Expanding Middle Class?

There’s an interesting article in the on-line edition of the Washington Post this afternoon. Another in a long line of election post-mortems, but citing a figure that I’ve not seen or heard before:

Romney won voters earning between $50,000 and $100,0000 by 52 percent to 46 percent. That’s less than what Bush got in 2004 (he won that group by 12) but they were 28 percent of the electorate in 2012 and just 18 percent electorate in 2004.

I had to read that a couple time to make sure I was reading it right.  In an economy that virtually everyone admits is the worst recovery from a recession since WW2, the number of people who have moved into the upper middle class has increased by over 55%.  And half as many (percentage-wise) of these upwardly mobile Americans voted for Romney as voted for Bush in 2004.  That made zero sense to me until I thought back to my response to Canadian Observer in the previous thread.  Given that a single mother of 3 making minimum wage has as much disposable income as a married couple with 2 kids making $60,000 a year, that puts a lot more Americans (and Obama voters) in that $50,000 to $100,000 demographic.  There’s probably another explanation, right?

Does Pennsylvania Matter?

It might – from Politico:

Mitt Romney’s super PAC, Restore our Future, is launching an 11th-hour ad blitz in Pennsylvania, POLITICO has learned.

ROF is going up Tuesday with a $2.1 million ad buy across every Pennsylvania market, including pricey Philadelphia…

That is a lot of money – and it wouldn’t be expended in Pennsylvania unless someone thought there was a shot at it.  Also, that its going in to Philadelphia is crucial.  As experts like Barone point out lately, Romney is doing very well in the affluent suburbs of major urban areas – places where Democrats tend to do pretty well and where, if they go Republican, lead to astounding GOP victories.

We’ll see how this comes out in just 8 days…

Anti-Mormonism Rises on the Left

Legal Insurrection has an excellent run-down on the rank bigotry developing on the left against the Mormon religion.  Its all rather nauseating but very typical of the left these days – they probably don’t know much about it but they know (a) that it is socially conservative and (b) a man representing it is going to beat their guy.  So, all bets are off and there is no bottom to the gutter.

To me, Romney’s religion is a non-issue – just as much as Obama’s personal religious beliefs are a non-issue.  Living in a pluralist republic, there is simply no other way to go about it.  Unless I want to say that I’ll only vote for a Catholic of the most orthodox stripe, I must allow that people I vote for will have various differences with me.  What matters to me is whether or not, on balance, the candidate is more favorable to my views than the other candidate.  In this, Romney has pledged himself to a set of policy proposals largely in tune with my view – but not in all cases.  I just kind of have to lump it on the areas where I disagree with Romney while working elsewhere to advance those views of mine which Romney refuses.

Its not like that on the left – it doesn’t, for instance, matter that Mormons are tremendously generous with their time and money and that Mormon-majority communities tend to be clean, safe and law-abiding.  All that is thrown over the side because Mormons dare to have the slightest disagreement with some aspects of leftist ideology.  For the left it is all or nothing – you are either 100% with them or they will be 100% against you.  Romney has sinned against liberal orthodoxy and must be destroyed, and his entire religion along with him.  I hope Mormons have tough skins – Catholics and Evangelicals have been dealing with this for a long time (and Catholics for longer than anyone else in the United States).

At the end of the day, however, these are the actions of desperate, losing people.  Their cause is foundering and their man Obama seems set to lead them off the electoral cliff.  As things get worse for the left, we can expect the howls of bigotry to grow louder.  Get ready for it and learn to endure it – there’s nothing we can do to stop it.


The Hunt for an October Surprise

We’ve got two – count ’em, two! – potential October Surprises in the rumor mill:

1.  Obama inks a deal with Iran to give up the nuclear program.

2.  Bottom-feeding attorney Gloria Allred has some scandal to uncork on Romney (or Ryan) in the closing days of the campaign.

