House

The Natural Majority

In thinking about what to write after a long election season hiatus, I honestly just thought of completely reposting this piece from back in May, which built upon an earlier case I laid out for a ginormous Republican seat gain by making the case that if you simply assigned House seats to their Cook PVI winner, the result would be a sizeable GOP majority. 

How big? The seat breakdown I had for a perfectly politically balanced House of Representatives was 239 Republicans to 196 Democrats. 

Right now, we sit at 239 and we'll end up in the 242-243 range. 

In an odd way, I think the Tea Party surge has ended up bringing Washington back to the true political center of the country, but not yet fully to the right. The obstacles Republicans faced in moving the needle in their House numbers -- entrenched Blue Dog incumbents like Ike Skelton, John Spratt, Chet Edwards, and Gene Taylor -- were moved away last night. These are not "surge" seats that will be surrendered at the next election, but now likely Republican for life -- and ones we didn't have during Republican control of the House from 1994 to 2006. I tweeted out a few possible remaining targets for 2012 -- Heath Shuler for one, Ben Chandler for another -- but in truth I was having trouble coming up with that many because the Blue Dog hit list was exhausted so completely. 

Meanwhile, we generated a 63 seat wave without much in the way of gains in deep blue areas. The second act to the Scott Brown miracle didn't happen as New England stayed staunchly blue with the exception of New Hampshire. That's unfortunate from a storytelling perspective, but it also means we defend our newfound majority from much more solid ground than either the Democrats from 2006 onwards or Republicans in the dozen years after the 1994 revolution. 

The atmosphere in Washington today is also much more muted than it was after '94. Check out this remarkable clip of Gingrich right after the '94 vote poking his finger in the eye of the White House, claiming a mandate and saying "We are revolutionaries." I remember all that, but it sounded so out of place in today's context given all the modest rhetoric about a "second chance." 

This election was also a direct repudiation of a leader elected under Messianic pretexts. It was only a matter of time before the arrogance of it all -- the Hope stuff, the "We are the change we've been waiting for," the pretentiousness of the sunrise "O" -- generated an equal and opposite reaction (kind of like all of you who love to hate the Yankees). With Republican enthusiasm in the toilet the last two cycles, their very legitimacy as a political opposition spit on by the media, Republican voters I talked to yesterday took enormous satisfaction in seizing upon Obama's political weakness as they cheerfully showed up to vote. 

The act of yelling "realignment" after an election is getting tired and farcical after an unprecedented third wave in a row, so I'll resist doing it here. In the House, there was a tactical realignment, as seats Democrats held for personal reasons now give way to natural conservative Republican-held strongholds we'll hold for a long time. Attitudinally, the pendulum simply swung from the far left to the center. The President will be a Democrat, the Senate will be narrowly Democratic, and the House Republican, and the overall result will be all sides canceling each other out, e.g. centrism.

While not conservative per se, it is in one important sense: very little will get done. And that's a good thing. D.C. types assume gridlock is a dirty word, but voters acted very deliberately to hit the breaks on the Democratic train that ramrodded Obamacare. A pause in the frenetic activity of the last two years in Washington, and the fact of the House as a de-facto veto on spending levels, means a profoundly conservative outcome, if not in policy, than in the nature and speed and pace of activity coming out of the nation's capital. 

It's Time for a Complete Reboot

One of my lesser known traits is that I’m a huge Trekkie (and I don’t say “huge” lightly). However, the Star Trek universe had recently been undergoing a pretty substantial collapse, culminating in the closing of Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas. Desperately trying to revive the franchise, Paramount Pictures contacted J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman to create a film that would appeal to a wider audience than the typical Star Trek movie — in essence, entirely rebooting the franchise. One of my concerns as a fanboy was that doing this would substantially change the franchise from Gene Roddenberry’s original vision. Judging by the success of Star Trek so far and the overwhelmingly positive reviews the movie has received from both critics and viewers (it is now #62 on IMDB’s top 250 movie list), the reboot has successfully achieved its goal of widespread appeal. And although there were a number of deviations from the days of Roddenberry in the new film, I was able to reconcile these deviations with the fact that the franchise was in dire need of change to regain the widespread appeal that was necessary to keep it alive.

