September 15, 2008

TO: Senator Barack Obama

FROM: The Great White Shank

RE: Getting Your Groove Back

I know what you’re thinking – why should I listen to someone called The Great White Shank? Heck, you’re undoubtedly thinking, not even the other Goodboys listen to The Great White Shank. And the fact I’m not even remotely connected with politics gives you yet another reason to turn a deaf ear to what I have to say. But if you really, really want to win this Presidential election, you’ll listen to me and listen NOW. After all, there’s just a little over seven weeks to go until Election Day, and, if you don’t mind me saying, your campaign right now is flat-footed and totally off-stride since John McCain tagged Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Word on the street is you don’t take advice from others easily – especially people you don’t know. But like I say, if you want to win this election you’ll listen to me. Consider this The Great White Shank’s 5-point plan to victory…

1. Stop running against Sarah Palin. The idiots in the mainstream dino-media are falling all over themselves over Governor Palin’s perceived lack of experience. But understand: this is a no-win strategy for you. So what if she was mayor of a small city in Alaska. So what if Alaska, while the biggest state in the union is hardly the most populous. You want to compare your experience as a so-called “community organizer”, a state senator, and 1/3 term U.S. Senator and claim that as greater experience? Suggestion: Forget about Sarah Palin. Don’t even mention her in speeches or interviews. Your eye has to be on John McCain and only John McCain, and the vision of one U.S. Senator vs. another’s. At least that way you compete as equals.

2. Stop the anti-Palin insanity. The problem with all the anti-Palin hatred and hysteria from the elitists, feminists, and chardonnay-sucking girly men in the mainstream dino-media is that they can’t help themselves and therefore keep Palin front and center. This makes it difficult for you in two ways: 1) Palin remains the focus, and while she remains the focus you can’t get your message out; 2) it makes it look as if you’re running against Sarah Palin and not John McCain. That’s a battle you can’t win, because all it does is diminish you in stature while McCain gets a free pass. This has got to stop. Suggestion: I’d have your people spend the next couple of days calling all your buds in the mainstream dino-media and the entertainment industry, and those foam-at-the-mouth left-wing bloggers at the Daily Kos and tell them to go to black – er, pardon the expression.

3. Remember what got you here in the first place. Don’t you remember those heady days of December, January, and February? You acted like a different politician, spoke a message many people thirsted for. Remember? You were going to run a different kind of campaign, one that was going to transform American politics. So what happened to that eloquent, dynamic man of ideas and ideals? Did you leave all that back in Germany? I only ask because since you’ve returned you’ve become just another politician – negative, surly, and always on the defensive. Suggestion: Return to a campaign of ideas. Get back to issues and how your proposals will impact the average voter. Most importantly, become a “policy wonk” in the debates – people need to know your own lack of experience hasn’t stopped you from thinking big and outside the box.

4. Bring your own babe out on the campaign trail. McCain has his, you have yours. Send Joe Biden off to do his own campaigning thing and increase Michelle Obama’s exposure. After all, she has her own alternative female view of America, one that will help energize your base in the same way as Palin has done for McCain’s.Suggestion: For the next seven weeks make sure America sees Michelle as your regular partner on the campaign stops.

5. It’s the economy, stupid. Pocketbook issues are your strength, so stick with them. It’s what you’re most comfortable and articulate with, anyways. Avoid foreign affairs (outside, of course, of praising our men and women in uniform at every stop. Besides, you can’t win against McCain on that issue – you can worry about that once you’re in the Oval Office. Suggestion: Make the economy your sole focal point for the remainder of the campaign. Talk about every aspect of it, not just in terms of what’s happening today but where America will be after four years of an Obama presidency. ‘Cause people – epecially independents – are wanting to know.

Well there you have it, Barack, your keys to winning this election. It’s amazing you have to fight for it at this point – after all, all the winds of change have been blowing in the Democrats direction all year. You should be up at least ten points in the polls right now, but you’re not, so the last seven weeks are going to have to be a battle to the finish. If you follow these directions you’ll do just fine, I think. Regardless of what recent polls say, this election is still yours to lose, so make it happen.

Oh, two final minor suggestions:

If I were you I wouldn’t waste my time attacking McCain at all, all that does is make you look like just another politician (something you originally promised you wouldn’t be, remember?).

