Monday, May 16, 2011

Why independents who don't love Obama should vote for him in 2012

Suppose the GOP manages to cough up a non-crazed candidate--someone like Mitt Romney, or Mitch Daniels. And say you're interested in fiscally responsible government.
Moreover, let's say you agree with the punditocracy that the GOP will cement its control of the House Representatives and will also get not just a majority in the Senate but a filibuster-proof majority.

If all of these things still seems likely in November of 2012, you should vote for Obama, for the simple reason that the Republican Party has proven repeatedly that it spends like a drunken sailor when it's in power across the board--and only Obama can keep the GOP from doing exactly what it did in the Bush era: actually increase the size of government and government spending and put it all on the national credit card.

They say this time it's different. And the wife-beater claims this time time it's different if she's just take him back. But the siren call of lobbyists offering a cushy future for retired Congressmen if they just cut special deals for the lobbyists' special interests is still there--in fact, since the Supreme Court nuked the dam that controlled campaign spending, lobbyists will have even more power than they did.

What Republican president will be able to veto his own party's bills? None that have a prayer of getting nominated.

Meanwhile none of Obama's legislative initiatives will be enacted--of that you can be 100% sure. Because the GOP hates him with a visceral fury you might not even be aware of unless you watch Fox News--as I do regularly--or listen to the AM radio political talk shows. I'm sure their biggest regret is Obama's marital fidelity--so unlike the wayward ways of so many Republican congressmen (and several presidential aspirants as well). There will be no Monica Lewinskys in Obama's life that they can use as a pretext to impeach him. So he'll be there--if you vote him a second term--to play the role of the corporate CFO, keeping the megalomaniacs in Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing etc. from going nuts on the company dime.

Even if you want a hyper-conservative Supreme Court like we have now, a second Obama term won't change that, because the conservative majority is relatively young and healthy. The only Supremes likely to retire or die are the less conservative minority, and replacing those won't be a game-changer--especially since the coming Republican Senate will block any nominations that even slightly left of center. They might even block any nominations he makes period, as they've been doing with so many presidential appointments.

Because of the nature of the electoral system, the coming Congressional majority may well not represent a majority of Americans--remember, Idaho gets just as many Senators as Texas, and the Electoral College gives one Montana Republicans the same voting power as four California Democrats. So Obama may be all that stands between minority rule and us.

Moreover, even if you're big on states' rights, remember that the Republican Party has no respect for states' rights as a principle--only in specific areas that advantage it. So even there you'll probably get more actual states' rights from a divided federal government than from a monolithic Republican one.

The one thing you'll get from a monolithic Republican government in 2012 is the repeal of healthcare reform--in fact they might be able to override a presidential veto on such a repeal anyway--which will be replaced by the past status quo of the past 100 years.

And then there's Social Security, which is solvent on the books for the next 40 years--all the government has to do is return the monies it "borrowed" from the Social Security trust fund, as it is legally required to do. Here again a monolithic Republican government will do everything it can to repeal Social Security and privatize it. The rank and file may thwart it, but it won't be for lack of trying.

Lastly, the GOP is now, to a remarkable extent, a captive of radicals who are so in love with their ideology that they don't care what the consequences are. This happened during the Iraq reconstruction, when the people sent there to administer the country were chosen strictly for their ideological credentials, with disastrous results. The current stated willingness of the GOP members in Congress to not raise the debt ceiling is a case in point. The worldwide consequences of defaulting on our legal obligations would cause a worldwide crisis, with one result being America losing its position as the center and the bedrock of the world economy. Yet you have a remarkable number of Congressmen saying they don't care.

You could argue that the Democrats are being equally mulish, refusing to cut two trillion dollars in Federal spending as the price of GOP cooperation. But wait'll you see the country we get if we're forced to do that.

So I put it to you that Obama is the most small-c conservative choice for President in 2012, given the coming Republican big majority Congress.

PS--that big majority is to a striking degree the product of the GOP promoting baldfaced lies by the dozens, amplified by a billion dollar propaganda campaign. There are legitimate differences between the parties, but they aren't the basis of the current GOP gains. Look at and and see.

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