ghetto. His blackness seems skin-deep, which is why people
can accept it. ‘Not by the might of our arms, or the scale of our wealth,
but for the enduring power of our ideals’ is America the greatest nation,
said Obama. True, but arms and wealth help. As he approaches office, that
might of arms has faltered and that scale of wealth has slumped. Does this
mean, then, that America should end exceptionalism, build coalitions, work
through international institutions? You might think so, but the dilemma
will quickly present itself. Will other nations respect a weakened America?
Will a multilateral world actually be able or willing to project force
against the enemies of law and democracy? Will Iran, which has allowed
Iraq to go so quiet during the presidential campaign, now produce a challenge
even before the new President is in the White House? When President Obama
calls the bluff of European powers delighted by his election and asks them
to send far more of their own men to fight in Afghanistan, will they shy
away? If things go right for Obama, he will restore American leadership
which, as he says, requires moral authority. But if they go wrong, he will
preside over the decline of American power. Then his fate could resemble
that of Gorbachev — hailed abroad for recognising the need for change,
excoriated at home for losing a great imperium. Unlike Gorbachev, though,
Obama has real votes. The most moving thing this week is the return of
an almost religious respect for the ballot. To think that your one ‘X’
(or chad) among millions makes a difference requires a deep belief in your
country’s constitution. But it does: it has.
- Charles Moore, "The Spectator"
"Well now the nightmare is over, I think
we can call it a nightmare without in anyway being anything other than
- Jon Snow, presenting the allegedly impartial UK Channel 4 News at the Obama Inauguration
Leave Our Jobs Alone.
- Headline in Ireland's Evening Herald after Obama (who they backed!) wins
Who are these people? We think we know Americans,
and certainly we have no hesitation in expressing the most forthright views
about what's wrong with them, and how they might improve themselves in
all sorts of ways. But last week we were forced to confront the reality
that there are things we didn't know about Americans at all, or at least,
things that we just never noticed in our critical zeal.
Can anyone remember a time when people in Ireland would be prepared to stand in a long queue outside a polling booth? I can recall the culture wars of the Eighties, when the Irish voter might make a special effort for the good of the cause. But in America, for the last few general elections, we have seen them standing in line, all day long...
Routinely, we disparage them as a nation of self-obsessed TV addicts who have forsaken the life of the mind. Actually, looking at those queues and at the vast crowds which were turning up to cheer Obama and McCain, we see a people engaged in a ferment of ideas... Oh how we laugh at the fact that so many Americans don't have passports -- unlike us, who use them to go to Spain once a year to get drunk. Or to America, to get a life...
In fact, the ferment of ideas could be savoured by all of us, flicking through the US news channels, watching the last days of this election. These guys are good. Some of them may be mad, and dangerous, but they are still good. In fact, the mad ones are probably the best...Fox went postal at the 11th hour, spraying dirt all over Obama and his people... And, while it didn't work for them, it displayed that admirable American disdain for the big lie that is Objective Journalism.
Most of what we call Objective Journalism in our supposedly enlightened part of the world is just dull journalism, which is usually the same thing as bad journalism. And, of course, it's not even objective. At least you know where these guys are coming from, but more than this, you know that they are "up for it".
And when it was all over in Election 2008, when the ferment of ideas had died down for a while, the losers turned out to be good losers. Of course McCain, being a gambler, would know all about losing, but still he spoke decently from the stage of the Biltmore -- which, according to Fox, "used to be his lucky hotel". A man who has a "lucky hotel" probably has a few unlucky hotels, too, that he doesn't care to mention, and has probably seen days a lot worse than this.
- Declan Lynch, "The Irish Independent"
# ELECTION 2008
This is an amazing
race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert
Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global
Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama's burning
through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn't really need to spend
a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration... And yet an old cranky
broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange.
- Mark Steyn, as the election enters its final days
Did you get the impression
that McCain’s message was that the government needs fixing, while Obama’s
message was that the country needs fixing? Quite a difference there.
- A letter to National Review about the candidate's focus
Conservatives are irate
at McCain — especially over his past stances on taxes and immigration and
his sometime alliances with Democrats — and some of them promise to sit
out the general election if he gets the Republican nomination. Meanwhile,
some Democrats repulsed by the Clintons promise to vote for McCain if Clinton
gets her party’s nomination. And a few angry voters of both parties claim
that they like nice-guy Obama better than either of the other likely nominees.
What is causing these wild swings among jittery and fickle voters? First, we are in the middle of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and are still fighting against radical Islamic terrorists on other fronts. Trillions in U.S. dollars are held abroad by rivals and belligerents. The economy is slowing. Energy prices are sky-high. But for most, the medicine is as scary as the disease: Should we send more troops to finish the job overseas, or are there too many abroad already? Should we prime the economy to prevent recession? Or are stimulus plans unrealistic now that we are already running federal deficits and piling up debt?
Second, without a single administration incumbent in the running, both the Republican and Democratic races are especially volatile. In contrast, in every other presidential race after 1952, either an incumbent president or the sitting vice president has run in the fall election. But now there is no status quo. Instead, a war has broken out within each party.
..In this crazy year, the election may finally come down to how many Democrats — scared that they don’t know enough about Obama, or know too much about the Clintons — will vote for a veteran pro like McCain. Or, on the flip side, how many “true” conservatives will stay home in November to ensure that a liberal wins the White House just to prove their purity.
- Victor Davis Hanson, after Super Tuesday, "National Review"
Mr. McCain needs to
define his views on Iraq and the global war on terror in ways that cause
Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton to attack him. In politics as in war, the properly
prepared counterpunch is often more powerful than the assault itself. But
if he spends too much time too early directly attacking Mr. Obama and Mrs.
Clinton, Mr. McCain could use up some of his most powerful material too
early and run out of things to say just about the time voters start the
process of comparing the Democratic nominee and Mr. McCain.
- Karl Rove, in "The Wall Street Journal" (Mar'08)
Asked at a New Hampshire
campaign stop about possibly staying in Iraq 50 years, John McCain interrupted
— “Make it a hundred” — then offered a precise analogy to what he envisioned:
“We’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea for 50 years
or so.” Lest anyone think he was talking about prolonged war-fighting rather
than maintaining a presence in postwar Iraq, he explained: “That would
be fine with me, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or
wounded or killed.”
- Charles Krauthammer, "Our 100-year War With Japan", "National Review"
"He (McCain) says that
he is willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq."
- Barack Obama, speaking on February 19 '08 [compare and contrast with above]
One reason McCain is
not versed in the mechanical details of sending e-mail and typing on a
keyboard is that the North Vietnamese broke his fingers and shattered both
of his arms. As Forbes, Slate, and the Boston Globe reported in 2000, McCain’s
injuries make using a keyboard painfully laborious. He mostly relies on
his wife and staff to show him e-mails and Web sites, though he says he’s
getting up to speed.
“It’s extraordinary,” Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said, “that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn’t know how to send an e-mail.” For the record, President Clinton sent exactly two e-mails while in office.
Besides, by this logic, Obama is even less qualified to be commander-in-chief because, unlike McCain, Obama has never fired a gun, flown a plane, or led men during wartime. And if the Obama campaign didn’t intend to mock a disabled veteran, what does it say about his supposedly “cybersavvy” staffers that they don’t know how to conduct a five-minute Google search.
- Jonah Goldberg, on the "McCain doesn't know email" ad, "National Review"
President Reagan talked
with the Soviets while pushing ahead with the deployment of Cruise and
Pershing missiles in Europe. He spoke softly — after getting himself a
bigger stick. Sen. Obama is proposing to reward a man who pledges to wipe
Israel off the map with a presidential photo-op to which he will bring
not even a twig. No wonder he’s so twitchy about it.
- Mark Steyn, on Obama's offer to talk to Iran, "National Review"
"I have some news for
Senator Obama: Talking, not even with soaring rhetoric, in unconditional
meetings with the man who calls Israel a 'stinking corpse' and arms terrorist
who kill Americans will not convince Iran to give up its nuclear program.
It is reckless to suggest that unconditional meetings will advance our
interests. It would be a wonderful thing if we lived in a world where we
don't have enemies. But that is not the world we live in, and until Senator
Obama understands that reality, the American people have every reason to
doubt whether he has the strength, judgment, and determination to keep
- John McCain (May'08)
The Democratic party
that meets today in Denver is one that many of its forebears would hardly
recognize and might abhor. The determination to face down our enemies that
characterized Harry Truman, the willingness to cut tax rates that John
F. Kennedy showed, the pro-life convictions that informed Hubert Humphrey
and Ed Muskie, even the free-trading instincts that Bill Clinton possessed
— all have been banished from the party of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
In place of these older political strains are a restless welfare statism;
a hope, masquerading as a strategy, that we can talk and charm our way
out of foreign crises; and a social liberalism that prefers the courts
to do its heavy lifting. This party has found perfect exemplars of its
ideology in its nominees... Obama and Biden must persuade the country that
they are not what they are: the most left-wing ticket their party has run
in 36 years. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time; 51 percent
may be more feasible.
- National Review Editorial (Aug'08)
Every Democratic presidential
nominee for president and vice president in the last seven elections —
except Al Gore, who dropped out of law school to run for Congress — has
been a lawyer. So, what’s wrong with the Democratic nominee once again
being a lawyer? After all, legal minds are trained to think precisely and
evaluate both sides of an issue. The problem is that lawyers usually do
not run companies, defend the country, lead people, build things, grow
food, or create capital.
If this year Democrats were looking for populist candidates from diverse backgrounds and training who talked and thought differently from those of the past, then why didn’t they nominate someone who was not trained in writing legalese and working the government legal labyrinth? Instead, they needed different sorts, candidates who might have sounded a little rougher, a little less condescending, and a little more like most voters. Most Americans have never been in — and never want to be in — a courtroom... This may partly explain why former military officer John McCain and working-mom Sarah Palin are polling near even with Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, in a year that otherwise favors the Democrats.
- Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"
"When the stock market
crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk
about the, you know, the princes of greed."
- Joe Biden, getting a few things wrong about the America of 1929
One of the problems
with successfully dealing with threats is that people start believing that
there is no threat. That is where we are, seven years after 9/11, so that
reminding people of terrorist dangers can be dismissed as "the politics
of fear" by Barack Obama, who has a rhetorical answer for everything...
The recent death of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn should make us recall what he
said when he was awarded the Nobel Prize: "The timid civilized world has
found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of
barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles." What would a Barack
Obama presidency mean, other than more concessions and broader smiles,
while Iran goes nuclear?
