Another “Historic” Election Results In — Status Quo Ante

13 Nov

Well, after about 18 months of campaigning, including the Republican primary season, a lot of political rhetoric, nearly three billion (yes, with a B) dollars collectively spent by both campaigns, three presidential debates, dirtier attack ad after dirty attack ad, countless robo-calls to countless households, not to mention all the political mailbox clutter and front door hangers, plus much angst on all sides of the political spectrum, the 2012 presidential election is finally, thankfully over. And the result after all that? Well, aside from all the robo-calls and mailbox stuffers finally and mercifully stopping, it’s status quo ante — pretty much the same as things were before.

So, Obama’s back in the White House, Democrats made small gains in retaining control of the Senate and Republicans made small gains in retaining control of the House. What’s new, Pussycat? All and sundry will claim this election gave them a “mandate,” but although Obama tromped Romney in electoral votes, the popular vote difference of only about two million votes, yielding a mere margin of 50 to 48, and 58 million-plus Americans voting against Obama, despite this year’s turnout being overall less than in 2008, all means no one really has any kind of mandate.

Obama will say, as he already has, that his winning means “the American people approve of my approach” and that he has a mandate to perhaps go even more liberal crazy than we’ve already witnessed. House Speaker Boehner will say, as he already has, that the American people still want fiscal responsibility and less big government interference. Obama will play his hand as if he and his ideology have been validated by winning reelection, whereas Boehner and Republicans would be wise to confront Obama with the fact that now he must make changes to get any cooperation from them and to enhance his presidential “legacy.” Obama’s first four years were largely spent on retaining his own job. His next four years, if he serves all of them, will determine how he is remembered as a president.

Political pundit and former Bill Clinton advisor Dick Morris, who predicted a Romney blowout, now says this: “Obama is the first president in modern times to win re-election by a smaller margin than that by which he was elected in the first place. McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton all increased their re-election vote share significantly. Obama’s dropped from a 7 point margin over McCain to a 1 point margin over Romney. That he could get re-elected despite his dismal record is a tribute to his brilliant campaign staff and the shifting demographics of America. This is not your father’s United States and the Republican tilt toward white middle aged and older voters is ghettoizing the party so that even bad economic times are not enough to sway the election.” Gee, Dick, wish you could have told us all this before the election. Then, we would really believe you had a crystal ball.

“Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.” (Barack Obama, Democratic Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2008).

Exactly what Obama denigrated in that 2008 speech is what he, in fact, did to win the 2012 election. He never offered any fresh ideas, only incessant attacks and fear mongering about Romney. He knew he didn’t have a real record to run on, so he hardly mentioned it, instead distracting the public with this or that shiny object, making the election about small things — Romney’s taxes, Romney’s wealth, Romney’s wife’s horse, Big Bird, Binders of Women and Bayonets.

I don’t know if Obama’s success in getting reelected is due as much to his “brilliant campaign staff and the shifting demographics of America,” as Dick Morris said, or, more sadly, to the dumbing down of the electorate who are so easily distracted from the real issues by this or that shiny object and seemingly so increasingly enthusiastic about entitlements and “free stuff.” JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” seems not only long ago, lost in the media’s mystical mist of a Camelot which never really was, but also all but forgotten in today’s entitlement tipping point society.

The only “good” things about Obama getting reelected are that all and everything which Team Obama and its compliant, complicit, liberal lamestream media kicked down the road or hid until after the election are all back on the table now, out from behind the curtain now, and Obama’s got four more years to have to deal with them, while at the same time now having to worry more about his “legacy” as a president than his previous concern of constantly campaigning just to hang onto his own job.

The anemic economy he has to deal with now is his own economy, no longer Bush’s, if it ever really was instead of that of the 2006-2008 Democratically controlled Congress, and Benghazi-gate looms on the congressional investigation horizon and is even finally creeping into the liberal lamestream media coverage, especially now that it’s taken the salacious turn of CIA Director Petraeus’ alleged affair and subsequent resignation, the evolving details of which are equally as conflicting and confusing as Team Obama’s ever-changing Benghazi-gate story.

It’s a shame, after Fox News’ Pulitzer prize worthy and consistent reporting on Benghazi-gate over the last two months, that it seemingly required Benghazi taking a “bimbo turn” for the mainstream media to start showing some interest. Of course, the other reason was that they had to wait until after Obama was reelected, but now they will try to treat it more as a mere sex scandal than the national security breach and possibly criminal negligence incident that it actually was. Just watch the slant of their coverage to see what I mean.

However, I personally don’t think Obama will get to serve out his second term, but we’ll see. Remember, though, you heard it here first as an early “prediction.”

And, if you want to get more “down in the weeds” about why Obama won and Romney lost, Real Clear Politics gives a pretty good and objective rundown of 21 reasons at: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/11/07/21_reasons_for_obamas_victory_and_romneys_defeat_116090.html.

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9 Responses to “Another “Historic” Election Results In — Status Quo Ante”

  1. Andrew Sherrod November 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM #

    It certainly was not exactly a ringing endorsement of Obama. Romney, who was second choice to McCain, of all people, in 2008, was hardly the standard bearer for the philosophy of the right. If anything, he was yet another “good hair” candidate selected because someone imagined he was “electable” and “media friendly” since he could win over the left when he was governor. Not that there were many good choices in the Republican primary field in 2012. Perhaps in 2016 we can get beyond moderate disappointments and Paulbot loons and find someone who upholds conservative principles without flirting with the lunatic fringe the way (sadly) Paul has since the mid 90’s./ (And this from someone who really liked Ron Paul back in the 1980’s when he was, if strangely anti-Reagan, at least mostly removed from the lunatic fringe.)

