“Yes, I will ignore the commanders.”

Our local public radio station was replaying the most recent Hillbama debate, and so I listened to a piece of it that had slipped under my radar the first time. It’s actually quite funny, despite the scary implications of what Hillary is saying she’ll do regarding Iraq if she’s elected President. Here’s what she said, with my little interlineations:

MR. GIBSON: Let me just add a little bit to that question, because your communications director in your campaign, Howard Wolfson on a conference call recently was asked, “Is Senator Clinton going to stick to her announced plan of bringing one or two brigades out of Iraq every month whatever the realities on the ground?” And Wolfson said, “I’m giving you a one-word answer so we can be clear about it, the answer is yes.”

So if the military commanders in Iraq came to you on day one and said this kind of withdrawal would destabilize Iraq, it would set back all of the gains that we have made, no matter what, you’re going to order those troops to come home?

SENATOR CLINTON: Yes, I am, Charlie. And here’s why: You know, thankfully we have a system in our country of civilian control of the military. And our professional military are the best in the world. They give their best advice and then they execute the policies of the president. I have watched this president as he has continued to change the rationale and move the goalposts when it comes to Iraq. [Garbled, but she seems to be saying that Bush has been receiving the best military advice available, and he's been ignoring it so that he can continue to stay in Iraq.]

And I am convinced that it is in America’s best interest, it is in the best interest of our military, and I even believe it is in the best interest of Iraq, that upon taking office, I will ask the secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and my security advisers to immediately put together for me a plan so that I can begin to withdraw within 60 days. I will make it very clear that we will do so in a responsible and careful manner, because obviously, withdrawing troops and equipment is dangerous. [However, when I, Hillary, am President, I won't bother to listen to any advice at all, and then ignore it. Instead, without going through boring channels, based upon my civilian understanding of events in iraq, I'll simply demand that we start withdrawing troops. Hah!]

I will also make it clear to the Iraqis that they no longer have a blank check from the president of the United States, because I believe that it will be only through our commitment to withdraw that the Iraqis will begin to do what they have failed to do for all of these years.

I will also begin an intensive diplomatic effort, both within the region and internationally, to begin to try to get other countries to understand the stakes that we all face when it comes to the future of Iraq. [Because really, those idiot leaders currently have no idea how dangerous it is to have Iran building itself up.]

But I have been convinced and very clear that I will begin to withdraw troops within 60 days. And we’ve had other instances in our history where some military commanders have been very publicly opposed to what a president was proposing to do. [Note how she doesn't say the numbers she'll withdraw. If she removes 10 people, she's kept her promise.]

But I think it’s important that this decision be made, and I intend to make it.

MR. GIBSON: But Senator Clinton, aren’t you saying — I mean, General Petraeus was in Washington. You both were there when he testified, saying that the gains in Iraq are fragile and are reversible. Are you essentially saying, “I know better than the military commanders here”? [He's absolutely right. That is what she said in the first paragraph above.]

SENATOR CLINTON: No, what I’m saying, Charlie, is that no one can predict what will happen. [True, but our military commanders, armed with massive amounts of facts and experience, are presumably in the best position to make some predictions.] There are many different scenarios. But one thing I am sure of is that our staying in Iraq, our continuing to lose our men and women in uniform, having many injured, the Iraqi casualties that we are seeing as well, is — is no way for us to maintain a strong position in the world. [So, again, she's saying precisely what she said before: I'm not only going to ignore the military commanders, I'm not even going to bother asking for their advice because, in an unpredictable situation, I clearly know better than anyone else what's going on and what to do.]

It’s not only about Iraq. It is about ending the war in Iraq, so that we can begin paying attention to all of the other problems we have. There isn’t any doubt that Afghanistan has been neglected. It has not gotten the resources that it needs. We hear that from our military commanders responsible for that region of the world. And there are other problems that we have failed to address.

So the bottom line for me is, we don’t know what will happen as we withdraw. We do know what will happen if we stay mired in Iraq. The Iraqi government will not accept responsibility for its own future. [Bottom line: I have no idea what's going to happen; I'm going to ignore the commanders who warn of a blood bath, and I'm going to withdraw. So there!]

Our military will continue to be stretched thin, and our soldiers will be on their second, third, even their fourth deployment. And we will not be able to reassert our leadership and our moral authority in the world.

And I think those are the kind of broad issues that a president has to take into account.

What’s really scary is that Hillary is less wacko on this subject than Obama.

Oops!  Looked at the clock.  Gotta run.

The MSM — mis-educating the masses

In the old days — pre-internet — politicians were able to get away with a lot of lies.  This wasn’t because they lied better than they do now.  It was because it was more difficult to suss out the truth and, even if one was successful in doing so, it was very challenging, if the liar was a media favorite, to get the media to report on the story.  That has changed, of course.  The internet means that, sometimes within hours of a public figure’s lie, the truth comes streaming down the pipeline.  Even if the old media doesn’t want to report it, it nevertheless becomes public knowledge.

That being the case, one has to wonder why Obama and Hillary lie and lie and lie and lie.  Hillary, perhaps, can be forgiven because she came of age politically before the new media took over, by which time bad, dishonest habits had set in.  But Obama doesn’t have that excuse, because his political rise came after the new media was already in place.  Since these are both intelligent, goal-oriented people, one would think that they would have a little auto-edit in their brain that reminds them not to talk about sniper fire, not to deny contacts with Tony Rezko, not to pretend that they spent 20 years resolutely ignoring their minister’s sermons, and really, really not to pretend to have gun experience.  As it is, one can easily assume that they are either pathological liars, who are therefore incapable of stopping themselves, or that they are so arrogant about their virtues, and so dismissive of the intelligence of ordinary Americans, that they truly think all those lies won’t have any effect on their images.

At this point, I can see that you’re all asking yourselves, what does this post have to do with the post-title, “The MSM — mis-educating the masses?”  Well, the post title goes to the third possible theory about the chronic lying coming from Hillary and Obama — which is that they’re still counting on the media to run interference for them.  To those of us who live their intellectual lives in the internet, it’s inconceivable that people might still rely solely on the old media for their news, but it is true.  And as Ed Morrissey has pointed out in a post about McCain’s response to Obama’s “bitter” speech, “I think it wouldn’t hurt to point out that most of the press have focused on the only portion of the statement that wasn’t terribly objectionable, and that neither they nor Obama have spoken about casting Midwestern voters as bible-thumping, gun-hugging bigots.”