Now how does all of this relate to politics?  Well, after the devastating 2008 elections, many of those on the right (myself included) believed that things couldn’t get much worse. After all, President-elect Obama had just won in a decisive landslide, and Republicans lost 8 seats in the Senate and 21 in the House. The Democrats outpaced Republicans in virtually every area, and the only glimmer of hope Republicans could hold onto for the next two years was the knowledge that Republicans would be able to filibuster Obama’s most radical plans in the Senate. Today, even this looks incredibly unlikely with Senator Specter switching sides and the reality setting in that comedian-turned-politician Al Franken will likely be the next Senator from Minnesota. For a while I felt cautiously optimistic about the 2010 elections — the energy of Rebuild the Party and similar movements to rebuild the GOP was profound, conservatives seemed to be on the brink of a rightroots movement, Michael Steele took over the reigns at the RNC, and Joseph Cao achieved enormous electoral victory while Jim Tedisco seemed poised to win in NY’s 20th. However, much has changed since those developments, and it seems that Republicans are not on the best track to turn the tide in 2010, let alone in 2012 or beyond. Indeed, although a turnaround is possible, the clock is ticking, and like the Star Trek franchise, the only way that the GOP can turn things around is with a complete reboot.

Over at Time magazine, Michael Grunwald raises some important points about this matter. He writes:

The party’s ideas — about economic issues, social issues and just about everything else — are not popular ideas. They are extremely conservative ideas tarred by association with the extremely unpopular George W. Bush, who helped downsize the party to its extremely conservative base. A hard-right agenda of slashing taxes for the investor class, protecting marriage from gays, blocking universal health insurance and extolling the glories of waterboarding produces terrific ratings for Rush Limbaugh, but it’s not a majority agenda.

While I find much of the content of his argument biased and inaccurate, the overarching point he raises is that the issues Republicans are pursuing are not those of “a majority agenda.” Regardless of whether conservative positions on these issues are popular or unpopular, they aren’t the kind of issues that build a majority and win elections — particularly during trying economic times. This is an important point that Republicans must somehow reconcile if they wish to return to majority status. Jon Henke points out (emphasis added):

The Republican brand does not merely need a little tinkering. The Republican brand is not the victim of Democratic rhetoric and framing. The Republican brand is so bad because people accurately perceive the state of the Republican Party.

And although it is sometimes well deserved (see Arlen Specter’s vote on Obama’s stimulus package), lambasting all of our moderate Senators and Congressmen doesn’t help. One of the things I used to celebrate about the Republican Party was its diversity in ideology — something that continues to diminish with the loss of Specter, giving the Democrats the opportunity to be the ideologically ‘diverse’ party. In a two party system, you cannot build a winning coalition that encompasses only the far side of the political spectrum. The bottom line is that Republicans will likely never see another day in the majority if its electorate only supports candidates with impeccable conservative credentials, outcasting any elected officials or candidates who are near the political middle. In states such as my own (Pennsylvania) and many others in the region, a Republican candidate can only win the general election if he or she is moderate. For just one example of the impact of accepting moderates, look to the U.S. Senate — would you rather have 11 moderate Republicans in the Senate in addition to our current Senators and hold a majority, or only allow full-on conservatives and sit comfortably in the filibuster-proof minority?

The fact is that it is time for a reboot, or as Henke says, “actual, painful, reform.” The Republican Party needs to find new issues around which to coalesce, issues that appeal to mainstream Americans and are not knee-jerk reactions against the Obama administration’s plans. One thing that Republicans cannot wait for is the Democrats to fail. Meanwhile, GOP voters need to realize that moderates — who may not always be perfectly conservative — have their place in a nationally viable party. Only with these recognitions and a total overhaul of the GOP can Republicans move maximum warp speed ahead into the future.

Crossposted at NextGenGOP.

