Election 2012

The Obama Paradox

He's been a failure as a president, but he looks headed for reelection, anyway.


Call it the Obama paradox: He's been a failure as a president, but he looks headed for reelection, anyway.

Sure, things could change between now and November if there's a stock-market plunge, a scandal, an Iranian nuclear test, or a truly game-changing moment in one of the presidential debates. It's possible the polls showing Obama leading Mitt Romney both nationwide and in battleground states are all inaccurate, or that a final tidal wave of television commercials by the Romney campaign and its allies will be able to change the dynamic of the campaign, the same way Romney recovered after surges by Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum in the primaries.

But if Obama is reelected, how can it possibly be explained?

The answer is somewhere in these three plausible story lines:

The voters are re-electing Obama-Boehner, not Obama-Biden. The President Obama who's leading in the polls isn't the overreaching president of the first two years of his term, the Obama of the stimulus bill, the Dodd-Frank financial "reform" bill, and Obamacare. That President Obama disappeared, or at least was hidden away, on Election Day 2010, to be replaced for the most part by the President Obama who worked with the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to extend the Bush income tax cuts for two years, add a payroll tax cut, keep Guantanamo open, and ratify free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. The stock market, as measured by the Standard and Poor's 500 Index, is up about 20% since Election Day 2010. Health care costs and energy costs are leveling off.

By re-electing a Republican House, voters are rejecting President Obama's argument that things would be better without the Republican obstructionists. They're saying, instead, that they like the obstructed Obama better than the unobstructed one, and that the combination of a Republican House and President Obama might be something better than a failure.

A second story line is that Romney is a terrible candidate.

This is partly personal, partly policy. Romney served one four-year term as governor of Massachusetts. He never won the popular ratification that comes with re-election or even with having a hand-picked successor win re-election. His public-sector achievements are so thin that, at the Republican National Convention, he was reduced to trotting out Olympic medalists in the sports of women's skeet shooting and women's skeleton to testify to his work on the 2002 Winter Olympics. John Kennedy swam three miles in shark-infested waters towing an injured shipmate; John McCain survived five and a half years of torture in North Vietnamese prisons; Mitt Romney saved short-course speed skating in Salt Lake City.

Romney is gaffe-prone: "I like being able to fire people"; "I'm not concerned about the very poor."

Romney's most significant public achievements—the Massachusetts health care law that expanded insurance coverage through a mandate and the John and Abigail Adams scholarships to state colleges and universities in the Bay State—don't contrast well against either ObamaCare or President Obama's Pell Grant expansion. Voters looking for a candidate to expand health coverage and college access with taxpayer money figure they might as well stick with Obama.

Romney did not mention his tax-cutting plans in his convention speech, avoided tax simplification as an issue, and was vague about his plan to reduce tax breaks for upper-income taxpayers (another issue on which he agrees with President Obama.) He ran promising to spend more on Medicare than President Obama would, and praising McCain-Feingold-style campaign spending limits.

Generationally, Romney, 65-years-old and gray-at-the-temples, is an odd choice to deliver a message about federal debt reduction. Younger Republicans, like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, connect better with the younger voters who will have to pay off the debt, and those next-generation politicians may have their chance to do so in the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign.

Romney's economic message was so gloomy that he sometimes sounded like a candidate trying to get elected entirely with the votes of the 8% of Americans who are unemployed.

By this line of explanation, the rejection of Romney is not so much a rejection of the Republican Party or of conservative or free-market policies or ideas, but of Romney and his particularly odd campaign.

The third possible explanation is one I hope is not true, but that lurks as a fear in the minds of many of those dismayed by the polls. That is that the "takers" have started to outnumber, and outvote, the "makers." Add together the 46.7 million Americans on food stamps, the 8.7 million Americans receiving Pell Grants, the 7.6 million unionized government employees, and weigh them against the top 5% of income earners, the roughly 7 million taxpayers making more than about $154,000 a year, who earn about 32% of the adjusted gross income and pay about 59% of the nation's individual income taxes. We have all kinds of systems and laws in America for protecting the rights of unpopular minorities, but no one has quite figured out how to prevent an election from devolving into "four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."

Margaret Thatcher said socialists "always run out of other people's money." Charles Prince, then head of Citigroup, said in 2007, "as long as the music is playing, you've got to get up and dance. We're still dancing." A worst-case scenario is that the 2012 election will be remembered as one in which voters thought the music was still playing and danced away, only to discover before long that the other people's money had run out.

NEXT: UK Demands ISPs Block Suicide-Advice Sites

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That’s crazy….I used to call the same phenomenon “the Bush paradox”.

    1. Two words: John Kerry

      He sucked. Badly. Still does.

      1. yeah, a liberal from massachussetts could never get ele…oh crap!!!

        1. Who ever was?

          Kennedy was a tax-cutting Cold Warrior who voted against the Civil Rights Act (in part because it was a Republican initiative).

          Very different times.

          1. Yes, in the 1960 election Nixon was the more liberal candidate, certainly.

            That is, more liberal in the sense that the concept of having a conservative in the race was not conceivable then.

            It was not until 1964 that there was any kind of notion that that there might be such a thing as a conservative position in American politics. And the results of that election guaranteed that it wouldn’t occur again until 1980 when the fruits of New Deal liberalism became more apparent.

          2. Another interesting fact is that Barry Goldwater opposed the “Kennedy tax cuts”, which were finally enacted under LBJ, without corresponding spending cuts.

