Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Presidential Race is Over, Cue the Conspiracy Theories

This race is over, but the conspiracy theories are about to begin. And, boy howdy, are things going to get ugly.

To wit, Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama for the presidency on November 6, after which there will be hysterical blowback. The election result is quantifiable, with Romney consistently leading in national tracking polls, finding a level at or above 50 percent in many, and closing the necessary gaps in swing states and among demographic groups. Greater evidence can be found, however, in Obama’s sour demeanor and the conduct of his campaign. What a mess.

Opinion-peddlers have noted that the Obama re-election effort has taken on the hallmarks of failed campaigns from previous cycles: scattershot messaging, flailing narratives, ad hominem attacks and joyless mockery. This was never going to work, and Democratic political veterans like Bob Beckel and Doug Schoen will likely admit as much once the polls are closed. Incurables like Alan Colmes and Maureen Dowd, however, will never let it go. And this latter stance – that Obama’s defeat is somehow illegitimate – will take hold in many, noisy quarters.

It is not only the politically interested who will adopt this view – even casual observers will be sucked in. We often see leftist orthodoxy morph into popular convention. This is because, while there are some smart people on the left, it requires almost no thinking to be a liberal. Simply absorb the political sentiments you hear in almost any Hollywood film, or on most any television program or newscast and, presto, you’re in. Repeat these nostrums at school or work and you will be rewarded. Augmented by the emotional satisfaction of the left’s perpetual righteous indignation, this dynamic becomes self-fulfilling and very cozy.

And it’s that snorting indignation warming up in the bullpen that augurs an ugly autumn. After Obama loses, every bellyacher you know will take to the world wide interwebs to blame the Bilderbergs, Bain Capital, Big Oil, Brigham Young – basically anyone but Obama himself. It will be insufferable. Theories will be all over the map, mutually contradicting one another, but advanced with furious certainty. Again, we see this often. The showerless outrage of the left knows no bounds, and it is impervious to reason.

Whether Romney’s margin of victory is large or small will matter little to the tone of these plaints. Certainly, a resounding win will foreclose the Democrats’ propensity to steal close elections through after-the-fact chicanery (presented as Exhibit A: Al Franken is a senator) but, for Obama apologists, a blowout will simply evince a wider conspiracy, and darker depths of American ignorance, bigotry and credulousness.

This sort of heads-we-win-tails-you’re-a-cheating-moron default is endemic to Democrats and emblematic of the international left. The last time a fabulously wealthy politician from Massachusetts ran for president, he lost fair and square. But John Kerry had the good fortune to be a Democrat (and had the further good fortune to marry into money – twice – making him several times wealthier than the self-made Romney), which is why California Sen. Barbara Boxer, among others, made it her business to overturn the electoral results in Ohio owing to voting “irregularities” she knew, just knew, had occurred. Britain’s Daily Mirror, meanwhile, responded to George W. Bush’s 2004 defeat of Kerry by asking, “How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?”

It will be far worse this time, however. Accusations of racism have been hurled at Obama’s opponents since he first announced his candidacy. While the effectiveness of this tactic has seen diminishing returns, its cynicism and ubiquity remain nonpareil in American politics, and will reach new heights after the election. But if, as Dr. King dreamed, we should be judged on the content of our character rather than the color of our skin, then any such assessment can be either good or bad.

The simple truth is that Barack Obama has been a lousy president – worse than Jimmy Carter, and the most antipathetic to the US Constitution since the despicable Woodrow Wilson (incidentally, one wonders how Wilson, an actual racist, would react to seeing his Progressive Era rhubarb revived by America’s first black president – food for thought).

Obama deserves to lose, and he will. By turning him out of office, the American people will be affording him the same treatment owed any president, regardless of color or creed, whose term has been a failure. In this way, Barack Obama’s defeat will provide greater evidence of America’s racial progress than his election ever did.

Theo Caldwell, an international investor and broadcaster, has been a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the Kansas City Board of Trade. He can be reached at theo@theocaldwell.com


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hope and Cringe

I defy you to watch the video of Barack Obama’s 2007 speech to Hampton University without cringing. In the worst fake accent since Madonna decided she was British, Obama preaches the gospel of grievance to his mostly black audience, claiming that racial bigotry was behind the federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina, while heaping praise on his dyspeptic pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Like Obama’s presidency itself, it is an embarrassing display.

In releasing the full, 40-minute video of the 2007 speech – rather than the 9-minute portion that was made available at the time, which informs Obama supporters’ outrageous assertion that this is somehow old news – the Daily Caller and Fox News have performed a tremendous public service. While other media outlets have, predictably, demurred at playing the tape, making the speech available in its totality allows Americans to peek behind the curtain of Obama’s hopey-changey routine. And that could make all the difference.

It is ironic that as this administration is plagued by trillion-dollar deficits, unprecedented debt levels, unemployment above 8 percent, anemic economic growth, a murdered ambassador and subsequent cover-up, the Salafist flag of al Qaeda flying over US embassies, the Fast and Furious scandal, and a deeply unpopular health care law, this little video could be what jars the electorate out of its stupor when it comes to Obama. That’s because America is faster to forgive a failure than a phony.

And Barack Obama is a phony baloney of the first order. It’s not just the Tropic Thunder accent he puts on in the Hampton address – it’s the race-baiting message. Remember, this speech was given three years after Obama’s “no red states, no blue states, but the United States of America” effusion at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that launched his career.

But that was always and obviously rhubarb, to those who cared to see. Now, all Americans are a click away from viewing the other Obama, the race-hustling hack who referred to his own grandmother as “a typical white person,” urged Latino voters to “punish their enemies” and caricatured rural Pennsylvanians as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”

The contrast between Obama’s cultivated image and the Hampton version is akin to the incongruity of a political career that began in domestic terrorist Bill Ayers’ living room and ended in the Oval Office. This was ever Obama’s way: one side for consumption by an incurious public, another for his radical base.

Lest anyone imagine it is merely Obama’s style that rankles in the Hampton speech, including his “shout out” to Wright (“Where’s he at?”), his disgraceful claims also warrant scrutiny. Playing on the fashionable leftist narrative that the Bush administration dragged its feet after Katrina because many of the victims were black, Obama charged, “The people down in New Orleans, they don’t care about as much!”

As Dick Morris has reported, more money was directed toward Katrina relief than for Hurricane Andrew and 9/11 combined. As for Obama’s insistence that the feds refused to waive the requirement that local government contribute ten percent of disaster relief funds (“Where’s your Stafford Act munn-ah?”), not only did the administration do so after Katrina, but it gave the state of Louisiana 30 years to repay its small portion of rebuilding costs.

Americans are tired of being divided by race and, if they wanted a leader who specializes in doing so, they would have elected President Jesse Jackson or President Al Sharpton. With the help of a complicit media, Obama was able to confine his race-mongering to receptive audiences. Now, with the release of this video, there is no more excuse.

For those of us who believe that in 2012, it is time to treat people, simply, as people, and that we all ought to be judged on the content of our character, rather than the color of our skin, this performance confirms that America is ready for its first black ex-president.

Theo Caldwell, an international investor and broadcaster, has been a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the Kansas City Board of Trade. He can be reached at theo@theocaldwell.com