Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain-Palin 2008

A lot of buzz surrounding McCain's announcement of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate yesterday. I've been holding back on this appointment for two very simple reasons:

1. I know next to nothing about her.

2. I wanted to see what kind of reaction overall she gets, and just how hard the MSM intends to attack her.

Conclusion: I'm in.

This very well may mollify enough of us cold-hearted right-wingers to vote for McCain, and he could just pull this thing off in November. Palin, based on her CNBC interview a few days before she got the nod, has the goods. In fact, if this interview helped McCain make his decision, he may be smarter than I've been giving him credit for. Her energy smarts alone will be a huge boon to this ticket.

Is she relatively inexperienced? Depends, I guess, on how one defines "experience." Has she been a product of a generally corrupt Chicago political machine? No. Can't make that claim. Has she been mentored by radical leftist activists and politicians over the last twenty or so years? Not that, either. She was, however, mayor of a town for several years, and has actually run a state for the last two years. That alone gives her a level of practical "executive" experience that Obama has never had (and, heaven willing, never will).

And here we must bring up the attacks that the liberals are already unleashing. First, from the de facto liberal press comes a report of sexist slander of the type that conservatives are generally guilty of by association. No idea if this actually happened as there's no feed that I can find with this incident on it. However, leftists are already looking for scandalous material with which to smear Gov. Palin, so I'm certain we haven't heard the last of that.

The Obama campaign quickly jumped in with its usual mixed messages. It's telling that their initial gut-level reaction is to try and dismiss Gov. Palin as a political nobody whose only claim to fame is running a puny state for a mere couple of years. Then they took a couple of cleansing deep breaths, apparently, and crafted a far more politically correct response to feed the news outlets, who of course lapped it up like cats with a bowl of cream.

So the Obama attack machine is now in high gear. Flopping Aces is tracking down the facts in the case of an Alaskan state trooper who is apparently quite deranged, and Palin's handling of the situation. Truth to tell, after wading through these stories I kinda wish we'd had Palin down here in Orange County helping to deal with former Sheriff Mike "Kingfish" Carona and his corruption scandal. Might have saved some time and headache.

In politics, apparently, the harder they attack you, the more worried they must be. Looks like the Dems are plenty worried. McCain must have chosen well.

At least I hope he has.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Don't Even Go There, McCain

This report from is telling in many respects. It informs us that McCain — allegedly, anyway — has given up on his foolish notion of choosing a pro-choice running mate. Specifically Tom Ridge. Many of us cold-hearted conservatives are somewhat less than convinced. In fact, should McCain nominate anyone other than Romney or (I guess I could swallow hard and accept this) Pawlenty, he's going to have a major revolt on his hands. Mutiny is not out of the question, even at this late stage. Write-in votes are still my hip-pocket position, and I will resort thither if McCain keeps mavericking his way out of conservative graces.

Among the quotes in this otherwise unremarkable report is found this nugget:
“At the end of the day, I think the Republican Party will be comfortable with whatever decision John makes,” Ridge said.
This tells you everything you need to know about the modern Republican party. We are ultimately seen by party leaders as nothing more than dumb sheep in three-piece suits who will buck up and support whomever the current standard-bearer tells us to support.

Drawing from my boundless capacity for understatement, may I just say, "not so fast, cowboy."

At the risk of Hugh Hewitt actually taking notice of this blog (there's always a .0032985% probability) and getting my virtual wrist slapped, I am willing to take the GOP to task over this and many other issues. For a deplorably long time now we have found our voices being discounted, scoffed at, or even extinguished over our insistence at holding to our core principles. If this is the direction of the GOP, I need a new party. (Democrats need not apply: I still have my principles.)

McCain has exactly one chance to get this right. If he hems and haws his way to defeat in November we'll never have to deal with him again in a presidential election. At age 76 four years from now, he will be unelectable. If by some miracle he survives this November, we have to be ready to throw him under the bus in four years if he shows no signs of repenting for his very un-GOP-like positions.

