Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Messianics vs. Menopausals, or Kos Related to Islamic Rage Boy!

I'm sure glad John McCain wrapped the GOP nomination, back in, ... geez, it's been so long I've lost track!

Thanks goodness for CNN! They do
keep up with this stuff!

I'm sure the Democrats wish they could lose track of their nomination battle, that's for sure. They'll be wishing even harder if we're privileged to see more articles like James Wolcott's at Vanity Fair on
the viscious Clinton-Obama partisan schism.

Wolcott describes the battle between the left-wing factions as pitting "the messianics versus the menopausals":

The Obama-ites exuded the confidence of those who feel that they embody the future and are the seed bearers of energies and new modalities too long smothered under the thick haunches of the tired, old, entrenched way of doing things. The Hillarions felt a different imperative knocking at the gate of history, the long-overdue prospect of the first woman taking the presidential oath of office. For them, Hillary’s time had come, she had paid her dues, she had been thoroughly vetted, she had survived hairdos that would have sunk lesser mortals, and she didn’t let a little thing like being loathed by nearly half of the country bum her out and clog her transmission. Not since Nixon had there been such a show of grinding perseverance in the teeth of adversity, and Nixon in a pantsuit was never going to be an easy sell contrasted with the powerful embroidery of Obama’s eloquence—his very emergence on the political scene seemed like a feat of levitation. Hillary’s candidacy promised to make things better; Obama’s to make us better: outward improvement versus inward transformation. With Hillary, you would earn your merit badges; with Obama, your wings. Hillary’s candidacy was warmed-over meat loaf—comfort food for those too old or fearful to Dream.
Wolcott's description's riotous, but the photo of Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos is the best:

Kos Rage

With all the talk about distant family relations this election (isn't Obama related to Dick Cheney?), I'm going out on a limb here to suggest that Kos is related to Shakeel Ahmad Bhat, aka Islamic Rage Boy (more on Shakeel here):


Look at the resemblance: The dark, penenetrating eyes, the torqued eyebrows, the angular noses and flaring nostrils, and not to mention the salad bowl haircuts!

Moulitsas has a Greek background on his father's side, and the Islamic Rage Boy hails from the Kashmiri northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent.

Perhaps going back to the days of the great European spice traders there was left the intermingling of cultures, a trace of mixed family lineages that's now come full circle in mutual outrage at the Bush administration's neo-imperialist policies in the Middle East!


Kos'll throw Hillary under the bus if Obama's elected, and Shakeel might get an appointment to the U.N. as a roving Islamic ambassador (he's got a lot of sightings already).

Geez, Kos will be swinging over to Turtle Bay to hang out with his long-lost relation. Talk about the ultimate left-wing meet up for the world's most afflicted BDS sufferers!

Money, Quality, and Healthcare

Money Chart

How do you like this four-by-four decision matrix on money and self-interest?

It's from Maggie's Farm, "
How Enlightened Self-Interest Works," and it reminds me of when I was in grad school studying game-theoretic models of cooperation under anarchy.

More immediately, the matrix - especially the payoff in the upper-left quadrant - reminds me of the healthcare debate we've been having. Talk about universal healthcare's been suppressed a bit with
the Wright controversy throwing the Democratic campaign off the rails a bit, but it's starting to come back.

John McCain's making a big push in his healthcare reform proposals this week, focusing on choice, competition, affordability, and availability.

The Wall Street Journal reflects favorably on McCain's movement toward more rationality in our national healthcare delivery:

Mr. McCain undertook yesterday to recast this looming argument [over healthcare] in a new mold. He contended that the health insurance and delivery system is in fact failing many Americans – but that it was failing because of market distortions mostly created by the government itself. Fixing these irrationalities would both make insurance more affordable and increase overall coverage in the bargain. Nor would it require the vast new entitlement programs Democrats are eyeing.

His major proposal would change the tax treatment of insurance. To review: Today's tax code permits businesses to deduct the cost of providing insurance to their employees, but it doesn't do the same for individuals. This creates third-party payment problems; workers aren't aware of the full, true costs of many treatment decisions, part of the reason the U.S. has double-digit health-care inflation. And it makes insurance less affordable for everyone outside the employer-based system, who must pay with after-tax dollars besides. Mr. McCain would correct this imbalance with a refundable tax credit, restoring the parity of health dollars.

As the Senator argued, coverage shouldn't be "limited by where you work" and said that "Americans need new choices beyond those offered in employment-based coverage." Focusing on equity is a canny political argument. For those who don't get insurance through their employers, the current system is patently unfair. As the private market for health insurance became revitalized, everyone else would be more liberated from their bosses' system. A significant portion of the uninsured population at any given point is people who left or lost employment; but portable individual policies would follow them from job to job.

That's a broader political and economic argument than the exclusive liberal concentration on the uninsured. Mr. McCain is saying that the health-care system isn't working as it should, or delivering the quality it should, for the large majority of Americans. "The real reform," he noted, "is to restore control over our health-care system to the patients themselves," introducing more competition on price into the system.

But remember the matrix above: How can we maintain quality and value? Well, McCain argues that more of the decisions over healthcare should be in the hands of consumers, not employment bureaucracies, which make obtaining insurance more expensive for those who are not insured through a workplace plan.

Here's McCain explaining it himself:

The thing to watch, though, are the attacks on greater rationality in healthcare delivery from far-left universal health advocates.

Ezra Klein's got a new piece up, for example, slamming the Arizona Senator for pushing some seemingly diabolical health plan surrepticiously designed to strip Americans of their coverage:

McCain believes that Americans use too much health care, and he has created a plan that will make care less affordable so millions of Americans will use less. He even has a euphemistic description for this approach: "The key to real reform," he says, "is to restore control over our health-care system to the patients themselves … These accounts put the family in charge of what they pay for."

That's not what McCain believes at all. He's absolutely right that costs are out of control, but he's not throwing those without coverage under the bus. McCain realizes there's a role for government to correct for market failures, as the Journal notes:

It's true that individual subsidies might be required for some people with severe chronic illnesses who might have a harder time finding private insurance in this kind of world. So Mr. McCain sharpened his proposal for high-risk pools to cover "uninsurables," building on current insurance experiments in about two dozen states.

See McCain's health proposal itself for more information, since we certainly won't get a straight analysis from hysterical lefties like Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake:

Talk about your Double-Talk Express. As scarecrow said, John McCain unveiled his "health care plan" for the masses. Well...the health care plan for masses o' profits for the insurance industry, anyway.

