Nasty, Brutish & Short

Barack Obama Archives

McCain 12 points behind; only 58% of the conservative base is supporting him

June 24, 2008 09:41 PM

That's per an L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll.  Apparently he's relying on the old "they'll have nowhere else to go" myth.  Because he sure isn't trying to appeal to the base himself.  I was at a Young Republicans meeting last night, and the poor guy from the McCain campaign tried to make a pitch for help.  He couldn't have been more ignored by the party regulars.  They just aren't interested.

I felt sorry for the poor kid, even as I briefly thought about pointing out to him that his candidate shouldn't be turning to us for help until his candidate stops stabbing us in the back (the global warming tour being the latest example of this).  But I didn't say anything.  It's not his fault. 

His boss may learn.  But it may come too late.  There is no way a Republican can win if he's only getting 58% of the conservative vote.  We're the ones who do all the work to get the candidates elected.  Have you ever seen a moderate work a phone bank?  Go door to door?  No.  Not in their nature.

And he just can't write off that many votes.  10% yes.  Maybe even 30%.  But 58%?  The math just doesn't work.

Will Smith appeals to original intent to get us to rally 'round Obama

June 23, 2008 04:59 PM

No seriously, he really did.  Here he is being interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today show (which after this interview they should just go ahead and rename "Dumb and Dumber"):

LAUER: Do you think people can't get behind America led by John McCain?

SMITH: You know I just, there, there are, there are certain ideas that I believe Barack stands for that are fundamental that the forefathers of this country wrote down on paper that we're all supposed to pay attention to, we're not supposed to ignore it and do what we want to do 'cause we have different ideas. And I believe just at his core the, that those ideas just they, they just come of his pores. And I'm, I'm excited to support him.

Yep, that's it.  Obama will put us back on the Founder's Path!  He's just oozing James Madison.  Out of his pores!  Was that flop sweat?  No, it was the Federalist No. 10.

Meanwhile, over at Politico we learn how wonderful Obama was.  As editor of the Harvard Law Review.  This headline made me snort at its ridiculousness:

Obama Kept Law Review Balanced

The sub-head:

Mostly liberal publication ran progressive pieces alongside ones from a Reagan official and a right-wing judge.

Another snort.  What are we supposed to think, that his administration will be a conservative happy land because he published an article written by a Reagan official and right wing judge?  Is the point that Obama was sooooo brave for printing articles by conservative scholars?

The pretentiousness (and the utter untruth) of this passage made me snort a third time:

In Obama's time, as it is today, the Harvard Law Review was one of the most important and distinguished legal publications in the world. Founded in 1887, it is the rare self-supporting legal publication compiled and edited completely by students, typically those attending their second or third year at the prestigious school.

The Harvard Law Review is not even a remotely important legal publication.  No law review is.  Lawyers rarely, if ever, read law review articles.  And if you cite to one in a brief it is highly suspect.  Judges frown on it.  It's kind of like, "What else have you got?  Any actual case law?"  Why cite to some professor's personal or political agenda?  That's what they all are. 

Also, pretty much every law review I am aware of is "compiled and edited completely by students."  That does not make them great, it just makes them possible.  They're basically just vehicles academics use to advance their careers by "getting published," courtesy of indentured servants working for a future pay off (a highly profitable line for their resumes). 

And yes, I have that line on my resume.  What did we run articles on during my law review days?  I don't know, and I don't care.  You just suck it up and work on them.  No one pays the slightest bit of attention to what they are actually about.  In law school, you don't have time to care, and I'm sure Obama didn't.

But lets not let these facts get in the way of talking about how Obama was such a great law review editor.  He let two conservatives get articles past his desk.  Nobless oblige!

Well, here's one reason to vote for McCain...

June 20, 2008 08:01 AM

...it will tick off all the right people.  Like the French.  Byron York has lunch in Paris, and discusses it with one of them:

In the European mind, Guantanamo is one of the centers of evil in the world, a dungeon where George W. Bush commits unspeakable acts on innocent Muslims who just happened to be on a battlefield in Afghanistan or Pakistan when U.S. troops captured them.

She says the prisoners in Gitmo have been denied their constitutional rights.

