Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations

1. Today is Willie Nelson’s birthday. Although I’m sure he has many unsound political and pharmacological views, he’s impossible not to like.

2. The most recent studies show Hillary nearing a double-digit lead in Indiana and behind only by single digits in North Carolina. But, to repeat myself, her surge has nothing to do with her renewed popularity. Nor does it increase enough to notice her very, very small chance of getting the nomination. Back in the good old real convention days, party leaders would be searching for a third candidate.

3. Rev. Wright, to state the obvious, both has caused Obama to become less popular and, through his hyper-polarizing racist demagoguery, makes it even less possible for Democrats to consider denying Barack the nomination. The most likely scenario is Obama limping to the nomination with no momentum and little enthusiasm. But he may rise from the dead at his convention.

Discussions - 10 Comments

Part of the Wright problem for Obama is that, however sincerely his most recent denouncement comes off, he seems pusillanimous in comparison to Wright's (albeit crazy) hyper-thymotic manner. It's bad enough that he suffers in this regard in comparison to his female competitor--does this foreshadow a serious problem against a warrior candidate?

McCain is a warrior candidate NOT; he is a former warrior who has bought into Obama's messianic message. Possibly this is good electoral strategy in 2008, but it ain't combative. He is draping himself in rather wimpy gauze.

Tom makes an apt point; McCain isn't running a very assertive and confident campaign. He's an echo of the Democrats; he's a pale pastel that Reagan warned us against in yesteryear.

McCain isn't running a very assertive and confident campaign . . . hmmm . . . perhaps. But isn't that rather like saying George W. Bush isn't picking the best qualified people for offices? Why are we amazed when people are who they are? Perhaps McCain is the quiet man or a warrior, like Coriolanus, who will not deign to speak to the crowds of his manliness or show his scars. Perhaps he thinks we ought just to recognize the distinction between him and Obama and, if we don't, to hell with us. This doesn't comport with the democratic impulse in us, but that's McCain. Honestly, I'm not sure why conservatives are clamoring for McCain to be more aggressive in attacking Obama. Do any of these complaining conservatives honestly think McCain would be good at it? No! He'd botch it for sure. That's not his realm. I think he is wise to stay as quiet on this stuff as it is possible for him to do. There are enough people out there who can explain what is wrong with Obama and he knows it. He really should just stick to doing what he's good at doing. So far (except for a few finger wagging instances) he's done that. The quieter he is, the better I like him. He's not a conventional candidate in American politics . . . but the stars may be aligned for him this time.

Julie, I think that's right on--Rove writes yesterday in the WSJ on McCain's manly reticence which has both advantages and disadvantages. Still, I'm mostly impressed that you're posting at 2:18am....

I disagree Dr. Lawler...and I think we should be careful to think like democrats if we want to predict what the democrat superdelegates are thinking. I don't think the superdelegates will be inclined by unquantified fears...they will want to know that the black voters will really rise up, and how many...but in the end this is unlikely. It is impossible to think that the black community will not vote for either Clinton or Obama, just as it is impossible to think that the academics won't vote for Hillary if Obama isn't the delegate. I mean the black church knows this and this in part drives the fearmongering and radicalism, because they know that if they don't promise to rise up then they will actually be ignored as a political voice because of the predictability of the vote, not unlike pro-life voters and evangelicals.(which is why moderate black people should advance the same argument that Dr. Knippenburg contemplated about the pro-life vote) What the superdelegates do know is that Hillary is probably the stronger candidate and that Obama is a liability. It will depend on how the superdelegates read the tea leaves, and how all the numbers are juxtaposed.

I also happen to think you guys are misreading black folk...seriously, or rather too seriously...I know some black folk who believe these strange conspiracy theories about aids...but I know white folk who believe them as well...I think you guys are too out of touch with the deep levels of suspicion that exist in american society...at base I think correctly predicated on different sources of authority that each group can relate to. I mean at the end of the day, every american has to ask: how do I know, who or what do I trust? At the end of the day we are all in the dark in many ways.

The media and academia have all sorts of elaborate standards and key words for defining racism, sexism and all the other isms. So the media makes a lot of noise out of the word "nigger", but I will bet you any sum of money you want that the bounty hunter can relate to black people in a better way than the typical cracker. Now I don't know if my insight is simply a result of being in the army, and dealing with so many cross sections of "ignorant" but spirited people...but I will tell you what: I would rather roll out with a black sergeant who thinks that the government is capable of screwing anyone, or a felon than the typical PC sort. I have heard so many outrageous things that I simply do not get upset by anything anyone says(unless they are supposed to be the intellectual class...and then I have to simply consider that I may possibly be too ignorant of the specific language or information that they are privy to.) Nor have I figured out why we should be so bristly towards the offensive words of others, are we supposed to get mad on que? Maybe I am just a determinist willing to extend a humanizing determinism on others.

I obviously haven't vetted these comments to see how they will sell, but I can figure out how to do the math if that is what things have came to.

