The World According to Oatney
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
How Tight Is It?How tight is the presidential race today? Three points separate the candidates:
These results, based on interviewing conducted Tuesday through Thursday, mark the first time since the Sept. 4-6 report that McCain does not have a statistically significant lead over Obama, and also reflect interviewing on Thursday that showed a very close race.This is proving to be one of the tightest races in recent memory. Sarah Palin has indeed energized the Republican base in a way that no one expected, and this election is turning out much differently than many thought it might. The Democrats thought it was just their turn and we would play dead and bow before the new Messiah.
Instead, the media has simply made cultural conservatives more angry, ignoring the obvious trend that the average voter has soured on Barack Obama.
Actions Have ConsequencesThis is perhaps one of the most difficult posts I have ever had to write, because it concerns someone who I consider a friend, who I have supported politically, and who I believe has a heart of gold. It is especially disheartening because I have wholeheartedly believed in what this person has been trying to accomplish in the 4th Senate District all these many months.
The news broke this morning that Mike Faulk has had an affair with the now-former head of the Hawkins County Young Republicans, Ms. Kelli Walker. Since this has become public, I can tell you that I have known about this for several days, hiding the story even (as I am sure she will be keen to remind me) from my wife-Faulk has always been very good to both my wife and myself. I was told of the affair by a very reliable source who is well-connected within the Tennessee Republican Party who I do not believe for a second would lie to me, and whose political support of Faulk, like my own, cannot be questioned.
Mike Faulk has not officially responded to the allegations, and based on my conversation with the above-mentioned source nearly a week before the story broke, I believe that the story is true.
Knowing that is a hard and bitter pill to swallow for those of us who have supported Faulk since well before he ever officially announced that he was running for the State Senate. Many of us believe in the things Mike stands for, and have come to appreciate his outgoing personality and willingness to communicate with his supporters directly. Those of us who've supported his Senate bid have done so in good faith, believing that he had the resources and the political experience to take on a well-connected and lobbyist-funded foe in Senator Mike Williams.
Mike Faulk does have political experience. He was heavily involved in Lamar Alexander's successful 1974 campaign for Governor, and ran the 1978 campaign in House District 91 (Memphis). He has served on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, on the Hawkins County Commission, and he once ran for State Republican Chairman. In short, Mike Faulk knows what he is doing, and he knows how to win.
What makes this situation so baffling is precisely that reality: Faulk has been around politics enough to know that engaging in morally inappropriate or questionable behavior will be easily capitalized upon by one's opponents and be found out by the press. He is aware, surely, that such behavior can and will ruin someone's political career, and somewhere in the back of his mind he had to know that his own was at risk by his actions. Yet he risked his career and reputation on what St. Paul called "the pleasures of sin for a season."
Everyone in this earthly walk is a sinner, of course, and if I chose my friends solely based on whether or not they were morally pure, or whether they lived up to either my standards or God's standards, I would have very few friends in this life. Christ can forgive Faulk for what he has done, and perhaps He already has. Faulk's friends and political supporters may be able to forgive him. Perhaps someday even the young lady at the center of the storm can forgive Faulk for, she says, not acknowledging his role in the affair publicly or the role she says the relationship played in bringing down her marriage. Forgiveness, however, does not negate consequences.
In Catholic theology, we have something we call "the temporal punishment due to sin." Put in the most simplistic terms, this means that while God has forgiven a person of their sin, their actions still have consequences and they must pay them. Forgiveness does not remove the action of the sin or the consequences of the sin, it merely means that God will not hold that sin to your charge when you stand before Him at the Judgment. The consequences of a person's wrongdoing still must be dealt with.
In Mike Faulk's case, the reality that he knew what the consequences of his actions could be, yet continued engaging in morally deviant behavior speaks to his judgment. Were Faulk not involved in politics, what he did would still be equally heinous, but would be a private matter with sad but private consequences. In public life, the kind of behavior Faulk is accused of is a private matter that has very public consequences-it could cost Faulk not only the election, but what appeared to be a very bright political future.
I still consider Mike Faulk a friend, and I probably always will. His saving grace may be that his opponent also has a chequered past , but I'm not sure it is wise to make who can out-philander whom the central issue of an election campaign. Merely because he is a friend does not mean that Mike Faulk deserves victory. He himself has undermined his opportunity and has let down not only his supporters, but the people of the 4th District who deserve much better representation than what we currently enjoy.
Mike Faulk's "temporal punishment due to sin" may be that he can get the good Lord's forgiveness, and even the forgiveness of his political friends, but must pay for his actions with his political career.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Destroying ThemselvesReading the weblogs of some of my liberal friends is, on the one hand, an exercise in humor, and on the other it is rather sad, really. It would seem that the realization is beginning to hit them that they are going to lose the November election yet again, and they are just plain angry. Of course they blame Governor Sarah Palin for this, and are still trying scurrilously to do anything they can to discredit her.
