The problem isn’t the candidates; it’s the voters

I’m still reading scattered posts castigating Mitt Romney for being a bad candidate or running a bad campaign.  I understand the need to analyze failures to identify remediable errors, but we’re making a huge mistake focusing on the end of the campaign, rather than the beginning.  One could say the beginning of the campaign is the Republican primary that resulted in a nice, bland, classic Republican technocrat.  It’s the voters’ fault Romney went head-to-head with Obama.  But that conclusion still doesn’t reach far enough into the past to explain Romney’s failure.

Romney failed because the American public has been trained to vote against Republicans.  This isn’t as random or obvious a thought as it seems (although I’ll concede that it is pretty obvious).  It has special meaning for me, because I’m getting together with some conservative gals who have ties to recent Republican candidates.  One of them is married to a man who, some time ago, tried to displace Lynn Woolsey in the House of Representatives.  Woolsey will be retiring this January, but she’s probably quite satisfied that she can look back at decades of far-Left Progressive politicking in Washington.  Two of the others with whom I’m lunching are gals I last saw at a lunch for Elizabeth Emken, who lost to Dianne Feinstein.

Wendell Willkie, another Republican candidate who looked as if he ought to have won.

Both Republican candidates were fabulous by any normal standard:  intelligent, attractive, principled, and honorable.  In the 1940s, they would have been central casting picks for the good guy’s perfect political candidate.  Both of them ran against incumbents who didn’t even bother to campaign.  I’m not guilty of hyperbole when I saw that.  Neither Woolsey nor Feinstein did anything beyond putting up a few signs.  Both women knew that the Republican candidates weren’t worth fighting.

Woolsey’s and Feinstein’s certainty — which proved to be correct — clearly wasn’t because the Republicans were lousy candidates.  Woolsey and Feinstein could afford to do nothing because they knew that there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell that California and Marin voters would vote for a Republican.  The Democrat political takeover is so complete that even God himself, if he ran as a Republican, would lose.

The late, great Andrew Breitbart understood that the problem isn’t politics, it’s culture.  Politics is just the final step in a culture’s trajectory.  Roger Simon exhorts conservatives to focus on the culture and force a change as quickly as possible:

As the late — and increasingly lamented — Andrew Breitbart pointed out repeatedly, “Politics is downstream from culture.”

Just how downstream we saw in this year’s election. Virtually every accusation made by the left toward Republicans and conservatives (sexism, racism, greed, etc.) was prepared and nurtured in the realm of culture. That was the earth in which the lies grew and prospered. And those lies, more than any facts or policies, were responsible for a liberal victory in a year — with unemployment at 8 percent and a deficit at 16 trillion — that should have been a Republican rout.

Put simply, give up on the culture and you lose forever. (It’s hard enough with the media and the educational system rigged the way they are.)

So my point is quite simple. Quit bitching and start doing.

Roger’s right.  Run for the local school board or town council (neither of which require you to state party affiliation).  Get onto the community college board.  Stop going to popular movies that have anti-American themes.  You can live without seeing the latest action flick, but the movie producers cannot live without your money.

On Facebook and at parties, politely argue with vapid Progressive conclusions.  I did so the other day on Facebook, and got an arch liberal to agree that the UN is a despotic organization that should be done away with.  I don’t think he’d ever thought about that before.  And I did it all by politely questioning conclusions that the Progressives in the debate couldn’t support and by advancing facts that they couldn’t deny.

We keep thinking that, because our ideas are sound, they don’t need explanation or promotion.  In the meanwhile, the Progressive Left has long understood that, because it’s ideas do not work well in the real world, but only in the Petri dish of the Leftist mind, they can become ascendant only through relentless promotion.  What we never realized was that most people don’t think, they just “know” — or think they “know.”  But really, they’re just like a shopper buying one brand of peanut butter over the other because the brand she selects has a better jingle that has formed part of a permanent soundtrack in her mind.

We need to start jingling folks — every one of us, in every way we can.  We can’t all be Andrew Breitbart, but we can be soldiers in his cultural army.

