The Real Reason Why Governor Romney Lost to President Obama
By Ken K. Gourdin
It appears that the playbook President Obama used to secure reelection has worked, despite the many ways in which those plays should be an affront to the American people. Those plays have included playing Chicago-style political hardball on the one had while encouraging the rest of us to incorporate civility into our political discourse on the other; spending profligately while promising fiscal restraint; stonewalling in several controversies involving the deaths of American citizens about which we deserve the truth; leading inordinate government interference into the private sector; and many others.
In order to get reelected, the president apparently allowed anyone to say anything about his opponent. People acting on behalf of the president (and with his approval in at least some cases) who encouraged us to integrate a higher level of civility into our political discourse have accused Governor Romney of tax evasion, of felony SEC violations for allegedly misrepresenting his role at Bain Capital after he took over the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, and of causing the death of a woman whose husband’s employer was taken over by Bain Capital.
Obama campaign official Stephanie Cutter claimed that the campaign had nothing to do with a super-PAC ad featuring Joe Soptic, who blamed Governor Romney for his wife’s death after he lost his health insurance, this after a segment repeatedly aired featuring Cutter thanking Soptic (“Thank you, Joe”) for sharing his story during a campaign conference call. (But the campaign and the super-PAC don’t coordinate! After all, that would be illegal!)
The Obama administration has been a model of fiscal restraint and deficit cutting. After excoriating President George W. Bush as “unpatriotic” for adding $4 trillion to the national debt in eight years, President Obama added nearly half again as much as President Bush did ($5.8 trillion) in less than half that time. (It’s only unpatriotic if someone from the opposing party does it—and does it more slowly, at that—I suppose.)
Which is more, one wonders whether a certain segment of the electorate sees much difference between the president and Santa Claus: fiscal consequences notwithstanding, it seems that this segment is prone to vote for the candidate who says he’ll give its members the most stuff. No wonder this segment disfavors any hint of fiscal sanity and restraint.
The president has violated one of the most basic of American (indeed, of human) freedoms: the freedom of conscience. His health mandate forces insurers to cover contraception, even those for which providing such coverage would violate the tenets of their faith.
Further, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to the contrary notwithstanding, Obamacare itself is constitutionally unsound. If Congress can mandate that people buy insurance under its power to tax, then the only limit on congressional power is the depth of American taxpayers’ pockets. If it can mandate that people buy insurance under the Commerce Clause, then there is no practical limit to congressional power.
The president likes to crow about saving the auto industry. General Motors was such a prominent beneficiary of the auto bailout that it received the derisive sobriquet “Government Motors.” What the president doesn’t say is that for taxpayers to recoup their investment, GM’s stock price would have to double from its September 2012 level.
And GM isn’t the president’s only bad investment. Ignoring the possibility that perhaps there were good reasons why private enterprise hadn’t invested more in certain alternative energy ventures, the president gambled (and lost) over $500 million taxpayer dollars in solar energy company Solyndra, along with another $100 million on a similar company Solo.
The families of two dead Border Patrol agents are still looking for answers as to exactly how and why the guns used to kill them were provided by the American government. However, if the president and his attorney general have their way, it seems that no such answers ever will be forthcoming. Likewise with the terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. The president and his administration, along with a willing media, obfuscated the true nature of the attack for nearly two weeks.
The president has circumvented Congress to dictate unilateral immigration policy. And apparently all of the immigration-related issues Janet Napolitano complained about as Governor of Arizona were (contrary to the similar complaints of current Arizona Governor Jan Brewer) automagically fixed when Napolitano was named Homeland Security Secretary, with responsibility for helping to set and to implement such policy.
Early in his presidency, the president promised the American people that if he had not turned around the economy in three years, he expected his presidency to be a “one-term proposition.” Unemployment is higher than it was then, median income is lower, and it’s hard to imagine that the specter of inflation won’t eventually rear its ugly head due to increases in the money supply.
Part of the president’s attempt to rev up the economy included an $800 billion stimulus package which was to include many “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects. The president later commented jokingly (after putting Vice President Biden in charge of overseeing implementation of the stimulus because “nobody messes with Joe”) on the difficulties implementing this part of his program that “shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we thought.” It’s a safe bet that not many (if any) of the unemployed whom this program was supposed to help were laughing along with him.
Gas is more expensive (which means that virtually everything else is more expensive, since getting goods from point of manufacture to point of sale usually involves fuel). Yet, the president has curtailed and obstructed domestic oil drilling and killed the Keystone Pipeline, which not only would have made more oil available domestically, it would have been a better jobs program than most any other measure the president could have implemented.
