Views on the News – 9/1/2012
By: David Coughlin
The mudslinging in this 2012 Presidential election is worse than any other in the last 60 years, and it’s mostly been one-sided with Democrats lobbing personal attacks on a weekly basis to distract voters from any questions on Obama’s record. While the more meek Mitt Romney has stuck to challenging the President on the issues of the day, like Obama’s feeble economic record, Obama’s campaign has spent weeks attacking Romney on everything but the issues. This negative advertising and targeted attacks on the stump can do damage, but the volume and distortions have begun to backfire. Polls do show that Obama’s smear campaign against Romney has worked to a degree, but not without harm to himself. While there has been an uptick in Romney’s negatives, both candidates have suffered. Surprisingly, the negative tone of the campaign has taken a greater toll on Obama, the man responsible (if indirectly) for most of the vitriol. According to an NBC/WSJ poll conducted in late July, “very negative” views of both are now at a record high, with 32% holding a “very negative” view of Obama, and 24% of Romney. First, voters aren’t stupid. They understand when a line has been crossed and attacks get so vicious and detached from reality that the negative attack triggers the opposite of the intended result. The electorate tends to side with an underdog, Romney in this case, when lines are crossed by his opponent. Secondly, the primary issue for voters is the economy. Harping about tax returns and charging that your opponent hates women and children makes Obama look out of touch. Never underestimate how savvy the electorate is when it comes to the economy. If people are hurting like they are now, they want answers about the doom-and-gloom employment situation, not personal jabs. Currently, the enthusiasm is firmly with Republicans and the Romney-Ryan ticket, not Obama’s base, much of which has been left disillusioned with his record. If Obama lowers the bar any further, he runs the risk of alienating swing voters and independents who are so disgusted with the entire process they simply choose to stay home. Romney may have taken heat for playing too nice, but it could pay off in the end, because by sticking to solutions and staying above board, Romney can be the positive, inclusive alternative to the negative and nasty Obama of 2012.
(“Obama’s relentless negativity” by Andrea Tantaros dated August 23, 2012 published by New York Daily News at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/obama-relentless-negativity-article-1.1143143 )
There is no more denying that the so-called mainstream media is in the tank for Barack Obama, and this biased viewpoint more than anything else predicts their impending doom. This is an insular establishment so imbued with group-think that they are unable to generate an original thought. Their primary concern is themselves and their place within the in-crowd. They live and work among those who consider themselves to be the best and brightest and above all superior to the rabble that lives in the American hinterlands. Thus they are among the most arrogant and self-centered people in the country and are not worthy of the rest of us spending so much time pointing out their absurd statements and bias. The media is first and foremost a business, and that alone will insure the ultimate failure of the industry. There is no part of the mainstream media that is not declining, with many hemorrhaging red ink. Whether it be the newspapers who have seen a 40+% drop in readership, or the various television networks with a similar decline, news magazine which are now virtually non-existent and cable news channels with a declining national audience, the mainstream as it is constituted today is destined for the ash heap of history. Unfortunately those in the media are so myopic and self-absorbed that they do not see the hand-writing on the wall. This election season will be the last hurrah for the old media as the internet, talk radio, social media and Fox News will dominate the dissemination of news in the next presidential cycle.
(“Declining MSM’s last gasp” by Steve McCann dated August 28, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/declining_msms_last_gasp.html )
The President’s re-election slogan is an expression of this mindset: Forward, but the most fatuous application of Forward has to be the Democrat Convention’s plans to support the end marriage as we know it. Determined to do follow what is “inevitable,” very liberal delegate will embrace platform proposals that will spell the end of marriage. If your only requirement for a marriage is that people love each other, have a committed relationship to each other, and that they give their consent, then you cannot bar twins from marrying. Less understood is that granting marriage rights to same sex couples would lead to polygamy and other aberrations. Progressives must think the voters at the grassroots will approve their lurch to the progressive extremes. All over America voters have rejected same-sex marriage. Thirty one states have approved Constitutional amendments defining marriage and between and man and a woman. Marriage is not a wedge issue, it’s a bridge issue. Marriage is the best social program for economic and educational uplift for the poor. If a young person will avoid having a child out of wedlock and graduate from high school, the chances of that young American living in poverty are only 4%! Ending marriage is not Forward; it’s Downward to poverty for young Americans, and defeat for Democrats.