- Thomas Sowell
Are Asian financial
markets signaling a big Chinese economic slow-down? The present regime
in China bases its legitimacy on prosperity. What happens if the prosperity
stops? Will the regime face challenges at home? Will it lash out abroad?
In this and other ways, more and more it looks as though the next president
will be inheriting the most difficult inbox since that which confronted
Ronald Reagan in 1981.
- David Frum, "National Review"
This wisp of a notion
is simply this: Maybe a Democrat should win in 2008... The argument, felt
in places we don’t talk about at cocktail parties, is that the Democrats
have been such irresponsible backseat drivers that they have to be forced
to take the wheel to grasp how treacherous the road ahead is.
- Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"
The growing hordes
of America-bashers must dread the moment Bush leaves office. When President
Bush goes into the Texas sunset, and especially if he is replaced by an
enlightened, world-embracing Democrat, their one excuse, their sole explanation
for all human suffering in the world will disappear too. And they may just
find that the world is not as simple as they thought it was... Does anyone
really think the election of President Hillary Clinton will be greeted
with a sudden surge of German and French troops to Kabul and Helmand, routing
al-Qaeda militants in the name of multilateralism? President John Edwards
will discover, when he seeks a united front to tackle an enemy that would
happily incinerate every European city and its inhabitants tomorrow, that
the Europeans would much rather take urgent action to address the risk
that global warming will produce a possible 18cm increase in sea levels
- Gerard Baker, "The Times"
I do not think it is
tactful, or supportive to any candidate, for Europeans to weigh in with
their views on the coming American presidential election. To be sure, whoever
is President of the US affects the whole world. But the track record of
those who try to meddle from this side of the pond is not good. During
the 2004 election, the Guardian newspaper in London setup up an elaborate
website arrangement to try and chivvy the voters of Ohio to vote against
Bush, this being a delicately balanced 'swing' state. The wheeze backfired
badly: Ohions did not take kindly to superior types from the former colonial
power trying to boss them about. It's a bit like the French political class
telling the Irish which way they should exercise their vote on Lisbon.
- Mary Kenny, in "The Irish Independent"
When crises erupt people
will rally behind a forceful leader. From the standpoint of national security,
it is critical to elect a president with the dynamism, charisma, and ineffable
personal qualities that make a great leader. It is not something found
in bulging briefing books or clever talking points. It resides in the content
of one's character. As a voter, you know it in your gut. This one won’t
let us down. This one will fight. This one will win.
- James S Robbins, "National Review"
What we need is not
bogus invocations of unity, which is largely a platitudinous or poll-driven
cover for inertia... To govern is to choose. And to govern in tough times
is to make tough choices. And thus to choose is to divide. An electorate
that wanted real change — on immigration, education, entitlements — would
be voting for one almighty four-year slugfest.
- Mark Steyn, "National Review"
The big lie of campaign
2008 — so far — is that the presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican,
will take care of our children... Our children face a future of rising
taxes, squeezed — and perhaps falling — public services and aging — perhaps
deteriorating — public infrastructure (roads, sewers, transit systems).
Today's young workers and children are about to be engulfed by a massive
income transfer from young to old that will perversely make it harder for
them to afford their own children. No major candidate of either party proposes
to do much about this, even though the facts are well known.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — three programs that go overwhelmingly to older Americans — already represent more than 40 percent of federal spending... The longer we delay — and we've done so now for several decades, because the strains created by an aging society have been obvious that long — the more likely that eventual "solutions" will be unfair to both young and old.
- Robert J. Samuelson, "Washington Post"
Today the American
public seems deeply schizophrenic: It hates the government -- Washington,
Congress and public institutions are more unpopular than at any time since
Watergate -- but it wants more of it. Conservative arguments about limited
government have little purchase among independents and swing voters.
- Jonah Goldberg, "Washington Post"
Some elections are
defined by the gap between the rich and the poor. Others are defined by
the gap between the left and the right. But this election will be shaped
by the gap within individual voters themselves — the gap between their
private optimism and their public gloom... American voters are generally
happy with their own lives... Sixty-two percent of Americans expect their
personal situation to get better over the next five years... On the other
hand, Americans are overwhelmingly pessimistic about their public institutions.
That same Pew survey found that only 25 percent of Americans are satisfied
with the state of their nation. Americans are disillusioned with the president
and Congress. Eighty percent of Americans think this Congress has accomplished
Sixty-two percent think that when government runs something, it is usually inefficient and wasteful. Americans today are more pessimistic about government’s ability to solve problems than they were in 1974 at the height of Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War.
This happiness gap between the private and the public creates a treacherous political vortex. On the one hand, it means voters are desperate for change. On the other hand, they don’t want a change that will upset the lives they have built for themselves. On the one hand, they want the country’s political leaders to take bold action. On the other hand, they are extremely cynical about those leaders and are unwilling to trust them with anything that seems risky.
They also feel that their neighborhood happiness is threatened by global problems that are beyond their power to control: terrorism, rising health care costs, looming public debt, illegal immigration, global warming and the rise of China and India. They regard these looming problems the way people used to think about crime — as alien intrusions into their private tranquility. And government seems to be doing nothing about them.
These voters don’t believe government can lift their standard of living or lead a moral revival. They want a federal government that will focus on a few macro threats — terrorism, health care costs, energy, entitlement debt and immigration — and stay out of the intimate realms of life. They want a night watchman government that patrols the neighborhood without entering their homes. This is not liberalism, which inserts itself into the crannies of life. It’s not conservatism, suspicious of federal power. It’s a gimlet-eyed federalism — strong government with sharply defined tasks.
Today, people want the government to change so their own lives can stay the same. Voters don’t want to be transformed; they want to be defended.
- David Brooks, "The New York Times"
We are not a perfect nation. Our history has had its moments of shame and profound regret. But what we have achieved in our brief history is irrefutable proof that a nation conceived in liberty will prove stronger, more decent and more enduring than any nation ordered to exalt the few at the expense of the many or made from a common race or culture or to preserve traditions that have no greater attribute than longevity.
- John McCain, address to Liberty University (2006)
The senator’s conservative
critics believe, at bottom, that it would be better for the GOP to lose
this election than to win with John McCain. We are hearing a lot how 1992
led to 1994, how 1976 led to 1980. Perhaps they are right. But I wonder
whether it is still true that there is a conservative majority latent out
there just waiting to be summoned back to life. Certainly I believe that
political majorities are made as well as found. If the Republicans win
in 2008 — if they can lead the country to a successful outcome in Iraq
and inaugurate some helpful free-market healthcare reforms, then we can
rebuild a Republican majority. But if the Democrats win, if they can fix
in place the idea that Iraq was a disaster and institute a government-directed
health system that creates a vast new dependency on the federal government
– then they may seize the majority that could be there for us. A lot is
at stake this year, and whatever else you may think about John McCain,
he has certainly proven he is the best national campaigner the GOP has
- David Frum, backing John McCain in Feb'08
On Wednesday John McCain
distinguished himself with a closely argued and eloquent address in which
he spoke seriously and at length of his position on Iraq. He said America
faces "an historic choice" with "ramifications for Americans not yet even
born." "Many Democrats," he said, view the war as "a political opportunity,"
while Republicans view it as "a political burden." But it is neither, he
said. It is not a political question to be poll-tested but a challenge
that bears on our continuance as a great nation. We must stay and fight
and win. You can agree or disagree with Mr. McCain, but where he stands
is clear--and clarity these days, from our candidates, feels like a gift...
My larger point, however, is that he sounded like a serious man addressing
a serious issue in a serious way. This makes him at the moment stand out...
The presidency is an august office. Why are these candidates acting so
small when the job they think they deserve is so big? Maybe it's just that
people have less dignity these days, and so candidates do too. A few decades
ago personal dignity became equated with stiffness and pretension. There
was nothing in it for politicians anymore. (It all might have started in
1968, when Richard Nixon went on "Laugh-In" and said, "Sock it to me."
But that worked because he had actual personal dignity to spoof.) I think
it's that all our candidates for president have met, or know well, too
many former and sitting presidents... Candidates on the trail today would
be better off keeping as their template for the office Washington, Jefferson
and Lincoln--the unattainable greats. It's no good to just be thinking,
At least I'm better than Clinton, at least I'm better than Bush.
- Peggy Noonan, "The Wall Street Journal" (Apr'07)
In two presidential
campaigns now, John McCain has proven himself adept at what is becoming
is signature maneuver: the suicidal assault directly into the teeth of
key Republican interest groups and beliefs... This year, McCain’s kamikaze
charge is on comprehensive immigration legislation that couples an amnesty
for illegal aliens with border-enforcement measures. You have to have only
a passing acquaintance with a Republican voter or two to know this is deeply
unpopular in the GOP... McCain’s position is indisputably sincere and courageous.
But it is only reminding Republicans exactly what they don’t like about
his sincerity and courage... The tricky thing about political leadership
is that it has to involve some followership, too.
- Rich Lowry, "National Review" (Jun'07)
Senator McCain is not
a bad man. He has some admirable qualities. But there are plenty of good
people who would be dangerous in a job for which they are not suited. Back
in the 18th century, Edmund Burke said that some people "may do the worst
of things without being the worst of men." The White House is not the place
for that... Senator McCain could never convince me to vote for him. Only
Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama can cause me to vote for McCain.
- Thomas Sowell
get interesting only when the candidates stop speaking in ringing generalities
and infuriating phrases, which doesn't mean that they therefore become
successful or even good for the country. Sen. John McCain's 2000 campaign
appealed precisely because he eschewed pre-prepared gobbledygook—though
that wasn't enough even to win the Republican nomination. I am also still
convinced that voters originally liked George W. Bush's inarticulacy: At
least he didn't sound quite as smooth, and ultimately meaningless, as everyone
else. Only with time did his natural-born inability to speak English begin
to produce infuriating phrases of truly unique pointlessness.
- Anne Applebaum, "Slate Magazine"
People who share the
New York Times' political views are treated as "innocent until proven guilty."
People with different views are condemned for "the appearance of impropriety,"
even if there is no hard evidence that they did anything wrong... In 1976,
when President Ford nominated me to the Federal Trade Commission, someone
anonymously told an FBI investigator that I was a Communist. Not even the
people opposed to my nomination believed it and it was not reported in
the New York Times. This was back in the days when the Times still had
a reputation for integrity, before the Jason Blair hoaxes, the gang-rape
hoaxes and the general prostitution of the front page to politics masquerading
as news. Over the years, the New York Times has increasingly discredited
itself. Not only have critics repeatedly exposed their tendentious use
of their "news" stories, even the Times' own "public editor" or ombudsman
has now said that they should not have run the John McCain insinuation
- Thomas Sowell (Feb'08)
[The Palin Effect]
"I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion — I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country."
