Monday, October 22, 2012

Week of 10/22/2012

2012 Is Still Obama’s To Lose
– by David Matthews 2

I’ve been holding off on saying this, but I really can’t wait anymore.

As much as the GOP and their spin-doctors and their proxies on Fox News and the talk radio trained parrots will not like me saying this, the 2012 Presidential Election has been and continues to be President Barack Obama’s to lose.

I’ve been doing online commentary for over sixteen years now.  I was here when President Bill Clinton was seeking re-election.  I was here for the prefabricated spin and the hype that was being generated by the GOP in 1996.  I know that the GOP has to convince people that their chosen champion will prevail no matter what.

And I know that the prepared GOP script will say that 1996 is not like 2012.  After all, Bill Clinton had a growing economy on his side.  The world supposedly was not under that “heightened state of alarm” - in other words, we were told to “be afraid” instead of actually “being afraid”.  Gas prices were cheaper then than they are today.  But we still had Iraq to worry about.  We still had domestic terrorism thanks to people like Tim McVeigh and Eric Robert Rudolph and Paul Hill.  The federal debt was still an issue then.  Petty squabbling between the Congress and the White House was still an issue. (Remember Newt Gingrich’s supposed “Air Force One tantrum”?)  Regulations were still a big complaint then; so were taxes.

The only real differences between now and then?  The economy and the “police state” tactics.

And the scary part is that neither candidate will really address these in a way that will truly help out the American people.

Oh sure, Romney said in the previous debate that he would create “15 million new jobs”, but then he ended the same debate by reciting the GOP lie of “Government doesn’t create jobs”.  Which is it Mister Romney?  Either you’re going to create them – and thus take the credit for them – or you won’t.

We’ve seen how Obama has handled “Too Big To Fail”… with bailouts and sweetheart deals.  Millions of Americans were swindled out of their homes in robo-signing foreclosure scams.  But the perpetrators of this widespread theft will never spend a day behind bars.  They won’t even lose bladder control over it.  They’ll just fork over some pocket change, which gets sent to the states, which they then spend on their own pet projects instead of giving it to the victims of these criminal acts.  In other words, the victims get nothing!

But what would Mitt Romney do that would be any different?  We won’t really know, because he’s too busy attacking Obama over what he said concerning Libya and whining about an “apology tour” that never happened. However, given how Romney has already proclaimed that “corporations are people” and some of those “people” are among his chief campaign contributors, this commentator finds it hard to believe that Romney would be willing to hold his “people” to account for their actions.

As for the continuing encroachments of our freedoms, the GOP script says that Romney would support the PATRIOT Act, continue to have people detained in Guantanamo Bay, and use “enhanced interrogation tactics”.  Not to mention he would continue to exercise that “lone superpower” image that the GOP has been using since the days of Bush Senior.  In other words, it appears that Romney would continue to do everything that Obama is doing now, which is continuing everything that Bush Junior did. 

Oh, and I wasn’t supposed to say that out loud because the truth might harm the “fragile feelings” of these partisans that have been so worked up in a froth over supposedly “being different”.

So… how is that being an “alternative” to what we already have going on?

That’s really the GOP’s problem.

Despite their claims of a “clear difference”, despite their rhetoric, despite their spin, despite their lies, there is very little that differentiates between Obama and Romney in terms of how they would truly affect the American people.  Romney would essentially run the GOP script; repeal Obama’s healthcare reform so the insurance companies can continue to play their games, put in place something that would resemble Paul Ryan’s economic plan, and pretty much let the economic screwjobs continue.  Obama would continue with what has not worked out for the American people.  The GOP would still obstruct, the Democrats will spinelessly surrender, and Obama will continue let the economic screwjobs continue.

Again, not much of a difference.

And that actually works in Obama’s favor. 

There are no big surprises with Obama; only failures, letdowns, and half-hearted attempts.  The public knows that he tries; they know that the GOP will make life miserable for everyone, and they know that nothing gets done.  They’ve gotten used to that orchestrated incompetence. 

With Romney, people don’t know what to expect.  Which Romney will they get?  The moderate Romney from 2008?  The “not-as-extreme-but-still-conservative” Romney from January?  The “Power-suit” Romney with the London Olympics blunder feature?  The Romney with his Etch-A-Romney “flip-and-shake” political attachment?  The Romney with Kung-Fu Grip?  We’ll only find out which Romney the American people will end up with should he get elected, and by then it would be too late.

Here’s a little tip: you can’t expect the masses to remember what Obama promised in 2008 and at the same time forget what Romney was campaigning as back then.

Let’s get brutally honest here, GOP… You’re right in that Mitt Romney of 2012 is not like Bob Dole of 1996.  But that doesn’t mean that the results won’t be the same.

The key words here are “clear alternative”.  Walter Mondale didn’t have it in 1984.  Bob Dole didn’t have it in 1996.  John Kerry didn’t have it in 2004.  All they had on their side were politics.  They lost because they couldn’t offer the voters anything different that would help them.  Changing the captains on the Titanic doesn’t stop the ship from sinking if all they’re doing different is deciding which of the “elite” passengers will get the lifeboats.

Let’s also remember that the GOP wasn’t really happy with the candidate they got.  “Anyone but Romney” was their battlecry at the beginning of the year, and Romney didn’t really win out the base as he simply spent enough SuperPAC money to out-spin the competition.  It also didn’t help that the GOP bosses themselves pompously declared that certain candidates in their own party weren’t worth considering even before a single primary vote was cast.  The GOP bosses should seriously re-think that idea should their champion lose this November.

There’s one other element that really isn’t being discussed too much, and that is the role of the Electoral College.  Remember, the voters don’t really have the final say in choosing a president.  The members of the Electoral College have that final say.  The folks at the Huffington Post know this, which is why they have an Electoral Map on their website.  You may want to take a look at it.  The magic number of Electoral Delegates to win is 270.  Mitt Romney has not scored anywhere near it since they started tracking it.

Obama doesn’t have to win in every state.  He just has to win in “enough” states to get that Electoral edge.  So all the claims about a national “poll” giving either candidate “the lead” is ultimately nothing more than political BS.  It’s the states where it matters, and even then it’s having enough of the “right” states to guarantee that magical number of 270.

Keep in mind that I’m saying this as a real political independent.  Neither of those candidates have earned my vote; and I know that, no matter which one wins, America is still going to get screwed over.  But for a political party that claims to despise entitlement programs, the members of the GOP have certainly been parading themselves around as though they are entitled to win in November.  And of all of the so-called “entitlements” in politics to complain about, the entitlement of presumptive arrogance should be the very first one cut from our system.

1 comment:

YhuntressE said...

I also have the feeling that if Romney won, the GOP wouldn't exactly be the nicest to him. After all, they didn't get Newt or Santorum like they wanted. I have a feeling that the religious right and the rest of GOP (especially the former) don't like having to exalt the guy.