Tag Archives: Election 2012

Barack Obama – ‘the worst president in history’ – koolaid and destiny

Over and over the faithful repeat the mantra that President Barack Obama is the worst president in history, and the second coming of Jimmy Carter.

Keep drinking the koolaid: The GOP is doing itself longterm damage if it keeps up the mantra that President Obama is the worst president in history. That constant repetition would seem to absolve the GOP of coming up with ideas and having to appeal to people with real alternatives.

Repeatedly saying the worst president in history just means that the rest of America is comprised of idiots if they somehow don’t see it that way. Some of those idiots vote.

Bad news: when it comes to Obama being the worst president in history the rest of America doesn’t see it that way. Not the great majority nor a simple majority see it that way.

Surveys show that fewer than half of Americans blame Obama for today’s economic situation. Two-thirds still blame the Bush Administration — you can’t get to 2/3rds unless a sizeable number of Republicans also believe the same way … and they do.

Surveys show that independents such as myself would like to vote for a conservative candidate … but we aren’t buying the worst president in history mantra. Mitt Romney responded recently to complaints that he wasn’t bashing Obama enough — Romney noted that his own focus groups just didn’t buy in to the storyline of the worst president in history.

Yes, Obama made some promises that he couldn’t keep. As a conservative independent (a real one, not one that votes straight GOP and then claims to be independent), I’m disappointed in a lot of things as regards the Obama Administration. However, I also don’t believe that the GOP has acted in good faith over the last four years. The GOP has shown neither the ideas nor the maturity of real remorse to claim that it can do better than Obama.

I voted GOP and for John McCain in 2008. In 2012 I lean towards Libertarian Gary Johnson but will vote for Obama if it appears that Virginia is on the edge of tipping to Mitt Romney, which at this time it is not.

Yes, I want the GOP to lose. A big loss would be great. Super. I would like the GOP to have a come-to-Jesus moment where it really reflects on how we and it got here.

As a stalwart GOP member from 1980-2009 it hurts me to say that I would like the GOP to go down in defeat in 2012 — but it is also the truth.

For the GOP, the last four years have been all about ‘taking our country back’ … back to what? … and to when? … Occasionally the words get mumbled ‘We could have done better …’. Those few perfunctory words are neither sincere nor followed by examinable public policy that shows the GOP means action, real reform, and not just more empty words that can’t pass a Math 101 review.

President Barack Obama is not the worst president in history.

Chances are good that history will record Obama as a president with a difficult economy that includes an aging population and a revolution in business productivity plus massive outsourcing plus two wars on his hands. History will also record that anything that Obama achieved was done with one of the most intransigent oppositions ever in American history by a Congress that was at a low of 19% approval rating — and has since fallen to barely a 10% approval level lead by folks that want to take us back and to tell us that President Barack Obama is the worst president in history, and the second coming of Jimmy Carter.

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Romney the Faux. Romney the Winger. Romney as Capitalist Giant. Romney as GOP Nominee? Maybe not.

Mitt Romney has so screwed up being what he is that being ‘fake’ is now his claim to fame.

I liked the old Romney, the business guy Romney, the pragmatic Romney, the Romney that could be governor of the bluest state in the nation and get things done, the RINO Romney.

Yes, Romney had to adapt or die for 2012. 2010 sent a message: the right wing sez we don’t have a plan, and we’re not interested in discussion, but the GOP will do things our way or pay for it.

It boggles my mind however that someone that is so rich is willing to sell their soul for so little.

What the election of 2010 did was to hold core Republicans hostage to a fundamentally attractive theme: ‘balanced budgets, less spending, less taxes, etc’ that they had to embrace — but the hostage taking comes in that Republicans cannot now honestly address the issues without being labeled a RINO. To fix our deficit and debt problems requires the old Romney, the Romney that sets aside dogma to seek a balanced solution.

Just imagine if a Republican were to say ‘climate change is real and dangerous’ or ‘war must be paid for just like social benefits’ or ‘tax increases of some sort must be on the table’ … no wonder the few dream GOP candidates of 2012 refused to enter the race. They would be skewered for being RINOs and then washed down with a cup of tea.

As for Rick Santorum. He is on a hot to trot winning streak! He will siphon off enough delegates that it will stop Romney just short of the gates of victory. I don’t think that Santorum will get the nomination … but I don’t think that Romney will either … not without a brokered convention.

Santorum is what Romney v2012 is not: authentic. I don’t like Santorum. I won’t vote for him. But he is authentic.

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Mitt’s Real Problem

Mitt’s real problem is that he is Republican.

A Republican in 2012 is expected to embrace dogma. Such a person needs to focus on ‘beating Obama’. Truth doesn’t matter — and Mitt has excelled at making this so through his heavy handed PAC campaigns.