- Governor Sarah Palin, from her RNC speech
"I guess a small town
mayor is sort of like a community organiser, except that you have actual
- Sarah Palin, with a dig at Obama's background as a 'community organiser'
Where is it written
that only senators are qualified to become President? ... Or where is it
written that mere representatives aren’t qualified, like Geraldine Ferraro
of Queens? ... Where is it written that governors and mayors, like Dianne
Feinstein of San Francisco, are too local, too provincial? ... Presidential
candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of practical
demography, not idealized democracy... What a splendid system, we say to
ourselves, that takes little-known men, tests them in high office and permits
them to grow into statesmen... Why shouldn’t a little-known woman have
the same opportunity to grow?
- New York Times editorial from 1984 on the vice-presidential nomination of Geraldine Ferraro
Love Sarah Palin or
hate her -- and there seems to be little in between -- the Alaska Governor
has become a national political figure. She could have a big political
future, assuming she and the many Republicans now trashing her learn something
from their recent misadventures. Last August we advised John McCain not
to select a relative unknown like Mrs. Palin, in part because we remember
the way Dan Quayle was treated. The media haze GOP candidates in a way
they never do Democrats. (See Joe Biden, unreported gaffes of.) Any national-campaign
novice was bound to be chewed up. Mr. McCain nonetheless decided to take
one of his celebrated leaps off the high bar. (Our track record this campaign
was perfect: If we proposed it, Mr. McCain did the opposite.) In the event,
Mrs. Palin's contribution to the McCain ticket was mixed. Her bravura convention
speech defied the early media mockery and made her an instant hero among
rank-and-file Republicans. Her reform credentials and social conservatism
inspired a GOP base that was angry with its wayward party and wary of Mr.
McCain. The exit polls show that conservative turnout was strong, and Mrs.
Palin deserves some credit for that. Yet Mrs. Palin was clearly thrust
into the spotlight before she was prepared for the rigors of a national
campaign. The McCain camp also did her no favors, initially keeping her
under a quarantine that raised the stakes for any media interview she did
do... As for Mrs. Palin's Republican critics, they might consider if they
can afford to write off a young leader with such natural political talent.
We don't see a large constellation of other GOP stars on the horizon. Mr.
McCain was right to understand that his party needs a new generation of
leaders who haven't grown comfortable with the perks of Washington.
- A balanced editorial assessing the Palin effect in the Wall Street Journal (Nov'08)
The main axis in McCain's
worldview is not left-right. It's public service versus narrow self-interest.
Throughout his career, he has been drawn to those crusades that enabled
him to launch frontal attacks on the concentrated powers of selfishness
- whether it was the big-money donors who exploited the loose campaign
finance system, the earmark specialists in Congress like Alaska's Don Young
and Ted Stevens, the corrupt Pentagon contractors or Jack Abramoff. When
McCain met Sarah Palin last February, he was meeting the rarest of creatures,
an American politician who sees the world as he does... McCain was meeting
a woman who risked her career taking on the corrupt Republican establishment
in her own state, who twice defeated the oil companies, who made mortal
enemies of the two people McCain has always held up as the carriers of
the pork-barrel disease: Young and Stevens... she was picked because she
lit up every pattern in McCain's brain, because she seems so much like
himself... My worry about Palin is that she shares McCain's primary weakness
- that she has a tendency to substitute a moral philosophy for a political
- David Brooks, "New York Times"
Governor Palin is not
merely "all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed
world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose
stew? It can't be in Senator Obama's interest for the punditocracy to spends
its time arguing about whether the Republicans' vice-presidential pick
is "even more" inexperienced than the Democrats' presidential one.
- Mark Steyn
Sarah Palin works fast.
She instantly became the object of the kind of partisan hatred that most
politicians can raise only after prosecuting an unpopular war and lying
about their misconduct in office (Nixon), after making sanctimonious dishonesty
an art form and getting caught in flagrante with an intern (Clinton), and
after winning a disputed election and botching a foreign occupation (Bush).
Palin-hatred is an artifact of who she is rather than anything she’s done.
Joe Biden famously rose from the working class to the U.S. Senate. Palin
became governor of Alaska, but never left the working class — with her
old-fashioned beehive hairdo and librarian eyeglasses, with a husband who
is a commercial fisherman and works on a North Shore oil field, and with
her hobbies of fishing and hunting. As such, she’s the object of the cultural
disdain of a Left that loves the working class in theory, but is mystified
or offended by its lifestyle and conservative values in reality.
- Rich Lowry, "National Review"
Palinize: to slander
and caricature a working-class female public figure for the noble advancement
of liberalism. Sarah Palin— self-made woman, and governor of Alaska — is
being reducing by the left to a hickish, white trash mom of five... Why
does the left and liberal media, in McCarthyite fashion, now seek to destroy
rather than just oppose these public servants? There is the annoited's
notion that the noble ends justify the slimy means, that whether the issue
is abortion or affirmative action or any other hot-button social gospel,
the supposed interests of the many override the common decency that should
be afforded the few... To save the utopian vision of "two nations" John
Edwards, presidential candidate, hundreds in the media passed on verifiable
stories of his adultery, the financial support of his mistress, and his
blatantly untrue assertions in public press conferences; by the same token
to stop "one nation" Palin, the private life of a 17-year old girl must
not only be aired, but distorted and in some cases invented... Being a
mother of a Down syndrome child, raising five children, rising, without
money or family influence, to the governorship on an anti-corruption and
commonsense platform, in addition to trying to run the largest-sized state
in the union, critical to both the energy and defense security of the nation,
all that should have made liberals and feminists, if reluctantly, nevertheless
appreciative of her success in a mostly male political world. Not this
week, perhaps—but soon there will be a backlash against all this creepiness.
- Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"
The general media bias
is more blatant than usual this year. There was more media outcry about
Sarah Palin's response to "gotcha" questions than to Joe Biden's talking
about President Franklin D. Roosevelt going on television in 1929 after
the stock market crash — at a time when FDR was not yet president and there
was no television to go on.
- Thomas Sowell
Imagine the reaction
of the New York Times or the Washington Post had John McCain renounced
his promise to participate in public campaign financing, proceeded instead
to amass $600 million and outraise the publicly financed Barack Obama four-to-one,
and begun airing special 30-minute unanswered infomercials during the last
week of the campaign... Imagine the reaction of Newsweek or Time had moose-hunting
mom Sarah Palin claimed FDR went on television to address the nation as
President in 1929.
- Victor Davis Hanson, on media double standards, "National Review"
The more savage the
left are about someone, the more you can be sure that they feel profoundly
threatened by that person. Their vicious reaction to John McCain’s selection
of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential candidate is deeply
revealing -- but about themselves rather than her. They have hurled smears,
contempt, condescension, ridicule and every other rhetorical missile her
way. You can get a sense of the stuff being spread about her from the rebuttal
by the McCain camp to this story in the New York Times, which appears to
have plucked rumours circulating about Mrs Palin and published them without
a qualm. (How anyone continues to take the NYT seriously beats me.) Why
do the left feel so threatened by Sarah Palin? Clearly, they see her place
on the McCain ticket as a major threat to Obama and thus know they have
to destroy her. The more venomous their onslaught, therefore, the greater
the compliment they are paying her...
But there’s a deeper reason for the foaming vituperation of the left at Mrs Palin’s candidacy. It is the same reason that they lash out at all those who are not on the left: their profound lack of confidence in their own belief system. At some subterranean level, the left know they are wrong and that they cannot defend their own position. Which they simply cannot bear. This is because the left is always correct, everyone else is a conservative and therefore if they are wrong about anything they will also be -- a conservative! They'd rather pull out all their fingernails. Which is why they are so vicious: instead of reasoned argument with their opponents they resort to demonisation, intimidating and browbeating any opposition or dissent to shut them up altogether...
Maybe the selection of Sarah Palin will go pear-shaped. Maybe she’ll be found to have presided over a mafia cartel of illegal moose-slayers... But for the moment it seems to me that her selection is a political masterstroke. Which is why the left is in such a terrible rage.
- Melanie Phillips, on her Spectator blog
There's a new affliction
sweeping the nation, and it's known as Palin Derangement Syndrome. The
phenomenon is similar to Bush Derangement Syndrome, a term coined by political
columnist Charles Krauthammer to describe the personal animosity and irrational
hatred directed at President Bush by his leftist opponents. But this time,
Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin,
is the object of wrath... The attacks on Palin have ranged from patronizing
to vicious to fantastical. She has been caricatured as an inexperienced
rube, a baby-making automaton, an uneducated underachiever, a bad mother,
trailer-park trash, a rightwing religious fanatic, a sexual fantasy, and
of course, a fascist. No subject has been deemed taboo in the effort to
take Palin down.
What her detractors don't seem to realize is that in the process of insulting Palin, they are insulting the majority of the country. If being a self-made success story, a working mother, a church-going member of a small-town community, and a believer in moderate to conservative political viewpoints disqualifies Palin, what does that say about mainstream America? The inherent condescension at the heart of the anti-Palin campaign is coming across loud and clear and it may actually be boosting her popularity...
Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School, wrote that Palin's "greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman" and denounced "the Republican Party's cynical calculation that because [Palin] has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies -- she speaks for the women of America...
A September 4 Rasmussen poll notes that "51% of American voters think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November." The media has been fixated on Palin for weeks and one is hard pressed to go a day without hearing some or another allegation being trotted out. The worst example was when mainstream media outlets ran with a lurid rumor originating with an anonymous diarist at the leftist blog Daily Kos that insinuated that Palin's son Trig was actually her grandson... Obama's worst enemy is not himself, or even Sarah Palin, but rather, the ranks of his own rabid supporters.
- Cinnamon Stillwell, "SF Chronicle"
The base identifies
with Sarah Palin as one of their own. The connection between them is one
of shared cultural and religious values. This sense of common identity
transcends politics in a way difficult for some elites to grasp.
Many within the evangelical and conservative communities believe that she
doesn’t need a massive amount of book knowledge because she shares their
worldview and seems to be smart enough that if presented with a problem,
she’ll figure it out and do just fine... Regardless of the fact that your
opinions and those of George Will, David Brooks, Peggy Noonan and others
are based on your honest appraisal of Palin’s demonstrated aptitude for
high office, the base interprets a rejection of Gov. Palin as a candidate
as a rejection of the values she represents and of the identity they share.
