President Obama’s performance in the first debate was, unarguably, pretty lethargic, and he took a big hit in the polls shortly afterward. The general wisdom drawn from this, especially on the democratic side of the aisle, seemed to be that what was really needed in the debates was, thus, more aggression. Biden delivered this in his own unique way in the Veep debate, to such an extent that one wondered at times whether he would have to be removed from the stage in a straight jacket, still alternating between wild cackling and angry shouting, but at last he ran out of gas and calmed down in the last 20 minutes. Obama has a sense of personal dignity that Biden lacks, and so although he certainly came to the debate in a pugilistic frame of mind, he didn’t make himself silly in the way that Biden did. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the debate was supposed to feature the candidates answering questions directly from voters, it instead was most notable for intense bouts of the candidates rhetorically hammering each other.
The common wisdom is that this kind of thing turns undecided voters off. I saw some anecdotal evidence of this in the reactions of my less partisan friends on Facebook, one of whom posted in indignation:
Dear Gov Romney and Pres Obama,
Every time you keep talking when you are reminded that a normal citizen has a question for you, you reinforce that you think what you have to say is more important than the concerns of the people of your country. You both lost my vote tonight.
This aside, though, I think the focus on rhetorical dominance and aggression has probably been misplaced. Was it really that Obama’s performance in the first debate was so sluggish that cost him so much in the polls? I don’t think most Americans care whether the president is a skilled debater or not. Continue Reading →
4. Romney the Good-Romney gave another good debate performance and I expect he will do just as well in the third debate. If Obama is hoping for Romney to stumble or commit a gaffe, I think he will wait in vain.
5. Boxing match-Although the back and forth got a bit tiresome to me after a while, I did like the way in which both candidates talked directly at each other. Romney did make the mistake of asking too many questions of Obama, as if he were going to get any forthright answers. Continue Reading →
I posted debate advice for Mitt Romney prior to the first debate which may be read here. My advice for round two is as follows:
1. Don’t Get Cocky-You had an exceptionally good first debate. Enjoy it and forget it. That was round one of a three round fight, and who is left standing at the end of the third round is how you determine the victor.
2. Don’t Sit on a Lead- That is what Obama tried to do in round one and it was a disaster. Don’t make that elementary mistake.
3. This is a Townhall Meeting-We have Joe and Jane Citizens asking the questions and that is a challenge. The media is predictable, ordinary citizens are not. Listen closely to the questions and answer them. Ignoring questions at a townhall can be ruinous, especially if they are inane.
4. Aggressive Obama-After his fairly passive performance at the last debate, Obama will probably come out full of fight. That can work to your advantage at a townhall if Obama comes across as over the top before a live audience. After the Biden debacle I think he will probably avoid this, but don’t be surprised if he has flashes of temper and be ready to capitalize on them.
5. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs-You can bet that almost every person in that townhall will have a friend or relative who is either unemployed or underemployed. Pledge to turn the economy around and put America be back to work. Be detailed as much as time allows. People were impressed the first go round at your breadth of knowledge and your ideas. Play off of those strengths. Continue Reading →
There is a great scene in Kipling’s story The Man Who Would Be King. Two British adventurers take over a fictional kingdom, with one of them pretending to be a god. The whole exploit goes pear-shaped when the “god” attempts to marry a local girl. She belts him and he begins to bleed. The local pagan priests seeing this yell out, “Neither God nor Devil but a man!” and things head badly south for the two conmen.
Something similar has happend to the erstwhile South side Messiah since his first debate with Romney. Byron York interviewed a young woman who, I think, speaks now for many in her generation:
Danielle Low, a 22 year-old preschool teacher in Lebanon, is the quintessential Romney target voter. In 2008, she was newly eligible to vote, and she chose Barack Obama. “But then I gave birth to my first son, and I knew we needed a change,” Low said. “We bought a house in ’09 and we’re struggling every day, my husband and I are. I just want to see things turn around. I want to be able to afford to have another child. I want to be able to afford to buy a house where we want to live, and right now, with the economy the way it is, we can’t do that.”
“I think President Obama tricked me into voting for him,” Low continued in an impromptu discussion that could have doubled as a Romney ad. “I feel like he lied to me. He made promises he couldn’t keep. He played on my young emotions. He played on me because I was young and naïve. I didn’t know anything about the world. I believed that he was going to give us a change. I just feel like he made a lot of promises — there’s no way he followed through with them. I haven’t seen any change. I’ve seen change for the worse, not change for the better. So I hope Mitt Romney can carry us through the next four years.” Continue Reading →
Thomas Peterffy came to this country as a penniless refugee from Communist Hungary. He could not speak English when he got here. Currently he is worth five billion dollars. It is obvious that almost all of the immigrants to this country have not succeeded materially in the outstanding fashion that Peterffy has, but it is also safe to say that almost all have greatly bettered themselves materially, while enjoying freedom, the birthright of all Americans. He is not the first refugee from Communism I have read about who has pointed to unsettling parallels between what he experienced in the nation that he fled from and what has been going on in this nation for the past few years.
