The 2012 Election - Strategy

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#1 Mon, May 14, 2012 - 2:43pm
Subotai
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The 2012 Election - Strategy

This is intended as a running commentary on each party's 2012 strategy, my thoughts, and hopefully those of others.

The Democratic Spring Offensive. Obama and the Dems seem to be making the first tentative jabs, centered around three concepts:

1. We Killed Bin Laden

2. Gay Marriage a/k/a civil unions (aren't those called marriages?)

3. Romney is bought and paid for by Big Oil

4. Did we mention we killed Bin Laden?

They will move off all of these themes in short order, because none of them will gain any political traction. It is mid-May, the time to experiment with dumb political ideas, especially when you have $1B plus to spend, as Team Obama (TO) does. They're the Google of political campaigns... money, ambition, and simply not enough work to do.

Bin Laden. Granted, TO is being VERY, VERY careful about how they approach this. Their ad is carefully worded to give credit to "our greatest heroes", but within the context of our last 3.5 years of triumph. This is the political equivalent of trying to get a pat on the back for getting to work on time. What voter doesn't think Obama did what he was supposed to do in this situation? Who really gives him credit? No one. A lot of people did a lot of hard, dangerous work to facilitate Mr. Bin Laden meeting his just end on this planet, Obama just wasn't really one of them.

There is some danger here for Romney, though, if he takes the bait and engages in any sort of discussion on Bin Laden. He's done so once, and it was very, very stupid.

Gay Marriage. Obama has chosen spring 2012 to state the obvious, that he favors gay marriage. While repackaged and re-marketed as "civil unions," TO is probing for something here. In addition to the Biden/Obama stuff in D.C., Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has forced a special session of the legislature to take up the issue. Hickenlooper is the very definition of centrist, but he's also the very definition of a guy who wants a major role in a second Obama term. The only logical explanation for what is going on in Colorado is that TO wants a preview of how the issue will play in a swing state, and how the Republicans will counter.

Romney - Big Oil. The Dems want to see if this issue has any legs. My guess is it doesn't. Americans want energy independence, and they are, in growing numbers, associating the lack thereof with bad government (i.e., denial of Keystone) rather than evil oil companies. I doubt Romney is terribly frightened by this line of attack.

The Dems will bring out the big guns later this summer, and expect Bain Capital to be the biggest. The argument they're going to need to make, though, is a little nuanced. As Newt discovered, it is easily twisted into an attack on capitalism itself, rather than an attack on a sleazy subset of venture capitalism that has more in common with the mob than any other type of business. We'll see if Obama can thread the needle. He may not need to take the risk if his numbers hold. 

For those of you playing in the political markets, Romney is trading at $3.65, or a 36.5% probability he will win in November. I doubt this number will down before it goes up, I'd be a buyer at that price. All of the geopolitical and domestic risk favors Romney at this point -- the likelihood we'll see any real economic change that will support Obama is non-existent, and there is a very real chance the markets, and voters, will get spooked by Europe, Iran, or China before November. By at $3.65 and sell on a spike above $4.50.

Edited by: Subotai on Nov 8, 2014 - 5:22am
Tue, May 15, 2012 - 9:54am
lottiedah
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America the Beautiful

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America
Wed, May 23, 2012 - 12:08am
maravich44
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..I am i said,,

,and I will divide you.,

Wed, May 23, 2012 - 1:25am
Silver Spurs
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And the Repubs spring offense/defense?

@ Subotai .... any thoughts/comments about the Repubs? I personally favor RP, but doesn't seem like he'll have any chance. Nor will Gary Johnson. I agree with you, maybe Bain will become an issue, but TO has to tread carefully, since alot of Dem stronghold money (pension funds) flows into venture capital. Wondering if religious beliefs will hurt TO. (Alot of black pastors not happy about NAACP and TO's endorsement of gay marriage, and they get the chance to speak to their people every Sunday). It'll be an interesting summer and fall for sure.

Thu, May 31, 2012 - 12:25am
Silver Spurs
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Well, well, well....