The good news is that the president doesn’t oppose drilling everywhere. At a news conference touting newly-discovered oil reserves, he said that we “want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start drilling, we want to be one of your best customers.” Where was he when he said this? The tar sands of Utah and Wyoming? The oil fields of Texas and Oklahoma? Near the offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico? Nope. He was in Brasilia, Brazil. (And the president calls Mitt Romney a would-be “outsourcer in chief”?)
And not only is gas more expensive (along with everything else), unemployment is higher. While the unemployment rate has trended lower in recent months, from a high of over 9 percent to 7.9 percent as of October 2012, it’s not because more Americans have found jobs. It’s because more of them have simply given up looking. If the workforce participation rate (which is now at its lowest level in thirty years) were as high as it was when President Obama took office, unemployment as of September 2012 would be above 11 percent.
And not only are gas and goods more expensive; not only is employment higher; people have less money to buy those more expensive goods—not just because more of them don’t have jobs because even those who still do don’t make as much money, since median income is lower. Since the president took office, median household income has declined 7.3 percent, from $54,983 in January of 2009 to $50,964 in June of 2012.
And not are gas and goods more expensive and employment and incomes lower, but despite the president’s assurances that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class, Obamacare has done exactly that (along with making healthcare more expensive). And if we go over the so-called fiscal cliff the bottom tax rate will increase from ten percent to 15 percent. Who knew, when the president promised to avoid raising taxes on the middle class, that he—albeit by his inaction and lack of leadership rather than by any action on his part—would raise taxes on the poorest of taxpayers instead?
Ironically, President Obama called upon former President Clinton to renominate him at the Democratic National Convention. The contrast between the two is stark. While President Clinton got the message and moved to the center after his party was shellacked in the 1994 midterm congressional elections, President Obama didn’t get the same message when the same thing happened in the 2010 midterm elections.
Before the Affordable Care Act was passed, President Obama, when asked what grade he would give his presidency to that point, said he’d give himself a B, and would elevate it to a B+ if and when the Act was passed. Yet, when asked the same question in September before the election, he said he’d give himself an incomplete. Either the president is an arbitrary and inconsistent grader, or even he (as much as he might hate to admit it) understands that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Several of the president’s surrogates have actually said (with straight faces) either that we are better off now than we were four years ago (as if to say, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying bottom line?”), or that it doesn’t matter whether we’re better off than we were four years ago. In either case should reelect the president anyway, because intentions matter more than results.
President Obama said not to take seriously a group of Navy SEALs who took exception to the president seemingly taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. While one might take issue with the SEALs’ disagreement with the president or with the way they aired it, and while the president does deserve credit for giving the go-ahead for the mission, I tend to take people who’ve put their lives on the line (particularly when they belong to such a prestigious contingent of the military) seriously.
President Obama’s surrogates at the Democratic National Convention derided the Romney-Ryan ticket as the most inexperienced ticket to run for the nation’s top two offices in terms of foreign policy in 40 years. Apparently, only President Obama is allowed to learn foreign policy on the job.
And not only is President Obama antipathetic to the military, but to law enforcement, as well. (As the son of a career law enforcement officer who spent 43 years on the job, I tend to take such antipathy personally, especially when it is exhibited by someone who constitutionally is charged to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”).
On one hand, the president said that the Cambridge, Mass. Police “acted stupidly” after legitimately arresting a black Harvard professor for disorderly conduct following the professor’s behavior while the police attempted to ascertain that he was legitimately on the premises. On the other hand, President Obama feted a rapper at the White House who glorifies cop killing. I can only conclude that the President doesn’t hold law enforcement in very high esteem.
President Obama has emboldened our enemies and snubbed our allies. Iran’s progress toward production of enriched uranium for use in atomic weapons has continued unabated under Obama’s nose, while he has given the cold shoulder to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of our most important friend in the region. Further, Obama was caught on audio by an open microphone commiserating with then-French President Sarkozy about the “unbearable” Netanyahu. “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama told Sarkozy. With “friends” like these, Netanyahu might wonder why he needs enemies
President Obama followed my recipe for electoral success to a “T”: Demagogue the opposition; avoid talking about your own record (or at least spin it like crazy when you do, since motives matter more than outcomes, and promises matter more than actual performance); seek out venues in which you’re likely to face only softball questions (what kind of superhero you would be is especially relevant to your prospects for success as America’s chief executive, after all); and avoid the hardball political media as much as possible (and offer vague assurances and glittering generalities when it’s not possible to do so). I knew that if he did all of these things, he’d be a shoo-in for a second term.
Thank goodness we reelected a president who’s personable, with whom people wouldn’t mind having a beer (if you’re into that kind of thing), who can carry a tune, who’s one of “the coolest of the cool kids,” and who does well on the morning and late-night talk show circuits. Policy wonks and bottom-line guys are wimps, after all.