Monday, May 14, 2012

Week of 05/14/2012

Obama Can Still Lose
– by David Matthews 2

Once upon a time I had the perfect date planned out and prepared. I had all the arrangements made, what I was going to wear was lined up, the evening’s activities ready to go, it would have been perfect!

Unfortunately, for all of the preparation and planning that I put in, the “perfect date” ended up being a non-event. I simply did not take into account that the girl I was going to spend that date with would say “no”. Not only that, but I also found out that she had just started seeing someone. Well, I hope that they had a good time, because I obviously didn’t.

The point being made here is that all of the plans and preparations and arrangements that you could make could easily come undone if the essential component is not there. It’s like baking a cake and forgetting the cake mix.

Such is the White House tenure of one President Barack Obama.

Democrats have made the mistake of putting their blind trust in him this election season. They offered no challengers to his announced re-election campaign, which started last year (despite their new claims that it only “started” recently). And given the fact that the bitter GOP primary and caucus battles will apparently result with a candidate that the evangelical-hindered party despises almost as bad as they despise Obama, I’m sure that many of the Democrats and liberals and moderates and even the pundits are thinking that the General Election is over before it even starts. They’re thinking “Don’t bother ringing the bell, because Mitt Romney just won’t win.”

And maybe history is on their side on this. Bill Clinton was able to breeze through his re-election in 1996 despite his numerous scandals and despite all of the rhetoric and political bluster of the GOP when they threw their eventual support behind Senator Bob Dole. Much like Romney, Dole wasn’t necessarily what the GOP hardliners wanted; merely the candidate that they ended up with thanks to their “ungrateful” voters.

But unfortunately for the GOP, comparing Romney to Dole is like comparing running with a sleeping foot versus running with a severed leg. There has been strong GOP resistance against Romney because of his Mormon religion; and two election seasons full of anti-Romney rhetoric makes any pretense of “unity” disingenuous at best and downright hypocritical at worst. Watching these fire-and-brimstone “Mormonism is Evil” evangelicals begin to hem and haw as they throw their political support behind Romney would make even God sick.

Even Ted Nugent, Romney’s supposed rock-star “friend”, has boarded the H. Ross Perot crazy train with his recent proclamation that if Obama is re-elected he will either be in jail or dead.

With “friends” like that, who needs terrorists?

Yet with all of that going against the GOP and against their presumptive nominee this coming November, one has to ask if it really is “game over” for them.

Obama and his supporters certainly believe that. They believe it so much that they’re taking the extremely bold stance of supporting same-sex marriages. Now the cons and neo-cons think that this is really not a shocking development because the Obama crowd essentially supported it anyway with the removal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell(a Clinton-era compromise) and with the decision to not legally defend the “Defense Of Marriage Act” (another Clinton-era law). But there is a difference between not legally defending a federal law that outlaws same-sex marriage and actually supporting same-sex marriages. The former can be seen as negligence, while the latter is a conscious act, albeit one that was blundered in by Vice-President Joe Biden.

Certainly Obama can take credit for a couple of things, including authorizing the military operation that led to the death of Public Enemy #1: Osama Bin Laden. Obama’s predecessor not only failed to do that, but President George W. Bush actually said that finding Bin Laden was not a concern for him a mere six months after 9/11! Obama could also try to claim that he helped bring down Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, but in truth that claim really belongs to outgoing French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Sarkozy was the one that did the heavy-lifting for NATO then, because we were sort of still busy with Iraq and Afghanistan.

No doubt Obama’s healthcare program is something that he will be crowing about, especially if the Supreme Court rules in his favor. But what was promised versus what we ended up with is something that every American should be crying foul over. It’s like promising a steak dinner and then serving a plate of cooked shoe.

What infuriates this commentator even more is how deftly the insurance companies have managed to avoid any kind of accountability for their role in the screwjob of the reform legislation and their continual screwjob with the American people afterward. They have been able to use FoxNews and the talk radio puppets to completely divert all focus of their handiwork to Obama. This commentator is utterly disgusted that even the conspiracy buffs haven’t picked up on that connection by now.

Given all that, does that mean that Obama’s re-election is all but assured?

No. It’s far from a done deal.

Let’s get brutally honest here… there is still a strong chance that the GOP, for all of their systematic and institutionalized narcissistic faults, could still win in November! And it won’t be because of anything that the GOP does, either on the campaign trail or in Congress, but rather it would be for everything that Obama and his fail machine have not done for the past three years in office.

You see, there is a very distinct difference between 2012 and 1996 that can be summed up in two words: the economy.

