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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2000 on: November 07, 2012, 06:59:09 PM »

The thread's name is "The Way Forward for the American Creed".
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G M
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« Reply #2001 on: November 08, 2012, 04:50:46 PM »

Two points, and then I hope that we can begin to have a discussion which includes multiple viewpoints and civil discussion. I sincerely hope to see a return to civil discussion in this country.

Like the civil discussion we got from the left in 2000 and 2004?

So, given the president's victory, how do we heal as a country and as a people?

Exactly how do you define "heal" in this case?

What can be done, constructively, by us and others to assist in this process? What does the fact that all of the "rape" congressional candidates lost (Mourdock and Akin, the latter decisively in an election that he once had 7-9% lead in)?

Because republicans won't support stupid candidates, unlike the other party....
What does it say that many Tea Party candidates lost or nearly lost? Is the Brown loss in Massachusetts a referendum for the Tea Party in the same way his victory was pitched as such for Obama in 2010? What does it say that the GOP retained the House? Is it simple incumbency or other?

For whatever reason, millions of republican voters sat this one out.
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G M
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« Reply #2002 on: November 08, 2012, 05:02:55 PM »




Everything is fine until you feel the impact.
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DDF
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« Reply #2003 on: November 08, 2012, 08:21:56 PM »

I can only laugh, know that I live in a country that others describe as "third world," and know...that you all are not far behind.
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We all die. The second one accepts that, only then are they capable of living.
G M
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« Reply #2004 on: November 08, 2012, 09:09:25 PM »

I can only laugh, know that I live in a country that others describe as "third world," and know...that you all are not far behind.

I wish I could disagree .
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2005 on: November 08, 2012, 11:00:59 PM »

Feeling very discouraged today, but that is an indulgence.   Where to from here?

Got an email asking me to sign a petition to get rid of Boener as Speaker of the House and replace him with Paul Ryan.  Don't know the provenance of the email, but it strikes me as a damn fine idea   grin
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DougMacG
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« Reply #2006 on: November 09, 2012, 12:09:25 AM »

Dick Morris was in pretty good company with his wrong election forecast.  Michael Barone is a quality professional IMO and called it the same: http://washingtonexaminer.com/barone-i-was-wrongwhere-it-counted/article/2512860#.UJyFQlKIggC   Also http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/08/Polls-right-we-wrong and the Romney campaign itself: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57547239/adviser-romney-shellshocked-by-loss/?pageNum=1&tag=page

Jan Crawford /CBS News:  They made three key miscalculations, in part because this race bucked historical trends:

1. They misread turnout. They expected it to be between 2004 and 2008 levels, with a plus-2 or plus-3 Democratic electorate, instead of plus-7 as it was in 2008. Their assumptions were wrong on both sides: The president's base turned out and Romney's did not. More African-Americans voted in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida than in 2008. And fewer Republicans did: Romney got just over 2 million fewer votes than John McCain.

2. Independents. State polls showed Romney winning big among independents. Historically, any candidate polling that well among independents wins. But as it turned out, many of those independents were former Republicans who now self-identify as independents. The state polls weren't oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans - there just weren't as many Republicans this time because they were calling themselves independents.

3. Undecided voters. The perception is they always break for the challenger, since people know the incumbent and would have decided already if they were backing him. Romney was counting on that trend to continue. Instead, exit polls show Mr. Obama won among people who made up their minds on Election Day and in the few days before the election. So maybe Romney, after running for six years, was in the same position as the incumbent.
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G M
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« Reply #2007 on: November 09, 2012, 04:45:24 AM »


We are beyond the tipping point now. Exerting energy on politics is rearranging deck chairs when you need to get you and yours into a lifeboat.



Feeling very discouraged today, but that is an indulgence.   Where to from here?

Got an email asking me to sign a petition to get rid of Boener as Speaker of the House and replace him with Paul Ryan.  Don't know the provenance of the email, but it strikes me as a damn fine idea   grin


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2008 on: November 09, 2012, 08:28:56 AM »

My disgruntlement with DM is due only in part to his being so wrong in his area of expertise.

This country has been in big trouble before (e.g. the Carter years) and my nature is to fight for what I believe.  OTOH GM states what is also my sense of things.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #2009 on: November 09, 2012, 10:33:14 AM »

Armchair doomsaying has been popular this week for understandable reasons, but those who train MAs ought to have a deeper perspective here, IMO. What do you when someone bites you in a street fight? Pull the impacted body part back as hard as you can causing flesh to rend, or do you drive it as deeply into the gullet as possible using your opponents gag reflex to create an opening?

Similarly I've had sundry gigs over the years where some sort of fiscal or organizational crisis occurred. I'm someone who embraces constant innovation, innovation that is often thwarted by the comfortably intransigent. A good crisis comes along, however, and all of a sudden even the hidebound will embrace change that appears more likely to preserve the status quo than the alternative. Guess who always has a plan to roll out when a crisis arrives?

America's current path is flat out unsustainable; a reckoning will occur. Think the hard core statist know this, with the worst of them hoping to force a new feudal order out of it, casting themselves as the lords and high priests. Think those of us on the other side need to be able to make forceful arguments for the antithesis: unadulterated liberty. Those favoring liberty will also need a plan for when all the unsustainable chickens come home to roost.

Watching the GOP prepare for the next election will be telling. Will it embrace a simple message of liberty or rather cater to its strident constituencies and then try to swing to the middle after an unelectable candidate is nominated once again? Will it drive unmarried women into the statist camp over abortion, or will it embrace liberty? Will it shed independent and libertarian votes by supporting the construction of a surveillance state that will surely be used by statists to enforce their ends, or will they embrace liberty? Will it drive Latinos and other immigrant groups into the statist camp or use the tactics posited by Krauthammer in the piece Crafty posted elsewhere and default to liberty?

I entertain no illusions: most who oppose abortion will be unable to support a message of unadulterated liberty. Those who posit an existential threat so vast that construction of a surveillance state infrastructure which will be usurped by statists must proceed despite its threat to liberty will continue to believe so. All who want illegals rounded up and booted out will not drop that cause in support of a message of liberty. That's okay. It will all become a part of the great big gag reflex headed this nation's way.

The Republican party arose out the crucible of the Civil War, a war caused by the unsustainable institution of slavery. The Republican party will join the Whigs and Tories on the ash heap of history if it does not develop an effective response to the unsustainable institutions looming today. It ought not be a difficult task. The statist would dictate everyone's energy consumption if they could; they would tell you what your child is allowed to learn in school; they would limit speech deemed hurtful to their ends; they would disarm us and leave us dependent; they would determine who was fit to heal, what was fit to eat, where one is permitted to live, how one pursues happiness, and tell us why doing so is good for us.

Ends such as those should not be hard to battle; creating a 51 percent constituency favoring liberty ought not be a Herculean task, unless we burden ourselves with issues congruent with statist ends. Perhaps there's another grail out there, another straightforward message I've missed, a means to get the citizenry to rally around founding virtues and surmount the unsustainable. If you have one please spit it out. If you don't have a method by which to move forward, however, you are part of the Great Big Gag that's looming and will be unprepared to take any advantage of the openings it brings.
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G M
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« Reply #2010 on: November 09, 2012, 04:30:11 PM »

 "Guess who always has a plan to roll out when a crisis arrives?"

