Two Neocons Solving the Worlds Problems

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Where's the Line?

Today one of our pastors gave a message on voting according to Biblical principles. He had done his homework on how far a pastor can go without crossing the line of separation between church and State, and he intentionally came right up to it. According to the demographics of our congregation, he was mostly "preachin' to the choir." He set up his points using Scripture that illustrates how God is not partisan, but has standards. He reminded us to be "salt and light." He urged us to vote without compromise for candidates who stand for financial freedom, moral clarity and religious freedom. And he went into quite a bit of detail about abortion, gay marriage, the role of government versus the church and inidividuals in caring for the poor. It was very clear which candidates he was supporting, even though he never mentioned any candidate by name.

During second service, I and the rest of the music team were in the lobby waiting to lead music again at the conclusion of the message--we'd already listened to the sermon during the first service. A man we all know well walked out in tears, just devastated. He said, "This church has been the best thing that ever happened to me. But if this is the direction it's headed, then I don't belong here. This is right wing bigotry."

I don't think it was the church's stand on abortion, gay marriage, etc., that distressed him--those could hardly have been a surprise. I think he feels that the pastor, by encouraging him to vote accordingly, was crossing a line.

I would be interested in your thoughts and advice on how to reach out to this man and his family so that we don't lose him from our church family.

Here's the sermon if you'd like to hear it.

The Home Stretch

Here we are two days away from the general election and I've been on the sidelines for the past week. It was nice, I missed all the ups and downs of the last minute poll watchers. Why? Well, it's not about polls now, its about grass-roots organization and getting people out to vote. One only has to watch the fluctuations of the many electoral maps available to see the daily switch in polls. (I.E. Just check the archives. My point is that the polls are a HORRIBLE way to judge a campaign. I've spent the last two days reassuring fellow Bush fans to not listen to the media. The media was claiming that the Dems had a chance to take back the Senate in the mid-terms elections of 2002. The DNC even alluded to getting the House. Certainly the polls backed up those theories, but on election day, the voters shoved the polls back where the MSM don't shine. Not to be crude, but I look for a replay of the midterms and maybe more. Those who are backing this president are nursing a far greater desire to see HIM in the White House than those who are backing Kerry just so Bush won't win. Voter turnout is going to the big story of this campaign and I look for Republican and independent turnout to be some of the highest in history, while the Democratic turnout will slag. Final prediction: Bush will win with at least 290 electoral votes. If either PA, MN, or MI go for Bush then look for his EV count to top 300.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Scenarios: How the Race Can Be Won

Slate is asking today whether Bush has given up on Ohio. This is a silly question since he's ahead, slightly, in that state.

The author goes on to suggest that Bush isn't worried about Ohio because he can win without it. To see if he's right, let's play with the numbers. The states in play are:

  • New Mexico...........5 votes
  • Iowa.....................7 votes
  • Wisconsin............10 votes
  • Ohio...................20 votes
  • Florida................27 votes
  • New Hampshire.....4 votes
This according to the latest Tradesports electoral map. Pennsylvania is notably absent from this list. The President has been campaigning hard for Pennsylvania, but according to Tradesports, he should be spending his energies elsewhere.

Slate is right that Bush could win without Ohio. If Bush takes Iowa, Wisconsin, and Florida he wins 271-262 with Kerry taking the other tossups (New Mexico, Ohio, and New Hampshire).

Slate also said that Bush can't win without Florida. This is not exactly true. With 27 electoral votes, Florida is one powerful fence-sitter. It is conceivable though that Bush could win 273-265 by taking all the other toss-ups: New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and New Hampshire.

Here's a nightmare: 269 - 269. This could happen two different ways (that I can see). Bush takes New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Florida; but loses Iowa, Ohio, and New Hampshire. Or, Bush takes New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio; but loses Florida and New Hampshire.

In a tie the election would be decided in the Senate. With the Senate as evenly divided as it is, Cheney could possibly cast the deciding vote. Can you imagine the Bush-hatred on the left if that happened? We wouldn't hear the end of it for a generation.