I was on a conference call yesterday with Roger Hickey, co-director at Campaign for America’s Future; Jacob Hacker, author of "The Great Risk Shift" and professor at Yale University; and Karen Ackerman, political director for AFL-CIO. Roger sums the McCain plan up here:

He wants voters to think he is going after health care cost inflation. In reality, he wants to dismantle the employer-provided system that now covers over 60 percent (or about 158 million) of non-elderly Americans....And he would drive health care costs upward, not downward.

This is truly amazing: McCain and his handlers...turned to their friends (and financial supporters) in the health care industry and the conservative think tanks. And they have adopted the most extreme right-wing ideological approach, premised on the idea that the big problem in health care is that Americans have too much insurance – in their words, we don’t have enough “skin in the game” – and that only when we have to buy health care with money that comes directly out of our own pockets will consumers force doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to become more efficient.

Notice the attacks on "the most extreme right-wing," which is to be expected from the folks at FDL, who are itching to move the country further to the left than we've ever been in history, in health care, as well as on foreign, economic, and social policy.

Hardin Smith links to this broader ad attacking McCain from Progressive Media:

Check out this ad from the Service Employees International, smearing McCain's health proposals:

We're not in a recession, by the way, as the Associated Press reports, "Economy Grows by Only 0.6 Percent in First Quarter."

While this is a skimpy statistic on economic expansion, the economy did grow last quarter, although watch out for the attacks on a "GOP recession" in the weeks and months ahead.

But back to the healthcare issue.

Recall the Maggie's Farm matrix, and especially the payoff for the lower-right corner:

No focus. Quality, results and money do not matter.

Leads to inefficient markets, poor quality and service, & corruption.

So, take a look at that matrix one more time: Your money versus other people's money, right?

McCain wants to shift the healthcare system to greater choice, affordability, and access.

The critics on the left want to move to a single-payer nationalized system of healthcare, like, say, in Britain or Canada, where patients wait months to receive basic health services and treatment, with some even dying in the meanwhile.

Lightening Up by Gently Weeping

UPDATE: Please check this video, as George Harrison's has been taken down:


I've thought about Michael's suggestion that I "lighten up" a little in my blogging.

Regular readers of American Power know that I've got a love for laughs, and I routinely deploy both light-hearted humor and bitter sarcasm in my posting.

Still, the point's well taken, and I thought a good way to break away from my work of rebutting the nihilist left is to periodically offer musical videos and related personal histories (as other
blogging buddies have recommended).

Yet, you might find it counterintuitive that I'm beginning a series on "Lightening Up" with a George Harrison song that's deeply serious, "
While My Guitar Gently Weeps," but that's me - I often find release in the profound of sound:

The video's from the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. Here are the lyrics, in part:

I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it need sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know why nobody told you
how to unfold you love
I don't know how someone controlled you
they bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it's turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps....
I remember when Harrison passed away in 2001, one of the obituaries I read - I can't remember which one, probably in the Los Angeles Times - noted that as great as Harrison was, his achievements might have been overshadowed or underappreciated because he was surrounded by the towering musical achievements of his other bandmates in The Beatles.

That thought's always in my mind when I hear Harrison on the radio, because some of his songs are the deepest of the era.

Music, you see, for me - and no doubt many others - is more than about grooving, laughing, and listening, it's a way for me to go back in time when I was younger and indeed more carefree.

I've only told a couple of my blog buds that I have a hearing impairment, a result of a catastrophic skull fracture I sustained when I was twenty one. The temporal bones in my skull crushed the auditory nerves on both sides of my face, and for some time I couldn't hear.

I prayed, and I cursed - and I cried.

But some hearing returned to me, thank God. It's a miracle really, but I think that when something likes this happens, it's a life altering experience: One learns to never underappreciated God's gifts, of familiy, friends, health, opportunity, and, well, everyday joy - "With every mistake we must surely be learning."

One of my biggest joys when I was young was music. I was an active competitive skateboarder (
here's my former friend and idol, Steve Olson), and I was into the Hollywood music scene for some time.

Music's always a way for me to cut loose, and be grateful.

In any case, I'll have more recollections later, but at least you can see how, actually, reminiscing about my old times in music, skateboarding, or reflections on The Beatles allows me to lighten up a bit. It allows me as well to share why it is that I'm a serious person when it comes cherishing our freedoms, and defending them as best I can, through my blogging and teaching, from the revolutionary forces who would indeed take away much of what we have.

Remind me, dear readers, to share my miscellaneous thoughts from time to time, will you?

That will be a good thing, a light thing.

Fact-Checking DNC Attacks on McCain

We already know that the Democrats will exploit for political gain violent images of American troops facing grave danger in Iraq.

It turns out now that the DNC's also hammering John McCain on the economy, for example, in this

Well's got a post up analyzing the veracity of the DNC ads, and here's the take on the "Are Americans Better Off..." spot:

Untrue Claims

The DNC's first national ad was released April 21 and tweaks McCain for his positive assessment of President Bush's economic record during a January debate on CNN. While McCain talks of "a pretty good, prosperous time" over the past eight years and says, "I think we are better off overall," the ad flashes images of a foreclosure sign, a closed factory, a gasoline pump with a $4.01 price per gallon and a series of gloomy economic statistics.The announcer poses a perfectly fair question at the end: "Do you feel better off?" Individual voters may answer that question differently based on their own circumstances, regardless of the numbers. Nevertheless, two of the DNC's factual claims are untrue.

Not Enough Jobs

While McCain says "a lot of jobs have been created," the ad shows a graphic that states, "1.8 million jobs lost." McCain is correct and the ad is wrong. Total nonfarm employment was nearly 5.4 million higher last month than it was when President Bush took office in January 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the standard measure of jobs, and it means 5.4 million have been created.The DNC defends its claim of "jobs lost" by pointing to the total number of persons who were without jobs in March. That figure is 1.8 million higher than it was when Bush was sworn in. But it doesn't mean that many jobs were lost, it means that the job gain didn't keep pace with the number of persons who are seeking work. The ad would have been correct to say that there are "1.8 million more unemployed." That stark statistic doesn't contradict McCain's statement that lots of jobs were created, however. It means not enough were created to satisfy the need.