I was hoping that Romney/Ryan would get in and with their backgrounds, they'd get the engines to fire and pull the Enterprise out of the black hole. Unfortunately, there was no last second save. How many more trillions are we going to get dug into the next four years? Or will Buraq suddenly cut taxes, regulations and fire up the energy development (Real energy, not magical green energy that make billions of taxpayer dollars invisible in the blink of an eye) ?


"Will it drive Latinos and other immigrant groups into the statist camp or use the tactics posited by Krauthammer in the piece Crafty posted elsewhere and default to liberty?"

The hispanics in the statist camp are there not because of immigration, but because class warfare and free stuff taken from others is cool with them. Just like the others in the statist camp.

It's not a matter of if it will be the end of the America we knew, it's a matter of how fast and all the bad things that are going to happen as we progress to that point. The good news, if there is any, is that the culture of dependency will end. At some point, the EBT cards will stop working and the blue cities will burn as the morlocks consume the eloi within. Worst case, we have only a few months to prepare, best case some years before we see a cascading systemic collapse. Use the time you have to prepare and plan.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #2011 on: November 09, 2012, 05:34:45 PM »

The hispanics in the statist camp are there not because of immigration, but because class warfare and free stuff taken from others is cool with them. Just like the others in the statist camp.

I haven't read the exit polling directly, but several sources I've encountered of late have said that Bush pulled in substantially more Hispanics than Romney and that Catholic Hispanics have their share of conservative issues that are trumped by the perceived "deport 'em all" GOP policy.

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G M
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« Reply #2012 on: November 09, 2012, 05:38:22 PM »

The hispanics in the statist camp are there not because of immigration, but because class warfare and free stuff taken from others is cool with them. Just like the others in the statist camp.

I haven't read the exit polling directly, but several sources I've encountered of late have said that Bush pulled in substantially more Hispanics than Romney and that Catholic Hispanics have their share of conservative issues that are trumped by the perceived "deport 'em all" GOP policy.



So we give up on the whole rule of law concept? Let's just get rid of that mean ol' border anyway.
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G M
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« Reply #2013 on: November 09, 2012, 05:42:02 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/332916

Why Hispanics Don’t Vote for Republicans

By Heather Mac Donald
November 7, 2012 12:20 P.M. The call for Republicans to discard their opposition to immigration amnesty will grow deafening in the wake of President Obama’s victory. Hispanics supported Obama by a margin of nearly 75 percent to 25 percent, and may have provided important margins in some swing states. If only Republicans relented on their Neanderthal views regarding the immigration rule of law, the message will run, they would release the inner Republican waiting to emerge in the Hispanic population. 

If Republicans want to change their stance on immigration, they should do so on the merits, not out of a belief that only immigration policy stands between them and a Republican Hispanic majority. It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation. Hispanics will prove to be even more decisive in the victory of Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised upper-income taxes and the sales tax, than in the Obama election.

And California is the wave of the future. A March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.

I spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”

And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. One can see that disparity in classrooms across the state, which are chock full of social workers and teachers’ aides trying to boost Hispanic educational performance.

The idea of the “social issues” Hispanic voter is also a mirage. A majority of Hispanics now support gay marriage, a Pew Research Center poll from last month found. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites.

The demographic changes set into motion by official and de facto immigration policy favoring low-skilled over high-skilled immigrants mean that a Republican party that purports to stand for small government and free markets faces an uncertain future. 

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2014 on: November 09, 2012, 06:52:11 PM »

Gents:

Some very good conversation here.  Lets take it over to The Way Forward for the American Creed please.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #2015 on: November 09, 2012, 10:40:26 PM »

Paraphrasing Rush L. from Wed, in a nation full of children it is hard to defeat Santa Claus.

Glenn Beck put it this way during the campaign, freedom or free-stuff, choose one.  (People did.)

VDH prescient in July: "[Pres. Obama] figures that he can by appeals to gays (gay marriage), those on entitlements (nearly fifty million are now on food stamps; 50% are paying no income tax or are on some sort of entitlement — or both), the greens (Keystone), the Latinos (de facto amnesty), feminists (“war on women”), the (fill in the blanks), etc."  ...  "to the extent someone might point to polling, he is met with “But the polls are biased!” Perhaps they are by 3-4 points.  But right now, given the power of incumbency, the changing nature of the U.S., and the no-holds-barred methods of Barack Obama, the advantage is still all Obama’s — and almost all the polls show that." ... "the fact that purple-state Democrats up for reelection don’t want to be seen with Obama is understandable, but not necessarily a barometer of what Ohio, Florida, Colorado, and Virginia will do on Election Day."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2016 on: November 09, 2012, 11:34:34 PM »

Noonan: 'People Are Afraid of Change' Republicans got complacent. Now it's time to rethink.By PEGGY NOONANLike this columnist ..Article Stock Quotes Comments (1543) more in Opinion | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ ».smaller Larger facebooktwittergoogle pluslinked ininShare.4EmailPrintSave ↓ More .
.smaller Larger 
President Obama did not lose, he won. It was not all that close. There was enthusiasm on his side. Mitt Romney's assumed base did not fully emerge, or rather emerged as smaller than it used to be. He appears to have received fewer votes than John McCain. The last rallies of his campaign neither signaled nor reflected a Republican resurgence. Mr Romney's air of peaceful dynamism was the product of a false optimism that, in the closing days, buoyed some conservatives and swept some Republicans. While GOP voters were proud to assert their support with lawn signs, Democratic professionals were quietly organizing, data mining and turning out the vote. Their effort was a bit of a masterpiece; it will likely change national politics forever. Mr. Obama was perhaps not joyless but dogged, determined, and tired.

Apart from those points, everything in my blog post of Nov. 5 stands.

So what does it all mean?

It's hard to improve on the day-after summation of the longtime conservative activist Heather Higgins, of Independent Women's Voice: "A majority of the American people believe that the one good point about Republicans is they won't raise taxes. However they also believe Republicans caused the economic mess in the first place and might do it again, cannot be trusted to care about cutting spending in a way that is remotely concerned about who it hurts, and are retrograde to the point of caricature on everything else." She notes that in exit polls Republicans won the "Who shares your values?" question but lost on the more immediately important "Who cares about people like you?" "So it makes sense that many . . . are comfortable with the Republicans providing a fiscal brake in the House, while having the Democrats 'who care' own the Senate and the Presidency. And that is what we got."

Ms. Higgins wasn't happy with it but accurately reported it.

Enlarge Image

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Watching Tuesday's election results at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, where Mitt Romney conceded after midnight.
.It is and has been a proud Republican assumption—a given, a faith—that we are a center-right country and, barring extraordinary circumstances, will tend to return to our natural equilibrium. That didn't happen this time, for reasons technical, demographic and I think attitudinal: The Democrats stayed hungry and keenly alive to the facts on the ground. The Republicans worked hard but were less clear-eyed in their survey of the field. America has changed and is changing, culturally, ethnically—we all know this. Republican candidates and professionals will have to put aside their pride, lose their assumptions, and in the future work harder, better, go broader and deeper.

