The Straightaway

Politics Without Pundits

Posts Tagged ‘republican

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

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

Is A Vote for Obama a Vote for Bush?

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Posted on CNN.com is this very thought-provoking article by Deputy Editor of the Washington Times (and former senior adviser to the Republican National Committee) Tara Wall comparing twenty of Obama’s positions on the issues vs. those of George W. Bush.

Wall’s most interesting revelations come when comparing Obama and Bush’s social viewpoints. Obama comes out looking decidedly socially-conservative, based on his opposition to gay marriage (although he believes in civil unions for same-sex couples) and his deep Christian faith.

Liberal Obama supporters might be disturbed to see their candidate sharing so many viewpoints with Bush. It turns out that Bush isn’t a completely bad guy after all; in fact, The Messiah (Obama) and Bush share a common interest in noble pursuits such as education reform and fighting the global AIDS epidemic.

Although there may be a surprising amount of similarities between the two, it should be noted that on important issues such as the Iraq War and upper-class tax cutes, they stand very far apart. For Bush, this argument works a lot like Oliver Stone’s new movie, “W.” (which has received good-but-not-great reviews so far) – it shows that he is completely awful man, despite what his detractors might say. For Obama, this argument implies that he is not the “most liberal senator,” as he was dubbed by the National Journal. This show of moderation, even downright conservatism, might surprise and perhaps sway some moderate-conservatives who find themselves in the Independent corner this election season.

Written by acs2008

October 14, 2008 at 4:10 am

RNC Wednesday Rundown: Venom without Substance

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Click on the image to see Giulianis 2008 RNC speech.

Click on the image to see Giuliani’s 2008 RNC speech.

Rudy Giuliani‘s energetic speech was filled with direct, personal attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Giuliani kept the attacks coming all night, on anything from Obama’s experience as a community organizer to his foreign policy stances. Giuliani promoted the standard Republican line on McCain as a heroic POW war hero who is ready to lead America. Giuliani offered his own delusional foreign policy ideas, somehow managing to bring up September 11th. Again. (Surprise, Surprise!). The most effective and substantive part of Giuliani’s speech was his assertions on Obama’s flip-flopping tendences:

“They would have acted in their self-interest, and they would have changed their position in order to win an election. How many times have we seen Barack Obama do this?

Obama — Obama promised to take public financing for his campaign, until he broke his promise.

Obama — Obama was against wiretapping before he voted for it.

When speaking to a pro-Israeli group, Obama favored an undivided Jerusalem, like I favor and like John McCain favored. Well, he favored an undivided Jerusalem — don’t get too excited — for one day, until he changed his mind.

Well, I’ll tell you, if I were Joe Biden, I’d want to get that V.P. thing in writing.”

Overall, a solid, rousing speech that didn’t say much about the issues.

Click on the picture to view VP nominee Sarah Palins speech wednesday at the Republican National Convention.

Click on the picture to view VP nominee Sarah Palin's speech wednesday at the Republican National Convention.

Sarah Palin‘s vice presidential speech, written by a former Bush speechwriter, was a smashing success inside the RNC hall. Palin established herself as a small-town mother with strong family values, which is sure to excite the evangelical conservative base. She showed that she has the potential to fill the VP-Attack-Dog role well, hitting Obama constantly and very personally.

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

and

“For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words. For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.”

Palin gave the usual inspiring rhetoric about John McCain, etc., but overall, her speech had little, if any, substance. She constantly attacked Obama’s policies, including a woefully erroneous assertion on taxes that leads one to believe that she is either a comfortable liar, or very misinformed on the issues – either would be dangerous, the former for the Obama campaign, the latter for the American people.

Palin came off as fiery but likable – her likability might allow her to get away with a lot. However, her barbs were deep and painful, some very dishonorable in a way that really contrasts with McCain’s respectful style. However, I suppose that is vice presidential politics.

Palin’s speech will galvanize true conservatives, but will do little, perhaps even repel, the independents they need to secure. Palin is quickly becoming the Republican Hillary Clinton, in the sense that she is a polarizing figure beloved by her party but absolutely abhorred by the opposition.

RNC Tuesday Rundown

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Former Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson gave what will probably be the strongest speech all night Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. In fact, former Senator Thompson showed more life and said more words than he probably said during his entire abysmal primary season campaign.

First, Thompson vetted VP nominee Sarah Palin, calling her a “breath of fresh air.” Thompson poked fun at  Obama, saying that he preferred Palin’s substantive experience to just hitting the Sunday morning talk shows. Thompson attacked Obama several times (though he never mentioned the Democratic nominee’s name), calling him the most liberal, inexperienced person” to ever run for President.

Thompson had very strong words in support of his friend John McCain, reiterating his heroic POW experiences and praising McCain’s “strength, courage, humility, beauty, wisdom, and honor.” Thompson stressed that McCain was a big proponent of “reform,” which has become the Republican version of the nauseating buzz word “change.” Although he bumbled through some key points, Thompson gave a pretty good speech overall.

But as for Lieberman…

The fact that Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman is speaking at the RNC at all is shocking – just eight years ago, he ran as the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Lieberman’s speech was likely supposed to accentuate McCain’s maverick reputation. However, Lieberman said very little of consequence. If anything can be taken away from the Lieberman speech, it is that John McCain is a swell guy, whether or not you agree with his policies. This kind of bland statement pales in comparison to Thompson’s points – Thompson framed McCain well, specifically mentioning free trade, taxes, judge picking, abortion, and other issues.

Lieberman’s bland speech and bland facial expression failed to wow the convention hall, which was fairly empty in the upper levels. Compared to the DNC’s Tuesday night – featuring an electrifying speech by Senator Hillary Clinton – the RNC has not been able to produce the same energy as its Democratic counterpart.

Coming up Wednesday: the highly anticipated speech by VP nominee Sarah Palin. Considering the buzz around her, it is almost certain that things will pick up for her speech. But will it be enough to energize the conservative Republican base and put McCain/Palin over the top? We’ll have to wait and see.