Friday, October 19, 2012

A Tale of Two Endorsements and the Economy, Plus A Rant

Usually I don't care about newspapers or endorsements, but I thought I'd look around now just to see what's going on.  I'll point out two newspaper endorsements because they supported Obama in 2008 but have now come out to endorse Romney this time around: the Orlando Sentinel and Nashville's Tennessean (also former cheerleader for Gore and Kerry). They're pretty decent writeups, actually, and worth a read.  Romney is neither one's "ideal," which somehow makes the endorsements ring truer.  Here's a blurb from each, and both zero in on ... guess what, kids! ... the economy.  More after the jump:

Orlando Sentinel:
Two years ago, a bipartisan panel the president appointed recommended a 10-year, $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan. Rather than embrace it and sell it to the American people, Obama took his own, less ambitious plan to Congress, where it was largely ignored by both parties. Now the president and his supporters are attacking Romney because his long-term budget blueprint calls for money-saving reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, three of the biggest drivers of deficit spending. Obama would be more credible in critiquing the proposal if he had a serious alternative for bringing entitlement spending under control. He doesn't. 
The Tennessean:
The term “elephant in the room” could have been coined for this moment. Because as important as foreign policy, social issues, immigration and the environment continue to be, this election hinges on Americans’ fear of a European-style economic collapse. No other issue will matter more, and to more voters, on Election Day. The next president must be the one with the best chance to get the crushing, $16 trillion national debt under control, coupled with the more immediate need of enabling a vibrant job market. It is because the economy is paramount that The Tennessean endorses Gov. Mitt Romney for president.
Newspaper endorsements in themselves don't (and perhaps shouldn't) move people too much, but I'm finding it interesting how these papers are articulating their basis for support. On a related note, here's an interesting bit from the Las Vegas Review Journal's endorsement of Romney, also on economic lines.  Blurb:
Mr. Obama has a much different recipe for lifting the middle class: higher taxes on investors, job creators and small businesses; borrowing money to fund more public-sector jobs and government construction projects; borrowing money to fund more green energy enterprises and projects, which make electricity more expensive, while limiting the oil and coal industries ... 
The suggestion that tax increases and higher energy prices will lift the middle class defies logic. But it's not terribly surprising coming from an administration that's completely lacking in business experience and openly hostile to free-market capitalism. This summer, the president famously said "the private sector is doing fine," and to business owners: "You didn't build that." 
In a second Obama term, the national debt would soar past $20 trillion. And Mr. Obama has no plan to address the crushing future costs of Medicare and Social Security.
Look, this election is basically about the economy and the fact that it frankly sucks.  I'm not saying that foreign policy isn't important (in fact, it may well have moved up the list of priorities for some voters because of the Benghazi debacle), but the most obviously and immediately perceptible problem for millions of Americans is the economy in all its facets from unemployment to soaring energy prices to the looming specter of debt and deficit, along with the uncertainty of new regulations and demands on employers, the mess that is Obamacare, and the talk of fresh taxes.

Add to it the simple fact that Obama's record is indefensible and that his administration is both out of ideas and woefully clueless about just where jobs come from.  No, it's not the Jobs Fairy!  It's mostly that leftist bête noire, the private sector.  Anyway, I've said it before and I'll say it again: the number of unemployed Americans today is equal to the entire population of Taiwan.  Come on, 23 million people out of work?  That's unacceptable, and even more unacceptable is the fact that Obama has no feasible plan to do something about it other than to keep doing what he's tried before.  My darlings, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

I look at all this, and I don't feel as much anger as impatience.  Lead, follow, or get out of the way.  Plainly the current leadership can't lead on its own and can't follow decent advice like that given by the bipartisan panel.  It has no credible plan to put on the table.  The only thing left is for it to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let someone else have a go at it.  Obama had his chance.  Romney at least has actual real-world experience in running businesses successfully. It's time to give him a chance. It's time to fire Obama (it's not personal - it's just business) and hire someone else.  The burden's on Romney, I'll say, because if he can't do the job either, we'll fire him too next time.  But my point is that results matter, and we've seen Obama's results. Flail all you like about Big Bird and binders and birth control and whatever idiotic political gotcha meme-of-the-day you want, but in the end, soundbites and whipped-up outrage don't pay the bills.  Whining about how you inherited a bad economy doesn't wash with me either.  Boo freaking hoo.  So did Reagan.  Leaders don't cry and point fingers and shift blame.  Leaders get out there and do something about the problem.  Show me a plan.  I suppose that I personally began to thinking about firing Obama the moment he first whined that the economy was Bush's fault.  That's the utterance of a callow undergrad.

Oopsy, this turned into a semi-rant by accident and also basically transmogrified into an endorsement of Romney on economic reasons alone.  Well, Romney was always this blog's reluctant choice, but I'm beginning to think I might be voting for him instead of just against four more years of Obama's muddled malaise.  Maybe in another rant I'll go on about other reasons to go for Romney, but the economy alone should do it.  Do you think you can handle another four years of this kind of economic mess?  Do you want to?

PS: Some snarky advice - Mitt, offer to cut government spending by abolishing the TSA.  I'll bet your poll numbers will bounce!  You'll certainly get some bipartisan support because everybody bloody hates the TSA.

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