Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 3, 2007
POLITICS: Quick Links 12/3/07

*Charles Krauthammer and Jonah Goldberg on the complete and total vindication of President Bush and other opponents of public funding for embryonic stem cell research.

*Spitzer's DMV strikes again:

Arno Herwerth, a 21-year veteran of the New York Police Department, said he requested the "GETOSAMA" plates earlier this month to send a political message. He said he was surprised to hear, after receiving the plates, that the DMV wanted them back.

In a Nov. 15 letter to Herwerth, the agency cited a regulation prohibiting plates that could be considered "obscene, lewd, lascivious, derogatory to a particular ethnic group or patently offensive."

Oh, really - offensive to whom?

*Of all the planted-question issues with the debates (see here, here and here), this video of Obama unwittingly giving away that he knew a questioner is perhaps the funniest.
It's like something out of Matlock.

*Hillary throws stones from a glass house:

Clinton closed out her Sunday with an appeal to voters in Bettendorf to caucus for her, but earlier in Cedar Rapids, she took Obama to task over his health care plan and disputed his claim he doesn’t take lobbyist money.

When a reporter asked whether she is suggesting Obama has “issues of character, the New York senator said, "I'm going to let voters make that decision but it’s beginning to look a lot like that. It really is."

For those of us old enough to remember the Clintons and their surrogates arguing incessantly that character is wholly irrelevant to the presidency and that campaigning on such issues is a sign of being defeated on the issues - heck, go back and watch "The American President," their propaganda movie devoted to this theme, albeit while re-casting the facts in the most favorable possible light - this is hilarious, as is this:

Clinton said she wanted to win the caucuses — and, next year, push the state into the Democratic column in the general election.

"I want a long term relationship," she said. "I don't want to just have a one night stand with all of you."

*And, for a little humor, this, via Ace. We've all been on the other end of conversations like this, though perhaps rarely quite so graphically.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:29 AM | Politics 2007 | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Conservatives should not be throwing stones at planted questions. On the character issue, as a Rudy supporter, you sure as hell ought to hope that character is not an issue in this election season.

Posted by: Steve at December 3, 2007 12:42 PM

I'm not (yet) a Rudy supporter, but its an absurd suggestion that Rudy's character issues are on par with the Clintons' character issues. Hillary is in an entirely different league when it comes to character issues.

But that wasn't my point...Crank, I've always liked "The American President" and it has always made me a little uncomfortable that I do. But really you're right--the point of that movie was that if someone is making a character attack, it's because they're beat on the issues. I really should rethink my liking of the movie.

Posted by: Alex at December 3, 2007 2:28 PM

I would say that Rudy's character issues are bad enough that his supporters should not be attacking Hillary.

Posted by: steve at December 3, 2007 3:39 PM

Rudy's kids HATE him. His record of hiring, umm, questionable characters is more than well documented, he has multiple x-wives, he screwed around in a hugely public manner, dumped one wife through the press, etc. No, no character to consider here.

Posted by: jim at December 3, 2007 8:01 PM

I'll address the Rudy-character issue separately at greater length later. Doesn't change the fact that the many people who spent 8 years telling us that character was completely and totally irrelevant are massive hypocrites if they now turn around and go along with character attacks against Obama, Rudy or anybody else.

Posted by: The Crank at December 3, 2007 9:07 PM

So long as you don't regard all non-Republicans as hypocrites for overlooking Bill C's character issues. Bill was sleaze. Hillary is sleaze. I would take either over Rudy, however.

Posted by: steve at December 4, 2007 9:05 AM

Steve,

Why makes you say "..take either over Rudy, however"? I am interested in your rationale? What is it about Hillary (or what about Rudy) makes you say that?

Posted by: Lee at December 4, 2007 11:34 AM

If you simply put a list of the alleged character issues that the "family values" GOP Inc is allegedly interested in Clinton (both of 'em) are saints compared to Rudy. Frankly I don't care so much about that, I am more worried that Rudy will make Bushie-boy seem like a peacenik.

Posted by: jim at December 4, 2007 11:59 AM

I don't like Bill or Hillary, but I would take either Clinton over Rudy for many reasons, but one of them is that Rudy is a one-note Johnny who thinks that his performance on 9/11 is enough to propel him to the presidency, notwithstanding his disasterous handling of WTC issues in 2001 and before that, particularly in locating the terror command center at the WTC after that complex already became a target. My sense is that Rudy is not as right-wing as he makes himself out to be on the campaign trail but he has to talk that way to get the nuts in the Republican Party to vote for him. He also strikes me as an authoritarian. God help us if Rudy gets to appoint anyone to the Supreme Court.

Posted by: steve at December 4, 2007 1:00 PM

Steve,

I can agree that Rudi is not as conservative as he might want to be portrayed. However his record as Mayor of NY is pretty solid even taking into account the WTC issues and some of his appointments. Again you might not agree with what he did but he did something.

Hillary is also portraying herself to win votes. She is very liberal but tries to come across to be more in the middle when the people she is talking to also lean that way. When she is with far lefters, she talks like one of them.

As for being "authoritarian", don't you think that Hillary is a super control feak? She seems to want everything done as she wants it and does not listen to others very well. She is also a big believer in more government programs and more rules telling us what to do. Is that something you want?

Political leanings aside, what has Hillary done to show she could hold the office of President? She has only been elected Senator and never actually run anything. While Rudi might have only been a Mayor, at least he had to run something.

Posted by: Lee at December 4, 2007 3:18 PM

Lee,
Do you think Bill Clinton was a liberal too?
Even if he was. He acted like a Republican.

I don't care for either Clinton, but that is probably because I'm a Liberal (and damn proud of it too).
As for Rudy, we don't need another Cheney (non-compromising, stubborn, authoritarian, warhawk) in the White House.

