Small town mayor criticism = bitter, cling to guns, religion?

The first Obama campaign response to McCain’s VP announcement of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin didn’t highlight that she was a governor.  Instead, it belittled her as a small town mayor.  This morning, I finally remembered what Barack Obama said to his San Francisco peers about small-town-America.  Is he trying to communicate that Sarah Palin is one of those bitter Americans, so bitter that her reason for clinging to guns and religion is self-explanatory?  My goodness, what if she gets elected, and actually brings her guns to Washington with her?  What if she starts each day on the job as VP with prayer?  Can we afford to have a bitter American as VP who will turn Washington on its head like Palin would?

Maybe I’m way off base.  Hugh Hewitt has written a compelling blog entry at Townhall.com that offers an alternative explanation of the Obama camp’s urge to tear Sarah Palin apart, and I recommend that everyone read it.

Fed up with the left’s charges of “tokenism”

The left cannot escape the mindset of identity politics, despite Obama’s talk of post-racial, post-gender, post-ideological, and post-generational politics.

When they look at Sarah Palin, the only thought that comes to their mind is that she’s a woman.  To the left, if a woman can’t pass muster with Emily’s List, she can’t be taken seriously.  Thus she’s a token.

I have a challenge for the political left:  Name a governor with higher approval ratings than Sarah Palin.

I’m waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Time’s up.

I submit to you that the reason why Sarah Palin’s approval ratings reach up to 80% is because she is superb at doing her job.  Performance on the job is her qualification.

She’s cleaning up the excesses of her corrupt predecessors.  Do you think that fact would leap to the attention of Senator McCain, who was so stung by “Keating 5” that reform has been his mission ever since?  I think so.

She’s vetoed bill after bill after bill to force the legislature to weed the pork out of the budget.  Do you think that fact would leap to the attention of Senator McCain, who has fought earmarks in Washington?  I think so.

She’s appointed Republicans, Democrats, and independents to positions in her administration and gotten more accomplished in 2 years than her gubernatorial predecessor did in 12 years.  Do you think that fact would leap to the attention of Senator McCain, who has railed against gridlock and reached across party lines to get things done?

Among the things she’s gotten done is a natural gas pipeline project that sat on the drawing board for 30 years is finally getting underway.  She’s shown a commitment to finding more energy solutions in an environmentally responsible manner.  Do you think that fact would leap to the attention of Senator McCain, who has campaigned for America’s energy independence?

Let’s be clear: There is no one more qualified to be on a McCain ticket than Sarah Palin.  McCain sees elements of himself in the impressive resume of Sarah Palin.

Choosing the governor who is doing better at her job than any other in America is not tokenism!

And why wouldn’t the best governor be among those ready to be President at a moment’s notice?

The political left is being entirely dishonest about the charges of tokenism, entirely dishonest about the talk of a new, unifying, brand of politics, and entirely dishonest about changing Washington.

The change ticket I believe in is the one that has ACCOMPLISHED change, not the one that only has talk.

Palin’s quality of experience

I was watching On The Record with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Channel when an Alaskan journalist explained that Sarah Palin’s approval ratings as governor were above 80% because she’d accomplished more in less than two years than the previous governor had accomplished in 12 years (spanning 3 full terms).  She’s a “go-getter” who “doesn’t let the dust settle around her.”  Apparently, she has a talent for multi-tasking, which means DOING things, not just talking on a stage with help from a teleprompter.

So for the Obama camp to belittle her accomplishments because she has less than two years experience as governor, with a prior stint as a small town mayor, fails to really capture what she can do for America.  She took on the “good old boys,” but, unlike me, she actually won AND the “good old boys” were within her own party.  She exposed their corruption, and that may partly be why Sen. Ted Stevens is under indictment right now.  Besides policing the corruption, she ramrodded through ethics reforms, got a natural gas pipeline construction project off the ground, and trimmed earmarks out of the state budget through prodigious use of the gubernatorial veto power.  She’s visited Alaska’s National Guard troops while they were deployed in Kuwait and Iraq.  All departments of the state answer to her, and she makes decisions of great consequence many times every day.

Her 2 years equal more than her predecessor’s 12 years.  Let’s not just look at this in a quantitative way.  If we look at it in a qualitative way, you can begin to appreciate why the Republican base is so happy to have her on the ticket, especially the OHIO Republican base, which was demoralized by GOP scandals leading up to the disastrous elections of November 2006.  This woman is not just a McCain gimmick, as the Obama camp so savagely derides her to be.  She represents the solution to a problem that has plagued Ohio and has definitely plagued Washington.  Much has been made of the President’s low approval ratings, but the ratings of Congress are even worse.  Sarah Palin is the dynamic individual that represents the prescription for what ails us.

I don’t know what terrifies the Obama camp more:  the fact that the Republican base is now unifying and getting motivated; or the prospect that if the McCain-Palin ticket is elected, Washington will have its secrets exposed and have to finally clean up their act.  I think there may be a lot of shenanigans Sen. Biden might have some awareness of (since he’s been there for 36 years) that have to be straightened out.

