The Desperate Campaign of Barack Obama

I have figured out President Obama’s re-election campaign strategy:  Keep throwing stuff against the wall until something – anything — sticks.

The “war on women” strategy didn’t work.  Only hard-core lefties believe Mitt Romney is anti-woman.  And even they don’t really believe it.

The “he’s too rich and out of touch” wasn’t resonating with the peasants either.  Neither was the “he put his dog on the roof of the car” and drove to Canada thing.

When they threw “Bain Capital” against the wall, they must have figured they had a winner.  Here was a guy who ran Bain, they told the voters, who was out to “maximize profits” not “create jobs.”  Oh, the humanity!  Or more accurately:  Oh, the ignorance!

There isn’t a company in the entire USA – not a mom and pop drug store or a multinational conglomerate – whose main goal is job creation.   Not one! Someone needs to tell the president that “job creation” comes only after you “maximize profits” … that only when profits rise and business grows do the people who run the company need more workers to keep up with demand.

President Obama didn’t know that because he doesn’t know anything about business.  But enough of his supporters – Democrats all – went on TV and said it’s wrong for the president to demonize private equity in general and Bain in particular.  These companies, the Democrats said, do a lot of good for the country.

So now, in case you haven’t noticed, Team Obama has settled on a new strategy, at least for the moment.  And it’s as thoughtful and reasoned and smart as all the rest.  And it pretty much comes down to this:  A President Romney would be a disaster.

I’ll bet anything that Team Obama put the word “disaster” in front of a focus group of potential voters and found that “disaster” engenders negative feelings.  No kidding!

So a recent headline in the liberal magazine Rolling Stone shouted: “Why ‘President Romney’ Would Be a Disaster for Women”

And a left-wing Web site told us that “Romney Is a Disaster on Education” … while another liberal site informed us that, “A Romney presidency would be a foreign policy disaster.”

Not all Democrats, of course, think Mitt Romney is a disaster.  Bill Clinton for instance, doesn’t think so.  He thinks Romney is a calamity.

Just a few days after praising Romney’s “sterling” business career, Clinton told an Obama fundraiser that a Romney presidency would be “calamitous for our country and the world.”

Bill Clinton and other Democrats say that since Romney is running as a businessman who claims to know how to turn around the economy, then it’s fair game to challenge him on that central plank of his campaign.  And it is.

They say when Romney was governor of Massachusetts he didn’t create a lot of jobs and the state’s economy lagged behind almost every other state in the country.  For this there’s a simple response, one that every voter will readily understand:

“When I left office in Massachusetts,” Romney should tell President Obama at their first debate, “our unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.  Down from 5.6 percent when I took office. After almost four years as president, America’s unemployment rate is 8.2.”  Then, after a brief, dramatic pause to let those two numbers sink in, he should look over at the president, smile weakly, and put the nail in the coffin.  “Most of the folks listening to us tonight, Mr. President, would be thrilled with my 4.7 percent.  It’s a lot better than your 8.2 percent”

One more thing:  If a Romney Presidency would be “disastrous” and “calamitous” what should we call the Obama presidency?  I mean, besides “incompetent.”

Obama Has a Halo; Newsweek Has No Shame

Newsweek magazine’s cover shows Barack Obama with a halo over his head, a tribute to his announcement the other day that he personally favors same sex marriage.  The line at the bottom of the cover says, “The First Gay President.”

The slobbering never ends.

Let’s get a few things straight (I didn’t mean it that way).  Barack Obama was for same sex marriage before he was against it.  And he was against it before he was for it for the second time.

Back in 1996, when he was running for the Illinois state senate, Barack Obama filled out a questionnaire from a gay and lesbian newspaper and said: “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”  He was unequivocal. He said not a word about civil unions.

Then when he was running for president – realizing that he would have to throw his principles under the bus in order to win the election — he was no longer in favor of same-sex marriage, but favored … civil unions.

Now, he’s for same same-sex marriage, again, telling Robin Roberts of ABC News, “It is important for me personally to go ahead and affirm that same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

Despite his full support for gay marriage, the president said it should be up to the states to decide what to do about gay marriage.

But if it’s a matter of decency and equality for all, why not push for a federal law legalizing same-sex marriage?  The answer is obvious:  it wouldn’t be politically prudent – not now when he’s running for re-election.

Every now and then – rarely to be sure – a politician comes along whom we can proudly call a profile in courage.  Barack Obama is not one of them.  He’s for same-sex marriage when he thinks it will help him politically.  And he’s against it when he thinks it will hurt him politically.

And wasting no time to turn his most recent stance into a political wedge issue, he told a fundraiser at George Clooney’s house that his current position is “a logical extension of what America is supposed to be.”  And he made sure everybody knew that he was on the right side of history while the Republicans weren’t.  His position, he said, “grew directly out of this difference in visions: Are we a country that includes everybody and give everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly?”