A deal with Iran is possible but highly unlikely – at best it would be some sort of nebulous agreement by Iran to say that they will consider the possibility of reviewing the option of negotiating a nuke deal with us at some future date.  Still, if anything is done then the MSM will go ape over it making it out as the most important foreign policy achievement since World War Two.  I don’t think, though, that it would affect the election – most people are not too concerned about Iran and, at any rate, those who are set to vote for Romney long ago tuned Obama and his Administration out – such a deal, if struck, would make a lot of MSM noise but essentially drop in to a bottomless pit of public indifference.

Something from Allred is also very much possible – remember, it was Allred who torpedoed Cain earlier this year, ruined Whitman’s campaign in California in 2010 and nearly destroyed Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial bid in 2002.  She does this by coming up with someone who claims to have been horribly treated by the Republican target and then counts on the compliant MSM to carry the ball.

Given the background we have on Romney and Ryan it does seem implausible that there is any sort of a sexual scandal – to be sure, either Ryan or Romney might have had indiscretions in the past (all of us are, after all, fallen human beings and prey to weakness and sin), but it seems unlikely.  It certainly seems to be highly unlikely that there is any such story of recent vintage to be told about the men.  I believe it would more likely be some woman who claimed discrimination by Romney in employment or, possibly, a story that at some point Romney (or Ryan) employed an illegal immigrant for some sort of domestic service.   Remember, there doesn’t have to be a shred of evidence in the accusation – all there has to be is some sort of connection with the accuser to Romney or Ryan.  As it will be set off late in the campaign, there will be extremely limited time (and absolutely no inclination on the part of the MSM) to check the veracity of the story.  Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit, in light of the Allred rumor, is advising that Romney inform the MSM outfits that – win or lose – any false accusation will result in a libel suit with all sorts of lengthy and embarrassing discovery launched against the MSMers who report a lie.  That is good advice – but while it might give some MSMers pause, it won’t actually defuse the hand grenade.

As the wheels are coming off the Obama cart, we must expect something to happen (as an aside, the fact that we’re getting these rumors indicates that people deep inside Team Obama know that doom impends – if they were really confident of victory, none of this sort of thing would be going on).  This will become even more true if polling by Wednesday doesn’t show any post-3rd-debate improvement for Obama (and it is highly unlikely that it will).  Obama is heading for a defeat and doesn’t want to be defeated – and his team is chock full of knee-to-groin Chicago political operatives.  Political operatives who not only want to win but are also likely worried about how a Romney Justice Department might view some of the actions taken since January 20th, 2009.

Will a scandal bomb work?  Would, say, the revelation that Romney employed an illegal or discriminated against women in employment throw the race to Obama?  Would, that is, such a late-in-the-game bit of scandal-mongering convince people that Romney is such a lousy person that its better to stick with Obama for four more years?  Highly unlikely.  It might shave a point off of Romney’s total, but as I expect he’ll get at least 53% of the vote, that won’t be enough.  But, on the other hand, it could work.  Time will tell if it is tried, if it is effective and whether or not Romney has prepared for this as he’s turned out prepared for every last thing which has come his way in 2012 – and my bet is that they do have a prepared response for anything Team Obama might throw at them.  But, we shall see – just get ready for anything to happen over the next 16 days.


Morning In America

I have a sense of optimism this morning that I haven’t felt in a long time, and that optimism is grounded in the belief that Romney will win this election and restore confidence in America. The polls today, and over the last couple of days reflect an unimpeded resurgence by the Romney campaign that electorally, will put him on top in just over two weeks. Gallup has it 52% – 45% Romney, a new poll by Susquehanna Polling and Research has Romney up in Pennsylvania by 4 points, Rasmussen has Romney up by 3 in Virginia and Florida, for the first time ever RCP has Romney ahead in the electoral count 206-201, and maybe most shocking of all is that Romney’s favorability rating now tops Obama’s. However, I will say that as of this morning, Rasmussen does have the candidates tied at 48% and Rasmussen is the poll I trust more than others, but that being said the momentum is clearly behind Romney and at the most crucial time.

