Politics & Media

The Audacity of Defeat

What if the impossible happens and Obama loses the election? Among Democrats, expect a rash of rage, depression, angst and finger-pointing at the media.

It’s three a.m. on Oct. 31 and a frantic broker awakens you. He’s advising making substantial investments that day in the stocks of Lilly, Pfizer and other manufacturers of anti-depressants, as well as high-end booze, say Grey Goose vodka and Hillary Clinton’s whiskey of choice, Chivas Regal. The calculations buzzing through your head are not insignificant. Barack Obama holds a two-point lead over John McCain in the Gallup poll for the Nov. 4 presidential election, and that slender margin suggests—given the undeniable factor of racism when Americans retreat to the privacy of the ballot booth—that for the third straight time a Democratic candidate will be defeated. Your own preference in the contest is irrelevant: there’s money lying on the table and only a fool would ignore the market’s indications.

A month ago, as any honest Democrat will tell you, this scenario was nearly inconceivable. The Republicans had nominated an elderly and inarticulate candidate in McCain, who was marred not only by his association with George Bush, but distrusted by the critical conservative base as well. He was expected to choose an equally dull running mate—maybe Gov. Tim Pawlenty (who?), the robotic Mitt Romney, or even Sen. Joe Lieberman, the onetime Democrat who’s distrusted by both parties—and though Obama had tapped longtime Sen. Joe Biden, whose bouts with sometimes indelicate verbosity were well-known, that was of little concern. Obama’s campaign was a fund-raising juggernaut and the candidate promised to campaign in nearly every state, especially “red” ones, not only demonstrate to he’d be a president of “all the people” but also help Congressional Democrats expand their majorities. It was payback time for the “stolen” elections of 2000 and 2004 and the revenge promised to be rich indeed.

I was reasonably certain that Obama would win convincingly, and perhaps by a landslide. In fact, although favoring McCain, I’d resigned myself to at least four years of the charismatic Illinois one-term senator, despite the nervousness that he’d turn out to be a less pious Jimmy Carter or, a latter-day Adlai Stevenson. What the hell, it’s not as if the Republicans have distinguished themselves in the past four years, McCain included. Besides, one benefit of a turnover at the White House would be the resumption of political conversation with Democratic friends; too many personal and professional relationships have been fractured in the past eight years.

There’s no need here to elaborate on the galvanizing effect Sarah Palin has had on the election—and whether or not her “everywoman” appeal stands up to intense scrutiny remains to be seen—for that’s evident in daily polling and the blizzard of media attention that’s flummoxed Obama and his supporters. (Although it’s worth pointing out that on Sept. 3, before Palin’s ascension to Wal-Mart heroine, liberal historian Garry Wills suggested in a New York Times op-ed that Palin, for her own sake, “withdraw her nomination” to “minimize her “own humiliation.” I wonder if Wills might want to take back that snap judgment.)

In mid-September the GOP resurrection is a simple reality, and though I dislike the cliché “a month in politics is a lifetime,” no one has any idea of how Americans will vote on Election Day. But the fear expressed by a “major Democratic fundraiser” in Politico last week—“I’m so depressed. It’s happening again. It’s a nightmare.”—isn’t isolated and won’t subside unless Obama, to quote a Matt Drudge headline, “gets his groove back.”

I have no clue if or when that could happen, but I do have an opinion of what will follow in this country if McCain pulls off what so recently seemed the miraculous feat of becoming the country’s 44th president. Voter fraud, conspiracy, “sleazevertisements” (the preferred term of many left-wing bloggers), disenfranchised voters, the return of redneck chic; those will be the immediate cries of Democrats who thought the election was in the bag. Once again, scores of celebrities will claim they’re moving abroad (and inevitably won’t). And then the depression will kick in hard.

New York
magazine columnist Kurt Andersen, one of the few Beltway-Boston pundits who bashed Hillary Clinton a year ago, when her nomination appeared inevitable, was unstinting in his speculation of the fallout should Obama lose. He emailed me: “Even without post-November 4th rumors of rigged voting machines and the like, an Obama loss will be a deeply, traumatically depressing event for Democrats and other Obama enthusiasts. (Whereas if McCain loses, who will be seriously bummed outside of the McCain household?) There will be so many facets of potential unhappiness. That an eloquent, inspiring, intelligent, subtle black candidate lost—and if it’s close, it’ll be true that racism beat him… That the rest of the world will be reaffirmed in their belief that America is the land of nincompoops (or worse). That a war with Iran looks a lot likelier… That Sarah Palin won it for the Republicans, and gives a bad name to feminism and (terrifyingly) has a one-in-six (Russian roulette!) chance of becoming president before 2013.”

Tom Bevan, co-founder of Real Clear Politics, was succinct: “Two words: Hari Kari. The base of the [Democratic] party is so vested in its nominee…that to lose in November would be one of the most demoralizing in the modern era.”

Today, John Kerry is mostly a pariah in Democratic circles, seen as an effete and cautious campaigner who couldn’t even beat the laughable George Bush. Yet people, and the media, forget how shocked his supporters were four Novembers ago, so certain that Bush’s Supreme Court “selection” in 2000 would be overturned.

An article in The New York Times shortly after the election described the utter devastation felt by New York City residents, who gave Kerry 75 percent of their votes. Dr. Joseph Zito, a retired psychiatrist, told the reporter, “I’m saddened by what I feel is the obtuseness and shortsightedness of a good part of the country—the heartland… New Yorkers are more sophisticated and at a level of consciousness where we realized we have to think of globalization, of one mankind, that what’s going to injure masses of people is not good for us.” A friend of Zito’s, a native of Wisconsin, added, “New Yorkers are savvy. We have street smarts. Whereas people in the Midwest are more influenced by what their friends say.”

