Here we are on the eve of the election and, like so many recent presidential elections, we are gathered around, watching a handful of swing states that hold the future of the presidency in their collective hands. Though the polls make this race look too close to call, I'm going to call it: Romney wins.
As the third and final debate of the General Election approaches, the political writers of Open for Business look back to what has come before and speculate about what might arise in the last face-to-face debate the candidates will embark on this year.
Firstly, don't believe the polls. President Obama is not leading, or building a lead, or any such thing. He's in a fight for his political life, and he knows it. It has never been obvious that an incumbent president is going down, and it won't be all that obvious if it happens this time. I doubt Clinton's people knew they were going to win in 1992 until they did. Oh, sure, they believed they had a shot. And you have to have a ludicrous amount of confidence to be a candidate. But let's get one thing straight: it will never be an easy thing to beat a sitting president, and I've never, ever, seen an incumbent behind in most polls in the summer, even when they lose.
I want to start by saying that I know, respect, and love probably dozens of military service personnel. No one ought to doubt, on any side, that they see and deal with horrific situations that most of us can’t even guess, much less cope with. Courage is both tested and proved in their lives and stories over and over. But—and we’re quite good at saying the opposite—I don’t believe that bravery translates into policy. Frankly, I resent the suggestion that to urge a massive change in policy denigrates them.
Have you ever read the Bill of Rights? It is one of the foundational documents of our nation, put there to place limits on the power of the government. It specifies rights that are so fundamental that the even the government has no authority to deny or abridge them.
Sometimes we put too much stock in the Iowa Caucus. This caucus has its share of odd results after all, like Pat Robertson winning in 1988. Or we can ask Governors Huckabee and Dean how well their Iowa victories translated to national victory. But, this year will likely be different.
If you haven’t been paying attention to the political process lately, I don’t blame you. It is still much too early, and there is little to calm the urge to call down a pox on all houses, no matter where you reside.
The, um, member of Congress is gone, but his sorry tale should remain as a lesson: anything you do on the Internet, even when you think it is private, is there forever and can come back to bite you.
Why have we come to treat everything as if it were a sporting event? Come to think of it, why do we treat sporting events as we do? I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who wondered this while watching last week’s reaction to the good news that Osama had gotten popped in the noggin (and as a result learned that it was a mistranslation and the “72 virgins” are really “72 white raisins,” which ain’t much to get by on when you’re talking all eternity, even if you eat them slowly).
This week’s attacks on Libya were summarized well by one Phineas X. Jones, who tweeted, “If I told you in 2007 that in 2011 we'd be killing Soc. Security, torturing Americans & bombing Libya, who would you guess won the election?” The Obama Doctrine is taking shape, but suddenly it is looking more like the Bush Doctrine Remixed. Is it?