How Obama Gets Re-Elected In 2012, Part 3 <– PDF version
In my first essay on this subject over a year ago (15 Apr 2011), I summarized the Electoral College situation as it related to President Obama’s re-election: that he was virtually guaranteed 227 electoral votes to the 35 virtually guaranteed to the Republican candidate. Therefore, my claim was that Mr. Obama only needed to win a small number of states, having a total of 43 electoral votes, to obtain the required 270 needed for re-election. I concluded by claiming that the arguments put forward by the Democrats in this election would focus on class warfare, entitlements, the power of unions, and the rights of illegal immigrants, with a little race baiting thrown in for good measure. That analysis still seems to be correct.
I also mentioned then that the Republicans had a serious problem: it cannot unseat an incumbent official by running a mirror-image against him. My point was, further explained in part 2 (4 Nov 2011) that the only Republican candidates who could get the nomination are the same ones with policies nearly indistinguishable from Mr. Obama’s. I said at that time the only ones that would be accepted by the Republican Establishment were Mr. Cain, Governor Romney, Governor Perry, and Speaker Gingrich. I now think I was wrong about Mr. Cain and I clearly underestimated Senator Santorum’s appeal. But now that the Republican primary voters have selected The One Who Must Be Rejected, the tactics of the Democratic Party and its allies in conducting this re-election campaign become more obvious.
It is important to realize that Mr. Obama has two other big advantages besides the guaranteed 227 electoral votes. First, he does not have to convince the public that he is the better candidate; he only has to avoid being perceived as the worse candidate. The facts are that the policies Mr. Obama originated are disastrous, and the ones he continued from his predecessor are not too good either. But (he can truthfully claim) all is not lost, hope is not dead, and there is plenty of opportunity for change; he can also falsely claim that it is vitally necessary to prevent a return to the Stone Age favored by Mr. Romney.
The second other advantage is that the mainstream media will now go into full election-year mode by adopting four fundamental rules of engagement. The first is to never to permit any discussion of the difference between what Mr. Obama promised and what he delivered, or to allude to any policy failure regarding the federal deficit, national debt, unemployment, monetary inflation, regulation, the wars, foreign policies that aided Islamists, or race relations. The second is that a Democratic operative will always have the last word on any subject. The third is to emphasize that economic conditions show a slow gradual improvement and therefore it is best not to change administrations now. The fourth is to ignore Mr. Romney unless he or his advocates say anything that violates any of the Ten Principles of Progressive Governance, in which case a panel of on-air experts/operatives shall be brought in to “prove” Mr. Romney wrong. Those principles are:
1. Only the federal government truly serves the people, which it can do only by ensuring that all resources are used wisely and allocated fairly. Therefore, taxes on corporations and businesses must either be increased such that the federal government may use the revenue to provide benefits to the people, or businesses must be forced to provide those same benefits directly. The issues: Did Mr. Romney expand the benefits offered to employees of the companies he took over in his career as a venture capitalist? Is he seriously intent on repealing the best benefit ever given to the people (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) so that rich businessmen can evade their rightful obligations?
2. The American ideal is based on government aid to the less fortunate. Therefore, personal income taxes on the wealthy and middle class must be increased to some extent, especially on income that is derived from the labor of others (i.e., capital gains). The issues: Is it right that income obtained by passive investing (a significant portion of Mr. Romney’s income), which produces nothing by itself, be taxed at a rate lower than that paid by working people, such as plumbers and electricians? Why does Mr. Romney favor the rigged system by which persons of color have no opportunity to get rich (like Mr. Romney) by speculating in the Wall Street casinos?
3. A just society does not allow the evils of inordinate wealth accumulated by the present generation to be propagated to the next: therefore, those who stand to inherit large amounts should be required to give back to society a portion of that which was obtained by their parents. The issue: Is it fair that Mr. Romney’s children will never have to work a day in their lives?
4. It is unjust for the wealthy to use tax shelters through which they can avoid contributing their fair share. The issue: Why did Mr. Romney have business accounts in the Cayman Islands– was he planning to renounce his citizenship in order avoid all future tax obligations, thus taking his fabulous wealth elsewhere and leaving the patriots at home to foot the bill?
5. The previous administration favored a private banking and capital allocation system in which the rich got richer but many people suffered because the federal government was unable to adequately monitor their corrupt practices. The issues: If unregulated, disorganized, and chaotic capitalism worked well enough to benefit Mr. Romney and his associates, why has it not worked as well for everyone else? Why does Mr. Romney continue to insist that free enterprise benefits all when so many continue to suffer? It is the obstructionists like Mr. Romney that prevent the federal government from allocating capital and natural resources for the benefit of all.
6. There is a great deal of extremist commentary on the airwaves and internet today; most of it pretends to espouse the ideals of an outmoded Constitution, but is nothing more than a veneer for racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and homophobia. The issues: Mr. Romney’s willingness to accept endorsement or praise from any members of the irresponsible right-wing mob on talk radio, extremist cable TV, or the internet proves his racist tendencies (no doubt Mrs. Romney always has those nice white sheets so essential for his after-hours wizardry). Does he actually believe that unrestricted spending by the corporate “super PACs” is essential to the political process? Is it appropriate in this period of delicate race relations to criticize our first African-American President?
7. The federal government has a duty to help the unions protect the defenseless working people from management predators. The issue: The auto company bailouts, which Mr. Romney opposed, helped many union workers. It is obvious that Mr. Romney intends to wage war on the working man, especially since he spent his entire career in management, completely out of touch with the working people.
8. America has always been a magnet for immigrants seeking greater freedom, but the isolationists among us desire to shut down the border and persecute innocent people who came here from Mexico over the last 30 years. The issue: Mr. Romney’s plan for border security requires intentional violation of the human rights of the hard-working immigrants who have settled here and integrated into our society.
9. It is clear that the federal deficit must be reduced in the long run, but any spending cuts must be restricted only to those items that can be proven to be wasteful or unnecessary. The issue: Mr. Romney has endorsed the notion of spending cuts which would decimate the middle class and put it into poverty, not to mention furthering the desperation of the poor and the recent immigrants.
10. A just society does not promote policies that will cause a global warming catastrophe. The issue: Mr. Romney’s idea of energy independence is to first destroy all ofAmerica’s wilderness areas and then all civilization in order to benefit the oil companies by allowing them to drill anywhere they choose.