But who says New Yorkers are elitists?

A Beverly Hills psychologist, Cathy Quinn, told a Los Angeles Times reporter—also days after the Kerry defeat—that she’d seen an increase in the number of patients, who were suffering from “despair.” Quinn predicted to the Times’ Melissa Healy that the “postelection” blues would worsen the emotional health of people already plagued by feelings of loss, anxiety and depression.

It’ll be far more acrimonious this time around if the GOP wins. Already mainstream commentators (on the liberal side) are preparing for the bitterness and reprisals with premature eulogies of Obama’s campaign. On Sept. 14, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius said, by choosing Palin, McCain had sold his soul to the devil to win the election. Richard Cohen, a colleague of Ignatius at the Post, implied that Obama was “too cool” to fight back against Palin’s “jibes, her sarcasm, her smug provincialism, her exploitation of mommyhood” and so on. The Times’ Paul Krugman, incredibly, wrote on Sept. 12 that McCain’s “lies” were worse than those of Karl Rove and Bush. “The Bush campaign’s lies in 2000 were artful—you needed some grasp of arithmetic to realize you were being conned.” Yet, according to Krugman, McCain’s campaign is so dishonest that should he and Palin win the White House, their administration would be “much, much worse” than Bush’s.

And Frank Rich, with whom I agreed a month ago that nervousness among Democrats about Obama’s static polls was silly, has also reversed himself. He wrote, on Sept. 14, “A week ago the question was: Is Sarah Palin qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? The question today: What kind of president would Sarah Palin be?”

Those who favor McCain are also predicting at least a verbal war if Obama loses. Dan Henninger, deputy editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal, told me: “If McCain-Palin wins, and especially if they carry Ohio and Pennsylvania, the Democratic party is going to look like Godfather II—with Bill and Hillary Clinton jointly playing Michael Corleone. The blogospheric left will go to the mattresses, against everyone—the Clintons, the ‘Right,’ and the media.”

Finally, Tucker Carlson, the witty veteran of cable television shows, who’s been mercilessly and unfairly maligned by left-wingers, expressed an opinion that’s close to my own. “Even those who supported Hillary in the primaries will scold the rest of us for voting against a black man. They’ll be shrill and self-righteous, more even than usual, and they’ll never stop. It’s almost enough to make you want to vote for Obama, just so we won’t have to hear them.”

Tucker’s a card, but you can’t argue that a McCain win, for liberals, will be the political equivalent of Black Friday back in 1929.