Looks like Mitt just cinched up the R nomination. (Here in Tx. RP got 12% of primary vote) - Going to be an interesting summer and fall, I think I'll turn off the national news channels of TV, watch sports or Discovery instead, good thing there is alternative news on the 'net, (like TFMR!) Comments invited. (Just for fun, when I voted on Tues, they ask me R or D, I ask for Libertarian, they said "that's not an option", since the election officials were local folks who I knew I didn't get mad or outrageous, just said that that didn't seem right, c'est la vie)

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 - 4:13pm
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I think the Dems are in trouble

Here's my take (as a former Democrat). The far left/urban progressives were used by Obama in 08 to try to make the Democratic party more "hip." Here's the problem - the Democrats have totally alienated their original white working class base. Ed Schultz did it again after Walker won by basically bringing out that tired "rednecks with their guns" as to who was to blame for the win. 

Here's the problem - the more the Dems push away "rednecks with their guns," the more they lose. "Rednecks with their guns" still happens to be a good portion of the country. And with blacks and Latinos being more socially conservative than urban progressives, the Dems can't make up for that with all their gay rights pandering. So even if Obama wins, the Dems will still lose in congressional races.

I'm one of those former Dems who would like to see the Democratic party come back from the brink and return to sanity. The far-left socialism / authoritarianism turns me off and I know I'm not the only Midwest gal to feel that way.

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 - 1:54pm (Reply to #6)
Subotai
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Stephanie, I totally agree

Working for a business that serves the rural Midwest I have really noticed nearly everyone turn on Obama. Even if he wins the election, I suspect he will lose many states in the Midwest by dramatically larger margins than he lost them in '08. The question is, what does that mean from key swing states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, etc? Is that traditional base of white "Reagan Democrats" eroding enough, given the changes in demography, to cost him the election? 

I fear that the Republicans selected someone who is uniquely qualified to lose this election because of his religion. Sure, the Republican base is fired up and contributing untold billions to super-PACs, but will that translate into votes by swing voters in swing states, mostly white working class people with Christian values? I don't know.

To your point about the changes in the Democratic party, I think it's funny that there has been this massive campaign by the media to make the point, and even try to quantify it, that the Republicans have moved much further right and the Democrats have basically remained a "centrist" and "moderate" party. What a bunch of nonsense. Regardless of political persuasion, we all have to acknowledge Stephanie's point that the Democrats have gone to a very different place over the past 20 years. All that's changed with the Republicans is that they suddenly have gotten a little more hawkish on the budget. Consider the following evolution of the parties' positions from the 1980s to now:

Taxes and Regulation. Democrats have always been pro-regulation but a large group of Southern Dems were economic conservatives, favoring lower taxes, oil exploration, and the like. Those voices are gone now. The Democrats are now uniformly in favor of higher taxes, bigger government, more regulation, solar/wind subsidies and anti-oil. Consider that the "Bush Tax Cuts" were a reversal of the tax increases Clinton pushed through in his first term.

Foreign Policy. An argument can be made that the Republicans have become much more interventionist and meddling post Bush 41, but that essentially means Bush 43. The irresponsible rhetoric on Iran and China, in particular, during the Republican primary suggests a real move to the right. However, Obama has turned out to be a pretty ruthless character himself where it counts. Perhaps both parties have moved right.

Social Issues. Republicans have always opposed abortion, still do. Always favored prayer in school, still do. Always opposed gay marriage, still do. Democrats have gone from split on abortion to less so. The absolutist position on separation of church and state is now Democratic gospel. A party that almost universally opposed gay marriage shifted to tacit support to outright support.

The Deficit. Until the Obama administration, the deficit was this sort of predictable dance, where the Republicans squawked about cutting domestic spending and the Democrats accused them of hating women, children, minorities and the poor. Republicans by and large parried these attacks by... surrendering. Bush 43 was the master at this and took the strategy to its logical end. Secretly, though, Republicans wanted to balance the budget. It was just an inferior priority to defense spending and tax cuts, and got bargained away. The Democrats were divided on the deficit, and there were always voices like Warren Rudman around. Today, they don't exist. There is zero challenge to the Obama trillion dollar deficits, QE, and Operation Twist. Considering how dangerous this stuff is, that's pretty scary.

If you ask me, the Democrats have become radicalized on the key issues. And they are getting their way right now. The white middle class, middle America voter is responding accordingly.

Fri, Jun 29, 2012 - 3:45am
Steinbacken
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Two blood-dripping heads of the same dragon

Obviously someone doesn't want the American populace of chattle slaves to be reminded of the Simpson's episode where the two presidential candidates were aliens, Kang and Kodos, as in all of the world of YouTube, there is no clip of this! Hmm.