As it happens, I got direct evidence yesterday that, at least as to some voters, the MSM approach is working.  I was speaking with a liberal friend who feels very informed, because she reads the local paper and watches the news on TV.  She could not understand why I was put off by Obama’s speech.  When I explained that I, along with many others, found it offensive that he contended that economic hardship turned people into “bible-thumbing, gun-hugging,” xenophobic idiots, she categorically denied that he had said any such thing:  “I heard him on the news.  All he said was that places like Pennsylvania have suffered under George Bush’s terrible policies.”  When I assured her that he had said much more than that, she continued in her denial — and refused to look up the full quotation.  In other words, as to that one liberal, the old media had very effectively run interference, leaving her believing that Obama had done no more than point out an economic reality that the “worst President ever” caused, only to be lambasted by radical conservatives.

This absolute refusal to acknowledge facts or to contemplate their import seems to be endemic to liberals.  I got a lovely example in my own home the other day.  Mr. Bookworm and I were sitting on the couch. He got up to brush his teeth, and then returned to the couch. Realizing he’d left the light on, he stood up again, which is when I discovered on the couch, directly under the spot on which his right arm had rested, a long smear of toothpaste that hadn’t been there before. Investigation revealed that he also had toothpaste on his right arm. Toothpaste is very hard to get off of couches, so I said to him, “Hey, you got toothpaste on the couch!”

What was so fascinating was that Mr. Bookworm resolutely denied that he had anything to do with the toothpaste. He didn’t deny that he had just brushed his teeth. Nor did he deny that the toothpaste first made its appearance on the couch after he returned from brushing his teeth. Instead, he kept saying, over and over again, “That can’t have happened. I rinsed all of the toothpaste off of me.”

Right now, all evidence to the contrary, the Democratic candidates and their MSM enablers are resolutely denying that there is any toothpaste on the couch.  Before the internet revolution, this approach would have worked as to all voters.  Now, as we move deeper and deeper into the internet revolution, it is still working with some voters, although I suspect their numbers will continue to decline.

The more I know, the more I like

The MSM is going after McCain, but the fact is that, the more they dribble out details about the man, the more I admire what I learn.  Regardless of his sometimes flawed political instincts (that campaign financing thing, again), he is a very good human being, and an honorable one too.  We know the same can’t be said about Hillary (although I’ll always credit her for being a very good mother to Chelsea), and we’re learning that the same can’t be said about Obama (something Ann Coulter exploits to devastating effect).

The racial candidate

At American Thinker, James Edmund Pennington definitively explodes the myth that Obama is a “post-racial” candidate. In other words, Geraldine Ferraro had it absolutely right when she said, without any of Pennington’s careful analysis, that Obama ascended as quickly as he did solely because of his race. And as Pennington points out, that ascension must now be enshrined, solely because of his race:

The current agony of the Democratic Party, which grows more acute every day, is laden with an unspoken truth. As the unending Clinton-Obama struggle drags on, the core unutterable reality for Democrats is simply this: because of the composition of the Party’s domestic coalition, its continued electoral viability makes absolutely necessary perpetual capture of 90+% of the black vote.

Because of this grim fact — of the Party’s own making — the Clinton/Obama fight is over. Obama has won, and every leading Democrat knows it. In short, because of his race, Obama must be awarded the Democratic nomination. So much for the myth of America’s first major post-racial candidate.

Under no reasonably foreseeable set of future developments, including the possibility Obama’s exposure as a fatally compromised candidate, can Obama be denied the nomination. Doing so would subject the Democratic Party to the unacceptable risk that it would alienate its most dependably monolithic voter bloc. Hence, the daily gnashing of teeth by Party elders and the demand, which grows more hysterical each day, that Clinton concede a contest that at present is nothing more than a hard fought stalemate.

Without keeping focused on the Democrats’ self-chosen demographic cul-de-sac, the growing demands for Clinton’s withdrawal would be inexplicable, indeed, outrageous.

You can read the rest — and you’ll be happy you did — here.

License to tattle

Here’s one of John McCain’s most recent ads, one that claims its sole purpose is to honor his old high school teacher.

Over at Hot Air, they damn it with very faint praise indeed:

Not a terrible ad but also not the best use of money by a guy who’s staring down the barrel of a huge fundraising disadvantage. It’s part of McCain’s “biography tour,” aimed at burnishing the Straight Talk brand and neutralizing Obama’s Messiah narrative with frequent reminders that Maverick is, after all, a bona fide American hero. Jesus vs. George Washington, in other words, which makes this the equivalent of the cherry-tree story. Is this really something that’s going to earn him votes, that he once had a teacher who told him it’s not okay to lie? It works as background, but it’s so schmaltzy and generic — even Obama could get away with an ad like this, notwithstanding his feigned ignorance about Wright and that questionnaire, although Hillary surely couldn’t — that it’s bound to be fade into noise, unless the left digs up a particularly egregious lie in his record and brings this back to make him choke on it.

Everything said above is correct. For once, though, I think the guys at Hot Air completely miss the point. This ad is very important, in that it’s the first step in (a) attacking Obama’s/Clinton’s character and (b) giving McCain a basis for launching subsequent, more substantive attacks. You see, when you watch it, the ad actually says almost nothing about the sainted Mr. Ravenal. Instead it makes much of — and then repeats — the school’s honor code:

I will not lie

I will not cheat

I will not steal

I will report the student who does

We’re all familiar with Hillary’s political history, which is replete with examples of lying (snipers, anyone?), cheating (the list is too long), and stealing (and just how did those files end up in your office, Mrs. Clinton?). Obama’s history, to the extent he’s left one, is appearing just as murky. His prevarications about Wright are becoming the stuff of legend. He’s lied and been caught with regard to a survey he filled out. He cheated and stole the Rezko way. And so on and so forth.

McCain has made some dumb decisions (with campaign finance reform topping the list), and the Keating Scandal will haunt him, but I’m unaware of any stories of lying, cheating or stealing associated with him. Indeed, the last attempt to tar him with that brush backfired mightily, when it turned out that someone else “stole” from him. So, McCain has presented to the American people a mantra — I will not lie, I will not cheat, I will not steal — that defines him and that highlights his opponents’ myriad ethical failings.

More importantly, McCain has just explained to the American people why, during the upcoming head to head clash once the Dems have a candidate, he will have no compunction about pointing out the opposing candidate’s ethical failings. McCain won’t be making those attacks because he’s picking on a girl or an African-American; instead, he’ll be making those attacks because, for his whole life, going back to high school in the late 1950s, McCain has lived by a code that says that the honorable person not only does not engage in unethical behavior, but that he has an obligation to the community to report those who do.

So she was just the little wifey

No comment:

Hillary Clinton’s boasts that she gained major foreign policy experience as First Lady have been undermined after 11,046 pages of her White House schedules provided scant evidence to back up her claims.