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The cult of personality trumped ordinary considerations

I do believe that vote fraud had an effect on this election, although I don’t know if it was big enough in swing states to change the outcome.  Abe Greenwald’s theory makes a lot more sense when it comes to explaining how conservatives could have so completely misread the election outcome:

Barack Obama ushered in America’s first large-scale experiment in personality-cult politics. The experiment continues apace. Obama got reelected because he enjoys a degree of personal popularity disconnected from his record. No modern president has ever been returned to office with employment figures and right-track-wrong-track numbers as poor as those Obama has achieved.

Obama couldn’t run on his record, which proved to be no problem—Americans didn’t vote on his record. According to exit polls, 77 percent of voters said the economy is bad and only 25 percent said they’re better off than they were four years ago. But since six in ten voters claimed the economy as their number one issue, it’s clear this election wasn’t about issues at all.

The president’s reelection is not evidence of a new liberal America, but rather of the illogical and confused experience that is infatuation. For multiple reasons, Americans continue to have a crush on Barack Obama even after his universally panned first term. No longer quite head over heels, they’re at the “I know he’s no good for me, but I can change him” phase. Whatever this means, it surely doesn’t suggest conservatives would be wise to move closer to policies that aren’t even popular among Obama supporters.

(Read more here.)

What we saw on election day was the continuing power of the old media.  Indeed, it is flush with power.  This year, the old media abandoned any pretense of objectivity and still shaped an election.  That’s quite something.  For decades, the old media hid its partisanship, believing that doing so was the only way to sway the American people.  This year, it learned that it could be hyper-partisan because it is still the gatekeeper.

We in the blogosphere were deluding ourselves about our reach and ability to change the dialog.  By ignoring some stories (Benghazi, for example, or the scope of Sandy’s disaster) and by hyping other story’s (Romney’s offshore accounts or dog driving), it kept Obama in office despite the fact that he has failed to fulfill every promise he made and left the country in a perilous state.

I know that the economic numbers were creeping up ever so slightly before the election (improved stock market, slightly improved job numbers), but those would have been irrelevant if the press had been hostile to Obama.  This was indeed a “cult of personality” election, as I see regularly on my Facebook page.

There certainly were issues that excited Democrat voters — the elite voted on social issues grounds (lady parts and gay marriage being the things they trumpet most triumphantly) and the 47% vote to keep their government benefits — but those issues were of paramount importance to them because the media colluded with the Obama administration to hide from the public the scope of the coming economic disaster.  Had the American people better understood the economy, the elite might have decided that lady parts and gay marriage could wait a while, and the 47% might have realized that no government money means no government benefits.

Here’s the good news, though:  Next election, the media doesn’t have Obama to elevate any more.  We won’t have Romney, who is a a truly nice man, but whom the media demonized to the proportions of Sarah Palin, who is a truly nice woman.  The press will still demonize the Republican candidate, but I’m not certain they’ll have anyone to anoint as the second coming.  Neither Hillary nor Elizabeth Warren lend themselves to a personality cult.  This hagiography worked once with Obama.  I doubt it will work twice with someone else.  The American population might be in a “fool me twice, shame on you” frame of mind.

Or, of course, Obama could bring in a new Golden Age in the next four years, in which case all of us will have to retire our animus and rejigger our political views.  Currently, I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Found it on Facebook: Voting with those “lady parts”

This keeps cropping up on Facebook and every time I see it, I find it irritating.

There’s something horribly medieval about reducing women to their sexual organs.  After all, when you think about it, the only thing that Obama has done for women is to order employers to provide insurance that covers birth control — which is a very limited expense.  That’s the difference between Obama’s approach to women and Bush’s.

In all likelihood, notwithstanding the fact that both Romney and Ryan are pro-Life, the only change under a Romney presidency is that we’ll go back to having women pay for their own birth control.  (And men, I’m sorry, but you should pay for your own Viagra.)

The Supreme Court is not going to reverse Roe v. Wade.  If it does, the matter goes to the states and, if enough people want it, a constitutional amendment.

