Fascinating–and Unbelievable–Polls

Fascinating. Truly fascinating. And totally unbelievable. To what am I referring? Polls released yesterday indicate that Obama is ten points ahead of Romney in Ohio and nine points ahead in Florida. Why don’t I believe them? I’ll get to that in a moment, but first, are we really supposed to believe that a president who consistently shows weakness in polls about policy is that far ahead in these critical swing states? I mean, there’s an awful lot of baggage to consider:

But the media is fighting diligently for his reelection. Last week, when an audio tape surfaced of Obama in 1998 declaring his belief in redistribution, there was no pile-on by media elites. To them, this was not in the same league as Romney’s 47% remark. Romney was excoriated over that one, while Obama got his usual pass:

It is possible, of course, that the electorate is deaf, dumb, and blind to what has occurred over the last four years. In that case, these polls might be accurate. There are videos going viral right now showing Obama voters displaying their ignorance over the basic facts of American government, current policies, and even the identification of the candidates. So, yes, there is the possibility those polls are revealing this abysmal lack of knowledge and astounding ideological rigidity.

But there are solid reasons to question the accuracy of the latest round of polls. A look at the breakdown of those being polled reveals a stupefying oversampling of Democrats and undersampling of Republicans and independents. Most of the pollsters—not all, thankfully—and the ones who are receiving all the publicity, are using the 2008 election turnout as their basis for whom to poll. Well, 2008 was the high water mark for Democrat turnout. Is it even reasonable to assume the turnout will be the same for 2012? Not only is the energy level of Obama voters ebbing, but independents who went for him in 2008 are having a lot of second thoughts. Nearly every poll indicates they are disillusioned with the results of 2008.

What are the pollsters missing? How about the 2010 congressional elections? Remember those? That’s when the House turned Republican and Republicans increased their numbers in the Senate. It’s when Tea Party-backed candidates such as Marco Rubio stunned the political establishment. Florida voters put Rubio in office even as he ran not only against a Democrat, but also against turncoat Charlie Crist. Rubio, in that three-way race, still broke the 50% mark. Is that same electorate going to go strongly for Obama? Hardly likely. It seems to me that 2010 is a better marker for following the voting trend.

Think a minute. Has Obama done anything since the congressional elections to increase his popularity? The economic news remains dismal. His Obamacare mandates are forcing religious organizations to go against their beliefs, putting freedom of religion in jeopardy. He is currently being caught in a boldfaced lie about the real cause of the Libyan uprising.

It is manifestly dishonest to conduct skewed polling. It is a violation of sound journalistic practice to become a cheerleading squad for the president. I’ll be very interested to see what the true voice of the people is when the one poll that counts is tallied on November 6.

Romney’s Gaffe: Otherwise Known as Telling the Truth

Since I devoted all of last week to laying out the case against President Obama’s reelection, I didn’t have time to comment on some of the happenings in the campaign. For instance, there was this big hullabaloo over a remark Mitt Romney made about how 47% of the electorate is getting some kind of government assistance and won’t be as amenable to his message. He said they were basically in the tank for Obama.

That comment brought a storm of criticism from the media—the same media that is working actively on behalf of the Obama campaign. You would have thought, given the extent of the coverage of what they considered a “gaffe,” that this was the most shocking statement ever to come from a political candidate. They did their best to put his remark in the worst possible light and create anxiety in the electorate.

I do believe Romney exaggerated the numbers a bit, simply because he also counted those who are receiving Social Security, which is primarily getting one’s money back from the government after being without it for most of our lives. However, even those on Social Security often don’t want any boat rocking. They want nothing to touch what they were forced to hand over to the government all those years. That makes some of them skittish about any talk of real change in government spending and taxation. What Romney was really doing was pointing out a sad fact of American life in the twenty-first century: we are creating a nation of people who feel they are victims and who need the government to bail them out:

Therefore, Romney was correct in principle: those who receive a benefit want it to continue; they are more closely tied to the ones who are offering the benefit. In this case, the giver is the Obama money machine. Never mind, of course, that anything he gives first came from the people of the country—or from the printing press, as we churn out more of the greenbacks to pass around. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is on the job:

Unfortunately, this bad example could become contagious:

I’m impressed that Romney hasn’t backed down on the principle. The message needs to be spread far and wide, and with passion: it’s time to turn the corner away from government paternalism. If we accept the role of government as our father and provider, we regress into helpless children. We are in deep need of maturity. It’s time to reject paternalism and regain our self-government and self-respect.

