The Childish Hypocrisy Of The American Voter

UPDATED

I had an interesting conversation last week that has taken me a substantial amount of time to digest. Not necessarily because of its content, but because I have been trying to sort out how it fits in with a general theme at play in this US Presidential election cycle.

It was with a very successful, intelligent and thoughtful individual, who I like very much.  In our conversation, this person took great pains to espouse a true and unyielding belief in “free markets”.  Markets that are free of government interference, involvement, manipulation and regulation. A belief that government should get out of the way and stop interfering and all would be better. Those points were made while I listened carefully, but despite this true conviction, little was offered in the way of factual explanations why a Darwinian free market would be best.

The conversation then turned to a new business venture this individual has undertaken in renewable energy at the consumer level . I listened, asked some technological questions and was curious about where we stood in the cost/benefit ratio.

My friend then said this:

“The way we sell this is to point out the fantastic Federal subsidies available for homeowners to install renewable energy.  Once we show them what they will get back in rebates after installation, we help them finance the costs until those subsidies are paid out.”

Our conversation ended, we parted ways and I thought to myself how smart this was as a selling tool and that this person had really given this a great deal of thought.

A while later, it hit me.  Has it hit you yet?

In one breath, this individual cursed government involvement in the free market and in the next, said that his business used Federal subsidies to sell product. Federal subsidies that were explained to me in an exuberant and positive way.

Therein lies the rather selfish and child-like hypocrisy of the American voter.

And in this Presidential election cycle, it is on display in a way I have never witnessed in my lifetime.

 

The Middle East

Arrogance is too mild a word to describe the assertion that somehow a US President can control violence in the Middle East. (or anywhere for that matter) I prefer to describe it as incompetent immaturity.

It has been widely vetted that, as intel was given to this administration on the attack in Libya, they released it.  As usual, it was wrong early on and got better as more was collected.  Mistakes were made, admitted and promises to improve were given. But there is no proof of an intention to mislead.

Only a blind partisan, with true hatred in their blood, would ignore these facts, that are freely available everywhere except from Fox News and Matt Drudge.

Despite the caterwauling of the right wing, even Mr. Romney dulled down his attacks of President Obama on Libya, once he was given access to the daily intel briefings.  This is most telling. He now knows, as do most well read people, that there was much afoot in Libya, including a CIA outpost,  likely with NOC’s in place, that needed to be protected right away. He also now knows of the significant delays between the gathering of un-vetted intel and a proper assessment from the intelligence community fit for public consumption.

Any President who would put an election above the duty to protect these assets by talking out of turn deserves to be sent packing.  This President did not. His challenger, briefly, did – and the right wing media continues to do so. But don’t take my word for it.

James R. Clapper Jr., the Director of National Intelligence said this: “A demand for an explanation that is quick, definite and unchanging reflects a naïve expectation — or in the present case, irresponsible politicking,”

Naïve indeed.

On Iran, it appears the crippling economic sanctions are working, as it has been widely reported that Iran would like “to talk”.  While this may not be good enough for the saber rattlers, if true, this is a huge step for diplomacy.  It should come as no surprise that both sides now deny this and one wonders about the timing of this information’s leak.  But none of that matters at all.  The only important question to be asked is this: do you really want another war in the middle east?

Still, the childish hypocrites say they want a more effective President in dealing with the Middle East.

And their critcism is what?  That this President doesn’t go on TV and beat his chest about how strong and powerful America is?

Grow up.

 

The Last Four Years

Let me make this one simple.

This Administration killed Bin Laden (and many other terrorist leaders), wound down two wars, prevented the economy from sliding in to a great depression, enshrined in law equal pay for women, and enacted health care legislation to ensure all Americans can have access to proper medical care.

That’s quite a resume and it should be a cakewalk to re-election.  But none of that is good enough for the hypocrites.

They now wonder where the great orator from four years ago is, yet they have criticized him incessantly for being “just a great orator”.

Areas that benefitted from the auto bailout, like Ohio, now think Mr. Romney is better suited to lead a “faster recovery”, while relying on a right wing media machine for information that used to call GM “Government Motors”.

The Dow Jones industrial average has gained 67.9 percent – the fifth best increase for an equivalent period among all American presidents since 1900 – and yet they say Mr. Romney would be better for the markets and the economy?