(“Downward” by Ken Blackwell dated August 25, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/kenblackwell/2012/08/25/downward )
Today’s Democrats say any false thing that gets them elected, and (establishment) Republicans are slow to call the Democrats on their dishonest assault on the Constitution, so the result is neither party enunciates a coherent political position and certainly not a position based on Constitutional principles. No one believes either of the mainstream political parties, and the approval rating for Congress is in the 10% range. This results in a long period of compromise between dedicated leftists and moderate Republicans, and consequently the polity has moved steadily leftward. The national debt has gone from essentially zero to over $15 trillion in just thirty years, and we have absolutely nothing to show for it but indebtedness that will fall on future generations. Democrats are deliberately trying to destroy the Republic, which is exactly what Marxists have done to so many former states. Economic communism has been an unmitigated disaster everywhere it has been tried. Antonio Gramsci proposed a cultural communism about eighty years ago to take over cultural institutions (media, academia, political parties, churches) by infiltration in order to further the goals of a Marxist Utopia. Gramsci’s plan has worked quite well here in the USA, insofar as takeover is concerned, but not so well in the surfeit of failures of the Obama administration. Democrats win by lying, cheating, and stealing. There are exactly two current major philosophical systems that make a holy sacrament of dishonesty: Marxism and Islamism. Democrats lead in spending more and more for education, and we get lower and lower academic performance. We wasted trillions of dollars on houses no one could afford and now no one wants. Poverty is worse than at any time since the Great Depression. We waste trillions of dollars on stimulus jobs programs, and no net jobs are created. All that wasted money comes from the productive members in our economy, from China, or from government printing presses (QE1, QE2) and goes to Democrat Party factions and to our rapidly expanding nomenklatura and their $4-million vacations. Democrats are trying to build the perfect dependent society: ignorant, poor, easy to impress, and easy to control. Elitist Democrats are utterly contemptuous of the people in what they call fly-over country, and of the republican (small r) values that made the United States of America the greatest and strongest nation in the world. Obama’s announced intentions to change the Constitution, control guns, and start a federal government-run domestic police force, coupled as it all is with new advances in surveillance capabilities and the Gramscian media’s relentless bias against the Constitution is a deadly cocktail that is a real risk to our freedoms.
(“Rise of the Manifestoists: the End-Point of the Democratic Party” by James G. Long dated August 25, 2012 published by American thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/rise_of_the_manifestoists_the_end-point_of_the_democratic_party.html )
Paul Ryan described America “It’s an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government” grounding the Republican ticket in the language of the Declaration of Independence. He has expanded the scope of electoral debate to include foundational principles of government. A recurrence to first principles connects Romney and Ryan to the TEA Party movement. The task that faces the Republican party is to translate the principles of the Founding Fathers and the TEA Party into public policies equal to America’s economic and fiscal crisis. One approach would be to frame our current challenges in terms our forefathers would have understood: independence and union. The American Revolution was fought not only to achieve independence from the British Empire, but also to realize independence for self-governing citizens. One Republican theme and goal should be independence for self-governing citizens. Another theme should be union, the concept embodied in our unofficial national motto, “Out of many, one,” can inform public policy. Prosperity and freedom do not benefit one group over another. They benefit us all. Viewing government through the prism of natural rights clarifies priorities, promoting color-blindness and equality under the law. Cynicism and pessimism and declinism are everywhere in the land, but surely the American people will rally to a Romney-Ryan ticket if it follows a path laid out by the Founding Fathers and the spirit of 1776.
(“The GOP ‘76ers” by Matthew Continetti dated September 3, 2012 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/gop-s-76ers_650786.html )
The Obama re-election strategy is to paint Romney/Ryan as “extreme,” but Romney’s response must be to embrace the term and paint Obama’s failed policies as the real “extreme.” Mitt Romney and the GOP must take control of the word “extreme,” take ownership, wear it proudly, and make it your word. Put it right back in Obama’s face pointing out that extreme times call for extreme measures. Since Obama can’t run on his dismal failures with jobs and the economy; his devastating $5 trillion in new debt creation; his radical energy plans that have resulted in a hidden tax of thousands of dollars on the poor and middle class in higher gas and utility bills; or his pathetic foreign policy that has diminished America in the eyes of the world and made the Middle East a far more dangerous place; he and his socialist cabal (aka Democratic Party) have enacted a strategy to defeat and demonize fiscal conservatives (aka “sane people”) by distracting voters and instilling fear. The best way Romney can paint Obama as “extreme” is to compare to his dismal results:
· If instituting an economic plan to reduce Obama’s obscene unemployment rate over 8% for 42 straight months is extreme…if wanting to put the 30 million Americans out of work, or underemployed, back to work is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If reviving an economy where U.S. manufacturing activity has plummeted to the lowest level in 3 years, and California tax revenues plummeted in July by more than half a billion dollars (in one month, for one state), and demand for petroleum products just declined to 1995 levels, is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If creating an environment to stimulate and encourage new business start-ups, which under Obama have hit a 30 year low, is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If requiring welfare recipients to actually work, or at least be required to look for work is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If creating policies to help the 46 million Americans now on food stamps in this Obama economy get jobs and stand on their own… then call me extreme.
