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If glowing reviews were votes or campaign contributions, Marco Rubio would swamp his GOP primary challenger and be so flush with money that he’d swamp his Democratic opponent. Though I was impressed with his entire speech, this part of Mr. Rubio’s speech was especially powerful to me:

There has never been a nation like the United States.

It begins with the principles of our founding documents. Principles that recognize that our rights come from God, not from government. That we are all equal in the eyes of our creator and, therefore, every human life at every stage of life is sacred.

These principles embody a commitment to individual liberty and have made Americans the freest people ever. They make possible our free enterprise economy, which has made us the most prosperous people ever.

The result is an America that is the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents are or whether you were born into the right family or the right part of society. You can be anything you’re willing to work hard to be.

The result is the only economy where poor people with a better idea and a strong work ethic can put rich people out of business in the competition of the marketplace.

The result is the most reliable defender of freedom ever. Simply put, there is nothing like it in the world. And even today, with the problems that we face, which country would you rather be? Who would we trade places with?

That’s incredibly empowering to hear. One line especially jumps out: “…Poor people with a better idea and a strong work ethic can put rich people out of business…” In a global context, we’re one of the few nations in the world where that’s possible. Many nations have systems that make it all but impossible for people of a certain social status to escape.

After his speech, Ed Morrissey taped a brief Q & A session with Mr. Rubio. The statement he made during this interview that most caught my attention was his saying that he wouldn’t have had a campaign if not for bloggers. He said that, had this race happened before blogs, the MSM would’ve commented that Rubio had a bright future, then returned its attention to the popular sitting governor.

Mr. Rubio said that politicians can’t play games with bloggers because they do their own research, factchecking media reports and politicians’ quotes. He’s right. That’s exactly what we do.

It’s been said that Rubio is the “first TEA Party candidate.” I agree with that statement but I’d go a step further. I’ll be the first to say that Mr. Rubio is the first blog savvy TEA Party candidate and that he’ll be the first blog savvy TEA Party senator.

Follow this link to read Marco Rubio’s presentation at CPAC. You’ll be glad you did.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

One of the things that popped into my head as I read TMLC’s statement was whether anyone was investigating the investigators or the military personnel making rulings at the various hearings. Here’s what got me started wondering about that:

The investigation of the “Haditha Marines” by over 65 Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents is the largest investigation in that agency’s history according to the director of that agency.

It isn’t possible that that many investigators objectively examined that much information, including videotape from UAV’s that monitored the firefight and audiotape communications between the Haditha Marines and the command center, and thought that there was a basis for charges against the Haditha Marines.

Capt. Dinsmore testified via video from Iraq that they knew in advance that there was an insurgent attack planned for November 19, 2005. They knew that a white car would play an important role in the ambush.

Here’s what I posted over a year ago from John Murtha’s interview with Charlie Gibson:

GIBSON: Jonathan just mentioned, there’s no charges yet filed against any of the Marines that were in this outfit, but Jonathan mentioned a moment ago, defense lawyers are already saying, well, there’s drone video and there is actual radio traffic to higher-ups that will give a different picture than you have been talking about of this incident. What do you know about that?

Why hasn’t NCIS come under closer scrutiny? They’re responsible for this witch hunt. Why aren’t they being held accountable?

As I said earlier today, Col. Steven Folsom dismissed all charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani on the grounds that there was “unlawful command influence” involved in bringing the charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani. This is about as serious a charge as can be brought against the convening authorities. Here’s what USMilitary.org says about UCI:

UCI occurs when senior personnel, wittingly or unwittingly, have acted to influence court members, witnesses, or others participating in military justice cases. Such unlawful influence not only jeopardizes the validity of the judicial process, it undermines the morale of military members, their respect for the chain of command, and public confidence in the military.

It isn’t a stretch to think that the influence in this instance was intentional. Putting it in betting parlance, the fix was in. If this happened in criminal court, the possible range of charges might include obstruction of justice, subornation of perjury, witness tampering and/or jury tampering.

Let’s think of this from a civilian standpoint. The investigators would be part of the prosecution’s team. They’d likely be a law enforcement organization like the FBI or a police or sheriff’s department. If a judge ruled that a law enforcement organization had fixed a trial, rest assured that there’d be front page headlines in the local paper talking about the criminal activity.

