Wednesday, October 08, 2008

McCain Won the Debate, Hands Down, No Contest

Here’s a prediction: If the networks are still around in all their glorious gory (sic) in four years, the winner of the first presidential debate will be the Democratic nominee. He or she will go on to win the second and the third debate, this streak being interrupted only by the victory in his/her own right of the Democratic vice presidential nominee during of ’12 veep debates.

And here’s another prediction. If the pompous cast of liberals at ABC are still made up of the same group of clueless windbags in 2016, the Democrats will be the hands down winners of the entire debating season. In fact, if Robert Byrd, Barney Frank, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi ever form their own baseball team, you may as well cancel the World Series, as the outcome will be a foregone conclusion, at least in the eyes of the media. Indeed, who needs Roger Clemens at the mound when you can have Charlie Rangel?

Among the past debates that Democrats “won,” at least as far as the talking heads were concerned, was the second Reagan-Mondale debate, the one in which President Reagan decided “not to capitalize on the youth and inexperience of (his) opponent.” That debate is legendary now, and not exactly as a smashing success for Mondale. But at the time, the network pundits declared Fritz the winner.

Here’s another debate that the talking heads once saw fit to award the Democrats: The 1980 debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, the “there you go again” debate. Yes, I’m serious. No, I’m not drunk. Neither were they. They’re just media liberals.

The agenda driven crowd also gave Al Gore the win in all three debates in 2000, and this great victory helped Al Gore go from plus 8 in the polls to minus 4 during the same time period. In 2004 they rightly awarded the first debate to John Kerry, but then wrongly awarded the last two to him as well. Their analysis that year is even more shocking than their 1980 call when one watches the third debate in that series (the one in which Kerry attacks Cheney’s daughter as Bush delivers the funniest line in recent presidential sparring history).

Which brings us to last night’s debate:

McCain rocked the house.

Yes, he could have done more. He should have exposed Obama’s “tax cut” to 95% of Americans as the lie that it is. Yes, the marginal rates would be cut under the current incarnation of Obama’s proposal, but anyone earning slightly over 100K would see a 6% tax increase on part of their earnings and who knows how much seniors and anyone who owns stock would have to pay on their investment savings. Families selling their primary home after less than two years would also face higher taxes. And that’s just the beginning.

Similarly, when Obama made the outlandish claim that that McCain’s $5,000 tax rebate for purchase of health insurance amounts to “one hand giveth and the other hand taketh” or some other spin, McCain should have told Obama that he was “almost as funny and as big a distortion as your economic package is, Senator,” or something along that line. It is spin. The McCain plan gives people $5,000 to purchase $2,000 or so of insurance. Only the most elaborate plans in the nation would receive a net negative. The average American would save thousands. Of course, expect Obama to try to block that in the Senate, assuming he isn’t offered a more attractive position from his friends in the Weather Underground.

All in all, McCain’s attacks need to be sharper and more on point, especially when countering those lies with the simple truth. And yes, he must strive to do so in the last debate. After all, it’s not “simple truth” if it’s not simple.

But that doesn’t change the following:

- McCain was sharper, livelier and more pronounced at all times than Obama, the latter giving off the impression that someone had been short on Nyquil the night before (though even Obama looked positively vigorous compared with Biden last week, who also “won” his debate according to ABC - which he did if his goal was to drag his ticket down, as shown by the CBS poll conducted in its aftermath)

- McCain, not Obama, hit hard on foreign policy and came across as a real Commander in Chief. Add to that; one who shows understanding and caring for our soldiers on the ground

- McCain, not Obama, was the only one to offer anything of substance on the economy. Even the talking heads marveled over this fact, saying that McCain’s new proposal would be tomorrow’s headlines. Of course, they still saw no irony in giving the night to Obama

- McCain was in touch with voters while Obama’s performance was more robotic than even the general demeanor of his Obamaton followers, assuming that such a thing is possible.

All in all, McCain was in control, had clear ideas and connected with voters. Obama, in turn, allowed chronic insomniacs to get a good night’s sleep. And that was his only accomplishment in last night’s debate.