As has already been the case, these tactics will backfire on them and benefit the Republican ticket, something that is already happening. Further, Republicans are more fired up than they've been all year, and are even leading the generic Congressional ballot. One would think that Democrats would know this and would be smart enough to quit doing the things that are causing them to slide so rapidly-but to be honest, I'm not sure they know how to win a national campaign any longer.
I understand what they are going through because I became involved with my first campaign when I was 16 and it was a loss. Even though 1994 was a great national triumph, I was involved in another losing campaign that year. The 1996 presidential election and 1998 Congressional elections were humiliating defeats in my youthful mind at the time. I began to wonder if we'd ever see the light of day and for a long while after '96, I became angry and frustrated, just as some of our friends on the other side are at this time. The problem is that people in the party opposite know why they are sliding...
The Republican reaction to a poll slide is to begin to focus on real issues where the percieved opponent(s) may be weak and drive them home to the American public like a hammer drives a nail. We didn't do this in the above-mentioned campaigns, but instead we spent our time discussing how bad our opponent is and whining like deprived children when it became evident that we were going to lose. Instead of changing gears and attempting to turn things around, we somehow thought that getting into a pissing match with the other party was going to make it all good, and all it got us was licked in November.
The Democratic reaction to a poll slide is to...whine like babies whose candy is being taken away and attempt to get into a pissing match with Republicans. This sounds very familiar, and I can tell people from experience that it will not work and will likely have a kind of impact that is the complete opposite of what the whiners intended.
That's alright, though. Since Democrats seem intent to destroy themselves, I want to encourage all of my friends in the party opposite to please continue your present behavior and current line of attack. I'll even be happy to try an arrange for a few of you to come to a Republican victory party somewhere, since those are going to be the only real victory parties on November 4th if you keep it up-after all, it will have been you that helped make it happen.
That Terrible DayHere is my commemorative post recounting what September 11, 2001 was like for me and those around me
An Election's On Up NorthIf there are regular readers who are like your author and also try to make it a point to follow Canadian and British politics as well as our own as closely as possible, you might be interested to know that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Governor-General and asked for Parliament to be dissolved this past Sunday-and it was.
The 40th Canadian General Election will be held on October 14th, 2008.
There is no shortage of controversy about the election call in Ottawa because Harper's Government passed a law that fixed the date of the next election for October 2009. However, in the Westminster System there always has to be a way for the Government to call an election and Harper has utilized that legal loophole and managed to do just that. Its seems more than a bit coincidental that Harper and the Conservatives are doing reasonably well in national polls.
Needless to say, we've always been somewhat partisan toward the Conservative Party when discussing Canadian politics at The World. However, there are real and legitimate problems with Harper's leadership and Government. Perhaps the most notable of these in my eyes is his propensity to break his word to Newfoundland and brush off Newfoundlanders as a constituency that he does not need to win an election. This mentality reminds me of the Democratic Party in this country and the mentality among certain of its leaders that they do not need the South or Middle America to win a presidential election. We also see how that kind of political brushing off has fared for them in the last two quadrennial election cycles.
So how, pray tell, does any of this impact our own General Election on November 4th? The Canadian vote may not have much influence here, but there is little doubt that our electoral process is impacting how things are being done North of the Border. Many Canadian political pundits are speculating that an election was called in Ottawa to avert the prospect of U.S. results having too much of a role in the outcome of a Canadian General Election. Canadian politics do not mirror the United States...but there is often an echo in Canadian results.
As with the last time there was a Canadian election, there will be results and analysis here.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The Lies Are MultiplyingIn the time since Governor Sarah Palin was named John McCain's running mate, our friends on the Left have busied themselves with perpetuating some of the most vicious rumors and outright lies that I have ever seen devised in any political climate. Perhaps the worst of the falsehoods is that then-Mayor Palin plotted to ban books from the Wasilla Public Library:
She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.
So the infamous "list" is a complete fabrication. What I find most disappointing about all of this is that certain friends of mine on the other side of the aisle, including a person who personal and journalistic integrity I have hitherto placed in a position beyond reproach, are actively participating in the perpetuation of many of these falsehoods about Governor Palin.
I hope and pray that in the course of my political life, I do not become so desperate that in the name of victory I resort to the worst sort of libel imaginable-creating things in my opponent's record that are not only false, but were never present in any form. I think that many of the people who have been actively supporting Barack Obama have heard the falsehoods and believe them true, and as a result they think that they are duty-bound to spread false information.
Somehow, I get the impression that if Sarah Palin were a liberal Democrat, some of these questions about her fitness wouldn't exist-at least not to Democrats.
