I'm a Pundit Too

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama's Convention Fails To Deliver Substance

Senator Barack Obama is officially now the Democratic nominee for President. After months of campaigning for the nomination, Obama concluded his convention with another eloquent, but completely empty speech. The convention in Denver was hyped by the media, especially MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, as something akin to a coronation of Obama. Matthews and Olbermann months ago hitched their wagons to the Obama campaign and have been openly campaigning for him to be President. The convention was four days of speeches paying tribute to Senator Kennedy, Senator Clinton, and former President Bill Clinton. The substance of what Barack Obama and Joe Biden stand for can be summed up as, “We are not Bush”. The rallying cry from Denver, as has been throughout his campaign, is one word, “Change”.

Speech after speech in Denver cried for the need for change, but spoke of nothing that an Obama/Biden ticket will really change. They made scant references to being oil free in 10 years and ending global warming, but there was very little in the way of substance. I believe that the American public is growing weary of the rock star treatment that the Obama campaign has enjoyed over the past year. Even after Obama picked Senator Joe Biden as his running mate, there was a noticeable drop in the polls for Obama. Obama can no longer claim that his campaign is bringing something new and fresh to Washington. Biden has been in Washington for the past 35 years, which is 9 years before McCain was first elected to the House of Representatives. Biden was clearly chosen to attempt to prop up the campaign’s severe lack of any resume.

The news one day after the convention ended, and after Obama’s acceptance speech, was filled with reports of McCain’s Vice Presidential pick of Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin. Palin is known throughout Alaska politics as a reformer and a tough political opponent, but relatively unknown in the rest of the country. The Obama campaign quickly issued a statement questioning her experience because she was the mayor of a small town in Alaska. It is quite amusing for the Obama to question anyone’s experience. Palin has been a member of a City Council, a mayor, and now a Governor. All of which adds up to more experience than the “chosen one” from Illinois. At the very least, Governor Palin has chief executive experience, which is by far more experience than the 143 days that Senator Obama has spent in the United States Senate.

The next 2 months are going to be very exciting and interesting. The contrast could not be clearer between the 2 campaigns. The Democrats have nominated arguably the most liberal political duo in American history. Obama and Biden are clearly on record as supportive of higher taxes, more government intervention in our everyday lives, for a foreign policy of appeasement, and pro-abortion to unimaginable extremes. The Republicans are on the verge of nominating a conservative ticket that will bring actual reform to Washington. McCain and Palin both have records that show they believe in lower taxes for everyone who pays taxes, cleaning up the political corruption that is entrenched in Washington, completing the task at hand in Iraq and Afghanistan, and protecting the lives of those born and unborn. The choice has become clear. Do you favor flowery but empty rhetoric, or actual reform in Washington?

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where Does Obama Stand On Abortion?

On August 16, Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain attended a forum on Faith at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Warren asked a variety of questions to both candidates separately with each candidate offering his answers on live TV. The build up to the event was promoted to be a blowout performance for Obama, highlighting McCain’s inadequacies at connecting with the public. Unfortunately for Obama, reality was one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase from the media predictions.

The Obama campaign quickly responded to their candidate’s poor performance by positing the notion that McCain had cheated. They claimed that he had clearly known what the questions were before they were asked. A spokesman for the Saddleback Church revealed that both candidates were given the initial two questions to help them feel at ease. Obama was also given a question about an “Emergency Plan for Adoption” as he arrived at the church. McCain was never given the question due to the time of his arrival at the church. McCain simply did not cheat, but that is not the news. The news is that Obama performs poorly whenever he is not reading from a teleprompter. He is undoubtedly intriguing and charismatic while delivering his speeches, but when he gets away from his prepared remarks he stumbles.

One answer from the forum that has received an exorbitant amount of scrutiny over the ensuing days has been Obama’s response to Warren’s question of, “At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?” Obama’s campaign and supporters have tried to spin his answer as thoughtful and nuanced, but his answer revealed a typical politician desperately trying to avoid taking a stand on the abortion issue. The presumptive Democratic nominee responded to Warren with the following answer, “Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.” Pardon me Mr. Obama, but the President of the United States is the highest pay grade in our country. I believe he was terrified of his actual record and position on abortion coming to light.

While in the Illinois State Senate, Obama voted twice against a bill that would provide protection for babies that are born alive after an abortion. The bill was in response to the news that some babies survive induced labor abortions but then are allowed to die alone in soiled linen closets. Obama has said that if the bill presented in Illinois were the same bill that passed unanimously at the federal level, he would have supported it. Again reality is much different than what Obama has claimed. The second time the bill came before the state Senate, Obama helped write an amendment to the bill that put in the wording that he claims was missing. He also voted for the bill to get it out of committee and then voted against it when it went before the full state Senate. He is also on record from the floor of the state Senate claiming that the bill would put a burden on the doctors to attempt to resuscitate an unviable baby. We are not talking about a 6-week-old unborn baby; we are talking about 23-week-old unborn baby. Does Senator Obama believe that a baby born at around 23 weeks is unviable and should not receive medical attention? Even the nation’s leading abortion providing corporation, Planned Parenthood, did not oppose this legislation.

Senator Obama is trying to run away from his very liberal record. When he was rated as the most liberal Senator, his supporters claimed that the ratings were unfairly calculated, but with his record on issues such as abortion, he is showing that he is truly more liberal than Harry Reid, Teddy Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, and Hillary Clinton. The Democrats may have wanted the abortion issue to not be a part of the campaign this year, but with Obama’s refusal to publicly state his position, the issue has been forcefully thrust into the spotlight.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Politics Of Pessimism

We are almost halfway through the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Every four years, the world comes together to compete in the Olympic games. The games are marked by national pride, with every nation’s citizenry cheering on their countrymen to gold. The resurgence of pride in the United States has me wondering about the American pride of certain politicians.

