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Opinion

Opinion

Column: Nation hesitant to give up on Obama

October 3, 2012

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— In baseball, a game without a clock, each player on a team that is behind by a bunch of runs is advised to “stay within yourself.” That baseball lingo means: Do not try to do too much. Instead, get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in. There are no five-run home runs. Small, incremental gains matter because the game goes on until someone makes the 27th out. Until then, there is hope.

Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, presidential politics is, like football, a game with a clock, one with just five weeks of ticks remaining. In football, a team behind by lots of points late in the game must take gambles. Romney is behind — in the important swing states, with the national electorate regarding who would best handle the economy and health care, and in national measures of favorable voter perceptions. So on Wednesday night it might be risky for Romney not to take risks. But what can he do? He might add to his menu of policies by embracing, say, the idea of breaking up the largest banks, a sound policy that would subvert the caricature of him as rapacious capitalism embodied. But debates are not good venues for explaining ... well, anything, actually, but especially not new initiatives. And October is a time for summations to the jury, not new submissions of evidence. Worse, Romney and his advisers must be bewildered by this fact: In October 2011 they would have been serenely confident of victory if they had been told that 12 months later the following would be true.

That President Obama would be waist deep in muddy and contradictory descriptions and explanations of the terrorist (he now concedes) attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya. That data just released for August 2012 showed that real disposable income had again declined. That Obama would actually celebrate the fact that for the first month since he took office there were more U.S. jobs than when he took office. That the most recent figures show a 13.2 percent decline in durable goods orders. That nearly 25 percent — the highest in three decades — of Americans between 25 and 55 are unemployed. That the second-quarter growth rate was adjusted down from an anemic 1.7 percent to the stall speed of 1.3 percent.

And regarding the Investor in Chief, that his Tesla Motors would be troubled. The California firm has received a $465 million loan from the world’s most incompetent venture capital fund, the U.S. Department of Energy — source of Solyndra’s $535 million — to make electric cars for the affluent. The Model S, unlike Tesla’s $109,000 Roadster, is supposed to sell for between $50,000 and $98,000 — after the $7,500 federal tax credit. But Tesla has just received a waiver on the terms of its DOE loan. Tesla joins California-based Fisker, another floundering would-be maker of high-end rides for rich people, which has received a $529 million DOE loan.

Obama’s administration is in shambles, yet he is prospering politically. This may not, however, entirely be evidence of the irrationality of the electorate. Something more benign may be at work.  

A significant date in the nation’s civil rights progress involved an African-American baseball player named Robinson, but not Jackie. The date was Oct. 3, 1974, when Frank Robinson, one the greatest players in history, was hired by the Cleveland Indians as the major leagues’ first black manager. But an even more important milestone of progress occurred June 19, 1977, when the Indians fired him. That was colorblind equality.

Managers get fired all the time. The fact that the Indians felt free to fire Robinson — who went on to have a distinguished career managing four other teams — showed that another racial barrier had fallen: Henceforth, African-Americans, too, could enjoy the God-given right to be scapegoats for impatient team owners or incompetent team executives.

Perhaps a pleasant paradox defines this political season: That Obama is African-American may be important, but in a way quite unlike that darkly suggested by, for example, MSNBC’s excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up. Instead, the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake choosing him — seems especially reluctant not to give up on the first African-American president. If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation’s heart, if not its head.

— George Will is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group.    

Comments

Constitutional_Malfeasance 1 year, 6 months ago

Obamalytes are not interested in business, because it means work and investment. Obamalytes want it given to them.

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tange 1 year, 6 months ago

"If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation’s heart, if not its head."