And do not – I repeat, DO NOT – reach out to the Clintons – Hillary or Bill – to go on the campaign trail on your behalf. Regardless of any lip service they might pay you, they are liars and do not have your best interests at heart. They are poison to you and your cause , so avoid them like the plague. Kow-tow to them at your own risk.

All the best,
The Great White Shank

P.S. If you ever feel the need to talk or just need more advice, let me know. I’m always here.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:07 | Comments Off on Memo To Barack
September 13, 2008

This is one of the finest and to the point columns I’ve ever read. Finally, a thoughtful and to the point expose on the sheer and utter hypocrisy of modern-day Feminism. For once, this corrupt and utter vacuous ideology has been revealed for what it truly is and always has been: far from interested in advancing the cause of women, Feminism has been and is really nothing more than yet another excuse for advancing the cause of modern-day Liberalism:

Feminists have been screaming like stuck pigs 24/7 since Palin was announced as McCain’s running mate. (Are pig metaphors completely verboten now?)

Feminist author Cintra Wilson writes in Salon (a house organ of the angry left) that the notion of Palin as vice president is “akin to ideological brain rape.” Presumably just before the nurse upped the dosage on her medication, Wilson continued, “Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa have me and my friends retching into our handbags. She’s such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty, it’s easy to write her off and make fun of her. But in reality I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism.”

And that’s one of the nicer things she had to say. Really.

Feminists are hooked on their own Kool-Aid; they actually believe the stuff they say. The shrill, angry women you see on MSNBC claiming to speak for all women actually think they do. But they don’t. They speak for a few left-leaning women in faculty lounges, editorial boardrooms and that’s about it.

Read the rest.

I’ve always thought a lot of the “Feminist” movement that arose out of the ’60s was – if you don’t mind me saying – a crock of $hit. Call me a male chauvinist pig all you want, but the fact is, no successful woman I know – and I’ve know a lot of them and worked under them for the better part of three decades – did it not because of loudmouth hags like Gloria Steinem and her ilk; they did it because they were driven to succeed, were qualified, and excelled in the positions they were hired for. Nothing more, nothing less.

As far as I’m concerned, the sheer hypocrisy of the so-called “Women’s Movement” was laid bare for everyone to see in their absolute hatred of George W. Bush – a President who was willing to send American men and women to bleed and die on foreign soils that were absolutely hostile to the cause of women. I’m talking about the rape rooms of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Taliban-infested places like Afghanistan where women aren’t even treated as well as dogs. I’m talking about a President who has committed more American aid (financial and otherwise) to Africa to help those areas hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic, where women often suffer the most.

The fact these so-called “women’s advocates” have ruthlessly castigated such a President since the day he was elected shouldn’t be surprising to anyone – after all, hypocrisy and partisan politics have always been close to the soul of Feminism. Of course, I would argue Feminism has never had a soul (or, if it does, it is a soul very much in danger) – after all, this is the very same movement that has done all it can to reduce the gender solely capable of bringing precious new life into the world to nothing more than a sexually-active abortion industry cash-cow. So it should come as little surprise that Feminists everywhere hate Sarah Palin – after all, she is a living, breathing threat to everything they have fought for for the better part of five decades – a woman proud to be a mother, a wife, and, oh by the way, a politician who’s not afraid to speak her mind.

Kirsten Powers has it abosolutely right when she stated that the National Organization for Women (NOW) should really change their name to the National Organization for Liberal Women, because that’s all they really stand for and care about. One would have thought that women everywhere would be celebrating the fact that one of our national political parties (the Republicans, no less!) put a woman on their national ticket – after all, even if you don’t agree with her politically it’s still one hell of an accomplishment. And you can always vote against her in November. But to not even be willing to give Governor Palin an opportunity to let her voice be heard and put forth her own ideas shows just how vicious and vacuous Feminism has become. Keep in mind, these are the same people that exalt Hillary Clinton (someone who couldn’t even win the Democratic presidential nomination and could never have been elected a U.S. senator if she hadn’t been married to a President) while at the same time denigrating the achievements of women like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. To hear the shrill, catty, and (frankly) bitchy tone that so many so-called “feminists” have employed against Governor Palin makes one wonder what freakin’ planet these people are on.