            Had Kennedy lived and faced Goldwater in ’64 it would have been an interesting contest.

            1. So Obama is the new Goldwater!

              Now I feel better.

            2. Comparing the principled statesmen of yesteryear (Nixon too, of all people) to today’s current crop is an imaginative effort.

              1. They always look more principled once they’re dead.

  2. It is a combination of the third reason, the fact that a lot of Americans are stupid and shallow, and the fact that we have an entire entertainment culture and major media dedicated to ensuring Obama’s re-election. It all fits together really. The media ensures the takers understand that they need to vote for Obama or die. And they also ensure that he is seen as likable and caring no matter how incompetent he is. This allows people to vote for him for shallow and stupid reasons.

    I still think he is going to lose. But the fact that he is even competitive is a paradox in itself.

    1. or could it be that Romney is a complete dud as a candidate and the republicans are in a tailspin (even more so than the dems…)

      1. No it couldn’t. If the Republicans were in a tailspin, they wouldn’t be be doing so well in the state and Congressional races. They are looking at keeping the Senate seat and Mass and picking up the one in Connecticut, among others. That is not a party in a tailspin. A tailspin is 2008 or the Dems in 2010 where you lose on every level.

      2. “Dud”, I feel, is the perfect word to summarize Romney.

    2. Well there is also demographics. Obama got at least 10% more of the Black, Latino, Asian, and 18-29 vote than John Kerry did. And 5% more of the 50K or less income vote than Kerry. He’ll at least match those results this time around and while these advantages may not seem huge, when your talking about elections that have been neck to neck for quite some time now, that gives him a significant bump. The question is will the same number of folks from those groups get to the polls this time? If so, it seems to me to be an uphill battle for Romney. If Romney’s able to pull some white women away from the dems, he might have a shot.

      1. The question is will the same number of folks from those groups get to the polls this time?

        That is the question. And it seems unlikely that they will.

        1. And if they do there’s always voter suppression laws and vigilante Tea Party thugs to stop them.

          1. Can’t be stopped by things that don’t exist.

            1. And they don’t exist if you put your hands over your ears and shut your eyes.

              1. Yeah, everybody knows that if a Republican wins it’s because Nazi thugs stole the election.

              2. T o n y| 9.10.12 @ 5:44PM |#
                “And they don’t exist if you put your hands over your ears and shut your eyes.”

                Shithead, you’re hearing voices in your head.
                Seek professional help.

          2. Nope. You tried to hard there. Not believable.

          3. T o n y| 9.10.12 @ 5:40PM |#
            …”and vigilante Tea Party thugs to stop them.”

            That’s GREAT, shithead! I’ll bet you got a million of ’em!

          4. No, not the baby eating, long nosed, rich and wily, tea party thugs! I saw them on a poster, with their greedy claws and greasy grins reaching for my life!

            -OWS Protester, 1936 Berlin

            1. I’m sure you were as sensitive about made-up black panther thugs, ACORN thugs, union thugs, etc.

              1. Yeah, those made up video tapes showing those made up thugs beating made up people and spinning made up billy clubs sure were tricky! Who are you going to believe, your ideology, or your lying eyes?!

          5. Like that black Tea Party thug spinning his billy club outside the polling place in Philadelphia in 2008…

          6. You mean like the Black Panthers who stood outside the polling areas with clubs in 08 to intimidate McCain voters? Or the more than 1000 felon voters who gave Franken the victory by a margin of 300 votes which made Obamacare possible? Voter fraud is voter suppression.

          7. “and vigilante Tea Party thugs to stop them.”

            Please provide one, single instance of the Tea Party being anywhere near as violent or vigilante-like as the OWSers.

            And not voting the way you command them to doesn’t count.

        2. Well John, the flip side of that is how enthusiastic the potential Romney voting block will be. Evangelicals certainly go with the GOP for the most part, but there will definately be some in that group that absolutely will not vote for a mormon. Probably not a large % but I don’t know. Also, a “moderate” Governer coming from a state like Massachusets does not exactly give the conservative base a hard on.

      2. pull some white women away from the dems

        Dangerously close to … RACIST!

        1. Well the white women vote was fairly consistant from Kerry to Obama so it would seem there might be some opportunity there. However, we have yet to see the media stories (which are coming) about how patriarchal the Mormon church is. That’s certainly not going to help. You really can’t talk about demographics in a presidential election without talking about race.

      3. Obama: “Where the white women at?”

        1. The same place they keep all the black mannequins, at Sports Authority.

  3. I don’t know a damned thing that I didn’t know about Obama in 2008. Unlike a number of Reason writers, I would have written in the orangutan from the local zoo before voting for Obama.

    He was elected in 2008. Explain that, and you have all the answers you need.

    1. i’d vote for your orangutan, not mittens though.

      1. You should vote for Obama. Why vote for a protest vote for Johnson, when his platform isn’t particularly radical? Vote Obama. Vote for a black man at least. And Johnson isn’t going to win. And according to Reason Romney is probably worse than Obama. So take the lesser of two evils.

        1. You should STFU and avoid damaging yourself any more than you have.

          And according to Reason Romney is probably worse than Obama.


          1. See Stormey Dragon below. He says Romney is worse than Obama. Is Romney better than Obama? Really? If so, how? I am curious to know.

            1. I saw it below and responded and read your response so you really don’t believe all this shit you’ve been spouting but anyone with a brain knew that already.