A New Internet Bill Guaranteed to Fail

According to CNN, Republican Congressman are looking to force ISP's into keeping records for two years for all users.

This bill is horribly designed, on more than just one level.

First, it requires copious amounts of data storage. I don't think that Congressmen recognize how much data even a small network can generate. Data storage is becoming cheaper nowadays, but it's still a huge hurdle. What data should be saved? All packets? Login information? Website caches?

Two, storage equals money. You're going to add to the operating costs of not only big companies like AT&T, Verizon et all, but you're also going to reduce the ability (as if it wasn't non-existent now anyways) of a startup company.

Three, there's a great many people who use Wi-Fi who do not have it locked down with security. Will they be held liable to keep this data as well, or will it just be for those who use it commercially? The article is unclear, and it's very likely that the average person or small company will know how to store data correctly.

Fourth, the idea that I should have to give up my identity on the net is a poor one. The Internet grants anonymity, and with that, freedom. Will some people use that freedom to try to get around laws? Most certainly. But all this bill will do is force those who wish to break the law to do a slight amount of reading on how to mask your IP, how to steal Wi-Fi addresses from unsuspecting people, or find some other workaround.

If this bill goes into place, how long until the names and data get used for reasons other than their true purpose? A week or a month?

There are some good arguments for data retention by bigger companies (and they're already doing it, to some extent) but there is no need for the majority of people to store records for two years.

Hypocrisy in the House

With an expanded majority in the 111th Congress Speaker Pelosi has decided to revisit a fight she lost in May of 2007.

At the time it was only a few months into the new Congress, but Democrats had become frustrated with the Republicans success in forcing votes on tough issues.  Unable to maintain control under the same rules Hillary Clinton had famously accused Republicans of using to run the House, "like a plantation ... in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard," they decided to take the extraordinary step of altering the rules mid-session to limit debate.

As Politico described the plan,"Democrats suggested changing the House rules to limit the minority's right to offer motions to recommit bills back to committee -- violating a protection that has been in place since 1822."  This power grab provoked an immediate backlash, with Republicans essentially shutting down the chamber by forcing a series of procedural votes on the House floor.  In the face of such a strong response the Democrats backed down and withdrew the proposal.

But it appears that Speaker Pelosi was merely biding her time.  With the start of the 111th Congress this week Democrats unveiled a package of rules changes that go far beyond what they were attempting in 2007.  While clearly outling their opposition House Republicans were unable to prevent the rules from being adopted on a nearly party line vote of 242-181 with only 6 Democrats finding the courage to vote against their party.

These new rules: limit the right of the minority to offer motions to recommit; abolish term limits on Committee Chairs, returning the House to the pre-1995 status quo where powerful chairs refused to relinquish power, serving until death or retirement; weaken the pay-go rules that Democrats campaigned on in 2006; and reverse the prohibition on votes being held open for the purpose of changing the outcome.

This is in stark contrast to the many promises Democrats made before taking power, such as Steny Hoyer's statement that, "We intend to have a Rules Committee … that gives opposition voices and alternative proposals the ability to be heard and considered on the floor of the House" (CongressDaily PM, 12/5/2006) and Nancy Pelosi's pledge, "...to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history."  It also violates the spirit of their campaign document 'A New Direction for America' published in June of 2006 that outlined a Congress that would work for all Americans instead of simply a narrow constituency.

Change indeed.

435 districts: How to Win in San Francisco

One can dream. Promoted. -Patrick

Update: As many people have pointed out, the surname Wong is inherently Chinese.  That said, I chose a Korean deliberatey.  Thus, I'm changing the candidate's name to Rob Ho Park.

This entry is intended to illustrate the type of Republican that could win a House seat in San Francisco.  It is not intended to describe a real person.  Imagine this as a future Weekly Standard/National Review profile.

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Who is he: Rob the Custom Bicycle Store Owner.

Rob Ho Park is a second generation Korean American whose parents immigrated here in the 1950's during the War.  He is married and has three children.  Growing up in San Francisco, he was the first person in his family to go to college, graduating with honors from Cal in 1991.  That fall, he enrolled at a Masters Program at Stanford only to drop out six months later to join a Silicon Valley start-up.  After 5 1/2 years of 90 hour weeks, the company went public and Rob became wealthy beyond his wildest dreams.