We are a center-right country, but the Republican Party over the next few years will have to ponder again what center-right means. It has been noted elsewhere that the Romney campaign's economic policies more or less reflected the concerns of its donor base. Are those the immediate concerns of the middle and working classes? Apparently the middle class didn't think so. The working class? In a day-after piece, Washington Post reporters Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker wrote: "As part of his role, [Paul] Ryan had wanted to talk about poverty, traveling to inner cities and giving speeches that laid out the Republican vision for individual empowerment. But Romney advisers refused his request to do so, until mid-October, when he gave a speech on civil society in Cleveland. As one adviser put it, 'The issues that we really test well on and win on are not the war on poverty.'"

That is the authentic sound of the Republican political operative class at work: in charge, supremely confident, essentially clueless.

It matters when you show people you care. It matters when you're there. It matters when you ask.

The outcome was not only a re-election but on some level and to some degree a rejection.

Some voted for Mr. Obama because he's a Democrat and they're Democrats, some because he is of the left and they are of the left. But some voters were saying: "See the guy we don't like that much, the one presiding over an economy we know is bad and spending policies we know are damaging? The one who pushed through the health-care law we don't like, and who can't handle Washington that well? Well, we like that guy better than you."

That's why this election is a worse psychic blow for Republicans than 2008, when a confluence of forces—the crash, dragged-out wars, his uniqueness as a political figure—came together to make Barack Obama inevitable.

But he was not inevitable after the past four years. This election was in part a rejection of Republicanism as it is perceived by a sizeable swath of the voting public.

Yes, Mitt Romney was a limited candidate from a limited field. Yes, his campaign was poor. It's also true that the president was the first in modern history to win a second term while not improving on his first outing. He won in 2008 by 9.5 million votes. He won Tuesday night, at last count, by less than three million.

Still.

Many things would have propelled Mr. Obama to victory, but one would be a simple bias toward stability, toward what already is. People are anxious, not as hopeful as they were. Two memories. One was a late-summer focus group of mothers who shop at Wal-Mart WMT -0.23%. One asked, paraphrasing, "If we pick Romney, does that mean we have to start over again?" Meaning, we've had all this drama since 2008, will that mean we're back at the beginning of the crash and have to dig out all over again? The other is a young working mother in Brooklyn, a member of an evangelical church, who told me 10 days ago her friends had just started going for Mr. Obama. Why? "People are afraid of change right now."

When America is in a terrible economic moment and the political opposition can't convince people that change might be improvement, then something's not working.

***
A big rethink is in order. The Republican Party has just been given four years to do it. They should get going. Now. For clarity they could start with essential, even existential, questions. Why does the party exist? What is its purpose? What is possible for it in the new America? How can it prosper politically while leading responsibly?

From there, the practical challenges. Some of these are referred to as "the woman problem" or "the Hispanic problem"—they presumably don't like the GOP. But maybe they think the GOP doesn't like them. What might be the reasons?

Those who say no change is needed, who suggest the American people just have to get with the program, are kidding themselves and talking in an echo chamber. What will they do if the same party comes forward in 2016 to the same result?

The great challenge for the Republican Party now is how to change its ways without changing its principles. Its principles are right and have long endured because they're right. But do all the party's problems come down to inadequate marketing, faulty messaging, poor candidates? Might some of it be policies, stands, attitudes?

That will be a subject here in the future. For now, in politics as in life, you have to play the hand you're dealt. You have to respect reality. Which is where conservatism actually starts, seeing what is real.

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ccp
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« Reply #2017 on: November 11, 2012, 11:00:03 AM »

noonan seems confused.   

"The great challenge for the Republican Party now is how to change its ways without changing its principles. Its principles are right and have long endured because they're right. But do all the party's problems come down to inadequate marketing, faulty messaging, poor candidates? Might some of it be policies, stands, attitudes?

What the heck is this jumble of crap?

Look it is simple.  We have the country receiving benefits and half that don't.

What policies, stands, and attitudes are faulty?  The Constitution?  What because Romney did not pander and try to buy off Latinos with immigration reform?  Because a few evangelicals made foolish political comments about abortion?

The only message I can think of that does need to be better is not just saying we "care".

Does she think Romney would have won if he didn't say the "47%" (which is absolutely true BTW)?

The only thing the Republicans can do to stick with their principles and to fight for America is somehow convince all thes new faces of color (Asians and Latinos), and the old faces of color (Blacks and some Latinos) that they are making a BIG mistake voting Democrats.   The Democrat party will keep them and the rest of this party poor.  Trickly up poverty as Radio host Savage describes.  Drag down the wealth producers and we all go down.  Now Obama has just said that is good.  He said well all go up or down together.  Obviously many have bought the koolaid.  But more importantly more like the handouts.  We have to somehow convince more people this is doomed to failure.

I don't know if we can accomplish this though.   We will see over the next four years as times get worse and our debt goes up.

I am not looking forward to the pain.  I wish I was independently wealthy as I would otherwise be very up for the fight.  I just don't have any resources.



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G M
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« Reply #2018 on: November 11, 2012, 04:47:19 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/333116/edge-abyss-mark-steyn

November 9, 2012 4:00 P.M.
The Edge of the Abyss
The default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist.
By Mark Steyn



Mark Steyn


Amid the ruin and rubble of the grey morning after, it may seem in poor taste to do anything so vulgar as plug the new and stunningly topical paperback edition of my book, After America — or, as Dennis Miller retitled it on the radio the other day, Wednesday. But the business of America is business, as Calvin Coolidge said long ago in an alternative universe, and I certainly could use a little. So I’m going to be vulgar and plug away. The central question of Wednesday — I mean, After America — is whether the Brokest Nation in History is capable of meaningful course correction. On Tuesday, the American people answered that question. The rest of the world will make its dispositions accordingly.
 
In the weeks ahead, Democrats and Republicans will reach a triumphant “bipartisan” deal to avert the fiscal cliff through some artful bookkeeping mechanism that postpones Taxmageddon for another year, or six months, or three, when they can reach yet another triumphant deal to postpone it yet again. Harry Reid has already announced that he wants to raise the debt ceiling — or, more accurately, lower the debt abyss — by $2.4 trillion before the end of the year, and no doubt we can look forward to a spectacular “bipartisan” agreement on that, too. It took the government of the United States two centuries to rack up its first trillion dollars in debt. Now Washington piles on another trillion every nine months. Forward!
 
If you add up the total debt — state, local, the works — every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Liechtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama’s second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election — that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it’s time to do something about it. 
 

My Hillsdale College comrade Paul Rahe, while accepting much of my thesis, thought that, as an effete milquetoast pantywaist sissified foreigner, I had missed a vital distinction. As he saw it, you can take the boy out of Canada but you can’t take the Canada out of the boy. I had failed to appreciate that Americans were not Euro-Canadians, and would not go gently into the statist night. But, as I note in my book, “a determined state can change the character of a people in the space of a generation or two.” Tuesday’s results demonstrate that, as a whole, the American electorate is trending very Euro-Canadian. True, you still have butch T-shirts — “Don’t Tread On Me,” “These Colors Don’t Run” . . . In my own state, where the Democrats ran the board on election night, the “Live Free or Die” license plates look very nice when you see them all lined up in the parking lot of the Social Security office. But, in their view of the state and its largesse, there’s nothing very exceptional about Americans, except that they’re the last to get with the program. Barack Obama ran well to the left of Bill Clinton and John Kerry, and has been rewarded for it both by his party’s victory and by the reflex urgings of the usual GOP experts that the Republican party needs to “moderate” its brand.
 
