04/14/2008 - 7:15pm
A new poll shows the primary race in Pennsylvania having swung from dead even a week ago to a 20 point Hillary lead over the weekend. *

This is the moment Hillary has been waiting for. Barack's second strike - the first was Jeremiah Wright - providing more fodder to her strategy of heading Barack off at the pass on electability.

Were she to win Pennsylvania by anywhere near 20 points next week, serious dems would be trembling at the thought that they'd have to start taking Hillary's argument more seriously - that is, Barack will get trounced in the fall.

* One caveat - I've never thought ARG to be the most reliable of pollsters, but that's just my gut.
04/14/2008 - 12:40pm
Why didn't the dems grab John Kerry or Al Gore for another run at the White House?

Because you can't win the presidency with unappealing, liberal, elitist intellectuals who real people can't relate to. Democrats have known since the 1950's that they shouldn't nominate candidates who look and sound like liberals, but that generally was the only kind they had.

It wasn't until Bill Clinton came along that democrats found the model of a candidate who could play nationally. Liberal by nature, bright enough and well-educated enough to please the elites, he came with with a lust for livin' and lovin' that belied his policy wonk tendencies. Clinton and the New Democrats successfully argued that it was okay to offer up electable people.

And while he held office, democrats were happy with the compromise. Bill Clinton may not have felt right, but having power felt pretty good, so they were even willing to fight for his right to have sex with interns and to lie under oath about it.

And they were prepared to go another round with the Clintons, as much as it made some stomachs churn, if that's what it would take to toggle out of Bush mode.

But then the Messiah presented himself, and all that changed.

Barack was perfect. An intellectual Harvard elitist who didn't look like one. Someone who could construct an intelligent thought without sounding like he had just rung for the butler. Someone who had no track record to be held up to the American people and laughed at.

And, being black, no one could accuse him of being John Kerry.

Even if he was.

Last week, the tape emerged that burst the bubble. Barack in action, in front of the elite, talking like a true Harvard Man, chortling over how the little people cling to their guns and religion.**

And Hillary went into hyper speed, slapping Barack with lefts and rights and uppercuts and below the belts and anything else she could find in her repertoire.

And now she's found her best shot. She sees the opening. Here's what she said yesterday:

"We had two very good men and men of faith run for president in 2000 and 2004," Mrs. Clinton said at a forum on faith televised live on CNN last night. "But large segments of the electorate concluded that they did not really understand or relate to or frankly respect their ways of life."

Bang! There it is.

Barack is not the change candidate anymore. He's the same old same old.

John Kerry in racial drag.

There's talk of some video of Barack's "Kerry moment" sitting in a camera somewhere. If it surfaces this week to replace the barely audible audio, this story could really have legs.

Not enough to save the democrats from Barack.

But enough, when packaged with Pastor Wright and Tony Rezko, et al, to seal the deal for McCain in the fall.

** "Keep you doped with religion, and sex and TV. And you think you're so clever, and classless and free. But you're still fuckin' peasants as far as I can see." John Lennon, Working Class Hero
04/13/2008 - 2:17pm
Barack apologized yesterday for revealing his true feelings toward ordinary people, saying "obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that."

But he followed the Barack formula for dealing with this type of situation, and that is to reaffirm the truth of what he was intending to say rather than simply running from the entire thing, as people caught in the spotlight of misspeak so often do. They apologize, say they were stupid, and then never speak of it again.

Barack went for the cute move rather than the brave one. "The underlying truth of what I said remains, which is simply that people who have seen their way of life upended because of economic distress are frustrated and rightfully so.''

Well, yes Barack, people are frustrated. But no, that's not what the controversy is about.

What's significant about Barack's words, and where he spoke them (in front of a group of rich San Franciscans who've already maxed out in gifts for Obama) is that they show where he sits as he looks at the frustrated ones and contemplates their frustration.

Barack was raised as your run of the mill indulged suburban liberal. This reality has been shrouded by his skin color, tricking folks into seeing him as more exotic and sophisticated and in possession of some sort of unique understanding of the human, and American, experience. They don't see the prep school indulged Columbia/Harvard kid whose entire "career" has not been so much about having a career but rather finding a way to become president. Anything that threatens to crack that veneer and allow folks to see him for what he is - a more appealing John Kerry who is substantially less qualified to be president - does risk unraveling the whole fantasy.