For now, I hope the old guard of the GOP are reading the tea leaves. The conventions are upon us, and the battle royal will be enjoined. If McCain refuses to rally his troops, he'll have no one to blame but himself.

By the way, John, expecting (as Ridge does) that Republican voters will be "comfortable" with whomever you select (or whatever position you take) does NOT, for the record, equal "rallying the troops."

Lest there be any question.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wild Blue Wonder

About the only thing that can be said about this report is that the Air Force and Secretary of Defense may finally get what they were jonesing for all along.

At least this time they were more openly biased and deceitful about it. That oughta save time with audits of their so-called "competitive" bidding process.

McCain will be so insufferableproud.

Friday, August 08, 2008

John Edwards Channels...

For those of us old enough to remember, Gary Hart was the quintessential political savant. He'd made an excellent run in the 1988 presidential race and was even considered a front-runner for a time. Then came the revelations of his "affair" (never proven, but never disproved, either) with Donna Rice. To his credit, Hart stuck by his story and was never really shaken from it. He has since moved quietly into the political background; still contributing to Democratic favorite-son causes (energy in particular), but also mentioned as a possible cabinet appointee if Obama wins in November. Perhaps not an actual Secretariat, but still a position of no small influence.

By contrast, Edwards has already jumped through the "I didn't do it!" hoops. Now he finds himself having to 'fess up and it galls him. Yes, he says, he had an affair. No, he's not the father of the baby. The affair began when Elizabeth was in remission, but she did not know of his recent visit to Beverly Hills.

I said it before, and I'll say it again. Everything about Edwards reeks of irrelevance in the political arena. His message was trite and his execution to plan was weak. Coupled with the historic matchup of both a strong woman and a strong African American in this campaign, Edwards had no toe-hold on any sizeable voting bloc.

Can't really say he's channeled Gary Hart, given the facts in evidence. He's actually a bit closer to Elliot Spitzer.

I am hopeful that Edwards will take the hit and bow quietly out of American politics. Unfortunately, history teaches us that men of Edwards' caliber never learn this important lesson. They desperately seek to be relevant whether we perceive them to be so or not. So I suspect that Edwards will brush this whole affair off, speak his mea culpas sincerely enough to be forgiven by an extremely liberal press, then fade into the Gary Hart world of background politics.

I guess the comfort here is that (perhaps I should not presume, but I'm hopelessly romantic about such things) this should be the last time we see this man run for President. We have our hands full enough at the moment.

So, it would appear, does he.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Let's Play the Race Card

I think I have an idea of how we can turn racism to our mutual advantage. Work with me here:

Racism is Obama's only hope in this election. If he can somehow convince enough people that all Republicans are inherently racist, he stands a shot at actually winning the election. It's clear he'd never make it on policy alone, so his campaign has to play the race card. They thus enable the "victim" status that becomes so critical in the liberal mindset and catapults them into the voting booth.

It never seems to faze the race-carders that Republicans come in all shapes, sizes, colors, orientations, and what have you. Republicans are always guilty by association and that's just the way it works in this country today. And Democrats always lay claim to absolute moral authority where race issues are concerned. Republicans, it seems, are the only people in the United States who are not allowed to be victims. This was especially true when Clinton was in the Oval Office.

[Discussion question: Who was running the country while Clinton was having his little trysts? Was there a "knock-three-times-wait-30-seconds" rule? What happens in case of a nuclear attack? Just wondering.]

Anyway, I believe we can create a socially acceptable form of racism that I, for one, would be proud to be associated with. It involves the creation of a new special interest group in this country, and, hey, if you follow our history back a few years you know there's always room for one more special interest group.

Let's make politicians a race unto themselves.

Seriously. We can even put it on those welfare forms where they're not technically allowed to ask what race you are but always do so politicians can show how much support (read: money) they're giving to minorities. Right under "Caucasian," "Amerasian," "African American," or "Native American" we can now put "Politician."