I have no interest in the traditional straw clutching — oh, it was the weak candidate . . . hard to knock off an incumbent . . . next time we’ll have a better GOTV operation in Colorado . . . I’m always struck, if one chances to be with a GOP insider when a new poll rolls off the wire, that their first reaction is to query whether it’s of “likely” voters or merely “registered” voters. As the consultant class knows, registered voters skew more Democrat than likely voters, and polls of “all adults” skew more Democrat still. Hence the preoccupation with turnout models. In other words, if America had compulsory voting as Australia does, the Republicans would lose every time. In Oz, there’s no turnout model, because everyone turns out. The turnout-model obsession is an implicit acknowledgment of an awkward truth — that, outside the voting booth, the default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist.
 
The short version of electoral cycles is as follows: The low-turnout midterms are fought in political terms, and thus Republicans do well and sometimes spectacularly well (1994, 2010); the higher-turnout presidential elections are fought in broader cultural terms, and Republicans do poorly, because they’ve ceded most of the cultural space to the other side. What’s more likely to determine the course of your nation’s destiny? A narrow focus on robocalls in selected Florida and New Hampshire counties every other fall? Or determining how all the great questions are framed from the classroom to the iPod to the movie screen in the 729 days between elections?
 
The good news is that reality (to use a quaint expression) doesn’t need to swing a couple of thousand soccer moms in northern Virginia. Reality doesn’t need to crack 270 in the Electoral College. Reality can get 1.3 percent of the popular vote and still trump everything else. In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and in return grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every dollar of economic growth the United States had to borrow about five dollars and 60 cents. There’s no one out there on the planet — whether it’s “the rich” or the Chinese — who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return. According to one CBO analysis, U.S.-government spending is sustainable as long as the rest of the world is prepared to sink 19 percent of its GDP into U.S. Treasury debt. We already know the answer to that: In order to avoid the public humiliation of a failed bond auction, the U.S. Treasury sells 70 percent of the debt it issues to the Federal Reserve — which is to say the left hand of the U.S. government is borrowing money from the right hand of the U.S. government. It’s government as a Nigerian e-mail scam, with Ben Bernanke playing the role of the dictator’s widow with $4 trillion under her bed that she’s willing to wire to Timmy Geithner as soon as he sends her his bank-account details.
 
If that’s all a bit too technical, here’s the gist: There’s nothing holding the joint up.
 
So Washington cannot be saved from itself. For the moment, tend to your state, and county, town and school district, and demonstrate the virtues of responsible self-government at the local level. Americans as a whole have joined the rest of the Western world in voting themselves a lifestyle they are not willing to earn. The longer any course correction is postponed the more convulsive it will be. Alas, on Tuesday, the electorate opted to defer it for another four years. I doubt they’ll get that long.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2019 on: November 11, 2012, 11:04:07 PM »

CCP:

I retain fondness for Noonan (I absolutely loved her Reagan book "When Character was King") but I agree, she has become increasingly wooly headed.  Your criticisms have merit.

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« Reply #2020 on: November 19, 2012, 12:12:32 PM »



http://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2012/11/19/election-musings
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« Reply #2021 on: November 20, 2012, 12:27:32 PM »

When Obama campaign aides surveyed the field of Republican presidential hopefuls early on, they saw a certain handsome Mormon candidate and thought he’d be trouble in a general election showdown.

It wasn’t Mitt Romney.

Jon Huntsman is the former Utah governor who took a moderate stance in a GOP field that leaned to the right. He didn’t get very far in the Republican nomination fight, but team Obama viewed him as a serious candidate who could pose real problems in a general election.

“We were honest about our concerns about Huntsman,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said at a Politico breakfast event Tuesday. “I think Huntsman would have been a very tough candidate.”

As for the president, he liked Mr. Huntsman enough to appoint him ambassador to China in 2009. Mr. Messina, who was working in the White House at the time, said he helped Mr. Huntsman win Senate confirmation.

“As someone who helped manage his confirmation for Chinese ambassador, he’s a good guy,” Mr. Messina said. “We looked at his profile in a general election and thought he would have been” a formidable candidate.  Politico’s video of the remarks is here.

Mr. Huntsman’s candidacy never caught on. In 2011, he sent out a tweet affirming that he believed in evolution and trusted “scientists on global warming.”

“Call me crazy,” Mr. Huntsman said at the time.

So, did the White House shuttle Mr. Huntsman off to China in hopes of forestalling a presidential bid? Was the Obama team looking to remove Mr. Huntsman from the “chessboard?” asked moderator Mike Allen of Politico.

“No, I thought he was a committed American who would serve our country well, and he did,” Mr. Messina replied.

At that, the audience chuckled.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #2022 on: November 26, 2012, 10:38:08 AM »

How ironic that the Russian Pravda is now reporting truth about the United States and our ignorant voters, while the U.S. media shills for the Obama administration:

Obama's Soviet Mistake

By Xavier Lerma - November 26, 2012


Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake.

After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.

Putin said regarding the military,

"...instead of solving the problem, militarization pushes it to a deeper level. It draws away from the economy immense financial and material resources, which could have been used much more efficiently elsewhere."

Well, any normal individual understands that as true but liberalism is a psychosis . O'bomber even keeps the war going along the Mexican border with projects like "fast and furious" and there is still no sign of ending it.  He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia.  Obama's fools and Stalin's fools share the same drink of illusion.

Reading Putin's speech without knowing the author, one would think it was written by Reagan or another conservative in America. The speech promotes smaller government and less taxes. It comes as no surprise to those who know Putin as a conservative. Vladimir Putin went on to say:

"...we are reducing taxes on production, investing money in the economy. We are optimizing state expenses.

 The second possible mistake would be excessive interference into the economic life of the country and the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state.

There are no grounds to suggest that by putting the responsibility over to the state, one can achieve better results.

Unreasonable expansion of the budget deficit, accumulation of the national debt - are as destructive as an adventurous stock market game.

During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure no one would want history to repeat itself."

President Vladimir Putin could never have imagined anyone so ignorant or so willing to destroy their people like Obama much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don't they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents. Obama has bailed out those businesses that voted for him and increased the debt to over 16 trillion with an ever increasing unemployment rate especially among blacks and other minorities. All the while promoting his agenda.

"We must seek support in the moral values that have ensured the progress of our civilization. Honesty and hard work, responsibility and faith in our strength are bound to bring us success."- Vladimir Putin

The red, white and blue still flies happily but only in Russia. Russia still has St George defeating the Dragon with the symbol of the cross on its' flag. The ACLU and other atheist groups in America would never allow the US flag with such religious symbols. Lawsuits a plenty against religious freedom and expression in the land of the free. Christianity in the U.S. is under attack as it was during the early period of the Soviet Union when religious symbols were against the law.   

