Thursday, November 8, 2012

op ed review 11/11

THE OP-ED REVIEW        10/11          Number 640

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times." 
                        -George Washington

"All that for nothing. It was the billion-dollar election that did not decide one single thing. ... Another four years with no hope of change. In this environment with this economy and all the gravely important matters pressing against the very existence of this country, it should have been a tsunami election. ... Just about the only thing the election wasn't about was the economy, which everyone agrees was the only thing voters actually cared about. People tend to really care about the economy when real unemployment reaches double digits, welfare rolls fatten by one-third, politicians rack up $16 trillion in debt and the largest tax hike in the history of the world looms just weeks away. Yet that obviously is not what decided this election. Politicians were too busy talking all about Big Bird, rape and dancing horses."
                            -Charles Hurt

"At times like these, after a bitter and hard-fought election, it's customary to talk about burying the hatchet, reaching across the aisle -- pick your metaphor. It dawns on politicians that the public is sick of division and wants them to work together for the good of the country. This time is different, at least from our vantage point. Had Mitt Romney won the election, he would be reaching out to the other side already, without being told to. But Barack Obama is not that kind of politician or man. He thrives on division and reflexively demonizes his opponents. ...The American people, by a slim majority, have chosen to go through four more years of a presidency that doesn't seem to have a clue about bipartisanship…..Another four years of gridlock brings national bankruptcy that much closer. Then there's the dead weight of ObamaCare, which will soon hit the economy with full force. The next four years would be challenging even for a popular and politically masterful president. Obama is neither, and his nasty campaign has only made his job harder. ... The election left the House firmly in Republican hands. Until that changes, the GOP can block the advance of Obama's progressive agenda (at least that part of the agenda requiring laws rather than executive orders). ... Obama will have other reasons to drive the GOP from its last beachhead. He owes his base some favors for its work in dragging him across the finish line. Unions will want another try at card check. Environmentalists will push for cap-and-trade and a tighter clampdown on coal. The left wing of his party will want to gut defense and ramp up social spending; he'll be happy to go along, if he can. ... The Republican Party must be willing to compromise when it is truly in the national interest to do so, but it also should be ready to fight for the Constitution, free enterprise and individual liberty."
                               -Investor's Business Daily

"My counsel to you tonight: Please, do not be bitter. Do not fall prey to the Beltway blame game. Do not get mired in small things. Do not become vengeful creatures like our political opponents who voted out of spite instead of love of country. We still have boundless blessings to count -- and to secure. I remain a proud, unrepentant believer in the American Dream. And I know you do, too. Freedom will endure because we will keep fighting for it. We can't afford not to, friends."
                         -Michelle Malkin

"There are two important lessons imbedded in last night's debacle. We are losing the votes of young people. We are losing the votes of women. Why? The simple answer is that both groups have a disproportionate number who believe that the purpose of government is to 'supply my needs.' ... It would be astonishing that young people would go to government schools, then graduate to government colleges, or attend private colleges on government subsidies and come out with any conclusion other than 'the purpose of government is to provide for my needs.' Women are vulnerable to the siren call of 'government services' because of the sexual promiscuity of men. Men use, abuse, and abandon women. Divorced women and single moms abound because of the sins of men. We have more unmarried adults than married adults for the first time in American history. This fact has enormous political consequences."
                           -constitutional lawyer Michael Farris

"Americans missed an opportunity to change course. And now the years ahead will be bitter and difficult. Our politics will be a zero-sum game, where benefits for some mean cuts to others, and a president who promised unity will inaugurate a new era of division. But it need not be an era without hope. The same principles that built this Republic can save it again. Indeed, those timeless principles are the only solution, the only vision. Our fault, as a nation, was to forget the lessons of our own success. Having triumphed in a global, decades-long struggle against collectivism and totalitarianism, we refused to celebrate that victory, failing for twenty years to teach its lessons to the next generation. And as Andrew Breitbart often reminded us, the most important battles must be cultural ones, because culture and media inevitably shape the political choices we make together. That war must begin anew. And it begins now…"
                        -Joel B. Pollak

“Romney was the only one remotely presidential, and he was the logical candidate.  But think of those who didn’t run. There’s of course, Paul Ryan who I think will be a leader in the party. You have a whole rising young generation — Kelly Ayotte, you’ve got Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, the new senator from Texas, Marco Rubio, this whole generation who just a year or two short in their careers from running this time are all going to be in the fray next time. And I think they are the future. And all the soul-searching about what ideology we are going to pursue is going to come from them. And I think it will be a fairly Reaganite and conservative one. I think the future of the party is quite bright.”
                     -Charles Krauthammer

“Romney received two million fewer votes than McCain in 2008…..Why were seasoned conservative campaign experts completely wrong in their predictions of a big Romney win?.....what none of the A-team could see was Romney's grassroots deficit. Like Mitt Romney, these erstwhile analysts were, and remain, unwittingly insulated from the reality of grassroots America.”
                    -Mark Alexander

President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times Tuesday, eking out a second term with a fraction of his 7.3% margin of 2008, in a polarized country with the opposition GOP retaining and still dominating the House.