Rob survived the dot com bubble intact but shaken.  He decided to return to work only to learn that steady work is less available.  He accepted several consulting jobs and continued with his life.

Then came 9/11....

Rob was in the 7-11 in Palo Alto the first time he heard it.  About six hours after the attacks he was in line paying for his gas and coffee when the woman behind him said "we sponsored bin Laden in the 1980's so this is really our fault."  Rob was flabbergasted and sickened, yet he chose to write it off as an isolated incident.

Rob moved on with his life only to find consulting unsteady and inconsistent.  This became even truer in 2002 when Congress passed (and President Bush signed) the Sarbanes/Oxley act, which drove technology venture capital overseas.  Rob was once explaining this to a friend  when the friend said: "Yeah, that [censored]hole Bush can't do anything right."  Rob was shocked by this, even though he didn't say anything at the time.

In 2003, Rob landed a 2 year consulting contract that put him back on easy street for the first time in several years.  This time, however, Rob decided to save most of the money so he could start the business he's dreamed of owning since he was a small child.  This decision infused him with a new passion as he threw himself back into his work.

In 2005, Rob's diligence allowed him to finish his project a month early.  At this point, Rob sold the house in Palo Alto (for a surprisingly large profit) and moved the family back to San Francisco where he planned to open a custom bicycle shop.  For the rest of the year, the bike shop consumed Rob's life.  He was surprised by how difficult it was to open a business in San Francisco (not to mention the rents...), but he was determined.  He jumped through every hoop and cut through every piece of red tape the city and state could throw at him.  He even took out a loan when his savings proved insufficient.  Finally, in March 2006, Rob opened his store!

2006 and 2007 were, by most measures, the best years of Rob's life  Running the bike shop was better than Rob had ever imagined and his wife gave birth to their third child.  At the same time, several things beneath the surface troubled Rob deeply.  San Francisco had changed since he moved away twenty years before.  While he'd always considered San Francisco's cultural foibles amusing, they'd now crossed an unspoken threshold of decency.  Aggressive homeless people started living in front of his store and in the parks where his children played.  Rob tryed to take this in stride, but can only take so much public consumption of HARD drugs and public fornication.  Making matters worse, the Mayor seemed more concerned with Gay Marriage than doing anything after his store was broken into in March 2007.

2008 was the final straw for Rob.  Rob had survived a recession and prepared early to weather another one.  He prudently ordered less overhead and installed solar panels (at an out of pocket cost of $10,000) to take advantage of a loophole in California's tax code.

It wasn't enough.  In March, Rob let his first of five employees go.  Then, the city raised his taxes.  This forced Rob to lay off two more workers.  Then the state ended up even deeper in the red than people had thought and the state threatened to raise his taxes.  While the tax hike isn't official yet, Rob is terrified because he knows this next tax hike will be his last.

At the same time, this Gay Marriage stuff has gotten under Rob's skin.  While he has gay friends, and doesn't really have a problem with Gay Marriage, he was appalled by the arrogance of the CA supreme court decision and quietly voted against Prop 8.  He thought that was the end of it.  He was wrong.  Nothing prepared him for the circus following Prop 8.

All this has left Rob Ho Park livid and ready to take it out on the incumbant leadership in his home city.  He's decided to run for the House and he needs your help.

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Again, Rob is not a real person (or, if he is, I'm WAY better at this than I thought).  He's meant to represent the type of person we should seek out if we want to seriously contest a U.S. House seat in San Francisco.

Obama Swallows Poison Pill, Spares GOP from Pyrrhic Victory

The outcome of the election, as reported by the media, was one of a historic victory by Barack Obama and the Democrat Party. However, I want to put a look on this going forward as opposed to going backwards. My take on it is that Obama and the Democrats have swallowed the poison pill of a bad economy and John McCain and the Republicans were spared from a Pyrrhic victory.

