jump to navigation

Palin in Spotlight as Republicans Turn on Each Other November 9, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

by: Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian UK

photo
Many Republicans are pointing fingers at Sarah Palin, blaming her for John McCain’s loss. (Photo: Reuters)

As the implosion of the defeated Republican campaign continued yesterday, the landscape of American conservatism was dotted with signs that these were very strange times indeed.

Rush Limbaugh, behemoth of rightwing radio, took to the airwaves to declare war on two enemies: Barack Obama and the Republican party. Bloggers at FreeRepublic.com, an internet hub for conservatives, announced a boycott of Fox News and John McCain’s aides fell over one another to leak embarrassing details about the campaign to the press.

Liberals, indulging in what the writer Andrew Sullivan termed “Palinfreude”, were presented with a smorgasbord, ranging from the tale of how McCain’s pro-Palin foreign policy adviser had his Blackberry confiscated in the closing days of the race, to how the party had paid for Todd Palin’s silk boxer shorts.

The fighting consuming the McCain and Palin camps threatened to derail broader efforts to overhaul the Republican party after Tuesday’s decisive defeat, for which some insiders blamed Sarah Palin. Veterans of the right gathered in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, on Thursday for a summit on the movement’s future, but even as they did so, the blame went on.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is worse than I thought,” Limbaugh told listeners. “What the Republican party, led by disgruntled and failed McCain staffers, is trying to do to Sarah Palin, is unconscionable … There are country-club, blue-blood … Republicans who want nothing to do with a firebrand conservative [who] can fire up people.” He added: “We’re going to be taking on two things here [over] the next four years: Obama, and our own party establishment.”

John Fund, a Wall Street Journal columnist, said he had received multiple calls from campaign aides wanting “to use me as a conduit for their complaints”.

“Some on the McCain campaign staff seem more eager than most to settle scores,” he noted.

The main ammunition in the war was a lengthening list of allegations against Palin: that she thought Africa was a country; that she failed to inform the campaign about a scheduled call with Nicolas Sarkozy which turned out to be a prank; that she refused to undergo coaching prior to her disastrous interviews with CBS anchor Katie Couric; that she couldn’t name the three countries in the North America Free Trade Agreement; and that the party had spent up to $70,000 (£45,000) on “wardrobe items” for Palin and “luxury goods” for her husband, in addition to the $150,000 already reported. (Some of the claims were revealed by Fox, hence the boycott.)

The New York Times reported that when Palin met McCain in Phoenix on Tuesday night, she held the text of a speech she planned to deliver, in defiance of campaign convention, and had to be overruled.

The attacks are partly ideological: some blame Palin and her social-conservative supporters for blunting McCain’s appeal to independents, while others believe Palin could be the populist, hawkish figurehead of a revitalised Republican future.

But there is plenty of self-interest at stake. “This blame game is the consultants – the people who make their living running campaigns and don’t want to be blamed, because they need another job,” said Al Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator, and former president of Regnery Publishing, the company behind many recent rightwing bestsellers.

At Thursday’s summit, he said, “there was a lot of discussion about these people, who always seem to come back, whether they win or lose, and get paid a lot of money. We said we thought our side would be much better off without them.”

The sniping at Palin has provoked a backlash. One influential website, RedState.com, announced Operation Leper, designed to blacklist campaign staffers believed to be responsible. “We intend to constantly remind the base about these people, monitor who they are working for, and, when 2012 rolls around, see which candidates hire them,” it explained.

There was speculation that the culprits may be former aides to Mitt Romney, positioning their hero for a future presidential run.

The collapse of the McCain-Palin alliance began long before election day, Steve Schmidt, a senior McCain adviser, speaking to reporters on the candidate’s plane, was making little effort to hide his disdain for Palin. Asked if her presence on the ticket had been a disadvantage, he twice refused to answer.

Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s foreign policy chief, this week denied reports that he had been fired in the final stage of the campaign for siding with Palin and leaking “poison” on McCain to the pro-Palin columnist William Kristol. But even one of his allies, Michael Goldfarb, told reporters that Scheunemann’s Blackberry had been confiscated in the days before the election.

Kristol, who in one column advised McCain to “fire” his campaign, scoffed at reports that he had advised Palin. “I’m afraid it shows how paranoid some of these McCain aides have gotten – they should take a good rest after a tough campaign,” he told Fox.

