Thursday, January 06, 2005

Just Playing Games

National Review Online quotes the Dayton Daily News as saying:
Dayton Daily News
Monday, December 20, 2004


Did votes vanish in Miami Valley?

Specific complaints about the Ohio vote count keep getting aired - especially on the Internet - and keep getting laid to rest, but then just keep on getting cited by some diehard Democrats.

The supposed outrage in Republican Warren County? There the authorities closed off the vote-counting site on election night. Turns out, however, the local Democratic authorities were there, inside the building, and were fine with what went down, seeing no shenanigans.

The fact that many ballots in Montgomery County showed no vote for president? Turns out there was an electrical malfunction, and the counts have been changed, with Republicans benefiting.

Votes showing up late in the process in Miami County? Turns out the original state reports were wrong.

Similar phenomena in other parts of the state have similarly turned out not to amount to much.

Yet 12 Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee have posed questions about these alleged irregularities to Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. The strategy seems to be throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

Several Miami Valley issues are at the center of this national squabble.

Some committee questions are just nonsense: How can the secretary of state explain that Sen. John Kerry did no better in Warren County than Al Gore did in 2000, even though Sen. Kerry spent more money and Ralph Nader wasn't on the ballot this time? Please. This is nothing. Republicans are leaving central urban counties for places like Warren, making the places they leave bluer and the new places redder.

Perhaps the most intriguing question is the one about the race for chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Democratic challenger C. Ellen Connally ran worse than Sen. John Kerry statewide, by about 3 percentage points. But in some counties in Southwest Ohio - Miami, Darke, Butler, Claremont, Brown - she ran ahead of him. Why?

Is it possible, as has been charged, that some 60,000 Kerry votes somehow disappeared in those counties?

Consider: Party labels do not appear on the ballots for judicial candidates. So, in these very Republican counties, one would not expect Judge Connally to have the kind of problem that Sen. Kerry had.

But why did Judge Connally run behind Sen. Kerry statewide if she ran ahead of him in these counties? Probably because the Moyer campaign - the only well-funded one - focused its commercials and mailings someplace other than small, Republican counties.

To ask the secretary of state to explain these things is absurd. Any response he offers will be treated by the Democrats on the House committee as partisan. Nonpartisan think tanks could do this work more credibly and with more expertise.

The partisan Democrats know that. They're just playing games.
I couldn't agree more...this is nothing more than theatrics. It serves no purpose at all and will not effect the outcome.

Looks like DDN got another one right.

Monday, January 03, 2005

DDN's Jeff Bruce: 'Mission was worth the sacrifice'

Here is a column I can agree with 100%...
"I am not the type of person who enjoys being in the limelight," she replied. "I would rather be the person who helped get the limelight for someone else. I am truly happy and amazed by all of the public support I have received. I want to thank everyone who has written letters on my behalf to the senators, congressmen/congresswomen, President Bush, Lt. Gen. Metz (who will decide if she is eligible for clemency) and everyone else."

Does she see broader implications in how she has been treated for the message it might send the troops?

"I do not want to send the wrong message that it is OK to break the rules because it is not," she replied.

"The message I want to send to the troops (is) do the best job possible. When faced with situations that seem impossible, look around, ask for help and be resourceful. Never forget there are consequences for every action and decision you make."

Of course, it was for being too "resourceful" that Maj. Kaus got in trouble, using vehicles not assigned to her and not fessing up to that. While she acknowledges that she broke the rules, was what she did wrong in the moral sense?

"Morally, as the company commander, I am responsible for 150 soldiers and needed to ensure that they had resources available to complete the missions. The vehicles that were taken were left behind by units that had moved north into Iraq ahead of us. The broken down vehicle that was stripped for parts was left abandoned because it was broken. We took stuff that other units and soldiers left behind and put it to use for the Army."

Since she won't say so directly, I will: No, what she did was not morally wrong. Indeed, a strong case can be made that it was, in fact, just the right thing to do.
It was the right thing to sure to let the President, your Senators, and Congressmen know how you feel about it.

DDN: "Bush, like Democrats, on diversity push"

In an editorial that was intended to look fair and balanced, the editorial board can't resist taking a slam or two at the President.

They start by firing off a roster of Bush appointees that are minorities:
Look at all the big appointees, nominees and advisers who fit into one "minority" or another: Colin Powell, Condeleezza Rice, Karen Hughes, Alberto Gonzales, Ann Veneman, Carlos M. Gutierrez, Norman Y. Mineta, Elaine L. Chao, Gale Norton, Rod Paige. There are others. According to a tally by Washington Post writer Terry M. Neal, the Bush record is even better than Bill Clinton's if one factors in the "prestige" of the various positions.
They then spend a good bit of time explaining a number of complaints about the President and his staff:
To some people, this shows only that Republicans are trying to pretend that their party is more diverse than it really is, trying — for political reasons — to live down the charge that the party, at its heart, is for the privileged and the white. (Actually, a remarkable number of the president's appointees also come from decidedly unprivileged backgrounds. He likes up-by-the-bootstraps people.)

Bush critics also insist that the real power has always been with the white guys: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, various generals, John Ashcroft.

And they will say, sure, there are people to represent plenty of demographic categories, but these people are deeply unrepresentative of those categories, meaning far more conservative.
But they just can't resist taking a dig...
There is truth to all the complaints.
What would the Dayton Daily Democrat know about truth?

The truth is that the Bush administration is diverse...but it isn't because of affirmative action. These folks have all been qualified to be where they are in the don't get that with affirmative action.

At least they recover well...sorta...
And yet the larger fact is that this conservative president has accepted one of the central thrusts of modern liberalism: its emphasis upon American diversity, its insistence that the country's leadership must do more to embrace that diversity and foster it. He has, at least, accepted that Democrats have a good issue.
It is a good issue. It is an important issue. One party (the Republicans and the Bush administration) is doing something about it...the other (Democrats) is pandering.

But here is the one nugget of truth in the editorial:
At any rate, if the symbolic gestures are what voters want — simply the presence of their group in the high councils of government — fine. If the voters aren't focused on the policies those appointees actually follow, that's the Democrats' problem. It means their stands on issues aren't compelling enough.
The Democrats' position is pandering...that doesn't resonate well with the American people. Demnocrats seem content to keep people poor and stupid...maintaining the status quo, as it were...with their programs and handouts. It has to be about the American Dream...the Democrats still don't understand this very simple concept.