Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 29, 2012

Poll: Majority Says Federal Government Shouldn't Be Responsible for Healthcare
by Guy Benson
November 28, 2012

Since most of the data in post-election polling has offered little beyond a parade of ugly news, here's a glimmer of hope from Gallup:
For the first time in Gallup trends since 2000, a majority of Americans say it is not the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage. Prior to 2009, a majority always felt the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all, though Americans' views have become more divided in recent years...Republicans, including Republican-leaning independents, are mostly responsible for the drop since 2007 in Americans' support for government ensuring universal health coverage. In 2007, 38% of Republicans thought the government should do so; now, 12% do. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners there has been a much smaller drop, from 81% saying the government should make sure all Americans are covered in 2007 to 71% now.
A look at the trendlines:

Americans also remain overwhelmingly opposed to the imposition of a government-run, single-payer healthcare system, which very much remains leftists' endgame:
One thing that has not changed is that Americans still widely prefer a system based on private insurance to one run by the government. Currently, 57% prefer a private system and 36% a government-run system, essentially the same as in 2010 and 2011. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the percentage of Americans in favor of a government-run system ranged from 32% to 41%.
A few final notes:  (1) Though Gallup's final likely voter poll prior to the election was off by four points, their registered voters numbers were pretty much spot on.  In other words, their LV screen was too restrictive, but their overall data was sound.  (2) Despite a heavily Democratic electorate on election day, a substantial plurality still supported Obamacare repeal, a result that mirrors stable polling trends.  (3) For an idea of what a mind-blowing cluster Obamacare has already become, read this piece by Mary Katharine Ham.  Deadlines keep getting pushed farther and farther back, and the administration has finally issued coverage rules for the state exchanges that are supposed to be up and running in a matter of months.  These rules took 32 months to produce.  An unmitigated mess.

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Are Republicans Learning the Wrong Lessons?
by  Jeffrey H. Anderson
November 28, 2012

As hard as it is to believe, it’s been only a little over three weeks since Election Day. But there are already plenty of signs that Republicans are learning many of the wrong lessons from that debacle. For starters, there’s been a lot of excessive emphasis on racial demographics, which actually changed very little from 2008.  According to exit polling, the portion of Hispanic voters went up just 1 percentage point, the portion of Asian voters went up just 1 point, and the portion of black voters stayed the same.  Meanwhile, the portion of white voters fell 2 points — largely because, as Sean Trende notes, Mitt Romney failed to turn out several million such voters.

Now Senator John McCain says that, when it comes to the life-or-death matter of abortion, Republicans should “leave the issue alone.” Well, it would be hard to have left the issue any more alone than Romney did, and what did it get him? On an issue on which Americans are typically split pretty much right down the middle, exit polling showed that voters favored the legality (59 percent), rather than illegality (36 percent), of abortion in “most” or “all” cases. This suggests that Romney’s silence in the face of Obama’s pro-abortion rhetoric caused some swing voters to shift their position leftward (as people are inclined to do when they hear only one side of an issue advanced) — while millions of pro-life voters apparently sat this one out.

In truth, the Romney strategy on essentially every issue — and especially on Obamacare — could aptly be summarized as “leave the issue alone.”  Even on the economy, the one issue on which the Romney camp generally seemed eager to engage, the campaign left alone the question of how we got into this mess in the first place.  Relatedly, it left alone the crucially important claim that Bill Clinton made at the Democratic convention:  “Listen to me now.  No president, no president — not me, not any of my predecessors — no one could have fully repaired all the damage that [Obama] found in just four years.”  This, of course, was ridiculous.  FDR had inherited the Great Depression, and yet, in the year that he first sought reelection, real economic growth was over 13 percent — more than six times what it’s been this year under Obama.  But Romney characteristically left that one alone, and — more than three years into the Obama “recovery” — exit polling indicated that voters still blamed George W. Bush (53 percent), not Obama (38 percent), for the stagnant economy.

As a result of Romney’s failure to make the case on essentially any issue — either against Obama’s abysmal record or on behalf of his own proposals — we ended up with this very strange result:  In an election pitting perhaps the most liberal president in American history against a moderate Republican who was never fully trusted by the conservative wing of his own party, likely voters polled by Pew Research less than two weeks before the election said that Obama (50 percent), not Romney (38 percent), takes the “more moderate positions.”  And in an election pitting a Democratic president who rammed Obamacare through on a straight party-line vote and then spent the next two years demagoguing Republicans, versus the former Republican governor of heavily Democratic Massachusetts, likely voters in that same poll said that Obama (47 percent), not Romney (41 percent), was more “willing to work with leaders from the other party.”

As such polling suggests, Republicans didn’t lose this election because of demographics, and they didn’t lose it because of the positions they took on the issues.  They lost it because they failed to make the case against Obama or on behalf of their own ideas and principles.  As a result, they failed to rally independents to their side to the extent that they should have, and they failed to turn out their own base.  Far from leaving key issues alone in the future, Republicans need to engage the American public on matters of importance and make their case in persuasive language.

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The Governing Class and the Decline of America
by Steve McCann
November 29, 2012

The United States will not reverse its descent into the abyss of financial and societal bankruptcy until the current political and governing establishment is replaced. That will not happen until the American people, who have been deliberately ill-educated and deceived, experience first-hand the early stages of the turmoil and suffering extant in Europe and elsewhere.