The next logical question I’d ask is whether courts-martial trials were being determined by legislators. This deserves a full-scale investigation. I’d specifically want to know if John Murtha, Norm Dicks or Ike Skelton exerted pressure on NCIS investigators or on the Article 32 hearings. If they did, they should be immediately expelled from the House of representatives.

That type of behavior is unacceptable, especially when it involves true American heroes who followed the ROE.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

According to this AP article, this week’s Republican National Convention was the most watched political convention in history. Of the four major party candidates, only Sen. Biden didn’t attract 40 million viewers the night of his acceptance speech. Here’s a portion of the AP’s reporting:

The GOP presidential candidate attracted roughly the same number of viewers to his convention acceptance speech Thursday as Obama did before the Democrats last week, according to Nielsen Media Research.

It marked the end of an astonishing run where more than 40 million people watched political speeches on three nights by Obama, McCain and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The Republican convention was the most-watched convention on television ever, beating a standard set by the Democrats a week earlier.

Three times in two weeks, political speeches were watched by more people than the “American Idol” finale, the Academy Awards and the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics this year.

“It clearly suggests that a great number of Americans think that who will be the next president is important and worthy of their time,” said Tom Rosenstiel, a former political reporter and director of the Project for Excellence in journalism.

While I agree with Mr. Rosenstiel that most Americans are interested in this year’s election, I think the main reason why people tuned into the Republican National Convention was because of how the hatemongers in the Agenda Media treated Sarah Palin. This is anecdotal proof that most American voters rejected the elitist comments made by Sally Quinn, Andrea Mitchell and Campbell Brown.

Another reason why a record number of people watched was because of America’s fascination with Sarah Palin. She’s taken the week by storm. People wanted to see if her introductory speech in Dayton, OH was the exception or the rule.

In that speech, she talked lovingly about Trig, the Palins’ newborn who was born with Down’s Syndrome, as “a beautiful baby boy.” She talked about fighting hard against corruption in Alaska and winning those fights. She talked about her husband Todd’s being a union member working on “Alaska’s North Slope” working on oil rigs. In other words, she described her family as the prototypical American family.

Wednesday night, they wanted to know more about this woman who was causing a firestorm in the media. They wanted to know that she was more than just another pretty face.

What the sane portions of America found out was that Gov. Palin is intelligent, tough, poised and charismatic, traits that they’re drawn to. They also found out that she’s as plain-spoken as the neighborhood’s hockey mom, something else that people connect with.

What America saw Wednesday night caused them to see how Sen. McCain would follow up that performance. though he didn’t deliver the type of speech that Gov. Palin gave them Wednesday night, he finished with a flourish that had people standing up and cheering all across the nation.

At first, I thought of the speech as workmanlike. I’ve since concluded that it was inspirational, too. How could you not be inspired when Sen. McCain said this:

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.

The more I pondered that paragraph, the more I started being inspired by the speech. I suspect that a great many people reached that conclusion, too.

It’s safe to say that the enthusiasm gap that was appallingly apparent in January has disappeared, thanks in large part to the Agenda Media’s adoration of Sen. Obama and their reviling of Gov. Palin. People know that their views aren’t objective. They know that they want Obama to be our 44th president so badly that they’ll do or say anything that they think will put him over the top.

In taking that approach, they’ve turned people off. They’ve pushed people away from Sen. Obama. They’ve caused people to rally to Gov. Palin’s defense while uniting the Republican Party in the most ironic of ways.

Now the race begins in earnest. Rest assured that the McCain-Palin ticket will take the fight to the Obama-Biden ticket. What the final outcome will be is still to be decided, of course, but I can’t wait for Election Day.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Sen. Coleman issued a statement on Sen. McCain’s acceptance speech. Here’s the text of that statement:

“This evening the American people are reminded of the call to duty of an American president nearly fifty years ago, who asked us all to do first for our country above all else. John McCain is the embodiment of country first, above all else, and for that, I am proud to be an American, and proud to support John McCain for President. In a dangerous world, we need the courage and leadership of John McCain. His bipartisan approach to solving problems, recognizing that some problems and challenges are just too big for one party, is something we need in today’s divisive political environment. John McCain will guide America through great challenges for the next four years with steady, proven hands and with the courage and convictions that we need from our national leaders in this 21st Century.”

