Archive for category Elections
Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution – which our “progressive” judges and justices are attempting to re-write.
We affirm the promise of our democracy – when it suits our needs.
We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” – Life when it is wanted. Unalienable rights with the exclusion of religious freedom.
Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time – revisionist reality according to secular humanists.
For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. – The people whose rights are trashed by my HHS mandate.
The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. – until I arrived here to destroy that.
And for more than two hundred years, we have. – My mob friends with SEIU and other unions are enforcing my wishes.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. – The rules of socialism and excessive government regulation and control.
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune. – Except for the preborn, the disabled, and the elderly (who should think about hospice).
Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. – But they can be dictated by government, against the will of the people.
Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character. – But which we rejected in the last election campaign when we promised government control from cradle to grave.
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. – Or better yet, collectivist actions at the expense of those founding principles.
For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. – Nor can the people be left alone to take initiatives through churches, ministries and charitable organizations to feed and clothe the poor, the destitute, the starving, and those whose lives have been uprooted by natural disasters. Nor can all meet the demands of today’s world with rising taxes and unsustainable debt, amidst excessive government regulation and control. Now you must overlook liberal fascism here at home.
No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. – No person has ever suggested building the transcontinental railroad or reaching the moon alone. And now innovation and achievement is being denigrated, discouraged, and hampered by the growing tentacles of big government.
Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people. – Actually, comrades, as one growing centralized government bureacracy.
This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. – American and allied forces have substantially reduced the capabilities of Islamic terrorists. Yet no real recovery has begun except in the campaign mode mind of the president.
America’s possibilities are limitless, — with the freedom from excessive government regulation
…. for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands – Especially the southern U.S. border which I’m attempting to dissolve.
youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. – Especially for those industries moving out of the reach of tax monsters in California and New York.
My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together. – Or I’ll seize it alone as I enact policies and executive orders unpopular with the people.
For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. – Courtesy of tax increases and demonization of the achievers who take risks investing their wealth to create jobs allowing many to feed their families.
We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. – Micromanaged by my ever-growing administration, undermined by my demolition of America’s business climate.
We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; — Despite my demands that all be dependent on government their entire lives, “independent” people like Julia. For when I refer to America, I’m talkin’ big government, baby.
when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. – But not from overly burdensome taxation.
We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. – If she is allowed to leave her mother’s womb without dismemberment, and to experience a life directed by the “god” of big government.
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. – Such as government programs encouraging dependency, teen pregnancy, and risky, life-altering behavior.
So we must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher. – So they can give more of what’s theirs to a government which will waste the fruits of their hard-earned labor on failing businesses. So they can more fully indoctrinate students in schools failing to educate, so citizens can settle for mediocrity while surrendering their God-given, Constitution-affirming rights to big government.
But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. – Yes, I thought this line would get a laugh!
That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed. – The creed I learned from Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky.
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. – Unless they oppose my secular worldview and my policies and executive orders. As long as you give more of your money to Planned Parenthood. As long as more of you substitute pain pills and hospice for medical treatment.
We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. – While I continue to raise the debt ceiling and put deficit reduction out of reach forever.
But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. – Wait a minute. I’m the first person to suggest this.
For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. – And now we proudly observe that 90 percent of preborn children with Down syndrome are not allowed to live.
We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. – Or those who take risks and invest their resources to create industries employing millions and feeding families.
We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us at any time may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. – Or job-killing fines for not funding abortion pill mandates.
The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. – Especially those of us raiding those funds!
They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. – Though some would argue that those who took the risks, who employed people who provided for their families, now have a right to their social security as retired folks.
We, the – GOVERNMENT — people, still believe that our obligations as – CONTROL OF — Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, — No matter how well it’s been proven a fantasy.
knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. – And fail to increase tax coffers and close down the coal industry.
Some may still deny the overwhelming –UNDERWHELMING — judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging
fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms. – Fires caused by arsonists and by lightning. We still haven’t slowed the rise of the oceans and healed the planet; how can we control the weather?