Fuelish Math

The ad claims gasoline prices are "up 200 percent," which isn't correct. The increase is actually 139 percent.The price of regular gasoline at the pump has gone from $1.47 per gallon the week Bush was sworn in to $3.51 the week the ad appeared, according to the Energy Information Administration. That's an increase of $2.04 per gallon, which is 139 percent of the starting price.The DNC picked the week ending Dec. 3, 2001, as its starting point – long after Bush took office. By that time the price of regular had dipped to $1.11 as Americans curtailed travel in the weeks following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Using that figure does produce a 200 percent increase, but that's not the change that has occurred since Bush was sworn in.
Note that some of the other DNC statistics do check out, but what's so interesting about the analysis is that McCain's accurate in his market assessments, and economics is suppossed to be his Achilles' heel.

This is turning out to be a tough economic year, but the Democrats are going to have a hard time pinning economic difficulties on McCain.

The Federal Reserve - which is politically independent of the White House - should get most of the flak for the housing crisis.

Other areas of government mismanagement - like the Katrina response - reflect inefficiencies at all levels of bureaucratic organization, especially the Democratic-controlled state and local governments in Louisiana (recall the management disasters of Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin in 2005).

The Democrats are desperate, which is somewhat surprising, as this year's electorate is manifestly ready for change - which, ironically, may benefit McCain and
his maverick political style.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

1-2-3 Meme: Tagging the Party of Defeat

Well, this is the second time I've been hit with the 1-2-3 meme, so I should at least make a reasonable effort to be a mensch.

123 Meme says:

* Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
* Open the book to page 123.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the next three sentences.
* Tag five people.
Like the Dragon Lady, I normally don't do memes.

But I thought, well, this being the second time I've been tagged with this particular version, okay, maybe I'll play.

I had David Horowitz and Ben Johnson's Party of Defeat in front of me as I checked
my Sitemeter this morning, when I found I'd been tagged:

Party of Defeat

Now, I turned to page 123, but the fifth sentence doesn't make much sense out of context, so I'm revising the rules a little to quote the full passage from pages 122-124, on the Democrats, Cindy Sheehan, and the left's manipulations of popular concerns for the troops, who're bearing the burden of our fight in Iraq:

Another opportunity to manipulate the heartstrings of American compassion presented itself in the person of Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan's son Casey had been killed in Iraq, and she had decided to hold a 'peace" vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The Left, aided by a compliant media, instantly deified her and made her an icon of the hopes for peace and for shaking off the unbearable burden of war. The New York Time's Maureen Dowd wrote that as a grieving mother, Sheehan possessed "absolute" moral authority. Code Pink leader Medea Benjamin became her handler. The Daily Kos website said activists should always refer to her as "Mother Sheehan." Forty congressmen signed a letter encouraging the president to meet her.

Responding to these pressures, Bush dispatched National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Joe Hagin to speak with Sheehan for forty-five minutes, to no avail. Former Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi joined California Democratic Party fundraiser and Code Pink organizer Jodie Evans to produce a webcast from Crawford featuring a call from Illiois Democratic congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who called in to express her solidarity with Sheehan.

Then, as with [Joseph] Wilson, [Valerie] Plame, and [Karen] Kwiatkowski, Mother Sheehan's true colors began to show. A year prior to her political coming out, she had met with Bush and chosen not to raise any political issues. In fact, she had glowing words to say about the president and their meeting at the time. But now, under the influence of Medea Benjamin and her comrades, Sheehan began accusing the president of murdering her son Casey. In fact, Casey had volunteered not for one but for two tours of duty, the second after the Iraq war was already in progress. He also had volunteered for the mission in which he was killed, against the advice of his sergeant. The mission was to rescue his comrades who were under attack. Instead of honoring her son's courage and paying tribute to him as a hero despite their political differences, Mother Sheehan chose to exploit and abuse his memory, falsely presenting him as an unwitting pawn in the president's evil scheme to colonize Iraq.

Sheehan soon was referring to the terrorists as "freedom fighters," saying that "America has been kililng people on this continent ... since it was started," and sounding just like the leftist Medea Benjamin had trained. "This country is not worth dying for," Mother Sheehan declared, calling the president a "lying bastard" and "the biggest terrorist in the world." According to Sheehan, who picked up the latest conspiracy theory from the political circles around Benjamin, "9-11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neocon agenda through." Her son Casey, she wrote, echoing the Left's anti-Semitic prejudices, "was killed for lies and for a ... Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel." When the comment drew a critical blast, she attempted to lie about writing it.

Even after Sheehan had exposed herself, Democrat Lynn Woolsey provided her with the rare privilege of being a guest of Congress at the 2006 State of the Union address. Teh House gallery is not large, and member of Congress is provided with exactly two tickets to the event, with the second ticket usually going to the spouse. Woolsey gave her spare ticket to Sheehan, who used it to stage a one-woman protest against the president, and was arrested by Capitol police. When asked why she had facilitated Sheehan's protest, Woolsey claimed she "didn't see [the invitation] as a political statement at all."
Now, Michael, an American oleh in Central Galil, Israel, tagged me in his post with the added message, "Don, great blog, but lighten up!"

Hmm, lighten up, eh?

Nah, not when I've got work to do combatting the
lefty hordes who're dissected in Party of Defeat.

I'm not tagging anyone beyond this, but I think JSF over at
Valley of the Shadows has previously included me in a meme post of his, so I'll ask readers to go over there and give him a nice hello.

The other two original tag posts are:

Oleh's Musings, "
The Really Good Meme, Redux," and Swedish Meatballs Confidential, "Touched Becometh Toucher."

Obama, Wright ... Everbody Under the Bus!

Barack Obama's thrown his "spiritual advisor" under the bus," which was a response to his "spirtual advisor" throwing him under the bus yesterday!

Betsy Newmark on today's developments, which saw Obama casting off his former paster quicker than lint on the lapels:

Barack Obama finally had his Sister Souljah moment to reject Jeremiah Wright and say that the rants that Wright gave yesterday do not represent the Wright he knew. Coincidentally, he just happened to come to that conclusion after Wright had taken a PR offensive that had put him back in the spotlight and started to do even more damage to the Obama campaign. I don't know how many people will buy all of Obama's outrage at this point. If he had had any doubts, he could have sat down and watched the DVD of Wright sermons sold in his own church. You know, just in case he'd never seen that side of Wright.

When this story started breaking weeks ago, there were places you could see those sermons or read transcripts of them. Even if Obama hadn't sat through the whole DVD, didn't he have anyone doing damage control in his campaign to see what the whole context was of those sermons and that, contrary to how Obama tried to portray them in his Philadelphia speech, these weren't snippets taken out of context but actually the entire point of those sermons.

