Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Romney's the One

Now that Rick Santorum has "suspended" his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney is the "presumptive" Republican Party presidential nominee.  Mitt's not what conservatives wished for in our dreams, but who gets to have their dreams?

Anyway, back in the middle of 1980 nobody thought that Ronald Reagan was the answer to our dreams.  Back then conservatives and Republicans were worrying about whether Reagan was too lightweight to win against Jimmy Carter.  Reagan wasn't very good at reeling off numbers about this program or that program.  Maybe he really was the lightweight, the B-movie actor that Democrats sneered about.

The situation is this, and it's all about Barack Obama.
  1. Barack Obama is not a healer.  He is not the president to bring together red states and blue states as he promised.  He is not the post-racial president we thought he would be.  Instead he has reverted to his inner community organizer and is trying to divide the country along race and class lines.
  2. Barack Obama has not fixed the economy.  Way back in 2009 I judged that Obama had made a strategic error in staying on his campaign promises rather than doing a Clinton and saying "oh gosh, fellas, things are a lot worse than I thought" and bagging the health care and environmental agenda till a second term.  The result is that business is on strike, sitting on trillions of dollars.  CEOs don't know what ObamaCare will do to them.  They don't know what Obama's green energy will do to them.  And they don't know what all the crazed regulation like Dodd-Frank will do to them.  So they are sitting on their hands.
  3. Barack Obama really doesn't "get" America.  Maybe that's because he's lived in a liberal bubble all his life.  Maybe it's because he's never worked in the private sector, never run a business and understood at a gut level how you found and grow a business.  He regales audiences with the importance of investment in education, research, and health care--government investment.  But we have already spent way too much on education, scientific research and health care.  We could cut them all in half and not see a difference in outcome.  What's needed in today's economy is to lead the world in high-value products and services, things we can charge premium prices to balance the India/China advantage in cheap labor.  And that means business.
The election of 2012 is a strategic opportunity.  Instead of blurring the difference between the two parties and pretending that they are all in favor of business and growth, the Democrats are sailing under their true colors: tax, spend, and elect.  But most Americans instinctively understand that in a crony patronage system they will probably not be at the head of the line to collect the benefits.  So they know that that the way they can get ahead has to be through skills and hard work.  They think like Joe the Plumber.  They don't think about how to get ahead in establishment media, academia, or finance.  Those elite occupations are closed to people without the right connections and the right resume.  They think about how to buy a business and how to pay for it and how the tax system will affect their ability to grow that business.

Ever since Reagan the Democrats have been in a dither about whether to abandon their class/race/entitlement politics, or give it one last college try.  Bill Clinton ran as a New Democrat and won; he passed welfare reform and won again.  Al Gore ran fighting for the people against the powerful and lost.  Barack Obama ran as the healer and the uniter, and then turned into a partisan race and class warrior.  You can understand the liberal reluctance to abandon the bureaucratic big-government model.  It gave them all jobs and power.

The only question is whether Mitt Romney is the one to make the strategic breakthrough, utterly demolish the Democrats' race/class warfare politics, and send the them back to their kennels with their tails between their legs.  I'd say that a 55-45 presidential win, a 55-45 GOP Senate, and a continued Republican House would send a real doggie message to the Democrats.

Because, let us not forget, the GOP last had that kind of majority in Washington in the 1920s.  That is 90 years ago!

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