Remember the economy? It used to be part of a campaign slogan for Mister Clinton.

In 1996, there was a growing economy, thanks in large part to the expansion of the Internet combined with relatively cheap fuel prices. There were plenty of jobs, plenty of opportunities, and literally hundreds of millionaires being made with every new idea given venture capital. Not only that, but there was an economic system that encouraged that growth as part of a company’s prosperity.

Today, however, we have none of that. None! We have a prolonged and aggravated world-wide economic recession bordering on global depression. Long-term unemployment in America has reached a point where the Department of Labor can no longer be trusted to tell the truth as to how bad the employment situation is. They have to out-and-out lie about the unemployment numbers and falsely claim that the millions of Americans that have been systematically forsaken have simply “stopped looking”. And if there really was any justice in this world, they would be sued to the hilt for that slander.

And that particular slander is affecting the various state and local governments. Without the needed revenue from those millions of Americans out of work, the state and local governments cannot pay even for essential services. Fire and police departments are cutting back, trash services are cutting back, roads and streetlights aren’t getting serviced, schools are being shut down… these are not signs of growth. These are blatant signs of stagnation! When you go from town-to-town like I have and the only businesses that seem to be left open are pawn shops and gold merchants, then you know that there’s trouble in that area!

Relatively cheap fuel prices are a pipe dream now. The eternal chorus of “supply and demand” has long been exposed as a lie. Any excuse will now do to raise prices and squeeze the people with little money left to give, which is reflective of the changes in the economic system that we are in.

Our business system has become one of predatory plunder. It’s about making a profit at all costs. People can’t work because there are no jobs. There are no jobs because the jobs have been outsourced overseas to make an extra profit percentage. And the very institutions that pretend to be the backbone of our economy, the banks and Wall Street, have perverted the economic system so they can pilfer America like a gang of pickpocket thieves and then walk away without any kind of accountability.

Worse yet, despite all of their promises to the contrary from 2008, “Too Big To Fail” has demonstrated that they still have not learned a single thing! JP Morgan Chase, the supposed “survivor” of the 2008 October Bailout, was caught losing two billion dollars playing the very games that brought this economy down!

This is the economic environment that we are in today. And what has President Barack Obama done about it?

Almost nothing!

He coddled “Too Big To Fail”. His people brokered deals with them while millions of Americans were systematically losing their homes. He gave tax breaks and sustained tax breaks on the empty promise that doing so would lead to job creation, and then systematically forsake millions of Americans.

Oversight? What oversight?

Regulations? What regulations?

Do you think JP Morgan Chase would have been able to get away with losing two billion dollars for playing the same games from 2008 if there was any functional way to hold them to account for it through all of the supposed “oversights” and “regulations” they complain about?

No, 2012 is in not the same economic environment as was 1996. It’s not even the same environment as 1992!

If anything, it’s more like 1932. The market has crashed, the economy has tanked, and the president of the time is thinking he can somehow squeak away with a November re-election. Only that president was Herbert Hoover, a supposed friend of the business world, and he lost to the ideologue Franklin Roosevelt.

Think the voters won’t pull off a political reversal? Stranger things have happened! Why don’t you call up Gray Davis and ask him how he was kicked out of the California Governor’s Mansion in 2003 and replaced by an Austrian-born movie star?

Both Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush lost their re-election bids because of their failures to deal with the economy. They thought the economy would simply correct itself. Like Hoover before them, they failed to comprehend the sadistic nature of the forces behind the economy. Forces that are willing to let America suffer and die in prolonged economic agony if necessary. Just look at Europe if you don’t believe me.

The economy is the Achilles heel of every sitting President. People will overlook a lot of failures and flaws when the economy is good. But when the economy itself is the failure and the flaw, then all of the good intentions in the world will mean absolutely nothing.

This is what Obama needs to be concerned with. You cannot lie about the economy when it is this bad. You cannot whitewash the economy when it is this bad. You cannot spin the economy when it is this bad. No amount of political spin will ever give the millions of forsaken Americans their jobs back or give them their homes back. If all they have is time, then they have all the time in the world to show up at the ballot box and vote out the politicians that foreswore them. This is what Governor Davis found out. This is what Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Herbert Hoover each found out.

For all of the faults of the GOP and their eventual nominee, they have one thing going for them. They know that the economy can make or break a sitting president. And all of the plans, all of the preparations, all of the great ideas in the world will mean absolutely nothing if that essential element is not there.

Remember the slogan that killed the elder Bush’s re-election campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

1 comment:

YhuntressE said...

I wonder if this whole slashing of public services is just a plot to let the privatizers come in take over.