Rush:  “Conservatism, in my humble opinion, did not lose last night.  It's just very difficult to beat Santa Claus……In a country of children where the option is Santa Claus or work, what wins?  And say what you want, but Romney did offer a vision of traditional America.  In his way, he put forth a great vision of traditional America, and it was rejected. It was rejected in favor of a guy who thinks that those who are working aren't doing enough to help those who aren't.  And that resonated.”
Sean Hannity:  “maybe America is no longer the center-right country that it once was… can’t lose an election like yesterday and not be concerned…….The reality is that America is changing…the allure and the appeal of socialism and redistribution of wealth has taken hold with about half the electorate.”
Ann Coulter:  “If Mitt Romney cannot win in this economy, then the tipping point has been reached. We have more takers than makers….”
“This was a presidential election that the GOP should have won…….Here are some reasons that Romney didn't prevail: 1. RomneyCare = ObamaCare. 2. Romney was the best of the B Team    3. A challenger needs to fight back the minute the incumbent starts attacking him. 4. Romney took a hard line on immigration in the primaries, which enabled Obama to get a bigger percentage of the Hispanic vote than he won in 2008. The best that can be done now is to learn from the mistakes and make changes for 2016.”

“The most immediate lesson that can be learned from this is that the Obama-Axelrod ground game is very very very good. It had four years to build out its infrastructure and it is much stronger than anyone, including most Democrats, anticipated. Despite the lousy economy and his flagging personal popularity, Obama’s team turned out his vote everywhere he needed it, and he won. Republicans will fight about whether a more vocally conservative candidate could have won or whether Romney could have provided a sharper contrast with Obama, but organizational superiority may have had more than anything else to do with this result. Republicans will have to study that ground game and find a way to beat it just as the football world had to study and defeat the flex defense. That’s not a job for ideologues, but for tacticians who understand ideology and communication………..The tilt in favor of Democrats, and especially Obama, in how our media culture processes what comes out of politicians’ mouths may have finally become too much for Republicans to overcome. Every campaign going forward is a one-false-move minefield for Republicans, while a Democrat can get away with corruption (Claire McCaskill in Missouri) and allegations of relationships with prostitutes (Bob Menendez in New Jersey) and covering up a terrorist attack that killed four Americans (Obama himself). Massachusetts turned out a perfectly serviceable moderate Republican in favor of a dishonest ideologue with no experience outside academia. One likely result of all this is that Republicans are likely to become more programmed than they already are, and less confident about articulating stands on social issues. The media is emboldened to pounce on every Republican syllable, confident that every gotcha can keep another seat in Democrat clutches. Perhaps all Republicans should just switch parties at once, confuse the world and render the media toothless for a while.”

Radosh:  So what happened?  Those conservatives who assured us with statistics, theories, and arguments about Romney winning the White House, even in a landslide, should be eating their hats……First, the Obama campaign’s decision to frighten women worked……..Second, there is the hurricane factor. The nation saw Obama in his bomber jacket, accompanied by Republican keynoter Gov. Chris Christie as he visited the devastated areas of New Jersey hit by Hurricane Sandy. For the Democrats, it became the perfect storm that allowed the nation to believe what it wanted desperately to think — that Barack Obama had become a leader whom even the conservative governor of New Jersey worked with and praised for his leadership….”  Third: the Latino vote. Fourth: Republicans cannot count on winning national elections and to be a national majority party if they count only on the votes of a diminishing white working-class and on the votes of Southern states alone. Five: Romney did not convince voters, as Florida and Ohio voters said to the press who asked, that he cared for people like them.  Finally, it is essential that conservative intellectuals…..wage a war of position on the cultural front and to do all possible to challenge the ascension of a failed intellectual liberal ideology, whether it be in the form of Progressivism, liberalism or socialism…..we all have our work cut out for us.

“In this election the Republican Party ran two wholly inoffensive blue state Republicans on a platform of jobs at a time when the economy was everyone’s chief concern and the incumbent had absolutely failed to fix the economy. And they lost. The Monday — or Wednesday — morning quarterbacks will have a fine time debating what Mitt Romney should have done differently. The red Republicans will say that he should have been more aggressive and should have hit Obama on Benghazi. The blue Republicans will blame a lack of outreach to Latinos……”

“Two-thirds of Americans have consistently said the country is on the wrong track. So, naturally they opted to stick with a stinking status quo they've whined about for years now.”

