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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The “I Want My Stuff Crowd” Wins Another Round

“Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannize but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville

On Tuesday night we suffered the culmination of 100 years of progressivism. It was a night when Americans lost the battle between those who want free stuff and those who want freedom. Yes, I know Obama won with 303 Electoral Votes (probably 332 when the final count from Florida comes in), but he only beat Romney by 2,805,978 votes or 2.3%. More importantly Obama won the so called battleground states of Florida, Virginia, and Ohio by 0.6%, 3.0%, and 1.9% respectively (Florida-47,016, Virginia-112,884, and Ohio-100,142) In the case of Ohio a large portion, if not all of Obama’s victory came from Cuyahoga County where he attained a plurality of 236,478 votes (68.8%). In Virginia Obama’s victory was advanced by a 127,627 vote plurality from Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties — counties populated by government workers. Florida was even closer where Obama received a plurality of 552,715 votes from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties for an average of 62.5% of the votes cast in those counties. (Hat tip to the Huffington Post for their very informative Electoral Maps)


By now you should be tiered with numbers so I will add only one more statistic. According to reports 11% of women voted for Obama and Hispanics broke 2:1 for him. Single women from 20 to 31 broke 31% for Obama. The big issue for single women was abortion and birth control, Issues that were never debated by either candidate. It appears that these women will sacrifice their country for a free condom.

In watching the election returns on Tuesday night three things struck me. The first was John Boehner’s impromptu speech before the election was called for Obama. To me this seemed to be Boehner’s way of calling a Romney defeat and posing himself as the new leader of the GOP. His actions were unprecedented. I have just learned that he wants to propose an economic plan to Obama. That is insanity on his part. It is Obama’s responsibility to propose a plan and the House’s responsibility to accept or reject it. The ball is in Obama’s court where he must stand on his plan and explain it to the American People. Boehner is playing into Obama’s hands.

The second was the way the “experts” on Fox News kept telling us what the GOP needed to do to win the presidency. They talked about reaching out to women and Hispanics. They talked about moving to the “center” and not appearing to be right-wing conservatives. To most of them this election was about winning, not about principles. Neither the Democrat nor the Republican spinners talked about principles and what each party stood for.

What does the Republican Party stand for today? If you listened to Mitt Romney it stood for lower taxes, job creation and the economy. That’s not enough. The party was founded on the principle of anti-slavery, but today I think, in many cases, it stands for getting elected and to do that they have to be more like the Democrats. If that’s the case than elections are mere popularity contests. During the debates there was no discussion of the Constitution, securing the borders, or our founding principles. Romney believed if he stuck to the economy and did not fight back against the scurrilous attacks by the Obama machine and the press he would win. He was wrong. Romney seemed more like a economic technocrat than a politician willing to fight for liberty.

The third thing was Obama’s victory speech. Once the networks called the election for him he came out before the cameras and started his speech with these 31 words:

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny to perfect our union moves forward."

Grammar, you see, is how we clarify meaning. The Obama Code rests on vagueness, on multiple meanings that can be read into a statement. For the literati, the meaning can be clear, while the rest of us respond to what we guess is meant, based on the pleasant connotations of many of the words chosen. Nice words like "perfect."

The second element of the Obama Code is the wink to the hard left buried in his word choices. You see, he told us that our "destiny" is "to perfect our union." The wisdom of our Constitution, a "flawed document" in Obama's eyes, is that it does not promise perfection, but rather checks and balances. It consists of "negative rights" and doesn't obligate government to guarantee largesse ("positive rights," like health care) to its citizens.

That must change. That is the agenda. President Obama has shown a willingness to ignore the Constitution whenever it suits him, overriding creditors' rights, ignoring the Constitutional cabinet officers in favor of czars not subject to the inconvenience of a confirmation process, assassinating American citizens with no judicial involvement, and issuing frightening executive orders.

The code message dispensed with, the rest of the speech continued to appall. Andrew Malcolm of Investor's Business Daily, in a mordantly hilarious column, drew a contrast:

"Romney in 703 words graciously admitted his loss. He said the word "America" five times, the word "pray" three times and the words "Thank you" 21 times.

The Real Good Talker, who's never seen anything he couldn't throw a speech at, took 2,163 words to claim victory in what is traditionally a moment to call for unity and healing after a divisive campaign.

The victorious Chicagoan, who promised before the last election to end Washington's partisan bitterness, strangely uttered the word "fight" five times and "thank you" but seven times. He spoke the word "unify" zero times, "unity" zero times, "heal" zero times and "pray" zero times.

He did, however, manage to mention himself 27 times.”

We had best gird our loins. When it comes to ruthless leftism, we ain't seen nothin' yet.”

