A prediction of Obama’s overthrow

Michael Patrick Leahy writes at The Daily Caller:

Wishful liberals and Chicken Little conservatives who watch the weekly fluctuations in the presidential polls have concluded that President Obama is a shoo-in for re-election. They point out that Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, can’t connect with women, has a large likability gap and is slightly behind Obama in most national polls as well as in the key swing states of Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

The despair of faint-hearted conservatives deepens when they contemplate President Obama’s disastrous performance in office. His record of fiscally reckless extremism is unparalleled in American history. In three short years, federal spending as a percentage of GDP has climbed from 20% to 24% while the national debt has exploded from $10 trillion to $15.5 trillion. By the end of his term, Obama will have increased the national debt by a staggering 67%.

Add to this record President Obama’s continual disrespect for the Constitution, his unceasing regulatory attacks on free enterprise and small businesses, his rhetoric of class warfare, his deceptive demagoguery and his spendthrift economic policies that have fattened the wallets of his political cronies but created so few jobs that millions of Americans have simply dropped out of the labor force, and many conservatives can offer only one explanation for Obama’s current lead in the polls.

America, they conclude, must have lost its can-do spirit of rugged individualism and replaced it with what Governor Chris Christie recently called an attitude of “paternalistic entitlement” championed by a coalition of political elites, acolytes in the mainstream media, crony capitalists and an ever-growing dependency class.

Conservatives across the nation should be of good cheer, however. The United States remains a center-right nation. This November, voters will choose common sense over fiscally reckless extremism in what will be a landslide conservative victory. Republicans will retain the House, gain the Senate and win back the presidency with a 2-to-1 Electoral College margin.

What do VFR readers think of Leahy’s statement that America remains a center-right nation, and of his assurance that Republicans will win a landslide victory and eject the messiah from the presidency seven months from now?

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Sage McLaughlin writes:

You ask, “What do VFR readers think of Leahy’s statement that America remains a center-right nation and of his assurance that Republicans will win a landslide victory and eject the messiah from the presidency seven months from now?”

What I think is that this notion that America is still a center-right nation is what mainstream conservatives tell themselves to get through the night. I do think that whoever made the comment on NRO the day after Obama’s inauguration that America was not as liberal as it appeared at that moment, nor as conservative as it appeared when it elected George W. Bush, was on to something. Still, America isn’t a center-right country anymore, though it’s arguable that most Americans see themselves as living in a center-right country. But that perception is wrong. The political “center” in America has shifted profoundly leftward in the last two decades. I do think it would be fair to call this a center-left, rather than a hard left, country. But in ten years, who knows?

The situation is very bad, because liberalism is the very air we breathe—many of the most liberal people I know consider themselves at least somewhat conservative. And many of the most conservative people I know are nonetheless very liberal on those issues where it matters most for the future of our society. No one has any non-liberal reference points they can easily turn to, so it’s a peculiarly impenetrable ignorance we’re dealing with. I actually had a young friend of mine, an aspiring academic, ask the question the other day: “If not multiculturalism, then what is the alternative?” The question was purely rhetorical. This thoroughly schooled person had been saddled with such a smallness of imagination that the idea of a livable, decent society without multiculturalism as its ruling ideology was, quite simply, inconceivable. He considers himself a moderate, and in many ways, in the present American context, he is.

Daniel F. writes:

Unfortunately, the idea that America is still a “center right” nation, and that Obama will be defeated in a landslide, is solipsistic happy talk that has become typical of mainstream conservatives and GOP operatives. If this were a center right country, Obama’s approval rating would be 10-20 points lower than it is, the Senate would be under GOP control. I took a quick look at the article, and the basis for the writer’s position is the supposed motivation of the “Tea Party,” with which 28 percent of the electorate identifies, according to a poll somebody took. Ridiculous. I don’t care how absurd Obama and his cult look to us, the media, the labor unions, the crony capitalists, the activists, and the Democratic “grass roots” organizations will make sure, by hook or by crook, that the vote comes out for him. They begin with a huge advantage—whole vast, heavily populated tracts of the country—the West Coast, the Northeast, Illinois—are effectively no-go areas for Republicans. If Romney pulls this off, it will be a miracle.

