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22 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
08:45 am

More Thoughts on the Potential Impact of the Ground Game


Yesterday, I found a picture taken during the Super Tuesday celebration in Delaware:

I had a blast working with these guys.  We were operating out of a Longshoreman’s Union hall in South Wilmington. My job was to get canvassers out the door and make sure that they knew where they were going.  If I remember correctly, we sent over 800 volunteers out canvassing on primary day.

Going into the weekend before Super Tuesday, Obama was behind in Delaware.  That Sunday, over five thousand people came out to see him at a rally in Wilmington.  That helped narrow the margin, but going into Tuesday, most polls had Obama and Clinton tied or within a point or two of one another.

Obama won Delaware by nine points.  Although some of that was momentum, a big part of it was the ground game.  I remember hearing on the radio that turnout in the Second Congressional District (Wilmington) was double what people had expected.  I also remember an interview with Hillary’s Delaware campaign manager, who said that she lost because of the extraordinary turnout in the Second.

Here is what The New York Times said about that race:

Obama won in Delaware, capturing two of the state’s three counties after recruiting large numbers of volunteers in recent days. His widest margin of victory was in the north of the state, in New Castle County, which includes Wilmington, where candidates fought for 4 of the 15 delegates Delaware was set to award on Tuesday.

Now I recognize that Delaware is not representative — it’s a lot easier to generate that kind of turnout in a densely populated small state.  But what I saw there — intensive canvassing in the days leading up to Super Tuesday, precisely targeted GOTV in densely populated areas, and a strong phone bank to back up the door-to-door efforts — is the same operation that the Obama campaign will have on the ground in battleground states come election day.

I’m not basing this merely on Delaware.  During primary season, I volunteered in five states:  South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.  With the exception of Pennsylvania (where I was assigned to the Hillary stronghold of Scranton), Obama had similar operations everywhere I worked.  In Virginia, for example, I helped manage a phone bank where 400 volunteers made over 35,000 calls in seven days.

The ground game will have a significant on the election.  Most analysts think the Obama campaign’s organizing efforts will net him two or three points in key states.  But as my experience in Delaware demonstrates, there also will be one or two places where it completely changes the race.

So come election day, watch the turnout in places like Gary, Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Evansville, Indiana; Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, State College and Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Saginaw, Flint, and Pontiac, Michigan.  The key will be to build up as much as a 2 to 1 or even 3 to 1 margin in Obama strongholds in the hopes that it will be enough to counter Republican strongholds like Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, and the rest of the “T” in Pennsylvania.

Somewhere on election day — my guess is Indiana or Virginia — the ground game will help Obama pull off an upset.  It could be part of a broader victory, but in a close race, it might make the difference between winning and losing.

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20 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
09:14 pm

Thought for the Day


The Bush Administration is now suggesting that the $700 billion price tag for bailing out Wall Street may be off because some of the assets purchased could be resold at a profit.

Just remember that this is the same gang of idiots and liars who  told us that the Iraq war would start paying for itself within a few weeks of the invasion.

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20 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
05:55 pm

Racism and the Race


The progosphere is freaking out again, this time over an AP story suggesting that Obama’s edge in the race is hurt by as much as six points because of racism among the electorate.  Nate Silver over at 538 does a good job of unpacking the problems with the report — if you’re at all concerned about this issue, make sure you read it.

I’ll add six observations to his.  Unlike Nate, who bases his observations on strong empirical evidence, I’m going with my gut here.

1.  The article was co-authored by Ron Fournier, AP’s Washington bureau chief.  For those who are not aware of it, Fournier was offered a job with the McCain campaign in 2006.  A number of bloggers and media watchdog groups have recently suggested that he is in the tank for McCain, pointing to a number of articles, including one that suggested that Obama’s choice of Biden “show[ed] a lack of confidence” and another that accused Obama of being arrogant.

