Reflections on Election Day, and a Look to the Future

(This post was written on November 5.)
Last night was a disaster for America. Barack Obama—a man whose lack of character and cultural, economic, and foreign-policy liberalism have been so extreme as to force disgruntled conservatives (myself included) into the arms of longtime foe John McCain—is the president-elect of the United States, and he will enjoy expanded majorities in both houses of Congress to pursue his agenda. Michigan voted to legalize medical marijuana and affirm embryonic stem-cell research, and pro-life referendums failed in South Dakota & Colorado (conservatives did win several marriage battles, though). Heck, Jack Murtha was sent back to the House by the same people he called racists just weeks before!

With conservatives’ worst fears realized, I should be upset, depressed, or scared out of my mind. But honestly, I don’t feel any of those things today.

Don’t get me wrong—I still fear what’ll happen to our liberties, our economy, and the continued deaths of unborn babies, and though I pray I’m wrong, I don’t doubt for a second that we’ll see the first terrorist attack on US soil since September 11, 2001, within Obama’s first term. We’re in for some mighty interesting times.

And yet I’m not panicky or bitter. Maybe it’s because the outcome could have been seen coming miles away (really, is anyone surprised?). I remember watching McCain win the GOP primary back in February with an unshakable conviction that I was witnessing Obama’s victory right then & there. Out of the Republican contenders, McCain may not have been the worst choice (that would be Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul, in my opinion), but I’m certain any of them (well, ‘cept the Paulestinian) would have run a better campaign. A few exceptions—like Obama’s scandals with Jeremiah Wright, his unpatriotic wife, and infanticide; McCain’s eye-catching performance at Rick Warren’s Saddleback forum, or the rise of Sarah Palin—gave me hope for a while, but ultimately they couldn’t compensate for the inherent failings of the candidate.

Evidently McCain got a whopping 20% of the Hispanic vote (Bush got 40%). Obviously, the gamble to lure moderates & independents to the ticket at the expense of the base worked reeeaaaaaal well, didn’t it?

What I’m trying to say is this: last night may have been a victory for liberalism, but (counterintuitive though it may sound) that doesn’t mean it was a failure for conservatism. It wasn’t a principled conservative candidate that Obama defeated, after all. Consider the fact that the same California that voted for Obama 61% to 37% also (narrowly) voted to defend traditional marriage. California, of all places! Seems to me a pretty clear indication that it could only have helped McCain to embrace social issues (I think I can count on one hand the number of times I heard McCain address social issues during the entire race—including when Obama’s support for the most evil extreme of abortion yet came to light).

It wasn’t conservatism that soured the American people to the Republican Party over the past 8 years. It was corruption, amnesty, and a White House that refused to reevaluate its Iraq strategy until the electoral winds of 2006 gave it no choice.

The Democrats will have tremendous power come January 21, but it’s not a blank check: Congress’ abysmal approval ratings won’t magically rebound overnight, and according to a new Rasmussen poll, voters’ confidence in the outcome of the Iraq War is increasing. If the Dems get too ambitious, they just might find they’re playing with fire.

Blaming the American people for not trusting the GOP won’t do any good. Throwing in the towel and proclaiming the twilight of the republic won’t, either. Now’s the time for all of us to be more vigilant than ever—towards both Obama and his pals on Capitol Hill, and our Republican representatives, who (in case they didn’t get the message) need to hear loud and clear that we demand integrity and conservatism.
Old Glory’s been in tough spots before, and it’s always darkest just before the dawn. But hang in there; now’s the time to get up, dust ourselves off, and prepare for the next battle.
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The Right’s Leading Ladies