As Michelle Malkin says, I’m voting with my lady smarts, not my lady parts.

Romney finds his inner happy warrior

One of the things that made Reagan such a winner in 1980 was the fact that he was a happy warrior.  Voters had a real choice between Jimmy Carter’s dour malaise (“it’ll be this way forever”) and Reagan’s ebullient optimism in America (“morning in America”).

This year, voters have that same choice.  Please share this video with those who are undecided or who are thinking third party or who just don’t believe in the process any more.  (Don’t bother sharing it with the liberals you know.  It’s like trying to wash a cat.  The cat certainly gets irritated, but doesn’t necessarily get clean.)

Hat tip: Lulu

Are you voting for love of country or revenge against an unnamed enemy within America?

I honestly think this is Romney’s best ad:

Incidentally, regarding Obama’s revenge remark, Jonah Goldberg had exactly the same thought I did: Revenge against whom?

If you watch the clip itself, it’s not clear at all what Obama’s supporters are supposed to want revenge for. Obama mentions Romney’s name in the context of his run for the Senate in Massachusetts — back when Romney was quite the moderate — and the audience starts to boo. Obama says “no, no. Don’t boo. Vote. Vote. Voting is the best revenge.” Revenge for what? Him running for the Senate? Revenge for Romney daring to challenge Obama? I understand Obama is bitter. That’s been obvious for a while. But it’s just a weird and narcissistic assumption that his supporters want “revenge” too. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, though. Which makes the whole thing even creepier.

The entire choice in this election is right there, in a nutshell:  Do we support the paranoid narcissist who sees enemies everywhere or do we support the man who has a deep and abiding love for the United States of America, everything it’s ever been and everything it still will be.

America’s retired military makes a strong statement for Romney

On Monday, November 5, an ad will run in the Washington Times with the names of almost 500 retired military officers from all of the different forces who support Mitt Romney.  I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of the ad.  The same email forwarding the ad asked that it be shared with as many people as possible, so that is what I’m doing:

Romney–W

Bill Whittle’s appeal to those who intend to stand on principle and vote for a third party or not vote at all

Bill Whittle explains very clearly why it’s a mistake in this election for those who dislike Obama to a protest vote for a third party, or not vote at all, in order to protest the fact that Republicans are so far from perfect.  It’s a principled stand, certainly, but it is also one that denies the dangerous reality associated with a second Obama term:

If you are thinking of sitting out this election, or casting a protest vote for Gary Johnson or Ron Paul, please watch this video and think very seriously about whether this particular election is the one on which to take a stand.  And if you know someone who is thinking of sitting this one out, or throwing away a vote, please suggest that they watch this video.

A way for both Romney and Obama to give millions to a Hurricane Sandy charity

The Ohio Democratic Party Chairman, knowing that Mitt Romney is a wealthy man, who might have some extra millions lying around, has suggested that Romney give those dollars to a charity that helps Hurricane Sandy victims:

Mitt Romney should have donated $10 million to the Red Cross instead of ‘taking advantage of a tragedy’, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman has said.

‘I think Governor Romney ought to be focused on things he could do and say on behalf of the victims, rather than going to Dayton Ohio – the most important swing state in the country – and taking advantage of a tragedy,’ said Chris Redfern according to the Washington Post.

‘Look, I’m a partisan. I’ll let others judge this. But I think someone of Governor Romney’s wealth could have just written a check for $10 million to the American Red Cross and then spent today with his family. He chose to do something much different. He chose to politicise this.’

That’s almost a good idea.  Here’s the really good idea:

Obama has waiting for him a $5 million check made out to the charity of his choice.  With that money out there, Mitt should make Obama a deal. Obama’s obligation under the deal is to produce his academic records and passport application, by Friday afternoon.  He can do this easily enough by authorizing Occidental, Columbia, Harvard and the State Department to release the records on an expedited basis. For something this big, those organizations should be able to act quickly.  If Obama gets the records released by Friday afternoon, Mitt will donate another $5 million to that same charity.

