Sunday, February 17, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

Newt Gingrich argues for a "do-over" for the Michigan and Florida votes in a WSJ article, "Let's Revote in Michigan and Florida", in order to avoid a "train-wreck in campaign '08 that threatens to produce a tainted Democratic presidential nominee and, worse, a divisive and delegitimized presi contest."

We couldn't disagree more. The candidates knew and accepted the rules ahead of time, and the precedent would be far more destructive to the country than the perceived, short-term benefits. We did, however, like his Super Delegate explanation:

One of the great ironies of this election season is that the very mechanism created by Democrats to avoid contentious conventions like those in Chicago and San Francisco promises to create further chaos in Denver this year.

Superdelegates are really "politician delegates." Superdelegates are technically uncommitted party insiders who can vote for whomever they choose. They were created by the party that prides itself on supposedly representing the common man to be the palace guards of the Democratic establishment. Bill Clinton is a superdelegate, as is Al Gore. They are Democratic Party insiders whose purpose is to put down insurgent campaigns and protect the interests of Democratic politics as usual.

Charles Krauthammer's Townhall article, "Obama, The Platitude Salesman", explains the success of the person capable of "getting people to buy a free commodity":

Obama has an astonishingly empty paper trail. He's going around issuing promissory notes on the future that he can't possibly redeem.

Promises to heal the world with negotiations with the likes of Iran's President Ahmadinejad. Promises to transcend the conundrums of entitlement reform that require real and painful trade-offs and that have eluded solution for a generation. Promises to fund his other promises by a rapid withdrawal from an unpopular war -- with the hope, I suppose, that the (presumed) resulting increase in American prestige would compensate for the chaos to follow.

Daniel Henninger explains in his WSJ article, "Obama at the Top", that if one actually listens to an Obama speech, all is not what it seems:

I think the potential vulnerability runs deeper. Strip away the new coats of varnish from the Obama message and what you find is not only familiar, it's a downer.

Up to now, the sheer force of Sen. Obama's physical presentation has so dazzled his public audience that it has been hard to focus on precisely what he is saying. "Yes, we can! Yes, we can!" Can what?

Go listen closely to that Tuesday night Wisconsin speech. Unhinge yourself from the mesmerizing voice. What you hear is a message that is largely negative, illustrated with anecdotes of unremitting bleakness. It is a speech that could have been delivered by a Democrat in 1968, or 1928. It is rife with class warfare.