Monday, January 25, 2010

Minnesota Vikings Blame George W. Bush For Playoff Loss

Citing his failed response to Katrina, the presence of his father in Saints owner Tom Benson's private booth, as well as the fact that everything else seems to be his fault, the Minnesota Vikings today blamed their overtime NFC Championship loss to the New Orleans Saints on former President George W. Bush.

Former Packer-Jet-and-soon-Viking QB Brett Favre was among the more adamant projectors of blame onto the former President who has been gone from office for one year as of January 20. "The problems we had holding onto the ball against the Saints defense are problems that didn't just begin in the game but go back over the decisions of the last eight years that have left us unable to hold onto an oblong-shaped pigskin." Viking RB Adrian Peterson, who fumbled three times but never lost one, was just as convinced that the Saints were carrying over residual anger from the federal government's failed response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a Category 5 hurricane that levelled this once beautiful city. Mayor Ray Nagin declared, "We're gonna make New Orleans choccolate again, and the Saints dark-colored uniforms are all part of the gradual accomplishment of that goal."

Not as willing to blame Bush for many of the Vikings problems, Saints Coach Sean Payton said, "I think you've got to give our players an awful lot of credit." Payton did go on to note, however, that perhaps the Vikings deserved to lose since they haven't supported a Republican for President since 1972, including Bush's two runs for the White House in 2000 and 2004. "I guess we came out on the right side of that one," said Payton.

The former President could not be reached for comment, but current President Barack Obama, reading prepared remarks from a teleprompter, noted, "Louisiana is indeed one of the more fortunate of our 57 states. They have taught us all about human courage, the power of hope, and how using a voodoo doll on Brett Favre will help you get where you want to go." The President failed to make his scheduled appearance at the game after attempting to feed a Bourbon Street crowd with five loaves and two fishes. Ater successfully feeding two winos, the President sought the safety of the Secret Service. He did, however, announce plans to go forward with a $787 billion stimulus package for New Orleans, saying, "Perhaps if we build stronger levees then they won't be such damp people anymore."

NOTE: Original. Not borrowed from "The Onion."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Just Happened?

If the election of President Barack Obama was the final collapse of the administration of President George W. Bush, what can be made of the sudden and shocking triumph of a Republican in heavily liberal Massachusetts less than a month after he trailed by 30 points in the most reliable polls? Keep in mind that according to supposedly objective journalists like E.J. Dionne, the Republican Party died in 2006 and, along with it, conservatism. (This was not news from Dionne, of course; in 1997, he wrote a book declaring that progressives would dominate the next era). In fact, the influx of new immigrants ensured without a doubt that the Reagan Era was a relic of history and socialism had become the new governing philosophy. The GOP was such a dead brand that an aide to Al Gore's campaign wrote a book about the Reagan Era and dated it 1974-2008. It is thus nothing short of amusing to see that the supposedly dead corpse has apparently kicked up the dust and knocked the stone off the top of the grave site. Democrats could do whatever they wanted as far as they eye could see.

Only as of yesterday they are asking in incredulous tones, "What happened?" And buried softly beneath that shocked question is, "And how much worse will it get?" For Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts is a bigger national wake-up call than Harris Wofford stunning Dick Thornburgh in 1991 (the supposed prelude to Clinton's 1992 victory) or Barack Obama winning congenitally (in the Presidential race) Republican Virginia in 2008. But if a hard-core conservative can pull a stunning mandate in arguably the most liberal state in the Union, what might be true of the year ahead?

The answer is, "Just wait and see." For what lies ahead in all probability is an electoral disaster for the folks in charge, namely, the Democrats.

I still remember November 2008. Although I didn't vote for Obama (or McCain, either, for that matter), I liked the guy personally, and I hoped his transparency promise was true. But as the pundits, bloggers, and MSM were declaring the death of the Republican Party, I made an ominous prediction that - at the time to many people - seemed hilariously inept. My prediction was simple. If the GOP did absolutely NOTHING right in 2009 or 2010, I noted they would still win at least 15 Congressional seats back. A few of my moderate Democratic friends admitted that was likely, but it was lost in the chorus of back-slapping and wine toasting that accompanied the liberal takeover of the government. One of my friends, a journalist who is usually politically astute, seemed to think that Sarah Palin had inflicted a mortal wound on the GOP. He didn't seem to listen when I told him it was simple: the Democrats were now to blame for everything that did (or didn't) happen. And that's not the spot you want to be in during the worst economic Depression in 75 years.

The Democrats of 2009 badly misread their mandate. This is not unusual. The Republicans of 1995 and Democrats of 1993 did the exact same thing. The current mistake had its genesis in the results of the 2006 elections, where the Democrats ran a campaign based largely on attacks of George W. Bush and made only three promises: to lower gas prices, to fix illegal immigration, and to end the war in Iraq. Amazingly enough, they went 0 for 3 on those issues and managed to increase their margins in both houses. As a consequence of that success, the Democrats somehow bought the notion that they were now made of Teflon. But they seemed to forget that once your in charge of the entire government, you have constituents to which you must answer. And let's face it: the voters DID NOT send the Democratic Party to Washington to spend every dime on the planet for the next twenty years. Period.

The Democrats, however, somehow came to the conclusion that that is EXACTLY what the American people wanted. Or did they? Even the Democrats know that isn't true or they wouldn't have intentionally railroaded the pork package through without giving people a chance to read it. If you're honest about your intentions, why would you do that? But for all of the accusations for years about George W. Bush's 'lying,' Nancy Pelosi has made the colossal mistake of thinking voters want Big Government ruling over them. After all, they voted in a filibuster-proof Senate and huge majority Congress, didn't they? Yes, Nancy, they did. But you overlooked WHY that was. It isn't because the Democrats did a spectacular job in their 2006 campaigns. It isn't because they wanted you as Speaker of the House. It's because - quite simply - the public saw the Republican Party as hopelessly corrupt and not living up their announced conservative principles due to their deficit spending habits - and the public cashiered them all the while holding the collective nose. It should be noted that the disapproval rating of Republicans in Congress at that time was only one point higher than the disapproval rate of Democrats (per CNN). And now comes the hard part for the Dems - how do you blame Republicans without your nose growing at the same time?

The word 'arrogant' has been affixed to the Democrats, and that is not a word that is easy to rid one's self of politically. Once the word 'arrogant' is applied to you, it is pretty much the end of your effectiveness. It happened to the Democrats in 1994, Newt Gingrich just a year later, and George W. Bush in 2005. Although at this point Obama has escaped the label, the musings of what to do about health care - and more importantly what is actually done - might well be the difference in his re-election or defeat in 2012. How did the word 'arrogant' become applied?