I think that’s fair, don’t you?

Obama, in the crudest, most brutal way possible, politicized what happened in Benghazi

I have been keeping abreast of the news, and I do know that there’s a cascade of information about Benghazi rolling out now.  Yesterday I posted about Edward Klein’s claim that Hillary had tried to get security for Benghazi but that higher-ups (presumably in the White House) had simply ignored the request.

Today we learn that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty begged the CIA for help, but the CIA refused, despite the fact that the White House, the CIA, and the Pentagon all watched as events unfolded — which meant that they saw the CIA annex under attack.  Obama, apparently, slept through most of it, as he needed his beauty sleep before heading off to Vegas for some fundraising.  Obama has his priorities and he sticks to them.  Put another way, the Democrat political hierarchy watched Americans die, while the Commander-in-Chief abandoned his post.

I also know that Tyrone Woods father has said that Obama was a dead fish; that Hillary stuck resolutely to the “a video caused all this” lie; and that Joe Biden, if he’d thought it had with both hands for a week, couldn’t have come up with a cruder, more insensitive remark to make (quite jovially) to a dead hero’s father:  “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?”  At some point, while we weren’t looking, Biden apparently crossed the line from stupid to senile.

When the Benghazi attack originally happened, Mitt Romney provided a statement expressing appropriate outrage at the American deaths and questioning the administration’s video-centric response to the embassy attack in Egypt:

This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous, it’s disgusting, it — it breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served during their lives the cause of freedom and justice and honor.

[snip]

I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt, instead of condemning their actions. It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.

The White House distanced itself last night from the statement, saying it wasn’t cleared by Washington. That reflects the mixed signals they’re sending to the world.

The Democrat establishment and media went crazy:  How dare Mitt Romney “politicize” a tragedy by criticizing the administration!  A whole news cycle got used up with this Squirrel attack, as the administration, without any media push back, doubled down on the video lie.

I asked myself then, as I often do, “What does it mean to politicize something?”  After all, I thought, when a politician is involved everything is political.  It became apparent to me during the week that to “politicize” something means to have a Republican criticize a Democrat for the latter’s ineptitude in handling a national security crisis.  That’s not much of a definition, though, because it doesn’t apply equally to both sides of the political equation.

Reading today’s news, I finally and fully understand what it means “to politicize something.”  It means that, in the face of a crisis, an administration’s response is guided, not by what’s right, but instead by what will fool the American people into continuing to support that administration.  Obama made a cold, brutal calculation that, if he wanted the American people to believe that his (or Panetta’s) Osama kill order destroyed Al Qaeda, he would forever after have to pretend that Al Qaeda doesn’t exist.  To do so, he would have to ignore completely all Al Qaeda activity, including the cold-blooded slaughter of four Americans.  Rather than admitting that Al Qaeda wasn’t as dead as he thought it was, Obama sowed the ground of his Potemkin Village with American blood:

You and I are paying close attention to all this.  People who already have some allegiance to conservativism have been watching Fox News, so they’re also paying attention.  The real question, with a week and a half left before the election, is whether today’s revelations will boil so aggressively that they will blow the lid right off of the MSM’s attempts to suppress this story.  I’m hoping that the media’s self-interest will result in this news coming to the fore.

It’s not that the media resents being fooled.  In this case, the media has undoubtedly been complicit in that fooling.  The media, however, likes winners.  With luck, to the extent that the wheels are coming off the Obama bus, the members of the drive-by media are going to be hopping off that bus and standing at the roadside pointing and jeering.

Found it on Facebook: a poster summary of all the Left’s uninformed attacks on Romney

Here’s today’s Progressive Facebook offering:

Point by point, let me show why this poster is really, really stupid:

His support of the middle class by encouraging the auto-industry to go bankrupt?  If you’re not living in Victorian England, when bankruptcy meant that the man of the family ended up in debtor’s prison, while his family starved in the streets, you’ll discover that American business bankruptcies are actually very well-managed, humane affairs.  A company that is put into bankruptcy, not for liquidation purposes but for restructuring, often comes out much stronger.  The bankruptcy process gives it relief from overwhelming creditor pressure, it allows the company to renegotiate debts and labor contracts, and it provides for payment plans that lessen or spread out the debt burden.  Our bankruptcy laws are some of the best things in the Federal codes and regulations.  What Obama did by taking over GM was to screw the creditors and the shareholders, while handing the unions a free gift — all at taxpayer expense.  Hell yes, I supported Romney’s insistence that GM go into an organized bankruptcy.

