By Here, finally, we are. After months of seemingly endless campaigning (actually, much more than that has been going on in the world, it's just that what we get from the media has been their breathless attempts to repeat each other's stories and tell us all about how much money the campaigns have raised and how the "horse race" is setting up), we arrive at the last few days of the race for the White House (mercifully; actually, it's more like a CHASE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, and all the trapping of power apparently attendant thereto, when, in point of fact, no matter which candidate is elected, we can COUNT on the President continuing to kow tow to international corporate interests, pledge and pay fealty to Israel, permit the CIA to covertly wage war upon 120 nations around the globe, find more and ever more dollars to feed the military-congressional-industrial-prison-privatized-education complexes; all of which are intimately related, and devolve into more of the same: War without end) . After all that campaigning, many have openly wondered how anyone could still be undecided (they shouldn't; it's just that the lack of substantive reporting - if you wish to know what to expect from a politician - look at the record, look at the record, look at the record - but, 'tis far more "fun," I guess and much easier for political
reporters stenographers to report on the vast sums of money being sucked into the campaign, and, of course, the "horse race," God Willing, will give Romney the popular vote, and Obama the Presidency in an electoral college LANDSLIDE). We’re not among those who wonder. We believe the choice for president in 2012 is both difficult and profound (which, it ought not to be at all, Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate would have won the debates HANDS DOWN, looking very Presidential in so doing, and staying REMARKABLY on point in answer to the questions). Whomever is elected will be trusted in large measure with the fate of a stumbling economy (and no matter how they try to help it, without significant structural changes, they WILL NOT BE ABLE TO KEEP IT FROM STUMBLING, and in fact, entering into what will eventually be known as a full bore DEPRESSION), a foreboding debt crisis (as long as the U.S. Federal Government has the ability to raise taxes, the debt crisis ought not to be foreboding - sheesh, the Government can print money at will (calling it "quantitative easing," that which if you or I were to do would be called counterfeiting), a gridlocked government (the government is gridlocked because God's Own Party has become the "Party of No!") and an unstable world (virtually all of whose unstability can be directly traced to financial, economic, and military decisions made by our elected officials; which are entrenched in our national DNA, and which are based, primarily on lies, legends, myths, myopia, and ignorance).
But now after weeks of debate and reflection, and a good amount of uncertainty on our own part along the way, we have reached our decision. What we would give in this troubled time for certainty, for inspiration, for the exhilaration that Barack Obama aroused in so much of America four years ago (in other words, a nice kindly, avuncular figure head, like Ronald Reagan, to tell us stories, that are pleasing, or, a cheer leader like the sock puppet appointed by the Supreme Court to lead the land, "Dubya" - essentially, this is a plea for FORM over substance; however, both candidates offer form only, very little of substance).
Here’s what we believe: We believe that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are good and decent men who care about the country (a President who maintains a kill list, who sends drones to rain down bombs on innocent children, women, and civilians is a good and decent man? What kind of bar do we set for standards?). We believe each possesses extraordinary skills and talent (such extraordinary skills and talent(s) excluding honesty and integrity, and further excluding the ability to focus on human kind's impact of the environment, and further excluding the ability to honestly assess the futility of the wars we continue to wage, and further exclude the ability to see how poorly our foreign policy vis-a-vis the corrupt, illegitimate Nation State of Isreal places us badly in the eyes of the world) . But, philosophically, it is clear that one trusts government too much (I must agree with this assessment - Obama trusts government enough to commit war crimes, crimes against humanity in the name of the so-called "War on Terrorism" (terrorism being a tactic, which doesn't fight back, doesn't have an army, doesn't have an air force - but then, we Americans LOVE to declare war on inanimate objects, the better to wage it upon human beings, especially weak human beings who have virtually no defenses - the better to win your wars - pick on a VER"Y weak peoples, who nonetheless live on lands that contain great natural resources and other sources of wealth); the other appears (it has been a mantra for the Republicans, which was most famously chanted by Ronald Reagan that government is the ROOT of our problems; actually, the Republicans trust govenment completely, as long as they are it; they happily run up deficeits that are far greater (percentage-wise) than those run up by democrats, and when things eventually (as they always do) turn so alarmingly bad that even such entities as the Daily Herald Editorial Board comes to realize that what is needed is Democrats back in office (for a short while, anyway) to "clean things up" (by cutting benefits and raising taxes) to trust it too little.
