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9/21/10

It's Not the Economy, Stupid!

Calvin Coolidge
If I'm wrong about that and it is the economy that's driving the people away from Obamism and Democratic candidates, the battle might be won but the war is surely lost.

A Democratic operative back during the 1992 Presidential campaign of Arkansas Governor Lewinski chided then President G H W Bush with the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!" Of course it was the author of that line who turned out to be stupid, but not because his candidate wasn't successful. The tactic worked (or some other tactic did) and the criminal conspiracy commonly called the Clinton administration was off and running into a successful Lincoln bedroom leasing program.

That's the history, but as is often the case, history repeats. Although not exactly. This time the same operatives are trying to use it to spin away what they are afraid will become a rout in the November elections. They would like you to believe that any losses in their power will have been caused by the continuing slumping economy (caused of course, by others) and not for the actual reasons.

I'm not here to tell you that the bad economic conditions are not a factor, they certainly are. But the "Tea Party" movement and the disillusioned former supporters of the Hopester in Chief didn't gather at the clown hall meetings and huge political rallies because they agreed with everything except the rate of the employment. They have bigger issues, much bigger issues.

When the congress and the President conspire to ignore the American electorate as they did when they jammed a two thousand page re-make of US society down their throats against the wills of over sixty percent of the people, they broke the number one rule that almost everyone in this country (even liberals) holds sacred. That rule is that they are supposed to represent us, not dictate to us. That includes the dim witted supporters of government controlled health care. They instinctively know that government didn't operate as it normally does. In the privacy of their hearts, they are scared of this kind of unchecked power.

When millions of people, including Democrats, saw that even though they worked hard and saved and didn't spend over their heads, it was their hard earned money that was being used to bail out those who paid for huge houses and sexy cars and electronic gadgets and HDTVs with credit they never should have been given, they joined tea party gatherings and carried home made signs. They told the pollsters that they were not voting for those who promised fairness but delivered unfair demands on them.

They know it's one thing to feel compassion for the less fortunate, but quite another to pony up for irresponsible spendthrifts and incompetent big business owners. Bailing out gutless auto makers who pay greedy organized workers way more than any but a few of them could ever dream of making, to make cars no one could afford unless they used five year financing or started leasing the cars instead of owning them, was not in their vision of hopeful change. Bailing out crazy investors and big banks who all owned the same "insured" mortgage backed "securities" without considering what would happen if they all had to head for the exits at the same time, was not what they signed up for when they decided it was time to show "compassionate conservatives" the door.

There are other things, like the division of America into mutually resentful groups of people who have been divided even further than before by an administration who demonizes its opponents despite promising to unite them. It's the political payoffs and back room deals that they promised to end and instead turned into an art form. It's these and more, important things, even if they resonate at different levels for different people, that have people gathering their metaphorical pitchforks for the mobbing of the polling places in November.

The most underrated President in the short history of this republic, indeed one of the most ridiculed, was Calvin Coolidge. It was American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935) who observed, "Coolidge is the first president to discover that what the American people want is to be left alone." I share that opinion with Coolidge. And I think that's what is driving people to re-assess their view of the legitimate role of government since this whole thing went south.

 So, it's not just "the economy, stupid." Because if it is, then there has been no fundamental change in American values and no great awakening of a slumbering populace. After all, Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the anointed elite promised us a fundamentally different country if they took office. The question is; will the people buy into the notion that all is on the right track except the economy, or will this election be the first big battle of the second American Revolution? We won't have to wait much longer to find out.

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