The documents were made public by the US national archives after pressure from her rival Barack Obama and freedom-of-information groups.

Many details were redacted at the request of lawyers acting for former president Bill Clinton, citing privacy and national security concerns.

Mrs Clinton’s staff insisted that the schedules illustrated her “extensive and exhaustive work” while arguing that they “of course cannot reflect all of Senator Clinton’s activities as First Lady”.

But her visits to Northern Ireland indicate that she went little beyond the traditional role of a president’s wife attending social events, meeting women’s groups and greeting children.

Despite Mrs Clinton’s claim last week that she was “instrumental” in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, the schedules do not record her attending a single policy meeting in the province.

While her husband was in the White House, she accompanied him to the province three times and made two visits on her own.

During the first trip in November 1995 the only separate items on her schedule were a visit to a women’s drop-in centre and two business parks.

Read more about Hillary’s sweetly womanly duties here.

The reductio ad absurdum of identity politics

What do you do when the person who matches you in the external identity calculus — say, she’s a woman and you’re a woman — proves not to be the women’s champion you hoped? Even worse, what do you do when the person who is the champion you hoped, doesn’t match you in external identity — for example, he’s male and you’re female? Turns out there’s a very simple answer: You redefine the identity of the person who matches your political goals. That’s what a PBS show host has done, after finding Hillary a disappointment.

Young women have rushed to latch onto Obama’s comet coattails. A friend of mine who is fundraising mightily for him says “Obama is a woman” because he’s more pro-choice than Clinton. After all, on that most stereotypical of women’s issues, Clinton refers to the “tragedy of abortion.” She loses progressives as she attempts to navigate the non-existent common ground on this most divisive of issues. Obama, on the other hand, talks about the tragedy of unwanted pregnancies. In what seems to be the sunset of the era of the religious right, that’s quite the courageous stand to take.

If Clinton loses the nomination, do women lose? Rights? Power? Visibility? Clout? Are they not taken as seriously by the political establishment? A month ago I would have told you yes. Now I believe the answer is no. Why? Because metrosexual, pro-choice, pro-health care, anti-poverty Obama is, in every political sense at least, more of a woman than Clinton. (Emphasis mine.)

I hope you got all that. Women were supposed to vote for Clinton because Clinton is a woman. Now that Clinton is failing (and flailing), the question for them is how they can justify taking their vote from her. A little abracadabra and the answer presents itself: Women declare that the next best candidate, all external and biological signs to the contrary, is in fact a woman. It is to laugh, as a friend of mine would say, but for the fact that the consequences of this type of insane “political” analysis have the potential to be so deadly serious for us all.

Hat tip: American Thinker

That slimy trail

I was still an oldlib, not a neocon, when the Clintons finished their White House tenure. I was also uninterested in politics so, like the vast majority of Americans, considered myself informed because I glanced at the headlines. I therefore managed to ignore complete the details and import of Bill Clinton’s sua sponte decision to pardon 16 FALN prisoners, all of whom were serious and unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorists with much blood on their hands. Debra Burlingame, however, has not lost sight of the travesty that the Clintons made of an American President’s extraordinary clemency powers:

The perpetrators were members of Armed Forces of National Liberation, FALN (the Spanish acronym), a clandestine terrorist group devoted to bringing about independence for Puerto Rico through violent means. Its members waged war on America with bombings, arson, kidnappings, prison escapes, threats and intimidation. The most gruesome attack was the 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing in Lower Manhattan. Timed to go off during the lunch-hour rush, the explosion decapitated one of the four people killed and injured another 60.

FALN bragged about the bloodbath, calling the victims “reactionary corporate executives” and threatening: “You have unleashed a storm from which you comfortable Yankees can’t escape.” By 1996, the FBI had linked FALN to 146 bombings and a string of armed robberies — a reign of terror that resulted in nine deaths and hundreds of injured victims.

On Aug. 7, 1999, the one-year anniversary of the U.S. African embassy bombings that killed 257 people and injured 5,000, President Bill Clinton reaffirmed his commitment to the victims of terrorism, vowing that he “will not rest until justice is done.” Four days later, while Congress was on summer recess, the White House quietly issued a press release announcing that the president was granting clemency to 16 imprisoned members of FALN. What began as a simple paragraph on the AP wire exploded into a major controversy.

The controversy wasn’t just Clinton’s decision to pardon these disgusting excuses for human beings — the Left might have tolerated that. What drove people crazy was the way in which he did it — and then the way in which Bill and Hillary played ping-pong with the pardons, as he tried to deflect personal blame and she tried to keep her balance as she ran for the Senate:

Observed Judge George Layton, who sentenced four FALN defendants for their conspiracy to use military-grade explosives to break an FALN leader from Ft. Leavenworth Penitentiary and detonate bombs at other public buildings, “[T]his case . . . represents one of the finest examples of preventive law enforcement that has ever come to this court’s attention in the 20-odd years it has been a judge and in the 20 years before that as a practicing lawyer in criminal cases.”

The FBI cracked the cases with the discovery of an FALN safe house and bomb factory. Video surveillance showed two of those on the clemency list firing weapons and building bombs intended for an imminent attack at a U.S. military installation. FBI agents obtained a warrant and entered the premises, surreptitiously disarming the bombs whose components bore the unmistakable FALN signature. They found 24 pounds of dynamite, 24 blasting caps, weapons, disguises, false IDs and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

A total of six safe houses were ultimately uncovered. Seven hundred hours of surveillance video were recorded, resulting in a mountain of evidence connecting the 16 prisoners to multiple FALN operations past and present.

Federal law enforcement agencies considered these individuals so dangerous, extraordinary security precautions were taken at their numerous trials. Courthouse elevators were restricted and no one, including the court officers, was permitted to carry a firearm in the courtroom.

Given all this, why would Bill Clinton, who had ignored the 3,226 clemency petitions that had piled up on his desk over the years, suddenly reach into the stack and pluck out these 16 meritless cases? (The New York Times ran a column with the headline, “Bill’s Little Gift.”)

Hillary Rodham Clinton was in the midst of her state-wide “listening tour” in anticipation of her run for the U.S. Senate in New York, a state which included 1.3 million Hispanics. Three members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — Luis V. Gutierrez (D., Ill.), Jose E. Serrano, (D., N.Y.) and Nydia M. Velazquez, (D., N.Y.) — along with local Hispanic politicians and leftist human-rights advocates, had been agitating for years on behalf of the FALN cases directly to the White House and first lady.

Initial reports stated that Mrs. Clinton supported the clemencies, but when public reaction went negative she changed course, issuing a short statement three weeks after the clemencies were announced. The prisoners’ delay in refusing to renounce violence “speaks volumes,” she said.

