Daily Archives: October 4, 2008

2008 Autumn Brew Review

Chris Riemenschneider has a short article about the 2008 Autumn Brew Review in this weeks Star Tribune. I had not heard of the Lift Bridge Brewery (from Stillwater, MN) up until now, but I am curious to get a hold of some their beers to try.

It didn’t surprise me that the Surly booth was very popular, I’ve simply never had a bad beer made by them. Speaking of which, I just picked up a 4-pack of Surlyfest, their interpretation of Oktoberfest style beer and will post a review in a few days.


The Hard Bigotry of Low Expectations

“What’s saddest I think is that Palin is getting much better reviews than she would have if she were a man. Let’s face it. The press is holding her to a much lower standard for fear of being called sexist by Republicans. Dan Quayle did much better than Palin did in his 1988 debate and he didn’t get nearly the praise she has.” – Anonymous Liberal, 10/3/08

While I agree with A.L.’s general assessment in his/her analysis, I would like to take it one step further by asking a couple of questions.

What if Barack Obama displayed the same lack of knowledge about the issues, save for a bare memorization of sound bites? How do you think those that are enamored with Palin would treat him? Can anyone see the caricature about the “ignorant black man” character? Can anyone see the demagoguery about “affirmative action within the Democratic Party”?

What if Barack Obama had a black teenage daughter that got knocked up by some unfocused not-ready-to-be-a-father black kid? How do you think the cultural warriors would handle this? Does the phrase “moral breakdown of society” and “parents not knowing how to teach values” ring a bell?

What if Barack Obama consistently told significant lies about facts and figures despite all facts being to the contrary?

What you are witnessing is an absolute farce. What you are witnessing right now is Republican Affirmative Action. What you are witnessing is an insult to your intelligence.


“Little Gordon Ramsay”

I am a huge fan of the British version of the “Kitchen Nightmares” TV show (the American version on FOX hypes the drama beyond the ridiculous point). Anyway, if you’ve seen Mr. Ramsay in action, you’ll love this spoof with “Little Gordon Ramsay”. – RJay

It’s About the Undecideds, Stupid.

As I’ve watched the two campaigns during the past two weeks, it seems to me that the McCain organization is not playing its game on winning the undecided voters very well.

They have not been very creative in projecting a coherent and fresh argument, often relying on old arguments heard many times in many election cycles. There are several possibilities to this:

  • Less Talented Campaign Managers: They are relying on shop-worn platitudes and arguments (“He’ll raise your taxes”, “He wants to weaken America”, “The most liberal voting record”, etc). The problem with using last year’s playbook is that your opponent has made adjustments based on prior lousy performance and is therefore, bringing a better game to the field. The other problem is that those lines do not carry the same weight anymore. The government has ballooned to a size that we have never seen in this country’s great history. America itself is weakened because the military’s resources are stretched and our allies are so alienated that they will offer only token help to us. The undecided voter, either intellectually or through their “gut”, will realize that the words do not match the reality.
  • Consolidating The Base: Presidential elections are strongly influenced by voter turnout and voter enthusiasm. For reasons we are unaware of (perhaps internal polling), they feel that at this point of the campaign, they need to allocate resources and free media time (the P and VP debates) to do this. In this respect, it is possible that they are playing for a respectable and face-saving defeat.
  • Arrogance: They are underestimating the strength of their opponent. Mr. Obama seems to have this effect on his competitors. They think he is a lightweight whose luster will quickly fade. Just ask Hillary Clinton and Mark Penn.

Whatever the reason, I believe it is a misguided strategy.

If you watched the two Bush campaigns of ’00 and ’04, what you would have seen is a masterful operation in getting the undecided and independent vote. One could make the argument that ’04 was a war-time vote. However, in 2000, he was running during a time of peace and economic success.

The undecideds and independents will ultimately put the winner over the top. One campaign so far is taking that seriously.


A True Conservative

Daniel Larison, an excellent conservative writer, has a great piece on the tendencies of people to try to compare every two-bit political hack to Ronald Reagan. Mr. Larison has not drank from the Kool-Aid well:

“Reagan didn’t need to learn the names of foreign leaders and conventions for discussing foreign policy when he was nominated to a national ticket, because he had already acquired that knowledge decades earlier.  If there were people who underestimated Reagan during any of his presidential campaigns, and I know there were, they did so out of their ignorance of what Reagan’s familiarity with foreign affairs was.  There’s some pretty poor reasoning going on among Palin’s fans: “Palin is a governor, Reagan was a governor, therefore Palin will be like Reagan.”  What is most remarkable about all of this is that in the desperate effort to make Palin credible even Reagan will be shown disrespect.”


Quote of the Day: Kathleen Parker

“I’m sure it is coincidence that, upon the Palin column’s publication, a conservative organization canceled a speech I was scheduled to deliver in a few days. If I were as paranoid as the conspiracy theorists are, I might wonder whether I was being punished for speaking incorrectly.

Unfortunately, that’s the way one begins to think when party loyalty is given a higher value than loyalty to bedrock principles.” – Kathleen Parker, conservative columnist on the outrage she encountered after writing that Palin should withdraw from the ticket.