Saturday, October 30, 2004
This is an aspect of the President's character that is not often reported in the media because he does not draw attention to it himself.
On a more personal note, I had the opportunity to see a glimpse into our President's character thanks to our oldest daughter.
She just turned 9. All throughout this campaign cycle she has become very interested in the election. She's watched every single one of the debates. She watched the Republican convention with us. She's been very engaged in what's happening in this election.
Earlier in the summer, she asked me if she could write a letter to the President. She wanted to let him know how much she admired him and that she was praying for him. I said that would be fine. I was amazed that our daughter, on her own initiative, thought to write a letter of encouragement to the President.
I never imagined that she would get any type of response from the President. I suspect he is bombarded with cards, letters, and e-mail and it's simply not possible for him to respond. I also suspect that the amount of mail he receives is more than his staff could possibly keep up with. So I mailed her letter for her without any expectation of hearing anything about it again.
About a month later, a manila envelope arrived in our mailbox. The return address was The White House, Washington, D. C. I immediately knew that she had received a response. The President said he was honored to have the responsibility of serving as President. He encouraged her to become a good citizen, to study hard, make the right choices, and help others. By setting high standards, he said, you can achieve your dreams. Included was a picture of the President and the First Lady.
Cynics will say this was a mass produced letter. Cynics will say this didn't really come from the President. As I said, I don't know whether he actually saw my daughter's letter. However, I do know that his staff did not have to respond to my daughter's letter. I would be willing to bet that the letter she received is a result of the direction that the President has given to his staff.
The bottom line: Our President is a man of honor, who has a gentle heart and is full of compassion. This is the type of person I am proud to have as my President and that I can hold up to my children as someone to be admired. For this reason, I am proudly casting my vote to re-elect President Bush on November 2nd.
If after reading this you're still not convinced that President Bush is the right man to continue to lead our country, then read this article on five questions you should ask before casting your vote written by another successful leader.
Friday, October 29, 2004
We are a nation at war. This war we are fighting is different from any other war we have faced before. Consider this quote from Charles Colson who served in the Nixon White House at the height of the Cold War:
During my days working in the White House, I often came home feeling nauseated after meetings about national security. You’d feel that way, too, if you’d spent the afternoon hearing about possible nuclear attacks, first-strike survivability, and the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which shaped every decision we made. I used to come home and tell Patty, “I don’t know if I can take this, because we are making decisions that could, by one miscalculation, obliterate this country!”
Now consider: The entire MAD policy assumed that leaders on both sides of the Cold War—the Americans and the Soviets—were reasonable, rational people. Today it’s a totally different ballgame. With Islamic fanatics, you don’t assume that they are rational. You assume, based on their behavior, that they’re irrational—that if they get their hands on nuclear weapons, they’re willing to use them.
I have come to the sobering conclusion that we are in greater danger of a nuclear strike today than we were during the Cold War.
Colson makes an excellent point. During the Cold War, both sides understood the capabilty of each to destroy the other. That understanding is what restrained both sides from acts of aggression.
The question facing us this Election Day is this: Which candidate is best capable of protecting the United States from further attacks?
For me, the answer is obvious. President George W. Bush has clearly demonstrated his ability to lead our troops in the battle against terrorists. By waging successful campaigns in both Afghanistan and Iraq, he has shown that he understands the threat of terrorism and the necessity to eliminate the threat before the terrorists have a chance to attack us again.
However, who we elect President is just the beginning. We also have important choices make regarding who our Senators and Representatives are going to be. These choices are crucial because the members of Congress are the ones who will be charged with carrying out the vision that the President sets for our country.
In Virginia's 9th Congressional district (where I live), we have been represented by Democrat Rick Boucher for 22 years. Our local paper, the Bristol Herald Courier, endorsed the Congressman's re-election bid. In their endorsement, they cite the numerous government funding programs that the Congressman has been able to secure for the region. They failed to mention the fact that our Congressman also voted against funding for our troops, some of which are from our region. I pointed this out in this letter I wrote to the editor. Congressman Boucher has repeatedly voted against major defense initiatives. The logical conclusion that can be drawn from reviewing his record is that he does not make national security a priority. His record is typical of many Democrats.