The GOP’s problem as I see it is that it has made Obama the objective. Beating Obama overrides all other concerns.

That is failure in and of itself.

The GOP has lost its soul in search of a way to beat someone that it has demonized — yet there is not a single Obama policy that is much different than that embraced by Republicans in the past.

So to make Obama look ever more left the GOP has moved further to the right.

Republicans no longer debate issues. They slur each other as to how close they are to the fringe ends of the right side of the flat earth.

Adapt or die. Darwinism is alive in the GOP.

Romney adapted by embracing the fringe (only figuratively as it is not in his DNA to follow through) and now he is paying the price. He needs to quickly reembrace being a giant of capitalism. Capitalism is agnostic about such things as tax increases and social policy so long as budgets balance and the people are happy — and that requires Democrats and independents like myself being happy too.

Mitt – we hardly knew you. And we probably never will.


Regards and thanks to Paul Miller: I borrowed a number of his thoughts on how Romney should portray himself in 2012 and his success as governor of America’s bluest state.


Note – I consider myself conservative. But I’ll be damned if I am going to join the fringe (a rather large fringe — maybe half of the GOP) in its crusade against a man.

Ideas matter. Facts matter. The marketplace of ideas is not alive and well within the GOP.

Truth in advertising: at the moment I very much hope that the GOP gets crushed in 2012. It really does need a ‘come to Jesus’ moment where conservative principles and traditions come to matter once again.

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Pragmatic Conservatives Exist? How I see 2012.

Question – a reader in a discussion group on Facebook asked: “William – just for a matter of perspective, my understanding is that you consider yourself a conservative, is that correct?”

Hmmm… could be a trap.

The author had not really identified their own perspective. Earlier in the day I had gotten a broadside from another Facebooker when I posted the picture below.

Election 2012 - Republicans for Obama

The broadside writer wanted to know: “Why do you post crap like this? There are no real “Republicans for Obama” – only pretend Republicans trying to give an extremist legitimacy.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

My purpose wasn’t to support either Obama or to support these Republicans.

There seems to be no discussion these days that isn’t a bit dangerous to one’s reputation.

+++++++++

Back to the question:

“William – just for a matter of perspective, my understanding is that you consider yourself a conservative, is that correct?”

Yes. I do consider myself a conservative.

What passes for conservatism these days is mostly a reactionary push back against a world that has changed and some folks know that their days are numbered. Their days are numbered because they have chosen to embrace a political ideology that is at the same time just as much exclusionary as it is generational. Except for Ron Paul’s fans, the Republican Party is older, overwhelmingly a party of caucasian America, and seemingly tone deaf as to how others see America.

I myself am a caucasian so the issue is not with that as a cause. The cause of the numbering of the GOP’s days is that Republicans have played so long to themes embraced by those that have enjoyed white privilege that its tone deafness just feels normal for it. What? Problems? No, the average GOPer sees the rest of the world as having problems but not it. Maybe not. Except for RINOs. RINOs see things in a multitude of colors – ergo they have got to go too. They are a cancer in the Republican Party. You either see things as black and white, good or bad, evil or our way.

Election 2012 - "The Plan"

Election 2012 - "The Plan"

Until 2009 I considered myself a Republican. I considered myself a conservative Republican.

I was active in the Tea Party at the very beginning. Met many fine people. Met many strange ones, too. Most of the strange ones are still there but the pragmatic conservatives have moved on.

The Tea Party very quickly attracted a different sort of conservative: those full of anger. There are those that say such a depiction is full of bull droppings. But it is not. Perhaps they were mad at themselves — hopefully they were because they had won almost total control of U.S. national government and they botched it. They did such  a poor job that conservatives like myself no longer wanted to be associated with the party.

Reality is that you don’t have to be Republican to be a conservative. It is a good thing too as many conservatives in the Republican Party are what I consider wingers: they’ll do and say whatever they believe it takes to get the party back into power.

There is no real home for pragmatic conservatives at this time. Most still cling to calling themselves ‘Republicans’ but I don’t think that such will survive the election of 2012.

In 2010 it appeared that the conservatives surged back to power. What I saw was that our country was still very much in the depths of economic downturn. There was no good news with Obama’s name on it, and a very angry 24/7 campaign to attack Obama and to demonize Democrats paid off. (It didn’t hurt that most Democrats jumped at seeing their own shadow. That was extremely helpful to the 2010 GOP election efforts).