UPDATE (11:14 AM): The Wall Street Journal is reporting that its latest poll shows that a majority of Americans are comfortable with Palin as Vice President, in spite of the media barrage aganst her. Meanwhile, John Fund reports that the pack of craven vultures from the pits of Hell known as Democratic "operatives" have arrived in Juneau and Fairbanks and Anchorage to dig on Palin's record to find something that they can spin into the Fabrication of the Month.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
More Evidence That Obama Is Now LosingBarack Obama, while his operatives on the internet and his allies in the press further attempt to trash Governor Sarah Palin, is beginning to get desperate about-of all things-money. The Messiah, who had hitherto broken all previous records during the course of this campaign for fundraising, is now concerned that his decision not to take public financing after saying that he would do so is going to backfire on him:
The signs of concern have become evident in recent weeks as early fund-raising totals have suggested that Mr. Obama’s decision to bypass public financing may not necessarily afford him the commanding financing advantage over Senator John McCain that many had originally predicted.
Presidential candidates in a general election have typically relied on two main sources of money: public financing, along with additional money their parties raise. In choosing to accept the public money, the McCain campaign now gets an $84 million cash infusion from the United States Treasury. Mr. McCain is barred from raising any more money for his own campaign coffers but can lean on money raised by the Republican National Committee, which has continued to exceed expectations.
What all of this means, of course, is that while Obama is out raising money to try and keep his massive campaign machine afloat, John McCain can concentrate exclusively on campaigning instead of fundraising. John McCain will get an infusion of cash from the federal Treasury and can take money from the Republican National Committee, the fundraising for which has been better than virtually anyone associated with the GOP expected.
Meanwhile, Gallup reports that John McCain maintains a steady five point nationally lead over Obama today. If that lead begins to increase beyond the five point margin, it will likely begin to impact the electoral map. The fact that McCain now has the support of 52% of independent voters, to 40% for Mr. Obama.
The Backfiring Assault On Governor PalinLISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE
A discussion of John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, and a review of the Republican National Convention. The vicious and false attacks and internet rumors about Sarah Palin, and how they are helping the Republican ticket. A joint edition of Oatney On the Air and The Truth and Hope Report with David Oatney, Adam Graham, and guest Warner Todd Huston.
Monday, September 08, 2008
The electoral map is beginning to move in John McCain's direction, although we project that if the election were held today, it would likely end in a tie and be thrown into the House of Representatives:
&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;strong&amp;gt;&amp;gt;&amp;lt;a href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/campaign08/electoral-college/'&amp;gt;Electoral College Prediction Map&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/strong&amp;gt; - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Rasmussen now reports that their electoral college tracking has Barack Obama leading by just ten electoral votes. Based on that projection, all John McCain would need to do would be to carry Virginia and Nevada to be assured of victory. Gallup now reports that McCain has a five point lead over Obama nationally, and that means that the August turnaround which ended with the Republican National Convention is now complete.
These trends are eerily similar to 1988, when Michael Dukakis' lead collapsed after he held one for much of the late spring and through the summer. The lead, which was ten points at one point, gave way after both conventions were complete and Dukakis never recovered.
On a personal note, I want to encourage our friends in the party opposite to continue their baseless, hate-filled, and desperate personal tirade against the next Vice President of the United States. Our Democratic collegues just don't know when to shut up, and that could be very good news for the GOP. Some of our friends are well-meaning, such as Sharon Cobb being bound and determined to somehow prove that the Palins are unAmerican (McCarthyism anyone?) because the First Dude was once a member of the Alaska Independence Party and Sarah Palin gave a speech to the group. We won't bother to explain that the States created the federal government, not the other way around, and that the very notion that Washington is the arbiter of what constitutes Americanism or American ideals is itself unAmerican. We won't even mention that there is something in the Constitution called the Tenth Amendment, and that Alaska joined the Union voluntarily.
It does show the world that our friends on the Left have a double standard. When those on the Right have tried to point out people who are unAmerican, we get called all kinds of nasty names and how dare we infringe on someone's belief, nevermind that they are a threat. When the Left deems someone unAmerican, however, you'd better watch out. Us Weekly, The National Enquirer, MSNBC and The New York Times will all be beating the door down to lead the denunciation. Those organizations, by the way, have done a far greater hatchet job than Sharon has-at least my friend tried to keep it clean
Nonetheless, keep it up! Your efforts have dug your man into a hole. Every piece of vitriole, falsehood, half-truth, and outright hate that the press and the Left spew at the Vice President-to-be digs the Democratic Party even further into the hole that it has created for itself. At this rate, the Democrats will have managed to completely destroy themselves by Election Day. Roll out the barrel for that victory party!
Sunday, September 07, 2008
All My Hope On God Is Founded
The Choir and an assembled ecumenical gathering at Westminster Abbey sing the great hymn of faith-All My Hope On God Is Founded.
It would do well for some of our political opponents to be reminded that the Lord rewards those who put all of their hope and faith in God.
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