Monday, October 18, 2004

The Senator's God-Talk

Jonah Goldberg has a good fix on Kerry's religious talk. The excerpts begin with a quote from Senator Kerry:

"I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith, but without transferring it in any official way to other people," Kerry explained repeatedly, usually prompted by the abortion issue. "I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith."

What I [Goldberg] object to is this: While Kerry says he's opposed to "legislating" his faith on abortion, he insists that he's in favor of legislating his faith elsewhere. He said more than once Wednesday night, and plenty of times on the stump, that faith must be backed up by deeds. His religious faith, he says, is "why I fight against poverty. That's why I fight to clean up the environment and protect this earth. That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith."

So, let me get this straight. Fighting for the environment, equality, and education - in the name of God - is righteously doing the Lord's work, but abortion must be kept legal because otherwise we'd be legislating religion?

It seems to me that you shouldn't pick and choose at all. You shouldn't infringe on, say, the property rights of citizens out of religious convictions about a clean environment and then conveniently fall back on the argument that it would be outrageous to invoke religion when it comes to abortion. Either your faith informs your views or it doesn't.

I say you shouldn't pick and choose, but I understand that sometimes you have to - but in completely the opposite way John Kerry picks and chooses. Kerry invokes God's guidance on the little stuff, the easy stuff, the boilerplate. He turns his back to God on the big issue, abortion (and, with a wink, gay marriage).

It seems to me this is exactly backwards. God doesn't have a position on the minimum wage or Superfund, so politicians shouldn't feel the need to consult Him about that stuff. It's only on the grave fundamental questions in politics that God should speak to one's conscience. Thomas More didn't put his life on the line about how Henry VIII handled crop rotation.

And that's what I find a little galling about all of Kerry's God talk. Beyond the naked pandering of it, it's morally and religiously empty. He may talk about deeds backing up faith, but where his faith is unambiguous he wants no part of it. When it comes to the tough issues, what he really seems to want is grace on the cheap. It's as More said: "If honor were profitable, everybody would be honorable."

Kerry has had much to say about matters of faith lately, but he seems distinctly uncomfortable when he has to do so, and never goes deeper than vague references to the "Almighty". He gives the impression of a man just going through the motions because he knows it's expected of him. Doubtless he'd much rather be talking about something else and wouldn't be speaking of religious matters at all if there weren't votes out there to be mined.

Speaking of Senator Kerry and religion, a PowerLine reader asks: "Why is it that when President Bush goes to church it is to worship and when Senator Kerry goes to church it is to campaign? The Democrats are the ones hollering constantly about separation of church and state and they are the only ones on the national ticket attending church to campaign."

Yes, and they do it with great panache. John Kerry has probably been in church more in the last six weeks than he has in the last six months, at least if his church attendance is anything like his Senate attendance. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other Democrats regularly use churches as political platforms. As Power Line notes: Is it legal? No. And a Republican who did it would be in trouble. Or, rather, the church where he campaigned would be.

Church/State separation Democrat style means that Democrats can use churches to preach politics, but Republicans can only use them for worship.

Pat Buchanan Is Coming Home, Sort of

Pat Buchanan makes news with his endorsement for president. He is scathing in his condemnation of the Iraq war and of the neo-conservatives surrounding Bush, but he is completely contemptuous of John Kerry. Some excerpts:

... in the contest between Bush and Kerry, I am compelled to endorse the president of the United States. Why? Because, while Bush and Kerry are both wrong on Iraq, Sharon, NAFTA, the WTO, open borders, affirmative action, amnesty, free trade, foreign aid, and Big Government, Bush is right on taxes, judges, sovereignty, and values. Kerry is right on nothing.

The only compelling argument for endorsing Kerry is to punish Bush for Iraq. But why should Kerry be rewarded? He voted to hand Bush a blank check for war. Though he calls Iraq a "colossal" error, "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," he has said he would - even had he known Saddam had no role in 9/11 and no WMD - vote the same way today. This is the Richard Perle position.

