DNC 2008

Why bail out DNC & RNC donors?

Some of the biggest donors to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions are now among the companies getting or asking for federal bailouts, according to a report last week from the Campaign Finance Institute. The only thing that shocked me about the story was that there has been no outrage at all, from anyone. If this happened on a local level here in Colorado, someone would write an amendment to stop it from happening in the future. If this happened at your city’s level of government, someone would be speaking out at city council meetings and getting recall efforts started.

But on the national level, if people even saw the story, they rolled their eyes and just moved on. Why? Why aren’t we more outraged?

The fact that companies that are so perilously close to bankruptcy that they must ask the federal government for a loan, gave thousands of dollars to both political parties only four months ago, is an abomination. But the fact that we have collectively had little to no reaction is the bigger problem.

After a long campaign that was marked by hope, change and mavericks, you’d think that we’d be more upset. Is it that we think that it’s okay? Or is it that we think we can’t do anything about it?

I’m honestly wondering what is behind our collective non-reaction.

I don’t blame a conspiracy by the government, or the media or big corporations. Why would anyone bother to invent a conspiracy when the plain truth doesn’t seem to bother anyone?

Seriously, more Americans have an opinion about what kind of dog the Obama’s should get, or on college football adopting a playoff system than they do about where billions of bailout dollars are going. Do we care that companies who are asking for billions of our tax dollars had enough money to contribute to both national conventions four months ago?

I’m not trying to go out on a wacky limb here. I’m not about to leave the comfort of my laptop and start raving against the government on some street corner. I just honestly want to know if somebody out there thinks that this blatant abuse of influence is wrong.

So let me ask you, blogger to reader, are you angry about this? Are you looking for your torch and pitchfork and getting ready to riot, or do you think the Obamas should go ahead and adopt a Labradoodle?

Two utterly opposite candidates

Mirroring this extraordinary political year the conventions of both parties were unusual, unpredictable and given to striking twists and surprises. Aside from the continuing guerrilla warfare between the Clinton and Obama camps - a media delight - the truly remarkable aspect of the Democratic convention was the stunning spectacle of the nominee’s acceptance speech. Probably not since the Roman Coliseum mounted extravagant triumphs for the return of victorious emperors has the world seen such spectacular pageantry revolving around one man.

Without question the Obama nomination is a historic milestone which certainly justifies a reasonable degree of grandeur. Oddly however despite Obama’s well-deserved reputation for spellbinding oratory, informed opinion concluded that the show was better than the speech.

Throughout the campaign John McCain has struggled to avoid being eclipsed by his opponent’s money, media dominance, and sheer star power. Occasionally his efforts have been rather weak - visiting a German restaurant in Ohio to counter Obama’s entertainment of 200,000 Berliners - but most of his quick-release counterpunching ads have been effective, and they have clearly drawn blood -- notably the brilliant enlisting of Paris Hilton and Charlton Heston to tag Obama as a celebrity lightweight.

McCain, however, surpassed himself with his vice-presidential announcement. The “leak-free” timing - barely a dozen hours after Obama’s acceptance speech - was masterful, and the selection -“surprise” would be a gross understatement - of Sarah Palin turned the whole news cycle upside down and caused a jaded and chronically self-congratulating national media to scramble and rework countless assumptions about the state of the campaign.

Beyond stepping all over any “bounce” from the Obama speech, the Palin selection, when contrasted with the weak and defensive choice of Washington “lifer” Joe Biden, recasts the whole question of who is the real “candidate of change”.

The Republican convention - truncated by the sudden eruption of the hurricane season - sharply contrasted with the doings in Denver. While the Democrats put on a sound and light spectacle - unburdened by any substance - the GOP event was by comparison muted, and even drab, but redeemed by its Spartan brevity and the arresting acceptance speeches of its candidates.

So, in the wake of the two conventions, what can be said about this contest for the world’s most important job?

The dominant reality is the closeness of the polls. Historically Democrats have exited their convention with leads ranging from 16 (Kerry) to 25 (Dukakis) points and then drifted downward. Today the race is virtually dead even. Despite economic distress at home and an unpopular war abroad that had Democrats plausibly dreaming of a 1964-type sweep Obama’s numbers have consistently underperformed what voter identification and generic matchup numbers suggest they should be doing.