After the last 6 years, I wouldn't want any Republican in government. They hate government and profess this belief (and prove it by their actions) daily.
Before any conservative gets up in arms about that statement, let me give you a question as an analogy: If you were on the Corporate Board of your company, would you hire a Marxist as your CEO?

Posted by: Robert at December 4, 2007 7:57 PM

Interesting comments, and we will probably never understand just why people vote for a particular president. I don't buy the character issue much, and I'm not sure about the experience one either. Of course, my problem is Lincoln. He did not present himself as this deep thinking experienced candidate; a one term representative who lost to Stephen Douglas. Not fair of me, since using Lincoln as a standard is like using Willie Mays as the standard for a baseball player. A great standard, but not achievable by almost any mortal.

So who are the great presidents, and just what did they show? And lets leave Lincoln and Washington out of it. Too great and too unique. Hmmm, to me, the truly great presidents were Monroe, Polk, TR, FDR & Reagan. They didn't really have many common threads. Except maybe for Monroe and Reagan. Both had an excellent understanding of people, and were willing to be surrounded by, and be advised, by intelligent people of varying opinion. So did Lincoln of course, FDR did, Teddy, well, he's another unique one. Polk had enormous drive, and somehow bullied people in ways that even Andrew Jackson couldn't. Monroe was the last of the Founders to serve as President, and was considered the lightweight of the group. Yet he had great advisors, including JQAdams, the real author of the Monroe Doctrine. In fact, after Washington, he was the first successful president we had. I mean really successful.

So maybe this character issue isn't a single minded belief that you are always right, or righteous, or even consistent about your so called core beliefs. But that and experience is really a quick mind, an ability to gather in wide amounts of facts, act decisively, hopefully right, and synthesize different viewpoints, and get large amounts of people to see things your way. OK, fine, Captain Jean Luc Picard, I hereby vote for you!!!

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at December 4, 2007 10:23 PM

Lee, I understand the argument that Rudy has run a City and Hillary never ran anything. But you can flip that argument around and say that Rudy has no federal experience and Hillary does, by virtue of her policy role in the Clinton administration and as US Senator. The argument that Hillary is a secret leftist won't work. A secret leftist who's been waiting 30 years to put those ideas into action is not a leftist at all.

Posted by: Steve at December 5, 2007 9:54 AM

Steve: It's true, you could flip the experience argument to say Rudy doesn't have federal experience where Hillary does. That argument, however, has never resonated with voters. Americans seldomly elect a President who has not had administrative experience such as being a governor. Americans are particularly hesitant to elect a Senator as president.

Posted by: WD at December 5, 2007 11:59 AM

It also requires you to ignore the actual facts - Rudy spent 8 years as a high-ranking Justice Department figure, first as the #3 man at DOJ overseeing all 94 US Attorney's offices and then as the head of the busiest of those offices. More details here.

Posted by: The Crank at December 5, 2007 12:06 PM

"...Hillary does, by virtue of her policy role in the Clinton administration and as US Senator" Just what was her role in the Clinton Adminstration? What decisions did she make, what were her accomplishments, etc? This needs to detailed so people can evaluate her performance.

As a 2nd term Senator, what has she really accomplished? She does not lead any committies or has had any important legislation inacted. As a New Yorker I can say she has done anything for us.

She is not a liberal? Are you kidding me? By what definition of a liberal does she not qualify?

Posted by: Lee at December 5, 2007 12:19 PM

Again, I don't like Hillary, but being US Attorney gives you relatively limited experience on the realm of federal issues facing the president.

Crank, as a Rudy supporter, are you going to comment on the recent relevations about Rudy, including:

1. His relationship with the indicted Bernie Kerik;
2. His questionable accounting practices re his vacations with a paramour.

Rudy has serious problems. In fact, most presidental candidates have serious problems if they've been in public life long enough. Their ego and arrogance gets the best of them. You can certainly say that about Rudy. Talking tough on terror is not enough. I think that many Republicans will breathe a sigh of relief if Rudy fails in the early primaries. Like Hillary, he's an easy target, and unlike Bill Clinton, his personality will not get him out of trouble.

Posted by: Steve at December 5, 2007 12:23 PM

"After the last 6 years, I wouldn't want any Republican in government. They hate government and profess this belief (and prove it by their actions) daily.
Before any conservative gets up in arms about that statement, let me give you a question as an analogy: If you were on the Corporate Board of your company, would you hire a Marxist as your CEO?"

Horrible analogy. The goal of a company are to create profits by growing the business, producing gains for shareholders. If you and others think that government has an analogous goal, than everything I fear about liberals in this country might be true.

They may share the same ultimate goal of creating shareholder value, but that doesn't happen by the government taking in more tax dollars and growing itself. My life doesn't get better simply because the government sucks in and spits out more money.

Posted by: Joel at December 5, 2007 6:38 PM

Wayne Barrett has pretty much demolished the myth of Giuliani's record as the '9/11 Mayor'.I'd welcome Crank's attempt at a point by point refutation of Barrett's reporting.
As far as Giuliani's character,it seems to consist mostly of chasing cash and pussy(abe?).That you so easily overlook his serial adultery,advocacy of public funding for abortion,and cozying up to state sponsors of terrorism who are able to fatten his wallet(while remaining a conspicuous no-show at the 9/11 Commision) speaks volumes about your own obviously deeply held convictions regarding family values,the sanctity of life,and the Global War on Terrorism (that's otherwise so important we must embrace torture and reject habeas corpus).
Pretty consistent,you are.

Posted by: AnonE.Mouse at December 5, 2007 7:36 PM

How about Rudy G's ongoing investments within Qatar? Not exactly a democratic or US-friendly sort of place.

Posted by: jim at December 7, 2007 3:38 PM
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