LA replies:

I agree with your point about Obama’s approval rating and Senate control. Also, if we were a center-right country, the Republicans would have picked up 100 seats in the House in 2010, not sixty something.

Timothy A. writes:

A 2-to-1 Republican Electoral College margin would only require Obama to reach 180 electoral votes. He could do that by holding on only to those states he won by at least 57.4 percent of the vote in 2008, and losing all of those he won by less than 57.4 percent, while not picking up any Republican states. To get to that 2-to-1 margin, the Republicans would need to pick up New Jersey, Oregon, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, etc. That seems highly unlikely.

The Republicans have a comfortable margin in the House, and the Democrats have to defend a large number of Senate seats, so Republican majorities in each of those chambers seem fairly likely.

David B. writes:

In his piece on Obama’s overthrow, Leahy didn’t mention the demographic changes which have made a state like California a lock for the democratic party in 2012.

On the other hand, if Romney is even with Obama after a hotly contended primary campaign, Obama is vulnerable. If the voting goes like the 2010 election, Romney could win. The swing voters may see him as a “safe” alternative.

I have written previously that Obama will never fall below as low in the polls as George W. Bush did because of his almost total nonwhite support along with the white liberals who back him no matter what.

Leonard D. writes:

I think Leahy is correct that America is “center right,” but I rather doubt his definition of that and yours would be the same. I would say it means that the median American voter is a right-liberal. So, at least theoretically Romney has some advantage there. On the other hand, what with progressives controlling the media and political correctness muzzling discourse, it’s less of an advantage than one would think.

But as for prediction, well, Leahy is evidently important within the Tea Party. (Here’s his online auto bio.) Thus, it’s not surprising that he wants “wealthy conservative donors” to give money—to the Tea Party. I think he is right about that, but on the other hand, obviously he has a conflict of interest there.

I am not impressed by his predictions. Obama has polled better than Romney in most polls. It is not unusual for one poll to be anomalous (and do take Rasmussen with a grain of salt), but the author who’s not writing propaganda should inform his audience. (Surely Leahy should know what the general trend of polls is.) So right off, I strongly question his “nine percent” figure. But then he goes and uses it in a ridiculous manner:

When the 9% President Obama has lost across the board is subtracted from his 2008 results in each state, the dimensions of the coming conservative landslide become apparent.

First, Obama losing nine percent doesn’t mean Romney gets it. He probably gets some of it, but not all. Many just won’t vote. And in any case, how a nine percent drop in some poll translates into voting is not clear. Second, even if Obama has lost nine percent of American public support since 2008, that doesn’t mean he has lost nine percent in every state. No, it will be very uneven; states which went slightly for Obama may swing by nine percent, but those that went hard for him won’t; he’ll probably lose less there, and more in states which didn’t like him that much to begin with. And then, beyond that is the electoral college.

To my mind, the best view of the coming election is to consult the opinions of people with actual money riding on it. (And I hasten to point out that it is still very early, i.e., Romney doesn’t even have a running mate yet.) Anyway, the place to look is InTrade—real money political markets. And what InTrade currently shows is 60 percent chance of Obama. InTrade has markets for the electoral college result, but they are as yet immature. Here is a site, electionprojection.com, that seems to be a fairly good one for that, including ratings of states as “weak Obama,” “strong Romney,” etc. (The author appears to be a Christian, so perhaps biased to the right, but seems to be scientific about it and has a good track record.) You’ll note that what electionprojection shows for states is pretty far off the vision that Leahy is propounding. (InTrade does give the Republicans a 62 percent chance to control the Senate, and 80 percent to control the House. So, there’s that, which is proof somewhat of Leahy’s “center right” thesis.)

Peter H. writes:

I’m really quite pessimistic, not just about the upcoming election (whose outcome I can’t predict), but about our general direction, which, I’m afraid, is downward. Even if Romney wins, the country is headed in Obama’s direction in any event as our demographics change. I believe we are now a center-left to left country and for Romney to win, he will be required to move to the left. I also can’t help wondering about other problems we’re having, including our current financial crisis, and concluding that they are due to the same thing. We continue to change our population unabated to one that is more liberal, more demanding, more needy, more violent, and markedly less hard-working and competent. We are becoming more and more like the countries our recent immigrants have been leaving, only to bring their pathologies to this country.

