Why Isn’t Romney Slaughtering Obama?

By any objective standard, Barack Obama’s presidency must be judged a failure. Romney should be slaughtering him in the polls. Yet the polls show the race virtually dead-even. Why is that?

By any objective standard, Barack Obama’s presidency must be judged a failure. It is undeniable that the hope for positive change that he inspired – however nebulous the meaning – has not been fulfilled. Obama promised the American people that he would deliver: (i) a more prosperous future, (ii) a more transparent government, (iii) a country that would be respected worldwide, (iv) a more equitable society and (v) a more united body politic. Not only has he failed to deliver on any of those five promises, but the case is easily made that he has moved the needle in the opposite direction in every one of those areas.

No rightist, and nary a centrist would disagree with the previous assessment. Even the leftists are unhappy with their savior. Numerous critical articles have appeared in leftist journals such as the New York Times and the Huffington Post – although, most of these chastise the President for not governing sufficiently far to the left. (A good example is an article by Jonathan Chait in the September 2, 2011 NYT entitled “What the Left Doesn’t Understand About Obama.”) Given the universally negative opinion of Obama’s achievements, why isn’t Romney clobbering him in the polls? One would expect that virtually any minimally respectable Republican candidate could cruise to victory in November.

Before providing the answer, here is a litany – arranged in parallel to the five points above – of Obama’s primary failures, which are not open to dispute:

(i)      Obama’s Keynesian economic policies have forestalled the robust economic recovery that normally follows a steep recession. Instead, his profligate tax, spend and borrow policies have led to massive deficits, crushing debt, bloated and inefficient government, sustained high unemployment, financial uncertainty and a diminished standard of living.

(ii)    Obama’s “Chicago-style” of governing is characterized by the ramming through of major legislative measures (Obamacare and Dodd-Franks) without widespread citizen assent, a bigoted Justice Department, recess appointments when Congress is not in recess, executive orders that violate legislative intent and the bottling up of America’s energy resources under insurmountable red tape.

(iii)   Obama pursues a warped and cowardly foreign policy that subverts US allies (like Israel, Poland and England) while rewarding its enemies (too numerous to list). It encompasses a dangerous drawdown of the country’s military assets. The result has not been increased respect or affection for the US around the globe, but rather contempt and disregard. Why should any country respect the US when its president bows to dictators and denies that his country plays or has played an exceptional role in world history?

(iv)   Obama’s attempt to redistribute wealth has been partially “successful.” His demonization of the wealthy and entrepreneurial has terrified business, restricted investment and stunted economic growth; but it has succeeded in increasing the number of Americans on food stamps.

(v)    Perhaps his greatest failure is his inability or unwillingness to function as the post-partisan, post-racial unifier that he promised to be. The country took justifiable pride in electing a black president, viewing his election as an atonement for the racial injustices in its past. Rather than embracing the role, Obama has squandered the opportunity by pitting rich against poor, business against consumers, citizens against illegal immigrants, religious against secular, and even whites against minorities on occasion. His disgusting campaign against Romney-Ryan is more indicative of a gangland thug than an inspirational national leader.

The harsh assessment above is certainly shared by a great many Americans. Why, then, is Mitt Romney not running away with the election? The answer can be provided in a rather broad stroke, which is sharpened by two very specific components of that stroke. First, Obama is, unfortunately, deeply representative of the political/cultural trajectory of the country over the last hundred years. The century-long onslaught by progressives on American society has been recounted by numerous authors. In a nutshell, progressives believe that the founding principles of the United States – as enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution – were wrong and that America could be converted, according to them, into a more just, humane, equitable and fairer society if it adjusted its principles to more closely match those of John Dewey, Herbert Croly, Woodrow Wilson and even Karl Marx. Over the course of a hundred years, the people of the United States – either consciously or subconsciously – have come to accept to a shocking degree the legitimacy of that view.

Well, Obama is the fulfillment of that vision. Romney, and especially Ryan represent a return to the ideals of the Founders. In fact, given the apparent success of the progressive revolution, it is perhaps remarkable that Romney is even competitive with Obama. The fact that he is competitive illustrates that the progressive victory is not yet complete. Actually, only 20% of the country openly professes allegiance to the progressive program. The remaining 80% are split roughly evenly between those who would prefer to cling to the Founders’ ideals and those who are either apathetic or confused. Unfortunately, the latter group tends to overwhelmingly support the leftist cause. This is so because of two special features of today’s progressive milieu that have rendered the flaming incompetent Obama as at least an even bet to retain his crown. They are Media bias and Public School brainwashing.

It is well-known that virtually all of the opinion-molding organs of American society are firmly in the hands of the leftists. These include: the media, public schools, academia, legal profession, foundations, seminaries, libraries and, sadly, many major corporations. Therefore, unless an individual is an exceptionally original thinker or is exposed to a countervailing inoculation (e.g., by reading the Wall Street Journal or The Washington Times, watching Fox News, subscribing to the Heritage Foundation or attending Hillsdale or Grove City College), his mindset is inevitably shaped to be part of the liberal consensus. And the two venues that are most influential in this regard are the media and the government-controlled public schools. If these two components were magically removed from the progressive control board, then what remains – if it even could survive without these fundamental components – would likely not be enough to control the national conversation as it currently does. But today – and for the last 30-50 years – the children of America are subject to a relentless barrage of left-wing propaganda that is strongly reinforced by what their parents see and read on TV, in the movies and in the newspaper.