His lack of support for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for women?  I think it was Joe Biden who said it best, when he opined about what a minimal effect the Lily Ledbetter Act has on women’s working conditions:

Ryan voted ​against​ the Lilly Ledbetter Act.  All [it] said was if a woman finds out she’s been treated and treated wrongly– cheated in terms of her salary and benefits at work– that she’s able to sue from the moment she finds out.  That’s all it said.  Because they were locked out they said that if you didn’t learn within two years you were being cheated, then you’re out of luck.  But we changed the law.  It’s not a– it’s a big deal for women, but it’s not a big deal in terms of equal pay.  But it’s an important– and they couldn’t even support that.  Talk about being out of touch.

Keep in mind that Ledbetter’s only problem was a statute of limitations (i.e., the time within which someone can sue for a wrong).  Congress had made it short, the Supreme Court said that was Congress’ prerogative, and the Obama Congress then made it longer in a way that can be very damaging to American business.

His ability to make enemies upon every visit to a foreign nation?  The Muslim world hates Obama.  Obama insulted the Prime Minister of Israel.  He insulted Queen Elizabeth, the Prime Minister, and (when he sent back the Churchill bust) England itself.  He offended our allies in Poland and the Czech Republic when he reneged on a promise to provide them with protection against Russia.  Need I go on?

His experience in “running a business” that buys up companies, breaks them up, and sends jobs overseas?  Romney knows how businesses work.  When a company could be made stronger (Staples), he made it stronger.  When it couldn’t, he spared it (and its employees) a lingering death.  He also created millions upon millions of dollars in the free marketplace, money that benefited ordinary Americans (and their pension plans).  He took the Olympic balance book from red to black, and then he did the same with the Massachusetts budget.  Obama, if I remember correctly, wasted all of the Annenberg Challenge money.

His lack of support for college students and lower interest rates on loans?  Obama said yesterday that banks are evil because they’re in it to make money.  No, Mr. President, banks are not evil.  Banks are necessary, because they provide the funds people use to start and grow businesses.  No loans, no free enterprise.  (Just think of the Muslim world’s absolute prohibition on interest and its absolute paucity of true economic development.)  Interest is the way in which banks earn money on these loans.  I’m opposed to usurious interest rates, but forcing banks to provide low-interest loans to unqualified people is exactly what led to the financial collapse in 2008.  Romney doesn’t want to repeat that error; Obama does.

His hateful, arrogant, racist supporters like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter?  Do I need to make the usual laundry list of hateful, arrogant, racist Obama supporters?  Okay….  Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, the Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, Hugo Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un….

His ultra wealthy supporters like the Koch Brothers?  Two words:  George Soros.  Two more words:  John Kerry.  You can add others to the list, but I think those two say it all.

His ability to turn into a chameleon wherever he goes?  Cast your mind back to 2007 when Obama, raised in Indonesia and Hawaii, went before a black audience and started speaking as if he just got off the plantation.  Interestingly, Hillary and Joe do the same thing.  Romney is never anything but what he is:  an upper middle class white guy who wears a suit.

His experience hiding his money in Cayman Island accounts?  I think we’ve already learned about Obama’s Chinese/Cayman Island pension.  Democrat policies make investing in the U.S. a risky business.

Or is it just because he’s a white dude and you just HATE Obama?  I don’t hate Obama’s color.  I hate his politics.  I couldn’t care less about Romney’s color or sex.  I like his politics.

Posters such as the one above work because people are ignorant.  They are ignorant because they want to be and because the MSM keeps them that way.  It’s up to us — the informed people — to spread a little knowledge around.

