American Elephants

The Ancient Chinese Curse is “May You Live in Interesting Times.”” by The Elephant's Child

Most political junkies like me, and a good percentage of the blogosphere, have spent the last two days surfing the web trying to understand what happened, and why. Not a fortuitous endeavor. Everybody’s a little hysterical, analysis leaves a lot to be desired and prognostication is all over the place. And a large percentage of the commentary is just plain nuts.

Herman Cain is demanding a third party, some Democrat is saying the 2016 election will be between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, and many are just insisting that the country is lost, and America is no longer the land of the free. Everybody who wanted someone other than Romney in the primaries is sure if only their candidate had gotten the nomination, all would be different. The problem, say others, is the missing white voters. Their absence is variously attributed to vote fraud, voter suppression, disinterest, and their not being counted yet.

Michael Medved — who is such a political junkie, he reads political statistics instead of thrillers, like the rest of us do — said today that voter suppression is a direct result of negative advertising. Too much negativity directed at a candidate means that voters get sick of it all and just stay home. There was certainly a lot of negative advertising from the Obama campaign.

Mitt Romney was guilty of outsourcing, being a corporate raider, a murderer, too rich to care about anyone but other rich people, guilty of destroying companies for his own benefit, being mean to his dog, guilty of having a “dancing horse” that only extraordinarily rich people could afford, putting an elevator for a car in his California house, and being a flip-flopper on every issue, as well as a liar, and shipping jobs overseas. Really.

Beyond that, it was all Bush’s fault. Apparently after Obama invested 4 years and millions of dollars in blaming George W. Bush for the financial crisis, most people actually believe the financial crisis was Bush’s fault. [hint: after the election in 2008, but before the inauguration George W. Bush had to draft a check for the auto industry. GM had only days of cash left. That was TARP. George Bush bailed out the auto industry, and the recession officially ended in June of 2009] Whatever came after June 2009 goes on Obama’s record.

There’s a lot for complainers to complain about. But there are twinkles of light in the gloom. A 51-48 % victory is not a mandate, particularly when Obama avoided telling anyone what his second term plan of action is. Whether he admits it or not, he knows that he won that small victory on the basis of negative advertising. The huge, immense, really difficult problem is the economy, which he has made a mess of. Barack Obama does not understand economics and refuses to listen to those who do. If he makes a mess of it this time, he can’t blame anyone else, and his failure will expose his record for all to see, as well as make clear who and what the Democrats stand for.

Starting January 1, Americans face a $494 billion tax increase, the highest ever in a single year. The average American household will see its taxes go up by $3,800 in 2013. The extra income from the payroll tax holiday will go away, the child tax credit will be halved to $500, and the threshold for deduction for medical expenses will rise to 10%. All these wonderful ideas will cost the economy over 2 million jobs and increase unemployment, and we will probably face a new recession.

Benghazi is not going away, and Fast and Furious is not going away, nor is all the wasteful spending on useless “clean energy.” Second terms are always worse than the first.

Opponents around the world have taken the measure of Obama and know more about his limits. Naive in his first term about foreign policy, he was sure that being the ‘”not-Bush” was sufficient to make him popular around the world. Wrong. Hillary is leaving, Eric Holder is probably leaving. Susan Rice has lost any legitimacy, and a lot of others will probably want to avoid a second term disaster. We are going to live in interesting times. Very interesting indeed.


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