The dirt did cast a shadow over the convention - John McCain's presidency would rise or fall depending on Sarah's speech and the RNC counter attack. It seems the media had no such travel plans going to Trinity United Methodist Church or Bill Ayres home to check out scandals in Barack Obama's closet. When Obama said at the Saddleback Civil Form that America's greatest moral failure is that we are not our brother's keeper, but no one went to Kenya to interview his half-brother, who lives on under $1 per month and whom Barack Obama hypocritically offers not even a cup of cold water. Where is the story that Democrats preaching compassion RARELY exercise it with THEIR OWN MONEY? Al Gore have $274 to charity while berating the rest of us. More poor Americans give more to charity from Al Gore, and Barack Obama suddenly increased his giving astronomically when it became politically expedient.
One point of interest is that the white populations of Alaska and Illinois are essentially equal percentage-wise - 67% or 2/3. Most would give the opinion that Illinois is cosmopolitan and Alaska is a backwater. The minorities are different, but a real part of the tableau. One could credibly argue that the cultural differences with the Eskimos (you P.C. people, don't faint - they use that term in Alaska without offense while the eastern Canadians blanch at it) are more far-reaching than differences in the lower 48. I would have loved to hear from an Inuit or Yu'pik (other than her husband who is part Yu'pik) what his or her take is on the Governor's sensitivity to minorities.
Moving on. Newscasters alleged to be well informed say that a McCain presidency would be the end of abortion - ah. if only that were true. The fact is the Court and the Congress have a lot to do with it. Christians for Obama justify their support by saying that abortion won't stop with McCain. They are likely RIGHT. Reagan didn't stop it, Bush didn't stop it. In fact, Reagan appointed two Supreme Court justices who ended up prolonging the standing of Roe v. Wade. What many voters do not know, though, it that Obama is pushing the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) which would remove ALL state restrictions, rules of parental notification, and force ALL people, regardless of their position on abortion, to PAY for the abortions of others, in other words, being complicit in the murder of the unborn. THERE HAS BEEN ALMOST NO COVERAGE OF THIS IN THE MEDIA. They know this would not go over well with many who are NOT anti-abortion. It is an attempted power-grab by co-sponsors including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Joe Lieberman, and others. This law would remove power from any national or local branch of government to do anything to compromise abortion of any kind anywhere. Roe v Wade itself has provision for reexamination when science progresses and even pro-abortion groups acknowledge that "the right decision was reached with the wrong logic". This power grab seeks to avoid the protections of the separation of powers and is being done because Democrats assume they will have a large majority come November. Of course, extreme news bias is nothing new - every Republican is a blubbering idiot and every Democrat is a model of greatness. Odd thing is, the American public manages to rise up over the overwhelming tide of propaganda more often than not. The problem is, the Presidential race often puts congressional races in the background, and the results are often less than satisfactory - there are TWO elected branches of government. Having them fighting each other accomplishes little.
One illuminating interview was of J.C. Watts with Sean Hannity. Up until a week ago, J.C. was conflicted on who to vote for. He was seriously considering Mr. Obama. J.C. is right is his observation that many in the G.O.P. feel the evangelicals are taken for granted and that there are still racial undertones which limit its appeal across the board. J.C. is right. Simply saying you are against abortion is not enough unless you work for change and endure the wrath of the media. Constantly saying that we shouldn't feel guilty for the sins of our forebears is not enough. There REMAINS heavy racial undertones - I know, I hear it OFTEN. I honestly don't think Democrats are any more enlightened than the G.O.P. in this regard, as I have seen a lot of hypocrisy by hyper liberals. The same is true of sex discrimination - have you noticed how pervasive in the liberal media (and Jay Leno of course) is the mantra that older Americans are someh0w unworthy of office and about to die). McCain's MOTHER is 96 and looks fit enough to run for office. I didn't hear anyone in the convention call them on this discrimination.
The brutality of Democrats against Sarah Palin with ad hominem attacks is incredible. I know. I have been on Politico and the Huffington Post. I stand up for the truth in these hostile venues. I didn't many posts from Christians and those with moral values. This is war, my friends - if you don't fight, we will lose. Hold your nose and post, post, post...
With the abbreviated convention, Tuesday brought the trio of President Bush (via video), Fred Thompson, who came into the battle late and had a disappointing - though far better than Joe Biden's - primary showing, and the suddenly indispensable Joe Lieberman. One wonders why Barack Obama didn't pick Joe Lieberman himself (ha, ha). President Bush only used fewer than 10 minutes, but he used them to praise John McCain's record and have some fun with John McCain being a thorn in his side many times. I wish he would have joked about his popularity rating being twice that of the Dem-controlled Congress. You gotta play offense.
Fred Thompson was the attack dog of the night with some of the best sound bites against Obama I have heard and gave Sarah Palin a big boost while dissing the Beltway folks. One wonders where this fire was during the primaries - he would have done far better, perhaps even gaining the nomination himself. Very moving was the detailed account of McCain's tenure in the Hanoi Hilton which was longer than most students spend getting a bachelor's and a master's degree - 5 1/2 long years. John's "Maverick" attitude was praised perhaps a bit too much, given some of the flawed legislation he was instrumental in passing by "crossing the aisle."
Joe Lieberman took the stage and explained why he was there - why the country matters more than politics. One would only hope that politicians would heed that priority, but I am not holding my breath. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try. The applause for Lieberman in praising Clinton's working with the G.O.P.'s majority in congress showed some growth from the days of seemingly endless videos and stories seeking to undermine his presidency. His call for national unity was noble, but with our deep divisions that seem so intractable, I believe that is a tall order. Switching from Fox to CNN, they were falling over themselves saying no one would pay any attention and that everyone wanted change. While in the tank for Obama, which is nothing new, they gave no reasons why the Democrats represent change. The DNC convention was warmed over 2004, 2000, 1996. etc. The RNC was all about change - crossing the aisle, warmly welcoming Joe Lieberman who disagrees with them on 95% of the issues, and putting a Maverick woman on the ticket. Irony indeed. I had to switch back to Fox so my dinner wouldn't come up. It amazes me how condescending and partisan some of these so-called journalist are - but I have known that since I was first exposed to the biased media firsthand at the age of 9 or 10.