Let's give American voters the benefit of the doubt and say it was all voter fraud and not ignorance or stupidity in electing a man who does not even know what to do and refuses help from Russia when there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead we'll say it's true that the Communists usage of electronic voting was just a plan to manipulate the vote. Soros and his ownership of the company that counts the US votes in Spain helped put their puppet in power in the White House. According to the Huffington Post, residents in all 50 states have filed petitions to secede from the Unites States. We'll say that these Americans are hostages to the Communists in power. How long will their government reign tyranny upon them?

Russia lost its' civil war with the Reds and millions suffered torture and death for almost 75 years under the tyranny of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Russians survived with a new and stronger faith in God and ever growing Christian Church. The question is how long will the once "Land of the Free" remain the United Socialist States of America?  Their suffering has only begun. Bye bye Miss American Pie!  You know the song you hippies. Sing it! Don't you remember? The 1971 hit song by American song writer Don McLean:

"And, as I watched him on the stage my hands were clenched in fists of rage.

No angel born in Hell could break that Satan's spell

And, as the flames climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial rite, I saw...

Satan laughing with delight the day the music died

He was singing, bye bye Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry

Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...

This'll be the day that I die

This'll be the day that I die

So, the question remains:

How long will America suffer and to what depths?

 

Xavier Lerma

Contact Xavier Lerma at xlermanov@swissmail.org

His popular articles can be seen at http://xlerma.wordpress.com/

Hyperlink to Pravda is mandatory if you republish this article.

 

 

 

Дмитрий Судаков
Copyright © 1999-2012, «PRAVDA.Ru». When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, hyperlink to PRAVDA.Ru should be made. The opinions and views of the authors do not always coincide with the point of view of PRAVDA.Ru's editors.
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« Reply #2023 on: November 26, 2012, 06:54:12 PM »

Thought I might comment on this tread.

I am a firm believer in "Generational Theory", a Cycle Theory that society operates along generational lines, with every 4th Generation being a "Crisis Generation".  This has been seen time and again since the 1400's.  For the US, Pre Revolutionary Times about 1760s to 1780s was a Crisis, followed by the Pre Civil War period, the mid 1920s to 1940s, and again about 2005 for the latest cycle.  In each 4th Generation, the US has undergone transformative changes, that have uniquely changed the culture and politics.  What the changes will be can never be predicted, but once the crisis begins, then the changes cannot be stopped.

This election, at least for me, was in many ways, a "non-event".  Though I thoroughly detest Obama, I knew that no matter how good Romney might have been, nothing would change, even if Romney had been elected.  The powers that be were too well entrenched into society, and the "looters", or "renters" as it is called now, would not walk away from what they could take from the populace.  (This applies to Crony Capitalists also.)

Most will agree that the US is not far from a complete financial collapse.  With continued increasing debt, and with the likelihood of increasing taxes, there is no way out of where we are, at least in a "reasonable" and "less harmful" manner.  Because of this, I was "torn" hoping that Romney would win, and delaying any collapse, or having Obama winning and then hastening the collapse.

At this point, I foresee that the US will continue its march to collapse. We will muddle through into the 2016 elections, and likely having another Dem president, even after a fiercely fought campaign over the economy, debt and deficit. People simply will not wish to make the sacrifices needed to "save" the Republic from collapse.

Probably about 2018, the feared "Crisis Trigger" will occur.  It might be financial, military, or another event that will bring into play the "revolutionary zeal" that each previous crisis has had occur.  At that time, the "Me Generation", born from the Mid 60's to the Mid 80"s will take the reins and lead the country into the "New Republic", in whatever manner and shape to come.  The 80's to 2004 Generation will be the one whereby the "burden of change", likely warfare, will fall on their heads. 

From this Crisis, a New Republic will rise from the ashes, in a form that we could not likely predict at this time.

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« Reply #2024 on: November 26, 2012, 06:57:39 PM »

I hope we have that much time to prepare. I fear we have anywhere from a few months to a few years at best.
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« Reply #2025 on: November 27, 2012, 10:06:31 AM »

A results page:
http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html

Clickable map for states at the link.  Crafty, YOU will like this map.
"Key: This Site uses Red for Democrats and Blue for Republicans".

Votes are still not all counted, still being updated.

Barack H. Obama, Joseph R. Biden, Democratic   64,175,423   50.79%  332 Electoral
Willard Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Republican        60,044,046   47.52%  206
Gary Johnson, James P. Gray,   Libertarian              1,247,710    0.99%      
Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala, Green                             452,497    0.36%    
Other                                                               426,307    0.34%  


One thing striking above is that President Obama the corporate cronyist had no real challenge from the third party left.  Had this been close, the Libertarian at 1% could have swung it for Obama.

As ugly as group against group politics is, we need to get the final tally on all the major divided-America groups before we close this thread IMHO.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 10:09:04 AM by DougMacG » Logged
ppulatie
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« Reply #2026 on: November 27, 2012, 10:37:04 AM »

GM,

I believe that we will have a few years to prepare individually for what is to come.  The government will try to use any method available to prevent a crash, and will manage to put it off until at least the next election.

I am working to prepare my own finances to allow my family, kids and grand kids, to be able to live through the crisis to come.  In the event of war, the gradson will still be too young to get drafted, so he should be immune from it.  If I can just get him and his sister fully funded, then I can rest easy.
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« Reply #2027 on: November 27, 2012, 12:28:04 PM »

Crafty, YOU will like this map.
"Key: This Site uses Red for Democrats and Blue for Republicans".

 cool cool cool

Agreed that this thread is not quite done.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #2028 on: November 27, 2012, 02:08:05 PM »

Glass half full.  Voters in off-year elections who follow the process more closely choose Republicans.  Voters chose Republicans again for the House of Representatives which was perhaps more issue oriented where the Presidential race was more personal.

Cherry picking some exit poll results for glimmers of hope:

Obamacare: 44% said they believe the program should be expanded or left as it is.  49% said they wanted the program fully repealed or partially repealed.

Income tax rates: 13% of Americans said they favored raising income tax rates for all citizens.  47% said those earning over $250,000 a year should be taxed more.

33% said taxes should be raised to help cut the budget deficit, 63% saying no more taxes.

Size of Government: 43% said government should do more to solve problems.  51% of voters agreed with the statement that “government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.”

Ideology:  41% of Americans said they were moderate, 35% said they were conservative, 25% described themselves as liberal.

Tea Party: 63% of voters say that they either support the tea party or are “neutral” toward it.


http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/2012-election-exit-polls/2012/11/25/id/465284?s=al&promo_code=10E10-1#ixzz2DSFc4Yt2
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objectivist1
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« Reply #2029 on: December 02, 2012, 10:24:56 PM »

This is absolutely on-target.  Whittle is one of the wisest conservative voices out there, IMHO:

http://blip.tv/davidhorowitztv/bill-whittle-6444929
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« Reply #2030 on: December 03, 2012, 09:27:33 AM »

This is absolutely on-target.  Whittle is one of the wisest conservative voices out there, IMHO:
http://blip.tv/davidhorowitztv/bill-whittle-6444929

Obj,  Bill Whittle IS excellent. Wow. Thank you for great post!  I wrote some time ago that what Republicans and conservative need to win is clarity.  Bill Whittle exudes clarity while our candidates exude meandering thoughts and muddled messages.
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« Reply #2031 on: December 03, 2012, 05:39:46 PM »

Mitch Daniels is the latest to point to the 47% remark as the problem.  I thought there would be a constant drip of these clandestine gaffe releases and there wasn't. Romney should have reacted strongly to correct that to what it was and let it be more than that.

