It doesn’t matter.
Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM & FM, Friday, Nov. 16, 2011.
For once I agree with President Obama. Speaking last Sunday to Steve Kroft on CBS’s 60 Minutes on the prospects as to who he will face in the 2012 election he said,
“It doesn’t really matter who the nominee is gonna be. The core philosophy that they’re expressing is the same. And the contrast in visions between where I want to take the country and [where] they say they want to take the country is gonna be stark.”
I couldn’t agree more, Mr. President. The differences between you and any of the Republican contenders for the nomination couldn’t be more profound.
You want an ever-expanding role for government in the economy. You have the prototypical liberal vision of a Leviathan government overseen by a benevolent philosopher king that dispenses favors to the people. The Republican candidates to a person want just the opposite. The Republican candidates point to bankrupt entitlements, a trillion dollars in wasted stimulus money and a burgeoning regulatory apparatus that stifles enterprise while doing little to actually protect anyone. In the face of that sorry record, the Republican candidates to a person argue for a smaller government.
Mr. President, you believe in the health care law that is nicknamed after you. You hold this belief even though most Americans didn’t want Obamacare enacted in the first place and it became law only through legislative trickery. By way of contrast, your potential Republican opponents to a person have vowed to repeal Obamacare and in so doing repudiate your signal legislative accomplishment.
You, Mr. President, oppose domestic oil and gas production at nearly every turn. On this one, I’ll give you credit. Judging by your stance on the American oil and gas industry, no one can say that you will abandon your core principles for mere political gain. The fact that the American oil and gas industry could go a long way toward bringing down the high unemployment that will dog you all the way to November has not kept you from stifling industry efforts at nearly every opportunity. On the other hand, the Republican candidates to a person want to unshackle the American oil and gas industry to the betterment of the economy and national security. As you say, sir, a stark contrast.
You want to raise income tax rates. The fact that it can be proved mathematically that taxing million dollar earners at a rate of 100 percent would not have an impact significantly above the rounding error of the current year budget deficit matters not at all to you. Raising taxes is a core belief of yours.
The candidates to a person oppose raising income tax rates. Note, however, that none is opposed to higher tax revenues. They simply oppose raising tax rates in the demonstrable belief that higher rates seldom translate to higher revenues. On this, the most demagogued of all political issues, the Republican candidates speak as one.
So you are correct, sir. In the final analysis it doesn’t really matter who the nominee is. The thing that matters is which vision of the country the voters want – yours or that of any of your Republican opponents.
Unless things are a whole lot better by summer, I’m betting that whomever it is that wins the Republican nomination will do better than any of us now thinks.