· If passing a budget, after Obama hasn’t passed one in four years, to begin to deal with $115 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities, that without immediate action will drown our children and grandchildren is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If implementing a plan to reform Medicare, so it will actually be there for the next generation is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If opposing killing babies born alive from botched abortions (known as partial birth abortions) is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If believing the Presidential oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution is an absolute requirement for every officeholder is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If believing the American people deserve to be told the truth and a President must take responsibility for his actions and policies is extreme… then call me extreme.
· If opposing dividing the electorate into “us versus them,” fomenting class warfare, and bribing voters with more entitlements is extreme… then call me extreme.
The fact is disaster is upon us. We are experiencing UNIMAGINABLE economic wreckage, crisis and collapse from coast to coast. The economy is in total collapse. The net worth of the average American is down a whopping 40%. And, that’s with the Fed running the printing presses day and night, so we can pay for stimulus…bailouts…keeping interest rates at zero…and pumping money into the banks and stock market. The answers to saving America, the U.S. economy, the American Dream, and our children’s future are actually simple and commonsense:
· Dramatically cut the size, scope and power of government
· Cut spending;
· Cut entitlements
· Cut taxes
· Cut government rules and regulations that smother, damage and destroy businesses, prevent startups, and kill jobs
· Reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
· Reform public employee pensions
· Stop the wars (we can no longer afford to police the world)
· End or reform the Federal Reserve
· End bailouts and stimulus
· End the Democrat obsession with green energy and high speed rail (let the economy pick winners and losers)
· Encourage oil and energy exploration
· Encourage job creation by small business and the private sector by getting government out of the way and by rewarding and celebrating job creators instead of demonizing and punishing them
· Enact term limits on politicians
· Institute school choice and roll back the power of teachers unions.
Extreme times call for extreme measures. If these policies are defined by Obama and his socialist cabal as extreme, so bit it! Change can be good, if it fixes the problem!
(“Message to Romney: Own the Word ‘Extreme’” by Wayne Allyn Root dated August 28, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/wayneallynroot/2012/08/28/message_to_romney_own_the_word_extreme )
The economy is technically growing, and corporate profits are up, but the pace of growth during the Obama “recovery” has been so slow that it’s leaving the middle class further behind. Most Americans identify themselves as “middle class.” Most Americans equate the middle class with the kind of society we are and ought to be. It is a society where hard work and personal responsibility are rewarded; where “getting ahead” is expected; where economic security and social stability are enjoyed; and where privilege is minimized. Real median household income has fallen 4.8% since the so-called recovery officially began in June 2009. Almost every demographic group has seen incomes drop during the alleged Obama recovery. Home foreclosures and lengthy unemployment are visible engines of disillusion. Over the past decade, the middle class has “shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some … of its characteristic faith in the future.” Meanwhile, there are 800,000 more long-term unemployed than when the “recovery” started, and the ranks of those who aren’t in the labor force at all have swelled by nearly 8 million. The unemployment rate remains stuck above 8%, and shows no sign of coming down any time soon. The dreaded misery index, which combines inflation and unemployment, is 20% higher than it was three years ago. Even unions have suffered, with membership down more than half a million since 2009. Now the Congressional Budget Office warns that the economy is so fragile it will drop back into a recession if Congress doesn’t do something to stop a raft of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts from kicking in at the start of next year. The middle class is now routinely described as “besieged,” battered,” and “beleaguered.” 85% of the middle class say it’s more difficult now than it was a decade ago to maintain their standard of living. Less than a third of those asked say they’re in better shape now than they were before the recession started. The middle class can’t regain its self-confidence and financial health without a strong economy, but the economy can’t recover strongly without a financially healthy middle class, which provides most consumer spending. On the campaign trail this year, Obama says his program is working, but he needs more time to dig the country out of the deep recession hole, but the truth is, Obama’s policies are choking economic growth and leaving the middle class further and further behind.
(“You Call This an Economic Recovery?” dated August 24, 2012 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/article/623476/201208241814/obama-so-called-recovery-leaving-middle-class-behind.htm
“Exaggerated Rumors of Middle Class Demise” by Robert Samuelson dated August 27, 2012 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2012/08/27/exaggerated_rumors_of_middle_class_demise_99842.html )
David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).