Obama vs. Romney... The Founding Fathers Would Be Ashamed!
It is not exactly a confrontation for the ages. This November sees Barack Obama, a failed and empty liberal who scorns the Democrat machine, up against the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, a man whose entire life has been spent accumulating money. ~ Walter Ellis
Obama believes that he knows what needs to be done to restore his country’s fortunes. He may even be right. Like Jimmy Carter in the 1970s, he is both arrogant and supremely impractical.
Hardly anyone understands his healthcare reform. All they know is that under his presidency, the economy has continued to stagnate while borrowing continues to rise. They applaud the killing of Osama bin Laden but know that any American president would have given the identical order.
Romney, meanwhile, is an unconvincing entrepreneur, whose politics are less of the Right than of the One Per Cent. Given that he has spent the last 30 years grubbing for cash, the only surprise is that he hasn’t made more.
$250 million may sound a lot if you’re a pizza delivery man. But to the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, not to mention the other 391 US billionaires, it is small change, suggesting a man lodged firmly in the bottom 0.9 of the One Per Cent.
The high hopes that were invested in Obama in 2008 have largely been dashed. Moreover, unless the Democrats improve their position in the House and Senate, the low hopes for his second term will meet the same fate.
Romney is not exactly sitting pretty either. He is an intelligent man who – as Obama keeps hammering home – must know that he cannot do a “Bain” on the United States.
If he were to try that, the workforce would shrink, unions would be banned and people at the top would be given even higher wages and bonuses than now. The result would be the political equivalent of civil war.
There are several possible scenarios.
1. Obama is re-elected and the Democrats gain two additional Senators and 30 extra seats in the House. In that unlikely event, the former community organiser would have the firepower to achieve anything he wants.
The only obstacle in his path would be a dearth of practical policies that go beyond tinkering. The former one-term Senator is bright and intellectually nimble, but is no radical.
His message, essentially, would be: “Get your fingers out, America. You know what needs to be done, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get on with it.”
2. Obama wins a second term, but the Democrats receive another drubbing at the polls. In this case – which looks highly likely – it would be unsteady as she goes.
The President would be hobbled from the start and would spend his second term searching desperately for a legacy that went beyond the colour of his skin.
There would be more speeches, more calls to action, more pleading – in short, more rhetoric. But the reality would be once more, dear friends, into the breach of promise.
3. Romney triumphs, with Republican majorities in the House and Senate. This is where it gets interesting.
The former Massachusetts governor is pledged to repeal Obamacare, but is also on record as approving most of its provisions. He would wish to tread carefully, but might have to give the mob what they demand – meaning, either way, another two years of nightmare negotiations.
On the economic front, he would have three years, no more, in which to rebuild the nation’s economy and create five million, mainly private sector, jobs.
No doubt he would give the green light to an extension of capitalism from sea to shining sea. But what would this mean in practice?
Would it just be more “flexible” labour laws and tax breaks for the rich and those who provide jobs, or would it go deeper?
Would America be turned in effect into a gigantic corporation, with the President as CEO? Nobody knows.
All that is certain is that if he failed, the hard men in the GOP, who have never truly believed he is one of them, would already be looking around for a replacement.
4. Romney wins but finds himself at the mercy of The Tea Party, whose full-throated Right-wing agenda includes wholesale tax cuts, an end to immigration, a nationwide restoration of the death penalty, an almost total ban on abortion and a prohibition on same-sex marriage – plus millions of new jobs, the end of “union power” and, simultaneously, a period of splendid isolation alongside the restoration of America as the undisputed Number One Nation on Earth.
If Romney failed to deliver on these fronts, the even harder men – and women – now in charge of the party of Lincoln would be plotting his downfall quicker than you could say John Wilkes Booth.
But let us be fair. There is always a chance that whichever man wins will go on to have a moderately successful presidency, buoyed up by an eventual recovery in the global economy and a feeling that, after all that’s happened since 9/11, it’s time to give the White House and Congress the freedom they need to set the ship of state on a safe course.
That would presume that good sense prevails. But good sense in American politics is in critically short supply. It is the extremes who dictate the modern agenda, with 90 per cent of those on Capitol Hill pandering to the Right in the hope that they can hold on to their jobs.
I blame Democrats almost as much as Republicans. Neither party has shown any guts in the last ten years. All they do is bicker and feud. Most of their time is spent fund-raising and campaigning for re-election.
What a shower they have become. The Founders – God bless their silk stockings! –would be ashamed of them.
But maybe it will be different in 2016. One can only hope.
Walter Ellis - July 18, 2012 - Telegraph.uk
Walter Ellis, a former feature writer for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, worked as a foreign correspondent for 15 years, mainly in Europe. Born in Belfast, he now lives in New York and France.
He believes in the European Union in much the same way that most Anglicans believe in God – an excellent idea, to be encouraged despite all evidence to the contrary. His latest novel, The Caravaggio Conspiracy, is published by the Lilliput Press.