Technically it is still too soon to pick who will win, Mitt Romney or President Obama. Voters do not have all the information. Next week we will watch the Democrat Reality TV show. A fair question is will Democrats beat the low “information and fact” bar set by the GOP this week?
This week’s GOP convention demonstrated as clear as necessary that political conventions are like the saber toothed tiger. They look powerful but have actually morphed into obsolescence. The convention was expensively orchestrated yet has served little or no purpose. GOP leaders hope that it has done no damage.
The best outcome of these conventions is exposure to large television audiences. The worst outcome is what the television audience sees. The GOP offered plenty of exaggerations, omissions, and a few outright mistruths. To those already decided GOP voters, it was honey. To those already opposed, it was vinegar. Sounds like kissing your sister.
The really big question, “who would make the better President for the period 2013-2016” is still hanging out there unanswered. Instead voters are told Romney is a successful business man. Voters are asked to connect that fact with the promise Romney would be a great President.
Voters are left without any clue as to how Romney would lasso the deficit or how he would create 12 million new jobs or how he would be a more effective leader.
Voters also have no clue why a second term for President Obama would look much different than his first. (Next week when President Obama gets his TV time, maybe we will learn more).
Some things the GOP did not mention. For instance:
- Which party was in power when the deficits began to grow?
- What three new events lead to increasing deficits? (Bush tax cuts, two un-financed wars, and an unfunded drug provision addition to Medicare).
- Under which Party did the worst recession since the great depression take place?
Never the less, the GOP line is that President Obama has been a failure. They claim America has experienced the longest period of high unemployment since the great depression and that is squarely President Obama’s fault. The Country’s job creators would gladly add untold new jobs were Government only to step out of their way. And if all that was not enough, the Affordable Care Act is a jobs killer and must be repealed.
Last week’s convention did not reveal any global comparisons. Had the GOP shown the data, voters would have seen the US economy (and economic recovery since 2008) is (has been) recovering and is one of the best. Among the larger economies, no country has returned to economic growth rates they were enjoying in 2007.
Most Americans care more about their own job prospects than to be concerned with global comparisons, for sure. What Americans may be missing, however, is that the recession of 2008 was not your ordinary recession. Arguably, it is President Obama’s steady hand that is leading the best recovery in the world and one that will not be blown away with another bubble.
Government regulations are, without a doubt, two edged swords. Free market capitalism in a laissez faire environment is a prescription for disaster. Someone will end up holding all the marbles. This does not mean that all regulations achieve their intended purpose or remain effective forever. Regulations must be constantly reviewed and amended periodically.
The GOP argument against the Affordable Care Act may be the most telling. Repealing ACA would leave Americans with the most expensive health care in the world (and not the best) and would lead to 30-50 million to no longer have coverage. The top 2%, however, need not worry. They can afford to pay. ACA may not be the model for sound health care legislation, but repealing it will leave Americans with less, and a health care system which is too expensive for most to afford.
If Romney would do a better job as President, it is hard to understand how he can convince Americans unless he builds his case upon facts. A simple referendum on Obama’s performance should not support Romney’s election.
For a lot of voters, however, facts are irrelevant. World comparisons are unneeded, they think. This is true for both Democrats and Republicans. So next week, Democrats will take aim at the 10-12% undecided. The only question remaining is whether Democrats will use facts or simply try to out spin the GOP?