This election is about more than just who we choose to be our president for the next four years. We need to also elect Senators and Congressmen who are going to support President Bush in his ongoing effort to keep our nation safe from global terrorism. We must choose carefully in all the votes we cast. If anything has been made clear in this election cycle, it is that Democrats cannot be trusted to keep our nation safe. As a result, we need to do all we can to ensure that Republicans are elected.
UPDATE: Osama Bin Laden has emerged to release this videotape and attempt to insert himself into our election. Charles over at Little Green Footballs nails it: Vote as if your life depends on it.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
"We’ve been waiting since 1918 for the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series, and . . . if I had a choice between the White House and the World Series this year, I’m going to take the White House. How's that?"--John Kerry, 08/2004
Hat tip: Football Fans for Truth
Last night, the Boston Red Sox completed a four game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series.
You make the call.
UPDATE: Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling apparently is urging fans to vote for President Bush.
(Hat tip: Powerline)
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
To the Editor:
I applaud the Bristol Herald Courier’s decision to endorse President Bush for re-election on November 2nd (“Bush has Proved His Leadership”, October 27, 2004). However, your endorsement fails to address the most important issue our country faces: national security.
Your article suggests that President Bush has “acted unilaterally”, “offered little rationale for his decisions”, and “slipped into partisan politics”.
When the US was attacked on September 11, 2001, our President offered a clear vision not only for our country but also for the entire free world on how to combat the rising threat of global terrorism. It is time to stop using the word “unilaterally”. The United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Poland, and many others have joined in this war with the United States. To say that we have acted unilaterally diminishes and denigrates the sacrifices of our allies.
For a brief period of time, this country was united. We were not Democrats or Republicans. We were Americans united in purpose. But it was not the President who “slipped into partisan politics”. It was the Democratic Party, seeking to make political hay of any negative news from Iraq.
To make matters worse, Democrats who supported the President’s decision to go to war in Iraq turned their back on the military when it came time to fund the war.
One of these Democrats is John Kerry who wants to be our next Commander-in-Chief. Another is Virginia Congressman Rick Boucher. Congressman Boucher voted in favor of the authorization of war (vote #455, October 10, 2002) and then voted against the supplemental appropriation for funding the war (vote #601, October 31, 2003).
Your endorsement of Congressman Boucher (“Boucher the best choice for region", October 25, 2004) outlines his accomplishments. But when the time comes to choose whether our national defense would be a top priority, he turned his back on our troops including those from our own region who are serving our country.
The Congressman’s record on defense has been miserable at best. In the past, such positions did not seem critical. September 11th changed that forever. Our national defense must be the priority for every lawmaker we send to Washington.
President Bush has daily made it clear that he will hunt and destroy the terrorists before they will destroy us. Our President needs a Congress that is willing to stand in support of him in the global war on terror.
Congressman Boucher has not supported our military. He has not supported our President in defending our country. For this reason, Congressman Boucher does not deserve to be re-elected.
The luckless Wile E. comes up with increasingly elaborate and seemingly foolproof schemes to snag Road Runner who, oblivious to the danger, always eludes the pathetic coyote's painstaking plans.
I also discovered that the cartoon’s creator, Chuck Jones, and his cohorts wrote some simple ground rules for the creation of these cartoons. A few of these rules sound a lot like Kerry’s campaign strategy:
Rule 2: No outside force can harm the Coyote -- only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Wile E.'s ineptitude, possibly a by-product of his distracted obsession with catching Road Runner, is compounded only by the Acme company's products - which may work for other customers, but seem never to work for Wile E., who repeatedly risks life and limb counting on their effectiveness.
Which has been more damaging to Kerry’s candidacy – the efforts of Bush campaign or Kerry himself? I think Kerry has done as much if not more damage to his candidacy through his own incompetence than what others have done to him.
As far as the failure of Acme products, see Rule 7 below.
Rule 3: The Coyote could stop anytime -- IF he was not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." - George Santayana) Of course he can't quit; he's certain that the next attempt is sure to succeed. He's the personality type that twelve-step programs are made for. Of course, first you have to want to quit.
Kerry’s willingness this week to continue to hammer President Bush on the missing explosives in Iraq – a story that has already proven to be bogus – is a sure sign that he doesn’t know when to drop back and change his strategy.
Rule 7: All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.
Substitue the New York Times, CBS, or any other mainstream media outlet for the Acme Corporation and you get the idea.
