As reasoned retort to Matthew Dowd.

Allow me one tangent question:  I wonder how long it will be before Matthew Dowd has secured a lucrative position as a strategist for A Democratic Presidential hopeful?

The American Spectator

Why are the views of Matthew Dowd a surprise?

To the New York Times, the one-time “top strategist” for President Bush who has now turned on the President because of the Iraq War is a predictable hero, fodder for a front page story (“Ex-Aide Details a Loss of Faith in the President”).

Yet in reading of the defection of one-time Bush loyalist Matthew Dowd, the fact that Dowd “in a wide ranging interview” with Times reporter Jim Rutenberg “called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership” should come as no surprise at all. Why?

As Rutenberg’s article makes clear, Dowd was once “a top strategist for the Texas Democrats” who was “impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington.” Says Dowd of Bush: “It’s almost like you fall in love, I was frustrated about Washington, the inability for people to get stuff done and bridge divides. And this guy’s personality — he cared about education and taking a different stand on immigration.” Now, the man who, as a Bush strategist in the 2004 Presidential campaign, criticized Democratic nominee Senator John Kerry for proposing “a weak defense” believes that “Kerry was right” about Iraq.

In other words, Matthew Dowd did not support George W. Bush because Dowd was himself a principled conservative. No, Dowd signed on to the Bush effort because, by his own admission, he “fell in love” with Bush’s personality. Whatever else all of this tempest in a teaspoon demonstrates, one major point is surely that when you support a candidate because you love the way he — or she — “cared” you are headed to an inevitable political disillusionment.

What is particularly striking in this incident is the way both Dowd and Times reporter Rutenberg present Dowd’s views as if they themselves are ideology-free. In fact, both subject and reporter reveal a fierce devotion to the liberal ideology that defines “getting along” and “bridging divides” as, well, being a liberal. Notice Dowd’s musings on how much the “only candidate to appeal to him” is Senator Barack Obama. By now the cat is out of the bag that Obama’s soothing rhetoric is being deliberately used to hide the most liberal Senate voting record of any candidate in the Democratic field. A candidate who gets a 100% thumbs up from liberal stalwarts Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, the National Organization for Women, and Americans for Democratic Action and a healthy 92% from the AFL-CIO may be many things, but someone seeking to bridge the philosophical divides in the country or the nation’s capital is not one of them.

Particularly troubling is the Times‘ — and Dowd’s — assertion that the President refused to meet with anti-Iraq war protestor Cindy Sheehan, when both certainly are aware Bush declined not a first but a second meeting with the woman who has plainly presented herself as a fierce anti-Semite with an admiration for fascists like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME a President under siege has been turned on by an aide who seems unable to understand the principles he signed on to represent. In the Reagan Administration the role of Matthew Dowd was played by Reagan’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, David Stockman. Presenting himself to both Reagan and all of Washington as a principled conservative supply-sider, it wasn’t long into Reagan’s first term before Stockman turned on the President, like Dowd his “faith” shaken by events. Also like Dowd, Stockman turned to a liberal reporter to express his grievances, professing shock when they hit the front pages.

In Stockman’s case his beef was Reaganomics. Finally leaving Reagan’s side in a fury, the young numbers wizard proceeded to write a book pronouncing the Reagan Revolution “radical, imprudent and arrogant,” ripping Reagan and Stockman’s former colleagues for defying “settled consensus.” Notice those words: “settled consensus.” They say nothing — zero — about principle. They are about the politics of getting along, no matter how far into the ditch the “settled consensus” and its practitioners have driven the country.

Stockman’s views on “consensus” reflect precisely Dowd’s views on Iraq. “If the American public says they’re done with something, our leaders have to understand what they want,” asserts Dowd to the Times. “They’re saying, ‘Get out of Iraq.'”