              Stormy Dragon =/= Reason. Jesus Christ you really can a RedTony level of mendacious hack.

              1. Stormey Dragon is not out of the mainstream on Reason. And show me a single time where Reason have ever said Romney is the better candidate? If it happened, I haven’t seen it. Reason flat out called Ryan the biggest of all big government Republicans. The criticism of Romney has been brutal. Taken as a whole, I don’t see any reason to conclude that Reason doesn’t consider Obama to be the better option. It is not that they like Obama. They don’t. But it seems pretty clear, they think Romney is worse.

                1. Shorter John: I can’t prove my point so…but it’s so obviously true.

                  They’ve been shitting on Obama for 4 years and rightly so. They haven’t stopped they’ve just run out of shit to shit out for Obama. Romney is supplying carts of it, so that’s how it is.

                2. “Reason flat out called Ryan the biggest of all big government Republicans.”

                  No they didn’t. You’re pulling this Tony shit more often lately. And most of the Reason staff, given the choice, would probably vote for….Johnson. Because they have that choice. You don’t have to choose between shit sandwich and giant douche, even though you so obviously want everyone to vote giant douche because….You’ve never really explained why you have such a big crush on Romney.

                3. Stormey Dragon is not out of the mainstream on Reason.

                  Nor are you. What’s your point?

                4. I dont give a f. if some guys at reason prefer Obama. I find Romney much closer to free markets than him. Barry thinks the problem is there aren?t enough unionized teachers, the private sector is doing fine.
                  His best line is “I can afford to pay more taxes because its fair”
                  What kind of crap is that, you think thats the way business works? You think businesses hire people because of fairness?

                  1. Government is not a business. Government should not be managed like a business. That is all.

          2. Have you been reading Reason’s stuff on Romney and Ryan? John’s snark is obviously snarky, but like any GOOD snark, it made me laugh because there’s something behind it.

            1. Yes I have. It’s been sometimes a bit of reach but most of the crap the R/R ticket gets from R is deserved. HitundRunplicans really do have a persecution complex.

              1. I didn’t say it wasn’t deserved. I don’t see any persecution complex.

                I see someone with no sense of humor or nuance, posting as “Cytotoxic.”

  4. If you want a paradox, Linda McMahon is up seven in the Connecticut Senate Race. Scott Brown is up nine in Massachusetts. If the country really wanted the brand of liberalism Obama is selling, that wouldn’t be happening.

    But you have to remember, sans the right wing blosphere, never portrays Obama as anything but a caring moderate. And they never cover the really shitty things he does. Most people honestly think Obama is a centrist President.

    1. the media never portrays…

    2. Some lefties think he’s far right.

      Seriously. I’ve been reading this. I’m dumbfounded.

      Well, I guess he is far right on the Drug War…

      1. Most people have no idea what Obamacare actually does. They have never heard of fast and furious. Most people have no clue about what the executive is doing. How would they? The media won’t cover it.

        1. Repubes could try and not run a shitty candidate and a worse campaign.

          1. By doing what? Being Libertarian and getting less than 5%?

            1. No they should try to run DeMint. Someone who can speak and not sound like a weird robo-douche weather teller who’s new to the job.

              1. DeMint didn’t run.

              2. I have been under the impression that, if asked, DeMint would laugh uproariously, ask, “Are you kidding?” and buy the questioner a drink.

                1. Okay well then somebody who doesn’t suck. Like that guy that ran off to Argentina. I don’t care that he cheated.

                  1. Call me a crazy conspiracy theorist, but I don’t believe he was born in the US.

                    1. And the sad part, none of these establishment fucks could win an election without the grassroots activist who do the real ground work. The ones I know really believe in the concept of limited government, judicial originalism, low taxation, anti-cronyism and are consistent enough on free markets to be considered allies, but they work to empower the elites who just walk all over them when elected. I don’t enjoy the rift I have with the Republicans I know in the least.

                  2. Sanford was pretty much my last hope to make peace with the Republican party, or at least the portion not in the establishment tank. Pretty damn sad the last nominee even worth considering was Reagan, and he was on his way out when I turned majority.

                    Dole had his feet in both houses, but he wasn’t a consistent enough fighter against overreach, thus ignoring the crime of Waco like every other Republican politician. McCain had a good fiscal record, but was absolutely awful in every other respect. He earned my hatred when he jumped on the anti-tobacco band wagon in the 90’s.

                    1. McCain had a good fiscal record


                  3. Ron Paul?

                    1. I mean of those who actually got the party nomination.

    3. I was in Boston for the Labor Day weekend and I was surprised at what I saw regarding political bumper stickers. I saw one Elizabeth Warren sticker, two Obama stickers, and about 5-8 Romney stickers and 2 Scott Brown stickers. We spent a fair amount of time driving in the Boston area (about 5 hrs total over 4days) and I was really looking for political signage. I didn’t know how to account for the lack of it.

      1. It is the same in Washington DC. I think there might actually be a Bradley affect going on. If so many people are so gung ho for Obama, why aren’t they showing it?

        The other explanation is that people feel compelled to vote for Obama because they want to prove to themselves they are not racist. But they still don’t like him and are kind of ashamed for supporting him.

        I am not sure which it is. I saw more Kerry signs in Texas in 2004 than I see Obama signs in Maryland this year. That is a serious WTF.