Not since Ann Coulter has the Left hated a conservative woman as much as they hate Sarah Palin. So it’s only fitting that Ann throw in her two cents on the GOP’s newest rising star:
John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his running mate finally gave Republicans a reason to vote for him — a reason, that is, other than B. Hussein Obama.
The media are hopping mad about McCain’s vice presidential selection, but they’re really furious over at MSNBC. After drawing “Keith + Obama” hearts on their denim notebooks, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews stayed up all night last Thursday, writing jokes about Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the presumed vice presidential pick. Now they can’t use any of them.
So the media are taking it out on our brave Sarah and her 17-year-old daughter.
They claimed Palin was chosen only because she’s a woman. In fact, Palin was chosen because she’s pro-life, pro-gun, pro-drilling and pro-tax cuts. She’s fought both Republicans and Democrats on public corruption and does not have hair plugs like some other vice presidential candidate I could mention. In other words, she’s a “Republican.”
As a right-winger, Palin will appeal to the narrow 59 percent of Americans who voted for another former small-market sportscaster: Ronald Reagan. Our motto: Sarah Palin is only a heartbeat away!
If you’re going to say Palin was chosen because she’s a woman, you’re going to have to demonstrate that the runners-up were more qualified. Gov. Tim Pawlenty seems like a terrific fellow and fine governor, but he is not obviously more qualified than Palin.
As for former governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge and Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, the other also-rans, I can think of at least 40 million unborn reasons she’s better than either of them.
Within the first few hours after Palin’s name was announced, McCain raised $4 million in campaign donations online, reaching $10 million within the next two days. Which shortlist vice presidential pick could have beaten that?
The media hysterically denounced Palin as “inexperienced.” But then people started to notice that she has more executive experience than B. Hussein Obama — the guy at the top of the Democrats’ ticket.
They tried to create a “Troopergate” for Palin, indignantly demanding to know why she wanted to get her ex-brother-in-law removed as a state trooper. Again, public corruption is not a good issue for someone like Obama, Chicago pol and noted friend of Syrian National/convicted felon Antonin Rezko.
For the cherry on top, then we found out Palin’s ex-brother-in-law had Tasered his own 10-year-old stepson. Defend that, Democrats.
The bien-pensant criticized Palin, saying it’s irresponsible for a woman with five children to run for vice president. Liberals’ new talking point: Sarah Palin: Only five abortions away from the presidency.
They claimed her newborn wasn’t her child, but the child of her 17-year-old daughter. That turned out to be a lie.
Then they attacked her daughter, who actually is pregnant now, for being unmarried. When liberals start acting like they’re opposed to pre-marital sex and mothers having careers, you know McCain’s vice presidential choice has knocked them back on their heels.
But at least liberal reporters had finally found someone their own size to pick on: a 17-year-old girl.
Speaking of Democrats with newborn children, the media weren’t particularly concerned about John Edwards running for president despite his having a mistress with a newborn child.
While the difficult circumstances of Palin’s pregnant daughter are being covered like a terrorist attack on the nation, with leering accounts of the 18-year-old father, the media remain resolutely uninterested in the parentage of Edwards’ mistress’s love child. Except, that is, the hardworking reporters at the National Enquirer, who say Edwards is the father.
As this goes to press, the latest media-invented scandal about Palin is that McCain didn’t know her well before choosing her as his running mate. He knew her well enough, though admittedly, not as well as Obama knows William Ayers.
John F. Kennedy, who was — from what the media tell me — America’s most beloved president, detested his vice president, Lyndon Johnson.
Until Clinton interviewed Al Gore one time before choosing him as his vice presidential candidate, he had met Gore only one other time: when Gore was running for president in 1988 and flew to Little Rock seeking Clinton’s endorsement. Clinton turned him down.
To this day, there’s no proof that Bill Clinton ever met one-on-one with his CIA director, James Woolsey, other than a brief chat after midnight the night before Woolsey’s nomination was announced.
Barring some all-new, trivial and probably false story about Palin — her former hairdresser got a parking ticket in 1978! — the media apparently intend to keep being hysterical about McCain’s alleged failure to “vet” Palin properly. The problem with this argument is that it presupposes that everyone is asking: “HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?”
No one’s saying that.
Attacks on McCain’s “vetting” process require the media to keep claiming that Palin has a lot of problems. But she doesn’t have any problems. Remember? Those were all blind alleys.
Unfortunately, for the ordinary TV viewer hearing nonstop hysteria about nonspecific “problems,” it takes a lot of effort to figure out that every attack liberals have launched against Palin turned out to be a lie.
It’s as if a basketball player made the winning shot in the last three seconds of the game and liberals demand that we have a week-long discussion about whether the player should have taken that shot. WHAT IF HE MISSED?
With Palin, McCain didn’t miss.

Biden?

Seriously? He chose Biden?!

Joe Biden is recognized as having a fair amount of foreign policy experience, which was very probably the main reason Barack Obama picked him, but Bill Richardson has a more-than comparable resume (UN Ambassador, Energy Secretary, Governor), plus is Hispanic and, most importantly, doesn’t have a reputation for being a walking embarrassment dispenser.