Smitty at The Other McCain has a brilliant riff on The Gettysburg Address in regard to the debate last night:
Four score and five interruptions ago our zany uncle brought forth on this continent a new indignation, conceived in contempt for liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created to serve the state.
Now we are engaged in a soft civil war, testing whether that indignation, or any indignation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great debate-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a blog post for he who here gave 90 minutes of his life that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should blog this. Continue Reading →
Indicating the seriousness with which our Bishops view this electoral contest, they wasted no time in taking Biden to task for his lie about the HHS Mandate in the debate last evening: Continue Reading →
Alright, I’m in full political crack monkey mode from here on till the election, so I’ll be the one to throw up the instant reactions thread.
My take: This was not the total blowout that the first presidential debate was. Ryan was calm and professional the entire time. Biden brought his Cerberus-style split personality, one head Cheshire Cat, the other head rabid attack dog. He called Ryan a liar in the very first exchange and kept it up all night, at one point even accusing the moderator of lying. Then, during the last fifteen minutes Biden meds ran out and he fell back on the gravely “I’m so concerned” voice for the rest of the debate.
Overall, I’d rate it a draw. I think partisan Democrats are mostly elated, since all they’ve wanted for the last week is to see someone interrupt a Republican and call him a liar, and Biden did indeed do that constantly. Republicans had nothing to cringe about in Ryan’s performance. Ryan remained cool and collected throughout and scored the one audience reaction line of the night in defusing Biden’s attempt to demagogue the 47% quote.
What Independents will have thought I honestly can’t say, though I see a CNN poll of undecided voters called it for Ryan by a 48 to 44 margin. My guess is, this does nothing to help Obama claw back from his collapse with the ordinary voting public, but it does help the Dem campaign by soothing the utter panic which has gripped much of the left over the last week. I’d guess we’ll see basically consistent poll numbers (between a tie and Romney up one) for the next week until the next Presidential debate. Then we’ll see. The big problem for Obama is that the next debate is strictly foreign policy and the one after that is a town hall meeting, so he never gets to imitate Biden’s mad dog routine on domestic policy.
If, as I expect, the Obama-Biden ticket goes down in flames on election day, Biden in his debate performance has ended his political career with a bizarre coda. How bizarre? Let us go point by point, along with my other thoughts on the debate.
1. Hyena Joe-Throughout the debate when Ryan was talking Biden was laughing and smirking. I assume Biden forgot about the split screen coverage on television. Judging from the talking heads post-debate, it made a very bad impression.
2. Manic-Depressive-Joe began the debate very manic as if he had swallowed a crate of jolt cola. By the end he was completely wound down, like a wind up toy at the end of its cycle, or someone had shot him with an animal tranquilizer. Very odd.
3. Canned Responses-Biden obviously had a checklist of points he had to mention: 47%, check, etc. The problem with having a checklist is that it takes fairly quick wits to put the list seamlessly into a debate performance, and I thought Biden’s interjections were far from seamless.
4. Joe Making Things up Again-As he has throughout his career, Biden simply made things up when he was in a tough spot in the debate. In response to the Libya question which clearly had him flustered, Joe claimed that the intelligence community initially thought that the Benghazi attack was preceded by a protest over the Mohammed video. That is completely at variance with the facts.
5. Wildman v. The Professor-Obviously the Democrats were reacting to passive Obama from the first debate. Biden was always interrupting, some 82 times or thereabouts. The”moderator” was completely useless. Ryan was too much the professor in manner and should have reacted more to the out of control Biden. Continue Reading →
The differences about to be exhibited in the Vice Presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan couldn’t be more striking, and no I don’t mean in just the political arena but in the religious realm as well. The Vice President proudly states he was never a “John Paul II guy, I was a John XXIII guy.” He relishes the fact that in class he openly doubted such central teachings of Transubstantiation during his Catholic school days. He tells us that when he went to Rome his mother told him; “don’t kiss the Pope’s ring.” (Boy it is a good thing Mrs. Biden didn’t know my soft spoken mother, otherwise she would have received an uncharacteristic earful. Heaven help her if she met my German grandmother (my mom’s mother) who would have undoubtedly pulled a rolling pin, a frying pan and whatever else she could come after her with to put the fear of God into her.)
Congressman Ryan comes from generation John Paul II and is not afraid to tell us so. Faithful Catholics of Congressman Ryan’s age see the Joe Bidens of the world and roll their eyes. As one young woman once told me, “if they (Joe Bidens of the world) had any decency they would just tell us the truth; the only thing they believe in is their self absorbed, distorted views of their world. They should really leave since they are being disingenuous for staying in something to which they don’t believe.” she said. Well many have and the Joe Bidens of the world would have us believe that it is our fault for not “evolving.” This is a common word in Catholic liberal (and secular) parlance to describe their views on the world from abortion to same sex marriage. In the case of the Joe Bidens of the world, if you can question the tenets of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, the beliefs of the Founding Fathers outlined in their landmark documents are hardly safe from revision.
