Thursday, January 31, 2008

The "Keystone Cops" Campaigns of 2008

Michael Barone, in a very interesting piece, takes a look at the chaos of this 2008 presidential campaign and comes to a startling conclusion: Without exception, the strategies of every major candidate--Republican and Democrat, including both current front-runners--all failed.

Every single one of them was a flop (which is the only reason McCain, for one, is even still in the race, let alone being the putative GOP front-runner).

Given how many other areas of American life this past year have been in a similarly chaotic state, it seems somehow fitting that the presidential campaign would follow suit.

Not confidence-inducing, true--but fitting, nonetheless.

--Shack

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Winning by losing?

Dick Morris, who certainly can claim to know a thing or two about how devious the Clinton political machine is, unveils what he claims is Hillary's master plan for securing the Democratic nomination: Losing South Carolina to Barack Obama.

Morris elaborates:

By saying he will go door to door in black neighborhoods in South Carolina matching his civil rights record against Obama's, Bill Clinton emphasizes the pivotal role the black vote will play in the contest. And by openly matching his record on race with that of the black candidate, he invites more and more scrutiny focused on the race issue.

Of course, Clinton is going to lose that battle. Blacks in Nevada overwhelmingly backed Obama and will obviously do so again in South Carolina, no matter how loudly former President Clinton protests. So why is he making such a fuss over a contest he knows he's going to lose?

Precisely because he is going to lose it. If Hillary loses South Carolina and the defeat serves to demonstrate Obama's ability to attract a bloc vote among black Democrats, the message will go out loud and clear to white voters that this is a racial fight. It's one thing for polls to show, as they now do, that Obama beats Hillary among African-Americans by better than 4-to-1 and Hillary carries whites by almost 2-to-1. But most people don't read the fine print on the polls. But if blacks deliver South Carolina to Obama, everybody will know that they are bloc-voting. That will trigger a massive white backlash against Obama and will drive white voters to Hillary Clinton.

Obama has done everything he possibly could to keep race out of this election. And the Clintons attracted national scorn when they tried to bring it back in by attempting to minimize the role Martin Luther King Jr. played in the civil rights movement. But here they have a way of appearing to seek the black vote, losing it, and getting their white backlash, all without any fingerprints showing. The more President Clinton begs black voters to back his wife, and the more they spurn her, the more the election becomes about race -- and Obama ultimately loses.


Playing the race card while not playing the race card? That seems more than a little cynical and convoluted, even in this race.

Still, if there's a pair of politicians capable of pulling this off--and by that, I mean not just having the skill to execute it, but having the lack of conscience to actually go through with it--it's the Clintons.

--Shack

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1,251,921

Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court's determination that a right to privacy trumps a right to life through the first three months of pregnancy.

It is also the 35th anniversary of Doe v. Bolton, Roe's companion case. The 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court's determination that even after the first three months--indeed, all the way up to the very end of the pregnancy--an unborn child may be slaughtered under the most utterly flimsy of pretenses: the widest possible definition of the mother's "health," as determined by the only doctor who need be involved in the decision...the abortionist.

I am vehemently pro-life. It is, in my eyes, the most important domestic issue--the most important human rights issue--facing this country today. I have long been involved in the fight against abortion on various levels.

I am also a man.

And, as such--as I have been told repeatedly, vehemently, often in terms I would prefer not to use on this blog--I have no right to have any say on this issue. I am not a woman; I cannot get pregnant; I can't even claim the prerogative of a father (even though that prerogative is itself routinely denigrated and denied).

Therefore, I am told, it is none of my business.

I beg to differ.

There's a link to the right of this post. It reads, "My Axe." Clicking on that link will take you to a site called Death Roe Survivors. It is a site by and for the lucky ones.

The ones born after 1973.

The ones who could have been snuffed out in the womb without any legal repercussions--but weren't.

The ones who are here only by the grace of their mothers, who chose to carry them to term.

I am one of the lucky ones.

I was born in 1979.

According to the CDC, there were 1,251,921 abortions in the United States that year.

1,251,921 unlucky ones.

1,251,921 of my immediate peers.

I repeat: 1,251,921 OF MY IMMEDIATE PEERS.

Taken together with live birth statistics, a little over 26% of pregnancies that year (excluding those that ended in miscarriage) ended in abortion.

My generation has been decimated. A little more than one in four of MY OWN PEOPLE were sacrificed in the bloody name of "Choice," their very HUMANITY denied. Had my mother decided differently, I would have been one of them.

None of my business? No right to interfere?

I have EVERY right to interfere. A wrong has been done to me and mine that can never be fully repaid, that continues to be visited on each succeeding generation after us.

All I can do is see that it comes to an end. That it MUST come to an end. I owe it to all those who weren't as fortunate as I was.

On this 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, I have 1,251,921 reminders of why I continue to fight.

--Shack

Thursday, January 17, 2008

From one Times to another

With regards to new columnist Bill Kristol, the Comment Editor of the one in London suggests, to my great amusement, that readers (and the ombudsman) of the one in New York get a grip.

He'd have better luck telling the sun to rise in the west.

--Shack

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

3/5 there

Huckabee took Iowa.

McCain took New Hampshire.

Romney took Michigan.

All we need now is for Thompson to take South Carolina and Giuliani to take Florida, and the GOP will be well on its way to a brokered convention nightmare.

--Shack

Thursday, January 03, 2008

GOP disses

National Review's Richard Brookhiser, unlike me, supports Rudy Giuliani, Planned Parenthood's dream candidate for the Republican nomination. I don't think much of the reasons he gives for supporting Giuliani; however, that doesn't stop me from being amused by some of his observations about Giuliani's opposition in the primaries (even when I don't agree with said observations):

  • Fred Thompson: "The most damning thing anyone has said about Thompson was said by Thompson himself to Byron York, who asked him what his greatest achievements in the Senate were. Thompson talked about the accomplishments of the GOP majority during his Senate years. It is pretty sad when a veteran of the talk palace of the Senate can only take cover among his colleagues."
  • John McCain: "During one of Frederick the Great’s battles, a general told him as their charge faltered, 'Your majesty and I cannot take the enemy’s position all by ourselves.' But that is McCain’s preferred tactic."
  • Mitt Romney: "Mitt Romney has been bedeviled throughout the race by the nail-polish glaze of phoniness. It is a glaze, and there is a real Romney underneath it. That man consists of his religion, which he defends eloquently; his ambition to follow in his father’s footsteps, and to succeed where he failed; and his confidence in his own intelligence and talents. Political principles are not part of the mix and have been adopted to suit circumstances."
  • Mike Huckabee (aka Bush 3.0, aka Quayle v.2, aka The New Jimmy Carter): "Huckabee’s faux-na├»ve riff on Romney’s Mormonism and the siblings of Lucifer was slick, vulgar, and depraved — the image of the man who uttered it."
  • Ron Paul: "Ron Paul is a 72-year-old 20-year-old."

I am, I think, leaning towards Thompson, with McCain as my second choice.

All the same, though, I'm guiltily relieved that the nomination will probably have been wrapped up before Wisconsin goes to the polls this time around.

--Shack