As for the media, don’t worry. If Dan Quayle had been a Democrat in 1988, Lloyd Bentsen would have been said to have “blown it” with “an over the top attack” in “one of the worst displays of presidential politics.”

At least the media is finally getting their act together. In 2000 and 2004 they awarded 5 out of 6 debates to Bush (all but the 1st in 2004), only to change their minds hours later. This year, they know that the Greek templed one must not be denied his (perceived) victory for even one minute. The trouble for them is that no one is paying attention to their amateurish analysis antics any more. And that’s good news for America.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Marion Thorpe, MD, Congressional Opponent of Alcee Hastings, Derides the Bailout

Exclusive Statement by Marion Thorpe, Congressional Candidate for FL-23 to MythDebunker

Late last week, members of both parties saw fit to set aside $700 billion to bailout banks and other financial institutions that had acted recklessly. To be sure, some of their actions were caused by improper interference on the part of the government to begin with, prompting them to issue reckless loans that in the end did nothing to help people save money nor accumulate wealth. Categorically, the banks that are now in trouble far exceeded their mandate and, as such, their problems are in large part of their own making.

As an active Republican within the African-American Community, I have often preached the need for (and benefits of) personal responsibility. My message has been simple and straightforward: Self-reliance is the duty and birthright of every American. As such, I am shocked and dismayed by the wholesale bailout of financial institutions that have not placed this basic tenet above of their own survival.

Throughout America, there are many individuals and small businesses that have enjoyed far less privilege than those entities that will benefit most from this bailout. If the government, Democrats and Republicans alike, are so enthralled with the notion of bailing out faulty corporations at any cost, perhaps they should start with small businesses that are the bedrock of jobs, and often of family life, in our nation.

While the Republican additions to the initial legislation provided at least some benefit to the middle class, and are a great improvement over the original proposal, the entire philosophy behind the bailout is flimsy and highly unlikely to produce substantive outcomes. Most importantly, we must ask ourselves what this action will teach our children.

The answer is easy to deduce, as follows: The message that this bailout sends to our youth indicates that personal responsibility no longer matters. I am profoundly disappointed that my opponent, the Honorable Alcee Hastings, who has claimed to represent the interests of his constituents since first being elected in 1992, is a strong proponent of the bailout, including the original Democratic bill which was full of insidious measures that helped large corporations but did nothing for the middle class.

The people of US Congressional District 23 need a clear signal that our government will heretofore facilitate conditions that promote the success and independence of hard working families, not bail out large banks that make bad decisions. While the Democratic proposal was shocking, and Republican support for it constitutes an unfortunate act of folly, Mr. Hastings’ support of both bills is unfathomable.

Having immersed myself in District 23 for the last 5 years, I know the real struggles facing our community. For this reason, I highly support and promote personal responsibility as the soundest method of correcting the multiple deficits of our community. You have my word that my Congressional vote will be cast in a manner that helps small family businesses in the district survive during tough times while simultaneously ensuring that my people thrive in all parts of US Congressional District 23.

See more at

Friday, October 03, 2008

Gov. Palin Was Great, Now Some Pointers For McCain

Despite the talking heads, who would have awarded the night to the pompous, condescending, finger wagging Sen. Biden had he spent the entire night doing a rendition of Porky Pig (which would have been characterized on TV news shows as “down to earth and in touch with all creatures of the world”), Gov. Palin blew her opponent away. When one talking head read off a script that had either been penned or at least planned before the debate had even taken place, George Stephanopoulos was visibly surprised and almost demanded an explanation. Of course, that was right after the debate, before he and other media men will have had a chance to “see the light.”

The media will play back supposed “highlights.” They will play up Biden’s best line and Palin’s worst. Yet even then, the two will be almost on par. Any fair analysis shows Biden as whipped, beaten and ready for a starring role in an arthritis pain commercial, and Palin connecting with voters, sharing their concern and having the facts on her side. But don’t expect a fair analysis coming from the Obama war room known as the network editing division.

