Archive for August, 2009

Obamacare spokesman was apologist for Kirkwood shooter

The guy that the local media interviewed as a spokesman for pro-Obamacare counter protesters at recent anti-Obamacare “tea party” events (like the Recess Rally at Congressman Carnahan’s Brentwood office last Saturday) is Franklin McCallie, retired principal at Kirkwood High School. He was the tall white-bearded man with the distinctive red beret.

McCallie has been following the Democrat playbook by going light on the facts and turning the discussion to negative personal attacks on the people who oppose the legislation. He told a reporter for CBS affiliate KMOV that opponents of the legislation were “keeping health care from other people.” In a taped interview with a student reporter on Saturday, McCallie said of anti-Obamacare protesters, “I don’t think they care about who gets health care.”

With all due respect, sir, these patriots are protesting a plan that would deny health care to patients lacking sufficient “Quality Adjusted Life Years” to have the “social usefulness” necessary to make their treatment “worth the investment.”

McCallie looked awfully familiar when he first surfaced in the health care debate. Tea party leader Dana Loesch figured it out. McCallie was the Kirkwood guy who defended the motives of “Cookie” Thornton, the shooter who killed 6 public officials (including the mayor and two police officers) at Kirkwood City Hall in February of 2008.

I can no longer find McCallie’s television interviews online, but I did find an op-ed piece he wrote for the Webster-Kirkwood Times immediately after the shootings.  Describing Thornton as “a vivacious, enthusiastic member of the Kirkwood Community,” McCallie explained away the horrific acts as those of a person in “mental chaos.”

McCallie explained, “the specific issue of parking construction equipment and the fines for those acts under Kirkwood ordinance were bundled together in Cookie’s mind with an overall perception of racism over issues which many other citizens in Meacham Park also perceived. Many Meacham Park citizens protested the destruction of their homes for a mall. They perceived one more racist slight by the powerful white community over the smaller and powerless black community.”

Thornton, by the way, had supported the gutting of his neighborhood for that project because, McCallie noted, he believed his company had been promised significant demolition work. “When he did not get it, he told me [McCallie] it was one more act of discrimination against a black businessman, with all money going to white companies for destroying black houses.”

McCallie concluded that “the obsession of discrimination — whether real or perceived – overwhelmed Cookie’s judgment, causing him to do something completely against his normal nature.”

Such is the mindset of this Obamacare spokesman.

Advertisements

Jean Carnahan jumps into mudpuddle

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Frankly, I would have expected better from the former interim senator and two-term first lady. Until now, though I disagreed with her political stands, I had great respect for the dignity that Jean Carnahan projected.

But the key words are in past tense. I respected her for the dignity she projected.

On Tuesday, the same day as the notorious USA Today op-ed piece by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer,   Mrs. Carnahan took off the white gloves, jumped into the mudpuddle with the worst of them, and started spewing toxic, venomous invectives at citizens exercising their First Amendment rights to oppose the ruling party’s ill-advised health care plan. She wrote a blog piece entitled “The Pitchforks of August” on Fired Up! Missouri, the Democrat bomb-throwing blog with which Mrs. Carnahan has questionably associated herself.

The explosive title was just the start. Look how many vile, loaded words and phrases she squeezed into just the lead paragraph:

In recent weeks we have seen disruptions at town halls, mob hysteria, arrests, death threats, and remarks that border on treason. Those who should be in control of the GOP remain mute or, even worse, they bless the hordes that take up pitchforks to puncture the idea of health care reform.

Beyond equating questioning one’s own representative in Congress with “disruptions,” she went on to describe “mob hysteria,” “arrests (without mentioning that it was primarily Obamacare supporters who were arrested), “death threats” (isolated incidents that, again, eminated primarily from supporters of Obamacare), and finally “hordes that take up pitchforks.”

Really? Did anyone see a single pitchfork? The term was meant to allude back to post-civil war intimidation of African Americans (by Democrats, BTW) which has nothing whatsoever to do with the current debate. (To drive the point home, she made six separate references to pitchforks in the piece.) It’s just part of the current conscious Democrat strategy to obfuscate the debate by distracting from discussion of the indefensible substance of the proposals by demonizing the citizens who oppose them.

She also taps into the government’s conscious effort to intimidate opponents, by rolling out the T-word: Treason.

Then, in the very next sentence, the former first lady followed the party playbook by utilizing a sexually derogatory term “tea baggers” (popularized by an episode of the cult classic popular among Democrats, Sex in the City) to describe the protesters. Dignified matrons don’t use that term.

Mrs. Carnahan went on to describe talk-show host Rush Limbaugh with the pagan term “High Priest” and played the race card by alluding to protesters as “the angry white man . . . upset at having a black man in the White House” (using as authority a post from the left-wing Huffington Post).

