Missing the tide at its flood.
Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 3/21/14
For all his failures as a candidate, it is not at all difficult for me to imagine a very successful President Romney. That thought came to mind as I read an op-ed penned by Romney in Tuesday’s (03/18/2014) Wall Street Journal.
On the domestic front, there is very little about which Obama supporters can cheer. Obamacare is an unqualified, unmitigated and historically unparalleled domestic policy disaster. Not one of its key promises is being kept. The average family is not saving $2,500 per year and liking your health care plan is almost certain to mean that you won’t be keeping your health care plan. The Affordable Care Act, as the law is mockingly named, is so bad that even most Democrats no longer defend it.
Obamacare is but the icing on a particularly noxious domestic policy cake. That cake includes among its ingredients a towering debt, persistent deficits, historically low labor force participation and skyrocketing welfare dependency.
During the recession that marked the beginning of President Obama’s first term (which, to be fair, he inherited), average household income fell by 1.8 percent. Since the official end of that recession, average household income has fallen 4.4 percent, nearly two and a half times more than it did prior to the “recovery.”
Since Obama’s inauguration in 2009, American colleges have cranked out somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 million graduates with bachelor degrees – the majority of whom voted for Obama. More than half of those young men and women still don’t have jobs commensurate with the time and money spent getting a four year degree.
With that poor domestic picture as backdrop, five years of Obama administration foreign policy chickens are now coming home to roost. Russia’s Vladimir Putin is all but snickering in the president’s face as he brazenly annexes Crimea. Obama’s red line in Syria turned pink before vanishing altogether in the wake of Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons. The nuclearization of Iran is on the fast track toward fait accompli. The Egyptian “Arab Spring” has devolved into an Islamist winter.
I can easily imagine all of these areas of concern being in a much better state under a President Romney. Thus my interest in his Wall Street Journal op-ed.
The running theme of the piece is that President Obama has consistently missed opportunities to make a critical difference when such opportunities were at hand. Having missed them, the U.S. finds now itself with no good options.
In the piece Romney quoted Shakespeare (Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 3) saying that there is,
…a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”
Would that Romney had remembered that quote on the evening of Oct. 23, 2012. The occasion was the final presidential debate and the topic was foreign policy. Romney won the first debate handily and played the second debate to a draw. Romney supporters, therefore, were certain that President Obama’s vulnerability on the rapidly unraveling story concerning the fatal attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission at Benghazi constituted Romney’s chance for a late campaign knockout.
But it was Romney who failed to take that tide at its flood – leaving us to imagine the successful Romney presidency that might have been – while experiencing the failed Obama presidency that unfortunately is.