Election 2012: Three Open Letters

On the occasion of Barack Obama’s reelection to the presidency of the United States, I would like to write an open letter to three different folks.

Dear Disappointed Romney Supporter,

If you are the average Romney supporter who honestly thought he was the better candidate, voted for him, and is disappointed that he lost, this letter is not directed at you. If you are the unusual Romney supporter who thinks his loss signals the coming of the Apocalypse, the end of civilization as we know it, and a head-first dive into an abyss of socialism, then I’m talking to you. Unfortunately you have fed yourself a steady diet of Fox News, The Blaze, Daily Caller and for dessert, a good helping of World Net Daily. These fringe outposts on the information highway have led you to distrust mainstream media. And that my friends is the major difference between the ultra-liberal MSNBC and the heretofore mentioned outlets. MSNBC doesn’t stray too far off the trail set by the main stream media (ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post). There is a reason why mainstream media is mainstream. They cover real news, with real sources. They have standards such that they don’t show exposé videos designed to bring down organizations (e.g. ACORN). They’re patient. They are willing to wait until a story fleshes out sufficiently with vetted sources before covering it (e.g. Benghazi). Is the mainstream media perfect? Of course not. Are they immune to bias? Without doubt, they are not. But if you need evidence that your fringe news sources are warped and are warping your mind, look at the behavior at Fox News on election night.

Putting The Faux in Fox News

When the vote counters  at Fox News called Ohio for Obama, one of Fox’s analysts went batcrap crazy. Karl Rove begged his network, live and on the air, to reconsider their call. Never in the history of television has an on-air correspondent disagreed with his own network’s election night call. Why would Rove be so adamant? He had skin in the game, that’s why. Lots of skin … skin of the green variety. Via Crossroads GPS, his super-pac, Karl had dropped a ton of money into putting an end to Barack Obama’s political career. Yet the so-called fair and balanced network turns to him for analysis. Flashback four years ago when MSNBC discovered that on-air talent Keith Olbermann had contributed to a political campaign. All hell broke loose. Not on Fox though. No problem on Fox. And so, on election night we got to see Karl basically say “Hey! I’ve got big money riding on this! You can’t give Obama Ohio and the election!” All this while the celebration in Chicago is broadcast on split screen. It was a pathetic display. But Karl represents you. the disappointed Romney voter who lives in an alternate reality.

You are despondent and I understand why. Thanks to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, you live in a world where up is down and right is always right and left is always wrong. You’ve been brainwashed and Tuesday night you got water-boarded by reality. It was torture. But you’re alive my friends. You got through it. Now just accept that you’ve been lied to, and move on.

Dear Republican Party,

The most important “teaching moment” for you should be not that your candidate Mitt Romney lost but that you failed to take over the Senate, a goal that was completely realistic. We can look at three seats that were within reach and see easily why you lost them. Your candidates in Indiana and Missouri said really stupid stuff about rape. Your candidate in Massachusetts attacked his opponent’s self-professed heritage thinking that heritage could be disproven just by “looking at her”. These examples of pure foolishness were  a trap door that the left could easily exploit. The rape comments were not simply dumb, they showed a disrespect for women not seen on the campaign trail in 25 years. They focused like a laser beam on your new meme that rape is not rape, this notion that lots of women fake it. Hell, when it comes to abortion your Vice Presidential candidate suggested that the health of the mother exception was wide enough to drive a truck through. Then you expect women to vote for you. The silliness over Warren’s ethnic background shined a light on your resentment of equal opportunity programs and the idea that traditionally oppressed minorities should be proactively recruited. Sure you griped that you felt Warren took advantage of these programs but let’s be honest. You don’t like the programs in the first place and that’s what a lot of minorities heard behind your Fauxahontas outrage.

Here is some free advice to my Republican friends. First, accept Roe v. Wade as probably the best compromise solution we will ever have on the issue of abortion. Accept it and move on. Second, accept the fact that some folks want a life-long partnership (including sex) with folks of their own gender. Gay folks aren’t going away. Republicans. you LIKE marriage. You think it is stabilizing. So let your gay brothers and sisters get the same benefits from the institution that you enjoy. You’re not gong to win this anti-gay battle. Two states, not by judicial decree, but by popular vote, legalized gay marriage. The tide is not only turning … it has turned. Accept it and move on.  Third and finally, did you notice the first two bits of advice used the word “accept”? Yeah … be more accepting. Widen your tent. If you learned anything from this election it should be that you can’t win on the white male vote anymore. Hispanics supported Obama to the tune of 71%. Could that have anything to do with all the talk of self-deportation? There are just too many “other” types of people out there and if you go out of your way to insult and alienate them, you will stop winning elections.

Dear Mr. President,

Our elections are a funny thing. From the electoral college perspective, most folks would say you won by a landslide with more than 300 electoral votes. But let’s be honest here. Only about 2 million votes separated you from Mitt Romney, about 2% or so of the electorate. You won just over half the States. This was no Ronald Reagan 49 state smack-down. There are a bus load of people for all sorts of reasons who did not want you to have a second term. Your response should not be “to hell with them”. So, please, tackle jobs and the deficit and be hands on about it. This business of throwing semi-formed ideas at a polarized Congress and expecting progress is not going to work. You have invited the legislative leaders to the White House next week. That’s a good start. Don’t stop there. Stay in the game. I know you don’t have the leverage of an LBJ who had years of relationships to draw on but that’s no excuse. You’ve got to forge relationships. I see that some pundits have already voiced my idea (yes I thought of it first!) that you appoint Mitt Romney to your new Secretary of Business position. Damn man, talk about team of rivals! We all know what you meant by Secretary of Business. It wasn’t some new bureaucracy as Mitt suggested on the campaign trail. It’s meant to consolidate several organizations like HUD and SBA under one accountable leader. Put Mitt in charge of it and let him be the businessman he’s proven he can be. A much better use of his talents than POTUS.