Found it Facebook: Obama, Romney, and the hired help *UPDATED*

A picture is making the rounds amongst my liberal Facebook friends, complete with the caption that “This says it all to me.”

I’m actually not sure what “all” the picture says. That Romney smiles at people performing a service for him while Obama gives them a fist bump?

If the Obama picture had shown him grabbing the mop from the janitor and himself scrubbing the floors, I might have been more impressed.  But the fact that he fist bumps for the camera really doesn’t tell me anything at all.  Likewise, I’d be interested in know what the tip and salary the tarmac guy helping Romney received versus what the custodian greeting Obama earns.  That information might actually tell us something . . . or not.

The one thing I can assure you is that pairing those two pictures tells me nothing about Obama’s and Romney’s individual merit or their ability to govern the United States of America.  It does, however, tell me a lot about Progressives that they can look at these two out-of-context pictures and seem to find some deep meaning — and what it tells me is that, if these voters prevail again in November — we’re in serious trouble.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Plain ol’ Charles, we now know that Romney wasn’t the effete rich guy having his shoes cleaned, he was getting a pre-flight security check.

Never argue with the crazy lady; or, why Romney had a good strategy for the third debate

We all know crazy people.  I don’t mean the kind of crazy people who believe that cats rule the world and that Satan is living in the begonia.  I mean the people with personality disorders who assiduously work to shape reality so that it matches their own warped and damaged inner world.  Many of these crazy people are very high functioning because their craziness leaves them driven, so they work hard, and manipulative, so they know which buttons to push to get other people to help them achieve their goals.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of these crazy people is that they lie.  Except that, as far as they’re concerned, they’re always telling the truth.  You see, for certain types of crazy people, truth is a fluid concept that is defined, not by stubborn facts, but by their emotional needs at any given time.  When people I know come to me griping about an unpleasant, reality-bending interaction with one of these people, I always say the same thing, “Never argue with the crazy lady.”

During the second debate, Mitt Romney tried to argue with the crazy lady.  Had Obama been completely sane when Mitt tried to get Obama to acknowledge that his administration pretended that the Benghazi’s deaths were a movie review that got out of hand, Obama would have embarked upon a long, circuitous explanation about his inadvertent failure to identify clearly September 11’s events in Benghazi as a terrorist attack.  Instead, Obama, who is the functional equivalent of a crazy lady, lied.  And because Obama had an enabler sitting there with a microphone, the lie got reinforced.  (And yes, I know that Obama used the phrase “acts of terror” in his Rose Garden presentation on September 12, but it’s very, very clear from reading the entire transcript that he was claiming that a video was what caused the events in Benghazi.  Only a crazy lady or an enabler would understand the tenor of his remarks in any other way.) Obama told other lies during the first two debates (about sequestration and Israel, for example), but that’s the one that sticks in my mind because Romney got so badly winded by the Obama/Crowley sucker punch — one belied by facts:

Mitt’s no fool.  He realized after the second debate that you can’t argue with the crazy lady.  And because the crazy lady has enablers all over the media, even if his arguments are entirely accurate and Obama’s entirely false, Mitt won’t get the benefit of second day analysis.  Were Mitt to challenge Obama directly, Obama’s crazy lady lies would live on, while Mitt’s truthful assertions would vanish.  And so a strategy was born:  Mitt simply ignored Obama.  Yes, he let lies go by, and yes it was irritating to those of us who know the facts, but Mitt understood that, whatever he threw at Obama, Obama would counter with a falsehood.  Heck, Obama’s entire debate performance was a falsehood, one that ignored years of speeches and conduct.  For a sane person, entering this kind of alternate universe and trying to function in it according to rational rules can only lead to disaster.

I think Mitt did the right thing, and I think the polls will support him.  He bypassed crazy-land and went directly to the American voters.  To them, he showed himself to be peaceful, intelligent, knowledgeable, and possessed of a solid vision of America’s place in the world.  It was a somewhat bizarre strategy, but in Bizarro World those are the only strategies that work.