Open Forum: Silver lining
“Fortune and misfortune are two buckets in the same well.”
— German proverb
As the editor of The Star points out, this is not a time for Republicans to blame and grieve, but a time to seize the opportunities laid on their doorstep and learn from their mistakes. Gov. Romney fought nobly against unfair odds, conceded gracefully, and should be congratulated. To all my friends who feel our country was lost Nov. 6, don't despair yet – Mitt lost the battle, but Obama may have lost the war. Politics and chess are games of patience and sacrifice, so please be patient while I explain why Mitt’s sacrifice bodes ill for Democrats.
Not a time to grieve — Should Mitt have won, the conservative cause could have suffered a greater defeat than a lost presidential election. A Romney victory may have led to major Republican losses in the U.S. House and Senate in the following midterm election, and Mitt would have taken blame for a worsening economy and would likely have become a one-term president. Here’s a quote made four days before the election which validates these premises:
“Mitt Romney’s fantasy that Senate Democrats will work with him to pass his ‘severely conservative’ agenda is laughable.” — U.S. Senate leader Harry Reid, Nov. 2, 2012
Romney's platform would be useless with a Democrat-controlled Senate sabotaging each item and using them against the GOP, and the press would guarantee that Romney’s legacy would be worse than President G. H. W. Bush who suffered under similar circumstances. Bush 41 refused many times to sign bills raising, or creating, new taxes, but a Democrat-controlled Congress forced him to compromise. Although there were no new taxes in the 1990 budget agreement, existing taxes were raised, and he became a one-term president. “Read my lips, no new taxes" became his unjust legacy, and we got eight years of Clinton.
Seize the opportunities — Truth will come to light, or less eloquently, excrement floats to the top. Within the next four years, Obama and the Democrats will be forced take full ownership of what they’ve done to our economy, it will be impossible to blame Bush 43 any longer, and the press will be challenged to face reality. People will become angry when ObamaCare's seen for the sham it is, and hopefully, the road to Congress and the White House will be paved for Republicans.
Learn from their mistakes— Eleven million fewer persons voted this time for the two major Presidential candidates than in 2008, with Obama losing 9 million supporters. Mitt garnered 2 million fewer votes than McCain in 2008, and that’s with 3 million disgruntled Republicans staying home in protest. That’s not tricky math — many Democrats and Independents who voted for Obama in 2008 have already jumped ship. Republicans now need to stop waffling and pandering, and articulate a concise conservative plan for the future. Independents and disappointed Democrats will follow, and Republicans will become energized again — that's how Reagan won 49 states in 1984.
Unfair odds — Prior to the election, the press culpably assisted Obama in hiding details regarding the Benghazi attack that would have exposed the administration’s inability to secure diplomatic missions, act on intelligence warnings, and disprove his vow that “al Qaeda is on its heels.” Instead of admitting foreign policy failures, Obama glibly referred to murdered U.S. citizens as “bumps in the road.” With our attention unwillingly focused on Benghazi, the press was able to black-out something even more damaging to the administration.
Three days after the Benghazi siege, there were more “bumps in the road” as the administration continued to ignore intel warnings. Taliban fighters attacked Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, leaving Lt. Col. Raible and Sgt. Atwell dead, nine wounded, and six Harrier jets destroyed and two damaged. Lt. Col Raible and Sgt. Atwell's bodies arrived in the United States well before the election without any mention by the press or Obama.
Obama may have lost the war — Two Clinton terms weren’t the end of the GOP, and neither is Obama — Republicans regained control of Congress by a landslide in Clinton’s first mid-term, and his scandals likely cost Al Gore the presidency six years later. Likewise, U.S. House Democrats suffered a landslide defeat in Obama’s first midterm, his scandals are vastly more serious (U.S. citizens died), and Obama will be forced to run defense these next four years as investigations mount. Should history be indicative, Democrats will lose everything by 2016.
As Obama flounders in his self-filled septic tank of failed policies, scandals, and investigations these next four years, Republicans are well-positioned for political ascent if given the right leadership. Conservatives can find comfort in the adage that “the grass is greener over the septic field,” and Obama’s reelection may have a silver lining for the GOP, after all.
Franklin Fogle is a resident of Frederick County.