The pernicious efforts of the mainstream media and the education establishment have rendered at least a quarter of the population into mindless robots who serve the progressive cause. Nothing is going on in their heads. Therefore, the robots will favor Obama – despite his manifest failures and despite the fact that their support runs counter to their own self interest. Added to the 20% hardcore liberal population, one obtains Obama’s 45% approval rating.

Thus the election is neck and neck. But here’s a thought. Maybe it’s not. All the polls seem stuck on a roughly 45-45 split. That leaves 10% undecided. Now, historically, undecideds break nearly unanimously against the incumbent. Hopefully, Obama’s vile campaign against Romney will ensure that the historical precedent is maintained. Thus, it really is 55-45 for Romney, which would match the 10 point spread between Reagan and Carter in 1980. So maybe a slaughter is in the offing after all. One can only hope.

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5 comments to Why Isn’t Romney Slaughtering Obama?

  • sedonaman

    Re: “Obama’s Keynesian economic policies … ”

    That would be “Obama’s Kenyan economic policies …”

  • bassboat

    What do you expect with a compliant media? The only thing that the left understands is money. Conservatives should unite and boucott the advertisers and the major media. Unfortunately the right does not have that gene.

  • mannning

    In the progressive/liberal/moderate blogs there is a host of apologists for every action, policy and outcome of the current Obama administration and the legislators that support him. To raise literally any negative point is to receive at least several putdown responses that on the surface seem to answer the mail. By the third exchange one comes to realize that the purpose of the commentors is not a debate at all, but to ensure that their habitual blog readership follows their line of reasoning and not yours–the tainted conservative or Democrat. In the end, they usually resort to name calling and ad homeinem attacks to shut civil debate off. In that they succeed.

    This leads to the conclusion that at least most of the core bloggers from the left are neither amenable to honest debate nor even interested in diverse points of view. Their position is hard-baked into their DNA. What percentage this represents I cannot say, but my belief is that we are dealing with the radicals of the 60s and 70s morphed into upper middle class professionals, managers, professors, and wannabees that have found their leader, who just happens to be the narcissistic President of the United States.

  • sedonaman

    øbama learned well the lesson from Bill Clinton: a liberal in office can get away with anything, for whatever reason, and øbama put it to use in the appointment of his cabinet and numerous sub-dictators called “czars”.

    The problems facing this country are overwhelming and insurmountable: world terrorism, war in the Middle East, economic depression, crime, … the list goes on and on. So, the “czars” rule with impunity because so overwhelmed are they, FEW PEOPLE CARE ANY MORE. The man who promised us “hope” in 2008 has given us the exact opposite.

    As far as conservative friendly media are concerned, Fox news is almost a waste. Instead of carefully moderating debates of two or three major issues for an hour, Fox follows the a worn out format of devoting four minutes each to many issues with several advocates from both sides, each one trying to get their points across, degrading to shouting matches in the process, and a complete turn-off. The rest of the hour is 15-20 minute segments of fluff, more commonly known as “human interest” … like interviewing some woman whose dog saved her from drowning. In the case of Hannity and O’Reilly, they are hour-long shout shows.

    Another thing. Liberal media will take an allegation [like "Romney 'lied' when he said he paid 13%; he actually paid 12%"] and run with it for a week. How long did the Bush National Guard Records story run above the fold on the front page of the New York Times? Conservative media make accusations of media bias and let it hang out there like it speaks for itself.

    There is another PR problem that was the subject of a study by economist Andrew Oswald of Warwick University in England, that explains why the Republican lower-taxes message fails to resound with the voters and the Democrat high-taxes one does:

    “Everybody hates a winner, and when you lose, you lose together.” According to new research, we not only envy winners, we often punish them-even at our own expense.

    “I may have unearthed the dark side of human nature,” says Oswald. His ingenious study, conducted with colleague Daniel Zizzo of Oxford University, tested how willing we are to burn away others’ wealth, even when we have to give up our own to do so. Participants played an anonymous betting game at a computer terminal. The money they received to play the game – along with any winnings – was theirs to keep. As they played, the screen showed exactly how much other players were winning. At the end, players could secretly burn away other people’s money – but only if they burned 25 percent of their own money, too.

    Of 116 study participants – playing several games in anonymous groups of four – almost two-thirds chose to burn other players’ winnings. And this was in spite of the high cost – burn a dollar of another’s money, lose 25 cents of your own. Losers punished winners, which might seem to be motivated by a kind of perverse logic, driven by envy and resentment. But even winners punished others, though they punished both poor and rich alike – reducing their own windfalls.

    See “Losers Take All” by Jill Neimark, http://jillneimark.com/losers.html

    Why doesn’t the conservative media do stories like that?

  • volksfan

    It couldn’t be because voters don’t like Romney’s path for the country, could it?

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