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Arthur Louis

Arthur Louis
Location
Midland, Texas, USA
Birthday
February 28
Title
retired
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retired
Bio
I was a writer and editor for more than forty years with four newspaper and magazine publishers. I am the author of two non-fiction books: "The Tycoons" and "Journalism and Other Atrocities," and one novel, "The Little Champ," all available on Amazon.com

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Salon.com
DECEMBER 1, 2012 2:02PM

Obama's Mandate? What Mandate???

Rate: 3 Flag

What’s this hooey about Barack Obama winning a mandate to impose his economically destructive agenda on the American people? It’s understandable that the Democrats and their media lap dogs would try to propagate such hogwash, especially at a time when we are careening toward the so-called fiscal cliff — but must the more timid Republicans also sing that tune?


I’ve just finished analyzing this year’s state-by-state presidential election results — the final summation as far as I can tell — and I don’t come away with the feeling that Obama received new marching orders from the electorate.

If anything, the results of the election – in which much of Obama’s support from 2008 melted away — suggest that he has less of a mandate than he did when he started  his first term.

The people don’t seem to be urging him to go wild with his economically wrongheaded doctrines, but rather to cool it.

Let’s start with the fact that he received 5 million fewer votes this time than last. That hardly seems like a national vote of confidence, an affirmation that Obama has been doing something right, and that the people want more of the same. I dare say that if the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate draws 5 million fewer votes than Obama did this time, he or she will lose the election.


Republican candidate Mitt Romney, by contrast, got slightly more votes than John McCain did in the 2008 campaign against Obama, although their totals are so close that I would call them tied. So the election  wasn’t a case of a plague on both your houses. GOP voters stood by their party’s candidate, many Democrats did not.

In only six states did Obama win a greater percentage of the major-party  vote this year than he did four years ago. Those states are Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland and New Jersey.

In the first four, all of them solid and reliable Republican states,  one can assume that many GOP voters considered it a waste of time, and of $4-a-gallon Obamagas, to venture to the polls. That their electoral votes would go to Romney was foreordained. In rabidly Democratic Maryland as well, it may be that GOP voters opted for frugality over futility.

As for New Jersey, that appears to have been an anomaly. New Jersey was probably going to go for Obama in any event, but he put icing on the cake when he spent a high-visibility half-hour in the state after Hurricane Sandy, and bestowed a French kiss, or whatever it was, upon turncoat Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R? I don’t think so).

In only five states and the District of Columbia did Obama draw more votes than he did in 2008. The five states were Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Colorado and North Carolina can be explained primarily by the heavy campaigning in battleground states.  The other Obama vote gains may reflect his campaign team’s  surprisingly effective effort to bring out the black vote in heavily black states, to help ensure that the first president of that color didn’t get humiliated the second time around.

I hate to be a wet blanket,  but I also must point out that in each of the places where Obama won more votes than in 2008, Romney won more votes than McCain. It was scarcely a tour de force for Obama. Both candidates benefitted from larger turnouts.


In only 16 states and the District of Columbia did voter turnouts increase from 2008. Battleground states were prominent in that group. Obama and Romney paid so many visits to the battleground states – and so few to anyplace else – that the residents of those states must have felt that it would be terrible manners to stay home all that Tuesday watching “The View”or “Dr. Oz.”

The battleground states with increased turnouts included Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.  Given the outcomes in those states, one might dispute whether  they all really belonged in the battleground category. But during the campaign it seemed that they did, and the mercilessly frequent visits from the candidates obviously got many voters off their duffs.

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mandate, 2012 election, romney, obama

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The "mandate," such as it exists, is for raising taxes on the wealthiest. Obama ran on that, against Romney's absurd promise to cut their taxes by 20%. Obama won, and most Americans, including a many Republicans, support raising those taxes.

The funny part of this sour grape post is you consider yourself competent to describe (but really don't) what is an "economically destructive agenda." Whatever the Obama agenda, it can't begin to approach the economic destruction wrought by 8 years of Bush. That leaves you with having to describe Obama's agenda as being destructive of a destructed economy, a position that can properly be described as the arsonist complaining that somebody might find a few pieces of wood yet unburned and light them. Could you create a more unworthy argument?

The tax hike Obama is advocating is a mandate from The People, to be imposed upon The People by The People and so you really don't have a worthy argument in that regard either.

It's called democracy, Arthur, and that is never described by how many vote, but by a majority of those who did.
Thanks for your comment, Paul. Yes, Obama made no secret of his desire to raise taxes, and look what happened. Five million of his former voters refused to go along. When we talk about mandates, we talk about 60 percent landslides, or close to that, signifying that the voters are really hot for the winner's program. Obama's narrow victory, narrower than last time, is not a mandate. Someone had to win, and it was Obama. If Romney had won by the same margin, would you call it a mandate to cut taxes? I wouldn't. Be honest.
A clear win in the Electoral College, a 3,000,000 margin in the popular vote, gains in the House and Senate, gains in Democratic governors. You can slice it any way you want, but it looks as good of a mandate as what G.W.Bush claimed in 2006.
lefty, there was no presidential election in 2006.
Arthur,
Saying because fewer voters showed up is the difference between "mandate" or not makes absolutely no sense. You use the illogical definition as convenience, not evidence.