The president and his loyal supporters in the media call his different views on gay marriage part of his evolution on the subject – even though evolution usually goes in one direction, not back and forth.  Of course, if a conservative Republican “evolved” this way, reporters would call it flip-flopping.

For what it’s worth, I agree with the president regarding same-sex marriage.  I’m also for it.  But I understand that for many Americans, marriage is the institution that forms the basis of our culture and our civilization and it should only be between one man and one woman.

Government support of gay marriage, of course, should not infringe on what religious institutions choose to do.  If the Church is against gay marriage, that’s up to the Church. Priests and ministers are under no obligation to perform same-sex weddings.

We live in a big country with diverse values.  Reasonable people, as the saying goes, may disagree.

But on this there should be no disagreement:  President Obama is not a transformational figure in American politics.  He is not the messiah Newsweek thinks he is with a halo over his head.  He “evolved” in 2012 right back to where he was in 1996 which makes him nothing more than old style Chicago politician.

Let’s hope the American people “evolve” him out of office and send him back to Chicago.

President Cool Meets Reality

I put the words Obama is cool in Google and got 301,000,000 hits. I also Googled Jesus son of God and got a measly 33,000,000. This doesn’t surprise me since my liberal friends have told me countless times that Mr. Obama is the real messiah.

Speaking of cool, the other night – trying to shore up the youth vote — President Obama was slow-jamming the news on Jimmy Fallon’s late night TV show.  Cool people know what slow-jamming means, squares don’t.  Anyway, Fallon, who is pretty cool himself, called Mr. Obama … ready for this? … “The ‘Preezy of the United Steezy.” How cool is that? He also said Mr. Obama was the “Barack Ness monster.” Get it?  Not the Loch Ness Monster.  The Barack … Ness … Monster.  This guy is so cool I’m freezing.

The late night show was only the most recent indication of how cool our president is.  Remember when he danced with Ellen?  That was pretty cool. How about when he sang an Al Green love song at the Apollo in New York with Al Green in the audience?  Jimmy Carter never did that, right?  I mean, Jimmy Carter doesn’t even know who Al Green is, right?

Which brings us to Mitt Romney, who may be a lot of things but cool is not one of them.  We all know that, but what we’re not so sure about, at least at this juncture, is whether Romney’s lack of cool will hurt him or actually help him.

If these were good times — if unemployment was 4 or 5 percent not over 8, if 63 percent of Americans thought we were on the right track which is the percentage who think we’re on the wrong track — cool would probably clinch the deal for the president.  Hey, we have to live with this guy on TV for four years – and a lot of Americans would rather spend it with a cool guy instead of someone who reminds us of Richard Nixon.  More about President Not Cool in a moment.

But these aren’t good times.  Which is why American Crossroads, Karl Rove’s Super PAC, is running a Web ad using the president’s coolness against him.  The ad shows President Obama wearing cool sunglasses, singing Al Green, dancing with Ellen, calling Kanye West a “jackass” and slow jamming the news with Jimmy.  Then, when the music dies down and the glitter goes away, the ad takes a hard turn from the cool president to the cold facts.

“Four years ago America elected the biggest celebrity in the world,” the copy on the screen says.  “And America got one cool president.”  The ad goes on to tell Obama’s young fans that three years after the president took office, more than half of recent college graduates don’t have jobs or are unemployed and that many of them are moving back in with their parents.  “After 4 years of a celebrity president is your life any better?” is the question at the end of the ad.

And that’s just aimed at kids.  You think some grownup guy who can’t find a job and has a family to feed is going to care a lot about cool?  You think his wife, who’s worried about the bills that have been piling up and how they’re going to pay for their kids’ college  is going to be seduced this time around by cool?

It’s true that Mitt Romney just might be “the least hip presidential candidate since Nixon set foot on a beach,” as Aaron Goldstein wrote in The American Spectator. But “We’re voting for the next American president,” he says, “not the next American idol.”  So he can’t carry a tune in a dump truck.  “Four years of boredom is exactly what this country needs.”

Here’s something else to think about:  What if the voters this time around think that what’s really cool is … competence.  That could spell trouble for our cool president. Because you know what’s really not cool?  Incompetence.

Some Free Advice for the Republican Field

To be perfectly honest, I’m not crazy about any of the Republicans running for president.   I still think Mitt Romney has the best chance to beat President Obama, but I also think he’s one of those rich guys who’s embarrassed about being rich.    Rick Santorum is a train wreck.  He blames the media for bringing up social issues that he had already brought up.  I could be wrong, but I think deep down, Rick Santorum would like to set up a neat little theocracy here in secular America just to make sure we’re all living moral lives – as he sees it.  I like Newt Gingrich.  I think he’s smart and has some good ideas and would make Barack Obama look silly in a nationally televised debate.  But every now and then he goes off the deep end and someplace along the line I fell out of love with him.  Then there’s Ron Paul, who makes a lot of sense when he’s talking about money, and very little sense when he’s talking about a whole bunch of other things, especially foreign affairs.

