Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Shifting to Bush Lite?

Andrew Sullivan recaps the first night of the convention. This part of his analysis ( “To the Right of Bush”) was interesting. “For the Democrats to run to the right of Bush on the war - while leaving behind the question of whether the war in Iraq was right or not - is their only hope of victory, but also, oddly enough, the most direct path to victory.”

Okay, I’ll buy that. But, and here’s the big but, is the anti-Bush instinct stronger in the Democratic Party than the ant-war/Michael Moore instincts? If there are just about 100 days left until the election, at what point does the left wing voters translate the Conventions and Kerry positions into being Bush Lite? Doesn’t this get back to what Ralph Nader campaigned on in 2000 – that both major parties are basically the same?

And, dude, one more thought – how does this harness the Fahrenheit 9/11 crowd?

Monday, July 26, 2004

A Presidential Relief Pitcher?

Skate’s Mickey Kaus floats the idea of Kerry being a relief pitcher to Bush’s starter. That’s interesting, but I’d like to see the box score on that game first.

“Kerry's positive vision isn't anything that's going to galvanize the electorate,” writes Kaus. “It's a question of bashing Bush versus thanking him for his service while making clear why we now need to bring in a relief pitcher.”

Keep your friends close…

And your enemies closer. Is that the new Clinton strategy on the issue of John Kerry? Maybe he is trying to trick voters.

Clinton: "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values."

Gore and Carter Speak

Matt Welch, blogging at the convention for Reason, breaks down what was missing tonight from the Gore and Carter speeches. “…any sense of what a Democratic president might do with Iraq, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia; any sense of just whatever happened to the Al Gore who tried to convince Americans in 1998 that putting the military squeeze on Saddam Hussein was one of the world’s most urgent priorities, and any position whatsoever on the Middle East democratization project.”

Democratic National Convention: Day One. Earth to Democrats, Are you Receiving Me

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John Kerry was off at the Kennedy Space Center for the worst photo op of campaign 2004. Rand Simberg has comments on what it was Kerry said. Actually one commentator there sums it up fairly well, “I don't understand that, why not be a space enthusiast? I mean, who's against space? only the crankiest kind of person. weak foreign policy + weak space policy? man, that sounds terrible.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Locked in the Cabinet

The Shotgun's Paul Tuns nicely sums up Paul Wells analysis of the foreign affairs component of today's Martin Cabinet announcement. Question: Is it even possible that the new dynamic duo of Bill Graham at Defense (from foreign Affairs) and Pierre Pettigrew at Foreign Affairs is more hostile to America than before? One thing is certain, Pettigrew still has the potential for the best hairsyle on the Foreign affairs circuit.

And former NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh is now Minister of Health. Finally our long national nightmare is over, the savior of healthcare is on the job. And so it begins, "I can tell you that what we need to do is stem the tide of privatization in Canada and expand public delivery of health care so we have a stronger health care system for all Canadians."

Kick Ass Environmentalism at work

Nice to see my friend Bishop Grewell getting some props over at NRO’s “The Corner” for his thoughts on federalism and forests. You can read Bishop’s latest article over at “abetterearth.org” and additional commentary at The Commons.

I wonder if Canada's new Minister of the Environment has heard of J. Bishop Grewell yet. He should have.



Sunday, July 18, 2004

Canadian Conservatism

Four elections, four political parties, and four losses. That is the state of the conservative movement nationally in Canada in the last decade. So it is quite correct that commentators are now hard at work trying to explain the state of conservatism in Canada.
 
The newest theory is that 2004 represents what 1964’s Goldwater loss was to American conservative and his big loss to Lyndon Johnson in 1964 laid the groundwork for future electoral victories. As Dan Dunsky tells at National Review Online, “Barry Goldwater’s legacy was to unite social conservatives and Western anti-Establishment and anti-government populists.”
 
For Adam Daifallah of the National Post, the American model and success needs to be replicated. “If conservatism is ever to take hold here, the U.S. model must be replicated. Wealthy, conservative-minded benefactors must come forward with the dedication and resources necessary to fund alternative media. New foundations and think-tanks must be endowed. Political campaign schools must be started to find and train Canada's Reagan. Without a stable of intelligent, articulate and ideological writers, thinkers and political activists, conservative ideas are bound to continue to fall on deaf ears.”
 
Certainly all of that must be true and of course it would help matters. But, there is a major problem with simply translating American conservatism into a new Canadian version – as much as I would like that to become a reality.
 
Goldwater’s model worked in America just fine, but at first glance by uniting social conservatives, the west, and anti-government populists in Canada aren’t you really talking about the same set of voters in Canada. This is problematic.
 
The post-Goldwater conservative movement in America also didn’t have to contend with a place like Quebec. I didn’t see anyone mention that no right of center party has ever been able to win an election, at least a majority government in an election, without a huge share of the vote in Quebec. 
 
Sure, places like the editorial board of the National Post are already arguing for the ousting of the social conservatives under Stephen Harpers watch. But have they said anything about attracting votes in “La Belle Province”? Not yet... 
 