There are two reasons for this. The lesser is that in McCain - despite the heartburn he has given conservatives over the years - Republicans ended up with the one and only candidate who could effectively compete in that ocean of independent and weakly partisan voters who decide every Presidential election.

The greater reason however is the continuing mystery that is Barack Obama. Despite unprecedented albeit not-too-probing media focus, Obama remains essentially an unknown commodity. Moreover a significant slice of the electorate harbors abiding suspicion that he is very different from what he claims to be.

Evidence revealing Obama’s true identity is not hard to find. A close reading of his 1995 autobiography - written before he entered politics and therefore surprisingly candid - his associations as a community organizer (ACORN and the Gamaliel Foundation), his record as a state legislator, notably his acquiescence and participation in the notoriously corrupt practices of the Daley machine in Chicago, and various unguarded public and private utterances (e.g. “clinging to guns and God”) unmask not just the Senate’s most liberal member, but rather an extreme radical deeply alienated from and contemptuous of the mainstream culture and value system of the country he seeks to lead.

Only the relentless determination of the national media to hear, see, and speak no evil regarding the “Chosen One” have sustained this stealth candidacy and prevented the American people from discovering the unpalatable truth about Obama. To date only Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers have tumbled out of Obama’s dark closet -- and not even the full story about them.

The truth is that never in our entire history have we had two presidential candidates so utterly opposite in their character, experience, vision, and values. The election will turn on whether this reality is revealed or remains concealed.

William Moloney’s columns have appeared in the Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, Philadelphia Enquirer, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, and Rocky Mountain News.

DNC Snapshots 8/27

Took these as I wandered around the Pepsi Center, Civic Center, and the 16th Street Mall on Wednesday. Our 710 KNUS media pass was put to good use! [photopress:DNC_day_3_015.jpg,thumb,pp_image] Hillary Supporters - they were vocal. This is just outside the perimeter fence at Speer and Market.

[photopress:DNC_day_3_016.jpg,thumb,pp_image] The KNUS Booth inside the Pepsi Center on Radio Row.

[photopress:DNC_day_3_028.jpg,thumb,pp_image] Classic Jon Caldera at the KOA booth - notice his glasses. I am not responsible!

[photopress:DNC_day_3_034.jpg,thumb,pp_image] The police ready were ready for anything.

[photopress:DNC_day_3_020.jpg,thumb,pp_image] Fox News - you decide!

[photopress:DNC_day_3_014.jpg,thumb,pp_image] Not sure if they were true rednecks...

[photopress:DNC_day_3_037.jpg,thumb,pp_image] Protesters near the Pepsi Center.

DNC Special Report on radio tonight

Talk radio with backbone, my specialty on Sunday evenings at 710 KNUS in Denver, and streaming at 710knus.com, moves into weeknights for the Democratic National Convention week, Aug. 25-28. John Andrews and regular mic partners Matt Dunn, Kathleen LeCrone, Joshua Sharf, and Karen Kataline will do an hour of DNC discussion and analysis as each day winds up, Monday through Thursday at 7pm.

Please join us, and get into the conversation by calling 303 696 1971 or by emailing your questions and comments to BackboneRadio@aol.com.

Dressed for the War Room

If you haven't visited the GOP War Room, McCain's rapid response media facility at 2810 Speer Boulevard, it's worth a look today or tomorrow as the DNC approaches its climax (orgasmic pun intended) with Obama's big stadium speech. I stopped by there on Tuesday to gather news, not make it, but Myung Kim of the Rocky was intrigued by my pro-Bush tee shirt and posted this short item about it. She also snapped a photo, but since that didn't appear, here's one of my own:


The War Room is an impressive operation and was buzzing with activity when I was there. Mitt Romney was in front of a bunch of TV cameras in the inside studio, and Rudy Giuliani was in front of a bunch more outside, sweltering in his NYC dark suit. The place is a bit tricky to find: go north on Speer from I-25, past Zuni, then right on Firth, which curves into a sort of alley from which you enter the 2810 building on the rear, away from Speer.

As for my "10 of 10 Terrorists" shirt, the last time I wore it for anything but yard work was at the 2007 Bolder Boulder, where I figured it would stir conversation among fellow runners -- and perhaps incentivize me to run faster, lest the Bush-haters beset me. And it must have worked; I almost ran my age, 64 minutes for the 10K. Here's hoping it brings my side good luck in the much bigger race of these next ten weeks.