If there is one thing Sarah Palin has accomplished, whether or not she ever ascends to the Vice-Presidency, it is the fact that the coffin has finally been pried opened and the Feminist Movement revealed in the light of day to be the tattered, shoddy, and elitist remnant of a ’60s ideology that should have had a stake plunged into it a long time ago.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 23:42 | Comments (2)
September 12, 2008

Feels like summer is slipping away. Had a teriyaki steak dinner by the pool (which, BTW, has now dropped to 86 degrees) and watched a pathetic excuse for a dust storm blow in while listening to my wonderful 2 Gb surf music MP3 player over the stereo. Man, I gotta post on this some other time – I truly have the greatest surf music collection in the world, bar none. But there are a few things on my mind tonight, so I’m gonna let y’all have it:

Michelle Wie having to return to LPGA “Q” school because she’s run out of exemptions and interested sponsors just goes to show how quickly stars can rise and fall. I’ve posted on her numerous times here and truly feel her parents and her coach David Leadbetter have all done a horrendous job. Not only have they robbed this girl of her teen years (years she can never replace and, mark my words, will come to resent them all for), but put in danger any chance of her regaining the form and opportunites for mucho dinero she had just three years ago. Some people may think it cruel that I’ve referred to her as a has-been at age 18, but she’s gonna have to prove me wrong on this.

Los Straightjackets is a GREAT surf band.

Houston, we have a problem. The power and sheer force of hurricanes has always fascinated me. Brendan Loy is always a great resource when it comes to storms like Ike. As much as one hates to see the destruction of public property take place, this is truly an awe-inspiring quote:

High winds are not going to be the primary issue. But, as I wrote below, the storm surge will still be enormous. Coastal residents, do not treat this storm like a typical Category 2! The Gulf of Mexico is about to temporarily reclaim a large chunk of prime Texas real estate. If you’re in a surge zone, this is no time to hunker down and complacently recall the names of all the previous storms you’ve successfully weathered, or confidently assert that Ike will turn right, like Rita did. (It might. But you don’t know that. No one does.) This is the time to move inland, to higher ground. Get out of Ike’s way!

My guess there is there is going to significant wind and water damage from Ike in major urban areas. In fact, Ike may end up being one of the most expensive in terms of loss this country has seen.

I watched the Charles Gibson/Sarah Palin interview tonight and came away impressed – not because she did so well (overall I thought she was just OK) – but because she: a) answered every question Gibson asked her (something unusual for politicians) and b) showed once again her ability to come across as totally genuine. I especially liked her “what aspect” counter to Gibson’s ridiculous question on the Bush Doctrine. Memo to Democrats: You have every right to be afraid. This woman isn’t going away anytime soon, and she isn’t afraid of anything.

Quick thought: when will a major network grill Barack Obama (after all, he’s an actual Presidential candidate) like they are grilling McCain’s Vice-Presidential candidate?

Quick thought II: The Obama campaign enlists Bill Clinton to campaign for them? Like he did such a great job for Hillary? Oh well, I guess desperate times call for desperate measures…

(BTW, If anyone on Obama’s team reads this blog with any regularity, tune in tomorrow for The Great White Shank’s 5-point plan to electoral success. Believe me, right now you guys need to hear what I have to say. (And going negative is not the solution.)

If you want to start to understand just how badly the Democratic/Progressive Left (especially despicable so-called “feminists”) have revealed their utter hypocrisy when it comes to Sarah Palin, here’s a good place to start.

Last night I watched a thunderstorm roll over us and reveal its “eye”. The sky all around was filled with lightning and thunder, and rain poured down. But right above me was this clear circle of sky shimmering with silvery stars and a lovely half moon. The whole back yard glowed in such a platinum light I will never forget. What a monsoon season this has been!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:14 | Comments Off on The Final Monsoon Night
September 11, 2008

Note: This post is originally from last year, but I think it bears repeating once again. We must never forget.

911 So here we are, six years removed from the day a lot of us would probably like to forget but know we can’t and never will. After all, we live in a culture that hates reality; even when all those so-called “reality” shows on the network TV channels garner decent ratings, we’d really just prefer to come home from work, lock the doors, and forget about the trials and tribulations of our daily lives. Some of us retreat to our own private spaces within our homes, others pour a glass of wine or make themselves a couple of cocktails, others still plant themselves in front of the TV and watch sports or some kind of entertainment – anything that would make them forget about Iraq, the boss, the bills, the kids – you name it, we’re all about escapism and avoidance.