The Dowd/Stockman view that a president needs to settle for consensus instead of exerting presidential leadership is a view that, thankfully, America’s more thoughtful chief executives have ignored. Abraham Lincoln was elected with a bare 40% of the vote in 1860, which is to say almost 60% of the country voted against Lincoln’s views on ending slavery. Lincoln ignored the “consensus” and went on to save the Union and end slavery once and for all. There was certainly no “consensus” among the American business community and the GOP that FDR’s New Deal was the correct economic prescription to get the country out of the Great Depression. And certainly FDR held out no olive branches to help bridge the divide. Labeling his opponents “enemies” he thundered: “They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.” Presumably former Democrat Dowd holds FDR high on his pantheon of great presidents — a position Roosevelt did not achieve by seeking consensus.

The “consensus” of the early 1960s in the American South certainly was decidedly not to end segregation — but John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson went ahead and did it anyway, in spite of furious racial riots and repeated violent clashes that stated plainly their ideas about Civil Rights were wildly unpopular with huge numbers of the American public. And as any member of the Reagan Administration can testify, the “consensus” among Democrats that Ronald Reagan should abandon both his economic program and his decision to win the Cold War outright over the Soviet Union was overwhelming. Reagan, thankfully, paid the idea of “consensus” no heed whatsoever. In the end, it was Stockman and his Democratic friends who were proved wrong, and the pro-consensus zealots — liberals all — who lost the historical argument.

It is doubtless not lost on George W. Bush that his own father took the advice of the Matthew Dowds of the day and broke his “read my lips” tax pledge — and saw his 90% plus poll ratings dwindle to a solid electoral thrashing at the hands of Bill Clinton.

So what to make of Matthew Dowd? Well, not much. Doubtless he’s a nice guy. Surely his views are causing some angst amongst his former colleagues in the Bush crew.

They shouldn’t. Like David Stockman from Reagan days, Dowd’s central idea of government is based on principals, not principles — unless they are liberal principles.

He was never one of them to begin with.

Jeffrey Lord is the author of The Borking Rebellion. A former Reagan White House political director, he lives in Pennsylvania where he is the president and CEO of QubeTV, an online conservative video company.

Rolling back Bush’s tax cuts will pay for proposals, Obama says.

And there you have it, folks. A vote for Obama will equal less money in your pocket and socialized medicine for your children.

Rolling back Bush’s tax cuts will pay for proposals, Obama says – USATODAY.com

Onawa, IOWA — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama found a way Saturday to campaign face-to-face with a group of political activists in the leadoff caucus state, while at the same time connecting with a national audience.

Obama headlined a political meeting with about 80 western Iowa Democrats that focused on domestic policy issues. The event at the Onawa Public Library also was carried live on the Internet to thousands.

During an hour-long talk, Obama promoted eliminating some of the income tax cuts enacted under President Bush, but resisted characterizing them as a tax increase.

The Illinois senator said that as president, he would roll back income tax cuts for higher incomes to pay for his policy proposals.

However, Obama said health insurance could be provided to people without it, in part by converting medical record-keeping to an electronic rather than paper process.

Other cost-saving measures could provide money to expand health care access, he said during an earlier event Saturday in Council Bluffs. At no time did Obama say during the forum in front of an audience of more than 2,000 at Iowa Western Community College that he would propose raising taxes specifically to pay for increasing access to health care.

But Obama defended as a general principle the idea of reversing income tax cuts enacted during Bush’s first term.

“One of the things I think we are going to have to do is reverse some of those Bush tax cuts that went to the wealthiest Americans … and invest in infrastructure, invest in education, invest in health care for all,” he told the group in Onawa.

Is the left scared of Fred Thompson?

LMAO! Be afraid moonbats.  Be very afraid! 

Blogs for Thompson » Is the left scared of Fred Thompson?

According to ultra left wing blog, Daily KOS, they are.

[H]e’s popular with the Republican base and has proven electoral appeal with swing voters and independents… he’s very intelligent, a strong speaker and an excellent debater…Moreover, he would have several strengths against any of our top three candidates. He comes off to most as more likable than Hillary Clinton. Unlike McCain, Giuliani or Romney, he’ll certainly out-Southern John Edwards. And he’ll score well on the gravitas score against either Edwards or Obama (less so for the latter).

