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Archive for the '’08 Election' Category

On Poseurs and Racists

August 18th, 2008 by Vincent

John Heilemann tries for… well… something; ends up looking like a complete poseur.

To wit:

… the Democrat would still need to win 40 percent of the overall paleface vote to prevail in November.

But McCain is whipping the hopemonger among white men…

… a background alien to much of Wonder Bread America

I’m not sure if he was trying to be edgy, build up some progressive cred, or was just getting in a few partisan cheap shots, but the whole “Obama-as-hapless-victim” narrative is starting to get pretty threadbare.

When even Paris Hilton, who figured in the McCain campaign’s ad supposedly filled with “coded racism”, gets the point of said ad, Obama supporters, to say nothing of Obama himself, look especially cynical whenever they busy themselves by invoking the chimera of rampant racism in this campaign.

Is race a factor? Yes. Is racism a factor? Of course it is.  Is saying that the main thing stopping Obama from steamrolling McCain is “racial prejudice”? No. That’s a facile argument.

Paris Hilton on the Offensive!

August 6th, 2008 by Vincent

Okay, this is totally awesome:

 Socialite Paris Hilton has made a spoof advertisement in response to a jibe by US presidential hopeful John McCain.

Reclining on a chair in a swimming costume and gold stilettos, she said: “Thanks for the endorsement, white-haired dude.

“I want America to know that I’m, like, totally ready to lead.”

At the beginning of the star’s film, an announcer called Mr McCain “the oldest celebrity in the world, like super-old; old enough to remember when dancing was a sin and beer was served in a bucket”.

Hilton’s spoof also intersperses images of Mr McCain and Yoda from Star Wars and the cast of TV show The Golden Girls.

The 27-year-old suggested a hybrid of Mr McCain’s offshore oil-drilling plan and Mr Obama’s incentives for new energy technology.

“Energy crisis solved. I’ll see you at the debates,” she said.

A spokesman for Mr McCain’s campaign, Tucker Bounds, said: “Paris Hilton might not be as big a celebrity as Barack Obama, but she obviously has a better energy plan.” 

This is officially turning into the most hillarious presidential campaign season ever.

Epic Fail

August 4th, 2008 by Vincent

Newsweek publishes one of the worst pieces of journalism I’ve ever read.

Pablum We Can Believe In

July 24th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Jim Geraghty over at NRO has a challenge for you:

Pop quiz, hot shot. Pick out the “We Are The World” lyrics vs. Obama speech lines.

A: “We can’t go on pretending day by day that someone, somewhere will soon make a change.”

B: “This is the moment we must help answer the call.”

C: “But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall.”

D. “The world will watch and remember what we do.”

E. “Let us realize that a change can only come when we stand together as one.”

F. “We cannot afford to be divided.”

G. “These now are the walls we must tear down.”

H. “This is the moment when we must come together.”

I. “They’ll know that someone cares, and their lives will be stronger and free.”

Dotters-Katz Voter Reg Effort Questioned

July 17th, 2008 by Niedermeyer

When ASUO President Dotters-Katz kicked the OSA campus coordinator off campus, you could almost hear the heads exploding at OSA headquarters. Now, like any good lobbying group that has been called out as unnecessary, the OSA is in full-on self-justification mode. And it begins with a story in the Daily Emerald, in which we are introduced to a troubling side effect of Dotters-Katz’ rash move: without OSA there will be no voter registration at the UO. Well, according to the student body president of PSU, anyway.  “I let him know how hard it’s been to not have (a campus organizer) for the last couple of months,” ASPSU President Hannah Fisher confides to the ‘Ol Dirty. “If U of O fails then we all fail,” says Fisher of the OSA’s statewide voter reg effort. “If it’s not broken you don’t fix it.”