DISCUSSION
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 06:02AM
    Not so much the impossible anymore-thank God. An Obama Presidency and subsequent tax plan would drive small business to the matt, stifling job creation and tipping an already fragile economy. Thanks Sarah!
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 06:18AM
    I just don't know what to think. Will Obama raise taxes, or won't he? It seems like McCain is a safer choice, but do I really want the same old (and I do mean old) white man representing me to the rest of the world. Obama has a nice smile, but other than that, what is he all about? And don't say change.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 07:08AM
    It IS impossible to contemplate an Obama defeat! And, by the way, an Obama presidency will simply not be THAT radically different or THAT detrimental to the business community. After all, he's beholden to business interests too.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 08:36AM
    Sure, Sarah Palin has galvinized the conservative base, this was a party desperate to have anything to celebrate. Furthermore, the press was trying every way possible to trump this up as a race. But, here are a few facts often overlooked. First, the race is just not that close. Sure, every media outlet is going on and on about the gallup poll and simular popular vote polls. Has everyone forgotten about 2000? Popular vote has nothing to do with the election result. Second, if McCain is not ahead on an electoral college basis now, which no major outlet has him ahead on this basis, he has problems. Unless Obama is caught in a morally dubious situation e.g. affair or Bush announces a "military action" in the last week of October, Obama will win. The McCain camp has been disasterously behind the times in terms of internet campaigning. Contrary to popular belief, Obama, has been playing Palin wisely. Let the republicans have enough rope to hang themselves. There is plenty of time for the media to turn as it is already starting to do. Mind you, if the republicans were wise, they would Eagleton the ticket and keep the change mantel going with candidates that were not senile or stupid. However, that is probably too much to "hope" for.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 10:10AM
    Sure, Russ, if Obama loses, the Democrats' first reaction will be anger- that's human nature- but a more honest response would be disappointment. This is Obama's election to lose.However, the focal issue of the Nov 4 election is long past a repdiation of Bush and an implicit invalidation of his two terms. Rather, now the country is rather divided on the main question of how left an Obama Administration might be. The Sarah Palin Effect merely highlights this fact. Voters want to know where McCain and Obama respectively place the composite fulcrum on the various cultural issues and the most critical issues of the economy and foreign affairs. While few voters are genuinely excited about McCain they know he represents positions grounded somewhere right-of-center. If Obama conveys that he'll aim for positions more liberal than left-of-center he'll scare enough people to lose a close election. The Bush repudiation has more to do with incompetence and bumblings rather than philosophy per se.By at least "faking" a left/center position Obama will still retain the true lefties. The Sarah Palin Effect should warn Obama that he needs a lot more than the original "It's the Democrats' turn" headstart. He better stick somewhere near the middle overall during Sept. and Oct. or the Democrats will blow yet another election.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 12:22PM
    I'll vote, but for who I don't know yet. I'm purposely not paying attention until the debates. I can't stand Palin, think Biden's a phony, Obama has disappointed me by replying to attacks and McCain's too old. But I'll vote, like I have since I was 18.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 01:23PM
    If Obama should happen to win-the first thing the GOP must do is investigate ACORN! A history of voter registration "creativity" does not bode well for every voter having a voice. ACORN – voter fraud registration revealed in Michigan http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008809140383 This isn't a new theme with this radical group and they have ties with Obama going back over a decade. If we can't depend on the MSM- we'll light up the blog-o-sphere and send personal emails to make sure it gets the proper coverage. MSM will not dictate my vote.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 01:32PM
    What is going to happen if Obama loses is the biggest Brain Drain this country has ever seen. I already know many colleagues and associates who have relocated to Europe where there's less prejudice against intellectuals and a more realistic societal model. It won't be the fault of the left when it happens. The know-nothing US electorate will have had two chances to make the correct decision and throw the neocon bums out. Those of us who knew better all along, who saw 9-11 not as an excuse for war but as an opportunity to show America's greatness by rising above it, who protested against the Iraq invasion while most of the country was still in the throes of Bush-worshipping wishful thinking, will only be victimized by the rest of you gullible fools for so long. This is your last chance to get it right - or you WILL be on your own.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 01:54PM
    I believe that both the Presidential election and the Democrat's disappointment when Obama is defeated rests on the amount of disclosure about Obama to the American people. So far, he has been insulated from discussing his father's real life. He was married to a Kenyan woman with 2 children before he married Barack's mother with no divorce. He went back to this woman 2 years later and had 2 more sons. He had 2 sons by another White woman and l more son by an unidentified Kenyan. All of these siblings are Muslims and not US citizens living abroad. We know about all of the other candidates families. The corruption trial of Tony Rezko needs to be front row center so we can see Obama's connection to the political corruption that he has pledged to remove from Wash DC. If the public knew the truth about Obama, they would be angry about the deception not the election lost because of it.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 01:57PM
    Martimr 1: Do us a favor and leave now. Why wait? ... and why didn't you and your friends leave in 2000 and 2004 like you promised? This is typical thinking from the elite left. They believe they are the smartest people in the world and we should all listen to them. It would be nice if they all collected in one place to run their lives with few boundaries and allow the rest of us the opportunity to right the ship in this ocean of government entitlements that has resulted in a culture of dependency. And while you are at it, Martimr, take most of the lawyers with you, too. Thx
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 01:58PM