2.  Regardless of whether Silver is right and the “racism factor” is “only” 4 to 5 points or the AP-Yahoo poll is right in saying it is more like 6 points, I don’t think it’s going to be as significant factor as Fournier would have you believe.  Keep in mind that very few of those expressing their dislike of African-Americans would have voted for any Democrat.  So in reality, I think we’re probably talking 1 to 2 points, and probably only in a small number of states that matter — Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia.  That’s not great news for Obama, but it’s it’s a lot less significant than Fournier suggests.

3.  The “racism factor” is largely offset by both the mobile phone factor (+2-3 points in Obama’s favor because most polls don’t take into account those who only use cell phones, who are mostly under-30s, who in turn are mostly Obama supporters) and the field organizing factor (+2-5 points, depending on the state, the capacity of the Obama team in that state, and the degree to which the McCain campaign has counter-organized).

4.  As this story races around the blogosphere, it might actually generate new support for Obama, from undecideds who don’t want people to think that they opposed Obama because they’re racist.  I don’t think this is a significant number, but every vote counts.

5.  On a related note, I think there are a large number of people out there who want to vote for Obama because they want to be part of history (Silver touches on this as well).  Although this tends mainly to be under-40s (for example, the people who loved Will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” video) that’s not entirely the case.  Both of my 88-year-old parents, for example, are voting for Obama.  Although race isn’t the only reason, it’s part of the reason (and for the record, they’re both Republicans — my mom so much so that she still thinks Nixon was framed).  Look for this to be a particular factor in Florida, where Republicans tend to be fiscally conservative, socially liberal, and distrustful of the Palin faction of the Republican Party.

6. Much has been made of Obama’s “Lehman bounce.”  But what if the past week’s polling numbers are not a bounce, but rather a post-convention self-correction?  The polls are currently right about where they were before the conventions started, and I’m not sure that the impact of this week’s financial events has truly sunk in with most Americans.  If I’m right, then Obama is going to grow even more over the next week.

My gut is that not only that Obama will win, but that he will win the popular vote by a significantly larger margin than the current polls reflect.  I was on the phone with my dad yesterday, and he had a similar opinion — he thinks that this is going to be a modern version of the 1936 Presidential election, when the Literary Digest poll, which had predicted the five previous winners, incorrectly forecast an Alf Landon landslide.

My dad thinks as we get closer to the election, more people are going to support Obama privately but not admit it publicly — in other words, a reverse Bradley effect.   I hope he’s right, but I’m not holding my breath.

In the end, I think Obama’s ground game is going to make the biggest difference — enough so that I think it will give him victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, and perhaps Ohio.

So I’ll say again what I’ve said before:  calm the hell down and work even harder.

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20 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
03:34 pm

Huge Bombing at Islamabad Marriot


At least 40 dead — with the number likely to increase significantly.

You can find additional photos here.  It looks like the entire hotel went up in flames.

The New York Times quotes one of the leaders of the democratic opposition that helped push out Musharraf:

A prominent Pakistani lawyer, Athar Minallah, said: “It’s the 9/11 for Pakistan. It’s an attack on Pakistan, an attack on the people of Pakistan.”  Mr. Minallah, a leader of the lawyers’ movement that protested against the rule of President Pervez Musharraf, said the extremists “have crossed the limits. . . . There cannot be any justification for this,” he said. “It is for the people of Pakistan to join hands and sort out this menace. They are enemies of Pakistan.”

Back when I regularly traveled to Pakistan (almost 15 years ago), that’s where I stayed in Islamabad.  If memory serves me, security at the hotel was pretty extensive, so I have to wonder whether this was an inside job.  I also can’t help thinking about the fact that most of the people on the lower floors would have been local staff, not foreigners.

This is the second major terrorist attack in three days (the other was the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen).  There’s a good chance that this was undertaken by an al Qaeda affiliate.  I think it’s important to ask whether the two attacks’ proximity in time was planned or merely a coincidence.

Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

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20 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
10:45 am

Open Thread


Going to spend some time with my wife and daughter today.  Lighter than usual blogging.  So get outside, look at a tree or something.

Or tawk amongst yourselves.