Well first off, Obama ran a mostly positive campaign and came to office promising transparency. This rather self-serving claim was rusted by the slick way the Democratic Congress fired through a 'stimulus package' (actually a political payoff to core constituencies) that made the Reagan Presidency look fiscally responsible. Most of the good will with the American people was used up in that one slick act. If Obama had not entered office as a candidate with a 53% 'mandate' and heavy Democratic majorities in both houses, he would not have survived with his popularity in tact as long as he did. Obama then hurt himself by pre-judging an altercation between a friend of his and policeman that resulted in a 'beer summit.' The problems from that political misjudgment, however, continue because Obama did the one thing he could not afford to do: fail to judge a situation soberly (if you'll pardon the pun). And then the debacle known as health care, which has taken up most of the last eight months or so, revealed 'Chicago-style politics' consisting of big payoffs for votes that the public knew. In the Clinton days, this would have been laughed at. Why? Because times were good for most people. In a time when foreclosures are at an all-time American peak, dishing out more public monies to wealthy Senators to get their votes is a politically stupid idea. The larger question is the one, however, that begs to be asked: Was Scott Brown's election a referendum on health care? Was it a referendum on Obama?

I think what happened this past Tuesday is the simple reaction of American politics against itself in an effort to find a 'stable center.' It is generally conceded by virtually all informed persons that America has been defined ever since the days of Nixon as a 'center right' country. This is simply another way of saying that voters want government help in areas like Social Security and Medicare and Education and a strong national defense but otherwise want decisions such as abortion, gay rights, and guns left to individuals as long as public safety is not a paramount issue. Although the political wing at MSNBC interpreted the 2008 elections as a repudiation of conservatism and the Republican Party (witness Keith Olbermann's arrogant rips that the Republicans should remember they are 'the minority party'), the simple fact of the matter is that neither Obama nor McCain scared the electorate to the point that they feared a Goldwater or McGovern presidency. Consequently, they chose what they deemed the lesser of two evils.


That said, while the current climate favors Republican gains in both houses, the GOP had better not think the voice of the nation was an aberration, either. The American populace is sick and tired of politicians who lie to their faces and then pretend it never happened. The Republicans have a good offer to make to the public if their professed fiscal conservatism is truly their goal. And Obama has actually made their appearance of success even easier than it would have been. Think about it: the deficit is AUTOMATICALLY going to go down in the next few years because of the lack of spending a trillion bucks in stimulus money. Even a $650 billion deficit can be sold to the public as 'heading in the right direction,' and the GOP, no doubt, will claim their policies caused it. Of course, they'd better realize that also means the re-election of President Obama.

The smart money does not say, "Conservatism wins in Massachusetts." The smart money would say that the voters are mad as hell and taking it out on the party in power. Any other interpretation is probably reading too much into the tea leaves. That said, however, I need to make two main points.

1) The Democrats had better realize that running against George W. Bush is as far in the past as the Civil War (metaphorically speaking). This is the third time in less than a year the Democrats have tried to run against Bush, and they're 0 for 3. It's time to call something besides an off tackle run to the left side. That's because the general population never 'hated' George Bush as badly as the Democrats did for eight years. They DISAPPROVED of the job he did from 2006 on, but they didn't 'hate' the man. One would think the Dems would have learned this from how badly the Republicans hated Bill Clinton when he had a 70% approval rating, but - and this goes back to arrogance - they apparently think political gravity is only a reality for the GOP.

2) The Democrats are also sorely mistaken if they think the Supreme Court ruling on corporate donations is going to help them this time around. Who, after all, gave the banks multiplied billions of dollars that were paid out in severance bonuses? How can any Democrat who voted FOR that bailout have the chutzpah to say he's against those folks and that they're in the Republicans' back pocket? If I were a GOP candidate and a Democrat pulled that against me, I'd immediately hit him with the hypocrisy charge. Financed, of course, by a large corporation. And point out that the labor unions gave my opponent 'x' dollars in the same type thing.


The Democrats are not, however, completely without hope of winning. It is impossible in the current climate for them to advance their numbers; it simply won't happen. But the GOP is in the midst of a Billy 'White Shoes' Johnson touchdown dance in the second quarter of a long game. If I were a Democratic strategist, here's the way to minimize the losses. (And it can be done, too. Just months after President GHW Bush broke his 'no new taxes' pledge, the GOP managed to lose only eight seats in the House despite polls showing 30 incumbents on the precipice of retirement).

First - drop health care. Period. Do not mention it. Simply promise to take it up later. The union clowns like Ed Schultz might complain, but seriously, where do you think he's going to go? He has no choice, and they have no choice. Drop it. Nobody will remember it eight months from now.

Second - talk up the need of a strong military presence in Afghanistan. Keep the focus on the 'good war' as much as possible. Indicate the Iraq War will soon be over (whether it really will or not is a separate question) and that peace is near.

Third - fire a Cabinet officer the first chance you get. It shows leadership and that there is actually more than just an empty suit making speeches. My suggestion? Janet Napolitano. It won't be long before she screws up again.

Fourth - tout any sign of recovery you can find as good news. OK, so they all do this, but the flashy optimism will keep your popularity in reserve for a time when you can cash it in.

Fifth - drop the social issues. They may be winners in the big states, but they're losers for your Congresspersons in Texas, Florida, the South and the Great Plains. Nary a word about abortion, gay rights, or gun control. Again - what are they gonna do, go vote Republican? The gay rights issue is a particular loser for Obama, and he needs to drop it as quickly as health care.

There are other things, but these would make a great start. They might well be the difference between Speaker Pelosi and Speaker Boehner. One more thing, Congress: you need a new Speaker in 2011.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Why Not Dale Murphy?

Less than an hour ago I received the news I've sort of been hoping for now for 15 years. Jim Rice, who spent his entire career with the Boston Red Sox, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Mr. Rice. Now let's address a travesty, namely, how in the world is Jim Rice a Hall of Famer but Dale Murphy isn't?

Rice made it in his fifteenth and final year of eligibility. He has not appeared in a big league game since August 3, 1989. In that game, Rice played where he spent more than 1/3 of his career as a DESIGNATED HITTER, so washed up by then that a forgettable journeyman named Scott Kutcher - who played in all of 244 games in a forgettable five-year career - pinch-hit for him. Kutcher himself was out of baseball 13 months later. (If you want a calendar reference, Rice appeared in his last game THREE WEEKS before Pete Rose was banned for life from baseball for gambling). In the intervening period of 19 years, Rice has not had a single at bat, homered once, or stole a base. Yet he somehow managed to go from about half of the vote to just enough votes to get him into the prestigious shrine.

Again - not to knock Jim Rice, who will not be anywhere close to the worst player in Cooperstown (that title is held eternally by Joe Tinker), but how in the world does Rice get elected when Dale Murphy only gets 62 votes?