In endorsing Illinois’ favorite son in 2008, we declared Obama “has a chance to be a great president (but then, EVERY candidate has a CHANCE to be a great president - even a great failure of a president can be said to have been "great").” We said, “He offers a new kind of politics (this was an entirely naive point of view - Obama came from the Chicago Machine - and there weren't gonna be no nothin' new under Obama - just the same ole' same ole' - good heavens the man voted "PRESENT" so often, people were just about to start calling him Mr PRESENT - and this was entirely calculated, in this, the modern day, where the idea is to leave as few foot prints, to sponsor as little incriminating legislation as possible, so that we can elect ciphers, liars, whores to international corporations, and investment banking). A politics that breaks down the old partisan walls (as long as we had the current rancid crop of "Just Say No" republicans to vote against anything a democrat sponsored, them partisn walls just were not a-gonna' come down). A politics that strives to bring people together. A politics of hope (but every candidate who has ever run for POTUS has run offering a politics of hope - what they REALLY hope is that no one will remember that damn few Presidents have ever entered office and presided in a manner that would justify the voters' hopes - FDR, of course, is one exception; LBJ is another).”
There is no doubt that as president, Obama has recorded some significant achievements, some even historic. Even his adversaries have embraced some. He’s ended the war in Iraq (this is not true - Iraq is now engulfed in a civil war that will last for a LONG time, until the U.S. leaves, including leaving their damn billion dollar embassy, which is a lookout post for the CIA), passed landmark health care legislation, opened the door toward civil rights for the gay community (the civil rights for the gay community door has NOT been opened by Obama, jeez, maybe just pushed a little further out - that door has been opened at both the federal and state level) — all notable accomplishments.
But four years later, where is the hope? Where is the confident swagger and leadership to uplift the nation’s mood? (What the editorial board is telling us is that they want a CONFIDENT SWAGGER (e.g., GWB in full flight suit, strutting about the deck of a ship proclaiming victory in Iraq); still, form over substance)
In that endorsement editorial four years ago, we described the landscape of America thusly: “Our country is polarized, our politics is unduly partisan and out of touch and our economy is on the brink of the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression.”
Today, our country is still polarized, our politics is still partisan, our economy slugs along painfully on one of the slowest recoveries in history (you mean to say y'all are buying into a recovery? REALLY? how about this - we have not seriously begun to recover, because we are STILL in a depression) and the country’s debt threatens our future and the future of our children (actually, the aspect of the debt that is so threatening is that nobody (no politician) is gonna do a damn thing about it for the longest time).
How much of this should be laid at the feet of Barack Obama is difficult to say. The challenges to the country and to his leadership have been formidable, perhaps to an unprecedented level (perhaps?). The incessant hyperbolic-politics-as-entertainment drumbeat (from where do we get this "hyperbolic-politics-as-entertainment drumbeat? well - from the press corpse, for one place, from the print media, from television)"exacts a price in polarization that few presidents could overcome (and, with the election of Mitt Romeny, this is gonna change, how?. The historic intransigence of a sizable bloc (a bloc so sizable that not ONE of them voted for Obama-care? that is sizable, all right) of Republicans in Congress has contributed mightily (some might even say "contributed exclusively") to the partisanship. Likewise, the debt has not been imposed by Obama alone. Republicans helped build it (Reblicans, reversing a trend started by Bill Clinton, rebuilt the debt, on several counts, most notably by waging wars without paying for them (GWB advised the American people to shop), and by severely reducing taxes on the uber-wealth), and the failure of both sides to foster a constructive, bipartisan response has helped maintain and grow it. Both sides have embraced ideologies that don’t fit today’s overwhelming challenges, which must be met through moderation, consensus and collaboration.