On Wednesday, Rudi Guliani had his barbs for the Left-Wing Media and Hollywood. He treated the election as a job interview with two resumes. You can guess the rest. His critique of the Georgia crisis was most pointed, as Barack had made a major gaffe not knowing Russia had veto power on the security council. He also contrasted the party's differing visions for the country.
Wrapping up Wednesday was Vice President nominee Alaska Governor Sarah Palin - the aggressive basketball playing, moose-stew loving, gun-toting creationist Pentecostal beauty queen mother of five married to a man with 1/8 Yup'ik aboriginal Alaskan blood. The "Super-Mom" as they say. Well, she got her thunderous applause at the beginning, and she served up raw moose meat all night. Her husband must be one tough cookie. Her grasp of the energy situation was as expected her strongest point, with a fair amount of foreign connections to that thrown in. With the idea of moral clarity as opposed to carefully crafted nuances, one gets the idea that Putin would strongly prefer the European-sounding Obama to this pit-bull hockey mom who would seem to not run very easily from a fight. She contrasted her experience and plans with Obama's in terms of taxes, and proved an able booster of McCain's great appeal as a Maverick who has learned about evil first-hand. I believe this was the first time BOTH CNN and FOX lauded the same person on the same night.The difference was that CNN was dissing Sarah Palin before the speech and FOX offered opinions from both sides including Obama's man. CNN's Paul Bagala was the main dissenter as we knew he would be no matter whom John McCain nominated. You get the impression that if CNN was still on the air then, Paul would explain away the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and tell people it really didn't happen. On to the Huffington Post and the articles that appeared to have been crafted for posting regardless of what she said. I dutifully put up rebuttals. People have to realize that these folks are against ALL Christians, all people with traditional moral values, period. People who know NOTHING about me or my advance education TRASH me online because I say something different from the Kool-Aid they drink. Trust me, it has less to do with Sarah Palin than ANYONE, including YOU who stand for anything other than free sex, killing preborn infants, casual drug use, endless government and taxes (regardless of previous performance) and surrender in Iraq, reducing America to a third-rate power devoid of ALL Christian influence.
The contrasts with Hillary Clinton were striking. One gets the distinct feeling that Sarah would never put up with serial adultery no matter what the prize at the end might be. She respects herself too much for that. You also don't get the feeling of victimhood. Believe me, given the press of the week, she had every right to feel like a victim. She came off like a woman and was forceful without being strident. I believe a lot of women will be more attracted to her model than Hillary's.
Cindy McCain is often perceived as tough and cold. Her speech showed a warm and humanitarian side which undoubtedly would undoubtedly have improved her image had she not worn an outfit costing between $299,100 and $313,100 (according to Vanity Fair anyway) on the opening night. About $280,000 of that was in the earrings, but can you say "Rick Republicans?" Yeh, yeh, I know that Dems are crazy spenders as well, particularly the Hollywood types. When the Bible teaches modesty, did you know that the COST of clothes and jewelry was the main point? Sarah Palin's wardrobe was the polar opposite (pun not intended). She frumpifies herself on purpose to have the stereotypical librarian look to try to avoid the jealous digs of other women. Maybe she'll get some contact lenses, let her hair down after the election and trade in Target (or wherever she got that stuff) for at least Chico's. Laura Bush proved you could be an elegant librarian who broke the stereotype. Sarah could learn from her in that regard.
John McCain had a hard act to follow and wrapped up the convention with a Town Hall style speech on a reduced spare platform which was a great contrast with the DNC's "Greek Temple". The moving introductory video was a clarion call to care for others and use the convictions from the freedom stolen from you to fight even harder for the freedom of others. No way to argue against that.
McCain spoke kindly of Barack Obama and his supporters, which was classy. One would hope the harsh tone of the campaign ads on both sides will stick to issues and maintain decorum. He expressed compassion with many specifics for standing with those who are struggling. Many believe some government programs are needed, which the G.O.P. tends to eschew, but no one can argue that so many government programs are frought with waste and often serve to employ indifferent bureaucrats more than solve problems. I would hope that in the effort to purge out the ineffective, care will be taken to preserve and enhance what IS working. The message of change - getting back to basics, the culture of life.
McCain expressed solidarity with those who have lost their jobs by reforming the unemployment system to better train people for jobs in the new economy and use government assistance to help those in low paying jobs during the retraining process make up the income gap. School choice, new drilling for oil, and the reduction of foreign aid to hostile nations grew enthusiastic cheers from the faithful. Sadly missing was any talk about bring us together (separations among people based upon ethnicity, economics, age, and sex are still with us - if I were up there I would also have noted that it is the liberal blogs which are the most divisive these days and joked that with genes from a well-preserved 96-year old mother, reports of my demise were premature and I could be around for 6 terms if they didn't have term limits).
Tough talk on Russia and in forming alliances based upon common vision as well as being careful with the military resonated because of his unique perspective. McCain's trademark bipartisanship was a bit less enthusiastically received in the hall, but I believe it will resonate with many Americans watching who are tired of the parties demonizing each other. The most impressive part was his call to stand up and fight for the good of the country with the good old American optimistic spirit that nothing is impossible when we all work together.
On to the campaign - we will see how well all the ideals expressed by Barack Obama and John McCain are lived out by the candidates AND their supporters.