Yesterday, John Brennan was confirmed by the Senate to become the director of the CIA. This whole brouhaha over John Brennan, national security, drone attacks, Benghazi and the like should seem very familiar to you. This is almost exactly what we went through just a couple weeks ago with Chuck Hagel. Republicans were mad. They were furious. They demanded answers from the Obama administration. They were gonna block this nominee at all costs. Yet, in the end, nothing changed. Best I can tell, the White House did not fork over any mysterious, all-telling documents. There were no significant policy changes. Nothing. Both John Brennan and Chuck Hagel were confirmed. What we did see was the internal struggle within the Republican Party. They simply don’t know who they are. (more…)
The president has won reelection. Barack Obama, against amazing odds, has been reelected as president of the United States. Let’s think about this just for a second. Barack Obama had to stand up against the most withering criticism; not just during this election cycle, but over the last four years. Fox News was constant and consistent. Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision which allowed unlimited money to be spent by mysterious shadow billionaires, allowed hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent in negative ads against the president. Additional stimulus packages, which would’ve added up to millions of jobs for Americans, died in the Republican-held House. So, instead of the economy, which with additional stimulus would have come slowly but surely roaring back is limping along, gaining steam month after month.
I’m sorry to say that many Republicans were completely duped. Over the last couple weeks I had many Republicans telling me not only that they were optimistic and supremely confident but they KNEW that Mitt Romney was going to win. They were listening to the lies of Fox News:
Dick Morris: “This is going to be a landslide.” The former Clinton adviser predicted a dominant Romney win, calling it “the biggest surprise in recent American political history.” Claiming that polls were oversampling Democrats, Morris wondered if “it will rekindle the whole question on why the media played this race as a nailbiter.”
Karl Rove: “At least 279 electoral votes.” “It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling data to early voting, they favor Mitt Romney,” Rove wrote in a WSJ op-ed, ignoring the fact that most polls showed growing momentum for the president. He predicted that Romney would win 51 percent of the popular vote and “at least 279 electoral votes.”
Peggy Noonan: “There is no denying the Republicans have the passion now.” Noonan is one of the most respected political columnists in the country, despite her penchant for deciding things based on her gut rather than actual data. But her Romney prediction wasn’t exactly well thought out, even by her own standard. According to Noonan, “all the vibrations [were] right” for a Romney win because “something old was roaring back.” While this might be the right way to open an H.P. Lovecraft novel, it probably isn’t the best way to think about presidential elections.
Newt Gingrich: “A Romney landslide.” The former House Speaker predicted that Romney would take 53 percent of the popular vote and at least 300 electoral college votes. “My personal guess is you’ll see a Romney landslide, 53 percent-plus . . . in the popular vote, 300 electoral votes-plus,” Gingrich said. He also predicted that Republicans “may come very close to capturing control of the Senate.” He apologized for the faulty call the morning after the election.
Obama’s Victory Speech
A couple weeks ago I hosted local edge radio and I spent the whole segment talking about the fact that our government needs to focus on jobs like a laser. Our problem is not our debt. Deficit spending is not what is on the minds of the average American. The average American is wondering how to make ends meet. The average American is either out of work or knows somebody who’s out of work. This is what we need to fix. In my opinion, there’s nothing more important than fixing our job situation. There’s plenty of blame to go around. Whether you want to blame the Obama administration for not asking for a large enough stimulus in order to really fix the jobs problem or you’d like to blame House and Senate Republicans for blocking every jobs bill since the stimulus – the bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter whose fault it is. The problem is that neither party is 100% focused on jobs.
The job situation is improving, but we have to do better. Economists calculate that at our current rate we will not achieve full employment (unemployment rate below 5%) for another five – seven years. Most Americans should not have to suffer for five to seven years because we don’t have the political will to do what’s necessary. We need to fix this problem.