Assuredly, a president who plunged us into an unnecessary and ruinous war must be held accountable. And if Bush loses, Iraq will have been his undoing. But a vote for Kerry is more than just a vote to punish Bush. It is a vote to punish America.

There is a final reason I support George W. Bush. A presidential election is a Hatfield-McCoy thing, a tribal affair. No matter the quarrels inside the family, when the shooting starts, you come home to your own. When the Redcoats approached New Orleans to sunder the Union and Jackson was stacking cotton bales and calling for help from any quarter, the pirate Lafitte wrote to the governor of Louisiana to ask permission to fight alongside his old countrymen. "The Black Sheep wants to come home," Lafitte pleaded.

It's time to come home.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. It really is an outstanding precis of the conservative case against the Bush administration and even more against John Kerry.

If the Democrats lose it'll be largely because no one has a reason to vote for John Kerry. He's a perfect denotation of the term "empty suit". The majority of voters who pull the lever for Kerry wish only to vote against George Bush. Pat Buchanan is the most prominent example of this phenomenon on the other side of the ballot that we've seen emerge thus far.

Pollster Hankey Pankey

For people interested in such things this site gives an interesting graphical analysis of poll results over the last two months. The author, Steven den Beste, concludes that the only explanation for the pattern of results is a deliberate attempt to manipulate the election in Kerry's favor. He also believes the attempt has failed.

Thanks to Belmont Club for the tip.

Is UBL Dead?

Froggy Ruminations, a blog written by a former navy SEAL, offers this line of reasoning for believing that Usama bin Laden is currently composting in the Afghanistan mountains:

Usama bin Laden is Dead

You hadn't heard? Well, I'm not breaking news, President Bush knows damn well that UBL has been dead for quite some time. But why would Bush keep it to himself? If he were to disclose his knowledge that UBL is dead he would blow John Kerry's doors off in the election, and yet he remains silent. Why?

Maybe you're wondering how I know he's dead. Perhaps one of my SEAL buddies let me in on the secret? NO. I know because a publicity whore and grandstanding scumbag like UBL could not possibly resist the multitude of opportunites to inspire his cult members. His number 1, Zwahiri, has appeared on video or audio broadcasts every few months since 9/11. UBL has not been heard from since Tora Bora despite developments in the GWOT in Afghanistan and Iraq that make it unthinkable for him to have remained silent. Not to mention successful attacks in Bali, Madrid, Turkey, and Jakarta to name a few that remain unremarked upon by UBL. The invasion and occupation of an Islamic state by the US and not a word. Elections held for the first time in Afghan history, and he had nothing to say about it in the lead up.

AQ tried once early on to air a tape that never mentioned key developments in the Afghan campaign and was quickly discredited as an attempt to put one over on his followers by airing a previous recording. Zwahiri decided that it was better to just pretend that UBL was alive because there was no plausible martyr story to tell. UBL went out running for his life like a coward. He is dead. His remains are turds shat by scavenging animals in the mountains of Afghanistan blown by the wind and stomped on by US troops.

By why not make it public? After all, this is the one thing that could ensure the President's re-election. Have you noticed how coy DOD officials and high ranking officers are when the question is posed? They know. They certainly have intelligence to this effect. Of course, the President could have instructed subordinates to start saying that intel indicates UBL is dead. This would have put pressure on him to prove otherwise by issuing a statement which he is clearly unable to make. This process could have started 6 months ago, and if UBL did not answer, it would in effect prove the case. But it didn't happen. Why not?

Because the President knows that making UBL a martyr would serve to further inspire his minions, and he realizes that preventing this from happening is more important than his re-election. Instead, UBL remains forever silent even as his recruits yearn to hear his voice. Eventually these cultists will realize themselves that UBL went out like a punk, not a martyr and that the AQ head shed has been lying to them for years. That realization combined with US combat boots knocking their teeth down their throats will go a long way to beating this cult into submission. But it is important to recognize that the President's committment to killing terrorists supercedes his committment to his own re-election. I'm sure he hopes that the American people will come to this conclusion on their own and vote for him anyway, but it is quite a risk to take in the ultimate ME situation.