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20 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
08:45 am

League of Photoshop: Talking Heads


The real face of the Republican ticket emerges at last:

Isn’t it Palin-McCain now?

Hat tip:  Firedoglake

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20 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
06:45 am

Morning Buzz: Beatbox Flute


I guess this has been around for a couple years, but this is the first time I’ve seen it.

Molly is a fairly serious flutist.  She plays in a local orchestra and even played at a Kennedy Center event once.  There’s nothing she hates more than “jazz flute.”

I have a feeling I’m gonna be sleeping on the couch tonight for this. . . .

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
11:30 pm

Evening Political Open Thread


FEC, SEC, SmeshEC.  Whatever.  I’m cranky and old.  I’ll just fire all of ‘em.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
10:03 pm

Evening Political Haikus: The Great Crash


Great Crash of 08
The dominoes are lined up
Who is next to fall?

;

Sovereign wealth funds
Do not like us anymore.
Goodbye investors
.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
08:45 pm

Thought for the Day


The U.S. Government’s massive bailout of Wall Street took place on “Act Like a Pirate Day.”

Heh.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
07:45 pm

David Foster Wallace Would Have Loved This


From The Onion:

Shock, grief, and the overwhelming sense of loss that has swept the stock car racing community following the death by apparent suicide of writer David Foster Wallace has moved NASCAR to cancel the remainder of its 2008 season. . . .

“I’m flooded with feelings of—for lack of a better concept—incongruity,” said Jimmie Johnson, the driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet who is known throughout racing for his habit of handing out copies of Wallace’s novels to his fans. “David Foster Wallace could comprehend and articulate the sadness in a luxury cruise, a state fair, a presidential campaign, anything. But empathy, humanity, and compassion so strong as to be almost incoherent ran through that same sadness like connective tissue through muscle, affirming the value of the everyday, championing the banal yet true, acknowledging the ironic as it refused to give in to irony.” “And now he’s gone,” Johnson added. “He’s taken himself away. We can’t possibly race now.” . . .

“David himself said that what he knew about racing you could write with a dry Sharpie marker on the lip of a Coke bottle,” said NASCAR president Mike Helton, who announced the season cancellation late Monday after prompting from drivers and team owners in a statement that also tentatively suggested naming the 2009 Sprint series the Racing Season Of The Depends Adult Undergarment. . . .

A wonderfully hilarious and pitch-perfect tribute.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
06:45 pm

Some Polite Questions for the Bush Administration


From today’s Los Angeles Times:

A long-delayed plan to send dozens of U.S. military advisors to Pakistan to train its army in counterinsurgency could begin in a matter of weeks under a new agreement on a training base, according to the top U.S. military officer.

Excuse me, Bush Administration, sorry for intruding.  I don’t mean to be a pest.  Would you mind if I just asked one little question here?  Great!  How about two?  Three?  No more than that, I promise.  Thanks!

Okay, here it goes.  Again, sorry for the bother.

ARE YOU FREAKING INSANE?

ARE YOU SMOKING CRACK?

DON’T YOU MORONS REMEMBER HOW VIETNAM STARTED?

Okay, thanks.  Yeah, I did mean the caps.  Sorry about that.  You can go back to finding more dangerously nuke-ridden failed states to “advise.”

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
06:38 pm

Don’t Forget. . .


If you live in Virginia, absentee voting starts today.  To find out more about whether you’re eligible, go here.

The Obama campaign has a website where you can find out whether you’re registered (and if not where to go to register), and whether you can vote early (and where to go on election day).

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
05:45 pm

The Decline of American Power, Iraq Edition, Part 356


This morning, The Washington Postdated confirms that yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was the work of a group known as the Soldiers’ Brigade of Yemen, an affiliate of al Qaeda, using techniques that they may have learned while fighting in Iraq:

[T]he first vehicle exploded near a guard post. Cameras then recorded attackers taking positions nearby, until a second vehicle packed with explosives detonated near a sidewalk. . . . The use of two vehicle bombs — one to breach the perimeter of a compound, a second to drive inside and explode — is a tactic used by the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Matt Duss over at Think Progress demonstrates how this blows away yet another justification for the Iraq war — the “we’re fighting them over there so that we don’t have to fight them over here” idea, also known as the flypaper theory:

Those who have been following the Iraq debate might remember “flypaper theory,” which was one of the earliest exponents of the “incoherent post hoc justifications for the Iraq war” genre. The idea was that there was some limited number of terrorists in the Middle East, and the presence of an occupying U.S. army would lure them to Iraq, whereupon they could all be conveniently killed, presumably as soon as they stepped off the bus.