Of course, I generalize here, but with the arrival of another 9/11 anniversary comes the annual debate of how to – or whether to – memorialize and remember that day. As much as we’d all like to, we can’t help remembering the horror and tragedy that stopped us all in time and kept us glued to our televisions and radios as the drama of the day unfolded. Maybe there are those among us who’d like to forget about it: ‘what’s done is done’, they’ll say – ‘there’s no rebuilding the World Trade Center towers and retrieving the lives of all those who were lost or changed forever by the events of that day, so let’s just get on with our lives. Life is for the living.’

But I’m not one of them. And most, I think, fall into the same category.

Sure, some would like to forget the whole day happened. It’s much easier to point our anger at the mismanagement of the conflicts that have resulted (in one way or another) from that fateful day: a seemingly tone-deaf President who doesn’t know how to extricate himself and this country from an abysmally-managed war in Iraq; the seemingly-endless war that continues in Afghanistan; the arrival of yet-another supposed Osama bin Laden video; the whole Homeland Security clusterf**k that can’t decide whether our country should be on “Orange” or “Red” alert while at the same time giving the same scrutiny to grandmothers off to visit relatives and children in strollers as they do to young males of Middle Eastern descent attempting to board planes at our airports. Those things we see everyday – on the front pages of newspapers, or leading off cable newscasts, or experience for ourselves as we travel – and are easier to accept without the spectre of another 9/11 anniversary looming over us.

But deep down, we all know that we can’t and will never forget that day. We remember it, either consciously or unconsciously, every time we look up in the sky and see a plane over a city, or when we ourselves board a plane and gaze upon the passengers who already have been seated. We remember it whenever we see a movie that was filmed in New York in the ’80s or ’90s and see a skyline forever painted by the familiar structures no longer there. And we remember it everytime we hear of yet another potential terrorist threat uncovered and foiled, whether it be in New Jersey, England, Germany, and perhaps most recently in Atlanta.

We want to believe that no one could hate our nation, culture, or values so much as to create the carnage of 9/11. We think -and, in large part, rightfully, that we are a good people at heart, and can’t understand why anyone would want to overpower a flight crew and transform an airplane filled with unassuming men, women, children, and infants into a missile and crash it into a skyscraper. We find it hard to fathom how anyone could strap on a belt of high explosives and walk into a crowded pizza parlor, or a rush-hour train, or a crowded weekend marketplace and detonate themselves. But that’s only because through modern science and psychology we’ve been conditioned to believe there’s really no such thing as evil, or Satan, in the world. We want to know the rational ‘whys’ behind it. Religion? Politics? Protest? But it doesn’t really matter. The fact is, there are people out there who have been brainwashed and conditioned to the point where life itself has no sacredness or meaning, where people are nothing more than chess pieces on a large socio-economic/political gameboard. For these people, there is no sense of remorse, morality, or humanity, just hatred, and death, and innocent people to destroy.

And, make no bones about it – the vast majority of these people are Islamic fundamentalists and, more often than not, of Middle Eastern descent. And we are at war with them, and they with us. And Satan is the smiler.

So on this day, let us not forget who the real enemy is. It’s not George W. Bush, or Donald Rumsfeld, or Dick Cheney, or Condoleezza Rice. And it’s not the United States and its military. And it’s not our western culture, and our freedom, and our values. All of these any of us can criticize and take issue with; that is our freedom to do so. But we must not let party politics or petty dislikes or disagreements keep us from being vigilant and on our guard always. And that is the most important thing we need to remember this day, for those who seek to destroy us are constantly on the lookout for ways to penetrate our defenses and exploit for their own gain our inevitable false sense of security. In this case, evil – pure evil – knows no rest, and neither should we.

Another 9/11 is here, and we must never forget – most especially because those who have aligned themselves with the beasts responsible for the horrors of that day haven’t, and won’t.