In my just released book; The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn, I delve into the rise in vocations, devotions and the fast growing orthodox Catholic college campuses like Franciscan, Ave Maria, Benedictine in Kansas, Wyoming College and St. Thomas Aquinas. Folks like Joe Biden just don’t get it. To them Notre Dame is too conservative for in their view how could the university lose $120,000,000 in alumni contributions and face such opposition among student groups and the Holy Cross Seminarians concerning the controversial visit of and award given to President Barack Obama. Continue Reading →
When a political campaign gets spooked, the campaign often does foolish things. Attempting to make Big Bird, Big Bird!, an attack vehicle for the Obama campaign has to be the stupidest move I have seen by any campaign this year. Why is it stupid? Let us count the ways:
2. Toosilly-The attempt to claim that Romney views Big Bird as a bigger threat than white-collar thieves is too ludicrous for words.
3. Bernie Madoff, Democrat Donor-Starting off with a mug shot of Bernie Madoff was a laugh, since Madoff has given over two hundred thousand to the Democrats since 1991.
4. Big Bird is a Big Issue?-With the country having a real unemployment rate, when discouraged former workers are included, of 14 percent, the Obama campaign is wasting time trying to make Big Bird an issue? Seriously?
And just to show that the desire to fight the data is bi-partisan, now Democrats are trying to explain away the polls, with Jonathan Chait arguing:
Polls have very low response rates. Sometimes short-term events that dominate the news cycle excite partisans and make them more likely to answer pollsters — it happened when Romney picked Paul Ryan — but they don’t reflect a deep remaking of the public opinion landscape, which remains fairly settled.
Of course, that’s true. Polling is a very uncertain science, and there are lots of unknowns like partisan differences in response rates. Of course, that’s equally true whether your candidate is ahead or behind, but it’s something that people usually only emphasize in the latter case.
Joy Allen, co-chair of the pro-life committee of her parish, Saints John and Paul in Franklin Park, PA, received another call yesterday. The first Obama caller had asked for her daughter; the second asked for her son — both are registered Republicans. The call came from 215-796-4259 at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.
After telling the caller her son was not at home, the caller said she was from the Obama campaign and wanted to know how he would be voting.
Joy reported to me:
“Well, I could not believe that I had received another call from the Obama campaign looking for another of my college aged children in less than a week. I informed the caller that my son was a practicing Catholic and would not be supporting a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage candidate who did not respect the Catholic faith in his HHS mandate that would force all Catholics to pay for birth control, sterilization, and the abortion pill.”
At that point, the Obama supporter started reading from the same script that Joy had heard from the first call.
“Well, I am a practicing Catholic, and I have no problem supporting Obama. How can you support a Mormon who does not believe in Jesus Christ….” Continue Reading →
Gallup has announced that in their tracker Mitt Romney has pulled dead even with Obama since the debate:
Registered voters’ preferences for president are evenly split in the first three days of Gallup tracking since last Wednesday’s presidential debate. In the three days prior to the debate, Barack Obama had a five-percentage-point edge among registered voters.
An Oct. 4-5 Gallup poll finds roughly two in three Americans reporting that they watched the Oct. 3 debate, similar to what Gallup measured for each of the three 2008 presidential debates. Those who viewed the debate overwhelmingly believe Romney did a better job than Obama, 72% to 20%. Republicans were nearly unanimous in judging Romney the winner. But even Democrats rated Romney as doing a better job than Obama, 49% to 39%. Continue Reading →
This is the latest attack ad by the Democrat National Committee. How clueless are those guys? Do they think that Romney being assertive in the debate will be regarded by anyone, other than the yellowest of yellow dog Democrats, as being a bad thing? Actually Obama talked four minutes longer than Romney did in the debate last night. It only seemed like Romney talked more since he was actually saying things of substance instead of making pointless meandering statements that appeared to be Obama’s main strategy last night.
It was a total rout. Romney dominated the debate from beginning to end. Obama was attempting to sit on a lead which is the worst strategy against an able opponent, and Romney demonstrated that he is a very able opponent tonight in spades. A few thoughts:
1. Best Performance Since Reagan-I have watched every presidential debate. Except for the 1980 Carter-Reagan debate I have never seen any debate where one candidate dominated as much as Romney did tonight.
2. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs-Romney kept the focus fixed throughout the debate on the 23,000,000 unemployed and continually returned to the subject of job creation.
3. Teleprompter Where Art Thou?-Obama gave a wretched performance. He rarely looked at Romney, while Romney always looked at him. Obama either looked at the moderator or had his head bent down, looking at his notes, with a half smirk on his face. His answers meandered and often had no point. Obama needs to dump Lurch, (Senator Kerry), and get someone to coach him who can actually prepare him for a debate. His performance was pathetic, and even his most rabid partisans, as indicated by the video of Chris “Tingle up my leg” Matthews at the beginning of this post indicates, realize it.
4. Mitt the King Wonk-The amount of detailed knowledge that Romney had at his fingertips was astounding. I know it astounded Obama, the pretender policy wonk.
