It was several months past the 2000 elections that I first recall noticing something I hadn’t seen in years past: a campaign bumper sticker on the car ahead of me in traffic. Now, some of those older stickers were pure hell to remove from a bumper and you could tell from the scratched-up appearance of them that the owners of the car had made a shot at getting rid of them. But this one was different. It was clear that no such attempt had been made.
Once noticed, it became impossible not to see them whenever they appeared and I was curious that I was seeing them in far greater numbers than before. There were some for Bush/Cheney here and there but it was the Gore/Liberman stickers that appeared most often. At first I simply dismissed it as evidence of a forgetful car owner. Then along came the 2004 campaign and the Gore/Liberman stickers disappeared virtually overnight, replaced by Kerry/Edwards stickers. I put a Bush/Cheney sticker on my car, too, and a sign in my yard as I recall. The day after the election, both items went into the trash, their task complete. Again, the incidence of stickers left on other cars continued to wane in the following days but they were still there.
It was a year later than I was still seeing Kerry/Edwards stickers but this time I was also paying attention to what the owners of those cars were saying when I was in earshot and to what else was on their bumpers. There were the “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kerry” stickers, ones that said “01/20/09″ referencing the date when Bush would leave office, and – most irritatingly – the ones that said “He’s not MY President!” It was in late 2005 when I saw a brand-new car, still with the temporary tags on it and less than 30 days old, with a Kerry/Edwards sticker taped to the bumper that the proof became undeniable: the sticker was still a political statement but its purpose now was to display membership in the anti-Bush set. It was a tribal marking. It was a notice to fellow Kerry supporters and a continued shaken fist to those of us who hadn’t supported Kerry. I continued to see these stickers right up through the Democratic convention this past fall. After that, they’ve disappeared, replaced with Obama’s stuff.
As I always do, I took my bumpers stickers off and took the sign down the day after the election. Both went into the trash, their task complete. Obama stickers are, of course, still rampant. You cannot drive in DC for longer than a minute without seeing one. The campaign is over, the President has been elected. The stickers are exactly what the Kerry/Edwards stickers were, albeit with a happier ending for their owners and an unhappier one for those of us who didn’t support Obama’s election. Intended or not, they’re a mocking jeer to those of us who supported the opposition and, in the spirit of the President’s call for Renewal and Reconciliation, I have suggestion and a request.
Lose the stickers.
The campaign is over, you guys won. Take the stickers off the cars. Put them into a scrapbook with pictures and news clippings so you can relive the moment in the years to come. But if you’re looking for a reconciliation and you’re really interested in having your fellow Americans work with you instead of just sullenly opposing every word you utter, how about showing a little of that vaunted compassion and not continue to toss it into our faces? Take the stickers off the cars.
Which brings me to my fellow conservatives and Republicans. Some of you still have McCain/Palin stickers on your cars and I understand completely why you do. Eight years of driving around behind cars with Gore and Kerry stickers on them, visible reminders from their owners that they weren’t one of you, might lead you to feel completely justified to return the favor. Well, it’s not helping and you’re falling into the same kind of tribalism that’s been tossed in front of you these past several years. If you’re truly a supporter of our Constitution then there’s no question Obama is, in fact, your President. The only thing you’re doing with the sticker is keeping this Hatfield and McCoy feud going and there’s no future in that. So please, lose the sticker. Take it off the car. Put it into a scrapbook with printoffs of whatever blog, newspaper or magazine you read so you can show your part in this moment in history. You should do that, in fact, so you can help avoid the characterization in years to come that anyone who didn’t support Obama was just being racist. Do it for whatever reason you like but get the stickers off the cars.
A little civility from both sides is all this would be. It’s an approach to fellow Americans that doesn’t start every conversation with a needling little barb, a personal insult flowing from a feeling of personal justification. It’s a path to getting over the differences and, perhaps, working on the commonalities.
So please, folks. Take the stickers off the cars.
Federal authorities arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Tuesday on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.
Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper’s editorial board who had been critical of him fired.
I’m guessing the Governor won’t be making the selection of which person gets Senator Obama’s seat in the next Congress.
Over at the Heritage Foundation’s blog, The Foundry:
The liberal political establishment is always expressing its concern over the possible “disenfranchisement” of voters (claims that almost always turn out to be completely exaggerated), but their concerns seem to disappear when the disenfranchised are military voters. How else can one explain the almost total lack of interest expressed over the pending disenfranchisement of possibly thousands of overseas voters in Virginia, mostly military personnel?
Not good, fellow Virginians, not good at all.