He had met Palin once in his life, he continued, and interviewed her once by phone. “You know why this is really disgusting and disgraceful?” he said. “It’s disloyal to John McCain. Who selected Sarah Palin? John McCain. Who defended Sarah Palin for the last three months? John McCain.”

Returning to Alaska, Palin dismissed the criticisms, attributing them to “a small, bitter type of person”. Instead, she has emphasised perhaps the only thing that still unites her and her supporters with McCain loyalists: hostility towards the media.

She had “a little bit of disappointment in my heart about the world of journalism today”, she said, while McCain’s closest aide, Mark Salter, told Politico: “Maybe if the media had been fair, we still would have lost. But there were two different standards of scrutiny for us and Obama.”

Palin offered to help reporters confront their problems. “I want to … help restore some credibility there,” she said.

And Yet Another Republican October 29, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment


McConnell Fundraising E-Mail: Vote for Me to Fight Obama Presidency


Sam Stein, Huffington Post, October 29, 2008


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has sent out a new fundraising email that, at its crux, plays off the assumption of a Barack Obama victory in the presidential election.


Citing media reports that show “an Obama win [as] a real possibility,” the Kentucky Republican positions himself as the one man capable of standing up to the Obama/Pelosi/Reid machine” that “will steamroll a host of new taxes and left-wing social policy across the Senate Floor.”


It is not uncommon for politicians to use presidents or presidential candidates as a boogeyman to curry votes. But McConnell’s fundraising appeal seems to go a step beyond, painting, at times, Obama’s election as a fait accompli that voters in Kentucky must consider.


“[L]ocal and national newspapers are already saying that if my opponent were to win this race, he would be a reliable vote for Obama and Chuck Schumer,” he writes of Democratic challenger, Bruce Lunsford.


Hinting at the possibility of complete Democratic control of government – again a statement predicated on an Obama win — McConnell writes: “national liberals want this Senate seat so badly” because “they are making this race a power play for domination of the public debate. They have made no secret that they are fighting for total unfettered domination of the government and its agenda.”


This is the second time in as many days that a Republican official has sent out a fundraising letter for the Kentucky Senate race that forecasts a future Obama White House. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney blasted out an email on McConnell’s behalf, warning that Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford “was handpicked by Chuck Schumer and will be a reliable vote for the Democrats. And as we face the very real possibility of an Obama presidency, that’s the last thing we need.”


The Kentucky Senate race has become ground zero of sorts for Democratic efforts to secure 60 seats in the Senate. And as the election has approached, McConnell’s once strong standing has diminished.


Good government groups, who have long viewed the Minority Leader as a thorn in the side of their agenda, are also seeing a real possibility of flipping the seat. On Wednesday, Campaign Money Watch, a national nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog organization, announced that it will spend another $800,000 on a television ad in Kentucky accusing McConnell of being a puppet of special interests.



There Goes Another Republican October 29, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Shays concedes McCain defeat

Staff Reporter, Yale Daily News
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The first ballot has yet to be tallied, but some Republicans are already hammering nails into the McCain-Palin campaign’s coffin.

Locked in a tight congressional race, Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut’s 4th district is the latest in a slew of Republican incumbents, including Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, to concede a near-certain victory to the Obama camp.

“I just don’t see how [McCain] can win,” Shays said in an interview here on Sunday.

Shays, the Connecticut co-chair of McCain’s campaign, said he was disappointed by the standards of McCain’s race, which has increasingly relied on mudslinging.

“He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign,” Shays said.

But Shays — who is famous for never running a negative campaign ad, even when behind — said the negativity in the presidential race has nevertheless been flowing both ways. He said that though they have been diluted by positive ads, Sen. Obama’s campaign has empirically run a greater number of negative ones.

“Obama has four times the amount of money McCain has, so for every negative ad he runs he can balance it with an upbeat one,” Shays said. “McCain, on the other hand, has been nearly 100 percent negative.”

Shays laid much of the blame on the far right, which, he said, has “hijacked” the Republican Party, threatening to walk out if its demand are not met — despite being in the minority.

He said this situation is a cautionary tale for the Democratic Party, whose Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and MoveOn.org have imposed their often-radical ideas on the rest of the party.