Well, today, we get it in Spanish, then:

[video=youtube;U_bIP58O5-w]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_bIP58O5-w[/video]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_bIP58O5-w

...And the inevitable result of the election, more slavery:

[video=youtube;qk12ALX9fz8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk12ALX9fz8[/video]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk12ALX9fz8

Wed, Jul 4, 2012 - 6:07pm
bern
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Which candidate does this

Which candidate does this describe?

- Campaign funding biggest donors are Goldman Sachs and Wall Street

- Will likely engage Syria and Iran in war in the next few years without any declaration from Congress

- Will expand the reach of the DHS and Executive Branch while trampling on civil liberties

- Will say one thing and do another as expedient (ie. has no problem telling bald faced lies)

Answer: Both Obama and Romney.

Fri, Jul 6, 2012 - 11:46pm
thecoloredsky
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my take

It doesn't matter anymore. Both Romney and Obama will be doing the exact same thing. I think I saw Romney say he would sign and executive order on day 1 to abolish obamacare. Right... sure. That wouldn't fly politically and we would see rallies across the country in every city in opposition. Something else will come to the fore front and the sheeple will forget by that time.

https://thecoloredsky.blogspot.com/2012/06/obamney.html

Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - 3:50pm
Silver Spurs
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My write in vote

Agree w ColoredSky @ Bern. Won't make any dif (except to me), but I think my write in vote will be Ron Paul/Judge Napalitano. If they were somehow elected, wouldn't that scare the crap out of both parties! Carry on folks... Spurs

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 - 3:23am
Subotai
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Democracy... not defeatism!

It's not that I don't understand the disaffection many on this forum have with the political process. I do. But to say that there's no difference between Obama and Romney? Get real. 

Just because a candidate isn't the second coming of Moses or Teddy Roosevelt doesn't mean they can't be a marked improvement over the travesty that exists today. Romney isn't going to root out corruption in the political process, neutralize the undue influence of banks and others in our rigged financial system, or otherwise save democracy. That's true. But don't you think a smaller government is a step in the right direction? That's the choice you have: big government or smaller government. Maybe some day we'll get to vote for Ron Paul, but we don't get to this time around.

It is intellectually lazy to argue that Romney and Obama are just different sides of the same coin just because you don't think either of them will solve all your problems. It's politics. It's democracy. This is a free, capitalist country (though not purely either). It's also a two-party system. If you waste your vote on some third party candidate or just spit on the whole process, why not just install a dictator, then you can bitch about him/her and do nothing meaningful about that either?

I'm not telling you you have to vote. I'm just making the argument that if you're waiting for the perfect politician or the perfect process to do so, you are going to be waiting a long, long time. And by the way, ask yourself: if everyone felt they were too good for the process, would that make the system better or worse? At the end of the day, someone has to run the country, and we're all better served if good people hold their nose and vote. It's the only thing that keeps the system somewhat honest.

Fri, Aug 31, 2012 - 3:08am
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Here's a lesson for those who are ready to hear it...

The way that can be shown is not the Way
The name that can be named is not the Name
Sun, Sep 2, 2012 - 11:43am (Reply to #12)
bam
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Subotai wrote:Just because a

Subotai wrote:

Just because a candidate isn't the second coming of Moses or Teddy Roosevelt doesn't mean they can't be a marked improvement over the travesty that exists today. Romney isn't going to root out corruption in the political process, neutralize the undue influence of banks and others in our rigged financial system, or otherwise save democracy. That's true. But don't you think a smaller government is a step in the right direction? That's the choice you have: big government or smaller government. Maybe some day we'll get to vote for Ron Paul, but we don't get to this time around.

That's not actually the choice though. That's only a dichotomy framed by election rhetoric. You will have the exact same government size-wise, though it might be cosmetically different. Romney's not going to make any real steps towards a small government. His platform is simply rhetoric to garner enough votes to win an election, same as any other politician. People are listening to what Romney and Ryan say, with the full understanding that what they actually DO will be entirely different, and not a reflection on anything they promised. The party (and the corporations behind it) controls what happens, not the man.

Are the Republicans going to actually cut off all warfare? Are they going to shut down military bases world-wide? Are they going to cut down the reach and scope of the intelligence agencies. Curtail or eliminate DHS? Get rid of TSA? That's the first big step to small government, without which, there is none. These sorts of things are just as much Republican babies as Democratic ones.