Over the past several years, it has become en vogue to espouse a pessimistic view of the United States of America. We have witnessed high profile politicians go to the floor of the Senate and declare that our own troops have lost the war in Iraq. One congressman charged our troops with the cold-blooded murder of civilians in Iraq. These are just two examples of elected officials taking a very dim view of not only our country but also of the brave men and women who are fighting for the very freedom of speech of these politicians. The charges of murder were proven to be completely unfounded, and the defeat in Iraq turned out to be wishful thinking of a politician looking to turn public opinion against the war.

Before the hate mail goes into full swing, I am not questioning the patriotism of anyone opposing the war in Iraq. I am simply pointing out the pessimistic worldview of many on the left. The liberal elites have opined their depressing view of the U.S. on a variety of issues. They believe that we are engaged in an illegal war of aggression in Iraq, even though Congress approved the military action twice. They believe that we are the sole cause of “global warming”, even though they discount the pollution of China and India. They point to our refusal to sign on to the Kyoto protocols, even though the European countries that did sign on have found the infeasibility of the protocols. They believe that we are using more than our fair share of the world’s resources and that we should all learn to live with less, even though the elites preaching conservation fail to live by their own standards.

The presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama has made some very pessimistic comments over the course of his campaign. He has said that as Americans we need to learn to live on less. He has also said to a 12-year-old questioner that he believes America is not great as it once was. He has gone overseas to criticize the country that has enabled him to climb to the brink of the highest office in the world. I realize that his campaign is based on “hope” and “change”, but why does he feel the need to tear down the greatest country in the world?

I am not saying that the U.S. is without any problems, or that we have not made any mistakes. We are the country everyone else in the world looks to in time of crisis. When the Tsunami hit, the U.S. Navy was on the way immediately with supplies and medical help. The citizenry of the United States is the most charitable in the world. In 2006, American citizens gave nearly $300 billion to charity. That is not the government sending money after a disaster, that is your neighbors giving to help those that are less fortunate. I believe Obama is playing a politically dangerous game. He is running the risk that the voting public will grow tired of being told that they are selfish and uncaring. Ronald Reagan in contrast to Obama ran on optimism. He genuinely believed that the United States had unlimited potential because of the citizens. He constantly spoke of how great the U.S. was and how much greater we could be. I believe we are still the greatest country in the world and have the potential to go even higher if the government and it’s pessimistic politicians just stay out of our way.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Obama's Lack Of Experience And New Ideas Is Beginning To Show

As I watched the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I was reminded of the countless practice and training of the athletes for this one moment in time. The Olympic participants are the best in their particular sports from their native countries. They have sacrificed much to reach their full potential. Probably because I have a slightly warped mentality, I found myself making a correlation to politics, and to the current presidential race.

An inspection of Senator Barack Obama’s political biography provides a glaring lack of practice or training. Mind you politics does not generally require the years of sacrifice and rigorous training that preparing for the Olympic games demands, but it odes require some preparation. The past few weeks have highlighted Obama’s extreme lack of experience and shown hints of his socialist leanings.

Senator Obama suggested that by simply having all of us inflate the tires on our cars and have them tuned up, we could save all of the oil that we would get by drilling. First of all, from where did he conjure the numbers? As I walked to my car this week through a parking lot, I didn’t see hundreds of cars with flat tires, I saw hundreds of cars with inflated tires. I realize that some of these cars may have tires that need a pound or two of air, but that would not equal the amount of fuel savings that Obama is promising. In order to buy into Obama’s fantasy, one must assume that the vast majority of the automobiles in the United States are driving around on flat tires. Even then, that would not equal all of the oil in ANWR, or the oil on the outer continental shelf. It appears that once again, Mr. Obama is not aware that his words are heard and can and will be verified.

Another pillar of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s energy policy is to create a “windfall profit tax” for the oil companies. He would then use the money from the new tax to give every family in the United States a $1000 check. The idea of a “windfall profit tax” is not a new concept. Actually it was tried once before by the economic geniuses of the Carter administration in the late 1970’s. Does Obama believe that a failed policy from 30 years ago will have a different outcome? One other note on his proposal, the latest round of economic stimulus checks that most of us received over the past few months cost those of us who actually pay taxes $159 billion. How mush profit does Obama believe that the oil companies are making? The last time I checked it was nowhere near even $100 billion. His proposal is pure and simple socialism. It is a redistribution of wealth plan in his usual flowery rhetoric. His proposal, if it ever came to fruition, would create an even greater energy crisis, and more than likely see the oil companies either pass along the tax to the consumers, or change their business structures to avoid the tax altogether.

Obama was recently asked, by a twelve year old, why he was running for President. After stumbling for words, which he is prone to do when not reading from a teleprompter, he began to explain that the United States is not as great of a country that we once were. Mr. Obama’s handlers need to explain to him that most Americans are patriotic and do not like being told that our country is not the greatest country in the world. We realize that we have room to improve, but we are the freest and greatest country on the face of the earth. Of course, when you consider whom the Obamas have called friends over the years, you begin to understand why they are not proud to be Americans.

Barack Obama has a very thin political resume and his inexperience is beginning to show. It is becoming increasingly evident that his campaign and his surrogates are ready and willing to throw the race card whenever they believe it will benefit them politically. For all of the rhetoric about Republicans being the racist party, it was the Clinton campaign that started with the race issue and the Obama campaign has just continued to use it. I guess it is easier to distract with race than to allow any type of real discussion of Obama’s outlandish and foolish proposals.

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