Saturday, October 27, 2012

10 Days Out From the Election

...and I'm feeling like I can't wait.  I live with an Obama supporter, and it has been difficult, at times.

I do understand that supporter's feelings - it all started with such optimistic hope - that America would begin to relate to each other, not with automatic suspicion based on race, but on a basis of commonality.  We share so many values; the ideals that separate us are fewer than those separating us from other country's cultures.

The hope was that we could all work together to forge an improved America - inclusive, tolerant, and working for the best in America.

That didn't happen.

Very soon after Obama took office, he met with Congressional leaders of both parties.  When the Republicans questioned the amount of spending in his proposals, he replied,

"I won."

His meaning, that, because of the election, he had total say in any spending or managing of the government, without input from the other side, clearly signaled his approach - his way, or the highway.

Later, he was caught on video explaining his thinking further.  He wanted no criticism from Republicans, or of his plans (video at link):
"But I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking."

So, no, Republicans did not "work with him" - they had no reason to think that they would be listened to, and it was clear that open disrespect and churlishness was the norm for the Obama administration.  That signal came from the top.

Still, in that time period, approximately 65% of the population supported his domestic and foreign initiatives.

So, what happened?

Well,  there were some reality checks.  Obama's bow to the Saudi king was NOT well received - Americans do NOT bow to any foreign king, by long tradition.  The criticism stung Obama, I think.  He made a point of bowing to leaders of even minor countries in the months following that gaffe.  I think he did so, trying to convey the idea that there was nothing special about that bow.

But, there was.  President Adams, in his first visit to King George as the American representative (I believe Sec of State), did, in fact, give courtesy bows to the king.  That was as much an attempt to smooth over relations after the Revolutionary War as setting precedent.  Future representatives did NOT bow.

Obama, and the Mrs., were, in fact, quite rude to the Queen and her ambassadors. Giving them cheap DVDs that wouldn't play on British players, gifts for the princes from the WH gift shop, and an Ipod for the Queen - filled with speeches from Obama - and - in the case of Michelle - touching the Queen - putting her arm around her for pictures.  That's a BIG no-no, and against established protocol.  The Queen took it calmly, creating no fuss.  But, surely, the Protocol office must have emphasized that breach to her - why do it?

In country after country, Obama experienced belligerent rants against America - and did not respond, except to say that he was glad that he, personally, hadn't been disrespected.  No defense of America.  In fact, often, Obama apologized for her actions.

More recently, he failed to respond to Iranian protestors, while encouraging the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Libya, and multiple other Islamic countries.  If he had wanted a takeover of the Middle East by Muslim extremists, he couldn't have acted more obligingly.

By the mid-point of his term, Obama's approval ratings had plunged.  It was a natural result of his own actions, the ridiculously high cost of his programs, and the total failure of them to improve the economy.  People were also quite critical of his foreign policy.

So, his party lost in the elections - big time.  He finally had a Congress and Senate in the hands of the opposing party.

Can you say "we won"?

He did manage to pass legislation.  However, he also took some defeats.  He encountered more criticism and opposition.

The man doesn't take criticism well - he is notoriously thin-skinned.  It brings out the mean and petty in him, and he showed it, on many occasions.

Again, popularity down.

All of this is NOT racism.  It is the norm in American politics.  When you assume that you are above criticism, the American public will remind you - No, you're not.

In the last year, civility has dropped like the sky diver from space.  Both parties have been more mean.  The tone has often been over-the-top nasty.  Even though Obama has many times called for toning it down, his campaign has not hesitated to make the low blow.

  • Claiming that Romney was responsible for killing a woman

  • Claiming that Romney was a felon who did not pay any taxes

  • Claiming that Romney's Bain killed American companies, rather than the truth - they took FAILING companies, and gave them money and a chance to succeed

  • Critiquing Ann Romney's wardrobe - which she paid for herself - as too expensive.  Ignoring the fact that Michelle's clothes were comparably priced, and often donated/sold below cost - a little-known perk for First Ladies.

  • Making anti-Mormon illusions to Romney's faith.  WHAT a coincidence that major newspapers, national news magazines, and a Broadway musical JUST HAPPENED to hit the headlines with Mormon themes at this time.

  • Oh, but religion - OBAMA'S religion - is off-limits.

These are just some random issues that quickly occurred to me.  Other reasons for Obama's fall from grace are:

  • Fast & Furious - as in Watergate, it isn't so much the crime, it's the cover-up

  • Solyndra and other "Green" firms and the connection with Obama donors

  • Foreign donations/violations of election laws in the Obama campaign

  • The rising unrest in the world

  • The growing debt - AND the extent to which we are indebted to China

  • The growing dependency on the government - welfare, food stamps, and other "entitlements" are skyrocketing

  • The widely held perception that Obama is "phoning it in" - just going through the motions

I haven't even brought up the Benghazi attack.  The fallout from that may wind up with some less-than-honest Administration officials facing Federal charges after the election.  Unless Obama wins, in which case, it will all be swept under the rug.

NOW, do you understand why Obama's team treats it as CRUCIAL to win?  Their very freedom may be on the line.

Prepare for VERY dirty attacks in the next 10 days.

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