I know why Obama stayed with the Rev. Wright, and I don't believe him when he says that he never heard the offensive aspects previously...but apparently our politics requires lying in this fashion because we can't just understand that Obama loved Wright because Wright's church clothed the sick, fed the hungry and did all the heavy lifting in a broken angry black community, that Obama looks first to actions and reserves forgiveness for words. Look I can explain this with Hegel and the need of abtract ideas to have concretness, or I can say that anyone who goes with me in war is my brother. I can go further within what I think is the spirit of Obama's thought to the role of passionate people in Hegel or the black community but already this is to deal too much in what is only the universal and abstract and not the concrete.

You've misunderstood me Julie.

I'm not advocating something so blunt. I wouldn't advise McCain himself to go after Obama; I'd advise against it. If you recall one of his campaign managers said he would "resign" if the McCain campaign ran an attack ad against Obama, {the name escapes me, it's either Gerson or McKinnon [sp?]}. But that type of ridiculous posturing has got to come to an end, as does the attitude that it reflects. McCain's campaign is going to have to go against Obama sooner or later, whether they want to or not, at least if they intend to win.

However, I wouldn't advise McCain blasting away about Wright. McCain should allow that issue to continue to ripen.

What I would advise is for McCain and his staff to get comfortable with the fact that other Republicans will go after Obama, and that as the campaign unfolds those attacks will increase in scale and seriousness. And that McCain can't be used by the msm to shut up those voices, that McCain can't be used as a stick to bash Republicans who are doing their job going after the Democrat standard bearer, if he becomes that standard bearer. A mature campaign understands that somebody within the GOP is going to have to go after Obama and rip that fraudulent halo away from him. But that's not McCain's task. That's somebody like Santorum, somebody like a Giuliani. Let Graham go after Obama. But not McCain, at least not yet.

The North Carolina ad was painfully mild. But McCain's reaction was typical for him, and demonstrated a want of savvy and a political tin ear. The Wright issue is swelling. McCain should do nothing that eases the burden for Obama. It was another episode of McCain trying to burnish his own "maverick" and "moderate" credentials at the expense of the party at large. He's not now securing his "maverick" title; he's already secured that. He's now trying to secure the Presidency. Making life easier for your political opponent isn't a surefire recipe for political success. Though it might earn you plaudits from those in the media. He didn't garner any votes amongst Independents and Democrats blasting fellow Republicans. But he managed once again to piss off a good chunk of the GOP base. There is a name for that. It's called political insanity. And if he hopes to prevail in the general, it has has to stop.

Attacking the GOP is a form of apologizing for the GOP.

That's why the msm has had such a love affair for him over the years. Because they realize that every time he blasts his own party he validates the positions of the Democrats and the msm.

Providing pleasure for the media is not running an assertive and confident campaign. That's the behavior of a man who is slightly embarrassed being a Republican. After Nixon and Ford, Reagan had all the reasons in the world to be embarrassed of the GOP. But he wasn't, he championed it. I suggest that McCain emulate him, and discard the distaste of the Rockefeller wing of the party. Americans sense a want of conviction in a man. That's part of what's dragging Obama down. Obama is an uncertain trumpet. It's no time for McCain to imitate him.

Another thing I think is happening here is that we're blending threads. One of the other threads concerns the issue of manliness. But that wasn't an issue I touched upon. But to be explicit on the subject, I'm not expecting McCain to run a "manly" campaign. I think that would be ridiculous. But we do have to note he's mentioned the Hanoi Hilton frequently. So let's not pretend amongst ourselves that he's been silent on the issue. He's brought it up, and he's brought it up frequently, and to good effect, {recall that quip he had during one of the debates about Woodstock, where he said he "heard" that it was a great cultural and pharmaceutical event, then went on to observe he couldn't manage to attend, because he was "tied up" at the time}. He's not maintained some dignified silence about his scars. Nor should he. I don't go for the Bush way of politics, where one affects to set an example, usually the example is one of bipartisanship, which no one follows, but certain misguided types confuse for class. That's a recipe for defeat. And America has had enough of that.

McCain has gone through hell; it's a huge part of who he is. And I think he should use it, especially against an Obama or a Hillary. But having said all of that doesn't mean I suggest he run some kind of "manliness" campaign.

I'm expecting McCain to stop affecting the maverick, to stop the affectation for the media, to stop trying to court the media at the expense of the Republican party, to stop being a suck-up to the media. I expect of him the political maturity to realize he's taken his "maverickness" as far as he can, and that hereafter the msm is going to do their level best to portray him as old, cranky, ornery and in lock step with Bush, who a supermajority of Americans have come to intensely dislike. I expect of him the savvy to realize that the relationship he previously enjoyed with the msm is going to change, for the worse, and that he had better be prepared for it.

I expect him now to understand that he has to run a campaign that is based on the GOP platform, that strengthens the GOP coalition, and not a campaign that shatters it.

In a phrase then, "no pale pastels." It worked for Reagan.

I not sure where ">">http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0429hm.html"> this belongs. It's Heather MacDonald on the intellectual wasteland from which Rev. Wright draws in discussing "learning styles."

Ivan K: I'm nowhere near as impressive as you think . . . you're forgetting the 3 hour time difference between me and Ohio! These days, though, 11:18 is pretty late for me. My days of working through the night, wired on two pots of coffee and rushing to a 7:30 class are (sadly) long gone!

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