But Shays also said he was skeptical of Sen. Obama’s promise to rule from the political center.

“It’s what all presidents should do, but [Obama] has never been there,” he said, referring to Obama’s left-of-center congressional record.

McCain’s other Connecticut co-chair, Sen. Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67, has not publicly commented on McCain’s chances on Election Day, but he has continued to campaign for him, most recently in Florida on Monday.

Jeff Grappone, New England communications director for the McCain campaign, did not return several requests for comment Monday.

In Case You Weren’t Scared Enough: Palin on “Fruit Fly Research” October 28, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Todd Palmer and Rod Pringle, Huffington Post, Oct. 27, 2008

Today, we are blogging from Durham, North Carolina, where we are trying to do our humble bit to help elect Barack Obama. On Friday, Sarah Palin gave us yet another reason to feel good about what we’re doing here.

We are far from the first people to comment on this subject — even within the Huffington Post — so we’ll keep it brief. But Palin’s mockery of “fruit fly research” during her October 24th speech on special-needs children was so misconceived, so offensive, so aggressively stupid, and so dangerous that we felt we had to comment.

Here’s the excerpt from the speech:

“Where does a lot of that earmark money end up, anyway? [...] You’ve heard about, um, these — some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense, and sometimes these dollars they go to projects having little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not!”

It’s hard to know where to begin deconstructing this statement. This was a speech on autism, and Palin’s critics have pounced on the fact that a recent study of Drosophila fruit flies showed that a protein called neurexin is essential for proper neurological function — a discovery with clear implications for autism research.

Awkward! But this critique merely scrapes icing off the cake.

Fruit flies are more than just the occasional vehicles for research relevant to human disabilities. They are literally the foundation of modern genetics, the original model organism that has enabled us to discover so much of what we know about heredity, genome structure, congenital disorders, and (yes) evolution. So for Palin to state that “fruit fly research” has “little or nothing to do with the public good” is not just wrong — it’s mind-boggling.

What else does this blunder say about Palin and her candidacy? Many people have used it as just another opportunity to call her a dummy, since anyone who has stayed awake through even a portion of a high-school-level biology class knows what fruit flies are good for. But leave that aside for a second. Watch the clip. Listen to the tone of her voice as she sneers the words “fruit fly research.” Check out the disdain and incredulity on her face. How would science, basic or applied, fare under President Palin?

We have other questions. Who wrote this speech? Was he or she as ignorant as Palin about the central role that fruit flies have played in the last century of biomedical research? Or was this a calculated slight to science and scientists — a coded way of saying, “We don’t care what you know or what you think”? We find it odd that, of all the examples of dubious expenditures of public funds, the speechwriters alighted on this one.

Whatever the explanation, it scares us. Everyone who has suffered, either personally or indirectly, from an inherited illness, and anyone whose life has been lengthened or enriched by modern medicine, should channel Palin’s flip comment when they stand in the voting booth on November 4th.

 

Palin’s ‘going rogue,’ McCain Aide Says October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment
From Dana Bash, Peter Hamby and John King CNN

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) — With 10 days until Election Day, long-brewing tensions between GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin and key aides to Sen. John McCain have become so intense, they are spilling out in public, sources say.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday.

Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin “going rogue.”

A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to “bust free” of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.

McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls — recorded messages often used to attack a candidate’s opponent — “irritating” even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign’s decision to pull out of Michigan.

A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.

“Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”

A Palin associate defended her, saying that she is “not good at process questions” and that her comments on Michigan and the robocalls were answers to process questions.

But this Palin source acknowledged that Palin is trying to take more control of her message, pointing to last week’s impromptu news conference on a Colorado tarmac.

Tracey Schmitt, Palin’s press secretary, was urgently called over after Palin wandered over to the press and started talking. Schmitt tried several times to end the unscheduled session.

“We acknowledge that perhaps she should have been out there doing more,” a different Palin adviser recently said, arguing that “it’s not fair to judge her off one or two sound bites” from the network interviews.

The Politico reported Saturday on Palin’s frustration, specifically with McCain advisers Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt. They helped decide to limit Palin’s initial press contact to high-profile interviews with Charlie Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, which all McCain sources admit were highly damaging.