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. – And cost taxpayers billions to reward Solyndra and other green companies even though we knew they were going under.
But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. – We will lead by downsizing our military and economic capacities. By killing jobs and increasing food stamp rolls.
We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. – I don’t care how many Solyndras I give your money to.
That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality – And sustain this slumping economy while repeating the myth of recovery ad nauseum.
and our national treasure — our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. – It’s okay to bring religion into this now, even though I’ve long entertained doubts about my faith.
That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared. We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. – But our Army has recognized conservatives as terrorist threats and we will stockpile bullets and take their guns and religious freedom away.
Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. – And the raging passions of homosexual lust in the barracks.
Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. – Not counting those Islamic forces I’ve befriended and given hundreds of millions of your dollars to.
But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war; who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends — and we must carry those lessons into this time as well. – Like my Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood buddies.
We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. – Starting by gutting the United States Navy and refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act. By befriending the detainees at Gitmo.
We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully –- After the election, since I have more flexibility now.
not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. – So don’t worry about any appropriate responses to future Benghazis.
America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe. – Except for the Middle East, Fort Hood, Pakistan and a few other strategic locations
And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. – That would be the nation of Russia, which I’ve entrusted to take over as the world’s leading power.
We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. — And we’ll support communism in Cuba, Venezuela, and Kenya.
And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice –- not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice. – With the exceptions of the preborn, the Christian owners of businesses, my domestic enemies, and all who oppose the homosexual agenda.
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall – Stonewall, where lawless homosexuals threatened the lives of police officers doing their duty
just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. – And where people, even my white grandmother, should be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. – Unless they work for me and accept our pay scale: 18 percent less for women.
Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law –- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. – And our heterosexual brothers and sisters are treated equally as well, until anti-bullying laws and hate crime laws apply equally to all.
Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. – I promise an executive order allowing everyone voting for me to go to the head of the voting line, even if they arrived 10 minutes prior to the closing of the polls. And even if they can’t prove they are a citizen.
Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity – And who still come here legally and assimilate, unlike those cheating and flouting immigration law by entering the country illegally, or those who smuggle humans or drugs across our borders.
until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. – Never mind the law; I need voters now!
Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit – who escape the murder and violence
to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm. – Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses, your guns. Your government will guarantee you a chicken in every pot and continued safety from all evil-doers.
That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American. – Pursuant to the laws cheapening life and liberty and polarizing this great nation.
Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. – Especially the First Amendment.
It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. – Certainly not us Alinskyites.
Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time. – And act with impunity against the will of the people.
For now decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay. – We must proceed with the worst possible “solutions” to the problems of our time. We cannot take the time to actually read the bills that will impact your lives for decades to come. We must pass them to see what is in them and then move forward and act upon them.
We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, — If you don’t count my refusal to negotiate with Republicans, grandstand, or diss Supreme Court justices to their face.
or treat name-calling as reasoned debate – Even if I do identify my opponents as ENEMIES. I’m justified doing that. You’re not.
We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. – I’ve never spoken truer words!
We must act, knowing that today’s victories – Well they are actually ATTACKS on life, liberty, Republicans and successful business owners.
will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall. – And which were just rejected by about 99 percent of the voters from inner Philly.
My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God – BUT AS MY OWN PARTY DETERMINED LAST SUMMER, IT WILL NOT BE THE GOD MOST AMERICANS WORSHIP. NO. IT WILL BE MINE: ALLAH — and country, not party or faction.
And we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. – Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar!
But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. – The same flag I refuse to look at.
They are the words of citizens and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. – To set it correctly despite my radical agenda.
You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – Though my friends and I actually know the debate is over.
not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. – Those ancient values and enduring ideals I set into motion four long years ago.
Let us, each of us, now embrace with solemn duty and awesome joy what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. – The freedom to worship your federal government. Long live the government!