5. Lehrer the Zombie-Before the debate began I thought Jim Lehrer was looking incredibly old. Romney was able to push him aside effortlessly and talk about what he wanted to talk about. Lehrer attempted to throw a few lifelines to Obama when Obama was floundering but his efforts were futile. Lehrer has moderated many presidential debates, but I guarantee the Democrats will make certain this is his last one. Continue Reading →
The Daily Caller has a video of Obama speaking before an audience of black ministers at Hampton College in June of 2007. In that speech Obama acts as if the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is his best bud, tries to speak in the stereotypical cadences of a black preacher at a revival meeting, and attempts to inflame the racial paranoia of his audience:
Veep and beloved National Clown Joe Biden is continuing to do his best to elect Mitt Romney President. His immortal phrase about the middle class being buried for the past four years will live in campaign lore as long as we have presidential campaigns. Like all true comedic geniuses, Joe makes certain that his hilarious routines rest on truth.
I wonder if Joe coordinated his remark with Speaker of the House Joe Boehner who released this on September 24th: Continue Reading →
Tonight we are having the first of three Presidential debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. They have both been engaged in debate preparation, and I would imagine that in both camps close study has been made of the best presidential debate performance ever by a candidate: that of Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter on October 28, 1980 in their one and only debate. Reagan was everything in the debate that a candidate should be: relaxed, in command of the facts, humorous and a master of devastating one liners: “There you go again!” Reagan at the end asked the essential question that almost all American voters do ask themselves when judging a president: “Am I better off than I was four years ago?” American presidential elections usually come down to the state of the economy, and Reagan understood this, and used the poor state of the economy in 1980 with devastating impact against Carter. I was a Reagan supporter and watched the debate with keen interest. After the debate I had no doubt that Reagan was going to win, and probably overwhelmingly. Here is a video of the complete debate: Continue Reading →
This is beyond parody. The above video is an attack ad against Mitt Romney by a man who purports to have picked up his garbage. His complaint? Well Mitt Romney never came out to shake his hand or give him something to drink. I guess Romney helping to pay his salary isn’t enough. The stupidity behind this ad is mind boggling. Will we next have an attack ad from Romney’s newspaper boy who is insulted because Mitt hasn’t written him into his will? Sheesh! Continue Reading →
We’ve reached the point in the election where the press decides to mostly report on how the election is being perceived rather than on any particular events, and since the president is doing well in the polls this results in a lot of “desperate Republicans do foolish things” stories. The flavor of the week seems to be the media’s discovery that somewhere out there in the right-leaning internet, there are people who have made a hobby of “re-weighting” polls in order to reflect what the re-weighters think is a more likely partisan composition of the electorate come election day.
There is, yes, a certain sad desperation about this. Now that election reporting is often more about “the race” than about issues or events, being behind in the race is crippling and so people come up with way to try to explain it away. Those with long memories (eight years counts as long in our modern age) may recall that when Bush was so rude as to be ahead of Kerry in the 2004 race, Michael Moore and those like-minded rolled out a theory that all the polls were wrong because an army of voters who only used cell phones and not land lines (and thus couldn’t be polled) were out there ready to vote against Bush.
However, just as everyone’s getting ready to announce that Republicans, in their constant flight from the “reality based community” have decided they don’t believe in polling, we find out that the left has its own reality problem: They’re convinced that the economy has been getting better over the last couple months, despite the fact there’s little reason to believe this. Gallup and the Pew Research Center both have data out showing that Democrats’ opinions of the economy and the job market have suddenly started improving, despite almost universally bad news over the last several months.
As you can see, partisan affiliation wasn’t much of a dividing factor in assessments of the economy a year ago, but now that a bad economy might mean President Obama not being re-elected, Democrats obediently come to the conclusion that the economy really isn’t that bad. According to Pew, the same divide now exists on the job market, consumer prices, the financial market, real estate, and even gas prices. You would think that at least people could agree on what the level of gas prices is, but no, apparently not, though the gap is narrower there than elsewhere: 89% of Republicans say they hear mostly bad news about gas prices while 65% of Democrats do.
The trope goes that you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. However, as the political divide has become wider and more entrenched opposite sides increasingly do have their own facts, as reality become filtered through a partisan lens.
For only $25.00 you too can have from the official Obama campaign store a portrait of Fearless Leader with his campaign slogan Forward! Sheesh! If the Obama campaign must steal a Nazi slogan, the least they could do is come up with an updated version of the old Hitler Jugend Vorwarts! Vorwarts!
Jimmy Carter’s pollster Pat Caddell calls out the Mainstream Media covering up the Obama administration’s lies on Libya as a fundamental threat to American Democracy:
PAT CADDELL: Thank you. Glad to be with you. This could take a long time, but we don’t have that, so let me just get right to this. I think we’re at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy or not. You know, when I first started in politics – and for a long time before that – everyone on both sides, Democrats and Republicans, despised the press commonly, because they were SOBs to everybody. Which is exactly what they should be. They were unrelenting. Whatever the biases were, they were essentially equal-opportunity people. That changed in 1980. There’s a lot of reasons for it. It changed—an important point in the Dukakis-Bush election, when the press literally was trying to get Dukakis elected by ignoring what was happening in Massachusetts, with a candidate who was running on the platform of “He will do for America what he did for Massachusetts”—while they were on the verge of bankruptcy.
