Fix America's confidence deficit

America faces many deficits. Some can be measured easily by metrics: i.e a  budget deficit or a trade deficit. 

But there's a far more debilitating deficit in our nation today. The confidence deficit

Without confidence business transactions grind to a halt and political progress is stalled as rational actors play the old zero-sum game.

This week the McCain campaign had an opportunity to address this confidence deficit.  The opportunity passed. And indeed, now they demonstrate their own confidence deficit.

First, let's look at the root causes of the confidence deficit. I trace them to Bush's annus horrible in 2005 when social security reform died, Katrina was an unmitigated disaster and Bush alienated his core supporters with the Miers nomination. Add Iraq to this brew and we get the 2006 midterm thumping. At rhe end of the day, the public lost faith in Bush and it seems Bush lost faith in what had worked in the first term for him.

The Democrats who took power in Congress then exacerbated this problem. Their "vision" was of accepting defeat in Iraq and running the same ethically challenged Congress they decried---only with an even greater level of incompetence.  The lowest approval ratings in recent history were to be expected.

Hence the opening for a "Hope and Change" presidential candidate. By mid-summer it was self evident that Obama's spiel was inspirational to the young and partisan, but was falling on deaf ears to the older and more jaded.

McCain's campaign mocked the "messiah' and then made a bold move that regained the political advantage. They picked Sarah Palin for V.P.

 

Palin obviously brings many demographic assets to the ticket. But  when she's left to her own devices, she brings a far greater asset. Confidence 

Uber-Pundit Michael Barone made this telling observation after Palin's blockbuster RNC speech.

Roosevelt memorably said in his first inaugural that Americans had nothing to fear but fear itself. Sarah Palin seems to fear nothing.

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2008/9/4/just-call-her-sarah-delano-palin.html

Palin's plainspoken power is she is the authentic voice of Middle America. Middle America may not know the theories of Clausewitz, Ludwig von Mises, or Laurence Tribe, but they know when the government is protecting their paycheck and person, and when it is not.

In recent weeks, the McCain campaign has made halfhearted decisions that betray their own lack of confidence. They tried to limit media exposure to Palin to just the mandarins of the  elite media, and evidently directed her to offer as little information as possible, taking fearless Sarah and making her appear clueless.  Better to have given her more exposure in less prominent forums and put her to proper use.

When Hank Paulson broke the proverbial glass and declared an alarm bell for the economy McCain suspended his campaign, participated in talks to fashion a legislative remedy, then, inexplicably was in Ohio the morning of  the House vote debacle at a campaign rally instead of being on Capitol Hill whipping votes for the package he favored. The Bailout wasn;t any more popular than the Iraq surge, but McCain might have convinced House members on the first try to swallow hard, especially as every day the crisis kept going was another day lost from attacking Obama. Moreover, putting his name front and center would have embellished his "Country First" persona. Perhaps McCain didn;t have confidence in the package, but allowing the crisis to fester for four more days was only going to make the political environment worse. He now has little to show for the campaign time he missed.

 Now we have the final piece of the puzzle. The abandonment of MI to the Democrats.    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081004/pl_politico/14267. The way this was done was just blindingly dumb.  Instead of quietly postponing rallies, delaying ad buys, and moving paid staff to save money the McCain campaign sends a neon billboard to the public consciousness that it is falling behind in the election. The message herein is loudly that McCain's own staff doesn;t have confidence in their prospects.

Ironically, this whole approach seems reminiscent of Rudy Giuliani's disasterous primary strategy of pulling away from states once polls looked tough, only to find the public started writing him off in the states where he had decided to make a stand. 

 http://www.patrickruffini.com/2008/01/21/lose-valiantly-and-win/

just competing everywhere seems to count for a lot more than people would have thought a few weeks ago.

If the Mac team thinks that bailing on one of the traditional battleground states a month before the election is going to inspire people in PA, MN or WI, I think they are....let's be polite...sadly mistaken.  This election will be won by emotion-- not tactical gamesmanship

There is no confidence in Washington. There is no confidence in Washington, DC.  Barack Obama offers a banal and credulous type of confidence, based on an ideology rejected time and again by the voters. But in the marketplace of ideas, even a really bad product is better than no product at all.

Sarah Palin gets it.  We cannot win this election unless we are willing to fight. And we cannot win if we are unwilling to speak directly and forcefully to Middle America.

In her very body language, Sarah Palin projects enthusiasm and confidence. Where is this John McCain...the McCain of legendary town halls in New Hampshire and South Carolina? Lost in the MSM miasma, methinks.

Send Sarah to Michigan.  Hell, send her anywhere Republicans want to fight for the future of this nation. Even Chicago if they can gin up a crowd.  Let her rip. Let's educate America that we need not accept the future Barack Obama will provide.

You cannot expect others to have confidence in your agenda if you do not have confidence in yourself. America needs the McCain-Palin ticket to close the confidence deficit our nation is facing.