May God bless the souls of all those who died that day, and may He comfort those who still mourn and remember their passing.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:43 | Comments Off on The Mark of 9/11
September 9, 2008

Can it really be true that summer is almost over here in the Valley of the Sun. I’m looking at the weeks ahead and, not only do I not see any expected highs over the century mark, but they have the low temperature predicted for the 15th and 16th to be near 60!

The shorter days are really starting to take a toll on my pool temperature. It’s dropped four degrees in the past three days – down to 86 – and you actually feel a bit of a chill when you step into it. As hot as the days still are right now, unless I want to drag out our solar cover (which I don’t) it’s hard to believe there’s really only another three weeks of night-time dips remaining.

It’s hard to believe sometimes that you can be in one place where all is calm and tranquil, and hop on a plane and less than three hours you could be in another placelooking at a hurricane barreling down on you. What a small world we live in.

I wonder how people who had Tom Brady in their fantasy football league are feeling tonight? Probably the same as New England Patriots fans.

I dunno, I just find this story pretty funny:

A Detroit Free Press editor expressed regret Monday that left-wing and anti-war activists were included in a focus group of so-called independent voters the newspaper interviewed during the political conventions, but said he didn’t see the harm in having a “radical leftist or two” in the group.

‘Course, when your from a city whose mayor recently was forced to resign for ethics reasons, I guess it’s hard to know where you draw a line.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:47 | Comment (1)
September 8, 2008

This is a damned good surf band.

The New England Patriots are done for this year.

Just thinkin’: how many Democratic events have been interrupted by conservative activists?

I think John McCain is right – it’s time we stop yelling at each other. Do these Progressive wackos ever stop to consider how their actions might be received by the majority of Americans? Far be it from me to offer my own thoughts, but these idiots need to find jobs and a better use of their time.

Is it just me, or am I the only one who thinks Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae should have been allowed to fail and crash like any other business would do?

The Red Sox are going to the ALCS. I’m not sure they have enough to go to the World Series, but oughta be interesting…

It would appear MSNBC overplayed their hand in a big way. If their management doesn’t understand this nation is at best 50/50 politically and still think large numbers of people will turn into liberal wackos like Keith Olbermann (who, in my mind, is one of the most self-centered and pathetic human beings this world has turned out) and Chrissy Matthews on a regular basis, they’re not worth the big dollars they’re being paid.

Surf music is the greatest music in the world…

…but Southern Gospel runs a close second.

…and Zydeco runs an extremely close third!

If I’m the President of The U.S. and concerned about the free world I’m taking a hard line against Vladimir Putin. Bush made a HUGE mistake (one of only a gazillion others) thinking this guy is anything but your typical KGB thug. Just in case Russia wants to reclaim its former post-WWII “glory” it’s time we show him who is freakin’ boss…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:17 | Comments Off on It’s Just The White Wine Talkin’
September 6, 2008

Thank heavens the weekend’s here. So many attrative places to go, so little dinero to get there.

First choice: New England. I could go to Cape Cod or Newport, Rhode Island, or Nantucket to enjoy the thrills and spills of Tropical Storm Hanna. Very cool.

Second choice: Louisville, KY. That’s right, back to my old stompin’ grounds to hear some wonderful Gospel music at Freedom Hall, where they’re hosting the National Quartet Convention. That would be a wonderful take. (I know what you’re thinking: what would a Ãœber high church, smells-and-bells, shoulda-been-a-monk Anglo-Catholic be doing at a Southern Gospel quartet festival? I’ll admit it – I have a real soft spot for traditional Southern Gospel. Have for a long time. Great quartets like The Imperials, The Stamps, The Jordainaires, The Statesmen. WHOOEE! It don’t get a whole lot better than that. I dunno, I swear in a previous life I lived in New Orleans or somewhere in the Deep South. It’s just a part of my DNA.)

Third choice: New Orleans. Simply because not a weekend goes by that I don’t wish I was spending it in New Orleans. That way I could visit Rob and my friend Rock. Which gets me to thinking: I wonder how Rock’s beach house in Grand Isle fared with Gustav? Great to hear Rob and Louisiana came through it pretty well compared to what could have been.

Of course, if I’m on the Gulf Coast I’m keeping a wary eye on Ike.