All winners claim a mandate, as to not do so would suggest apathy of candidate and voters that, even where it's true, neither wants to consider. As the term is de rigueur and can cover all sorts of general wishes, I limit it to specific policy positions rather than the ambiguous "create jobs" or "eliminate debt" slogans.

The issue is revenue, the policy is top end tax increases (or rollbacks, which sounds nicer) and Obama ran on that specific issue. Most Americans support it -- more than voted for Obama, considering Republican voter support for said increases. That's as much a mandate as can be had. Republicans will either go along or wither away which, all factors considered, is what they're in the process of doing already.

I guess when you see the "leadership" put the Tea Party nuts back in the bag and agree to raise taxes, you'll get that it was a mandate...or whatever word you wish that describes The General Will. If they don't, you should sell every share of GOP stock you own at whatever price you can get.
Paul,

Don't let your wishes run away with your rationality.

In my lifetime alone, the Republican party died in 1964, 1974, 1992 and now in 2012. The Democratic party died in 1952, 1968, 1980 and 2000.

The triumphant party always finds a way to resurrect the loser. By the end of a second Obama term, with all the horrors it portends, the GOP might be able to win with Pee Wee Herman.
Your Pee Wee Herman comment had me laughing. It reminded me of the primary season when the GOP clown car was trolling the nation, regurgitating a new clown every few weeks. Pee Wee Herman would be an improvement over the likes of Perry, Cain, Santorum, Bachman and the rest of those moral defectives. And no, Arthur, this year isn't just like all the rest. Never in our history has a party so completely lost its way and fallen so completely out of touch with the citizens of this nation. Even Limbaugh and Mark Levin have predicted the demise of the GOP in the case of an Obama victory. Make no mistake about it - it was a mandate and your party is in serious trouble.
desert,

The same could have been said about the Republicans in 1964, when they ran Barry Goldwater, whose voter appeal was very narrow at the time. Guess what? LBJ screwed up bigtime and the GOP won in 1968.

I am always skeptical of those who say, discussing any subject, that "this time is different."

But there is no use our speculating. We will have to wait and see.
Incumbents rarely do as well their second term, but nevertheless:

Obama won 320 Electoral Votes to Romney's 206
Obama won the popular vote by 4 million
Democrats gained seats in the Senate
Democrats won the popular vote in the House by millions of votes , and would have gained the House majority if it were not for Republican gerrymandering of the voting districts.

Obama primarily ran on taxing the wealthy more and extending tax cuts for the middle class

Romney primarily ran on... what was it again? Leaving the wealthy alone, I think. Oh yeah, and killing the Affordable Care Act.

Romney was primarily voted for by angry old white men and their abortion-hating wives.

Obama was primarily voted for by... everybody else.

Even John Boehner admitted right after the election that it was a mandate for taxing the rich more and giving the middle class a break. Of course, then the pressure from the sore losers got so intense that he wound up walking back his talk, but I think it was a very significant initial reaction.

And I think it was the correct one.
Incumbents rarely do as well their second term, but nevertheless:

Obama won 320 Electoral Votes to Romney's 206
Obama won the popular vote by 4 million
Democrats gained seats in the Senate
Democrats won the popular vote in the House by millions of votes , and would have gained the House majority if it were not for Republican gerrymandering of the voting districts.

Obama primarily ran on taxing the wealthy more and extending tax cuts for the middle class

Romney primarily ran on... what was it again? Leaving the wealthy alone, I think. Oh yeah, and killing the Affordable Care Act.

Romney was primarily voted for by angry old white men and their abortion-hating wives.

Obama was primarily voted for by... everybody else.

Even John Boehner admitted right after the election that it was a mandate for taxing the rich more and giving the middle class a break. Of course, then the pressure from the sore losers got so intense that he wound up walking back his talk, but I think it was a very significant initial reaction.

And I think it was obviously the correct reaction.
Incumbents rarely do as well their second term, but nevertheless:

Obama won 320 Electoral Votes to Romney's 206
Obama won the popular vote by 4 million
Democrats gained seats in the Senate
Democrats won the popular vote in the House by millions of votes , and would have gained the House majority if it were not for Republican gerrymandering of the voting districts.

Obama primarily ran on taxing the wealthy more and extending tax cuts for the middle class

Romney primarily ran on... what was it again? Leaving the wealthy alone, I think. Oh yeah, and killing the Affordable Care Act.

Romney was primarily voted for by angry old white men and their abortion-hating wives.

Obama was primarily voted for by... everybody else.

Even John Boehner admitted right after the election that it was a mandate for taxing the rich more and giving the middle class a break. Of course, then the pressure from the sore losers got so intense that he wound up walking back his talk, but I think it was a very significant initial reaction.