This misdirection trick looks like a mistake to me. You'll remember that it was used effectively with Pastor Wright. That controversy there wasn't one of race, it was one of judgment, but Barack knew that liberals, who are obsessed with race, would be so thrilled with his "courage" for addressing race head on in a speech they wouldn't even notice that it was a nice answer to the wrong question.

The downside of misdirection is also demonstrated by the Wright situation. The question of Barack's judgment vis a vis Wright remains unresolved, lying dormant until the general election, when it will again call into question on a very deep level just what kind of man Obama is. This is the failure of the strategy - while it might allow one to dodge for the moment, the doubts that are raised about the candidate remain unanswered.

Perhaps the Obama campaign doesn't quite get the significance of Barack's Botched Joke. The Washington Post today reports that campaign insiders say Barack is stunned by the uproar. Or maybe they feel that since there's only poor quality audio rather than nice vivid video like with Pastor Wright, the newscycle will be quick and the damage minimal.

Most likely, though, the Obama campaign is assuming that primary voters are easy enough to dupe, so they'll dupe them, and deal with the general election when it gets here. They're taking it one step at a time.

If the American public starts to get a sense of the true Obama story - bright guy, great marketer, but inexperienced in life and in politics - someone who makes very ominous judgments about the people he surrounds himself with and someone who appears to share his wife's very radical and elitist disdain for this country - then Barack's autumn will not be a happy one.
04/12/2008 - 2:11pm
Barack is being tagged an elitist by his opponents now that an audio tape of him speaking at a San Francisco event last week has surfaced. Both Hillary and McCain are seizing with excitement this small crack in the Messiah's veneer. Responding to a question regarding the challenges of getting the support of working class voters in Pennsylvania, Barack explained that they're "bitter," and

“cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Unfortunately the tape isn't very good, so its not likely to get a good prime time TV run, but hopefully more, better quality, tape of Barack revealing his heart will surface.

Nevertheless, this is an important insight into the obvious - that to Barack Obama, working people are "them," a group of people whose feelings he doesn't dismiss out of hand - he shows his true liberal credentials by understanding them, but there is also the requisite liberal condescension. They are good people who are getting it wrong because they're not sophisticated enough to see through the fallacies that their frustrations lead them to embrace.

When Barack speaks of folks who work for a living, the word "they" must appear frequently. He was speaking to "us," a group of affluent supporters in the nation's most liberal city.

By the way, even as Barack mocks those who channel their frustration into support for the second amendment with his remarks to rich liberals in San Francisco, he mocks them again by positioning himself as someone who is pro-gun. Writes Politico:

The campaign has asked gun rights advocates like state Rep. Dan Surra, a Democrat from rural Elk County with an “A+” rating from the NRA, to form a coalition of supporters who can vouch for Obama.

“It is clear out there that I am for Obama, and they have reached out to me as a sportsman and a gun owner,” Surra said Thursday. “There has been an outreach to pro-gun legislators, pro-gun people who are sympathetic to Obama’s message.”

Is Barack an elitist? Well, how would you characterize someone who has lived Barack's life if he was white? Check out his resume, and its hard to see how Barack would have any sense of connection to working folk.

Barack went to a fancy prep school in Honolulu, got a degree in international relations from Columbia, banged around for a couple of years as a community organizer before going to Harvard law, finally getting his first career job, as an attorney, in 1993 at the age of 32.

Was he working as an attorney for a non-profit, perhaps, as one might expect from a Messiah, learning his craft while going into court to fight for the rights of the poor and downtrodden - looking to give back? Ah.... no.

The following is from a retrospective in the International Tribune from early 2007:

"As the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama had his pick of top law firms. He chose Miner's Chicago civil rights firm, where he represented community organizers, discrimination victims and black voters trying to force a redrawing of city ward boundaries.

Like many lawyers, Obama never took part in a trial. He spent most of his nine-year career working as part of a team, drawing up contracts, briefs and other legal papers.

The firm offered another advantage to Obama. It was close to the political action."