    Obama has more problems than just Sarah Palin. Obama WILL lose because support for him is soft. Here's why: Obama gamed the primary/caucus system and his campaign committed out & out FRAUD in the caucuses. His campaign thugs bussed in out-of-staters, intimidated and bullied Clinton supporters and filed fraudulent reports. He cheated Hillary out of enough votes to have made a difference in the overall delegate count. There is now a complete report on ALL of this despicable behavior & videos of interviews with caucus workers. The most poignant is a black woman in video #3, who describes 2 black men preventing anyone but Obama supporters (including several elderly black women) from passing them on their way to the caucus. She is terribly sad about this, remembering how black folks suffered the same way in past elections. Everyone should be aware of this. Please view the 4 videos & read the report: http://wewillnotbesilenced2008.com/ http://www.lynettelong.com/ The delegates Obama got in the caucuses do not represent as many voters as the ones Hillary got in the primary wins. So that's why his support out there is soft. The end NEVER justifies the means, when the means are dishonest. Black people have worked long and hard to have fair elections, and Obama has broken this trust. Rumor has it that the Obama crew is planning some surreptitious fraud for the GE, too. They are scrambling to register any college student they can, arming them with a absentee ballot application, and out of the side of their mouths, telling them that no one can cross check if they register in their college state & vote there, too. Politics, Chicago style. Just imagine what kind of President he'd be. We'd wish we had Bush back!
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 02:03PM
    If Obama loses there will be riots and looting, most likely in Detroit, Chicago and LA. The black community has put a very large emotional investment into "one of theirs" being the next President with a solidarity of preference for the Democrats like I've never seen and the letdown will be hard. The best thing that could happen, if Obama is to lose, is for it to be clear early on. The later it goes, and the more on edge people get, the more aggrieved his supporters will feel if he loses and a repeat of the Rodney King riots is highly probable, especially if there is any question whatsoever of irregularities like '00 and '04.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 02:07PM
    To quote John McEnroe... YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. We should seriously consider mass liberal depression as a factor in our choice for president? We should believe on the one hand that people who live in NYC know what's best for the country, because they're so sophisticated, and purely because they live in NYC? This reminds me of the Douglas Adams quip about the "fact" that the brain is the most important organ in the body... well yeah, look who's telling us that. Remember too that everybody who lives in Manhattan... IS FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE. Finally, we're supposed to vote for the candidate favored by people who are so mentally unstable that they'll fall apart if they lose three presidential elections in a row? Funny.. where is the hand-wringing about the damage done to the country by four consecutive Republican defeats by FDR? Oh that's right... WE SURVIVED. Most of the time, I'm hoping for a solid McCain victory, so I won't be anxious for the next seven weeks, but whenever I read something like this, all I want is for the election to be so close that it can't be legitimately challenged in the courts, but close enough that liberal heads will explode with conspiracy theories about election-stealing, racism, and a complicit (hah!) media. Bring on 50.5% - 49.5%!
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 02:31PM
    I really can't imagine what will happen if Obama loses in November. I know I'm be way more depressed than when Kerry lost, and certainly very frightened for our future with that idiot second in line. I should probably go make a donation to Obama..
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 02:35PM
    Can 2.5 Million People Be Wrong? Joel S. Hirschhorn In setting a money-raising monthly record for August of $66 million the Obama campaign reached a total of 2.5 million campaign donors. Of course, this sounds astounding and, to Obama supporters incredibly terrific. I read this the same day that I read a most informative article in Rolling Stone: Candidates for Sale by Matt Taibbi, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/22210615/candidates_for_sale. The point was simple: both Obama and McCain have sold out to corporate interests, leading Taibbi to say: The truth is that the campaigns of both Barack Obama and John McCain are being inundated with cash from more or less exactly the same gorgons of the corporate scene. From Wall Street to the Big Oil powerhouses to the military-industrial complex, America's fat-cat business leaders know that the Animal House-style party of the last eight years that made almost all of them rich with bonuses, government contracts and bubble profits is about to come to an end, and someone is going to have to pay to clean up the mess. They want that someone to be you, not them, and they've spared no expense to make sure both presidential candidates will be there to bail them out next year. They're succeeding. Both would-be presidents have already sold us out. They've taken the money and run — completing the cyclical transformation of the American political narrative from one of monopolistic Republican iniquity to an even more depressing tale about the overweening power of corporate money and the essentially fictitious nature of our two-party system. He goes to note that: “Overall, Obama is flat-out kicking McCain's ass when it comes to Wall Street contributions, raking in nearly $9 million from securities and investment executives, compared to $6.2 million for McCain. Why would corporate giants like these throw so much weight behind a man who promises to strip them of billions in tax breaks? Sadly, the answer to that question increasingly appears to be that Obama is, well, full of shit.” A number of specific examples are given to show exactly how Obama has sold out the public so that he could protect corporate interests. All of which leads me to ask can 2.5 million Obama donors be wrong? You bet. I see a whole lot of delusion based on desperation for hope and change. All kinds of liberals, Democrats, progressives and independents will slide willingly right down the delusion-tube thinking that they have discovered the Truth in Obama. I say: never have so many deluded themselves about so much so quickly based on nothing more than a whole lot of slick, smiling rhetoric. Making all this so easy is that McCain hardly looks honest, smart or competent. Here comes lesser-evil voting to the rescue, not of American democracy, just individuals too reluctant to understand that electing Obama will just maintain the two-party plutocracy status quo that the corporate power elites so benefit from.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 02:40PM
    Pillowtalk, to answer your question, he WILL raise taxes. And does anyone really know what he means by change, Hilter brought change, Lenin brought change, General Mao brought change. Not to compare him to those three, but I just wonder what he really means by change. All he's really going to do is change our wallets.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 02:42PM
    Now, souleater, that's a little harsh, I don't like the guy, but you shouldn't compare him to Hitler. I agree that his tax system is going to be awful, it'll, as jimmymac said, drive me to the matt.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 02:42PM
    The real shocker is the Obama campaign's not-at-all-mock surprise over the hard and dirty fight they have ahead of them. As if the last two presidential elections didn't register with them. As if they could ride the wave of goodwill from their primary victory straight through the inauguration. As if McCain would go easier on Obama than Clinton did. As if they expected only to be critiqued on what Obama did or what he failed to do rather than on issues that are either patently untrue or astoundingly nonsensical. In the words of that other candidate, it's morning in America. And hopefully Mr. Obama can wake up.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 02:53PM
