Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Specific Reason To Vote For Obama

I've been listening to the latest spin about Mr. Obama's run for president and how his supporters are being grilled by right-wing talk radio. The problem question: name one specific reason why you support Mr. Obama. And the right-wing meme is that there's no specific reason, just a velvet fog of good intentions.

Well, let me provide a specific reason to vote for Mr. Obama. He's a Liberal and will pursue a Liberal program of governance. This isn't in any way news to anyone. He's stated any number of expansive government initiatives he'd like to see enacted. This is the antithesis of Mr. Reagan's thesis that "government is the problem."

I think that the Democrats and Republicans have done the country a disservice in turning the word "Liberal" into a demon term. Most voters simply do not know what the words Conservative and Liberal mean. For instance, when Mr. Huckabee advances a pro-life position while also advancing an agenda of activist solve-all-your-problems government, people think that means he's Conservative. Same goes for Mr. Bush who creates a new Medicare drug entitlement initiating a major new spending program to pay for it. This isn't Conservatism. It got so bad that Mr. Bush's Wilsonian approach to foreign policy and his huge domestic spending increases were fleetingly called "Big Government Conservatism." No, Big Government Conservatism, just like Compassionate Conservatism are simply code-words for the "Liberalism that dares not speak its name."

Given the Republicans who are running for President, it looks like the Republicans will be trying to expand the tent to fit more populists and liberals. And given Mr. Bush's failure to control the Federal Bureaucracy, we've seen a federal government that is not recognizably Conservative. Need a fresh example: the Department of Justice has filed briefs to support the Washington DC handgun ban. Hint: defending gun control is not conservatism.

Why vote for a faux-Conservative who'll say nice things about Mr. Reagan and rule as a Liberal? Wouldn't voting for Mr. Obama be mere truth in advertising? He's clearly a Liberal and he'll rule as a Liberal if he's elected. Better than what we have now.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Who'd Vote For A Black Man?

I just read the news that Mr. Obama's vote counts in the recent New York primary election were disappointing. Particularly, those precincts of New York where he has received zero, count them, zero votes.

I understand that the Democrat party is not as enlightened as the party of Lincoln in its handling of race relations. The party of slavery, after all, numbers among its Senators the former klansman Mr. Robert Byrd. Thus, when a black gets all uppity and runs for President, I can understand that Democrat voters might prefer someone a little "whiter," like Mrs. Clifton.

Of particular interest in this primary election's results was Mr. Obama's performance in New York's 94th District where right-thinking Democrats understand a black man's place in society. I suspect the baleful influence of the Dutch, who created Apartheid, and settled that part of New York, and who named that district where Mr. Obama got ZERO VOTES, Harlem.

Or maybe not and there is a poll tax in Harlem?

That Was An Invalid Response

Freezing rain canceled church, so I was sitting at the kitchen table relaxing on a Sunday morning. The phone rang.

I answered as I always so, "Steve Poling speaking." It is something all my friends expect and well within the guidelines I learned in grade school about how to use the telephone.

This approach has the advantage of immediately putting telemarketers on the defensive as they will invariably ask, "May I speak with Steve Poling?" When I'm feeling unkind, I answer them with, "What did I just say?" In any event, I won't buy anything from anyone who asks to speak with Steve Poling after I tell them that I am speaking.

In recent years this alternative telephone protocol has brought unexpected benefits. Nowadays computers can do rudimentary speech recognition. Thus some telemarketers' computers will wait until someone says, "Hello," before launching into their pitch. "Steve Poling speaking," is insufficiently close to "Hello" for the computer to cope. The result is usually a few seconds of dead air sufficient to convince me to blow off this robocall.

However, this morning the telemarketing call only paused briefly before replying, "That is an invalid response." Telemarketing computers are offering telephone etiquette advice? I hung up.