Yet, in all these areas, Obama cannot escape the burden of his share of culpability.
At a time when the economy was wracked, he chose instead to focus on health care reform. In doing so, his administration chose early on to fight with Congress rather than to work with it. He chose to force his landmark health care bill through Congress without a single Republican vote, significantly contributing to the bitter atmosphere of division in Washington (Jesus H. Christ - things in Washington, on K Street, got to be so partisan, that the White House would not even SPEAK to interest groups that donated money to democrats - and it is suppsed to be Obama's decision to try and get a health care bill passed that significantly contributed to the bitter atmosphere of division in Washington? Y'all got a critical case of amnesia).
His economic initiatives have been heavily bent toward the public sector, a big spending approach that has been aptly derided by Romney as “trickle-down government.”
And however well intended his belief that the Bush tax cuts should be ended for upper-income brackets, his $250,000 benchmark has been remarkably low, as many two-income families and small business owners and others in the suburbs can attest.
More pointedly, we are disappointed in the tone of Obama’s relentless insinuations that wealthy Americans refuse to pay their fair share (in other words, he is making the editorial board members of the Daily Herald feel guilty - by his intonation and his insinuations). That tone is divisive and damaging for the nation and for our economy (the "TONE" is divisive? hell, the perks the upper 2% get are divisive - it's just that we in the lower 98 can barely fathom how much they have) - and you mean to tell me that the President's TONE can damage the economy - hell, morons, it is the actions of President most recently passed and of large, internaional corporations that off shore their work, and the machinations of the investment banking industry, and the ever lowering of interest rates to keep the stock market at artificially inseminated levels that have damaged the economy - NOT the President's tone. Lord have mercy!). It creates villains and victims, and unfairly so (the TONE does not create victims - the SYSTEM creates victims; and the system creates villians).
In fact, call it wordsmithing if you like, but we think both Obama and Romney would better serve the country if they exercised more precision in their references to the so-called middle class (somewhat recently I read that "the middle class" is defined as those households with incomes in the range of 2/3 to 2 times that national median household income (which most recently isapx $52,000 - thus households bringing in between $39,000 and $104,000).
We prefer the characterization espoused by Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank that often is at odds with us on issues. “All this talk about the ‘middle class’ is wrong and divisive (the talk, in fact, is all CORRECT, we have a very class-based society, and what is divisive is that the upper echelons (the 1%) have SO MUCH, and it probably will not be until the upper 1/10 of 1% starts to try to steal it from the lower nine-tenths of the top one percent that any real structual change will be possible, outside of the possibility, which I do not advocate, of the lower classes rising up angry and taking the lives and properties of the most priveleged rich folk of American Society),” Bast said. “America is not a class society. We are an opportunity society (and the opportunities to "move up" or to "get a good job" just ain't there, like they used to be). Middle-income people today are likely to be lower-income or upper-income people in just a few years (FAR more likely to be lower-income, thank you very much, Joseph Bast(urd), of the Heart(less)land Institute), based on the choices they make (what a crock).”
This is a point, unfortunately, that seems to be lost on President Obama, and ultimately, the point where we must break with him.
Mitt Romney is not a perfect candidate, and we have our share of concerns about him. We’re not the first to point out that his vacillation, in particular, has been troubling (in a long-ago era, it would have been called "flip-flopping"), while we understand the primary-election necessity to appeal to a conservative core of Republican voters.