Let’s hope he doesn’t run, or that if he does, all the top money and operatives have already been snatched up and he gains no more traction than, say, Mike Huckabee.

Is Obama all style and little substance?

The vetting of Obama continues… 

Is Obama all style and little substance?

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer 3 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – The voices , , ) all style and little substance?

He has focused instead on motivating his impressive following with a call for unity and change in Washington. But along with the attention comes a hunger to hear more about what he‘s about.

Obama has a lot of time to fill in the blanks between now and Election Day, and certainly many other candidates are short on details this early in the race. But they don‘t have such a barrier to prove they are qualified to be president.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards , the only other candidate to serve less time in elective office than Obama, described in detail his health care plan to provide insurance for all Americans. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton doesn‘t have a written plan yet, but no one questions her expertise, since she was the chief proponent of the issue during her husband‘s presidency.

“I believe that he needed to know a little more about health care issues and he was just unprepared,” Romo said.

David Peter, a child support case worker and member of the SEIU in Las Vegas who was also in the audience, said Obama may have been better off not participating in the forum. Peter is a local organizer for anti-war candidate Dennis Kucinich , but said he was impressed with Clinton‘s health care plan and disappointed in Obama.

Obama was pressed by a union member in the audience who said she went to his Web site to learn more about his health care vision, but didn‘t find much beyond his commitment to reduce HIV / AIDS and lead poisoning.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the discussion will begin April 3, when Obama plans to talk to New Hampshire hospital workers and other community members at a meeting co-sponsored by the Portsmouth Herald.

If Obama were running in a different time, he might get more of a break for lacking specifics. Primary votes were already being cast in the 1984 Democratic primary when Walter Mondale famously ridiculed opponent Gary Hart by asking, “Where‘s the beef?” Four years ago, no candidate for president had a health care plan this early in the game.

Obama has offered a plan to get troops out of Iraq , beginning with a drawdown in May that would extended through a March 2008 goal of redeploying all combat troops. The plan is unlikely to become reality with Bush in office, but is what Obama says he would do if he were in the Oval Office today.

Obama also has laid out broad goals such as covering the uninsured by the time his first term is over. He has downplayed the importance of the specifics at this stage, saying that it‘s not a lack of details that are the problem.

“Every four years somebody trots out a white paper, they post it on the Web,” Obama said Saturday. “But the question we have to challenge ourselves is do we have the political will and the sense of urgency to actually get it done.”

___

Associated Press Writer Nedra Pickler covers the Democratic presidential race for The Associated Press. Associated Press writer Ryan Nakashima in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

Obama’s Pastor Speaks Out « Skeptical Brotha

Well Damn!! The Times is running low on friends. Big surprise.

Obama’s Pastor Speaks Out « Skeptical Brotha

March 11, 2007
Jodi Kantor
The New York Times
9 West 43rd Street
New York,
New York 10036-3959

Dear Jodi:

Thank you for engaging in one of the biggest misrepresentations of the truth I have ever seen in sixty-five years. You sat and shared with me for two hours. You told me you were doing a “Spiritual Biography” of Senator Barack Obama. For two hours, I shared with you how I thought he was the most principled individual in public service that I have ever met.

For two hours, I talked with you about how idealistic he was. For two hours I shared with you what a genuine human being he was. I told you how incredible he was as a man who was an African American in public service, and as a man who refused to announce his candidacy for President until Carol Moseley Braun indicated one way or the other whether or not she was going to run.

I told you what a dreamer he was. I told you how idealistic he was. We talked about how refreshing it would be for someone who knew about Islam to be in the Oval Office. Your own question to me was, Didn’t I think it would be incredible to have somebody in the Oval Office who not only knew about Muslims, but had living and breathing Muslims in his own family? I told you how important it would be to have a man who not only knew the difference between Shiites and Sunnis prior to 9/11/01 in the Oval Office, but also how important it would be to have a man who knew what Sufism was; a man who understood that there were different branches of Judaism; a man who knew the difference between Hasidic Jews, Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews and Reformed Jews; and a man who was a devout Christian, but who did not prejudge others because they believed something other than what he believed.

