Fake Christian group endorses Obama
Mara Vanderslice is a frenetic far-Leftist who worked for the Kerry campaign in 2004 -- also then trying to con Christians into voting Democrat. Background on her here
A new political group that claims to be a Christian organization has endorsed pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama. The Matthew 25 Network plans to run ads for Obama on Christian radio stations and in newspapers and magazines that appeal to Christians. The object is to try to pry away evangelical voters from supporting John McCain, who has already received the endorsement of a number of evangelical and Catholic groups and leaders.
Mara Vanderslice, the head of the political action committee, told the Wall St. Journal the group plans to spend $500,000 in advertising for Obama between now and the November elections.
Ads will appear in publications like the National Catholic Reporter and Relevant Magazine and a one-minute radio ad will play on Christian stations in battleground states like Ohio, Michigan, and Colorado. The radio ad campaign will eventually expand to Pennsylvania, Virginia, Missouri, and North Carolina. "You know it's an election year when certain people start grabbing headlines by attacking the faith of presidential candidates, with all these stones being cast at Barack Obama it can be hard to know what to believe," the ad says. It includes a clip of an Obama speech where the candidate says "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the role of faith in people's lives." The group is named after the Bible verse that quotes Jesus saying, "I tell you the truth, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."
However, the group appears uninterested in protecting the "least of these" -- unborn children -- and one advocate for the organization admitted to the Journal that he hopes to move the debate away from abortion.
Bart Campolo, an urban minister, said he's "uncomfortable" with evangelicals marching in "lock-step" with the Republican Party because of its pro-life candidates for president. He said the Matthew 25 Network is trying to move evangelical voters away from pro-life issues. "What I'm excited about at this stage of the game, it seems like the evangelical community is waking up to the deeper and broader approach," he said, according to the newspaper.
Proving its pro-abortion credentials, two leading abortion advocates in Congress, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, are involved in the group. DeLauro is a former staff member for NARAL, a leading pro-abortion group that, like Obama, supports unlimited abortions paid for at taxpayer expense and vigorously opposed the partial-birth abortion ban.
Obama's Iraq Fumble
By KARL ROVE
In a race supposedly dominated by the economy, both Barack Obama and John McCain have spent a lot of time talking about Iraq. Why? Because both men have Iraq problems that are causing difficulties for their campaigns. How each candidate resolves his Iraq problems may determine who voters come to see as best qualified to set American foreign policy.
If Mr. McCain wins the argument on Iraq, he will add to his greatest strength -- a perceived fitness to be commander in chief and lead the global war on terror. As the underdog, Mr. McCain needs to convince voters that he is overwhelmingly the better choice on the issue.
Mr. Obama needs to win the argument because his greatest weakness is inexperience and a perceived unreadiness to be president. That's dangerous. Voters believe keeping America safe and strong is a president's most important responsibility.
Mr. McCain's first Iraq problem is that he favored removing Saddam Hussein when it was popular -- 76% of Americans thought it was worth going to war in April 2003 -- and has maintained his support of the war even as it grew to be unpopular. In January, only 32% of Americans said the war was worth it.
Mr. McCain's second Iraq problem is that the success of the surge he advocated has made it easier for voters to believe we can accelerate the drawdown of U.S. troops. This belief makes Mr. Obama's proposal to withdraw in 16 months seem more reasonable.
Mr. McCain's position was further complicated recently when Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seemed to give a semiendorsement of Mr. Obama's withdrawal plan. Mr. Maliki actually agrees with Mr. McCain that a timetable should be aspirational and based on conditions on the ground, which is why he said U.S. troops should be withdrawn by 2010 "if possible."
Some Iraqis are anxious to have American troops leave and some are not -- which is why Mr. Maliki treads a fine line on withdrawal. Unfortunately for Mr. McCain, this only complicates things for his campaign.
Mr. Obama's problem is he opposed the policy that created the progress that makes victory in Iraq possible. Mr. Obama's unbending opposition to the surge undermines his fundamental argument that he has better judgment on national security. Mr. McCain needs to use Mr. Obama's retrospective mistake to shape voters' prospective conclusion, convincing them that Mr. Obama's badly flawed judgment on the surge shows he cannot be trusted with major foreign-policy decisions.
Mr. Obama also created a problem by canceling a visit to U.S. soldiers who were wounded in Iraq and are now recuperating at Landstuhl hospital in Germany. His campaign has offered a welter of explanations. What's the real one? My rule is that when in doubt, see what a candidate said at the time and judge his candor. In a July 26 London news conference, Mr. Obama explained: "I was going to be accompanied by one of my advisers, a former military officer. And we got notice that he would be treated as a campaign person, and it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy, but he wasn't on the Senate staff."