I just find it hard to believe that Jeremiah Wright, in his late sixties, suddenly had a total personality change and start spewing forth these beliefs that he'd never before mentioned in Obama's hearing. If people don't believe Obama's claim that everything he heard yesterday was newly minted Wright (when we can all compare to the tapes of his past sermons) what does that do to Obama's self-portrayal of being a different kind of politician. If he seems dishonest on this question, it dents his whole shining armor.

And you notice how the thing that really seemed to have
ticked Obama off was Wright saying that Obama was just being a typical politician.

Yesterday Wright threw Obama under the bus. Today Obama is tossing Wright under a tractor-trailer. How soon before reporters find Wright and get his reaction?

And what does this do for Obama's argument that he doesn't need no stinkin' experience since he has such great judgment?
It's like Jonah Goldberg said this morning: Ya'll going to "need a bigger bus"!

See also, Vaughn Ververs,"
Obama's Risky Denunciation Of Rev. Wright."

Clinton's New Math (Looks Good for the GOP)

Charlie Cook argues that there's no way Hillary Clinton's going to sway the Democratic superdelegates over to her column, but what's great about his analysis is the discussion of Barack Obama's growing weaknesses (the "bloom is off the rose"):

Despite the recent show of strength by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., the odds against her winning the Democratic presidential nomination are as imposing as ever — and probably worse.

There was a time when one of the stronger arguments in favor of nominating Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was that he was more electable than Clinton.

The thinking at the time was that Clinton was so polarizing, she could get close to winning a general election but would have difficulty getting over the top.

Now, about the only plausible argument that Obama is more electable is to claim that Clinton’s backers would probably get over an Obama nomination better and sooner than vice versa.

Indeed, while Obama might lose some states by narrower margins than Clinton, his weakness among downscale and older white voters raises questions about whether he would be as competitive as Clinton in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, or, for that matter, run as strongly as Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., did in 2004.

But the delegate math is the delegate math, and there is little if any good news there for Clinton.

Almost half of the delegate advantage she netted against Obama in Pennsylvania was offset by losses of superdelegates the same week. Colby College political scientist and delegate selection expert Anthony Corrado estimates that Clinton would need to win about 69 percent of the remaining delegates, a virtual impossibility given proportional representation of the nominating contests.

In recent months, Clinton has been losing up to three superdelegates for every one she has picked up.

One superdelegate in a Southern state, clearly a Clinton sympathizer, said it would be political suicide for him to oppose Obama, pointing out that the black community would be furious. The best support he could offer Clinton would be to remain neutral until it’s over.

One of the most salient arguments made these days by superdelegates is the fear of what would happen to the party if Obama were to be spurned.

Even if they wanted to nominate Clinton, the fear of damage to the party is sufficient to argue against it. Between the newbies — the young and new voters who are so enthusiastic for Obama — and the black community — who ironically were somewhat late to join the Obama bandwagon after his Iowa win — the fallout from a spurning of Obama would be profound.

What has happened is that a bit of the bloom is off the rose for Obama’s candidacy.

His trajectory has flattened a good bit and while no one doubts his mortality, he has lost a good bit of the iconic appeal that he showed early this year.

Maybe he wins a general election, maybe he doesn’t, but it is clear there are liabilities along with assets to the idea of his nomination.

As well as he has bonded with “Starbucks” Democrats, he has not done so well with white, “Lunch Bucket” Democrats. Obama’s appeal is a bit too exotic for their tastes.

And as much as the Republican brand has been damaged over the last eight years and as much as many voters have misgivings about Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain’s uncompromising support for the war, he is perceived as distinct enough from his tarnished party.

Plus, his record as a Vietnam veteran and history as a prisoner of war seems to give him a benefit of the doubt that offers him a much better chance of victory than his party has of, at a minimum, breaking even in the House and Senate races this fall.

The irony of this year’s political situation is that — despite the difficulty a party has in holding the White House for three consecutive terms — the Republicans still have a much better shot than that of scoring so much as a net gain of one seat in the House or Senate.

The Republican brand is weighing down the party’s congressional candidates, but McCain seems to be hurt so much less because of the independence that has rubbed his Republican congressional colleagues so raw over the last couple of decades.
McCain's independence was used against him by conservative activsits in the primary, so there's irony there that the Arizona Senator's maverick impulses might keep conservative power in Washington for another term.

The jury's still out on Hillary and the superdelegates, however.

If Obama comes up short in upcoming primaries, particularly in the popular voting, Clinton will stay in the race arguing she's won the popular vote and that she's more competitive in the general election.

Cook's analysis here, in that respect, bolsters her case, ironically.

Exploitation of Troop Danger Drives Antiwar DNC Advertisement

U.S. Soldiers Survive

I wrote earlier on the Democratic National Committee's recent campaign spot attempting to smear John McCain for some alleged commitment to an "endless war" in Iraq (see here).

It turns out there's some controversy over the origins of the footage.

How'd the DNC get ahold of video showing U.S. soldiers being bombed by an IED in Iraq? Newsmax offers this:

The DNC ad ... shows an explosive device detonating near two soldiers standing beside a palm tree. The two soldiers disappear in an explosive fireball. The video also shows images of burning vehicles....

The footage appears similar to film taken by jihadists who videotape IED explosions that kill American combat troops. The jihadists place the video on the internet to tout their "kill Americans" campaign success. The Army estimates that more than 6,500 jihadist Web sites promote violence against America and American troops.

Many U.S. media outlets have refused to air excerpts from such videos for several reasons - including out of respect of the servicemen and women depicted in the videos.

The DNC apparently does not agree. Calls to the DNC for comment and for information about the footage went unreturned.

Confederate Yankee raises an interesting observation on the Democratic Party thinking that goes into this style of political advocacy:

The soldiers are on screen for just a split-second, just long enough for viewers to see that there was an explosion, but not long enough to know if the soldiers pictured survived uninjured, if they were wounded, or if they were killed [Both soldiers survived].

More than 3 full decades after the last U.S. soldier left Saigon, the party of Bill Ayers still revels in the imagery of blowing up U.S. soldiers as part of their political expression.

I thought about this as well, when I first saw the spot.

Americans are dying for democratic consolidation in Iraq, and the DNC's all too eager to profit politically from violent images of U.S. service personnel in grave danger.

