Reflections of a Cancer Parent (Part 2)

With ten chemo treatments (what an innocent sounding word for such an ugly event) down and two left, I'm adding one observation to what I've learned through Rhonda's cancer...so far.

I didn't think it would be easy. But it's been much harder than I expected.

Nobody Knows Nothing

There's an old saying in the entertainment business: "Nobody knows nothing." What it means is that you never know for sure what's going to work and what's going to flop. Sometimes sure things bomb. Sometimes long shots win big.

I've been thinking about that phrase looking at the polling data over the last couple of days. It's literally all over the place. On the same day, we got polls showing Obama up 9 and McCain up 2. State polling has been shaky as well. It really does seem to vary at least day by day if not more frequently than that. Every time one candidate seems to open a lead, the other closes.

I still think Obama has the structural edge. Parties almost never win three elections in a row. The economy is a mess. The incumbent President is one of the most unpopular ever (although still way more popular than Congress). All these things mean "the One" should win in a walk.

But he's also the most liberal and least qualified candidate in memory. (I still can't believe people planning to vote for him have the nerve to question Palin's qualifications. Talk about blind spots!) And as of today, with now less than 40 days to go--and people already voting in several states--I don't know nothing.

It really could go either way. I'd make it 55-45 chance of Obama winning...but that's today. Tomorrow could look different again.


Two Americas

John Edwards was right. (Yes, this is the first and last time those words will ever appear on this blog.) There are two Americas. (No, not the two where he keeps a wife in one and his mistress in the other.) Look at these two pictures. These people live within the same national boundary, but they could hardly be different if they were from opposite sides of the the earth.

Here's what Zina Saunders thinks of Sarah Palin (hat tip James Lileks)

And below are some real Americans (hat tip Hugh Hewitt)

Any questions?


Seven Years

In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
Canadian Army
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Hide the Liquor; Lock Up the Guns

For the love of all that is good and holy in the world, place all sharp objects out of reach before allowing any Democrats to read USA Today tomorrow (is that an oxymoron?):

Likely Voters Registered Voters

McCain 54% 50%
Obama 44% 46%

Heads are exploding. And yes, the Saracudda is to "blame" for about 99% of it!

The Third Sarah Palin Bounce Is Coming

John McCain has already gotten two huge boosts from his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. (Incidentally, although it's become conventional wisdom that Palin was picked to appeal to disgruntled Hillary supporters, that's just a bonus. I think she was picked to appeal to disgruntled Reagan supporters.) The first was the electric burst of energy that ran through his otherwise largely disspirited party with the announcement. The second was her dramatic exceeding of (media-created) low expectations for her acceptance speech--viewed by nearly 50% more people than Biden's. The polls are now starting to show McCain gaining ground. But the next Palin bounce is already set to start.

Congress returns to work following a five week vacation (well-deserved...could they please take a couple of years off now?) this week. The single biggest item on the legislative agenda, the one that's going to be the center of fireworks is the expiration of the Congressional ban on offshore oil drilling. President Bush has already rescinded the executive order, which means that unless Congress passes a new law, offshore drilling will become legal on October 1. This puts the Democrats in a huge box. Drilling for more oil is favored by nearly 2/3 of the population. The members of Congress know this. So do the leaders. That's why Squeaker of the House Pelosi (D-I Am Woman Hear Me Squeak) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Corruption) have tried to so hard to prevent a vote to start drilling before the ban expires. They will lose. Overwhelmingly.

But now they face this dilemma. They must pass a new ban or drilling will be allowed to resume. And drilling is anathema to their hard-core environmentalist supporters. The oil drilling ban is going to be huge for the next three weeks. And McCain has picked one of the most knowledgeable elected officials in America on the subject of energy/oil/drilling as his VP. She's going to have a chance to shine on this topic. And I think they're going to use it to showcase her as far better qualified than The One to be President. When they do the third Sarah Palin bounce is going to hit, positioning McCain perfectly for the debates that start the end of this month.


Shades of '88

This election is starting to remind me of 1988. I remember watching when the first George Bush announced on the dock by the river in New Orleans that he had chosen Dan Quayle to be his running mate. There was a collective "Who?" that arose immediately. Although Quayle had been in politics for a while (and was much better than he got credit for--of all the Republicans brought into the Senate in the Reagan landslide in 1980, Quayle was the only one to win reelection) he was largely unknown.

He soon got tagged as a lightweight. That also was a distortion (for example, the "potatoe" incident featured Quayle going by the card handed him by the teacher for the correct spelling) although Quayle wasn't a genius, he at least knew there aren't 57 states. Of course the most famous moment of the campaign for Quayle was his thrashing at the hands of Lloyd Bentsen. "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." It was largely based on a lie--Bentsen really hadn't been a friend of Kennedy, but it was a killer line, and came to define Quayle.

We happened to be in Washington for a conference just a few weeks before the election. I had a Bush-Quayle sticker on my notebook, and as we were leaving the hotel one morning a guy looked at that and then looked at me and said, "President Quayle? Doesn't that scare you?" I said, "Not as much as President Dukakis would."

Sarah Palin scares the Democrats to death. There's no other reason for them to go after her with the ferocity and slime that they have (they'd go after any Republican, but not like this). They're trying to hang a Quayle tag on her to discredit her because of the danger she poses. It's there on so many levels. She has Reagan's mix of optimism and conservative principle...and that's a killer electoral combination. She cuts across the feminist divide in a way no male candidate can. So they're going after her with all guns blazing. But I'm left with this thought. Even if they're right and she is the second coming of Dan Quayle...it's still a lot less scary than President Obama.