Defined, a poison pill is that of a strategic move in politics or business designed to increase the likelihood of negative results as opposed to positive ones during a takeover. By winning the 2008 Presidential and Congressional elections, President-elect Barack Obama and the Democrats have willfully swallowed a big poison pill left behind by George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, a Pyrrhic victory comes from King Pyrrhus, the ruler of Eprius, who won a series of battles that his army won in 280 and 279 BC against the Romans but the casualties they took on were devastating. Had John McCain been elected President, it would have been one such victory that would have been enough to strengthen Democrat majorities in the House and Senate while setting up the Democrats for a landslide win in 2012. For that, McCain and the Republicans spared themselves what would have been a costly victory.

The good news for the Republicans is that there are a number of ways that Obama can consume poison pills and do so happily while fooling himself by proclaiming it as an “engine of change”. Believe me, that the Republicans will be more than happy to keep supplying the poison pills. All of this with the GOP’s rise back to the top by 2012.

Had the roles been reversed with McCain winning and a Democrat-led Congress to work with, the Democrats would have blocked many of McCain’s economic policies and would force him to cross the aisle for the policies they wanted, which would have made McCain the second-comings of Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

In the end, it would have made John McCain’s Presidential win that very Pyrrhic victory that would have lengthened the minority of the Republicans in government and turned John McCain’s legacy from that of “Maverick” John McCain the war hero to John S. McCain the failed President. Instead, Obama and the Democrats took a tighter grip on power that could ultimately give the public one reason to vote Republican.

What Obama and the Democrats are proposing could be a prescription for an unmitigated economic disaster that could lead to GOP victories in 2010 and 2012. Those victories also assume that the Republican leadership in Congress and party back in working order.

If nothing else, it would be highly unlikely that Obama governs from the political center. Back in 1992, then-President-elect Bill Clinton was told by House Democrats that they would pull support for centrist positions of his if he tried to get Republicans to vote for his proposals. They told Clinton that if he stayed within the confines of the Democrat Congressional and Senatorial Caucuses, they would deliver other policy proposals. That ended in 1994 with a Republican landslide in the House and Senate elections.

Before that, Jimmy Carter decided that he was not going to govern from the left in the early stages of his presidency. The end result was a clear alienation of his own party that led to Carter vetoing in four years more than double the bills that George W. Bush did in eight years. By the time Carter tried to woo the liberal base of his party, it was too late. Thanks to not governing from the left and his ineptitude, Ronald Reagan defeated him in a 44-state landslide in 1980 in an election that was over one hour before the polls closed on the west coast.

President-elect Obama is now in a bad spot electorally. If the economy goes from bad to worse post-2009, Obama and the Democrats will not have Bush to blame. Instead, they will have to answer the question “What have you done for me lately?” If they’re not careful, the Republicans will start by making significant electoral gains in 2010 and could regain power back from the Democrats in 2012. That would be the final, fatal poison pill.

There was no secret by the Obama campaign about their desires to raise the capital gains tax from 15 percent to anywhere between 20 to 28 percent. The last time an increase in the capital gains tax was implemented was back in 1986 when the tax code was reformed under Ronald Reagan to make the capital gains rate the same as the top rate of 28 percent. When implemented, capital gains tax revenues dropped 44 percent because selling stock became less desirable.

What could make matters worse is the desire of Obama and the Democrats to raise the top marginal income tax rate from the current 35 percent rate to that of the 39.6 percent it was back in 2000. There are a number of serious consequences that would arise from a tax increase in an economic slowdown or an economic recovery. According to Obama’s proposals to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the top five percent of wage earners ($153,542 in adjusted gross income or more) and Obama’s proposed removal the income cap on FICA taxes could impose a federal tax rate of 54.9 percent.

As for the rest of the Bush tax cuts, they will be set to expire on January 1, 2011. If there is now tax cut extension put in to place, an economy that could be poised for a recovery would instead suffer a contraction. George W. Bush will not anywhere close to the scene of the crime (he’ll probably be getting ready to go fishing in Texas by this time) to be blamed and Obama would take the hit. In other words, Obama will be the first President to run for reelection on the heels of a recession since George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.

