Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11/06 Post

I was not intending to have any sort of long, drawn-out posts about my "feelings" on this historic date in our history.

This morning, I watched some of the coverage of the memorial ceremonies and also the replay of the live news coverage from that date, just as I remember watching the exact same coverage on this morning five years ago, and in many ways, the memories came rushing back.

It has been a tough five years for America, but on this day, I am left with a couple thoughts.

1. How remarkably normal in most aspects of life things have gotten back to. On 9/11/01, I certainly did not think we would feel that comfort. Maybe that is a good thing and maybe it is not. It is probably a little of both.

2. On 9/11/01, as we kept hearing about more and more planes, and false rumors of bombs at the State Department, etc, and in the immediate few days as we feared anthrax and our food supply being poisoned, how many of us really believed that five years would pass without a successful terrorist attack on American soil?

I know I thought there would be other days of terror in our future, but thus far, that has not been the case, and I do not think that is an accident. We must continue to work to make sure that we do what is necessary to prevent another attack from occurring and that involves voting for the right people to lead us.

Let me close with copying and pasting a post I just left at in response to the conversation there. I did not proofread what I have written (and have not above either), so mistakes may be present, but that's ok.

Hi people:
I hope you have all had a good day today. It certainly is a much better day for everyone, regardless of our political persuasion, than five years ago was on this date.

I have just had time to skim the comments here. A lot of really dumb ones of course and a lot of extremely good ones as well, particularly from Buster and a person calling themselves “This Isn’t Tiddlywinks” or something like that.

We have spent five years in disagreement on these great issues and the debate may very well go on for another 50 years plus. One of the reasons we were attacked though is because of the free speech and other freedoms that exist in this country and what we are seeing on this thread and throughout society is just a demonstration of free speech. There is nothing generally wrong with politicizing the events of 9/11. Both sides should do it for their benefit as the events of that day have shaped our entire world. Part of me wishes that we could put one day aside to just focus on being Americans and not go about attacking the President (of any party), etc, but it is free speech to do so, and thus, Ron’s little rant, while tremendously off-base, is in that great tradition.

Another great tradition we have in this country is a thing called democracy. My party has won two elections since the events of five years ago, primarily because the American people favor our worldview in how we must respond and prevent a future day like 9/11/01 as compared to that of our well-intentioned, but incredibly foolish friends from the left. At least on this anniversary date though, they are willing to admit that September 11, 2001 actually happened. Some spend the 364 other days of the year trying to pretend it never did.

So, 57 days from now, we will have an important election where people can express themselves on the post 9/11 world we live in, and in roughly 57 days and 2 years from now, we will have an even more important election, where a new man or woman will be chosen to be the Commander in Chief and the person most responsible for fighting terrorists and preventing future attacks on American soil, which as we know, we have not had visited upon us for five years.

The comments on this thread and elsewhere, in the great democratic free speech tradition of America, absolutely proves to me how essential it is that the Democrat Party and liberals be defeated at the ballot box at every turn and that their misguided and dangerous views, as well-intentioned as they may be, be relegated to the ash-heap of history.

Again, G-d Bless America, and every law-abiding American, whether they love the 43rd President of the United States or despise him. I know where I stand. Have a good evening folks.

New York U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

September 11, 2006
57 Days Until Election Day

New York U.S. Senate

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

The 2000 election of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to the U.S. Senate from a state she had never lived in was the biggest non-Presidential election political story of the year. This year, as the reelection of the New York Democrat is much more of a foregone conclusion, and interesting, only insofar as a prelude of what might be to come for the woman whom just about everyone agrees is the frontrunner for her party’s 2008 Presidential nomination.

Clinton, or “Hillary!”, as she is more regularly known, has surprised some in her first term by getting good marks for working hard and keeping the partisan bomb throwing somewhat under wraps at times. She seems well-suited to the role of a U.S. Senator from such a large state as New York, but her ambitions to move back into the White House (where some say she wielded unprecedented power for a First Lady over her eight years there) overpower anything else she might hope to accomplish. Her impending run for President has many Democrats nervous that she would be an all but certain loser in a general election, as polls have shown her even failing to carry New York and other reliably Democrat states against the two most well-known potential Republican hopefuls. There is much doubt that another northeastern liberal Senator can win the Presidency, let alone a woman such as Mrs. Clinton, who is viewed as such a polarizing figure, with an at times harsh personality, whom many on the right love to hate. Furthermore, many liberals view her past support for the war in Iraq as evidence that the former Goldwater Girl, is not sufficiently progressive enough to carry their causes and they are virulently opposed to her Presidential bid. There has been some buzz that she may not even run at all, in exchange for becoming her party’s leader in the Senate, but that seems like it might be pretty far-fetched at this time.