You had to see Dale Murphy to believe it. Brought up in the Braves organization as a catcher, Murphy was THE premiere outfielder in baseball for an eight-year stretch from 1980 to 1987. His sudden mental block at throwing runners out at second led Braves manager Bobby Cox to put him in center field because, he said later, "It was the farthest place from home plate on the diamond." It is that wisdom that has Cox ready for a plaque in Cooperstown after he leaves Atlanta.

How does Murphy compare to Rice? Let's take a look.

Rice's career numbers show he had 382 home runs, 1,451 RBIs, and a .298 batting average. He attained those Hall of Fame numbers by playing an unusually high number of games as a DH, playing his entire career in a field where a 300-foot fly ball to left was a home run (and Rice was a right-handed hitter), and his first six years had not one but TWO Hall of Famers hitting right behind him, Carl Yastrzemski and Carlton Fisk.

Murph, as he was known, hit 398 home runs, had 1,266 RBIs, and a .265 career average. So Rice hit about 30 points higher and had a little less than 200 more RBIs in nine more career games. But the argument isn't that simple.

For starters, let's compare how many Gold Gloves they won. Murphy - who never had a single at bat in his career as a DH - won FIVE of them. Rice, who as noted earlier spent more than 1/3 of his career as a DH, never even came close to winning one. What about Silver Slugger awards? Murphy won four while Rice won two. What about Most Valuable Player Awards? Murphy won two and Rice one. Rice got votes for MVP in eight different years while Murphy got votes in seven. And while we tend to think of Murphy as a tall, loping antelope towards fly balls, check this one out: Murphy stole 161 bases in his career while Rice stole only 58. That's nearly THREE TIMES as many steals by a guy who played every day. Murphy literally played every day, accumulating a streak of 740 consecutive games before he was benched by injury in 1986. (That's right - Murphy at that time had a longer streak than the guy who eventually broke the record, Cal Ripken).

And then let's consider how good the teams were that each man played for. Rice's Red Sox made the post-season four times during his career, including two unforgettable World Series (although Rice did not play in 1975 due to a broken wrist). Murphy's team made one three-game post-season appearance in 1982, and they got swept by the Cardinals. In Rice's first six seasons, the Red Sox finished first twice, second twice, and third once. By contrast, the Braves in Murphy's first six seasons finished last or next-to-last five out of six times (and finished fourth the other year, 1980). For a brief span (1982-1984), Murphy's teams outdid Rice's (the 1982 Braves finished first with the exact same record as the third-place Red Sox in a different division; the Braves finished 2nd in both 1983 and 1984). Then, from 1985-1989, Murphy's teams finished last every year but one (and that year they were next-to-last) while Rice was playing for two pennant winners.

Or why not look at the supporting cast around them. Rice had at least three Hall of Famers as teammates during his career (assuming Roger Clemens is admitted) while Murphy was often the only reason to go watch the Braves play. Not only did Rice get to hit in front of Yaz and Fisk, but he also hit in front of Fred Lynn, who won the 1979 batting title and led the AL in homers that same year. Most folks who are not Atlanta fans cannot even name the one slugger who hit behind Murphy, and who missed the equivalent of two full seasons across four because he kept getting injured. (For those who don't know, I'm referring to Bob Horner). The rest of Murphy's career was spent surrounded by such legends-in-waiting as Claudell Washington, Biff Pocoroba, and Paul Runge.

Let's put it another way: put Murphy as a DH on the Boston teams that Rice played for and put Rice on the Braves of the 1980s. Murphy, who was as good a clutch hitter as there was, would have about 450 career homers, and Rice wouldn't even be in the discussion. In fact, given his sulky reputation, Rice would probably have quit.

Back in the 1980s in the National League there were two guys you did not want to see coming up in a must-win situation. The first one was Mike Schmidt, who is in the Hall. The second was Dale Murphy.

Again - I wish no ill will towards Jim Rice. But there's something wrong when a guy who has many more Gold Gloves, twice as many MVPs, and no Hall of Fame teammates doesn't even get consideration.

Why did Rice get in? Simple. Rice played for the Boston Red Sox, one of the two 'must see' teams in modern media (the Yankees being the other one). This is the same bias that got the 1991 World Series that everyone generally agrees is the best of all-time a FIFTH place finish in 'Who's #1.' Who beat out that classic where five games were won in the home team's last at-bat? Notice the trend:

#4 NY Yankees vs. Arizona
#3 Cincinnati vs. Boston
#2 NY Yankees vs. Pittsburgh (1960)
#1 NY Mets vs. Boston

Note that all four games that beat out the Atlanta-Minnesota classic were played by teams in either New York, Boston, or both. And then you know why Rice is getting a plaque while Murphy is still smiling like he enjoys it.

ADDENDUM (January 15, 2009)

While doing further research on the stats, I need to correct a comment. Rice did NOT play with three Hall of Famers if Clemens gets in but with four. I forgot that Wade Boggs hit in front of Rice in the late 1980s.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why McCain Lost

The dust has settled now as the crash of the Presidency of George W. Bush is complete. Barack Obama now stands on the precipice of fulfilling Martin Luther King's dream for African-Americans on January 20, 2009 - the day he and Bush will shake hands as Obama ascends to the podium and takes the oath of office as America's first black President. But before moving onto the future we must look at the recent past and answer the question: "Why did John McCain lose the 2008 election?" For most of the analyses of this question will likely miss the point.

It is an assumption in the political community that if a candidate loses a race - esp. a race for the Presidency - that the loser could have done something different to have changed the outcome in his favor. Richard Nixon (1960) and Al Gore, in particular, have received endless abuse for what they failed to do despite running campaigns spectacular enough to just fall short. In coming years the question will probably not be why McCain lost but why he didn't lose much worse - and how much better he performed than recent Republican losers Bush 41 and Dole.

The reasons why McCain lost are many. Some are his own doing and some were outside events that he could not control. But all of them added up to his ultimate defeat.

1) The hunger of the Democrats for a victory.

2000 and 2004 had been the cruelest of fates for the Democrats. In both cases they narrowly lost elections that might well have beeen won with just one different decision made by the party standard bearer. A shift of only 60,000 votes in Ohio and about 300 in Florida in 2000 and the Democrats would be celebrating their fifth straight Presidential victory. They have instead lost twice and to an opponent they have long regarded as little more than a son of privilege, an upstart. Being out of power serves as a strong impetus to paper over differences and seek common ground within the party. The Republicans accomplished this well in 2000, and the Democrats emulated them this year. Nothing could have changed the simple fact that the Democrats were hungrier for victory than the Republicans, who were more hoping for a win to prevent an all-Left government.

2) The abysmal record of George W. Bush.

It is too soon to tell how history will view George W. Bush. Harry Truman was considered as big a disaster as Bush when he left office in 1953. But time and new perspectives have turned Truman from one of the worst Presidents to one of the most forward looking Presidents in American history.