Fourth choice: Florida. Why? To see Hillary Clinton campaign, on behalf of a suddenly bewitched, bothered, and bewildered Obama campaign, that’s why. As CNN political analyst Amy Holmes observes, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the irony of it all:

So, let’s get this straight. They didn’t choose her and her 18 million voters to put on the ticket. They gave the VP spot to Joe Biden. But now that Sarah Palin has arrived on the political scene, they’re promoting Hillary as the female answer to the Republican VP nominee. Awkward, to say the least.

Umm…I’d say more than awkward; it makes Obama look like an idiot. And were I Hillary, I’d say something to the effect, “Lemme think on it. Of course, there’s still this little matter about my campaign debt….”. Heh. I’d love to hear what her cheating, philandering, sexual predator husband Bill is thinking these days.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:17 | Comments (4)
September 5, 2008

Thank God, the conventions are over and the end of the 2008 election season is in sight. It’s been going on too long, and I’m guessing most people just want to go to the voting booth, close the curtains, make their choice and get on with their lives. Of course, we still have the debates to go through, and those would be be mildly interesting except for the fact that there were already way too many debates in the primary season and most everyone knows where everyone stands; still, both campaigns will be doing their damndest to lower expectations to the point where one might expect only a raving, drooling lunatic to show up. A few non-conventional thoughts:

1. I agree with John Podhoretz and Jim Geraghty: I thought John McCain did what he needed to tonight. Not a great job, but then again the “big speech” is not his forte. I did like way he deftly wrapped his “maverick” image and his pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin into a tidy “fighting for change” agenda. If he had picked anyone else for his VP choice – even Joe Liberman – I don’t think he could have gotten away with it.

2. McCain’s re-telling of his own story in a new and humbling way was fascinating to me. His remark that his Vietnamese captors succeeded in “breaking him” was made all the more poignant because of Palin’s comment last night that only McCain had “actually fought for his country”. I thought it was the highlight of the speech, but it wouldn’t have had the same impact without Palin’s speech the previous night.

3. So, did McCain’s speech succeed in swaying undecideds, “Reagan Democrats”, or independents? I’m not sure – I guess that will reveal itself in the days and weeks ahead.

4. I enjoyed Cindy McCain’s speech and always find it amazing when people old enough to have parents from “The Greatest Generation” tell of their parents’ stories; their exploits fill me with awe, humility and pride. There is likely no greater contrast in this country’s history than the country that lived through The Great Depression and the Second World War, and the narcissistic, self-indulgent, celebrity-consumed one we have become.

5. I think Laurie Byrd is exactly right: the Democrats made a big mistake going after Palin and her family like they did following her announcement. Not only was it offensive to most reasonable thinking people (raise your hands, out there, all of you without skeletons in your closets!), but don’t be surprised if some in the mainstream dino-media (not all, but you can bet some) now start truly vetting Barack Obama for the first time under the supposed guise of “fairness” or just honest competition.

6. A bold prediction: within the next month the Obama campaign will find a reason to replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton.

7. The big question now is, how (and does) the Obama campaign get its groove back? I dunno, the campaign and its candidate both seem to be flailing a bit right now. What to focus on? How will they attempt to distinguish themselves from the McCain campaign? You can almost feel them trying out a different message a day to see what might stick and what doesn’t. I’ll tell you this – their attempt to convince voters that McCain is another Bush and Palin another Cheney ain’t gonna work. At somepoint you have to give a reason for people to vote for you.

Which leads me to my next point…

8. In some ways, both campaigns have that requirement – giving people a reason to vote FOR you, as opposed to AGAINST them – already taken care of. In the end, that’s what did John Kerry in back in 2004. He gave people plenty of reasons why they shouldn’t return George W. to the White House, but not enough reasons why voters should vote for him.

9. Which means in hindsight one sees just how few options John McCain truly had available to him if he wanted to give voters a case to vote FOR him. The “experience” argument was going to be a loser for him. Now he can make “the fighting change agent” argument just as much as Barack can, if not better. Understand now?

10. In the end, it will all come down to this: for the first time in American history voters will have the unique choice between putting the first African-American in the White House or the first woman. The question then becomes, which is the greater risk? I’m telling you right now, you can take policies, promises, and personalities out of the equation – no matter what people tell the pollsters and what the polls, pundits, and conventional wisdon all say, in the end, when voters draw the curtain in that voting booth, that’s what the decision will come down to. Simple as that.