On Flags, Arrogance, & Threats

In one of my posts last week detailing the case against Obama’s reelection, I wrote about his character. The most blatant trait I believe he possesses is an ego far outside the norm. I’m certainly not the first person to comment on the perceived arrogance of the man. In some cases, his followers have taken devotion to him to an extraordinary level. A couple of months ago, some of his campaign headquarters were flying this flag:

That raised the ire of many who saw it as a desecration of the American flag. There was enough blowback that this emblem soon disappeared. Then just this last week, the following showed up on Obama’s website for admirers to purchase:

Someone apparently didn’t learn the lesson. It also has quietly been removed. But it was there long enough for at least one cartoonist to draw attention to it:

I recall nearly four years ago after Obama won the election, whenever he would speak publicly, he would stand behind a podium the likes of which had never been seen before in American politics:

That also was unprecedented. He seems to enjoy the status of the office, if not the actual responsibilities. His spokespersons say he didn’t refuse a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, but the word from Israel is just the opposite. It’s a shame to have to say I accept the word of a country other than my own in the controversy, but this administration has been anything but forthright on a number of issues. Obfuscation has become more of an art than ever. We are told Obama has avoided his daily intelligence briefings consistently, even in the aftermath of the Libyan attacks and the murder of our ambassador. Clint Eastwood’s empty chair is seeing a lot of play lately:

Just yesterday, the president was in New York City as world leaders were gathering for talks at the UN. He sent Secretary of State Clinton to meet with world leaders, but he had more pressing matters on his mind:

Yes, trolling for votes among his legion of fans was far more important. The one substantive interview he did submit to was on 60 Minutes where he, without the aid of his teleprompter, stirred up controversy once again by calling the rising tide of unrest and protests in the Muslim world simply bumps in the road, and referring to Netanyahu’s urgings to take the Iranian nuclear threat seriously as “noise” that he intends to “block out.”

Does he believe at all that there is a legitimate radical Muslim threat against the United States?

For the sake of our security, he had better start believing it. For the sake of the future of our nation, we need to put someone in the Oval Office who is a true friend of Israel and recognizes the threat. There is one out there.

May it come to pass.

Egypt, Libya, & the Obama Response

I’m not going to try to report on all the details of the attacks in Egypt and Libya; plenty of news sources have in-depth coverage of what happened. I will summarize, however, before offering some thoughts on the events.

In Cairo, Egypt, a mob scaled the wall of the American embassy, tore down the American flag, and replaced it with an Al Qaeda flag. As of this writing, mobs continue to threaten to break into the embassy. The Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt has not condemned the actions of the mob; instead, he has only made a statement condemning an anti-Muslim film produced in the U.S., thereby justifying the mob’s presence.

In Libya, things are even worse. The ambassador, Chris Stevens, and at least five other Americans, have been brutally murdered. Stevens’s body was even dragged through the streets. Sources say the consulate where he was residing had no American Marine protection. They were relying solely on Libyan security forces. Another report says those very forces were the source of information that led the attackers to the ambassador. Ostensibly, the Libyan government is not behind the attack; we’re told they are helping to track down those responsible. I would like to believe that. Color me skeptical.

These were not spontaneous outbursts of emotion. They were well-coordinated to occur on the anniversary of 9/11, and judging by some of the chanting in Egypt, were meant as revenge against the killing of Osama bin Laden. The hatred that erupted on 9/11/2001 has not dissipated in the intervening eleven years. If anything, the hatred has multiplied. Anyone who acts as if the War on Terror is over is seriously deluded.

Much controversy was spawned over the initial public statement made by officials at the Cairo embassy. This is the message that went out to the world from the Obama administration’s embassy personnel:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. . . . Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Did you notice anything missing in this message? How about condemnation of the actions of the mob? Instead, our government is more concerned about hurting the feelings of the mob. This is political correctness gone wild. Apparently, there was a major tussle within the administration to change the statement, but it took about sixteen hours to do so. Why? Well, when you have a president who favors what he considers the “oppressed” of the world, and then staffs embassies with like-minded individuals, it will take a while for those in charge to figure out what image they really want to project to the nation. I guess they finally realized this was not going to go over very well, and the initial statement eventually was repudiated.