    • rmekrnl November 13, 2012 at 11:57 AM #

      Thanks for commenting. Like you, I liked Paul’s domestic policy statements, just not his foreign policy statements, which seemed a bit too 19th Century for me.

      • Andrew Sherrod November 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM #

        Actually, even in the 18th century we couldn’t live with Paul’s policies. Don’t forget our preemptive actions against the Barbary Pirates, as well as similar naval actions against many other smaller pirates’ nests, and our “provocative” actions against England that led to the War of 1812. Judged by Paul’s standards, we were probably too interventionist even under Jefferson.

        Actually, besides the foreign policy problems, my main worry about Paul ws the way he attracted rather strange fringe groups which he then lacked the conviction to denounce. It seemed, having finally gotten the attention he always wanted, he wasn’t strong enough to stand against those giving him the applause. At least that was how it always struck me. But I admit I have been developing an ever more negative opinion of Paul as his followers became more noisy and peculiar. Not to mention their “take my ball and go home” position of supporting Republicans as long as Paul might be the candidate, then dropping out once Paul was no longer in the running.

        I could probably write more, but this is already getting pretty long. I’ll just leave it at “I am worried by many of Paul’s recent positions”. And that from someone who is considered “extreme” by most conservatives (supporting the gold standard, against public education, even opposed to licensing doctors and the like, pretty much the hardest of hardcore libertarians, though I favor approaching it from a federalist position with localities deciding what is best over time, rather than imposing top-down the way libertarians favor — see http://ghostsquirrels.blogspot.com/2012/11/reforms-ideal-and-real.html). So I should be a natural Paul supporter, but he worries me.

  2. Andrew Sherrod November 13, 2012 at 2:57 PM #

    Then again, though I hold extreme positions, I also recognize that I would be happy to see only a small fraction of my desires enacted as laws, as well as recognizing others may hold different beliefs and still not be the embodiment of evil. A lot of libertarian types, especially Paulbots, don’t understand either position. Which may be why I am not part of their ranks.

    • rmekrnl November 13, 2012 at 3:10 PM #

      Your comments are interesting, Andrew, and it’s nice to have a real libertarian’s point of view, albeit it somewhat, shall we say, moderated? Please come back and comment often.

      • Andrew Sherrod November 13, 2012 at 3:30 PM #

        Thanks. I am glad to write. My politics have been all over the place throughout my life. Back in my late teens I was an ardent communist, then turned Objectivist. Was a libertarian for the longest time after, but then came to discover telling people there was just one way they could be free, and they had to do it my way or else sounded crazy, so I ended up embracing federalism. I figured it was best to just give the power back as much as possible, leave it to the individuals, and when we had to have a collective rule, keep it limited to as small a region as possible. That way, if we have different perspectives on what is and is not the role of the state, we can try out a few different solutions, and see if one of us proves to be right. Or, maybe we both have working solutions, just suited to different groups. Rather than imposing a single orthodoxy about freedom, it leaves us free to choose our own course.

        Of course, it means some counties, maybe even some states, may still remain liberal, even keep the whole welfare state apparatus (my home state of MD is a prime candidate), but that is the cost of freedom, people are free to be wrong as well as right. But., if we really believe in respecting the freedom of every individual, we have to allow for that, as the other option is to adopt the liberal position of “saving you from yourself”, forcing you to do what is directed by those who know better and the like, and that certainly is not what I think most of us would want.

        Well, enough preaching. I haven’t been writing in my own blog as much as usual, and it shows, I am writing book length comments on other blogs.

        Well, thank you for the welcome and I am sure I will write again.

      • rmekrnl November 13, 2012 at 3:51 PM #

        I live in liberal Northern Virginia (which, since I am from the real South in Georgia, I remind everyone is NOT the South), so most of my neighbors are probably not that different from yours in Maryland, and I know exactly what you’re talking about.

        As to my political changes over the years, I voted for JFK and Jimmy Carter, then Reagan and Republican ever since, although now consider myself more just nominally a Republican and more of a Constitutional Conservative and, like you, a Federalist.

        I guess, without even knowing it at the time, I followed Churchill’s adage: “If you are young and not liberal, then you have no heart; but if you are old and not conservative, then you have no brain.”

      • Andrew Sherrod November 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM #

        You have the same problem we have in MD. If you’re from PA or north, we are South, if you are from the real south (and I have family in TN) then we are north. Maryland is even more odd, as the center of the state is very liberal (and thinks it is part of the liberal northeast), while the western part of the state and eastern shore tend to be conservative. Well, it was, until “smart growth” in the rich counties forced the DC suburb liberals (and so Balto libs too) out into western MD, so now we have a gradual liberal drift in western MD too.

  3. Andrew Sherrod November 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM #

    Actually, northern VA is funny. Back when I was a kid (I am a bit younger than you are), I recall it being pretty rural and conservative. (A cousin lived in Herndon when it was just starting to get housing developments). Thanks to escalating prices in the DC suburbs, and the strange growth caps in MD (not sure about VA), DC residents had to move farther and farther out, and so that NW DC corridor began to incorporate more and more of northern VA. Now the suburbs stretch all the way to Leesburg. It is crazy how that “smart growth” stuff destroys the countryside they claim it is supposed to protect. And worsens the “suburban sprawl” they claim to dislike… (My office is in Loudoun, though I have worked from home for a few years now, so I saw first hand how the suburbs spread ever farther toward Harper’s Ferry. [I used to live is Frederick MD, so drove in along 7. Live near Annapolis now, so get to see the PG country suburban sprawl instead.)

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