But Dotters-Katz doesn’t seem too concerned about the dire warnings from Portland. In fact, his executive has publicly committed to registering 10,000 students at the U of O. Dotters-Katz tells the ODE: “there’s going to be a huge presence on campus, and we expect that we will met our goal due to the effective planning of my team and the work of a huge corps of volunteers.” From classrooms to club sports to the Athletic Department, Dotters-Katz plan seems to have left nowhere to hide from hordes of voter registrators. And yes, he does somehow expect to do this with help only from Building Votes, a Bus Project-affiliated initiative.

And what of the criticism from Fisher that “not having a vote organizer on campus is going to make it a lot harder to meet his voter registration goal?” Well, if we look back to the last election year, we can see that the OSA (via then-Legislative Affairs Honcho Emily McLain) registered “only” 6,876 students. Now that’s quite an accomplishment, but it also means that if Dotters-Katz only achieves half of his goal he’ll still nearly match the OSA’s last election year result. And he’ll have saved students $30k, or over one dollar per student per year in the process. So when you inevitably get hassled to register to vote this fall, please just do so. It’s an easy way to reward leadership that takes on challenges to save students money, instead of outsourcing a simple job to a cynical lobbying group.

Obama Supporters Change Middle Name to “Hussein”

June 29th, 2008 by Vincent

Do you remember that scene in Jesus Camp where the kids are offering a prayer to a cardboard stand-up of George Bush? (Youtube link here, if you haven’t seen it before.) Well, some Obama supporters have officially creeped me out just as much as that scene in Jesus Camp did by “informally” changing their middle names to “Hussein” to show solidarity with their chosen one candidate:

Emily Nordling has never met a Muslim, at least not to her knowledge. But this spring, Ms. Nordling, a 19-year-old student from Fort Thomas, Ky., gave herself a new middle name on, mimicking her boyfriend and shocking her father.

“Emily Hussein Nordling,” her entry now reads.

With her decision, she joined a growing band of supporters of Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who are expressing solidarity with him by informally adopting his middle name.


“I am sick of Republicans pronouncing Barack Obama’s name like it was some sort of cuss word,” [Jeff Strabone of Brooklyn] wrote in a manifesto titled “We Are All Hussein” that he posted on his own blog and on

Mr. Strabone’s “manifesto” can be found here and contains such (creepy) pearls of wisdom as:

  • “Like Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Republicans will learn that Obama is a bright, shining piece of rubber, and they are the glue.”
  • “If we recall the famous ‘First they came’ speech of Martin Niemöller, we can say that many among us did speak up… What if they came for the Husseins, and everyone was named Hussein?”
  • “If we adopted a more flexible approach to our names, we might be more awake to the possibilities of self-reinvention.”
  • “The name Hussein comes from the Arabic noun husn, which… translates as ‘beauty, handsomeness, prettiness, loveliness; excellence, superiority, perfection’ and so on. Reader, do you feel beautiful? I surely do, and I invite you to feel the same way.

Good lord, someone get these people off the streets.

(Via Instapundit)

Metal Mondays: Angry People Edition

June 16th, 2008 by Vincent

I was browsing the Eugene Weekly blog when I ran across a link to this lovely “open letter” to women supporters of Hillary Clinton that reads like it might’ve been penned by Nate Gulley:

Your whiteness is showing.

…[O]n the first part of the above equation–the part where you insist voting against Obama is about gender solidarity–you are, for lack of a better way to put it, completely full of crap. And what’s worse is that at some level I suspect you know it. Voting against Senator Obama is not about gender solidarity. It is an act of white racial bonding, and it is grotesque.

If it were gender solidarity you sought, you would by definition join with your black and brown sisters come November, and do what you know good and well they are going to do, in overwhelming numbers, which is vote for Barack Obama. But no. You are threatening to vote not like other women–you know, the ones who aren’t white like you and most of your friends–but rather, like white men!

