Tuesday, 12 October 2010

THE DEMOCRATIC DEMON HUNT

Ken Berwitz

Here is the Democrats' dilemma:  The election is only three weeks away, and they have no bogeyman.  How do you win an election without a bogeyman?

They certainaly have used them in the past.  Newt Gingrich was a great one, but he hasn't held office for a decade.  Sarah Palin was terrific just two years ago, but the demonization process has been so intense for so long that people are ignoring it out of sheer boredom.  So the parrty has spent months trying to build a new one.  And so far it hasn't happened.

My sister put me on to a very well written piece by John J. Pitney Jr. of National Review, about the Democratic demon hunt (also known as the bogeyman boogie).  Here are a few excerpts:

Early last year, White House officials and their allies denounced Rush Limbaugh, dubbing him the leader of the Republican party. They amused themselves with the claim, but in the end, the attacks only served to increase Limbaughs audience. A Democratic leader told Politico: We have exhausted the use of Rush as an attention-getter.

The Limbaugh gambit fizzled for lack of plausibility. A talk-show host who has never held office and often faults Republicans is hardly believable as the GOPs leader. As I predicted back in March 2009, Chief Justice Roberts was the next logical target. Though Roberts is not a party leader, he does have real power. And sure enough, the president took the unusual step of attacking the Citizens United decision during his 2010 State of the Union address, with Roberts and the Supremes sitting in front on him. He has kept it up, most recently sneering at the Roberts court in his Rolling Stone interview.

That tactic has failed, too. Months after the presidents sniping began, only 28 percent of respondents in a Pew survey could even identify Roberts as chief justice.

 

In recent days, there has been a new target. President Obama and his supporters have suggested that sinister outside groups are influencing elections with tainted money, including foreign donations. The New York Times, however, has acknowledged that the Democrats have no evidence for the charge. But President Obama has cited Karl Rove by name, and a DNC attack ad accuses Rove and former RNC chair Ed Gillespie of stealing our democracy.

That approach wont work either. Even though the most partisan Democrats dislike Rove, most Americans dont have a negative (or positive) opinion. And while Gillespie is highly regarded among political professionals, he has such a low profile with the general public that pollsters dont even ask about him. The only people who would respond to the attacks are political junkies with a paranoia problem. If the person next to you in the subway or supermarket line is muttering about the Gillespie threat, avoid eye contact and step away quickly.

Ok, let's help these poor folks out.  Who else can they use?

How about Chris Christie, New Jersey's current Governor?  Nah, he's too popular.

Maybe an old standby like Dick Cheney.  On the other hand, nope.  He has been out of office for almost two years and has a sympathy thing going because he was just in the hospital.

Wait, I know.  Maybe they can use William Jefferson, that guy with the freezer load of  $90,000 in frozen assets who was taking all those bri....er, what's that you say?  He's a Democrat?  Then I guess that won't work.  And it also means Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson Jr. and the ghost of John Murtha are out of the question.

(Not that Republicans are above using Pelosi and others as their own bogeymen.  Let's remember that Democrats may do it more, but neither party is clean.)

Well, I guess Democrats will just have to run on the Obama agenda they passed into law.  Yep, the "stimulus package" and ObamaCare are sure to turn their fortunes around.....


KAROL MARKOWICZ ON WHY SHE CANNOT SUPPORT CARL PALADINO

Ken Berwitz

I do not usually post someone else's entire blog.  I prefer to put up key excerpts with a link to the originating site.

But Karol Markowicz of WNYC has written a piece about New York Republican Gubernatorial candiate Carl Paladino that is so dead-on, I would be hard pressed to eliminate even one word:

So, along with the link, here is Ms. Markowicz's entire commentary:

How did Carl Paladino become the Republican candidate for Governor of New York? Guess #1 is that it's an anti-incumbent year and, as people had heard of Rick Lazio, he took on the incumbent stench. Guess #2? There is no guess #2 just the lingering question and answer: could Republicans possibly have picked a more inept candidate? No. No, we could not.