That said, I still plan to vote for anyone running against  the person currently occupying the White House.  But what has me worried is that the Republicans have spent entirely too much time belittling each other – all to the benefit, I fear, of Barack Obama.  I understand the reality of the situation – they have to win the nomination before they can run in the general election.  But all the name-calling can’t help the Republican who survives.  You think the Democrats aren’t taking notes – and making video clips – to use in ads once the nominee is picked?

It’s time for the Republicans to knock off the sniping and start running against President Obama.  Here’s what I think they should do — and whoever does will will stand a good chance of winning the hearts of any voter who hasn’t already made up his or her mind:

Tell the American people that this president doesn’t have a clue when it comes to money.  Tell them that he spends and spends and spends to make government bigger and more people dependent on it.  Tell them that he has raised the debt by about $5 trillion dollars since he took office and if he wins re-election things will get worse, that he will have no incentive to stop trying to transform America into something that resembles socialist Europe.  Tell them that when he gets done taxing the “rich” he’ll come after you – the middle class – because he can’t tax the top one percent enough to do everything he wants to do.

Tell them that while we had to go to war in Afghanistan, 10 years (plus) are enough.  Tell them that we beat the Germans and the Japanese in four years, and that we’ve been in Afghanistan way too long.  Tell them we go to war to defend America, not to nation build.  Tell them that 10 minutes after we leave – whenever that is – the Taliban will be back terrorizing the locals, because that’s what terrorists do when the locals are afraid.  Tell them that we as Americans abhor what the religious fanatics in that country do to their people but we will not shed any more American blood to make things better. The Afghan people must do that.  And tell them that if the Taliban or their friends even think about using Afghanistan to stage another attack on America, we will unleash drones on them and when they die they won’t even know what hit them.

Tell the American people that while you don’t care whether they use contraceptives or not, and that you’ll stay out of their way if they decide to have an abortion, tell them that having kids outside of marriage is hurting them, their kids, and their country.  Tell them that having children without being married – according to study after study – will put them and their kids behind the 8 ball; that their kids will likely grow up poor, that they run a higher risk of failing in school and will likely have all sorts of other problems.  Tell the American people that you will use the bully pulpit not to preach morality but to encourage people to think straight – and to stop their dysfunctional behavior.  Tell them that the reason they’re poor is not because someone else is rich, or because America hates minorities or women or anyone else.  Tell them the reason they’re poor is because they do things that make them poor.

Tell the American people that we’re all in this together.  That no longer will half the working population pay absolutely no federal income tax.  Tell them that we are a generous nation that will help the working poor.  But half the country isn’t poor.  So the rest of the American people – the ones who have deductions that reduce their federal income tax rate to zero – will start paying something.  Tell them that if they elect you president, everybody will have skin in the game – and even if they don’t know it now – everybody will be thankful before long.  Nobody really wants to feel like a freeloader.

And finally, tell the American people that Barack Obama rode into office on a promise to bring us together and then made a conscious decision to run for re-election trying to drive us apart.  From now on, you should tell them, there will be no more class warfare, no more pitting Americans against each other based on how much money they have in the bank.

Tell them these are not just words.  Tell them you too have a vision of America and that it is decidedly not Barack Obama’s vision.  Tell them, that with their help, we will feel good about ourselves again, that we will stop apologizing for America’s supposed sins.  And then tell them that if this is not the America they want then they should vote for the other guy.

Yes, Obama’s the Great Pretender

Let’s pretend just for a moment that the state of our country’s economic situation is exactly how President Obama describes it. Let’s pretend that the $5 trillion dollars plus added to our national debt since the day he took office really was unavoidable and was the amount required to save the country from a second great depression. Let’s pretend that unless we continue to keep spending more and more (currently each newborn baby in the United States owes $50,000 and that amount is rising quickly), our economy will never fully recover. Let’s pretend that gas prices really are beyond the president’s control and that every cent of the 83% increase that has taken place since he was sworn in to the presidency is in no way his fault. Let’s pretend that an 8.3% unemployment rate really is a promising number, despite the workforce participation rate being at an all-time low. Let’s pretend that rising healthcare costs have nothing to do with the implementation of Obamacare. Let’s pretend that the credit downgrade of our country really was politically motivated and doesn’t reflect at all the credibility of our nation to pay back what we owe. Let’s pretend that Paul Ryan’s plans to fix our safety-net programs and balance the budget really are too draconian to implement. Hell, let’s go as far as pretending that every single problem going on in this country right now was directly caused by George W. Bush and the Republican party.

