Oct 26, 2012

Choices Are Clear But the Polls Remain Muddy. Fortunately, the Fundamentals of this Election Haven't Changed

In a couple weeks, we'll know the master of the universe, well, not really, because there's this pesky thingy--the filibuster.

However, the presidential race has tighten as many polls indicate. I won't tire in saying it's all about turnout, and I feel confident that the Democratic base is energized enough--or at least as much as the Republican one--to make the difference on Nov. 6th. In the critical state of Ohio, the Dems have a 3-1 advantage on field operations.

I've been engaged in all sorts of discussions, from the academia to the street, and I've heard almost every argument. Basically it mostly comes down to people's wishful thinking and their rationalizing of that view. Very few are conflicted about their choice and may change their minds based on last-minute impressions, or, most likely, not vote at all. 

It's easy to get lost in one meandering argument, but the fundamentals are rather simple: what creates jobs, wealth distribution, social safety net, personal choice, quality of life. Both candidates aren't willing to shake the system too much, but the direction matters, because even if it's a few degrees of difference now, the destination will be very different years from now. Meanwhile we're dealing with human lives, from hungry children and poverty, to the uninsured and health care, to environment, and education. We should help safeguard and create new opportunitiesies that allow people to engage in their own pursuit of happiness.

Both candidates are specializing in generalities, especially Romney who has a ..plan to fix everything without offering any specifics or when he does, the math does not add up. Meanwhile the president could have been more forceful in attacking Romney, but what's new?  My analogy would be the smashed up car, courtesy of conservative economics--the type Romney and his party advocate. The process of repairing the mess is slower and every time the mechanic (the prez) asks for a tool, the Congressional Repubs say "no".... I wish Obama would keep saying that their aim was to destroy his presidency not to help the country, and that's why BO should be asking for a Democratic Congress too!

Extremism of the Dark Ages, Today's GOP

These times offer a good opportunity to debate the role of government, and a host of other social issues. When I asked my students to read the platforms of the two parties as approved by the conventions, it was an eye opener! Even Republicans were surprised to see such extreme views there. Yeap, that's the medieval GOP still competing in the 21st century!

 Potential Romney Treasury Secretary: “the Rich Are Taxed Enough”

Fortunately, there are several Repubs running for public office who express those anachronistic views, like pregnancy from rape is a gift from God! But, still the American public is not aware of GOP extremism.

Inequality Doesn’t Matter Because Poor People Have Appliances?
Top adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign denied the nation’s income inequality gap in a Wall Street Journal editorial on Thursday, brushing off the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of the very wealthy by arguing that lower-income Americans are buying more consumer goods.
In the debates Romney became a reasonable centrist, notwithstanding changing his views dramatically since the Republican primaries. Even if I were a Repub (brrrr), I'd be wondering where is this guy going to land if he wins the election. Would my dislike for Obama suffice to vote for a liar? I guess it would if I believed what Bullshit Mountain (Fox News) has been spewing.

 Who are the "irresponsible takers"?

I was disappointed that nobody brought up the neoconservative view during the last debate. Romney's rhetoric of a "more forceful" US policy, and "restoring America's superiority abroad" is a big red flag for me. Where is he going to draw his policy advisers and policy staff from? Likely from the last bunch of neoconservative chicken hawks adventurers who like to engage in bloody conflicts to prove that the US can act unilaterally in the effort to shape the world according to some backward worldview. Tsk.

Anyway, I know there are lots of polls showing everything anyone would like to hear. My take is that Ohio, Virginia, NH, Colorodo, Nevada and the other 2008 blue states will remain so. Romney will pick up Indiana and North Carolina for sure. Florida I think it's tied and go either way. Yet, even with FL (29 EV) on the GOP column, BO would win 303 Electoral Votes of the 270 needed. If FL goes Dem, it'll be a landlslide. 

Another drubbing at the polls may make the Republican party reevaluate its extremism and love affair with the tea party. The Dems, by the way, should thank the tea partiers for keeping the US Senate in Dem hands in 2010 and this year!