Saturday, November 10, 2012

Obama's Mean and Vindictive Campaign

From Carolyn Glick, "A time for courage, and action":

Mitt Romney wasn't a bad candidate. He ran a fairly strong race. He made a few errors. And he made many good moves.

Certainly he was adequate. And he was probably the strongest Republican candidate among the primary field of contenders. That is, he was the best man available to run against Barack Obama.

And he did a pretty good job.

Obama, on the other hand, was a horrible candidate. He was mean and vindictive. He was contemptuous and superficial. He ran on irrelevancies like abortion and a fictitious Republican war against women. He didn't give his supporters any reason to feel good about themselves.

Instead, he used class warfare to stir them to hatred of their countrymen.

Yet Obama won. And Romney lost.

In retrospect it is possible that the race was over before it began. A strong case can be made that Obama secured his reelection in 2009 when he bailed out the US auto industry and so temporarily stanched the hemorrhage of jobs in Ohio and Michigan. And maybe, with the youth of the 1960s now the Medicare recipients of the 2010s and '20s, there are simply too many Americans dependent on government handouts to care about what happens in the future.

An equally strong case can be made that Romney lost the election before he secured the Republican nomination. He may have squandered his chances when he took a strong position against illegal immigration in one of the early Republican primary debates and so arguably made winning Florida, and perhaps Colorado, a mathematical impossibility.

Many have argued that demography is destiny.

And the American electorate has changed tremendously in the past decade. Government dependency among the white working class has grown. Government dependency among an aging population and a rising tide of single-parent families has grown. And the Latino share of the vote has grown. Today some are arguing that Republicans today simply cannot win the presidency, regardless of their candidate.

All of this is important because for the past four years, most Republicans, and most non-leftists throughout the world, had been hoping that the Obama years would be an aberration. They had hoped and trusted that he would be a one-term president. All the policies he enacted during that term, on domestic and foreign policy alike, would be reversed by his Republican successor, elected by voters who understood they had been taken in by a huckster in 2008. The US economy - the anchor of US power and the engine of the international financial system - would come roaring back.
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