Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hope & Consequences

Hope & Consequences

My body is worn from the run to Virginia to help out McCain over the past weekend; my hands hurt like hell after staking a load of campaign signs for the GOP ticket across my home town; and the media have not helped brighten my spirits with round the clock promulgations of the inevitability of President Barack Obama.
But I still hold out hope.
Why? Well in the absence of an abundance of reassuring empirical evidence supporting the contention that John McCain will benefit from a citizens’ powered upset, I can only cling to the hope (in addition to my guns and Bible) that the Arizonan will somehow triumph in the end.
What’s the point in accepting a possible reality that will either be proven or debunked in a matter of hours? Though former Massachusetts “Republican” Governor Bill Weld must think so, they do not award prizes and ambassadorships to political bandwagoneers. Grousing about the hopelessness of the situation results in no gain. And so I continue to work and spread the word as if it can still make a difference.
And though Karl Rove’s latest projections were gloomy, allow me to shine a light on some glimmers of hope as the hours tick down to the results.
First, this election is unprecedented. There is no model for it and there are no trends to provide tells on what the electorate is likely to really do at the end of the day. For all practical purposes, the media and the public are flying through the clouds without proven radar.
Second, McCain has benefited from momentum over the past few days and is shrewdly spending his day working crowds and basking in the glow of free media.
Third, many national and swing-state poll numbers show sizable undecideds and that Obama’s numbers in swing-states where he does have a lead are either at 50% or below. As the Obama camp, Democratic Party, celebrities and media have more or less implied that a vote for McCain OBVIOUSLY means your racist, many people are reluctant to reveal their vote because of the social pressures and desire to have to defend their logic, whatever it may be.
Finally, I would like to go back to an inaccurate projection I had made earlier this year while covering the New Hampshire primary. The polls at that time showed Obama with a double-digit lead over Hillary Clinton. It appeared the former first lady’s campaign wasn’t going to leave the Granite State.
And don’t let Dixville Notch’s midnight vote give you a scare. I’ve been there before. It’s not a town, it’s a ski resort. And they’ve been on the wrong side of the state vote before. In 2000 they went with Bush while the state went with McCain in the Republican primary. In 2004, they went with Bush while the state went with Kerry in the general election.
Pressure was building for her to drop out the next day. As the polls were so one-sided, even I fell prey and joined the survey-driven chorus projecting an Obama win and what happened? Clinton won the state by two points, a swing of 15 points or more in a single day. I resolved right there I would not take the polling bait again this campaign and thus still hold out hope.

Closing Argument Against Obama

At the risk of angering some of my friends, and I hope you do not take this personally, but I sincerely believe that unless you are either a stalwart Democrat or an ideological level, you’d have to be a complete fool to vote for Barack Obama today.
Obama’s economic policies are all over the place. The same goes for his foreign policies, a sign that this guy is saying just about anything until something seems to stick.
He is neither experienced enough nor prepared to run this country. He is a professional talker that has never accomplished a single landmark achievement in the US Senate. His political rise was because of a speech he gave at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, that’s all.
He didn’t fight in a war, start up a business, make tough executive decisions or do anything remarkable in his actual government service. In other words, he’s no John Kennedy.
Speaking of which, when first-term Texas US Senator Lloyd Bensten sought the presidency in 1976 with only 6 years under his belt, the media mercilessly ridiculed him for having the audacity to attempt such an arrogant jump to the White House in such short order. Obama has only served the first four years of his US Senate term and then has spent much of that time on the presidential campaign trail.
His campaign is based upon hope and change with few specifics (and even those tend to CHANGE) leaving your imagination to fill in the void. For varying reasons people want to believe in this man, none of them grounded in logic. But at the end of the day Obama is not much more than a gifted orator who has “palled” around with some dangerous people, from the theological standpoint (Rev. Jeremiah Wright) to the financial (former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, who helped pick his running mate) to a former domestic terrorist (Bill Ayers).
We are told that talking about such associations are inappropriate. I ask why? What if McCain had some connection to David Duke at some point in his political career, would that not be brought up? What if the late Enron CEO Kenneth Lay were still alive and serving on McCain’s steering committee, would that be off limits? And what if McCain had dropped by the home of Michael Fortier, who was connected to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh? Would that not be a legitimate concern?
Never has this country been so close to electing a president that the public knows so little about because everything seems to be out of bounds, from discussion of Obama’s birth certificate to his longtime spiritual leader. Why is it not a legitimate question to ask Obama if he is lying about his relationship with Reverend Wright? How could he not know about his sermons? Or is Obama really not a practicing Christian? He’s either lying about one or the other.
And let’s talk about Congress for a moment. This isn’t the same Democratic controlled legislative body that Bill Clinton inherited in 1993. Back then you had southern conservative Democrats and moderate Midwesterners tempering the party. Now you have no more than 5 or 6 such individuals in the Democratic caucus. Since 1994, moderate Democrats have received the Ottoman treatment: forced conversion to the Left (John Murtha, the demise of such a pathetic figure would give me great solace even if Obama won) or driven out of the party or Congress altogether. President Clinton barley got through some of his major legislation in the two years his party controlled both houses; Obama won’t have such obstacles.
Governor Sarah Palin has been the object of great ridicule since appearing on the scene, admittedly committing her fair share of gaffes, as would anyone that has to make the overnight transition from Alaska politics to the national scene. But what about Senator Joe Biden? Here’s a man most known not as Pennsylvania’s “third” senator but as a failed presidential candidate that had to scuttle his 1988 effort because he got busted lifting without credit his material from a British Labour pol. His 2008 bid never left Iowa and he received less votes there than Palin did when she was elected mayor of Wasilla. And what about the ultimate gaffe committed by a vice-presidential candidate? I’m not talking about “Stand up Chuck!” but Biden’s advocacy for dividing Iraq into three countries. In perhaps the most honest thing Biden has said in his entire political career, he predicted that Obama’s election will invite a test; from Russia, China, al Qaeda and others.
President Bush was tested by China with the spy plane crash; the terrorists on 9-11; and in a move he has not received credit for, made stronger relations with Russia an early priority, which helped preempt Kremlin antics until this past summer.
These entities know McCain; they don’t need to provoke him in order to learn how he will react. This is not the case with an Obama Administration, so said his own running mate. Why would anyone invite probably escalation of tensions involving a man whose most substantial foreign policy foray was giving a decidedly unpresidential rock-star speech at Berlin’s Victory Column?
People in America are frustrated, deservingly so. President George W. Bush has worn thin on the nerves of the public. But he is not on the ballot. In what was his most eloquent statement throughout the campaign, McCain called out Obama trying to make this race about a man whose name is not on the ballot. It’s not. It’s about two people who represent the widest philosophical gulf in American presidential politics. Of the two candidates running, only McCain can claim he challenged Bush. We will have change in America no matter who wins. The Bush Presidency will make the transition from being vilified on a full-time basis by the media to academia in a matter of months.
Because of his true ideology, the company he keeps and a servile Democratic Congress, the kind of change Obama will bring to this country will be radical and not what people lulled themselves into hoping for and imagining. There will be drastic buyer’s remorse in short order if he wins.
The populace that lived in Bourbon France under Louis XVI, Tsar Nicholas II’s Russia and the Weimar Republic clamored for change for the sake of change. Anything, they thought was better than the status quo. History has shown that making a radical shift without really knowing where the end might be is unwise and dangerous.
Don’t be taken in by a supreme bullshit artist. Elect John McCain.

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