This perception, however inaccurate, is positively poisonous at a time
when the conservative movement has lost its ability to communicate its
message persuasively... The conservative movement’s future may depend on
its elites’ ability to affirm the values and principles of the base while
insisting that our leaders have the knowledge and experience necessary
to apply those beliefs to complex political problems.
- A letter to David Frum, explaining the Republican divisions over Sarah Palin
Many media commentators
exude a conviction that Republicans have long played dirtier and more dishonest
political hardball than do Democrats. Maybe, but I'm not so sure. We are
often reminded of Republican sins ranging from the (accurate) Willie Horton
ads of 1988 to the (over-the-top) "Swiftboating" of 2004. We hear a lot
less about Democratic sins such as President Clinton's distortions of Bob
Dole's position on Medicare in 1996 and the NAACP's stunningly scurrilous
ad campaign in 2000 associating George W. Bush's opposition to a hate crimes
bill with the racist murderers who dragged James Byrd behind a truck.
- Stuart Taylor, "National Journal"
Most unintended pregnancies
in the higher income and education brackets end in abortion. Remember that
before you judge or poke fun at Sarah Palin. She's not the candidate whose
daughter messed up. She's the candidate who didn't get rid of the mess.
- William Saletan, "Slate"
According to the conventional
wisdom, the Republicans are the party of joyless, fundamentalist prudes,
while the Democrats are fun-obsessed libertines. Yet the GOP had a VP with
a lesbian daughter, a President with two hard-partying Valley Girls and
now their VP candidate is proud of her unmarried pregnant teenage daughter
(which some Democrats have hopped on to make a political point). It wasn't
meant to be like this.
- Ian O'Doherty, "The Irish Indepedent"
"Every time you see
her you think of her with her hair down and glasses off..."
- Ray D'Arcy, on RTE's "The Panel", on Sarah Palin's "twinkle"
Governor Palin brings
back many Northern Exposure memories. I was always so proud to portray
the spunky, self-reliant, smart Maggie O’Connell. Maggie flew her own plane,
shot her own moose, marched to the beat of her own drum. She was a breakthrough
television character at the time. I am very flattered when the comparisons
are made between Maggie O’Connell and Governor Palin. I created a character,
but Governor Palin is the real deal.
- Actress Janine Turner, on her work for the Palin campaign team, "National Review"
ELECTION 2008 - SELECTING THE CANDIDATES
Right after the Super
Bowl this year, we had Super Tuesday in the presidential primaries. Perfect
timing! Now I can take all the time I was devoting to watching NFL analysis
on ESPN and roll it directly over to watch presidential primary coverage
and analysis on CNN. Have you watched this stuff? Bottom line: It’s sports
coverage. The pundits dissect every detail in the hope of figuring out
who’s ahead or behind, who has the momentum and where things are going
right or wrong for Any Given Candidate. The 2008 presidential election
is a sports event not unlike an NFL season. Only longer. A lot longer...
Have you seen the CNN Politics TV set? It makes Wolf Blitzer’s Situation
Room look like an exercise in restraint. The CNN Politics set has managed
even to make SportsCenter look low-tech. I’ve always marveled at the extreme
stylistics of the “sports desk” on cable sports channels.
- Jamahl Epsicokhan, "The Sports Event of 2008"
"My friends, we live
in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join
with me as we try to change it."
- John Gross, with an all-purpose speech for presidential candidates
The Iowa caucuses are
important, enormously, absurdly, outlandishly — scandalously! — important...
state should have this much power every four years. Sorry, that goes for New Hampshire, too... The first-in-the-nation primary elections should rotate. Pick some formula in which two different states get picked every four years. You could have rules accounting for geographic diversity — back-to-back events in North and South Carolina, for example, would be silly. But move it around so that the country isn’t held hostage by the same left-wing and right-wing populists every four years.
- Jonah Goldberg, "National Review" (Jan'08)
The truth is that what
a few thousand Americans think in Iowa and New Hampshire does not trump
the tens of millions in states like Florida, New Jersey, New York, and
California. The Clinton and Giuliani campaigns were based on this fact,
and could still work — as long as the perceived momentum achieved by Obama
or Huckabee among tiny populations in these two early states, amplified
and exaggerated by spin doctors on television, does not cause second and
third thoughts in voters of these key mega-states, inasmuch as most have
no firm or fixed views other than a desire to be associated with a winner.
What comes across to the viewer is the near complete absence of any independent
judgement; instead, the 24-hour buzz makes someone hot or cold, and the
pundits adjust accordingly with praise or blame.
- Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"
We pick presidents
for their judgment and values. Anything that gives us a clue as to what
those might be is not only fair game, it is the game.
- Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"
"People are looking
for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work
with rather than the guy that laid them off."
- Mike Huckabee, on the Tonight Show
"I have a lifetime
of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain
has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And
Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
- Hilary Clinton
If Hillary had been
campaigning the way she's doing now this time last year instead of doing
the queenlier-than-thou Barbra Streisand routine, she'd have won.
- Mark Steyn, "National Review" (May'08)
Two 50-50 candidates
slugging it out, but both Democrats — and so the party’s formidable skills
at the politics of personal destruction and its fierce determination to
win at all costs are now turned in on itself: As Edwin Glover said of the
British defenses at Singapores, the guns are pointing the wrong way. The
other day I gave a talk and a Democrat in the audience demanded that I
disassociate myself from the sleazy attacks of some Republicans who’ve
been referring to “Barack Hussein Obama.” I said I’d be happy to disassociate
myself from (Clinton supporter) Bob Kerrey who’s been floating the whole
- Mark Steyn, on the Clinton-Obama contest, "National Review"
Dear old Nora Ephron's
sneer over at The Huffington Post about whether Pennsylvania's embittered
white men are more racist than they're sexist or vice-versa gets things
completely upside down. The embittered white men are just about the only
demographic weighing these candidates on their merits. The significant
proportion of women and blacks in the Democratic base for whom identity
politics trumps all is what's stopping either candidate from gaining the
momentum that would have emerged in a contest between two squaresville
dead European males. It's the identity-uber-alles blocs that prevent the
black guy from finishing off the feminist or vice-versa.
- Mark Steyn, after the Pennsylvania primary, "National Review" (Apr'08)
"The most important
'traditional value' in this election is keeping the Clintons out of the
- Greg Alterton, urging conservatives to back Rudy Giuliani
horrible and undefeatable about people who have no life except the worship
of power... people who don't want the meeting to end, the people who just
are unstoppable, who only have one focus, no humanity, no character, nothing
but the worship of money and power. They win in the end."
- Christopher Hitchens, predicting a Hilary Clinton win (Mar'08)
On Tuesday at Washington's
Convention Center, Hillary Clinton made the best speech of her campaign...
It was highly partisan, even polar, but it was a more thoughtful critique
of the Bush administration, more densely woven and less bromidic, than
she has offered in the past, and she used a higher vocabulary... Nobody
noticed. A room full of journalists didn't notice this was something new
and interesting. And they didn't notice because nobody is listening anymore.
Mrs. Clinton is transmitting, but people aren't receiving. She has been
branded, tagged. She's been absorbed, understood and categorized. People
have decided what they think, and it's not good. It took George W. Bush
five years to get to that point. It took her five intense months. Political
historians will say her campaign sank with the mad Bosnia lie, but Bosnia
broke through only because it expressed, crystallized, what people had
already begun to think: too much mendacity there, too much manipulation.
- Peggy Noonan, "The Wall Street Journal" (Apr'08)
Media reports speak
of this being the most "diverse" presidential race ever with a woman, (Clinton),
an African-American (Obama) and a Hispanic (New Mexico's Bill Richardson).
But this is not ideological diversity, as all are liberals. This race shouldn't
be about race, gender, or ethnicity, but ideas... Conservatives should
be careful. The nonstop attacks on Bill Clinton did not keep him from winning
in 1992, nor did his personal scandals prevent his re-election four years
later. Using similar smear tactics on Hillary Clinton will only turn her
into a victim and cause many not predisposed to vote for her to support
her. Men can't run against a woman the way they run against other men.
- Cal Thomas, "Town Hall"
As National Review's
Jonah Goldberg pointed out, the mainstream media are always demanding the
GOP demonstrate its commitment to "big tent" Republicanism, and here we
are with the biggest of big tents in history, and what credit do they get?
You want an anti-war Republican? A pro-abortion Republican? An anti-gun
Republican? A pro-illegal immigration Republican? You got 'em! ...Over
on the Democratic side, meanwhile, they've got a woman, a black, a Hispanic,
a preening metrosexual with an angled nape – and they all think exactly
- Mark Steyn, on the diverse Republican contenders, "The OC Register"
At a time like this,
we need the best qualified people at the top, whether they are Asian-American
women, left-handed Hispanics or whatever. The whole bean-counting mentality
— the first woman, the first black, the first this, the first that — is
an unbelievably irresponsible self-indulgence at a time when Americans
may soon be facing nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists.
- Thomas Sowell
Republicans, as usual,
seem to have more people who would make good presidents than people who
would make good presidential candidates. Unfortunately for them, we have
elections instead of coronations.
- Thomas Sowell
I’m anxiously awaiting
the eventual election of Hillary Clinton to see if the hysteria about global
warming continues in her term. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will
be one of those issues that just mysteriously drop off the radar screen
once a liberal Democrat is in, only to reappear when the next Republican
- Letter to "National Review"
People say Rudy Giuliani
has no background in foreign policy. I was left wondering whether a lifetime
of fighting the Mafia is not exactly the right background for dealing with
Islamic terrorism. As he said: the mullahs released the hostages in 1981
because they looked into Ronald Reagan's eyes and saw something they did
not see in Jimmy Carter's. I saw that same something in Guiliani's.
- David Frum, "National Review"
He has solved problems
that were previously thought hopeless and achieved successes that others
dismissed as impossible. He has made government work — and he has shown
that he understands government's limits.
- David Frum, signing onto Rudy Giuliani's campaign team
The first mainstream viable black candidate...
The Obamessiah... But in the privacy of the voting booth, if you look at
Obama in non-identity-politics terms, he seems a pleasant fellow who talks
almost exclusively in gaseous platitudes.