I say they are enemy combatants; they have rights under international treaties, but not American constitutional rights.

But they have “global rights,” she insists.

What are “global rights”? I ask.

There’s no precise definition, but as far as I could tell, “global rights” appear to be American constitutional rights applied to the entire planet. It’s an astounding notion, given that American constitutional rights definitely do not apply across the entire planet — not even in places like, well, France.

A lot of the English aren't much better:

I have a friend in London, very Euro in outlook, who is terrifically frustrated and worried about the election.

His chief concern: the role of Americans. “It’s a pity that Americans are the ones who elect the president,” he says. “It would be much better if the people of the world voted on the American president.”

And guess who would be elected in such a scenario? Here’s a hint: It’s not John McCain.

Basically, it's us against the world.  And by us, I mean red state people.

The Obama v. Clinton Cage Match

April 29, 2008 10:52 AM

Why didn't someone think of this sooner?   Thank you, New York Post

I can't get the Hillary character to hit below the belt, though.  It would be much more authentic if she could hit below the belt.

Wherein I say something positive about Barack Obama; He's not going to give out "Street Money" in Philadelphia

April 11, 2008 08:53 AM

What's "street money"?  Per the L.A. Times, it is:

"[A] long-standing Philadelphia ritual in which candidates deliver cash to the city's Democratic operatives in return for getting out the vote.

Flush with payments from well-funded campaigns, the ward leaders and Democratic Party bosses typically spread out the cash in the days before the election, handing $10, $20 and $50 bills to the foot soldiers and loyalists who make up the party's workforce.

It is all legal -- but Obama's people are telling the local bosses he won't pay.

If that is legal, it is appalling.  But for the Dems in Philly, it's just how things are done:

Obama's posture confounds neighborhood political leaders sympathetic to his cause. They caution that if the senator from Illinois withholds money that gubernatorial, mayoral and presidential candidates have willingly paid out for decades, there could be defections to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. And the Clinton campaign, in contrast, will oblige in forking over the money, these ward leaders predict.

Who's not surprised the Clintons don't have a problem with this?  Anyone?

Another non-surprise?  John Kerry didn't have a problem with it either.  He paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in "street money" in Philadelphia in 2004.

The locals are hoping Obama will give in before next week's primary in PA.  You know.  For his own sake:

With a week and a half left before the election, political leaders hope that Obama will relent.

Garry Williams, a ward leader based in north-central Philadelphia, said that he had not heard directly that the Obama campaign was withholding money. But he said payment would be needed. Workers who are in the field for Obama on April 22 will put in days stretching from 12 to 16 hours, he said.

"It's our tradition," Williams said. "You don't come to someone's house and change the rules of someone's house. That's just respect."

No, it's just corrupt.  If Obama can bring an end to it, kudos to him. 

Last night's Reds game, Jesse Jackson and two guys in gorilla suits

April 10, 2008 09:00 AM

Was anyone else watching last night's game on FSN Ohio?  Mrs. NBS and I had it on in the background, and we both glanced up when announcer Jeff Brantley started talking about how Jesse Jackson was in attendance at the game.  And then our mouths fell open when the camera focused in on two guys in the stands--wearing gorilla suits.  

We could not believe it. 

I'm not one to see racism where it doesn't exist, but MY GOD they really did cross the line putting that audio with that video.  I'm wondering if the camera guy thought it was a funny joke, and Jeff Brantley didn't know what was on the screen as he was talking about Jesse Jackson?  Brantley didn't sound like he was saying anything deliberate.

But still--someone needs to look into it.  Surely someone else noticed it besides just us?

A few minutes later Jeff Brantley was talking about some player who got hit in the groin with a baseball--and talking about it in great detail.  Weird, weird, weird.  Mrs. NBS said "Is he drunk?"  It sure seemed like it.  But he kind of always sounds that way.

John McCain's New Ad...

March 7, 2008 03:58 PM

...is excellent.

Of course, I would never vote for someone because of a campaign ad. But that's just me, and a lot of people don't think that way.

How funny is it that the Democrats are calling each other names, and the McCain campaign is producing video like this?

