Obama Will Win The 2014 Election – With Help From Karl Rove
January 20, 2014
By Don Feder
Conservative iconoclast M. Stanton
Evans once aptly remarked that in America: "We have two parties... and only two.
One is the evil party, and the other is the stupid party." The evil party gave
us ObamaCare, an imperial judiciary and the public morality of a Babylonian brothel.
The stupid party gave us Karl Rove.
On January 15, The Wall Street Journal
ran a Rove commentary, the title
of which proclaimed, "Independents Will Decide the 2014 Elections: Debunking the myth that turning out the base alone is enough to win."
Republican consultants are the only
group whose failures bring them business and prestige. On Election Day 2012,
Rove – the prognosticator of prognosticators and seer of seers – predicted
Romney would win with 285 electoral votes. He lost with 206, to Obama's 332.
Although they're not exactly in touch with
reality, Rove and the Chris Christie wing of the Republican Party are setting
the stage for a reprise of 2012.
When he ran for reelection, Obama should have been buried in a landslide. His first term was marked by the highest sustained unemployment in memory – on top of a mass exodus from the job market. The National Debt increased by almost half. Two months before the balloting, there was the humiliation of seeing American bodies dragged through the streets of Benghazi.
The prospect of ObamaCare made Americans queasy. His administration was wracked by scandals and the president seemed remote, detached and inclined to lavish living in a time of mounting misery, an epicurean socialist who'd managed to combine the ideologies of Saul Alinsky and Marie Antoinette. His speeches put teleprompters to sleep.
Republicans nominated what the party elite, Rove among them, saw as the perfect foil for the community-organizer-in-chief – a competent administrator, proven job-creator, and a candidate who was elected governor of a deep-blue state. Never mind that he changed his positions the way Zsa Zsa Gabor changed husbands.
The Democrats took what should have been an advantage in a down economy and turned it into a negative. Romney was one of those rich Republicans (it's hard to be successful
in business and not get rich) who didn't care about the little guy, they told us. Instead of a venture capitalist who had saved ailing businesses, he was a corporate corsair and tax-cheat who cannibalized companies and slashed jobs.
The middle class never bought this; Obama's base did. The message was aimed at mobilizing the ideological, the envious, public employees, angry, single women and the mooch brigade – the Democrats' core constituency.
Romney's answer was not marked by manly firmness, "The president is a nice guy, but we just can't afford him for four more years," Mitt the Mild peeped. Republicans accepted the media line that voters hate negative campaigning and will punish the perps. Democrats didn't.
Rove isn't just wrong, he's wrong the way Napoleon was wrong when he invaded Russia. Today, elections aren't won in the middle but on the fringes. It's not about who can appeal to so-called independents (most are aligned with one party or the other, but won't admit it) but who can best identify and mobilize their base. At this, Democrats are particularly adept and Republicans depressingly inept.
That's why Obama felt comfortable taking positions far to the left of most Americans in the months leading up to the election: executive amnesties, contraceptive mandates, gay marriage, his war on domestic energy production, and telling successful businessmen "You didn't build that," leading some to wonder whether he was running for president or commissar.
Despite outward appearances, Obama wasn't campaigning for the votes of independents. Politics may be the only place where he's not stupid. He was playing to the Democratic base. That he carried every swing state – Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia and Florida
– shows how well the strategy worked.
Romney shunned wedge issues. The Second Amendment, freedom of religion, the right to life, and defense of marriage were barely mentioned. Romney and his handlers took a page from Clinton's 1992 playbook – it's the economy stupid – and held on for dear life.
On the campaign trail, it was all jobs, jobs, jobs and taxes, taxes, taxes. As a result, Romney lost, lost, lost, notwithstanding that he took the independent vote handily, 50% to 45%, nationally. Wait, I thought you couldn't win without independents. Obama did.
While winning the hearts of independents, the governor failed to motivate conservatives. Those who voted for him did so reluctantly. Many found more pressing concerns than voting on Election Day.
As a candidate in Massachusetts, Romney was proudly pro-abortion. His health care plan (which he absurdly maintained was nothing like Obama's) provided abortions with a $50-co-pay. Along with an activist judiciary, he was responsible for making Mass the first gay marriage state. While he disavowed all of this on entering the national stage, conservatives were, at the least, skeptical.
When the Republican Party stopped nominating Republicans, voter participation fell – from 62.3% in 2004 to 57.5% in 2012.
