September 4th, 2008

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Ah the RNC . . .

Very briefly:
1) This crowd is so white it's frigin' scary. In 2004, Rs made a real effort to showcase the idea that they weren't just the party of rich white people. Aparently, that promotional effort has gone by the wayside.

2) I am not incensed that both Rudy Gulliani and Sarah Palin think there is something silly about being a community organizer. I am incensed that the Republican National Convention thinks community organizing is funny. When Rudy said Obama was a community organizer, even before he got to the payoff line about how that's not experience (because getting a large group of fractious people motivated and organized around a common goal on a non-esxistent budget is work for pussies, right?) while the Illinois delegates were doing the traditional chant when your state is mentioned thing, the rest of the audience was smiling and laughing and whooping it up. hee hee! A community organizer! What a ma-roon! What a dork! Caring about crap and trying to get people engaged in the process. Ha hah hah!

On the plus side, I suppose that is why we routinely kick ass in this Administration.

And how shocking! Karl Rove and the Fox News Team loved Palin's speech.

I am still waiting for the Ds to start a campaign around "How can anyone who spent 2 years pushing for alaska to suceed really put America first?" But I suppose that will wait until next week.
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Democrats Need to Act Less Like Whipped Doggies and More Like Winners.

I swear to God! Palin gives a speech in front of a cheering mob of delegates, the media does its expected fawning, and the Democrats fall to bloody pieces filled with despair and woe.

Not since the Israelites complained to Moses by the Red Sea has there been such an obvious pack of whipped slaves without spirit, no matter what miracles they witnessed.

Did you all think it was going to be easy? Did you think Sarah Palin was going to fail to get a crowd of RNC delegates applauding? Did you think they weren't going to replay the same themes they have played for the last 8 years and previewed without end in the campaign?

Lets contrast Ds and Rs for a moment to illustrate the difference between folks used to winning and pathetic beaten curs. The Rs have everything against them, but they act like winners. McCain draws pathetic crowds compared to Obama's appearances. Do they despair? No! Suddenly, unpopular is the new cool. Obama gives a speech in front of a cheering throng at Invesco stadium, with more viewers than have ever tuned into a convention speech in history. Do the Republicans despair? Hell No! The Republicans give a superior smirk and explain, with utter confidence and conviction, why that speech sucked and how it will really hurt Obama's election chances. And, against all evidence of their senses, Ds start trembling with dread.

Sarah Palin gives a speech to the base that doesn't embarrass her and shows that -- surprise -- someone who has won elected office twice can do a campaign speech and work a crowd. And the Democrats piss themselves and act like they just lost an election.

As someone who routinely goes toe-to-toe with corporate interests with vastly superior resources, as someone who engages in that supposedly laughable job of community organizing, let me give you a little piece of advice. Half of winning in politics is convincing everyone else you are a winner.

Yeah yeah, election in 2000 and 2004, where idjits managed to lose by a handful of votes. And 2002, where Dems ran on the "we love Bush too!" ticket and got their asses handed to them. And forget 2006, where no one (except a few of us believers) thought the Ds could take both houses of Congress back. The Republicans just lost three by-elections in safe districts. But because they swagger like alpha dogs, Dems are falling all over themselves to crouch, splay and twitch their tails to the side.

Act like whipped dogs and you will be the RNC bitch in November.

This does not mean it is easy. It takes planning. It takes hard work. It takes dedication and determination. No one is going to hand you a victory because you deserve it. If you are worried about all those small town Americans, you need to go to them and make the case. That's what Howard Dean did in '06 with the 50 state strategy -- and it worked. That's what Oabama is doing with his offices in every state and his laughable "community organizers" on voter registration drives.

But man, if I ever want to try to explain to people how the Children of Israel could go through the ten plagues and still lack faith at the Red Sea, from now on, all I need to do is get them to talk to a mainstream Democrat.
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Fact Checking Palin

CBS News fact checker.

Of particular note, Palin cut funding for special ed by 62%. Now that she has a Dow syndrome kid she is willing to fight for special needs moms?

Wow! "I can only feel your pain after it becomes an issue for me." That's the kind of empathy I really look for in a candidate -- assuming the candidate is an overweight Orthodox Jewish male with one child.

UPDATE: Obama Campaign has a more thorough fact check here.
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Abramoff Sentenced.

Well, suitable for Ellul z'man, Jack Abramoff was sentenced for his federal corruption crimes. Repentance must include working to repair the damage done and accepting punishment for one's actions.

For those who think he got off too lightly, I will quote a line from Mytelini's Reprieve (for those familiar with the song). "No foe will dare surrender if he has no hope of mercy." Abramoff copped a plea and cooperated fully with authorities, yielding up several bigger fish. Whether one believes in genuine repentance in such cases or not, Abramoff's sentencing is appropriate on the purely practical level that we want to create incentives for folks to rush to do deals rather than hang tough and hold out.

I also doubt he will be on Bush's last minute pardon list. He got hung out to dry, and the Rs will forever see him as primary cause of their losses in '06 (rather than blaming, say their actual corruption).

But as I have said before, I am hardly neutral in the matter. In a very real way I am Jack Abramoff. For me, his story is not one of hypocrisy and corruption and just deserts. It is the story of how any of us -- even someone known to me and sharing a similar background and ideals -- can become corrupted by power and money and fall from grace. It could happen to me as easily as it happened to him -- unless I take that lesson to heart. For if we believe that corruption is innate in others and absent in ourselves, we sow the seeds of our own downfall.

That too, makes a good lesson for Ellul z'man.
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Take Heart Wussie Dems: Latest Spot Polling Data

Or, to paraphrase what Moses said at the Red Sea to the generation raised in the house of bondage. "Now you shall see the power of the interwebs, the 50 state strategy, and the progressives! For Dean and Obama shall fight for thee, if you but keep you stupid traps shut!" Whereupon the New Democrats said unto Moses "why do you pray to me when there is stuff to do. Get cracking!"

This USA Today interactive state-by-state poll tracker is extremely informative. Note the following:

1) Many states Obama was supposedly losing, such as Michigan, PA and Wisconsin are now solidly for Obama (support above 5%). NH is trending Obama. But Obama has substantial leads in all states that voted for Kerry with the exception of NH, where Obama has a slight lead.

2) Other states, which are supposed to be locks for the Rs, are too close to call. This is especially noteworthy in North and South Carolina.

3) In many of these states, the trend lines are in favor of Obama. There are some exceptions, but they are hardcore red states that appear to have consistently trended to McCain as they have gone negative and especially after picking Palin.

Not definitive by a long shot. But all those gnashing teeth and fretting over the Wilder Effect would do well to get a grip.