Patterico's Pontifications

11/14/2008

Was John McCain Truly the Most Electable Republican?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 9:12 pm

Sometimes you go back to one of your old posts and think to yourself: you know, this post really holds up with the passage of time. (Then there are the ones you’d like to forget about — so you do.)

One post that I think has held up pretty well is one that I wrote on February 4, 2008, while the Republican primary was still going hot and heavy. My post was titled John McCain: The Myth of an Electable Candidate. Responding to a Wall Street Journal piece by Steven G. Calabresi and John O. McGinnis calling John McCain the most electable Republican, I said this:

It’s my view that McCain only seems electable because of his media image, which will collapse once the country actually gets to know him in the general election.

. . . .

Many voters will eventually learn that McCain’s image is nothing like the reality. People who know nothing of McCain except his image are finally going to sit down and watch a debate. At that point, a lot of them are going to say: “Holy crap! That’s the guy I thought I liked?!” The antiwar crowd will finally realize he makes George Bush look like Neville Chamberlain. And everyone will see McCain’s smug condescension, born of a background of elitism and privilege. It will manifest itself in that self-satisfied mockingly contemptuous grin that he can’t hide.

In response to the assertion by Calabresi and McGinnis that the nomination of Mitt Romney could cost Republicans, not only the White House, but the ability to filibuster in the Senate, I said:

It could. But I believe that the nomination of John McCain is far more likely to create the same result.

And here we are, facing recounts that could well put Democrats over the magic number of 60.

My conclusion was simple:

[E]veryone is certain that [McCain] is the most electable Republican, based on what is known now. I believe that is wrong.

Of course, I continue to maintain that any Republican would have lost this election to Hillary or Obama. And there’s no way of knowing whether Romney would have been better than McCain. Maybe he would have been worse.

But I think he would have been better. Romney campaigned on fixing the economy from the get-go; he brought it up in every debate, while McCain kept talking about the war. McCain’s economic policy truly was little more than “Drill, Baby, Drill!” McCain is a guy who got nailed (however unfairly) for saying that the fundamentals of our economy were strong, and openly discussed his relative weakness on economic issues.

I’m not saying that Mitt Romney would have been some kind of savior.

But McCain sure wasn’t, was he?

Trial Delayed for Alleged Palin Email Hacker

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 7:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Instapundit notes that the trial for the University of Tennessee student who allegedly hacked into Sarah Palin’s email has been delayed. According to a Knoxville News Sentinel article, the delay is necessary because of the involvement of forensic computer experts.

I don’t care what the outcome of this case is but if the defendant is found guilty, I don’t think there should be jail time but I strongly support a sentence that prohibits him from writing a book or article about his exploits. I doubt that will know that won’t happen but, hey, I can hope.

– DRJ

Karl Rove, “Condensed and Edited”

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The online version of the New York Times published this interview with Karl Rove that is entertaining because it’s clear Rove has no affection for the questioner, Deborah Solomon. The article also contains these notices at the end:

“INTERVIEW CONDUCTED, CONDENSED AND EDITED BY DEBORAH SOLOMON

A version of this article appeared in print on November 16, 2008, on page MM16 of the New York edition.”

Despite the use of the past tense, I assume this means the New York Times will publish some or all of this interview in print on Sunday. In addition, the online questions and/or answers have apparently been “condensed and edited” by the reporter.

There should be plenty of space to print the complete interview in an online version, and it doesn’t seem right to edit questions or answers after-the-fact. I know there are journalists who read this blog. What am I missing?

– DRJ

A WLS Entry In The Continuing Series “Deport The Criminals First”

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First — WLS @ 3:13 pm

[Posted by WLS Shipwrecked]

Word out today from the SF Chronicle is that one of the suspects in the July 31 murder of a 14 year old boy in San Francisco was shielded by the City of San Francisco’s “sanctuary” law from potential deportation after he was incarcerated in 2007 for an earlier gang-related assault.

The suspect, 17 year old Rony Aguilera, a self-identified member of the Salvadoran gang MS-13, was released on probation in that case by a juvenile court judge who allowed him to reside in Houston with his parents, while being informally monitored from San Franciso by juvenile authorities. Pursuant to the policy then in force by the City of San Francisco, Aguilera was not reported to federal immigration authorities even though was subject to deportation.

In December 2007 his probation was ended, and he returned to San Francisco. Here’s the Chron’s description of the final moments of 14 year old Ivan Miranda’s life:

According to police accounts, Ivan was stabbed on a street in the Excelsior neighborhood a few hours after the relative of an MS-13 member was wounded in a shooting. Gang members blamed the rival Norteño group, and several went looking for Norteños to attack, investigators said.

Ivan had no connection to the Norteños, police said, but the gang members attacked him anyway as he talked with two friends at the corner of Madrid and Persia streets.

The boy was stabbed with what police described as a Japanese-style sword and was robbed of the iPod he was returning to his friend. When he tried to run, two assailants chased him down and stabbed him through the neck, nearly decapitating him, police said.

….

Hours after Ivan was killed, suspects in the case met up with a federal informant who secretly taped the meeting. Aguilera told the informant, “We stabbed the son of a bitch,” according to a transcript of the conversation. “There is no problem with this homeboy anymore,” he said later.

Another proud moment for the Sanctuary City movement.

Lefties: Predict Obama’s Successes

Filed under: Obama — Patterico @ 1:24 pm

This is the flip side of this morning’s post asking what dire things conservatives predict Obama will do.

There are plenty of lefties who read this site. More than one of you has suggested that Obama will be a tremendous success.

Great. Let’s make some firm predictions, with specific time frames.

What will Obama accomplish in his first three months? His first year? His first term?

Get your predictions in now, and we’ll revisit them when the appropriate time periods roll around.

Come on: put your reputations where your mouth is. If you think he’ll do great things, then tell us what, and by when.

Soliciting Your Predictions on What Obama Will Do

Filed under: Obama — Patterico @ 7:27 am

Let’s accept, for the sake of argument, the assertions of various critics (including commenters to this site) as to the character of Barack Obama. I would like your predictions as to how this will manifest itself, specifically.

For purposes of this post, we’ll take it as a given that Barack Obama is “a[n] evil person” and “scum.” That he is “gutter trash” and a “liar and a thief.” We’ll accept as a sensible concern the possibility that Obama “may create a security force akin to the Gestapo to impose a Marxist dictatorship.”

If all these things are true, surely Obama cannot keep this under wraps. His evil, scummy, gutter trash character will have to emerge in some way.

So what, specifically, will he do?

I’ve already given my prediction: “I think he will damage this country with bad policies.” He’ll raise taxes and appoint rotten judges. He will weaken our fight against terror. At times, he will use shady political tactics to achieve all sorts of wrongheaded, far-left goals. Pretty much what any Democrat would do as President.

Somehow, I think most of you have something more dire in mind. I’d like to know what it is.

I would like specific predictions for Obama’s first three months, first year, and first four years.

How will Obama’s fundamental badness manifest itself in action?

Get on record now! We’ll come back and revisit this post after each relevant time period has passed, to see which dire predictions have come true. Nostradamuses can gloat through their tears.

I’m feeling pretty good about my predictions. Leave yours in the comments.

Hillary for Secretary of State!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 am

I think Hillary would be perfect. (H/t Instapundit.) She’s so knowledgeable about foreign affairs! Remember how knowledgeable she was about Pakistan?


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