These are all the same people who are now demanding the President Obama offer a plan for the next four years, in detail.  And yet, they do not seem to be demanding that Mr. Romney explain, in detail, how he plans to achieve the many, conflicting objectives he has promised to accomplish if elected.

And people who think Mr. Romney offers better foreign policy opportunities ignore polls abroad that show the rest of the planet has a huge preference for President Obama. One such poll, conducted in Europe, showed that 82% had a favorable opinion of the US President.  Why does this matter?

If you want a President who can offer good foreign policy initiatives, is 82% approval not a good place to start, or do you prefer someone who’s judgment told him it was ok criticize the UK on the eve of the London Olympics?

Despite the typical American voter’s assertion that they care little about what other countries think, they should. They really should. And when it comes to the Middle East, they need only look at the price of gas for some perspective.

 

Final Thoughts

So, like the person I mentioned in the beginning of this story, the average American voter says they want one thing, but gladly accept the opposite when it is of benefit to them. In my friend’s case, if government truly set the markets free, there would be no federal subsidy for renewable energy, and thus little business for my friend.

Similarly, these folks prefer well refined phrases of puffery that make them feel good, instead of a sober assessment of results and of the challenges that lie ahead. They prefer fairytale over fact.

They prefer a belligerent foreign policy that makes them feel good about how powerful and exceptional America is, even though it does incredible diplomatic damage abroad to friend and foe alike.

Some would call that hypocrisy, and I agree.  But it is also something else.

Childish.

 

UPDATE

My comments about Libya and the CIA have been confirmed.  You can read about it here and here.

I wonder how Fox “News” and John McCain are feeling now?

 

 

Debating Debates And The Disappearance Of The Biased Left Wing Media

As you know, I tend to write only when I can point to facts in an effort to clarify what most others can’t or won’t.  And in the current US Presidential contest, facts are barely a consideration.  This leaves me in a predicament – become a fact-checker (there are many of those already) or offer an opinion.

As I am hesitant to do either, let me ask you some questions.

 

Did Mitt Romney win the first Presidential debate?

According to the media, he “spanked” President Obama. (what a silly, condescending and rather troubling verb to use, but Fox and the right wing media did so anyway)   But why was this assessment so widely agreed upon?

Was it the setting of low expectations for a bumbling Romney campaign that was close to being written off? Did the media therefore, expect President Obama to seal the deal and were surprised he did not? Or was it because the media, self serving as they are, prefer the proverbial “horse race”, and were looking to even the score a bit?

Why do media outlets outside of the US often offer a more sober assessment of such events?  For example, Canada’s National Post ( a right wing organization) offered a piece from George Jonas titled “Denver was never Obama’s to win“, where he said:

 

Obama may be better at campaigning than debating, but he was good, even very good at times; calm, laid back, relaxed. Romney was less relaxed, and it worked for him.

 

Why such unanimity then, in the US media?

To answer that question, consider this:

One of my favorite story lines has been how President Obama did not point out all of the “lies” Mr. Romney said in his debate answers.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The media blamed the President for not correcting Romney’s lies, but basically ignored the lies themselves.  The same media were quick to jump on the somewhat dubious nature of President Obama’s math, (when he said Mr. Romney was planning a five trillion dollar tax cut) but ignored Mr. Romney’s assertion that he would not increase the deficit while cutting taxes on middle income Americans and holding taxes steady on those who are in the top 5%. (By the way, it is impossible)

The biggest story line of the debate should have been the lack of details, excess exaggerations and the sheer number of lies coming from Mr. Romney.  It was not.  Why?

This leads me to my next question.

 

Is there really a left wing media bias?

In the minutes, hours and days that followed the first Presidential debate, there was almost a unanimous chorus of criticism of President Obama’s “performance” by virtually every media outlet in the US.

So, if there is such a left wing media bias, why were they as critical of him as Fox, Rush and Glenn Beck?  Why would they not find any way possible to show President Obama in the best possible light?

Because they certainly did not.

Those on the right will jump in here and say it is because President Obama was “so terrible”, but this is disingenuous.   (I watched the whole debate, twice, and he was certainly not terrible)

I have often wondered about this whole left wing media bias theme espoused by Fox News and others.  I’ve wondered if it is merely a ruse to keep their viewers and listeners firmly in place and to promote a distrust of actual news reporting. (Fox is not a news channel, but rather an editorial outlet)

There was no left wing bias post debate. They certainly had an opinion and an agenda of some sort, but it was not to promote President Obama.

