The Straightaway

Politics Without Pundits

Posts Tagged ‘obama

Conservative Christmas Comes

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Within hours, possibly minutes, of CNN’s projection that Barack Obama had captured the presidency of the United States of America, the “alternative” (a.k.a. conservative) media began their offensive on the new President-elect. On Rush Limbaugh’s website at this very moment are the following headlines: “‘Creepy’ Obama Leaks His Thug Version of the Meeting With Bush,” “Drive-Bys Create Obamamania,” “The Obama Recession: Capitalism to be Removed from Auto Industry,” etc. Less outspoken conservative media people have followed suit, perhaps in a more subdued manner, such as Sean Hannity.

Although it might espouse that the world is coming to an end, the truth is that alternative media outlets can be nothing but overjoyed at the election of the liberal, Democratic President-elect Obama. These outlets barely scrape by when the Republicans are in power, because there is simply less for them to criticize. But conservative media bodies come alive during Democratic administrations – if you will recall, the venerable conservative channel, FOX News, was launched in 1996, during the administration of Democratic President Bill Clinton.

The next four years will be like a perpetual field day for these outlets. Obama has marketed himself so far as being fairly liberal, which means FOX News and the like will have more to debate and criticize in the coming years of the Obama administration. Conservatives and liberals alike will flock to these bodies – the conservatives because they will love what is being said, the liberals because they can’t wait to hate what they will say next (the Howard Stern/Bill O’Reilly Syndrome). Media, after all, is a business, and for the next few years it is likely that conservative media will boom.

I can almost imagine Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdock in a backroom, secretly toasting President Barack Obama – with new, solid-gold goblets.

Rep. Bachmann Calls for Hunt of “Un-American”

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Below is an excerpt from Hardball with Chris Matthews, in which Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) calls for a full media investigation into which members of Congress are “anti-American.” She also hits Obama hard on his Ayers association.

It is truly a sight to behold.

Then, watch the reaction from The Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuven and MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan immediately after.

Written by acs2008

October 18, 2008 at 11:36 pm

100,000 Strong for Obama

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//www.huffingtonpost.com

Barack Obama draws an estimated 100,000 supporters at a late October rally in St. Louis, Missouri - a former Republican safe state now being hotly fought over by Obama and McCain. Photo courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.com

What a picture! I especially enjoy how that building in the background looks conspicuously like the White House. Good call by the Obama campaign on the location, I suppose.

Written by acs2008

October 18, 2008 at 9:18 pm

McCain Comes Out Firing in 3rd Debate

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Sen. John McCain came for a fight against Sen. Barack Obama in tonight’s final presidential debate of the 2008 election season. McCain was angry, energetic, and invigorating. He attacked Obama directly more than he had in the previous debates. He interrupted Obama and called him out constantly. He was a sarcastic jerk all night, rolling his eyes at Obama at least twice – in short, McCain was fantastic.

Obama started the debate poorly, seeming to be on his heels while spouting his usual campaign talking points. Early on, McCain countered the standard Obama comparison of McCain and Bush with the soundbite of the night:

Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against him, you should have run 4 years ago.

However, Obama recovered, scoring points on his healthcare policy and other issues while maintaining his cool. In contrast to McCain, Obama was even, temperate, and looked very wise (although a bit too professorial). Obama wasn’t as engaging in this debates as others, but the key was his consistency – he looked more presidential than McCain.

Overall, McCain won this debate with his energy and boldness. However, this debate will do little in the polls other than energizing the base.

Debate Advantage: McCain

Here is the first part of the debate:

Sidenote: After the debate, NBC featured former governor and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney as a commentator. While he talked, I started thinking about future elections. If Obama ends up winning in 2008, and the Democrats do a terrible job the next four years, the strong, conservative Romney will be a great bet for the Republicans in 2012.