The solution was obvious. Leave the campaign adviser behind and visit the wounded troops. Mr. Obama's decision to work out in the hotel gym instead adds to his growing reputation for arrogance. Most importantly, Mr. Obama missed the opportunity to show he can admit a mistake. He could have said that what he saw on his visit to Iraq convinced him that the surge was right and its success now allows U.S. troops to be safely drawn down. Instead, he insisted he was right to say the surge wouldn't work. That may give voters pause. If Mr. Obama can't admit the surge worked after the fact, how can voters count on him to keep his mind open to the facts on other important foreign-policy decisions?
Mr. Obama should not be misled by polls showing support for a timetable. Opinion surveys are notoriously unreliable in gauging public opinion on a complicated question like Iraq. Americans can simultaneously support a withdrawal timetable and also insist that the withdrawal occur only when conditions justify it and military leaders recommend it. For instance, Gallup polls have shown that 69% of Americans think we should set a timetable for withdrawal, but 65% also want to establish stability and security before withdrawing. Like Messrs. McCain and Maliki, Americans are for an aspirational and conditional timetable. They want to win.
The conventional wisdom has been that this election will be decided on the economy. That will be crucial, but so is Iraq. And it makes perfect sense. We are, after all, a nation at war. And in wartime, electing a president who will win should matter most of all.
Defining Obama down
After spending much of the summer searching for an effective line of attack against Senator Barack Obama, Senator John McCain is beginning a newly aggressive campaign to define Mr. Obama as arrogant, out of touch and unprepared for the presidency.
On Wednesday alone, the McCain campaign released a new advertisement suggesting - and not in a good way - that Mr. Obama was a celebrity along the lines of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Republicans tried to portray Mr. Obama as a candidate who believed the race was all about him, relying on what Democrats said was a completely inaccurate quotation.
The Republican National Committee began an anti-Obama Web site called "Audacity Watch," a play on the title of Mr. Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope." And, in a concerted volley of television interviews, news releases and e-mail, campaign representatives attacked him on a wide range of issues, including tax policies and energy proposals.
The moves are the McCain campaign's most full-throttled effort to define Mr. Obama negatively, on its own terms, by creating a narrative intended to turn the public off to an opponent.
Although Mr. Obama has been under an intense public spotlight for the last year, he is still relatively new on the national scene, and polls indicate that for all the enthusiasm he has generated among his supporters, many voters still have questions about him, providing Republicans an opening to shape his image in critical groups like white working-class voters between now and Election Day.
Mr. McCain's campaign is now under the leadership of members of President Bush's re-election campaign, including Steve Schmidt, the czar of the Bush war room that relentlessly painted his opponent, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, as effete, elite, and equivocal through a daily blitz of sound bites and Web videos that were carefully coordinated with Mr. Bush's television advertisements.
The run of attacks against Mr. Obama over the last couple of weeks have been strikingly reminiscent of that drive, including the Bush team's tactics of seeking to make campaigns referendums on its opponents - not a choice between two candidates - and attacking the opponent's perceived strengths head-on. Central to the latest McCain drive is an attempt to use against Mr. Obama the huge crowds and excitement he has drawn, including on his foreign trip last week, by promoting a view of him as more interested in attention and adulation than in solving the problems facing American families.
"I would say that it is beyond dispute that he has become the biggest celebrity in the world," Mr. Schmidt said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. "The question that we are posing to the American people is this: `Is he ready to lead yet?' And the answer to the question that we will offer to the American people is: `No he is not.' "
This line of attack has the added benefit of being true. What is interesting is that in their pre campaign strategy sessions on the race the Obama team did not see it coming. They were too arrogant to notice.
Why Obama waffles so much
The other day, I heard a brilliant analysis of Obama by Rush Limbaugh. He was pointing out that the reason he is reduced to such a stuttering prick (to quote Tommy DeVito) when off the teleprompter, is that he is a deeply divided person, either consciously or unconsciously (and undoubtedly both, in my opinion). He is the polar opposite of, say, Ronald Reagan, who always knew what he thought and could answer any question, for it was simply a matter of returning to first principles and applying them to the problem. Very scientific, if you will.
But one of the intrinsic problems in being a liberal is that you can never reveal your first principles, because if you explicitly articulate them, people will be repelled at what a contemptuous and supercilious asshat you are. Therefore, you must always couch them in terms of "compassion," or "helping the little guy," or "healing the planet," or "unity," or some other such blather. So in that regard, Obama is dealing with a more general problem that is intrinsic to liberalism, which is How to Fool the Idiots. One must be very cautious, because even the idiots are only so stupid. Thus Obama's constant verbal ticks: "uh, uh, uh, let me, uh, say this, uh, uh, I've been completely, uh, consistent about this, blah blah blah."
Being that liberalism is the political embodiment of multiplicity (or of an oppressive "bad unity" to try to heal it), it should not be surprising that its adherents are so intrinsically inconsistent. It's not so much that they are dishonest, but that the whole ideology is dishonest -- it is a lie from the ground up. Which is also why, the worse your character (or the less your intelligence), the better you will fare as a liberal politician, because you will be able to lie with great ease and even fool yourself.