In response, Wallace e-mailed CNN the same quote she gave the Politico: “If people want to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most honorable thing to do is to lie there.”

But two sources, one Palin associate and one McCain adviser, defended the decision to keep her press interaction limited after she was picked, both saying flatly that she was not ready and that the missteps could have been a lot worse.

They insisted that she needed time to be briefed on national and international issues and on McCain’s record.

“Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic,” said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the “hardest” to get her “up to speed than any candidate in history.”

Schmitt came to the back of the plane Saturday to deliver a statement to traveling reporters: “Unnamed sources with their own agenda will say what they want, but from Gov. Palin down, we have one agenda, and that’s to win on Election Day.”

Yet another senior McCain adviser lamented the public recriminations.

“This is what happens with a campaign that’s behind; it brings out the worst in people, finger-pointing and scapegoating,” this senior adviser said.

This adviser also decried the double standard, noting that Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama‘s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, has gone off the reservation as well, most recently by telling donors at a fundraiser that America’s enemies will try to “test” Obama.

Tensions like those within the McCain-Palin campaign are not unusual; vice presidential candidates also have a history of butting heads with the top of the ticket.

John Edwards and his inner circle repeatedly questioned Sen. John Kerry’s strategy in 2004, and Kerry loyalists repeatedly aired in public their view that Edwards would not play the traditional attack dog role with relish because he wanted to protect his future political interests.

Even in a winning campaign like Bill Clinton’s, some of Al Gore’s aides in 1992 and again in 1996 questioned how Gore was being scheduled for campaign events.

Jack Kemp’s aides distrusted the Bob Dole camp and vice versa, and Dan Quayle loyalists had a list of gripes remarkably similar to those now being aired by Gov. Palin’s aides.

With the presidential race in its final days and polls suggesting that McCain’s chances of pulling out a win are growing slim, Palin may be looking after her own future.

“She’s no longer playing for 2008; she’s playing 2012,” Democratic pollster Peter Hart said. “And the difficulty is, when she went on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ she became a reinforcement of her caricature. She never allowed herself to be vetted, and at the end of the day, voters turned against her both in terms of qualifications and personally.”

The Exodus Continues October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Tony Campbell, 10/24/08

 http://www.republicansforobama.org

In the wake of Colin Powell’s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama last Sunday I wrote the following statement:

“My gut feeling is that there will be a significant number of moderate Republicans who will endorse Obama over the next week or so.

Four hours later, I wrote this update after Ken Adelman announced he was voting for Obama.

“Ken Adelman is a bonafide Conservative. If he is able to vote for Obama, then the exodus is just beginning…”

Scott McClellan, Bush’s former press secretary has announced that he is going to vote for Obama. McClellan stated that he is supporting Obama because he has “a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000.” How ’bout them apples? W’s “Compassionate Conservatism” meets O’s “The Change We Need”.

Another former G.O.P. office holder, Minnesota ex-Governor Arne Carlson, endorsed Obama after Powell’s announcement. Obama’s last major hurdle is to win the endorsement of a sitting Republican member of Congress. It has long been rumored that Senator Chuck Hagel may break from the pack to support Obama or perhaps Senator Richard Lugar (Indiana) may support Obama based on his direction for U.S. foreign policy.

My prediction: By Sunday, a sitting member of Congress from the Republican Party will endorse Obama. If that occurs, all bets are off as far as a landslide victory for Obama on November 4th…as the Republican Exodus Continues…

By the way, on a lighter note, when did D.L. Hughley get a news program? If an Obama presidency means that he and David Alan Grier are allowed to get their own shows…I might have to vote for Bob Barr or Ron Paul.

Yet Another Republican Jumps Ship October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

What Motivates Me to Support Barack Obama

While my crystal ball may be no clearer than anyone else’s, I am sure that we need to choose a President who exemplifies the 21st Century and is not just an echo of the Cold War mentality.  I personally admire John McCain, but I simply cannot see him inspiring the nation and our world economic partners to work together and solve our very daunting problems.  My Obama support-decision matrix includes the characteristics of Judgment, Temperament, Charisma, Intellect, Adaptability, Virtue, Vision, Traditional Republican Values, and dedication to “Main Street.”  Barack Obama is without question the superior choice for me based on my analysis below.  

