Posts Tagged ‘Barack H. Obama’

Can Scott Brown Pull off a Massachusetts Miracle?

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown

Election Day in Massachusetts is still a couple days away. Anything could happen. But all indications are pointing to Republican State Senator Scott Brown shocking the world with a “Massachusetts Mriacle“.

Not more than a couple weeks ago, it was still assumed that the Democrat would win the special election to fill, what even Fox News is still calling, “Ted Kennedy’s seat”. Massachusetts Democrat attorney general Martha Coakley had a double-digit lead in the polls in this bluest of blue states. Among registered voters who affiliate with a major party, Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one. The people of Massachusetts haven’t sent a Republican to the U. S. Senate since, well, no one can remember when.

Then the perfect storm started to happen. Coakley apparently had thought that it was enough to be the Democrat on the ballot. And in Massachusetts, it usually is. But this is 2010. She was aloof, staying out of the public, not wanting to shake hands and look voters in the eye.

Then came the debate moderated by David Gergen. In the context of the U. S. Senate about to vote on federal health care “reform”, about Gergen asked Brown how he could go to the Senate and vote against it in the Kennedy’s seat. Brown shot back and stated, with all due respect, of course, that the seat does not belong to the Kennedys, nor does it belong to the Democrats. It’s the people’s seat. Whether by accident or by design, Brown was able say in a few seconds what people have been trying to say at town meetings all across the nation since last summer. 

Only time will tell whether Brown’s response will be as memorable as vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen’s “You’re no Jack Kennedy” to Dan Quayle. The sidebar that no one mentions is that Bentsen and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis lost that election. As I write this, that 1988 presidential election and that quote by Bentsen had both Kennedy ties and Massachusetts ties (Dukakis was a former Massachusetts governor).

As Coakley and her campaign saw the race getting uncomfortably close, she had to start going negative in her messaging in an attempt to reduce public favor with Brown. But it didn’t help when someone’s spell-checker broke down when producing an attack ad against Brown. The Coakley campaign misspelled “Massachusetts”. (If nothing else good comes out of this special election, amateur bloggers like me will have learned how to spell “Massachusetts”.

Brown clearly has the mojo at this point in the race. Prior to January 5th, Coakley generally had double-digit leads in the polls. However, four of the last six polls (since january 7th)  released publicly have Brown leading (one of the two polls that have Coakley leading was conducted by a Democrat-leaning organization). 

How did Brown, a Republican in an extremely blue state, capture so much support? I’ll borrow a couple sentences from this Time article, as I think they stated it well:

“Given the often contrived and polarizing conflict that dominates the cable-TV landscape, it would be easy, on the outside looking in, to slap a Tea Party label on Brown’s supporters. But most of those lunging for his hand were not lunatics from the fringe, merely Democrats and Independents feeling bruised, ignored and taken for granted by people in power.”

Coakley is now calling in the big guns to campaign for her – a far cry from just getting her name on the ballot as a Democrat and coasting to Washington. Former President Bill Clinton has visited Massachusetts, and Barack H. Obama is scheduled to visit today. (Word was Obama’s advisers carefully calculated the risks and rewards of campaigning for Coakley – can he afford to show up for a candidate who might lose? In the end, they chose to send him there on a Sunday, a notoriously slow news day.)

Win or lose, Brown has already pulled of something that most people just a few weeks ago thought not possible: a competitive race in Massachusetts. Again, as Time puts it:

But, in a sense, Scott Brown has already won; not simply for his party, Republican, but for any candidate across the landscape who looks toward a volatile November with the message, “It’s our turn.”

In a couple days well know whether Scott Brown just won, or really won.

It’s Only Racist if a Republican Says it

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

It seems one couldn’t turn on the TV or radio, or search the Internet in the last few days without accusations of racism over comments that one politician or another uttered. Most notable, of course, is the quote attributed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV). According to the soon-to-be released book Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Reid said during the 2008 campaign that then candidate Barack H. Obama that he is a “light skinned” African American had has “no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”

Once the authors’ revelations came to light, Reid quickly apologized and Obama quickly accepted his apology. Must move on. Too much work to be done to get hung up over a silly little statement like that. Of course, Reid’s chief responsibility is to shepard Obama’s chief agenda item, government takeover of health care through the Senate, while holding together his fragile 60-vote supermajority.

But it was a different story back in 2002 when Sen. Trent Lott (R – MS) inferred at the 100th birthday party of Sen Strom Thurmond (R – SC) that had Thurmond been elected president when he ran back in the 1940s “we wouldn’t have had all these problems” over the years. What problems? Well you see Thurmond was Democrat and a noted segregationist when he and other Southern Democrats walked out of their national convention in protest over northerners’ integration agenda.  Thurmond then took his segregationist issues and ran for president on a new “Dixiecrat” ticket. (Thurmond later denounced his old segregationist views and became a Republican.) It was read into Lott’s comments that Lott believed racial integration had caused many problems for the nation over the years. Lott was forced to resign his position under the firestrom (yes, I spelled that correctly, firestrom) in the aftermath of his comments.

The double standard and the hypocrisy from the left rears its ugly head again.

Then there was Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele who took some heat over uttering the phrase “honest Injun”, and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who, in the wake of the revelation of Reid’s comments, claimed that he, Blagogevich is “blacker than Barack Obama.”

