Content by Dan McLaughlin

Posted at 4:44pm on Apr. 30, 2008 REDSTATE ROUNDTABLE #8: Obama, Rev. Wright, and the Voters

The Contributors Take On The Hot Topic Of The Day

By Dan McLaughlin

Dan McLaughlin: Three questions about Obama and Rev. Wright:

1. Did they coordinate this week's events to give Obama an excuse to make a clean break?

2. Has the Wright controversy, on its own or combined with Bittergate, Bill Ayers, Mrs. Obama, the flag pin flap, etc., inflicted an injury to Obama's campaign that will sooner or later be fatal even if more doesn't come out?

3. Is Obama going to suffer a net loss (which I would define as Hillary winning Indiana by at least as much as Obama wins NC) on May 6?

Discussion below the fold...

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Posted at 11:11am on Apr. 30, 2008 Second Circuit Dismisses Bloomberg Gun Lawsuit

By Dan McLaughlin

Opinion in Bloomberg v. Beretta U.S.A. here. Basically, the court found that the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is a constitutional exercise of Congress' Commerce power, doesn't violate the 10th Amendment, and bars New York City's lawsuit seeking under state law to enjoin gun manufacturers' lawful firearms sales on the grounds th

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Posted at 3:03pm on Apr. 29, 2008 Obama: Weak On The Issues

But At Least He's Got A Good Beat The Kids Love To Dance To

By Dan McLaughlin

There's a growing school of thought among Republicans that even despite his massive fundraising machine, pop culture cache and messianic aura, Barack Obama may yet turn out to be a much weaker general election opponent than Hillary Clinton. Hillary is certain to be a competitive candidate, but has enormous built-in negatives; any election involving her is likely to be very closely divided. But Obama, while he seems to have a much higher ceiling, also faces a much more significant risk of getting completely Mondaled. And a new poll from Rasmussen helps explain why - even moreso than Hillary, Obama matches up terribly against McCain on which candidate is more trusted on a host of key issues. Here's the key findings in tabular form:

Issue McCain Obama
National Security 52 31
Iraq 48 39
Economy 46 39
Taxes 41 38
Corruption/Ethics 33 44

Obama's inability to crack 40% against McCain on the central issues of the day makes him look less like a transformational political figure and more like the incumbent president's 34% approval rating. Note that McCain matches up so well against Obama despite "generic ballot" questions showing that the Democrats as a whole are more trusted than Republicans on a number of these issues. (Note also that McCain unsurprisingly beats Hillary handily on the ethics question).

Is Obama actually the easier target? Maybe, maybe not; any one poll is just a snapshot, and it's a long way to November. But more and more Republicans are eager to find out.

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Posted at 11:12am on Apr. 29, 2008 Re: Keyes

By Dan McLaughlin

Adam, Keyes did have his own show, and it was cancelled by MSNBC. Public-access TV, maybe?

Hey, I too once thought Keyes was a credible public servant. Time moves on.

Posted at 6:54pm on Apr. 28, 2008 NC-GOV Mike Easley Endorsing Hillary

By Dan McLaughlin

This can't be a positive leading indicator for Obama, I would think. The timing is perfect to get more Democrats in the state to give her another look. And given that Hillary is taking her case to the superdelegates based on the popular vote - plus the Democrats' insane winner-takes-barely-more-than-the-loser system, she's got every incentive to contest North Carolina even if she is all but certain to lose the state.

The Clintons are not going quietly.