It's past time for Sarah to be Sarah.

How about its time for John McCain to be Sarah?   

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Comments

Confident conservative emergence amidst ruins of Bush admin

Excellent exposition. You missed a few other key bumps along the way: The comprehensive immigration bill, the Dubai ports deal.

The conservative movement, which is split along populist / elite lines right now because our elites, including the latter part of the Bush admin, tried a 'cram down' of bad ideas. Those ideas are not conservative, nor are they particularly good. So, the grassroots rebelled. Now take a look at this, from Rep McCaul:

http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2008/10/congressman-mccaul-defends-his...

There are two aspects of confidence - Confidence in the rightness of your ideas and approach, and confidence in the future of the country. McCaul expresses both. His newsletter said:

This is about responsibility. It’s what you teach your children and what I teach all five of mine. Should Wall Street have to pay for its own mess or should the responsible, hard working taxpayers? I was elected to look out for the taxpayer. And in my estimation, Congress got this wrong. ... In my view, if the FDIC were to declare an emergency and vow to protect all general creditors of failed banks and institute a net worth certificate program, the financial markets will calm down immediately.

His closing is:

I stand by my conservative principles and will continue to push for a free market solution. And I have faith that our country, and our economy, will overcome even the worst decisions. May America stand strong and prosper.

My point is simple: On energy, on opposing earmarks and pork, on standing up against amnesty, on opposing the bailout - the conservatives are on the side of ordinary Americans, taxpayers and contributors to the country. They are opposing various forms of  rent-seeking welfaristic socialistic corrupt grifting and favoring the productive working heart and soul of the country.

If McCain-Palin can make that message loud and clear, without stepping on it by precaving to the Democrat memes or signing up for bad ideas that violate free enterprise principles, then he  can win and rehabilitate the Republican brand. If he doesn't, it will fall on future leaders to carry the banner forward. The future of the conservative movement and the Republican party lies in those who stood by the taxpayer consistently and stood for responsibility and freedom. We are a prosperous nation because of our freedom, and we should never abandon our free enterprise recipe for success.

We are seeing a confident conservative emergence that is independent from some of the elites, arising amidst ruins of a lame-duck Bush administration that lost its moorings. This is not different from the mid-1970s or early 1990s.

 

Choosing Palin was a mistake

Sarah Palin cannot fix the confidence crisis.  While polls show that many Americans LIKE her, they don't have confidence in her ability to lead--she just doesn't have the experience.  We've just had eight years of a President who, in hindsight and whatever your ideological bent, was simply not competent.  There is an anti-Republican feeling in the country now thanks to the Bush Administration.  Despite that, for much of the campaign, Obama and McCain were running neck and neck.  Given the national mood, Obama should have been way ahead in the polls, but voters were concerned about his inexperience and "exotic" background. It wasn't just the tanking economy that finally pushed up Obama's poll numbers. McCain gave Obama a big gift when he chose Palin, because her selection (after the initial fanfare) raised questions about McCain's judgment (read: competence).  I don't think conservatives, who are so enamored by her stand on issues, quite see her the way the rest of America does.  She's appealing and energetic but just doesn't have the gravitas to assume command of this country.  You can't blame the "mainstream media" for this--if you want to play you've got to pay, and that means being able to face down Katie Couric!  Following up with folksy but shallow answers during the VP debate didn't save her. (Polls show her performance did NOT help McCain--Obama is still rising.) Palin just isn't ready--that much is blatant and it has HURT McCain that he chose her because it reflects poorly on his judgment.  Meanwhile Obama chose a long-term Senator who is "ready to lead" (we're not talking ideology here--just perceived competence) which pushed many undecideds into his corner.  Most Americans are not conservative or liberal, they are middle of the road and what they want more than anything after the Bush debacle is someone with a calm, steady hand who is competent.  The more they look, the less McCain seems like that person.  His latest ploy--having Palin go dirty and negative on Obama--is going to backfire, making him seem even less like the confident pilot that the country now needs.

Gotta disagree

I believe the ONLY thing keeping McCain in the race at all at this point is his choice of Gov. McCain.  She has energized the base like it hasn't been energized in years!  McCain needs that base to have ANY chance one month from now.

As far as gravitas, Obama has NONE!  Biden is a joke.  The democrat ticket is horrible.  They are ahead becasue half the country is now firmly in the socialist camp,  A hunk of dirt and a worm could be the democrat ticket and these socialist idiots would vote for it.

For McCain to win (and he was nowhere near my first choice!) he and Gov. Palin must fight like the free world depends on it, because it does.  Everything should be fair game, because the democrats will use everything they have, as well. 

The republicans do have a tremendouse confidence problem.  Sarah Palin, and a few weeks of a REAL fight, can help squeak out a win.

Ruffini doesn't buy the theory

and neither do I.

What we have here is an example of political single entry accounting.