- Mark Steyn, on Barack Obama's shallow popularity
What made Obama so appealing was that he
did not seem to be a conventional politician. He appeared to be genuinely
thoughtful and in earnest about his desire to bring America, which has
been repeatedly sliced and diced by political operatives for the past 14
years, back together. But this has gone out the window. Instead, Obama
has become an almost permanent panderer to the worst instincts of the Democratic
primary electorate, peddling protectionist snake oil and announcing plans
for withdrawal from Iraq that have as much connection to the reality on
the ground as Donald Rumsfeld’s pre-war planning did. He has also descended
from the moral high ground right into the gutter. In many ways, his campaign
in Pennsylvania was more negative than Clinton’s and he regularly distorts
McCain’s statements for partisan advantage. You can say that this is just
politics, but the whole point of Obama was that he was going to take us
- James Forsyth, "The Spectator" (Apr'08)
The essential problem coming to light is
a profound disconnect between the Barack Obama of the candidate's speeches,
and the Barack Obama who has actually been in politics for the past decade
or so. Speechmaker Obama has built his campaign on the promise of reform,
the need to change the culture of American political life, to take on the
special interests that undermine government's effectiveness and erode trust
in the system itself. Politician Obama rose through a Chicago machine that
is notoriously the most corrupt in the country. As David Freddoso writes
in a brilliantly cogent and measured book, The Case Against Barack Obama,
the angel of deliverance from the old politics functioned like an old-time
Democratic pol in Illinois. He refused repeatedly to side with those lonely
voices that sought to challenge the old corrupt ways of the ruling party.
Speechmaker Obama talks about an era of bipartisanship, He speaks powerfully about the destructive politics of red and blue states. Politician Obama has toed his party's line more reliably than almost any other Democrat in US politics. He has a near-perfect record of voting with his side. He has the most solidly left-wing voting history in the Senate. His one act of bipartisanship, a transparency bill co-sponsored with a Republican senator, was backed by everybody on both sides of the aisle. He has never challenged his party's line on any issue of substance.
Speechmaker Obama talks a lot about finding ways to move beyond the bloody battlegrounds of the “culture wars” in America; the urgent need to establish consensus on the emotive issue of abortion. Politician Obama's support for abortion rights is the most extreme of any Democratic senator. In the Illinois legislature he refused to join Democrats and Republicans in supporting a Bill that would require doctors to provide medical care for babies who survived abortions. No one in the Senate - not the arch feminist Hillary Clinton nor the superliberal Edward Kennedy - opposed this same humane measure.
- Gerard Baker, "The Times" (Sept'08)
If the Freedom of Choice Act passes Congress,
and that's a big if, Obama has promised to sign it the second it hits his
desk. (Here he is at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in 2007, vowing,
"The first thing I'd do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice
Act. That's the first thing I'd do.") Though it's often referred to as
a mere codification of Roe, FOCA, as currently drafted, actually goes well
beyond that: According to the Senate sponsor of the bill, Barbara Boxer,
in a statement on her Web site, FOCA would nullify all existing laws and
regulations that limit abortion in any way, up to the time of fetal viability.
Laws requiring parental notification and informed consent would be tossed
out. While there is strenuous debate among legal experts on the matter,
many believe the act would invalidate the freedom-of-conscience laws on
the books in 46 states. These are the laws that allow Catholic hospitals
and health providers that receive public funds through Medicaid and Medicare
to opt out of performing abortions. Without public funds, these health
centers couldn't stay open; if forced to do abortions, they would sooner
close their doors. Even the prospect of selling the institutions to other
providers wouldn't be an option, the bishops have said, because that would
constitute "material cooperation with an intrinsic evil."
- Melinda Henneberger, on Obama's extreme pro-abortion position, "Slate Magazine"
"While a relative owned slaves, another fought
for the Union in the Civil War. And it is a true measure of progress that
the descendant of a slave owner would come to marry a student from Kenya
and produce a son who would grow up to be a candidate for president of
the United States."
- Bill Burton, spokesperson for Barack Obama
May I make an obvious
point? If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, there will be huge pressure
on the electorate to "do the right thing" and elect our nation’s first
black president. So too, if Hillary is the nominee, there will be pressure
to elect a woman — though less than in the former case, I believe... That’s
what the message of the major media will be, in ’08: Show that you have
a sense of history. And if you happen to favor the Republican nominee —
well, you have no sense of history, at a minimum... But why not go for
Condi Rice, and have it both ways?
- Jay Nordlinger, "National Review"
There's something pathetic
and embarrassing about our obsession with Barack Obama's race. So he's
black. Get over it... And why is a man with a white mother considered to
be "black," anyway? Is it for this that we fought so hard to get over Plessy
v. Ferguson? Would we accept, if Obama's mother had also been Jewish, that
he would therefore be the first Jewish president?
- Christopher Hitchens, "Slate Magazine"
Aren’t most of the
people begging for a “new conversation” on race the same folks who shouted
“racist!” at anyone who disagreed with them during all the previous conversations?
- Jonah Goldberg, after Obama's speech in defence of his pastor, "National Review"
This week's minor controversy
about Barack Obama's claim that an uncle liberated Auschwitz was quickly
put to rest by his campaign. They conceded that it was a great uncle whose
unit liberated Buchenwald, 500 miles away. But other, much more troubling,
episodes have provided a revealing glimpse into a candidate who instinctively
resorts to parsing, evasions and misdirection. The saga over Rev. Jeremiah
Wright is Exhibit A. In just 62 days, Americans were treated to eight different
explanations... Mr. Obama told an Iowa radio station last October he didn't
wear an American flag lapel pin because, after 9/11, it had "became a substitute
for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues . . . ." His
campaign issued a statement that "Senator Obama believes that being a patriot
is about more than a symbol." To highlight his own moral superiority, he
denigrated the patriotism of those who wore a flag. Yet by April, campaigning
in culturally conservative Pennsylvania, Mr. Obama was blaming others for
the controversy he'd created, claiming, "I have never said that I don't
wear flag pins or refuse to wear flag pins. This is the kind of manufactured
issue that our politics has become obsessed with and, once again, distracts
us . . . ." A month later Mr. Obama was once again wearing a pin, saying
"Sometimes I wear it, sometimes I don't."
- Karl Rove, on Obama's shifting stories, "Wall Street Journal"
The pundits are confused
about Obama, suggesting there's a bit of everything in him — he's black,
he's white, he's rich, he's poor... In fact, Obama is clearly one thing,
above all others — he's an ambitious lawyers, a breed from which the ruling
class is invariably drawn. Ambitious lawyer — that is his race, his creed,
his religion, and possible even the colour of his skin. If you dig deep
enough, you'll find it's his sexual orientation.
- Declan Lynch, "The Irish Independent"
Portrayal Of Obama
As Elitist Hailed As Step Forward For African Americans.
- Onion Headline
A chorus for his campaign.
- Unnamed former Democratic startegist, on the media and Obama
Compared with MSNBC,
Fox is Edward R. Murrow at his most idealized.
- Jay Nordlinger, "National Review"
"We spend between the
two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about
$10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements. And summer programs…
Do you know what summer camp costs?"
- Michelle Obama, struggling to make ends meet on $500,000+ a year
"Like many young people
coming out of college, with their MA’s and BA’s and PhD’s and MPh’s coming
out so mired in debt that they have to forego the careers of their dreams,
see, because when you’re mired in debt, you can’t afford to be a teacher
or a nurse or social worker, or a pastor of a Church, or to run a small
non-profit organization, or to do research for a small community group,
or to be a community organizer because the salaries that you’ll earn in
those jobs won’t cover the cost of the degree that it took to get the job."
- Michelle Obama
"We’ve got to stop,
because I heard you laughing, Mark Steyn."
"I know. I have never heard anything… I mean, if the premise is that too many people in America go to college and saddle themselves with gazillions of dollars in debt for no good reason, I would agree with that. But the idea that oh, my God, you know, I wanted to run this small non-profit, but I made the mistake of going to Harvard and Princeton, and I got hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, so I had to become a big corporate CEO, I had to found a multi-national company when all I really wanted to do was just be a nice, little grade school teacher, this is ridiculous... She somehow taught herself to be bitter about the terrific opportunities she’s had. How do you say…let’s say you’re a single mom, minimum wage waitress, working for tips in some diner. You’re listening to Michelle Obama talking about her problems. You would think this woman is nuts, that this woman has no understanding of what real misfortune and real tough choices are. And incidentally, I don’t think it’s tough to turn your back on hard jobs, and become a so-called community organizer. I don’t even know what a community organizer is. My own community manages to do without community organizers. I think it’s a rubbish profession, and it wouldn’t make any difference if they all went away tomorrow."
- Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn, listening to Michelle Obama's interview
My fellow Americans,
it is an honor to address the Democratic National Convention at this defining
moment in history. We stand at a crossroads at a pivot point, near a fork
in the road on the edge of a precipice in the midst of the most consequential
election since last year’s “American Idol.”
One path before us leads to the past, and the extinction of the human race. The other path leads to the future, when we will all be dead. We must choose wisely.
We must close the book on the bleeding wounds of the old politics of division and sail our ship up a mountain of hope and plant our flag on the sunrise of a thousand tomorrows with an American promise that will never die! For this election isn’t about the past or the present, or even the pluperfect conditional. It’s about the future, and Barack Obama loves the future because that’s where all his accomplishments are... We meet today to heal the divisions that have torn this country. For we are all one country and one American family, whether we are caring and thoughtful Democrats or hate-filled and war-crazed Republicans... We were inspired by dozens of Democratic senators who declared their lifelong love of John McCain before denouncing him as a reactionary opportunist who would destroy the country.
- David Brooks, parodying the Democratic convention speeches, "New York Times"
ELECTION 2004 - FOUR MORE YEARS
The country Bush leads
is diverging from Europe: it is younger, more self-confident, more prosperous,
more devout, more diligent, more democratic and, in short, more conservative.
Europe must come to terms, not only with Mr Bush, but with the nation that
has elected him. This is a president who really can speak for America.
- Editorial in Britain's "The Daily Telegraph"
"What do you say to
those who are concerned about the role of a faith they do not share in
public life and in your policies?"
"I will be your President regardless of your faith, and I don't expect you to agree with me necessarily on religion. As a matter of fact, no President should ever try to impose religion on our society. The great tradition of America is one where people can worship the way they want to worship. And if they choose not to worship, they're just as patriotic as your neighbor. That is an essential part of why we are a great nation."