This opens up a whole vista of opportunities for politicians to pursue their favorite hot-button issues (as victims), while allowing us the luxury of being racist because we all (those of us with functioning brain stems, anyway) hate politicians.

True story: When Mrs. Woody was pregnant we had decided we really didn't want to know the babies' genders before they were born. We were in the "let's be pleasantly surprised" camp. We picked out names for boys AND girls both times. The girls even cooperated with us in utero. They both modestly withheld their genders when under the gaze of the sonogram. One of them even crossed her legs just to make sure. One technician told us, pointing to some obscure pixelated image on the screen, "See that? I'm gonna say 75% certain that's a boy." Hah. Anyway, the point of this story is that whenever people asked me what we wanted, a boy or a girl, I always answered, truthfully, that I didn't care. So long as it wasn't a politician.

So that's my proposal. Once we declare "politician" to be a race, I will freely admit to being a racist, with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereunto. Obama then wouldn't be lying when he calls me one.

It's worth a shot.

Because This Electon Wasn't Weird Enough, That's Why

This election has certainly had its ups and downs.

I think it is completely defined by the deeply insightful and profound analysis proffered by newly anointed political commentator Paris Hilton. (Extreme content caution if you choose to watch the video. Think Carl's Jr. commercials.) Her astute description of McCain as "white-haired dude" is probably the best her generation has to offer right now. Althouse thinks it was a pro-McCain message. Certainly he chose to play it up that way. "Sounds like she agrees with our 'all of the above' approach," was his rejoinder.

McCain has given conservatives a new definition of pain. If we can survive his approach to border security, we can handle just about anything. See-dubya (blogging for Michelle Malkin) follows the story of the most recent incursion into US territory by the Mexican army. He strongly suggests building some sort of "barrier thingie" as quickly as possible, which is something that McCain can only claim lip-service to supporting.

Obama, meanwhile, gives us pause. How many seasoned politicians do you know will tell a seven-year old that the nation is a mess? As a parent of (former) seven-year olds, I can tell you that this would not have been my approach to the question, politics be damned. My seven-year olds were impressionable enough to have gotten many nights' worth of nightmares had I answered the question the way Obama did. But an Obama without a teleprompter is like a fortune cookie without the paper inside; all air, no substance.

But none of the above is the reason for my headline. No, this election just got weirder with the introduction of (I can't believe I'm typing this) Obama and McCain paper dolls. Yes, it's true. Dover Publications has them available for $7.99 each. They are the work of Tom Tierney, whom Mrs. Woody informs me is quite a well-known figure in the paper doll business.

The likenesses of both Obama and McCain are those of the insipid male models who used to grace Sears catalogs throughout the 80's and spilled over into most other retail outlets. I'm guessing they both come with multiple empty suits. You expect to see the both of them on a page touting "evening wear" for the "deal-making man."

(Not that Woody can brag here... I was once photographed in similar outfits in our local fish-wrapper in the early 90's. That's because I was a featured soloist for our local Chorale's holiday concert and we had agreed to do a fashion shoot for the Life section of the paper. Let me be frank: Woody is no fashion model. And I was nowhere near as, um, portly as I am today.)

Anyway, the thought of my girls even wanting to own paper doll versions of either (or both!) candidates just sends me to my knees, choking with laughter:
"Okay, Mr. Obama, you get to be the fairy princess who controls the whole kingdom of Obamatopia! Pretend you're waiting for your chamberlain to bring you your speech before you go talk to the peasants!"

"And, Mr. McCain, you can be the evil Dark Knight who wants to invade Obamatopia and has an old horse that can't run very fast, and your battle-axe is rusty so you hafta trade it for a wand made out of flowers and you try to find Obamatopia but it's enchanted and that's why you're lost!"
Hey, my kids always use exclamation points when they play. Don't yours?

Anyway, if you have $8 to kill, go ahead and buy a paper doll. Here's an even better idea: buy the set of two. Then you can stage your own mock debates on YouTube using the paper dolls. (Some restrictions may apply.)

They're bound to be better than the real ones later this fall.