Every once in a while they give you a glimpse of what they are. Here's Romney on the not needing Congressional approval to wage war: “I can assure you if I’m President, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m President that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now.” Sounds like Romney and Obama are pees in a pod there.

Subotai wrote:
I'm not telling you you have to vote. I'm just making the argument that if you're waiting for the perfect politician or the perfect process to do so, you are going to be waiting a long, long time. And by the way, ask yourself: if everyone felt they were too good for the process, would that make the system better or worse? At the end of the day, someone has to run the country, and we're all better served if good people hold their nose and vote. It's the only thing that keeps the system somewhat honest.

I would say that voting is the only thing that gives legitimacy to their crimes. If you vote for Obama or Romney, you are voting for a gigantic albatross of a military, you are voting for the invasion and destabilization of other countries, you are voting for the PATRIOT Act, NDAA, SOPA, and all the rest. A vote for either is a vote for the empire.

It's not so much about waiting for the perfect politician, it's about playing a rigged game. The absolute best outcome at this stage would be for enough people to NOT vote, thereby ensuring an illegitimate election. We might be able to have a real discussion on how this country is run if that were the case.

I've been reading a bit of Paul Craig Roberts (former Ass. Secy. of the Treasury under Reagan, and former editor of the WSJ) lately, mainly because of the guts he shows in speaking out. He has basically torched an incredible public career in order to call bullshit on the system. And I respect that about him. Anyhow, he had this to say recently on the Republican Convention, and it certainly gave me pause, given his stature and character:

Meanwhile in “freedom and democracy” america, at their Tampa, Florida, nominating convention, the Republican Party showed its true colors. It is a Brownshirt Party.  The tyrannical Republican machine refused to allow Ron Paul’s name to be mentioned or his delegate count to be presented.  Reports from the Republican nomination convention read like reports of Stalin’s takeover of the Communist Party or the Nazi takeover of the German state. Rules adopted at the convention eliminate any grass roots input. The Republican politburo is supreme. The party is subservient, and the members’ voices are eliminated. Mimicking Lenin, the Republicans declared that Republican rule “means neither more nor less than unlimited power, resting directly on force, not limited by anything, not restricted by any laws, nor any absolute rules. Nothing else but that.” As Mother Jones reported, Ron Paul supporters shouted from the convention floor, “Fuck You, Tyrants!”  The Republicans are the party of “freedom and democracy.” The Republicans are the party most controlled by the neoconservatives, who are strongly allied with Israel’s far right-wing government and are most hostile to the US Constitution. The Republicans are the party that gave us the PATRIOT Act, the first massive assault on the US Constitution. The Republicans are the party that gave us 9/11. The Republicans are the party that gave us the $3 trillion war against Iraq based on the Republican party’s lies about “weapons of mass destruction.” The Republicans are the party that gave us the $3 trillion war in Afghanistan based on lies about Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. The Republicans are the party that gave us the supremacy of the President over both the US Constitution and US statutory law; the executive branch is bound by neither according to the Republican Federalist Society members of the US Department of Justice (sic).  Obama is a despicable patsy, a front man for powerful private interests, and Democrats should be totally ashamed to have elevated such a cowardly lowlife. But as awful as Obama is, a vote for Republicans is a vote for Hitler or Stalin. Indeed, the election of Romney and Ryan would be worse than either.
Wed, Sep 5, 2012 - 11:03pm
Silver Spurs
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@ Subotai

Well, it seems Bam mentioned some of the issues I have with both parties/candidates, although I don't agree with everything he said. I do think that neither party will shrink gov't in any meaningful way. And the deal about the RNC and Ron Paul delegates pissed me off big time. However, you are right, someone will run the country and to not vote seems to go against what the constitution has provided. (By the way, I have voted in every election since 1976). Basically I'm using this forum to bitch, since the wife doesn't want to hear me rant - I do appreciate all the inputs from the various posters and the differing points of view ... And when you said neither party will solve your problems, very well said indeed!

Thu, Nov 1, 2012 - 3:55pm
thecoloredsky
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I'm tired of Bronco Bama and Romney

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 - 4:39pm
Subotai
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Which Poll do you believe?