I talked about how rare it was to meet a man whose Christianity was not just “in word only.” I talked about Barack being a person who lived his faith and did not argue his faith. I talked about Barack as a person who did not draw doctrinal lines in the sand nor consign other people to hell if they did not believe what he believed.

Out of a two-hour conversation with you about Barack’s spiritual journey and my protesting to you that I had not shaped him nor formed him, that I had not mentored him or made him the man he was, even though I would love to take that credit, you did not print any of that. When I told you, using one of your own Jewish stories from the Hebrew Bible as to how God asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?,” that Barack was like that when I met him. Barack had it “in his hand.” Barack had in his grasp a uniqueness in terms of his spiritual development that one is hard put to find in the 21st century, and you did not print that.

As I was just starting to say a moment ago, Jodi, out of two hours of conversation I spent approximately five to seven minutes on Barack’s taking advice from one of his trusted campaign people and deeming it unwise to make me the media spotlight on the day of his announcing his candidacy for the Presidency and what do you print? You and your editor proceeded to present to the general public a snippet, a printed “sound byte” and a titillating and tantalizing article about his disinviting me to the Invocation on the day of his announcing his candidacy.

I have never been exposed to that kind of duplicitous behavior before, and I want to write you publicly to let you know that I do not approve of it and will not be party to any further smearing of the name, the reputation, the integrity or the character of perhaps this nation’s first (and maybe even only) honest candidate offering himself for public service as the person to occupy the Oval Office.

Your editor is a sensationalist. For you to even mention that makes me doubt your credibility, and I am looking forward to see how you are going to butcher what else I had to say concerning Senator Obama’s “Spiritual Biography.” Our Conference Minister, the Reverend Jane Fisler Hoffman, a white woman who belongs to a Black church that Hannity of “Hannity and Colmes” is trying to trash, set the record straight for you in terms of who I am and in terms of who we are as the church to which Barack has belonged for over twenty years.

The president of our denomination, the Reverend John Thomas, has offered to try to help you clarify in your confused head what Trinity Church is even though you spent the entire weekend with us setting me up to interview me for what turned out to be a smear of the Senator; and yet The New York Times continues to roll on making the truth what it wants to be the truth. I do not remember reading in your article that Barack had apologized for listening to that bad information and bad advice. Did I miss it? Or did your editor cut it out? Either way, you do not have to worry about hearing anything else from me for you to edit or “spin” because you are more interested in journalism than in truth.

Forgive me for having a momentary lapse. I forgot that The New York Times was leading the bandwagon in trumpeting why it is we should have gone into an illegal war. The New York Times became George Bush and the Republican Party’s national “blog.” The New York Times played a role in the outing of Valerie Plame. I do not know why I thought The New York Times had actually repented and was going to exhibit a different kind of behavior.

Maybe it was my faith in the Jewish Holy Day of Roshashana. Maybe it was my being caught up in the euphoria of the Season of Lent; but whatever it is or was, I was sadly mistaken. There is no repentance on the part of The New York Times. There is no integrity when it comes to The Times. You should do well with that paper, Jodi. You looked me straight in my face and told me a lie!

Sincerely and respectfully yours,
Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. ,
Senior Pastor
Trinity United Church of Christ

Political video smackdown / ‘Hillary 1984’: Obama converts Apple ’84 spot into howl against Clinton

I’d give the magic negro some props, but apparently this ad wasn’t from his campaign. Either way, that’s some good shit right there.

Political video smackdown / ‘Hillary 1984’: Unauthorized Internet ad for Obama converts Apple Computer’s ’84 Super Bowl spot into a generational howl against Clinton’s presidential bid

It may be the most stunning and creative attack ad yet for a 2008 presidential candidate — one experts say could represent a watershed moment in 21st century media and political advertising.

Yet the groundbreaking 74-second pitch for Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, which remixes the classic “1984” ad that introduced Apple computers to the world, is not on cable or network TV, but on the Internet.