        1. You look like you are trying to convince yourself. The polls are against Romney. Why? Because he is an erzatz physical conservative. Talking about growth is code for “I hope we can grow the GDP faster than we grow the guv’mint.” Everyone speaks the code nowadays. Compassionate conservative == big government statist douche = boooosh

          1. Yeah, I’m not fan of Obama, and don’t particularly care who wins (we’re fucked either way – I’m voting for Johnson), but I think John’s trying a little too hard to convince himself that the only reason Obama isn’t getting killed is because people don’t want to be seen as racists

        2. I see Obama stickers all the time in Columbia. I saw my first two Romney yards signs in Ellicott City on Sunday.

    4. psst…its not that Obama is awesome, its how rediculously stupid and windvaneish his opponent is.

      1. Oh yeah, I am sure Paul would be up 20 right now. I would love to believe that. I honestly would. But every time I think it, I start laughing. Romney is getting killed in the media for being a radical libertarian bent on destroying the government. The problem is clearly that he is not radical enough.

        1. That attack may only work so long. If you think about it, it may have provided the groundwork if the Libertarians could ever run a professional, competitive campaign. People are so used to hearing about the lassiez-faire Republicans, libertarian rhetoric won’t sound so “extreme” anymore.

        2. John, you’re vindicating LIT to a degree. If you run to center and get shit on for rhetoric you don’t even espouse, then what’s the benefit of ‘moderatism’? What do you get aside from the appearance of cowardice and indecision? There’s a lot more to voting than left-right; you have to ‘look good’ too. Right attitude, the appearance of a plan etc

          You don’t have to be Ron Paul to be a more consistent stronger candidate than Romney. And that’s a strawman.

          1. So you are telling me that people are dying for a small government candidate, feel like Romney is weak and just a big government candidate in disguise so their sollution is to vote for Obama? That is nonsense.

            Romney is getting 97% of the Republican vote. And Johnson doesn’t seem to be a factor. If the problem was “Romney is just not small government enough”, Republicans would be staying home or not supporting him. That is not what is happening. If Obama wins, it will because independents support him. And you can’t say that is because Romney is not small government enough.

            1. Romney’s losing because he has nothing to offer and has no confidence. He’s a dud. I’m not asking for full-libertarian but some Reagan would be nice.

              1. No. He is losing if he is, because people want really big government. Why the hell would anyone vote for Obama if they didn’t?

                1. You’ve already contradicted that idea with the point you made about McMahon and Warren.

                  People like the idea of Obama and yes a huge chunk of the electorate love their big government, but that isn’t what’s putting him over the top.

                2. John, what percentage would Johnson or third parties have to pull to convince you that, if Romney loses, it’s because he is a flawed candidate and not because people are salivating over the thought of 4 more years of Obama? Is there any, or have you already drawn your conclusion?

        3. Plus, don’t forget the single thing that really got people amped up against O was health care. And, whatever he says, Romney just can’t convince people that he is much different to Obama on that issue.

          Although most Tea Party types didn’t vote for Ron Paul in the primaries, they weren’t happy with Romney as the candidate.

          1. So true.
            Leave it to the Republicans to nominate the one guy who has no credibility when it comes to criticizing Obama on the one thing that has so many people riled up.

        4. God, you are kicking that straw man to death.

    5. Honestly, I don’t think I think you could make an argument that on the aggregate, he’s a centrist. Not that that means anything. Centrists can be just as awful as people on the far right or far left. Under Bush, most of Obama’s positions of foreign policy and civil liberties, the drug war, etc would be considered pretty conservative (which goes to show how little meaning the word actually has). And he’s engaged quite a bit in crony capitalism, which liberals are supposed to oppose (ha!). Either way, he’s a terrible president

      1. You can’t make that argument based on the facts, no. But most people don’t know the facts. They know the bullshit the media feeds them.

        1. As I said, it depends how you define certain positions in the left-right spectrum. I think the left-right spectrum is pretty bogus and inconsistent, but if you define Obama’s positions on the positions I mentioned as right-wing, which isn’t any more absurd than the general concept of the left-right spectrum as it exists, then you could argue that overall, Obama is a centrist. As I’ve said, I would not use the left-right scale to define politicians (or I would redefine what left and right mean), and regardless, Obama still sucks

    6. I can’t find a single poll to support either of those claims. Even if you cherrypick the best recent polls, McMahon is only up by three on Connecticut, and Brown is only up by five in Massachusetts.

  5. Perhaps the voters have decided that as bad as Obama is, Romney appears to be even worse?

    1. How would Romney be worse? Seriously. It may be that he is not good enough and will just line up the Republicans to get blamed for everything. But I can’t see an argument for him being worse. What would he do? Pass Obamacare? Continue all of the wars? Assassinate American citizens? Ship illegal guns to Mexican drug gangs for political purposes? What?

      1. You could make an argument that if the Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress, that divided rule would be preferable than one party dominance. And you could argue that Romney would be even worse on some of the things you mentioned, just as Obama is worse than Bush on a lot of things that Bush also did

        1. Maybe. Of course the Republicans are not getting a filibuster proof majority. So it is not like they will do much. The other problem is that Obama will appoint federal judges and pretty much doesn’t give a shit about Congress. Obama plans to rule by EO in his second term. And there will not be a damn thing anyone can do about it. It is not like the media is going to call him. And Dems in Congress can obstruct any efforts to stop him.

          And short of putting up drones of New York and drone striking people, how could Romney be worse than assassinating an American citizen?