What is undeniable, however, is that Bush managed to alienate nearly every constituency including the rock solid right that elected him twice by decisions that were alarming and potentially disastrous. His fool's venture into Iraq may well be the biggest foreign plicy debacle in American history, salvaged only by the fact that the deaths in Iraq are nowhere near the number of fatalities in Vietnam. Throw in a terrible economic record and a stubbornness befitting a mule, and you have potential brushfire.

3) America desires to start over every decade or so

Barack Obama did not get elected President because he was the smartest man on the planet or because he had an exhaustive resume of accomplishment; in fact, he had no resume at all. But he benefited from an electorate that likes to shuffle the deck and deal the cards once again. This is not unusual. Bill Clinton had one of the BEST economic legacies upon which to run and the result for Al Gore was essentially a tie. Jimmy Carter had a terrible one, and the result was a right-winger nobody dared think could have triumphed only four years earlier.

Go check out American political history, particularly since the beginning of the twentieth century. Eight to twelve-year increments are the rule except for something unusual like the twin cluster of crises that got FDR elected four times. Following FDR's death, Truman ruled for eight years followed by eight years of Republican Eisenhower. Eight Democrat years (JFK and LBJ) followed by eight more Republican years (Nixon and Ford). Carter's interlude was brief and countered by Reagan's eight and Bush's four. Clinton followed with eight for the Democrats while Bush gave the Republicans eight. The only two exceptions during that time frame were Carter, who actually led Reagan by 25 points in July 1980, and Bush - whose Presidency brought down the curtain on the Reagan era as he moved into a more activist role for government. So McCain faced yet another historical obstacle.

4) Media bias

Now let me qualify what I'm saying here: I am NOT saying that the mainstream media (MSM) conspired to ensure that Obama won. There was, however, more of a systematic bias against the Republican candidate than I've ever seen. How bad was it? It was so bad that Dan Rather, one of the right-wing's pet hates for four decades, acknowledged it. Sarah Palin was challenged on virtually every tiny little thing she stated while Obama was given a free pass. I'm not decrying the inquisition of Palin - an agressive press is one of the necessary foundations of a free society - but the FACT is that virtually every commentator on the networks may as well have been wearing an 'Obama/Biden 08' button. It was so bad that 'Saturday Night Live' had a skit featuring the infamous 'get him a pillow' line that Hillary later used to club Obama with in a debate.

That said, Republicans need not blame media bias for their larger problem: a sick economy and a war with no end in sight. Had voters been prospering as at the end of the Reagan or Clinton years, all of the bias in the world would not have been able to deliver Obama the White House.

5) Luck

No political consultant will ever go on a TV show and admit that sometimes his (or her) candidate was lucky. However, without some luck all of the skill, master gamesmanship, and political savvy in the world is meaningless. Barack Obama enjoyed the bright light of good luck in almost every instance from the primaries through the general election.

The examples of how luck plays a role could, of course, be multiplied, but consider just a few of the better known ones. What if the 1992 Presidential election had been held in 1991, when George H.W. Bush still had a 70% approval rating? Bill Clinton would not have been elected. Or what if Reagan had sought re-election in 1983 rather than 1984? Odds are that he would have lost badly. And what if Bush 41 had faced Gary Hart rather than Michael Dukakis in the 1988 general election? Finally, would Reagan have won such an initial huge landslide had it not been to Jimmy Carter's misfortune to have the election on the first anniversary of the capture of the American hostages in Iran?

The candidate that wins usually benefits from some outside luck - not as the prime reason he won but as a supplementary one. Time is too brief to recount every instance, but consider just a few. First, he got lucky that Hillary Clinton opted to contest the Iowa caucuses - an exercise in futility that immediately labeled Obama a 'giant killer' when he beat her. Secondly, the one major negative story about Obama in the entire campaign - the anti-American ramblings of his spiritual advisor - were not revealed until March. Had they surfaced last November there is no doubt that Obama would have lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton. In fact, it is doubtful he would have even finished second. Finally, he got lucky when the Wall Street crisis broke the wave of popularity surrounding Sarah Palin.

But luck is not enough to win the Presidency. It is what you do with the lucky break(s) you're given that makes the difference. So while the preceding five external factors doomed McCain, he was also undone by internal factors.

1) Republican moderates lose

Despite all the carping of liberal media about how the Republican Party should offer more 'inclusion' (something they never say about Democrats despite the fact they cannot name a single conservative Democrat from outside the South), here is a simple truth: Republican conservatives WIN and Republican moderates LOSE. That has been the rule since 1968, and there is no reason to think it has changed. Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 43 were all elected while running explicitly as conservative candidates. Ford, Dole, and McCain bought into the notion that center was better - and all three lost. Bush 41 managed to win the election where he made his opponent's liberalism the issue (and implied he was Reagan's third term) but lost once he raised taxes and alienated his conservative base.

The results of the election bear this out. Obama got 1/5 of the conservative vote. Furthermore, exit polls show that 34% of the respondents were conservatives compared to only 22% liberals - indicating that while the conservatives would not have won it for McCain by himself, that base of support would have enabled him to fish for moderates in the center without appearing to be an 'apostate' from conservative ideology.

Chris Mathews is therefore, wrong, when he interprets the election as proof we are 'no longer a center right nation.' There is a simple way to know whether or not we are a center left nation: it will be the day liberals actually start calling themselves liberals and stop calling themselves 'progressives' (a term they, in fact, lifted from earlier conservatives who were called progressives).

2) McCain tied himself to Bush with his 'fundamentals of the economy' remark.

The single most detrimental act McCain committed - and the one that sealed his doom most assuredly - was his declaration after the stock market crash that 'the fundamentals of the economy are sound.' While it was probably his intent to not stir up alarm, here is what most of the undecided and 'independent' voters heard:

"I'm just like George W. Bush. We'll just 'stay the course' and I won't give you any answers, and we'll just hope it turns out all right. I realize that the facts are bad, but I just can't admit that because then I might lose. No, the fundamentals are strong, especially if you have seven houses like me. Even if they aren't strong, I've just gotta say it - and stay the course."

Barack Obama decided early on that his best strategy was to run against George W. Bush. The voters were not buying it at first because McCain had, in fact, been one of Bush's harshest critics in some areas. The voters were making an independent assessment, and while the deck was stacked against McCain in the beginning, his image enabled him to actually take the lead coming out of the Convention. Voters weren't buying Obama's blueprint. But McCain made it impossible for any voter to ignore when he simply denied the reality of what was occurring on Wall Street. This no doubt reminded a number of voters of Bush's responses to Iraq and - probably more importantly - Hurricane Katrina.

In yet another unreported irony, this phrase appears eerily similar to one uttered by President George H.W. Bush during the 1991 recession at a town hall in Exeter, New Hampshire on January 15, 1992. Bush said, "There are some fundamentals that are pretty darn good."