And THAT oughta be something fascinating to watch.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:43 | Comments Off on The Mad Dash Begins
September 4, 2008

I had a chance to watch once again Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech from last night. I wanted to see it removed from “the moment” and all the accolades it had received just afterwards. I think my original impressions were validated – this was a very fine speech; but watching it again I was amazed at just how political a speech it was, and how cutting her remarks about Barack Obama were. If Rudy Giuliani’s keynote speech had softened up the beast, Palin’s speech carved it up like a Thanksgiving Day turkey, leaving nothing more than the skin and bones. This wasn’t just fine theater, it was fine political theater, and from someone few people knew anything about. Somethink akin to David being called out of the Israeli dugout to slay Goliath.

And her marks cut, just like an uppercut out of nowhere. You know what I thought while watching her speech a second time? I thought of that marvelous scene in “Rocky”, where Apollo Creed and his advisors are all gathered around a table yucking it up while his trainer watches warily a clip of Rocky Balboa fighting on the television. His suggestion to Creed that he ought to come join him and look at what he’s seeing is met with deaf ears, and you can see the cause for concern on the trainer’s face. I could imagine Obama’s people doing the same thing as they watched Palin’s speech as perhaps their candidate yakked happily away on the phone or tinkered on his Blackberry. But back to the damage Palin’s speech did – you could tell the Obama people were caught off-guard by her remarks in the fact that their immediate response was not to criticize the content of her remarks (they finally got around to doing that today), but pointing out her speech was written by a (gasp!) professional speechwriter (as if Obama doesn’t employ his own!) Heh. Good comeback there.

But back to Palin’s speech. You know, there’s a fine line between sarcasm and snarkiness when you’re ridiculing someone, and on second hearing I thought at first she might have crossed the line a couple of times. But then I started thinking: who, in fact was she ridiculing to begin with? If it had been, say, a sitting President running for re-election, the tone of her remarks would most definitely not have worked or been appropriate. But she wasn’t talking about a sitting President, only one who thinks he already is, it’s just that the ballots haven’t been counted yet. Think about it: when you add up all of the Obama campaign’s actions since he went over the top in committed delegates, you see a campaign (one undoubtedly reflecting the person at the top) full of… er, hubris. (I was going to use another word.) The issue with the faux Presidential seal, his cause celebre tour of Europe culminating with that speech in Germany, the absurd (at least in my view) choice of setting and stage for his acceptance speech. All of which designed to show Obama – not America – as that shining city on a hill, drawing all his disciples from far and near.

But like a shining city glittering on an ocean coastline, Hurricane Sarah showed up and, like a storm pounding and thrusting against the shoreline, exposed its underlying weakness and left it damaged, if not in tattered ruins. You can’t blame Palin for this – these weaknesses (and she didn’t even get into the William Ayers connection!) could – indeed, should – have been exposed by a curious media doing its job instead of carrying his water throughout the Democratic primaries and after. Hillary Clinton laid the groundwork on several occasions, but the arrogance of the Obama campaign and his syncophants in both the mainstream dino-media and the progressive/liberal blogoshere helped dilute the effect, leaving Obama exposed to the haymakers thrown by Giuliani and Palin that hit and drew blood.

Of course, whether the damage caused to the Democrats by Palin and her now-rocketing popularity has any lasting effect is anyone’s guess. But we know she’s made an immediate impact when it comes to independent voters and the McCain campaign’s coffers – two areas not to be taken lightly. And today she’s stayed on the attack, just so everyone knows she’s no flash in the pan, someone to be pushed back into the shadows on the periphery of the campaign.

Where the Presidential campaign of 2008 goes from here is anyone’s guess. But you have to hand it to John McCain for finally figuring out a way to do something no one has been able to do since those heady “Obamamania” days of winter – that is, grab the headlines from the Obama campaign and put it off its stride. The Obama campaign now knows it can’t take Sarah Palin or the McCain campaign lightly anymore. And in this game of chess, the next move is theirs.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 10:08 | Comments Off on Hurricane Sarah Makes Landfall

I have to tell you that, unlike most political observers, I think (and especially given the press of the last few days), I had extremely high expectations for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tonight. I mean, if you don’t think someone is ready for big primetime, then don’t pick them. Therefore, I trusted John McCain to make the right choice, and frankly expected nothing less than a home run in her acceptance speech – my feeling being, if she can’t hit a home run before an enthusiastic, partisan arena she’s not even fit to begin even thinking about being Vice-President.

