By Alan Caruba
“I don't consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policies should be.” -- Paul Ryan, Republican candidate for Vice President
I have a number of political pundits whom I admire, admittedly because they agree with my analysis of what’s happening. Those with whom I disagree keep telling me that Obama is doing just fine, he’s five points ahead here or there, he’s appealing to woman, Hispanics, blacks, et cetera.
No, Obama’s political base can be summed up rather easily. They are idiots.
The same kind of idiots that loudly booed the Democratic Party plank reinstating God and Jerusalem as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Ramón Villaraigosa agonized through three votes until he decided “in the opinion of the chair” that the yeas were shouting just a tad louder than the nays. It would have more accurate if he had said “in the opinion of the chair, the Marxists have lost.”
Then there is the popular video going around in which DNC delegates were asked if it was a bad idea for corporations and other businesses to make a profit and most of them said—wait for it—yes. This is Obama’s base.
Over the years I have grown less confident of polls taken in the run-up to Election Day. This is especially true when they suggest that only a few points separate one candidate from another. A successful incumbent President should have a recognizable margin of approval and, if he doesn’t, that’s usually a sign he’s in trouble.
My mind keeps returning to the Carter-Reagan campaign and its outcome. Writing in Time Magazine on December 1, 1980, John F. Stacks reported:
“Reagan's landslide challenges the pulse-taker profession. For weeks before the presidential election, the gurus of public opinion polling were nearly unanimous in their findings. In survey after survey, they agreed that the coming choice between President Jimmy Carter and Challenger Ronald Reagan was "too close to call." A few points at most, they said, separated the two major contenders. But when the votes were counted, the former California Governor had defeated Carter by a margin of 51% to 41% in the popular vote—a rout for a U.S. presidential race.”
And now it’s someone’s turn say, “Yeah, but that was 1980 and Romney is no Reagan.” Suffice to say, there can only be one Reagan and, for that matter, only one Jimmy Carter. Does anyone find any correspondence between the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution, along with a terrible economy, that finished off Carter’s chances for reelection and it is not the same Iranians making all kinds of threats against Israel to provoke their military response?
In 1979, Iranians took U.S. diplomats hostage in much the same way Egyptians in Cairo—on the twelfth anniversary of 9/11—scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy, tore down the U.S. flag, while in Benghazi, Libya they were killing our ambassador and his staff. The President’s response was a disgraceful, typically apologetic, lame statement in response. All this limp-wristed diplomatic talk does is invite more attacks.
Do not deceive yourself into thinking the Iranians are not following the U.S. campaigns and not doing their own calculations regarding whether the Israelis will attack their nuclear facilities before or after November 6. And, yes, the Israelis are making the same calculations that explain why they are demanding that the U.S. and the world draw some “red lines” that might deter Iranian nuclear aggression.
All Presidents are subject to events beyond their control. How they respond is the key to understanding whether they are leaders or merely politicians. Constantly apologizing to nations in which our embassies are under attack and our diplomats are killed is the very antithesis of leadership.
After 9/11, Bush43 bombed the hell out of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. There were no complaints at home. Should that have been sufficient? Probably yes. Afghanistan is a place where empires go to die. As for Iraq, well, bombs are still going off there as the Arabs conduct business as usual. The Arab Spring has been about swapping old despots for new ones dedicated to the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.
I tend to look for signs of the outcome of elections in places other than polls and one of them was reported in the September 10 edition of The Wall Street Journal. It turns out that the weekend’s box office for movies people plunked down money to see included “’2016: Obama’s America,’ the low-budget documentary critical of President Barack Obama, (that) remained in the top-10 highest-grossing films, earning $3.3 million on 2,017 screens. The $2.5 million film has now grossed $26.2 million since its opening.”
On Sunday, September 9th, New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, pretty much sacked Obama for blaming the people who elected him for his failure as President. Even Jon Stewart on the Comedy Channel took a shot right after Obama’s acceptance speech. The August 27th edition of Newsweek had a cover story, “Hit the Road, Barack. Why We Need a New President” by historian Niall Ferguson who eviscerated him with fact upon fact. Newsweek was among the most worshipful magazines in 2008 of candidate Obama.
And who has a huge campaign war chest and who has not? Hint: Republicans.
When noted liberals or liberal publications start looking for the exit door before the election, you have a pretty good indicator that even liberals have tired of Obama’s unfulfilled promises, not to mention the worst economy since the Great Depression.
© Alan Caruba, 2012