Posted at 6:29pm on Apr. 28, 2008 The Party Of Two Universities

By Dan McLaughlin

I noted this previously in comments - far be it from me to knock fancy Ivy League law degrees, but you know, with Obama and Hillary the last two choices standing, it appears that the Democrats will pick a candidate from Harvard or Yale for the sixth straight election - Fritz Mondale was the last time they took a candidate educated entirely outside those two universities. Perhaps, if they are concerned about the constant battle to establish that their candidates are normal people rather than captives of a lot of ideas, beliefs, and associations that don't really exist outside the left-wing academic hothouse, it may be time to fish in wider waters. Consider:

1988 - Dukakis (Harvard Law)
1992 - Clinton (Yale Law) & Gore (Harvard College)
1996 - Clinton (Yale Law) & Gore (Harvard College)
2000 - Gore (Harvard College) & Lieberman (Yale College & Yale Law)
2004 - Kerry (Yale College)
2008 - Obama (Harvard Law) or Hillary (Yale Law) (and both are married to graduates of the same law school)

Posted at 10:15am on Apr. 28, 2008 BREAKING: Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Indiana Voter ID Law

Victory In The Battle To Prevent Voter Fraud

By Dan McLaughlin

6-3 plurality decision just came down, split with 3 Justices rejecting the facial challenge. More to follow.

Justice Scalia: “This is an area where the dos and don'ts need to be known in advance of the election ...It is for state legislatures to weigh the costs and benefits of possible changes to their election codes.”

UPDATES: Opinion here. Justice Stevens, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy, found no showing of an undue burden on various voters who challenged the voter ID law on its face. Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito would have upheld the law on the broader ground that it imposed the same requirements equally on all voters. Both opinions give great weight to the state interest in ensuring that only eligible voters cast ballots. Justice Souter, joined by Justices Breyer and Ginsburg, dissented.

This is a major defeat for the Democrats' efforts to prevent states from requiring valid identification to vote. The lawsuit was brought by the Indiana Democratic Party.

Justice Scalia's separate opinion is redolent of the judicial hangover from Bush v. Gore in its emphasis on the hazards of permitting case-by-case judicial review of neutral rules established by state legislatures before an election takes place.

More below the fold.

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Posted at 7:19pm on Apr. 23, 2008 Obama Strategist: The Forgotten Man Is A Republican Now, Anyway

FDR Would Be So Proud

By Dan McLaughlin

So, Barack Obama has this little problem: he can't seem to win working-class white voters. With rare exception (Iowa, Missouri), he basically only wins states - and in particular only wins primaries - where all the working-class white voters are already Republicans, leaving the Democrats a stripped-down shell of African-Americans and college towns. Obama's biggest victory in the past two months was in Mississippi. But if Obama wants to win a national election, he's going to have to win the states where the Democrats are in better shape than they are in Mississippi.

Time was, working-class whites were the backbone, the very reason for the existence of the Democratic Party, FDR's "forgotten man." What Obama is running on instead is, essentially, the McGovern coalition. But even in its headiest days, most of the old McGovernites realized that it wasn't such a great idea to just kick FDR's old stalwarts to the curb.

The smart play for Obama at this point is to run out the clock, squeeze out the delegate margin he needs, say nothing bad about these folks for supporting Hillary, and try like heck to win them back in November. As we saw with the now-infamous San Francisco fundraiser, Obama forgot that lesson when he thought nobody was listening, and Pennsylvania voters were understandably, er, bitter about that. But this is a new one even for the Obama campaign: his chief strategist now says that Obama doesn't need those people because, nationally, FDR's old Forgotten Man is a Republican anyway:

"The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years. This is not new that Democratic candidates don't rely solely on those votes"

(Audio here). As the Politico's Ben Smith notes, this ignores the fact that "[t]he whites getting surveyed in exit polls are people who voted in a Democratic Primary." In any event, it's nice for white working class voters to know where they stand with Obama's campaign. Not to worry, though: the GOP is happy to have your votes. And we're perfectly happy to see the national Democratic Party achieve the success it has had in, say, Utah or Wyoming or Mississippi.

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Posted at 2:05pm on Apr. 23, 2008 Judis Kiss

By Dan McLaughlin

Barack Obama's supporters are the McGovern coalition, and maybe not much more.

Posted at 11:00am on Apr. 23, 2008 The Lesson, As Always? Don't Mess With Ramesh

By Dan McLaughlin

See here, here and here.

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