Removing the tossup states from the count, Kerry is holding 238 electoral votes, and Bush has 227 votes. This would seem to be an advantage for Kerry (and it is), but it helps Bush that of the tossups, he's slightly ahead in two and tied in the other four.

Tradesports is currently showing an electoral vote count of 274 - 238. This vote count excludes New Hampshire, New Mexico, Iowa, and Wisconsin because they are too close to call. Because Bush is above the magic number "270," losing the four tied tossups wouldn't change the outcome. The final count would be 274-264 Bush.

The 2004 Poll Watcher helped me calculate vote counts for this post.

The Unspoken Words

Instapundit agrees with this analysis by Charles Krauthammer on Kerry's unspoken intentions towards Israel. First Krauthammer speaks about the difficulty in pulling off what Kerry has promised to do.

The mere appearance of a Europhilic fresh face is unlikely to so thrill the
allies that French troops will start marching down the streets of Baghdad.
Therefore, you can believe that Kerry is just being cynical in pledging to bring
in the allies, knowing that he has no way of doing it. Or you can believe, as I
do, that he means it.
I believe that Kerry may actually mean it. In the context of his past and his very outspoken globalism, one can only conclude that like it or not, the man really is a "peace-loving citizen of the world" at heart. Now the problem I see developing for the Dems is that the moderate section of their party; the one that claims Joe Lieberman and all Jews; thinks that Kerry is being cynical is a calculated political move. Why do I even pose the thought? Well, Krauthammer answers with his analysis of Kerry's silent intentions.
Think about it: What do the Europeans and the Arab states endlessly rail about
in the Middle East? What (outside of Iraq) is the area of most friction with
U.S. policy? What single issue most isolates America from the overwhelming
majority of countries at the United Nations? The answer is obvious: Israel. In
what currency, therefore, would we pay the rest of the world in exchange for
their support in places such as Iraq? The answer is obvious: giving in to them
on Israel.
We already know that the only time the Kerry campaign has been expressly pro-Israel was in the Vice-Presidential debate through the mouth of John Edwards. Even then, one must remember that Edwards is an evangelical, a Southern one at that, and because of this religious tie will feel more of a bond with Israel than a staunch Roman Catholic might. (For a great primer on this topic read this article) Otherwise John Kerry has flip-flopped in verbal silence on Israel several times. (CBS Example) In the end, none of us can be sure of Kerry's intentions, however, I suggest that simply look at the man and listen to his words over the past year and half. Then ask yourself this question, "Can I see this man changing his mind and selling out Israel for political points overseas and at home?" I don't know what your answer is, but I know mine.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The Roe Effect in Action

Channel One, the news network that high-school students across the country view within their classrooms, sponsored a mock election called "One Vote 2004." 1.4 million students participated.

President Bush won by a landslide. The President took 393 electoral votes compared to 145 for Kerry. The President also took the popular vote 55-45%.

While I think the President will win on November 2, I don't think it will be by this large of a margin. I'm on record saying that the President's electoral count will be in the 290's. So what's with the kids?

James Taranto of "The Wall Street Journal" has a theory he calls "The Roe Effect:"

our theory is that abortion is making America more conservative than it otherwise would be.

We base this on two assumptions. First, that liberal and Democratic women are more likely to have abortions. Second, that children's political views tend to reflect those of their parents...
I'd also add that conservatives are more likely to have children under any circumstance. They tend to get married more often and younger, they start having children younger, and they have more kids. They just tend to be more family-oriented. For a counter-example, look at the demographic trends of much of Europe.

For a pro-lifer like myself this is sweet poetic justice. Is it really so surprising that liberal hostility to family values eventually results in fewer liberal kids?

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Using the Free Media: Bush Could Learn From Kerry

I usually agree with Hugh Hewitt. I almost always agree with Hewitt's views on Kerry and his campaign. I don't, however, see "fraud" in Kerry making advertising spots that he releases to the news media, but then subsequently doesn't buy time for.