Temperament:  Inside and out of the next administration, the next president needs a personality and disposition that does not inflame problems, but intelligently resolves them.

Charisma:  Is there any question?

Intellect:  Obama finished at the top of his class at Harvard while McCain finished very close to the bottom of his class at Annapolis; if there is doubt, listen to each of them respond to a complex question.

Adaptability:  I measure this characteristic by a person’s ability and willingness to compromise to achieve a solution to a problem

Virtue:  Obama’s choice to serve his Chicago community and forego lucrative options to apply his acknowledged skills, speaks volumes about his character.

Vision:  I see Obama’s view of the world as deep and nuanced to reflect reality as opposed to ideology.  I am particularly enthusiastic about his plans for converting to clean energy, improving our environment, and encouraging national service.

Judgment:  Obama sees the world in wide angle and Technicolor, as suggested by his views on Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, etc.  Even the Bush administration is beginning to use some of the diplomatic tools Obama has long been discussing.

Traditional Republican Values:  Republican Presidents from Lincoln through Ford were strong advocates for equal rights, balancing labor and business, consumer protection, protecting the environment,  a humble but vigorous foreign policy, promoting peace through strength,  fiscal integrity, and unafraid of great challenges.  A traditional Republican would never condone torture or cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners regardless of circumstances.  Dwight D. Eisenhower probably embodied these traits as well as any Republican President; I see Barack Obama in the same vein, although arguably even more inspirational.

Main Street Values:  America is comprised mostly of folks from “main street” who earn their wages, work in their communities, raise their families, and aspire to create a better world for their children.  Barack Obama has worn the shoes of main street.  His values and success are derived, not from privilege or position, but through real life experience, hard work, and commitment to his ideals and family. 

The opportunity to elect such a leader does not come around often; I hope that America does not squander this opportunity!

Joel Haugen is the Republican Party’s candidate in Oregon’s 1st Congressional district.  
http://www.joelhaugenforcongress.com/

More Republicans Join Stampede to Abandon McCain October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

by: Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian UK

photo
Scott McClellan, former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush, has endorsed Barack Obama for president. (Photo: Reuters)

   

 

 Washington – Joel Haugen, a Republican fighting a tough congressional race against the Democrats in Oregon, has fallen out with his party. The reason: his surprise endorsement of Barack Obama for the presidency.

    “I believe in putting nation before party and my first priority is following my conscience with regard to what is best for America,” Haugen said in a statement issued by his office today. “I have a huge amount of respect for John McCain, but I believe that he has more of a cold war mentality.”

    Haugen is just one of many Republican politicians, dubbed “Obamicans”, who have defected to Obama. The latest high-profile desertions include Scott McClellan, George Bush’s former press secretary, who endorses Obama in a taped CNN programme to be broadcast this weekend, and William Weld, the Republican governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997.

    Weld, in a statement released today ahead of a press conference in New Hampshire, described Obama as “a once-in-a-lifetime candidate.”

    Last weekend, Bush’s former secretary of state, Colin Powell, Obama’s biggest Republican catch so far, publicly backed the Democratic candidate.

    It is unusual to see so many prominent Republican politicians and columnists shift, even allowing for the fact that party affiliations are more fluid in the US than Europe.

    The ‘Obamicans’ have their own website, listing those who have endorsed Obama and exchanging views. Campaign paraphernalia is also available from Barack Obama’s team that includes a “Republicans for Obama” button badge.

    According to Haugen’s campaign manager, Sarah Tiedeman, he made no secret of his views while fighting for the party nomination, telling the press about his unhappiness with Bush’s eight years in office and that he was likely to endorse Obama over McCain. He won 70% of the nomination vote.

    The Republican party became increasingly “unfriendly”, Tiedemann said, and has since withdrawn all financial support.

    Haugen, as a compromise, is now standing under an independent banner, though he remains a registered Republican. Tiedemann said the reaction among Republicans over his endorsement was mixed. She acknowledged it was “unusual” to make such an endorsement but Haugen “feels the Republican party has got so far from its roots.”

    Other defectors include Arne Carlson, the Republican governor of Minnesota from 1991 to 1999, who wrote in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune yesterday: “The choice of governor Sarah Palin as a running mate, and the resultant shallow campaign based on fear and suspicion, looks frighteningly similar to the politics of Karl Rove [Bush's campaign strategist].”