This kind of integrity and commitment stands in sharp contrast to his opponent. Kerry has proved to be a Blue Falcon (sic), a traitor, a louse, a shameless opportunist, and a lazy bureaucrat who pads his resume. Kerry is a smart guy too, and he realizes what is going on. But it hasn't stopped him from trying to bait the President into abandoning a critical propaganda victory in the GWOT by incessantly peddling his Tora Bora "outsourcing" charge in all three debates. He knows that the President will not respond to this charge so he is free to make it. Just like the Cheney lesbian scheme, this is a coordinated hatchet job, but this is on an issue that Kerry knows the President must choose to either defend the SOF troops that got the job done or remain silent. To his personal credit he never took the bait, but to his professional detriment he must let an unanswered charge linger. Do you have that kind of discipline? Especially in crunchtime? I don't know if I do, and I'll be happy to never have to find out.

President Bush, meanwhile, has just continued to keep the pressure on the terrorists, get us out of a recession, protect the homeland, and generally put the country's interests ahead of his own. He deserves your vote.

Viewpoint offers a second to the motion.

Cold, Hard, Electoral College Facts

No Left Turns offers a good analysis of the electoral college numbers and why they break in the President's favor:

Steve Hayward notes the Riley Poll found that Bush is leading among likely voters in Oregon 48-43% (a month ago in a Riley poll it was Bush 46-45%) and Oregon may well be shaky for Kerry. Gore won Oregon by only 3,000 votes in 2000. Steve may well be right and this leads to a small thought.

Along with Oregon keep your eye on the following states won by Gore in 2000: Wisconsin (by circa 5,000 votes), Iowa (by 4,000 votes), and New Mexico (by 400 votes). The short of it is that should Kerry lose any one of these states, he can't be elected because there is no serious movement in his direction in any state that Bush won in 2000! To repeat what you already know: Kerry has to take every state Gore took plus add one that Bush won.

For a while the Kerry campaign thought they had a chance to take Missouri (no) or North Carolina (no) or maybe even Lousiana (no). Although they are pretending that they have a chance in Nevada and Colorado, I don't see it. Now they are in the position of having to struggle just to keep what Gore had!

This is what the elite media means when they say that the battleground states have shrunk to about eight or nine; Kerry's opportunities are progressively more limited. Bush is ahead in most polls in Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Mexico (and now Oregon?). It is not yet a serious argument for Democrats (or NBC or CNN) to make that the race is so close in Colorado or Nevada or Ohio that Kerry has a serious chance. Bush leads in all three (although Zogby shows Kerry up by one point in Nevada, and there is a bit of variation of polls in Ohio).

Please note the latest poll from New Jersey: the Fairleigh Dickinson University poll finds Kerry leading 44-42% among decided voters, but "when leaners are included in the race" it is 46-46%. This explains why Bush is heading to New Jersey (and why is he going to Michigan, I wonder?).

How would I advise Kerry, given all this? Plant yourself in Ohio for the next two weeks, it's your only shot (and yet it may not be enough even if you take Ohio). If Bush takes Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), Iowa (7), New Mexico (5), Oregon (7) and--maybe--even New Jersey (15) for a total of 44 electoral votes, it doesn't matter if Kerry takes Ohio (or Bush could just replace the 20 electoral votes lost with Ohio with Wisonsin (10), Iowa (7), and New Mexico (5).

There is too much territory for Kerry to cover and he will not be able to do it. It doesn't matter how much CBS and the others try to cover this up. Take a look at the useful map with the latest state polls at Tripias and all the useful information at Realclear politics.

In one sense the election is close, but in the only sense that counts it's an uphill struggle for Senator Kerry. The real problem will be if the election is close in several states like it was in 2000. If it is, the results of the election will not be known for weeks as we are put through counts, recounts, claims of fraud, and all manner of lawsuits. Let's hope it's not close.