You might recall that Barack Obama, in his book The Audacity of Hope, famously [or perhaps infamously] stated, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” Mr. President, what about when the Muslims are the cause of an ugly political wind?

Mitt Romney rightly criticized the Cairo statement as an unwarranted apology. What was his reward? Immediate accusations of politicizing the event. When he held a press conference, the reporters converged on what they called his “gaffe.” They repeatedly asked him if he now regretted making the statement. To his credit, he held his ground. And why shouldn’t he? There is now audio that reveals the reporters colluded ahead of time to ensure that he would be challenged to back down. The collusion was blatant. Hmm, I wonder if they’ve chosen a side in this election season?

As for the president, he made a Rose Garden comment on the situation, then assured he wouldn’t be put in the same position as Romney by declining to answer any questions—a common ploy for him. After all, he’s a busy guy. He had to catch his ride on Air Force One for a campaign swing to Las Vegas.

Does that sicken anyone else as much as it does me?

We’re in deep trouble. Change must come this November or we may never recover from this presidency.

The Stark Choice

The Democrat convention meets this week in Charlotte, North Carolina, a state that just passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The Democrat platform, meanwhile, for the first time, is endorsing same-sex marriage. Welcome to North Carolina, Democrats. Personally, I don’t think President Obama is going to carry the state this time. Last time was an anomaly, just as it was in Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida. I’m expecting all those states to go Republican.

If one were to just look at the results of this first term, one would wonder how anyone trying to run on a record like Obama’s would ever have a chance at reelection. Here are the latest statistics:

As the proverbial icing on the cake, it is probable that the national debt number will exceed $16 trillion while the convention is busy explaining how things are so much better under this president. That’s going to take some doing, considering what has really occurred on the Obama watch:

Liberty has suffered now for nearly four long years. Yet Obama and his minions apparently believe they have made progress. Their definition of progress, though, is decidedly different than mine—and I hope it’s different from that of the majority of the electorate:

A lot is going to depend on voter turnout, not only for those who wish to see a change, but also on the part of those who may like the trend toward more government dependence. I’m not one of those who wishes everyone would vote; I prefer knowledgeable voters—knowledgeable about the rule of law, constitutionalism, limited government, religious liberty, and free enterprise. Frankly, we’d be much better off if some people didn’t vote:

The electorate is filled with uninformed and misinformed voters. The media helps considerably with creating the latter:

The choice is rather stark this November. Will the electorate see it clearly?

The Lakeland Rally

 

The Republican convention ended on Thursday evening, and right away the next morning, both Romney and Ryan showed up just down the street from me. For whatever reason, the Romney plane was at the Lakeland Regional Airport; they chose that as their departure place rather than the Tampa International Airport. That means they had to drive from Tampa to Lakeland, about a 45-minute jaunt by bus. Since they were going to be this close, I figured I should travel that mile or so over to the airport to see them off. The rally was much larger than I anticipated.

Romney’s plane already was there as a patriotic backdrop. I didn’t get there as early as some, so my view wasn’t the greatest. I did see and hear our congressman Dennis Ross, though, who is a principled man who stands by his convictions.

As is the case with most of these presidential rallies, nothing starts on time, so even though the official starting time was 9:30, the principals didn’t arrive until at least 10:15. You can see the kind of view I had in this picture:

In case you can’t tell, let me confirm that is Ryan speaking in the distance. Binoculars would have been nice. They did try to help out, though, with a screen off to the left:

Someone else who was there had a much better vantage point, so I owe the following two pictures to him:

Photo Courtesy of Michael Barrett

Photo Courtesy of Michael Barrett

Why a stop in Lakeland? We are the center of the Florida political universe. Northern Florida is resoundingly Republican. The southeast, anchored by Miami, Palm Beach, and Ft. Lauderdale, is predominantly Democrat, with the exception of the Cuban enclave. Central Florida, where I am, is the mixed area, and will determine the direction Florida goes in this election. Lakeland is right between Tampa and Orlando, so we see the candidates quite often. I’m sure this won’t be the last opportunity before November.