Ann Althouse has excellent commentary up on the visuals, from the subtle references to "The Color Purple" to the LBJ daisy ad. I suspect there's more there, if you look. This was very, very well thought out.

Is the Secretary of State taking on the "Limbaugh Effect"?

March 6, 2008 02:29 PM

And if so, to what ends?

From the Enquirer's Politics Extra:

Brunner's staff has begun to call counties to find out how many crossover voters there were and how many 10x forms were filled out by pollworkers if someone switches parties within two years.

"Once we start to gather the figures of what rate of crossover was, then we can start to dig into . . .what some of the motivations were."

Why is she digging into what some of the motivations were?  How is that an appropriate area of concern?

And what about this?

She does plan to ask counties for statistics and details on voters who signed forms attesting that they switched political parties.

Gathering statistics doesn't concern me.  Gathering "details on voters" does. 

Is she going to also look at the McCain Effect from 2000?  That was when Democrats in Ohio voted for McCain in the Republican primary to slow down George W. Bush.

I say what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  And I think you're playing with fire when you start looking at voter's "motivations."

For the first time, I walked in to the polls not knowing who I was going to vote for.

March 4, 2008 09:07 AM

The temptation to cross party lines and vote for Hillary was very, very strong.  Having her continue to battle it out with Obama is very good for the cause.  But in the end, I couldn't do it.  The woman in front of me did, though.  And I know a lot of people who were considering it.  When you switch parties, you have to complete a form that says you swear "to uphold the principles of the Democratic party."  Well that wouldn't be too hard--since they have no principles. 

How's that for an obvious joke?

Anyway... I placed my protest vote for Mitt Romney.  Not that it will matter in the end.  My protest vote in the 2000 primary didn't matter either.

I did get to vote in all the down ticket Republican races.  For Congress, I voted for Jean Schmidt.  Over at WMD, they've pretty much summarized my thoughts on that race, so I won't repeat it all here.  The only other contested race was Pat DeWine v. Kathy King for Judge.  I voted for Pat, since he's pro-life, and Kathy is not.  For most of the other judicial races, I refrained from voting for the party's endorsed candidates.  Most of the people they put up are total chuckleheads--though it was a nice reminder of how glad I am that I litigate almost entirely in federal courts these days. 

And of course, I voted against the Cincinnati public school levy and the zoo levy.  The only way I'd get behind either of those two organizations would be if they switched missions.  Let the zoo put the CPS students behind bars, and let the schools educate the animals.  We'd end up with a safer community and a more intelligent workforce.

I'm kidding of course.  Well, slightly kidding.

John McCain Comes to Southern Ohio to Make Peace with Conservatives, and Promptly Throws Bill Cunningham Under the Campaign Bus

February 26, 2008 01:44 PM

The same Bill Cunningham who has worked tirelessly for Republican candidates and conservatives causes for years--usually using the same kind of rhetoric that he used today.  From the Enquirer:

Cunningham came out on stage to whip up the crowd as he often does at Republican campaign events in Cincinnati. He repeatedly referred to Obama using his middle name -- Hussein -- and said that Obama was a product of the "Chicago-Daley mob."

Nothing untrue, and nothing unusual there.  Willie had similarly direct comments for Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. 

So what does the McCain camp do?  His aides get all bent out of shape, and have McCain (who didn't even hear the remarks) trot out after his speech to "repudiate" Willie:

Only minutes after his campaign rally ended, McCain apologized for remarks by WLW talk show host Bill Cunningham that McCain said he thought were offensive to Obama.

"I take responsibility and I repudiate what he said," McCain told reporters after the rally.

Not the way to make Republican friends in Southern Ohio.  Oh well.  Who needs Republican friends in Southern Ohio?

McCain went on to explain the approach his campaign will take:

"I will not tolerate anything in this campaign that denigrates either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton,'' McCain said.

And what does that remind me of?  Another 700WLW personality, Marty Brennaman, who got in hot water last year for comparing one of the Reds' West Coast roadtrips to the Bataan Death March. Because that's what this campaign with John McCain is going to be. 

One long Bataan Death March.