“Throughout the very long presidential election cycle, two trends remained consistent. The media lauded Obama no matter how horrendous his record, and they savaged Obama’s Republican contenders as ridiculous pretenders. From the start of the Republican race in 2011, every candidate who took the lead then took an unfair beating. They even slimed Sarah Palin in case she decided to run. Martin Bashir announced she was “vacuous, crass, and according to almost every biographer, vindictive too.” Newsweek mocked Michele Bachmann on its cover…….”

The auto bailout - and the Obama campaign's attacks on Romney over his opposition to it - appeared to be key factors in the president's victory in the crucial battleground state of Ohio, where 1 in 8 jobs is connected to the auto industry…….. likely gave Obama a critical boost in just the right place.

“But with a record that should have made a second term nearly impossible, conservatives should be asking ourselves how the Obama camp got close enough to a majority vote to win the election…..One conventional answer is that most of the news media were in the tank for Obama, that they kept the lid on scandals like the deadly Benghazi fiasco and the subsequent White House cover-up, and that they got their talking points from the White House.  True though that answer may be, it leaves unanswered a more fundamental question: why would the electorate tolerate such partisan bias from the news media, let alone allow it to influence their votes?
Another conventional answer is that this election occurred at a political tipping point at which almost half of the people voting in the election pay no federal taxes, and that many in this group were likely to vote for Obama regardless of his record…..But again, the deeper question should be how the American electorate ever allowed such a situation to develop in the first place. Surely an educated and informed electorate would recognize and reject liberal bias in the media and would never allow our government to be turned into little more than a vending machine that dispenses favors in return for votes.  Educated and informed voters would see through the hollow, sweet rhetoric of the left to the tyrannical core just beneath the surface.  And there is the painful answer.…..As long as the left has controlled the schools, time has always been on their side.  We lost the Republic in the classroom long before we lost it in the voting booth.”

“If, in celebrating his victory Obama wanted to give credit where credit is due, he might want to think about calling some of America's top journalists, since their favorable approach almost certainly made the difference between victory and defeat.   Five ways the mainstream media tipped the scales in favor of Obama….”

Dick Morris, who predicted a Republican landslide:  “I think that the reason the prediction I made was wrong is that I was criticizing the polling because I said it reflected the same turnout model as there was in 2008. And I said that I thought that was a one-off affair and that it would not continue and it would not be the permanent turnout model for the United States.  What this is saying is this is the new America. This isn’t your father’s America……The percentage of single women, minorities and voters under 30 is so large at this point that unless the Republican Party fundamentally changes its appeal to those voters, it can never win an election.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appeared on Fox News Channel on election night where he slammed the Republican party for doing what he considers a “pathetic job” of reaching out to minority voters

Deepening Racial Divide:  Obama managed to win again, despite securing only 39 percent of white voters.

North Carolina voters elected their first Republican governor in two decades.  When all the ballots are counted, Republicans could have as many as 33 governorships — the most since the 1920s and one more than they had in the 1990s.

Michigan voters rejected a controversial measure to enshrine collective bargaining in the state Constitution. The union-backed measure mustered only 42 percent support with most precincts reporting.

Arkansas Republicans took control of at least one chamber of the state legislature and captured all of the state's congressional seats for the first time since Reconstruction.

Eyman initiative passed:  Washington voters will continue to require the Legislature to get a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes. Charter schools also passes.

Even a dead Republican beat a Democrat in the GOP's sweep of Alabama. A Republican nominee who died almost month before Election Day beat the Democratic incumbent for a seat on the Bibb County Commission on Tuesday.  Maybe we should all move to the South……

GOP firebrand Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared to be squeaking out a victory over DFL businessman Jim Graves in a race that is so close it could be heading for a recount.

U.N. Election Observers are shocked: “Why Don't These People Have to Show ID to Vote?”

How Romney Lost
The realities of the electoral map meant that the Romney campaign really had no choice but to bet big on Ohio, and that bet was a loser. In addition to some critical on-the-ground specifics — Ohio is not hurting as badly as the rest of the country — there were three main reasons for that.
1. Ohio likes crony capitalism. The automotive bailout is popular in Ohio, and not just among self-interested workers and investors in that industry. Putting General Motors on federal life support is economically daft and morally dubious, but it gave the Obama administration a powerful tool for convincing middle-class workers that the president is on their side. He might be doing something silly and destructive, but to be seen as doing something is politically useful. That it was General Motors and Chrysler was critical: Americans have a particularly romantic attitude toward automobile manufacturers, probably because Americans have a particularly romantic attitude toward automobiles. The (mostly mythical) image of the blue-collar homeowner supporting a four-person family in comfort by spending 40 hours a week on the assembly line is up there with mom and apple pie in the pantheon of American sentimentality. If President Obama had associated himself with the bailout of, say, Eastman Kodak — which will cease providing health care and other benefits to 56,000 retirees as part of its bankruptcy — it would not have imbued him with quite the same glow. And that is a specific instance of the more general and lamentable fact that . . . 

