Content by Dan McLaughlin

Posted at 12:28pm on Jul. 11, 2008 What Does John McCain Believe About Barack Obama?

The Burning Question

By Dan McLaughlin

Here's the thing I keep coming back to about this election and what it will take to win it. It's a point that Hillary Clinton grasped, albeit too late to save her. And it's an open question about our own nominee and how he will approach the next 116 days.

Most people who would consider voting Republican in this (or any) election either like McCain, grudgingly respect him, or are hard-core Republicans/conservatives who ought to be persuadable for any Republican, even McCain. But none of those groups is going to be fired up with positive enthusiasm for the guy or his platform. On the conservative side, he's got folks who need regular reminding why they should vote for a guy who has butted heads with them so many times; on the moderate side, he's got people who are OK with him but are feeling like maybe the new guy from the other party deserves a shot. McCain has the experience and the biography, he is good on some issues (your mileage may vary as to which ones), and has some good ideas (ditto), but very few people are super-enthused about the things he is promising to bring to the Oval Office. Reassured, perhaps, but not enthused.

At the same time, McCain's opponent is not Generic D but rather a left-wing extremist with no experience, horrible, tried-and-proven-failure ideas and terrible judgment in friends, supporters and staff. That ought to frighten moderates and conservatives alike when they contemplate giving him the car keys. McCain's path to victory, then, is in collecting the people who like him, the people who respect him, and the people who can force themselves to tolerate him, and persuading them that an Obama presidency would be a disaster for the nation.

But McCain can only do that consistently and effectively if he, himself, believes that Obama would be a disaster for the nation.

Does he?

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Posted at 2:31pm on Jul. 10, 2008 Corrupt Democrat Watch, July 10 Edition, Part One

Crooks, Creeps, And Even A "Democrat Of The Year"

By Dan McLaughlin

Time once again for our roundup of corrupt and misbehaving Democrats around Washington and the country at large. Miss a week and they pile up on you. Dan Spencer has already covered Obama's mortgage deal, and you know all about Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad, but as usual, there's so much more. In fact, this installment is so big that we have to break it in two parts; we'll have a second piece later today or tomorrow just to update you on the sagas of the Democratic mayors of Detroit and Baltimore.

Also, I leave it to the reader to count how many of the news reports cited below fail to mention the party affiliations of the miscreants.

Read on...

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Posted at 12:53pm on Jul. 9, 2008 Winning The Battle on Drilling

D Senators Can Read Polls Too

By Dan McLaughlin


"There's clearly a dramatic shift across the ideological divide in America in favor of producing more energy here at home," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters.

"I can't imagine that the majority (Democrats in Congress) is going to ignore that indefinitely," McConnell added.

He cited a poll released on July 1 by the Pew Research Center that found that 45 percent of respondents who identify themselves as "liberals" said they favor expanded energy exploration, mining, drilling, building more power plants. In February, the figure was just 22 percent.


A top U.S. Democratic senator said in a newspaper interview published Wednesday that he would consider supporting opening up new areas for offshore oil and gas drilling.

"I'm open to drilling and responsible production," Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin told The Wall Street Journal, adding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could also support the move.

Your move next, Senator Obama.

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Posted at 12:35pm on Jul. 8, 2008 McCain on Obama on Iraq: "I hope that he will reach a position."

Close Combat

By Dan McLaughlin

John McCain on Obama's recent wobbling on Iraq and Obama's concession that he would go to Iraq after McCain called him out on not visiting or meeting with our commander there:

Well, I think you know that I opposed the failed strategy of the Bush administration. I argued for the strategy that is succeeding. I have been to Iraq 8 times. I know the situation on the ground. I predicted we would succeed and we are succeeding. And, we are winning. That victory is fragile, it can be reversed. Sen. Obama opposed the surge. He said it would fail. He still is saying that it would fail. Now, last Thursday or Friday, it seemed for a while there he was agreeing with the surge, then maybe he's not. So, I'm glad he's going to Iraq for the second time. He hasn’t been there in 900 days. I'm glad, for the first time, he’s going to sit down with General Petraeus -- for the first time, a sit-down briefing, if you can believe that. And, I hope that he will reach a position. I don't know what position, because he's been all over the map, calling for immediate withdrawals, back in the primaries to now saying you know -- so it's hard to know. I hope that he'll go over there and get the kind of information he needs that he hasn't requested in the past...But, have no doubt what my position was when I called for additional troops, it was a very unpopular thing to do and many people said my campaign was dead and I said I'd rather lose a campaign then lose a war. He said it would fail, it has succeeded. [The] American people should take notice of that. So, I'll see what he has to say when he gets back from his visit to Iraq. And, I'm sure he'll be impressed with a sit down with one of the greatest generals that America has ever produced, General David Petraeus.

Of course, Obama has now apparently decided that the perception that he's a flip-flopper with no principles is an even more devastating demonstration of weakness than the perception that he would sell out our allies and abandon the mission in Iraq to pander to the anti-war left - really, it's just a choice of who he surrenders to first - so his surrogates are now claiming that it's a lie that Obama ever wavered in his commitment to abandon Iraq. Oceania was never, we repeat never, at war in Iraq! But in political campaigns, as in war, the enemy gets a say in your game plan, and McCain is unlikely to let Obama simultaneously escape responsibility for being wrong about the surge and for belatedly trying to escape the consequences of being wrong.