So what are the events that led to this turn around? Several in my opinion, chief among them, Libya. Voters are realizing that the misguided foreign policy of Obama is starting to have a very alarming impact on the security of this country and the cover up of the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens is unforgivable, and Romney will crucify Obama on that issue on Monday. Obama’s first debate was abysmal, and Biden’s arrogant debate performance did not set well with women and independents. The continued slow growth of the GDP, the manipulation of unemployment figures (California not reporting), and the lack of any real economic plan going forward from Obama also led to the resurgence of Romney who has put forth a very common sense 5 point plan to get this economy back on track and the experience to get it done. But most importantly is the false caricature of Romney that Axlerod and Obama tried to sell. People are realizing that Romney is a compassionate, knowledgeable, experienced leader, and are realizing that the perceptions of Romney that Axlerod tried to sell, are just wrong. This quote from Obama is coming back to haunt him:

“If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.”

Obama is running on small things (think: contraception, tax cuts for the rich) and trying to paint Romney as someone to run from. Romney is running on big things (think: tax reform, medicare reform) and giving people a reason to be optimistic and confident, and that will result in a win.

And Romney’s performance last night at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner is a must see! He is not only compassionate, intelligent and a leader, his comedic talents are pretty sharp too.

Obama, Hillary, Benghazi and an Electoral Collapse?

From Allahpundit discussing the rumor that Hillary is to be thrown underbus by Obama over at Hot Air:

My guess is no, they wouldn’t dare, but the Daily Caller and Tom Maguire make a fair point. In the span of about 18 hours, we’ve had Biden and Carney each insist that blame for Benghazi’s security failures lies outside the White House. It’s State that’s responsible for protecting U.S. diplomats in the field, which means if the buck doesn’t stop with Obama here, then it must stop with you-know-who. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, as cabinet members are expected to take the heat for the president when something goes badly wrong. But in this case you-know-who has her eye on running in 2016 — possibly against (heh) Biden himself — and surely doesn’t want Benghazi staining the foreign policy credentials she’s worked hard to build.

Throw Bill Clinton, official Obama campaign surrogate, into the mix and we’ve got the makings of a nuclear clusterfark of ego, ass-covering, presidential ambition, and Clintonian drama…

For us on the right this is a “pass the popcorn” moment – but we’ll likely not get it until after November 6th – if Obama loses then Obama-bots will try to lay some of the blame on Hillary (others will seek to blame Biden) while Team Clinton will be desperate to build an impervious narrative that Obama was a failure from start to finish while Hillary heroically tried to keep him up on the rails for four years.  And even if Obama wins, given that Hillary has said she won’t accept re-appointment as SecState, there will be an effort to blame all that is wrong foreign policy-wise on Hillary, with the Clintons of course trying to burnish Hillary’s record and denigrating Obama’s.

Have I mentioned to anyone here yet my view that if Obama does lose in 2012, he’ll try again in 2016?  If I haven’t, then there it is – my view is that Obama will be more infuriated than anything else by an electoral rejection and so will try a come back in 2016.  It has happened before – Grover Cleveland after being defeated for re-election came back four years later to win a second term.  And here’s another prediction:  if Obama were to seek a second term after being defeated in 2012, the Democrats will nominate him.  Why?  Because the party bosses dare not do otherwise – to choose someone else over Obama would be a catastrophic blow against large sections of the Democrat base and so they would simply not turn out for the general election.  But, we’ll see about all that.

Meanwhile:  as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton bears a great deal of responsibility for whatever failures happened in Benghazi.  Ultimately, of course, it is the President who bears final responsibility.  In their dream world, both Hillary and Obama want blame assigned somewhere else and that, in my view, is why both State and the White House so eagerly leaped on the twaddle about a video causing a spontaneous riot which got out of hand:  had that story been true, then it would have mostly excused the White House and State (not entirely, of course, given the pre-attack calls for greater security).  I don’t know if it was a lie created out of whole cloth by State and/or White House or if it was something that someone just happened to remember at an opportune moment, but where ever the nonsense came from, Obama and Hillary were pleased to peddle it – for the self-serving reason that it got them off the hook.

