Friday, September 07, 2012
The Disconnect:Time for a Recap
AN OLD CAUTIONARY NOTE. So the conventions are done and the campaign begins in earnest. Personally, I'm most struck by a sense of disconnect. There's no way this race should be close. I think maybe it isn't, but then I'm assailed by the fear that it's my own wishful thinking which makes me believe we're headed for another 1980. Help me out. I'll show you my reasons for suspecting an electoral landslide, and you show me why I'm wrong. Fair enough?
1. Lies Everyone Tells.
Obama is so likeable he has a deep, probably incontrovertible advantage.
Actually there's nothing likeable about him. He may be virtuous in pedestrian ways, but so was Cromwell. Doesn't mean anybody ever wanted to hang out with Cromwell. Read this from the Sunday New York Times, no less. A highlight being:
Mr. Obama’s fixation on prowess can get him into trouble. Not everyone wants to be graded by him, certainly not Republicans. Mr. Dowd, the former Bush adviser, said he admired Mr. Obama, but added, “Nobody likes to be in the room with someone who thinks they’re the smartest person in the room.”
Even some Democrats in Washington say they have been irritated by his tips on topics ranging from the best way to shake hands on the trail (really look voters in the eye, he has instructed) to writing well (“You have to think three or four sentences ahead,” he told one reluctant pupil).
For another, he may not always be as good at everything as he thinks, including politics. While Mr. Obama has given himself high grades for his tenure in the White House — including a “solid B-plus” for his first year — many voters don’t agree, citing everything from his handling of the economy to his unfulfilled pledge that he would be able to unite Washington to his claim that he would achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Those were not the only times Mr. Obama may have overestimated himself: he has also had a habit of warning new hires that he would be able to do their jobs better than they could.
“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Yeah. Any of us would want to hang around with this sanctimonious little self-absorbed prick. Right.
Obama is a truly gifted political orator. He's just magical with words somehow.
Nonsense. This man has given more speeches than perpetual master of ceremonies George Jessel. If he were actually good at it, he'd have convinced us long ere now that the Stimulus worked and ObamaCare is the best American law since the Constitution itself. Instead, he has bored everybody to death, to the point that no one even remembers what he said about any of it. Which may be the point, but it hardly qualifies as oratory. It's overwhelming white noise that everyone has learned to tune out.
Name me one eloquent nugget of Obama speechifying that you will carry with you to your grave. And don't say, "Yes we can." That's a bumper sticker. It's hardly "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" or "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes." He's a con man whose snake oil is finally putting people in the hospital or the ground.
All the demographic trends favor him -- youth, women, Hispanics, blacks, union members, the unemployed receiving benefits, and old people afraid of losing their medicare.
uh, no. He needed all these groups to get elected in the first place. He's lost a lot or some in every category. Young people aren't registering to vote and they're not much more than a few points in his favor this time around. Hispanics aren't all illegal immigrants; U.S. citizens aren't happy about being out of work. Blacks are experiencing a 14% unemployment rate and they're neither in favor of gay marriage or willing to break their necks getting to the polls. There aren't that many union members in the private sector and they're starting to resent the public sector employees who take no risk and still get kingly benefits, especially if they're degreed folk like teachers and government social workers. The unemployed would rather be employed than get another 99 weeks of unemployment checks. And old people are smarter than the con that they'll be cut loose for the hell of it by any party. Who did I forget? Women. A lot of them are not fond of the "Sluts Vote" initiative. Trust me. If you don't trust me, here's inveterate hardcore lefty Margaret Carlson expressing reservations:
Why has the Democratic Party removed the sentence "Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare" from its platform? It was in the 2004 document but not in 2008's or this year's. Can't Democrats just throw a crumb to the many millions who are pro-choice but not pro-abortion?...
Votes by former Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama — the votes Gingrich cited on "Meet the Press" — sound shocking when presented without constitutional or practical context. Yet Obama and many other Democrats have opposed a ban on partial-birth abortion on the slim reed that its only exception is to protect the life and health of the mother. They say the procedure is exceedingly rare. But the health of the mother exception is vast, encompassing age, emotional, familial and state-of-mind factors broad enough to include virtually any woman in any circumstances.
It's a terrible thing to force a 12-year-old who lives in chaos and hopelessness, with a boyfriend who has disappeared or an abusive uncle who hasn't, to have a baby. But it's worse to let her abort it after she waits so long for help that the only difference between the baby being born alive or dead is a gruesome procedure that the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said approximated "infanticide."
He is a political genius, the most gifted since Bill Clinton himself.
Pure crap. He's a ruthless, take no prisoners campaigner. That's all. Having failed to accomplish any improvement in American life since his election, he has reverted to the vicious ad-hominem campaigning of his Chicago origins. Who is it exactly who assumes that voters can't see what a dirty player he is? Only the people who have never seen anything else -- the inside the beltway crowd.
If he knew anything about politics, he'd have made some political deals with Republicans to help the country through this economic mess. Simple answer. He doesn't care about anyone but himself, the country be hanged. That's not political genius. It's political suicide.