    Will Obama be the next president of USA? By: Shree Shrestha Edeja1@sbcglobal.net Obama wins if he wins every states Kerry won in 2004 plus Ohio. As of now he has a chance to win Iowa (with 7 electoral votes) which Kerry lost. That will give Obama the total of 259 electoral votes. He needs 270 electoral votes to win. Obama wins if he wins every states Al Gore won in 2000 plus New Hampshire (with 4 electoral votes). As you know Al Gore lost because he did not win his home state Tennessee (with 11 electoral votes). As of now Obama is winning in New Hampshire. Then there is Palin Factor: 1. Pennsylvania (with 23 electoral votes): Democrats must win state. Kerry and Al Gore both won this state. As of now most men and most white women are warming towards McCain. 2. Washington State (with 11 electoral votes) and Oregon (with 7 electoral votes): Democrats must win both of these states. Both of these states are in the play since Palin came on board. 3. Wisconsin (with 11 electoral votes): Al Gore won by 5,000 votes in 2000 and Kerry won by 10,000 votes in 2004. All the poles show Obama is winning the state but this state is really the wild card. It depends on how many feminists, gays and lesbians and radical college kids actually go to voting booth. The people who live in suburb overwhelmingly will vote for McCain. Here is Obama's problem: He ran successfully (with the help of liberal media and democratic super delegates) against Hillary. As soon as he received the nomination he ran against Bush, who is not in the ballot this year. Right now he is running against Palin, who is actually McCain's number 2. Obama is tired. He should go home and take a good rest and come back and run campaign against McCain. Here is my take: 1. McCain will win with the help of independent voters and with the help of 25% of Hillary supporters. 2. McCain will win again in 2012. 3. Palin will make the history by being the first woman president in 2016 and in 2020. 4. I wanted Hillary to become the first woman president. But history took a sharp turn. What about Hillary: 1. She could run for governor of New York State. But she will be running against another legally blind black man in the primary. Not a good choice. 2. She should campaign for democratic senators instead of for Obama and try to win the leadership of the senate where she can control the agenda. 3. Presidency: that was a dream and remains only dream for her. Here is the scary part: McCain must win Colorado (with 8 electoral votes). This is the republican state. Yes, Bill Clinton won the state in 1992 and lost in 1996. Right now Obama is winning the state. I think Palin should go there and shoot all the liberals.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 03:02PM
    "That an eloquent, inspiring, intelligent, subtle black candidate lost—and if it’s close, it’ll be true that racism beat him… " ... Wait just a minute -- wasn't John Kerry touted as the eloquent, intelligent, subtle (oops, I mean "nuanced") alternative to GWB? And his loss was quite close. Is this fellow Kurt Anderson admitting that Obama is essentially a black John Kerry? Except when Kerry loses by a close margin, flyover America is just stupid. When Obama loses by a close margin, it's worse -- flyover America is racist! Well, and stupid, too, I suppose. What a great open-minded approach to an election -- if you don't vote for my guy you're stupid and racist. What has the Democratic party come to these days.
    Responses to this comment
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 04:19PM
    If you've been paying close attention to this election as I have there would be no doubt that the Obama/Biden ticket is the best choice for the Country. We all have our personal choices, but at this moment in time when the stock market has fallen over 500 points in one day we can't afford to make the wrong choice in this election. Not this year. SOME HAVE ASKED ABOUT HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO TO VOTE FOR? Let me help you decide. 1) Let's look at Iraq: Sen. Obama was is the Illinois Senate, voiced his disapproval but did not have a vote that mattered in the US Senate. Sen. Obama has said he would end the Iraq war when he's elected. Mccain voted for the Iraq war. The Iraq war has proven to be a total failure in terms of increased security for the U.S. The "surge" strategy decreased violence but our soldiers are still dying there and we are spending $10/mo there. Mccain says he will keep our soldiers in Iraq to to finish the war. He has said the "US must have victory there." Recently, Pres. Bush has moved to reduce troop levels and has now taken the position that Sen. Obama has been advocating. Also, the Iraqi government has also voiced support for Sen. Obama. ISSUE ADV: Obama 2)On the ECONOMY: Sen. Mccain has stated that he knows more about foreign policy than he knows about the economy. Recently, ex-Fed. Chairman Alan Greenspan stated that the U.S. economy can NOT sustain the TAX-CUTS Sen. Mccain wants to make. Sen. Mccain consistently says that the "fundamentals" of our economy is strong while the unemployment rate is 6.1%, The national deficit is $352Billion dollars. The national debt is nearly $10 trillion dollars. Mccain hasn't shown any understanding of what's happening with our economy. Sen. Mccain has offered a $5000 tax-incentive for employees to purchase health care. Otherwise, employee health care will be taxed by that amount. But it is important to note that the average health care insurance policy will cost at least $12K. On the other hand, Sen. Obama wants to give each person a $500 mortgage credit, a %500 income tax credit, and incentivize secondary education to promote more voluntee service by young people. Sen. Obama will give seniors tax relief by not taxing their income up to $50K. And there are many othera advantages to Sen. Obama's economic policy. 3) The republican party has been in control of the Presidency for the last 8 years. Even though the Dems gained control in 2006 of Congress, they still need a Presidents signature to pass legislation or 60 votes in the Senate to override a veto. My suggestion: visit the Obama/Biden08 website and the Mccain/Palin website and read over their policy statements.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 04:27PM
    Martimr1 said: "What is going to happen if Obama loses is the biggest Brain Drain this country has ever seen. I already know many colleagues and associates who have relocated to Europe where there's less prejudice against intellectuals and a more realistic societal model. It won't be the fault of the left when it happens. The know-nothing US electorate will have had two chances to make the correct decision and throw the neocon bums out. Those of us who knew better all along, who saw 9-11 not as an excuse for war but as an opportunity to show America's greatness by rising above it, who protested against the Iraq invasion while most of the country was still in the throes of Bush-worshipping wishful thinking, will only be victimized by the rest of you gullible fools for so long. This is your last chance to get it right - or you WILL be on your own." Is that a promise? I sure hope so. And they say Progressives are elitist!!!
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 04:32PM
    The greater tragedy will be when Obama is disqualified and removed from the ballot in October, just before the election (possibly replaced by Hillary and Biden). See Berg v. Obama et al., filed in Federal District Court in the Eastern District of PA on the friday before the Democratic convention. All the information in that lawsuit is well known on the internet, but the Mainstream Media have adopted a "Three Monkeys" see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil approach to Obama. The Mainstream Media have betrayed the Democratic Party by their unthinking bias.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 04:49PM