Rule 9: The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures. Easy for you to say.
Get the picture?
Apparently I’m not the only one who believes this comparison is valid. Look here.
Brent Bozell, as always, has a great column today. If you have ever doubted whether the media is biased, go over to his site to get the real story. Here is their take on the explosives fiasco.
Rich Galen has an interesting idea on how to respond to the latest attempt by the media to manipulate the outcome of the election. I wonder if it will catch on?
Check out this.
Just wondering: how did the Kerry campaign manage to get this ad put together within a day of the New York Times breaking the story on the "missing" explosives? Can anyone say coordination?
Is it just me or does John Kerry seem remarkably like Wile E. Coyote?
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
The question is does any of this really matter? True, John Kerry was playing up the HMX story yesterday as further evidence of President Bush's failures in Iraq. There's even a plan to run ads based on this story (just goes to show how desperate they are to win). However, what he's really doing is just proving his an opportunist who is unfit to be Commander in Chief as I wrote in my previous post. The truth doesn't matter to Kerry, only getting elected does.
Hugh Hewitt believes that this story will cause a backlash against Kerry. I'm not so sure. I think this whole controversy just affirms what we already know: the "old media" (or MSM if you prefer) are biased and are willing to do whatever they can to destroy President Bush and see that Kerry is elected.
My question is whether anyone who is still on the fence about who to vote for is going to be swayed one way or another by this story. I believe most Republicans don't trust the MSM anyway and don't put much stock in what they report. I also believe that most Democrats (at least those who are the "true believers" who are willing to ignore truth in order to get their candidate elected) will still rely on the MSM for their ammunition against the President.
Cal Thomas has weighed in today and believes this is the last election in which the old media will have any influence on the election.
One more thing: haven't CBS and the New York Times learned their lessons yet? How can they ever expect to restore their credibility?
On a lighter note, Sistersophist tells us what's really going to happen to the Kerrys after the election.
An alert reader over at Captain's Quarters has done the math and has thoroughly debunked the original story from the New York Times.
Apparently The Kerry Spot has military readers, too. See this post and this post for further details on why this whole missing explosives story is simply not true.
N. Z. Bear also has a great take on the implausibility of the explosives story.
Monday, October 25, 2004
The bottom line is that I don't believe the story by itself will be as devastating to the Kerry campaign as some have speculated. I doubt that the MSM is going to spend any time on it given the other news of the day. However, if the story gets legs (certainly talk radio and the blogs have been covering it) then there may be some impact.
But apart from Kerry's own strengths and weaknesses as a candidate, there are other factors to consider. Rich Galen made an excellent point recently about the hurdles the challenger faces in defeating an incumbent President:
- However. A challenger has a higher hill to climb than an incumbent. The challenger must not only show that he has the potential to replace the incumbent. He must make a compelling case that the incumbent should be replaced.
- On the other hand, an incumbent President has only to get a positive answer to the question: Shall he be retained?
- Kerry, in my mind, has not met that second test. Nor do I believe he will ever meet that second test.
In our country's history, an incumbent president has only been defeated seven times.
- In 1800, Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in a four-way race for the presidency. It was so close that Jefferson and Aaron Burr (who were also both Republicans) tied with the same number of electoral votes. The tie was eventually broken by the House of Representatives on the thirty-sixth ballot. This electoral crisis would lead to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment which provides for the separate balloting of the President and Vice-President.
- IN 1888, Benjamin Harrison defeats Grover Cleveland even though Cleveland won more of the popular vote (this had happened 12 years earlier when Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel Tilden after a partisan electoral college battle in Congress). George W. Bush's victory in 2000 would mark only the third time that the winnner of the presidential election would win the Electoral College but lose the overall popular vote.
- In 1912, Woodrow Wilson defeats William Taft. A Republican, Taft narrowly won a bitter primary battle against Theodore Roosevelt who decided to come out of political retirement to run for the presidency again. Following his primary defeat, Roosevelt decided to run as a Progressive and split Taft's Republican base.
- In 1932, Herbert Hoover loses to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The onset of the Great Depression and Hoover's inability to cope with the crisis causes his defeat.
- In 1976, Gerald Ford, who had been made President when Richard Nixon resigned in the wake of Watergate loses to Jimmy Carter.