During this period, Barack also taught constitutional law. At age 41, Barack ran for the state senate, continuing to work at the law firm part time.

The reality is, life among the elite is about all that Barack has ever known. Even his much touted contact with foreign life came through the lense of the intellectual class. His fathers, after all, were in the U.S. on grants to study here.

Of course Barack is an elitist. He is where he is because he is the candidate of the elitists, his most important base of support being the suburban affluent and their college attending offspring.

His blackness is a huge asset in this race because he is a black whom liberal suburbanites feel so comfortable with, having lead a suburban life of privilege. His blackness is a huge asset because it is a barely noticeable surface hue that is secondary to his overall suburban, highly educated whiteness.

This is why Barack needed Pastor Wright. Jeremiah provided Barack with "street cred," making it possible for him to gain essential support from the black political community of Chicago as he built a political career.
04/11/2008 - 4:26pm
As the good folks at Carnegie Mellon University prepared for a recent visit by Michelle Obama, the rock star energy was in the air. The gym was packed to the brim with the starry-eyed, educated elite from around Pittsburgh, excited that the next best thing to the Messiah Himself would soon be appearing.

In Barack Obama, much hope is placed. So much hope - for the future of the free world, for the future of America, and for mending the pain of slavery, a pain that lingers in the hearts of every white student of privilege attending our nation's best schools - is placed in his candidacy that what happened next must have been a shock to those in attendance. Some in the crowd must retain enough of their conscious minds to be upset.

For as the Obama advance team put the finishing touches on the media event - all events held by candidates are for the sake of the media first, with the people in attendance mere props in campaign theater - there was concern amongst event organizers over the faces in the crowd.

It seems that too many of those faces located behind the podium where Michelle would be speaking, in clear view of the TV cameras, were the faces of minorities.

“Get me more white people, we need more white people,” one campaign coordinator said to another.

Here's another quote from the story in the school newspaper, the Tartan: "To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, 'We’re moving you, sorry. It’s going to look so pretty, though.'"

Ah... racist and patronizing in one swift kick - how utterly liberal of them.

Just another reminder about the bold leadership on race that democrats in general, and the Obama campaign specifically, offer on moving toward a color-blind America.

But this attitude among democrats is nothing new.

In post-war America, Democrats have consistently failed to deliver for the black community. In our inner-cities and in our public schools, both of which are domains that democrats oversee with monopoly control, blacks suffer endlessly for their blind devotion to a party that makes no effort to deliver on its promises. As a result, urban life in the United States is marked by rampant violence, lack of economic opportunity, and schools that no liberal of means would allow their kids to visit for an hour, forget about attend.

Somehow, though, democrats aren't laughed at when they claim to be the party that cares about minorities.

What people haven't figured out is that the compassion of democrats is selfish - their caring extends only to what needs to be done to keep democrats winning elections.

Thus, caring about schools really means doing whatever the teachers unions want. And teachers unions don't care about education, they care about keeping teachers employed. Caring about working folks means doing things to strengthen unions, who in turn kickback a portion of their great financial and organizational prowess to the party. Caring about public employees means showering them with pay and benefits well beyond what the market would warrent in order to get their votes. And caring about minorities means offering alms, but never solutions, to their plight. This keeps them permanently dependent on the handouts, and thus beholden to the giver. The obsession that democrats have for the poor and downtrodden has become the worst thing that ever happened to the poor and downtrodden.

For this model to continue to work, minorities must think that the effort to help them is ongoing. Democrats work this trick by yelling and screaming about racism, attacking it at places where it isn't. That way, the minority base never realizes that they are the perpetrators of a system that guarantees permanent bad results for minorities. A system of institutional racism.

Money to help, but no way to get ahead. More money for schools, but never education. Rewarding people for being minority rather than for achieving great things. These are the tools that democrats use to lock up minority votes, while locking minorities in place.

So you can't blame a guy for smiling when the campaign of the first black candidate who will be the nominee of a major party cries out for more white people, for it is white democrats who have kept us focussed on, rather than moving beyond, skin color.

For it tells us the truth about the Obama campaign. That it is a traditional white, liberal, suburban campaign that is a status-quo movement that has no interest in change beyond the power of the brand.