I confess ignorance of most of the campaign finance law. Therefore, this is not an analysis of whether the practice is legal. Assuming the practice is legal, I see no ethical problem with it. In fact, it's a politically shrewd move that the Bush campaign would be wise to follow. The Bush campaign claims that, to date, they haven't done this. They really should.

Here's how it works: Kerry or his campaign see an issue. It could be an issue brought up by the Bush campaign, or it could be an issue that Kerry wants to bring up. Either way, Kerry commissions an advertisement, announces it to the media, and the various news outlets run the ad on their news shows with a little placard at the bottom of the screen announcing that it’s a Kerry advertisement. News commentary should follow.

Kerry might be done with the ad after that. Or, if the Kerry campaign thinks running the ad might be helpful, then they run focus groups on the ad. Kerry wants to know before he spends campaign money whether the ad will move the numbers in his favor in particular swing states.

This is just smart. Creating an ad, even a polished, ready-for-primetime spot, is relatively inexpensive compared to buying airtime. When Bush announces a new spot, Kerry quickly prepares and releases a response ad. This means that no new Bush ad is run on the news without the follow-up: "But the Kerry campaign responded with their own ad, [roll tape]."

This means that Kerry's position will always be part of the conversation during the discussion. Conversely, Kerry might initiate a volley with an ad he never intends to run. Since Bush is not creating non-running ads, he either is not ready with a response, or the response is an old ad, or its a verbal response from the Bush campaign (which is usually less polished than the Kerry ad), or it's an ad the campaign feels compelled to air somewhere.

I'm sure Hewitt's position is that this practice is misleading to the media and the public - that part of the reason the news organization runs the ad is to let the public know that the campaign is purchasing airtime for the ad you are about to view.

The news media shouldn't assume this. The only assumption that seems warranted is that the ad accurately reflects the position of the campaign that made it.

Political ads are unethical if they are not labeled as ads (like the typical CBS news broadcast), or if they are patently untrue (like the typical CBS new broadcast and many of Kerry's ads). It is not unethical to make ads for the free media that are not later run at the campaign's expense. It's smart, shows flexibility, and should be done by the Bush campaign.

If Kerry is resorting to non-run ads in lieu of news conferences and interviews, then that should be criticized.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Breck Girl

Ready for a laugh?

"John Edwards and his Hair."

Monday, October 18, 2004

Extracting News From NPR

An Amish man drives his cart on a rural road near Bird In Hand, Pennsylvania. About 50,000 of the 180,000 Amish in the United States live in Pennsylvania where only a few votes could decide whether President George W. Bush or Democratic John Kerry wins the state.(AFP/File/Catherine Hours)

Every weekday morning I drop my two older children off for school – one on one side of town, one on the other – then I head off for work in a third direction. This takes time, so when I quickly tire of the local DeeJay's morning show, "Morning Breath," I turn reluctantly to NPR.

I do this because the local commercial talk radio stations don't get cranked off until 9:00 a.m. or so. I can't explain the economics of that. Why talk radio basically ignores morning drive time is something someone should take up with Rush or Hannity. Anyway, I turn to NPR and hear the latest Democratic Party talking points passed off as news on a taxpayer supported network. I found that galling.

Here's the story I heard this morning, "Kerry Volunteers Woo Pa. Swing Voters." Actually, the story is about how both parties are engaged in vigorous get-out-the-vote campaigns in a swing state. Apparently the headline author only heard the Kerry part of the story.

A practiced conservative NPR listener can sometimes pick out some actual news from even NPR's biased reporting. Here's what I learned:

  1. The Kerry campaign is having to rely on out-of-state volunteers. The Bush volunteers tend to be more local.

    The out-of-state v. local volunteers may indicate that there isn't as much local excitement for Kerry as for Bush.

  2. The out-of-state Kerry campaign volunteer who was interviewed asked "who in the world would be voting for Bush?" but has seen since her arrival in Pennsylvania that there are many voters who are passionate about Bush.