However, a recent study of policy positions rated Obama THE most moderate president of any Democrat since FDR’s day. His positions (except for health care) are scarcely different that President Bush’s. There are conservatives and libertarians that realize that. (Outside of the party we conservatives don’t think in talking points.) Add in just a tad of good economic news and people will come to  stop and to think about that. People think much clearer when their homes aren’t being repossessed.

So as a pragmatic conservative I spend much of my time battling to save what little good remains of the ‘conservative’ bumper sticker.

Liberals aren’t evil. Neither are philosophical conservatives that believe that we are all in this together.

My prediction for 2012 — although it is still early in the game: Obama wins reelection courtesy of the GOP and many of the angry nutters that have the loudest voices. Democrats retain the Senate. And as for the House of Representatives … the Dems get it back by 10 seats.

Yes, I am conservative. But that doesn’t make me blind and tone deaf. Although, you just never know.

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Election 2012 – #1 most popular Election Strategy explained in less than 25 words

Is this the campaign strategy of your candidate? Yes, probably.

It would be nice and less destructive of our society if a candidate were to deflect questions about another candidate and say something like: ‘Yes, Candidate X and I see things differently. I’m not interested is rehashing his plan. Let’s talk about mine. Here’s the specifics and here is the math.’

Election 2012 - GOP Campaign Strategy

Number 1 campaign strategy of 2012 election.

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Details, Details, Details … Election 2012 … We’re Mad As Hell … and 24/7 distractions

Earlier today I was in a discussion with a good libertarian friend that can argue both sides of every issue (almost) as well as me.

After some jousting in our discussion group about the reality of a particular issue, he noted “…details, details, details… campaigns aren’t won or lost on details”.

Sad but true … details and facts have absolutely little place in national American politics. Good hair and polemics and the ability to tell the biggest lie with a loud, angered voice works best.

Americans, we are mad as hell and we don’t care why.

The current economic situation is interrupting our lifestyle choices and we don’t really care how it is fixed as long as it doesn’t cost us anything. And since my bumpersticker says that I am X then Y is a flaming a**hole for causing this problem.

It is most unfortunate that loud voices and bluster will keep us from finding the great middle path — and middle paths are not necessarily compromises. But then if I offered to make $9 in overall cuts and raise a $1 tax in  another area and you found that unacceptable then you must be  ready for ‘America 2012 — Land of Left and Right’ and little common sense.

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A sign of the times? A Lefty from New Jersey writes about his 2012 presidential choices.

When folks talk among friends or close associates they often say the most interesting things.

How often is it that political discussions quickly degrade to versions of books like How to talk to a Conservative/Liberal?

The remark below is from a political discussion group on Facebook:

“… don’t know at this point if i can support a red OR blue candidate…will be looking seriously at any independents that might get traction. of the repubs, romney seems the most harmless, 4 more years of plain white toast…ron paul the most exciting, maybe too exciting. i own a company in NJ and though i am a lefty i don’t think chris christie is all bad…really though, looking for someone, ANYONE untied to corporate/financial/partis​an bullshit to create some kind of buzz!”

The response was to the question: Which candidates are you supporting or could you potentially support in 2012?

So if a Lefty from New Jersey doesn’t think Chris Christie is all that bad then maybe America really does have a change coming.

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RyanCare, ObamaCare, Red Ink and Ethical Dilemmas — Where have all of the adults gone?

Paul Ryan (R-WI) finds himself at the center of a firestorm.

RyanCare, or the Ryan Plan, represents a very significant society changing plan that is part of the Republicans’ partial repeal and replacement of ObamaCare.

In large part RyanCare focuses on reforming Medicare, although major and very significant changes have already been made to bolster Medicare’s future. The only way that RyanCare can be successful would be the repeal and replacement of major portions of ObamaCare, aka the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I support the core ideas behind RyanCare — our nation faces major debt; Medicare is not only deeply in debt and unsustainable but to keep it functioning to serve those coming under its coverage over the next decade or two will require trillions of dollars —  but it will have to make its way on its own merits.

Selling Ryan Care will be tough. The mathematical problem aside, the larger question is whether RyanCare is ethical?

Is it ethical to create a system which effectively ends Medicare? Medicare came about because the good old days were not good for the aged and infirm. The good old days were actually very miserable.

>> I purposely do not say that RyanCare kills Medicare, although any number of both his supporters and detractors believe exactly that. You have to worry when supporters of a plan make repeated statements that reinforce your worst fears.

>> RyanCare and the basics of its coverage are not so different than ObamaCare per a comparison provided by the New England Journal of Medicine. The greatest difference is that short of catastrophic illness the RyanCare plans pushes unaffordable medical costs on the average (median and lower income) individual American. This leads to very credible charges that RyanCare effectively ends Medicare for those that need it the most and that probably could not get health coverage, or get affordable health coverage. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that RyanCare will double out-of-pocket expenses, roughly equal to somewhere near $8,000-9,450 per year. RyanCare in 2022 would provide a premium subsidy/voucher for approximately $8,000 but this is to cover the government’s share of Medicare, not out-of-pocket expense — so please don’t confuse the two.