If mothers have influence over their daughters (and they do), this carefully planned written outburst means we can look forward to a dirty, smear campaign from Robin Carnahan in her quest to take Republican Sen. Kit Bond’s seat to insure the Democrats’ a filibuster-proof majority.

Perhaps, Mrs. Carnahan is being done in by her young, in-your-face ghostwriters at Fired Up!, but she nevertheless bears responsibility for what is written under her name. It’s the ghostwriter’s fault until she approves it (or approves a process allowing publication under her name without her approval), but it’s her own fault once it hits the web. Shame on you, Mrs. Carnahan!

‘Big Brother’ barges into health care fray



The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Public reaction to the President’s plan to spread existing health care resources around to everyone (at the expense of those who have it now, including seniors on Medicare) has not been as planned. But even scarier than the plan itself is the government’s heavy handed suppression of public dissent over the plan. Here’s a brief outline of what Big Brother has done so far, just for starters:

1. Snitch on your neighbor (the notorious flag@whitehouse.gov).

Last week, Macon Phillips, White House Director of New Media who is in charge of the official government web site for the Obama Administration, posted an official blog entry inviting citizens to report emails or anything on the web about health insurance reform that “seems fishy” to a special email address at the White House ( flag@whitehouse.gov ) created for the specific purpose of collecting such information. The Administration is seeking information about “rumors” in chain emails or even (in the blog post’s own words) “casual conversation,” because (again in the blog post’s own words) “we can’t keep track of all of them.” In other words, with your help, they will keep track of all of them. Press secretary Robert Gibbs specifically denied that the White House was compiling an “enemies list” reminiscent of President Nixon during Watergate, which only means one thing: the White House is damned sure compiling an “enemies list.” But even Tricky Dick wouldn’t have openly solicited snitches.

2. Demonize citizen participation.

Instead of defending the substance of their health care proposals, Democrats are responding by attacking and demonizing the citizens who have questioned them. The Democratic National Committee fired the first major salvo, airing a television ad depicting town hall audiences as “angry mobs” duped into hostile actions by special interest groups.

Then, according to the Associated Press, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused the protesters of trying to sabotage the democratic process. And then this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer published an op-ed piece in USA Today, the nation’s highest circulation newspaper, calling the protests “un-American.” They accused protesters of misrepresenting the proposed legislation, disrupting public meetings and preventing members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue, and being “afraid” of the facts.

These aren’t just the words and actions of bloggers or commentators, but of the ruling party and high-level members of the government. The implied threat couldn’t be more real.

Democrats’ actions are backfiring. The totally unmoblike participants are enjoying their ludicrous characterization as an angry mob, and are using that absurd, over-the-top description as a rallying cry.

3. Intimidate the enemy.

The government and its ruling party, having come late to the party, are now trying to make up lost ground. One strategy is to discredit protesters by inciting violence and trying to blame it on the protesters. Ads for paid “progressive activists” have surfaced on craigslist and the web, only to be pulled when conservatives got wind of them. The organized hit on black conservative Kenneth Gladney outside Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO)’s town hall was by thugs uniformly dressed in purple SEIU t-shirts who were seen getting out of the same bus. An audience member supporting the government plan admitted having come there from Kentucky. Mike Sola, the independent voter who confronted Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) about the impact of the proposed plan on his handicapped son, reports that he is now getting late night threats against his life and the life of his son.

Instigators do so with the confidence that their criminal acts will go unpunished. The Obama Administration set the tone shortly after the inauguration, when the Justice Department dismissed its “default judgment” case against Black Panthers charged with armed voter intimidation. The Justice Department had brought the charges and won the case during the Bush Administration, but Obama’s DOJ ordered the charges dismissed. The message was clear: Obama has their back.

Nevertheless, the intimidation strategy hasn’t worked out as planned. While the Democrats naturally assumed that the mainstream media would spin the events their way, the video of what actually happened has been too compelling for even the leftist press to ignore.

4. Orchestrate the meetings.

Another strategy is to offset spontaneous participation by protesters by stacking future meetings with their own supporters. Coordinating with the Democratic congressmen and their staffs, they seek to maximize the effectiveness of their presence with preferred seating for those agreeing with them. I am personally aware of a self-identified member of the St. Louis Young Democrats calling a liberal blogger I know to recruit him to help “stack our supporters at the front of the room” at Tuesday’s McCaskill town hall in Hillsboro. That precisely follows the playbook of Health Care for American Now (HCAN), whose national field director is former SEIU organizing director Margarida Jorge, which calls for “stack[ing] our folks in the front to create a wall around [a liberal congressman].” (hat tip: Lowell Ponte) My blogger friend noted that since he had no connection with the Young Democrats, their calling lists must have been really extensive to include a guy in his 60s like him.