    How effective can a Kerry volunteer be with swing voters if she can't even imagine the motivations of a Bush voter? This is also a problem within the larger Kerry campaign. It exists in a cocoon of yes-men and Democrat true-believers. The best campaign volunteer (and campaign) knows and understands the arguments of the other side, and is prepared to answer them.

  3. The Kerry campaigns is having to fight hard (spend money) to keep a state that went for Gore by 4 points.

    ...and Gore lost. It appears that Kerry has to win both Florida and Pennsylvania to win. Bush can win if he takes either. The RealClearPolitics map has Bush ahead in Florida, and tied in Pennsylvania.

  4. The local Bush volunteer is comfortable enough on the issues to stray from the script as needed.
Also, Steven Den Beste sees a trend in the popular vote toward Bush in the closing weeks.

All good news.

 Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Choice, Part 2

I thought of another description of our choice on November 2:

GI Joe v. Ken
Remember that great commercial a few years back with GI Joe driving up in a Nissan to Barbie’s house? He whistles, a thrilled Barbie comes running out leaving Ken - tennis sweater knotted around his preppie neck - alone and jealous.
Here’s the commercial zipped and unzipped.
Everybody loves an action hero. We want a leader who is sure of himself and his beliefs. We want him to gather the facts, apply judgment, and act decisively.

Now’s not the time for uncertainty and nuance. Sure this is a macho and jingoistic attitude. But a woman doesn’t have to be Barbie to understand this too. The gender gap is shrinking.

 Posted by Hello

Friday, October 15, 2004

Another Calculated Error

In last Wednesday's Presidential debate both candidates were asked the following the question:

Both of you are opposed to gay marriage. But to understand how you have come to
that conclusion, I want to ask you a more basic question. Do you believe
homosexuality is a choice?

The President responded with a decently open and honest response. Money quote:
You know, Bob, I don't know. I just don't know. I do know that we have a choice
to make in America and that is to treat people with tolerance and respect and
dignity. It's important that we do that.
And I also know in a free society
people, consenting adults can live the way they want to live.
And that's to
be honored.
But as we respect someone's rights, and as we profess tolerance,
we shouldn't change -- or have to change -- our basic views on the sanctity of
marriage. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I think it's very important
that we protect marriage as an institution, between a man and a woman.

When asked to respond, Kerry chose to do THIS:
We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's
daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was,
she's being who she was born as.
In defense of the candidate he probably had no idea what a colossal mistake this was, but as a man with any form of integrity, he should have stayed await from nonetheless. Instead, Kerry took the cheap shot, echoing what his running mate said in the vice-presidential debate:
Now, as to this question, let me say first that I think the vice president and
his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can't
have anything but respect for the fact that they're willing to talk about the
fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It's a
wonderful thing. And there are millions of parents like that who love their
children, who want their children to be happy.
Yet, again the reference to Mary Cheney is unmistakable. I've come to believe that the Kerry campaign thought they could use this reference to somehow dig at the Bush base. The unhappy result for them, however, is that it has absolutely eroded into a full-blown controversy. Here are some links to bring you to speed. Wash Times on Kerry's failure to apologize, Wash Post poll on voter response to the comment, NewsDay story on Cheney's response.

I don't where all of this will lead. I'll predict this: the MSM will continue to spin this one toward the Kerry side, with the Cheney's being TOO outraged. Meanwhile, I think the damage is done to Kerry's image with women and young undecideds especially. An evening talk with my mom a Dem. made that clear. No matter what Kerry says from this moment on, people will remember this sly stab at his opponent's child and the electorate takes those trangressions more heavily than the media want to admit.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

...If You Ain't Got That Swing

Earlier this week I mentioned the political insulation that Democrats have with respect to certain interest groups.

Democrats are politically insulated from criticism about racism (and, to a lessor extent, sexism) by virtue of their hegemony with those voters.
A problem with this feeling of political insulation is that a Party can begin to mistreat its own constituencies on the theory that “where are they going to go?” For years blacks have complained about the lack of advocacy for their issues within the Democratic Party. Yet they stick with the Democrats. An old song comes to mind,
“You ain’t got a thing if you ain’t got that swing.”
If blacks aren’t willing to swing to the other Party, they won’t be fully valued by either Party.