    Any pre-mortem of a possible/probable Obama loss will have plenty of blame to go around, beginning with the fundamentals of Barack's primary win: (a) His winning margin was provided by victories and related super-delegates in Red States Democrats had no chance of winning in the Presidential election; (b) The only traditional constituency He won was African-Americans. While He won groups (wealthy, highly-educated, young) within larger traditional constituencies, He lost Whites, Women, Older, etc. He even loses Independents to McCain in the General Election; (c)He maxed out His constituency in the Primaries. Anyone who could and would vote for Him, did so. So, He had no real way to get from the 18 Million votes in the Primary to the 60+ Million votes needed for the general election (even if He got all of Hillary's 18 Million); (d) Speaking of Hillary, He was too weak as a candidate and lacked sufficient confidence as a supposed Leader to pick Her as His VP, opening the door for Gov Palin; (e) While Democrats have had a 12 Million edge over Republicans in national party registrations for the last 10 Presidential elections, they've only won 3, all soutern Governors. They keep nominating Liberal, Leftists, Eastern Elitists/Intellectuals who can not identify with the controlling voter-moral-class-idealogue center of the Country which continues to veer wetword and south. (f) The eastern-dominated Media bias has not helped Obama because they are already a part of His constituency and can't persuade, control or influence the rest of America outside the East Coast urban cities. It's no wonder why the out-of-touch Media continues to see declines in its viewership and readership. (g) He is neither qualified by experience or proven by achievements to be worthy.
  • Go to comment.
    Sep 15, 2008, 04:55PM
    Obama is not qualified to be President. He can only speak with a tee=lepromoter. When there are no notes, he funbles and mumbles. He had no intregity and sure hangs around with some pretty scary people - Ayers, Wrights, etc, etc..... Obama only got the nomination because the media decided he should win and never really qestined him about nanything. The more people get to know the real Obama, the lower his support gets. Actually it would be a shame if Obama were to win.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 06:23PM
    To all the smart elitist republicans - lets shine the light on McCain for an instant .... What change is McCain going to bring? How will he bring this change if he voted with Bush 90% of the times. What are his qualifications apart from being a POW? Why did McCain pick a VP that has very opposite views than he himself. McCain thinks that he is GOD and above everybody else but in fact he is just another Karl Ro.BOT - his campaign proves it.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 06:57PM
    On Sept. 14, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius said, by choosing Palin, McCain had sold his soul to the devil to win the election. The question is, did Ignatius also say anything about McCain also getting the ability to play kick-ass blues?
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    Sep 15, 2008, 07:28PM
    I agree with this article, but someone explain to me why I should care? I had a couple of liberal friends who took Kerry's defeat pretty hard, and I quite enjoyed needling them about it for weeks until they got over it. I don't see why we should worry about the feelings of a bunch of crybabies who take elections too seriously. I voted for Dole but I didn't take to my bed for six weeks after he lost.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 07:35PM
    i don't know what i'll do if he loses. i'll be so embarrassed to be american...and i might in fact move back to france.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 07:51PM
    Brain Drain post Obama? Maybe the reason the United States continues to lead the world economy--not withstanding the headlines that seem to place us on the brink of the stone age again--is because we do not believe privilege and elitism are the answers to society's ills. Here in the good old USA you can shine shoes or wash cars and literally get rich. Try that in any other country in the world. Try that in Europe. Would'nt happen. Let's not forget what makes this country great. By the way, I doubt anyone seriously believes or cares that a bunch of pie-in-the-sky intellectuals would actually leave this county, but I'm sure if there is a major Brain Drain of intellectual elites away from the USA , there will be a line waiting to fill those spots post-haste.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 07:59PM
    If the Democrats lose I for one will not be suffering from an emotional depression. I also will not be moving to another country. Nothing could compare to the small slice of heaven I have in the 2 acres that constitutes my backyard. I already long ago resigned myself to the grim economic reality this country is facing. It's just beginning to look like 1928 all over again, and McCain is a Hoover clone for our time. He'll get elected by lying about what his opponent will do to our taxes. After he's elected he will sit by and do nothing as our financial system implodes because it's all a question of watching the market work its way out. I'm not worried or depressed. I've got my house mortgage free, I own my three cars free and clear, my credit cards are paid off, my liquid accounts are at healthy levels. Bring on the coming New Great Depression Republicans. I'm locked and loaded.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 08:26PM
    Martimr1 - Are you for real? I trust that you truly believe that everyone who doesn't believe the way you do is "feeble-minded" in the eugenics sense, but being an enlightened one, it doesn't help you to hem yourself in with the options of 1) hoping that we really have gone away or 2) if we persist in hanging around, you will stamp your feet, hold your breath, and scream that you will take your kick ball to someone else's playground. I feel the need to be up front with you. We are still here, a lot of us. Beginning with the Katrina mess, followed by the increasing sense that the Iraq war effort was not being prosecuted effectively, we became increasingly quiet while the left, smelling blood in the water, began a protracted mass campaign to demonize George Bush. And many of us were less than thrilled that John McCain emerged as the GOP nominee. But did you think that we had all become like you? That we had undergone a mass enlightenment and moved over to the Left? Hmm. This must all be very dissapointing. And when Senator Obama loses, whether close or not, it will not be the result of racism. Senator Obama holds the Democratic nomination because he is black (Senator Clinton was being honest and insightful when she said as much.). He will not lose because he is black but because of what he believes and the perception of how he would govern. Conservatives have been largely silent for quite a while. We've been taking a step back and reflecting. But we haven't gone anywhere. It's time to get back in the game, and we are. And Senator Obama will not win this election. If you decide not to leave, I suggest that you discard your caricatured image of us as bitter, gun toting, religion clingers. It doesn't do much for civility, and it doesn't help your cause either.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 08:55PM
    Here's an idea--if Obama loses POTUS, there are 22 countries that want him- after he serves in all of them, he can run for king of the world. The rest of the world won't care a bit about his radical associations. Have any of the celebrities left yet from the 2004 election?
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    Sep 15, 2008, 09:03PM