Allahpundit indicates the kind of outrage we'd be seeing if the advertising shoe was on the other foot:

If McCain [ran a spot of this sort] and inserted images of 9/11 jumpers in one of his ads, Arianna Huffington would need smelling salts and Olbermann would have to allot an extra hour for “Countdown” to accommodate his rage. Meanwhile, the DNC could show a Marine getting his head blown off and Chris Matthews would ask the Hardball panel, “Doesn’t America need to see this?”

See also, Gateway Pundit, "OUTRAGE!! DNC Supports Our "Blown Up" American Troops!"

The Return of Pre-Reagan Tax Rates?

Recall, from yesterday's post, "Dems Favor Economic Redistribution by 2 to 1 Over Republicans," that public opinion trends show support for a radical shift in tax policy under a Democratic administration.

I return to this topic after reading Sean Wilentz's piece from the New Republic, "
Sunset in America," which argues for the final collapse of the conservative political coalition of President Ronald Reagan.

Wilentz offers a great introduction to Reagan-era political dominance from 1980-2008, but what's striking is Wilentz's endorsement of a return to pre-Reagan tax rates on income:

His two major tax cuts, in 1981 and 1986, redistributed wealth upward to the already wealthy and sent deficits soaring. He ultimately secured his chief objective, which was to skew the progressive tax system. It is almost impossible to imagine the top marginal rate on personal income ever climbing back up to 70 percent (the figure when Reagan was elected). That change alone has dramatically curtailed the possibilities for liberal government.
Note two things here: (1) Wilentz's language of "redistributed wealth" draws classically from the far-left economic playbook, i.e., calls for "fairness" and "soak the rich," and (2) the pining for a return to marginal tax rates at 70 percent for higher income levels, which will facilitate new possiblities for the return of "liberal government."

I simply can't fathom why anyone would argue taxing income at such astronomical rates.
There's no other word for this than confiscation.

Not only that, we already have a progressive tax system in which the wealthy pay the overwhelming proportion of federal taxes, and in recent years innovations like the earned-income tax credit have used tax policy to create more rewards for work among those on the lower end of the income scale.

Public policy can find ways to assist those in the middle- and working-class, but a massive policy of restoring pre-modern tax structures is anti-competitive and regressive in every sense of the word.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dems Favor Economic Redistribution by 2 to 1 Over Republicans

With the radical liberation politics of Jeremiah Wright back in the news (see my entry, "Reconciliation or Retaliation: Jeremiah Wright's Next Round"), I found troubling news in Gallup's recent survey data on public support for economic distribution.

For example, a clear majority of 51 percent favor increasing taxes on the wealthy, which is bothersome, since those at the highest levels of income
pay the overwhelming bulk of federal income taxes (Gallup's data find the highest support for economic distribution since 1939!)

Further, Democrat partisans, by a 2 to 1 margin over Republicans, favor redistributing economic wealth by imposing heavy taxes on the rich, as Frank Newport indicates
in this video:

Here's more from Gallup:

Slightly over half of Americans believe the government should redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich....

Asked if the distribution of money and wealth in this country is fair or if they need to be distributed more evenly, about two-thirds of Americans agree with the latter response. This is up slightly from last year and, by two points, is the highest "more evenly distributed" response to this question that Gallup has found over the eight times it has been asked since 1984.
So, in the context of powerful issues of economics and social class, the electorate in 2008 is more favorable to a fundamental - no, radical - redistribution of economic wealth than at any time in last 70 years.

Numbers like this portend electoral conditions on the scale of a political earthquake.

Fortunately, the Democrats have yet to be able to center on a party nominee, and the residual divisions from the nomination fight will likely blunt some of the left-wing tailwind the party would otherwise be likely to enjoy.

For more, see "
McCain Running Strong as Democrats Tumble."

Reconciliation or Retaliation: Jeremiah Wright's Next Round


I caught some of Reverend Jeremiah Wright's address this morning to the National Press Club.

Wright spoke of the history of blacks in American Christianity, and how out of a historical sociology of exclusion and racism, a particular theology of liberation sought to lift blacks from the subordination of white supremacy.

But I was struck by Wright's stress on black religion as a theology of "reconcilation":

The black church's role in the fight for equality and justice from the 1700s up until 2008 has always had as its core the non- negotiable doctrine of reconciliation, children of God repenting for past sins against each other. Jim Wallis says America's racist -- sin of racism has never even been confessed, much less repented for. Repenting for past sins against each other and being reconciled to one another -- Jim Wallis is white, by the way -- (laughter) -- being reconciled to one another because of the love of God, who made all of us in God's image.

Reconciliation, the years have taught me, is where the hardest work is found for those of us in the Christian faith, however, because it means some critical thinking and some reexamination of faulty assumptions.

Yet when I listen this speech, I don't hear reconciliation, I see calls for "retaliation."

Retaliation for the sins of slavery and suffering. Retaliation for the centuries of chattel bondage, which, as Wright argues, have not been repudiated.

There's little message up uplift. Perhaps we can see this as catharsis. But there's more. There's anger here. There's greivance here.

It's certainly not a call to reach the Promised Land. This cannot be a call for the country to "Live Out the True Meaning of Its Creed."

America has done this.

America has lived as a country bound by the shame of racial oppression, so much so that educated whites may overcompensate for their complicity in the injustices of subjugation by living a daily life of personal guilt-driven reparations: That is, for example, in thinking about some of the commentary this last week on the demographics of Barack Obama's electoral support, we might suggest that more affluent whites may nowadays think and act specifically on the basis of skin color first, and the content of personal character after that.

I can't believe this is what Dr. King had in mind. Have we overcome?

Indeed, the post-mortems are just beginning, but Wright's comments today will likely add more fuel to the fire surrounding Obama's relationship to his former pastor.

The New York Times notes:

Despite Mr. Wright’s efforts to school the public and the media on theology and the black church, some of his responses this week bring the issue of race and the church’s association with divisive figures like the Rev. Louis Farrakhan into sharp relief. Senator Clinton has already said Mr. Wright would not be her pastor, and she has pounded home the issue of Mr. Obama’s electability — given such vulnerabilities that the Republicans would seize upon in the general election.

Check out Allah as well, where he indicates the dangers for Obama:

I gave him [Wright] the benefit of the doubt last week when he danced around this question with Moyers. No more. Here’s his clarification, making it very clear that he meant just what his critics thought he meant, that one shouldn’t take the Messiah’s not-so-high dudgeon over his sermons too seriously since he’ll say whatever he needs to say to get elected.