          1. Romney could do it on a larger scale. And who knows? Romney will certainly abuse the EO, and it’s possible he’ll do it on a larger scale than Obama will. Not saying it will happen, or that it’s even probable, but it’s definitely possible

            1. It’s more than possible, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Romney would further expand the progrom, given his constant criticism of Obama for not being bloodythirsty enough in the middleast. He’d probably expand the assassinations from terrorism to include drug targets to show how tough on illegal drugs he is.

              1. The reason I didn’t say anything beyond possible is that I expect Obama to increase it as well if he gets re-elected, and he could very well lead us into to a war with Iran. Though I guess both things would probably be more likely under a Romney presidency

      2. He’s already walking back on Obama care and talking about how there’s parts of it he intends to keep (the rest to be replaced with his secret healthcare proposal). He is going to continue all the wars, may try to reverse the draw downs in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is pulling at the bit for a new war in Iran. He wants to continue assassinating citizens, he wants to ramp up the drug war.

        Seriously, name the issue where Romney is demonstrably better from a libertarian standpoint than Obama?

        1. The Second Amendment. Taxes. Public Employee Unions.

          Those are three pretty big things. And Romney will have a lot harder time starting wars. If Romney wins, the Dems will become antiwar again. The media will start reporting the wars from an adversarial perspective again. If Obama wins, there will be no anti-war movement in this country of any kind. The media will support him no matter what he does and so will the normally anti-war left. Same with civil liberties. Bush or McCain could have never gotten away with assassinating an American citizen. The media and the Dems in Congress would have revolted. But since Obmaa did it, they brag about it.

          1. How is Romney in better on the second ammendment? He’s in favor of an AW ban and a magazine capacity limit. And despite all the boogeyman propaganda, Obama hasn’t done anything on the gun issue.

            How is Romeny better in taxes? He says he wants to eliminate all my deductions to pay for a further cut in the capital gains rate. I’m already paying a higher tax rate he is, and the “libertarian standpoint” is candidate who wants to raise mine even further so his can go down further? And that’s setting aside that his numbers don’t add up at all so it’s hard to take his tax proposal as anything other than campaign BS.

            And what is Romney going to do about Public Employee Unions? Federal Workers already lack collective bargaining rights. Are you suggesting that Romney is gonna start dictating the employment practices of the individual states from Washington? Because I don’t see centralizing the management of state level government employees in DC as a big win for smaller government.

            1. Correct statements. While everyone is saying “one will be better,” I’m trying to figure out how one won’t be worse. The only pro Romney argument that holds a half ounce of water to me is the SCOTUS appointees, and this might not ever happen during his tenure.

            2. Obama hasn’t done anything on the gun issue

              He’s been busy. Give him a chance.

        2. may try to reverse the draw downs in Iraq

          That will never happen.

          Seriously, name the issue where Romney is demonstrably better from a libertarian standpoint than Obama?

          Energy and regulation. Probably judges. Probably Ocare.

          Romney is without a doubt better than Obama. It’s just not good enough.

          1. Romney is without a doubt better than Obama. It’s just not good enough.

            That is a reasonable argument. But for it to be a convincing one, you have to conclude that we are better off with all of the damage Obama will do in the next four years. And that is a tougher call.

            1. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see where FnF goes?

              1. Unless they’re giving me free untraceable machine guns with impunity, no.

            2. No you don’t

          2. I believe Stormy said “from a libertarian perspective.” Despite the apparent overwhelming consensus among libertarians, I still fail to see what is libertarian about promoting fossil fuel energy.

            1. T o n y| 9.10.12 @ 5:44PM |#
              “I believe Stormy said “from a libertarian perspective.” Despite the apparent overwhelming consensus among libertarians, I still fail to see what is libertarian about promoting fossil fuel energy.”

              That’s OK, shithead. You ‘fail to see’ most everything.

          3. Energy? You mean like using tax dollars to subsidize a coal industry that can’t compete with natural gas? Or sibsidizing nuclear while requiring taxpayers to pay for all the cleanup costs that should be on the private companies?

            Regulation? You mean like Romney’s proposals requiring all hires to be approved by the Federal Government via the e-verify program? Or increasing the war on drugs? Or his brand new war on porn?

            1. You mean like Romney’s proposals requiring all hires to be approved by the Federal Government via the e-verify program?

              Worth mentioning that Gary Johnson supports a similar type of system for holding employers accountable and keeping track of temporary work visas under his revised immigration system.

          4. That will never happen.

            Probably won’t, but let’s look at Romney’s Veteran’s Day remarks about Iraq:

            Yeah. A couple of things. One, you probably know that it is my view that the withdrawal of all of our troops from Iraq by the end of this year is an enormous mistake and a failing by the Obama administration. Secretary Panetta and others had indicated they were working to put in place a Status of Forces Agreement to maintain our presence there, so that we could most effectively transition to the Iraqi military and Iraqi security forces providing security for their country.

            The precipitous withdrawal is unfortunate. It’s more than unfortunate. I think it’s tragic. It puts at risk many of the victories that were hard-won by the men and women who have served there. I hope the risk is not realized. I hope instead that the Iraqis are able to pick up the baton, and despite the fact that we will have walked away on a too-rapid basis.”

            Romney’s belief is that the problem with Iraq is that we didn’t waste even more treasure and blood on that country. I’m supposed to trust a guy who thinks that with foreign policy? Particularly when it seems like he can’t wait to declare war on Iran?