But ultimately, we endorse Romney because he, unlike Obama, understands that jobs are a creation of business, not of government (this is SO untrue - government CAN and does create jobs - for politician, for government workers, and, back in the day of the Great Depression (as opposed to our present Not-So-Great Depression) the WPA built libraries, theaters, did all sorts of stuff - hell, the U.S. government's foreign policy has created LOTS of jobs for workers - just ask Hallliburton - it's just that these workers are sub-contractors from 3rd world countries doing work that formerly was carried out by U.S. troops, before the "Revolution in Military Affairs" promulagated by Donald Rumsfeld). And that to encourage job growth, we need policies that incent (FROM THE URBAN DICTIONARY: Incentivize A corporate-jargon non-word meaning "motivate," coined in 1968. Some 10 years later, it was shortened to the equally annoying verb "incent." Unfortunately, both are recognized by both Merriam-Webster and the OED.
I would like to motivate him to never say "incentivize" again by telling him I will rip his windpipe out of his throat the next time I hear him say it.
I hope everyone who says "incentivize" in earnest knows they come across as a jargon-spewing ahole.
business to grow and provide it with a stable environment for that growth.)
In the end, we need moderation, not ideology, to facilitate an economic recovery (WRONG - what is needed is enormous structural changes - in the taxing, of both individuals, and especially business, a cessation of the waging of war, and an ending of the self-inflicted arms race, among other things). It is the central issue that affects us all.
As the voice of the suburbs, we always have embraced this free enterprise philosophy as a bedrock of our principles. We view ourselves as independent, fiscally conservative, socially progressive, an advocate always for individual liberty (but individual liberty only has meaning in regards to a society - the prisoner in solitary confinement has few freedoms, but is premitted to do whatever he wishes, within the framework of the cage into which he is confined - the world traveler trapped and alone in the desert too, have alll sorts of individual liberties. The Mitt Romney who governed Massachusetts governed it for the most part on those core beliefs as well.
Whether Obama’s inability to work across the aisle is the fault of his administration or the fault of the opposition is hard to say (the opposition of whom not a one of 'em voted for Obama care? it's hard to say whose fault that is? you mean, Barry-O didn't sell it well enough?). But the failure of that relationship is undeniable, no matter who’s at fault. What evidence is there that a second term would bring stronger bipartisanship?
Romney, on the other hand, governed successfully in Massachusetts with a legislature that was almost totally controlled by the opposition party. He’s proven he can work across the aisle.
He’s proven capable in all that he has tried. He’s proven that he can run businesses and create jobs. He’s been successful in all walks of life.
“We don’t have to settle for what we’re going through,” Romney said during one of the debates. “We don’t have to settle for gasoline at four bucks (not to worry - it'll hit $5.00 sometime next year). We don’t have to settle for unemployment at a chronically high level (does he mean the 22% unemployed / underemployed, or is he talking about the 7.8% bull shit number the federal govenment reports?). We don’t have to settle for 47 million people on food stamps (take away their food stamps, and many will die or malnutrition). We don’t have to settle for 50 percent of kids coming out of college not able to get work (well, I suppose we COULD end the special exemption green cards so American kids that graduate with degrees in engineering, finance, etc, could find American jobs, rather than having them devolve to hi-tech-trained immigrants from China, India, Pakistan with experience who will work for 50-70% of what an American worker would expect). We don’t have to settle for 23 million people struggling to find a good job (we can get virtually all 163 million people struggling, to find any job - just out source them all).”
We know these are political stump messages. Four years ago, something similar could have come from candidate Barack Obama in his politics of hope oratory. And while we need inspiration, what is needed more than ever are bipartisan solutions to these profound issues of our times. We believe a new approach, steeped in moderation and, yes, compromise with the opposition is the only path to a better day.
A moderate Republican Mitt Romney offers a new approach to what we all can embrace (well do I remember the compassionate conservative, George W Bush, and all the things that emanated from his being appointed POTUS by the Supreme Court, in what was a "relatively" bloodless coup d' etate) — the politics of hope, of working together for the common good. This time, we believe he offers the best hope for all Americans.
Mitt Romney for president.