Friday, September 26, 2008

Quasi-Acerbic Oddities for the Day

I am now convinced that Bill Clinton wants Obama to lose, so Hillary can run in 2012. He is oozing with enthusiastic praise for McCain and Palin and damning Obama with "Oh, he's nice too" remarks. I take back the nice things I said about him after his Convention speech.

Sarah Palin is self-destructing. She has been knocked off her lofty perch, has lost confidence, and is giving 10th grade answers to simple questions, and looking like a simpleton. Can she recover? Maybe.

Sinister Scheme to Make McCain the Economic Savior

I smell a rat. I suspect that the mother of all Rovian plots is about to appear that will make McCain the brave hero who saves the nation from economic disaster just in time for him to make the debate tonight on foreign policy on which he already has an advantage.

It can take several paths. He scares the daylights out of House Republicans, convincing them that if that don't come to his aid right now, Obama will become president and appoint liberal judges to the Supreme Court, bring in a reign of government control, spend great sums on social programs, and so on. They agree to hold their nose and support a bi-partisan Rescue Package enabling the revised Paulson plan to pass.

McCain gets Democrats to accept enough of the House Republican modifications to persuade everybody to go along. Democrats will either have to accept the changes to get a deal, or they will have to refuse and take blame for the failure. Or Democrats can pass it on their own and risk ruin if the plan fails.

Combinations and variations of all the above or some new possibilities emerge -- all designed to make McCain the hero who rode into town and took charge.

It could be worked so that failure still looms until Obama leaves for Oxford. Then the McCain-engineered plan could be worked out and announced just as Obama begins his town hall meeting before the nation, thus stealing the spotlight from him.

I tell you that some nefarious scheme is underfoot to make McCain look good as the Great Leader and Obama to look weak and ineffectual in times of crisis -- more willing to hold a silly old debate than to save the nation from disaster. We have reports already that McCain was working the phones all night.

Can the Democrats spoil the conspiracy and save Obama's hide? Maybe. Am I paranoid? Maybe, but just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not after you.

If I am wrong, I will repent and confess my lack of faith. If I am right, I will not enjoy my prescient vision of Democrats once again blowing the presidency by being outsmarted by the forces of darkness.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Deep Thinker Palin or I Can't Believe She Really Said That

With thanks to Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post.

In a recent interview Sean Hannity of Fox News tossed Sarah Palin the following softball (slow pitch):

Hannity: What is our role as a country as it relates to national security?

Palin: Yes. That's a great question, and being an optimist I see our role in the world as one of being a force for good, and one of being the leader of the world when it comes to the values that -- it seems that just human kind embraces the values that -- encompass life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that's just -- not just in America, that is in our world.

And America is in a position because we care for so many people to be able to lead and to be able to have a strong diplomacy and a strong military also at the same time to defend not only our freedoms, but to help these rising smaller democratic countries that are just -- you know, they're putting themselves on the map right now, and they're going to be looking to America as that leader.

We being used as a force for good is how I see our country.

Gee, Sarah, I bet you made an A in that 6th grade civics class.
You what? You want to be a heartbeat away from being President of the United States.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Geography is Everything, Well Almost

I did the interactive electoral map at RealClear Politics and chose the states (blue) I thought Obama could put in his column and thus win the election.

The geographical elements were so strong that it reminded me of a previous blog in which I set forth a geographical theory of politics. It is so prescient and so brilliant (ha ha) that I dare to repeat it here.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A Geographical Theory of Winning in 2008

Look at the electoral maps of 2000 and 2004. The geographical pattern is striking, allowing for minor exceptions. The blue Democratic states are the Northeast, the upper Midwest, and the states bordering the Pacific. The red Republican states are the Southeast, Southwest, lower Midwest, mountain and plains states. A pre-Civil War map showing free (blue) and slave (red) states and territories almost exactly matches the electoral map of 2004.

While electoral maps of many other years would not be this striking, a geographical factor is present, except in blowout years like 1936, 1972, and 1984. Look at it another way. Democrats won the large cities, while Republicans won the small towns and rural areas, with the suburbs split. Divisions are also noticeable with regard to income, education,, religion, race and ethnicity, age, marital status, and gender, but geography is relevant to many of these as well. Zip code is an important clue all by itself.

Since this is a blog and not a book, what can we learn from this? Geography is a useful clue to many other things -- history, economics, religion, and culture. The geography of the South, e. g., was conducive to cotton growing and therefore slavery, which has deeply affected its entire history. Geographical factors account in part for immigration patterns and the Protestant domination of the South.

Geography is a component of, if not clue to, how things worked out in other areas with regard to economics, culture, and religion. So what does this mean for 2008? Assuming that the situation will remain much like it is now in terms of red and blues states as is probable, ask how the blue states can be preserved for the Democrats while reaching out to enough other states that can be likely won to win the election. Some decisions are easy. Massachusetts is probably a safe bet if the Democrats don't do something crazy, but forget Utah for a while. Either Florida or Ohio is probably a must, remembering that a shift of only 70,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have given the victory to Kerry.

Looking toward 2008, Democrats live in tension between holding true to their values and getting elected. How to win without losing your soul -- that is the question. With Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, we risk losing our soul. With Sen. Hillary Clinton, we risk losing the election. My sentimental favorites at the moment are John Edwards and Barack Obama, but time may question the wisdom of one or both. But to begin with candidates, issues, and values is to get the cart before the horse. We need to start with geographical, historical-cultural factors and make a structural analysis of where enough more votes can come from next time to enlarge the number of blue states. Then we can match messenger and message to that purpose.

Semi-Acerbic Oddities on a Night of Upset Tummy

Will somebody please explain to me the difference between "moral" and "ethical" when used together to speak of issues or problems. Thesis: one or the other should be dropped.

Time to retire the following terms: campaign trail, populist, Wall Street and Main Street, bailout

I would suggest the two words most needing retirement -- well and you know -- but, well, I am aware that, you know, that is impossible since it would paralyze most speakers.

Time to quit having the following on TV news shows: political strategists of all denomination -- Democratic, Republican, or whatever. They offer nothing valuable and are boring time fillers, a waste of time.

Politicians should be allowed to speak only when attached to a polygraph machine and after a shot of truth serum. Any lie detected should generate an electric shock in the _________ (fill in the blank).

Medical wonders occur every day. But remember, doctors don't do it alone. They do it with nurses.