    He described Obama as having “the potential to become a truly great president”.

    McClellan, who published a book earlier this year critical of the Bush administration, accusing it of lying, told CNN he would vote for Obama because he offered the best chance of changing the way Washington works.

    The founders of Republicans for Obama include a former Iowa congressman, Jim Leach; a former Rhode Island senator, Lincoln Chafee, and a former Bush fund-raiser, Rita Hauser.

    Another defector this week is Ken Adelman, a foreign policy adviser to Ronald Reagan, who told the New Yorker he would endorse Obama because of McCain’s temperament, describing as weird his behaviour in response when the economic meltdown began.

Why Some Conservatives Will Vote for Barack Obama October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

From Tony Campbel’s Blog, 7/14/08

Thomas Sowell, in his piece “Conservatives for Obama?” made the following statement:

“A number of friends of mine have commented on an odd phenomenon that they have observed– conservative Republicans they know who are saying that they are going to vote for Barack Obama. It seemed at first to be an isolated fluke, perhaps signifying only that my friends know some strange conservatives. But apparently columnist Robert Novak has encountered the same phenomenon and has coined the term ‘Obamacons’ to describe the conservatives for Senator Obama.”

For the esteemed Mr. Sowell, whom I read a lot, and other folks who are scratching their collective heads over why Conservatives will vote for Obama over McCain in November, here are a few reasons for you to consider:

  1. Reorganizing our National Security apparatus – Since the passing of the Patriot Act, America has restructured its intelligence and national security procedures to prevent another terrorist attack. Conservatives understand the need for surveillance methods to prevent another attack on the American people and our property; however, not all of them support the use of fear to systematically change the social contract between the government and the people regarding their civil liberties under the law. They would, however, support a reexamination of segments of the Patriot Act that would re-establish the proper bounds between government need and individual liberty.
  2. Immigration Reform – Over the past two decades our borders have become porous and that lack of attention has threatened our national security. Conservatives understand that many of these non-documented visitors are hardworking people who currently serve in many important aspects of the American economy. It is neither feasible, nor in the country’s best economic interest, to seek to deport millions of people who contribute to our fiscal and social vibrancy as a nation. To do so would require creating a new agency of the national government with thousands of employees to implement this deportation policy. There are Conservatives who feel this type of reactionary policy is short-sighted and centered more on partisanship than in providing a common sense solution. For these individuals, a pragmatic Conservative stand would support a policy that will identify benchmarks to obtain United States citizenship.
  3. Foreign Policy – To ensure a safe America, some Conservatives believe that the primary issue of foreign policy that has to be addressed by the 44th President of the United States is to rebuild a relationship of mutual trust between us and our international allies. America has lost its leadership position in the world over the last six years. This is not only damaging in the relationship with our allies, but also hazardous in our diplomatic maneuverings with countries such as China, Iran and North Korea. A Conservative approach would support a direction of foreign policy that is practical and pragmatic (i.e. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush). A foreign policy that uses diplomatic, economic and military assets to reach achievable goals on the international stage.
  4. Healthcare – Millions of Americans can not seek preventative healthcare assistance to address the myriad of issues they face on a daily basis. These unchecked health concerns eventually become emergency room visits that help to drive up insurance costs for employers and employees covered under medical plans. A pragmatic Conservative platform would support the development of a voluntary universal healthcare plan that allows flexibility of services and allows for States to meet the needs of their citizens without burdensome and unfunded regulations from Washington, D.C. through our constitutionally mandated federal system of government.
  5. The Economy and the War in Iraq – Under the reasons for establishing a new government, Thomas Jefferson stated that government is charged with protecting “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” of its citizens. A strong, robust economy falls under the heading of the “pursuit of happiness.” The U.S. has spent in excess of $100 Billion a year on a war that over seventy percent of the American people do not want, representing twenty percent of our annual GDP. Our current economic condition, with rising prices for everything from gas to food coupled with stagnant wages, has only provided a very few people with the ability to pursue happiness. A pragmatic Conservative approach would support a carefully planned disengagement of our troops from Iraq. The financial resources used to pay for the war may be used on a real economic stimulus plan that will be focused on re-training American workers and businesses to be competitive in the global marketplace.

