|01-10-2012, 12:45 AM||#2|
Mo' holla fo' yo' dolla!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a bunker in an undisclosed location
Prediction: Another Electoral Landslide for Obama
by Larry Durstin | January 9, 2012 - 9:31am
Politics is many things but one thing that it is not is rocket science. That's why the above headline should not come as news to anyone.
And no, the upcoming 2012 electoral landslide is not simply due to the traveling vaudeville show billed as the Republican presidential primaries - though it's literally impossible to underestimate the collateral damage done via the "discourse" proffered by this particular group of scenery chewers. Still, it's hard to be too critical of Republican voters for being at least fleetingly mesmerized by the zany antics of a number of these political thespians.
After all, how could any country club Grand Old Partier not be seduced by the bravura performance given by Herman Cain as "The Kingfish" in his own updated version of "Amos 'n' Andy?" The Republicans who pretended to support him (in order to prove that they were not racists) were genuinely tickled by his ability to trot out mindlessly rhythmic phrases like "9, 9, 9" with a big Cheshire Cat grin. True, the white women who came forward to accuse him of harassment dampened the ardor a tad for Cain's modern day minstrel show. Still, there's little doubt that the joy Republicans of all stripes derived from rubbing the pizza man's head for luck will abide long after the votes are counted.
And what red-blooded Red-Stater was not titillated for at least a moment by the dance of desire performed by Michelle Bachman and her hulking, gay-caballero husband as they sashayed down the campaign trail while their two or three dozen foster children patiently bided time in their home-school compound? (Keep in mind that Michelle did everything that her lumbering, homosexual-repairing better half did, but she did it while wearing high heels and moving backwards.)
What's more, show me the evangelical or militia man who did not find himself tapping his toe to the Texas Two Step provided by Rick Perry and Ron Paul and I'll show you someone with a hole in his soul. Arguably a product of inbreeding, the beady-eyed Perry delivered a memorably rambling speech that concluded with the bobble-headed governor embracing a jar of maple syrup with what can only be described as prurient interest. Not to be outdone by his fellow Lone Star Stater, hillbilly septuagenarian Paul stirred the hearts of closet xenophobes everywhere with his down-home, "Libertarian" justifications for racism, anti-Semitism and greed while his band of Hitler-youth followers steadfastly dreamed about screwing Ayn Rand.
Although this sideshow produced boffo entertainment value for a dumbfounded national audience, the fact is that Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate against Obama and he has approximately the same chance to win as the other chuckleheads. Which is, barring an apocalyptic event, slim to none.
Here's how things will unfold: For all intents and purposes, Romney will have the nomination wrapped up by the end of this month, when a victory in the Florida primary all but guarantees his ultimate triumph. This will give the Tea Party and the evangelicals - each bristling at how the Republican Party establishment torched their favorite candidates - plenty of time to stir up some mischief with third-party rumblings, launch a relentless attack on Mitt's conservative credentials and generate a whispering campaign asserting that Mormonism is a magic-underwear-sporting cult and that the former Massachusetts governor believes that Jesus and Satan are brothers.
This early wrap-up of the nomination will also enable Obama to get a fast start spending the nearly half billion dollars he has designated for "defining" the mannequin-like Romney as a character-less flip-flopper, a poster-boy for the "one-percenters," and a job-killing enemy of "working Americans" who wants to gut Medicare, privatize Social Security, deport all illegals, destroy collective bargaining, unleash another wave of Wall Street avarice, criminalize abortion and who, in general, can be trusted about as far as the Tabernacle Choir can be thrown.
While Obama has enough money to destroy Romney ten times over, he really doesn't have to because, historically speaking, he's in great shape for re-election. Even at his low point in mid-2011, the President was still beating his potential rivals in one-on-one match-ups. Contrast this to Ronald Reagan in mid-1983 being drubbed by Walter Mondale and Bill Clinton in mid-1995 being easily beaten by Bob Dole. A year later both incumbents won electoral landslides. Add to this the fact that in the last 80 years the only incumbents to lose an election have been Gerald Ford (who was never elected in the first place). Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush - each of whom had a serious primary challenge from within their party, something Obama hasn't had.