The only change it will achieve is shifting more dollars into the policies that keep minorities in the bondage that democrats perpetuate - the bondage of drugs and violence and ignorance that is foundational to the business plan of the modern democratic party.

04/11/2008 - 4:56am
Let's see.

Jimmy Carter (and his entire family) are supporting Barack Obama.

And a new poll indicates that Obama has lost his ten point lead over McCain, with the two now locked in a tie.

Is there a connection between the Carter support and Barack's decline?
04/10/2008 - 5:24pm
Barack has outsmarted Hillary again. You'll remember that she called for a U.S. boycott of the Olympic opening ceremonies to help build pressure on the Chinese regarding Tibet. This was reasonable and presidential of Hillary - after all, she's not calling for a boycott of the games. Hill asked Barack and McCain to echo her sentiment.

But Barack said wait a sec lady, not so fast!

A boycott of the opening ceremonies should be "firmly on the table," Obama said, "but this decision should be made closer to the games."

How about that. He got her on nuance. Better not to play that card just yet says Barack. Better to wait. To think. To contemplate. To see how things develop. To be cautious. To move slowly. To see things in shades of gray, not black and white.

And while this may seem wise and even clever to the advisers who decided on this response - they've managed, it seems, to take the wind right out of Hillary's sails - it plays into a weakness of Barack's.

There is a lost opportunity in Barack's strategy, though. The U.S. decision to boycott the ceremonies would create a huge impetus for other, smaller players, to jump on board and create an avalanche. Protesters around the world could be emboldened. China might actually be forced to pull back on the abuse of Tibet. The U.S. could have a leadership role in affecting a longterm change in Chinese policy. But that would be an act of leadership.

This is not Barack's role, as Barack is a man who doesn't like decisions, who doesn't like action, who doesn't like leadership - its something he's entirely unfamiliar with. He didn't even decide to break with his racist spiritual adviser/political adviser until forced to do so, and even then the break was only a slight bend.

Barack is a thinker. And thinkers don't make leaders.

04/10/2008 - 3:34pm
John Cleese is offering his joke writing services to Barack.

"I'm going to offer my services to him as a speechwriter because I think he is a brilliant man," says the former Monty Python star.

I believe in England you would call Cleese a "twit" for saying such a thing.
04/09/2008 - 11:20pm
Michelle Obama speaks for Barack. This is clear, as she talks about what "we want," and what "we believe," and the campaign hasn't offered any statements to make us think that she's anything less than a full philosophical partner with Barack.

So when Michelle says "The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more," there's no reason to doubt that this is what we'll get from President Obama.

Which is something we already knew, but not something you hear the campaign talking about.

Higher taxes.

Why are higher taxes necessary to accomplish health care reform? I thought we were going to save a ton of money from the efficiencies that universal health care will create. Why, I understand that we can save 25% on day one just moving to a single payer system. They should be able to send limos to pick us up and take us to the doctor, and still have enough money leftover in healthcare savings to "fix" education, which means to give billions more to the people who've already screwed it up.

Maybe its just me.
04/09/2008 - 2:11pm
Dick Morris is a brilliant guy who isn't the most dependable of pundits due to his desire to create buzz with every observation. His predictions surprises for their creativity, but not with their accuracy.

But his new column his different - one understands why political candidates need great political calculators working with them.

Morris makes the point that Barack's weakness as a candidate is that he's as weak as John Kerry. He likes to contemplate and evaluate and focus on nuance like Kerry did, he just does it all in a much more appealing package.

The Jeremiah Wright situation highlights this quality. Barack failed to act in a way that was obvious and satisfying - to walk out of the church when disgusting stuff was going on. He was weak. He was nuanced. He was John Kerry.

Morris further observes the dangers for Barack on Iraq. What is the alternative to John McCain's position that doesn't reek of weak?

"Obama’s opposition to the war begs a host of questions: Shall we retain any presence? What about al Qaeda? What happens if the government falls? Can we let Iran take over? Obama will dither and seem far from decisive as he answers each of these questions. They will make him look terrible, just as Kerry — in opposing the war after voting for it — looked like a flip-flopper."

Okay. Pay the consultant. And read him here.
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