Now There Is Really Nobody to Vote For

Can you guess who said this recently?

We are putting colleges on notice — you can’t keep — you can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down. We should push colleges to do better. We should hold them accountable if they don’t.

And this (the same person):

We call this — one of the things that we’re doing at the Consumer Finance Protection Board that I just set up with Richard Cordray — (applause) — is to make sure that young people understand the financing of colleges. He calls it, “Know Before You Owe.” (Laughter.) Know before you owe. So we want to push more information out so consumers can make good choices, so you as consumers of higher education understand what it is that you’re getting.

And the following (still the same guy):

 We’re successful because we have an outstanding military — that costs money.

To resume:

– college students are consumers, which makes imposing the business model on academia a must;

– colleges must be forced into even more cuts, which makes the further erosion of the concept of tenure inevitable. One over-extended adjunct can do the teaching of 3 profs. As for research, who the hell needs it anyways? So, adjuncts in, professors out;

– the money that is squeezed out from public universities should be pored into the military because there is always a dinky little war that needs to be waged somewhere to keep Pentagon happy. And private contractors, too. Yippee.

I know that you are all aware that these are excerpts from a recent speech by President Obama. And that’s the most progressive option we get.

OK, so how am I supposed to indoctrinate my students when I’m very disappointed with all of the candidates there are? I have to teach tomorrow, people, so we need to come up with something. I can’t let a whole day of classes go without some nice indoctrination.

Romney Calculators

Have you seen these Romney Calculators that seem to be the latest fad on Liberal websites? My blogroll is filled to the brim with them, articles about them, and calculations based on them.

I so hope that this “Romney is rich which is why you shouldn’t vote for him” spiel will not become the axis of the Liberal Presidential elections campaign. There are very few things that Obama’s supporters can do to lose him the election. This, however, is one of them. Trying to milk class resentments of the Americans? Really? This strategy is going to be extremely counterproductive.

I’ve been living in this country since 2003 and I have not seen a widespread hatred of wealth. People hate the government, the IRS, the bureaucrats, the “elitist intellectuals”, etc. But they don’t hate the rich. Everybody hopes to strike it rich which turns people who make a lot of money into role models. If Romney were a jet-setting heir to a fortune who hasn’t worked a day in his life, then there is a slight chance one could successfully invoke class resentment toward him. But he isn’t.

Remember 2004? That was the moment when the entirety of the Liberal discourse on President Bush was reduced to the supremely ineffective “Bush lied!” mantra. Every time I heard it, I’d whisper, “What are they doing? This is a guaranteed way to lose the elections!” And that was exactly what happened. Of course, the Dems also had no candidate to run a against Bush, just like the Republicans don’t have a viable candidate right now. If the “Romney Calculator” type of strategy continues, though, Romney is likely to become such a candidate.

Take me, for example. I don’t like Romney and I’d never support him for President. Still, after I saw the Romney Calculator, I’m less opposed to him than before.

Of course, if people who have been living in this country for a longer time than I have tell me that there are massive class resentments against high earners that can be successfully exploited in the US, I’ll believe you. If I’m not seeing something, this doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

What do you, folks, think? Is the Romney Calculator a winning strategy?

Lukewarm Elections That Await Us

The Liberals in this country, for the most part, entertain very tepid feelings towards President Obama. Most will vote for him because the alternative is even less appealing.

The Conservatives aren’t wildly enthusiastic about Mitt Romney, either. (I think we can all agree that Romney will be the Republican nominee, can’t we?) Every Conservative analysis I have recently read has concentrated on the idea that the Right needs to support Romney to prevent Obama from getting re-elected. (Here is an example.) As the we have seen, the Conservatives have been searching hard for an alternative to Romney and failing to encounter one. The Conservative attitude towards Romney can be summarized as, “Well, I guess I’ll support him if there is nothing better. . .”

The reason why Obama is not making Progressives flock passionately to his support is that – let’s just be honest about it, OK? – he did not live up to his promise that we all saw in him on the night when the election results were announced in 2008. I haven’t been able to get over him appointing Summers and Geithner to repair our broken economy, and I don’t think I ever will get over it.

The reason why Conservatives aren’t passionate about supporting Romney – even though he is the only real chance they have to beat Obama – is, in my opinion, his grievous lack of charisma. Every time I see him, he reminds me of John Kerry. Kerry said all the right things but could one really get excited over him?

This is going to be an election where people will come to the polls unenthusiastically and support a candidate for the simple reason that the alternative is even worse. In such a big country as this one, don’t you think we could do better? And by “we” I mean all of us.