This was the biggest turning point of the 2012 campaign, totally unmentioned by all the professional analysts: NFIB v Sebelius, the Roberts decision on Obamacare.

Strike that down and Romney could point out the difference between a Massachusetts plan and a federal takeover of healthcare - one was constitutional, one wasn't.  One man who hinted that America could just strike it down in the election removed the entire argument, that his signature achievement was unconstitutional, from the Presidential campaign.

(Side note: I will read this holiday season what I was too angry to read last summer, the decision in its entirety, and hope to discuss it in detail over on the constitutional thread if anyone else is interested.)

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« Reply #2032 on: December 03, 2012, 05:42:34 PM »


(Side note: I will read this holiday season what I was too angry to read last summer, the decision in its entirety, and hope to discuss it in detail over on the constitutional thread if anyone else is interested.)



A bit of advice, spend your time on better things to read and squeeze every bit of joy out of the holidays.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2033 on: December 03, 2012, 11:10:45 PM »

Doug:

Many key moments in the campaign, but I agree that the Obamacare decision was both huge and unmentioned in this context.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #2034 on: December 28, 2012, 02:30:10 PM »

Wrapping up the old year's politics with two different looks with hindsight, Peggy Noonan and Michael Barone below.

Peggy Noonan today:  "...the most wrongheaded criticism of the year. The thing I denigrated not only turned out to be important—it was probably the most important single element in the entire 2012 campaign.

In writing about what struck as the president's essential aloofness, I said there were echoes of it even in his organization. I referred to a recent hiring notice from the Obama 2012 campaign. "It read like politics as done by Martians. The 'Analytics Department' is looking for 'predictive Modeling/Data Mining' specialists to join the campaign's 'multi-disciplinary team of statisticians,' which will use 'predictive modeling' to anticipate the behavior of the electorate. 'We will analyze millions of interactions a day, learning from terabytes of historical data, running thousands of experiments, to inform campaign strategy and critical decisions.' "

This struck me as "high tech and bloodless." ... It was unlike any politics I'd ever seen. And it won the 2012 campaign. They didn't just write a new political chapter with their Internet outreach, vote-tracking data-mining and voter engagement, especially in the battleground states. They wrote a whole new book. And it was a masterpiece.
----------------

Michael Barone sees it differently:

"Barack Obama got 6 percent fewer popular votes than he had gotten in 2008. And Mitt Romney got only 1 percent more popular votes than John McCain had four years before."

"[Obama carried Florida by 1 percent, Ohio by 3 percent, Virginia by 4 percent, and Colorado and Pennsylvania by 5 percent." 
----------------

Yes, there was an amazing turnout operation for Obama to not slide even worse.  But the bottom line is that Romney failed to inspire more people to switch or to just come vote for him.  Failure to bump up the Republican vote by a mere 5 or 6% over McCain's disaster in 2008 cost Romney those 5 battlegrounds and the election.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #2035 on: January 03, 2013, 03:26:15 PM »

Pres. Obama "held onto 95% of the people who supported him in 2008" - Karl Rove today:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323374504578217314219235692.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

That is amazing.  Still it should have been enough lost support to defeat him.

Knowing that minds are really hard to change, I would have guessed 5% of his 2008 voters would have stayed home because the hope change hype made no improvement but they still aren't Republicans, and 5% would switch sides and vote the other way.  That would have been enough to change the result and would have changed our policies already, even before inauguration.
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ccp
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« Reply #2036 on: January 19, 2013, 02:57:05 PM »

A horrible thought

In the one surviving photo of Lincoln's inauguration one can see a person standing not more than twenty feet away who is identified as John Booth.

Hey it ain't me.  Obama and his teamsters love to compare him to Lincoln.

http://news.yahoo.com/big-party-democrats-quiet-reflection-gop-130531648--politics.html
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ccp
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« Reply #2037 on: January 19, 2013, 03:00:46 PM »

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/Abraham_Lincoln_giving_his_second_Inaugural_Address_%284_March_1865%29.jpg
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ccp
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« Reply #2038 on: January 19, 2013, 03:02:02 PM »

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Av178uk.1in179vSQFFoJKSbvZx4?p=john+booth+in+lincoln+photo&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-701
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ccp
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« Reply #2039 on: January 19, 2013, 03:03:58 PM »

After you see the circled guy in the second post above you can go to the first and enlarge and see exactly who they identify as JWB.
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ccp
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« Reply #2040 on: January 19, 2013, 03:07:45 PM »

And for the record I absolutely would not want him assassinated.

Even more BLVDs, airports, government buildings, schools and the rest will be named after him and he will be elevated to virtual sainthood.
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ccp
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« Reply #2041 on: January 19, 2013, 03:19:34 PM »

Interesting.  There are two people identified in the photo as maybe being JWB.  One is enlarged in my second post of photos and one can make out a figure that has a resemblance to JWB.  You cannot really see it without the photo being enhanced while the other guy a little farther to the right who also may be JWB is much clearer.
 

Is there any record of JWB definitely claiming to have been there?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2042 on: January 19, 2013, 03:33:45 PM »

Well, not to worry-- with Biden as VP the chances of BO being assassinated are quite low  cheesy  -- which may have been one of the reasons Biden was chosen for the job  cheesy cheesy cheesy
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bigdog
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« Reply #2043 on: January 21, 2013, 07:53:42 PM »

http://www.rollcall.com/news/obamas_inaugural_address-220934-1.html
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« Reply #2044 on: January 22, 2013, 05:53:05 AM »

http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/01/21/scalia-wears-martyrs-cap-to-inauguration/
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« Reply #2045 on: January 22, 2013, 09:54:10 AM »

One suspects that was not a coincidence , , ,
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« Reply #2046 on: July 05, 2013, 10:43:43 AM »

http://www.mercatornet.com/Newsletterv0810/view_txt/mitt_romneys_bad_day

Mitt Romney’s Bad Day
Matthew J. Franck | 4 July 2013

It is worse than trite, it is downright tautological, to observe that in American presidential elections, there are always winners and losers. But bear with me for a moment. I mean to say that winners win, and losers lose. No, that’s not much of an improvement. What I am really trying to get at is that the outcomes of our elections are not foreordained by ineluctable forces of history.

More than that: neither is any victorious candidate, whether an incumbent or not, simply bound to win because of his record, his character, the condition of the country, media bias, events during the campaign, or the mood of the electorate. Nor is any defeated candidate simply bound to lose for any such reasons.

The independent variable above all others in our elections is the actions of the candidates during the campaign—their words and deeds—and these actions are above all matters of choice on their parts. Prudent or canny choices on one side, and imprudent or dunderheaded choices on the other, account more powerfully for the outcome than the GDP, the inflation and unemployment rates, or crises in international affairs. Winners are responsible, never entirely but always in part, for winning, and losers likewise for losing.

