11.14.2012: What you and Romney don't understand ...
From a friend's email today... Thank you, David... Well-said!
"...For the life of me, I cannot fathom why so many people approve of Michelle Obama, much less like her.
The woman is outright anti-American except for where it personally benefits her. She certainly is enjoying her current life and shows no indication of recognizing or caring that most of the country is unable to live as high on the hog as she does. She's milking her inherited position for all it's worth and getting as much out of it as she can while she can.
And, I discount her "war on childhood obesity" as being little more than grand-standing, publicity seeking and exercising the ability throw her weight around. (Yeah, I know there's a pun or two embedded therein). Haven't heard much about that recently. And, liking or disliking the candidate's spouse is a pretty poor reason for voting for or against someone.
Obama may be PERCEIVED as being stronger on education, but it's little more than that. What WRT education has he really done, other than issuing waivers to allow states to opt out of NCLB?
An old argument of mine, but I'll raise it again.... NCLB may not have been perfect, but it was a tangible attempt to address the education issues in this country. (I'll only briefly point out that many of the issues of declining education standards are directly attributable to Democratic and union-led policies. You may differ, but I think that by now there's enough compelling evidence to support my position.)
Sure he eliminated the NCLB requirements - by fiat, since he couldn't get the law changed by a Congress which had both houses controlled by Democrats - but, where is his alternative? Haven't heard much about that, even though he had all sorts of words to that effect when he was issuing waivers. But, I'll bet the teachers' unions loved it.
More controlled and less knee-jerk? How would you know?
He's done a whole lot of nothing for 4 years other than campaign, vacation and play golf. I'm sorry, but doing nothing is not really an acceptable response to having embassies/consulates attacked and American diplomats & staff killed. And, he did less than nothing. He excused it and tried to explain it away by blaming America, even though he knew THAT was a lie. (I don't find anything CAPABLE in that.)
In four years, he has assembled quite the resume of lots of words - most of them self-serving and self-aggrandizing - and very few actions, especially in matters than count. Stronger on foreign policy? Where? He crows about ending the war in Iraq, yet mostly what he's done has been to re-categorize American in-country personnel from combatant to "administrative". He talks about how he's going to emote with our enemies and they'll magically like us. Really? Which ones? And, at what price?
Will it really be better for America in anyone's eyes except his? (I still can't wait to see how, now that he has so much more flexibility, our relations w/Russia not only improve but do so in a way that is good for America).
I am absolutely astounded that so many people buy into his shtick.
I am stunned that so many people believe he's the greatest thing since canned beer and sliced bread. He's a self-promoting stuffed shirt who, for all his supposed prowess at silver-tongued oratory, can't put together a sincere, honest compelling argument on anything without a teleprompter and significant rehearsing.
And he's done virtually nothing. Even Obamacare was written for him and passed by sycophantic, bobble-headed, party-hack morons who didn't have, nor would make the time to read it.
And, yeah, I know he won the Nobel prize, but again, for what ACCOMPLISHMENT?
And, he is continually given a pass. (BTW - when was the last time he held a real, honest, open press conference? You know, one where the questions weren't vetted and approved ahead of time.)
As far as my views on why Romney lost/what needs to be done...
- Romney would have made an excellent President. He would have been able to effectively manage the economic issues facing the country. But, Romney was not a good candidate. Whether due to his upbringing or his basic nature, he was simply too passive. He assumed that if he simply presented his case and qualifications, people would see them. Wrong. The average voter isn't aware enough for that, especially in the lack of fair reporting by the majority of the media.
- Romney had good message, but his campaign wouldn't get it out. The allowed the Obama campaign to continuously use his very successful business career against him and turn it into a liability instead of being the strong selling point it should have been. The campaign spent too much time trying to show that Romney was conservative/Republican enough. Sorry, but he didn't need to convince the hard-core right. So what if they didn't think he was far enough right? As someone stated (Dave S.?), it's not like they were going to vote for Obama.
- For all of the stories I read about how effective the Romney campaign was about raising funding, I do not think they used it early enough or often enough. I know that I saw a lot more Obama ads than Romney ads. This was even more significant since the MSM could not be relied on to properly relay what he was saying. Again, the average voter usually isn't going to see past the headlines or the "teaser" part of the broadcast. If the MSM is not going to do its part in providing fair reporting, then you need to circumvent or neutralize that by buying the time to get your own message out.