For the sake of the argument, let’s just go ahead and cede all of those explanations for why none of these problems are our president’s fault.

With that in mind, let’s ask a simple and logical question that I would hope every honest American would feel compelled to ask: What are Obama’s plans to fix these problems?

After all, we vote presidents into office to fix problems, don’t we? We don’t just expect them to assign blame for current challenges and spend the rest of their term delivering speeches and attending fundraisers, right?

Now, I will give Obama credit for at least talking about fixing these problems. He hasn’t completely ignored their existence. He’s delivered eloquent speeches where he’s framed these problems and expressed a desire to resolve them in front of cameras and cheering, enthusiastic supporters. And let’s be honest… he looks good giving those speeches. With his shirt-sleeves rolled up, his dramatic pauses, and that powerful voice of his, he at least appears to be serious about wanting to fix them. On presentation alone, he delivers verbiage that rivals that of Bill Pullman, Morgan Freeman, and other Hollywood actors who have portrayed presidents on film. It’s the primary reason his personal popularity ratings have remained consistently high.

Still, it seems reasonable to expect that Americans would believe they deserve more. You’d think that the electorate wouldn’t be content with a president who offered endless pillow-talk, but no serious solutions to fix such problems. By serious, I’m not talking about ideas that meet some sort of conservative litmus test that would wow people like me. I’m not setting the bar that high. I’m merely talking about solutions that have some sort of plausibility behind them. I’m talking about coherent solutions that have some sort of fathomable chance of actually working.

If the problem-solving debates in our country were about opposing, realistic visions of how to best address difficult dilemmas, we could at least rest assured that our leaders were taking our challenges seriously. The truth, however, is that the president has offered nothing but pretend solutions to deal with very real problems. That statement’s not a partisan assessment on my part. It’s the assessment of any honest observer or number-cruncher who checks their ideology at the door.

When it comes to cutting the deficit, Obama has built an entire social narrative around the idea of increasing taxes on the rich as a solution. As the CBO and numerous economists have pointed out, you could tax all of these people at 100% and still not put a dent in our national debt. It’s a pretend solution.

When it comes to high gas prices, Obama’s answer is alternative energy which always sounds good but its practicality exists largely in theory. He mocks Republicans for having the gall to suggest that we increase domestic drilling to make our country less reliant on oil coming from volatile regions of the world. Then, with a straight face, he endorses the idea of converting algae into fuel. Yes, algae. At this point, I half expect him to suggest we harness the power of rainbows for energy. More pretend solutions.

Obama’s pretend solution to deal with expensive healthcare has unfortunately already been signed into law. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has increased healthcare premiums (which the president said would not happen) by a national average of 9% in just a year and is on track to double within ten years.  Obamacare is now projected to add hundreds of billions to the deficit (the president said it would actually cut the deficit), many people have been yanked off of their insurance plans (which the president said would not happen), and the law itself does absolutely nothing to actually bring down the cost of healthcare services (which was the entire stated point of reforming the system). It was a pretend solution laced with pretend benefits, but came at a very real and substantial cost.

Obama proposes federal annual budgets that are so nonsensical and ridiculous that he can’t get a single member of his own political party to vote for them. Think about that for a minute… The current class of Democrats in congress is made up of some of the most liberal, big-spending elected leaders in our nation’s history, and the president’s budgets are too expensive even for them!

To grow the economy, Obama proposes infrastructure spending such as light rail systems (which we have no money to pay for) that receive a mountain of press coverage for a couple of days before they’re never spoken of again and never revisited by the media.

Renewing the payroll tax cut to stimulate the economy is a pretend solution. It didn’t work the first time around and just digs a deeper hole for the Social Security trust fund. Yet, our president doubled down on failure (like he often does) for the sole purpose of positioning himself politically.

I could go on and on with more examples, but you hopefully see my point. What we’ve seen for the last three years is a pretend leader who offers pretend solutions. The media has acted like a dream-team of defense attorneys who diligently use every tool at their disposal to protect their client (who they know is guilty as hell). They lend credence to his audacious claims. They distract the jury from opposing arguments and evidence. They play off people’s emotions rather than letting them judge the president’s ideas based on the facts.

With today’s media as the messenger, there’s little hope of the electorate getting a clear picture of the absurdity behind Obama’s proposed solutions. That’s a reality I wish was pretend. The media’s not getting any more reputable as time goes on, so if voters aren’t intellectually curious enough to research the content of our president’s lip service, they’ll most likely re-elect Hope and Change. And I can’t pretend, even for a second, that this country can take another four years of that.