Sen. Coleman’s statement speaks for many Americans. Americans, by nature, believe in sacrifices if that sacrifice leads to increased prosperity or increased freedoms for the next generation. That’s what Sen. McCain is calling for.

Sen. Coleman should be commended for recognizing that trait. His strength is that he understands people. That’s why he’s as popular with voters as he is.

It’s the defining difference between himself and Al Franken. Al Franken can’t be bothered by actually listening. Unlike John McCain and Norm Coleman, Al Franken has a history of putting himself first. Unlike John McCain and Norm Coleman, Al Franken isn’t interested in being a public servant. He’s only interested in being a senator.

There’s a huge difference. It’s a difference so big that Minnesotans will notice this November. That’s why Norm Coleman will be elected and why Al Franken will be rejected.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

For once, I think that pit bull extraordinaire James Carville gets it. The truth is that he might’ve swerved into the truth last night. Here’s what he said:

Carville also said the party needs to do a better job of communicating its message to the American people. “If this party has a message it’s done a hell of a job hiding it tonight, I promise you that,” he said.

Jim, the reason why Sen. Obama is sliding is because more people each day are figuring it out that he doesn’t have a message. It’s all about hope and change. That isn’t enough to win a presidential election with. Th’ Ragin’ Cajun let loose with this, too:

“The way they planned it tonight was supposed to be sort of the personal, Michelle Obama will talk about Barack Obama personally, Ted Kennedy was a very personal, emotional speech,” Carville said. “But I guarantee on the first night of the Republican Convention, you’re going to hear talk about Barack Obama, commander-in-chief, tax cuts, et cetera, et cetera.”

That’s pretty good analysis, actually. If there’s one thing that Republicans are good at, it’s that they’re masters of stagecraft and messaging. Democrats often bemoan the GOP’s simplistic message and ‘fake patriotism’. Democrats still haven’t figured out that that’s where most of America still is. Democrats still haven’t figured out that nuance and shades of gray aren’t for messaging.

Another difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans don’t have to tell people that they’re patriots, that they love their country. The actions of their leaders says it. Democrats have to because they’re frequently undercutting traditional American values.

It’s necessary for Democrats to say that they love America after Democrats vote to cut off funding for winning in Iraq. It’s part of their DNA: First undercut America’s war effort to appease the Appeasement Wing of the party, then tell the rest of the country that the Democrats love their country.

I predicted earlier that this wouldn’t be a great week for Democrats, that there’s too much discord amongst the delegates. This discord isn’t because they don’t believe the same things. It’s because they’re too into identity politics.

That’s why they don’t have a message.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

According to this AP article, Michelle Obama is opening her husband up to tons of ridicule. Here’s an excerpt from her speech that will draw lots of questions:

Obama said she and her husband were raised with the values shared by many Americans: “that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.”

Considering the fact that Sen. Obama once changed his position on drilling for oil 3 times in 4 days, considering the fact that Sen. Obama once promised to filibuster the FISA reform legislation before voting for it, considering the fact that he was pro-Israel when speaking to AIPAC and pro-Arab less than a day later, why should we feel any bond with Sen. Obama?

Furthermore, when did Michelle Obama develop this great love of country? Let’s remember her infamous speech in Wisconsin right before their primary where she said that she was finally proud of America “for the first time” this year.

As with most things Obama, their words ring hollow. It might be a perfectly well-written speech but it means nothing because Sen. Obama’s actions don’t match his words. Put another way, he’s a phony. His talk about being a post-racial, postpartisan candidate is belied by the fact that he’s never worked across the aisle on major legislation that went against his party. He voted against John Roberts, one of only 19 Democrats to vote against him. Postpartisan? Please. He’s voted against funding the troops to keep his political viability. Postpartisan? Please.

He stayed in a racist church for 20 years, listening to a racist preacher without giving a second thought to leaving. Post-racial? That’s insulting.

Sen. Obama maintained a friendship with an unrepentant terrorist while claiming that he’s a political moderate. Sen. Obama voted against the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. Even Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer voted for BAIPA.To say that Sen. Obama is a moderate is insulting. We won’t accept that spin.

