Wednesday, November 07, 2012
The election is over, and President Barack Hussein Obama has won re-election.
There are some political, strategic reasons why I and so many others got this so wrong, but rather than go into details and analyze them here, I'd prefer to deal with the big picture issues. They're far more important.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan represented the old, traditional culture of America, that built the country and preserved our Republic these 236 years. They represented an opportunity to retrace our steps and return to the traditions of that democratic republic.
They were, essentially, decent and patriotic men who were rejected by just over half of the electorate in favor of someone with a demonstrated record of failure who concentrated on exacerbating the divisions in the country in order to retain power. The ironic joke is that Barack Obama has managed indeed to retain that power, but in a manner that so alienated half the country that he will be unable to govern effectively by mandate, or indeed in any other way.
What that really means will be a lot clearer, even to those celebrating the president's re-election tonight in about two years or so. The proof of that is that according to all the exit polls, the number one concern of the vast majority of voters was the economy, most of them said it was getting worse, not better and fully seventy-seven percent of voters called the economy not so good or poor.
Yet half of them voted against an experienced business man with a history of success in meeting difficult challenges and turning around failing enterprises in favor of someone whose only offer was more of the same.Essentially, half of America voted for the status quo.
That course is unsustainable, and raising taxes on 'the rich' this president successfully demonized to enough of the country to win tonight will simply grease the skids.
That's fairly similar to what happened to George W. Bush in 2004. People were afraid to change horses in midstream, especially for someone as eminently unlikeable as John Kerry. So they gave the incumbent a chance to follow through on his policies and perform. Remember 'I have political capital and I intend to spend it'?
The only difference is that President Bush had an actual mandate, and control of congress for two years of his second term. President Obama doesn't even have that much,(a few thousand votes in some of the strategic battleground states would have changed things entirely) and he's conducted himself in such a way that his fall from grace will be even more precipitous than President Bush's was.
The economy is not going to get better.
President Obama and the people around him still have the exact same attitude towards oil, coal and gas and skyrocketing energy prices are going to become the new normal.That will add up not only to higher prices at the pump but increased prices for food and goods.
In two years, about the time of the next midterms, we will almost certainly be facing stagflation and the harsh reality of the fiscal debacle this president created will be readily apparent even to many of the True Believers. As ObamaCare kicks in, Americans will be stunned at the taxes they incur and the bureaucracy they're going have to cope with. People used to being able to get care on demand are going to be shocked at how long they need to wait for a procedure, and they'll have to cope with a major shortage of doctors as fewer and fewer physicians will either go elsewhere or simply do something else because they won't be able to accept what ObamaCare offers them for their services without going bankrupt. Seniors will discover to their horror that everything they were told about rationed care is absolutely true.
The disillusionment will be fierce.
And on top of all that, the major scandals that began during the first Obama Administration will almost certainly burst into flame midway into the second. Benghazi, the Green energy scandals and Fast and Furious aren't going to go away, Darrel Issa is still going to be chairman of the oversight committee with subpoena power and the GOP dominated House is not going to be in a conciliatory mood.
The House may even put their collective foot down and refuse to raise the debt ceiling without quid pro quo cuts in spending the president will be unwilling to give them, and will almost certainly fight the president's continued hollowing out of our military tooth and nail. And in spite of tonight's disappointing showing, there are still enough Republicans in the Senate to filibuster., even if they need to be leaned on to do so.So we may even see gridlock similar to what's occurring today.
These things will all come to a head midway through this president's second term and it won't be pretty. Remember you heard it here first.
For now, what's apparent that whether they realize it or not, half of America apparently voted to emulate European socialism when the evidence of how well that's working is right before their eyes. They will experience exactly what they voted for now now to to the point where it sickens them, and they will either pull the reins and change or change will come to them as a natural consequence, because that's how it works. Ask the Greeks or the Spaniards.
It will be a harsher lesson than it needed to be, but perhaps a better one because of it.
For the rest of us, the ones on the other side of the divide, the question we must ask ourselves is different. We need to ask ourselves, what did tonight teach us about our half of the country? About the other half? And how can we use that knowledge to our benefit? Focus. This is a chance for new strategies and a brand new start, and it is eminently doable because no matter what, Obama and the Democrats are going to own what happens in the next four years.
And by the way, opting out is not an option. There are no bolt holes, not really. Flee history and politics and they have a horrible way of catching up with you in spite of your best efforts. Choices you refuse to make get made for you.
Unfortunately, in the meantime this is going to be a hard rain indeed that falls.How hard depends on us and how we embrace what could actually be a gift of fortune, depending on what we make of it.
Societies either embrace real change or they decay and decline. Decay and decline is a possibility, but in our case, rather than simply declining, we are a lot more likely to do what the Romans did in a similar situation. They decided this democracy stuff was too much trouble and dangerous to their physical security and survival. So they abandoned their republic and their traditional liberties altogether to become empire.
We have a chance to embrace real change, freed of a great deal of baggage if that is how we decide to make use of it.
A hard rain doesn't just storm and thunder. It washes away the old detritus. It cleanses.