/ ipso defecato

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 6 months ago

Small business owners are ready to give up on Obama. 84% say they are pessimistic about their future operations. Only 17% of small businesses surveyed expect to add staff in 2013. There was an increase in intensity among those who are concerned about the fiscal cliff, 72% say they are very concerned. 62% believe that the expiration of 2001 and 2003 tax rates and other business provisions, coupled with sequestration cuts, will have a significant negative impact on their business’s growth. In total, 89% believe these tax increases will negatively impact their operations. 76% of small businesses say the health care bill makes it harder to hire more employees. 79% of small businesses surveyed feel that the Administration is not doing enough to keep energy prices low, and 76% say that higher energy prices threaten their business. Small business owners are motivated to vote in this election: 92% say they are very motivated. There is still overwhelming support among small businesses for candidates who support free enterprise, with 97% citing it as a factor in how they vote.

http://www.uschamber.com/press/releases/2012/october/prolonged-uncertainty-impacting-small-businesses%E2%80%99-ability-create-jobs

Let's end Obama's reign of terror on the largest job creators... small business. Romney Ryan 2012.

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Ira Rott 1 year, 6 months ago

Romney is just the second coming of John Kerry, a bland, most "electable" candidate from the primary field, running on "he's not the incumbent" instead of what he will actually do to fix things. The strategy didn't work in 2004 (sadly) which is why I was so surprised that the GOP decided to do the same thing. Liberals were sure in the run up to the election but then couldn't believe that the horrible GWB was re-elected over a semi-competent replacement. Similarly Conservatives are going into denial (questioning the validity of polls, etc.), and can't believe that the electorate would re-elect the horrible Barak Obama over a semi-competent replacement. It's part of the reason BO steamrolled John McCain in 2008, people were voting for him, not voting against McCain.

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 6 months ago

The Republicans like to talk about leadership but their most recent example of leadership was Bush/Cheney who were not only incompetent but a literal rubber stamp for every Republican spending and tax cut bill that crossed their desks.

Leadership would have been, at the very least, asking the very well off to give a little more to support the war effort at least while we sent our children into a foreign desert to bleed and die for a war that everyone today believes never should have happened.

That kind of leadership never appeared during the Bush administration. The Republicans in Congress were silent as well. They could have spoken up and they did not. When they finally did speak it was to block all of the Obama administration's efforts to save the country from economic disaster.

These modern Republicans have demonstrated that they cannot lead. When asked to sacrifice they cannot. When asked to go in front of their constituents and ask them to give a little more to help the nation they cannot. They are programmed to take and take and take some more.

Their candidates were lunatics and the most normal guy that finally won their primary is a train wreck. He hides his money in the Cayman Islands and in Swiss bank accounts. He uses tax shelters that are designed for the very wealthy and loopholes hidden in the minutiae of complex tax code so that folks like Romney don't have to pay like the rest of us. His previous employer, the state of Massachusetts, has him getting blown out in the Presidential election.

Romney is the consummate politician as liar. He will say whatever you want to hear as long as you just vote for him. The Republicans have correctly determined that their only hope is to avoid the details and attack Obama. Attack, attack, attack until they can confuse people enough to vote for their guy. Their rubber stamp for everything they want to take away from you and I and give to themselves.

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Constitutional_Malfeasance 1 year, 6 months ago

Considering roughly only 1 out of 4 Americans have any higher education and the moral fabric our nation is so tattered and we have higher welfare than ever and the majority of the media is complicit in the re-election of Obama and Romney's campaign is McCain all over again, it's quite depressing. Not so smart; not so classy people voting for Obama is what's to be expected. Romney: the super rich stiff shirt who despises 47% of American, right? Obama, poor little black boy who started out on the streets and is out to help the middle class. Didn't Joe Biden just gaffe it up again, stating the middle class has suffered the past 4 years. Don't worry, you'll not hear much about his gaffes. If you do, it's spun around and polished up for you.

And as Rockchalk said, what is Obama's plan? The msm sure has pounded Romney on what his would be. What's Obamas'? Four more of the same drunken sailor spending and unprecedented government control, bureaucracy and bloat?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 6 months ago

"He might add to his menu of policies by embracing, say, the idea of breaking up the largest banks, a sound policy that would subvert the caricature of him as rapacious capitalism embodied."

But he could never do this because the "caricature" is no caricature at all.

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 6 months ago

The reason that Romney is losing is because the truth is winning.

No one could have predicted that in the midst of the "Information Revolution" that we would have such a struggle sifting through propaganda and political rhetoric to get at the truth.