Coupled with Obama’s disastrous debate performance, I think that Benghazi is causing a severe meltdown in support for Obama (and perhaps down-ballot Democrats, as well).  Keeping in mind that I always saw this race as “advantage Romney” and that if Romney were to win it would be by a substantial margin, I still view these two events as a catalyst for an Obama collapse – not just Romney winning, but winning very big.  As things stand right now, only about 10 States can be considered locked down by Obama.   As they include California and New York (with a total of 84 electoral votes between them) this keeps Obama definitely in the hunt for 270 – but this is a gigantic shift from as little as two weeks ago.

There is still a lot of time to go.  Two more Presidential debates are on tap.  Obama and his Democrats have a bucket of money to spend.  But the race has clearly shifted – Obama is behind and has to do something to change the dynamic if he wants to win.

UPDATE:  I want to quote from Mark Steyn’s article about Benghazi because it perfectly captures just what a disastrous failure this was:

…the State Department outsourced security for the Benghazi consulate to Blue Mountain, a Welsh firm that hires ex-British and Commonwealth Special Forces, among the toughest hombres on the planet. The company’s very name comes from the poem “The Golden Journey To Samarkand,” whose words famously adorn the regimental headquarters of Britain’s Special Air Service in Hereford. Unfortunately, the one-year contract for consulate security was only $387,413 – or less than the cost of deploying a single U.S. soldier overseas. On that budget, you can’t really afford to fly in a lot of crack SAS killing machines, and have to make do with the neighborhood talent pool. So who’s available? Blue Mountain hired five members of the Benghazi branch of the February 17th Martyrs’ Brigade and equipped them with handcuffs and batons. A baton is very useful when someone is firing an RPG at you, at least if you play a little baseball. There were supposed to be four men heavily armed with handcuffs on duty that night, but, the date of Sept. 11 having no particular significance in the Muslim world, only two guards were actually on shift…

The Immorality of Government Debt

At Wednesday’s debate Mitt Romney said something I never thought I’d hear him say – or, indeed, hear anyone in government say:

LEHRER: … Governor Romney, you — you go first because the president went first on segment one. And the question is this, what are the differences between the two of you as to how you would go about tackling the deficit problem in this country?

ROMNEY: Good. I’m glad you raised that, and it’s a — it’s a critical issue. I think it’s not just an economic issue, I think it’s a moral issue. I think it’s, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation and they’re going to be paying the interest and the principal all their lives.

And the amount of debt we’re adding, at a trillion a year, is simply not moral…

One could almost leap and shout for joy.

It has been growing on my mind – for some time now – that it is not right for any government agency to have debt.  You see, when the government creates debt what it does is deny to future generations the right to make their own decisions.  As a true democrat, I refuse to bow to the tyranny of those who merely happen to be walking around at the time – I pay heed to those who are dead (ie, I revere tradition) as well as have consideration for those who are yet to be born (I won’t, if I can help it, make things more difficult for them by engaging in idiocy today).  Many of those who are walking around right now want all sorts of things which we cannot afford; and even those who want higher taxes still want even more spending than even the higher taxes would cover.  Anyone who wants anything which cannot be paid for out of current accounts is reaching in to the future and acting as a most tyrannical dictator.  People not yet born may want to expend their collective tax dollars on Project X but they won’t be able to because we, before they were born, spent their tax dollars on Project Y.  Is that in any way fair?

You can try to dress it up and say “well, true we’re mortgaging their future but we’re also providing them this wonderful thing”.  But suppose when the future arrives they don’t consider it all that wonderful?  Suppose even if it were wonderful they’d yet rather have something else?  Who are you, current person, to deny them their choice?