You don’t have another term at stake here, Mr. President. You have your legacy. It’s a much bigger game this time.


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The Frat Boy and the Knowing Smile

I’m telling you, the GOP primary race is more fun than any reality show I’ve watched in a long time. The stars of my short commentary tonight are Texas Governor Rick Perry and pizza king and motivational speaker Herman Cain.

This week, old Rick Perry decided to go birther or so say the liberal MSM. It started with stupid comments made in Parade magazine and then he doubled down in an interview with John Harwood of CNBC.

Perry says “it’s fun to poke at him a little bit”. Look at his demeanor during the interview. Smiling, having a good old time. Believe me, Rick Perry is no birther. Rick Perry is a frat boy ass-clown. Rick Perry was the kid in school who would look at some poor kid whose pants didn’t reach his ankles and yell “hey Charlie, the flood is over.” Your basic dumb-ass bully. Anyone who truly gets upset over this latest twist is taking Perry way too seriously. Perry is not a serious man. He’s a good ole boy who shoots coyotes in the face.

Speaking of faces, the face of the week has got to be that of Herman Cain who has just released what I declare to be the best damn campaign ad ever.

The ad consists of a testimonial by Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block. And what a great friggin’ spokesperson he is. Take Mitt Romney’s clean-shaven, polished, rehearsed, moneyed facade and bust it to shreds with a man who looks like he hasn’t slept in a while. A guy you just met for a business meeting at the local bar, not the country club. And then, to prove the ultimate street cred, the dude puffs a cig and exhales into the camera. No politically correct stuff here folks. This guy is real. This guy is America. And so is Herman Cain … and then the pièce de résistance, as the background singer declares “I am America”, we see Herman slowly, and I mean very slowly, give us that knowing smile. That smile speaks volumes. It could be saying  “I KNOW you love me.” Or perhaps, “I’m leading in the polls, bet ya didn’t expect THAT did ya?” Or simply “I’m gonna be the next President of the United States of America and screw Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan.”

America is basically a simple country. Most of us just want to go to work, make a decent living, provide for our families and enjoy our communities. We’ve not big fans of nuance. One reason why Sarah Palin captured the country’s imagination for a short time was her down home simplicity. She didn’t have to read the New York Times (or any other paper actually) to still have a valid opinion. Everyday Americans identify with that. Herman Cain is Sarah Palin without the mean streak. I discovered recently that even his “if you can’t find a job blame yourself” comment, which on its face sounds heartless is based on his motivational speaking gigs where he encourages self-sufficiency and a can-do attitude. You can get a taste of Cain, the motivator at his web site “The Hermanator Experience“.

Now let’s not sugar coat Cain’s problems. He is inconsistent on lots of issues, from abortion to immigration policy. He is proudly ignorant of foreign policy. His tax policy was elegant in its simplicity and deadly in its effect on the middle class and the poor. But even when he equivocates, as he did in his abortion interview with John Stossel, he equivocates with conviction. You cannot help but like this guy. And interestingly, while Barack Obama inspired millions with the promise of a glass ceiling being broken, he was never particularly warm or likeable. The truth is, Obama does come off as elite. Cain does not.

Normally, I’d look at all of Cain’s weaknesses, as detailed by political guru Karl Rove, and I’d dismiss Cain without a second thought. But I’m telling you, that slow smile shows balls! Herman Cain may be smiling all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue.


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You Say You Want a Revolution

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The little engine that could roared into the station last night stunning all the naysayers. Delaware political fixture Mike Castle was defeated in his bid to be the Republican nominee for Senator by perennial loser Christine O’Donnell. Unlike prior attempts to win state-wide office, this year O’Donnell had the Tea Party and Sarah Palin behind her. The GOP establishment is beside itself convinced that the very odd O’Donnell doesn’t stand a snow ball’s chance in hell of beating Democratic nominee Chris Coons. Karl Rove has been vocal in his opposition to O’Donnell on the grounds she has a checkered past. Sarah Palin is telling the party to grow up.

Liberals might delight at this internecine warfare but I’d be cautious. O’Donnell was not the only strange bird to win a nomination last night. Carl Paladino, best known during this campaign season for forwarding pornographic pictures via email beat the well-known, if not well liked Rick Lazio for the GOP gubernatorial candidacy in New York. When we add this on top of the emergence of Sharron Angle and Rand Paul, we have more than just isolated odd cases. We have a trend. The question is defining the trend accurately.

I think the trend goes beyond throwing out incumbents. I think the trend goes beyond a Republican tsunami in November. I think the trend is evidence of the extreme anger of the American people. They are so pissed that they are deliberately choosing in-your-face fringe candidates. They don’t just want to “throw the bums out”. They want to remake the system. They want to put folks in charge who say things we haven’t heard in decades like Rand Paul’s questioning of 1960’s civil rights legislation or O’Donnell’s stand against … wait for it … masturbation. It is almost as though the more of a crackpot the candidate is, the better this new breed of angry voter likes it.

My smug liberal friends dismiss the Angles and the O’Donnells. I used to also. But when a man whose name was synonymous with Delaware politics, a Gopher thriving in a Dem state,  can be sent packing, all bets are off. In other countries when the people get angry, violent revolution is often the result. I am beginning to think that this country might be due for its own revolution and the voters’ insane rage will not take the form of violence but will instead take the form of electing fringe candidates who will lead our country down who knows what path.

Last night
I saw the fire spreadin’ to
The palace door.
Silent majority
Weren’t keepin’ quiet

John Fogerty – “EFFIGY”


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