It is however a familiar struggle. Those that have want to keep down those that don't. The Republican Party has degenerated into a Party that advocates an ideology of greed.

They have managed to fool enough people that the election is still in doubt as they have managed to lock down a Congress that is the most hated in American history.

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KEITHMILES05 1 year, 6 months ago

Why in the world should ANYBODY vote for Romeny when he refuses to give specifics of his broad proposals? Even his VP dude who is an expert at "numbers" says it would take way too long to be specific on the "tax cuts."

This just goes to show they think the electorate is stupid and will buy their cries of despair.

If you can't explain it then I don't want you.

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jaywalker 1 year, 6 months ago

"Obama’s administration is in shambles, yet he is prospering politically. This may not, however, entirely be evidence of the irrationality of the electorate. Something more benign may be at work."

Yeah, like the fact that after the last four years Romney was the best the RNC could come up with????!!!!! Has to be the biggest political joke, to our collective detriment, of the year, hands down.

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donttreadonme 1 year, 6 months ago

"SageonPage20 minutes ago Let's just hope everyone wakes up in time to dump this chump and stop the slide into malaise and socialism...."

Stop it, this is just too funny. How come no one ever talks about what Romney will do, they just whine about Obama? Is it because no one actually knows?

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JonasGrumby 1 year, 6 months ago

Clearly, the Peter Principle applied to Obama when he was a state senator. However, he is the first black president we have ever had. We need to promote diversity and affirmative action and reelect him.

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SageonPage 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's just hope everyone wakes up in time to dump this chump and stop the slide into malaise and socialism. The Marxist and pals have done a lot of damage to our country in hopes of wrecking it to the point they can make socialism look like a good thing. He has turned his back on God and allowed the devoid of common sense to replace the neighborly American by dividing us all one against another to play his game.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

hesitency has to deal with knowing that romney is pushing the same policy mess that I hated when I was fifteen and will not support when I'm forty two.

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donttreadonme 1 year, 6 months ago

Mitt's just an empty suit that will say anything to get elected, so I'm voting for Gary Johnson.

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grammaddy 1 year, 6 months ago

Whatever. If you guys could give the village idiot 8 years to make this mess, I can give my guy 8 years to clean it up.

6

Flap Doodle 1 year, 6 months ago

A US ambassador was murdered by terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11. Despite prior intelligence,, the consulate at Benghazi was unsecured. The Mope made some remarks and jetted off to Vegas for a fundraiser later that day. Any other President would have been savaged in the press and it would still be front page news.

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jonas_opines 1 year, 6 months ago

It has very little to do with Obama, or the liberal media, or anything else that the Party of Personal Responsibility seems to want to blame for this situation, since obviously the Party of Personal Responsibility could never take the blame themselves.

They started with a faulty premise, that "anybody would be better than the president". Which of course is one of their articles of faith that they deeply believe. They then had a shipful of fools, less people than visible allegorical representations of the many flaws and contradictions in their party ideology, that one by one were championed then abandoned. They settled, then, on a middle of the road, flip-flopping stiff, that few can relate to and few perceive as being able to relate to them, and they chose him, not really for what he could add to the office, but because he was perceived as having the best chance of winning the game. Because, it seems, your team winning is the only thing that matters. In the end, we're left with a candidate who is supposed to be better than the president, but is almost indistinguishable from him on most everything but tax cuts for the "job creators". Which, it seems, is the defining line between Real-American Capitalism, and Godless Pinko Commie Socialism (tm).

I suppose they should be thankful that the economy is still poor, because without that one thing Romney would be down by double-digit margins, I suspect.

10

observant 1 year, 6 months ago

When you look at the option to Obama, there is none. Romney will only govern for the top 1%, with some lip service for next 52%. The bottom 47%, he will ignore completely.. they mean nothing to him.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

I live in the "Deep South" where, quite literally, there is a Baptist church every other block and your social status is just as defined by your answer to, "Where do you go to church?", as much as anything else. Hilarity ensued in my home when it became apparent Romney was the nominee. Why? These people were faced with two choices; vote for a black man or a Mormon. Now that the clearing of the head explosions and the cleaning of the brain matter is well under way it's starting to become apparent they would rather have the black man. Ironic, no?