Geraghty, among others, thinks he’s sinking Obama’s campaign. My pessimism makes me skeptical, but Ambinder argues that Wright has Team Barry boxed in: The nuttier he sounds, the fewer options they have except to hope that he eventually comes off as so nutty that no one would seriously think Obama agrees with him. Is a Sistah Souljah moment in the offing? If it is, it means The Speech That Saved America didn’t really save America since he’ll have needed a second take to get it (w)right. Exit question: Is it time to suspend Operation Chaos?

I'd have to cull through my archives, but I'm sure I've said at least once that Obama needs to try again on his race and religion (and "reconciliation"?) speech.

He's got to do something, that's for sure, or Wright will indeed sink his campaign

Photo Credit: New York Times

Supporting the Troops: An Update

Readers might recall my earlier post on Kenneth Thiesen's essay last month conceiving U.S. military forces as jackboots to the Bush/Cheney fascist regime (see "Supporting the Troops").

I wrote at the time, regarding the America-bashing antiwar hordes, "I don't think these people are "fringe elements."

I still don't.

But perhaps even Theisen's been one-upped in his troop-slamming with a new hit-piece out, by Ian Murphy, "

So, 4000 rubes are dead. Cry me the Tigris. Another 30,000 have been seriously wounded. Boo fucking hoo. They got what they asked for—and cool robotic limbs, too.

Likely, just reading the above paragraph made you uncomfortable. But why?

The benevolence of America’s “troops” is sacrosanct. Questioning their rectitude simply isn’t done. It’s the forbidden zone. We may rail against this tragic war, but our soldiers are lauded by all as saints. Why? They volunteered to partake in this savage idiocy, and for this they deserve our utmost respect? I think not.

The nearly two-thirds of us who know this war is bullshit need to stop sucking off the troops. They get enough action raping female soldiers and sodomizing Iraqi detainees. The political left is intent on “supporting” the troops by bringing them home, which is a good thing. But after rightly denouncing the administration’s lies and condemning this awful war, relatively sensible pundits—like Keith Olbermann—turn around and lovingly praise the soldiers’ brave service to the country. Why?

What service are they providing? I don’t remember ordering 300,000 dead Iraqis—although I was doing a lot of heavy narcotics back in ‘03. Our soldiers are not providing a service to the country, they’re providing a service to a criminal administration and their oil company cronies. When a mafia don orders a hit, is the assassin absolved of personal responsibility when it’s carried out? Of course not. What if the hit man was fooled into service? We’d all say, “Tough shit, you dumb Guido,” then lock him up and throw away the key.

As a society, we need to discard our blind deference to military service. There’s nothing admirable about volunteering to murder people. There’s nothing admirable about being rooked by obvious propaganda. There’s nothing admirable about doing what you’re told if what you’re told to do is terrible.

We all learned recently that the Bush administration instituted its policy of global torture during quaint White House meetings. And we already know this war was started with lies. Shame on them. But what about the people who physically carry out these atrocities? We’ve seen bad apples punished and CEO despots walk free, but all verbal and written denouncement is focused on our leaders. Surely, they deserve that and more—decapitation, really. But why can’t we be critical of the people who have actually tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens? We deride private contractors like Blackwater for similar conduct—why are the troops blameless?

Take John McCain, or “McNasty,” as they called him in high school. While the conventional wisdom says that Obama gets a pass from the media, McCain is clearly the least scrutinized presidential candidate. He diddles lobbyists, sings about bombing Iran and doesn’t know Shiite from Shinola, yet he remains unscathed, cloaked in his Vietnam “hero” legend.

Again, what is heroic about involving one’s self in a foolish war, being a shitty pilot or getting tortured? Yeah, it must have sucked, but getting your ass kicked every day for five years doesn’t make you a hero—it makes you a Bad News Bear. At the very core of the media's reverence for John McCain is the blatant, tired myth that he's a "centrist."

Here’s where America’s military lust becomes a true perversion. If we truly valued military prowess, John McCain would be viewed as a failure. But duty alone is enough to inspire our gratitude. Hence the left’s tendency to obligatorily praise the troops while decrying the sum of their actions. Good thing, too, because this war is unwinnable.

But let me ask readers: Is Murphy's stuff, on McCain here, for example, all that different than this:

At the very core of the media's reverence for John McCain is the blatant, tired myth that he's a "centrist."

Like [Senator Joseph] Lieberman, McCain may deviate from right-wing dogma on discrete issues when it comes to domestic policy questions. But on questions of foreign policy, national security and war, McCain -- and Lieberman -- are as extremist as it gets in the mainstream political spectrum. On those obviously central issues, there simply is nobody and nothing to the Right of McCain.

McCain marks the absolute outer ideological boundary of American militarism, imperialism and war-making, particularly (though not only) in the Middle East. That's why he's long been enthusiastically supported by the country's most crazed warmongers -- such as Bill Kristol, James Woolsey,
most of the PNAC crowd, and Lieberman. In no meaningful sense are such individuals "centrists," and neither is McCain.
This quote's from Glenn Greenwald.

So, comparing Greenwald to Murphy, is there much difference, except for perhaps Murphy's more immediately colorful language?

It's the same message, to be sure: American foreign policy's demonic, the Bush administration's criminal, and John McCain's a philandering warmonger destined to send the United States to countless "
100 Year" wars.

I frankly don't find much to distinguish Murphy from Greenwald, except to say that I'm quite familiar with the latter, having blogged on him abundantly, as well as having started to read his book.

Other than that, it's basically the same message, different messenger.

It's not very dignified, in any case, to say the least. Our active duty troops and esteemed veterans deserve better.

Hat tip: Jawa Report

Hillary's the Better Candidate

William Kristol has a few interesting observations on the Democratic race, with a nod to Hillary Clinton's considerable assets.

Kristol's like me: I dread the thought of a Democrat in the White House next year, but the political science of this year's primary battle is endlessly fascinating (and of course the Democrats' increasingly implosive tendencies are just too good to be true).

But here's Kristol, via

The fact is Hillary Clinton has turned out to be an impressive candidate. She has consistently defeated Barack Obama when her back was to the wall — first in New Hampshire, then in several big primaries on Super Tuesday, on March 4 in Ohio and Texas, and then last week in Pennsylvania, where she was outspent by almost 3 to 1, yet won handily.

She is, of course, still behind in the race, and Obama will most likely be the nominee. His team has run the better campaign. In particular, it realized how important the caucus states could be: Obama’s delegate lead depends on his caucus victories.