3) McCain's judgment was severely called into question - a polite way of suggesting he was too old for the job.

Although the most prominent example cited is Sarah Palin (more on that in a moment), McCain made at least two other monumental blunders that severely called into question his ability to make rational decisions. The first - and much less important - of those decisions were his efforts at seeking the endorsement of Reverend John Hagee as a bridge to his party's Religious Right. It is simply bad form to take the endorsement of a guy who bashes the Roman Catholic Church in light of how important the blue-collar Catholic swing vote is in places like Wisconsin or Pennsylvania. The fact McCain sought the endorsement made it appear he simply didn't pay attention to what Hagee said.

The second blunder was much more consequential with much more devastating impact: the 'suspension' of the campaign and 'threat' of cancelling the first debate. McCain's decision to act 'Presidential' backfired and cost him far more than he ever would have gained. Since the Democrats control the Senate, what exactly did McCain think he would get other than attacked by the party in power? It isn't as though McCain chaired the Banking or Finance Committee. But this act also invited Obama to make McCain's age - and more importantly his honesty - an issue by noting that 'Presidents must be able to manage more than one thing at a time.' Obama played this perfectly - raising the age issue without really raising it and from the spectre of judgment. Whatever tiny chance McCain had at winning went out the window with this foolish decision.

4) McCain failed to use his extra time to present a believable economic plan.

McCain was handed a gift from the heavens (about his only brush with good luck) when The Woman Who Would Be Dictator - Hillary Clinton - stayed in the nomination fight long after it was obvious that she had lost and had no prayer of winning. McCain had his nomination in hand on March 4th - a full two months prior to Obama - enabling him to assemble some economic advisors and present the skeleton of a plan he intended to pursue if elected.

I rarely agree with Roland Martin of CNN, but I watched one night when Martin pointed out that McCain did not need to score any points to be seen as the better candidate on Iraq. Martin advised McCain to get brushed up on the economy and come forth with a proposal. But McCain was seemingly incapable of even this one obvious fact. This failure enabled Obama to play his reliable card: McCain is a third Bush term. Had McCain presented something minimally competent then the claim would have lost its sting.

5) The simple fact that Barack Obama ran a spectacular campaign.

Barack Obama did - and there's no real way of escaping it - the impossible. For starters, nobody in his right mind gave Obama a chance to knock off The Woman Who Would Be Dictator. Hillary Clinton was on a boat ride to the White House - or so said every poll in the world. Obama began the race as a little-known orator with no major accomplishments whatsoever and a resume that would have had trouble serving as a maple leaf. Hillary was better known, better financed (at the outset), and ambitious enough to have promised to take action 'when I'm President again.' Hillary's simple plan was to argue 'back to the future' and imply she had already been President.

I will confess that I thought he was running to warm up the engine for a later run in either 2012 or 2016. What exactly was going on in his mind when he opted to run is something only Barack Obama knows. But he stayed on message and never gave in to the distractions. (It is also not mentioned very much by a media programmed to the status quo that Obama actually ran more negative ads against his Republican opponent than McCain ran against Obama - chalk another one up to media bias). He also did something that Michael Dukakis and John Kerry would have killed themselves to have known: he found a way to handle the 'liberal' label that had never been invoked. Rather than dodge the term or try to relabel himself, Obama used 'liberal' as a springboard to say, "That's just in comparison to you and George Bush," effectively tying together McCain and Bush and - though unchallenged - never actually answer the question. (Obama may be the best non-answering a question politician since the king of such tactics, Ronald Reagan).

6. Obama is the better-looking guy

I have long had a theory that was again proven up to a point in this election: the better looking guy wins because TV dominates the culture. This was not always true in radio days, but the simple truth is that Obama was going to win because he is the more telegenic. This has been known to varying degrees since JFK and really became the standard with Reagan. Just go back and look at the winners and tell me when the uglier candidate won:

1960 - Kennedy over Nixon
1964 - ugly LBJ over horn-rimmed glasses wearing Barry Goldwater
1968- Nixon over Humphrey
1972 - Nixon over McGovern
1976 - Carter over Ford (Note: neither guy was overly handsome but Ford looked like a tired balding man and Carter as a blue-eyed fresh face - which is why it was so close).
1980 - handsome Reagan over tired-looking Carter
1984 - handsome Reagan over racoon-faced Mondale
1988 - handsome (and more important taller) Bush over shorter, bushy-eyed Dukakis
1992 - handsome Clinton over weary-looking Bush
1996 - handsome Clinton over Viagara-using Dole
2000 - a tie between two telegenic candidates
2004 - another near tie between Bush and Botox
2008 - Obama over McCain

We have moved from regional politics so much into whether or not a guy is good-looking. It will be interesting to see what the Republicans throw up in 2012 against a tired Obama, which brings us to the most likely telegenic candidate, Sarah Palin.


What role did Sarah Palin play in McCain's demise and what are her chances for the future? Her role was minimal although it was unquestionably there. The problem was not her inexperience but the PERCEPTION of her inexperience. Politically, she and Obama are about equals as she wields executive authority in a small state. Was she qualified for the Presidency? No, but then again neither was Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or John Edwards. All of them had resumes that paled in comparison to McCain, Biden, Richardson, Huckabee, and Dodd. But because of the importance of television, she became a major player. Let's face it: imagine Barack Obama with a Mike Tyson face. Do you honestly think for even a moment that he would have won a primary? Now imagine Sarah Palin 100 lbs. heavier and less attractive (insert Janet Naplitano reference here) but with a stout resume - she would never have been considered for the second slot.

Her contribution to McCain's demise is difficult to gauge because McCain's poll numbers dropped after HIS gaffe about the economy, not hers. The perception of media bias in Charlie Gibson's deceptive question about 'the Bush doctrine' (which has meant three different things through the years as Charles Krauthammer pointed out) probably actually helped her.

While I would agree with the assessment that she is a political naif (or - more importantly - SEEMS to be one), it is hard to say that she 'cost McCain the election.' In reality, she didn't, and if he had not chosen her, it would not have been as close as it was. But the Palin choice did bring to bear one problematic area for McCain: the public perception. It struck a fearful public that here was a guy who didn't think things through before he acted. In short, Palin's contribution to McCain's loss is limited to the fact that it simply reminded folks who didn't want a third Bush term that McCain could not be counted upon to divert from Bush in any direction including stubborness.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What Exactly Is "A Willie Horton?"

One of the amusing things about watching American politics is noting the difference in how the two parties act when they get beat. The Republicans usually console themselves, regroup, and pick up the fight. The best example of this was when Bill Clinton rocked their world in 1992 and took office with a Democratic majority in both houses. They proceeded to rock his world by adminstering a mid-term pasting for the record books that ended a 40-year Democratic stranglehold on Congress.

