Thursday, November 29, 2012

Republican Resurrection

In the three weeks that have passed since Barack Obama won reelection, it has been interesting to hear the multitude of reasons and opinions as to why the Republicans were unable to unseat the disastrous forty –fourth President of the United States.  Many blame Mitt Romney for running a poor campaign, not presenting a detailed enough plan, or not appealing to a broad enough cross-section of the American electorate.  Others put forth the argument that the Republican message of limited government and self-earned prosperity no longer resonates with a voting public that has begun to embrace an entitlement culture.  There is a measure of truth in each of these arguments, but the biggest obstacle for the Republican Party to overcome, is the party itself.

The GOP is already at a disadvantage due to being the party of reality.  They have the audacity to bring up the taboo subjects of reforming our broken entitlement system, securing our southern border, and tackling our lingering economic doldrums by cutting federal spending.  These are areas that continue to be ignored by the current administration in order to stoke the fires of discontent by pandering to envy with worthless class warfare, crying wolf over access to abortions and contraception, and fostering a general sense of victimization.  Actually dealing with these issues and the inevitable pain that would accompany any serious solution is much less appealing than the fairytale peddled by the Democrats that these things will simply take care of themselves.  Eventually we will have to face reality, but most are content to delay the inevitable for as long as possible.

The Democrats are a loyal bunch.  The behavior or qualifications of their candidates and sitting representatives have no impact on their patronage.  The Republicans are a principled bunch, so much so that it has led to ever increasing fractures in the conservative coalition.  The Tea Party movement, libertarian candidates, and the decrease in Republican voting participation in the 2012 Presidential Election are all evidence of a party unwilling to compromise or fully support someone that does not align closely enough to strict ideological requirements.  We will never have a viable third party, as this would require a relatively equitable defection from the two primary parties.  This will not happen as the Democrats seem quite happy to stay put.  What is possible is the demise of the Republican Party as its members are quite willing to break into factions in the name of purity of political philosophy.  Without unity, you have a party shooting itself in the foot. 

With a socialist president occupying the White House, you would figure there would have been a great conservative ground swell doing all it could to improve their nominee’s chances in the general election, but it did not materialize.  Instead the Republican primaries were an exercise in futility, pushing their candidates ever further to the right and providing sound bite after sound bite of destructive material the Democrats were all too happy to use during the presidential campaign.  This cry for an ultra-conservative candidate did nothing other than making the Republican hopefuls increasingly unappealing to the moderate general electorate, further reducing the chances of the eventual nominee claiming victory.  What did Mitt Romney’s migration further to the right earn him?  Nothing.  The collective pouting by Republican voters that refused to back him for not being the ultra-conservative they craved manifested itself in a lower turn out for Governor Romney than what had turned out four years earlier for Senator McCain.  Ironically, Romney was viewed as being the more conservative alternative to McCain in 2008.  By staying home, those that most oppose Obama’s far leftist ideology ensured it another four years as the nation’s guiding philosophy.  Counterproductive is the understatement of the year.

As I have stated previously, President Obama’s campaign was based on, and his reelection was the product of, the American electorate’s general ignorance.  The Democrats made their stand with simpleton tenants meant to evoke baseless anger and a sense of victimization.  Punishing the rich, being the defenders of cheap or free contraception, and warning that a Republican president would result in a heartless corporate America became the talking points relentless recited.  Fabricating a war on women, painting the Republicans as racist for wanting to address illegal immigration with something other than amnesty, and continuing to engrain the notion that government exists to provide for all citizens were all calculated moves to reinforce the GOP’s unwarranted reputation as old fashioned, out of touch elitists.  Meanwhile, Republicans continued to prescribe to an outdated and naive belief that the American people were just too competent to fall for this barrage of propaganda and lies.  In the battle between substance and trivialness, trivialness won.

Cheesy slogans like Romnesia and corny bumper stickers reading GM is Alive and Osama Bin Laden is Dead struck a chord with an American public that tunes out once something exceeds the confines of a one-liner.  Added to this was the melodramatic buffoonery of Joe Biden which for reasons I still do not understand resonated with many voters.  In the end, all of these things were well executed strategies by a political campaign that knew its audience very well and successfully seized on the fact that it lacked the attention span necessary to see these things for what they really were, mere distractions necessary to divert attention from the administration’s record of epic failure.  The Republicans meanwhile defiantly maintained their enduring belief that the American voter is ultimately a responsible citizen; this was their Achilles heel and ensured their eventual failure in the election.  Their unwavering faith blinded them, even when polling showed it was not warranted; they continued to give American voters far too much credit for being logical, rational, and educated.  Ironically, the party that believed and took advantage of the ignorance of the electorate was rewarded with reelection, while the party that foolishly clung to a conviction in the soundness of the American citizen continues to be pigeonholed as ruthless aristocrats hell-bent on benefiting only the well-to-do.