Thank you. MY GOD, NOT YOURS – ALLAH — bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America. – And the great downsizing project we are today embarked on today, some with us, many not.
When in the course of political events it becomes necessary for the Conservative base to temporarily dissolve the bonds which connect them to the Republican Party and to assume the wisdom of the party platform and principles, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation of one week’s time.
We hold these truths to be self-evident that Conservatives represent the heart of and the majority of the Republican Party. That whenever any form of party leadership becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the Conservative base to institute demands for full respect and adherence to fiscal AND social soundness. That without the Conservative majority, the Republican Party is unviable and non-competitive.
When a long train of abuses and usurpations becomes pattern, Conservatives will not and cannot comply.
Party leadership has punished and demoted principled Conservative members from committees of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Party leadership is threatening to compromise with the opposition, putting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness at risk for all Americans.
Party leadership indicates it is unwilling to do the job for which it was given majority power in the U.S. House of Representatives. That being to fight socialists and those standing in opposition to the social underpinnings of America’s founding principles – life, marriage, and liberty – and to the commonsense principles of fiscal responsibility. To reduce spending and impose a reasonable ceiling on the currently insane level of debt resting on the head of citizens living and yet unborn.
Party leadership is demonstrating weakness at a time when strength is needed to exert sensible and correct counter positions to the flawed and destructive policies of the radical Left.
Party leadership exhibits a willingness to comply with the radical left-stream media’s destructive demands for compliance with harmful principles preferred by Democrats.
Party leaders insist on nominating presidential candidates who are unwilling to fight for and model Conservative principles which have stood the test of time and which have enabled the greatest times of prosperity in American history. These candidates are repeatedly unable to defeat flawed, corrupt Democrat incumbents who are substantially damaging America’s culture and committing generations of citizens to unsustainable debt while condemning millions of preborn children to death.
All the while, party leaders insist that those willing to compromise with the extreme demands of the Left are the answer to America’s most severe problems. This is not in the best interest of Americans.
We Conservatives therefore resolve to separate from the Republican Party, to demonstrate the seriousness of the problems existing within the party, for the period of January 1 to January 7 of the year 2013. If party leaders respond in good faith and restore a genuine, healthy respect to the Conservative base and the accompanying principles, relations will be fully restored. If not … a longer period of independence shall be declared until the leaders of the Republican Party come to restoration of good senses. For without the good will and full participation by the Conservative base the Republican Party cannot continue to pursue its questionable course, let alone compete with the opposing party.
By Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
Now that some of the shock is wearing off, conservatives are experiencing another emotion. Disbelief. Less than 48 hours after barely surviving the election, liberal leaders insist they have a mandate to lead America even farther Left. I don’t know about you, but squeaking out an election in a bitterly divided nation is hardly what I’d call a blanket endorsement of the President’s policies. In fact, the only mandate we’re aware of is the one 43 institutions are fighting in court!
Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) from assuming this new mantle of self-entitlement. During a press conference yesterday, Sen. Reid made it clear that he’s seizing these results as a national nod to higher taxes. “The mandate was look at all the exit polls, look at all the polling, the vast majority of the American people, rich, poor, everybody agrees that the rich–richest of the rich–have to help a little bit.” Well, interestingly enough, those same exit polls showed a huge discrepancy between the Democrats’ proposal and the voters’ opinion. Asked if taxes should be raised to cut the deficit, only 33% of voters said “yes.” If that’s how liberals define a consensus, then there’s more separating these parties than politics!
In reality, Mitt Romney had a huge advantage with voters in areas that should force the President to rethink his in-your-face strategy. In several of those exit poll questions, voters gave Romney a double-digit edge over the President in categories like “shares my values,” (55-42%), “is a strong leader” (61-38%) and “has a vision for the future” (54-45%). Americans also thought Mitt was more qualified to handle the economy (49-48%) and the deficit (49-47%).