While I am completely against government-run health care under any circumstances, if our population was more homogeneous, competent, and hard-working (i.e. European) it would be something we as a people could rationally discuss. Great Britain, for example, has had such a system for around 60 years, its shortcomings notwithstanding. We haven’t even started and we’re nearly bankrupt.

When I was born in 1961, the country was 88 percent white. Now, according to the CIA World Fact Book, it’s approximately 65 percent white. How long can such a thing be sustained?

Aaron S. writes:

I find these things frustrating. Romney may win, but if so, it will be a close-run thing. As is typical for these premature celebrations, not much attention at all is paid to demographics. This tendency is apparent among most of my conservative friends. To listen to them, you’d think we’re still working with Reagan’s 1980 electorate. “People are frustrated.” “The mood is bleak.”

It struck me that in some respects we’re really not far behind Britain in this regard. Granted, we’ve had no internal memos leaked from the DNC telling us that the left seeks actively to displace us. But really, are the kinds of things a fellow like Ruy Texeira has been wishing openly for the past two decades all that different?

The election will be won by whoever gets their side to show in greater numbers, but no one should suppose that the absolute numbers (in the electorate) are on our side any longer. Between immigration and family disintegration we’re losing that battle; the leftists understand this, but our side won’t even admit that it’s happening. Witness the recent birth control dust-up. This is a double victory for the left: shore up voter enthusiasm among unmarried women, further valorize the relative sterilization of whites and accelerate the decline in our share of the population. Yet the best our side produces in response is the stammering indignant “you can’t make me pay for that!”

We’re at the point now where a GOP presidential victory requires extremely high turnout and unbelievably disproportionate support among white families. How can we reverse the further trend in this direction if we don’t even admit it exists in the first place?

Leahy’s piece is at points laughably wishful and contains several pieces of illogic. The most evident is that he tells us the national numbers don’t matter, but then he turns around and applies the national number (-9 percent for Obama) uniformly to all of the states!

James N. writes:

My view is that it’s too soon to know. November 6 is almost 200 days away, and they figure to be event-filled ones.

Obama is President because Americans are beguiled by false beliefs. Obama supports these false beliefs, as does Romney.

The trick for Obama is to conceal the surplus of false beliefs that he holds, compared to the average American voter. Given a compliant media, this should not be too hard.

Like the British in 1939, we are not ready to surrender our illusions. Unlike the British in 1940, when the crisis comes, we have no king to send for a Churchill.

We are at the mercy of events. Obama’s reelection is probable, if nothing awful happens in the next six months.

Kevin V. writes:

I could not disagree more with Leahy’s take on Romney’s chances. Leahy’s analysis is nothing more than a very tired and lame set of standard-issue Republican talking points, which ultimately rely on the fact that conservatives have nowhere else to turn to come Election Day. While that fact is undeniably true, and, sadly, looks set to remain so for a very long time to come, it is also true that the situation on the ground among the Republican voter base has shifted significantly over the past four years.

The Tea Party arose among ordinary, and largely white, Republicans because the initial actions of the President raised very grave concern about the fiscal condition of the country and the unchartered waters the liberals were planning to take us into. The response from the establishment was the villification of this serious and sober political movement, a movement so serious that it in many cases dumped incumbent and powerful legislators in an effort to wake their party up.

In addition to completely failing to protect these ordinary Republicans from the inevitable and very predictable charges of racism and extremism—which, in fact, many Republican establishment members joined in on levelling—they completely ignored the message. Leahy can talk all he wants about budget deficits and runaway spending, but the Republican Party has no credibility whatsoever on either issue.

Waiving the bloody shirt again and again may work with the rapid faithful, but for many this act has long since worn thin. In fact, it’s become outright insulting as the sad party hacks find religion like clockwork every four years.

