Views on the News – 9/8/2012
By: David Coughlin
Barack Obama will be a one-term President, and in the end it will not even be close. Obama and the Democrats are launching the final stretch of the 2012 campaign and will be trying to sell a fanciful story of the Obama record that American voters will not buy. It’s the economy, stupid. That rallying cry, first given voice by campaign manager James Carville to campaign workers for Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992 to keep them focused in the race against incumbent President George H.W. Bush, is today the rightful rallying cry for Republican nominee Mitt Romney against Obama. To be sure, Obama inherited a horrible economic mess in January 2009: the housing market had collapsed; major financial institutions were failing, not to mention the auto industry; unemployment and underemployment had skyrocketed; and consumer confidence had plummeted. A few experts warned that further collapse would result in a full-blown depression. So what did the new President do?
· He let Congressional Democrats write a pork-laden $800 billion economic stimulus plan that did a lot to stimulate Big Government across the land but did almost nothing to stimulate the private sector where jobs and economic growth are created.
· He focused his own attention on pushing through a massive overhaul of the health care system, signed into law in March 2010, that will not improve the delivery of health care for sick people, and will still not make health insurance accessible to all who need it, but will make the national health care system even costlier than it is today.
· His spending exploded the federal budget deficit, already at record levels when Obama took office, projected to double and triple into a financial black hole.
It was the economy, stupid, and Obama blew it. Americans want to be inspired to vote for a candidate for President, not frightened into voting against a candidate and in 2012, the inspiration for hope and change does not come from Barack Obama.
(“Selling a story voters won’t buy” dated September 1, 2012 published by San Diego Union-Tribune at http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/01/selling-a-story-voters-wont-buy/ )
Romney employed the soft-touch about Obama’s miserable term in office, lest he offend some of the President’s 2008 voters and independents who are undecided this go-round, but Americans are made of sterner stuff. Establishment Republicans are hung up on the President’s presumed “likeability” among voters, as if the nation were conducting an election for high school class president. Voters may like Obama, but they are quite willing to fire him for cause. Jimmy Carter wasn’t disliked by voters back in 1980; they didn’t think he was up to the job. Ronald Reagan gave voters good reasons, practical and philosophical, to vote for him and against Carter. President Reagan created a substantial mandate for change. The establishment GOP has decided that if Romney provides meaty contrasts with the President and indicts him as not merely a well-meaning incompetent, but a hard-edged ideologue whose errant ideology in large part drives his policy failures, then those independents may take umbrage. What Obama gave voters in 2008 was blarney, Chicago-style, because he campaigned from the center and has governed on the left, the programmatic left. Romney has an obligation to voters to inform them of such. He needs to educate voters that it’s Obama’s worldview and ideas that undergird nearly four years of a torpid economy; that foisted ObamaCare on an unwilling electorate at the price of not reviving the economy; and that has retarded conventional energy development in favor of pie-in-the-sky green energy and to meet the expectations of the primitivist elements among his leftist cohort. Dissecting and indicting the President’s leftist policies would give a President Romney more heft in scuttling much of the left-wing structure that Obama and his minions have erected through a long forty-eight months. The aim for Romney is to go deeper; he needs to raze the left’s foundations in government as best possible. At least a President Romney needs to initiate the process of profound reform, start the ball rolling toward an historic shift away from the liberal era that has dominated the nation since the 1930s. No one’s suggesting that Romney run a one-dimensional campaign; just banging the drum on Obama’s leftism wouldn’t appeal to all voters and most certainly wouldn’t paint the entire picture for voters. But without going after Obama’s liberalism artfully, a critical element will be missing from the picture Romney is creating for voters. Conservative super-PACs and Romney surrogates can go bare-knuckles with the President and his Democrats, over ideology and a range of other things. Obama will hit the campaign trail pounding away at that cruel Mitt Romney, over and over again, knowing that where a lie can’t prevail at first, numbing repetition might just do the trick. Democrats get the value of repetition even in the teeth of initial skepticism. Mitt Romney could lose this election if he doesn’t employ a full complement of tactics and arguments against retaining Obama. Romney needs to drag President Obama onto ground favorable to his candidacy. Americans are instinctively a conservative people. Obama’s liberalism is a liability, not an advantage, unless Romney must frame him as such, so this November, Mitt Romney can finally bury President Obama’s liberalism, not ignore it.