While professing to care for the interests of the average person, the underlying motivation for the vast majority of the governing class or Establishment is first and foremost self-aggrandizement and the acquisition of wealth. While a few may be motivated by ideology, the preponderance are not.

There are no offices on Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C. with signs reading "The Republican Establishment" or the "The Democratic Establishment"; rather it is an amalgam of like-minded groups with one common interest: the control of the government purse-strings and the attendant power contained within.

The Republican and Democratic political establishments are made up of the following:

1) many current and nearly all retired national office holders whose livelihood and narcissistic demands depends upon fealty to Party and access to government largesse;

2) the majority of the media elite, including pundits, editors, writers and television news personalities based in Washington and New York whose proximity to power and access is vital to their continued standard of living;

3) academia, numerous think-tanks, so-called non-government organizations, and lobbyists who fasten onto those in the administration and Congress for employment, grants, favorable legislation and ego-gratification;

4) the reliable deep pocket political contributors and political consultants whose future is irrevocably tied to the political machinery of the Party; and

5) the crony capitalists, i.e. leaders of the corporate and financial community as well as unions whose entities are dependent on or subject to government oversight and/or benevolence .

The current iteration of the Democratic establishment was begun during Franklin Roosevelt's 12 years in office as the Party chose to follow the lead of those such as Benito Mussolini in Italy, who promoted government as the source of all salvation and survival. This philosophy fit in nicely with those whose egos and drive was directed toward the aggregation of power and wealth.

The Republican members of the governing class, with the exception of the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the Republican controlled House of Representatives from 1995 to 1998, have been content since 1946 to merely slow down the big-government policies of the Democrats, while publically decrying their tax and spend policies. However, in truth, many have been comfortable with reaping the financial and ego-gratifying rewards of such indifference.

Since the1950's this overall scenario has been tolerated and generally ignored as the nation was experiencing overwhelming and seemingly endless prosperity. The Democrats, with the tacit consent of the Republican establishment, promoted an ever-increasing litany of government programs to ostensibly help the people, under the rubric that the nation could not only afford it but was, in fact, obligated to guarantee a "decent" standard of living for everyone. Further, in the 1960's the American left, as the Republican establishment turned a blind eye, began to dominate the education agenda. The public's children were no longer taught American history and the importance of individual liberty; instead, the basics of capitalism and wealth creation were demonized. Additionally, the essential characteristic of a flourishing republic -- a society wedded to honor, decency and integrity -- was demeaned and ridiculed.

Thus the citizenry has become more willing to not only vote for whoever promises the most financial security, but they are now easily susceptible to unconscionable demagoguery and are increasingly tolerant of dishonesty as well as unethical behavior. Today, with the advent of welfare, food stamps, near endless unemployment benefits, free health care (Medicaid), and a myriad of other state and federal programs, the Democrats have succeeded in creating a virtually permanent voting bloc. One the Republican Establishment now claims, if they wish to win future elections, they must pander to as part of a new strategy of inclusion. Yet, by their acquiescence and indifference over the years, they helped create their electoral dilemma.

How have all these promises and deceptions perpetrated on the American people placed the nation's financial future in jeopardy? Since 1956 the United States has seen a phenomenal growth in its Gross Domestic Product from $3,700 Billion (inflation adjusted) to $16,100 Billion (+335%). However, government spending at all levels has grown from $978 Billion (inflation adjusted) to $6,400 Billion (+554%) and the nation's debt, $2,250 Billion in 1956 (inflation adjusted) is now $16,300 Billion (+625%). (source:

As of today, the nation's true indebtedness (promises that have been made for spending obligations, less all the taxes the Treasury expects to collect) exceeds $222,000 Billion. The indebtedness to Gross Domestic Product ($16,100 Billion) is a staggering 13.8 to 1. The United States is not facing bankruptcy, it is bankrupt.

Yet there is no sense of urgency or desire on the part of the governing class to level with the American people. This nation is living on the residue of the economic growth begun in the 1950's and accelerated in the 1980's. That tidal wave of prosperity has ebbed. The United States has entered into a death spiral of unrestrained spending, excessive taxation, printing near worthless money, and stagnant economic activity. Rather than be straightforward with the populace, the governing class is content to paper over the problem by the usual shell games of phony long-term spending cuts, more borrowing, and prevarications about the efficacy of raising taxes on "the rich."

The true nature of the GOP establishment's motivation has been exposed by their reaction to the Tea Party movement. This grassroots rebellion was the first manifestation of the awareness by a large portion of the American public of the nation's problems and ultimate consequences. Despite the overwhelming success of the Tea Party working within the Republican Party in the 2010 mid-term elections, nearly all of the Republican elites downplayed their success and fell-in with the mainstream media and the Democrats in their well-worn and gratuitous aspersions against these concerned and patriotic Americans. The Tea Party movement poses a threat to not only the accumulated power of the governing class but their livelihoods, thus the concerted effort to marginalize them by any vile or preposterous means possible.

The United States finds itself in a circumstance once thought unthinkable. An ill-educated and near morally bankrupt society increasingly made up of those dependent on government combined with a governing class whose primary interest is themselves. The nation cannot, therefore, make any meaningful course correction unless and until the people finally understand they have been lied to and conned by the current establishment. That will, in all likelihood, not occur until America faces imminent collapse and the citizenry turns on those who brought the nation to its knees.

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