Read On...

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Posted at 11:45pm on Jul. 7, 2008 Sad Story

By Dan McLaughlin

Set aside for a moment the debates over phony suicide statistics and the other tropes of the anti-war movement - nobody denies that some of the casualties of war are men who are forever changed, in some cases fatally, by what they see and experience in battle. This is one such story, and a very sad one at that. RIP, Army Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer.

Posted at 8:47pm on Jun. 30, 2008 The McCain September Debate Strategy: A Suggestion

Talk The Talk

By Dan McLaughlin

An idea; a proposal: John McCain should challenge Barack Obama to a week-long set of town-hall debates (say, 4-5 of them) on college campuses when the college kids go back to school in late August/early September. Such debates could be concentrated specifically in the Big Ten schools (Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio St) and other swing-state universities (U. Missouri) that can produce huge audiences in close proximity to where the candidates will already be campaigning. I'm sure MTV could be lined up to host the debates in as wide-open a format, with no pre-screening of the audience, as possible.

Such a proposal would be a win-win for McCain. College campuses are guaranteed hostile territory for McCain, but he's never feared tough crowds, and it would give him a great chance to break through the groupthink surrounding Obama. And big Midwestern state schools are large and diverse enough that no audience would be without a few College Republicans willing to ask some tough, educated questions to Obama. Obama is likely to try to duck a large number of free-form events, but if he bails, McCain can really go after him for not being willing to wade into the very youth audiences that supposedly form the core of his own support. This won't actually win McCain a ton of young voters, but it might help stem the Obama tide there as well as getting out the general message about Obama being a marketing department creation who's afraid to come out from behind his teleprompter.

And if Obama agrees, all to the good. Especially if a lot of the questioners are snot-nosed pinkos and filthy hippies. McCain's performance at open town hall events over the past year and a half, after all, has done wonders to reassure people nervous about his age and his ability to hold his temper.

As most of us will recall from our college years, owing to their youth and relative insulation from the real world, college students have a different heirarchy of values and priorities than voters who work for a living and have families to raise - in general, there are three things college students respect above all others:

1. Authenticity. John McCain is one of the least canned politicians you are likely to ever see.

2. The willingness and ability to debate just about anything, no matter how obvious or ridiculous. College kids, whether or not they are particularly studious or intellectual, love endless dorm-room bull sessions and hate old people who lack the quickness of mind and mouth (or at least mouth) of the young.

3. People who are interested in the opinions of college students.

A series of campus debates would be a perfect opportunity for McCain to show he can best Obama at all three.

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Posted at 12:14am on Jun. 28, 2008 Victory for South Dakota In Informing Women About Abortion

Science 1, Planned Parenthood 0

By Dan McLaughlin

The full en banc 8th Circuit Court of Appeals handed a victory Friday to GOP Gov. Mike Rounds and the people of South Dakota, lifting an injunction sought by Planned Parenthood against a South Dakota statute that mandates disclosures to women seeking abortions about the consequences of their decisions, including disclosure of the fact that an "abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." In no other area of the law is the Left so dedicated to preventing the full disclosure of facts to consumers. The 8th Circuit opinion, written by George W. Bush appointee Judge Raymond Gruender and joined by five other of President Bush's appointees to the bench, recognized Planned Parenthood's opposition to the disclosure of scientifically accurate facts for what it was.

Read On...

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Posted at 1:34pm on Jun. 27, 2008 The Wrong War, The Wrong Place, The Wrong Strategy

By Dan McLaughlin

Is being stretched thin, bled dry, demoralized and defeated in the war for hearts and minds of the Muslim world by the war in Iraq a recipe for losing the war on terror?

Strategy Page says that for Al Qaeda, it is. Via Vodkapundit. I must say I'm a little skeptical of the statistic that only 4% of the jihadists in Iraq have been foreign, however.

Posted at 11:47am on Jun. 27, 2008 News Flash: Liberal Judging Not Popular

And Barack Obama Knows It. Shhhhh, Don't Tell The Voters

By Dan McLaughlin

TIME Magazine's Massimo Calabresi thinks that Barack Obama is being savvy in "moving to the center" by announcing that he sides with the conservative bloc of the Supreme Court (and at least to some extent against his own prior positions) in supporting the individual Second Amendment right to own guns and the death penalty for child rapists. Plainly, Obama is hoping for gullible reactions like that of Jay Newton-Small, who tells us:

Of course, there's little Obama would be able to do to about either ruling, even as president. So, his comments come purely as opinions that give voters an idea of where he stands on the political spectrum.

What he's hoping to avoid is the reaction of Andrew Hyman, who notes that Obama voted against Justices Roberts and Alito (who he now supposedly agrees with) and cited Justices Breyer, Ginsburg and Souter as model Justices even though he now disavows their views on these cases. As Hyman observes, don't watch what Obama says but what his preferred judges do. Because Obama sure as heck is not going to put people like John Roberts on the Supreme Court, and as Calabresi admits, Obama won't be eager to talk about that:

Read On...

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