Peder D4

Discussion of politics and other odious things

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Upset of the Year

Star-Tribune endorses Norm Coleman. I think the 'Al Franken is a jerk' factor is going to be pretty big in their election. He pretty much embodies Spitting Cobra style of politics. Lots of heat, almost no light.
This one will be interesting to watch on November 4th.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


What an embarrassment. If you can't handle an interview with Chris Matthews, maybe you should look for easier work. And the word 'anti-American' should raise a big red flag in your mind, prompting you to move ahead with caution. And one more bit of advice, when you say something stupid, don't try and spin away from it. Issue an apology and a correction and try to move on.

"...bread and circuses without limit"

In the midst of this post, there is a quote from Heinlein that capsulizes my fears about where we're going. From 'To Sail Beyond the Sunset':
The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a "warm body" democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction.... [O]nce a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader — the barbarians enter Rome.
It should be noted that the Republican plans for a permanent majority rested along the same lines of 'bread and circuses'. This country is in serious need of a major party that believes in limited government.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Assasination fantasies

Every cause, no matter how noble is certain to attract some fools. (I remember that as a Niven quote but Google wouldn't help me out.) That means that there is very limited value in judging large movements by the fringe kooks. Even the 'assassination fantasies' don't paint the whole left. From Instapundit:

LEFTY ASSASSINATION FANTASIES: Various people, oddly, deny that such existed. Try Death of a President by Gabriel Range, or Nicholson Baker's novel, Checkpoint, just to start.

Similar Obama assassination fantasies, should they appear, won't get this kid-glove treatment from Big Media, I suspect. "It is not the first time a novelist has chosen fiction to express their point of view about American society or politics. Upton Sinclair did it. So did John Steinbeck. Nick Baker does it with more nerve and fewer pages."

UPDATE: Here's Salon, in 2003, on a play entitled I'm Going to Kill the President, "one of the most amusing plays currently running in New York . . . a madcap farce about terrorism and apathy in John Ashcroft's America whose performance may or may not be a federal offense."

ANOTHER UPDATE: "Snipers Wanted."

Follow the links if you want to. Look, any major political figure in America is going to attract loonies and death threats. The difference here is that the media was mostly silent about this during the Bush years but a few yahoos at campaign rallies and suddenly the Right is ready to boil over.
I think a serious assassination attempt on Obama would be one of the worst possible things to happen in our countries history. I hope that his secret service contingent is top notch (or more optimistically that they won't be needed). I just don't think that some negative comments about him will really inspire that type of reaction. Sorry, I don't buy that.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Can't agree more with this

From Instapundit:

NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE? So we've had nearly 8 years of lefty assassination fantasies about George W. Bush, and Bill Ayers' bombing campaign is explained away as a consequence of him having just felt so strongly about social justice, but a few people yell things at McCain rallies and suddenly it's a sign that anger is out of control in American politics? It's nice of McCain to try to tamp that down, and James Taranto sounds a proper cautionary note -- but, please, can we also note the staggering level of hypocrisy here? (And that's before we get to the Obama campaign's thuggish tactics aimed at silencing critics.)

The Angry Left has gotten away with all sorts of beyond-the-pale behavior throughout the Bush Administration. The double standards involved -- particularly on the part of the press -- are what are feeding this anger. (Indeed, as Ann AlthouseJohn Leo have noted, the reporting on this very issue is dubious). So while asking for McCain supporters to chill a bit, can we also ask the press to start doing its job rather than openly shilling for a Democratic victory? Self-control is for everybody, if it's for anybody. . . . and

Of course no one from the left is a threat. They're all good people remember? Only right-wingers are dangerous.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


(Via Instapundit) I mentioned yesterday that criticism of Obama is somehow defacto racism. Today's example comes from the AP (as highlighted here):
Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee "palling around" with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers' day 40 years ago. With Obama a relative unknown when he began his campaign, the Internet hummed with false e-mails about ties to radical Islam of a foreign-born candidate.Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as "not like us" is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American.

Of course Palin was specifically talking about a group of spoiled white kids. But that doesn't matter here. Criticism of Obama is always racist somehow. Should be a fun four years coming up.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Coming Obama Presidency

We're about a month from the election and I think it's safe to say that absent some kind of meltdown from Obama, he's going to be the next President. We're half way through the debates and I just don't see another game changer on the horizon. My guess is a win somewhere in the 50-46 range.
In addition the Dem majority in the House and Senate will probably grow. That's one of my biggest fears for the next four years. For all the talk about Republican lack of financial responsibility (much of it deserved) there is no constituency on the Dem side to control government spending. The opposite is true as the healthcare debate shows. The best case scenario is something like the one the realization that Clinton came to quickly, the financial house needs to be put back in shape before any grand social programs can be undertaken. I'm not optimistic.
I've talked about Obama's lack of foreign policy before and I still don't trust his instincts. The downside is the possibility that he will concede too much to the international community. The upside is that same community is getting their dream president and will no longer be able to blame bad choices of the American electorate for their own fecklessness. I don't think that's enough of a tradeoff but it could be worse.
I do have one very specific fear relating to the social fabric of this country. Obama has mostly (with notable exceptions) run as a post-race candidate. America hungers for this. My guess is that a vast majority wants to wish race away and ignore it. They think that MLK's dream pushes in this direction and they wish we could get there. At least that's the boat that I'm in and I don't think I'm alone.
Despite Obama's maturity on this matter, this election has become one of the most racially charged in memory. There have been a few outbreaks from the right suggesting that a black man needs to prove himself more to be qualified. These have mostly focused on his associations and some have been fair and some not so much. At the same time there has been a steady drumbeat from the left that almost any criticism of Obama is defacto racist. No matter how grown up Obama is, his allies can't make the same claim. This doesn't bode well for the future.
If I were advising Obama (and obviously I'm not) I'd wait until the next public outcry. I'd have him make a statement stating that he doesn't think all of his critics are racist and that it's flat out wrong to suggest that they are. Wrong for those individuals and wrong for the country as a whole. This would gain Obama respect from independnts and it would move our society forward.