October 17, 2010
Clarice's Pieces: Bang the Drum LoudlyBy Clarice Feldman
By today, the deadline has passed for your chance at an all-expenses-paid trip on October 22 to Las Vegas to meet the president, a lottery sponsored by Organizing for America and said to be worth $1,200. It's one of the few chances to meet him outside the District of Columbia.
As the president's popularity sinks even farther, others are taking to the campaign trail in his stead in an effort to revive his party's flagging fortunes. Bill Clinton, for example, flew to Binghamton, NY to campaign for Maurice Hinchey. William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection reminds us that Hinchey, a far-left congressman, tried to impeach Bush a few months before his term was up and accused the administration of deliberately allowing bin Laden to escape at Tora Bora in order to justify the war in Iraq two years later. And there, Clinton struck just the right (that is, wrong) note, contending that half of Republicans needed psychiatric help.
The First Lady, too, hit the campaign trail in Wisconsin for Russ Feingold and in Illinois for Alexi Giannoulias. Besides giving us more looks at her armpits than we want, in Wisconsin, she downed a cheeseburger and fries and told the audience that she and Russ shared something significant -- they both disagreed at times with her husband: That should wrap up the race for Russ.
In Chicago, she managed to break the law by campaigning in a polling place where she'd gone to vote early in an outfit so-fashion forward it looked like Halloween had come early.
Our bright Vice President Biden told voters that the administration is not running on its record because it's too hard to explain.
In sum, the message this week to voters from the White House and its allies was "you're crazy," "vote for Dem candidates who don't agree with us," and "we can't tell you why you should vote for us because our record is too hard to explain."
In Nevada, the consensus is that in the only debate between them, Tea Party candidate Sharon Angle clearly beat Majority Leader Harry Reid, and in Delaware, despite the efforts by "moderators" like Wolf Blitzer to establish that Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell is not Supreme Court material, O'Donnell held her own in a fight for that really smart guy (Joe Biden)'s old seat.
Some wags think Blitzer has no business playing gotcha after his own utter failure on "Jeopardy."
I think it's time for Republican candidates to demand Oxford-style debates without the thumbs of the media on the scale, as the latter format is designed specifically to advantage liberal candidates and affect the outcomes of the debates and elections.
Obama wasn't sitting in a corner while others did the heavy lifting, though. He gave a long interview to the New York Times in which he admitted some things which should not be helpful to his or his party's prospects in three weeks. For example, he admitted that there is no such thing as "shovel-ready jobs".
This puzzled my friend daddy, who used his way-back machine to show us the president's shovel-ready history:
Obama remarked this week that if the Democrats lose their congressional majority, the Republican majority would have to work with him, suggesting it is they who will have to compromise, which reveals once again the dream world he inhabits. Obama also made a specific appeal to black bloggers, who responded that they weren't going to "pimp" for him, and to black voters, suggesting in a decidedly un-post-racial way that economic stress was leading to "tribal attitudes." This odd remark reminded some of something odd Michelle said on the campaign trail this week, a shout-out to those communities praying for the first family, whose prayers were keeping "the spirits clean" around them.
While the Obamas and their political allies were pounding the podia in search of political support, the administration suffered a major setback in court. Federal Judge Roger Vinson in Florida denied a Department of Justice motion to dismiss the effort by sixteen states to have Obamacare, the signature legislation of this administration, declared unconstitutional, saying it was "not even a close call" that the individual mandate provision raised serious constitutional questions.
He was the second judge to allow a case challenging the law to go forward. A judge in Virginia made a similar ruling.
(A third judge, in Michigan, dismissed such a suit in an opinion that so defies logic that I doubt it will survive appeal.)
I don't know about the return to tribalism, and I've never heard of "clean spirits" before, but it is looking more and more as if this president will suffer a major defeat in the midterms in large part because of a piece of outrageous legislation, intemperately pushed through Congress against the will of the people only to be ultimately declared unconstitutional. Already, the pressure must be building across the country for states to forego spending any money to set up the programs required under Obamacare because the writing is on the wall: this law is not going to be sustained.
If those things come to pass, it will be time for all of us to bang the drum loudly.