As disappointing as the election outcome was, it wasn’t a mandate. A little more than two million votes separate the two candidates in the popular vote, and, as John Podhoretz points out, they aren’t even done counting. “It’s a little noticed fact that in two weeks following every presidential election, votes will continue to be reported… by the millions.” A lot of these are military, provisional, and absentee ballots that could break the Governor’s way. So the idea that waging a close and bitter campaign that divides the country somehow gives the President a blank check is ridiculous.
Michael Barone hinted at this on Tuesday in his column, “America Is Two Countries, Not on Speaking Terms.” “One America tends to be traditionally religious, personally charitable, appreciative of entrepreneurs, and suspicious of government. The other tends to be secular or only mildly religious, less charitable on average, skeptical of business, and supportive of government as an instrument to advance liberal causes… Now the two Americas disagree, sharply.” And for four years, President Obama’s administration has done more to widen the gulf than bridge it. He spent his first term as the leader of one America–and chief antagonist of the other. So, as far as I’m concerned, this election isn’t a mandate–it’s a second chance. Despite a highly controversial four years, some Americans still believe this President is capable of putting aside his acrimony, his extreme social agenda and assuming the unifying role our nation needs. But that’s not a mandate. That’s leadership.
FRCA Had Plenty of Election Im-PAC
As more people sift through the polling data and try to piece together what happened Tuesday, evangelical voters seem to be on a lot of pundits’ minds. In the aftermath, many have wondered if the church’s enthusiasm for Romney wasn’t as high as many leaders–including myself–had predicted. Turns out, evangelicals were not only voting, they outperformed their 2008 involvement. Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, it still wasn’t enough to overcome the massive turnout by Democratic Hispanics, African-Americans, and young people. “Of white evangelicals specifically,” Ed Morrissey writes, “turnout was steady at 26% of the electorate from four years ago and Romney took 78% of the vote compared to just 74% for McCain.” Apart from how people self-identify (as either Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, etc.), weekly church attendance was another key statistic. Forty-two percent of this year’s voters worship weekly (compared to 40% in 2008) with Romney capturing 59% of that vote compared to John McCain’s 55%.
For FRC and FRC Action, those numbers help validate all the work and miles we logged to increase values voter turnout. And the evidence of impact stretches well beyond the presidential. Despite losing the big prize and grieving the loss of so many key ballot initiatives, it was still a good day for the FRC Action PAC and the men and women we endorsed. After all of the disappointment on the national stage, our team was thrilled to see that 81% of our congressional candidates won. In the House and Senate, we celebrated victories in 129 of 159 races where the results are final (five contests have not been called). Our thanks go out to everyone who invested in the FRC Action PAC. It was money well spent! Whether we were replacing phony moderates, beating liberals, or reelecting strong conservatives, you can rest assured that there are new leaders in Congress who have our pro-family seal of approval!
A couple of days have passed since Tuesday’s loss, but for many of us, it still stings. The outcome was not what we hoped for, worked for, or anticipated, but even in the midst of it, I have not once questioned what we did or what we stood for. Even when the criticism comes–and it will come–the words of Teddy Roosevelt never ring truer for FRC, for our movement, or for the millions of voters still fighting, at great personal cost, for the truth.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
The reality in life is that sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. In times like these, we have to keep an eternal perspective, remembering that as Christians, we go from victory to victory. That doesn’t mean every election ends with a parade, because our battle is not temporal; it’s spiritual. Voters may reject the values that have sustained this nation for more than 230 years–but an election is not going to change the sovereignty of God, nor will it alter his eternal truths. Our charge is to not lose heart; to stay faithfully engaged in the struggle for faith, family, and freedom.
And our challenge is to pray. In Luke 18, Jesus’s parable reminds us that, “Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry out to him day and night?” If Paul could call on believers in his day to pray for those in authority, like Nero, who used Christians as human torches, then we can pray for our President and government. Prayer gives us the grace to go on, the mercy to maintain, the patience to persist, the courage to care, and the strength to stand–which is what we are called to do. As John Quincy Adams said when asked about his unyielding and unfruitful fight to end slavery, “Duty is ours, results belong to God.”