Democrats, on the other hand, spend their time complaining about how 'unfair' the other side played in the election. There is a monumental arrogance that seems to assume that there is simply NO WAY a rational, intelligent person could possibly reject their good intentions. And one of the most famous cases involves a rather benign name mentioned every four years, Willie Horton. Democrats have cited this particular case as proof that Republicans play 'dirty' and rely upon 'unfair attacks' to win Presidential elections. Oftentimes this is given as an example of Republicans 'playing the race card' in order to frighten voters. But does such a claim withstand even basic scrutiny?


Willie Horton was born in South Carolina on August 12, 1951. At the age of 23, he and two accomplices robbed a Mobil gas station in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The gas station attendant was a 17-year old boy named Joey Fournier. Fournier handed over all the cash in the register totaling $276.37. Horton then stabbed Fournier 19 times and stuffed his body in a trash can. Found the next morning barely clinging to life, Fournier's last mumbled words were, "Don't hurt me." Horton was sentenced to life without parole (during the early 1970s there was a moratorium on executions that was not lifted until 1976).

That would have been the end of the story but for a liberal governor named Michael Dukakis. Dukakis was a strong supporter of the theory that the reason for prisons was not punishment but rehabilitation. Dukakis also seemmingly thought that one way to rehabilitate a first-degree murderer like Horton was to let him go out on unsupervised furloughs. Horton went out ten times without any reported incident. But his eleventh furlough was different. On June 6, 1986, Horton left for an unsupervised furlough and didn't return.

Until the night of April 3, 1987 when Horton assaulted a man named Clifford Barnes in his house. For seven hours Horton beat, pistol-whipped, and kicked Barnes - and cut him 22 separate times across his mid-section. Barnes' fiancee, Angela, arrived and Horton gagged her and raped her twice. He stole Clifford Barnes's car and was chased by police before being apprehended. Adding to the life imprisonment he already had, a Maryland court sentenced him to two more life times plus 85 years. The sentencing judge refused to send Horton back to Massachusetts for fear the governor (Michael Dukakis) would set him free yet again.

The judge had a very good reason for that fear. Even after Horton's second crime, Dukakis continued to support the idea of furloughs for first degree killers like Horton. The Lawrence-Eagle Tribune newspaper ran over 175 articles and editorials calling for the furlough policy to end, eventually winning a Pulitzer Prize. Dukakis refused to even meet with the Barneses to hear their ordeal at the hands of Willie Horton. Dukakis, in fact, only changed his position on furloughs after the state legislature made clear that they were going to change the policy. The basic facts of the Willie Horton case were first mentioned in the political arena by Al Gore in a debate preceding the 1988 New York primary.

Such are the facts in the Willie Horton case.


Michael Dukakis was elected governor of Massachusetts on November 5, 1974, only ten days after Horton's slaying of Joey Fournier. He served one term before losing to Ed King in the 1978 Democratic primary despite polling an approval rating over 50%. He defeated King in the primary in 1982 and re-entered the governor's office, winning another election in 1986. He entered the 1988 Presidential race as one of the possible contenders along with front-runner Gary Hart, House Majority Whip Dick Gephardt, and Senator Joe Biden. Circumstances eliminated both Hart and Biden while the rest of the contenders fell by the wayside. Dukakis won the nomination in June when he beat Jesse Jackson in the California primary by a 2-1 margin.

Dukakis won the nomination as a garden variety liberal. He was in favor of higher taxes, having pushed them through repeatedly to balance the state budget eleven times, favored the pro-choice position on abortion, and favored a national health care system. He also opposed the death penalty in all cases and opposed the rights of homeowners to possess a firearm. In 1986, Dukakis told Roy Innis (of CORE): "I do not believe in people owning guns, only police and military. I am going to do everything I can to disarm this state." (No word on whether Rosie O'Donnell was his campaign manager).

Dukakis' history with Willie Horton was discovered by Republican Jim Pinkerton while watching a replay of the NY primary debate. Pinkerton consulted with Andrew Card (later President George W. Bush's chief of staff), who was from Massachusetts, regarding the incident. This discovery led to Bush mentioning Willie Horton in the first debate, but it did not lead to the infamous Willie Horton ad.


The claim by Democrats is pretty basic. They claim that George Bush made a 'racist' commercial that exploited the Willie Horton case unfairly. By running a commmercial showing a black man with a rather menacing face, they claim that Bush poisoned the well against Dukakis by appealing to race. In fact, they trace the Republican capture of the Solid South from its old Democratic roots to the race wars of the 1960s. But this is wrong on so many counts that it isn't even funny.

First of all, it should be noted that the Bush campaign NEVER RAN a commercial with Willie Horton's picture. You read that correctly. The ad that is supposed to be so controversial was never run by Bush's campaign; it was run by an Independent group chaired by a conservative activist named Floyd Brown. Interested persons might wish to note that this same gentleman was sued by President Bush in 1991 for running an ad attacking prominent Democrats in the Senate that were to consider the future of Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas. This is the actual Willie Horton ad that is allegedly racist.

Secondly, at no time did Vice-President Bush ever mention Horton's race. And finally, it was not Vice-President Bush who bungled a question about what he would do if his wife were raped and murdered; it was Michael Dukakis.

That is not to say that Bush was completely innocent of distortion. This commercial was called 'Revolving Door' and is woefully short of the truth. To the best of my knowledge, Horton was the only one to escape and actually commit another capital crime. It is inconceivable that another inmate went out and murdered someone else or raped someone else and Bush never mentioned him. So while it is indeed a negative ad and a misleading one, it is still not 'the Willie Horton ad.'


It has become common over the last twenty years for Democrats and defenders of Dukakis to make three rather extraordinary claims that are transparent fictions.

1) The furlough program was started by a Republican governor.
2) Dukakis ended the furlough program.
3) Other states had furlough programs including Ronald Reagan's California when he was governor and the federal government.

All of these claims are true, but they are just as misleading as Bush's 'Revolving Door' commercial. It is true that furlough program was begun by Massachusetts Republican Governor Francis Sargent. But Sargent's furlough program explicitly REJECTED furloughs for first-degree murderers like Horton. Dukakis did, in fact, end the program but only because it was going to be ended by the state legislature, as I noted earlier. And the programs in other states as well as the federal program would also not have allowed someone with Horton's past a furlough. So while the apologists are stating 'facts,' they are not whole truth in any of the three situations mentioned.


Never mentioned - never by the media, never by the Democrats, and, unfortunately, not even by the Republicans - was a rather dirty commercial run by Dukakis himself that exemplifies the very thing these folks profess to abhor.

