hope and change
Note: This is part one of a three-part series that will cover reasons that a voter may choose to support a specific presidential candidate. Parts 2 and 3 for Barack Obama and Gary Johnson will be available soon.
No matter where you stand politically, there are reasons you might want to vote for Mitt Romney in November. Mitt certainly has some unappealing points on his resume, but there’s a silver lining to every cloud. At least that’s what I’m told.
So here are a few possible reasons you might have for standing with Romney in November:
You believe a Republican victory is all that matters.
If you look for the people with the “R” beside their name and vote for them, no matter what, then obviously Romney is your guy, and your mind was made up before the presidential primaries started. I’d encourage you to consider candidates and issues more than parties and party lines, but that’s a different conversation for a different day. Vote Romney, and hope for the best.
You really liked Obama in 2008, but you aren’t crazy about him now.
A lot of people fell for the “Hope and Change” rhetoric last time around. Obama is a great politician, and beyond that, McCain was no better than Bush. The good news for you is that Romney and Obama aren’t really all that different. Sure, Romney is a Republican, so he’ll be a bit farther right than Obama on some issues, but Massachusetts Republicans don’t get to be governor because they’re conservatives.
He’ll take the Republican view on some social issues, and he might not want to grow government as much as Obama would, but the reality is that there are few differences between Romney and Obama. If you thought you liked Obama in 2008, you could probably like Romney in 2012.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1816, Letter to Thomas Yancey
Our nation, for several years now, has been in extended crisis mode. By the end of the Bush administration, we’d reached a point of complacency. We had wars raging on two fronts, but rather than being something the entire nation was focused on and engaged in, it was little more than partisan fodder to be used against Bush and the Republicans in the newspapers and on the nightly news (as evidenced by the fact that the constant front-page stories of soldier death counts miraculously disappeared once Obama took office).
Then came the financial collapse, which effectively ended John McCain’s chances at the presidency and ushered in Barack Obama, a political neophyte who campaigned not on specific policy positions and political philosophies, but on his claim to being “not Bush”, ushering in an era of “hope and change”. Unfortunately, while Obama has certainly achieved “change”, in doing so he has all but destroyed hope in America, at least until he leaves office.
These past two weeks we’ve seen the stock market rising and falling more often than a Kennedy after a night of partying. The dollar continues to be weakened, America’s credit rating is downgraded for the first time in history, unemployment remains high, and the prospects for improvement seem bleak in the short term. We are largely dependent on our enemies for our energy consumption, mainly because we refuse to access the vast reserves of energy we have on our own soil and in the oceans surrounding us. The waves of bad news crashing over us seem endless right now.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 will be recorded in the history books as one of the most historic and tumultuous in the annals of American politics. Just two short years after a relative political neophyte named Barack Obama swept across the political landscape, winning the presidency, increasing Democrat majorities in the House and Senate, and driving out record numbers of youth and minorities to the polls with his steady mantra of “Hope and Change”, it seems some of the luster has faded.
Indeed, it is precisely because America saw little hope in their smooth-talking but results-deficient president that they turned on him and his party resoundingly. Even up to Election Day he was rallying the Democrat troops, and Speaker Pelosi was proclaiming that Democrats would retain control of the House, yet the rest of America had seen the writing on the wall for months. As it turned out, the American people had placed their hope in changing the balance of power.
With a smattering of races across the country still too close to call and undergoing recounts, here is what we know. The Republican Party has picked up at least 61 seats in the House, giving them their largest majority there since 1946, and five in the Senate, rendering Democrats impotent in any attempts to ram through any more controversial legislation. Republicans have picked up nearly a dozen governorships, including Michigan and Pennsylvania. The state legislatures in North Carolina and Alabama have turned Republican for the first time since the end of the War Between the States. This was part of the 11-state pick-up for Republicans of state legislatures.
This historic Republican wave ended the tenure of some of the longest serving Democrats, including Ike Skelton (elected in 1976), John Spratt (1983), Paul Kanjorski (1982), Rick Boucher (1982) and Russ Feingold (1992).
This film takes a look at some Democrats and independents from swing states who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 — believing in the rhetoric of “hope” and “change”: however, these voters are less than thrilled with the way he has handled the economy since entering the White House.
If you like the documentary, you can purchase it here for $19.95.
The financial regulation bill recently passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama, who ran on transparency and open government, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is no longer required to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests from the public:
Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act.
The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from “surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities.” Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.
[If the SEC’s interpretation stands, Mintz, who represents FOX Business Network, predicted “the next time there is a Bernie Madoff failure the American public will not be able to obtain the SEC documents that describe the failure,” referring to the shamed broker whose Ponzi scheme cost investors billions.
During an event outside the White House where members of the military were protesting “don’t ask, don’t tell,” DC police forced reporters to leave the area and closed LaFayette Park, which is directly across the street.
As you can see in the video below, the media wasn’t happy:
So much for transparency, hope and change.
Do you still believe that Barack Obama wants to fight off special interests and working for the people? Tim Carney, author of Obamanomics, explains that not only is the president not living up to the hype, he is actually doing them some big favors:
“Tonight,” President Obama intoned near midnight Sunday, after the House had passed two health care bills, “we pushed back on the undue influence of special interests. … We proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people.”
But even before the president spoke, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America — whose $26.1 million lobbying effort in 2009 was the most expensive by any industry lobby in history — hailed the health package as “important and historic.”
Yet all along Obama has claimed the opposite. The Democrats’ party-line Senate vote for the bill represented “standing up to the special interests,” Obama said in December — just before the health care lobbyists and pharmaceutical political action committees hosted fundraisers for Martha Coakley to try to preserve the Democrats’ 60-vote supermajority.
Throughout March, as momentum built for passing the bill, and as Democrats adopted the mantra, “You’re either with the American people, or you’re with the insurance companies,” health insurance stocks climbed in tandem with the bill’s odds of passing. The health sector outperformed every other sector in the S&P 500 over the last month.
If you had any question whether or not President Barack Obama was fulfilling his pledge for transparency, this story should convince you that he worse than George W. Bush:
The review of annual Freedom of Information Act reports filed by 17 major agencies found that overall, the use of nearly every one of the open-records law’s nine exemptions to withhold information rose in fiscal year 2009, which ended last October.
Among the most frequently used exemptions: one that lets the government hold back records that detail its internal decision-making. Obama had directed agencies to stop using that exemption so frequently, but that directive appears to have been widely ignored.
Major agencies cited that exemption to refuse records at least 70,779 times during the 2009 budget year, compared with 47,395 times during President George W. Bush’s final full budget year, according to annual FOIA reports filed by federal agencies. Obama was president for nine months in the 2009 period.
Departments used the exemption even though the Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy, which advises them on FOIA, told them after Obama took office that they could exercise discretion and disclose such records. Doing so “will be fully consistent with the purpose of the FOIA,” it said.
That’s the hope and change we were waiting for.