            1. It sounds like he was directing his criticism against a “precipitous” withdrawal. I’ll let you look that up.

      3. Continue all of the wars while starting new ones without so much as consulting with Congress first?


  6. Never fear! Obama will throw a speech at it and make it all good!


  7. The Obama Parabox, on the other hand, connects to a thousand other political realities, each one worse than the last.

    1. An Obama army is made by cloning Ripley and extracting it out of her chest. AND IT HAS THE SAME SCRIPT.

    1. Newsom is nothing at all other than a camera whore. His appointments as mayor had one overiding requirement; the appointee would not upstage Newsom in the press. The standard joke has to do with how dangerous it is to get between Newsom and a camera.
      So, it’s an odds-on bet that Newsom made the statement when there was some press coverage available, and since then, he’s dropped it like a hot rock and focused on his new endeavor; anchor on some 3-viewer cable channel show.

  8. Or maybe most Americans don’t see him as a failure… something you present as to be assumed.

    1. “maybe most Americans don’t see him as a failure”: clearly. The question is why.

      1. Grade inflation.

        People who do what used to be called failing in school get B+ grades now.

        Note that Obama’s popularity among those old enough to have been graded under the old system, is not very high.

      2. Because he’s done the best he could be reasonably expected to do with the hand he was dealt.

        What has he failed at? Turning a near-Great Depression into the pre-crash status quo, despite having no legislative power? Passing a bunch of policies you don’t like is not technically being a failure.

        1. I think it’s more the fact that his closest comparison on the Misery Index chart is George H.W. Bush. If that’s not failure, we’re really defining failure down.

        2. Turning a recession into the near-Great Depression, despite having D-controlled Congress for his two most active years in office?

          The economy is fucked. There has been no recovery. The recession ended two years ago. Much of that could possibly be considered “the hand he was dealt”. Since then, that’s a load of bullshit.

          1. Reagan was dealt a worse had with stagflation and interest rates in the high teens. Did he have to grumble in ’84, ‘I need more time!’ Nope.

            1. That is a ridiculous statement. What defines the most recent recession is that it was less recoverable than any recession since the Great Depression.

              1. IOW, our shitty ideology led to shitty policy that failed to provide recovery, and rather than reexamine our premise, we must presume that the recession was “unrecoverable”.

                This is like debating with a religious person where the failure of God to make things better is never evidence of his lack of beneficence, but merely an indication that his plan is perfect and we are simply too stupid to understand it.

              2. Shut the fuck up, Tony. You we too uninformed to carry on a conversation with me.

                1. I come to this site to avoid propagandist like you. It’s a personal affront to me that you don’t know your goddamned place.

                  1. You are not as informed as you think you are, and my place is to be a gadfly for people stuck in a libertarian bullshit feedback loop.

                    1. I’m so fucking more informed than you, you are but a snide little brat shitting his diapers and writing squiggles on the side walk with your own fecal matter in comparison. You have absolutely nothing to support the semi coherent, thrice baked and purely derived from hacks rhetoric you have tortured this site with for several years now. Your lack of awareness of how pathetic your inability to really support anything you say makes you a troll in a class by yourself. People only respond to you because you are easy pickings, easily refuted without having to muster any real mental faculties to do so. I wished they would stop it, but so long as the low lying fruit of your stupidity remains, they are going to help themselves.

                    2. “You are not as informed as you think you are”

                      Then that must make you Cook and Chief Bottle Washer for the “Over 46 Chromosomes” society.

        3. T o n y| 9.10.12 @ 5:51PM |#
          “Because he’s done the best he could be reasonably expected to do with the hand he was dealt.”‘

          Parsed shithead:
          “IT’S BUSH’S FAULT!”

  9. He’s been a failure as a president, but he looks headed for reelection, anyway.

    A little early for that, no? Lets look at the polls in a couple weeks, after the “bounce” has settled in.

    1. There has not been a single point since Romney was the clear nominee where Romney was the favorite to win by any measure. He has to win almost every swing state, while Obama only needs a couple. The race being a tossup–in terms of polling–is mostly media hype.

      I think Mitt’s chances are better than the polling indicates because of the potential effect of voter suppression efforts, but we don’t really know how that will turn out.

      1. “because of…voter suppression efforts.” This, in a strange way, could be something to be worried about. Imagine if Obama leads in the polls and Romney wins. How do you think the Obama-clones are going to respond to that?

        1. Raven Nation| 9.10.12 @ 6:35PM |#
          …”How do you think”…

          Uh, this is shithead. Presuming thought is not a good plan.

        2. I hope detailed analysis is made of how much Republican voter suppression efforts suppressed votes.

          1. T o n y| 9.10.12 @ 11:35PM |#
            “I hope detailed analysis is made of how much Republican voter suppression efforts suppressed votes.”

            Shithead, I’m sure you’d like a detailed analysis of where Santa left your goodies last year.
            You’re an idiot, shithead.

          2. Those goddamn Republicans have always been prejudiced against the dead and cartoon characters. The cunts.

  10. The fourth reason is that Obama is the return of the “Governator”. A likeable, celebrity – esque candidate who wins elections even though his policies aren’t universally popular. Arnold’s lost his special elections in humiliating fashion but spanked Phil Angelides a few years later.

    That’s really all there is to it. In the senate and the house races, Republicans will still be competitive, and voters are already warming up to libertarians ideas. Nobody really likes Obama’s bailouts or his misbegotten healthcare law, but they still like Obama.