This plan was prevented from working only by the fact that it was staggeringly dumb. The U.S. occupation radicalized scores of young Muslims, many of whom traveled to Iraq, where they learned terror warfare and were galvanized in the global jihad. And now they’ve begun returning home, to share the tactics and technology developed in a laboratory we provided for them by invading Iraq.

Of course, that doesn’t even take into account the role of torture, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other such obscenities in helping to radicalize Muslims as well.

To put it another way, the Bush Administration have spent  billions upon billions of dollars on the Iraq War, largely based on the bankrupt theory that we are building an island of democracy that will de-radicalize the Middle East.  In reality, we have made things far worse than they would have been had we never invaded, so much so that we have unthinkingly created another generation of terrorists, in the process weakening ourselves to such a degree that we may not be able to fight back the next time the come “over here.”

Imagine how bad things would be if Bush had taken a similar approach to the economy.

Oh.  Wait.

Never mind.

Hat tip:  Obsidian Wings

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
04:45 pm

The Hecklers


I’m sure you must have heard already that Obama was heckled during an appearance today in Coral Gables, Florida by a group known as “Blacks against Obama.”  At first I thought that this was another McCain dirty trick.  But it turns out that the group is completely independent of the McCain campaign.

The McCain campaign should be really, really, really happy that that is the case.  Because it turns out that these guys are seriously bats**t crazy.

“Southtotheleft” at the PrObama site, Over the Rockies for Obama, took the time to find out who was behind the protest.

Calling themselves “Blacks Against Obama,” they alleged that Obama has been endorsed by the KKK, and that “Jessie Jackson Hates Obama.” Their home-made signs had the words “Michael Warns” on the bottom, which links to the website www.michaelwarns.com.

The site is almost entirely devoid of content, except for listing an address somewhere in Miami and a link to the site, www.michaeldefeatssatan.com. The second link is a lot more fruitful in terms of content, despite sharing the similarly unfinished qualities of the first site. Almost all of the links are dead, and the content forms are still left from the template the site was designed on: “Page Title Here” and “A quote or missions statement about the firm here” litter the site.

Website design aside, It seems that Michael — or Michael The Black Man as he prefers to be called — is a charismatic preacher who leads a cult-like church that preaches to black men against the evils of women. . . .Michael seems to run a daily video sermon programme where he sings and talks about the ways to redeem “BLACK MEN,” which mostly seems to be by avoiding any contact of feelings for women.  In fact, the ailing of black men in the United States is placed entirely upon the shoulders of black women, child support, and the Democratic Party.

Here’s a screenshot of the front page for “Michael Defeats Satan”

Turns out the Oprah and Obama are conspiring to destroy “the black race.”  Who knew?  Man, you just can’t make this stuff up.

You also can watch this guy preach.  Here’s the opening of his most recent sermon:

If you are an Obama supporter, you’re going to be crushed. Because you think that n***** is the shepherd, but the Lord said he will smite the shepherd. So I’ve got to smite him.

No evidence that Michael has endorsed McCain.  He does associate “Republicans” with “good,” “positive,” “right,” “male,” and “God.”  But given that he hates women so pathologically, he’s probably not on the Palin bandwagon.

How much you want to bet that this is about Michael’s failure to pay child support?