A group that demonstrates “that swing,” Hispanics, witnessed the President and Senator Kerry both tripping over themselves last night to not to be offensive to Hispanics on the subject of Illegal Immigrants.

But gay voters were treated entirely differently. This was Kerry’s answer to the question, “Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?”
KERRY: We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as.
The mentioning of Cheney’s daughter was entirely unnecessary to answer the question. It was gay-baiting.

Kerry saw this as a one-way ratchet in his favor. By bringing up this particular lesbian he might peel some social conservatives off the President. He certainly didn’t expect that this would get conservatives to vote for him, but he hoped to keep a few homophobe conservatives home on election day.

On the other hand social conservatives in his own party - some union workers, some blacks - would get the message that the Bush/Cheney ticket is not really socially conservative. “If you were considering Bush, don’t. Cheney loves his lesbian daughter.”

Forgotten in all of this are gay voters. Kerry’s not worried. Where are they going? Like blacks, gays are sticking with him regardless how poorly he treats them.

What Kerry said is exactly equivalent to:
We’re all God’s children, Bob. So, you asked if I think interracial marriage is okay, I say certainly. And I think if you were to talk to Mr. Bush’s daughter, who is dating a black man, she would tell you that she’s being true to herself.
Nobody likes to be tossed around as a slur, but that’s what Kerry did to gays in last night’s debate.

The question remains whether this tactic will be considered sleazy by the larger electorate. Edwards floated the trial balloon during the Vice-Presidential debate. Afterward the mainstream media said little. Kerry felt safe.

This may be another example of how a partisan media handicaps Kerry by giving him a false sense of security. One FoxNews talking head described a “chill” descending on the students in the hall when Kerry made this statement. Multiple groans were reported in the press room.

But only time will tell whether Kerry takes a significant hit from this. It would serve as a valuable character lesson to future candidates if he does.

UPDATE: "Reference to Mary Cheney Assailed"

PLAGIARISM ALERT: the "ain't got that swing" idea was applied to swing voters in a column I read a year or two back. I don't know who wrote it or when or where I read it. I have tried to find it. If you know who it was, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Choice

Hugh Hewitt is asking, "What's the choice on 11/2?" He's received dozens of answers. Here are my favorites:

  • Churchill v. Chamberlain

  • Reagan v. Carter

  • Cheeseburger v. Escargot

  • "Let's roll" v. Roll over

  • Thanksgiving in Baghdad v. Christmas Eve in Cambodia

  • Pat Tillman v. Michael Moore

  • Brit Hume v. Chris Matthews

  • 007 v. Austin Powers

  • Heart of America v. Le Car

  • 10 gallon Stetson v. The magic hat

  • Laura v. Theresa

  • John Wayne v. Jane Fonda

  • We the people v. We are the world

  • Arnold v. Gray

  • Mini skirt v. Burkah

  • God Bless America v. God-less America

  • Compass v. Windsock

  • Composure v. Poser

  • Boots on the ground v. Hands in the air

  • Safer shores v. Manicures

  • A grand slam v. French toast

  • Sanity v. Vanity

  • Bunker busters v. Spit balls

  • Iron v. Irony

  • High and inside v. Intentional walk

  • Winner v. Whiner

  • Head coach v. Monday morning QB

  • Manwich v. Lean cuisine

  • A hearty handshake v. Throwing a kiss

  • Texas-raised v. Taxes-raised

  • Crawford v. Martha's Vineyard

  • Man's man v. Tan-in-a-can

  • Shock and Awe v. Hem and Haw

  • A man who kept his promises v. A kept man who promises

    And the winner is...

  • Big Rocks v. Botox

    But I have two more I'd like to add:

  • Toby Keith v. Dixie Chicks

    (Hugh had Toby Keith v. Milli Vanilli, but this just feels more "right.")