Now for a few words on the media and how they helped Obama get reelected. Reviewing the 2012 presidential campaign, here are five ways the media elite tipped the public relations scales in favor of the liberal Obama and against the conservative challenger Mitt Romney. According to Rich Noyes of Fox News here are the five major ways media bias helped Obama:

1. The Media’s Biased Gaffe Patrol Hammered Romney: The media unfairly jumped on inconsequential mistakes — or even invented controversies — from Romney and hyped them in to multi-day media “earthquakes.” Case in point: the GOP candidate’s trip to Europe and Israel in late July. A Media Research Center analysis of all 21 ABC, CBS and NBC evening news stories about Romney’s trip found that virtually all of them (18, or 86%) emphasized “diplomatic blunders,” “gaffes” or “missteps.”

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer blasted the news coverage in an August 2 column, calling the trip “a major substantive success” that was wrapped “in a media narrative of surpassing triviality.”

Similarly, when the left-wing Mother Jones magazine in September put out a secretly-recorded video of Romney talking to donors about the 47% of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, the networks hyped it like a sensational sex scandal. Over three days, the broadcast network morning and evening shows churned out 42 stories on the tape, nearly 90 minutes of coverage. The tone was hyperbolic; ABC’s "Good Morning America" called it a “bombshell rocking the Mitt Romney campaign,” while ABC "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer declared it a “political earthquake.”

None of Obama’s gaffes garnered that level of coverage. After the president in a June 8 press conference declared that “the private sector is doing fine,” the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts gave it just one night’s coverage, then basically dropped the story — nothing further on ABC’s "World News" or the "CBS Evening News" in the weeks that followed, and just two passing references on the "NBC Nightly News."

And, when Obama infamously declared, “You didn’t build that,” ABC, CBS, NBC didn’t report the politically damaging remark for four days — and then only after Romney made it the centerpiece of a campaign speech.

2. Pounding Romney With Partisan Fact Checking: There’s nothing wrong with holding politicians accountable for the honesty of their TV ads and stump speeches, but this year the self-appointed media fact-checkers attacked Republicans as liars for statements that were accurate.

For example, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter writing for PolitiFact branded VP candidate Paul Ryan’s convention speech anecdote about the closing of the General Motors plant in his hometown as “false,” even though Ryan was correct in all of his details. The slanted review became TV reporters’ talking points; the next day on NBC, correspondent Chuck Todd grumped that while what Ryan said “was technically factual, by what he left out, [he] actually distorted the actual truth.” Matt Lauer greeted Ryan the following week in an interview on Today: “There are some people who are claiming that you played a little fast and loose with the truth....”

The same thing happened when Mitt Romney talked about Obama’s “apology tour” during the final presidential debate. While in 2009 Obama had, in fact, criticized the United States as “arrogant,” “derisive” and having “too often... set [our] principles aside,” the networks said to call it an “apology tour” was “false” because, as CNN’s John Berman tenuously insisted, “even if he was critical of past U.S. foreign policy, he issued no apologies.”

Writing in the New York Times August 31, correspondent Jackie Calmes scolded that “the number of falsehoods and misleading statements from the Romney campaign coming in for independent criticism has reached a level not typically seen.” That’s not true, either; Romney’s team was, at worst, guilty of highlighting those facts that best illustrated their points (something done by all politicians), and the Obama campaign certainly put out their share of tawdry TV ads and dubious campaign claims.

But with “truth cops” who mainly policed just the GOP side of the street, the media used “fact-checking” as another club to tilt the playing field in favor of the Democrats.

3. Those Biased Debate Moderators: Upset liberals scorned PBS’s Jim Lehrer for taking a hands-off approach in the first debate on October 3, with MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman slamming him as “practically useless” for not jumping into the debate on behalf of President Obama.

Such criticism may have encouraged the activist approach taken by ABC’s Martha Raddatz in the vice presidential debate October 11, and by CNN’s Candy Crowley in the October 16 town hall debate, as both of those journalists repeatedly interrupted the Republican candidate and larded the discussion with a predominantly liberal agenda.

Crowley earns extra demerits for taking the media’s penchant for faulty fact-checking to new heights when she jumped into the October 16 town hall-style debate to validate President Obama’s claim that he called the attack in Benghazi, Libya, “an act of terror” the very next morning. Crowley endorsed Obama’s story, telling Romney: “He did, in fact, sir, call it an act of terror.”

Not according to the transcript, which had Obama only speaking generically about how “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation,” not assigning that label to the violence in Benghazi.

Wrong though she was, Crowley became a heroine to many in the liberal media; ABC's Matt Dowd, for example, cheered: “What Candy Crowley did, I actually thought, was laudable. I hope we get to do more of that in this discourse.”

Moderators are supposed to ensure both sides get a fair hearing, not pick sides. By leaping into the fray, Candy Crowley epitomized the media’s itch to tilt the scales this year — again, in Obama’s favor.

4. The Benghazi Blackout: Right after the September 11 attack in Libya, the networks proclaimed that the events would bolster President Obama — “reminding voters of his power as commander-in-chief,” as NBC’s Peter Alexander stated on the September 14 edition of "Today." But as a cascade of leaked information erased the portrait of Obama as a heroic commander, the broadcast networks shunted the Benghazi story to the sidelines.