I like what Southtotheleft has to say about all of this:

Frankly, this is nothing but good news for Obama. Why? One of the catchiest group names was just taken up by crazy people. . . . What could be better for McCain than Blacks Against Obama? If they were 50 percent less crazy, I’d be willing to bet their group leader would have been booked on Fox News tomorrow. . . . But no one is going to put Michael The Black Man on TV.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
03:45 pm

The Intellectual Bankruptcy of the Republicans, Part 1,834,416


I don’t care if this is tongue-in-cheek, it still demonstrates that conservatives are so intellectually bankrupt, that they have to borrow their memes from the Democrats..  Via Jonathan Martin:

Funny, but it does kinda sorta almost most definitely blow up that set of John McCain ads mocking Obama.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
02:45 pm

The Decline of American Power, Part 216


Not to go all Paul Kennedy on y’all, but I was struck by the last three paragraphs in a story in the Washington Postdated this morning:

Analysts said one of the biggest impacts of the crisis is to undo the long-held image of the United States as a fail-safe place to invest money. Hundreds of billions of investment dollars have poured into the United States in recent years, much of it from Asian economies where a powerful culture of individual savings contrasts with the earn-and-spend philosophy of the United States.

Many of those Asian investors were feeling burned by the failure of U.S. institutions once promoted as the safest of bets. Though Asian and Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds lavished rescue money on U.S. lenders earlier this year, those funds appeared to be showing increasing caution.

“The big risk for the United States is that people will begin to feel that we really don’t know what we’re doing and lose complete confidence in the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and the U.S. financial system,” said Edwin M. Truman, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute and a former Treasury assistant secretary. “That hasn’t happened yet, but it is a risk.”

Talk about burying your lede.  The big story isn’t that governments around the world are moving to “stanch panic,” as the Post headlines the story, but rather that other governments — and perhaps more importantly, investors — no longer view the United States as a “fail-safe place to invest money.”

Contrary The Post’s assessment that investors have yet to give up on the U.S., The International Herald-Tribune is reporting that Asian investors may already be losing faith in the United States:

Tremors from Wall Street are rattling Asian confidence, leading many investors to question the wisdom of being invested in the United States to the tune of trillions of dollars.

Asian investors were starting to show hesitation even before the financial earthquake of the last week. Now, a wariness toward the United States is setting in that is unprecedented in recent memory, reaching from central banks to industrial corporations, from hedge funds to the individuals who lined up here to withdraw money from the American International Group on Wednesday.

Asian savings have, in essence, bankrolled American spending for decades, and an Asian loss of confidence in American financial institutions and assets would have dire consequences for the U.S. government and American taxpayers.

Damn straight it would.

But individual Asian investors are not the only ones who have kept the good times rolling in the United States.  As you may or may not know, one of the biggest sources of capital flowing into the United States over the past few are sovereign wealth funds — state-owned investment funds created by governments when they have budgetary surpluses.  Think of them as a government’s rainy day fund, designed to help avoid boom and bust cycles.

Guess where may sovereign wealth funds have been investing?  In the American banking sector, including Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.  As Inspector Clouseau once said in one of the Pink Panther movies, not anymore.

As the American investment banking industry seems to teeter, many investors are asking why the sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East have not stepped up.

Less than a year ago, the funds spent billions of dollars for minority stakes in Wall Street banks. As oil prices peaked near $145 a barrel this year, the Middle East sovereign wealth funds amassed even more cash. Still, even as the values of banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are swooning, Middle East funds are not biting.

The explanation is simple, bankers in the region say. Plenty of other, more attractive assets are out there right now. With markets having been hit by the global downturn, compelling, value-priced deals are numerous — from sports teams in Britain and publicly traded companies in Russia to deals closer to home, like Middle East infrastructure buys, Youssef Nasr, chief executive of HSBC Bank Middle East, said.

When investors decide that their money would be safer in a British soccer team than in an American bank, I think we can take that as a pretty good sign that we’re in serious trouble.

For far too many years, Americans have been able to sustain our lifestyles in large part because Middle Eastern and Asian investors saw it in their best interests to prop up the American economy.  They’ve bankrolled the consumer boom and the real estate bubble, blithely confident that investing in the United States was the safest possible bet.

