November 7, 2012

A WIN, NOT NECESSARILY A VICTORY

Filed under: 2012 election,History,Politics — Jamie @ 12:32 pm


Thank goodness this crap campaign is over. It turned out to be a bit of nail-biter, but it should never had been so close. Obama should have walloped Romney, who was a man with no rational to his candidacy other than that he wasn’t the incumbent. In some other era this might have been enough, but the fact is that we are in such a bad predicament that a candidate could not simply offer his different person, but actually had to present a plan, and Romney’s plan was simply the impeached plans of George W. Bush. But he was always a bad candidate; that was clear during the primary season, from the way the Republicans squirmed after one obviously inadequate candidate after another before finally settling on the guy who didn’t know enough to know that he wasn’t wanted. He was always stiff, he was always the false-faced boss, he was always the guy who pocketed every possible dollar in every deal and then wouldn’t leave until he made you agree that what he did was both admirable and good. In the end he was done in by the rust belt, where people don’t really like men who like to fire people.

And thank goodness Obama won; his had real accomplishments during his first term, and now there is no chance that they can be rolled back. The Republicans, moreover, are the party of yahooism, and they do not deserve to rule. Joe Scarborough quoted Nicole Wallace as saying “People debate whether we should be a conservative party or a moderate party, but one thing we have to stop being is the stupid party.” She may have meant tactically, but I hope she meant overall–the stupid anti-woman party, the stupid anti-science party. But let’s face it: the president ran a brilliant campaign in which he sought no mandate for action. As far as I can see, he has an mandate to be empathetic, to micro target voters, and scare us about Romney’s shortcomings.

That won’t be enough. The country has “unfinished business,” as John Kennedy so eloquently put it. The president and the Congress need to come together. Perhaps with their hell-bent fever to deny Obama a second term having been extinguished by events, Republicans will drop their monomania and work out some compromises. I hope so.

1 Comment »

  1. I agree on most points, but I’m not persuaded about Obama’s campaign being “brilliant” — even in the narrow, somewhat cynical sense in which I think you meant it. It seems to me that Romney lost the race much more than Obama won it. I voted for the president, and am glad that he has been reelected, but among the many ways in which he has disappointed me is the gap between his early billing as a great communicator and the reality of his message skills. I think he’s pretty close to a disaster — not in the ways that his predecessor was, or Dan Quayle was, but in his abject failure to (a) make the case for everything he has accomplished, and (b) exploit the dozens of rhetorical opportunities dropped into his lap by Romney and the Republicans generally. He is not only considerably less than the inspiring figure he purported to be (or his acolytes touted him as being) in 2008, but I often think the man himself is uninspired (in the sense of being moved by very little). To be one or the other is sometimes enough for a successful tenure (e.g., I would argue that Reagan was uninspired, but inspiring), but to be neither means (to me, at least) that Obama may have been miscast by history, and perhaps would have contributed more by serving on the senior staff of somebody better equipped to lead. Here’s hoping the next four years prove me wrong.

    Comment by Matthew Fenton — November 7, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

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