Misc Commentary For June 30, 2004

— If the election were held today, George Bush would win and it wouldn’t even be all that close. Starting with the red/blue 2000 electoral vote totals — Bush gets 271 & Gore had 267. Then make the adjustments for the census data — states Bush carried in 2000 added 7 more electoral votes and those carried by Kerry lost 7. So we’re at 278 – 260. Then looking at the latest battleground state polls

Bush Adds: Michigan (+17), Pennsylvania (+21), Wisconsin (+10)

Kerry Adds: Arkansas (+6), New Hampshire (+4),

So that’s a net gain of +38 electoral votes for Bush. That puts it at Bush 316 vs. Kerry 222.

Don’t get overconfident, but like I’ve been saying all along, Bush, not Kerry, is in the catbird’s seat.

— Quite frankly, newspapers have no business trolling through a candidate’s divorce papers. As far as I’m concerned, it’s an invasion of privacy. It was wrong when they did it to Jack Ryan in Illinois and it’ll be wrong if it’s done to John Kerry.

When it comes to the issue of divorce papers, a person’s “right to privacy” should trump the public’s “right to know,” especially given the fact that not only are children often involved, but all sorts of unsubstantiated allegations can be included. This is nasty business that I suspect is going to start becoming routine and that’s too bad.

— Speaking of “nasty business,” why did Jimmy Carter have to figuratively use a 13 year old boy’s coffin as a soapbox to attack George Bush?

“(Carter) attended the funeral yesterday of Mattie J.T. Stepanek, a Rockville boy-turned-national hero who struggled for years with a form of muscular dystrophy and wrote books of inspirational poems that climbed the bestseller charts, topping even Carter’s memoir. He died last Tuesday at Children’s Hospital in Washington.

…In his eulogy, Carter told the congregation that throughout his long and varied public life, which has included shaking millions of hands, traveling to more than 120 countries and knowing “kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers,” Mattie was “the most extraordinary person” he has ever known.

…(S)oon after, the former president received a letter from his then-12-year-old friend: “I feel like President Bush made a decision long ago about the war,” Mattie wrote. “Imagine if he had spent as much time and energy . . . planning peace.”

The letter continued, “Even though I want to talk to Osama bin Laden about peace in the future, I wouldn’t want to be alone with him in his cave.” The congregation dissolved into laughter.

“In the same letter,” Carter added, “he asked if I would join him.”

Wellstone’s Memorial Service, trashing Reagan after he died, and now Carter taking digs at Bush during a 13 year-old’s funeral. Whatever happened to common decency on the left?

Victor Davis Hanson has some wise words for one of his readers who mistakenly believes Islam is the enemy in the war on terrorism…

Isn’t the enemy in the Middle East Islam? To end this war, should US policy be the destruction of the religion?

Hanson: No. I don’t think so. Look at India, Malaysia, and Indonesia where we don’t have a great deal of trouble with Muslims. Rather, the problem is in the Middle East, where a reactionary Islam, Arab tribalism, post-Soviet Baathism and statism, combined with failed states and autocratic governments, create this lethal brew of Islamofascism. Those who say our war has nothing to do with Islam are as wrong as those who swear it is with Islam itself. Islamic fascism has the same position in the Middle East as the KKK once did in the South circa 1920 or so—generally derided, but not to the degree that average folks would wipe it out, given their own ambiguous views about race and their historic hatred of Yankees. But once the KKK was discredited, its members jailed, and its reputation soiled, no one wanted anything to do with it.

Exactly. As Iraq becomes free & prosperous, more terrorists are captured and killed, & the terrorists continue to murder other Muslims, you will start to see a sea change in the attitude of “moderate” Muslims towards terrorism. If you want to see an example of what I mean by that, take a look at part of a post from StrategyPage on June 22nd…

“The death of Saudi Arabian al Qaeda leader Abdulaziz al-Moqrin, and three other al Qaeda members, was unique in several respects. This killing of Islamic terrorists was openly applauded by most Saudi, with the police being cheered in the neighborhood where the four were hiding out and killed. That had never happened before. The general population saw the murder and beheading of Paul Johnson as crossing some kind of line.

It will take time, continued leadership from the United States, & more blood and treasure than we’d prefer to spend, but we are going in the right direction in the war on terror. Today, it may seem controversial, but if, as expected, Bush wins another 4 years and stays the course, it’ll be Reagan redux. A decade or two from now we’ll probably have liberals talking about how obvious it was terrorist groups with global reach couldn’t survive and they’ll insist that George W. Bush had nothing to do with making it happen….

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