Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2000 / 19 Elul, 5760
Something fishy's going on
SOMETHING FISHY appears to be going on in the presidential
campaign. If I didn't know better, I would think a
conspiracy was afoot among Gore supporters -- and that
many Beltway Republicans were part of it.
The media are reacting with disbelief to Gore's upsurge in
the polls since the GOP convention. Isn't this strange,
considering they predicted it? Don't you remember them
discounting earlier polls showing Bush ahead, saying
voters didn't pay attention until Labor Day? Gore, they
said, is predestined to win because the economy is
soaring. Besides, a group of genius professors decreed
Bush's defeat based on their infallible statistical models.
Why are they acting so surprised at Gore's resurgence
when they predicted it? Is it because they didn't expect
such a dramatic turnaround? Hold on a minute.
It's not so clear that Gore has acquired a significant lead;
he may not be ahead at all. The polls range from Gore
being up by 14 points (which is patently absurd) to Bush
being ahead by 3. If polling is a science, can someone
explain the disparity in these numbers?
Even in the polls showing Gore way ahead in the popular
vote, his electoral vote advantage is not substantial. The
Battleground poll, which has Bush ahead, is unique in that
it is the collaboration of Republican and Democratic
strategists. The pollsters don't poll on weekends,
believing it's impossible to get accurate results. They also
make a genuine effort to measure likely voters.
Many analysts seem so constrained by political
superstition that they are incapable of escaping into
original analysis. Regardless of how many "ironclad" rules
have been broken already this campaign season, the
media still cling to "conventional wisdom" as if it were
astrologically preordained. Thus, I've heard a hundred
times that Gore must win because the candidate who is
ahead on Labor Day almost always wins. Sadly, many
conservatives are falling prey to this melancholy
I don't deny that Gore has built-in advantages. He is an
incumbent during times of peace and prosperity. He is
backed by the mainstream media, who do his bidding by
chasing after bogus and collateral stories ("RATS" and
"a--hole"), while decrying the candidates' failure to focus
on the issues. The media won't even criticize Gore for
ducking them about his latest scandal: the trial lawyer
quid pro quo. Nor do they tenaciously pursue him.
Though Gore should be disqualified on character grounds
alone -- both for enthusiastically endorsing Clinton's
worst crimes and committing his own -- he benefits from
the true Clinton legacy: a public that has grown cynically
numb to scandal.
Yet, through all of this, guess who is forging ahead with
an undeterred confidence? George W. Bush. Doesn't it
say a great deal about Bush's optimism and leadership
that he is standing tall right now -- especially given his
allies' participation in the pessimism?
Bush is trying to get his message out against the biased
filter of the media. He has wisely begun to focus on
illuminating the contrasts between his and Gore's
respective proposals. In a speech to the California
Republican convention, Bush portrayed Gore as the
big-government Democrat that he is. The sharper Bush
can draw these contrasts, the better he will be. Don't
believe the media when they tell you the issues (the elitists
call them "the internals") favor Gore. If they believed it
themselves they wouldn't be concentrating so much
energy on non-issues.
The media would have you believe that Bush's problems
are occurring at a fundamental level -- that he is losing
ground in each of the swing states -- and that this trend is
driving Gore's reversal. Many political scientists say it is
the other way around. A candidate's national momentum
will affect his standing in the states. A minor shift in the
national momentum could have major consequences in
the swing states.
Gore has plenty to be worried about. Bush performs best
as the underdog. Remember how he responded to the
McCain challenge when all the Beltway soothsayers were
forecasting his demise?
Recently, one Washington publication smugly observed,
"The question is no longer whether Gore will win, but
rather whether he will win by a coattail-producing
Wouldn't it be sweet to see the smirks wiped off their
faces in November? Keep the
commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?
© 2000, CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.