On the question of ethics, any attack or scaremongering against RyanCare also faces an ethical dilemma:  How can you support an approach to healthcare where the system will collapse soon enough due to its own overwhelming failure to be either properly funded or administered in such a way that Medicare is means tested and those that can pay greater costs actually do?

>> From the 2011 Medicare Trust Fund’s Board of Trustees report: “…the HI (hospital insurance) trust fund is now estimated to be exhausted in 2024, 5 years earlier than shown in last year’s report (2010), and the fund is not adequately financed over the next 10 years.”

>> The Medicare Trustees in their 2011 report also outlined Medicare’s future as dependence upon the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) being successful: “The Affordable Care Act introduced important changes to the Medicare program that are designed to reduce costs, increase revenues, expand the scope of benefits, and encourage the development of new systems of health care delivery that will improve health outcomes and cost efficiency. The financial projections in this report indicate a need for additional steps to address Medicare’s remaining financial challenges. Consideration of further reforms should occur in the near future.”

Medicare 2011 Board of Trustees Report

Medicare 2011 Board of Trustees Report; red highlighting of items by Bill4DogCatcher.com

What I would like to see:

>> I would like to see some mature adult conversation. “The enemy isn’t conservatism. The enemy isn’t liberalism. The enemy is bullshit.” —Lars-Erik Nelson. Politifact notes that most partisan critics of the opposing view are often not only wrong, but they strongly mistate the other side’s actual position, or even their own position — this includes President Obama himself. Too many folks that should know better are just big fat flaming liars in this debate.

>> Universal availability of coverage. No preexisting condition discrimination. This doesn’t mean unlimited health care until the last breath. Rationing has always existed, whether by panel, policy or by income. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Conservative criticism of ObamaCare’s ‘death panels’ is probably much more exaggerated than the impact of RyanCare’s individual responsibility to fund more of your own care — with RyanCare’s level of personal responsibility being an approximate doubling of out-of-pocket expenses that come close to 35-40 percent of individual income for those at or below median income. Rationing of health care has and will always exist. Let’s acknowledge that rationing exists and decide upon what kind and how much of health care we will fund as a society.

>> We cannot fund everything, yet neither does our system encourage self-responsibility. Talk of self-responsibility is very irresponsible when it come to the aged and infirm that would live without the possibility of independent affordable coverage. The average net worth of Americans ages 44 and under is not even enough to pay for a heart attack + surgery + care. Older Americans have an average net worth of $181-232,000 but for most this includes the equity in their home. ‘Personal responsibility’ is a great campaign phrase but let’s not pretend that it is anything more … or not too much more than another way of saying ‘your problems are your problems, not mine’.

>> Let’s not talk about free markets but responsible markets. There hasn’t been a free market in health care since HMOs were first founded in the 1920s and Blue Cross Blue Shield expanded on that in the early 1930s. A responsible market would segment tests and procedures to reduce costs. For example, an annual physical consists usually of a battery of very standardized tests. Is there any reason that you couldn’t go to a pharmacy and get those same tests done? Doctors and hospitals need to stop hiding costs by providing itemized bills that represent actual charges — not charges plus subsidized costs averaged across items and procedures. A tooth brush or an aspirin should not cost $70-80 in a hospital stay, or you get charged for things that were never used. Let’s acknowledge the money game by insisting on responsible accounting that reveals the shell game that is going on.

About Paul Ryan and that firestorm — Republicans publicly trashed Obamacare in 2010 and turned the Medicare argument into Mediscare. Much of their criticism was with merit but the way they went about it was over the top, beyond misleading and played on emotion: we were supposedly on the verge of death panels and rationed care.

In 2012 the Republicans are offering death panels by income affordability and rationed care because few may be able to afford RyanCare. That will be the campaign theme of the Democrats — and much of their criticism will be with much merit. Yet they will predictably go over the top, be beyond misleading and play on emotion.

We know who decides most elections: those over the ages of 45. Mediscare worked in 2010 and it will work in 2012, just for the other party.

Seniors may well vote against the GOP. While the GOP works hard to assure them that they will be unaffected by RyanCare, American seniors are old enough to remember the good ol’days and that they weren’t.

I have concerns. I want change. I want responsible change. I want balanced budgets and I want to see a sense of ethics that balances individuals with the reality of the greater society that we live in. You affect my healthcare choices. I affect yours. So can we work this out?

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