The Clintons were caught in an awkward predicament of their own making. The president had ignored federal guidelines for commutation of sentences, including the most fundamental: The prisoners hadn’t actually asked for clemency.

And so on. It’s a long article, with each paragraph as fascinating as the one that came before.

For me, articles like this really put me in a bind.  I consider Obama the more dangerous Democratic candidate, both because I think he’s loopy politically and because I think he can win, but it’s awfully hard to envision the possibility of the Clinton’s coming back to the White House.  I’d like her to be presidential candidate because I think her negatives are so strong she’ll lose, but, gosh darn it!, do we really want these people using the White House as their slime pit again?

Re-building old stereotypes

When Hillary cried the first time, it apparently humanized her for some.  When she cried the second time, she began to look a little weak and self-centered.  And now that she’s cried the third time (this time, wisely, for someone other than herself) it seems to me she’s feeding into the worst old-fashioned stereotypes of what happens when you place women in politics.  This is starting to look like an old I Love Lucy episode only, instead of Lucy trying to wiggle out a tough spot with a sob and and “Oh, Ricky,” we’re getting Hillary doing dong the wiggling, with a pathetic “Oh, media!  Look at me.  I’m human.”

Are McCain and Hillary/Obama really the same?

I do wonder if my ability to accept McCain is fairly easy because I’m a pragmatist, a neocon or a simplistic thinker. The first is the argument I make: McCain’s not perfect, but he’s better than the Democratic candidates. The second argument is that, because I’m a neophyte conservative, I’m more easily able to back away from core conservative matters and contemplate a more liberal conservative (if that last isn’t an oxymoron). Maybe so. And finally, one could argue that I’ve just got a fairly primitive brain that can’t handle too many complex ideas.

For example, in comments to my posts about McCain, Earl has taken a very interesting, thoughtful and nuanced position. As I understand it, he feels that, if Hillary is in the White House, the Republicans in Congress will act as a strong bulwark against her more liberal policies. However, if McCain is in the White House, he’s inevitably going to drag these same Republicans to the Left, because they won’t be able to form a strong opposition — he is, after all, of their party — and there will be an inevitable drift into the Democratic camp. As for me, probably because I’m not a very nuanced thinker, while I can understand what Earl is saying, I just have a hard time envisioning it actually happening. I think that’s more a limitation in my thinking than a practical statement about the realities that we may face in 2009 if McCain is President. Nevertheless, for every person who thinks in the complex, strategic way that Earl does, I suspect that there are at least two blockheads like me who will be voting in the Fall.

Because Earl is looking beyond McCain and examining McCain’s interaction with Congress, I thought that William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn had a very interesting point about Congress’s impact, not on McCain, but on Hillary, who has suddenly become the candidate of choice for conservatives worried about McCain:

There is a great deal of difference between Senators McCain and Clinton (and Obama), and those records become important as we recognize a few simple facts: We are in an existential war against Islamic terrorists throughout the world. This very week, Senator Clinton was asked what her first act in office would be. She stated that first act would be the beginning of the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq within 60 days. Her first act. That is a surrender to the enemy — there is no other way to portray such a withdrawal and there is no other way it will be portrayed by our enemies and other observers around the world.

Some will say, “She can’t mean it, she’s stronger and more sensible than that.” Caution: Recall that Senator Clinton will be our commander-in-chief from a party that also runs the Senate and House — and the leadership in the Senate and House, not to mention the most active members in them, want us out of Iraq. Even on her most “sensible” day do we think she can be relieved of that pressure? The Democrats on the Hill have been chomping at the bit to make good on their 2006 promises; will she really turn on them? Can she?

In other words, if one assumes — as one must — that Congress will continue with a Democratic majority, even a small one, that majority will push the Commander in Chief — that is, Hillary — to exercise her unique prerogative to end the war. No Republican coalition, no matter how vocal and coordinated, can stop that from happening. Since I believe, as do Bennett and Leibsohn, that the War against Islamism is the most serious existential issue of our time, that’s kind of the end of the argument. Hillary = dangerous when it comes to Islamists; McCain = fairly solid when it comes to Islamists. (And maybe that’s the neocon in me speaking again.)

Bennett and Leibsohn are also more sanguine than are my “I’m an ardent conservative but will vote for Hillary” readers when it comes to the Supreme Court:

Second, we come to the realization that at least one Supreme Court justice is about to retire, and several others will be over age 70 come January 2009. Do we really think the nominees Senator McCain or Clinton (or Obama ) would appoint will be no different?

Let’s go to their records, to the very time-period opponents of Senator McCain cite in their indictment of him.

McCain voted to defund Planned Parenthood last year, Clinton didn’t and would likely expand Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding.

McCain voted to ban partial-birth abortion, Clinton didn’t and would likely reverse the partial-birth abortion ban.

McCain voted for Roberts and Alito and made the case for them in the media, Clinton didn’t.

And in recent spending votes, McCain is also distinguishable from the Democratic herd, even though he’s not as much as a hardliner as solid conservatives would wish:

McCain has never voted for a tax increase, Clinton will increase taxes.

McCain will continue the Bush tax cuts, Clinton will end them.

McCain will end pork-barrel spending, Clinton supports the endowment of projects like the Woodstock Museum with taxpayer funding.

Even on free speech, as to which McCain bears the huge black mark of McCain-Feingold, it will still be worse under Hillary: “McCain sponsored legislation to keep the Fairness Doctrine from rearing its head again, Clinton has not and has signaled moves to revive it.”

The differences that Bennett and Leibsohn point out between the two candidates go on and on and on. It’s worthwhile to read these differences because I think McCain has become something of a bogey-man. He’s certainly not a conservative purist, but he’s no liberal.

Also, as you read the comparisons, it’s important to keep in mind that we internet geeks are the ones who care most strongly about politics, so we’re most likely to stake out carefully thought through ideological positions that are probably going to be more . . . extreme? pure? rigid? Pick your word or add one of your own. The same doesn’t hold true for the vast number of voters, people who want someone who is pretty much like them on most issues, and who isn’t planning on walking away from a war or turning our laws over to the sharia courts. As for all the other issues? Well, as far as those voters are concerned, the other issues are for the blogosphere to argue about.

And as I’ve said in other posts, there is a very good chance that people are clustering in the McCain center because they find almost impossible to contemplate another four years (or more) of the intense political hostility that characterized both the Clinton and Bush presidencies.

