Real “change” will come during President Obama’s second term – if need be by “executive order” – but will there be any “hope” left for America?
WASHINGTON DC. So what if the two presidential candidates spent roughly one billion dollars on messages to the American people? The USA is left now with the same political map it had before Election Day. Barack Hussein Obama holds the White House, the Republican Party holds the US House of Representatives, and the Democratic Party holds the US Senate.
Obama handily defeated Republican Mitt Romney, winning 303 votes to 206 votes in the Electoral College. (To date, Florida’s 29 votes remain outstanding.) In the popular vote, the country gave Obama 50.4 percent, or about 60 million votes, and Romney 48.1 percent, or about 57.4 million votes. Turnout was way down from 2008, when Obama won a historic 69 million votes (52.9 percent) to John McCain’s 59.9 million (45.7 percent). The outcome, however, is the same: Obama remains, and Congress remains divided.
There is one notable difference. In what will be his second and final term, President Obama will be able to govern without thought of future elections. Ordinarily, this dynamic doesn’t give much pause, but the Obama dynamic promises to be different from that of most second-term US presidents – the possible exception being the activist and socialistic Franklin D. Roosevelt. The fact is, despite current debate about the strength of Obama’s “mandate,” Obama has already demonstrated a willingness to operate by “executive order,” going beyond traditional and even constitutional limits. What might his second term look like?
Stanley Kurtz, author of two books on Obama (one on the roots of Obama’s socialism, one on his redistributive economic policies), believes that in the coming term Americans will finally experience the impact of the first. Yes, Obama promised in 2008 that he would be “fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” but those changes haven’t kicked in yet. Most presidents, Kurtz pointed out in the conservative online journal National Review, implement policies in their first terms that are voted up or down in their re-election campaigns. Not Obama. “In order to secure re-election,” Kurtz wrote, “he has back-loaded nearly all of his most transformative and controversial changes into a second term.” This includes both “Obamacare,” the president’s signature healthcare plan to socialize one-sixth of the US economy, and his sweeping Wall Street regulation package known as Dodd-Frank.
Therefore, Mitt Romney, running to repeal and, vaguely, to replace Obamacare and energize the marketplace, wasn’t addressing a population already experiencing healthcare rationing and other expected burdens. Of course, there were many other reasons Obama was able to triumph despite high unemployment, massive increases in the numbers of Americans on food stamps, rising inflation, murders of American and other NATO forces by Afghan security forces, an “Arab Spring” policy that has empowered supremacist Islam across the Middle East – and don’t forget a birth certificate on display on the White House website that is almost certainly a forgery.
First, there was the media’s blinding, pro-Obama bias; this can’t be overestimated. But second, there was the Romney campaign’s determination to remain narrowly focused on economic issues.
This tunnel vision proved particularly baffling when, in the final weeks of the campaign, Romney failed to call attention to the emerging White House cover-up regarding the 11 September 2012 terrorist attack on the US mission in Benghazi. The incident is currently under investigation in the US House of Representatives.
Would Romney have won with a sharper, more aggressive campaign? Impossible to say, naturally, but especially so since the American electorate now includes a range of racial, ethnic and so-called “special interest” voters that Democrats reliably count on to jell as voting blocs. Exit polling tallied the white vote at 72 percent of the 2012 electorate; only 39 percent went for President Obama, down four points from 2008. Blacks, meanwhile, at 13 percent of the electorate, voted 93 percent for Obama, about the same as last time. Hispanics, meanwhile, the nation’s fastest-growing demographic, accounted for a record 10 percent of the electorate, delivering 71 percent of the vote to Obama, up four points from 2008. The tiny Jewish vote was almost as loyal, with 69 percent going for Obama; this was down nine points from 2008.
Out of the 535 seats up for grabs in the US House of Representatives, Republicans retained their 2010 majority with 234 wins. Democrats held their previous total of 193 seats. (Eight seats are still outstanding.) Rep. Allen West (Florida Republican) is contesting what appears to be a lost seat, while Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minnesota Republican) has narrowly retained hers. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Illinois Democrat) returns to Congress with a comfortable 60 percent of the vote, something of an achievement given that Jackson disappeared from sight in June for medical treatment, later coming under criminal investigation for possible misuse of public funds to decorate his Washington, D.C. home.
In the Senate, 33 of the 100 seats were at stake. Democrats added two seats, giving them 55 (including two Independents) vs. the Republican’s 45 seats – a comfortable but not a filibuster-proof majority (60 votes). Sen. Scott Brown (Massachusetts Republican) lost his bid to win re-election after his surprise 2009 victory to take the seat vacated by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Brown’s recent campaign drew national attention after he revealed that his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren had falsely claimed Cherokee Indian blood to apply to college and law school as a favored “minority”. This, he aptly noted, was a character issue. This, the Cherokee Nation noted, demanded documentation. Warren never produced any, claiming her information was anecdotal. One enterprising Cherokee genealogist discovered an ancestral link of sorts.
On August 17, 1906, the Muskogee Times-Democrat reported an incident involving Warren’s great-grandfather. The headline: “Indian Crazed with Drink attacks boy and is shot by lad’s father.”
Warren’s great-grandfather was the “lad’s father” – not the “crazed” Indian. Warren won just the same.
Clearly, a day for Democrats
Diana West is the author of The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization. Her arttcle archive and blog are here.