The Hypocrisy of Herman Cain

According to Cain, abortion should be illegal. Unless the decision to abort is one that needs to be made by his grandchildren. In that case, it’s up to them to decide:

“I believe that life begins at conception and abortion, under no circumstances,” Cain told Morgan.  Pressed on if he would apply this same directive to his grandchildren, Cain candidly responded.

“It comes down to, it’s not the government’s role or anybody’s role to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that number. What I’m saying is it ultimately gets down to a choice that the family or that mother has to make. Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide. I shouldn’t have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”

I’m glad to see that he switches to such a firmly pro-choice stance the moment his grand-kids are mentioned. As we always say in  progressive circles, one can only remain anti-abortion until one has had a daughter. After that, love of one’s children usually defeats anti-abortion bigotry. At least, for most people it does.

Bankers Eager to Donate to Obama’s Campaign

Washington Post reports:

Despite frosty relations with the titans of Wall Street, President Obama has still managed to raise far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate, according to new fundraising data. . . As a result, Obama has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined, according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data. . .

Obama has raised a total of $15.6 million from employees in the industry, according to the Post analysis. Nearly $12 million of that went to the DNC, the analysis shows.

Romney has raised less than half that much from the industry, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry brought in about $2 million. No other Republican candidate has raised more than $402,000 from the finance sector, which also includes insurance and real estate interests.

The ultra-conservative Washington Post uses this information to paint Obama as pro-banks and pro-financial sector in order to make him less attractive to progressive voters. Of course, people who follow politics at least minimally will find this information to be very belated. We all remember how Obama appointed Summers and Geithner, of all people, to key positions two seconds after he was elected. This gave us all the information we could have possibly needed about the new President’s position on the economy. Today, we are reaping the results of those appointments.

In my opinion, the huge support that the financial sector offers Obama today has to do with Wall Street’s realization that Obama is the only candidate who might, if given enough reason to, listen to the #Occupy protesters and start bringing back some of the regulation measures on the financial industry that are the only way of saving us all from complete and utter economic collapse.

At this point, Obama is not listening to his erstwhile progressive supporters. However, he might. Especially, if the protests intensify as the election draws closer. This is why Wall Street is trying to buy him off as fast as possible. Overall, I’d say this is very good news because it demonstrates that the bankers are finally taking the #Occupy protesters seriously. President Obama will be well served to do the same.

Does Disillusionment With Obama Equal Racism?

I just read an article which suggests that if you are a Liberal voter who feels disillusioned with President Obama and is unwilling to vote for him in 2012, you must be a racist:

The 2012 election may be a test of another form of electoral racism: the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts. If old-fashioned electoral racism is the absolute unwillingness to vote for a black candidate, then liberal electoral racism is the willingness to abandon a black candidate when he is just as competent as his white predecessors.

The reason why the article’s author believes that Liberals who are in no hurry actively to support Obama’s 2012 presidential bid are racist is that, apparently, Bill Clinton got a better treatment when he was running for his second term:

The relevant comparison here is with the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Today many progressives complain that Obama’s healthcare reform was inadequate because it did not include a public option; but Clinton failed to pass any kind of meaningful healthcare reform whatsoever. Others argue that Obama has been slow to push for equal rights for gay Americans; but it was Clinton who established the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy Obama helped repeal. Still others are angry about appalling unemployment rates for black Americans; but while overall unemployment was lower under Clinton, black unemployment was double that of whites during his term, as it is now. And, of course, Clinton supported and signed welfare “reform,” cutting off America’s neediest despite the nation’s economic growth. . .

In 1996 President Clinton was re-elected with a coalition more robust and a general election result more favorable than his first win. His vote share among women increased from 46 to 53 percent, among blacks from 83 to 84 percent, among independents from 38 to 42 percent, and among whites from 39 to 43 percent.

President Obama has experienced a swift and steep decline in support among white Americans—from 61 percent in 2009 to 33 percent now.

I think that the Clinton presidency definitely bears some responsibility for Obama’s low approval ratings among Liberals today. I don’t think racism is involved, though. Admittedly, I wasn’t living in the country when Clinton was president, so Liberals who did should feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I have a feeling that many progressive-minded voters see yet another smooth-talking, intelligent, charming politician who came to power by attracting the American Left to his cause with many promises and beautiful speeches and then failed to deliver. I’ve heard many people refer to Obama as “yet another Clinton.” The disappointment with Clinton makes it harder for people to invest in this type of candidate yet again only to see their hopes dashed.