As Shaw observes, “the 2012 election was a could-win election for the Republicans. Could is the key word.” To defeat an incumbent is always an uphill struggle, but it was certainly not the case in 2012 that President Barack Obama could not have been beaten. And it is false that Mitt Romney was a man who could not have beaten him. He could have. Why didn’t he?

Gabriel Schoenfeld, a Hudson Institute senior fellow, former senior editor of Commentary, and veteran observer of national security and foreign affairs, is well-positioned to fill in some of the reasons that Mitt Romney did not win a winnable—albeit long-shot—presidential election. (Full disclosure: Schoenfeld was affiliated with the Witherspoon Institute prior to his employment in the Romney campaign, and I commented on the book in draft form.)

First writing for the Romney campaign as an outside consultant, he joined the operation full-time in the late summer of 2011 as a writer of speeches and other campaign materials, and remained a campaign senior adviser to the bitter end. In his brisk new e-book, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign: An Insider’s Account, Schoenfeld looks backward and forward from one pivotal day in the campaign—September 11, 2012—that exemplified both cause and effect of Romney’s loss, along several dimensions.

September 11, 2012, was the “Bad Day” of the title because of the Romney campaign’s egregious misstep, taken in response to the news that anti-American mobs were engaged in violent attacks on our diplomatic missions in Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya.

Our embassy in Cairo put out a statement in apologetic tones about “misguided individuals” (alluding to an obscure video maker) who “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Without taking the time to get their facts straight—and ignoring a prior decision, made at the highest levels, that this anniversary would not be a day for partisan assaults on the president—the campaign’s top foreign policy hands put out a statement that night, in Romney’s voice and with his approval, that claimed that “the Obama administration’s first response” to the news out of the Middle East was “to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

When it turned out that the true object of this criticism was not “the Obama administration” but a foreign service officer in Cairo acting contrary to orders, and that subsequent events proved even worse, with the death of the American ambassador to Libya and three others in Benghazi, Romney looked like a desperate candidate who had gone off half-cocked, acting opportunistically on incomplete information at a moment of crisis in our foreign affairs.

As more facts came to light about Benghazi that made the president and his administration look bad—as inept or deceptive or both—Romney was in no convincing position to take a just advantage of Obama’s shortcomings or vulnerabilities. Thus, on the subject of Benghazi, the Republican candidate was effectively muzzled in his debates with the incumbent, and the president won through to November with no substantial electoral damage from this event.

How did the Romney campaign put itself in a position where it was practically compelled to forfeit a serious foreign-policy issue to the president? Therein lies the burden of Schoenfeld’s book, which convincingly argues that Mitt Romney surrounded himself with “professionals” in the campaign business who served him ill, especially with respect to his own lack of experience in the field of foreign affairs, time after time.

Moreover, these hacks and flacks turned a man with considerable virtues—smart, likable, and highly capable—into a candidate easily caricatured as plutocratic, out of touch, and unprepared for real leadership. They pursued a “technocratic” and “preposterously robotic approach” to scripting the campaign, animated by a “crude materialist conception of politics” in which the candidate needs only to be packaged like the latest in whitening toothpastes in order to win.

Sadly, Romney himself evidently bought this view of our political order, as he demonstrated in his infamous comment that 47 percent of the electorate had already been bought off by President Obama’s determination to make them dependent on the government. And Romney hired the “professionals” who thought this way, and signed off on their strategy—and so to a large extent deserved his fate on election day. The country, on the other hand, deserved better.

Schoenfeld focuses most consistently on what he knows best—the field of international relations and national security—without pretending that the Romney campaign’s missteps in this field can comprehensively explain its defeat. But the campaign’s largest strategic error was of enormous dimensions: the decision to make the challenge to Obama turn entirely on the state of the domestic economy, and the president’s record on that front. This could be seen as playing to Romney’s strengths as a businessman and a fairly successful governor, but it meant downplaying, practically to zero, any serious investment of campaign resources in building up Romney where he was obviously weak, on the foreign-policy side. And it too reflected a purblind understanding of what voters care about, or can be persuaded to care about.

Aside from chief strategist Stuart Stevens, probably the most powerful figure in the Romney campaign was Lanhee Chen, a four-degree product of Harvard in his early thirties who was “senior policy adviser” on both domestic and foreign affairs, but who appears to have known essentially nothing in the latter field.

Working under him was his even younger friend Alex Wong, who knew more than Chen but was still too inexperienced to be saddled with the heavy responsibilities of “foreign-policy coordinator.” Between them, Chen and Wong formed a nearly impenetrable screen between Romney and the outside foreign-policy experts the campaign had itself engaged to give the candidate advice. It seems that they did not want anyone questioning their own acumen, nor their prior decision that time spent on foreign policy was a “costly distraction” from hammering on the Obama record on the domestic economy.

And so Mitt Romney stumbled from one gaffe to the next in the field where all Americans recognize that the president has unique and nearly exclusive responsibilities—the conduct of American diplomacy and the safeguarding of the nation’s safety and interests.

Whether it was commenting on the Chinese government’s treatment of the dissident Chen Guangcheng; or engaging and then losing a campaign foreign policy spokesman because of a vetting failure; or the candidate stepping all over his own message on a visit to London; or an eleventh-hour draft of a national convention speech that conspicuously failed to mention that the nation was at war or to thank the troops fighting overseas—time and again, the campaign suffered from its complete absence of any senior adviser on foreign policy who could have the candidate’s ear at will or travel with him as needed. When the anniversary of September 11 arrived, a pop quiz on foreign affairs gravitas was sprung on Mitt Romney and his campaign, and they flunked it.

Schoenfeld is candid about his own helplessness, one rung down from the Stevens-Chen-Wong level of the campaign, to do anything about what he was witnessing as it happened. Though he was senior in years to the young chieftains, he lacked any prior experience in the “profession” of electoral politics; he was hired for his considerable gifts as a writer but had not previously written speeches for other men’s voices and rhythms, and he reports that the campaign “burned through” speechwriters one after another.

But as an analyst and commentator on American national security policy and foreign affairs who has followed politics closely as a journalist for a long time, Schoenfeld’s “insider’s account” shows the virtues of an outsider who got inside for a look. Unlike his erstwhile campaign colleagues, he has no future career in electoral campaigns to guard and protect. And one detects no wounded pride in him, no rancorous recriminations for not having been better appreciated by Romney or his top people.

So, standing now outside the suffocating house afire that was the campaign, and viewing the smoldering wreckage of it, he asks, what were these people missing about American politics that they should have understood? What was at the root of their strategic errors? Here is Schoenfeld’s answer, a painful one to give for an author who professes a lingering fondness for the candidate he served:

“A pinched understanding of human motivation led Romney to believe that a significant fraction of the voters had been bought off. They would be unalterably closed to his arguments no matter how cogent they were. That same pinched understanding led him to say things that repeatedly earned him opprobrium. It also led him to choose campaign strategists who reduced the high art of democratic politics—persuasion through reason and rhetoric, the heart of genuine political leadership—to the low crafts of polling and advertising.”

The value of A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign, for conservatives but not only for them, is its warning that our political life is too important to be turned over to the cynical “professionals” who promise better electoral results through more sophisticated data crunching and sales methods. What conservatives—but not only they—need to relearn is the meaning of statesmanship. This small book is a spur to such relearning.

Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute.
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ccp
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« Reply #2047 on: July 05, 2013, 06:30:50 PM »

I don't know.  I think the previous article is full of hot air.

It didn't help Romney has zero charisma.   Indeed I don't recall anyone on this right of center board falling over their own feet getting to the head of the line to cheer for him during the Republican primaries.

I disagree with this statement:     

“A pinched understanding of human motivation led Romney to believe that a significant fraction of the voters had been bought off. They would be unalterably closed to his arguments no matter how cogent they were. That same pinched understanding led him to say things that repeatedly earned him opprobrium. It also led him to choose campaign strategists who reduced the high art of democratic politics—persuasion through reason and rhetoric, the heart of genuine political leadership—to the low crafts of polling and advertising.”

Polling most certainly did help Obama win.  Even Rove admits that the crats were way ahead of the Republicans with daily continuous polling data not static once a quarter stuff.
The Republicans were relying on polls that were flawed.   I recall Axelrod, when asked before the election what about the Rasmussen polls and he blew them off as "flawed".  Unfortunately he *was* right.   

And if this author thinks that it is easy to sell ideals like "freedom" liberty" "Constitution", etc. against cold hard cash in your pocket courtesy of taxpayers than he must reside in fairy land.

Until Republicans can come up with a strategy that is an appealing alternative to the 75% who live from paycheck to paycheck and have someone with charisma to persuade voters they will always fight the uphill battle.  IMHO of course.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2048 on: August 09, 2013, 04:24:36 PM »

Noonan: How Obama Wooed the Middle Class
It took both painstaking research and a ruthless attitude.

    By
    PEGGY NOONAN

Dan Balz's "Collision 2012" is the best presidential campaign chronicle in many years. It is a great book, in part because it isn't about what happened as much as about how people in the campaigns were thinking. It is unusual in that it gives proper place to the impact of thought on political outcomes.

The Obama campaign had a lot going for it in 2012, but a lot going against it, too, most obviously the economy. A year before the election Americans weren't sure who the president was. He held himself at bay, observes Mr. Balz: "An Obama friend once suggested to me that the teleprompter was a perfect metaphor for the president, a physical symbol of how he kept the world at arm's length." His ties with the institutional Democratic Party were "minimal." Members of his own White House were still trying to explain his ideology and leadership style. One compared the president's relationship with the left to Lincoln's with the radical Republicans who thought him too cautious, when in retrospect he was daring.


Others around President Obama said he was no centrist like Bill Clinton. He saw no particular virtue in staking out the middle or splitting differences. Compared with Mr. Clinton, Obama "had less capacity to put himself in the minds of his opponents, to understand where they were coming from and why," Mr. Balz writes. That hindered his ability to negotiate successfully with Republicans in Congress, which in turn damaged his reputation for competence.

So the Obama campaign faced real challenges. But they loved research and data, which they used to help think it all through.

They knew the economy was the president's biggest obstacle to re-election, that they couldn't win a referendum on his economic stewardship. They wanted a way to "leapfrog" the immediate economic debate. In Iowa they convened a focus group of independents who had supported Obama in 2008 but voted Republican in 2010. They found themselves fascinated by one frustrated man in his 50s. An Obama adviser summed up the man's stated grievances: "I can't send my kid to college next year. . . . I haven't had a raise in five years. . . . I am sick and tired of giving bailouts to the folks at the top and handouts to the folks at the bottom. I'm going to fire people [politicians] until my life gets better."

That is as succinct a summation as I've seen of how the American middle class has been thinking the past few years: The guys at the top and the bottom are taken care of while I get squeezed.

The Obama people took his comments seriously. It would be nice to say they were primarily looking for policies to help him, but their job was politics: They sought ways to reach him, to make him an Obama voter.

What followed was a "massive research effort" to help the Obama campaign develop a message. They came to see a long erosion, in the words of an aide, "of what it meant to be middle class in America."

The campaign asked middle-aged, middle-income Americans to keep online financial journals. Over 100 people took part, twice a week for three weeks. The Obama campaign did not reveal it was behind the effort. Participants were asked such questions as whether or not they were putting off various purchases, or buying a used car rather than a new one. They were also asked: When was the last time you were treated unfairly at work? The journals yielded 1,400 pages of raw material.

I'll add here that when I told a young friend, a professional in her 20s, about this, she asked: "Do they have to do things like that to understand their own country?" Yes, they do. Ideology is only part of it. The American political consultant class lives rarified lives. Business is good for them in the modern democracies and likely always will be. That's true of those on the Republican side, too.

What followed the journals was a series of focus groups in which members, according to an aide, "shared a strong sense that America was changing in a way that was out of their control." They felt the old rules of the economy no longer applied. They didn't know how to get ahead anymore, and they feared sliding behind.

The groups revealed that the American dream meant less to younger workers than to older ones. Here a departure from the book. There is pervasive confusion about what the American dream is. We seem to have redefined it to mean the acquisition of material things—a car, a house and a pool. That was not the meaning of the American dream a few generations ago. The definition then was that in this wonderful place called America, you can start out from nothing and become anything. It was aspirational. The limits of class and background wouldn't and couldn't keep you from becoming a person worthy of respect, even renown. If you wanted to turn that into houses and a pool, fine. But you didn't have to. You could have a modest job like teacher and be the most respected woman in town.

When we turned the American dream into a dream about materialism, we disheartened our young, who now are forced to achieve what we've defined as success in a straitened economy.

Back to the book. The Obama campaign's research produced three findings. The first was obvious: People were dissatisfied with the economy. Second, people hadn't quite given up on the president. Third, they weren't sure he was up to the job. They feared the nation's problems were bigger than he was, and they criticized his failed negotiations with the Republicans in Congress. Amazingly, people in focus groups kept bringing up Lyndon Johnson, who knew how to knock heads and twist arms. A campaign aide told Mr. Balz, "I've never had so many damned references to Lyndon Johnson in my life!"

Washington journalists usually blame Mr. Obama's failures to work with Congress on the GOP—its tea-party nuttiness, its "nihilism." But the president's own focus groups, which didn't contain Obama haters on the assumption they were unreachable, put the onus on him: It's your job, make it work, get it done.

The Obama campaign decided not to make the campaign about the state of the economy but about who could look after the interests of the middle class in a time of historic transition. At the same time they decided to go after Mitt Romney hard, and remove him as a reasonable alternative. His selling point was that he understood the economy and made it work for him: He was rich. They turned that into a tale of downsizing, layoffs and rapacious capitalism. An Obama adviser: "He may get the economy, he may know how to make money . . . but every time he did, folks like you lost your pensions, lost your jobs."

Somehow the Romney campaign never saw it coming.

Republicans, now and in 2016, should remember the colorful but not at all high-minded approach of Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. "My favorite political philosopher is Mike Tyson," he told Mr. Balz. "Mike Tyson once said everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." Obama's people punched first, and hard.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2049 on: November 21, 2013, 11:58:36 AM »

And the Winner: Mitt Romney
The latest WashPo/ABC News poll asks voters, if the election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were held today, who would win? The results: Romney beats Obama 49 percent to 45 percent. And a new Gallup poll reveals 56 percent of Americans now believe that government should NOT be in charge of who has what healthcare.
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