Morning Briefing: October 3rd, 2012
By Steve Deace
Not the Way to Win
The sirens sounded Tuesday afternoon at Mitt Drudge.com.
Apparently a shocking video emerged that could be the October surprise of 2012. Sean Hannity promised a full reveal on his popular Fox News Channel television show. Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller jumped on it as well, giving it essentially “second coming” type hype. Perhaps this was the game-changer the Mitt Romney presidential campaign has been looking for since President Obama’s post-convention bounce shifted the momentum in his favor.
Then we saw the five-year old video, and it told us a bunch of stuff we already knew.
It told us a secular/liberal-bias media didn’t do its job of vetting Obama four years ago, which we already knew.
It told us Democrats race-bait, and say things to left-leaning black ministers and parishioners (and say them in a way) they’d never say to the general population, which we already knew.
Despite his campaign trail claims to the contrary, it told us that President Obama was indeed heavily influenced by his heretical former pastor, which we already knew.
It told us this president has made a career out of pitting people against each other, which we already knew.
It told us this president has a worldview that is antithetical to the worldview that founded this country, and made it the freest and most prosperous nation on earth, which we already knew.
And if past history is indeed indicative of future performance, then we already know this latest attempt into scaring the American people into voting Obama out of office won’t work.
For the past four years we’ve called Obama every name in the book – Marxist, socialist, Kenyan, Muslim, heretic, divider-in-chief, infanticidist, traitor, amateur and foreigner (just to name to few) – and even though some of those are actually true, the really inconvenient truth is that if the election were held today Obama would most assuredly be re-elected.
The American people are begging for leadership, not scare tactics. They didn’t respond to the Clinton Chronicles, Bush Derangement Syndrome (remember how Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 was going to alter the outcome of that election), and nor will they respond to this.
While I’m not saying I believe there is a moral equivalency between all of those things, in the minds of the American people who despise and distrust the leadership of both political parties there is. They just don’t trust anything like this from either side. The reason the Swift Boat attack on John Kerry in 2004 was successful was not because it was true, but because it came outside the partisan maelstrom from a group the American people do revere and trust—military veterans. Had it come from a recognized partisan source of information, it would’ve likely backfired and helped Kerry, who still almost won that election if not for Ohio.
The American people already know Obama has failed, which explains both the resounding repudiation he received in the 2010 midterm elections, as well as the fact Romney still has a fighting chance to win this election despite an inept campaign.
Anybody motivated to vote for Romney out of fear of a second Obama term has already been successfully converted. There is no need to keep taking hills you’ve already conquered, especially in light of the law of unintended consequences. For example, I have been pleasantly surprised at how little the media friendly to Obama has made an issue out of Mormonism. However, if we really want to go down this road with Obama, there is a Pandora’s Box with Mormonism and the race-card the mainstream media could unlatch and most certainly play.
See, that’s the problem when you throw stones at glass houses, or drop nuclear bombs on your next door neighbor. The fallout soon spreads to your yard as well.
When you’re running a candidate who has a worldview based on a religious system not supported by the majority of the American people as both Obama and Romney do, it does neither side any good to go there. It ends up becoming a pox on both houses.
I remember in college staying late up to watch former Congressman Bob Dornan (a pro-life warrior whom I love) give one-minute speeches on C-Span to an empty House chamber about Bill Clinton and his communist connections during the 1992 campaign. That didn’t work.
I remember Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, and Juanita Broderick. That didn’t work. I remember impeachment. That didn’t work. I remember Saul Alinsky. That didn’t work. I remember Jeremiah Wright. That didn’t work. I remember Bill Ayers. That didn’t work.
Do the American people need to know who the people they’re being asked to vote for really are and what they really believe? You bet. But that’s only part of the sale, and you can’t close the sale without offering an alternative other than the boogeyman.
George W. Bush was able to win 3 elections (if you count the 2002 midterm elections) by making it a referendum on the Democrats alone. But he had two things in his favor: the leadership he showed post-9/11 (and Americans are hesitant to change horses in midstream during wartime), and he got to run against Al Gore and John Kerry—who are more Romney than Clinton in terms of candidate profiles. By 2006, the American people had grown tired of the phoniness of “compassionate conservatism” and gave the Congress back to the Democrats.
So what should be the message be instead?
I remember cutting taxes, creating jobs, and defeating the Evil Empire. That worked. I remember read my lips: no new taxes (before that promise was broken). That worked. I remember the Contract with America. That worked. I remember the Tea Party challenging the notion that we are mere wards of the welfare state and not a government by the consent of the governed. That worked.
The Bible says “without a vision the people perish.” The same is true of campaigns. What is Romney’s vision for America, and how specifically does he plan on getting us there. And don’t tell me he has one but the liberal media won’t cover it? All the aforementioned success stories I just cited also faced a liberal media bias onslaught, and some of them did so before Fox News, websites like this one, and talk radio shows like my own existed.
Leadership always wins. Even bad leadership wins over no leadership. If Romney, and his sympathizers in the conservative media, truly wants to win on November 6th, then it’s time for Romney to show the American people the same leadership he showed while making Bain Capital a global success story.
Etch-a-sketches, boogeymen scare tactics, vain imaginings, and plucky generalities didn’t build Bain Capital. Leadership like laying out a specific and definable blueprint and delivering on it did.
People are afraid enough, and most of all they’re afraid nobody running for president this year really knows how to fix what’s wrong, or is willing to do what it takes to fix it. Until Romney shows he’s the strong leader that can get ‘er done, it won’t matter what names we call Obama or how bad he is. We’ll be watching him take the oath of office again come January regardless.
Lighting a candle beats cursing the darkness every time it’s tried.
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