For the record, I am not one of those Republicans who regularly bashes other Republicans to get my pat on the head from my liberal friends. It is, in fact, very rare that I break Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment and bash my own side. My feelings on Carl, that he is a loose cannon who is capable of serious damage to himself and the party, are unfortunate.

I wanted to like Carl Paladino. I read the stories of his forwarded kooky email "jokes" and thought, "eh, most men I know over 60 forward around inappropriate jokes. They're new to the internet and it's a dirty joke wonderland. I get it."

When he got into a verbal altercation with New York Post political reporter Fred Dicker I thought, "Who in the political world has not wanted to swing at Dicker? He's mean and can rile up the calmest of people. Give Carl the benefit of the doubt."

When the story emerged that he had fathered a daughter out of wedlock and then told his wife about it the week their son died because the son had apparently known the daughter and Carl wished to bring her to the funeral I thought..."Uhh, you're losing me here, Carl." But while I was disgusted by his life choices, his wife seemed to have more than forgiven him, so who was I to take his infidelities personally?

When he wouldn't stop commenting on Andrew Cuomo's alleged infidelities, I started to lose it. For one thing, Andrew Cuomo isn't married. Who cares if he cheated during a marriage that is over? And, as Carl obviously cheated and hid the resulting child, perhaps those who live in huge glass mansions shouldn't throw boulders.

But the latest Carl Paladino controversy involving his unintelligent comments on gay people is the last straw for me.

To be clear, my issue is not the statement he denies making, the one about gay people being dysfunctional. My problem is everything else he admits to saying. He doesn't dispute that he said kids get "brainwashed" into thinking homosexuality is a "valid or successful option." Putting aside the fact that there are few left who still can seriously believe homosexuality is a choice into which one can be "brainwashed", you know what isn't a valid or successful option? Cheating on your wife and fathering a child out of wedlock! Hiding behind his Catholicism is just weak, as clearly he's been picking and choosing which part of his faith he practices. Does the Catholic Church support heterosexual infidelity? Let me check. Oh, there it is no, they don't. They don't consider that a valid or successful option.

Just like I don't consider Carl Paladino a valid option to be our next governor.

Exactly. 

What a shame that Republicans put up such a male organ-head (that's the nice way of putting it) against Andrew Cuomo.  I'm no fan of Mr. Cuomo's, but I would vote for him 100 times out of 100 over Paladino. 

WisOldMan Cuomo is a crook, and a liar. Paladino is neither. (10/12/10)

Zeke ... .... If I lived in New York (shudder), my vote would be for "None of the Above". .... .... Carl does not have the presence of a 4th grade dropout. .... Cuomo will do to New York State what Obama has done to the country. ..... ..... David Paterson is looking awfully competent, by comparison. (10/12/10)


THE CHANGE TO HOPELESSNESS

Ken Berwitz

When Barack Obama became President most national polls had his approval rating in the the 60% - 70% range.  I took that to mean that not just his supporters, but a substantial minority of people who voted against him, were either happy about the fact that he won the presidency or, at least, were giving him the benefit of the doubt regarding his "hope and change" message.

Well, it is about 21 months later.  And things have changed.  But not in a very hopeful way, as seen in the following excerpt I pulled from an article by Mike Dorning at bloomberg.com:

Hope has turned to doubt and disenchantment for almost half of President Barack Obamas supporters.

More than 4 of 10 likely voters who say they once considered themselves Obama backers now are either less supportive or say they no longer support him at all, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 7-10.

Three weeks before the Nov. 2 congressional elections that Republicans are trying to make a referendum on Obama, fewer than half of likely voters approve of the presidents job performance. Likely voters are more apt to say Obamas policies have harmed rather than helped the economy. Among those who say they are most enthusiastic about voting this year, 6 of 10 say the Democrat has damaged the economy.

If these data are correct, they certainly explain why congressional Democrats are talking about anything and everything besides the Obama agenda. 

But their problem extends a lot further than the oval office.  Mr. Obama's agenda was not passed in a vacuum, it was passed by virtually the entire Democratic Party, and virtually none of the Republican Party;  in fact, Republican support was so scarce that Democrats have spent the past year calling them the party of "no". 