Spending can also get out of hand with the Democrats wanting more money for more spending programs. John Kerry has called for a new New Deal and Barney Frank has called for more spending, deficit be damned. This, combined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s push for funding for embryonic stem cell research (which is more throwing good money after bad since embryonic stem cell research has produced no cures while over 80 cures have been found via adult stem cell research) and Ted Kennedy’s push for socialized health care will be enough to generate our first-ever trillion-dollar deficit.

Once the recession is over, the next monster the economy will become hyperinflation that has gone unseen since the 1970’s. The contributors will be record deficit spending, energy prices run amok, and artificially increasing wages.

Obama has proposed raising it from the $5.15 it was back in 2006 when the economy was actually good to the $7.25 per hour wage that it will be next summer to $9.50 by 2011. The dirty little secret about labor pricing in economics is that if you inflate wages against the will of employers, you actually create more unemployment—like what is happening right now.

If you look at the inflation-adjusted number of the original minimum wage when it was implemented in late 1938, today’s minimum wage would only be $3.64 an hour. The $9.50 an hour that Obama would attempt to implement would be the 1938 equivalent of 68 cents. In other words, when adjusted for inflation, non-skilled workers—mostly high school teenagers, people working for the first time, and those looking to start a business by learning a trade—are making more than 2.61 times more than what they were making 70 years ago.

In some ways, inflation was made worse by the Carter administration in the 1970’s by increasing the minimum wage every year he was in office. When Carter took office, the federal minimum wage was $2.30 an hour. That figure went up to $2.65 an hour in 1978, $2.90 an hour in 1979, $3.10 an hour in 1980 and to $3.35 an hour when he left office in January 1981. By comparison, the Reagan administration never passed a minimum wage increase and one would not take effect for more than nine years.

Why does the minimum wage matter? It is the only real way to create a trickle-up economic effect. It will increase wages across the board by an even bigger percentage than that of a minimum wage increase. Employers will respond to higher taxes and higher wages with higher job cuts. We will be longing for the days of a 6.5 percent unemployment rate.

Then there is the credit crisis as we are facing as banks are more reluctant to give loans for any reason. Obama wants to give selected homeowners the ability to refinance during a 90-day foreclosure freeze. That will lead to a freeze on lending for either the same length of time to one that’s even longer. That is, unless of course, Congress decides to force banks to lend (which is what got many of the banks in this mess in the first place).

With the shrinking equity from Wall Street and the reduced lending of the banks (barring mandatory lending against the better interests of the banks), businesses will be harder-pressed for cash which will lead to more layoffs and less production of goods. When inflation by contraction (stagflation) on this scale happens, more Congressional bailouts won’t be enough to save corporate and small-business America.

Speaking of bailouts, there will be a push to bailout the automotive industry to the tune of $250 billion. For once, I agree with Congressmen like Dennis Kucinich. It is only on the issue of equating this to corporate welfare. However, he and his fellow far-leftists in the Democrat Party will likely acquiesce thanks to all of the additional goodies thrown in the form of pork-barrel spending projects to win votes just like what Nancy Pelosi did with her first Iraq spending bill that George W. Bush promptly vetoed.

The end result is a Democrat Party and an Obama administration overwhelmed with political poison pills gladly accepted on their part from the Republicans. By 2012, Obama will likely go down as one of America’s worst presidents and could make Americans long for the days of—dare I say—George W. Bush. At that point, the American public will vote probably for Republicans…any Republican.

 

The Congressional Presidency

Historically, it is not very frequent that we see an incumbent United States Senator get elected President of the United States.  It is even rarer that we see a U.S. Senator elected to both the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.

Bucking this historic tradition, our President-elect and Vice President-elect are incumbent United States Senators.  And now, Illinois Representative Rahm Emanuel has been offered the Chief of Staff position in the Obama administration.

This development that we are witnessing is largely unprecedented: a Presidential administration filled with incumbents from Congress.