- In 1980, Jimmy Carter loses to Ronald Reagan. Two major issues: the economy and the failure of the Carter Adminstration to cope with the Iran Hostage Crisis are seen as the causes for his defeat.
- IN 1992, George H. W. Bush loses in a three-way race to Bill Clinton. H. Ross Perot, running as an independent, takes 19 percent of the vote whicle Clinton garners 43 percent and Bush 37 percent. A recession and a broken promise on taxes lead to his defeat.
In summary, an incumbent President runs the risk of losing his bid for re-election when:
- There is a viable third party candidate (1800 and 1992). Ralph Nader is the closest thing to a "viable" third party candidate (a real stretch) and he's more likely to pull support away from Kerry than President Bush.
- A major scandal (1976). Despite Kerry's best efforts to create the image of scandal tainting the President, there has been nothing on the scale of Watergate that would cause the type of voter revolt that not only defeated President Ford but also lead to major victories for the Democrats in the House and Senate.
- A foreign policy failure (1980). President Carter's inability to resolve the Iran hostage crisis (combined with a lousy economy) led to a resounding defeat at the hands of Ronald Reagan. Even the Iranians realized they would be dealing with a much more formidable enemy in Ronald Reagan. They released the hostages on January 20, 1981 - the day Reagan was sworn in as President. Although Kerry would argue that the President's foreign policy has been a failure his accomplishments (the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq, elections successfully held in Afghanistan and Iraq on track to hold elections in January) far outweigh his failures.
- An economic crisis (1932, 1980, 1992). Although Kerry continues to hammer the President on economic issues, none of his claims (lost jobs, increased healthcare costs, etc.) amount to an economic crisis of the magnitude that led to the defeat of Presidents Hoover or Carter. In addition, instead of increasing taxes (like his father) he has remained steadfast in cutting taxes. Other factors such as inflation, unemployment rates and interest rates are also in the President's favor.
If we apply the test outlined above, Senator Kerry fails on both prongs of the test. First, Senator Kerry has failed to prove that he has the potential to replace President Bush. Although he looked presidential during the debates (his brightest moments of the campaign, in my opinion) when you look at his entire pattern of behavior over the course of the campaign it is clear that he is unfit to be our Commander in Chief. Kerry is better described as a prevaricator (a person who has lied or who lies repeatedly)and an opportunist (one who takes advantage of any opportunity to achieve an end, often with no regard for principles or consequences).
Even if you give Senator Kerry the benefit of the doubt on the first prong of the test, he undoubtedly fails the second part of the test. This is the part that is no doubt the most frustrating for his campaign. There is no major reason to vote against President Bush. And that's what a vote for Kerry (or for Nader, for that matter) would amount to: a vote against the President. Granted, there are issues that even the President's staunchest supporters could look at and take issue with the President's actions. But when we view the President's record as a whole, there is nothing that suggests he should not be allowed to serve a second term. In fact, when you examine all the candidates, the only choice to make is to re-elect President Bush.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
While looking up the word character , I ran across some interesting definitions:
- The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another
- Moral or ethical strength
- A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
- Public estimation of someone; reputation
- Status or role; capacity
The positions candidates take during the course of the campaign are certainly important. So are the decisions that they have made about which political party they choose to be affiliated with. But most important to me is the individual's character because it reflects who they are and what they truly believe in.
An essential ingredient of a person's character is their faith. A person's faith (or lack of it) will form their worldview which is essentially how they view the world and themselves in it. The Dawn Treader has a great article on worldviews and why they matter. (Hat tip: Evangelical Outpost).
A lot can also be learned about a man when you look at his wife. Choosing who he will marry is one of the most important decisions a man can make. In fact, how he treats women in general is equally important.
Finally, is he someone who gives others hope?
UPDATE: The guys at Powerline posted this item which should cause the Kerry camp even more heartburn. Memo to the Dems: when your guys in the MSM write stuff like this about your candidate you can kiss your hopes of winning goodbye.