What will also be interesting is whether media “fact checkers” who’ve taken great delight in twisting some of Palin’s truthful statements while ignoring those of the Obama camp will give Biden a pass not only on his wild assertions that Obama didn’t vote to defund the troops, that he shares McCain’s record on taxes and that he hadn’t advocated a kumbaya dinner with Ahmadinejad or his ludicrous assertion that Obama had been anything but opposed to the successful and needed surge, but also on his outlandish claim that the Vice President has no authority as presiding officer of the Senate except in the case of a tie vote.

While it’s well known that the Vice President can only cast a vote in the case of a tie, this has no bearing on his or her constitutional duty as presiding officer of that body. In fact, the President pro tempore is given that title because his presiding role over the Senate is only temporary, i.e. when the Vice President is absent. After 35 plus years in that body, Biden knows this. Otherwise he’s too ignorant to serve. Yet he even needed to distort that fact in an attempt to play a cheap game of gotcha, albeit one in which he came up being the fool.

If one thing is clear it should be this: If John McCain had chosen a modern day saint for the vice presidency, the selection would have been attacked by the media as the mixing of religion and politics. By contrast, if Barack Obama had chosen Charles Manson as his running mate, the media would have heralded his compassion and belief in the self growth of man. But that said, I didn’t actually expect Obama to pick the worst senator out of 50 or so crabby men, a former presidential candidate whose campaign disintegrated after he was found to be plagiarizing speeches of then UK Labour leader Neil Kinnock and a known friend of Iranian mullahs or for McCain to pick the governor with the highest approval rating in any state of the nation and a reformer who took the ax to her party’s establishment and to their pet projects. But those were the selections and true to form, the media acts as if the opposite had occurred.

So it’s no wonder that some of the talking heads have decided to give the night to Biden. What is amazing is that many others felt they couldn’t, and for good reason. By any standard Palin won the debate hands down.

Yet there’s still more she could have done (as even the best performance can be improved on) and John McCain can learn from these in his future debates:

Palin could have, and McCain should, go after Biden and the Democrats on Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae. Gov. Palin did mention the Democrats’ attempts to block regulation of those agencies, but neither she nor anyone else in the campaign have yet painted the clear and truly accurate picture of how as far back as 2003 Republicans tried to reign in these two agencies, both largely run by prominent Democratic political retirees, and how Democratic senators blocked these attempts at reform.

Palin mentioned her experience as a business leader and as an oil and gas regulator. That was great, but she could have gone even farther with that one. Again, paint a picture. Mention how Washington is full of oil lobbyists. Mention how Democrats have blocked energy independence and drilling legislation for 14 years, first with stall tactics while in the minority and then with outright refusal to act when they became the majority. Mention how Palin took oil companies to task and made them fight competitively, forcing them to compete along the lines of what’s best for American consumers.

Stress Palin’s (and John McCain’s) real experience as a reformer. Few new faces have been able to topple a party establishment. Cite real examples of ethics reform passed and proud accomplishments. The gubernatorial plane on ebay is a great starting place and McCain’s own accomplishments (fighting tobacco, being a lone voice for campaign finance reform, etc.) play well to undecideds.

When Biden made that planned emotional play (and as tragic, terrible and unfortunate as his experience was, as deserving of our personal prayers as he is that he be spared from any further sorrow, mentioning his tragedy was a planned and politically calculated move, it being his last card in a debate in which he performed terribly), Palin should have countered with her own touching life story. That said, she did well in not responding directly to his emotional play. But she would have gained by bringing up her own story a few minutes or a few questions later.

That said, Palin did an excellent job. Her mention of the fact that she is the first governor of any state to form a special sub-cabinet on climate change is true and will go over well with independents. On all other matters the McCain-Palin campaign needs to paint a bold, clear and concise picture of what they have done in the past and what they will do in the future.

Unlike their opponents, both McCain and Palin have accomplishments and facts on their side. They just need to articulate them well (and point to the true record of the other side). Last night was at least a good start.