- President Bush, at his victorious re-election press conference
Oh yes, the most hated
man in the world has become the first President since 1988 to win over
50 per cent of the popular vote. In other words, it’s the perfect hat trick:
a Republican President, a Republican Senate and a Republican House have
been re-elected for the first time since President McKinley and the GOP
Congress of 1900.
- Mark Steyn, "The Spectator"
This is a Democratic
party in which nostalgia for tradition is too often considered racism,
opposition to gay marriage is bigotry, misgiving about abortion is misogyny,
discussion about gender roles is sexism, and confidence in America's global
purpose is cultural imperialism.
- Editorial in the "Wall Street Journal"
The East and West Coasts
and the big cities may reflect the sway of the universities, the media,
Hollywood, and the arts, but the folks in between somehow ignore what the
professors preach to their children, what they read in the major newspapers,
and what they are told on TV. The Internet, right-wing radio, and cable
news do not so much move Middle America as reflect its preexisting deep
skepticism of our aristocracy and its engineered morality imposed from
- Victor Davis Hanson, "American Exceptionalism", "National Review"
When liberals' presidential
nominees consistently fail to carry Kansas, liberals do not rush to read
a book titled "What's the Matter With Liberals' Nominees?" No, the book
they turned into a bestseller is titled "What's the Matter With Kansas?"
Notice a pattern here?
- George Will
The Democrats have
ceased to be a party of broad national appeal, capable of winning the hearts,
minds and votes of middle America in those red states that the Republicans
now dominate. The Democrats have become a party of elites, ethnic minorities
and interest groups.
- Editorial in Ireland's "Sunday Independent"
"I’ve always felt the
Democratic party was a kind of alliance between the academics and intellectuals
and working-class men and women. I think what happened is that in my lifetime,
the academics won."
- Philip Bredesen, Democratic Governor of Tennessee
"A traditional view
of family, no abortion, no gay marriage, a central role for faith, gun
over the mantel, low taxes, an assertive and combative view of American
- Gov. Philip Bredesen, summing up the Republican Party platform in 30 words
H. L. Mencken once
described a Puritan as a person who can't stand the idea that someone,
somewhere is having a good time. Contemporary Democrats are people who
can't stand the idea that someone, somewhere is experiencing good news.
- Rich Lowry, "The Querulous Party" in "National Review"
For the apparent sake
of clarity, and to reinforce one’s own smug sense of moral superiority,
Americans are, in general, portrayed as religious rednecks who somehow
balance crass consumerism with a fundamentalist spirituality that is only
or a tree or two better than rock worship.
- Editorial in "The Times" on European coverage of the election
The frightened and
clueless... self-righteous, gun-totin', military lovin', sister marryin',
abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', non-passport ownin'
red-necks...who hijack the word patriot and liken compassion to child-molesting.
- Brian Reade, doing a good job despisin' Bush voters, in Britain's "Daily Mirror"
Happily, The Guardian,
the fever chart of the British Left, decided to arrange a controlled experiment
in the effectiveness of the Bush-hating strategy. They targeted the voters
of Clark County, Ohio, one of the swingiest counties in a critical swing
state, by getting Guardian readers to send them letters explaining why
they shouldn't vote for Bush. Antonia Fraser, John Le Carre and other celebrated
Guardianistas put pen to paper and marshalled their arguments... In 2000,
Clark County went narrowly for Al Gore. On Tuesday, it went decisively
for Bush. The local Republican chairman claimed that Fraser and co had
done a grand job of rallying the county's Bush voters and getting them
to the poll. Thank you, Guardian lefties! Had they launched Operation Massachusetts,
Kerry would have lost his own state.
- Mark Steyn, "Bush Hatred Flops Big", "The Australian"
"The American Revolution
was fought for a reason."
- Linda Rosicka, Director of Clark County Board of Elections
"The Guardian (may
have) directly delivered Clark County for Bush. And hence Ohio for Bush.
And further hence, America for Bush. So by extension, you can also blame
The Guardian for the bombardment of Falluja, the invasion of Iran, the
invasion of Syria, thousands of Islamofascist nutters blowing themselves
up everywhere from Baghdad to Bank Tube station, dirty bombs and anthrax
in Canary Wharf and Times Square, a swift retaliatory and punitive response
from the USA on the central mosque in Mecca and world war three."
- Rod Liddle, "Give Us Conviction and Choice", "The Times"
Do you think we are
going to get anything like as excited about our own democracy as we have
been about the Yankees’ one? The obsession with American voters was a pathetic
act of collective media hubris and vain self-importance. They pressed their
noses up against the window of a party they weren’t invited to... getting
upset about it in Britain is impotent and embarrassing. Can we stop it
now? Nobody is listening.
- AA Gill, "The Times"
While you may be depressed
about the election results, take a minute to reflect on the fact that you
live in Denmark.
- BBSpot Geek Horoscope
The division across
the western world is between those of any faith or none who are prepared
to tolerate everyone else, and those whose faith rejects tolerance. It
is a division between the godly and the worldly, as Simon Schama has put
it. On the same side as the godly are to be found a large number of secularistas
— militant secularists quite unaware of their own religiosity whose dogmatic
intolerance seeks to stamp out religion altogether. It is a divide between
triumphalism and tolerance. We are now suddenly being forced to confront
that divide, right across the western world and even in the most orderly,
prosperous parts of the richest country in history. Bigotry is not only
for impoverished peasants.
- Minette Marrin, "The Times"
The truth is: there
is a conservative majority in this country not because the religious right
is a majority but because the Republicans have also been able to corner
the market on the themes of achievement, individualism, energy, action.
And they have also won over those who disdain the politics of resentment,
whining and permanent criticism... At home, the Democrats spoke too easily
of people injured by fate or economic transition or social injustice, while
scanting the positive things that people can and will do to change their
own circumstances, to beat the odds, to rise above their own limitations.
- Andrew Sullivan, "The New Republic"
"For the record people,
it is actually possible for an educated person to *choose* to be Republican.
Get off your high horses and accept the fact that people think differently
from you. Don't dare insult my beliefs unless you have a logical argument
to come at me with."
- Young Republican college student in Pennsylvania on election day, seen on "National Review"
"I really think it's
not alarmist to say that if Bush is reelected to another four years, it
may be the end of life as we know it. Certainly it will be the end of life
for many species, including huge numbers of the species Homo sapiens. Nothing
has ever caused me such sustained anger, fear, and sadness as the current
administration, and the future they're driving us all toward."
- Nicole Krauss
I am a registered Democrat.
I disagree with George W. Bush on gay marriage, stem-cell research, a woman's
right to choose, and, to a lesser extent, a host of other issues, but I
am supporting him unreservedly for president. We are in a protracted war
with Islamofascism and I do not trust John Kerry to lead us in that war
for one minute. Also, I think my party has been hijacked by a cult of know-nothing
isolationism out of the 1930s. But if they win, I hope the hell I'm wrong.
- Roger L. Simom
Other disparaging labels,
including "stupid" and "moron" were hurled at Bush voters by various lefties.
If so many people — more than 59 million — who voted for President Bush
are stupid, what does this say about our costly and monopolistic public
school system? The condescension and elitism expressed by the left displays
intolerance at its worst. The left is again exposed as hypocritical, preaching
tolerance and inclusion, but practicing intolerance and exclusion of all
ideas not in conformity with their own. Has it never occurred to liberals
that they might be objectively wrong?
- Cal Thomas, "The Washington Times"
The exit polls were
so badly wrong, they initially suggested there were only seven Republican
voters in America. The reason for this now appears to be that, whenever
an elector said he had just voted for Bush, the exit pollster didn’t count
it because he thought the voter was either mad or just kidding. It’s thought
that up to 50 million votes were missed because of this method.
- Armando Ianucci, "Six Secrets of Bush's Victory", "The Times"
Whatever else the re-election
of Bush signifies, it was a smack in the face for the intelligentsia. In
America they were all at it, from old Chomsky to that movie-maker who looks
like a mushy jumbo cheeseburger. Today, I suspect, the intellectuals are
impotent because so many of them are no good. In America it is a sign of
the times that their leader is the mobile cheeseburger of Michael Moore.
- Paul Johnson, "The Spectator"
life forms in Nebraska are sexually dimorphic and pair off in long-term
commitments called - forgive me if I mispronounce this - 'marriage'? Can
you please describe, in as simple terms as possible, the concept of barbecue?"
- Rich Lowry, on the inability of Liberals to get 'value issues', "National Review"
You cannot be against
gay marriage and remain a liberal in good standing. That is the line in
the sand these days, and if you even think about crossing it, the Left
will save you the trouble and kick you out. It doesn't matter that 49 percent
of Americans are okay with gay civil unions. Nor does it matter if, like
me, your problem with gay marriage has nothing to do with religion. Those
who showed up at the polls to vote for all those state initiatives defining
marriage as between a man and a woman are still dismissed as ignorant and
dangerous tools of the Christian Right.
- Catherine Seipp, "National Review"
I think the great irony
of this election is that for all the talk of how the bigoted Right won,
the Left's loss has sparked far more bigotry. Their clever trick is to
defend their hatred of the religious by calling it a hatred of bigotry
itself — a rationalization no liberal would tolerate from any other kind
- Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"
"There’s 57 times as
much money on the Left as on the Right. Fortunately, these people are living
in cloud cuckooland and don’t always spend their money well."
- David Horowitz, founder of conservative think tank "Center for Popular Studies"
"I think now that slavery
is taken care of, I'm for letting the South form its own nation... Really,
I think they ought to have their own confederacy."
- Bob Beckel, Democratic political consultant, on "Fox and Friends"
The November 9 "Washington
Times" reported that Canada's immigration information website usually gets
20,000 U.S. hits daily. The day John Kerry conceded, that number rocketed
to 115,016 before easing back to 65,803 November 4, still triple the normal
figure. If a democratic election's losers ponder emigration, does that
make the winners divisive? Does anyone truly believe that if John Kerry
had prevailed, Republicans would advocate seceding from blue America? How
many Republicans would consider moving say, to the low-tax, relatively
pro-life Republic of Ireland?
- Deroy Murdock, "Unhinged Left", "National Review"
While sneering at Americans’
geographical ignorance of the rest of the world is commonplace in Britain,
only a tiny minority of Europeans could point out Minnesota, Iowa or Kansas
on a map of America. Furthermore, living as they do on a continent that
contains the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, the Nevada
desert, New York City, the Midwest prairies, and almost every conceivable
type of flora and fauna, form of natural beauty, extreme of temperature,
and girt by the globe’s two greatest oceans, Americans have less need to
holiday abroad than any other nation on Earth.