UPDATE AGAIN: Several blogs had been abuzz all weekend about this story that will appear above the fold on the Washington Times in the morning. Kerry's finally been caught in a really BIG lie. (Hat tip: Powerline)
My wife asked me tonight who I was going to root for. I confessed that I had been very conflicted on who to pull for this year. On the one hand, the Cardinals and Cubs have almost as intense a dislike for one another as the Red Sox and Yankees. So it would be difficult for me to pull for them. On the other hand, I'm a National League guy and prefer their brand of baseball (especially playing without a designated hitter) so it's difficult for me to feel good about pulling for the Sox. Of course, I'll still watch and just enjoy the games. Regardless of who wins this year, baseball couldn't of asked for a better matchup. My prediction is that it will go the distance. I have no idea who will win. This is a contest that is truly "too close to call".
On a somewhat related note, the gang over at Powerline have produced further photographic evidence that John Kerry still doesn't know how to throw a baseball.
Update: Even more photographic evidence that John Kerry is no sports guy.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Even more frustrating for Republicans has been the double standard in the media on this issue. For years, Democrats have been using churches as political platforms. If a Republican were to dare to make a political speech from the pulpit the media would crucify him.
Now the tables have been turned. John Kerry made news earlier this week when he appeared at a church in Ohio. Today, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (a liberal watchdog group) have filed a complaint with the IRS stating that Kerry's appearance amounted to an illegal campaign rally.
The whole argument that the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religious expression provides for separation of church and state is completely bogus. A thorough examination of this issue is included in the book "Original Intent" by David Barton. By examining the writings of the Founding Fathers, early court cases, and state constitutions, Barton makes the case that the Founders simply wanted to make sure that the government did not endorse a specific religion or denomination. It is through multiple rulings from activist liberal judges that the meaning of the First Amendment has been twisted to suit the liberal political agenda rather than being interpreted as the Founders originally intended it.
However, I find it refreshing that liberals are now being held to the same standards as conservatives on this issue. If we are going to have laws prohibiting churches from engaging in political speech then those laws should apply equally to everyone.
The church still has a duty (and Christians individually) to be engaged in the debate over matters of public policy. It is up to us to present a biblical worldview in addressing important issues that we face as a nation.
UPDATE: The guys over at Powerline have the latest on this. Now Teddy Kennedy is getting in on the act. So is Al Gore. I wonder how supportive these churches will be of the Democrats when the IRS comes in to take away their tax-exempt status.
These guys make a compelling case that John Kerry is not a regular guy. Rich Galen weighs in on Theresa Heinz's off the wall remarks that have helped to alienate many, many women voters. If you don't think the votes of women, particular mothers, matter then check out this post over at Mommypundit (and Hugh Hewitt's column for The Weekly Standard).
Perhaps Senator Kerry should have paid more attention to this quote from Adlai Stevenson:
"The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning."
I have to confess that there was part of me that was rooting for the Red Sox to lose, particularly when I saw this quote from John Kerry:
We’ve been waiting since 1918 for the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series, and . . . if I had a choice between the White House and the World Series this year, I’m going to take the White House. How's that?"--John Kerry, 08/2004
Hat tip: Football Fans for Truth
I was ready for four straight days to post on how Kerry had managed to place yet another curse on the Sox. But it was not to be. As a baseball purist, I'm actually glad that the Red Sox won. I don't put much stock in curses anyway (even though I am a Cubs fan).
Just because no team had managed to come back from a 3-0 deficit doesn't mean that it couldn't happen. I can't think of a better team to accomplish this feat or a better time for it to happen.
But back to my original question - why start a blog? On page 150 of Hugh's book he says
"The advantage of blogging is that it will oblige you to live in the world of ideas and debates and to do so at the modern pace." (page 150, "In, But Not Of")
The Bible tells us that we are to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-16). I believe that as Christians we are called to be engaged in the culture and seek to advance the gospel of Jesus (Matthew 29:19-20). But we are not only to proclaim the truth of the gospel, but also show others how we should live.
Never has this been more important than at this particular time in our country's history. We have many issues facing us as a nation that we need to be considering as we head to the polls on November 2nd. This is a time for Christians to step up to the plate and let our voices be heard.
Much has been made in the media about the choices we face in electing a President, Senators, and Congressmen. As Charles Colson said in this article, "Choose men who love God and are able to govern well." This post from Stones Cry Out makes the case for re-electing President Bush about as well as any that I have read. I can also tell you from having read Stephen Mansfield's excellent book "The Faith of George W. Bush" that our President is a man who loves God and seeks to govern according to God's word.