Anyway, in Rush's analysis, he was pointing out that Obama is running several campaigns simultaneously, and that it is obviously a struggle for him to keep them all straight in his head, thus the great difficulty in being consistent and giving straight answers. Because of this, he is always one gaffe away from a major meltdown. For example, he's running one campaign for blacks, but an entirely different one for whites. (I won't even review the whole list, because it would take too much time, and I've already made my point; here is a list of the various irreconcilable positions which Obama must hopelessly try keep straight in his mind.)
Governing From Guilt, Not Greatness, And MSM's Fatal Attraction For Obama
This article from Monday's Honolulu Star Bulletin is a keeper in that it reports Obama's commitment to reparations in the course of a general display of a leftist's understanding of history:
"There's no doubt that when it comes to our treatment of Native Americans as well as other persons of color in this country, we've got some very sad and difficult things to account for," Obama told hundreds of attendees of UNITY '08, a convention of four minority journalism associations.... "I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged," the Democratic presidential hopeful said. "I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds."
The other noteworthy aspect of the report is its candid coverage of MSM's embrace of the Dalibama:
When Obama walked on stage at the McCormick Center, many journalists in the audience leapt to their feet and applauded enthusiastically after being told not to do so. During a two-minute break halfway through the event, which was broadcast live on CNN, journalists ran to the stage to snap photos of Obama.
Bravo to the honest journalists willing to display their Obama-love openly. "Being told not to do so" is the great give-away. The grey beards know they aren't supposed to be cheering the hardest left major party presidential candidate in history, but, hey, reporters and editors have been waiting a long time for someone as far left as they are to run for the presidency.
Obama's understanding of American history --his need to deplore trumps any instinct to elevate and celebrate every time-- frames the choice between McCain and Obama. A McCain presidency would be grounded on the firm conviction of American greatness and exceptionalism, as well as the uniqueness of the American mission in the world. Obama's would be built on the "mature" understanding of America's many past sins, its enormous greed and grasping, its unfair use of vast quantities of resources and its need to respect world opinion and world institutions even when those opinions and institutions are at cross-purposes with American national interests.
Is American greatness the engine of the world, or American guilt an explanation for it?
Obama is rightly getting hammered for skipping a meeting with wounded American warriors in German --the WaPo tries to give Obama some cover, but the only fact that matters is that Obama committed to going and then he didn't go-- but the real story of the past ten days is his full unveiling as Europe's candidate for the presidency, with an attitude and a platform indistinguishable from the standard critique America has been receiving for fifty years from the people it rescued sixty years ago.
The rapidly spreading understanding of Obama as an arrogant elitist with an enormous sense of entitlement combined with an awesome contempt for America as it has been in the post World War II era accounts for the air escaping from the Obama boomlet. Tromping through Europe to the wild applause of the anti-America left is a big flare for most voters. "Who is this guy, and why isn't he lecturing Europe on its gratitude gap?"
The risky nature of a vote for Obama became more palpable last week, and Monday's pda for him from the MSM, minority journalists division, reminds us that we haven't been given the whole story on Obama, that the Manhattan-Beltway media elite is blocking for him in extraordinary ways.
Get This Man A Teleprompter!
Barack Obama is a lot like Sean Penn or George Clooney. If you give him a script, he can deliver it pretty well. But if he tries to talk without a script that has been written for him by others, he quickly reveals that he is poorly-informed if not downright ignorant. Today he delivered another classic, by claiming that if only we would all properly inflate our tires, we could save as much gasoline as "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling." Seriously: The stunned silence with which the crowd greets this howler suggests that most Americans have a more practical understanding of energy consumption than Obama.
Just for fun, I did the math. Properly inflating your tires can improve gas mileage by 3%. Of course, many people already keep their tires properly inflated, and many more are at least close to being properly inflated. Let's be generous and assume that one-half of the total possible savings would be realized if we all inflated our tires properly; that's a net gain of 1.5% fuel efficiency.
Americans drive approximately 2,880 billion miles per year. If we average 24 mpg, we use around 120 billion gallons of gasoline in our vehicles. If, through perfect tire inflation, we improved our collective fuel efficiency by 1.5%, that would be 1.8 billion gallons. A barrel of oil produces around 20 gallons of gasoline, so the total savings available through tire inflation is approximately 90,000,000 barrels of oil annually. How does this stack up against "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling?"
* ANWR: 10 billion barrels
* Outer Continental Shelf: 18 billion barrels (estimated; the actual total is undoubtedly much higher, since exploration has been banned)
* Oil shale: 1 trillion barrels
So, on the above assumptions, it would take only 11,308 years of proper tire inflation to equal "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling."
Obama is a curious case. He gives the impression of being an intelligent guy, but through his unscripted comments we have learned that he knows little about history, science or mathematics. He also seems rather shockingly short on common sense, as this most recent gaffe illustrates.
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