(“Romney Needs to Bury Obama’s Liberalism” by J. Robert Smith dated September 4, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/09/romney_needs_to_bury_obamas_liberalism.html)
The MSM’s spinning of the polls is intended to mask the impending Democrat Party loss of the Oval Office and, very likely, the US Senate, as well, in less than seventy days and they are doing everything in their power to hide it from the voters. Most normal folk have already concluded the President is delusional and has a tenuous grasp on reality. The pendulum is swinging from left back to right and that’s a good thing. To be a bit more specific, it was/is Obama’s socialism, his obvious love for Marxism, and his burning desire to “fundamentally transform” this country that has spelled his doom. Here’s the thing: Americans don’t want fundamental change. I think America was willing to give the first black President a chance. The electorate did that in 2008, and many now rue the day. His first two years in office he had control of two branches of the three-branch US government. He blew it by pushing the largest socialist program in the history of the country, socialized medicine aka ObamaCare. In 2010 the electorate deliberately sent a new team of conservatives to Congress with the mission to block, obfuscate, or plainly put, do whatever was necessary to stop Obama and see to it that he could do no more harm to the country until we could get back to the polls in November of 2012 to rid ourselves of the Obama menace to America and to America’s capitalist society. For nearly four years now Americans have had a taste of what a socialist system would look like in America, and if Obama and his fellow socialists had their way, America’s middle class would cease to exist. So, they are turning to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the GOP candidates for President and Vice-President, to use their skills at business and economics to stop America’s slow collapse and begin the restoration process so at least SOME of the damage done by Obama can be repaired. It will take many years to right our ship of state and our economy. America is NOT just another country, no matter what the political left says because American exceptionalism is a fact. We Americans ARE different. Most of us hail from families that left Europe generations ago to come to America PRECISELY BECAUSE America was/is different. Opportunity in America was limited only by a man’s ambition and ability. Unfortunately our government is in trouble and it has grown so huge and become so intrusive that IT has now become the primary obstruction in the path to the continued success of individual Americans. Obama’s socialism has no place in America. Obama’s agenda is not to build America up and help her claim the high ground again, but rather to manage America’s decline! “Live free or die” is not just a state motto or a nice sounding slogan. We Americans must reclaim our birthright of freedom in November and get our country restored, set right, and moving upwards again.
(“We’ve Had It With Obama’s Socialism” by J.D. Longstreet by August 31, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/49177 )
The world is constantly changing, and ideas must accordingly be updated, or become anachronisms and a perfect example is the “working class,” a concept that Progressives described a group in a society at a certain stage of industrial development, as in 18th- and 19th-century England and Europe but this construct no longer applies. There were working-class parties, scholars who specialized in studying the working class, politicians who made careers by representing working-class districts, and so forth. However today voters don’t think of themselves as working class, and politicians are unable to update their thinking. They’re easy to recognize, because they write and talk about a world that no longer exists. The easiest places to find them in contemporary America are Hollywood, college campuses, and the Obama administration with its attendant satellites, the dead tree media and the Democrat Party. Their common bond is anger and frustration; frustration because they can’t understand what’s going on, and anger because their remedies for contemporary problems do not come to grips with the essence of the problems. One of the most interesting contemporary developments is that the old liberal establishment is shrinking, both in numbers and in confidence, and their political/ideological opponents are growing. Several smart people have noticed the extraordinary depth of the conservative political team. They have a much clearer vision of the real world, and they accordingly have more realistic political approaches than those on the left, who are trapped in a world that no longer exists. Wisconsin is a perfect example because long considered one of the wackier leftist places in America, it is now the cradle of creative conservatives. The Progressive mission known as the “Wisconsin Idea” is politically and intellectually dead and buried. Wisconsin now votes for Paul Ryan and Scott Walker (and probably Tommy Thompson in a couple of months). If you’re one of those leftists, unable to sort out how the world works nowadays and unable to win an honest debate with your political and intellectual opponents, it makes you very angry, and you lash out at them with a violence that often surprises observers who are less engaged in the political or intellectual wars. The left has died as an intellectual force worth taking seriously. It is reduced to fighting for political power alone, and its weapons are what we recently called “the politics of personal destruction.” It’s the only way they can hope to win. None of us should be surprised when the leftists accuse the righties of pushing old women off of cliffs, or murdering cancer-afflicted employees, or waging war on women, and so forth. They have to destroy their opponents one by one. Once upon a time, the left was able to lay claim to intellectual and moral superiority, and to look at the conservatives with imperious disdain, but not anymore as the Progressive intellectual cupboard is bare.
(“The Death of the Left” by Michael Ledeen dated August 31, 2012 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/michaelledeen/2012/08/31/the-death-of-the-left/ )
Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney promised “A future where everyone who wants a job can find a job, where no senior fears for the security of their retirement, an America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads to a good job and a bright horizon.” He explained that his plan to create 12 million new jobs has five steps:
· “First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
· Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
· Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements, and when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
· Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
· Fifth, we will champion small businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them; it means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most; and it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing ObamaCare.”
Romney promised not to raise taxes on the middle class; to protect the sanctity of life and honor the institution of marriage; and he guaranteed America’s first liberty: the freedom of religion. While President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet, Romney realistically promises to help the American workers and their families.