I ran for state representative twice in Ohio’s 56th House District, in 2002 and in 2004.  I had no prior experience holding elective office.  The incumbent I was running against had nearly 30 years of experience in office.  I remember having to debate the issue of experience with the editors of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, who place great importance on experience when weighing endorsement experience.  I explained that qualifications for serving in the legislative branch are different than serving in the executive branch.  I said that experience (and a resume) DOES matter for executive (and judicial) branch offices, but positions on issues should be the main deciding factor for choosing legislative candidates.  Our constitution has checks and balances not just between the three branches of government, but also checks and balances between professionals and amateurs, in order to make sure we have government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  Amateurs make the laws in order to make sure that laws are fair for everyone.  It’s ideal to have a cross-section of people representing us in legislatures.  You don’t want legislators to serve in office for too long because you don’t want them to develop an “inside the Beltway” mentality where they become less connected and less sensitive to the will of the people.  But while amateurs make the laws, professionals in the executive branch enforce the laws.  In the judicial branch, their are judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys that are all professionals, but there is still a check and balance by amateurs who form a jury of peers.  Running for state representative has no qualifications other than residing and being registered to vote in the district where you are running. The relative brevity of legislative terms is another demonstration of how legislators were envisioned to be amateurs by the framers of the Constitution.  I told the Chronicle-Telegram editors that I was fully qualified to run for the legislature, and that they were adding unnecessary criteria when making their selection.

I also spoke to the Chronicle-Telegram editors about the poor quality of experience of the incumbent.  With all the quantity of experience, measured in years, that the incumbent had logged, there was a dearth of accomplishments.  I not only talked about the volume (or lack thereof) of legislation produced by the incumbent, I also cited the condition of the 56th District (crime, blight, pollution, poverty, education deficiencies, unemployment, etc.) as evidence that the incumbent had really done very little to advance the cause of the people he represented.  Why not take a chance on a newcomer when there’s a lack of productivity from the incumbent (despite the quantity of experience) and when I’m not running for an executive or a judicial branch office?

The office of U. S. President, however, is an executive branch office.  One needs a resume.  Being that it’s the highest executive branch office in the land, a candidate ought to have experience in a lesser executive role in order to make the case that they are up to the task of tackling the highest office.  John McCain had a command within the U. S. Navy.  Sarah Palin has been a mayor and a governor.  As Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin was at the helm of a state that is larger than many nations, with a GDP greater than that of many nations.  McCain and Palin have both been exemplary.

Senator Obama and Senator Biden have legislative experience.  Legislators are amateurs that represent the people.  Obama and Biden have, in a way, bastardized the legislative capacity in which they serve  by way of becoming professional politicians.   Professional politicians have a place in the executive and judicial branches, but a cross-section of common people, ideally, were to serve for relatively short stints.  Legislators take stands on issues, write legislation accordingly, debate issues, gather support for issues, vote on issues, and serve constituents.  They don’t carry out the law.  They don’t enforce the law.  They don’t administer the law.  Administration requires professional specialized skills.  Legislating requires skills any literate person can perform.  The legislative experience of Obama and Biden, while appearing voluminous, really amount to virtually nothing when measured against the requirements of the executive branch, especially for the highest executive office in the nation–kind of like how cotton candy can occupy a large volume of space, but when you bite into it, there’s really not much of anything there.

So this is a masquerade.  Obama and Biden are masquerading as though they really have the experience necessary to be President.  The reality is that McCain and Palin are the ones who possess the quality of experience capable of suggesting that they are ready to tackle the challenge of the Presidency.

In the end, while Obama and Biden talk a good game of CHANGE, and mock Palin as being more of the same (along with McCain being more of the same), Palin has actually effected CHANGE.  Talking change on the one hand versus accomplishing change on the other . . . I have to conclude that the McCain-Palin ticket is the superior ticket.

Chris Matthews melting down

The struggle to maintain “group think” on MSNBC continues.  The subject for today:  John McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate on the Republican ticket for the U. S. Presidency.

Since the passing of Tim Russert, there has been evident strain within the on-air staff in the NBC news family.  MSNBC has positioned itself as the uber-liberal news network with Fox News as its nemesis.  Especially during the evening lineup, the network is in the tank for Obama.  Moderate, conservative and/or Republican voices are on the chopping block.  Dan Abrams has already had his program axed.  Keith Olbermann ushered Rachel Maddow into the time slot formerly occupied by Abrams.  Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough alternate between conforming to “group think” and asserting diverging views.  Pat Buchanan appears to be next on the chopping block, as Rachel Maddow, the rising star of the network, has already aired her grievances against Pat Buchanan, with Chris Matthews tag-teaming.

Tonight, Chris Matthews was playing more than “Hardball.”  I think he was trying to play “beanball,” trying to hit somebody with his hardest pitches.  He was practically unhinged, acting as if the McCain camp had played a dirty trick on him, and he was out for blood.  Chuck Todd chimed in with charges of “gimmicky” to reinforce the dirty trick notion.  Chris Matthews tried to tie Sarah Palin to Pat Buchanan’s most xenophobic cultural views in an attempt to assassinate both her character and build the case to give Buchanan the pink slip.  Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow are working hard to demonize Buchanan as much as possible, perhaps hoping to make him look worse than Ayers and Rezko so that tying Palin to Buchanan appears more horrific than the ties between Ayers, Rezko and Obama.

