- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ma Belle

Is Michelle Obama off limits? Please, says Allahpundit on HotAir.com about Barack Obama’s claiming that criticism of his wife, Michelle, is unfair.

“Riddle me this: How is Michelle O any more or less of a ‘civilian’ than Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama concedes is fair game and a ‘legitimate issue’ per their relationship? Wright’s not delivering campaign speeches on Obama’s behalf and surely his views, while arguably a proxy for some of Obama’s own, aren’t as reliable a proxy as Michelle’s. The point in criticizing her isn’t to go after the opponent’s wife for the sport of doing it, it’s to highlight what may or may not be an insight into the opponent himself. It’s really an attack on him, in other words,” said Allahpundit.

But Allahpundit notes that though Mrs. Obama is a legitimate issue - after all, who was Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1991? - it may be unwise strategically, calling it “a dumb attack, since it lets him appeal to women voters by playing the angry husband.”

“To McCain”

Conservatives are so enthusiastic about voting for Sen. John McCain that they’re practically popping the champagne corks.

Kinda.

A recent Ann Coulter column noted that “the only people McCain can count on to vote for him are the very Republicans he despises - at least those of us who can get drunk enough on Election Day to pull the lever for him. In fact, we should organize parties around the country where Republicans can get drunk so they can vote for McCain.”

And now there’s a Web site (Click here) for those conservatives for whom casting a McCain ballot ranks in sanity level with challenging the biggest guy in the bar to a fight or hitting on every girl in the joint.

The site, which strongly resembles the conservative blog Sweetness and Light, covers and comments on daily news items about Mr. McCain and rates them on a martini-scale. The higher the number of drinks, the less conservative Mr. McCain is acting and the greater the liquid courage needed to vote “R” on Nov. 4. For example, one recent story about Mr. McCain pushing an amne … oops, “comprehensive immigration reform” during a Mexico trip was graded with six martinis.

It’s not all criticism though, some posts are graded with sobering “milk” grades; for example, a story in which Mr. McCain recounts fooling his North Vietnamese captors by spilling the beans on his comrades, but giving the names of the Pittsburgh Steelers lineup.

Three glasses of milk.

Obama Greece trip?

Jimmie at the Sundries Shack is running a contest for all those with “mad PhotoShop skillz” and a desire to mock Sen. Barack Obama.

Last week, he noted, “The news is out today that Barack Obama has 300 foreign policy advisers. 300?!?” And then the mind’s thoughts turned to last year’s gloriously belligerent Spartan war epic “The 300.”

“When I see the number 300 and Barack Obama in the same paragraph, I can only think one thing: Photoshop contest. … I will post the best of what anyone else wants to send me. If you don’t have a blog of your own, e-mail me at thesundriesshack@*gmail* .*com (and drop all the asterisks) with the header ‘300 Contest’). If you send them, I’ll post them” and announce winners at the end of this week.

Right now, the top of Jimmie’s site has a picture of a snarling King Leonidas framed by a heap of dead bodies and the caption “Tonight! We dine! On Arugula!!”

Coincidence?

The site Memeorandum, which sums up the hottest blog news, had two stories prominently displayed Monday.

One was based on a Rasmussen Reports poll that showed that 49 percent of Americans believe “most reporters will try to help [Sen. Barack] Obama with their coverage.”

The liberal blog the Confluence, which is run by a self-described “Kossack in exile” who backed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, went into the Rasmussen numbers and pointed out that while many Republicans unsurprisingly think journalists are against their candidate, there’s more to this poll than that.

“These numbers only get worse for Obama when you break them down along party lines. … Large numbers of Independents [50 percent] also feel like the media is in the tank for Obama. Even Democrats who think the press coverage of Obama is biased [27 percent] outnumber those who think they are biased towards McCain [21 percent] …

“Slightly less than half [45 percent] believe that reporters would actually lie to protect a candidate they support, and 50 percent say that they are trying to make the economy seem worse than it really is (which would presumably help an Obama candidacy).”

The other item was a “red-letter” banner-headline item in the Drudge Report that the New York Times had refused to run an op-ed column on Iraq from Sen. John McCain, not a week after having run a piece on the same subject by Mr. Obama.

Op-Ed Editor David Shipley told the McCain people that ‘I’m not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written.’

Mr. Drudge dryly notes: “[Shipley served in the Clinton Administration from 1995 until 1997 as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Presidential Speechwriter.]”

The two Memeorandum items? Move along people … nothing to see here.

Reaction I

Robert Knight responds to an item in last week’s column, headlined “anti-anti-gay” in which Gay Patriot West warned Sen. John McCain against Fred Barnes’ advice that he should rally the Republican base by running harder against the gay agenda.

Mr. Knight took particular issue with identifying Gay Patriot West as “a ‘conservative’ blogger.”

“Conservatives understand the central importance of family and the threat that gay activism poses to the freedoms of speech, association and religion. Just ask the Boy Scouts. Or the pastors in Canada who have been hauled before human rights tribunals for daring to publicly criticize gay ‘marriage’ or taxpayer-funded promotion of homosexuality. A gay activist from West Hollywood, whatever else he writes about, is not a ‘conservative’ but a libertarian. That distinction is important,” wrote Mr. Knight, the director of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of Media Research Center.

He also disputed Gay Patriot West’s claim that Mr. McCain would turn off more voters than he’d turn on.

“John McCain has departed from conservative orthodoxy on several major fronts and needs to reassure GOP constituents. To counsel him to completely ignore an issue that could fortify his base and deeply wound his opponent, who has staked out radical positions on these issues, is not doing McCain any service,” Mr. Wright wrote.

Reaction II

Gay Patriot West also responded, though not to protest the substance (the item did extensively quote him, after all).

But he is not “pseudonymous,” as we wrote last week. He is identified on his site as B. Daniel Blatt, who founded the Northern Virginia chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans.

Contact Victor Morton at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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