By Jay Hominick, The American Spectator
The Emperor’s latest suit of new clothes fits about as well as the previous ones. Now we all have to mouth platitudes about what a terrific campaign Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan ran. Well, guess what, they ran a pathetic embarrassment of a campaign, and when the R/R met Conductor Karl Rove’s caboose at the American Crossroads, the result was a disastrous train wreck. The Emperor not only has no clothes, he is covered in unsightly warts.
I say this fully acknowledging that Romney almost won with a fine debate performance and that I for one was gulled into predicting he would win. But that would have been a fluke, losing the campaign and winning the debate.
Without doing a laundry list of complaints, I can prove my case with a simple question: did anyone here see an ad, one single solitary ad, laying out exactly what was going to happen to you after Obamacare is implemented? Anyone mention the “fine” you will pay if you do not honor the mandate to buy health insurance? Anyone mention one by one, slowly, each new tax that will kick in automatically on January 1, 2013?
I saw a million polls on Rasmussen and Real Clear Politics about the Presidential and the Congressional and immigration and exfoliation and peregrination and miscegenation and who knows what all, but not one single poll asked people if they know the amount they will pay extra in 2013. Not one asked if they are aware of the amount of the health insurance penalty. So it falls to me to give you the results of my informal poll. The answer is zero. Zero! Nobody knows because it was out of sight, out of mind and no one called it to people’s attention.
I went around asking my wealthier friends if they were aware that if they die on December 31 and leave an estate of 5 million dollars, their children will receive five million dollars (well, not in New York, with an estate tax as high as 16 percent), but if they hang in until January 1, their children will receive 2.8 million and Uncle Sam will take delivery of the other $2,200,000.00. No, they were not aware, for the most part. And those are the more fiscally knowledgeable people in the society.
Personally, I would have preferred direct attacks on the Democrats and on the President, but even in the Gentleman Jim model, it made sense to EDUCATE people about the dollars-and-cents consequences of their vote beyond repeating like a mantra umpteen zillion times that there are 23 million Americans looking for work.
Even that issue was not framed to pack a punch. It would have resonated much more to repeat how many people had jobs when Obama took office and how many have them now. Then point out this is the first time in our lifetimes the country has fewer total jobs at the end of four years.
But if Romney was dumb Rove was dumber. He collected upwards of one hundred million dollars and all but one of the candidates he backed lost. The reason for his monumental ineffectiveness was simple: his ads sounded like campaign ads from the Campaign.
The whole point of surrogate advertising groups is to get their hands dirty. If the man on the ticket wants to be Mr. Nice Guy, then it’s up to his backers to play rough. (The Talmud says a scholar should not fight back against his detractors but his students and followers should instead.)
The Swift Boat guys defeated John Kerry by telling uncomfortable truths that George W. Bush did not think were fodder for Presidential conversation. Where was the equivalent material about Obama in the ads run by Rove and his pals?
We did not even hear substantive material from his Presidency that was hard-hitting. No ad mentioned his telling Medvedev to tell Putin he would be flexible after the election. No ad mentioned he agreed with Sarkozy that Netanyahu is a liar. No ad mentioned he told the San Francisco Chronicle he would bankrupt the coal industry.
But we certainly did not hear personal things on the level of the ads against Romney for being a vulture capitalist. We did not hear that he was a community organizer for years without a single testimonial from anyone who benefited from his help. We did not hear that he lets his brother live in a hovel in Kenya.
Nor do the Republicans get credit for playing nice. The press frames it as a mutually negative campaign. I see the downside of this strategy, but where is the upside? Whose respect did they gain?
Yeah, I know I made the same point here eight years ago, but those who do not repeat it are doomed to learn from history.