November 13, 2012

De Profundis

Hatched by Korso

Based on my silence the last week, one might think that I ran into hiding after the election. To be honest, after I woke up at 4am last Wednesday morning and saw who won, running away seemed like a pretty damn good idea. After investing so much emotion and spilling so much digital ink on the subject, the idea that Mitt Romney wouldn't be president simply hadn't occurred to me -- not in any real sense, anyway. The polls were with us, the enthusiasm gap favored us, and the incumbent was determined to prove his presidency a slow-motion disaster in the making.

Then, as it is wont to do, reality asserted itself. The voters spoke. And, loud and clear, they looked at the last four years and said, "Yeah, I'll have some more of that."

I'm not going to delve into the how and the why -- forensic analysis of the election is already a cottage industry, and the Republican Party will be picking over the number for months to come, as they should. The best that I can do is tell you why the result isn't the end of the world, even though it might feel that way, and why I'm generally optimistic about the future:

  1. 2010. Back in 2008, when His Excellency Barack Hussein Obama was first elected, the pundit class -- which consists largely of toadies who did everything they could to get the guy crowned in the first place -- heralded the arrival of a new liberal age, during which conservative ideas about governing and spending would be cast into the wilderness for forty years or more. Then came the stimulus. And Obamacare. And an orgy of spending and regulation so repellent that it gave birth to the Tea Party movement. Millions of people who had never protested anything in their lives took to the streets peacefully to tell their government that enough was enough -- and they swept enough Republicans back into Congress to take over the House and deprive the Democrats of their Senate supermajority.

    If that's what happened the last time Obama overreached, we can reasonably expect a similar result the next time he tries to pull the same thing -- and he will, now that he no longer has to worry about re-election. Assuming the Republicans hold firm in halting Obama's agenda and do a better job of taking their message to the voters, they can position themselves to make significant gains in 2014. Of course, this also means fielding candidates who can articulate the vision without falling into the social issue traps sure to be laid in front of them by the mainstream media. With any luck, we'll have learned the lessons of Richard Mourdock and Todd (Claude) Akin.

  2. The facts of life are conservative. Not to get all Vulcan on everyone, but logic demands that there be a reckoning for Obama's reckless behavior. The only question is whether that comes sooner or later, and how bad it's going to get. We're already starting to see some of that now, with business initiating layoffs and assuming a defensive stance over the looming implementation of Obamacare. And as Obama gets farther into his second term, it's going to get harder and harder to blame George W. Bush for the ailing economy (although he will try). If we slide into a double-dip recession, he'll have to own it free and clear.

    Ditto on the foreign policy situation. Second terms are generally known for being scandal ridden, and Obama's is off to a roaring start right out of the gate. With Fast & Furious and Benghazi already hanging over his head, now Obama has to deal with CIA and Afghanistan operations that are starting to look like a season-long story arc on Dawson's Creek. So far, the administration has taken its cue from Sgt. Schultz and claims to know nothing -- but even partisans like Dianne Feinstein are asking questions, and the whole sexy-sex angle means that even the Obamanated press won't be able to ignore it. In spite of their best efforts, those low-info voters who blithely sent Barack back to Washington might start paying attention.

  3. Ideas. Simply put, conservative ideas are better. They make sense. More than that, they actually work -- and there's gonna come a time, very soon, when things start falling apart rapidly, that the nation is going to be looking to the party of ideas for leadership. That's us, folks. When the nation finally admits it has a problem, we'll be the special forces team that goes in to rescue everyone.

So is that a rosy enough scenario for ya? Yeah, I know -- I've been wrong before (and in a spectacular way). But there is another reality at work here, and it's not one that will go away just because the majority of voters decide they don't want to think about it right now: We'll either get the spending under control in an orderly way, or it'll happen after total economic collapse.

Our job for 2014? Make sure the voters understand what it'll be like if they choose the latter.

Hatched by Korso on this day, November 13, 2012, at the time of 8:09 AM

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