November 1, 2012

Sore winners, 'sorer' losers

Remember back in 2008 and early 2009 when the Obama euphoria hadn't cooled? Progressives and liberals were all giddy with hope and change. As were those only slightly engaged in politics and were caught up in the hype.  They won, they believed the world was their (free) oyster.

That euphoria, that tingle down the leg, didn't really last very long. Sure, the left was still in love with Obama but you could see mean-spiritedness creeping back in to the way they interacted with their political opponents. They won, but they were angry - perhaps because they had been forced to endure 8 years of Bush, or maybe they are just angry people. You could see it in the "I won" comment from the president when he wanted them to sit in the back seat and shut-up. Republicans were along for the recovery ride and had no say. You could see the utter lack of attempts at bi-partisanship from the president and Democrats in Congress and the Senate on every issue from 209 through 2010. Afterwards you could see they engaged the GOP in Congress only because they were forced to do so. And when they did it, they did it with shrill ads about Paul Ryan pushing grandma off the cliff.

You could see it in the left's hatred of the Tea Party, and later it's hypocritical semi-embrace of the Occupy Wall Street crowd given the issues they had with Tea Party protesters. You could see it in the way news anchors and journalists would argue with those they were supposed to be interviewing. That is unless they were fellow liberals whom they would agree and empathize or fawn all over. You could see it in the way they played fast and loose with the facts, ignoring or contorting stories and misrepresenting things at every turn.

Those are not the actions of winners, or of confidence and most certainly not of bi-partisanship and the planet healing itself. That's laughable.

As the election draws near, a few liberals have grown despondent and/or disillusioned in the hope and change. I said this after Obama won - when you run as a blank slate and people fill in their own impression of you, you are bound to disappoint a lot of people who filled in the blanks differently than when you governed. That's happened though as with conservatives and Bush in 2004, many liberals will now hold their noses and support Obama anyway. But not enough to get him a victory.

And if the left were sore, bitter winners they will be far more shrill if Romney wins. They will tear at him in a way that will make the Bush attacks seem mundane. Romney interfered with Obama and for that he will be vilified. But it will also be done with a purpose that thwarts Romney's stated intentions to work in a bi-partisan way.

Any ground that Romney cedes to Democrats on any issue, will never be enough for them. They will accuse him of steamrolling through a crazy far-right agenda. This will be at odds with a true conservative agenda and conservatives aren't going to be happy about any concessions either. It will prove to be a very, very difficult balancing act to achieve for Romney and his only hope for success will be a strong economic recovery that swamps any other partisan complaints or considerations.

The left may be very soore losers but short of a continued obstructionist senate controlled by Harry Reid, it's going to have to be viewed as nothing more than ambient noise on the way towards a real economic recovery.

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Some other things to look for after a Romney victory:

(1) A great recovery under Romney will prompt the left to take credit for it - citing the idea that Romney inherited it from Obama who planted all the seeds for success. Of course that will fly in the face of Obama's argument that the mess was so deep that he needed another four years to finish the job.

(2) Vulgar old people, led by Michael Moore rioting and destroying property in the name of goodness. (I won't provide a link - look it up if you must).

(3) The oceans will start rising again.

(4) Any attempt by Republicans to address the issue of entitlement spending - of any kind, from welfare to food stamps to Medicare - will be met with fierce opposition and over-the-top rhetoric.  Republicans will only remain strong on it if the Tea Party, or anyone else, steps up en masse to remind politicians that the real fiscal cliff hasn't gone away and non-discretionary spending MUST be addressed.
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