    Hahah, yeah those crazy celebrities. They say they'll leave but they don't!! I wouldn't worry about them. No one can actually pick up and move away at the drop of an election. People can however migrate away when the opportunity arises. I wish I could leave, but who wants to live in shitty, cold, Canada? Australia is the place. Warm, healthcare, and a million miles away from the loudest most idiotic spectacle this planet has ever seen -U.S Presidential races. I thought the Hilldawg would've won, and as a black dude, I know Obama never had a chance. I can't wait for him to lose so I can justify never voting again (no more jury duty) and moving away as soon as its feasible. Though thats probably a couple years away, 75k in undergraduate loans was not a smart idea.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 09:23PM
    Here we go...out comes the race card! There are a host of reasons why Obama should never be allowed to enter the Oval Office...Rezko, Ayers, and his wonderful minister...then lets throw in his inability to actually make a decision as evidenced by his present votes...his continued flip flopping on campaign finance, drilling, Georgia (yeap that is change I can believe in)...and lets not forget his complete lack of creditentials...this man has done nothing except write two books about himself...and lastly....this is a man that lacks any kind of humility at all...he still can't spit out the fact the surge worked...there are lots of reasons not to elect this man...who cares what his skin color is!
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    Sep 15, 2008, 09:33PM
    We've heard this all before. There will be riots, but there won't, people will leave the country, but they don't, the country will have scores of political prisoners, but it doesn't, and liberals will learn from another defeat, but they never do. A better question is why the liberal self-identification must include such a large dose utopian politics, and martydom.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 09:33PM
    A couple of things - Martimr, and I mean this will all due respect. I think it's great that folks might consider Europe as an option. Folks can live their under a liberal government, and leave the US to a more free market ideology. Second, I have no idea why folks equate McCain with Bush. Bush does not vote, so how can McCain vote with him 90% of the time. I do know that Obama voted with Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time. McCain has a far better record of reaching across the aisle and working with the opposition, sometimes in defiance of his own party. Obama has no such record.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 09:39PM
    Zenmaster....I did not know that Pelosi actually called a vote! I must have missed it! Everyone out there considering the change we can believe in needs to only look at the change the congress brought us to understand where we are going.....
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    Sep 15, 2008, 11:23PM
    You know, there might be riots... there's a lot of high emotion riding on this election. More so than I've seen in past ones by a long shot. This talk of leaving, however, by the "intellectual elite"... who apparently are those folks with lives tied up in academia, or who have a fairly useless liberal arts degree AND are politically left (English Lit. here, but I skew conservative so lost my intellectual license, apparently) well, it all reminds me of Douglas Adams. You know, where the Earth was originally populated by a ship full of hair-dressers and attorneys. They'd been fooled into thinking their homeworld was exploding, and told they should go first since they're the most important. I'm still waiting for the "If Bush is elected, I'm leaving for good!" people to get out.
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    Sep 15, 2008, 11:46PM
    One reason Obama will lose is that a very, very large number of middle-class Blacks who are TELLING pollsters they'll suppot him and are proud of him as their official representative racially will, in fact, vote against him because they are capitalists, family folks, and churchgoers who find his "otherness" not a matter of race but of belief/style/politics. This is why he'll never win states in the South he touted as in play earlier and why he may have lower numbers in big state cities than he expects--maybe lot low enough to lose those cities, but low enough to be overcome by the rural areas of those states where the "clingers" live. But you know, if the lefty intellectual elite really were true to their pronounced beliefs, they would not only vacate the premises and head for Euroland, they'd subsidize the exit of any radicalized potential rioters who wanted to go, too. Not only would that end any issues of social violence in this country, it'd help them secure captive voter majorities over THERE and, "brain drain" or no (and hardly valuable brains or productive ones--they're all lawyers, journalists, pols, and academics--the most UNproductive people on Earth) they'd make the USA so much better than even the McCain/Palin administration will make it.
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    Sep 16, 2008, 12:42AM
    "Bush does not vote so how can McCain vote with him 90% of the time." Classic. Absolutely classic. Yeah, and the economy is in amazing shape. Financial collapse is in our heads, not caused by deregulation or anything. My god, you people are so stupid it makes my head hurt.
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    Sep 16, 2008, 03:49AM
    In the November 2006 elections Michigan voters re-elected, by a 60-40 margin, a liberal Democrat governor, Jennifer Granholm, and a liberal Democrat senator, Debby Stabenow. Michigan voters also had the opportunity to vote on Proposition 2, a ballot initiative whose passage and enactment would prohibit affirmative action programs in all state funded institutions, e.g., Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Two days before the election, the final pre-election Detroit Free Press poll revealed that only 40% of the indidviduals poll supported Proposition 2. Prop 2 was headed for a major defeat. Proposition 2 carried on election day by an 60-40 margin. So a state that overwhelmingly re-elected two very liberal candidates also overwhelmingly passed a very conservative ballot initiative by passing Proposition 2. Barack Obama will lose on election day, by a margin of al least 55-45 in the popular vote. He will lose Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, and Virginia. Obama's defeat will effect Democratic Party politics in new and disturbing ways. This is not just another Democratic bungling of a presidential election, i.e., Kerry, Gore, Mondale, etc. People are passionate about Obama in ways that go beyond the normal "vote for my candidate so my interests will continue to feed at the trough of public graft." No, too many people see Obama for something he is not, and that is truly dangerous.
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    Sep 16, 2008, 04:32AM
    What Happens if McCain Loses? The Country Wins. The Reality of a McCain Presidency includes the Lobbyists being in Charge of the White House. Because How Do you Think You Pay Back Lobbyists for Helping You Become President a Thank You Brunch? No You Give Them the Keys to the President's Cabinet.
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    Sep 16, 2008, 06:49AM
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are pretty much considered the root cause of the mortgage fiasco, and they're only quasi-private having oversight by and taking direction from Congres... They've also got a directorship stacked with people who have no business in banking yet served in the Clinton Administration (admittedly, before that they were run for a decade by Mondale's advisor). So, now we spin it into deregulation caused the problem? (Which really hasn't happened under Bush, sorry, but Reagan was really the last deregulator in office. Bush isn't fiscally conservative, he's like his father, Rockefeller-style.) Plus they were pushed into featuring first-time, no way to pay it back mortgages by Congress... the same mortgages which people are pointing fingers at and saying "predatory!" Now the Feds are going to step in a save both institutions... but no others. Meanwhile, Obama & Co. are railing about deregulation (which never happened) and failed policies (which they can never name), while the true failure lays right at the feet of Congress. Obama better be hoping the voters of America are as stupid as he thinks they are...