Written by acs2008

October 16, 2008 at 3:24 am

Obama Crosses 270 Electoral Vote Line

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CNN is reporting on its Electoral Map Calculator that, if the election were held today, Obama would have 277 guaranteed electoral votes, putting him over the 270 threshold needed to secure the presidency. Obama was catapulted over the virtual 270 line by new poll numbers in Virginia, which shows Obama leading McCain by 9 percentage points.

Those poll numbers look too good to be true, so naturally, don’t believe that they are true. Obama is gaining nationally and in the battleground states, but never count John McCain out – his presidential campaign was virtually finished last summer, and yet he managed to rally and win the New Hampshire Republican primary and continue on to his party’s nomination.

After tonight’s debate, we come to that 19-day home stretch of the election season. Pundits across the board have been relying on the addage “a week in politics is like a year in real life.” If that’s really the case, then we still have two and a half “years” until the election. John McCain has resurrected a campaign in less time than that.

Written by acs2008

October 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm

The Palins and the Alaskan Independence Party

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Since it is Obama’s guilty-by-association headlines (former Weather Underground member William Ayers) that have been dominating the media, it is only fair to present Sarah Palin’s: her husband, Todd Palin.

Todd Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party from 1995-2002. The AIP is a libertarian political party that advocates strong states rights, including the repatriation of all federal lands in Alaska to the state.

It has been claimed that the AIP is a secessionist party. Although there may be members of the party that wish to secede from the Union, it is not part of the party platform, as posted on the AIP website. However, the ultimate goal of the AIP, also posted on the website, states:

The Alaskan Independence Party’s goal is the vote we were entitled to in 1958, one choice from among the following four alternatives:

1) Remain a Territory.
2) Become a separate and Independent Nation.
3) Accept Commonwealth status.
4) Become a State.

Basically, the AIP wants the citizens of Alaska to be presented with the option of secession, if it so chooses. Secession would be a possibility if this ultimate goal were achieved, but it cannot be construed as a direct aim of the party by this wording. (The AIP must have commissioned a top-notch lawyer to write this, because it is perfectly worded, masking unconstitutional secession as a primary goal).

Sarah Palin has never been a member of the party. However, she did address the party’s convention via video earlier this year. Much the same way that George W. Bush addressed the Republican National Convention, via video screen.

Here’s Palin addressing the 2008 AIP Convention:

Conservative Movement Turns on Founder’s Son

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In a bizarre turn of events, Christopher Buckley has resigned from the staff of the conservative magazine National Review after printing this article endorsing Barack Obama for President. Buckley, a well-known conservative-libertarian and author of several satirical novels (including the film-adapted Thank You For Smoking) is the son of the late William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review and regarded as the father of the American conservative movement.

To be clear, Christopher Buckley has not changed his political viewpoints – he is as conservative as he was when he served as a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush. Buckley’s decision stems mostly from displeasure with John McCain, as well as belief in Obama’s character.

This campaign has changed John McCain. It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence.

As for Senator Obama: He has exhibited throughout a “first-class temperament,” pace Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s famous comment about FDR.

Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy “We are the people we have been waiting for” silly rhetoric—the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for.

Just 4 days after this endorsement ran, Buckley decided to leave his father’s magazine after he was set upon by an angry storm of feedback from readers and colleagues who felt he had betrayed his family name and his movement.

Yet perhaps the readers don’t remember the true Bill Buckley. As Christopher said in the 10/14 column:

My father in his day endorsed a number of liberal Democrats for high office, including Allard K. Lowenstein and Joe Lieberman. One of his closest friends on earth was John Kenneth Galbraith.

William F. Buckley held to rigorous standards, and if those were met by members of the other side rather than by his own camp, he said as much.

It seems unfair that Christopher Buckley shall be faulted for exercising his own judgment rather than following the line of a party, and a movement, in disarray. Perhaps the Republican party has strayed so far from its roots that it has lost its identity, that it cannot take honest criticism from a loyal son.

Written by acs2008

October 15, 2008 at 6:06 am