Trailing in the polls and needing to change the subject from his handling of Horton, Dukakis ran a commercial designed to cast Bush as a hypocrite. It concerned the murder of Patsy Pedrin by a convicted Hispanic drug dealer named Angel Medrano. Dukakis ran a commercial funded by his own campaign and insinuated Bush was to blame for it because as the nation's drug czar Bush had not reduced the crime rate and had allowed Medrano to commit his crime. What is quite incredible is that Dukakis ran the commercial with the dark-skinned Hispanic's picture; isn't that racist? Dukakis also talked about the drug dealers furloughed by 'the Bush administration,' a fact that right-thinking Americans would have rejected out of hand since Ronald Reagan was President at the time.

Dukakis' thought process was like that of a lot of liberals. "Hey, all I have to do is show that this guy did the same thing and that makes my screw-up OK!" And that would probably have been true if - and here's where the argument falls apart - the entire issue was about whether or not a black man received a furlough. But it wasn't.

And that is why even 20 years later the Democrats don't get it. They didn't get Willie Horton in 1988, and they still don't get him in 2008. Horton was a symbol for all of the 'wrong' positions in the culture war taken by the left. Horton was not about a black man committing a crime or even receiving a furlough; he was about the fact that liberals like Mike Dukakis believe that a homeowner does not have the right to defend himself with a gun while the criminal - whom he refuses to execute to make society safer - has the right to maim, rape, and even murder - and then get another furlough!!

I've often asked what seems to be an obvious question at this point: yes, the Bush ad was misleading. But do you honestly think Dukakis would have won had it merely told the truth?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

UPDATE: A Response To Dr. Thomas Strouse

On May 1, 2007, I began a response to Dr. Thomas Strouse, a KJV Only advocate who is also a member of the Dean Burgon Society. I will finish it later, but I wanted to include a response by an Anonymous poster at this blog, who posts some interesting information in regards to the Comma Johanneum.


This grammatical argument favoring the inclusion of the Johannine Comma is a hoax. The assertions of its rationale regarding the grammar bear no resemblance whatsoever to what is consistently observed to actually occur in the Greek language throughout the New Testament. Whereas there is such a thing as grammatical gender agreement, there is no such thing as grammatical gender agreement with multiple nouns. It never happens. And whereas there is such a thing as gender attraction, there is no such thing as gender attraction either between substantival (functioning as a noun) participles or between nouns. It never happens. Grammatical gender agreement can occur only with a single referent noun, and gender attraction occurs only with a relative pronoun in a specific grammatical construction. Frederick Nolan and Robert Dabney simply made up in their imagination their assertions regarding the grammar, and people such as Edward Hills and Thomas Strouse have simply parroted their nonsense.

There are only 8 instances in the New Testament in which the referent (the idea to which a word or phrase refers) of a pronoun or substantival participle is represented in the text by multiple nouns (Matthew 15:19-20 and 23:23, John 6:9, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-21 and 5:22-23 and Colossians 3:5-7 and 3:12-14), and grammatical gender agreement does not occur in any of them, even when all of the multiple referent nouns have the same grammatical gender (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:22-23), the reason being that grammatical gender agreement between a pronoun or substantival participle and a noun can occur only when the referent of the pronoun or participle is represented in the text by a single noun. Even then, grammatical gender agreement is not a requirement, but merely a frequently used option. Otherwise, whether the author simply chooses not to use grammatical gender agreement with a single referent noun, or whether the referent of the pronoun or substantival participle is represented in the text either by no noun or by multiple nouns, the gender of the pronoun or substantival participle conforms to the natural gender (the nature) of the referent (the idea to which a word or phrase refers) of the pronoun or substantival participle, either neuter for a thing or things or masculine for a person or persons or feminine for a female person or person (constructio ad sensum [construction according to sense]). What has just been explained is both dictated by common sense and corroborated by what is consistently observed to actually occur in the Greek language throughout the New Testament.

Therefore, based on what is observed to actually occur in the Greek language, is there any reason to expect grammatical gender agreement between the substantival participle “the ones bearing witness” and the multiple nouns “Spirit” and “water” and “Blood” in 1 John 5:8 (Majority Text [MT])? The answer is no. There is nothing wrong with the grammar in this verse. First of all, there is no such thing as grammatical gender agreement with multiple nouns. Secondly, the three nouns in this verse are not even referent nouns, because John’s equation of “the Spirit and the water and the Blood” to “the ones bearing witness” in this verse is not direct (this is that), but comparative (this is like that).

In 1 John 5:8-9 (MT), John comparatively (this is like that) equates “the Spirit and the water and the Blood,” which comprise “the witness of the God / the witness of the God which He has born witness regarding the Son of Him,” to “the ones bearing witness,” who comprise “the witness of the men,” hence the masculine gender of “the ones bearing witness.” The gender of “the ones bearing witness” is masculine either (1) because it refers to persons (the “men” in “the witness of the men”), or (2) because of grammatical gender agreement with the single referent noun “men” in the phrase “the witness of the men,” or (3) both.

In Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15, Moses prescribes two or three witnesses (men) to establish the truth of a matter. This two-or-three-witness tradition is cited in Matthew 18:16, John 8:17-18, 2 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Timothy 5:19, Hebrews 10:28-29 and 1 John 5:8-9 (MT).

In 2 Corinthians 13:1, Paul comparatively (this is like that) equates three things (his three visits to Corinth) to the two or three witnesses (men) prescribed by Moses to establish the truth of a matter.

In Hebrews 10:28-29, the author comparatively (this is like that) equates three things ([1] trampling the Son of God and [2] considering His Blood to be ordinary blood and [3] insulting the Spirit) to the two or three witnesses (men) prescribed by Moses to establish the truth of a matter.

In 1 John 5:8-9 (MT), John comparatively (this is like that) equates three things (“[1] the Spirit and [2] the water and [3] the Blood”) to the two or three witness (men) prescribed by Moses to establish the truth of a matter (“the ones bearing witness”).

Moses requires two or three witnesses (men) to establish the truth of a given matter. According to John, in conformity to this two-or-three-witness (men) tradition, God provided two or three witnesses (“the Spirit and the water and the Blood”) to establish the truth that Jesus is His Son. John comparatively (this is like that) equates these two or three witnesses provided by God to the two or thee witnesses (men) prescribed by Moses (“the ones bearing witness / the witness of the men”), hence the masculine gender of “the ones bearing witness.”

There is nothing wrong with the grammar in 1 John 5:6-9 (MT). Everything is written exactly as it should be written.

Further, the correct number of witnesses provided by God (the Spirit and the water and the Blood [two or three witnesses]) in conformity to the two-or-three-witness (men) Mosaic tradition in the absence of the Johannine Comma proves that John did not write the Comma, but that it was added to the text by Trinitarians.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Hillary Clinton Campaign: Dead On Arrival

I write this knowing full well I may have egg on my face. But keep in mind that I was one of the few pundits who did NOT predict a Clinton-Giuliani ticket. In fact, I picked John McCain as the GOP winner back on March 23, 2007 on this very blog. (Granted, I picked Edwards for the Democrats - but note two things: a) I was obviously too charitable towards their intelligence for picking the most likely to succeed candidate; and 2) I didn't pick Clinton like everyone else did). Hillary's career is about to be buried by a neophyte who has never won a competitive race for elective office in his life. How did that happen?