  • Saddam caught hairy v. "Not necessarily"
 Posted by Hello

Electoral Maps

Awhile back I emailed out links to a couple of electoral maps. I'm repeating those links in this post, but I found a couple more maps worth watching.

A Dem runs, but he updates constantly and seems honest with the data. is run by a Republican, but it's not updated as often.

The Iowa Electronic Markets graph is not an electoral map at all, but it is interesting. This is a regularly updated graph of the popular vote.

The RealClearPolitics map is updated more often than "Election Projection" and seems nonpartisan.

The TradeSports map is interesting because it's a map that reflects odds given in a betting pool for the outcome of the election in each state. It actually tracks very close to the other maps (people must be doing their research before laying their money down) so I always give it a look.

This goofy looking map advertises that it is updated regularly, but for the moment seems to favor Kerry overly. One thing I like about it is that it gives you the ability to play around. You can change states from one column to the next with a single click - seeing instantly how the vote count changes. This will be nifty on election night.

I'm enough of a political junky now that I check all these maps regularly. With the election this close, they can change drastically from day-to-day.

 Posted by Hello

Friday, October 08, 2004

America Can't Afford an Ex-President Kerry

Fast forward to November 3, 2004. In this possible future we've just elected John Kerry as President. We Republicans retire to lick our wounds and consider what went wrong. We resolve to accept the outcome with greater class than the Democrats did four years ago.

Taking office Kerry promises to rebuild our stature in the world. But he finds it a struggle to differentiate his Presidency from that of Bush. He finds he is unable to bring in "Old Europe" allies to help in Iraq. In fact, many present coalition partners peel away early.

Although he'd like to resurrect Kyoto, he finds it is utterly dead.

Terrorists, emboldened by his election, begin to regroup and plan major operations again. And so he has to preempt those plans – even he can't completely abandon the Bush doctrine.

He finds he can't recognize the International Criminal Court - and on and on. In short he is unable to do most of the things his supporters on the left would like him to do.

I'm not suggesting that a Kerry Presidency would be indistinguishable from Bush. In fact, much of what makes the Bush positions work is the resolve of Bush himself. The threat of force is not much of a threat if it is not believed.

But we survive it. We might or might not be hit again by a major attack. This attack might or might not have happened under Bush. Kerry might or might not respond forcefully enough. Whatever. We get through the next four years, we as a country realize our mistake and replace Kerry with a moderate Republican like Rudy and get back to the "hard work" of winning the War on Terror.

Then what? How would our position in the War on Terror be worse then, at the beginning of a Rudy administration, than it is today under Bush? We'd be worse off in many ways.

The War on Terror would be prolonged. Even among Kerry supporters, few are convinced that Kerry would fight the war as energetically and with the same resolve as Bush. Kerry would get bogged down in nuance and endless diplomacy with parties that do not wish our country well. During his tenure he would have failed to enthusiastically support the emerging democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He would not have been much of a friend to Israel. It is likely that during his tenure he would have pressured Israel to take down the security fence (even though it proved its value in ending an intifada). He'd no doubt set up "peace" summits pressuring Israel to bargain for peace by limiting it's defense. His positions would have weakened Israel.

Real allies – the "bribed and coerced" – like Britain, Australia, Poland, and Italy would feel burned. Whether through omission – failing to finish the job in Iraq – or commission these alliances would be damaged. If the people of these countries conclude their sacrifices were rendered worthless by American leadership under President Kerry, it would be hard to rebuild those alliances later.

Having lost present allies and having failed to recruit new ones, American would be standing alone.

But that's not all. At some time during the intervening years Jimmy Carter's post-Presidential career would be winding down. Just in time John Kerry, a new Presidential Appeaser, would be ready for Nobel prize winning coddling of dictators.