News broke online in late September, for example, that Team Obama knew within 24 hours that the attack was likely the result of terrorism. That starkly contradicted claims from White House press secretary Jay Carney, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and President Obama himself that the attack was a “spontaneous” reaction to an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube. Yet, ABC took nearly two days to bring this story to viewers, while CBS and NBC held off for three days.

This was, shamefully, the broadcast networks’ pattern in October: New developments exposing the administration’s failure to provide adequate security, or contradictions in their public statements, were either given stingy coverage or buried completely. The puzzle pieces revealed a disturbing failure of Obama’s national security apparatus, but the networks flitted in and out of the story, never giving it any traction.

Instead of an “October Surprise,” the networks engineered an “October Suppression” — keeping a lid on the boiling Benghazi story until Election Day. Who knows how voters might have reacted if the media had covered this story as tenaciously as they did Romney’s “47% gaffe”?

5. Burying the Bad Economy: Pundits agreed that Obama’s weakness was the failure of the US economy to revive after his expensive stimulus and four years of $1 trillion deficits. But the major networks failed to offer the sustained, aggressive coverage of the economy that incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush faced in 1992, or even that George W. Bush faced in 2004 — both years when the national economy was in better shape than it is now.

According to a study conducted that year by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, from January through September of 1992, the networks ran a whopping 1,289 stories on the economy, 88% of which painted it in a dismal, negative light. That fall, the unemployment rate was 7.6%, lower than today’s 7.9%, and economic growth in the third quarter was 2.7%, better than today’s 2.0%. Yet the media coverage hammered the idea of a terrible economy, and Bush lost re-election.

In 2004, the economy under George W. Bush was far better than it is today — higher growth, lower unemployment, smaller deficits and cheaper gasoline — yet network coverage that year was twice as hostile to Bush than it was towards Obama this year, according to a study by the Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute.

When Republican presidents have faced reelection, network reporters made sure to spotlight economic “victims” — the homeless man, the woman without health insurance, the unemployed worker, the senior citizen who had to choose between medicine and food. But this year, with an economy as bad as any since the Great Depression, those sympathetic anecdotes have vanished from the airwaves — a huge favor to Obama and the Democrats.

Given Obama’s record, the Romney campaign could have overcome much of this media favoritism and still prevailed — indeed, they almost did. But taken together, these five trends took the media’s historical bias to new levels this year, and saved Obama’s presidency in the process.”

While the media played its part for the Democrat Party as they have done for many years it must be pointed out that Ronald Reagan not only had a hostile media, but a hostile Republican Party to deal with and he won big two times. Why? My answer is that he had a message that resonated with the American people. He had charisma and the ability to connect with all voters, be they Black, union, Democrats or Conservatives. This is the type of candidate the Republicans need, not some retread RHNO who will attempt to move towards the Democrats and lose again.

On a more positive note the Republicans now control 30 governorships. This should be a good pool to draw the next presidential candidate from.

"At times like these, after a bitter and hard-fought election, it's customary to talk about burying the hatchet, reaching across the aisle — pick your metaphor. It dawns on politicians that the public is sick of division and wants them to work together for the good of the country. This time is different, at least from my vantage point. Had Mitt Romney won the election, he would be reaching out to the other side already, without being told to. But Barack Obama is not that kind of politician or man. He thrives on division and reflexively demonizes his opponents.

The American people, by a slim majority, have chosen to go through four more years of a presidency that doesn't seem to have a clue about bipartisanship. What's worse this time is that America has lost four precious years to work out the tax and entitlement reforms it needs to ward off fiscal disaster. Another four years of gridlock brings national bankruptcy that much closer. Then there's the dead weight of ObamaCare, which will soon hit the economy with full force. The next four years would be challenging even for a popular and politically masterful president. Obama is neither, and his nasty campaign has only made his job harder.

The election left the House firmly in Republican hands. Until that changes, the GOP can block the advance of Obama's progressive agenda (at least that part of the agenda requiring laws rather than executive orders).

Obama will have other reasons to drive the GOP from its last beachhead. He owes his base some favors for its work in dragging him across the finish line. Unions will want another try at card check. Environmentalists will push for cap-and-trade and a tighter clampdown on coal. The left wing of his party will want to gut defense and ramp up social spending; he'll be happy to go along, if he can.

The Republican Party must be willing to compromise when it is truly in the national interest to do so, but it also should be ready to fight for the Constitution, free enterprise and individual liberty.

In 1777, at a very dark moment amid defeats in the first quest for Liberty -- and just before the fall of Philadelphia and the brutal winter at Valley Forge, Washington wrote one of his generals: "We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times."

I am reminded of the words of Thomas Paine from his Revolutionary pamphlet, The American Crisis: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said, "We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come."

Indeed, God is Sovereign in the affairs of men.

As for the challenges we face, hold fast to this wisdom from James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

We have lost a battle, not the war. Hold your head high and redouble your courage and resolve. Remain steadfast in your devotion to Liberty and hold the line.

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