But Hillary may well be the better candidate. After all, for all the talk of Obama’s extraordinary ability to draw voters to the polls, Clinton has defeated him in the big states, including California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Obama won his home state of Illinois, but she won Florida, where both were on the ballot but didn’t campaign.

Furthermore, if you add up the votes in all the primaries and caucuses — excluding Michigan (where only Hillary was on the ballot), and imputing the likely actual totals in the four caucus states, where only percentages were reported — Clinton now trails in overall votes by only about 300,000, or about 1 percent of the total. By the end of the nominating contest, she may well be ahead on this benchmark — one not entirely to be scorned in a democracy.

Hillary has achieved this despite much disparagement of her candidacy by liberal commentators, and in the face of the media’s crush on Obama. Even those who started out being well disposed to Clinton have moved toward Obama, if only out of concern that the prolonged race is damaging Democratic prospects in the fall.

Obama understands his advantage with the media, as he perhaps inadvertently demonstrated over the weekend on “Fox News Sunday.” In the course of dismissing much pundit commentary for typically overreacting to events, good or bad, Obama explained, “Well, look, after you lose, then everybody writes these anguished columns about, why did you lose?”

Obama chose a nice word: “anguished.” You’re only anguished by an Obama defeat if you’re rooting for an Obama victory. Obama was tacitly acknowledging that much of the liberal media has been hoping he’d win. Now, they’re rooting for him to close the deal.

That’s fine. If I were on the left I might be rooting for that too. But this focus on Obama has resulted in a refusal to give Hillary her due. It’s startling how much of the commentary on the Pennsylvania results has had to do with Obama’s flaws and mistakes — rather than Hillary’s strengths and successes. Maybe in Pennsylvania, they were voting for Clinton, not simply against Obama.

Which leads to this question: Will the media this week give Obama a pass on refusing to debate Clinton before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries on May 6? Will he be chastised for his lame excuse? “We’ve had 21, and so what we’ve said is with two weeks, two big states, we want to make sure we’re talking to as many folks as possible on the ground, taking questions from voters,” Obama said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Will it be left to conservatives like the estimable blogger “Allahpundit” (at to (sarcastically) state the obvious? “What’s the most efficient way to communicate with voters? Surely not at a massively promoted, televised, highly watched debate. Much better to hold a few town halls and meet and greets.”

We have had four one-on-one debates so far — and each has been revealing. A debate without a moderator, as Clinton has suggested, could be particularly interesting. But debates would give Clinton equal time in the spotlight, and would make Obama’s advantage in paid media in Indiana and North Carolina far less significant.
That's cool! Allah's getting his due at NYT!

Plus, not only would the debates give Clinton another showcase, addtional meetings will provide more opportunites for the public to see Obama's slick prevarications.

A look at
Obama's website reassures us that he's got policy specifics, but when he's confronted with real questions on his character and integrity, the Illinois Senator not coming out anywhere near Lincoln-esque.

McCain Running Strong as Democrats Tumble

McCain Going Strong

I'm watching Howard Dean on CNN's American Morning right now. The DNC Chairman's trying to justify the party's new McCain attack ad seeking to smear the Senator's comments on a likely long-term commitment on Iraq.

Dean also confirmed the conventional wisdom that the Democrats' division heading into the summer could spell disaster for the party's fortunes in November.

USA Today reports that presumptive nominee John McCain's holding up just fine, which seems counterintuitive, given how big a Democratic year this should be:

Why is this man smiling?

Arizona Sen. John McCain could understandably be scowling: He could face a more difficult political landscape than any presidential candidate in a generation.

Only 39% of Americans have a favorable view of the Republican Party he represents, the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. A record 63% say the Iraq war he defends was a mistake. The disapproval rating for President Bush, the incumbent McCain has embraced, has hit 69%, the most negative assessment of any president since Gallup began asking the question 70 years ago.

Yet in what seems to be the most promising election for Democrats since 1976 — when the aftermath of the Watergate scandal opened the door for Democrat Jimmy Carter to win the presidency — the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows the presumptive Republican presidential nominee within striking distance of either Illinois Sen. Barack Obama or New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"Sen. McCain will not be a pushover in Ohio," cautions Ted Strickland, the Democratic governor of one of the nation's most important battleground states. "It will be a hotly contested race."

At least at the moment, McCain's personal qualities — his stature as a Vietnam war hero, reputation as an independent-minded Republican and persona as a strong leader — are trumping the significant policy disadvantages he faces in pursuing a third consecutive term for the GOP in the White House.

The protracted and increasingly bitter rivalry between Obama and Clinton for the Democratic nomination is a boost for McCain, too.
The article goes on to note that 1 in 5 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents will likely vote McCain if Barack Obama's the party nominee, and in general election matchups, Republicans line up more solidly behind McCain than Democrats do for Obama. ("Nine of 10 Republicans backed the Arizona senator, compared with eight of 10 Democrats who supported the Illinois senator.")

All of this helps explain the crazed frustration on the hard left of the blogosphere.

Distorting McCain's record on Iraq isn't enough for some.
Extreme partisans hope to portray neoconservative ideology as the present evil of the world:

Believe it or not, I’m not thrilled with this ad [the new anti-McCain "100 Years in Iraq" spot], and not because it hits too hard or is a little below the belt. No, my opposition to this ad is that it’s not hard enough; it doesn’t go deep enough.

Listen. We need to go beyond Iraq on this. We need to go after the ideology. I think it is imperitive to look past the political liability for Republicans that Iraq has become and start making the argument that Iraq wasn’t an isolated incident, that these people are more than willing and capable of causing the same kind of disasters elsewhere in the world.

That’s what I want to see in these ads, not just that Iraq was a mistake, everyone knows that, but there needs to be a massive movement to explain to the electorate A) why Iraq was a mistake and B) that neoconservatism is just about doomed to repeat Iraq over and over again for as long as we keep voting these people in office.

We should round it all off with a nice C) that things here at home are only going to get worse with each following war that these people keep thrusting us into.

We already got a majority of Americans with us on Iraq being a bad thing, we need to quit flogging the dead horse and move on to the next argument.

And that next argument is what? That a McCain adminstration's going launch American wars of aggression from Iran, North Korea, to Syria?

Such talk doesn't make much sense.

It's a combination of loathing for the forward exercise of U.S. military power (such as the current Iraq deployment), demonization of neoconservative ideology as an unmitigated evil, and extreme left-wing fear-mongering seeking to escalate their hatred of Republicans to the next level, a degree of frustration that's already indicated in attacks on the GOP as some neo-fascist regime of apocalyptic proportions.