I’ll give Bennett and Leibsohn the last word, one that looks to the two alternatives of a McCain presidency and that opts for the more optimistic one:

Let’s admit the concern: Some people predict that a President McCain will open the borders, close Guantanamo, and tie our policies to some false premises related to global warming. We hope he doesn’t, but even critics must admit it is just as likely — if not more so — that his legacy will be the following: He pursued al-Qaeda to the ends of the Earth and vanquished them; he cut deficit spending and vetoed pork-barrel spending over and over again; he appointed four good justices to the Supreme Court; and he reinvigorated a sense of thoughtful patriotism, citizenship, and unselfish devotion to the Republic.

A distinction without a difference

I’ve noted before, based on instinct that, when it comes to substance, nothing distinguishes Obama and Clinton from each other, in that they’re each extremely liberal. That, I said, is why they’ve had to fall back so frantically on their racial and sexual identities. It’s not just the “identity politics” chickens coming home to roost; it’s also the only way you can tell the two apart. My instinct regarding this matter is right on the money: according to the National Journal’s nonpartisan rating of Congress people, both are to the far left politically.  In addition, “‘The policy differences between Clinton and Obama are so slight they are almost nonexistent to the average voter,’ said Richard Lau, a Rutgers University political scientist.”

Also according to the National Journal, McCain has a lifetime rating as a conservative, although he’s grown less conservative with the passage of time.  He is something of a centrist which means, ironically, that if he’s elected, he could be the uniter, which is the mantle Obama currently claims for himself.  That is, Obama speaks unity, but operates at the fringe.  McCain really does seem to function out of the center.

Hat tip: Captain’s Quarters

On McCain’s apparent front-runner status *UPDATED*

Compared to Romney, I don’t like McCain. Compared to Obama or Hillary, I adore McCain and would happily vote for him — heck, if I were voting in Chicago (home turf for both Obama and Hillary), I’d vote for him twice, and have my ancestors vote for him too. You dance with them whut brung ya’, and it looks as if McCain may be the Republican dance partner in the 2008 Presidential election.

So, if you’re one of those conservatives who who thinks McCain is too liberal (and, compared to your candidate of choice, whoever he is, I’m sure you’re right), or who worries about the Gang of 14 (although reading this may allay some of your concerns), or who hasn’t forgiven him for McCain-Feingold, or who just plain doesn’t like him — get over it! He may not be the perfect Republican candidate, but he’s so much better than either Hillary or Obama that it really doesn’t matter. If you believe in conservative principles and fear the fall-out from Democratic policies, you have what amounts to a moral obligation to get out there in November and vote for him. Do not, I repeat, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Also, if it makes you feel better about casting your vote, there are some indications that he is truly a winning candidate. That is, you won’t be compromising your principles with a vote that is ultimately wasted. A Rasmussen poll that the Captain discusses has him beating out both Obama and Hillary if an election were held today. Now, that may change when one of the Dems emerges victorious from the primary process, in which case more voters may coalesce around the winner, but it’s still good news for those who feel that it’s as important for a Democrat to lose as for a Republican to win.

And if you think I’m being exceptionally vindictive in devoutly wishing for a Democratic loss, here’s my defense: While I think we as a nation are a robust enough to fix any economic messes the Democrats may cause, I also think that we have a one shot deal to remain ascendant when it comes to the World War that the Islamists are waging against us. If we have a Democrat in the White House, especially Obama who can’t get out of Iraq fast enough, we’ll have wasted that shot.

(I have to admit I’m not pleased with Michelle Malkin for hinting that she’d rather see Hillary win than help out McCain. Hmmm….)

UPDATEBig Lizards has a very compelling post about McCain’s charisma — an important intangible we often overlook.  I have to say that, when I catch McCain’s speeches on the radio, I enjoy listening, which is not something I can say about any other politician’s speeches, including those of my man Romney.

Eating our own *UPDATED*

I caught a minute of Mike Gallagher today, and he was talking about the fact that Republicans are more critical of Republican candidates than Democrats are critical of Democratic candidates. It occurred to me that, at least in this election cycle, that may be because there are real, substantive differences between the Republican candidates. We’ve got Ron Paul, who is a pure libertarian and possible white supremacist; John McCain, who is strong on defense, but weak on free speech, and spineless to environmental extremists; Mitt Romney, who has positioned himself as a traditional conservative who is for strong borders, a strong national defense, pro-life, etc., with a sound grasp of economic issues; Mike Huckabee, who is loudly Christian, a social conservative, and a big government liberal; and Rudy Giuliani, who is a social liberal and a hawk. With the exception of Ron Paul, all have had leadership experience, but of a very different type: McCain was in the military; Romney ran businesses and the Massachusetts government; Huckabee governed Arkansas; and Giuliani ran huge criminal prosecutions and New York. So, just as there are differences in their approach to conservative politics (and all are more conservative than not), there are also significant differences in their practical experience. Republicans have a real choice, and real choice begets real debate.

It’s different with the Dems. For one thing, none of them have any managerial experience. They’ve all been Senators, which means working with a group of 99 other people. None have them has taken the lead in the Senate, so they can’t even point to leadership experience in those august chambers. John Edwards has a bit more private sector experience than the other two but I can tell you that even the most successful lawyer cannot be compared to a manager. Managing a case is not the same as manager a system — whether that system is a business or a government. Obama was an academic, which is the antithesis of management, and Hillary was, well, Hillary managed Bill, I guess. They’re all good at manipulating people, Edwards because he’s a trial lawyer, and Obama and Hillary because they’re Alinsky disciples, but that’s not leadership or management. So, they’re pretty much the same looked at from that point of view.

In terms of politics, they’re peas in a pod: they want out of Iraq, they deny that Islamists pose a threat to America, they like open borders, and they want more government involvement in everything (parenting, health care, education, managing people’s money, controlling businesses, etc), which means more taxes on people they decide are “rich.”

The fact that Edwards, Obama and Hillary are virtually indistinguishable on paper may explain why identity politics has become so important. It’s not just Hillary’s dirty politics and it’s not just that the “identity politics” chickens are coming home to roost. The preeminence of racial or sexual identity in this race has become the only way you can tell one Democratic candidate from another. And poor Edwards, distinguished by being white and male, is precluded by political correctness from trumpeting that fact. In other words, identity, by being the only difference between the candidates, is also the only area of debate left for the Democrats. And it’s no surprise that it is in this area — the substance-free area that will have absolutely nothing to do with the way in which a Democrat, if victorious, will govern — that the Democratic debate has become most heated.

So, I guess I’m happy that Republicans are focused on substance, and using their free speech rights to hammer out important issues that will have a lasting effect on America (if a Republican wins). And I’m desperately sad that the cookie-cutter Democrats, in order to have a debate and distinguish themselves in the eyes of the voters, have almost completely backed off from any substantive issues (as to which they have no meaningful differences), and devolved into childish racial and gender name calling. If Americans elect one of them, the Country will deserve what it gets.

