Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: September 1, 2010


The bigger story about the Murkowski defeat

You remember Ned Lamont, don’t you?

You don’t?  Well Ned was the posterboy for the Kos Kids effort to change the dynamic within the Democratic party.  They wanted “progressive” candidates and Joe Lieberman of CT just didn’t fit the bill.  So the Kossaks and others like FireDogLake, backed their candidate, raised money and did their best to oust old Joe.  And they had some limited success.  I say limited in that they beat Joe in the Democratic primary, but then independent Joe whipped Ned’s rear in the general election.

Now, it’s not clear that will happen in Alaska.  Rumor has it that Murkowski, sensing defeat to the Tea Party backed Joe Miller, reached out to the Libertarian Party of Alaska, wondering if they’d be willing to adopt her as a candidate.  The libertarians said, “no way, no how, Lisa”.  She might be a viable candidate, but she’s no libertarian.  But that caused some to believe she’ll run now as an independent.

And, in Florida, you see the same sort of scenario being played out with Charlie Crist and the TP backed Marco Rubio.  Crist, the establishment GOP choice has been reduced to running as an independent – and he is.

The whole point of course is getting establishment candidates ousted in a primary is only Step 1.  As Ned Lamont and the Kossaks learned, the important step is Step 2.

If the Tea Party is to be taken seriously as a force for making the GOP more fiscally conservative and Constitutionally aware, it has to win the Step 2 contests as well.

~McQ


The Iraq speech (update)

Let’s just say I was “underwhelmed”.  As a friend ask in an email, “where did the great speech maker go?”  I can only contend that this speech was like a task you know you have to do, but really don’t want to do.  And the results are usually along the lines of what you saw or heard last night.

The big questions were would he acknowledge success, victory or George Bush?

While he didn’t come right out and acknowledge success with that word, his “turn the page” comment implied success.  Victory?  No way, no how does that enter into the speech.  And his acknowledgement of George Bush explains why:

As we do, I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.

How does one who so adamantly opposed a war he ended up in charge of characterize it as anything but a mistake that somehow, in general, turned out well?  After all he was a “patriot who opposed it”.  And please, let’s turn the page.

No acknowledgment of the fact that the surge worked when all – to include our “patriot who opposed it” said it wouldn’t.  And even though he and his staff are now trying to rewrite history, it’s clear he was against the surge and claimed it wouldn’t work.

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.” – Senator Barrak Obama in response to the PSOTUS. (January 10, 2007 on MSNBC)

Of course, they had precisely the opposite effect.  Why this is so difficult to acknowledge even when there’s video of him saying it remains a mystery.

And, of course, even with the acknowledgment of Bush, Obama couldn’t resist a shot as well:

Unfortunately, over the last decade, we have not done what is necessary to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity. We have spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits. For too long, we have put off tough decisions on everything from our manufacturing base to our energy policy to education reform. As a result, too many middle class families find themselves working harder for less, while our nation’s long-term competitiveness is put at risk.

That “trillion dollars” for war is not what has put us in the financial shape we’re in today.  And anyone following the news knows that. That canard has been laid to rest.  However, if you read the paragraph carefully, you find the usual lefty talking points firmly embedded in the substance of the message.  Government is the answer and is the entity which should be making “tough decisions” about everything “from our manufacturing base to our energy policy to education reform”. Of course not acknowledged in the paragraph is its previous decisions about those areas has given us what we have today.  A pure mess.

Even in a speech about ending the combat mission in Iraq, Obama seems unable to avoid politicizing it.  And, as usual, the blame Bush card – not as blatant as usual – is played.

Acknowledging the role of the military and the sacrifice of the troops, as well as the herculean job they did in filling roles outside their job description, was a good and appreciated part of the speech by all, I’m sure.

The rest – eh.  The usual boilerplate, wordy finger-pointing delivered in an uninspired and flat speech.  You can always tell when someone doesn’t have their heart in something.  My guess is he’s not over his vacation-lag yet. 

Perhaps – after that arduous night’s work, it’s time for another one.

UPDATE: And finally, Joe Biden is heard from on the subject:

Vice President Biden said the day after President Obama’s Oval Office address that the debate over who deserves credit for removing troops from Iraq isn’t “worth arguing about.”

And why is that Mr. Biden? Oh, yeah:

“At the end of the last administration, the transition was in place.”

Yes it was – which is another explanation for the lackluster speech marking the end of the combat mission in Iraq.

~McQ