Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Center is the new Right: GOP should nominate Romney

The ideological and radical Obama administration has become a common nightmare, sadly, in line with my expectations. The evidence was there before the election, but I couldn't even convince my retired parents that in addition to economic malaise Obama would impose while Congress is controlled entirely by the Democrats, but social programs, such as Medicare, on which they rely, would actually get cut not strengthened. Enlarging the nanny state Obama administration would certainly mean 'more' social entitlements, but for those who had difficulty imagining why 'more means worse' for social programs the administration spent two years pushing through Obamacare to demonstrate.  
It is time for Americans to stop being dupes, and question leadership that pulls bait-and-switch tactics. Obama decried in one TV interview that it is easy to be cynical about the government, suggesting we should elevate ourselves above such prejudice to succeed. It is difficult to imagine administration more cynical than Obama's with its 'subversive' leadership style.

Obama got a huge surge of popularity during the 2008 bank crisis in US, was seen as a better steward of the economy than McCain. Obama promised to make the economy a priority, then pushed through Obamacare, and sold it a key structural reform for the economy, although major implementation of occurs only during 2013-14. And over 2000 organizations that supported Obama have received waivers from Obamacare. 

There are only two explanations for the disparity between immediacy of economic pain and its tenuous long-term solution through reform of health-care - 15% of annual GPD of US. Either the brilliant salesman Obama assembled a team to equal his inexperience and incompetence, and failed to comprehend that healthcare reform could not have any positive effect - economically or politically during his first term. Or did the Obama administration decide to cash in during two years of total controlled of the administrative and executive branches and pulled a bait-and-switch to push through a pipe-dream from the top of the radical liberal agenda? During this time the British government-sponsored universal that was finally admitted as failure (no mean feat, which took a long time and cost a lot of live) and was being abandoned the only explanation for this behavior is radical ideology.
Charles Krauthammer, a talented syndicated columnist who writes for Washington Post and is known for his insightful, if mildly phrased descriptions, characterzed Obama's administrative style as 'subversive'. Subversive, is an apt description, but it is also a euphemism for 'based on lies and misrepresentations', although it has the benefit of brevity.
I remember watching the town-hall meeting with candidate McCain in 2008 when a middle-aged black man got a microphone and pleaded with McCain to challenge Obama's vague, collectivist program of reform: "Take it to him", the man said impassionedly.

We are in need of someone who can take Obama to task for his assumptions, actions and results. I felt obliged to provide a strong example of Obama's duplicity before asserting the obvious truth - that the administration it is a travesty and needs to be challenged most strongly. The corruption of government and society under this administration will take a long time to repair, and many of the people who perpetrated this 'social experiment' on the American people need to be questioned. Recently, Eric Holder has been shown to have misled Congress about his knowledge of the infamous ATF's 'Fast and Furious' gun-running operation, but is getting away with it.

Corruption flourishes it it is not prosecuted.
On Bill Clinton's last day in office assistant attorney general, Eric Holder, issued over 150 pardons including one for a convicted financier Mark Rich, whose wife made a very generous donation to Clinton's reelection campaign in 1996. George W. Bush clearly had great regard for the office of the presidency, and possibly because of that respect he did not investigate Eric Holder. Clearly, that was a mistake, because of Holder's amorality thinly disguised by boring legalese.
Despite merits of holding the Obama administration to account to the full extent of the law, the way of confrontation may not be in the best interest of US. The economic problems are more pressing, than those of political corruption. Both short- and long-term goals can be fulfilled by an administration that restores the economy and faith in public officials through honest governance. The exposure and trial of perpetrators should not be neglected, but should remain secondary goals.
Excessive zeal in repealing Obamacare, and reversing all the policies of the Obama administration, could contribute to an ideological divide separating the country. By unilaterally implementing a reckless, radical agenda and seeking to redistribute ('spreading') the wealth the Obama administration opened up deep divisions. Reversing these policies could exacerbate the political polarization, and make compromise less, not more likely.
Newt Gingrich has a lot of positive traits and accomplishments, which I respect, however tempting he is as a counterweight to Obama, and he could well become a very polarizing influence. 'Contract with America' is a fine example of transparent, accountable government that we need and want. In addition to Newt's accomplishments as a conservative politician he is thoughtful man - a historian - who learns from past experience, rather than gambling that he can overcome historical precedents through sheer power of personal charisma, as the Obama administration has done. Nevertheless, Newt is not well suited for the top of the GOP ticket. For all his brilliance, he can be erratic, and undisciplined. Historically, he reminds me of Erich Ludendorff, whose brilliant tactics drove back the demoralized Russians in 1917, but was known to be temperamental and cracked under the pressure of the last German offensives on the Western front in 1918. That was why it was good he had a stable, if unimaginative superior, von Hindenburg. Ludendorff’s breakdown was the reason his unimaginably dull superior was elected chancellor.

Newt Gingrich is an 'idea' mean, and would make a fine VP. Nominating him for the top of the GOP ticket could result in an erratic, polarizing presidency that spends too much time on rectification of old wrongs, or simply on politics, and neglects to fix the economy, which requires short-term measures, in addition to long-term reduction of regulatory burden, abolishing Obamacare, etc.

The alternative is to nominate a centrist, and an outsider with financial acumen - Mitt Romney.

Romney was the last person I wanted to see nominated before the alternatives were clear. In light of the remaining contenders for GOP nomination, he is the best way forward. Mitt Romney has flimsy conservative credentials, but Obama's radical left-wing policies can be effectively countered by a centrist. After the pendulum of government swung so far to the left, it is natural for it to rebound with equal force in the opposite direction; however it is neither necessary nor desirable to push so violently for a reversal. If GOP could demonstrate itself capable of competent centrist governance, it would entrench its political prominence by bringing the center under the big tent, and benefit the party more than more a more radical change of direction.
Despite Gingrich's success in working with Democrats in the past, dismantling Obamacare without emotional prejudice may be beyond him, after over 30 years in Washington, D.C. Romney appears to stand a chance of bringing the two sides together.
While Romney was the governor of Massachusetts he installed a state-wide program that is very similar in spirit to Obamacare. There are cogent distinctions to be made between mandatory imposition of healthcare coverage at the Federal and State levels, however, the opposition appears to be more interested in 'total war' on the Obama administration and its radical ideology. I sympathize; vengeance is a joy to the soul, and jailing some of officials who doled out the 'Stimulus' cash to their buddies would really help to discourage corruption in the future. We need long prison sentences though, because the Chicago apparatchiks that are running the show are notoriously bold, and it takes a lot to discourage their corruption. The 6.5-year prison sentence of George Ryan, the governor of Illinois who preceded Blagojevich, did not discourage the latter from trying to sell his executive power to appoint a successor for Senate seat vacated by Obama. After denying any wrong-doing, and claiming to be a victim of political witch-hunt for years, Blago pleaded mercy at the sentencing after being convicted on 18 counts. The judge gave Blago 14 years - let us hope would-be governors of Illinois are impressed by that number.
Outcomes such as sentencing of Blago are very healthy for a democracy, however, the president must focus on the economy first, and justice second. Romney is likely to focus the economy and be less polarizing than Newt while still dismantling Obamacare.

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