3

Flap Doodle 1 year, 6 months ago

Headline should read "MSM reluctant to give up on Obama".

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notaubermime 1 year, 6 months ago

"Obama’s administration is in shambles, yet he is prospering politically. This may not, however, entirely be evidence of the irrationality of the electorate. Something more benign may be at work."

Yes, benign like the incompetency of the Republican candidate. Obama is leading because Romney is damaging himself at a rate which exceeds that of Obama's failures. This year's election is like trying to pick the best replacement referee.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

How do the affluent operate?

Neither WOMEN nor Republicans nor Democrats nor the Upper Middle Class/Middle class can afford the Republican/RINO Party

Is the market value of your home worth less than your mortgage? How much market value have home owners lost since 2007? Trillions of $$$$.

Let's talk about entitlements that have literally destroyed jobs,economies and retirement plans. And made owning a home a risky investment - now that is remarkable.

DC republicans have been successful at wrecking our economy big time twice in the past thirty years. Because of the pattern I am convinced it is their economic policy established under the direction of Reagan/Bush.

Bush/Cheney accomplished a remarkable achievement by destroying the world economy which of course makes it difficult for the USA to bounce back quickly. The question becomes how in the world did they sucker financial institutions worldwide into buying bundles upon bundles upon bundles of bad USA home loans worth trillions of dollars in bad debt?

What an incredible and criminally insane economic policy? I don't believe the entire world can afford the economically reckless republican party that was born in 1980.

Let's talk about entitlements that literally destroyed jobs,economies,retirement plans. And made owning a home a risky investment - now that is remarkable.

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

--- This ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

Is the market value of your home worth less than your mortgage? How much market value have home owners lost since 2007?

The fewer republicans the more our properties will become worth and the more likely USA jobs will be reinvigorated.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Wednesday October 3

Third Party Candidates to Join in Real Time on Democracy Now!’s Live Coverage of First Pres.

As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney square off in the first presidential debate in Denver on October 3, Democracy Now! will broadcast live from Denver with a special expanded presidential debate from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. ET.

We will air the debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/9/28/third_party_candidates_to_join_in_real_time_on_democracy_now_s_live_coverage_of_first_pres_debate

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atiopatioo 1 year, 6 months ago

Affluent Plan to Spend Less If Obama Wins

Published: Tuesday, 2 Oct 2012 | 10:03 AM ET

By: Robert Frank CNBC Reporter & Editor

Call it a threat or a promise. But a new poll shows that people earning at least $250,000 a year will spend more money if Mitt Romney wins the election.

The latest Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer showed that 43 percent of the $250,000-plus earners would spend more if Romney is elected. Only 18 percent of them would spend more if President Barack Obama is re-elected.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49247566

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

BRING ON EMPLOYMENT = THE GREATEST REPUBLICAN FEAR ON EARTH!!!

Repubs fear a dramatically improved quality of life for all WOULD keep them out of control for decades….. we would hope.

Keep in mind a prospering america can overcome repub fear mongering... it must.

What is the repub party afraid? Why do they ALWAYS say no?

What do Repubs fear?

--- Fear a dramatically improved quality of life for all americans

--- Fear Jobs Jobs Jobs for americans

--- Fear New USA industry thus new wealth for america

--- Fear new cleaner energy sources because it would create so many new jobs and reduce rates across the board

--- Fear Medicare Single Payer Insurance = huge tax dollar savings to government,public schools,small business and all of us in general. Single Payer Medicare is the answer. http://www.healthcare-now.org/

--- Fear Clean Collar Industries which produce jobs that cannot be outsourced

--- Fear educated Americans because WE ask questions

--- Fear losing of tax incentives/tax breaks for the wealthy that actually create tax increases for entire spectrum of the middleclass

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

If they don't want to pay their own way tell them to hit the road. They are economic terrorists.

Upper middle class and middle class taxpayers cannot afford these tax dollar moochers.

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atiopatioo 1 year, 6 months ago

You Americans hesitant to give up this line of thinking?

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."

Drinks for the ten now cost just $80

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay! And so...

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

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