And that was a pretty good strategy -- provided the country liked what Mr. Obama supported and congressional Democrats  passed.

But, again assuming the national polls are accurate, that is not the way of things.

The Democrats' two most visible legislative successes,  the so-called "stimulus package" and ObamaCare, are disliked by a majority of voters.  Importantly this includes a substantial majority of independents, also known as swing voters, who are not loyal to either party. 

Given the unpopularity of the "stimulus package" and ObamaCare, many people now see the party of "no" as  the party of "right".  And for Democrats - who cannot put the blame for these unpopular programs on anyone but themselves - that is obviously bad news.  Maybe disastrous news.

Look, the midterm election is still three weeks away.  In politics, three weeks is an eternity, and anything can happen.  But based on the situation right now, would you be betting on a Democratic resurgence? 

If so, ask yourself this:  other than a few incumbents in the absolute safest districts, can you think of any congressional Democrats who are running on President Obama's - thus their - record? 

The answer to that question is also the answer to why it is so likely Democrats will be reamed on November 2nd.

free` I am worried that most voters don't realize how much control the D's have had on our country. I don't think they know that the D's could have passed anything they wanted for the first year or so of obamas term. I see reports and D's claiming the R's have filibustered more legislation than at any other time. I hope I am wrong, but I know most people get there info from the MSM. Until that changes, most Americans are ignorant of exactly what has taken place, just like in 2006 and 2008. (10/12/10)


WHEN EXTREMISM AND VIOLENCE ARE ACCEPTABLE

Ken Berwitz

For most of this year, we were being told by Democrats, along with many of their supporters in our wonderful "neutral" media, that Tea Party Republicans (which, to some, are pretty much all Republicans) were engaging in extremist rhetoric and promoting violence. 

The evidence that this was occurring?  Not a lot of it;  usually just a few random signs being held by individuals at Tea Party rallies (which a) were minute in number and b) as we learned later, may well have been plants sent by leftward groups terrified that the Tea Party movement was growing).

But now we have some very real instances of extreme, violence-oriented rhetoric.  And they are not coming from random anonymous sources, nor are they plants from the other side. 

Excerpted from Aaron Goldstein's illuminating blog at American Spectator (spectator.org):

What is it that has come over Democrats lately with their use of violent imagery?

First, it was Vice President Biden when he spoke before a Democratic Party fundraiser in Minnesota last Tuesday. During his remarks, the Vice President said he would "strangle" the next Republican who talked about balancing the federal budget.

The following day it was President Obama who said during a radio interview that the election of a Republican Congress in November would result in "hand-to-hand combat."

Now we have West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin actually firing a rifle and putting a bullet into the heart of the cap and trade bill in a television political ad. Manchin finds himself staring down the barrel of an unexpectedly tough battle to hold onto the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated when Robert Byrd passed away last June.

Could you imagine the uproar that would ensue from the Left if Sarah Palin had said she would strangle a Democratic politician?

Could you imagine the howls of outrage from liberals if George W. Bush had said prior to the 2006 mid-term elections that a Democratic Congress would result in hand-to-hand combat?

Could you imagine indignation from Democrats if a sitting Republican governor running for the U.S. Senate had appeared in a political advertisement firing a rifle let alone carrying one

Let's compare:

-Even the slightest hint of extremist and/or violence-oriented rhetoric at Tea Party rallies was immediately magnified by Democrats and their more-than-willing mainstream media cohorts into a working definition of the entire movement.  This went on for months, and is still going on today;

-But specific extremist, violence-oriented rhetoric against Republicans by the Democratic President, the Democratic Vice President and a Democratic Governor running for the United States Senate?  Heck, that's just making a point.  Nothing but good, clean fun.

The most amazing part?  That so many of these same media still cannot fathom why people call them biased.

free` "Could you imagine the uproar that would ensue from the Left if Sarah Palin had said she would strangle a Democratic politician?" -------- Remember when Palin said we need to target certain politicians? The D's and the MSM had a heyday accusing her of violent speech. (10/12/10)


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