Archive for June 2010
by Spartacus Thrace
Two of the hardest things to figure out when voting for a judge is (1) who the candidates are and (2) what they each believe in. Many voters enter the voting booth with little or no information about the judicial candidates and try to figure it out as they are eyeballing their ballot for the first time. Since the major part of the array of county and circuit judges in Pinellas County and the rest of the Sixth Judicial Circuit are very liberal and think of themselves more as ruling oligarchs than public servants, they and the Marxist radicals who run the St. Petersburg Times are perfectly content with keeping the voters in the dark. It is therefore up to the conservative blogosphere to sort things out.
While researching a larger article on the Pinellas County-Sixth Judicial Circuit judicial candidates for publication in this space in a few more weeks, I was struck by the efforts that a few of the candidates undertook to carefully ration and manage public information about themselves and cultivate a public image based more on voter acceptability than fact. Most, however, are actually quite decent people who are new to the political process, nervous about letting the Great Unwashed learn heretofore private information about themselves, yet willing to give it a go and mingle with the public on the campaign trail. Some have even shown some real initiative and creativity in their use of meager campaign funds to promote their respective candidacies.
This is not to give away the coming story, but one candidate in particular, Kimberly “Kim” Todd, candidate for the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Group 30 in Pasco and Pinellas counties, has taken to producing a series of amateur YouTube videos and circulating them on Facebook and other social networking venues to define her candidacy, draw attention to the race she is in, and attract supporters. So far, the effort has helped to increase her visibility among several local political interest groups and the members of the corps of “supervoters” who will likely decide her race come next August 24th.
The first video, released in Mid-May, provided background on Kim Todd, and information about her experience relative to her qualifications to be a judge:
The second video, released on June 25th, is much more of a candidate messaging device, offering the viewer both advice on what to look for in choosing a judge and why he or she should vote for Ms. Todd. It also subtly but clearly reveals Ms. Todd to be a conservative:
A source close to the Todd campaign says that they expect to release at least one more video, and possibly as many as three videos, between now and the August 24th Election Day.
These videos are quite crude by the standards of modern political media, to be sure, but they also are quite inexpensive, flexible and effective in communicating essential information to voters via the internet. So far, no other local judicial candidate is exploiting the internet media in this way. The videos also demonstrate that Ms. Todd is both eager to communicate with voters and capable of working very hard to get their votes, two things that always appeal to voters. If Ms. Todd is elected Judge of the Circuit Court on August 24th, one can expect that in future judicial races every serious candidate will employ YouTube in their messaging.
Oil, that is–or at least that’s what the nation was expecting from our president’s address from the Oval Office last night. Predictably, though, the O became all about Obama, and the third and final prong of his strategy to remake the United States in his own image.
With the passage of the stimulus and health care “reform,” he’s already checked two items off the list. What remains, of course, is Cap and Trade, currently stalled in the Senate–which is where the spill speech comes in. After rattling off some perfunctory language about rising to this challenge and overcoming that obstacle, Obama cut to the chase and made his pitch to jump start his takeover of the energy sector. That was to be expected, I suppose–but for him to believe that America, already worn down by a painful recession, would actually welcome such a message makes me think that the man has no political instincts at all.
In effect, Barack Obama is blaming all of us for this disaster because of our “addiction” to fossil fuels. To that end, his prescription is “green” energy–but the only way those sources become commercially viable is if we make oil so expensive that it longer makes economic sense to use it. So to all of you people out there, already hurting from a battered economy and record unemployment, let’s make your lives even harder by deliberately driving up the cost of almost everything you buy!
Call me cynical, but I don’t think that’s what America wanted to hear.
What frosts me even more is how Obama tried to cloak his rationale in outright falsehoods. Consider this:
“No matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk. After all, oil is a finite resource. . .And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean – because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.”
Relevant point: USGS surveys suggest vast deposits of oil and natural gas within the United States. The problem is that federal regulations have placed a good chunk of it–including untapped reservoirs in shallow waters–off limits to drilling. That’s one of the reasons BP and other oil companies have moved so far offshore. I’m sure they’d much rather drill closer, where operations are cheaper, safer and easier to clean up in the event of an accident. Instead, they have to tap through 5,000 feet of water because the government says so.
But are they ready to accept their share of the blame? One might as well be waiting for Godot.
Now there’s a scary image. With Charlie Crist, though, we’ve gotten used to it. Not literally, thank God–but certainly the unabashed brazenness with which our beloved former Republican governor has managed to out flip-flop even John Kerry during the 2004 presidential race. Upon hearing about Crist’s veto of HB 1143, I couldn’t help but think back to all those ads he ran when he was still trying to outflank Marco Rubio from the right. You remember those, casting himself as a conservative in the Reagan mold or some such. Now that he’s an independent, I guess Crist figured he didn’t need to bother. Read the rest of this entry »
I think I’ve finally figured it out.
For months, I’ve been trying to come up with an apt metaphor to describe the current administration. Oh sure, there’s your usual stuff–arrogant, partisan, spendthrift, aloof–all of which is dead on the money, if a little pedestrian (hey, there’s another word that fits the bill!). But none of those terms really clue you in to how the country was sold a bill of goods during the last election, and how a sort of collective nuttiness took hold of otherwise sensible voters (Chris Buckley, anyone?) when they pulled the lever for the guy whose resume had less executive experience than the night manager at your corner KFC.
Then inspiration struck. Put simply, Barack Obama is Zima.
You remember Zima, don’t you? It’s the one night stand of adult beverages: lots of people have had one, but most won’t admit to it. And afterward, it’s hard to remember why you ever thought it was a good idea to try it. That pretty much sums up all those poor folks who only wanted hope and change–“zomething different,” as the slogan went–but instead ended up with that same stale hangover the morning after.
Now, I’ll admit to having a Zima or two back in the day–but when it counted, I went back to my old reliable buddy, the venerable beer. And even if it wasn’t my favorite brand, a bottle of suds always looked a sight better than that transparent fizzy stuff in the slick packaging.
Which basically describes how I felt about John McCain in 2008. Sure, I was more in the mood for a smooth Belgian ale (which is why I voted Romney in the primary)–but if at the end of the night all the bar had left was Falstaff in a can, I would be happy to have it. Because you know what? Falstaff does pretty well in a pinch, and at least you know what you’re drinking. Problem was, too many people saw that Zima sitting on the shelf and thought it looked interesting. Maybe it even tasted good at first. But the buzz wore off pretty fast, and with it went the charm. All that’s left is the bitter aftertaste, which won’t go away no matter how many Mentos we chew.
The good news is that we have the chance to put things right. So come November, make it a Sam Adams–or a Bud Light, or even one of the fancier craft brews if that’s your thing. We conservatives have a lot of good choices out there, and choosing is half the fun. Make the most of it!