According to pollster George Barna, evangelical and born-again voters, who constitute 38% of the electorate – more than four times the proportion of Hispanics – went for Romney by only 60%. Obama got 74% of the Hispanic vote. If Romney had done as well with these committed Christians, it would have been his hand on the Bible on January 21, 2013.
Romney's refusal to discuss the core issues religious conservatives care deeply about (other than as throwaway lines) – life, marriage, family, freedom of religion – guaranteed that many would stay home.
Once again this year, instead of mobilizing their base, Republicans like Rove will strive to alienate it, in a desperate bid for votes they'll never get.
Supposedly, Romney lost Latinos with his silly self-deportation plan. But in 2008, Juan McCain, Senor Amnesty, got 31% of the Hispanic vote, compared to 28% for Mitt in 2012. If Romney had done as well – or as poorly – as McCain, he would have gotten four percentage points more (of 9% of the electorate) and the outcome, you do the math, would have been exactly the same.
This year, Wall Street Republicans are advising the party to get immigration off the table, to avoid further offending Hispanics.
If Republicans rabbits like Speaker John Boehner help the president to pass another amnesty,
two things will happen: Hispanics will still vote overwhelming Democratic, based on their perceived economic interests. Hispanic households are twice as likely to benefit from a major welfare program as white families (40% versus 20%).
At the same time, Main Street voters – who care deeply about fairness (for taxpayers, workers and legal immigrants), loss of national identity, national security and the economic consequences of illegal immigration
– will walk away from the GOP in disgust.
Like 2012, this year, the stars should be perfectly aligned for a GOP blowout.
• In the Senate, Democrats are defending 21 seats. Republicans have only 14 up. Most of the latter are in red territory. Many Democratic seats are in states where the government is controlled by Republicans or which the GOP nominee carried in the last two presidential elections.
• Three-fourths of those polled think our nation is headed in the wrong direction. In a late December Gallup poll, 72% said "big government" is the gravest threat to America, the highest percentage since Gallup began asking this question in 1965. In a Rasmussen poll last week, 46%, a plurality, said long-term benefits increase unemployment and 53% thought economic growth was more important than "fairness."
• In the same Rasmussen poll, 51% said they disapprove of the president's performance, 48% approve. More revealing is how strongly each sides feels. While 25% strongly approve of Obama, 40% strongly disapprove.
• The December jobs report shows Obamanomics to be the equivalent of phrenology or flat-earth theory. Economists were expecting 193,000 new jobs to be created last month. Instead, we got 74,000. Of those, 40,000 are temporary. The unemployment rate fell from 7% to 6.7% only because another 347,000 workers left the labor force. There are now 92 million outside the work force – giving us the lowest participation rate in 36 years. If the Americans who retired early or gave up on ever finding a job were counted, the unemployment rate would be 10.2%.
• But that's not enough for our income-leveling president, who wants to throw millions more out of work by raising the minimum wage and encouraging illegal immigration. Again, he thumbs his nose at ordinary Americans and ignores economic reality to stoke a fire under his base.
• The Benghazi and IRS scandals continue to percolate. Last week, Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before a congressional committee that while the attack was going on, the president was told it was terrorism. Not only did Obama fail to save the lives of four Americans, he and his lackeys spent weeks lying about the nature of the atrocity, maintaining it was a spontaneous protest rather than an act of terrorism.
• The Department of Justice announced that no criminal charges would come
out of the IRS's systematic targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups leading up to the 2012 election. Then came the news that the DOJ lawyer in charge of the investigation is a long-time Obama donor.
The foregoing should lead to a wipeout for Democratic congressional candidates. But RINOS are riding to the rescue of the president and his party.
Recall Boehner's senseless attack on the Tea Parties (which made him Speaker) this fall. In a just-published interview in the News Republic, Senator Juan slammed the Tea Parties and called Fox News "schizophrenic." Coming from a man who's famous for his borderline psychotic temper, this must hurt.
A story in The Wall Street Journal, in late December, disclosed that major GOP donors, including the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads (Rove's
super PAC), "are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates (read RINOs) for Congress in 2014's midterm elections." In last week's commentary, Rove repeated the rationale for
this losing strategy.
If Rove and Co. succeed, the Party will end up with a lot of Jon Huntsmans running this year. These more-centrists will avoid social issues, punt on immigration, come out for "sensible gun control," and scurry to what the media tells them is the middle.
The evil party can always count on
the support of the stupid party.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.
8230 Catbird Circle 302
Lorton VA 22079