No doubt brought to you by the same people who put up that idiotic “We’re sorry” web site after the 2004 elections, there’s a site up that’s calling itself “from52to48withlove.” And no, it’s not some internet porn site. This is a string of pictures people have taken showing “the 52″ – that’s the 52% of Americans who voted for Obama – holding up signs imploring “the 48″ – that’s the 48% of us who voted for McCain – to reach out across the aisle and work together under the new administration.
How wonderful that you want to reach out now, after the last eight years.
You do remember the last eight years, right?
You lost in Florida. Remember how you reacted? “Selected, not elected,” and “Not my President” were the order of the day. But that was just the beginning. You kept nursing your grudge, cultivating it, stocking it, and formed insular, community-based realities to echo and increase your hysteria.
That budding insanity you reveled in helped lead to ever-more vicious rants and vitriol, of course, including the “Chimperor” angle, where the lesser accomplished of you bashed the President’s intellect, and later, of course, the frothing “Bushilter” and “Darth Cheney” rants.
Perhaps even worse, you let your contempt for President Bush and Vice President Cheney spread to hate those who put their lives on the line to serve this nation in your defense.
Mr. Owens says it quite well and I agree with his assessment at the end of the article. While there are pictures allegedly from “a 48″ to “the 52″ the site is clearly intended to be messages from the supporters of the winner to their opponents. I’ve run into the kind of attitude on display at the site in many, many places over the past few days, some just as an observer and some directed right at me. One of those used the same phrase I see in a few of these pictures: “I promise to listen to your points.” In reply I asked, point blank, why I would believe that promise after the last 8 years. I’ve asked in return why they are expecting we who supported McCain to behave differently than they did after their candidates lost to President Bush. Their response has been illuminating.
“Well,” they generally say, “we’ve got to break this cycle and start working together.” Fascinating that they only hold that opinion when it’s their side in control.
So, to the 52 I have a reply. Want me to believe you mean it? Prove it. Let’s see you really offer support and compromise and act like you give more than a passing fart about what concerns me. I’m not holding out much hope, but I’ll give you the shot at proving your intentions. Just never lose sight of who acted like the hysterical crybabies in the first place and never assume I’m motivated the same way.
It’s been noted that during the recent campaign Obama managed to get himself into trouble more often than not when he was forced into speaking impromtu. It hasn’t even been a week and we’re seeing that the trend is going to continue, if not worsen.
President-elect Obama called Nancy Reagan on Friday to apologize for joking that she held seances in the White House.
At a news conference in Chicago, Obama said he had spoken with all the living presidents as he prepares to take office in January. Then he smiled and said, “I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any seances.”
Smooth one, Senator. Never mind that it wasn’t Nancy Reagan who ever did anything even remotely characterized as a “seance.” That was Hillary Clinton.
The realization that he’d managed to carelessly insult someone respected by a significant chunk of the American populace caused his handlers some serious heartburn, no doubt, and prompted the phone call apology. It’s a bad omen, however, of things to come. There are people in the world for whom a hasty phone call will not suffice to remove a careless insult. There are nations on Earth that won’t so easily forgive such a slight. Obama’s managed to get himself into the big leagues and specifically into a spot where there’s nothing to hide his record behind. A string of thoughtless remarks followed by an endless stream of “Oh, gee, I’m sorry”‘s will get old to foreign nations pretty quickly and it’ll just make Obama – and America by association – look bumbling and foolish.
Not the change we were hoping for.
From the NY Times:
Mr. Pruett said that sales last Saturday, just before Election Day, ran about seven times higher than a typical good Saturday.
A spot check by reporters in four other states easily found Mr. Pruett’s comments echoed from both sides of the counter.
David Nelson, a co-owner of Montana Ordnance & Supply in Missoula, Mont., said his buyers were “awake and aware and see a dangerous trend.”
Colorado saw a record set on the Saturday before the election in the number of people requesting background checks to permit them to buy a gun. A spokesman for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the agency responsible for the checks, had this to say:
“We’re not really sure who is promoting the concept that a change in federal administrations might affect firearms possession rights,” said an agency spokesman, Lance Clem, “but we do know that it’s increased business considerably.”
Well, Lance, let me clue you in on who might be promoting that concept, OK? How about we look at the record he’s amassed on pushing gun control:
FACT: Barack Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.
FACT: Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.
FACT: Barack Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.
FACT: Barack Obama has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.
FACT: Barack Obama supports local gun bans in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities.
FACT: Barack Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people who use firearms in self-defense.
FACT: Barack Obama supports requiring law-abiding gun owners to register their firearms.
FACT: Barack Obama refused to sign a friend-of-the-court brief in support of individual Second Amendment rights in the Heller case.
FACT: Barack Obama wants to eliminate your Right to Carry.
FACT: Barack Obama was a member of the Board of Directors of the Joyce Foundation, the leading source of funds for anti-gun organizations and “research.”
