- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 4, 2008

McCain’s problem

“After months of bruising political battles, the matchup for the November election is now almost set. It’s clear that one of the two presumptive nominees has been badly hurt by his party’s nominating fight. Barack Obama?

“No. John McCain,” Michael A. Cohen writes at www.politico.com.

“Certainly, Obama has faced the tougher primary battle. But in adversity has come opportunity. The presumptive Democratic nominee has been able to confront difficult questions about his candidacy that would normally arise during the general election. And he was able to test out an affirmative message of change with independent voters in nearly every state of the country,” Mr. Cohen said.

“McCain, on the other hand, won the GOP nomination by defeating a lightweight group of opponents best described as ‘none of the above.’ He was never forced to define his candidacy or make amends with the party’s conservative base. Instead, he relied on the votes of moderate Republicans and independents as Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney split the conservative wing of the party.”

Tax on poor?

Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, on Tuesday described a climate bill being debated in the Senate as a hidden tax on the poor and middle class that, in any case, would have no effect on global warming.

“With average gas prices across the country approaching $4 a gallon, it may be hard to believe, but the U.S. Senate is considering legislation this week that will further drive up the cost at the pump,” Mr. Inhofe said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.

“The Senate is debating a global warming bill that will create the largest expansion of the federal government since FDR’s New Deal, complete with a brand new, unelected bureaucracy. The Lieberman-Warner bill (America’s Climate Security Act) represents the largest tax increase in U.S. history and the biggest pork bill ever contemplated with trillions of dollars in giveaways.

“Well-heeled lobbyists are already plotting how to divide up the federal largesse. The handouts offered by the sponsors of this bill come straight from the pockets of families and workers in the form of lost jobs, higher gas, power and heating bills, and more expensive consumer goods.

“Various analyses show that Lieberman-Warner would result in higher prices at the gas pump, between 41 cents and $1 per gallon by 2030. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says Lieberman-Warner would effectively raise taxes on Americans by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. The federal Energy Information Administration says the bill would result in a 9.5 percent drop in manufacturing output and higher energy costs.

“Carbon caps will have an especially harmful impact on low-income Americans and those with fixed incomes. A recent CBO report found: ‘Most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households.’”

Media bias

“Although it’s their own internecine fight, I have been impressed at the mainstream media’s manipulation and outright partisan interference in the Democratic primary,” filmmaker Ronald F. Maxwell writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“One doesn’t have to be a fan of the Clintons to see what’s going on - the overt attempt by the mainstream media to anoint a presumptive nominee months before primary elections are held and decided,” Mr. Maxwell said.

“They have pursued an overtly anti-democratic process, with their own cadres of pundits and commentators dictating the desired or forecast results prior to millions of their fellow citizens having the opportunity to vote. Let us recall, that until recent history, presidential candidates were selected at the convention, following roll-call votes by the state delegations. Until such roll-call votes are held, there is no official candidate.

“Since early February, all of MSNBC and most of CNN has not only declared [Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack] Obama as winner, they have been an echo chamber for Obama’s campaign to urge Clinton to drop out and concede or to ridicule her for not doing so. ‘It’s inevitable,’ they keep repeating. Then, following up on their arrogant prescience they belittle every subsequent primary victory for Clinton, even when won with lopsided 70-30 percent margins.

“What has been largely ignored is that since the Rev. Wright and Obama San Francisco comments, Clinton has won nearly every single primary. In other words: The better the public gets to know the real Obama, the worse he does at the polls. This is why they have wanted Clinton to quit, the earlier the better.

“If ever there was any doubt about the media’s bias and partisanship - it has been dispelled by their incessant calls to hound Clinton out of the race. Even reasonable Democrats must see this now.”

Eye of the storm

“The woman who shouted ‘McCain in ‘08’ at the Democratic rules committee was speaking for a multitude,” columnist Froma Harrop writes in the Providence (R.I.) Journal.

“After mounting for months, female anger over the choreographed dumping on Hillary Clinton and her supporters has exploded - and party loyalty be damned. That the women are beginning to have a good time is an especially bad sign for Barack Obama’s campaign,” the writer said.

“‘Obama will NOT get my vote, and one step more,’ Ellen Thorp, a 59-year-old flight attendant from Houston told me. ‘I have been a Democrat for 38 years. As of today, I am registering as an independent. Yee Haw!’

“A new Pew Research Center poll points to a surging tide of fury, especially among white women. As recently as April, this group preferred Obama over the presumptive Republican [nominee Sen.] John McCain by three percentage points. By May, McCain enjoyed an eight-point lead among white women.

“What’s dangerous for the Democratic Party is that, for many women, the eye of the storm has moved beyond Hillary or anything she does at this point. The offense has turned personal.

“They are now in their own orbit, having abandoned popular Democratic Web sites that reveled in crude anti-Hillary outpourings - and established new ones on which they trade stories of the Obama people’s nastiness.”

*Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]



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