Another reason why Obama will find it harder to get re-elected than Clinton did is, of course, the economy. Most people don’t see any improvement in their financial situation since Obama was elected in 2008. This makes it much harder for them to care about anything he can deliver in other areas of life.

Clarissa and Allan Lichtman Predict That Obama Will Win in 2012

Allan Lichtman, the scholar who correctly predicted the results of the last 7 presidential elections, believes that Obama will win in 2012 no matter who the Republican nominee is:

“Even if I am being conservative, I don’t see how Obama can lose,” says Lichtman, the brains behind The Keys to the White House. […] Lichtman developed his 13 Keys in 1981. They test the performance of the party that holds the presidency. If six or more of the 13 keys go against the party in power, then the opposing party wins.“The keys have figured into popular politics a bit,” Lichtman says. “They’ve never missed. They’ve been right seven elections in a row. A number that goes way beyond statistical significance in a record no other system even comes close to.”

Let’s see if Lichtman and I have it right. I’ve been saying that Obama will win for quite a while now.

My Political Insight: Why Are the GOP Candidates So Weak?

Even in Iowa, of all places, where the Republican candidates have had a very strong campaigning presence recently, they are all trailing President Obama in approval ratings. Mind you, Obama’s ratings are quite low. The problem for the Republicans is that theirs are even lower:

Iowa: President Obama vs. Republicans

Obama 49%, Mitt Romney 39% (+10%)
Obama 51%, Rick Perry 38% (+13%)
Obama 51%, Michele Bachmann 34% (+17%)
Obama 51%, Herman Cain 33% (+18%)
Obama 54%, Sarah Palin 33% (+21%)

As I said before, Obama is set to win the upcoming elections. He isn’t going to win because citizens love him and approve of the job he’s been doing. To the contrary, the disappointment with his actions has been growing among his base, while the anti-Obama propaganda has been virulent and unflagging among his detractors. The reason why he will win is that the GOP hasn’t been able to come up with a viable candidate.

Now, my question is: why hasn’t it?

Does the party really have only this bunch of freaks and unelectables to offer? Or is the answer that it isn’t interested in winning at this time?

Today’s balance of power is pretty much a win-win for the GOP. A Republican Congress that frustrates the Democratic President’s every move. The President who is seen as impotent by his own base and is blamed for the tanking economy by everybody. Isn’t this the perfect opportunity to tell the Americans, “Oh, you wanted change and progress? Now you can have your Socialist President and see how much you like it.”

A Republican President coming to power in 2012 would mean that the GOP would have to do something to repair the economy. Isn’t it easier to just sit back and allow the second Democratic presidency in a row to fail day after day at getting the country out of the recession? Is there a better way of discrediting the progressive agenda for a long time to come?

My Political Prognosis: Let’s Watch Texas’ Economy

If there is a single Republican candidate right now who could challenge President Obama during the 2012 elections, it is, of course, Rick Perry. There is no other even remotely viable candidate that the GOP has managed to scare up at this point. Perry is a Governor of a big state, which means that he can start playing the “Obama is inexperienced” card all over again (mind my words, he is absolutely going to do that, as strange as it may sound to Liberal ears.)

Of course, Romney also has been a Governor of an important state. However, that state is Massachusetts, which colors Romney as somewhat of a Liberal by association. Most importantly, the guy is a Mormon, which makes him unelectable as President of the US. He is trailing Perry in the polls by 13 points right now, which is not surprising.

As for people who, for some inexplicable reason, thought Bachmann stood a chance, I hope they understand now how silly that was. She is completely crazy and a woman. A man who is totally bonkers has some marginal chance of getting the nomination and maybe even winning if his family is rich and powerful enough (wink, wink). A woman, though? Not a chance.

Which is why the following prognosis becomes crucially important:

Some signs point to Texas under-performing the national economy in coming months. The federal stimulus that Perry derides (after accepting $17.1 billion in aid) is ending, and Texas has imposed steep budget cuts that could depress its economy short term.

If Perry manages to convince the country that his state’s 8,4% unemployment is somehow indicative of a thriving economy (which is the message he’s working very hard to bring out right now), he might have a shot at the presidency. If, however, the economy of Texas suffers a blow, he’s done for in these elections, and Obama will have a clear road to the presidency.

All of this is, of course, contingent on nothing major happening in this country in terms of either a terrorist attack or another bout of the recession. Either of these could revive the Republican hopes of retaking the Oval Office in 2012.