UPDATE: Regarding the enthusiasm gap the media professes to find between Dems and Republicans, if one does indeed exist, I suspect that has more to do with the enthusiasm Democratic voters have for a shot at the White House than with anything else. That is, I think that, even more than feeling excitement about their own candidates, Democrats are simply excited about a possible chance to defeat Republicans.

UPDATE II: For another reason why there might be an “enthusiasm gap,” keep in mind that, while Bush’s presidency is almost over, Bush Derangement Syndrome continues in full force. Indeed, with the inevitable end of his presidency drawing near, Bush haters seem to be drawing on after burners for some new energy.

Devoid of inspiration, so here’s Genesis

I’m summarizing deposition transcripts and it is a mind numbing experience, to say the least.  I’m also utterly uninspired by anything in today’s news.  For example, I believe Hillary when she says she has absolutely no memory of meeting Rezko.  It’s clearly an old photo (check out Hill’s hair); I’m sure she did take hundreds, if not thousands, of these “I met the President and his wife” photos; and she’d never have raised the matter against Obama if she thought it could bite her.  So no news here.  Everyone move along.

As for the upset about the polite Republican debate, why are people fussing?  I think it’s great.  I want to elect the candidate who can best beat the Democrats, not the candidate who can be nastiest to his fellow Republicans — especially since that same nastiness can later be used as fodder by the Dems during the general election.  It’s great that they were talking about their experience and abilities and comparing those to Hillary’s lack of same.  The only thing about which I quibble is that they failed to attack the Democratic agenda more globally.  It would have been smarter than piling on Hillary.

And now, with a brain sucked completely dry by depositions that leave me wondering if my side or the other side in the case boasts the more skilled sociopathic liar (since they’re all spinning whoppers), I give you Genesis:

Slogans for Democrats *UPDATED*

Okay, this is my third try at this post, because WordPress has eaten the previous two attempts (which accounts for the low level of blogging this morning).

I was listening to Dennis Prager yesterday, and he was fulminating about the calls for “unity” that are echoing through the Democratic side of the spectrum, especially with reference to Obama. As Prager has pointed out before, and as I have blogged about before, “unity” is Democratic code for “agree with me or else.” There is no evidence that the Democrats have any desire to find common ground, and it’s questionable whether there is common ground on such contentious issues as Iraq and abortion. Likewise, the hope that Democrats will “end dogma” is equally laughable. Do the Dems and their sycophants in the media really want to end all fixed doctrine? Fine, I guess we no longer have to hew to such dogmatic ideas as “all people are created equal,” “equal pay for equal work,” or “no taxation without representation.”

Listening to these vapid platitudes, it occurred to me that I could do better — or come up with something at least as good as what’s currently emanating from the Dems. You too should feel free to join in:

“Now more than ever!”

“Peace through harmony!”

“Prosperity through wealth!”

And as you think about those slogans, take a minute to read this Spiegel article proposing a Clinton-Obama ticket for ’08. The author thinks it would be a fantastic ticket, not because of any harmony of ideas or style, but because it would neatly tag all identity politic demographics. It envisions the perfect election cycle for Democrats, where they don’t have to address the issues at all — they can just stand there and be. (What’s really scary is I heard precisely this idea voiced with great approval at my bus stop a couple of months ago. The neighborhood consensus was that this was a ticket they could go for.)

UPDATE:  And here’s an article that perfectly describes the world behind the Democratic slogans.

Hitchens is almost right

Christopher Hitchens is totally right when he notes that Mike Huckabee’s defense of the Confederate flag harmonizes perfectly with racist views.  That is, a person could argue that the defense of the flag is all about States’ rights, but the fact is that the Confederate flag is so inextricably intertwined with the KKK and Jim Crow that such an argument is stupid or disingenuous at best, and fraudulent at worst.  Hitchens is also right that the press gave Huckabee a pass for this nasty remark.  Assuming that the pass was deliberate, and that the Huckabee story didn’t simply get swamped by the infinitely more fascinating fight between Clinton and Obama, one has to ask why the press was so passive.  Hitchens thinks it’s because it was afraid of offending racist Southern rednecks:

But when real political racism rears its head, our easily upset media falls oddly silent. Can you guess why? Of course you can. Gov. Huckabee is the self-anointed candidate of the simple and traditional Christian folk who hate smart-ass, educated, big-city types, and if you dare to attack him for his vulgarity and stupidity and bigotry, he will accuse you of prejudice in return. What he hopes is that his neo-Confederate sickness will become subsumed into easy chatter about his recipes for fried squirrel and his other folksy populist themes. (By the way, you owe it to yourselves to watch the exciting revelations about his squirrel-grilling past; and do examine his family Christmas card while you’re at it.) But this drivel, it turns out, is all a slick cover for racist incitement, and it ought not to be given a free pass.

I actually don’t think that’s the case.  Just as I’d prefer Hillary to win the Democratic primaries because I think she’ll be easier to beat than Obama, the press would prefer that Huckabee win the Republican primaries, because they know he’ll go down in flames in the Presidential election.  That’s why they’ve handled him with something approaching TLC — he’s their favored candidate because he’ll lose.

Speaking of different press approaches to the different parties and their candidates, Patrick, my favorite Paragraph Farmer, has an elegantly written article up at the American Spectator examining the way in which reporters delve deep into Romney’s and Huckabee’s theological beliefs (something that may be fair game because their beliefs stand out), while treating with kid gloves rather unusual theological revelations from candidates on the left.  Even if one pulls back from specific theological peculiarities, there is no doubt that the press has carefully ignored Hillary’s politically activist Methodism, which has more to do with socialism than God, and Obama’s truly unfortunate, and very strong, ties to a black supremacist church.  Likewise, a speech from a pulpit is non-news if you’re on the Left, and a threat to the separation of church and state if you’re on the right.  Double standards, anybody?

What to expect from a Hillary White House

I meant to blog about this last week and never got around to it, “this” being the fact that Judicial Watch finally obtained just a few of the 3 million pages of hidden documents related to Hillary’s ill-fated attempt to nationalize health care.  Actually, I wasn’t going to blog at all.  Instead, I was going to send you to the Captain’s Quarters to see what he had to say on the subject.  Given Hillary’s pattern and practice over the decades, what is revealed probably won’t surprise you too much:  rather than allow a debate on the merits, Hillary and her minions were trying to figure out ways to use the federal government to smear opponents so that they would be afraid or unable to challenge the task force’s recommendations.  So, in a way, it’s not news, it’s just more of the same.