2. The Supine Conservative Elite.
I make it a practice not to read the National Review anymore. They're like Dickens whelps, waiting to be whipped. I took a look today and guess what I saw:
By Daniel Foster
For the past few days I have been feeling like Super Man under a red sun. I think it’s partially due to the drain of slogging straight through 20-hour days in Tampa to — I’ll be fair -- 18-hour days in Charlotte. I know, I know, cry me a river, Foster. But it’s also due in part to thinking that the Democratic convention was more effective than the Republican. I certainly felt that way over the first two nights here and was seriously pondering Jay’s question: How do we ever win?
Give me a break. Just how elitely brilliant and out of touch do you have to be to watch a convention that talks about virtually nothing but abortion, contraception, and LGBT rights and feel doomed? Even the 2008 traitor Peggy Noonan saw what happened last night:
Barack Obama is deeply overexposed and often boring. He never seems to be saying what he's thinking. His speech Thursday was weirdly anticlimactic. There's too much buildup, the crowd was tired, it all felt flat. He was somber, and his message was essentially banal: We've done better than you think. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?
There were many straw men. There were phrases like "the shadow of a shuttered steel mill," which he considers writerly. But they sound empty and practiced now, like something you've heard in a commercial or an advertising campaign.
It was stale and empty. He's out of juice.
But they keep coming with their doom and gloom scenarios, don't they? Screw'em, I say. Don't listen anymore.
3. It's the Incompetence, Stupid.
The real nexus of The Disconnect. This president hasn't ever done anything right. Why do we keep pretending that we're watching something other than a grand theater of the absurd being perpetrated on the American people? Carter was an inestimably better president, and he was a pure disaster. Electing Barack Obama was a lot like (er, exactly like) picking some back-bench state legislator to the most powerful position in the world and then watching him crash the entire world in a matter of three years. A lesson. The people who get the lesson are the ones who earn credibility. The ones who pretend that this is all business as usual, politics, policy, etc, are never to be trusted again. We have a president who:
Doesn't work. He plays golf, raises money, and has meetings with celebrities from Hollywood and professional sports.
Doesn't submit a federal budget -- in four years -- that can be taken seriously by even one member of his own party in congress. Not one.
Doesn't meet with members of the congress, not even the leaders of his own senate and house caucuses
Doesn't involve himself with pending legislation, its words, terms, or consequences.
Doesn't consult with his own cabinet.
Doesn't pay the slightest attention to the recommendations of his own augustly commissioned committees.
Doesn't show the slightest interest in the suffering of people who pay the price for his narrowly conceived and ideologically rigid prejudices.
Doesn't disguise his naked preference for racially skewed definitions of justice, as enacted by his DOJ.
Doesn't love his own country enough to avoid bowing and apologizing to its many enemies.
Doesn't keep his promises about truth, transparency, and financial honesty.
Doesn't have the integrity to reveal his own records of education, health, and past associates.
DOES have the temerity to rule by executive decree when it's a way around congress and the Constitution of the United States.
All he really needs is a Nelson Eddy operetta-military uniform. Pop dictator. Such a rush. No wonder Hollywood loves him But what does anyone really know about him? We know George Bush's SAT scores and grades at Yale. Four years in, we don't anything Barack Obama. Not SAT or GPA scores, not his major at Occidental or Columbia, not his transcript from Harvard Law. And he's carping about Romney's tax returns.
Business as usual? The guy is a total catastrophe. But here we are, debating whether or not he should be reelected. Why? Just to see how much ludicrous bubngling the United States can survive? uh, not this much.
4. Polls. Forget the Bradley Effect. It's the Obama Effect.
Anyone who thinks the ambiance of the nation hasn't changed in four years is lying to himself. In 2008, the mass media went all out to put this guy in office. That was corrupt. But what's been happening this year is worse. Last time, they could ride the rhetoric and sneer only obliquely at McCain and Palin (well, yeah, worse at her. An exception?). That's passive corruption. This time, they've had to be actively corrupt. And they have been.
From first to last, they've misrepresented everything. While pretending to be their usual objective selves. But there ARE tradeoffs. The more biased the media get, the more polls begin to reflect the distortion. We keep hearing that the polls were accurate last time. I'm thinking they're less accurate this time. What's changed? An increased sense that we're all being watched. That an overtly political DOJ can come hunting for people on very slight grounds. "Do you like Obama?" "Sure I do. Love him to death."
Concern about this issue has caused people to discuss the Bradley Effect, the notion that racist feelings are hidden when a pollster calls. As it happens, the Bradley Effect has been refuted. We're not that racist. But the Obama Effect isn't about race. It's about Hugo Chavez, the growing sense that we're surveilled and may be targeted for retaliation because we're perceived as some kind of threat. I know I feel it. Paranoia? You tell me. When they call, what do you say?
What I know is that this guy doesn't want to lose. Not ever. And he will do ANYTHING not to. Ask Gallup.
5. Where is Murrow?
Not actually part of my argument. Just wondering. The U.S. news media have been taking credit for Edward R. Murrow's belated slam at Joe McCarthy for more than 50 years. When TV news earned its stripes, so so to speak. What I'm waiting for. Some TV news star from CBS, ABC, or NBC to blow the whistle on this fraudulent, idiot, fake of a president and tell us it's okay to elect a replacement.
Not going to happen. Is it Arbus?
I know. We win and maybe save the country. Or we lose and lose absolutely everything. So be it.