Photo Credit:
USA Today

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mississippi Attack Ad Shows Obama's Difficulties and Liabilities

Via Memeorandum, Ben Smith reports that Mississippi GOP congressional candidate Greg Davis is running campaign spots tying his Democratic opponent, Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers, to Barack Obama (on YouTube):

Here's Smith's commentary:

The Republican candidate in a special election to fill an unexpectedly contested seat in a conservative Mississippi congressional district is using recent controversies surrounding Senator Barack Obama to tar his Democratic rival.

A television ad from Southaven Mayor
Greg Davis tells viewers that his Democratic rival, Travis Childers, a realtor and Prentiss County official, has accepted the endorsement of "liberal Barack Obama."

Then, with Childers' face beside footage of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it says, "When Obama's pastor cursed America, blaming us for 9/11, Childers said nothing."

Then: "When Obama ridiculed rural folks for clinging to guns and religion, Childers said nothing."
"He took Obama's endorsement over our conservative values. Conservatives just can't trust Travis Childers," the ad concludes.

Unlike a much-reported North Carolina Republican ad attacking Obama, the Mississippi spot is actually airing on television.

The spot marks Obama's rapid ascent in conservative demonology, to a place in an attack ad in a contested race that -- until several weeks ago -- would have been lent to Teddy Kennedy or Hillary Clinton.
A National Republican Congressional Committee spot airing in the same district seeks to link Childers to Obama, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi.

The ads are a mark of how difficult, with the nomination apparently within his grasp, Obama will find it to stay above or outside the traditional, bitter partisan divisions he so often deplores.

Meanwhile, as the ad airs, McCain's rhetorical stance seems also to be working:
in a column the editor of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal deplores Davis's ad, and gives McCain credit for denouncing such spots.
Of course McCain's principled stance is working. He's stayed away from any hint of attack politics all year.

But note again Smith's clarification of Obama's predicament: The Illinois Senator's long portrayed himself as the post-partisan alternative this year, but his own inexperience and campaign failings are opening him up his vulnerabilities to the real hardball world of GOP electoral competition.

What's interesting too is how Hillary Clinton predicted earlier that
she'd be better prepared to battle the Republican Party in the gloves-off arena.

With the GOP preparing to
attack Obama up and down the ticket this year, Clinton's going to have even more firepower in taking the Democratic nomination to the convention - recall yesterday that Michael Barone showed that Clinton now leads Obama in the popular voting throughout the primaries.

Things are getting really interesting!

Desperate on Iraq, Democrats Wage "100-Year" Smear

In a sure sign that antiwar radicals will continue to pull the Democrats to the far left-wing fringe of American politics throughout the election, the DNC's rolled out a new antiwar campaign spot smearing John McCain's statement on a likely-long term commitment to the Iraqi people, via YouTube:

The New York Times has some background:

Using footage from the now-infamous town hall meeting way back in January when a voter and Senator John McCain went back-and-forth about how long the United States would stay in Iraq, the Democratic National Committee has begun broadcasting a new ad.

In addition to the clip of an excerpt from the exchange in Derry, N.H. (which we’ve
written about a few times before and posted the full video), the Democrats’ ad then unfolds with footage of violent scenes from the war.

It ends with a photograph of President Bush and John McCain together, and asks: “If all he offers is more of the same….is John McCain the right choice for America’s future?”

In the commercial, Mr. McCain’s words speak for themselves, not misstated as they have been on the campaign trail as though he called for 100 years of war. In the initial exchange with voter Dave Tiffany, and in subsequent interviews, Mr. McCain made it clear he was not talking about extended combat, but about the fact that he wouldn’t mind maintaining a presence in Iraq to assist with stability. (He likened it to the continuing presence of troops in South Korea or Bosnia.)

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” today, Howard Dean, the chairman of the D.N.C., again criticized Mr. McCain for being O.K. with staying in Iraq for a hundred years. Mr. Dean said he was not distorting Mr. McCain’s words. But, he added:

“Now, does anyone think, who’s watching this show, that if you keep our troops in Iraq for a hundred years, people won’t be attacking them and won’t be setting off suicide bombs and won’t be having militias go after them? I don’t think so. And most Americans don’t think so. What Senator McCain is saying doesn’t make any sense. We cannot be in Iraq for a hundred years. Those dollars belong in America. We’re in trouble in this–in, in America. And, frankly, the Bush-McCain economic program has put us in trouble in America. That money needs to be here in America.”

The Republican National Committee issued a lengthy response today, recapping its opposition to another D.N.C. ad against Senator McCain released last week. The Republicans contend that the advertising campaign violates federal election law, allegedly by coordinating with the Obama-Clinton campaigns.

“This morning we saw yet another advertisement being announced by the Democrat National Committee which is not only illegal, but a complete distortion of Senator McCain’s comments and record.

“Over the course of the next six months, we expect the DNC to wage a respectful and honest campaign, which means adhering to the law. Howard Dean and the D.N.C. should immediately cease and desist from airing these advertisements. And if the D.N.C. fails to act, both Senators Clinton and Obama should immediately call on them to do so.”

Mr. Dean was asked about those allegations by Tim Russert, host of “Meet the Press” this morning, and Mr. Russert noted that Virginia Republicans had filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission. Mr. Dean replied: “Yeah, that is a joke. There’s no evidence for that whatsoever, and it’s plain untrue. Neither one of the campaigns ever saw this ad or knew anything about it before we put it on.”

You be the judge.

McCain has repudiated mudslinging racial politics in the
North Carolina ad wars.

Yet we see the Democratic Party opportunistically protesting alleged GOP "Willie Hortonism," while at the same time demonstrating that it's perfectly willing to smear the presumptive GOP nominee with fear-mongering footage of combat that surreptitiously suggests an "endless war" for American forces in Iraq.

See also Allahpundit on the New York Times' summary.


UPDATE: The Swamp adds a little perspective on Howard Dean's motivations (via Memeorandum):

Now, with 63 percent of Americans surveyed calling the deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq a mistake -- a peak in the Gallup Poll's surveys of war sentiment -- Dean is banking once again that a candidate's support for the war might be his undoing. It matters little if it's a "100-year war'' or simply the six-year war with which McCain, like Lieberman, an adamant supporter of the administration's latest war strategy, will be running.

In other words, it's a war, period, and the Democratic Party will opppose it incessantly to bring the party's nihilist surrender forces to power.