(To see the video, go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo)

And Obama’s campaign says it had absolutely nothing to do with the video that attacks one of his principal Democratic rivals, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Indeed, the ad’s creator is a mystery, at least for now.

Barack Obama, the ‘Magic Negro’.- LA Times

The Illinois senator lends himself to white America’s idealized, less-than-real black man.

By David Ehrenstein, L.A.-based DAVID EHRENSTEIN writes about Hollywood and politics.
March 19, 2007

AS EVERY CARBON-BASED life form on this planet surely knows, Barack Obama, the junior Democratic senator from Illinois, is running for president. Since making his announcement, there has been no end of commentary about him in all quarters — musing over his charisma and the prospect he offers of being the first African American to be elected to the White House.

But it’s clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the “Magic Negro.”

The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by snarky 20th century sociologists, to explain a cultural figure who emerged in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. “He has no past, he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist,” reads the description on Wikipedia http://en.-wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Negro .

He’s there to assuage white “guilt” (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest.

As might be expected, this figure is chiefly cinematic — embodied by such noted performers as Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Scatman Crothers, Michael Clarke Duncan, Will Smith and, most recently, Don Cheadle. And that’s not to mention a certain basketball player whose very nickname is “Magic.”

Poitier really poured on the “magic” in “Lilies of the Field” (for which he won a best actor Oscar) and “To Sir, With Love” (which, along with “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” made him a No. 1 box-office attraction). In these films, Poitier triumphs through yeoman service to his white benefactors. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is particularly striking in this regard, as it posits miscegenation without evoking sex. (Talk about magic!)

The same can’t quite be said of Freeman in “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Seven” and the seemingly endless series of films in which he plays ersatz paterfamilias to a white woman bedeviled by a serial killer. But at least he survives, unlike Crothers in “The Shining,” in which psychic premonitions inspire him to rescue a white family he barely knows and get killed for his trouble. This heart-tug trope is parodied in Gus Van Sant’s “Elephant.” The film’s sole black student at a Columbine-like high school arrives in the midst of a slaughter, helps a girl escape and is immediately gunned down. See what helping the white man gets you?

And what does the white man get out of the bargain? That’s a question asked by John Guare in “Six Degrees of Separation,” his brilliant retelling of the true saga of David Hampton — a young, personable gay con man who in the 1980s passed himself off as the son of none other than the real Sidney Poitier. Though he started small, using the ruse to get into Studio 54, Hampton discovered that countless gullible, well-heeled New Yorkers, vulnerable to the Magic Negro myth, were only too eager to believe in his baroque fantasy. (One of the few who wasn’t fooled was Andy Warhol, who was astonished his underlings believed Hampton’s whoppers. Clearly Warhol had no need for the accouterment of interracial “goodwill.”)

But the same can’t be said of most white Americans, whose desire for a noble, healing Negro hasn’t faded. That’s where Obama comes in: as Poitier’s “real” fake son.

The senator’s famously stem-winding stump speeches have been drawing huge crowds to hear him talk of uniting rather than dividing. A praiseworthy goal. Consequently, even the mild criticisms thrown his way have been waved away, “magically.” He used to smoke, but now he doesn’t; he racked up a bunch of delinquent parking tickets, but he paid them all back with an apology. And hey, is looking good in a bathing suit a bad thing?

The only mud that momentarily stuck was criticism (white and black alike) concerning Obama’s alleged “inauthenticty,” as compared to such sterling examples of “genuine” blackness as Al Sharpton and Snoop Dogg. Speaking as an African American whose last name has led to his racial “credentials” being challenged — often several times a day — I know how pesky this sort of thing can be.

Obama’s fame right now has little to do with his political record or what he’s written in his two (count ’em) books, or even what he’s actually said in those stem-winders. It’s the way he’s said it that counts the most. It’s his manner, which, as presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden ham-fistedly reminded us, is “articulate.” His tone is always genial, his voice warm and unthreatening, and he hasn’t called his opponents names (despite being baited by the media).

Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn’t project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.