Also the change from evening news emphasis to morning news by the networks is another factor that’s been pointed out to me. Most recently, what I call the nepotism that exists, where people get jobs—they’re married to people who are in the administration, or in politics, whatever. But the overwhelming bias has become very real and very dangerous. We have a First Amendment for one reason. We have a First Amendment not because the Founding Fathers liked the press—they hated the press—but they believed, as [Thomas] Jefferson said, that in order to have a free country, in order to be a free people, we needed a free press. That was the job—so there was an implicit bargain in the First Amendment, the press being the only institution, at that time, which was in our process of which there was no checks and balances. We designed a constitutional system with many checks and balances. The one that had no checks and balances was the press, and that was done under an implicit understanding that, somehow, the press would protect the people from the government and the power by telling—somehow allowing—people to have the truth. That is being abrogated as we speak, and has been for some time. It is now creating the danger that I spoke to.
This morning, just this morning, Gallup released their latest poll on the trust, how much trust—the Congressman [Lamar Smith] made reference to an earlier poll—when it comes to reporting the news accurately, fairly, and fully, and it’s the highest in history. For the first time, 60% of the people said they had “Not very much” or “None at all.” Of course there was a partisan break: There were 40% who believed it did, Democrats, 58% believed that it was fair and accurate, Republicans were 26%, Independents were 31%. So there is this contempt for the media – or this belief—and there are many other polls that show it as well. I want to just use a few examples, because I think we crossed the line the last few weeks that is terrifying. Continue Reading →
Hey Mitt, perhaps your ad men might want to take a look at the ads put out by my personal hero Allen West. One of two black Republican Congressmen, he was redistricted into a much less Republican district and was thought to be easy pickings for his Democrat opponent. Instead, West is clobbering Patrick Murphy, and is now leading by eleven points. How did he do it? Because he knows what he believes in and he fights for his beliefs. Conviction and honest emotion go a long way in politics, along with a verbal hard right to the kidneys every now and then:
In spite of that, President Obama and members of his administration for days afterwards pretended that the attack was in reaction to the video. Go here to read a first-rate time line put together by the Washington Post blog.Why the lie? Several reasons.
1. Osama dead and General Motorsalive-One of the few foreign policies successes of the Obama administration was the killing of bin Laden. A successful al-Qaeda attack on the anniversary of 9-11 undercut this in a huge way.
2. Now we have to do something?-In the midst of the Presidential campaign the last thing Obama wanted was to admit that this was a terrorist attack. Such an admission would require that he take action. In fact Obama has done precious little in the aftermath attack. More than two weeks after the attack, the FBI still has not examined the attack site at Benghazi.
3. Appeasement –The Mohammed video bogeyman allowed Obama to do what his preferred policy is to the jihadists: pretend that if we bend over backwards not to offend Muslims, everything will be sweetness and love between Islam and the West. Continue Reading →
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Springfield, Illinois diocese minces no words as to what is at stake in this election:
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
Much attention was given at the Democratic National Convention held recently in Charlotte, N.C., to the fact that all references to God had been purged from the draft version of the party platform. After outcries of protest from outside as well as within the Democratic Party, the sentence with the same reference to God used in 2008 was restored to read, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
Before anyone relaxes and concludes that all is well now that the Democratic Party Platform contains a single passing reference to God, the way that this was done should give us pause. Convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa had to call for the voice vote three times because each time the sound level for the “ayes” and the “nays” sounded about even, far short of the two-thirds necessary according to convention rules to amend the platform. That did not stop the convention chairman from declaring, “The ayes have it!”
What is troubling about that is the blatant disregard for the rules and for the apparent wishes of about half the delegates. The reference to God is back in the platform apparently because President Obama wanted it back in. That may be fine for now, but if a future president wants references to God taken out, apparently that can be done regardless of the wishes of the delegates if that is what The Leader wants. That does not bode well for democracy in the Democratic Party.
Even more troubling is that this whole discussion about God in the platform is a distraction from more disturbing matters that have been included in the platform. In 1992 Presidential candidate Bill Clinton famously said that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” That was the party’s official position until 2008. Apparently “rare” is so last century that it had to be dropped, because now the Democratic Party Platform says that abortion should be “safe and legal.” Moreover the Democratic Party Platform supports the right to abortion “regardless of the ability to pay.” Well, there are only three ways for that to happen: either taxpayers will be required to fund abortion, or insurance companies will be required to pay for them (as they are now required to pay for contraception), or hospitals will be forced to perform them for free.
Moreover, the Democratic Party Platform also supports same-sex marriage, recognizes that “gay rights are human rights,” and calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law signed by President Clinton in 1996 that defined marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.
Now, why am I mentioning these matters in the Democratic Party Platform? There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils. My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral issues. I would be abdicating this duty if I remained silent out of fear of sounding “political” and didn’t say anything about the morality of these issues. People of faith object to these platform positions that promote serious sins. I know that the Democratic Party’s official “unequivocal” support for abortion is deeply troubling to pro-life Democrats.