- Andrew Roberts, "The Times"
If only Britain had
the problems that supposedly beset the American democratic system: two
parties slugging it out over important issues, including the role of the
state, appropriate levels of taxation, and national defence against terrorist
attack. How we would like, on this side of the Atlantic, to have the problems
of America's returning officers this week in trying to deal with rocketing
- Stephen Robinson, "The Daily Telegraph"
The point about Christianity
in America is not that it is extreme or fundamentalist (though such people
certainly exist), but that it is pervasive and people seriously try to
live by it. Religion in America is probably the biggest building block
of a very patriotic and community-minded society, one in which there is
much stronger local government, far higher individual and business contributions
to charity, a stronger desire to be respected by neighbours and much less
welfare dependency than in Europe. In this sense, Americans are more old-fashioned
than we. It is also a society much more at ease with the benefits of technology
than ours, one in which the internet is used on a colossal scale to exchange
ideas and information among like-minded people, helping them to organise
over the huge land-mass. In this sense, Americans are more modern.
- Charles Moore, "The Daily Telegraph"
Some say that America
has stepped back into the past. I don't think so. As so often with that
country, what happens there, will start to happen here.
- Charles Moore, "Values Election", "The Daily Telegraph"
I'd like to say just
one more thing, about the Kerry presidency: It's a little like preemption.
You don't know how bad it would have been; you can't prove that it would
have been a disaster. But thank goodness it did not come to a test.
- Jay Nordlinger, "National Review"
ELECTION 2004 - CAMPAIGN
"Kerry wins, Kerry
loses... civil war."
- Jon Stewart, on possible outcomes for the election, "The Daily Show"
A nation that finds
this kind of thing funny is not about to descend into internecine warfare.
- Niall Ferguson, on the success of Jon Stewart, "The Telegraph"
"When we went in, there
were three countries: Great Britain, Australia and the United States. That's
not a grand coalition. We can do better."
"Well, actually, he forgot Poland."
- Senator Kerry and President Bush, during first 2004 Presidential Debate
"Kerry would let Paris
decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide."
- Zell Miller (Democratic Senator)
"We have some SUVs.
We have a Jeep. We have a couple of Chrysler minivans. We have a PT Cruiser
up in Boston. I have an old Dodge 600 that I keep in the Senate... We also
have a Chevy, a big Suburban."
- John Kerry's response to how many cars he had after urging Americans to be eco-friendly
Senator John Kerry
does not impress. Whereas the president has difficulty in stringing two
words together, the Democratic candidate can say nothing in fewer than
four long sentences, which is worse.
- Michael Portillo, actually urging Americans to vote Democrat, "The Times"
Party is the party of America's poorest people and of its very richest.
Today's Democratic Party is the party of America's most politically radical
people and also its most politically conservative.
- David Frum, "Bad for the World and Bad for America", "Telegraph"
All America's enemies
— Chriac, Shroeder, al-Qaida — are endorsing John Kerry. They know that
he is the man to render American power impotent.
- Bruce Anderson, "All Ego and No Credo", in "The Irish Independent"
Any argument that John
Kerry makes is right, if it means he wins the White House.
- Le Figaro (of Paris)
"Let's talk a little
media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they're
going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I'm talking about the establishment
media, not Fox — but they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being
young and dynamic and optimistic and all. There's going to be this glow
about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them,
that's going to be worth maybe 15 points."
- Evan Thomas, Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor
Like some primitive
people, the American and European liberal left seems to believe it can
appease the savage gods of Al'Qaeda by sacrificing a scapegoat called George
W Bush. Appeasement only increases the appetite for atrocity... the Democrats'
foreign policy boils down to wishing that 9/11 hadn't happened and the
belief that getting rid of Bush will glue the world back the way it was.
- Eoghan Harris, in Ireland's "The Sunday Independent"
In this oppositional
sort of age, when it is often easier to be defined by what one is against
rather than what one is for, I have to say it is his enemies who most justify
Bush's reelection. The hordes of the bien-pensant Left in the universities
and the media, the sort of liberals who tolerate everything except those
who disagree with them. Secularist elites who disdain religiosity except
when it comes from Muslim fanatics. Europhile Brits who drip contempt for
everything their country has ever done and long for its disappearance into
a Greater Europe. Absurd, isolationist conservatives in America and Britain
who think the struggles for freedom are always someone else's fight...
The United Nations, which, if it had its multilateral way, would still
be faithfully minding a world in which half the population lived under
or in fear of Soviet aggression. Above all, of course, Middle Eastern militants.
your bitterest enemies are the sort of people who hack the heads off unarmed,
innocent civilians, then I would say you are probably doing something right.
This may sound petty. It is not. This constellation of individuals, parties
and institutions has very little in common other than the fact that it
has contrived to be wrong on just about every important issue of my adult
- Gerard Baker, "The Times"
We learned more about
John Kerry's kindness to children and small animals than we did about his
Iraq policy at the Democratic convention. He did not say that we were wrong
to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Neither did he say that we were right... he
suggested that President Bush had "misled" America into war with Iraq.
As Dick Cheney notes, he is accusing the president of reaching the same
conclusion, based on the same data, that he did.
- National Review editorial after Democratic Convention
"Our enemies are innovative
and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways
to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
- President Bush, in a supposed 'Bushism'
"We will double our
special forces to conduct terrorist operations."
- Senator John Kerry, in an actual 'Bushism'
November 2 promises
to be another in a long line of elections decided by those Americans who
are the least engaged, least interested in, and least informed about politics.
And even if that's an overstatement, the media will work very, very hard
to convince the public and the politicians that "moderates," "swing-voters,"
"independents," and "undecideds" are the heart and soul of American politics...
this irony is completely lost in the public debate; the more strongly held
your beliefs, the less seriously the media take you. What's ironic about
this is that people of strong political or ideological views tend to know
what they are talking about more than people who have no strong views at
all. This is a fact confirmed by common sense. You need to know about something
before you can have strong feelings on it.
- Jonah Goldberg, "Democracy Is Not a Chinese Restaurant", "National Review"
All of the Democratic
contenders say that George W. Bush "divides" Americans like never before
and that they — and only they — will be able to unite Americans. Phooey.
Well, half phooey. It is true that George W. Bush divides America. But
so did Bill Clinton. So would have a President Gore if his voters only
understood that pesky butterfly ballot. And, so will any of the Democrats
running, if they manage to win the election... Which brings me to the phooeyness
of the rest of this "divided America" nonsense. Until you've got more than
600,000 American bodies stacked up like cordwood, spare me the "more divided
than ever before" talk. We have this phrase in political discourse which
is very useful. It goes like this: "since the end of the Civil War"...
Which brings us back to this Democratic mantra of "bringing America together." Americans are divided because they disagree with each other. If you think unity is the highest political value, you need to ask yourself: Would you rather have national agreement on positions you fundamentally oppose, or would you rather have divisiveness with a chance for victory another day? If you answered honestly, stop complaining about America being divided.
- Jonah Goldberg, "Diversion Diversions" in "National Review"
You’re not going to
find John Kerry inspiring unless you’re married to him or he literally
saved your life. Obviously, neither of those is a strategy that can be
rolled out on a national level.
- Michael Kinsley
"Get the f*****g pony
and put it in the hotel room … if you can't get a pony get a goat but I
want it in women's lingerie … and in that case you do have to stay with
the goat or the goat will f*****g eat the lingerie and the joke will be
- Jim Loftus, 'pranking' fellow Kerry staffer Marvin Nicholson, "Inside the Bubble"
"John Kerry talks about
seeing two Americas. The is mirrored by the fact that America sees two
- Dick Cheney, speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention
The other party's nomination
battle is still playing out. The candidates are an interesting group with
diverse opinions: for tax cuts and against them; for NAFTA and against
NAFTA; for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act; in favor of liberating
Iraq and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.
- George W. Bush fires an opening salvo at Senator John Kerry
"I actually did vote
for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
- Senator John Kerry, 'explaining' why he voted against funding US troops in Iraq
His vote against the
first Gulf War was, he says, a sign of his support for the first Gulf War.
Whereas his vote in favor of the Iraq war was a sign of his opposition
to the Iraq war. And his vote against funding America's troops in Iraq
is a sign of his support for America's men and women in uniform. On the
same principle, I think the best way voters this November can demonstrate
their support for John Kerry is by voting against him.
- Mark Steyn, "Kerry still can't get his Stories Straight", "Chicago Sun Times"
We're not the only
ones who've noticed that Mr. Kerry's statements on Iraq aren't so much
"nuanced" as simply irreconcilable... everything he has done and said only
reinforces his image as a sailor who tacks with the political winds.
- Wall Street Journal editorial
You opposed the 1991
Gulf War even though Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, had
invaded another country, and France and Germany had supported the war.
In the current conflict no WMDs have been found, France and Germany oppose
the action, and Saddam hadn't invaded another country. Yet you recently
stated that knowing what you know now, you'd nonetheless authorize the
use of force: even though you voted against funding it. Could you please
reconcile these positions?
- Peter Kirsanow, "Twenty Questions for John Kerry", "National Review"
Every time you think
it can't get worse in Iraq, take a look at Darfur. Sudan is the kind of
foreign policy the United States would have if it followed the "secret
plan" of John Kerry and catered to the French and German politicians who
seemingly crave Bush's defeat.
- Dennis Boyles, "What a 'Sensitive War' looks like", "National Review"
It's hard to remember
a time when one presidential candidate so completely controlled the agenda
of the other. If they were cellmates, Kerry would be doing Bush's laundry
by now. John Kerry's whole foreign policy is cemented to the notion that
allies are everything. And yet he spends precious time ridiculing America's
allies as a "coalition of the bribed" and letting his surrogates call the
Iraqi prime minister a Bush puppet.
- Jonah Goldberg, "The Kerry Syndrome", "National Review"
A few Democrats pin
a vague hope on the so-called "debates" - which are actually joint press
conferences allowing no direct exchange between the candidates - but most
are much more cynical. Some really bad news from Iraq, or perhaps Afghanistan,
and/or a sudden collapse or crisis in the stock market, and Kerry might
yet "turn things around." If you calculate that only a disaster of some
kind can save your candidate, then you are in danger of harboring a subliminal
need for bad news. The unfortunately necessary corollary of this - that
bad news for the American cause in wartime would be good for Kerry - is
that good news would be bad for him.
