Monday, October 13, 2008

Winding here there up and around

McCain has gained a bit in polls. Just make a mental note.

Zogby has Obama's lead narrowing from 6 to 4 over three days.

Rasmussen has Obama's lead narrowing from 8 to 5 over the last week; declares Obama nevertheless has solid internals and a stable lead.

Gallup shifts from Obama up 11 to Obama up 7 (or Obama up 6, or Obama up 4 - Gallup is unsure of best metrics for calculation).

America's ship be sinking. McCain is a grizzled Navy man whom voters can trust to not unwisely and extremely worsen the leak.

However, McCain will have to do better than he does in this video, from Thursday in Waukesha, WI, wherein he demonstrates a tin ear and throws a damp cloth on the crowd.

McCain's response left the crowd feeling un-"gotten". Sarah Palin would have understood the crowd, and even shared their feelings. Bill Clinton also. Ronald Reagan also. GWB, Bush 41, Carter, Ford: not so much. Nixon? He understood the crowd. LBJ? He probably understood the crowd, which is why he didn't run in 1968. JFK? He very much understood the crowd.

Obama understands the crowd - though he has the advantage of being the One, The Messiah, and by definition everything he does or says is perfect and holy and redeeming:

h/t See, also, the vid w/the catchy tune and the participant observation:
He's almost like a revival for a lot of people's souls.


How does CNN treat a black man who speaks at a McCain rally in Waukesha? You know how:
Race traitor! "WHY aren't you supporting Obama? [...] I'd love to let you respond [to my criticism of your statement], but we're out of time. Email me, and we can go back and forth [I will set you straight]."


Greg Gutman (video with Michelle Malkin) on the media's "hateful McCain supporters" meme:
Whenever anyone talks about the tone of a campaign, it's bogus. It's a media-driven story. Basically, what they're trying to say is
Please, Senator McCain, lose gracefully. We want you to act like we act towards Obama. Don't ask unseemly questions. Don't get hypercritical about Ayers or Acorn.
And that's why people like Frank Rich(of NYT) and Maureen Dowd(of NYT) always bring up racism. Whenever you get into a really important question ... you have Frank Rich saying, when the tenor gets more heightened, "It's racism." It's almost as though as if you don't agree with Obama's policies, you must be racist. To me that's a bigger hate crime than anything around, in this day and age: to call someone a racist when they're not?! It's as bad as being a racist.
Speaking of: Ann Althouse has abandoned "cruel neutrality", is voting for Obama, and thinks adult Republicans and conservatives are, at minimum, more racist than adult Dems and left, as adult Dems and the left "aren't indulging in 'assassination fantasies'". Well, by delicious coincidence, Malkin just put up a widely linked post: Look Who's Gripped By Insane Rage, which lists several prominent Bush assassination fantasies which were made into books and movies.

Althouse grew up in NY and in left side thinking. I respect her, but I don't respect this: she has an ingrained suspicion that the right are racists in some way which has special significance. It's a suspicion which is in her bones, and she is unlikely to ever shake it. Ann Althouse sees racists:
Anyway next thing I know, Ann Althouse is shouting at two of our dinner companions demanding that they prove to her (Althouse) that they are not racists! She kept asking over and over, "How do I know that I'm not sitting at a table full of racists?" This was completely bizarre! It should go without saying, but I will say it: No one at the conference could even remotely be accused of being racist.

Apparently, the three of them had been discussing the constitutionality of the public accommodations sections of the Civil Rights Act that forbids private businesses to racially discriminate among customers. [...] Again, people of good will can have serious disagreements on where the proper limits to state power should lie. For example, should the Feds outlaw gay marriage, medical marijuana, concealed carry, surrogate motherhood even though some states want their citizens to have the opportunity to participate in those activities? Some conservatives would say yes. Libertarians would say no.

In trying to explain to Althouse why private discrimination might be OK, I later pieced together that my tablemates had posed the question of whether or not Althouse would want to have the right to refuse to serve KKK members if she owned a restaurant--say, the KKK members were planning to have a weekly luncheon meeting at her cafe? My interpretation of what happened is that because she didn't want to appear to be hypocrite, she refused to answer and kept asking more and more abstract questions about their example. When she was backed into a corner, she lashed out, suggesting that people who disagreed with her feelings were racists. Eventually, she was so upset that she began crying. Of course, at that point the possibility of civil intellectual discourse completely evaporated.
About the problem of the existence of racist thought and attitude: the existence of racism is not as significant a negative factor as the left believe it is. Why? The significance of vast economic opportunity outweighs the significance of extant racism.

Every person, of any color, has personal advantages and disadvantages they deal with in life. However, opportunity is everywhere in America. Even if you have many disadvantages, you still have overwhelming economic opportunity available to you.

It's frequently said that the solution to offensive speech is more speech. Because the effect of racism is to limit opportunity, therefore the solution to racism is more opportunity.

It is the left's focus on victims, and the left's focus on feeling good about themselves b/c they feel sorry for victims, which is behind their continuing overemphasis on racism. Their instinctive solution, affirmative action, i.e. government forced behavior, is small scale totalitarianism. Left ideas invariably result in the totalitarianism of forced behavior.

The left's focus on racism reminds of Billy Graham's contention that Christians are overfocused on homosexuality:
"I think homosexuality is a sin. But I think it no greater a sin than the many sins I commit every day of my life."
See, also, Walter Williams:

I, Walter E. Williams, do declare full and general amnesty and pardon to all persons of European ancestry, for both their own grievances, and those of their forebears, against my people.

Therefore, from this day forward Americans of European ancestry can stand straight and proud knowing they are without guilt and thus obliged not to act like damn fools in their relationships with Americans of African ancestry.

If you are conservative, be confident that greater economic opportunity helps victims of racism more than sympathy. Greater opportunity helps more than affirmative action laws which burden the market and ultimately reduce economic opportunity for the very persons such laws are designed to help. Be confident that economic opportunity is not generated by government, but rather by the free market. A rising tide lifts boats of all colors.

Update - my point to Ms. Althouse:

Assume you were sitting at a table of racists: so what? You've ability to independently consider the merits of their reasoning. You are not intellectually defenseless against the clever misrepresentations of cunning racists. Consider the legitimacy of their reasoning. You are a skilled expert at doing exactly that.


Dampness and dirt road
Winding here there up around
Like it much I do


alice said...

I love that Billy Graham quote. That's a good way of telling how deep a person really is with their moral values- do they apply them only to other people, or also, openly, to themselves?

Self-criticism seems almost tabboo in the US - as if it makes you look bad to admit to not being successful in all areas. Just an impression.

Being deep is different from being sincere, because sincerity can be superficial & therefore relatively meaningless. (I find Obama sincere but not deep- if he wins, people will probably change their opinion of him as time goes by.)

gcotharn said...

I agree about Americans and self-criticism. My thinking is not complete in this area, but: I think it is about extreme narcissism in our society. The narcissism is good insofar as Americans often have the audacious belief they can achieve difficult things. Yet, American narcissism is also extreme to the point that Americans are less comfortable with acknowledging our own faults. There's an optimal balance in there somewhere, and maybe we frequently fail to find it. I will ruminate more about this.