America can ill afford another ex-President as disastrous as Jimmy Carter. Time and time again, Mr. Carter has shown that there is not a dictatorship too odious to appease. Whether it's in Venezuela, North Korea, or Cuba. He has attacked American foreign policy during times of war and actively counseled countries against cooperating with the Bush administration in the War on Terror. Carter sought to legitimize the lunatic fringe of the Democratic Party by pulling out a chair for Michael "they didn't deserve to die, they voted for Gore" Moore.

John Kerry would be exactly that kind of ex-President. Why? Because he has a track record of doing exactly these kind of things. As a private citizen he met with North Vietnamese representatives in Paris during the Vietnam war. His voting record in the Senate is one of appeasement. His campaign rhetoric is untempered, as it should be, by wartime considerations. And, also like Carter, he has shown an unwillingness to reign in irrational elements of his party like Whoopie Goldberg.

Our country does not need another Jimmy Carter either in or retired from the White House.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

"Those Without Swords Can Still Die Upon Them"

Michael Moore should have listened to Eowyn. [Video Link]


 Posted by Hello

Why Kerry Will Lose, Part 3

Awhile back I said:

Bush can lose either Pennsylvania or Florida and still win a close reelection. But if he loses both, then he's going to have a hard time making it up elsewhere. If he wins both, I don't see how Kerry can make it up.
Over at "Right Side Redux" Justin offered this analysis yesterday:
Bush is ahead in every state that he won in 2000 with the exception of NH. Bush is also ahead in WI (way ahead!) and Iowa. Meanwhile Kerry has to defend: NM, OR, MN, PA. These states are all in the toss up pile...

Even if Kerry wins all of the toss ups, the score would then be 291 to 247. In such a scenario Ohio does nothing for Kerry.
247 + 20 = 267 for Kerry

291 - 20 = 271 for Bush
He needs to win either Ohio and Iowa
247 + 20 + 7 = 274 for Kerry

291 - 7 - 20 = 264 for Bush
or just Florida
247 + 27 = 274 for Kerry

291 - 27 = 264 for Bush
to have a chance. But again, this assumes that he wins ALL of the toss up states.
[Arithmetic added to this quote]
Going to the "Electoral Vote Predictor" map, I note that of the tossups mentioned by Justin - NM, OR, MN, PA - all are currently leaning Kerry by tiny margins except New Mexico.

But Kerry has to win all the tossups just to have a shot at staying in the game. Who would have thought that Republican-leaning New Mexico - with its 5 electoral votes - could be so important?

 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Why Kerry Will Lose, Part 2

This morning Leo Morris described Edward's "two America's" speech as follows:

They [the Kerry campaign] pitch it [the "two America's theme] as an antidote to the "politics of greed," one America peopled by hardworking dupes forever taken advantage of by the other America, occupied by the lazy ruling class with an evil amount of money.
It looks like Edwards would also divide us into sane America and insane America:
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC) (clip of a speech): "I'd say if you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you've lost your mind."
I'm wouldn't have been surprised to have heard that Edwards or Theresa had said this in a private conversation, but to say it in a speech is remarkable.

This is an indication of how impenetrable the cocoon around this campaign is. These people have surrounded themselves with yes-men. Admittedly, this is hard to avoid, but these yes-men are far-left haters. These people think that the red states are full of know-nothing hicks that really shouldn't be trusted with the vote. I can't say it any plainer than Edwards did. He thinks we're insane.

You cannot win races like this. Imagine a marginal Bush voter. Perhaps someone who is elderly who has been scared by the Democrat's Medicare rhetoric or someone who thinks stem cell research is a good idea. They voted for Bush last time, think they are going to vote for him again, but these issues have them considering Kerry. Then they hear this comment from Edwards.

Which candidate is more attractive now to that voter?

And is this going to impress the swing voters?

 Posted by Hello

Monday, October 04, 2004

So many photoshopping little time. Photo obtained via Drudge.  Posted by Hello

Friday, October 01, 2004

Historical Perspective

This article from CNNfyi (circa October 2000) provides some great perspective on the punditry's view of who wins debates. I find it interesting that the media still believes it can say who won the debate within five minutes of it's end. In fact, it is important for us to remember that a debate really has four dimensions to it. Each dimension is distinct and can be "won" independently of the others. The four as I label them are: Style, Technique, Substance, and Public Perception. To frame my view of these debates it is necessary to first explain these four criteria.