2. Class warfare works. It is juvenile and it is economically illiterate, but a fair number of Americans worked themselves up into a lather over Mitt Romney’s paying a relatively low tax rate. Taxing capital gains at a lower rate than wages has been for a long time a mostly uncontroversial economic policy with fairly wide support across the partisan and ideological spectrum. When Bill Clinton signed into a law a reduction in the capital-gains tax rate, there was no mutiny on the left. More broadly, most voters do not have anything like the economic sophistication even to understand what Romney did at Bain Capital, much less how such private-equity firms provide real economic benefits. These are the citizens Bastiat had in mind when he wrote about what is seen and what is unseen: They can see outsourcing and declining manufacturing employment, but they cannot see (at least not very clearly) the benefits associated with integrated global supply chains or increases in manufacturing productivity. It may not be possible to be too thin, but it is, apparently, possible to be too rich, at least for an electorate that can be swayed by envy. 

3. Repealing Obamacare was not a deal cincher in Ohio. A number of people I spoke to in the state suggested that the Romney-Ryan ticket paid too much attention to repealing Obamacare without spelling out an alternative that was sufficiently simple and attractive to voters who are not committed conservatives. One veteran of the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations argued that while Ohio voters may not be crazy about the Affordable Care Act, neither are they burning partisans of the campaign to repeal it. As with the GM bailout, many voters regard Obamacare as an example of the administration’s trying to do something for them, even if they are not entirely sold on the particulars.
There is not much in this to comfort conservatives. The lessons of Ohio are that Barack Obama is a skillful demagogue, that the ancients were wise to number envy among the deadly sins, and that offering Americans a check is a more fruitful political strategy than offering them the opportunity to take control of and responsibility for their own lives. This is what Oakeshott had in mind when he wrote that liberty was something that many people simply are not equipped to “enjoy as an opportunity rather than suffer as a burden.”
For many years, Republicans have relied on Jude Wanniski’s “Two Santa Claus” theory, the strategy of using the promise of tax cuts to compete with Democrats’ promises of cash and other benefits. In part as a consequence of that strategy, a great many Americans pay little or no federal income taxes, while many of the other federal taxes they pay are indirect or partly hidden. Mitt Romney was right: You can’t use tax cuts to buy off people who are net recipients of tax transfers. Figuring out what we can offer them that is consistent with our principles is the task of conservatives between now and the next election.

The greatest satisfaction today over the re-election of Obama is not being felt in the Democratic Party. It is not being felt among the media, who are no longer objective observers but have turned instead into corrupt partisans who ruthlessly censored the truth about Obama and helped peddle his demonising propaganda about his opponent. It is not being felt among the gloating, drooling decadents of the western left who now scent a great blood-letting of all who dare defy their secular inquisition. No, the greatest satisfaction is surely being felt in Iran. With four more years of Obama in the White House, Iran can now be sure that it will be able to complete its infernal construction of a genocide bomb to use against the Jews and the west. World War Three has now come a lot closer…….Britain and the Europeans love Obama because they think he will end American exceptionalism and turn the US into a pale shadow of themselves. What they don’t realise is that, all but lobotomised by consumerist rights, state dependency, victim culture, sentimentality, post-religion, post-nationalism and post-Holocaust and Empire guilt, Britain and Europe are themselves fast going down the civilisational tubes.

“Our newly re-elected, incompetent President is good at one thing: Chicago style politics. Kill your opponent by character assassination and promise freebies to your base. That's exactly how he beat Mitt Romney, a good and decent man, a man of substance, who would have been a great president to turn our economic mess around. Instead the community organizing, empty-suit incumbent won by pandering to the Democratic base and defaming and distorting Romney into an evil caricature.”

“Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernise Heaven and Hell – or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead. The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation…….”

Interesting article:  How I rigged the Democrats' vote”

Depressing:  Why Hispanics don’t Vote for Republicans

Election results map:

"I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world."
                        -Ronald Reagan

The Op-Ed Review is a compilation of the week’s news and opinions of interest to the conservative activist.  I follow a variety of news sources and note what I think are the important events of the week that may be underreported in the mainstream media.  I also read about 50 syndicated op-ed columns each week and reprint part of what I think is the best one. The goal is to help the reader be a more effective activist for the conservative cause. If you would like to receive this as an e-mail each weekend, click here to drop me a note.
Gary Foss
47th District Republicans 

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