    1. Nobody really likes Obama’s bailouts or his misbegotten healthcare law, but they still like Obama.

      I liked him for maybe five minutes on a sunny day in June ’08, but since then I have considered him too much of a highly vetted flake to meet my standards of what a decent human being should be like.

  11. “Call it the Obama paradox: He’s been a failure as a president, but he looks headed for reelection, anyway.”

    Perhaps because the majority don’t consider him a failure?

  12. I don’t really get it either.

    He hasn’t even articulated an agenda for the next four years. His campaign is all identity group politics, with little overarching vision. He wants to give birth control pills to women, marriage to gays, more jobs and money to public sector unions, more subsidies for green energy to environmentalists, and he wants to pay for it all by enging the bush tax cuts for people over $250,000.

    He has no plan for bringing down the budget deficit. No plan for comprehensive reform of the tax code. No plan for reforming entitlments.
    He hasn’t even seriously proposed a second stimulus, so I don’t know what his plan is for the economy.

    The entire campaign is based on saying “Republicans are bad and want to give tax cuts to the wealthy so elect me. Also they hate women.”

    1. Meh. FDR got 2nd and 3rd terms on not much more than that.

      1. FDR was probably the most damaging president since Lincoln, but he had an avuncular presence on radio.
        Obama is obviously a twit in any medium.

        1. In which way was Lincoln damaging? Abolishing slavery? The abolition of slavery is the most libertarian thing any american president has ever done!

          1. Alex the wolf| 9.10.12 @ 10:29PM |#
            “In which way was Lincoln damaging? Abolishing slavery? The abolition of slavery is the most libertarian thing any american president has ever done!”

            You’ll have no argument from me that removing the government sanctions for slavery was wonderful.
            Unfortunately, Lincoln seemed to think that increasing the federal government power was required to do so.
            See, oh, income tax, habeas corpus, etc. The man simply believed the ends justified the means. Horrible president.

          2. A bit more:
            Slavery couldn’t exist without government approval; the government granted some limited portion of the force monopoly to those who held slaves. If the government hadn’t, there would be no slaves; no one volunteers for slavery, Deadly force is required and it can only be by government sanction.
            Lincoln had the alternative of simply denying that sanction; the claim the ‘union must be preserved’ is nothing other than a campaign slogan.
            Let the south wither and die from the imposition of slavery. Grant any slave crossing the border freedom. Allow northern guerrillas to travel south.
            There are many ways the freedom of the slaves could have been accomplished absent the Lincoln programs.
            He made it clear that war is the friend of governments; he deserves condemnation.

            1. This. Lincoln was a war mongering fascist before we had a term for it. The Civil War was completely needless, and if it weren’t, wiping his ass on the constitution in order to prosecute it would still have made him a piece of shit president.

  13. I’m surprised to not hear much about the congressional races. I’m resigned to an Obama victory, doubt it will be the end of the world, but would be happy (less upset?) if Team Red kept the House, took the Senate, and locked the grid at the same time. Any opinions on the likelihood?

    1. My money is on Democrats maintaining or gaining 1 or 2 seats in the senate and the Republicans ending up with no net gain in the house but maintaining their majority.

  14. Contrary to the first point in this article, the people voting for Obama love just about everything he does. That includes Obamacare. They love it. They just know that it “helps everyone get access to healthcare” and “Obama cares about me”. Seriously, the last argument I heard for Obama is “don’t you think he cares about you more than Romney?”. Most voters have a serious critical thinking deficit. How do you begin to argue with someone who operates on the premise that politicians have this miraculous infinite capacity to care about everyone, like Santa Claus or Jesus.

    1. You are absolutely right. His hard core constituents truly believe that without evil Republicans standing in the way in order to defend their rich fat cat patrons the blessings of government benefits in a new age of abundance and enlightenment would just an election away.

      1. be just an election away.

    2. “Seriously, the last argument I heard for Obama is “don’t you think he cares about you more than Romney?”.”

      Holy crap, I heard the same thing the other day. It made realize there was no point in continuing the conversation.

      1. It must be the new “Are you racist?”
        (I was asked that from a couple different people about 4 years ago after I said I wouldn’t vote for Obama)

      2. If I’m ever asked that I would tell them it would be extremely weird and supernaturally unexplainable if a president gave a shit if I lived or died.

    3. Lisa I know at least three people who make the same argument that he cares for people more. It is just bizarre.

    4. You are right. It was irritating when he said “oh, you know, people like me or Romney can pay more taxes, we should pay more”
      Is this demagogue in charge of the economy? Does he think that businesses exist to seek “fairness” in society? That rich people will invest, even if taxes are raised, because “its fair”?

      1. Alex the wolf| 9.10.12 @ 10:34PM |#
        …”Is this demagogue in charge of the economy? Does he think that businesses exist to seek “fairness” in society? That rich people will invest, even if taxes are raised, because “its fair”?”

        IMO, the view that Obama promotes “fair” is enough to sway enough voters to get re-elected.
        It doesn’t matter a whit to most voters that the term “fair” is bullshit; they haven’t looked at the term sufficiently to see that.
        They’re hoping for their free shit. And anyone who threatens to take is away is dead meat.