What is a bit more newsworthy, and it’s something the Captain blogs about this week, is the fact that the MSM has resolutely ignored these documents.  Considering that she is the Democratic front runner today,  and that there has actually emerged a White House record on which she can run (since she’s boasted about her White House experience), one might think the press would be interested.  And if one thought that, one might be wrong.  Here’s a very upset Captain on the problem with our Fourth Estate:

Where are the media organizations that style themselves as the bulwark against governmental abuses of power? Why haven’t they reported on these memos, which clearly delineate a type of attack on government opposition that hasn’t been this baldly proposed since the Nixon administration? Given Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency — one on which she relies on her experience in her husband’s administration for her qualifications — isn’t all of this terribly relevant to the question of how she will run the White House, and what kind of treatment her critics can expect to receive?

The silence from the Fourth Estate is deafening. It screams either cowardice or collaboration.

Obama, Israel and the Jews

If you’re a liberal Jewish voter, and tremendously excited about Obama’s candidacy as the fulfillment of the civil rights movement, slow down, Pardner.  Jews have always assumed that, because they supported the civil rights movement with enthusiasm and hard work, there would be a quid pro quo by which blacks, recognizing Jews as fellow victims, would be equally supportive of Jewish issues.  Jews have held to this viewpoint despite regularly occurring proof of the fact that African-Americans, perhaps resentful of having to share the “victim” limelight with the Jews, are not supportive of Jews or Jewish causes.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in Obama himself, a man who has aligned himself with anti-Semitic churches and causes his entire adult life.  If you think this will change when he reaches the White House, I would suggest that you think again.  And if you believe that Israel, a small island of democracy surrounded by hostile tyrannical nations should exist without anyone questioning her legitimacy, you may not want to vote for Obama.  (Of course, if Israel’s security matters to you, you also might want to rethink any vote for Hillary, either — not just because she mouths the usual liberal pieties about a Palestinian state, but because she kissed Suha Arafat immediately after the latter spouted vicious antisemitic lies.)

It’s the economy, Stupid!

The title of my post should ring a few bells in the minds of those old enough to vote in 1992. It was, after all, Bill Clinton’s official campaign theme (with “I feel your pain” being the unofficial theme). Perhaps the economy will be the undoing of Hillary’s campaign — although it should, by the same measure, be the undoing of the Obama campaign, or any Democratic campaign. Here’s the Captain:

Which spectre haunts financial advisers the most? Terrorism? Global unrest? Not even close. According to a survey of over 200 financial advisers taken in December, their biggest worry is that Hillary Clinton will win the presidential election in November:

Nothing worries financial advisers more than the prospect of a Democrat’s being elected president in November, according to a quarterly poll by Brinker Capital Inc.The fourth-quarter edition of the Brinker Barometer, which polled 236 advisers in December, found that 22% indicated that a “Democrat in the White House” worried them more than all other economic or geopolitical concerns.

Rounding out the list of concerns was “global unrest” (15%), “U.S. economic growth” (15%), “a terrorist attack” (13%) and “a recession” (13%).

They’re less concerned about recession than dealing with the economic policies of a new Clinton administration. They fear that a big increase in taxes will erode equity investments, especially given the proclivity of Democrats to target equity funds for new taxes to pay for their increased spending. Eighty-one percent feel that Democrats will raise capital gains taxes, income taxes, and dividends.

Interestingly, Rudy Giuliani gets the biggest endorsement in the survey. One might have expected Mitt Romney, with his extensive experience in investments, would have generated the most enthusiasm.

The politics of perpetual outrage

As many have commented before, and as I’ve commented here, politics is ever more becoming a process of analyzing ones own “feelings,” rather than actually looking at the candidates’ positions and history. Hillary bore the brunt of just the latest “you hurt my feelings” attack against her (which is a nice irony, I guess, because it was her husband who trail blazed the emotional style of politicking). This political kerfuffle arose, as far as I can see, because a South Carolina leader was personally offended that Hillary didn’t hit precisely the right note when speaking of Martin Luther King:

As the issue of race takes centre stage in the Democratic presidential contest, Barack Obama had a boost yesterday as he and Hillary Clinton compete for black and Hispanic votes.

In South Carolina, scene of a key showdown on January 26, where half the Democratic electorate are African Americans, one of the state’s most influential black congressmen hinted that he might endorse Mr Obama. He said he was angered by what he claims were were dismissive comments about Martin Luther King by Mrs Clinton.

James Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress and a veteran of the civil rights movement, referred to comments made by Mrs Clinton on Monday, the day before her stunning comeback in New Hampshire set up a brutal nomination battle with Mr Obama.

Mrs Clinton, trying to make a point about presidential leadership and Mr Obama’s constant references to Dr King, the civil rights icon, said: “Dr King’s dream began to be realised when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done.”

In fact, while I agree with little Hillary has to say, she was right in this case. King was the standard bearer for the desegregation battle but he was not, in fact, the one who accomplished desegregation at the federal. That job did, in fact, belong to the federal government, with Congress passing an act that Johnson then signed. For Clyburn to take umbrage at Hillary’s pointing out a historical reality, and to use that as the basis for withdrawing his support is the politics of the personal taken to the point of idiocy. It’s one thing to disagree with Hillary because you don’t believe her future plans or past practices provide the political benefits you desire; it’s another thing entirely to turn your back on her because you think that, by stating a historical fact, she damned with faint praise someone whose memory you think you own.

UPDATE: And more of the same:

A series of comments from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband and her supporters are spurring a racial backlash and adding a divisive edge to the presidential primary as the candidates head south to heavily African-American South Carolina.

The comments, which ranged from the New York senator appearing to diminish the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement — an aide later said she misspoke — to Bill Clinton dismissing Sen. Barack Obama’s image in the media as a “fairy tale” — generated outrage on black radio, black blogs and cable television. And now they’ve drawn the attention of prominent African-American politicians.

“A cross-section of voters are alarmed at the tenor of some of these statements,” said Obama spokeswoman Candice Tolliver, who said that Clinton would have to decide whether she owed anyone an apology.

“There’s a groundswell of reaction to these comments — and not just these latest comments but really a pattern, or a series of comments that we’ve heard for several months,” she said. “Folks are beginning to wonder: Is this really an isolated situation, or is there something bigger behind all of this?”

In a race that’s getting bogged down in ugly racial overtones, everyone involved in this fight would do well to remember King’s words:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Of course, considering how little character the involved parties seem to be able to rustle up amongst themselves, maybe it’s no surprise that this is where things have ended up.