You must understand that Hillary Clinton, for all of the attempts to declare her the smartest woman in the world, is utterly lacking any self-respect. Why did she stay with a pathological sex addict even when he betrayed not only her trust but the trust of every voter in America? Because her lust for power exceeded her husband's own lust for women, and that's no small feat. She not only put her self-respect on hold, she aided and abetted Bill's philadnerings with vicious attacks upon an unseen 'vast right wing conspiracy.' And now she has demonstrated that the very arrogance and lust for power that pushed her to lie for her husband is a character trait that would be disastrous were she ever elected President.

I tried to tell people. Nobody would listen. I told friends and foes alike that Hillary would NOT win the nomination. They looked at her astounding poll numbers and figured she'd ride a yacht to the White House. None of them ever listened when I pointed out that Gary Hart had higher numbers in a larger field, that Howard Dean had a bigger lead late, that the Iowa electorate is hostile territory for front-runners, and her poll numbers are based ENTIRELY upon name recongition and nothing else. But you must remember that using the old little girl's mantra of 'life should be fair' and the feminist mantra of 'whatever it takes,' Hillary's split personality led her into an arena of arrogance particular to Democrats: entitlement. You see, because Hillary put up with so much abuse and betrayal, she was ENTITLED to the Presidency. Anyone who thinks she didn't believe that has not watched this campaign, the Clintonian version of the 'Keystone Kops.'

Fooling the idiots who live in New York State is no big deal. Jeez, for all of their dismissal of Southerners such as myself, they still have a large contingent of New Yorkers who think professional wrestling is real and that the disaster of September 11, 2001 ENTITLES (that word again) that state to host a Super Bowl in the near future. So fooling a bunch of New Yorkers who simply punch D on the ticket - particularly when she ran against the quintessential empty suit (Do you even know the name of her opponent in 2000? It was Rick Lazio) - was hardly a big deal. Fooling the nationwide populace, however, is a much bigger task, and clearly one that has not been able to master.

Why? And what went wrong?

I think the quote that says it best came from Tom DeFrank, a respected journalist, who noted that Hillary had told former chum George Stephanopolous, now of ABC News, that she would sew up the nomination on February 5, Super Tuesday. She clearly had no plan for what to do if her best-laid plans went awry. And I would add that THAT FACT ALONE disqualifies Hillary from even serious consideration as a President. If a prospective candidate doesn't have a back-up plan to alter course, why in the world should the voters think she has one when a crisis such as 9/11 happens? Or the Challenger explodes? Or the Oklahoma City bombing occurs?

Reasons Why Hillary Lost

1) Her poll numbers were entirely on name recognition.

2) She had the highest negatives of any candidate in the race. Funny how the media who points this out when it is a Republican never bothered to play this particular angle up for public consumption.

3) She failed to lower expectations in Iowa. Even the great Ronald Reagan lost Iowa, and in 1988, GHW Bush finished THIRD behind Bob Dole and Pat Robertson. This history should have told her that she was walking into a buzzsaw. But either Hillary or Mark Penn should have seen the pending disaster and told the media that they would 'probably lose' Iowa. If this had been done, the assessments made by the press would largely have been irrelevant. She could then have focused on New Hampshire and not had to cry in hopes of winning.

4) The crying episode. It is one thing to push out a tear as Ronald Reagan did while addressing the nation after the Challenger disaster. It is another to wallow in self-pity because you're not riding a boat to the White House but you have a first-class cabin on the Titanic. The Clintons - both of them - have never been able to figure out why Ronald Reagan was so popular and Clinton wasn't. Hey folks - it might be because Reagan said the same things in 1964 as he did in 1984 and didn't take a poll before he said them. Authenticity goes a long way. But the Clintonian arrogance of looking at every voter as stupid made authenticity less appealing for their own use. After all, who really wants to vote for a conniving, manipulative, and vindictive figure like Hillary
Clinton? So authenticity was out.

5) '35 years of experience?' I would say that she has 33 of covering up spousal peccadilloes, but this lie reminded people of what Bill Clinton was all about - lying. I suspect Bill Clinton probably lied when he printed his name on his SAT. He lied about everything even when it served no purpose other than to inflate his ego. Consider the follwing liberal Democratic women who have more political experience than Ms. Clinton:

Barbara Boxer - 16 years in Senate, 10 years in House, and comes from a bigger state, California

Maria Cantwell - elected the same day as Hillary, she not only served 2 years in the House but she also spent 6 years in the state Congress and was a millionaire.

Dianne Feinstein - 16 years in the Senate, she also served for nearly a decade as the mayor of San Francisco. Translation: She has executive experience that Hillary does not.

Mary Landrieu - 12 years in the Senate. Oh, and if relationships count, her father was the mayor of New Orleans for a long time.

Blanche Lincoln - four years in the House and 8 in the Senate.

Barbara Mikulski - 10 years as a representative and 21 in the Senate.

Patty Murray - Senator for 16 years

Debbie Stabenow - she was elected to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners in 1974 and was the youngest person and first woman to chair the Board (1977-78). She was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives where she served for twelve years (1979-90) and rose in leadership, becoming the first woman to preside over the House. She served in the State Senate for four years (1991-94). Elected to Congress in 1996 representing Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District, she won election to the U.S. Senate four years later. (This adds up - amazing as it seems - to 34 years of experience).

So Hillary should have been in line behind AT LEAST eight other liberal Democratic women. But for some reason she moved to the front of the line. And that reason is another albatross on her noomination.

6) Bill Clinton - good riddance. Hillary seems to never have digested the message of the 2000 Presidential election. That message was, "This man's only true accomplishment is surviving impeachment that he forced on himself. We'll look elsewhere for a leader."

Despite all the glamorous tributes showered upon Bill, many Senators are angry that they had to put their collective necks on the line for him by voting him not guilty when they knew full well that he was. It probably cost Tom Daschle his Senate seat in 2004, and it no doubt cost Liebermann the Vice-Presidency in 2000. These folks gave to Clinton who only had pardons for convicted felons to give in return. Since neither Daschle nor Liebermann was in the slammer, he was of no use to them. No doubt they now realize that if they had removed him and Gore had run for President as the incumbent in 2000, he would have wiped the floor with Bush because he'd have been on the job for over a year showing his 'experience.'

Hillary Clinton is going to lose Texas. She is going to lose Vermont. Since both voters in Rhode Island are related to her, she will win that race. And Ohio? She'll win, but it won't matter. Bill has already declared she had to win both in order to be the nominee. You don't think Bill would lie, now, do you?