Some Conservatives have finally realized, after twenty years, that national elections are too critical to waste on partisan rhetoric that does not solve any of the serious problems of our country. Government should focus on strengthening our borders, cutting our debt, and allowing the middle class to prosper by cutting taxes and reduce overall spending. Our elected and appointed officials should let individuals deal with the moral issues surrounding their decisions. Let’s get back to the original idea that the Founders of this Republic birthed– that Government should not mandate the extent of Individual Liberty.

Garrison Keillor on Palin October 17, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

GARRISON KEILLOR
SYNDICATED COLUMNIST

 
We are a stalwart and stouthearted people, and never
 more so than in hard times. People weep in the dark and
 arise in the morning and go to work. The waves crash on your
 nest egg and a chunk is swept away and you put your salami
 sandwich in the brown bag and get on the bus. In Philly, a
 woman earns $10.30/hour to care for a man brought down by
 cystic fibrosis. She bathes and dresses him in the morning,
 brings him meals, puts him to bed at night. It’s hard
 work lifting him and she has suffered a painful hern ia
 that, because she can’t afford health insurance, she
 can’t get fixed, but she still goes to work because
 he’d be helpless without her. There are a lot of people
 like her. I know because I’m related to some of them.
 
 Low dishonesty and craven cynicism sometimes win the
 day but not inevitably. The attempt to link Barack Obama to
 an old radical in his neighborhood has desperation and
 deceit written all over it. Meanwhile, stunning acts of
 heroism stand out, such as the fidelity of military lawyers
 assigned to defend detainees at Guantanamo Bay —
 uniformed officers faithful to their lawyerly duty to offer
 a vigorous defense even though it means exposing the
 injustice of military justice that is rigged for conviction
 and the mendacity of a commander in chief who commits war
 crimes. If your law school is looking for a name for its new
 library, instead of selling the honor to a fat cat alumnus,
 you should consider the names of Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift,
Lt. Col. Mark Bridges, Col. Steven David, Lt. Col. Sharon

 Shaffer, Lt. Cmdr. Philip Sundel and Maj. Michael Mori.
 
 It was dishonest, cynical men who put forward a
 clueless young woman for national office, hoping to juice
 up the ticket, hoping she could skate through two months of
 chaperoned campaigning, but the truth emerges: The lady is
 talking freely about matters she has never thought about.
 The American people have an ear for B.S. They can tell when
 someone’s mouth is moving and the clutch is not
 engaged. When she said, “One thing that Americans do at
 this time, also, though, is let’s commit ourselves just
 every day, American people, Joe Six-Pack, hockey moms
 across the nation, I think we need to band together a nd say
 never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage
 of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us
these dollars,” people smelled gas.

 Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters
 at heart and love the consternation of grown-ups. The
 ne’er-do-well son of the old Republican family as
 president, the idea that you increase government revenue by
 cutting taxes, the idea that you cut social services and
 thereby drive the needy into the middle class, the idea
 that you overthrow a dictator with a show of force and
 achieve democracy at no cost to yourself — one stink bomb
 after another, and now Governor Palin.


 She is a chatty sportscaster who lacks the guile to
 conceal her vacuity, and she was Mr. McCain’s first
 major decision as nominee. This troubles independent voters,
 and now she is a major drag on his candidacy. She will get
 a nice book deal from Regnery and a new career making
 personal appearances for forty grand a pop, and she’ll
 become a trivia question, “What politician claimed
 foreign-policy expertise based on being able to see Russia
 from her house?” And the rest of us will have to pull
 ourselves out of the swamp of Republican economics.
 
 
 Your broker kept saying, “Stay with the
 portfolio, don’t jump ship,” and you felt a strong
 urge to dump the stocks and get into the money market where
 at least you’re not going to lose your shirt, but you
 didn’t do it and didn’t do it, and now you’re
 holding a big bag of brown bananas. Me, too. But at least I
 know enough not to believe desperate people who are talking
 trash. Anybody who got whacked last week and still thinks
 McCain-Palin is going to lead us out of the swamp and not
 into a war with Iran is beyond persuasion in the English
 language. They’ll need to lose their homes and be out
 on the street in a cold hard rain before they connect the
 dots.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 184 other followers