        1. I endorse the above remark. It isn’t that Romney is weak. If he were the Democratic candidate the media would call him The Moderate We Have Been Waiting For, and he would not have to change a single policy for that to happen. Conversely, it was his appeal to independents that made Republicans go against ALL principle in order to get rid of Obama because Romney is possibly electable. He still leads independents by double digits.

          There is no reason for lamentations. Truth being whether Romney or Paul were the GOP candidate it would turn out about the same in spite of these calculations. The single reason Obama is still viable is because people are stupid and weak and still believe in the Free Shit Fairy.

          If that were not the case the Democrats would have forced him to not run again. They would have fielded a better candidate because there is no rational means to justify giving him four more years other than people want their free shit today that they think will not be available tomorrow, either because of mean Republicans or because of the growing debt crises, they have made the calculation that in the short run Free Shit Fairy is going to keep the free shit flowing.

          That is their sole impetus.

  15. It’s a combination of the takers voting for The One, and the media Narrative that “R” will take all of the takers’ spoils. It doesn’t matter who the “R” is; it’s always the same Narrative. Romney doesn’t have the chops to overcome the Narrative.
    It’s over.

    1. I don’t think its even close to over. Sure, Obama got a bounce in the polls that erases Romney’s lead of the previous few weeks, but that’s pretty standard for the party that gets the last turn at a convention. It will melt away as well.

      What I find amusing is the claim in the media that ‘ Ohio is slipping out of reach’ based on this latest set of polls. It is just the kind of meme they would put out there if they were in the tank for Obama especially given the polls were reversed just a few days ago!

      I’ve never seen Ohio be consistently stupid about anything, so my expectation is still that they wont repeat the ’08 disaster and elect Obama.

  16. Here it comes. Another Debbie-downer article by someone who hates hates hates the Republican field but is searching for dire prophesies to explain away some looming political catastrophy that an independent “l”-ibertarian like him really doesn’t give a rat’s arse about: a victory by the Democrat incumbent. Repent, Republicans! The end of the world is at hand! Cue Skeeter Davis…


    1. This would make a good final credit song for a Fallout game.

  17. Great article!
    Check out my newest blog post titled “Obama fails to deliver and Romney will probably never have the chance to? How about Gary Johnson?” http://littlemisslibertarian.b…..-will.html

  18. Like the old adage, do you love your wife? Well, compared to what?

    Starting your whole discussion with ‘Obama has been a failure as a President’ without comparing his level of success to the last administration completely ignores what most Americans understand.

    Here is failure: 3000 Americans murdered and the subsequent change to how we live our daily lives in your first year, the largest financial collapse since the depression in your last year, and then in-between the complete scuttling of the whole concept of balanced budgets which took us about 40 years to achieve and now will be many years to get back. Now that is FAILURE!

    Here is what is not failure: doubling of the stock market, businesses awash in profits, health care reform which included reductions to medicare, and a thriving auto industry.

    You can scream all you want about how those things were achieved, but it is a far cry from the results of the last Republican administration. And until Romney completely reverses himself on those policies, Americans understand the choice. Ira, you think its just Romney running this year for the Republicans? That monkey on his back is GW Bush. Everyone else understands that.

    1. Whatever it is you’re smoking, I want some!

      1. Yes! We can agree….legalize!

    2. “The pencil felt thick and awkward in his fingers. He began to write down the thoughts that came into his head.
      He wrote first in large, clumsy capitals:


      Then almost without a pause he wrote beneath it:


  19. Or it’s because Obama is half black and many of those voting are looking for atonement for they own racist proclivities. (I know, I know. It’s racist to suggest anyone would treat someone else differently because of skin color.)

  20. It’s none of the above. The polls are skewed. Look at the samples – D+7, D+9, hell even D+12. The polls are way off (Even compared to 2008 exit polling).

    Next the media – where are the high gas price stories? What about Obama spelling Oiho? Or the Biden stories? If the media was anymore in Obama’s pocket they would be his underwear. They are covering for him something fierce.

    Finally remember this – Carter and Mondale were way ahead in the pools (Way more than Obama). How did that turn out? Just to name two that is.

  21. P.S.: Obama is still going to lose in spite of this minor convention dead cat bounce.

  22. takers have overtaken the makers, prepare accordingly

  23. Here are More characteristics, novel style,varieties,and good quality low price



  24. “By re-electing a Republican House, voters are rejecting President Obama’s argument that things would be better without the Republican obstructionists.”

    What Democrats call “obstructionism”, Rambo The Founding Fathers called “a System of Checks and Balances”.

    1. . . . but then I guess you have to run on this line of doublethink when your only other option is to address the fact that the Republicans were voted House majority by an overwhelming majority of Americans appalled and disgusted by Obamacare . . .

  25. You mean like the Black Panthers who stood outside the polling areas with clubs in 08 to intimidate McCain voters? Or the more than 1000 felon voters who gave Franken the victory by a margin of 300 votes which made http://www.footballcleatstrade.org/ Obamacare possible? Voter fraud is voter suppression.

  26. “By re-electing a Republican House, voters are http://www.nikefootballcleatsmercurial.org/ rejecting President Obama’s argument that things would be better without the Republican obstructionists.”

  27. Here is failure: 3000 Americans murdered and the subsequent change to how we live our daily lives in your first year, the largest financial collapse since the depression in your last year, and then in-between the http://www.cheapbeatsbydreheadphonesau.com/ complete scuttling of the whole concept of balanced budgets which took us about 40 years to achieve and now will be many years to get back. Now that is FAILURE!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.