HotAir has the transcript of Mrs. O’s speech posted. Here’s something that jumped off the page at me:

My Dad was our rock. Although he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in his early thirties, he was our provider, our champion, our hero. As he got sicker, it got harder for him to walk, it took him longer to get dressed in the morning. But if he was in pain, he never let on. He never stopped smiling and laughing, even while struggling to button his shirt, even while using two canes to get himself across the room to give my Mom a kiss. He just woke up a little earlier, and worked a little harder.

He and my mom poured everything they had into me and Craig. It was the greatest gift a child can receive: never doubting for a single minute that you’re loved, and cherished, and have a place in this world. And thanks to their faith and hard work, we both were able to go on to college. So I know firsthand from their lives, and mine, that the American Dream endures.

How can someone live in that setting and still be capable of saying that she’s finally proud of America for the first time in her life just a few months ago?

I’m not doubting that these things happened. I don’t doubt that Mrs. O’s parents were thoughtful parents or that they loved each other and that they loved their kids.

It’s just that I don’t buy the bitter woman we saw in February is the same woman we saw tonight.

UPDATE: It looks like I’m not alone in questioning Mrs. O’s authenticity. Here’s some of Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff musings:

Ms. Obama’s make-over was more extreme when it came to her account of her life. We saw her growing up on the South Side of Chicago with her family (including Princeton basketball legend “Super Craig” Robinson, now the basketball coach at Oregon State); we saw her fleeing corporate America to “serve her community;” and we saw her and Barack with their small children. We did not see her at the Ivy League institutions where she spent seven years of her life (four at Princeton and three at Harvard Law School). In tonight’s account, she was merely “able to go on to college.” Nor, of course, do we learn just how well Ms. Obama is doing financially by “doing good” in her community.

Plainly, Ms. Obama wishes to be viewed as an “ordinary” American. To the extent that her real biography is known, or emerges over the course of the campaign, some voters may conclude she was a bit phony tonight.

Well said, Paul. That’s a fitting conclusion.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

It’s safe to say that Dave ‘Mudcat’ Saunders isn’t part of Barack Obama’s target audience. That’s why Sen. Obama does poorly with blue collar workers. This article highlights why Sen. Obama will have a challenge in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia.

“Sometimes they remind me of another bunch from Chicago, the Blues Brothers: they seem to think they’re on a mission from God.”

He is scathing about the reliance on registering new voters. “If that’s how he runs his campaign, he is going to lose. I’d rather bet on those who voted before. When he stands up and says that I’m gonna get 30 per cent more black voters, I’m gonna get 30 per cent more of my people to turn out for me, what is Joe Six-Pack thinking?”

Mudcat suggests that John McCain could win Michigan while holding Ohio and Florida. And, unless Mr Obama changes course, “he ain’t gonna win Virgina either”.

While the media swooned during Sen. Obama’s trip, I kept saying that European types weren’t who he needed to win over. I kept saying that Sen. Obama needed to start making a connection with blue collar workers. Frankly, I don’t think he’s capable of making that connection.

I’ve always been skeptical of candidates that base their victories on dramatically increasing voter turnout with a specific group. President Bush’s 2004 vote total was dramatically bigger than 2000 because he increased his turnout within a number of groups. Across the country but especially in Ohio, Georgia and other Bible Belt states, additional attention was focused on church-going African-Americans and with blue collar workers.

President Bush focused on the Hispanic vote in the desert southwest, helping him flip New Mexico from blue to red. President Bush kept Pennsylvania close by focusing on culturally conservative Catholic voters. That’s who he focused on in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, too. President Bush also focused on security issues, which helped win over the Security Moms cohort, too.

The Bush-Rove plan was to increase turnout of many different groups by noticeable amounts, thereby not leaning heavily on one group. Compare that with the Obama campaign’s reliance on dramatically increasing turnout of campus liberals, high income liberals and African-Americans. That’s a narrow list of groups. That’s also putting alot of high expectations on those groups.

This paragraph is why I think Sen. Obama’s strategy will backfire:

Along with his Confederate flag bedspread, the stag heads on his walls, his preference for profanity over punctuation, he would horrify what he calls the “northeastern elitist, Metropolitan Opera wing of the Democrats.”