- I do not think the Romney campaign was aggressive enough in highlighting Obama's shortcomings nor relentless enough in highlighting Romney's strengths. Again, I think they mis-read the fact that the vast majority of voters need to have the obvious pointed out. Clearly. Repeatedly. Again, especially if the majority of the MSM is either ignoring the facts or selectively applying and/or coloring them.
- As others have stated, very poor job tailoring the message to voters who were not "typical" or "traditional" Republicans.
- Not following up on the 47% comment. Frankly, once the Obama campaign insisted on using that statement, Romney should have continuously reinforced that he meant what he said and provided factual illustrations of how it was true - AND why that was not a good thing. If Obama was going to use it against him, then it clearly wasn't going away. Fine. It's true. Use it.
- I also think the whole primary process hurt. First it is physically, emotionally and financially taxing. Second, too much time is spent trying to convince the faithful. But more importantly, in order merely win the nomination, a candidate is forced to say things (again, to convince the faithful) that ultimately end up being used against him. An incumbent doesn't have that liability. Rather, the incumbent has his record which, in this case, should have been more forcefully pointed out to be the liability that it was.
And, ultimately, I do not believe that the Republicans need to substantially alter their positions. Like Ken, I do not really want to see a Left and a Right Democratic party. But, recently (the last 10-15 years) the Republicans have done a really awful job in the areas of messaging, public relations and advertising. And, they spend way to much time trying to appeal to and give way too much power to the ultra-conservative right. In the end, that forces the large majority of people who are somewhere in the middle of having to decide who scares them less. Because of this, I think that where significant change is needed is in the Republican party leadership, which is currently simply not up to the task.
- I think they need to stop the insanity of using Roe as a litmus test and instead focus on the idea that it is a choice - and that means that you can choose to be against abortion in your own life if you wish, but allow others to make their own choices. Focus instead on (as Ken said), if someone chooses abortion, then that is their choice and they should pay for it.
- Stop allowing it to appear that they support/encourage a "war on women". Every time that idea is even suggested, fight it loudly and forcefully. If you don't call out a lie and keep calling it out, eventually the lie becomes, at least perceived to be, the truth. Again, they need to do a much better job at messaging, and I just don't think the current party leadership is able to do it.
- Similar to Roe - stop with the nonsense re: contraception. Focus instead on allowing people to choose whatever they're willing to pay for and focus on not forcing institutions who are legitimately opposed to it from having to pay for it. You're not limiting people's choices - in fact you're supporting the fact that the choice is theirs. But, with choice comes responsibility.
- Be very clear on what the immigration policy should be. I'll admit, I am uncomfortable with the concept - however it's packaged - of granting amnesty or whatever to illegals who are here (What part of illegal is so hard to get?). I might be more convinced if I saw a real, honest and concerted effort to shut the door. Once we stem the flow of illegals - and I would not be gentle about that - then we can discuss what to do about those who are already here. And, it's got to be more than merely getting a degree (who pays for that BTW?) or military service. There has to be some cost or penalty for having been here illegally, taking advantage of everything the US has to offer ($125 B+ per year according to some sources) and sending significant amounts of money out of the country ($40 B+ per year according to some reports).
In short, get the hell out of the bedroom, let people make their own choices (as long as they're willing to pay for them), tell the hard core right to shut-up (they're not helping the cause) and be very clear about what the Republican position is - and equally what it is not.
If the hard core right wants to defect, that's OK w/me. The downside is less significant that the upside.
And, the Republicans need to accept the fact that the MSM is not your ally, will not cut you a break, will not report the facts fairly and even-handedly and will not give you an unbiased platform to get your message out and recognize that you'll have to do that yourselves, even if it is tedious, arduous and costly.
If you have a compelling message and that's what you need to do, so be it.
Whether people like it or not, part of that message has to be that while there are lots of wonderful, humanitarian, feel-good, Kumbaya kinds of ideas and programs out there, we simply can not afford them.
We as a country are in debt up to our eyes and the solution will not be something that anyone completely likes. It's not going to be easy or pretty, but it is the truth. Again, so be it. But, the one thing that will resonate with most people (probably enough to get you elected) is that we have got to start running the country more like responsible people tend to handle their own finances. That is something people can understand."