So why is this a big deal? Well, we all know from elementary school history that the founding fathers built this great nation with three separate branches built into our Constitution: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial.  This level of participation by legislators in the executive branch will serve to eliminate the barriers between the executive office and the Congress – already low due to the Democrats’ increased control of both Houses – threatening the entire premise of separation of powers that has helped make this country so great.

Thus, this begs the question, "How many more Congressional officials will we see in the Obama administration?"  Regardless of the answer, in seeing an Obama administration composed of Democratic officials from the previous Congress, we are witnessing President-elect Obama's mantra of change get thrown out the window.

This entry has been cross-posted at NextGenGOP.com.

IS PALIN PLAYING POSSUM????

I was on the phone with Lis Wiehl of Fox News. Lis was filling in for Steve Malzberg, a popular conservative radio talk show host here in New York. Basically, I called into give my assessment of the Vice Presidential debates tomorrow night. Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up! It’s…

SARAH BARRACUDA PALIN vs. SLOPPY JOE BIDEN.

I don’t know about you but I’d rather be a "barracuda" than a "sloppy Joe".

Anyways, I believe that this debate will be watched more than the first McCain/Obama debate that went down last Friday. No question, the whole world will be watching. Why? It’s the only VP debate and BOTH candidates have so much to lose.

So what was Mr.L’s assessment to Ms. Weihl?

Playing possum.

I’m taking a gamble when I say this but, Sarah Palin, and the entire McCain campaign, have been "playing possum" with the national knee jerk liberal news media. John McCain knows what the liberal media did to him. After all, for many of us conservatives, McCain wasn’t our first choice. Since our "come to Jesus" moment, we can recall that, during the primaries, the media held McCain up like their darling.

We knew this was a set up from the get-go. They were setting McCain up for the ultimate fall. They patted Gramps on the head until he was nominated and, when he was, they turned on him like rabid pit bulls. All of a sudden, they brought up everything. They brought up his age, McCain/(enter) and his association Keating Five. The latter for which he was long ago exonerated.

They played possum.

But it didn’t work. John McCain is a man who spent time in solitary confinement in a Viet-Cong prison. When you spent time in a room the size of a box you know how to stay alive. You know how to fight.

Flash forward to the present.

Sarah Palin is playing possum.

This is just one man’s humble opinion. I could be right, I could be wrong. I’d rather be any of those two than be left.

Sarah Palin, an avid hunter, knows what playing possum is all about. It’s the art of apparent death. It’s a defense mechanism. Play dead, the predator thinks your dead you live another day and figure out when to strike out at your opponent.

Think it can’t be applied to presidential politics? Think again.

The media underestimated Palin before. They did it from the moment that John McCain picked her. They commented that she wasn’t ready. They doubted whether or not she could deliver a home run speech at the RNC. They doubted whether or not she could hold the public’s attention. McCain’s rallies, which only had 2-5,000 people in attendance pre-Palin, now average 10 to 12, 0000. Not to mention her appearance in Flordia, which drew 70,000 people.

You see where I’m going with this?

You saw the Katie Couric interview. What do you think? Do you really believe that Palin doesn’t know what McCain stands for specifically? And why should Sarah Palin or John McCain reveal ANYTHING to a person who once had the Clintons over to her Park Avenue apartment for a sleepover?

And why should Palin even tell this woman, who’s just one appendage of the Obama campaign, who let SLOPPY JOE slide when he told her that "FDR was president during the great depression" or "I’d like to introduce Barack America", what newspapers she reads?

They attacked her. They attacked her kids.

Play possum. Let them think you’re stupid Sarah.

It’s worked for you so many times before.

And when the time is right, pull out the shotgun and blow his fucking head off.

 

Bailout? Fine. But we want cuts.

Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives defeated a massive $700 billion bailout of Wall Street investment banks. The bill was largely opposed by House conservatives and Democrats alike. And while Wall Street is currently throwing what Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto calls a "hissy fit", the question remains - should the federal government intervene, and if so, to what extent?

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