I mean, good grief! Mere days after the announcement, and even the most casual scan of the blogosphere (most of these stories were found on
Hot Air alone) have provided a treasure trove of ready-made opposition research. Apparent conflicts of interest, lobbyist issues, a casual acquaintance with the truth, arrogance issues all his own (those should nicely complement Obama’s preexisting problems on that front, eh?), contempt for the concerns of gun owners, some, uh, interesting praise for his own running mate…oh, and did I mention his foreign policy credentials are vastly overrated? How ‘bout issues with speech worthy of the Left’s number-one boogeyman, George W. Bush? Or maybe apparent confusion about who he actually thinks would be the better president? And then, of course, we can’t forget the plagiarism thing

Just imagine what goodies we’ll discover once they start trying. Not to mention the brand-new blunders in store on the campaign trail.

Sure, Richardson is a fairly-unremarkable lefty, and I’m sure he’s got a skeleton or two in his closet, but I can’t imagine this much crap would have come out this soon. As a minority candidate, Obama probably doesn’t have to worry too much about the Hispanic vote, but Richardson’s race would have to have been worth at least a few points, and again, he’s arguably got a more impressive resume than Biden.

Tim Kaine and Evan Bayh probably wouldn’t have brought much to the ticket, but (assuming Team Obama doesn’t have the exclusive scoop on some juicy info) nor would they be constant sources of stress for the campaign. Kathleen Sebelius, as a female Democrat who isn’t Hillary Clinton, would have been asking for trouble. And Hillary? It’s a pretty safe bet she and Barack hate each other’s guts.

Obama’s been fumbling big-time lately, with a crappy performance at Saddleback, his
disgraceful support of infanticide returning to haunt him, and now this, coupled with John McCain’s surprisingly-excellent (even conservative!) Saddleback showing and a willingness to hit The One where it hurts, and I’m optimistic about this election for the first time since Mitt Romney dropped out.

Now it’s especially important that McCain not squander his momentum with a bad VP pick of his own (that means you, Tom Ridge and Joe Lieberman—now is not the year of the pro-choicer). I find Tim Pawlenty unremarkable, but he’d be a fairly safe choice. Bobby Jindal can fire up the stump, but I still think he needs time to build experience (and atone for
this profile in courage).
My choice would either be Mitt Romney (surprise!) or Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Romney has framed himself firmly to McCain’s right, has abundant economic expertise, and has proven himself an aggressive campaigner and an excellent debater. It can be said that Palin should have more experience, sure, but she’s been a successful and conservative governor, and, of course, is a woman, which could make for a mighty interesting election, what with all these disgruntled Hillary supporters running around (granted, this may smack of identity politics, but there’s no reason not to see race or sex as a selling point, provided—and this is the key—that you’re not doing so at the expense of qualification or principles).

Come on, John. As much as I hate to say it, I’ve seen and accepted the need to support you. Don’t let us down.

McCain’s Ace in the Hole

With Russia’s attack on Georgia and Barack Obama’s bumbling reaction, now is the time John McCain ought to be hammering the most powerful case for supporting him: in an increasingly dangerous world, America needs serious leadership instead of incompetence. McCain’s own reaction to the conflict is more coherent and substantive than Obama’s, and displays McCain’s knowledge of the issue, but unfortunately doesn’t offer a lot more than “we need to instantly mobilize people to talk about what we’re gonna do.”

If disgruntled conservatives are gonna be convinced to support McCain, it will have to be on foreign policy and national defense grounds. The good news is, he has one ace in the hole (if he realizes it):
the support of John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton has a clear view of both the threats facing America and the international community’s inability/unwillingness to deal with them, as well as a proven ability to speak plainly about them, without regard for Beltway hand-wringing. He’s earned the respect of the Right, the venom of the Left, and, if utilized by the campaign, could go a long way toward bringing the case for a strong, clear-eyed foreign policy to the American people in an accessible way.

But beyond that, I’d like to see McCain signal just how serious he is about a meaningful foreign policy change by pledging to put Bolton in a prominent post in his administration. More “realistic” (read: timid) conservatives and Republicans would probably advise against such a move, based on how much liberals would howl about it. I say let ‘em. Heck, they’re calling McCain a racist without anything to go on; what makes you think you can appease these people? Just do the right thing, and defend it with that “straight talk” we hear so much about from ol’ John.

