The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, September 02, 2012


This week, the Democratic Party will have its chance to convince moderate members of their own party and those of us in the Center that their standard bearer, Barack Obama, has had a successful first term. They'll have to convince us that the President has accomplished great things, that our standing in the world is growing stronger by the day, that hope and change have transformed the country into something much better than what it was, and that there's absolutely no reason to be anything but optimistic about the future.

They'll tell us President Obama has been an unequivocal domestic success, but somehow I suspect they'll avoid mentioning an economy teetering on the brink of a second recession, with an anemic GDP, a deficit that has grown more under this president than any other president in history, the first credit downgrade in the history of our nation, a jobs picture that moves into its 43rd straight month of 8.0+ percent unemployment, or the sad reality that 50% of this year's college graduates cannot find meaningful work.

They'll tell us that Barack Obama has a plan, and that we should trust him to execute the plan with the same competence and success he exhibited in his first four years.

Democrats will argue that the President killed Osama bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq. But somehow I suspect that Iraq's slow gravitation toward Iran and the continuing war in Afghanistan (and Obama's significant escalation of the same) will not be mentioned in great detail. I also suspect that our foreign policy failures in Iran, in Syria, and in North Korea will go unmentioned along with the President's complete lack of action to support Iran's green movement a few years back. And yeah, there won't be much discussion of Iran's continuing movement toward nukes and the complete fecklessness of Obama's soft power doctrine.

We may hear about the "Arab Spring" and the President's support for the Facebook and Twitter college kids in Arab countries, but I doubt we'll hear about how those same kids were run over by Islamists within months of the overthrow of their governments. Nor will we get any insight into the growing Islamist influence throughout the Arab crescent.

We will hear that Barack Obama is a great friend and supporter of Israel, despite reports this week (out of the Israeli press) that Obama's ambassador and the Israeli prime minister got into a very undiplomatic shouting match (topic undetermined, but one suspects Iran was mentioned once or twice). Nor will we have a better understanding of Obama's on-mike comment that he'll have "more flexibility" in his second term than his first.

We'll hear speaker after speaker tell us that the GOP wants to use the old tired economic policies of the 20th century, just like the ones that gave us low unemployment, high GDP growth, and relatively low deficits during the Clinton years. We'll hear about a "war on women," and a "war on gay people," even though the "war" has been on-going for 30 years through three GOP presidents and the Right is still losing it -- big. If history is our guide, cultural inertia is rightly on the side of the Left on these issues. The rights that some within the GOP wrongly want to abridge will not be modified, no matter who is president.

And of course, we'll hear about the GOP's lack of compassion for those in need. What we won't hear is what happens when the money runs out, when the programs designed to care for the poor, the elderly, and the infirm become insolvent.

We'll hear that taxing the rich is really, really important. What we won't hear is that even if we confiscated the entire income of the one percent, it wouldn't solve our deficit problems, but it sure would guarantee that high unemployment would remain in place for another four years.

But no worries. "Forward." is the solution -- just like "Hope and Change" were four years ago.

Listen carefully as events unfold in Charlotte*—very, very carefully. Then, decide.

* A few footnotes as the convention begins:

1. It's interesting to note that the national debt will surpass $16 trillion as the Democratic convention begins on Tuesday. Barack Obama has added almost $5 trillion to that total in less than 4 years. Forward.

2. Unemployment in France has surpassed 3 million with 10 percent of its citizens unemployed. This has occurred after Francois Hollande, a big government socialist, was elected last year and promised (and instituted) significant new taxes on the "rich" in an effort to reduce France's severe economic problems. Forward.