Was it to promote a closer race and higher ratings?

 

Do Americans want a return to belligerent foreign policy?

Following Mitt Romney’s well promoted foreign policy speech, yet another bump in the polls for him, on the question of handling diplomacy and other matters abroad. But why? What did he say that was so new, different or agreeable?

Nothing.

Many of his goals are already being implemented by the current administration.  Many are simple platitudes meant to appeal to a domestic audience. And, some are a step backward.

In fact, Mr. Romney’s foreign policy advisers are some of the biggest hawks of the Bush era.  The same era that brought you Iraq. The same era that set a new standard for US belligerence on the world stage. The same era that set the new standard for alienating US allies and foes alike.   Do you want to return to that?

Do you want to have a President who beats his chest, yells loudly and thumbs his nose at the rest of the world?  A foreign policy based on force and antagonism?  Do you really understand what that does to those listening outside US borders? How it impacts those from whom the US needs help occasionally?

Think about this:

If Mitt Romney had been President, would we be seeing campaign ads about how he helped promote democracy in the Middle East during the Arab Spring? About how many of these countries are now turning to free and fair elections? About how it was done through quiet diplomacy and not direct, overt intervention?

Would you feel proud of that accomplishment?

 

Final thoughts 

It is actually somewhat depressing to think that the polls would shift so dramatically toward a challenger who spent an entire Presidential debate offering mistruths, dubious “facts”and well practiced “zingers”, instead of details, depth and a solid, well vetted plan.

It is equally troubling to believe that the average American voter prefers the pandering puffery of “American exceptionalism” to real solutions and a vision of a country that engages in fair economic policies and a prudent, quiet, foreign policy based on trust and equality.

If American voters are so easily swayed by such simple, vacuous words from those who obviously treat them with very little respect, then it is quite likely that Mitt Romney will be President in January 2013.

Perhaps then, we can all see his secret plan to prosperity.

Are you willing to wait and see?  Or would you rather know what the plan is in advance?

Will you trust the media to tell you?

So many questions and so little time to find the answers…

 

The DREAM Act, Being Pro Life, The New GOP And A Question

Help me understand something.

A new report released by the Center for American Progress and the Partnership for a New American Economy (created by independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch) says that if illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children were given legal status, their improved access to college and better jobs would add $329 billion and 1.4 million jobs to the nation’s economy over two decades.

The report found that up to 223,000 of the 2.1 million young illegal immigrants eligible for the DREAM Act would have an easier time enrolling, paying for and finishing college, which would lead to the increased economic gains.

If this is even remotely the case, then why has the DREAM Act not been passed? After all, it was first introduced in 2001 as a bipartisan effort sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Further attempts in the past few years have all failed, primarily because it has become more partisan. For example, the House of Representatives passed it in 2010 with minimal Republican support, and it failed in the Senate when only three Republicans voted for it.

There are many requirements that need to be met in order to achieve permanent residency.  Lots of checks and balances to abvoid abuse.  But I want you make note of this:

These would be the children of illegal immigrants.

Children brought to the US by their parents, children who are of good moral character (no run ins with police for example) and who have graduated from high school (or obtained the GED equivalent).  In order to remain, they must get a degree within a specified period of time.

So where is the biggest opposition coming from?

The new GOP.

After helping write the original bill in a bipartisan fashion, the new GOP opposes it. The Tea Party sent over one million faxes to the Senate and then gloated that the “DREAM Act Goes Down in Flames in Senate…delivering a critical blow to Democrats and Hispanic activists.

Mitt Romney has vowed to veto it.

I am confused.

The GOP advocates a total ban on abortions - even in the cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.

They say that “a baby that is a product of rape should not be killed.  It is not the fault of the baby that it has been brought into the world.  Why should the life of the baby be sacrificed because of the indignity suffered against the woman?”

It is that second quote that is of interest to me – “It is not the fault of the baby that it has been brought into the world.”

If you follow this logic, logic that is part of their 2012 election platform, then how does it reconcile when they oppose the DREAM Act and oppose helping out  “children who have been brought to the US by their parents”?  Those children did not ask to be brought to the US.

Protect unborn children, even in the cases of rape and incest, but punish those brought to the US by their parents, through no fault or choice of their own?

I just don’t understand.  Do you?