Also part of HCAN’s playbook:  “make a blanket rule that no one can bring signs or leaflets” and “confiscate signs or leaflets that [opponents] may bring. . . .” Update: Signs were in fact prohibited at the McCaskill town hall in Hillsboro.

The audience orchestration strategy works hand-in-glove with the intimidation strategy. The government’s hope is that fear of violence will reduce future attendance, creating a false impression of a momentum change and that the public is now more comfortable with the government’s plans.

But we will not be deterred. Worst case scenario, we will have a wonderful party together in Obama’s re-education camps after he rounds us up and concentrates us there!

Huckabee must run in 2010 to run in 2012

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee broke into the national spotlight last year as a fresh new face offering straight talk in a charming way, winning the hearts and votes of many conservatives. Since falling short in his initial presidential run, he has landed a cushy, high-profile gig on Fox News Channel at which he excels. In ordinary times, this situation would be perfect for a four-year build-up to a second presidential run.

But these are no ordinary times. The real threat that the Obama Administration and the Pelosi/Reid Congress could permanently transform American capitalism into European socialism and dumb down health care requires a massive electoral reaction at the ballot box in the 2010 off-year election. It is essential that the Pelosi/Reid congressional majorities be reversed, or at least significantly pared back. That happens one seat at a time, and it only happens when viable candidates who can be trusted sacrifice their personal plans to make themselves available to take those seats.

In the U.S. Senate, Harry Reid’s Democrats have a working 60-40 margin that can ram through harmful legislation immune from filibuster. Since senate seats only come up every six years, Republicans can’t yet reclaim the senate seats they lost in the last two cycles. What are up in 2010 are an even mix of seats filled in the last “Republican year” before the Democrat resurgence. That leaves most senate Democrats immune from public outrage in 2010 over Democrat policies and tactics. But Republicans have to defend “open” seats of retiring Republican senators in three states that Obama won handily last year (New Hampshire, Ohio, and Florida) and two others (Missouri and Kentucky) where retention could still be challenging. Special situations also put GOP incumbents in Louisiana (sex scandal) and North Carolina (pro-Democratic demographic changes) in some danger. Therefore, Republicans need to take every opportunity to defeat Democrat incumbents in “red states” to give Republicans a chance to win back just the power of filibuster. This is especially true in low-population states where campaigns are not prohibitively expensive. (In contrast, vulnerable Democrat seats in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California would all require more money than Republicans can realistically raise.)

A prime Republican opportunity is the Arkansas senate seat held by two-term Democrat Blanche Lincoln. Elected to an open seat in 1998, a Democrat year fueled by concern over the impending impeachment of home-state President Bill Clinton, and having faced only token opposition in 2004, Lincoln has enjoyed a charmed political life. Two years ago, Republicans failed to field even a token opponent to Sen. Mark Pryor in a year when the Republican presidential ticket carried the state by 20 points. The Arkansas Republican with the personal popularity and gravitas to compete against the incumbent on even terms is Huckabee.

For the moment, Huckabee seems focused on a 2012 presidential run. Make no mistake, running for the Arkansas senate seat would be a huge sacrifice for Huckabee. He would have to give up his (presumably) lucrative Fox News gig that puts him on a national stage in a controlled favorable light mostly before likely Republican primary voters, and do it two years earlier than he would otherwise have to do so. While it would open up a separate fundraising opportunity, it would also deplete all those new resources and more to conduct a 2010 campaign. Also, Huckabee would take a big risk that he could still lose the Arkansas contest. It’s always tough to unseat an incumbent, because “nice” people don’t like to “fire” people from the job they have now. And the political winds could change. If the economy turns around and is cooking again by November, 2010, Democrats will be hard to beat. And ironically, if Obama’s weak national defense exposes us to a major terrorist attack before then, the natural inclination of American voters is to rally around their president, even if he was at fault for exposing us to attack. So taking on Blanche Lincoln is far from a sure thing. And, Huckabee and his strategists may fear, losing to Lincoln in 2010 could damage his 2012 presidential prospects.

But I submit that NOT running in 2010 poses an even greater danger to Huckabee’s 2012 chances. His party NEEDS him, and Republicans appreciate risk-takers. If he takes a personal risk but still loses, people will still appreciate the effort. And if Huckabee unseats Lincoln, he will have helped save the country. And the public demonstrated their willingness to elect a rookie senator to the presidency in 2008.

On the other hand, if Huckabee selfishly puts his personal ambitions ahead of the country’s need to retake control of the U.S. Senate and the second-tier candidate Arkansas Republicans settle for loses, Republicans nationally (specifically including me) will blame Huckabee. This is that rare situation when NOT running in a risky election will effectively disqualify the candidate for later presidential candidacy.

The country needs Mike Huckabee to win Arkansas’ senate seat in 2010. If he doesn’t even try, he doesn’t deserve to carry his party’s standard for president in 2012.