Right now they’re feeling burned.  The big question is whether that’s a temporary phenomenon or a permanent shift.  If it’s the latter, and you’re wondering what the consequences for the U.S. economy will be, think Lehman Brothers on a national scale.

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of penury.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
01:15 pm

Diplospeak Translator: Understatement of the Day


Time for a condensed version of the Diplospeak Translator!

President Bush during his Hooveresque press conference today:

There will be ample opportunity to debate the origins of this problem. Now is the time to solve it.

DIPLOSPEAK TRANSLATOR:  Oh man am I screwed.  As if Iraq wasn’t bad enough.  Now I’m being compared to a vacuum cleaner. At least Krauthammer still thinks I’m Truman.

Well in one sense he is — we haven’t had this much nationalization since Truman tried to take over the steel industry.

Wasn’t it Ross Perot who used to talk about a giant sucking sound?

More about this mess soon.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
12:56 pm

Annoying Bookkeeping matter — please ignore


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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
11:47 am

BREAKING: I Agree with John McCain!!!


Today, John McCain called for the resignation of the Chairman of the Federal Elections Commission:

Much to my shock, I agree with Senator Grouchy McGrouchypants.  I also think FEC Chairman Donald McGahn should resign, largely because of the FEC’s recent failure to investigate your own skirting of federal campaign finance law.

But I’m pretty sure that you meant to say, the Chairman of the SEC — as in Securities and Exchange Commission — not the FEC.

I know, we all make mistakes, right?  And it’s been, oh, I don’t know, 24 hours since you made one — when you said you would fire Christopher Cox, the Chairman of the SEC, even thought a President doesn’t have the authority to fire heads of independent regulatory agencies.  And it’s been a full two days since you mistook Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for Commandante Marcos of the Zapatista National Liberation Front.  So maybe we should cut you some slack.  After all, you did finally figure out that the FEC SEC chairman can’t be fired, so that’s somewhat of an improvement.

I have just one question for Senator McCain about this whole SEC chair firing/resignation thing:  if Christopher Cox does resign, doesn’t that mean that President Bush gets to appoint a new one?  And didn’t Bush pick Cox in the first place?  So won’t we be virtually guaranteed the same freaking problems we have now?

Actually I have a second question for him.   When the Senate confirmed Cox on July 29, 2005, it was by acclamation. In other words, unanimously.  That means both you and Barack Obama, if you were on the floor of the Senate at the time, supported him.  But Obama isn’t (yet) calling for Cox’s removal.

And as John Nichols over at the Nation notes,

Cox’s nomination to serve was considered by the Senate in the summer of 2005, at a time when McCain was positioned, as chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, to raise any concerns he might have had — and even to hold hearings — about the selection. As McCain, himself, bragged this week: “I understand the economy. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee that oversights every part of our economy.”

While that statement was a bit of a stretch, it is reasonable to suggest that the Commerce Committee chair could have identified an opening (perhaps through the committee’s responsibility for overseeing interstate commerce) to hold a hearing and raise concerns about Cox.

Instead, McCain made no complaint and ceded responsibility for reviewing the Cox nomination to the Banking Committee, which has primary responsibility for reviewing SEC nominations. The Banking Committee gave Cox a predictable free ride from the Wall Street-friendly Republicans and Democrats who pack the panel.

Does that mean that you were for Cox before you were against him?

Oh, and that makes me think of yet another question.  Wasn’t Cox rumored to be on your shortlist for VP?

I think Christopher Cox will make an excellent choice as McCain’s VP based on a lot of the information I gleaned from here and here. Some are going to tell me that the problem with Chris Cox is that he is not former Gov. Mitt Romney or current Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The argument that Romney can help McCain in Michigan and Pawlenty can help McCain in Minnesota. My purpose is not to make a case against a VP pick, and I do not have anything against them. I just think that there is a good case for a Minnesota born pro-life Chris Cox to be a help and not a hindrance as his VP.

So maybe you were for Christopher Cox before you were really for him before you were conveniently against him.

This isn’t flip-flopping.  It’s crass opportunism.

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