(“Romney Proposes ‘Five Step’ Plan” dated August 31, 2012 published by Cybercast News Service at http://cnsnews.com/news/article/romney-proposes-five-step-plan )
This campaign is going to consist of the debate that all Western democratic countries should be engaging in, but which only the United States has the nerve to undertake, and that is can you have free market economics and a democratic socialist welfare system at the same time? The magic redistribution formula in which the wealth produced by the market economy is redistributed by the state from those who produce it to those whom the government believes deserve it, has gone bust. The crash of 2008 exposed a devastating truth that went much deeper than the discovery of a generation of delinquent bankers, or a transitory property bubble. It has become apparent to anyone with a grip on economic reality that free markets simply cannot produce enough wealth to support the sort of universal entitlement programs which the populations of democratic countries have been led to expect. Democratically elected governments can be replaced by puppet austerity regimes which are free to ignore the protests of the populace when they are deprived of their promised entitlements. You can, in other words, decide to debauch the currency which underwrites the market economy, or you can dispense with democracy. Both of these possible solutions are currently being tried in the European Union, whose leaders are reduced to talking sinister gibberish in order to evade the obvious conclusion: the myth of a democratic socialist society funded by capitalism is finished. Romney took the startling step of appointing Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, and the earth moved. If Romney was the embodiment of the spirit of a free market, Ryan was its prophet. The message coming out of Tampa was not Tea Party extremism, but just a reassertion of the basic values of American political culture: self-determination, individual aspiration and genuine community, as opposed to belief in the state as the fount of all social virtue. Universal entitlements such as comprehensive Medicare and Social Security are known to be unaffordable in their present form. Ryan suggests a solution for Medicare in the form of a voucher system. Patients could choose from competing health providers, with a ceiling on the cost of procedures and treatments, instead of simply being given blanket no-choice care. Thus, the government would get better value for money, and individuals would have more say in their own treatment. In 2008 many voters of good conscience the need to vote for the first black President, in order to exorcise the nation’s hideous racial history, but having proved that America is no longer a land of bigots, they will not feel it necessary to make that point again. Now that voters will be able to judge Obama as they would any other political leader, the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is the only viable option.
(“We should tune in to the Romney and Ryan show” by Janet Daley dated September 1, 2012 published by Telegraph at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-politics/9513687/We-should-tune-in-to-the-Romney-and-Ryan-show.html )
The administration’s philosophical approach to defending our national interests, is laid out in a January DOD paper entitled “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” but relies on wishful thinking to accomplish many of its goals. Noting that America must put its “fiscal house” in order, President Obama introduces the paper as America’s solution to a scarcity of resources and growing complexity of challenges. Written with the budget cuts of FY 2013 in mind, the guide lays out a framework for a leaner and more nimble military. The goal, according to the President, is to keep America’s “… Armed Forces the best-trained, best-led, and best-equipped fighting force in history.” The guide to produce a better military for less money is based on these underlying premises:
· The U.S. military will no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, prolonged stability operations – This “adaptable” military will in essence expand the United States’ stabilizing presence by moving smaller and lighter forces from place to place, enabling its allies to better combat these hostile entities;
· Governments rely on American money and equipment as well as training missions as the centerpiece of long-term security – When budget cuts enter the picture, failures in the very forces that allow America to maintain an indirect “stabilizing” presence could result in doubts about America’s commitment to the region;
· The administration’s actions regarding America’s nuclear arsenal emphasize reductions rather than maintaining a strong deterrent – one U.S. goal is to lessen the pressure on America’s conventional armed forces and deter aggression, modernization and minimal cuts to the arsenal would make more sense;
· Europe can be, if not equal to America’s military might, a valuable partner in America’s quest to maintain stability in the world – In light of Europe’s continuing and growing economic difficulties, such assessment would seem an overstatement;
· Pentagon plans to increase America’s presence in the Pacific would indicate that America is taking potential adversaries such as China seriously – However, Defense Secretary Panetta has said defense cuts increase the risk of fielding a smaller force; and
· The DoD will protect its ability to “regenerate capabilities” that might be needed to meet future, unforeseen demands, maintaining intellectual capital and rank structure that could be called upon to expand key elements of the force – The defense industrial base, including factory lines, skilled workers, and strategic metals and minerals; a ready supply of soldiers in an all-volunteer force; a cadre of seasoned officers; and basing rights, prepositioning, and alliances will be difficult to “regenerate” in an emergency.
The impression left by the defense guidance is that the administration believes that it can provide a credible defense at home and abroad while spending less, failing to modernize the nuclear arsenal, and reducing our international footprint. It outsources a variety of foreign responsibilities to overburdened, less capable, or disinterested allies. The administration’s philosophical approach to defending our national interests does not seem to start with the national requirement priorities, but rather with wishful thinking what can be done with this new reduced budget reality.
(“Upcoming U.S. Defense Strategy: Weakness, Trembling, and Passing the Buck” by Kalen Taylor dated September 2, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/09/upcoming_us_defense_strategy_weakness_trembling_and_passing_the_buck.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).