- Christopher Hitchens, "Flirting with Disaster", "MSN Slate"
ELECTION 2004: FLASHBACK TO 'NAM
The contradiction at
the center of Kerry's political persona is that he now wants to pretend
that Vietnam was a noble war populated by American heroes, when he made
his name by smearing it as an unworthy war waged by war criminals. Kerry
can probably never fully resolve that contradiction, although he could
make a start by repudiating and apologizing for his 1971 remarks. But that
might require more moral courage than Kerry has ever mustered, in Vietnam
- Editorial in "National Review"
"John Kerry's campaign
seems to be summed up this way: 'I went to Vietnam, yadda, yadda, yadda,
I want to be president.' He would have the American people ignore his 19-year
- Terry Holt, Bush Campaign Team
As a correspondent
pointed out to me in an e-mail, each episode of the HBO series Band of
Brothers, begins with a voiceover in which the narrator says of the World
War II soldiers portrayed in the program: "I was not a hero, but I was
surrounded by heroes." In contrast, what John Kerry is saying in essence
about his "band of brothers" is that "in Vietnam, I was a hero, but I was
surrounded by war criminals."
- Mackubin Thomas Owens, "National Review"
"If you challenge the
heroism of someone who served in Vietnam, you're a liar and a Republican
stooge. But if you make unfounded and undocumented claims that the people
you served with are war criminals, you're.... the Democratic candidate
for the Presidency."
- Lona Manning
The media have made
such a bugaboo about "negative" statements or "attacks" that you might
think political campaigns are supposed to be nothing but happy talk. But
which is worse, that some unpleasant facts come out during a campaign or
that someone is allowed to lie his way into the White House, with all our
lives in his hands, on the basis of image and spin.
- Thomas Sowell
"So, the Boston Globe
has called upon Bush to denounce the Swift Boat veterans' advertisements
because they're allegedly telling lies about Kerry. Will the Boston Globe
now call upon Kerry to denounce Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 because
it tells lies about Bush?"
- Duncan Campbell
Where Mr Bush wangled
himself into the Texas Air National Guard and became a fighter pilot, Mr
Kerry volunteered for Vietnam service in 1966, which was very patriotic,
courageous and creditable. However by volunteering instead of waiting
to be drafted, Mr Kerry was allowed to choose his service. He chose
the US Navy, where only pilots were seeing much combat and he wasn’t a
pilot... Mr Kerry is to be admired for his undoubted heroics under fire,
but it is relevant to point out that he faced action despite every effort
he made to avoid it, and he then bailed out at the earliest opportunity.
He was an accidental hero. Meanwhile, Mr Bush’s own Vietnam survival plan
had him flying F102 fighter planes all over Texas.
- "John Kerry: Accidental Hero", "The Tallrite Blog"
The Kerry campaign
is delighted with the overall perception that its boy gallantly volunteered
to do his duty and emerged a war hero, while - it chortles - Bush skulked
within the comfort of the Air National Guard in Texas. In fact, like many
well connected white boys, both tried (understandably) to avoid action
in Vietnam by volunteering for safe branches of the US armed forces. Bush
joined the air force reserve in Texas, to protect the US from Mexico; Kerry
volunteered for the US navy, at a time when it seemed the Vietnamese were
as great a threat to American seamen as Papa Doc's Tonton Macoute were
to the Eskimos of the Yukon.
- Kevin Myers, "The Irish Times"
Even odder things are
happening to Kerry's "left." Michael Moore, whose film Kerry's people have
drawn upon in making cracks about the president, repeatedly says that you
can't comment on the Iraq war - or at least not in favor of it - if you
haven't shown a willingness to send a son to die there. Comes the question
- what if you haven't got a son of military age? Comes the next question
- should it only be veterans or potential veterans who have a voice in
these matters? If so, then what's so bad about American Legion types calling
Kerry a traitor to his country? The Democrats have made a rod for their
own backs in uncritically applauding their candidate's ramrod-and-salute
posture. They have also implicitly subverted one of the most important
principles of the republic, which is civilian control over military decisions.
And more than that, they have done something eye-rubbingly unprincipled,
doing what Reagan and Kissinger could not do: rehabilitating the notion
of the Vietnam horror as "a noble cause."
- Christopher Hitchens, "John Kerry's Dubious Vietnam Revisionism", "MSN Slate"
If we cannot make judgments
about the alleged crimes committed in battle unless we were there, how
can we make judgments about their heroism? Is the fog of war so selective
that it can conceal the bad a man does, but not the good?
Maybe we should count the side with the most shrapnel in its collective body and declare it the most qualified to lead the country? ...We do not live in the world of 'Starship Troopers' where only veterans are allowed to vote.
- Jonah Golbderg, "Unless You Were There", "National Review"
The charge is the journalistic
equivalent of an assassin's bullet for Dan Rather. Had he refused to go
to war in defense of these documents, he might have survived. But the inevitable
fact is that he will be drawn into a war he cannot win. The very best he
can do is defend the slender possibility that these documents could be
real. At this point it seems impossible that he can prove they are real.
Indeed, Rather has already largely conceded all this. His defenses are
all about how you can't prove the documents are false, as if the burden
of proof for a journalistic icon is for other people to prove what he says
is wrong rather than for him to prove it is right.
- Jonah Goldberg, on the CBS fake documents scandal, "National Review"
Worse than being duped,
worse than cobbling together a highly politicized hit-piece during a war
and in the waning days of an election, worse than the shady nature of the
"unimpeachable" sources and the likely sordid origins of the story, and
worse even than the pathetic nature of CBS's "expert" witnesses — worse
than all that was Dan Rather's ten-day denial of reality, culminating in
the surreal half-admission that the phony documents could not be verified
as accurate. That's the equivalent of saying that a corpse cannot be proven
to be alive... Millions of Americans learned long ago that there are probably
more liberals on Fox than conservatives on PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, and NBC
combined — and the former are honest about politics in a way the latter
- Victor Davis Hanson, "The Bankrupt Generation", "National Review"
We began the year 2000
having been told that every computer in the world would crash. We ended
the year waiting a month past the national election to find out that George
W. Bush was our President, thanks to the outdated technology of how we
cast a vote.
- Anxiety Center
Al Gore is a dishearteningly
right-wing Democrat who favors the death penalty, welfare "reform," an
anti-missile system, and sanctimonious religious blather. And he is the
candidate I support. The alternative is far worse: G.W. Bush is a shallow,
unprincipled, inarticulate corporate shill. That's why I'm voting Nader.
Here in New York, where Gore is way ahead, I have that luxury. But if anyone
in a battleground state votes Nader, I'll hold him personally responsible
for the end of affirmative action, the eroding of habeas corpus, and the
loss of reproductive rights. And for every time some chic European sexpot
intellectual mocks me for living in a country with a baboon president.
- Randy Cohen
Al’s sneering disdain
for Dubya in the first debate isn’t just personal distaste but emblematic
of his arrogance in government: We’ll give you tax credits: but only if
you live your life the way we say, from cradle to grave, from pre-school
child care to seniors’ health plans.
- Mark Steyn, "Chicago Sun Times"
For the most part compassionate
conservatism is little more than pork wrapped up in schmalz.
- Andrew Stuttaford, "National Review"
On energy policy, Mr
Gore criticised Mr Bush's proposal to extend oil exploration to the Alaska
Wild Life Refuge to reduce dependence on imports. But Mr Bush was unrepentant
and said it was better to open up "a small part of Alaska" instead of having
to import one million barrels of oil daily from Saddam Hussein of Iraq.
- The "Irish Times", after the first Presidential debate
The double standard
in the initial response from mainstream media to the Lieberman candidacy
has been too glaring to ignore. Let George W. Bush make one brief visit
to Bob Jones University and he receives months of acid criticism because
that school forbids interracial dating and expresses disrespect for Catholicism.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lieberman prays every week in Orthodox Jewish congregations
that refuse to recognize any marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew, reject
conversions by non-Orthodox rabbis, insist on divided seating between men
and women, and defy all notions of Barbara Boxer-Maxine Waters "morality"
by opposing the ordination of females.
- Michael Medved
When you are your own
worst enemy, someone who tells you that other people are the cause of your
problems is no friend. Already media and political slimes are trying to
dig up dirt from the youthful days of Texas Governor George W. Bush. Apparently
this is a continuation of the spin-masters' attempts to confuse private
actions with public illegalities like perjury and obstruction of justice.
Personally, I could not care less about Governor Bush's youth. I am just
happy to be alive after some of my own youthful actions.
- Thomas Sowell
"There is too much
money in politics!" is one frequent question-begging assertion. Too much
compared to what? More money was spent advertising re-runs of "Seinfeld"
than was spent by both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates
"Money can buy elections!" is another equally shrill cry. But innumerable wealthy candidates, rom William Randolph Hearst in the past to Steve Forbes more recently, have repeatedly gone down to defeat, despite greatly outspending their opponents.
- Thomas Sowell
No American will ever
be able to seriously say again 'my vote doesn't count' The American people
have spoken... its just going to take some time to figure out what they
- Bill Clinton
My grandmother can
vote correctly, why can't yours?
- Bush supporter slogan
Anybody who isn't confused
by this doesn't really understand it.
- Bill Clinton
I had a horrible night
last night. I dreamed that aliens from outer space landed and said, 'Take
me to your leader.' I didn't know what to do.
- Jay Leno
"I believed in a lot
of what he says until he said it."
- Will Durst, on Al "The Human Dial Tone" Gore
America has never been
united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond
our backgrounds, lift us above our interests, and teach us what it means
to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen
must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes
our country more, not less, American.
Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing, no government program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it.
And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.
- George W Bush, Inaugural Address 2001.
"In fact, when you
look at the voting behavior of states - based on 2000 per capita income
- 11 of the 13 wealthiest states voted for Gore while 15 of the poorest
17 states voted for Bush."
- Daniel Gross "Slate.MSN.Com"
In 1951, Winston Churchill
won a Conservative majority in Britain with 48% of the vote as against
48.8% for Clement Atlee's Labour party. In 1974, Harold Wilson formed a
Labour minority government with 37.1% of the vote, even though the Conservatives
under Edward Heath won 37.9%.
- David Frum, showing that victory doesn't always go to the most votes, "National Review"
is something the government does to you. It's not something you do to yourself.
If you can't figure out how to fill in the ovals or punch the chads - and
some minority of voters will always botch it - that doesn't mean your right
to vote was rescinded. It means that you didn't take your right to vote
seriously enough to pay attention to the instructions.
- Jonah Goldberg, "The Myth of the Disenfranchised"
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