America has changed; the 2012 election was decisive evidence of that.  In order to be successful, the Republican Party needs to adjust or it faces increasingly difficult times.  I don’t believe they should adopt the Democrats’ strategy of deception and divisiveness, but a more realistic view of the electorate is a must.  They can no longer rely on voters being competent; it is blatantly obvious those days are past.   Combating their media hyped reputation as a bunch of  condescending uber-wealthy plutocrats must be countered with consistent, real world positive results or the future will be filled with their candidates being dismissed as nothing more than an out of touch elitist robber barons.  The GOP must also have a great coming together, an understanding that ideological purity is a poor substitute for contributing to the election of your political polar opposite.   This is now a country where perception is more important than reality as the people are unwilling to look beyond the carefully crafted surface.  Substance takes too much effort when the American voter is involved.  The GOP needs to keep its messages simple, enlist dynamic and charismatic candidates, rebuild party loyalty, and resist giving the people the benefit of doubt.  Learn from the mistakes of the past and remember the unfortunate status of the current American political climate - your odds are always better when you bet on stupid.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Odds Are Always Better When You Bet on Stupid

The odds are always better when you bet on stupid.  President Obama did and has been reelected.  The American people have endorsed a man that has completed his transformation of America as we now reward failure and accept dependence.  The spirit of the individual that was the very basis of our country’s founding has been replaced by an expectation of government supported entitlement.  We no longer believe in accountability, we no longer strive for leadership, and we are no longer exceptional.  Exceptional people do not settle for and would not vote for a president that has succeeded only in furthering us down the path of irrelevance.

Logic seems to have no part in our voting decisions.   Tonight we had states that have elected Republican state governments, are enjoying positive results from their leadership and conservative principles, and yet they cast their presidential vote for Obama.  We complain about the gridlock in Washington DC that has been so prevalent during the last two years and yet we vote for a return of the same situation.  We returned to the seat of power an administration that socialized medicine in a conniving and purely partisan manner against our protests.  How does one justify this to themselves?  I’m guessing this conflict never entered the minds of most as it is advanced contemplation.  As today’s election so clearly illustrated, most Americans are not up to the challenge.  Common sense is quickly approaching extinction, just like the requirements that our elected leaders display character, results, and leadership. 

Apparently we want our president to be likable, pander to us, and live by the mantra of the truth be damned.  Our national election devolved into a high school popularity contest.  The cool guy won.  We now think so little of the office of President of the United States that we set aside qualifications, unfulfilled promises, four years of deception and secrecy, and a complete lack of success to reelect a man that has deceived so many into believing that he actually cares about them.  Labeling these people fools is far too kind.  This administration does not care about you, but they do understand you.  While the Republicans continued to give the American people too much credit, the Obama campaign brilliantly took advantage of their cluelessness and naivety.  They allowed you to see what you wanted to see and dismiss reality.  We will see if he is able to pull the wool over some many eyes for another four years.  When you have so many that are so willing to be patsies, a con is not hard to pull off.

I have no doubt that our founders are looking down on us with a great deal of disdain tonight.  We have failed all those that came before us as we renounced the very essence of the nation they worked and fought so hard to create.  We have voted to return to the situation of intrusive and rampant government that this nation was born to oppose.  Rugged individualism has been supplanted by government support.  Every great civilization falls because the essential characteristic that separated them from all others is lost.  Tonight we affirmed we are most definitely on this path.  Self-inflicted pain is the worst kind, and as the far reaching effects of tonight’s vote are revealed over the next four years we should reflect on these words – elections have consequences.  I know the words that will come to mind every time I see a fading Obama/Biden 2012 bumper sticker – It is always better to bet on stupid.

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 Presidential Election - Faith in the Individual or in Government

This election is one of those moments where the decision we make as a nation will have unimaginable and far reaching ramifications.  This is more than just a decision between two candidates or even two parties.  We are deciding and voicing to future generations the type of people we are and the type of nation we choose to be.  This election is part of the legacy we leave to our children and to the rest of the world.  This is a very stark choice between two very different Americas.

Do you choose to place your faith in the individual or in the government?  Do you embrace self-determination and the inherent responsibility that comes with it, or do you forsake ‘the pursuit of happiness” and subjugate yourself to the will of government?  Do we continue to mortgage our future in an effort to pay for the expansion of a caretaker government, or do we finally pull off the band aid and act responsibly by holding government accountable to sound fiscal principals?  Finally, do we choose to reward a president that has continually exceeded his constitutionally limited powers, misleads and conceals information from us in regards to both Fast and Furious and Benghazi, has increased our national debt by sixty percent, and has fostered the most politically divisive environment in recent history? 