The White House’s response to Blago? “Refuse to comment” was the word from on high. Alghough Blago is a Democrat, he was put out to pasture last year for attempting to sell the Senate seat in Illinois formerly occupied by Obama to the highest bidder. It’s noteworthy here that Democrats were comfortable in putting Blago out to pasture because Illinois is a heavy Democratic state, and it was assumed that there was little danger of Democrats losing hold on the Governor’s seat or the U. S. Senate seat. But this is 2010, and Republicans now have a chance in the most Democrat states – more commentary coming on the special election for U. S. Senate in Massachusetts. But anyway, back to the point. The White House had no need to forgive Blago as it did Harry Reid, because Blago is in no position to do anything for the White House.

Think of how much outrage there would be from the left if Reid’s comments had instead been uttered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R – KY). When it gets down to it, it’s only racist if a Republican says it.

The media, the left and the party of “tolerance and diversity” need to either 1) lighten up, or 2) apply the same standard to everyone regardless of party affiliation or position of power.

Something is rotten in Denmark – It’s Lack of Fidel-ity

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I thought I was hearing things when I heard on ABC radio news yesterday that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro called the climate change proceedings in Copenhagen undemocratic. So I did a quick search and lo and behold an article in the Latin American Herald Tribune confirmed what I heard on the radio. Castro said the summit ended with “an anti-democratic and virtually clandestine initiative.” Now, it seems to me that Castro calling this meeting full of hypocrites in Denmark anti-democratic is a little like Tiger Woods lecturing John Edwards on fidelity.

Come to think of it, maybe the U. S. should have sent Tiger to Copenhagen as a delegate. Along with the 1,200 limousines provided by local companies for the delegates that came in on some 140 private jets, the local sex workers’ union offered free “services” to anyone producing a delegates’ pass. This according to the London Telegraph. Just think, had Tiger been occupied in Copenhagen, it might have saved him a three iron to the forehead and spared us all of the continuing saga of mistresses coming out of the Wood-work. And until recently, his skills at covering up the truth, much like the glo-bull warming “scientists”, who also recently got caught with their pants down, were very successful.

Anyway, Castro went on to say, “Obama gave a deceptive and demagogic speech, full of ambiguities, that did not involve any binding commitment . . .” Like a broken clock that’s right twice a day, Castro nailed it. This could be said about every speech Obama gives. Where in the world was Castro during the 2008 presidential campaign when the U. S. mainstream media dropped the ball on this assessment?

What kind of shape are we in as a country when we have to rely on an 83-year-old ailing dictator to tell it like it is?

Health Care Earthquake Could Result in 2010 Electoral Aftershock

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Hardly a day goes by without news reports of opponents to government-run health care “disrupting” town hall meetings conducted by members of Congress. Although I am adamantly opposed to people being uncivil at a forum where civil discourse and respect for others is expected, I suspect many of the reports of “angry mobs” are overstated. And if the protesters we have been hearing about are engaging in intimidation tactics, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Word is, union activists are getting into the act. There is no group in the country that has perfected thuggery like union activists. The person being treated in an emergency room in St. Louis in this story was attacked by a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) member wearing the union’s trademark purple shirt, according to a Fox News TV report this morning.

There is no doubt people are angry over the prospect of losing more of their freedom, and our nations leaders handing over more of our economy to the government in a slide toward socialism. No doubt this is a time like no other in forty years. Think about it. Barack H. Obama is the most left-leaning president since LBJ, maybe since FDR. Until now, only two Democrats have ascended to the White House since LBJ. And the people didn’t have as much to fear with them. Jimmy Carter was too incompetent to implement a socialist agenda, even if he had wanted to, and even with huge majorities in Congress. And Bill Clinton was too busy doing, well, doing what Bill Clinton does best to really mess up the country. So here we are with a guy in the oval office who has personal appeal of Bill Clinton (but without the personal baggage)  of Bill Clinton, and with huge Congressional majorities enjoyed by Carter. For all practical purposes there are no checks and balances in Washington, and people are scared.

And it wasn’t the health care issue that started it all. The conservative earthquake may be in response to government-run health care, but the early tremors were felt when conservatives spoke out against the proposed cap & trade (cap & tax) energy bill.

Whether the aftershocks result in a seismic shift in Congressional power might be dependent upon how moderate “blue dog” Democrats handle the strong opposition to their leadership’s policies. Many of these blue dogs were elected in 2006 and 2008 in Republican-leaning or swing districts. They ran as being moderate, centrist, independent of party control. The issues such as cap & tax and government-run health care will force them to choose whether they will vote their districts, or vote with their party leadership.

They will also have to decide how they will handle town hall meeting attendees. If they genuinely listen they may stay in the good graces of their constituents. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa reportedly went against the wishes of his staff and took the heat by hearing out angry constituents at a town hall meeting (my cynical side says this could have been staged). On the other hand, if members of Congress dismiss protesters as angry mobs or people bought and paid for by special interests, that will be their first step toward their ultimate political demise. Some Congressmen such as Tim Walz, Democrat of Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, is  staying in hiding, and not holding town meetings, as reported by the Owatonna People’s Press. Avoiding the heat from constituents cannot be much more preferable to getting negative editorials such as this one.

Now, I’m not one to give free advice to Democrats, but if they misunderestimate, to use a Bushism, the genuine grassroots uprising against this slide toward socialism, the 2010 election could result in one of the biggest shifts in power in the U. S. House of Representatives in modern times. If they listen and vote their districts, they may avoid the loss of seats that the party of the man in the White House typically experiences in his first mid-term election.