So what about the Republicans? I have read the Republican Party Platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin. The Republican Party Platform does say that courts “should have the option of imposing the death penalty in capital murder cases.” But the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (in paragraph 2267), “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm — without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself — the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”
One might argue for different methods in the platform to address the needs of the poor, to feed the hungry and to solve the challenges of immigration, but these are prudential judgments about the most effective means of achieving morally desirable ends, not intrinsic evils.
Certainly there are “pro-choice” Republicans who support abortion rights and “Log Cabin Republicans” who promote same-sex marriage, and they are equally as wrong as their Democratic counterparts. But these positions do not have the official support of their party.
Again, I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.
I pray that God will give you the wisdom and guidance to make the morally right choices.
The Romney and Obama campaigns have released two talking head ads. Obama’s ad consists of a laundry list of things he wants to do, which begs the question why he didn’t do any of them in his first term. Two things struck me about the ad. First, where Obama says we should take the savings from not being in Afghanistan and use that money to pay down the national debt and for “nation building”, shudder, here at home. The mendacity of this is truly startling since with a trillion-dollar deficit Obama knows that there is no money other than borrowed money that will be freed up by no more involvement in Afghanistan. The statement screams the complete contempt that Obama has for the intelligence of most of his supporters. Second, the sinister phrase “economic patriotism”. It brings to mind the Democrat dream tax return. Question One: “How much income did you make last year? Insert answer in blank and send a check for that sum made payable to the United States Treasury.” Continue Reading →
Karl Rove, a hero to much of the Right and a demon figure of the Left. Frankly I have never been that impressed by Rove. In 2000 he almost threw away a race that Bush was winning going away due to his inability to have Bush admit early in the campaign that he had once been arrested for drunk driving. He should have told Bush, or more likely Mrs. Bush, that everything tends to come out in a presidential campaign. Instead a Democrat political operative springs this the weekend before the election and converts an easy Bush win into a national ordeal. In 2004 a fairly lackadaisical Bush campaign struggled to defeat John Kerry, a weak candidate who should have been little challenge.
Having said that, Rove in the video above does an excellent job demonstrating why most presidential horserace polls, with their fixation on the 2008 electorate are, to be blunt, crap.
Michael Barone, who I have always regarded as the best political prognosticator, yesterday on the Hugh Hewitt show talked about problems with the current batch of polls: Continue Reading →
Nuclear bomb content warning for the above video. Madonna, the bad actress not the Mother of God, endorses the “black muslim” in the White House. With friends like Madonna, surely Obama does not need enemies!
Update: Madonna is now claiming that her incoherent stream of consciousness endorsement was meant to be “ironic” when she referred to Obama as being a “black Muslim”. Sure. I doubt if Madonna would recognize irony if irony tossed caution to the wind and decided to announce his presence by biting her on her aging rump.
Susquehanna Polling released a poll showing Obama with a two point lead over Romney in Pennsylvania. Today on their blog they have a fascinating post explaining their methodology and why the makeup of the electorate is likely to be quite different from 2008:
Recently two polls conducted by our firm showing President Obama narrowly leading Mitt Romney by 1 point (48% to 47%, sponsored by the Republican State Committee of Penna.), and a second released by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on Sunday, September 23 showing Obama leading Romney by 2 points (47%-45%). Both margins conflict with other surveys conducted recently including one by the Philadelphia Inquirer (Obama +11) and Muhlenberg College (Obama +9). Following are answers to questions about our survey methodology as well as our basis for predicting a close election.
Our vote model for gauging the number of interviews conducted with voters of different demographic groups (things like party affiliation, racial background and age range, etc.) is a blend of turnout models from both the 2008 and 2004 presidential elections, but leans more towards 2004 VTO and is predicated on the belief that turnout this November will not be anywhere near ’08 levels when 5.9 million votes were cast.
First, our ratio of interviews conducted with Republicans and Democrats in our recent polls (49D – 43R) gives Democrats a 6-point advantage based on the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans in actual registration. However, this ratio is slightly more Republican based on both national and state polling showing that Republicans are more likely to vote than Democrats this year given high intensity among Republicans who strongly disapprove of the President’s job performance. Nonetheless, this +6 Democratic advantage is only one point less Democrat than the 7-point advantage these same exit polls gave Democrats in the 2008 presidential election. Besides, simply conducting more surveys with Democratic voters (as some have suggested) doesn’t necessarily translate into more votes for President Obama when you consider that Mitt Romney is winning Democratic-leaning counties in Western Pennsylvania by ten or more percentage points. Nonetheless, it is entirely appropriate to sample Republicans one or two points higher than in 2008 if you believe as we do that voter turnout this November will have little resemblance to the last presidential election.