Barack Obama’s political ideology and his almost four years in office have confirmed he is a disciple of the religion of government.  He views it as the all-encompassing solution.  If there is a problem or decision to be address, the answer is always more government.  Healthcare, job creation, and the financial crisis are all areas where the current administration dabbled and predictably every time they increased the size and scope of government.  President Obama is a supporter of big government for one reason, he is government.  When he pushes for the expansion of government power, he is doing so to increase his own power.  This comes from the arrogant belief that he knows better than you do.  He has succumbed to a messianic self-image, the result of unsubstantiated praise and accolades heap upon him by a desperate and naive electorate.  In this process he has lost perspective, he no longer sees government as a representative of the people; he sees government as the rightful and necessary ruler of the people.

Mitt Romney is a self-made man, and because of this he is the antithesis of Obama’s ideology.  His individual success exposes the need for big government as the falsehood it is, and because of this Obama reviles him.  Combine this with the fact that time and again Romney has proven his mettle in positions of pressure, consequence, and leadership with an outstanding record of success and the threat he presents to a second Obama term brings the current occupant of the White House to a point of near rage.  A rage that recently manifested itself in Obama’s call for a vote of revenge.  How dare someone question the great Obama.  Regardless of your feelings toward the wealthy or the Republican Party, Romney has amassed a resume through his time in both the public and private sectors that inspires confidence in his ability to effectively lead.  There is no doubt that an effective leader is what our country so desperately needs.  We are adrift in a sea of stagnation.  We have become a bitter and divided nation with a government seemingly unable to put the nation ahead of party.  This is the result of the Obama presidency, and as with any mistake, we must learn from it and move on in alternative direction. 

Both presidential candidates have said it multiple times, and it is very true – this is a watershed election.  Regardless of your social beliefs, party affiliation, personal feelings toward the candidates, or who you blame for the continued economic malaise, the paramount question you must ask yourself is – What kind of country do you want?  Will we be a nation that is based on and embraces the individual, or one that is based on and subjugates itself to government?  If you believe that life with the opportunities and choices it presents are beyond your abilities, necessitating a large national government to limit your options or make the choices for you, then Barack Obama is your candidate.  If you cherish your right to self-determination, and want to live a life that is a culmination of your decisions and dreams, then Mitt Romney is your choice.  Our nation is one founded on the principle of the individual.  We existed as colonies under a large and intrusive government; we became a nation when we chose to place faith in ourselves.  It is this leap of faith that makes us exceptional.  If we chose a big government president, we are rejecting our heritage as the originators of self-rule.  Big government is the bastion of a people that lack self-confidence.  While times have been tough for us for the last several years, we must not sacrifice what makes us the envy world and uniquely American. 

“I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men will be trusted to govern themselves without masters.” – Thomas Jefferson   

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Benghazi - Defining Obama

On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned as President of the United States.  This is the only time in American history that has ever happened, and it was the result of a sitting president actively participating in a government cover-up.  An elected leader knowingly attempted to mislead the American people and was appropriately forced from office, forever tarnished with a legacy of shame.   Though our partisan media has made every effort to mute the tragedy that occurred in Benghazi, Libya and many have been reluctant to officially proclaim it, let us finally acknowledge this situation for what it is - a government cover-up.  This situation could not have come at a worse time for President Obama, politically inconvenient is an understatement.  Ironically though, Benghazi and the subsequent handling of it is a microcosm of the Obama administration’s almost four years in power.  Contradiction, arrogance, secrecy, and deflection of blame are staples of the Obama presidency, and have been quite prevalent in the handling of this incident. 

The weeks following the Benghazi bloodshed were filled with the Obama machine making every effort to blame the eruption of anti-American violence in the Middle East on a little known YouTube video.  The State Department apologized for the video, President Obama referenced it multiple times in his United Nation's address, and they ultimately drove the point home by having the video’s creator taken into custody on a parole violation.  When information slipped out revealing the Benghazi actions not as a spontaneous riot, but a well-planned and precisely executed attack by terrorist elements associated with Al Qaeda, the ardent certainty about the video motivation morphed into righteous indignation.  Even with a chorus of increasingly substantiated charges of incompetence and deception, the White House maintained an air of defiance.  Hypocrisy reached previously unknown heights when Obama actually tried to claim during the second presidential debate that he labeled the Benghazi incident a terrorist attack during his Rose Garden remarks on September 12th.  Obama is far from unintelligent, so he covered his bases by simply mentioning terrorist attacks in passing, knowing at some point he could reference it if the truth happened to rear its ugly head.  It would then be up to the spin doctors to work their magic and twist the dismissal of repeated attacks on western diplomatic assets, unheeded intelligence reports predicting an impending attack, and ignored pleas for additional security that ultimately resulted in the deaths of four Americans into a political witch hunt by Republicans.  While logic would predict this to be a ludicrous strategy based on the overwhelming amount of damning evidence, the lack of damage sustained by the Obama presidency and campaign seems to prove otherwise.  One president is forced from office for perpetrating a cover-up; another is very possibly going to be reelected.  My how times and our standards have changed.