The future does not belong to us – the day after you vote to increase the debt on persons yet unborn you may well die.  You’re not there – you can’t convince anyone tomorrow, you can only deal with today.  Today we may have X amount of dollars to spend and it is up to us, by applying our wisdom, to figure out how to spend them and once we run out, that is the end of the matter.  You can try to hike taxes to get a bit more but everyone knows that after a while high tax rates have a diminishing return (even liberals know this – so ultra-liberal Governor Jerry Brown just extended lower tax rates for Hollywood…because he knows that if Hollywood were hit with a higher tax rate, Hollywood would move out of California and so California would get nothing…the pity, though, is that liberals won’t apply this to all spheres of economic activity…guess it helps if you can throw a swank, Beverly Hills party).  But no matter how you slice it, there isn’t an endless supply of money – there is just so much and then there is no more.  And there is the additional fact that no matter what we do there will never be enough money to satisfy all the wants – some will have to be set aside.  To borrow to meet wants is just criminal cruelty – and an undemocratic assault upon future generations.

Right now we are so jammed up with debt that we won’t be able to get out of it for quite a while but it is to be hoped that we are learning our lesson – and Mitt Romney’s statement at the debate shows that he, at least, is far ahead on the learning curve.  Much further ahead than Obama and his Democrats.  We have to balance our budget, pay our debt off and then never borrow another red cent.

Want a social program?  Pay for it out of current accounts.  Want a new road?  Pay for it out of current accounts.  Want to fight a war?  Pay for it out of current accounts.  And if there isn’t enough money for it, then  you’d just better not do it.  Its the only moral thing to do.

The Last 30 Days

I was reading today to gauge reactions to Romney’s smashing debate victory last night and I came across three interesting data points:

1.  The GOP is doing exceptionally well in early voting in Ohio.  This is quite stunning – keep in mind that McCain won Ohio among voters who voted on election day, but got so badly clobbered among early voters that he couldn’t make up the difference.  That the GOP is surging in early voting indicates two things – Democrats are lackluster in their support for Obama and Republicans are very enthusiastic…and that enthusiasm will only rise to a fever pitch after last night.

2.  In a certain suburban Chicago House district that Obama won by 23 points in 2008, recent polling shows Obama only leading by 2 over Romney and Obama is under 50%.

3.  Gasoline in Los Angeles is $4.34 a gallon and de-facto rationing is in effect as refinery outages drastically reduce gasoline supplies on the west coast.

The combination of waning Democrat support, surging GOP enthusiasm and the growing evidence of economic collapse opens up a new prospect for Mitt Romney – not just to win the White House, but to run a truly national campaign where he really presents to the entirety of the American people the stark choice facing our nation.  In my view Mitt Romney – while still pouring it on in the “battleground States” – should start to make time and resources available for the “blue” parts of the country.  A campaign swing through California is in order – and perhaps a bit of time in Illinois and Oregon, as well.

This would not be done with a mind towards actually winning those States – they are likely out of reach unless Romney winds up winning by some miraculous, 1932-like landslide.  But you do it because you want to tell all of the American people that you understand the trouble we’re in.  A trip through California would allow Romney to point out – in the example of California – just where Obama is leading us and what four more years will mean.  Do you want more cities filing for bankruptcy?  Do you want more tax hikes?  Do you want gasoline shortages to come to your part of the country?  Then re-elect Barack Obama – in California Democrats are entirely in control (as they are in rapidly disintegrating Illinois) and this is where they want us to go.  Not that they are wicked, but that they are simply fools to keep following the failed polices of Big Government liberalism and disaster is always at the end of that road.

It would also force Obama to follow Romney – Obama would either have to follow Romney to California (thus taking time and resources from the battlegrounds) or duplicate Romney by going to Texas and South Carolina (thus also taking time and resources away from battlegrounds).  It would take the battle straight to the liberals and force them away from trying to attack Romney in the battlegrounds and back on to a defense of liberalism in the blue States, something no Democrat wants anyone to notice until after November 6th.

This is an election about contrasts – the false promises of liberalism and their disastrous reality contrasted with a message of American renewal.  In that kind of a debate, we win – any time liberals have to defend liberalism, they lose.  They can only possibly win if they make the fight about what a mean, nasty person Romney is in liberal talking points.  Going to California forces Obama and the Democrats to defend liberalism.

And, who knows?, things are so absolutely catastrophic in California that maybe a political miracle will happen?