One of my memories of the Scott Brown campaign concerns a day in Boston. President Obama was going to speak, and there were two competing crowds: one for Martha Coakley, and one for Brown. At a certain point some of the Coakley people shouted: “Brown sucks.” The Brown people answered: “Coakley sucks.” Someone in the crowd started chanting “Yankees Suck!”—and both groups of Massachusetts citizens joined in, briefly on the same side.
That came to mind because of a decision by the local AM radio station in my city of Fitchburg. They dropped the Red Sox, which might be understandable if the team is too expensive, but it inexplicably decided to pick up the Yankees.
This has generated a lot of shock in the community; it’s not a high-power station, so it doesn’t even reach New York, and my thought was, why not carry the Braves (formerly of Boston), or even the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA)?
If the goal was to attract attention, they got it—plus, the Sox will play the Yankees a lot this year, so people will still hear those games—yet enduring the traditional cry of “Yankees win; theeeeee Yankees win,” after a Yankees victory is going to really rankle around here.
Since my station reaches Fitchburg, and my living depends on selling ads to local businesses, I say to the local station:
Oh, and: on Thursday night, the Redsox beat the Yankees 5-4 on a suicide squeeze in the last of the ninth.
Yeah; it’s still preseason, and it doesn’t yet count. But this is exactly the type of story that gets a Red Sox fan’s blood running faster.
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I was at a meet-and-greet yesterday for GOP candidate Elizabeth Childs, who is in a primary against Sean Bielat to face Kennedy for the U.S. House in MA-4.
Childs was a Republican who left the party over the abortion issue during the 1980s; she served in the Romney Administration, and came back to the party to run in this race.
I’m reminded of something Cynthia Yockey said to a very shocked senior citizen conservative woman in September of 2010, when she introduced herself as “A Conservative Lesbian”: “Obama has created a lot of conservatives.”
I had a spirited discussion at that same event with a pair of GOP activists who were absolutely convinced that Obama will be re-elected: they claimed that “people” were afraid of Santorum, and disliked Romney—but would stick with Obama. None of the arguments I made about the actions of Democratic candidates around the country would move them, and yet both they and I (at the time) missed the surest sign that they were wrong:
There is no issue more contentious than abortion; just ask the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Yet here is a person who so believed in abortion that she left the GOP, and she has not only come back to the party, but is running for Congress as a Republican.
Yeah—tell me how Obama has this race in a lock.
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At the same meet-and-greet, I met a reader who had been discussing me around the dinner table and referred to me as a “celebrity.”
I’ve had people who were excited—some, very excited—to meet me, but I’ve never been called a celebrity before.
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Of course, the President is getting some help from the Romney campaign—specifically, Eric Fehrnstrom, whose “Etch-a-sketch” comment has been devastating. As I said this week:
The Obama campaign will be using this as a prop till November. They will be giving out Etch-a-Sketches at every school they stop at. The DNC will be donating Etch-a-Sketches to children’s charities in every city that the President visits, and Democratic candidates for Congress will be holding them and questioning their Republican counterparts over this image, which actually has to potential to turn the general election around. Of course, it’s lucky for Romney that if he wins the nomination he will still be facing Obama.
This is going to be poison in the general election; it is something that can be remembered and understood by people who don’t follow politics; it is perfect late-night fodder.
No matter how much Santorum gets hit for his statement concerning Romney vs. Obama, Fehrnstorm’s unusual gaffe (unusual because he is a pretty good campaign guy) will hurt right through November, because everyone believes it’s true.
Social conservatives already don’t trust Romney; if he loses enough of them it will make the vote in November a lot closer than it should be.
Interestingly enough, both Romney and Obama are trying to appear more conservative than they are; that should tell the political types something about where the country actually is.
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One more election note: we keep hearing from the media about how bigoted Southerners are, particularly Southern Republicans (never mind the fact the infamous “Bull” Connor was a Democratic National Committeeman from Alabama ). We hear how Romney, as a Mormon, is going to have trouble in the general election in the South. On Morning Joe, when they discussed the Trayvon Martin shooting, the talk was all about the South and race.
So, let’s look at this: in the Southern primaries there were four candidates: one lifelong Catholic (Santorum) who alienates libertarians; one Catholic convert with a history of having affairs (Gingrich); one Mormon who has a strained relationship with social conservatives (Romney); and one Baptist with a history of publishing newsletters that contained a nasty racial component (Paul).
If the liberal meme on the South were true, Ron Paul would have ruled Dixie. Instead, Paul finished fourth in every Southern primary.
The idea of two Catholics and a Mormon defeating the Baptist in every Southern election should be big news—and the media would be all over it, except that it contradicts a meme that is oh-so-precious to them. That just isn’t allowed.
This reminds me of something I heard on a conference call with Santorum: Rick talked about the “I don’t care about the unemployment rate” line that the Romney campaign used to criticize him over—with the MSM’s help. The meme was that Santorum’s unconcern about the unemployment rate was somehow new. Santorum was asked a question about it on the trail by a voter, who wanted to know whether this line was a standard part of the stump speech. So the candidate called on the embedded reporters, who had been on the trail with him for months; these people had heard his speeches over and over again. Santorum bluntly asked them whether what he had said was any different than what he had been saying for months; they agreed that it was not. As Santorum put it: “They know this is a complete distortion.”
But the media narrative trumps all.
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All over the TV networks the talk is Trayvon Martin, and outrage over his killing. From what I’ve heard of that case, the outrage might not be misplaced—but it seems to me it is pretty selective. Take a look at this chart from the CDC:
As I said on my own blog:
People are rightly concerned about the shooting of young Mr. Martin, and Florida needs to take a good long look at this case. If Zimmerman’s self-defense claim is as specious as it seems, they should go after him, big-time—but those figures I quoted aren’t just “statistics”; they represent actual individual people who were murdered. Their lives were no less dear to their mothers than Trayvon Martin’s was to his—yet they haven’t generated any million hoodie marches [HuffPo link].
I have sons near the age of Mr. Martin. I can’t imagine what his mother is going through, and I don’t begrudge her one bit of her anger or desire for justice for her son. It seems to me, however, that the activists and media personalities so outraged today had no such concerns for the young black men who’ve been slaughtered in cities for years.
Until those deaths have political value to the left—and therefore to the legacy media—the mothers of those young men will be left to cry alone.
Finally, Tim Tebow is in the news again. Denver jumped aboard the Payton Manning bandwagon, signed him to a big contract, and dealt Tim Tebow away to the Jets for a 4th-round pick.
I can understand the signing of Manning; he is a Superbowl-winning quarterback. He’s certainly not a bad risk, even with the injury taken into consideration.
But dumping Tebow for a 4th-round pick seems foolish: Manning would be a valuable tutor to Tebow, and if Manning proved fragile, Tebow could jump right back into the fray. A 4th-round pick seems like a small return to the Broncos out of the trade. As for the Jets, Sanchez doesn’t have the title under his belt that Manning does: one stumble, and the Jets would be under a lot of pressure to bench him with Tebow, bargain price or no.
I suspect John Elway didn’t have a whole lot of respect for Tim Tebow as a quarterback, but he did say something interesting during the press conference: “Tim Tebow’s a great kid. If I want someone to marry my daughter, it’s him.” The Blaze called that “possibly the greatest compliment ever.” As a father, there is nothing I’d rather hear about one of my sons.
And if Tim Tebow is anything like the person I take him for, he’d agree.