Just like saying there’s no difference whatsoever between McCain and Bush is irresponsibly dishonest, so is equating Palin with Buchanan, and that is exactly the political hatchet job that Matthews was trying to pull off on his “Hardball” program.  Only Andrea Mitchell tried soften the bludgeoning blows that Chris Matthews was trying to land on Palin.

Matthews has also dishonestly overstated Palin’s views on homosexuality and abortion as being cruelly in violation of human rights, since that’s how Matthews was trying to characterize Buchanan.  Matthews is portraying Palin as a devout Buchanan disciple.  Unfortunately, there are no checks and balances at NBC to reign in Matthews excesses.

Olbermann is often seen as the one who really pushes the envelope for the extreme left on the network, but he softens his commentary with humor.  Matthews and Maddow have recently cut out the humor and have unveiled a downright savage demeanor.

Ohio GOP rank-and-file welcome Palin

The Obama camp’s attempts to rip apart John McCain’s VP pick, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, during the first few hours since McCain’s announcement, have been awkward, to say the least.  I think Obama should call a time-out for all of his surrogates, have a huddle, and decide on a coherent message that doesn’t involve embarrassing themselves.  I feel embarrassed for the Obama campaign.

I have long thought that the way for McCain to win Ohio was to campaign on government reform.  The Republican base in Ohio was truly demoralized as it was given the task of purging tainted GOP officeholders from their offices in the 2006 elections.  I worried that the most challenging task for McCain was to get out the vote when the base was disillusioned with the Republican brand in Ohio.  The rank-and-file Republicans in Ohio needed to believe that some scandal-free crusaders still existed that would battle government corruption on behalf of the people.

This morning, Senator John McCain introduced Governor Palin to an audience of about 11,000 who were gathered on the campus at Wright State University.  The audience was elated.

Palin is the kind of candidate we’ve been waiting for.  McCain’s VP choice signals that he is serious about championing the people in reforming Washington.  McCain has taken the very important first step he needed to take in order to energize the base and get out the vote.

I’ve been grinning from ear-to-ear ever since the announcement was made, despite Democrat attempts to land devastating blows against McCain’s choice.

Barack Obama and surrogates, just chill for a few moments, get your wits together, and think about what you’re going to say before you say it so you can stop embarrassing yourselves.

DNC 4th night

The Democrat National Convention wrapped up with a speech by Barack Obama that was more contentious than anticipated.  While many pundits predicted that surrogates and VP nominee Joe Biden would act as the attack dogs and deliver the red meat, the speeches of said surrogates mostly fell flat.  Much of the mood of unity in the audience during the early going appeared to be bolstered by the musical performances of famous singers.  Barack Obama assumed the role of attack dog, not reaching the lofty heights of his famous keynote speech of four years ago.  Overall, I think the climax of the convention occurred on the 3rd night, with the speech of Bill Clinton.

DNC 3rd night

I won’t elaborate a whole lot.

The convention love fest finally began with the conclusion of the delegate roll call vote, with Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York playing the pivotal role.

The theme of the evening was supposed to be national security, but the early speakers seemed to be stuck on last night’s theme until U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland delivered his speech.  Having said that, Cummings’ speech was lackluster.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton delivered the home run speech.  Really.  His speech included everything Obama could have hoped for, and the delegates, universally, ate it up.  Naturally, I disagree with some of Clinton’s assertions, but the speech, as a device to unify the convention, structure the dialog for the upcoming general election campaign, and bolster morale, Bill Clinton brought the goods, and the resulting elation brought down the house.  For those who deny Bill Clinton has a knack for politics, they just need to see and hear the speech, and they’ll develop an appreciation for just how expert he is.

I’ve never been a fan of the Clintons.  I’m still not.  Even as Bill Clinton was talking about Barack Obama rebuilding our military, a voice in the back of my head was saying “And isn’t Bill Clinton partly responsible for why our military needs to be rebuilt?”

Nevertheless, as I said, Bill Clinton hit it out of the park.  For those who were wondering how Barack Obama could possibly get a double-digit bounce in the polls from his convention, Bill Clinton might have single-handedly garnered that bounce.  Polls in the next few days will reveal how effective Clinton was, but I suspect it was very effective.

The remainder of the speeches of the evening paled by comparison.  That crescendo of emotion that was experienced during the Clinton speech never reached those heights for the remainder of the evening, not even when VP nominee Joe Biden spoke.

There were some tender moments, though, when some former military personnel spoke, and a video montage paid tribute to our veterans.  The thought that passed through my mind is that I hope Code Pink of Berkeley, California, is watching, and that I hope Code Pink will rethink Marine Corps recruitment.  Our nation would not be the greatest nation on earth without our men and women in uniform.