Tell a Lie Loud Enough and Often Enough….

The New York Times has a celebrated history of shame, up to and including disclosing government secrets, and their latest editorial is another disgusting affront to journalism:

We know that operatives in modern-day presidential campaigns are supposed to say things that everyone knows are ridiculous — and to do it with a straight face.

Still, there was something surreal, and offensive, about today’s soundbite from the campaign of Senator John McCain.

The presumptive Republican nominee has embarked on a bare-knuckled barrage of negative advertising aimed at belittling Mr. Obama. The most recent ad compares the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton — suggesting to voters that he’s nothing more than a bubble-headed, publicity-seeking celebrity.

The ad gave us an uneasy feeling that the McCain campaign was starting up the same sort of racially tinged attack on Mr. Obama that Republican operatives ran against Harold Ford, a black candidate for Senate in Tennessee in 2006. That assault, too, began with videos juxtaposing Mr. Ford with young, white women.

Mr. Obama called Mr. McCain on the ploy, saying, quite rightly, that the Republicans are trying to scare voters by pointing out that he “doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills.’’

But Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, had a snappy answer. “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” he said. “It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.’’

The retort was, we must say, not only contemptible, but shrewd. It puts the sin for the racial attack not on those who made it, but on the victim of the attack.

It also — and we wish this were coincidence, but we doubt it — conjurs
[sic] up another loaded racial image.

The phrase dealing the race card “from the bottom of the deck” entered the national lexicon during the O.J. Simpson saga. Robert Shapiro, one of Mr. Simpson’s lawyers, famously declared of himself, Johnny Cochran and the rest of the Simpson defense team, “Not only did we play the race card, we dealt it from the bottom of the deck.”

It’s ugly stuff. How about we leave Britney, Paris, and O.J. out of this — and have a presidential campaign?


There’s no secret racist message in
McCain’s ad, implicit or otherwise. The intent was to call Obama vapid and his hype overblown, nothing more. If you’re looking for vapid, overrated celebrities, you’d be hard-pressed to find more worthy examples of any skin color. Is there really any doubt that if the campaign had used images of, say, Halle Berry instead, that would have been called a clue to the Right’s deep-seated yearning for segregation?

And the supposed OJ allusion? To say it was deliberate is wishful speculation at best, and “dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck” seems to accurately describe both situations: a minority figure invoking race victimhood to divert attention from the real issue.

The Times has no evidence for their thesis other than that
Barack said so (speaking of which, if that was Obama “call[ing] Mr. McCain on the ploy,” why did he initially try to deny it? And if his comments were in response to McCain, why did he say them back in June, too?). There’s no lie the Left, and their propagandists in the media and blogosphere, won’t tell or spread in the pursuit of power.

Around the Web

It seems the federal Women, Infants, and Children program, ostensibly a low-income healthcare aid, is referring people to Planned Parenthood. Nice, eh?

“He doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency.” That’s
the latest phony smear Obama claims the GOP is leveling against him. This race-baiting filth should be a cakewalk for any Republican candidate worth his salt. Unfortunately, we got Johnny the Wonder Dolt…who claims to be an “unabashed conservative.” Yeah, right.

This week,
Ann Coulter’s column takes on the Edwards-love child story. Lord knows if anybody’s sleazy enough to do something like this it’s John Edwards, and his reaction to the charges haven’t exactly been the conduct of an honest man with nothing to hide. Still, I’d be wary of anything from the pages of the National Enquirer.

Religion of Peace update: evidently the Dutch
no longer value freedom of speech.

Required reading: Walter Williams on “
A Country at Mercy of Environmentalists” and Rick Moran on “House Issues Apology for Slavery, Jim Crow.”

Around the Web

“The Barack Obama I knew,” according to, er, a Palestinian anti-Zionist activist. Wonderful company this guy keeps….

Political personalities, coming to a Nintendo Wii near you.

Nobody should take pleasure in Ted Kennedy’s recent medical woes, and most conservatives have offered him and his family their condolences and prayers, as well they should. But for John McCain
to go so far beyond that as to say it’s “a great privilege to call” this guilty-of-manslaughter demagogue “my friend” is pathetic.

In the wake of California’s latest same-sex marriage decision, Dennis Prager has some
must-listen segments on the matter.

Pot, meet kettle.