Monthly Archives: April 2008

Change you can forget about, Part Two

Barack Obama has campaigned on the promise of “ending the war” in Iraq by withdrawing troops within 16 months. But Michael Crowley of The New Republic, after interviewing senior advisers to the Obama campaign as well as assorted foreign policy experts, has concluded that this pledge is close to a pipe dream. According to Crowley, what Obama “is offering is a basic vision of withdrawal with muddy particulars, one his »

Change you can forget about

To understand how much Barack Obama’s campaign has changed — or how phony it was from the outset — consider this statement by his campaign manager David Axelrod: The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years. In other words, as Bill Clinton correctly translates, “we don’t really need these working class people to win.” What happened to the »

The nuances of Bill Ayers

Sol Stern has been on the case of Bill Ayers for the past few years, not for his work as a terrorist in the Weather Underground but for his work as an educator at the University of Illinois-Chicago. In 2006, Stern devoted a long City Journal essay to Ayers in “The Ed Schools’ Latest — and Worst — Humbug.” Now Stern returns with an online column on “Obama’s real Bill »

Dreams From My Witch Doctor

Jim Hoft catches up with the big Reuters story out of the Congo. I wonder if Jimmy Carter might be available for a quick trip to Kinshasa to mediate the dispute. We can usually count on the BBC to bring us the international news with a multicultural twist. For example, Andrew Harding’s 2006 report on the Beijing specialty emporium (warning: disgusting and graphic) reveals the Chinese remedy for what’s ailing »

Bad advice from the New York Times

The New York Times joins the growing chorus of left-wing commentators who want to see Hillary Clinton bow out of the presidential campaign. Parroting Keith Olbermann and other stalwarts of the infantile left, the Times, which endorsed Clinton, writes: It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and »

The Friends of Barack Obama, Part 2

Last night, in The Friends of Barack Obama, Part 1 I reviewed Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who helped to kick off Obama’s first political campaign and with whom Obama’s campaign says he has a “friendly” relationship. Ayers and Dohrn were domestic terrorists in the 1960s and 1970s, and they are as radical now as they ever were, as evidenced by their own words. Obama emerged from »

Looking ahead to Indiana

The next Democratic primaries will take place in two weeks in North Carolina and Indiana. North Carolina falls within Obama’s wheelhouse, so the focus will be on Indiana. When I was young, the Indiana primary often was a big deal. The racist George Wallace made a splash there in 1964, and Robert Kennedy took some of the steam out of Eugene McCarthy’s campaign by winning the Indiana primary in 1968. »

The dead connection

Edmund Burke venerated tradition as the democracy of the dead. The late Chicago Mayor Richard Daley famously practiced a literal version of the democracy of the dead, extending the dead the right to vote for favored Democratic candidates. Andrew Malcolm notes that Barack Obama comes from the Chicago school of politics and is reviving the Daley tradition. Malcolm reports: The Los Angeles Times’ campaign finance expert Dan Morain has found »

Return of the Deer Hunter

Hillary Clinton rode to victory in the Pennsylvania primary by ten points and 200,000 votes last night. She thrashed Obama, nowhere more so than among those who were the subject of Obama’s critique of the Pennsylvania electorate before the San Francisco Democrats. According to exit polling reported by CNN, of the approximately 36 percent of the voters who were gun owners, 58 percent voted for Senator Clinton. Among Pennsylvania Democrats »

The Friends of Barack Obama, Part 1

When Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer decided to retire in 1995, she hand-picked local left-winger Barack Obama as her successor. In order to introduce Obama to influential liberals in the district, she held a function at the home of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. This was, really, the beginning of Obama’s political career, and it linked him forever with Ayers and Dohrn, with whom, as his campaign has acknowledged, he »

What does it mean?

With about one-third of the Pennsylvania primary vote counted, Clinton’s margin is eight percentage points. It has fluctuated between six and ten points. If the margins ends up in that range, the result will be insufficient to cause enough panic among super-delegates to lead them to break for Clinton. On the other hand, it will likely raise or reinforce enough doubt about Obama’s strength to prevent these delegates from breaking »


That Shiite Muslims, like those in Iran, could never collaborate with Sunni Muslims, like al Qaeda, is an article of faith on the left which is often repeated in American newspapers. Like so much of what we read in newspapers, the fact that the claim is obviously false doesn’t prevent it from being repeated. As we have pointed out before, Iran’s control of Hamas is just one obvious example of »

For what it’s worth

As usual, Fox News isn’t releasing its bottom line exit poll results in advance of the closing of the real polls. Instead, it’s releasing fragmentary results — how regular church goers voted (strong for Clinton), how city dwellers voted (very strong for Obama), how women voted (55 percent for Clinton). Collectively, these fragments suggest a victory for Clinton, but not of the double-digit variety she was hoping for. But exit »

Hillary’s “best shot” displeases left, but why?

Scott has already discussed Hillary Clinton’s final Pennsylvania ad, which provides images of various crises presidents have had to deal with, and suggests that Clinton, more than Obama, can handle such grave matters. Here’s the ad again: The Democratic left is calling “foul” on the ad because it shows an image of Osama bin Laden. That same left is fond of criticizing the Bush administration for not killing or capturing »

Nice Going, Jimmuh

The appalling Jimmy Carter wrapped up his barnstorming tour of the Middle East with a speech in which he claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in his meetings with Hamas officials–Hamas had now accepted Israel’s right to exist: Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that Hamas — the Islamic militant group that has called for the destruction of Israel — is prepared to accept the right of the Jewish state »

Happy Earth Day

Steve Hayward begins his Earth Day column with a political scientist’s point about left-wing panics: More than 30 years ago political scientist Anthony Downs discerned what he called the “issue-attention cycle,” a five-stage process by which the public and especially the news media grow alarmed over an issue, agitate for action, generate piles of scary headlines, and then begin to draw back as we come to recognize that the problem »

Hit me with your best shot

Hillary Clinton’s final Pennsylvania ad features images of FDR and JFK together with allusions to the 1929 stock market crash, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, JFK’s July 1961 call for 217,000 soldiers to meet the “world-wide” Soviet threat, the Carter-era gas lines, Osama bin Laden, Hurricane Katrina and a home foreclosure. I don’t know how the Clinton campaign missed the Dust Bowl and the plague of locusts. The ad invokes »