Gallup and Rasmussen suggest Romney has a real chance to win; every other poll has Obama pulling away. The question is:

Which turnout model do you believe?

Rasmussen and Gallup have the election close, even for Romney, because they are modeling turnout similar to 2004. Everyone else is working off the 2008 models, give or take. There is no question that most people believe the CW that Obama has statistically significant leads in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Colorado, without which Romney can't win.

A week ago, I was convinced Rasmussen was the only poll that had it right, and that Romney would roll up in excess of 290 electoral votes and win the popular vote by 3-6 points. It's hard to ignore the overwhelming widespread confidence in an Obama victory evidenced by statisticians, most pollsters, and folks voting with their money on Intrade.

If I were a betting man, I would be looking for a parlay: Romney with over 290 electoral votes and a Romney win. The odds have to be 20-1 or better, and if you believe Rasmussen and Gallup could be right, Romney will check in north of 290. A $100 bet to win $2000? My gut tells me this crazy bet could pay. And think of the bragging rights you'd have at cocktail parties - and how thoroughly you could piss off your liberal friends (if you have any)!

I saw Romney on TV in my fair state the other night, and he doesn't look like a beaten man to me. I think his polling is telling him this race could very well go his way.

Note: some interesting responses above rejecting the political process. My take is that there is something about precious metals that attracts the absolutists of the world. Which is fine, it takes all kinds to run this world, but answer me this: what system (or even time period under our system) was better than today? At the turn of the century, corporations overtly ran our government. In the 1950s, military contractors, corporations, and the wealthy ran it, though less overtly. In 1960, the presidential election was decided by the mafia in Illinios and voting corpses. Care to make the argument for another country having things figured out? Who? When?

My point is that democracy is messy and imperfect, and money influences all political systems. If you believe the central premise that the great Keynesian experiment is about to collapse upon itself, do you really want that to happen sooner rather than later? Personally, I like to think we're not beyond the event horizon, and we can crawl our way back to center. Rooting for chaos as an alternative is fun, but I don't want my kids growing up in a failed state. We've limped along with a two-party system for well over 200 years, and it's always been a corrupt, mudslinging, often depressing process. That's humanity. That's politics. It's not a harbinger of doom, it's an affirmation that America, with all its faults, is still America.

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 - 1:02pm
TPaine
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Didn't know where else to put this...

But this...

... is how you lose.

(I'm not a nimble day-trader. Cash account, no margin and settlement periods makes swing trading more my style)
Thu, Nov 8, 2012 - 12:54pm
Subotai
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Wipeout

Well, my longshot didn't pay. Didn't really come close as a matter of fact. That's why it's a longshot I guess.

I reject the concept that there are not simply too many people on the take from the government, or the demographics have changed to the point that the Republicans are screwed. The problem is the Republican party itself.

By letting evangelicals and "social conservatives" run the party and silencing libertarian-leaning, pro-freedom voices like Ron Paul, the Republicans show everyone that they are a toe-the-line crowd. Great for a country club or private school, terrible for winning elections. Conservative-minded blacks, conservative latinos (and there are many), Catholics, and others feel that the party does not fit them culturally, even if it does ideologically.

My evidence for this? A solid majority of people oppose Obamacare, and they haven't even had to experience it yet. My company is about to make the difficult choice between dropping 400 employees' health insurance (the cheapest option), dramatically reducing the quality of coverage, or paying a crippling "Cadillac tax". Wait until that hits the fan with the average American. Of course, that's why all of this takes place now, rather than before the election. 

The Republicans need to make fundamental changes to their message and their priorities, and focus on:

1. Freedom - Social and Economic. 

2. Fiscal Sanity as a means to ensure the social safety net. The Republicans need to sell themselves as the responsible stewards of programs like Medicare, and paint the Democrats as the real threat to the viability of these programs.

3. Smaller government.

They also need to make absolutely crystal clear that they don't care about the following issues:

1. Abortion

2. The "culture war" - gay marriage, "traditional values", and other stuff that minorities translate as hostile, even racist. Freedom and smaller government cuts both ways. Be consistent.

Mitt Romney, unburdened by his artificial positions on abortion, wins the election Tuesday by 10 points. The Republicans lose today because they have become and exclusive club, and one burdened by harmful, and irrelevant, positions on social issues that their candidates must adhere to. Focus on freedom!

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