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    Sep 16, 2008, 06:59AM
    Thomas Sowell has termed this election a "no brainer." Yes, this is the Sowell, a black man, born in NC, grew up in Harlem, BA from Harvard, MA from Columbia, PhD from the U of Chicago, and the author of many books, columns, and articles. A true thinking man, an intellectual, and a national treasure. I suggest you set aside any preconceived notions about the man and go to Wikipedia and review his qualifications. Then go to his homepage and read his columns, starting with the June 6th one and working toward the most recent. Finally, purchase one of his books and keep it within arms reach of your keyboard.
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    Sep 16, 2008, 08:22AM
    Is history repeating the Election of 2004? Kerry was a sure to win, no way would anyone vote for Bush/Cheney. Did anyone faint at Kerry's rallies? Did Kerry ever claim that he was the one we were waiting for? I think the rightwing blogger Michelle Malkin hit the nail on the head after the last election, by referring to the state of Democrats as UNHINGED.
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    Sep 16, 2008, 09:49AM
    Martimr1 - The United States was founded by refugees, persecuted religious malcontents, criminal exiles, and indentured servants. This lot took to heart the philosophy of the Enlightenment and wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, documents which incorporated Judeo-Christian ideals and the supremacy of the individual over the state. These documents established that the state was to serve the individual's requirements, and not the other way around. By any objective measure, the United States is the most egalitarian, productive, prosperous major country in the world. The original European immigrants to America were mostly refugees from European elitism, which took various forms over time: first the landed aristocracy, then the statist regimes such as Napoleonism, and later Marxism and its bastard spawn, Fascism and Gramscian Communism. Now there are a remarkable bunch of elitist misfits such as yourself who want to go back to the elitist model which has failed repeatedly, wherever it is tried. I was born in a neighbor's house on a dirt country crossroad in the central United States. You seem to be educated, but I doubt if your education exceeds mine, and I am certain that you would need a telescope to see my IQ rating from your perspective. We would welcome your departure on any pretext, and the average IQ of both the United States and your country of destination would be raised by your moving to somewhere else. Go for it.
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    Sep 16, 2008, 12:15PM
    This election is NOT about race, although I believe Obama is trying to inject that to get sympathy and votes from voters who might feel he is being victimized. He is not! There are more African-Americans out there than we know who are small business owners and others who realize what Obamanomics will do to the country. On the other hand, there are so many people who have not done their homework on Obama and are just voting on personality, charisma, etc. The liberal MSM is not going to properly vett him, so it is up to the American people to actually do their own homework this time. It is a citizen's responsibility--no matter who they are voting for--to know what the person's agenda is and WHO THEY ARE! I would like to recommend one website where I have found much information, including a full discussion of all of Obama's association "problems" (including some we haven't heard of). There is also a copy of an article from Investors Business Daily which goes over BHO's economic plan as well as how the country will be socialized under his plan. Finally there is an ongoing discussion of Berg v. Obama, including a link to an article where the forensics document expert explains how he came to the conclusion that BHO's birth certificate is a forgery (includes pictures of comparison). The name of the website is America's Right. The economics article link can be found on the right hand side under the heading "Essentials". One final thought: the Democrats have been in control of Congress for 2 years and have done NOTHING other than spend, spend, spend--which is a major reason why we are in this economic mess. I believe I heard that Obama's earmarks for the 143 days he was in the Senate before running for POTUS amounted to at least 1 million per day. This is the man we want to get us out of an economic crisis. Obviously, he knows nothing about economics!
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    Sep 16, 2008, 02:46PM
    I must say first off that I think its awfull that the demacrats block reform bills in 2006 that could have averted all this economic termoil and then turn and point their fingers instread of fessing and fixxing. However on tto eh story at hand. I think that if obama looses he will scream "rigged" election "why" might you ask? please read the two articles below http://africanpress.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/senator-barack-obama-in-kenya-obama-and-odinga-the-true-story/ http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/0,4644,2990,00.html#9_0 http://africanpress.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/senator-barack-obama-in-kenya-obama-and-odinga-the-true-story/
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    Sep 16, 2008, 03:51PM
    Clearly nobody else reads PUMA blogs, but Obama's defeat is hardly unimaginable. There are Democrats working actively to make sure it happens. I am one of them. I have a J.D. and Ph.D., and I watch Obama supporting the death penalty and FISA, and I want to run as far from that as possible. I would rather see the Dems lose the presidency than for the party to lose its principles for one's man egomania. Did you see the Obamacropolis? The fake seal? Obama's loss is a given, as any female over 40 could tell you.
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    Sep 16, 2008, 07:20PM
    Perhaps Godwin's Law needs to be updated to include PUMA references.
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    Sep 21, 2008, 03:01PM
    I must take exception to finaltable's comment that, should Obama lose, there will likely be riots in major cities, notably Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. As it happens, since the piece I wrote was posted Wall Street went into a meltdown and though neither candidate acquitted himself particularly well, John McCain came off looking confused and belligerent. Just another twist in a very twisted and complicated election. However, if Obama does loses, as was the subject of my article, I expect bitterness and further political polarization. But riots? No, I don't think so. I find that prediction, whether conscious or sub-conscious, somewhat racist, and I'm sure it's a minority opinion. An Obama loss, if it happens, couldn't be compared to the Rodney King beatings, and obviously, the ritos that broke out after MLK's assassination. Americans, thankfully, don't take to the streets after an election.
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    Oct 09, 2008, 03:44PM
    Funny how just several weeks can change the dynamics of an election. What once looked like a close race is now shaping up to be a landslide. This has little to do with Obama, but McCain's terrible campaign, and more importantly, the media blanketing the Internet and tube and newspapers with the fiscal meltdown. And you can't blame the media for this one.
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