And I think it was obviously the correct reaction.
Incumbents rarely do as well their second term, but nevertheless:

Obama won 320 Electoral Votes to Romney's 206
Obama won the popular vote by 4 million
Democrats gained seats in the Senate
Democrats won the popular vote in the House by millions of votes , and would have gained the House majority if it were not for Republican gerrymandering of the voting districts.

Obama primarily ran on taxing the wealthy more and extending tax cuts for the middle class

Romney primarily ran on... what was it again? Leaving the wealthy alone, I think. Oh yeah, and killing the Affordable Care Act.

Romney was primarily voted for by angry old white men and their abortion-hating wives.

Obama was primarily voted for by... everybody else.

Even John Boehner admitted right after the election that it was a mandate for taxing the rich more and giving the middle class a break. Of course, then the pressure from the sore losers got so intense that he wound up walking back his talk, but I think it was a very significant initial reaction.

And I think it was obviously the correct reaction.
Incumbents rarely do as well their second term, but nevertheless:

Obama won 320 Electoral Votes to Romney's 206
Obama won the popular vote by 4 million
Democrats gained seats in the Senate
Democrats won the popular vote in the House by millions of votes , and would have gained the House majority if it were not for Republican gerrymandering of the voting districts.

Obama primarily ran on taxing the wealthy more and extending tax cuts for the middle class

Romney primarily ran on... what was it again? Leaving the wealthy alone, I think. Oh yeah, and killing the Affordable Care Act.

Romney was primarily voted for by angry old white men and their abortion-hating wives.

Obama was primarily voted for by... everybody else.

Even John Boehner admitted right after the election that it was a mandate for taxing the rich more and giving the middle class a break. Of course, then the pressure from the sore losers got so intense that he wound up walking back his talk, but I think it was a very significant initial reaction.

And I think it was the correct one.
Incumbents rarely do as well their second term, but nevertheless:

Obama won 320 Electoral Votes to Romney's 206
Obama won the popular vote by 4 million
Democrats gained seats in the Senate
Democrats won the popular vote in the House by millions of votes , and would have gained the House majority if it were not for Republican gerrymandering of the voting districts.

Obama primarily ran on taxing the wealthy more and extending tax cuts for the middle class

Romney primarily ran on... what was it again? Leaving the wealthy alone, I think. Oh yeah, and killing the Affordable Care Act.

Romney was primarily voted for by angry old white men and their abortion-hating wives.

Obama was primarily voted for by... everybody else.

Even John Boehner admitted right after the election that it was a mandate for taxing the rich more and giving the middle class a break. Of course, then the pressure from the sore losers got so intense that he wound up walking back his talk, but I think it was a very significant initial reaction.

And I think it was the correct one.
David, would you mind if I deleted five of your six duplicate posts? If that is OK, please tell me which of the six you would like me to keep.

From your photo you give every indication of being a white man, advanced in years, shall we say? Even so, I would like to remind you that when you attack someone because of his skin color, you run the risk of being called a racist. If because of his age, you could be called ageist.

Turn it around. Suppose I declared that Obama won because of his support from angry, young (or old) black men (or women). Wouldn't you (and most OSers) be all over me with indignation?

It's all right that you are white, David. Don't feel guilty.
Arthur,
'64 was a mini-example of what the future portends. Goldwater was the first success of the Conservative Movement; a fringe candidate whose ground troops were Birchers. After he was crushed, the GOP didn't run another MC until Reagan.

In and after '68, the Dem Party became known by their radical base. Now that's the GOP's problem. Watergate created an interruption in the GOP ascendancy and introduced what the Dems saw as an example of the future Pres candidate -- Southern. Clinton won twice, and then Bush, by device, not popular support, interrupted the Dem ascendancy.

The GOP will be paying for Bush for a long, long time.

But now the Movement Conservatives have become a radical ideological movement unlike any America has seen, but are familiar to Germany or Russia. Brain-dead, radical...Palinized would be a good word for it. Propagandized into a separatist movement, obsessed with the Internal Enemies of the State and demonizing all that isn't white and evangelical, they're not only alienating the rising minorities, but sane white people as well.

The inmates outnumber the guards and have taken over the GOP asylum. The Party has become regional, with no hope of winning enough EVs to gain the W House. That nutbucket battleship can't be easily turned around, so expect the GOP to remain regional, representing more dirt and cattle than people.

I honestly wish the GOP hadn't gone Bolshevik/Brownshirt insane, because that enables the Dems to get away with anything that isn't ass-over-head insanity. Until the GOP is replaced by a serious political party capable of governing, Americans won't get the government they need and deserve.

It will be fun watching the GOP try to hide its insane base in '16. I bet there won't be any more than 2-3 primary debates, but that won't help. The GOP Convention tried to hide the nuts this year, but it didn't help. There are simply too many of them. The jig is up, unless we start letting cows and rocks vote.