I watched a lot of the Republican convention and was impressed with how women and minorities have become a key contingent within the party. While many speeches smack of boilerplate in both parties, there were some addresses that transcended the ordinary. Anytime Marco Rubio speaks, it’s from the heart. Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech was nothing short of stupendous. Romney’s was just what it needed to be, as he introduced himself to the country as someone who took risks and had to work his way up on his own. He didn’t come across as an emotionless robot at all; I’m convinced that many undecided voters who were watching him had to come away from this speech impressed with the fact that he is very human, a true success story, and someone who just might be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

The comments today at the rally were nothing new, but recycled from those convention speeches. That’s fine. There hardly was time to come up with anything new. What I did sense in the crowd was anticipation and excitement. They think Barack Obama is in his final weeks as president.

As he should be.

Voting Republican with a Clear Conscience

Now that Mitt Romney is the official Republican nominee for president, it’s time I shared a few thoughts on why I believe I can support him. As many of you know, he was not my first choice. He wasn’t even my second or third. In fact, as the primary season began, I pointed to two people as non-starters for me as the potential Republican nominee: Donald Trump and Romney.

During the primaries, I had flirtations with a couple of the candidates before settling on Rick Santorum as my favorite. My reasons for supporting Santorum were his basic Biblical worldview and his well-reasoned philosophy of governing. When the primaries ended, I had to come to grips with the reality that Romney would be the choice.

His deficiencies remain, as far as I’m concerned. I suspect he’s not a genuine conservative philosophically—that he doesn’t have a settled, principled position—and even though some will not like this, I am not enamored with a Mormon in the White House. I’m one of those who sees Mormonism as a deviation from Christian orthodoxy. However, a number of our presidents have not been Christians, despite their public avowals of faith. What’s worse, a Mormon or an adherent to a radical liberation theology that pictures Jesus as little more than the first Che Guevara? We already have that in our current president.

Yet while Romney is not my ideal candidate, he does represent a political party that is much closer to my ideals. Generally, the Republicans want what I want: basic moral values that emanate from Biblical roots, revealing itself through opposition to abortion and in favor of traditional marriage; the government limited to its proper functions; a free market economy; a national debt brought under control; a strong foreign policy stance that stands by its allies and has no problem recognizing its enemies. This is the vision of the role of government that I wish to see implemented.

Some say the Republicans are no different than the Democrats. I disagree. The platforms for the parties spell out the clear distinctions. Others, more nuanced, insist that Republicans are the lesser of two evils, but since they are evil as well, it would be wrong to vote for them. These are the purists who claim that you can find a political party with no hint of hypocrisy and devoid of evil. I say that’s impossible in this world. Wherever men congregate to make politics, disagreements, envy, egocentrism, and all sorts of evils will arise.

If I turn to the Libertarian party, for instance, what I see is a group with which I can agree on free-market issues but not on the social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Pure libertarianism is not Christian; rather than liberty, it promotes license in some instances. While there may be a minor party out there with which I could align, I want to support a party that has a chance to turn Obama and the Democrats out of power completely. The only party that can accomplish that is the Republicans.

You see, I don’t expect utopia from any governmental leadership. If Republicans take control of both the White House and the Congress, I will be able to find policies they are promoting with which I disagree. But they will not lead us down the same path the Democrats have taken. They will not embark on a national healthcare scheme; they will not push abortion on demand; they will defend genuine marriage; and if they know what’s good for them, they will start digging us out of our fiscal disaster.

Romney’s choice of Ryan as his VP has made my decision more palatable. Ryan, I believe, is the real deal when it comes to realizing we are on the edge of a precipice and must reverse course immediately. I agree with Romney’s first decision—his choice of a running mate. I hope it portends well for future decisions.

Supporting a third party, especially the Libertarians, may draw enough votes away from the Republicans that we will be subjected to another four years of a radical presidency, years from which we may never recover. I’m not violating my conscience by voting Republican; I’m following my conscience. In politics, you rarely get the luxury of voting for someone who is precisely what you want. You have to go with the best you can get with a party that actually has a chance to win.

I compare this to the issue of abortion specifically. Personally, I want all abortions to be declared illegal. No innocent lives should ever be taken. Yet I will support any measure that reduces the number of abortions. There are those who won’t support what they call “halfway” measures; they want all or nothing. They will get nothing. And the abortion rate will continue unchecked.

I vote not to achieve perfection, but to move the political culture closer to the Biblical ideal. Any movement away from what we now have is a movement in the right direction. That’s why I can vote Republican with a clear conscience.