That being said, I think a star was born tonight.

I’m guessing my brother Dave might know a little bit of inside baseball here, because as a (sorta) Georgia politician who has given many speeches, the fact is, it’s one thing to be able to write a good speech or have a good speech written for you, it’s a whole nutha’ thing totally to be able to deliver a speech, and convincingly so, when you’re talking not just to a room of partisans (no matter how large), but to a huge, diverse television audience as well. All I can say is, Sarah Palin has “the gift” – that is, the ability to not just read a speech, but deliver one, and be photogenic all the while in doing so. Y’know, having done a bit of this kind of thing in the past, they say in acting you can’t teach timing (heck, that’s what made giants like Bob Hope and Jack Benny so great), and Sarah Palin knows timing.

Some other observations:

If I’m a Democrat, I’m a little nervous after tonight. Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani exposed Obama’s elitist weaknesses for all the world to see. When someone criticizes you for “writing two memoirs without writing one piece of legislation” (as Palin did with a smile), I’d be taking notice.

I can only imagine what mainstream Democrats must be thinking after tonight: after all, a night like this should have belonged to Hillary Clinton, and a week ago in Denver. Instead, Barack Obama and his leftists and syncophants in the mainstream dino-media stole this moment away from both them and her. Were I a female Democrat, I’d be, frankly, a little pissed right now…

Only the hardest-hearted person out there could not have been moved when Palin talked about her Down’s Syndrome child, and that, were she to be elected, there would be no greater advocate for special needs families. Having an autistic nephew, her statement really hit a nerve with me.

She proved she can deliver very harsh criticism of Barack Obama, yet do it wth a little panache and a little humor. I loved the line about the “styrofoam columns” and how the mayoral experience differs from that of a community activist. Lemme tell you, this woman didn’t get the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” for nothing. I’m gonna go out on a limb here, but I don’t care. Call me the biggest, sexist male chauvinist pig in the world, but I will say this: a woman political candidate walks a fine line between being “feisty”, and a bitch. Sarah Palin was able to walk that line tonight, and while she came close on a couple of occasions, she somehow knew when to draw back and employ the necessary amount of humor and sarcasm. Not an easy thing to do. No question, she delivered some very sharp contrasts (I would argue, the sharpest of the convention thus far) but was able to do it without sounding bitchy. It’s a gift she has that is very hard to define.

Allow me to explain this a bit: I found Mitt Romney’s earlier speech incredibly harsh, vindictive, and strident towards liberals. Look, I’m no fan of the liberal and progressive agenda, but there’s a way to criticize and make your points. Giuliani and Palin did a fine job of it by adding just the right amount of humor and sarcasm. Romney failed miserably, and came off mean. Like I say, the devil is in the delivery…

I really liked McCain coming out and making a brief appearance following her speech. Very touching, and icing on the cake.

What does it portend from here for the Republican ticket? Who knows. Tomorrow night will be a big night for John McCain – let’s see how he does. In the meanwhile, I’ll leave the last word to National Review’s Jim Geraghty, who I think sums up my feelings pretty well:

What did we see tonight?

Tonight, we either saw a watershed in American politics, a tour de force, the most striking and graceful debut in our nation’s political life, and a national introduction that makes Barack Obama’s 2004 convention address look like small potatoes… or we saw what we wanted to see, and the country’s persuadable independents saw something else. I’m afraid to believe. If I’m wrong, I don’t really know what Americans want. I know conservatives are thrilled to pieces, and they ought to be. She knocked it out of the park. I don’t think she could have delivered that speech any better. Even if I hadn’t suggested a line, I would say that the speech hit almost every note just right. (Did the Obama fans feel this way? Is this what their exultation feels like? Wonderful. I’m glad they get to experience it too.)

In the end, people don’t vote for Vice-Presidents, they vote for Presidents. Nevertheless, John McCain has his work cut out for him tomorrow night, and it’ll be uinteresting to see just how he does.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:07 | Comment (1)

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