What conservatives south of the border have been able to do so successfully is market themselves. All the think tanks in the world can’t replace the simplicity and power of retail politics – something Canadian conservatives haven’t been very good at lately. Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, and Stephen Harper were never able to successfully show people they were the right guy. And that may prompt you to ask where Canada’s Ronald Reagan will come from. That’s another entirely scary proposition.

Monday, July 12, 2004

All-Star Break

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You may have noticed the serious lack of posting. Tell me about it. It's shameful. At least as of today I can call it the All-Star Break, right? Maybe not. Back later this week with blogging, a review of Douglas Brinkley's "Tour of Duty," and some articles I'm working on. We might have some post All-Star Game chat stuff late tomorrow depending on how the day goes.

30-Second Analysis: Kerry-Edwards get Ron Reagan Jr. to speak at DNC. What no actual democrats are worth having in prime time? Apparently not. (See Goldberg and William F. Buckley and again)Who else is speaking at the Democratic Convention? If it has any combination of the following: Joe Wilson (See also "Yellowcake" and/or Diplomatic embarrassment. More over at Oxblog on Wilson.), Michael Moore, Ron Reagan Jr., Al Gore...oh never mind, will Edwards do the pre-Kerry crowd warm-up speech? (Ed: That wouldn't be good would it, shouldn't somebody like Lieberman (boring) or everyone will be long gone by the time Kerry gets rolling. Didn't Tommy Lee Jones intro Gore last time? Maybe Kerry could get old famous chum to introduce but not make him look worse?)

Related, and yet not so, Jonah Goldberg (Again) quotes Han Solo ("Great Kid, Now don't get too cocky") on the running of the election numbers by state.

And in case anyone thinks I need or am taking a breather from the all the war, it ain't happening. Check out Austin Bay checking in from Iraq: "I would love to be in my hammock in the Texas Hill Country right now (95 degrees in Austin is far cooler than 119 degrees in Baghdad). But this is helmet time. We --the lot of us, all Americans-- are [in] a long haul war, a constant test of will requiring consistent, insistent effort." Indeed. SO perhaps there will be more blogging....

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Great Game at the Nat

Took in my 2nd Vancouver Canadians game this season with that dude from MEP. Great game. Might have been the best game I've seen at the Nat since they switched to Single A. Lots of hits, some actual defense, some walks, some close plays at the dish.

*Game Log
*Box Score

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

John Edwards for VP

Well Kerry picked Edwards to run with him today. All day long I wondered if by September 1st Democrats would wonder why they have Kerry on the top of the ticket and sun-in-his-face Edwards on the bottom. But I didn't think in the first 24-hours I would see this headline: "THE DEMOCRATS DAN QUAYLE." That was a post by Jonah Goldberg at NRO's The Corner.

More than just a Home Run

cover In baseball, it is interesting to see just how detached and out of context 56 game hitting streaks, batting .400, or hitting 715 home runs can be. Time passes, and 715 becomes just that, a number, a record, another statistic. But the years, days, games, innings, and home runs leading up to that stat, are what makes the number really sing. Tom Stanton's new book, "Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America" powerfully reminds us of just that.

Check out the full review at Blogcritics.org.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Field of Dreams at Yankee Stadium

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Red Sox vs. New York.

Full Moon in NY. Pedro vs. the kid. Pitchers being warned for hitting batters. Closers coming in with game tied, and early. And then the 12th happens. Jeter leaping into the stands – walked off looking like he’d gone a round with Mike Tyson – what a play. 5-man infields in the 12th. Red Sox switching positions all over the place. More hit batsmen. And Sox switching back into position. And back again (David McCarty and Kevin Millar have switched positions and gloves three times – Amazing). Back to the 5-man infield. Then more glove switching! Yankees leave three men on to end the 12th.

The 13th. Yankees had to do major moves in the order and field. They have 1 left on the bench, and one left in the bullpen. Sheffield is playing Third Base! (The last time he played third, in 1993, he made 3 errors) Wow. Manny Ramirez homers! (That’s his 2nd jack of the game. 4-3 Red Sox. Sheffield makes a wild throw taking Clark off first. 4-6-3 Double Play. Curtis Leskanic who? The weirdest thing of all was seeing the whole Red Sox bench watching the game out of the dugout. Except Nomar Garciaparra who was out of the lineup today. How can he not?

Bottom of 13. Leskanic still working some magic. Reuben Sierra gets a two-out single to keep the Yanks alive. Last available Yankee on deck. Game tied 4-4 with a great hit by Miguel Cairo driving in Sierra. Flaherty, the last bench player, is at bat. The Yanks last reliever is warming up. (The Sox only have Garciaparra and Doug Mirabelli left) Flaherty singles (technically ground rule doubles). Yankees win 5-4. Sweeping the Red Sox. Still a great game.

More: For more on this amazing inning, and game, check out David Pinto over at Baseball Musings. He said of Jeter’s catch and dive into the stands, “He played it like it was the 7th game of the world series.” And that is pretty cool.