Advice for those conservatives with palm-shaped forehead bruises
Many who are rooting for the McCain-Palin ticket or against the Obama-Biden ticket are frustrated with what they view as an uninspired campaign by Sen. McCain and his advisers. That frustration leaves us susceptible to discouragement - the precise emotion that the Dems' and their mainstream media allies are working very hard at promoting, relying in large measure on political polling whose accuracy is highly suspect.
In particular, right now there's a great temptation for those of us for whom John McCain was not our first choice for the GOP nomination to already start focusing about "How He Lost It." Folks, that's way premature. I've always believed that the Dems would lead in the polls up through election day, and that any GOP nominee would be running as an underdog. Every realistic victory scenario I've ever heard for this year required our team to pass through a trough something like this one - and given the size and urgency of the economic problems, it's actually quite amazing that we're not already totally swamped.
So I'm not particularly pessimistic. Come from behind victories are sweeter, and this one would be very sweet indeed. But even if your worst fears do come true, you'll have four years to polish your coulda-shoulda arguments. And there are better things for you to do right now than just to fume, even if they may be less obvious to you at the moment...
First, recognize that no campaign is optimal. Some of the things that most frustrate you, as a committed conservative, as you watch the path of the McCain campaign may not be miscues at all in the eyes of independent or cross-over voters. And the Biden-Obama campaign has also continued to make its own share of blunders - of which, again, only some of may be obvious to you, since you're not in that swing voter group. To a larger extent than you probably would think likely, each campaign's mistakes will tend cancel each other out.
Next, keep in mind that John McCain's character traits that are dictating the kind of campaign he's runniing - which includes his stubbornness, his instincts toward compromise, and a sense of propriety and decency (which his opponent and his campaign feign but do not truly share) - are, and have always been, parts of a double-edged sword. John McCain is what he is. And he is uninterested in, and incapable of, remaking himself in any fundamental way to meet an acute campaign need. Indeed, friends and neighbors, he's already demonstrated more innovative thinking - by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate - than I would permit myself to expect back when he clinched the nomination.
And finally, keep in mind that there are limits to what either campaign could accomplish even if either were to suddenly begin to run an optimal, perfect campaign. Even among those voters who are still undecided, most of them will end up making their final decisions based on the underlying fundamentals of the election - not based on the latest proposals from either campaign over the coming three weeks before election day. Between now and November 4th, Barack Obama is not going to miraculously grow a genuine record of legislative accomplilshment, for example, and neither is he going to transmute himself into anything but a first-term Chicago politician who's still "green behind the ears." Yes, he'll come up with new panders and give-aways - tens of billions of dollars worth of those. But fundamentally, he's not gotten any better, and he's just hoping he can keep his current momentum to manage to coast across the finish line.
The nationalization of the banks
"There's nothing so permanent," Milton Friedman famously said, "as a temporary government program." For instance, I grew up in a rent-controlled apartment thanks to a temporary measure enacted during WWII. I was born nearly three decades after the war ended. Let's hope that the partial nationalization of America's banking system isn't equally "temporary."
In a dramatic meeting Monday between Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the heads of the nine biggest banks, the U.S. government made the financial industry an offer it couldn't refuse: Uncle Sam is buying big chunks of your banks whether you like it or not. Paulson didn't say, "I can either have your signature on this contract or your brains," the way Don Corleone explained things to Johnny Fontaine's bandleader in "The Godfather," but you get the picture.
Extraordinary crises sometimes require extraordinary measures. The danger is that the extraordinary could become merely ordinary.
Fannie Mae and related institutions were created during the New Deal to help expand homeownership. It was - and is - a laudable goal, and the government can point to some real successes, particularly when such programs were fundamentally conservative in their practices. But even then, the government was simultaneously subsidizing bad risks - hence making them seem less risky than they really were - while delaying the day when those toxic loans would reach critical mass. We've hit that day, and it has cost us trillions of dollars.
The Bush administration's shock trauma team has been doing things they once considered unimaginable and even today find philosophically repugnant. But again, we do things to patients in an emergency that we would never do when they're healthy. The federal government's mandatory quarter-trillion-dollar buy-in to the American banking system, we're told, is a temporary measure. The terms of the loans rammed down the bankers' throats are designed to encourage them to pay it all back within five years.
But who says those terms will stay that way? After all, the government now has a more real and explicit ownership position in these "private" banks than it ever did in Fannie and Freddie, which were so-called Government Sponsored Enterprises. More important, the Bush team is heading out the door. When the next squad comes in, they might discover they like being co-owners of America's banking system.
Democrats in Congress had great fun using Fannie and Freddie as public policy piggy banks, rewarding constituencies, funding pet projects, forcing the private sector to dance to their tune. What's to stop them from renegotiating this week's deal after the election and using Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and the others as Fannie Mae 2.0?
Please don't say that the terms of the deal are set and the government can't revise them. If there's one thing the last month has hammered home, it's that nothing is written in stone. Besides, the banks may grow to like the security of partial nationalization and even lobby to Congress to stay on as less-than-fully-silent partners. Heck, that way they wouldn't have to pay back the loans.
Barack Obama already has a strong record of sympathy for "public-private partnerships" and other schemes that put government in the driver's seat. ACORN, the militant wing of the Democratic Party, has been trying to shake down banks for years, and Obama is on record as saying it and similar groups will have a major role in helping him craft policy. And it's hardly reassuring that Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Nancy Pelosi will be running Congress. It doesn't seem crazy to suspect that a crowd that sees nationalization of health care as a vital public policy goal will not be dogmatically adverse to the nationalization of the credit markets.
How central banks destabilized the world' s economies: A step-by-step explanation of what caused the financial crisis. It is impossible to understand the present economic turmoil without knowledge of the economic fallacies upon which the central banks base their monetary policies. To fully comprehend the situation we also need to see why these dangerous fallacies have been adopted and are now generally accepted without question by the economics profession
Why Obanomics = Hoovernomics: Hoover's economic views is that they are not much different from Obama's. Hoover believed in protectionism, so does Obama, Hoover believed that higher taxes were necessary, so does Obama. Hoover believed in greater government intervention in the market place. So does Obama. Hoover believed in protecting money wages no matter what, so does Obama
Biden's Secret Diplomacy: A KGB file reveals that Biden was another Democrat who wanted to cosy up to the Soviets. This liar told the Soviets he only pretended to care about Russian dissidents so as to impress the folks back home. There is no doubt about it. He and Obama were made for each other
Obama's henchmen and the rise of commufascism: The willingness of the Obama campaign to use state power, to censor dissent even before Obama holds the actual power he seeks is deeply troubling. If he are willing to trample on the right to free speech now what would he be like if in the Oval Office?
The bailout of abominations: Socialism has finally arrived, thanks to the shameful collaboration of the people's representatives, under the guise of saving one and all from a phony financial catastrophe. a Chicken Little tale that worked. If you have any doubts, simply have a look at the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
What If Obama doesn't have America's best interests at heart?: What if Obama doesn't have America's best interest at heart? What if his candidacy has to do with the willful and radical recreation of the country, one that embraces Marxist ideals? What if the "change we can believe in" is directed subversion of the Republic in favor of the sort of socialist state that America-haters like Bill Ayers have been dreaming of since the Sixties?
How much of this anger is the media's fault?: Is it really a surprise that individuals prone to support McCain that have been following the election closely enough to read alternative, or new media are outraged right now? It's certainly no surprise to me that the lop-sided coverage breeding so much frustration among so many would now attempt to turn that frustration into yet another negative against John McCain and his supporters
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH (2), TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)