Second, our ratio of younger to older voters reflects turnout that is likely to be slightly higher with older voters given the lack of enthusiasm from younger voters. In our surveys, 18-44 yr. olds make up 30% of all interviews and voters 45 years of age and older represent the remaining seventy percent. For instance, according to 2008 exit polls voter turnout among 18-29 year olds peaked at 18%, but national and state polling proves interest among younger voters down sharply this year due to higher unemployment with younger voters and college graduates in particular. So conducting approximately ten percent of surveys with 18-29 year olds is a reflection of this lower anticipated turnout among these less-enthusiastic voters. Besides, the fact that Obama backers have suggested that over sampling older voters skews results in favor of Mitt Romney is a striking revelation in a state like Pennsylvania known for having the 5th largest population of senior citizens in the country. Continue Reading →
The first Presidential Debate is coming up on October 3. It will focus on domestic policy. Currently the race is tied up, contrary to many media polls dreaming of a 2008 Democrat D-7 turnout, with both candidates at the mid-Forties. That is bad news for any incumbent. What does Romney have to do in the debate to begin to take the lead?
1.Showing up without horns and a tail. The media currently is so laughably biased that you should gain at least a point by simply demonstrating that you are a fairly intelligent, articulate candidate. One advantage to running against a stacked media is that when voters can see the candidate unfiltered it begins to penetrate through to a few undecided voters that they have been lied to by the media about the candidate not favored by the media.
2. More of the same. One of your main arguments should be that if you liked the last four years you should vote for Obama, because you are bound to get precisely the same policies from him in the next four years.
3. Gas and food. Gas prices and food prices have sky-rocketed under Obama. Hit that hard, and then hit it hard again.
4. Ignore the questions. Rest assured that the questions will range from the asinine to the gotcha. Ignore them. Talk about what you want to talk about while paying mere lip service to answering the question.
5. Jobs, Jobs and Jobs. By the time you are finished make certain that the voters believe that your middle name is “Jobs”. Promise to put America back to work. Tie it in with stopping Obama’s job killing restrictions on energy production. Don’t be shy about saying that Obama has virtually no private sector experience and that it shows, and that if Obama were the CEO of a company, that company would be in bankruptcy court. Continue Reading →
Well that was quick. The Republicans didn’t waste any time in putting together this ad in response to Obama’s claim that you can’t change Washington from the inside. Certainly he will not even try. If the last four years have been your cup of tea, then I think that you should vote for Obama. The next four years if he is re-elected will be more of the same, as the nation careens toward bankruptcy, the economy goes from bad to worse, the welfare state continues to swell, regulations oppress those who disagree with the policies of Obama and a feckless foreign policy leads into a general war in the Middle East bigger than any seen since World War II. Reagan liked to say when he ran for re-election in 1984: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” From Reagan it was a promise. From Obama it would be a threat.
1. A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
2. The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled. The assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.
3. I accuse the present Administration of being the greatest spending Administration in peacetime in all American history – one which piled bureau on bureau, commission on commission, and has failed to anticipate the dire needs or reduced earning power of the people. Bureaus and bureaucrats have been retained at the expense of the taxpayer. We are spending altogether too much money for government services which are neither practical nor necessary. In addition to this, we are attempting too many functions and we need a simplification of what the Federal government is giving the people.
4. Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.
5. It is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of the right order, for a larger and higher organisation, to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies. Continue Reading →
When it comes to Obama and most of the Mainstream Media there are two salient facts:
1. Most members of the Mainstream Media have a crush on Obama that would embarrass many a teen-age girl with its intensity and its studied indifference to facts.
2. Most of the Mainstream Media have been reluctant\hostile to doing elementary investigative reporting into Obama’s past.
The Washington Examiner is now doing the job that other members of the Mainstream Media simply will not do. Go here to read their series The Obama You Don’t Know. The series is a tribute to what reporting, the gathering of facts, can be at its best. I consider myself reasonably well-informed as to Obama’s biography, and I found out things I didn’t know. This is a must read series. It would have been nice to have this information before the election of 2008, but we at least have it now before the election of 2012.
For only $35.00 you too can own a print of the Obama Flag. The (sic) artist who designed this calls it, signficantly enough, Our Stripes. Go here to the official Obama Store to see it in all of its native glory before one of the less crazed acolytes of the Southside Messiah decides to take it down. The bizarre cult-like atmosphere that surrounds Obama is like nothing ever seen before in American political history, and it is a disturbing development in our society.
Update 1: Go here to see a short visual history of the creepy Obama Cult.
Mitt Romney being interviewed in regard to the 47% remark by Neil Cavuto yesterday. (Go here to read Darwin’s brilliant post on the 47% controversy.) I have never been a fan of Mitt Romney, who I have nicknamed the Weathervane. I have always planned to vote for him, but almost entirely in order to get Obama out; Mitt Romney becoming President being merely a necessary by-product of ending the Age of Obama. However, I found this interview impressive. Romney ably presented his view that ever-increasing dependence on government is a terrible thing and is a result of the miserable failure of Obama’s economic policies. Romney is taking what is widely assumed by the Obama press agents the Mainstream Media and turning it around by standing his ground. People tend to admire politicians who have convictions they are willing to fight for, even if they do not entirely share the convictions themselves. The rap against Romney has always been that he has no such convictions, nothing that he is willing to do battle for. This is Romney’s opportunity to demonstrate that he does have core beliefs that he will defend, no matter what the chattering heads on television say. Not bad Mitt.