Obama is a man convinced of his own greatness, and he becomes indignant with anyone that has the audacity to question him or challenge his ideology.  The facts do not apply to him, his superiority defies them.  While foreign policy was a weakness for him in 2008, he saw and was campaigning on it as his crown jewel this time around.  He was America’s great avenger for the elimination of Bin Laden and several of his lieutenants.  The Middle East was now fertile ground for blossoming democracy and the era of fanaticism was soon to be a thing of the past.  We were safer and more secure.  With drones and SEALs he had single-handedly dealt the death blow to jihad.  Suddenly an American ambassador is killed for the first time in over three decades, an organized attack is conducted on the anniversary of 9/11, and a group supposedly in its finally throes is now expanding in the power vacuum we helped to create through our “liberation” of Libya.  The carefully crafted image was proving to be a house of cards.  The supposed results of Obama’s supreme foreign policy were proving to be delusions of grandeur.  For an administration already thin on a record supporting their claims of transcendency this was simply not acceptable.  Being proved wrong or incompetent was not permissible, so even though all evidence to the contrary, it had to be the YouTube video.  If the message was uniform and relentlessly pitched, combined with a sympathetic media and a generally unaware electorate, the hope was to lay the blame on a violent reaction to a religiously insensitive video.  Perhaps disaster would not only be adverted, but transformed into a rallying point or at the very least quickly go away.  As long as the president’s reputation on foreign affairs remained intact, either would suffice.  This administration had learned from their experience with the Fast and Furious fiasco, when the truth is detrimental it becomes a matter of tweaking or concealing.  If that fails, make it a war of attrition.  People get bored very easily. 

As far as Obama was concerned, this was nothing more than a distraction to the more important task of getting reelected.  One must have their priorities.  As a man that had finely honed an ability to be impervious to accountability his entire life, he knew how to shift blame.  His time as president was an exercise in finger pointing.  Almost four years in office and yet the lack of positive results from his policies were still his predecessor’s fault.  When the initial recipient of blame for this situation was discredited, an alternate had to be found.  Since the video was out, the next option offered up, though tactfully discreet, was the inherent danger associated with diplomatic service.  Since the victims understood and accepted the hazards of their chosen profession, the fault lay not with an incompetent and misleading administration but with an unfortunate albeit unavoidable bit of bad luck.  They willing went into harm’s way, so their fate was of their choosing.

It is quite frustrating and completely unacceptable that the Benghazi tragedy has not and continues to not receive the attention and scrutiny it deserves.  This is a perpetuation of this administration’s belief it is above reproach, to question it is heresy.  President Obama is predicable because his primary concern is himself, so much so that even with four dead Americans the focus with the Benghazi attack has been to figure out how to minimize the damage it does to his reelection efforts.  Why it happened, what lessons should be learned from it, and relentlessly pursuing those that perpetrated this attack must be dismissed in an effort to try and make it all go away.  Pesky governing got in the way of this president’s true passion –campaigning.   President Obama did not have the experience or leadership to properly deal with this situation, just as he did not have the experience or leadership necessary to be President of the United States.  He was completely unprepared to deal with the realities that emerged when the fa├žades he had worked so hard to erect were exposed, and in both situations it was the American people that bore the brunt of his failure.

How fitting that the Obama campaign has recently released a commercial centered on the importance of character.  While this is a rare time when I actually agree with them, I find it absurd that this administration would have the gall to venture into this territory.  Character is a vital ingredient in an elected leader as democracy is the ultimate exercise in trust.  We place confidence in our elected leaders when we vote them into power.  When this trust is violated, and the bestowed power is corrupted in an effort to deprive us of the truth, our representative form of government is circumvented, replaced by tyrants elevating their own needs above those of the country.  Character is not an attribute that I would associate with this administration’s handling of the Benghazi incident, or their methods of governing over the last four years.  Contradiction, arrogance, secrecy, and deflection of blame are not admirable or noble qualities, but they are the epitome of this president and his four years in office.