The other day, I was in a brief online exchange with a Facebook friend, Eriku, that I thought y’all might find interesting. A fellow conservative and Newt supporter, Eriku is convinced that President Obama simply can’t win another term. He is very astute (at least, that’s what he keeps telling me (heh!)) and he was able to summarize several areas where Obama is or should be weak. He believes that the combination of these and other factors will bring Obama down. I, however, am more cautious in my optimism. Here’s what Eriku had to say:
“He can lose because real people — not the political junkies like us and in the various media we follow — are fed up. They have no money, they have no hope, they have nothing but dread and fear:
The real unemployment rate is north of 15% (if we’re conservative) when 8% and above is, generally, toxic to a sitting president (you can say “well, the official number is 8% but, alas, reality doesn’t comport with corrupted BLS numbers and merely generate a false sense of security and/or whistling past the graveyard); savings and disposable income have been decimated; the economy is teetering on the edge of double-dip (and worse, if Europe disintegrates); he’s racked up a 15+ trillion dollar deficit; he’s at war with vast swaths of the electorate over religious liberty (picking a fight he didn’t have to have with Catholics), statism, energy (Keystone et al), Israel (he’s losing support amongst Jews, yes? Or at least more Jews are going R — that alone is a sign of Dempocalypse) etc., all to appease a base that is microscopic in comparison; his approval rating sucks, not just generally, but historically; the 2010 elections were a massive backlash against Obama and Obamacare to the point that we control 70% (or more?) of state houses and took a crushing majority in the House; we’ll need to raise the debt ceiling — again — before the election and, depending on timing, on top of the election; long-term Dem congressmen are dropping like flies (i.e., retiring) and I can almost guarantee more will be taking early retirement as November approaches and they realize that Obama’s invincibility is an illusion conjured by the media and their demented base (a delusion that a number of these congressmen don’t appear to share); etc. I could go on for days and days about all the negatives.
If nothing else, he’ll die the death of a thousand cuts since even though any one of these issues would be enough to fell a Republican prez, the media will make sure to blunt the damage any one of them can do… but en masse? Facing an electorate that has been ground down, in some way, by multiple issues directly relating to him? Even Obama doesn’t have enough media prophylactics to prevent that.
The only thing that keeps him afloat (if you can call >45% approval rating “afloat”) is the media and, even in the face of that, he can’t crack 50% approval despite their best efforts. As bad as the R candidates might be, they pale in comparison to the awfulness of another four years of this guy. (And, Hell, if you looked at the Dem race in ’08, you’d notice they were bludgeoning one another like we are right now…through June.)
That anyone thinks this guy can get re-elected with pretty much every factor that can go against a sitting president going against him is, frankly, baffling to me. Even moreso when the chief example of his invulnerability — his cash advantage — is also coming up short, implying that even his base is wearying of him. It takes cynicism (if that’s what it is) on an epic scale to think he can just walk in, dole out some cream, and take this in a walk (it didn’t work — at all — in 2010, when candidates were *running* from him, just like they’ll be running from him in 2012 — if they don’t quit first).
So, yeah, no, he’s dead. Deader than disco. You can tell me none of the above matters a bit, that his cash advantage and the media are going to be sufficient to carry him to victory, and I’m just going to say: we’ll see!”
Gotta hand it to Eriku… he makes a lot of good points in his argument. I haven’t done extensive research on this, but here’s how I responded:
I do think Obama’s HUUUUGE amounts of funding will be a big advantage, and, as you pointed out, the MSM will promote and defend him shamelessly. Plus, never underestimate the blind loyalty of the progressive Left — even the not-so-progressive Left, especially if they are fleeing from a socially conservative Republican. Despite all the wonderful negatives you’ve listed, we still hear/read people claiming O is doing a great job! I hope those who really think/feel this are truly a small minority, but I’m not so sure. They HAVE to believe in him (even if they wish he was getting more progressive stuff done) and will vote for him, ‘cuz they have no alternatives for the Leftie ticket. On the Right, though, people are talking about either voting for a “third party” (maybe a write-in?) OR just not voting at all, especially if they are gung-ho for one particular GOP guy and that guy doesn’t get the nod. It’s stupid, short-sighted, but I read it all the time. In either case, such (in)action gives O a greater chance of winning.
So,… can Obama be re-elected? Never say never. (Unless it’s what I said above about “never underestimate.”)”
Eriku countered with:
“Believe me: *none* of my calculations take into account the hardcore left. They’re all nuts and are a lost cause.
That said, going from *purely* anecdotal evidence, I know at least a half-dozen Obama-Republicans (so to speak) who were pushed over the divide and into our camp thanks to our buddy in the White House. I am reasonably convinced that there are a great many of these people out there that will not admit to it (and probably won’t) but will either not vote in November or will vote for ‘our’ guy in the privacy of the voting booth, something that pollsters can’t accurately capture at all.
I also don’t believe, for a minute, that the ‘evil SoCon meme’ holds much sway. If that were the case, Bush never would have been re-elected and, as I recall from ’04, the media actually went on at length over how the social issues carried the day for him. True? Perhaps, perhaps not, but I also think that those on the left, when it comes down to it, feel much as we do, BUT because of the people they hang around with, must profess fealty to the cause. (Again, I am not talking about that hardcore 20% who makes 95% of the noise — they are not salvageable and they skew the media and everything else so badly that there is this mirage of sizable lefty support that, when push comes to shove, evaporates. After all, if the country is, allegedly, split 50/50, why does every poll seem to note a decided rightward tilt in our collective mentality?)”
Two comments: 1) I think there are some moderate Democrats and independents who may be so scared of or frustrated with Obama that they go for the Republican nominee. I just hope there are enough of them to make a difference. 2) I also think he is probably correct about the noisy hardcore Lefties skewing our perceptions, and it doesn’t help that the MSM (and many of the academics and other “experts” they interview & consult with) make up a large part of that “progressive” contingent.
Eriku followed up with a few more comments I’ve collected here:
“And heck, another data point I forgot: those self-identifying as liberals has *plummeted* since ’08. That is *not* a good sign for Team O.
And hey: here’s a bonus: Carville to Obama: Panic
“This is what I would say to President Barack Obama: The time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed.”
And what has O done since then? Double, tripled, bet your, mine, and his house on hard-left policies. You think those Senators and the like that Carville references are happier now than then, given their concerns about 6 months ago along these lines?
Yeah, he’s f’ed. (But still: vote early, vote often, even if it’s for that sack of manure, Romney. Who I hate. Just not as much as I hate Obama.)
Also: the term “calculations” implies some elaborate process I’ve gone through to arrive at this inescapable conclusion. It’s more like doing a simple cost-benefit analysis and noting what’s on one side of the ledger (doom) and on the other (a lot less doom) and, generally, people will typically choose a lot less doom over dissolution of the Republic (even if they don’t fully realize it).
Has Eriku convinced me of the inevitability of Obama’s presidential defeat? No. But, if the trends continue in the negative over the next few months (e.g., high unemployment, economic problems, poorly handled national security issues and foreign policy, disillusioned Democrats, attacks on people’s religious freedoms, etc.), Obama is definitely going to have an uphill battle on his hands, no matter who gets the Republican nod to oppose him in the general election.
As they say, I think it’s the conservatives’/Republicans’ election to lose. What do you think?