It seems like leftist pundits have decided that remarks by Romney at a fundraiser that were secretly taped and distributed by Mother Jones constitute the latest “now Romney has lost the election” moment. In the video, Romney tells supporters that Obama starts out with a huge base of 47-49% of voters who pay no income taxes, are dependent on government, and thus cannot be reached by Romney’s low tax message.
Both comments spring from a degree of party mythology. It’s not the case that all 47% of people who don’t pay income taxes are Democrat supporters. Because our tax code is so progressive and because of the hefty child tax credit and earned income tax credit (both of which are things Republicans generally support) a lot of middle income families do not pay taxes. That certainly doesn’t make them default Obama supporters. Many of them are in fact die-hard Republicans, because they don’t participate in the modern Democratic Party’s vision of government dependence and social engineering as the solution to their problems.
That said, I think this particular media tizzy is particularly silly, and the pundits declaring Romney to be badly hurt by this are mostly reflecting the beliefs of a bubble in which the GOP is already hated.
Obama’s remarks were, if anything, far more offensive to potential swing voters. He categorized whole sections of the country, demographically, as being given over to bitterness because they hadn’t seen progress and explained that this bitterness came out in their becoming attached to guns, religion, hating minorities and immigrants, etc. There are a lot of small town people who like to hunt and go to church and don’t think of themselves as racist who nonetheless were potential Obama swing voters in 2008.
By contrast, Romney’s analysis may be off (and I don’t think that does him any credit) but it’s really hard for me, at least, to picture someone saying, “Gee, I was really thinking Romney might have some answers on the economy, but now I heard this clip where he says that people who don’t pay taxes and want to be dependent on the government are in the bag for Obama, and I’m proud of the fact that I don’t pay taxes and depend on the government, so forget about him! I’m supporting Obama.”
A lot of people who don’t, on net, pay taxes don’t really think of themselves as not paying taxes. The tax code is complex enough to make it tricky to tell in some ways. (And they pay other taxes even if they don’t pay federal income tax.) Nor do many people who are potential GOP voters think of themselves as dependent on government. If anything, the argument that Obama already has a huge advantage because he’s bribing voters with lots of government handouts seems to fit with Romney’s overall campaign message. Whether that’s a winning message I don’t know (I hope it is) but it’s hard for me to see how this is actually all that damaging.
The latest in appeasing the Jihadists. No doubt this was to be revealed in 2013 if the American people were stupid enough to re-elect Obama:
The U.S. State Department is actively considering negotiations with the Egyptian government for the transfer of custody of Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as “the Blind Sheikh,” for humanitarian and health reasons, a source close to the Obama administration told The Blaze.
The Department of Justice, however, told The Blaze that Rahman is serving a life sentence and is not considered for possible “release.” Previous calls to the State Department were referred to the Department of Justice and so far, the State Department has neither confirmed nor denied the report.
Glenn Beck revealed the controversial news on his show Monday.
The Blind Sheikh is currently serving a life sentence in American prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but the newly-elected Islamist government in Egypt has been actively petitioning his release. Many have pinpointed a cause of last week‘s unrest in the country to be protests over the Blind Sheikh’s release — not an anti-Muslim YouTube video. Continue Reading →
The Obama administration continues to show complete contempt for American liberties.
In the wake of the Benghazi and Cairo debacles, and the administration being caught completely flat-footed in regard to these coordinated assaults on our embassies, the Obama administration has acted to attempt to escape any responsibility.
First, they have had their lickspittle media friends blame Romney for speaking out. Ah yes, Romney attacking the craven statement of the Cairo embassy is the chief problem and not minor issues like the Middle East going up in flames and the Obama administration being completely clueless as to what to do.
Second, the State Department is refusing to take questions, from those few members of the media who still occasionally act like reporters instead of unpaid Obama press agents, until their investigation is complete. The Good Lord knows how long that would take, but I would wager Wednesday November 7, 2012.
Third, the administration is still attempting to claim that these attacks are the result of the film attacking Mohammed. Of course that was merely the pretext for the attacks. The administration knows this, but its policy of appeasement of jihadists would be in jeopardy if they admitted that the silly film had virtually nothing to do with these revenge attacks on the anniversary of 9-11.
Fourth, when one is seeking to evade responsibility having a nice fat scapegoat is very convenient. Thus we have the maker of the film, who is on probation for a bank fraud conviction, being taken into custody for questioning as to his alleged violation of the terms of his probation. The alleged violation is for using a computer not connected with his work. Of course the administration cares not a fig about that. It wants jihadists abroad and Americans at home to see that Obama is getting tough with this fellow who stirred up all the trouble. (Ignore all those jihadists! It is all the fault of this guy!) That this tramples over the man’s First Amendment rights is of absolutely no concern. The Administration might wish to eventually haul in this fellow’s co-conspirators: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison and all the other Founding Fathers who gave us the freedom that Obama is seeking to shred.