A little perspective on inevitability *UPDATED*

Democrats are euphoric and Republicans are panicking: Obama is inevitable. But not so fast, mes amis, says William Katz, looking back in time. In the rough and tumble world of American politics, nothing is inevitable and voters are never predictable. Since Mr. Katz’s hyperlinks are not working, let me quote for you here his entire post about the myth of political inevitability, a myth that starts with Hillary herself:

In the profound words of that late, great philosopher and student of human affairs, George Gobel, can we just wait a gosh-darned second, just a gosh-darned second? The way the press is reporting it, you’d think Senator Obama was about to be crowned rather than elected, and would then take time away from the White House to compete in all the events at the 2010 Olympics, including ice dancing.

Any candidate, including Mr. Obama, is beatable. It wasn’t more than a month ago that Hillary Clinton had a lock. Some of us recall President Tom Dewey, who was already being called “Mr. President” before the uncooperative voters of 1948 made their choice. Lincoln thought he would sink in 1864. Some around Jack Kennedy thought the same about 1964, especially if stories of Kennedy’s womanizing came to light. Even Ronald Reagan gave us a scare when he faltered during his first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

But the greatest caution against assigning god-like qualities to candidates involves 1944. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the war leader, was running for his fourth term. The election was held five months after D-Day. Victory in both Europe and the Pacific was in sight. Many could not conceive of a wartime America without Roosevelt at the helm. Even the Republicans cooperated, pulling their punches during the campaign as they bowed to the need for unity in war. Roosevelt’s opponent was the aforementioned Tom Dewey, making his first run for the presidency. Governor of New York, colorless, he hardly cut the figure of a man born to lead armies. With his mustache, he was often called “the man on the wedding cake.” This guy would tell MacArthur and Eisenhower what to do?

Well, Roosevelt did win, but ponder this: Tom Dewey got 46 percent of the vote. Almost one of two Americans voted against the man who epitomized “commander in chief.” The Battle of the Bulge, with its terrible setbacks and awful American casualties, began a bit more than a month after the election. Had it begun six weeks earlier, who knows how Americans would have reacted? It could have been Dewey announcing the defeat of the Axis the next year.

So, may we have some reason, please? Mr. Obama may win his party’s nomination. The entire electorate will have something to say in November. The word “inevitable” does not exist in politics.

UPDATE:  Mark Stricherz offers a little more historical perspective on inevitability.

Still waiting for the dust to settle *UPDATED*

The talk amongst the Moms is the neighborhood is “Will this vacation never end?” Actually, it will, but only tomorrow, so I’m still marking time. This morning, I got the kids rallied and we scrubbed the house from top to bottom — almost. I was about to vacuum, when I suddenly had a deluge of neighborhood kids and decided that the smarter thing would be to vacuum after they left. I impressed upon all of them that terrible things would happen, though, if they made a mess in the house, so they’re all playing rather peacefully right now.

I haven’t yet had the chance to do my morning reading, and probably don’t have the full complement of brain cells to make anything of any reading anyway — which is a rather scary though when you think that I’m about to embark on some heavy duty legal research regarding the true meaning behind some completely unintelligible statutes. Nor do I think the statutes’ unintelligibility is a coincidence. They all show up in the statutory material that governs suing State government, and I have no doubt that the Legislature made the material impenetrable to ensure that unwitting claimants will invariably have committed a procedural error that enables the Court to do some equitable calculations when deciding whether to keep or not keep the case. That is, because the statutes are intentionally fuzzy, the Court can decide whether it’s a good case or not, and then use the fuzzy rules either to give the case a pass or dismiss it — right at the get go, without the necessity for any other procedural or substantive motions. Since my client is a state employee who is being sued, I’m hoping that the Court decides the case against him is a bad one and uses the rules in his favor.

Since I’m not offering anything useful here, let me direct you to Blackfive (thanks Y, for the tip), which has a great two part post. The first part tricks the mind, and the second part points out the sleight of hand Hillary is trying to get past voters. (And please remember, that much as I seriously dislike Hillary, I still find her the better candidate than either Obama or Silky Pony, given that I think she’s vicious enough to wage war against Islamists, while the other two can rise to some serious nastiness, but are incapable of a fight.)

Oh, one other thing! The Anchoress has proven that she is not only intelligent and witty, but also prescient. On January 2, 2008 (that is, almost a week ago), she wrote these words:

What I dread most in this political season is the “genuine” moment – and it is coming, soon, sometime between today and tomorrow, or tomorrow and New Hampshire – when Mrs. Clinton, in her ongoing effort to turn herself into whatever the polls says she must be, cries in public. It’s going to be genuinely ghastly.

And today, this is in the news:

ABC News’ Kate Snow Reports: Campaigning in New Hampshire one day before the first-in-the-nation primary, Senator Hillary Clinton got emotional and had tears in her eyes as she spoke with voters about how hard it is to balance a busy campaign life and her passion for the country’s future.

The Senator from New York was sitting at a big table in Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with 16 undecided voters, mostly women, warmly and calmly taking questions.

Then she took an unexpected question from a woman standing in the back.

“My question is very personal, how do you do it?” asked Marianne Pernold Young, a freelance photographer from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She mentioned Clinton’s hair and appearance always looking perfectly coifed. “How do you, how do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?”

Clinton began responding, jokingly. First talking about her hair: “You know, I think, well luckily, on special days I do have help. If you see me every day and if you look on some of the websites and listen to some of the commentators they always find me on the day I didn’t have help. It’s not easy.”

But then, Clinton began getting emotional: “It’s not easy, and I couldn’t do it if I didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I have so many opportunities from this country just don’t want to see us fall backwards,” she said.

Her voice breaking and tears in her eyes, she said, “You know, this is very personal for me. It’s not just political it’s not just public. I see what’s happening, and we have to reverse it.”

Oh, ick! Actually, I’ll give Hillary credit for really feeling those emotions. In her own mind, she’s been Queen of America since 1992, and she must have been very certain that the voters would officially crown her in 2008. For her to suffer this kind of set-back must be devastating. I do not believe, though, that she’s going to drop out. Hillary’s style is to fight back and to do so using my favorite Hillary tactic: viciousness. She’s going to make mincemeat of Obama before she’s done. Indeed, I’m kind of willing to bet that she’s willing to destroy the entire Democratic field through dirty fighting, rather than to retreat peaceably.

UPDATE:  Regarding Hillary’s capacity to think more intelligently about Iraq than her fellow Dems, see the first item in today’s Best of the Web.

Not a good sign

It seems to be me a bit desperate that the Clinton campaign is using her Mommy to promote her worthiness for presidential office. Unless you’re a truly dreadful person — and, sometimes, even if you are a monstrous person — your Mom is the person who will always step up to bat for you. The whole concept makes it look as if Hillary can’t find anyone else to speak up on her behalf.

UPDATE:  This little squiblet got picked up at Patrick Ruffini’s 2008 Presidential Wire.  If you think it deserves more prominence there, click here.