November 28, 2007

Mano a Mano

One of the most heated exchanges of last night's CNN YouTube debate last night occurred right at the outset between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, arguably the two front runners. The topic was illegal immigration and I believe it's fair to say that Romney came out ahead by attempting to confine the debate to matters of public policy whereas Giuliani strayed into the personal. And, as Fred Thompson alluded to in the very next question, Giuliani is not one to be casting aspersions upon some one else's personal hiring practices given his own recent troubles vis a vis Bernard Kerik. Romney also prevailed in a lively one-on-one debate with John McCain regarding issues related to the nature of torture.

Also on the matter of CNN's credibility or lack thereof, it turns out that of the dozen or so questions asked of the candidates, amongst the questioners was a Clinton operative, an Obama supporter and two John Edwards supporters. So, the Democratic YouTube debate featured softball question after softball question with no follow up questions and the Republican YouTube debate featured questions asked by planted Democratic campaign members attempting to ambush and/or embarrass the candidates. CNN is laughably biased at this point.

November 13, 2007

Benazir Bhutto

There is an interesting yet deadly serious situation developing in Pakistan. Pervez Musharraf, the President of Pakistan, has been and hopefully will be in the future, a valuable ally in the war on terror. Lately however, he has taken certain anti-democratic steps in order to restore order in his country. Among other things, he has suspended the constitution thereby making public political demonstrations illegal. The political opposition leader is a politically charming woman by the name of Benezair Bhutto. Obviously, the fact that she is a woman is likely incompatible with any Taliban-style Islamic fundamentalism. This makes her an appealing figure in the mind of anyone seeking to bring modernity to the greater Islamic world.

However interesting Bhutto may be as a political figure, this situation obviously puts the Bush administration the difficult position of having to choose between supporting an ally or supporting democracy. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Let’s just hope that Bhutto survives the Muslim fundamentalist assassins seeking to silence her by committing violence upon women, which by the way, is supposedly incompatible with the teachings of Islam.

The Guy From Boston!

You might wanna turn down the volume one or two notches before you listen to this hilarious rant by internet phenomenon "The Guy from Boston". It's not for the politically correct. It's Paulie Walnuts meets Michael Savage. He's so angry about illegal immigration, he can barely see straight.

November 07, 2007

Swift Boated?

I always chuckle when I hear the term "swift boated" not only because it reminds me of that hapless effort known as the John Kerry presidential campaign, but because I am reminded that none of claims made by the swift boat veterans for truth were ever successfully refuted to this day. And yet the term has somehow passed into common acceptance, certainly in the mind of Democrats, as another way of describing scurrilous, baseless, and utterly untrue personal attacks made during a presidential campaign.

As you may know, the phrase "Swift boated" refers to a series of ads which ran in the 2004 presidential race. Apparently, a large group of veterans who served with John Kerry in Vietnam had various gripes and a wide array of non-partisan reasons as to why they felt John Kerry wouldn't make a good commander in chief of the armed forces of the USA. Whether or not you believe that the Swift Boat veterans were justified in making their complaints, I would submit that in fact, the public took away exactly only what they needed to and not much more: that John Kerry was a pompous jerk 30 years ago and for mainly that reason, he pissed off many former colleagues. The fact that Kerry responded to the ads by attacking the character of his detractors without actually bothering to factually refute the charges didn't help, but essentially the swift boat ads were merely a symptom rather than the cause of Kerry's doomed presidential aspirations.

Listening to them talk, some Democrats would have you believe that the sole reason as to why John Kerry lost the '04 election was because of the swift boat veterans for truth ads. This interpretation of the impact and nature of 'Swift Boating' is now widely accepted amongst Democrats. And now, perhaps the most recognizable and revered modern Democrat of all time, Bill Clinton, has raised the dreaded specter of the almighty "Swift Boated" effect. On Monday of this week, Clinton compared the recent criticism of his wife in her most recent and most dreadful debate performance to the effective 2004 election political ads. While it's funny to get into just how awful and how flip-floppy Hillary was the other night, what I'm interested in here is that the term 'swift boated' has now morphed into yet another iteration of itself. Bill Clinton now sees swift boating as something that refers to the posing of legitimate questions that the public is dying to know the answer to. The other night in Philadelphia, Tim Russert simply wanted to have some clarification on a few black and white issues that we still to this day do not know the answers to. Namely, is Hillary for or against the issuing of driver's licenses to illegal aliens. And, will Hillary Clinton, who is most certainly in charge of her own records, authorize the release of certain archived correspondence between herself and Bill during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Needless to say, Hillary's responses to these inquiries were less than illuminating. And the longer Hillary dances, confuses and/or stonewalls on these issues the worse she looks.

One lesson to take away from this episode of the Clinton saga is that for many Democrats and especially for Bill Clinton, reality is simply what you make it. For Clinton and anyone who believes what he is saying on this matter to be with merit, objective truth is merely an abstract notion. If you repeat something enough times in your mind like a mantra, no matter what objective truth dictates, it becomes true. It becomes your reality. So for example, the fact that the swift boat veterans were actually telling the truth is extraneous to the new imagined reality.

Also reinforced for us was the lesson that the Clintons, to their core, really do disdain from being subjected to difficult and/or probing questions. Since the now infamous Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace interview with Bill, we have been exposed to a new extra prickly and super indignant side of Mr. Clinton. No longer is he the fun loving party guy who played saxophone on Jay Leno. Those without concrete memories of the 90's will regard Bill Clinton as an indignant victim, which is how he currently portrays himself and most recently, Hillary. Claims of victimhood have never seemed to be particularly attractive qualities for a presidential candidate, but now we are being asked to simultaneously believe that Hillary Clinton is the victim of sexism/'swift boating' and also that she is a bare knuckles, rugged politician ready to take on anyone. The phrase 'wanting to have it both ways' is an understated characterization of this particularly laughable chapter of the Clinton saga. Watch out Clintons, incoming probing questions, commence obfuscation. Failing that, just claim victim status.

November 01, 2007

Baggage Train

In the MSNBC Democratic Debate the other night, Hillary Clinton stumbled badly when attempting to parse her position on whether or not illegal immigrants should be issued drivers licenses. During the debate, within the span of a a few minutes, Ms. Clinton proclaimed adamant support for both polar opposite sides of the issue.

Beyond her unscripted gaffe which much has already been made of, the debate represented the first time that other democratic candidates actually scored winning hits upon the HMS Hillary. Obama and Edwards are beginning to drive home one of the most compelling reasons why Hillary should not be president. The argument is simply this, do we really want to go back to the Clinton 90's with all of the baggage that would accompany a Clinton presidency?

On both sides of the aisle, a constant theme is that tired cliche, "change". However pedestrian the theme may be, it does seem to be universally desired to bring in fresh blood to the presidency. And here we are being asked to entertain the possibility of a Clinton Presidency? Please...that's so 90's.