Does Palin have liabilities due to being a novice on the national stage? Yes.  But she was --and is--a tremendous boost to Republican enthusiasm.

Now I would have been fine with Tom Ridge, and no doubt he would have done a better Couric interview. But much of the party would have been distinctly underwhelmed.  I don;t think a standard issue Republican like Romney would have been the answer, either. As for Lieberman, I think its clear that so many Red States would be in play now that there's no way Mac would be able to put out all the fires (See Bush 41, 1992 strategy).

It's an old adage that a coach can give a player experience through playing time, but either the player has talent or they don't. That's beyond coaching.   Palin is a talented politician whose best days are ahead of her.

   

Palin's The Only Smart Decision McCain Has Made

Both Palin and Obama benefit from being newcomers in a year when all voters want change. The nitwits who agreed to the Couric and other hostile interviews should have been fired. Palin is best when she speaks directly to the American people, as she did on Hannity, during the debate, and at the Convention.

During the debate even Senator Biden acknowledged her expertise on energy issues and her executive experience. Based on work experience and accomplishments Palin is more qualified to be President than McCain, Obama, or Biden. I should also throw in the mix her common sense and her ability to communicate.

I completely agree with the important point that she exudes confidence: Confidence in herself, the McCain ticket, McCain, and the United States of America. She has given McCain an opportunity to win this race but he must rise to the occasion. Where is the John McCain who demolished Romney in the primaries? He must go after Obama, the Palin way. Make credible charges that distinguishes the McCain ticket from the Obama ticket.

America's Confidence Deficit...

How much does it cost for America to be confident again?  Let's see... $1.2 Trillion perhaps?

Just curious...  Since the Fed borrowed the money from foreigners - does anyone have a clue how we're planning to pay this off.

Moreover, I wonder how much of AMerica's soul did we sell, just to get the loan.

 

Tom Desrosier

http://www.dare2believe.com

 

The MouthPeace Strikes Again...House of Lies: Must See TV!

The MouthPeace Strikes Again...

And other good one, and it puts the Clintons on the side of good, namely that Bill Clinton was stonewalled on Fannie and Freddie too...good appeal to independent voters at the end, which will have to be McCain's end game.  Convince America that Democrats in Congress are dangerous too and that he is the only thing between the moderates and left wing domination.

What you see at the end will have to be McCain's closing argument, and it will be worth at least 2-3 points, so we need to get within 3 points for that argument to carry us across.

McCain has to start referring to "time-bomb" mortgages handed out by Fannie and Freddie.  They have to be the focus not "predatory lenders" fannie and freddie enabled it all.

Goes to show you how powerful the ACORN lobby is when not even Bill Clinton can talk sense to them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5z9lD4C2Io

Confidence Deficit...Great term coined here...

...this little phrase brands this hollow feeling we all are experiencing.  I'm convinced thats why Wall St is experiencing such wide swings.  They simply have no confidence in the future.  Lets face it - most of us are in shock.  We're in shock because there is a tremendous number of our fellow citizens that have put this radical leftist in such a position!  Barrack Obama is probably going to be our next POTUS!  How can that be?  How could so many in our Nation do something so self-destructive to our nation?  Its like the floor has disappeared from under us and we're falling through space.

Or a better analogy? "...like the foolish man who built his house on the sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."  Matt 7: 26,27 NIV   If we have to rebuild, we rebuild. This time on Rock.

Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle

  All dogs are mortal
  Socrates is mortal
  Therefore, Socrates is a dog

 

Is that one like the fallacy

that Obama is qualified because he leads in the polls?

There' no doubt about it, MARS needs confidence-building.

The problem is: McCain isn't a MAR, "Middle American Radical"   (Voters below the upper-income brackets and along the center-right political spectrum). Sarah Palin may be one, but John McCain has her on such a short leash, it's hard to tell at this point. But the idea that McCain will somehow cut her loose to stump for him on MAR issues is quite laughable.

As Buchanan points out is his brilliantly written Oct. 3rd artical: "Can the MARS save McCain",  McCain, not being a MAR himself, simply made a catastrophic miscalculation in the way he handled the bailout issue from the perspective of the MARS. He is now paying for that mistake in the polls.

The internal ideological battle that is presently being waged within the Republican Party between the MARRs (Middle American Radical Republicans) and the Party's corporate elite rulers will have to wait until the results of this election are in. 

Hopefully, after this election, the Party will search out reform, possibly even lead by Gov. Sarah Palin. When it does, this constituency should be the foundation upon which true reform is based and through which true political supremacy can be achieved in the shortest amount of time.

ex animo

 

 

davidfarrar

 

The Year 2005 - Bush's Annus Horrible

 In listing the events of Bush's annus horrible, the year 2005, you left out the disgusting political spectacle that was made over the unfortunate Terri Schiavo case.  I trace the beginning of the end of the Bush GOP to that event, followed by the ones you mention.