It’s safe to say that Mr. Saunders is a fan of either Howard Dean or John Kerry. I’d bet good money that he’d get along just fine with John Breaux or Zell Miller. Those aren’t the type of folks that Sen. Obama can count on to turn out en force this November. In fact, I’m betting that they’re the people that McCain’s campaign is targeting.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

This hasn’t been a good week for Barack Obama. His week took a downturn when he got defensive when he heard something that wasn’t said. Now he’s saying that his impending loss in Kentucky is all Fox News’ fault. All this happened after he lost West Virginia’s primary by 40 points. His accusations of FNC are bizarre. Here’s what he said about them:

“Part of it is because there have been these e-mails that have been sent out very systematically, presumably by various political opponents, although I don’t know who,” he said. “And there are a lot of voters who get their news from Fox News. Fox has been pumping up rumors about my religious beliefs or my patriotism or what have you since the beginning of the campaign.”

If Fox was actually starting rumors about him, shouldn’t he be able to cite them and refute the specific rumors? It’s like hearing John Murtha tell Charlie Gibson that he knew “there was a coverup somewhere” regarding the Haditha Marines.

The insulting thing about Sen. Obama saying that “there are alot of voters who get their news from Fox News” is that it insinuates that “alot of voters” are easily bamboozled. It’s like saying that “they can’t help it that they’re gullible enough to trust Fox News.”

This plays into Sen. Obama’s elitist image, too. Sen. Obama obviously doesn’t trust people. If he did, he’d believe that they can filter out the things that aren’t accurate. Here’s the opening paragraphs to the McClatchy article:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, facing a likely defeat in next Tuesday’s primary election, won’t travel to Kentucky before the voting, but said he hopes to have much more time to win over Kentucky voters before the November general election.

He also blamed Fox News for disseminating “rumors” about him and said that that and e-mails filled with misinformation that have been “systematically” dispersed have hurt him in Kentucky.

I can’t blame him for not telling the truth in this. he can’t outright say that he can’t connect with rural voters right now. If he did, this election would be over.

Still, it’s a bit aggravating to hear him blame others for his inability to win over voters. His whining won’t play well, either. I’d doubt that voters want a whiner as their president. He’s running to be the next leader of the free world.

Ronald Reagan faced a hostile press during his campaign and his administration. He didn’t break stride, just taking his message straight to the people. By comparison, Sen. Obama starts whining about the press, specifically Fox News, for not giving him a cakewalk.

Shouldn’t we ignore Sen. Obama if he isn’t willing to cite specifics what rumors Fox is allegedly spreading? After all, allegations aren’t proof.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The indispensable Instapundit has posted a link on Fred Thompson’s latest role. The news couldn’t be better for movement conservatives. Fred Thompson lost the battle for the GOP presidential nomination but he’ll win the war for movement conservatives in his new job:

Our nation has some serious issues to work through for today…and for the next generation. Now isn’t the time for conservatives to be looking for a tailored message or a politically expedient route to victory if the end result is going to be the inevitable slide toward the liberalization and secularization of America, and the growth of government and loss of freedom that inevitably ensues. For us conservatives it must be about principles and policies that are grounded in freedom, free markets and the rule of law. That’s what I’ve been talking and writing about for the past few years, and that’s what I want to talk write about here on Townhall and in the new Townhall Magazine.

I joined Townhall and am writing exclusive commentaries for Townhall Magazine because I see them elevating the discourse on issues based on these principles — smaller government, individual liberty, standing for common values that have become all too uncommon, a strong national defense and, most of all, an optimism and belief in America.

Rest assured that Fredheads across the nation will tune into Fred’s exclusive columns because they’ll want to hear Fred’s articulation of genuine conservative principles.

This is the best way to build the conservative movement from the bottom up. Really, it’s the only way that that type of rebuilding is possible. Both parties face uphill battles in rebuilding their product, though it’s obvious that Republicans have alot more garbage to take out before they’re rebuilt than do Democrats. That said, Republicans have an appealing set of principles to rebuild on, something that Democrats don’t have. Let’s remember that more people voted against Republicans in 2006 than voted for Democrats.

I admit that I was more than a bit pessimistic this morning. We’ve lost 3 straight special elections in districts that should’ve been safe districts. The fact that John McCain, and to a lesser extent the RNC, didn’t seem to care much about the GOP base didn’t sit well with me. Fred’s reminder that he’d seen conservatives up close and personal during his campaign was the perfect tonic for what ailed me.