UPDATE:  Clerk of Courts Greg Hartman is now on Willie's show blaming "the media," and saying this goes to show how Republicans won't get a fair shake this fall.  But the media weren't the ones who apologized for, and repudiated, one of the region's most prominent conservative voices.

Political Confusion Breaks Out in Ohio 02

February 23, 2008 11:09 PM

So I was on the way to Lowe's to buy air filters because we're on a pre-baby cleaning binge, and I see right there on Marburg Avenue that there is a house with two signs out--one for Jean Schmidt and the other for Barack Obama.  What the hell?  I almost pulled over to take a picture for the blog, but I realized commenters--probably CincyJeff--would immediately chime in with "See, I told you she was a liberal!  It makes perfect sense!"  Or words to that effect.  So I was going to keep it to myself.  Until I got a little further down the road, and passed a business that has signs up for both Tom Brinkman and Hillary Clinton.   Again, what the hell?  What is wrong with these people?  Who are they going to vote for when they get to the polls on election day, and realize they can only get a Republican ballot or a Democrat ballot?

And what to make of all this?  There is only one conclusion I'm drawing from this political confusion, and it's that come November, the Republican presidential candidate is going to be in a world of hurt.  It's a good thing we have a candidate the party can rally behind.  Oh.... wait.

The neighbors have Barack Obama signs out too.  We're not surprised by the people next door--they accused me of stealing their Kerry/Edwards sign four years ago.  We've had kind of a North Korea/South Korea relationship ever since.  There's like a DMZ and everything.  But what explains the nice couple across the street?  Today they put their Barack signs out.  And they went to Furman.  The only explanation I can come up with is that it's a Baptist school, and they must be susceptible to good preachin'.  Lawd have mercy.

Something I had not quite expected someone would ask me today: "Are you here for the Barack Obama meeting?"

February 18, 2008 11:05 PM

So I was at Molly Malone's for a meeting with some fellow Republicans--prominent, you'd-recognize-their-names-as-major-local-right-wingers types of people--and up comes this breathless young man. He asks: "Are you here for the Barack Obama meeting?" I looked around for the camera, thinking "Am I on Punk'd?"

But no, this guy was serious. Because a few minutes later, they started arriving. So we ordered another round, thinking we'd hear some good stuff. I know that I, personally, wanted to hear about Change and The Future, and also thought it would be fun to see some people overcome by emotion, and passing out--as was widely reported today, people are wont to do at Obama rallies. He's a regular political Benny Hinn, from what I hear. A modern-day faith healer. You'll recall that the faith healers of old usually ended up leaving town with their tent and your money. I just throw that out there as an aside. Not sure exactly why.

Anyway. I was so disappointed with the Obama crowd. All they did was sit around looking pissed off and disaffected. We waited and waited for the meeting to start, but nothing ever happened, and then people started leaving. There was one guy with a laptop who appeared to be in charge. I say that because, well, he had a laptop. It had Obama stickers all over it, and the blue glow from the screen really lit up his white liberal pallor. And he had one of those kinky haired beards that looks, well, pubic. You know. You've seen these people. I know it's rude to point this out, and talk about the physical attributes of the political opposition. But when nothing substantive is said, what else is there to criticize? I was waiting for the policy conversation, I'd happily criticize that. That was why I stayed. But no. Nothing.

So.... I guess it was like a real Obama Rally. Nothing substantive. All build up, and no.... POP.

I'll probably be the first person to quote Gertrude Stein while criticizing Barack Obama. But seriously. "There was no there there." Literally, there was NONE. And unfortunately, I was expecting something like this:

And that just goes to illustrate something that I expect will soon be a problem for Barack Obama. He's over-promised. Expectations are too high. In trial practice class in law school, there's one big thing they teach you about opening statements. Don't overstate your case. Don't promise too much. Don't tell the jury you can deliver something that you can't. Because at the end of the trial, they're going to go into the jury room, alone, and ask each other, "Did he give us, what he said he was going to give us?" The answer to that needs to be "Yes!"

In Barack's case, he's told us he's going to give us Change. Not just minor change. But a major reworking of American political life and American culture. When people go into the voting both, alone, are they honestly going to believe he will give them what he's promised?