Right now, Obama is at nearly 50 percent approval, a remarkable number considering the economic difficulties of the past three years. By election time in November, the unemployment rate should be hovering around eight percent and the economy should be growing at a slow but steady pace. Much has been made of the 2010 mid-terms when the R's rode voter disenchantment - primarily over the health care bill - to a big victory. But with the opponent being Romney, who basically drew up the model for that hated legislation while governor of Massachusetts, the issue of health care will be minimized in the potential damage it could do to Obama. Besides, it's important to remember that mid-term turnout is always around 40%, with almost all the energy on the side of the party out of power. In presidential elections, turnout is around 60%, making the playing field much different and much more subject to an incumbent chief executive's financial and "bully pulpit" power.
So what will the GOP plan of attack be? Vague charges that Obama is either a Socialist, a Muslim, or both? Been there, done that and it didn't work in 2008. How about "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" Actually, the answer to that is "yes," since four years ago marked the lowest point economically since the Great Depression. What about foreign policy failures or a possible terrorist attack? This is actually their only long-shot hope, which is why the Republicans are putting all their eggs in the Israeli basket and praying that they can pin Obama's "anti-Israel/pro-Iranian" policy to Arab unrest and the ascension of Islamist influence in the Middle East. But at this time, Obama has a string of foreign policy triumphs to showcase and time is running out for Republican giddy dreams of devastation and disaster to come true.
At the same time that the Republicans are a splintered group with many seemingly hell-bent on destroying their party in order to save it, the Dems are generally united, except for a thin slice of the usual Lefty suspects who actually believe that Obama is vulnerable because of his failure to close Gitmo. The reality, however, indicates that labor unions have been energized in the past year to an extent not seen in 40 years; Occupy Wall Street has changed the country's dialogue in a way that benefits Obama; seniors are scared to death about what the R's might do to Social Security and Medicare; Latinos are petrified by the GOP's saber-rattling on immigration; pro-choice women are horrified by right-wing attempts to outlaw both abortion and contraception; and African Americans are still supporting Obama at the same rate they did in 2008. So when Republicans put forth "heartbeat" bills, voter suppression legislation, right-to-work laws and "stop and deport" referendums on various state ballots, the energy from the aforementioned Democratic interest groups will manifest itself on Election Day with a vengeance.
Recent electoral history also is on the side of the Democrats. Despite the conventional wisdom that the Republicans have a significant electoral edge in presidential races and the Dems must piece together a perfect scenario to squeak out a victory, the five most recent presidential elections have shown the exact opposite to be true. The Democratic presidential candidate has won three of the last five elections with electoral landslides, while of the two elections won by George W., one was awarded to him by the Supreme Court after Bush lost the popular vote, and the other was a similar squeaker that came down to one state. In their three victories, the Dems averaged 371 electoral votes, while W's victories averaged 279. The wins by Clinton and Obama were by an average of seven million in the popular vote, while Bush's two triumphs averaged a little over one million. In other words, the Democrats came within a whisker - and perhaps a bit of chicanery - of winning the last five presidential elections.
To top it off, since their 2010 mid-term triumph, the Congressional Republicans have conducted a scorched-earth policy of Obama-overkill that has plunged their approval numbers into single digits at the same time their ham-fisted presidential contenders have brought new meaning to the phrase "stinking up the joint." In contrast, Obama seems to have found his voice in addressing working-class issues, ended the war in Iraq, killed Osama bin Laden and has seen the economy slowly improving. So whatever tiny erosion there may be of Obama's support from the petulant hard Left will be more than matched by a significant chunk of "TeaVangelicals" voting with their feet when faced with a Romney candidacy.
The result will be 350+ electoral-vote landslide for Obama. Book it.