If that wasn’t bad enough, if letting your base be vilified from sea to shining sea and then completely ignoring the reason behind the swell in 2010, their selection of candidate seals the deal. Romney seems almost selected to mock the Republican base, almost as if the establishment is openly laughing at the fools who have nowhere to go in November.

In a time demanding a conservative response, they have nominated a New England liberal.

In a time of crony capitalism and an unhealthy relationship between Wall Street and Washingon, they have nominated a financier with deep Wall Street and old money ties.

In a time where the Obamacare’s power and money grab forced normal, ordinary Republican voters into the streets to protest for the first time in their lives, they have nominated the man who pioneered state government control of health care.

In a time of open racial polarization, they have again nominated an insecure politician who wouldn’t think of even moderately challenging today’s racial orthodoxy.

And in a time calling for real and substantial leadership, they have nominated a man who takes positions by marketing survey.

None of this makes Obama a better choice. But this is a deeply unappetizing meal to force down the throats of ordinary conservatives. I continue to find it utterly amazing that many in the press, like Leahy, are convinced that Romney is a vote winner, when as was clearly demonstrated during the Republican primaries, he has a very hard time attracting even party votes, even as he outspends his opponents on a scale greater than 20-1.

Paul M. writes:

“Boo-hoo-hoo! Romney’s not conservative enough! America is not conservative enough. Liberalism has won! We are all doomed. Boo-hoo-hoo!”

What a bunch of babies and whiners! First, name me one real, live, non-imaginary politician more “conservative” than Romney who was capable of being elected President of the United States in 2012 and is also capable of actually BEING the President of the United States. As the saying goes, you can’t beat someone with no one. And would you really put an inexperienced, inept idealogue in the White House just because you share his or her ideology? Second, name me one single way the the country will be better off should Obama win a second term. (And I’m one who has said from the beginning that Obama’s election in 2008 was an immense blessing for America, and a McCain victory would have been much, much worse for conservatism.)

Conservatives who fail to support Romney 100 percent in 2012 are like the unemployed losers who sit in their parents’ basement playing video games and whining that none of the jobs they’ve been offered pay enough or are interesting enough.

LA replies:

Normally I don’t let commenters call each other names, especially names such as as “babies” and “whiners.” But I’m making an exception here, first, because Paul is not calling any particular person names, and, second, because there is a genuinely intense disagreement here which ought to be allowed to work itself out.

Daniel F. writes:

In response to Paul M.’s comment, I don’t know about the other readers who commented, but nothing I said was meant to imply either that Romney should not be the nominee (given the alternatives) or that Romney is so unsatisfactory that the outcome of the general election is unimportant. Plainly, Romney was the best candidate who actually ran for the Republican nomination, and a Romney victory is greatly to be hoped for, notwithstanding the man’s shortcomings. The question, however, was whether this a center-right nation any longer. It does not look like one to me. As a result, I am pessimistic about Romney’s chances, however much I want him to win.

Kevin V. writes:

Great comment from Paul M. He should raise his sights and try commenting on Fox News or NRO next. I’m sure they’d approve his comments. After all, if conservatism is about one or two things, it’s that we always support the guy with the (R) behind his name, and that if the right can’t trust the governor of Massachusetts we might as well just vote for the hated tribal enemy, the (D)s.

Richard B. writes:

I live in Cochise County Arizona, which shares its southern border with Mexico. I work with the public and I have never seen so many people who actually hate the President—this President. Even Democrats! I know there are many people who feel the same way nationwide. Turnout will be an important factor in this election and hatred is a very motivating factor.

I also feel that there has been much personal economic pain these last three and a half years and this President has become the de-facto instigator of that pain. Even if things get better before the election, who would want to re-elect the national symbol of that pain, much less keep him in office with the possibility of more pain at any time? He must and will be made the National Scapegoat, just as Jimmy Carter was.

LA replies:

What could be more fitting, that the man who grossly misused the office of the presidency to help turn an apparently innocent private citizen, George Zimmerman, into a national scapegoat and hate object, should himself become a national scapegoat and hate object.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 19, 2012 09:03 AM | Send

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