Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 9, 2008
POLITICS: Are you lonesome tonight?

Posted by Ricky West

This campaign season is definitely not a good one for Republicans. It's shaping up to be not so welcoming to liberals:
There’s an old saying in politics that elections are won or lost one vote at a time.
On Friday, DFL-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken demonstrated how true that saying can be, when a roundtable on veterans issues at Brigitte’s Cafe his campaign scheduled drew only one participant.
Josh John, a St. Cloud resident who said he served in the Navy from 2000-04, had Franken to himself for an hour as he described difficulties he faced returning from his tour of duty and the help he received from his Veterans Services Office and the St. Cloud VA Medical Center.

Note I typed "liberals", not "Democrats". Watching Obama run as far from his ultra-liberal past reaffirms what many have known all along: while the country may not be Reaganesque in its conservatism, it most definitely is not a left-of-center country. And, apparently, many Dems know it.

But not Al Franken.

H/T to DrewM.

Posted by Ricky West at 4:25 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

So, if we compare the size of crowds drawn by, to pull two names out of the air, McCain and Obama, we would conclude that the country is much more a counry in Obama's image than in McCain's?

Careful, Ricky West. If the Crank finds out that is what you believe, you will be a short-timer.

Posted by: Magrooder at August 10, 2008 8:16 PM

Al probably had to go home that night, sit in front of a mirror and tell himself that he's good enough, he's smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like him (well at least one guy).

Posted by: Patrick at August 10, 2008 10:22 PM

Those types of "gotcha" arguments are generally not plausible in the long term. Case in point, chances are that Ashley Simpson will draw a larger crowd for a concert than the world's greatest concert pianist. Or, better yet, it would presume that a movie that drew the larger audience (Ace Ventura) is the better flick (Mystic River), when other factors are in play.

A party's nominee for the US senate who draws one guest is a troubling story, period. Gotcha attempts won't change that.


Besides, presenting the question of whether or not the country is in McCain's image is quite racist, if one follows the criteria set forth by many prominent Obama backers.

Posted by: RW at August 11, 2008 8:30 AM

OK, RW. I think I understand now. If the wing nuts use a type of "logic," (note quotation marks) the argument is sound. If the same logic is turned against them, it is "not plausible in the long run" and perhaps even racist.

Posted by: Magrooder at August 11, 2008 9:33 AM

Franken had to know he was facing an uphill battle with the roundtable. Aside from the fact that veterans as a group lean right, how many people would attend -any- roundtable conducted by their congressman? Maybe if he had offered free beer . . .

Posted by: MVH at August 11, 2008 9:44 AM


"While the country may not be Reaganesque in its conservatism, it most definitely is not a left-of-center country."

Just out of curiousity, where do you think the "center" is?

Posted by: MVH at August 11, 2008 10:03 AM

Tough to define. It's rather vast, depending on the issue. In '03, 60% favored the war & today it's the opposite, for instance. We're willing to have spending, but we also don't want our tax hikes. We're willing to care for the indigent, but don't care to have cradle-to-grave coverage. We're willing to sacrifice for the environment, but we're not willing to adopt Al Gore's newfound solutions.

Tough to type an actual answer because someone could easily point to a certain issue and say "well, the public really isn't on the right/left on this one, are they?". Can you point to something specific that you're looking for?

Okay, you've got me. Your quotation-laden logic that has conflated a candidate attracting one guest for an event along with Obama/McCain's ability to attract audiences was the gotcha that has rattled my cage. :)

Seriously, please, lighten up on me, the racist thing was an obvious (I thought) joke pointing at the current rhetorical battle going on over the race issue & the campaign. If it wasn't obvious, then you have my apologies. Please know, though, that there IS a debate going on amongst some from the diehard Obama-backing section that is seeking to inject charges of racism towards McCain backers (well, really, people who aren't willing to back Obama). It's fodder, IMO, and I plan on running with the easy material.

Posted by: RW at August 11, 2008 10:42 AM

I never thought Franken was funny but this I can laugh at.

Posted by: spongeworthy at August 11, 2008 11:17 AM


"Can you point to something specific that you're looking for?"

Oh, I didn't have anything specific in mind. I was just curious if you had a personal take on it. I'm sure any politician would give one of his arms to actually know where the center was at any given time.

I am probably someone whose views could be described as "center" by some definitions. I tend to run conservative on immigration and foreign affairs, moderate on economics and liberal on social issues. That being said, there is also a policy component. I lean conservative on foreign affairs, but I'm not real thrilled with our Iraq war policy.

Of course, there are some who could be described as "center" and have the complete opposite orientation on foreign affairs and social issues. And I'm sure there are some that are moderate on all of them. It's a big crapshoot.

Posted by: MVH at August 11, 2008 11:29 AM

Isn't "center" far to the right of the MSM and far to the left of David Duke? OR you are "center" as long as you can find anyone to your right and left?


Posted by: Lee at August 11, 2008 11:45 AM

Heh. I like to think of the center as "me," and everyone who disagrees with me is either a right-wing extremist or left-wing pinko. :)

To complicate things further, there is also the weight you give to certain issues. For example, I'm pretty much a liberal on social issues, but I don't weigh them that heavily.

I'm really glad I brought this up. We've come up with a lot of answers.

Posted by: MVH at August 11, 2008 12:11 PM

We need to keep things light or else things will get tooooooooooo serious!

Posted by: Lee at August 11, 2008 1:48 PM
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