And how are we to understand that refusal–this sudden line in the proverbial sand–other than as a racist slap at a black man? You will vote for white men year after year after year–and are threatening to vote for another one just to make a point–but can’t bring yourself to vote for a black man, whose political views come much closer to your own, in all likelihood, than do the views of any of the white men you’ve supported before. How, other than as an act of racism, or perhaps as evidence of political insanity, is one to interpret such a thing?

Have an angry day.


McCain Gives Shout-out to OC

June 4th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Well, sort of. The Oregon Commentator is listed as a suggested conservative blog on John McCain’s website. It’s kind of cool to be listed alongside some of the big names like Volokh Conspiracy. A few of our friends from the AFF blog contest are also listed, as well as local Oregon blog NW Republican.

Of course, this all comes with a catch. From the website:

Select from the numerous web, blog and news sites listed here, go there, and make your opinions supporting John McCain known. Once you’ve commented on a post, video or news story, report the details of your comment by clicking the button below. After your comments are verified, you will be awarded points through the McCain Online Action Center.

What’s the current exchange rate for McCain Points? Can I also win McCain Points by playing skeeball? How many do I need to get a secret decoder ring?

’08 Elections Odds & Ends

June 3rd, 2008 by Vincent
  • Hillary Clinton is “open” to being Obama’s VP. We all knew she was holding out for something, didn’t we? In any case, I’d rather see Vice President Clinton than Supreme Court Justice Clinton (either one of them, actually).
  • Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, told a bunch of racist scum to go die in a fire. Good for him, especially since Ron Paul couldn’t bring himself to give back the money the owner of Stormfront donated to his campaign.
  • John McCain is still old and boring. No news yet about what he seriously thinks his chances in this election are.

Bob Barr Wins Libertarian Presidential Nomination

May 25th, 2008 by Amy

I’ve had the pleasure of watching the 2008 Libertarian convention LIVE! on C-SPAN this afternoon. After 6 ballots, and a clusterfuck of debates, discussion, and chanting, Bob Barr has been selected to be the Libertarian Party’s nominee.

Due to a change in the bi-laws, Wayne Allyn Root, former presidential candidate (as of about ballot #4), may now run for VP with Barr.

I’m a little personally frustrated because both Barr and Root just converted to the Libertarian Party this year, and I was pulling for Mary Ruwart because of her previous nominations within the party, and her fly bangs. At least she made it to ballot #6.

As a side note; if someone were to make a movie about Wayne Allyn Root’s life, might I suggest casting Sean Astin, the guy from The Goonies and Lord of the Rings, as Root? Just a suggestion.

Oregon Primary Updates

May 20th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Hillary has won Kentucky. Obama still has an overall lead in delegates, though. All eyes are now on Oregon, where polls officially close at 8 p.m. I’ll be updating this as the news comes in.

Goodbye 20th Century

May 20th, 2008 by Vincent

This week in the New Yorker, George Packer writes about “the fall of conservatism”. Usually, such screeds amount to little more than “progressive” triumphalism, one-dimensional “analysis” of the failings of the Bush Administration, or barely-informed rants about “neocons”, but Packer avoids most of that and an awful lot of his piece rings true.

“Conservatism”, at least of the classic Nixon/Reagan variety, is a spent force, a movement that lost its raison d’etre the moment the Soviet Union collapsed and after which it itself collapsed into an uneasy alliance of “libertarians, evangelicals, neoconservatives, Wall Street, [and] working-class traditionalists”. It was the remains of a movement that found itself holding the reins of government and realized it had no idea what to do with them.

Conservatives (or at least Republicans), Packer argues, had figured out how to win elections — look no further than the machinations of Karl Rove — but what we ended up with was President Bush, whose entire term in office has consisted of a series of stupefying blunders — a political thrashing-about, if you will, that has had the effect of destroying whatever credibility “conservatism” had left with the public (and let’s be frank, whether or not “Republican” really equates to “conservative” these days is irrelevant to a public that almost always conflates the two).