The thing that have been badly missing from the conservative movement are leadership and vision. Fred offers an abundance of both qualities. He’s someone that can inspire people to get involved in the conservative movement.

Contrary to what others have thought, I don’t think we need Ronald Reagan’s clone. We just can’t stray from the pillars of Reagan’s conservatism, namely freedom, prosperity and a strong national defense. Underlying those pillars are the ideals of limited government and federalism, which isn’t possible without a healthy respect for the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

Fred Thompson’s enunciation of conservative principles will inspire a new set of leaders. He can play the role of his mentor, Sen. Barry Goldwater. I suspect that he’d like being remembered as this generation’s Goldwater (without Goldwater’s landslide defeat, of course).

Isn’t it time that we rolled up our sleeves and got to work rebuilding the GOP on the right principles? Actually, it’s long past time.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Dick Pollman’s column in the Philadelphia Inquirer talks about how hard it is to imagine that the Democrats won’t win the White House. My question for him is why he hasn’t noticed that Democrats have a habit of blowing opportunities.

Here’s an old saying about the Arafat-led Palestinian Authority that’s almost as applicable to the Democrats as it is to the Palestinians: The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. In 2004, Democrats like Susan Estrich and Bob Beckel appeared on TV saying that it was John Kerry’s race to lose, that President Bush would be a one term wonder just like his dad.

There’s a reason why Democrats frequently blow opportunities. They often equate resumes with qualifications. They picked John Kerry because he had military experience, which they considered important because we’re at war. What they didn’t take into account was that Sen. Kerry was an elitist snob that couldn’t connect with a blue collar worker if his life depended on it. They also didn’t take into consideration that he’d been wrong on the major foreign policy issues of his generation.

This year, they’ve settled on Barack Obama as their candidate. He’s considerably more likeable than Sen. Kerry but his associations with Jerremiah Wright, William Ayers and Tony Rezko have raised questions about how much he shares the American people’s values. When Michelle Obama told Wisconsin voters that she was finally proud to call herself an American because people were supporting her husband, people scratched their heads. Here’s Ed Koch’s reaction to Michelle Obama’s statement:

This is a woman who has had a good life, with opportunities few whites or blacks have been given. When she entered Princeton and Harvard and later became a partner in a prestigious law firm, didn’t she feel proud to be an American? When she and the Senator bought their new home, was there no feeling of accomplishment and pride in being a U.S. citizen? When her husband was elected to the state legislature and subsequently to the United States Senate, didn’t she feel proud of her country?

Couple Michelle Obama’s anti-American perspective with Barack Obama’s fundraising comments and his associations with William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. It isn’t surprising that people are left wondering if the Obamas aren’t out of touch with their values. In fact, I’d flip that on its head. Why should the American people think that Sen. Obama shares their perspective of America?

Pollman’s column deserves closer scrutiny, partially because of this paragraph:

Presumably, once the Democrats are training their fire at McCain rather than at each other, they can drive down his poll numbers by reminding swing voters that he’s not just a war hero, that, in fact, he has supported the privatization of Social Security (a Bush fiasco that was scrapped in 2005); that he’s a free-trader with little concern for protecting domestic workers; that he now wants to make permanent the Bush tax cuts for the affluent, the same tax cuts he once voted against; that he opposes universal health care; that he wants to cut corporate taxes, a move that would cost the U.S. Treasury an estimated $100 billion a year; that he has been wearing rose-colored glasses on Iraq ever since 2002, when the Bush team started beating the drums for war.

The American people are free traders by nature. The Democrats’ pushing of a protectionist agenda isn’t appealing. I’d further suggest that Pollman’s characterization of McCain wearing rose-colored glasses on the Iraq War is, politely stated, hogwash. he’s frequently criticized former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld about troop levels needed to put down the various trouble spots. Suggesting that Sen. McCain drank the Bush administration Kool-Aid might be a DNC talking point but people know better than to think that a McCain administration will have the same policies as the Bush administration has.

I’d further suggest that the American people don’t care as much about universal health care as they care about simply fixing the health insurance system. It’s arrogance for Democrats to assume that the American people trust government with something as important as their health. Despite what some skewed polls say, there simply isn’t any proof that universal health care is popular.

The bottom line is that Democrats are perfectly capable of blowing this otherwise golden opportunity because their solutions aren’t appealing to a majority of Americans.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative