(I just noticed a second comment from John, a reader whose first comment to my previous post, spawned what follows. This post would be different had I read his second comment, but I’m letting it stand as nothing is perfect and I don’t have time to rework this now.)
If you looked at Comments to my last post, a not-to-obvious button to click, mixed in with other stuff at the bottom of each post, you will have read a lengthy response, mostly critical of what I said, from reader John. He accuses me of just reiterating Democratic talking points. Here is what I think I was doing.
Examples of my parroting ways, I suppose, is that I talk of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as being “artful dodgers” and Rush Limbaugh being a demagogue. Well, I later regretted calling Romney an artful dodger. He is more of an artless dodger, continuously tripping over his own feet.
John makes it seem like I am making a big deal out of his not showing more tax forms. Actually Romney has made a big deal out of it (by making a big target for the Dems) because of his refusal to release them. Obviously, there is something embarrassing there, but leaving it to the imagination likely makes it worse. I’m just commenting on the election game here, like a commentator at a tennis match. Holding tight to those records is one more misstep in terms of his campaign. Realizing this, some prominent Republicans have suggested he release the returns.
Picking Ryan has shifted attention to our bigger problems of debt and deficit, but also to MEDICARE, which is a battle ground the Dems welcome. And, as I said, I don’t think Romney’s tendency to stick with generalities (his form of dodging) will fit well with Ryan’s detailed record which the Dems are pouncing on like a cat with trapped mice. There’s Ryan’s former tax plan, his revised section on Medicare and now the Romney Medicare plan making for a messy message.
By the way, I didn’t say Ryan was an artful dodger but likely to become one since he is now a Romney man. But again, I should have said “artless,” as they make clumsy dance partners. At least so far. Of course with practice, they might get better, but the dance I think they want is to the tune of the sputtering economy not the Medicare waltz that they now find themselves forced to do.
Actually the artful dodger is Barack Obama, dodging much of the crap that the right have been tossing at him for years now. Despite it all and the lousy economy, poll after poll suggests more Americans like him than Mitt Romney. Now that is an artful dodger, which is not a Democratic talking point but simply my observation.
John points to two of those dubious Obama accusations: 1) “Obama’s school records are on lock-down at Columbia”…. and… “Michelle’s no-show $350K job”. I admit not knowing about the latter – though I’d want to see proof from a centrist source to believe it. On the second point, factcheck.org has done the work for me, analysing that assertion and judging it false (look to the upper right on the factcheck page). And, John, if you haven’t visited this site, you should actually like some of it, since there are various pieces that find the Obama team’s adherence to truth lacking as well. Actually, if you scroll down a ways there is an article in the center column bemoaning “Whoppers of 2012,” ascribed to both camps.
By the way, John, I don’t think Obama has done a great job as President, but I never get around to discussing that because the attacks from the right are so often bogus I get bogged down with them.
I do think he took over an extraordinarily difficult situation, not like other recessions since WWII in that this one had been building for the last 30 years, as we have been losing jobs overseas and to technological advances, while covering it all up with cheap money from the Fed which aided both a tech boom and bust and a housing boom and bust that we are still trying to recover from. A sunken housing market along with an economy that doesn’t produce jobs like it used to are the key economic obstacles, and that is not Obama’s fault. That’s the Titanic he became captain of.
One criticism of Obama I have is that he did not put more effort into dealing with our sunken housing situation, but I give him slack because there have been so many other things to deal with, both foreign and domestic including an intransigent Republican party, which has done it’s best to make him a “one term president.” I think a good case for that is made in It’s Even Worse than it Looks, a book by a couple of centrists that places the lion’s share of blame on the Elephants in the room.
For me it boils down to the fact we’re still afloat, things could be much worse and I think Obama can do better. I’d like to give him another chance, especially as I have no idea what Romney would do or even try to do in his shoes, domestic or foreign. And, given likely more congressional gridlock in either case….. ???????????
But I do digress. John also faults my calling Rush Limbaugh a “demagogue” as contrary to my professed spirit of working together. All along in talking about developing a “radical center” I have always assumed it would not include Rush or numerous other far right types, like Ann Coulter, a demagoguette. Just to be clear, a demagogue is ” an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.” That’s exactly what Rushbo and Ann do. Neither has a respect for truth or fairness. Their business has been to play to fear and resentment, and business has been good. However, as I indicated in a previous post, I believe the liberal media have made Rushbo what he is by turning his nonsense into so-called news.
Despite my dismissing much that John wrote, I do think he has some valid points in terms of small business growth. But given all of our fiscal problems, especially in upcoming months, it seems like a swimmer trying to avoid a jelly fish unaware there is a shark circling.
There is something called the Fiscal Cliff around the turn of the year and the fear businesses big and small have of that uncertainty (the shark as opposed to the jellyfish) make the issues of small businesses small in comparison over these next few months. I wonder whether the fear might actually prompt an economic down turn sufficient to nudge some voters away from Obama by election day…..
That’s just a whimsical thought but if it makes your day, John, I don’t mind.