I’m not going to attempt to summarize the whole of Packer’s article; it’s a fairly substantial piece that deserves to be read in full. I will, however, state that I largely agree with his conclusions (though in this election year that has, in so many ways, celebrated the “spirit of ’68”, I disagree with him when he claims that liberals have really engaged in many serious “rebranding efforts” or “earnest policy retreats”, but I digress). For years, the “conservatism” I encountered resembled little more than intellectual parochialism and slavish Reagan-worship.

I think it should be pretty clear to everyone that those days are over. If John McCain wins this election — and I seriously doubt he will — it won’t be because he’s a great candidate with fresh new ideas; he’s a Republican in the post-Reagan, post-Gingrich, George W. Bush mold. If he wins, it’ll be because Barack Obama will have been unable to overcome working-class white distrust, feminist bitterness over his triumph over Hillary Clinton, and simple, brute racism. A win for John McCain basically means political stagnation.

Still, I’d be lying through my teeth if I claimed I had all the answers (or any answers, for that matter). But Packer’s article has got me thinking. If conservatism is going to have any chance of regaining any sort of credibility, it’s going to have to come in a form not of a kind with what we’ve become accustomed to since Nixon. Instead of hearkening back to the halcyon days of Reagan, some new ideas are going to have to be laid on the table for once.

Got any?

Beranek v. McLain, Opinion Posted

May 19th, 2008 by Amy

Opinion 28 C.C. 2007/2008 has just been posted by Con. Court. In short, it’s been decided that Emily McLain was in non-fulfillment of duties and should be removed from office, based on last year’s happenings with Sara Hamilton and the 48-hour agenda nonsense. But, because Sam and Johnny will be sworn-in in six days, McLain will not be removed from office. Instead she will simply not receive her last month’s stipend.

There goes my hopes of seeing Athan as our student body president! I hope the next six days pass with Godspeed.

Metal Mondays: Imperial Presidency Edition

May 19th, 2008 by Vincent

Gene Healy, at Reason, has written about the rise of the “imperial presidency” in the American political tradition. Healy traces the slow transition from the reticent early Presidents to the radical increase of Presidential authority under Franklin Roosevelt and forward to the present.


Every Marriage Should Be Gay!

May 16th, 2008 by Timothy

California Supreme Court give go-ahead for same-sex marriage. Of course, homophobic bigots plan to try to amend the California Constitution in the fall in order to make sure that Adam & Steve cannot enter into this particular kind of contract. From Anti-freedom crusader Brian Brown:

The ruling) is not the way a democracy is supposed to handle these sorts of heartfelt, divisive issues,” said Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the groups helping to underwrite the gay marriage ban campaign. “I do think it will activate and energize Californians. I’m more confident than ever that we will be able to pass this amendment come November.”

At the heart of the matter isn’t really the debate over two persons of the same sex enganging in the marriage contract — to my mind the state has no business being involved in such personal matters in the first place — but rather the extent to which government is malleable by the majority. The worrisome thing about the behavior of same-sex marriage opponents is their obvious belief that the will of a scant majority of voters should trump the importance of deep principles such as equality before the law, and the limitations of government power.

It’s as if they simply to not recognize the place of the judiciary branch of the legal system. Any appropriate government is limited by its charter, but it’s also inevitable that over time those who make law will seek to expand the sphere of their own power, meaning that there must be a counterbalancing force to ensure that all new law fits within the scope of government’s defined powers, which is the place of the judiciary. Same-sex marriage opponents, seemingly, do not recognize this role and believe that the judiciary should show complete deference to the legislature. I suppose that would mean ruling in favor of government power almost universally…that certainly doesn’t sound very “conservative” to me.

UPDATE: A friend and I have declared today “Gay Marry An Illegal Immigrant Day!” If you’re single, and you live in California, see if you can help somebody out with a green card , somebody of the same sex. This is vital for the Republic, as the health of our nation rests squarely on irritating the nativist and homophobic right.