That run is in the future though, as Clinton is expected to be an easy winner for a second term in the Empire State this November. Most believed that Republicans would go all out to try to mount a top tier challenge to her reelection but big-name Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki are instead more focused on perhaps meeting Clinton in a Presidential general election, rather than a knock-down, drag-out fight for the U.S. Senate. The past several months have seen a few Republicans, regarded as reasonably viable, enter the race, only to later drop out after having run poor campaigns or deferring in favor of others (who themselves would later drop out). The situation is similar to how Republicans have struggled to find the right candidate for Governor in New York this year as well. GOP candidates such as Jeannine Pirro or Ed Cox, have determined they would rather run an uphill race for state Attorney General or remain in the private sector instead of gambling on a costly, brutal primary fight, without a guarantee of victory, only to be in a position to be roundly defeated by Clinton less than two months later. The GOP has all but embraced the fact that Clinton being reelected is all things considered, a good thing, as she will be available to run against and hopefully from their perspective, defeat in the 2008 campaign for President.
The two Republicans left to battle it out for the useless nomination to be decided tomorrow have done little to inspire confidence in themselves or their campaigns. Their primary fight has been personal and at times vicious. Basically though, it boils down to a fight between a brash conservative male who carries the backing of that namesake political party in the state and a more moderate female contender who has the support of some of the New York GOP establishment, but whom critics label as a RINO.

The conservative, former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer is expected to dispatch the moderate, KT McFarland, a very wealthy woman, who served in high ranking posts at the Pentagon in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It is indeed impressive that Spencer has been elected Mayor of his Democrat leaning city and he has an inspiring tale of overcoming alcoholism, but he is dogged by the perception that he is just too conservative on social issues to have much of a chance in New York. He also cannot avoid the fact that he fathered children by his current wife, while still married to a previous spouse. McFarland, who has the resume of a candidate who would be very formidable on paper also, has a very colorful past. She has accused her father of child abuse, a charge he disputes, and disowned a brother, as he was dying of AIDS. Another one of McFarland’s brothers has gone so far as to call her “evil.” Additionally, a teenage daughter of the millionaire candidate was recently arrested for shoplifting, causing McFarland to briefly suspend her campaign. Taken together, all of these things that have happened in the personal lives of these two Republican hopefuls, make Hillary Clinton’s family and marriage, seem like something out of Leave it to Beaver.

As for Clinton, she does happen to face a primary challenge tomorrow from labor union organizer Jonathan Tasini, who is running sharply to her left on issues such as Iraq and wanting to impeach President Bush. He is backed by such figures as Cindy Sheehan. Clinton will win easily but leftists in her state and across the country would love to see a somewhat strong showing by Tasini, coming on the heels of the Senate primary in Connecticut, as a message to Clinton that she must change her perceived moderation on national security issues, into a more anti-war approach. There have been signs of late that Clinton is starting to perhaps be concerned about that factor, as she was quick to embrace Ned Lamont, after he defeated Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democrat primary, and also ratcheting up her rhetoric against the Bush Administration as of late. If the primary challenge in New York, but more importantly, the concerted effort on behalf of interest groups in the party, such as the liberal bloggers, succeed in forcing Clinton to move to the left, it may conceivably help her with the party base, but could make it a lot tougher for her to take a page out of her husband’s “Third Way” triangulation playbook and be as strong for a Presidential general election.

As we can see, what happens in New York this year, will have much of an impact on Clinton’s expected Presidential campaign. Whomever wins the Republican nomination tomorrow will hammer her non-stop until Election Day to the delight of conservatives across America, and any hits she takes might actually also hearten Democrats who support other potential Presidential contenders. Polls show Clinton leading either Republican by upwards of 30 percent, but considering the circumstances and viability of their campaigns, it is surprising the margin is not even greater. The bottom line is that people will turn out to vote against Hillary in New York this year, just to vote against her, and she probably will be held to a percentage in the low 60s.

After that is out of the way, her “real campaign” will begin in earnest.

New York Republican Party link:

2006 Senate races predicted thus far: 13 D, 7 R
Post-election Senate balance of power predicted thus far: 40 D, 47 R