First is style. The style category constitutes how the debater handles himself within the discourse. It can include his posture, his facial expressions, his tone of voice, his attitude, and generally anything else that makes up the non-verbal element of the debate. Technique is the element of a debater's performance that consists of his rhetorical devises, his reactions to his opponent, and the positioning his uses in framing his argument. The third category is substance. Substance is one the most important, in fact it goes hand in hand with the last category. For now, however, let us treat it separately. Substance is the actual content of what the debater has the say. This is the lasting element of his performance. It also is what will be dissected and analyzed and used to try and win over undecided voters. The last category of the debate is unique to the world politics and is the most important one: public perception. Along with substance, the way that voters perceive a candidate is perhaps that most lasting impact of a debate. With these categories in mind, one can apply them and analyze last night's debate.

On style, John Kerry won hands down. I am a big Bush supporter but Kerry handled himself well, and he was calm and collected. Bush leaned too much and didn't take the same care in his facial expressions as Kerry did. With that said, style is the most fleeting of the categories. It doesn't last and it's impressions don't last. That is why you will see a lot of Dems trying to keep the "images" of the candidates in the public's mind. As far as Technique goes, both candidates did well. They made their points and responded to remarks of the other. Bush did surprisingly well, I thought, compared to his 2000 performances. In substance there exists no contests: BUSH WON! This is also why the DNC will focus on his expressions. They cannot compete and attack him on what he said. This is the area in which Bush most impressed me. For a man who was painted as an "idiot" in 2000 he came out swinging and did a great job. Finally, public perception is harder to call. It takes time to judge this category but I feel it will be somewhat neutral depending on how well the RNC and the Bush campaign capitalize on Kerry's verbal mistakes. Overall, I agree with those who say it was a tie and that (no matter what anyone says) is a boon to Bush. John Kerry had to come out and convince the American that he is not a waffler but a strong leader. He did not do that and even if Bush sounded repetitive he drove home the fact that Kerry's beliefs are driven by the wind of political polling.

Update: A more detailed analysis of some of Kerry's remarks will be posted later.

The Debates...

Most of the talking heads are calling the debate a tie and strongly hinting that a tie goes to the challenger.

I'm not buying that at all. True, Kerry didn't look like he'd just risen out of a coffin or a pumpkin patch, and he was somewhat articulate. But what he said will not get him elected.

At this point most candidates, left or right, would be moving to the middle to try to secure the undecideds. With a little over a month to go, Kerry apparently still feels the need to firm up his base. He actually tracked left last night. A "global test" for preemption? How can you say you recognize America's right to defend herself and then say that right depends on outsiders? A right is a right, not an unsigned permission slip.

Here's where Kerry lost it:

With respect to Iran, the British, French, and Germans were the ones who initiated an effort without the United States, regrettably, to begin to try to move to curb the nuclear possibilities in Iran. I believe we could have done better. I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together.
He wants to sell nuclear fuel to Iran as part of his nuclear nonproliferation plan? Yeah, and let's sell hashish to schools as part of a "just say no to drugs" plan.

Scary Kerry.

UPDATE: To sum it all up:

  • Kerry thinks we have the right to launch a preemptive attack, provided we pass a global test (the U.N. says it's okay for us to exercise our right).
  • He is critical of the President for going to Iraq without allies - when we had allies, but...
  • Thinks we should have done our own fighting in Afghanistan, and...
  • Wants to go it alone in dealing with North Korea (because that worked so well for Madeleine Albright and Jimmy Carter last time).
  • He thinks nuclear nonproliferation means we can't develop a new bunker-busting nuke, but...
  • We should deliver nuclear fuel to Iran.
I just have to believe that this debate will look less and less like a loss for Bush as what Kerry actually said sinks in.

 Posted by Hello