FACT: Barack Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.
FACT: Barack Obama voted not to notify gun owners when the state of Illinois did records searches on them.
FACT: Barack Obama voted against a measure to lower the Firearms Owners Identification card age minimum from 21 to 18, a measure designed to assist young people in the military.
FACT: Barack Obama favors a ban on standard capacity magazines.
FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory micro-stamping.
FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory waiting periods.
FACT: Barack Obama supports repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment, which prohibits information on gun traces collected by the BATFE from being used in reckless lawsuits against firearm dealers and manufacturers.
FACT: Barack Obama supports “one-gun-a-month” sales restrictions.
FACT: Barack Obama supports a ban on inexpensive handguns.
FACT: Barack Obama supports a ban on the resale of police issued firearms, even if the money is going to police departments for replacement equipment.
FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory firearm training requirements for all gun owners and a ban on gun ownership for persons under the age of 21.
Or, perhaps, we can take note of his stance on the unconstitutional DC weapon ban and his attempt to reverse himself without anyone noticing:
ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Alexa Ainsworth Report: With the Supreme Court poised to rule on Washington, D.C.’s, gun ban, the Obama campaign is disavowing what it calls an “inartful” statement to the Chicago Tribune last year in which an unnamed aide characterized Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as believing that the DC ban was constitutional.
“That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator’s consistent position,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News.
In short, it’s because people are taking Obama at his word that they’re concerned for their 2nd Amendment rights. The reaction to get armed before this man takes office is completely understandable and justified.
Michelle Malkin has a column up at the National Review Online about the recent “leakers,” supposedly insiders of the McCain campaign, who are throwing around as much spiteful gossip about Sarah Palin as they can generate. There’s no better word for people like these so I won’t even try. But I’ve also been listening to the post-election chatter among my fellow Republicans and conservatives about Palin and some of them are approaching shrillness themselves.
Sarah Palin did not doom the GOP ticket this election year. She suffered attacks that were just uncalled for. Malkin says it nicely in her article:
Hollywood savaged Palin. Journalists mocked her. Liberal blogs slimed her. Opponents cursed her, Photoshopped her, hacked her e-mail, hanged her in effigy, called her bigot, Bible-thumper and bimbo, and attacked her husband and children. But nothing Palin endured during the election season compares to the treatment she’s receiving from these backstabbing blabbermouths who worked on the same campaign she poured herself into over the last three months.
Sarah Palin worked her heart out. She energized tens of thousands to come out when they would have otherwise stayed home. She touched countless families. I didn’t agree with everything she said on the campaign trail. But she vigorously defended the Second Amendment and the sanctity of life more eloquently in practice than any of the educated conservative aristocracy. And she did it all with a tirelessness and an infectious optimism that defied the shameless, bottomless attempts by elites in both parties to bring her and her family down.
Sarah Palin was the kind of politician we Republicans need more of, not less. Bright, energetic, and connected with the everyday American in a way very few of our recent candidates have been. This constant drone of Palin-bashing, most particularly when it descends into the personal invective I’ve seen around various allegedly conservative blogs these past few days, is hurting the party and any chances of attracting the kind of fresh faces the GOP is going to need in the coming years.
One of the items from Tuesday’s results that I hadn’t had the chance to remark upon was the voter turnout. In Loudoun County, the turnout was 66.38% of total voters which was actually a little worse than statewide. Virginia as a whole had a 72.28% turnout, a tremendous response. Results completely aside, this was the way voter turnout should look on election day.
Kudos and thanks to my fellow Virginians for participating in our democracy!
I note this morning that I’ve been remiss in offering congrats to Senator (now President-elect) Obama for his victory on Tuesday. Regardless of my support for him – or lack thereof – his victory deserves recognition for a few reasons. First things first, he won the election in accordance with our Constitutional principles. As I’ve mentioned before, I will not engage in the childishness displayed by liberals and leftists in claiming “he’s not my President” or proclaiming that I’m going to leave the country. Americans, all Americans, have 1 President and whether I voted for him or not Obama will be my President as much as any other American’s. ‘Nuff said on that.
Secondly but of actually greater interest is the historic event of seeing a black man elected to the highest office in our government for the 1st time. While the man’s race was never of even passing interest to me during this long campaign season I do recognize the significance. Never again can the claim be made that race is a barrier to advancement to the highest levels of public life.
I am not shifting in my opposition to the newly elected Obama’s stances on a variety of issues and I’m afraid neither he nor his supporters can expect any sort of honeymoon from me. Their actions over the last 4 years have permanently changed that dynamic and they have no one but themselves to blame for that. For this post, however, I want to focus on congratulating Obama and pausing to recognize the significance of this event in history. Interesting times, indeed.