Election Distractions

Election Distractions

© David Burton 2012

What Pres.Obama Believes

     The 2012 presidential elections are fast approaching. The claptrap coming from the mouths of politicians and the supporters of the presidential candidates, along with much of what is fobbed off on the American voting public as “news”, “information”, “opinions”, “views”, etc. can make one wish for the benefits of a monarchy or even a dictatorship. At least, under those political regimes, we wouldn’t have to put up with the stupidity that appears in print or is spouted on the airwaves.

     Mitt Romney has refused to release more than the most recent two years of his federal income tax returns. One would think that he was hiding his membership in the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party. How dare he refuse to make public his tax returns that federal law treats as private and confidential? When was the last time that you or I made our tax returns public? Did George Washington, the millionaire president of his day, make his finances public in order to be elected? Where in the United State Constitution is it stated that a precondition for being elected to the presidency is the disclosure of one’s tax returns? What federal law requires this?

     Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader and political ambusher for incumbent President Obama has “spun an elaborate story about an anonymous Bain Capital investor who has allegedly confided in Reid that for a period of 10 years Romney paid nothing in taxes.
     “Now it’s worth noting that the inevitable demand for Romney to release more of his returns is coming from a man who has served in the Senate since 1987 but never released his own tax returns. . . . But the credibility of Reid or his story hardly matters. The attack dog for the Obama campaign was simply doing his best to sink his canines into Romney’s leg, to keep the issue of the candidate’s wealth front-and-center.’” (Ref. 1)

     How credible is Reid’s anonymous source? If Harry Reid has credible evidence that Romney broke the law on his tax returns, then let Reid provide that evidence to the IRS. If Reid’s source is not credible or if there is no evidence that Romney broke the law, then Reid should shut up! Reid should either put up or shut up!

     Why should you or I care about Romney’s wealth? As Clark Gable famously stated, “Frankly Scarlet, I don’t give a damn!” Since when is wealth a criteria for being elected president of the United States? If the IRS is happy with Romney’s tax returns, why should you or I need to see them? If Romney legitimately avoided paying income taxes, more power to him and his tax lawyers! I wish he’d show me how to do it.

     In addition to the attack on Romney’s refusal to release more than the last two years of his income tax returns, the Democrats have attacked Romney’s wife for owning a horse after “she began riding horse 12 years ago as therapy for her multiple sclerosis.” Again, the basis for the attack is Romney’s wealth. How dare Ann Romney have a “show horse which competed in Olympic dressage last week”? (week of 1 August 2012) “The left’s vicious class-warfare attack on Mrs. Romney reeks worse than horse hockey.” (Ref. 2)

     Another red herring in the 2012 presidential election campaign is that of outsourcing jobs. “Obama slams Romney for Bain Capital’s outsourcing of jobs to China. Romney counters by labeling Obama ‘Outsourcer in Chief’. . . . {but,} purchasing labor services abroad, if it saves money, is beneficial to everyone, including American workers. Outsourcing does not destroy American jobs, it simply changes the kind of work Americans specialize in. If fewer Americans need to work in manufacturing, then more Americans will be hired in nonmanufacturing jobs. That’s the Law of Competitive Advantage. . . . It is {also} in America’s interest that other nations be prosperous and productive. . . . Any outsourcing that saves costs and increases profits is to be celebrated. A Congressional Medal of Honor should go to the CEO who cuts his costs most, whether he does it by outsourcing or any other means. He is a true friend of humanity.” (Ref. 3) One of America’s greatest corporate success stories is Apple, Inc. Does Apple outsource jobs to China? You bet it does! Apple employs some 47,000 workers in the U.S., but also employs another 23,000 workers worldwide. Just about all of its manufacturing is done in China. “While there have been plenty of stories criticizing Apple for exporting thousands of manufacturing jobs to China, some say Apple isn’t getting the credit it deserves for keeping innovation in the U.S., which translates into a bump in jobs in the local economy.” (Ref. 4) Needless to say, by keeping manufacturing costs low, Apple is able to make its products affordable to more people, not only in America, but throughout the entire world. Is that so bad?

     Lest one think that all the political foo-fah comes from the left, we can take note of the fact that “First Lady, Michelle Obama has bristled at the few challenges she’s received over the years to her extravagant jet-setting, pricy fashions, $7,000 tops, $600 sneakers,” (Ref. 2) Were these issues raised concerning Jackie Kennedy during the Kennedy presidency? I don’t think so. But today is not the 1960’s and Washington is no longer Camelot.

      Another example of meaningless verbiage in this year’s presidential election campaign concerned “Vice President Joe Biden’s remark that Republican policies would put middle-income Americans ‘back in chains’.” (Ref. 5)

      Republican presidential candidate Romney wasted everyone’s time by bothering to respond, as did President Obama who correctly called the fuss exaggerated.

      How about the “dog fight” for another inane and totally irrelevant non-issue? The left got a healthy dose of its own medicine this week when the Mitt Romney campaign began pointing out that President Obama had once tasted dog meat as a child in Indonesia. The howls of faux outrage were a delight to the ears of many who thought it an overdue comeuppance. “In January, Obama's former campaign strategist David Axelrod referenced {a story about Romney putting} the family dog in a dog crate and strapping it to the roof of the car for a family road trip. . . . The Romney campaign fired back by pointing out that Obama admitted in his 1995 book ‘Dreams From My Father’ that he had eaten a dog when he was a boy.
      “Yes, the entire dogfight is a distraction from the important issues. President Obama has denounced the use of ‘distractions’ in politics for years. But of course he does not believe it. His own top campaign surrogate brought up Romney's dog story. And Obama himself has given us a string of distractions lately — the Buffett Rule, oil speculators, Mitt Romney's personal wealth, etc. And don't forget the Democratic Party's ‘war on women’ distraction.
      “As Election Day gets closer, look for more distractions from most political campaigns, including Obama's. . . . Just remember that they often say more about the campaign that deploys them than about the intended target.” (Ref. 6)

      There are major issues to be addressed in the 2012 presidential campaign. The unemployment rate won’t budge below 8%; 1 in 2 new college graduates are unemployed or underemployed; Gas prices remain near record highs; the national debt is in the stratosphere and shows no signs of being reduced any time soon; Syria is murdering its citizens; Iran continues on the path to nuclear armament; U.S relations with Israel are, at best, cool; the problems with health care and healthcare costs remain to be solved. Rather than meaningful discussions about public policy on these major issues, we are distracted by secondary or totally inconsequential issues such as: gay marriage; public funding of birth control and women’s rights; Mitt Romney’s tax returns; eating dog meat or transporting dogs on the roof a car; or comments from the Vice President while on the campaign trail. Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), the nation’s top stories in the media and the political realities simply don’t match. Is this by accident or by design? The issues that are making the headlines simply serve as distractions from the issues of real importance. It might be said that “having the mainstream media on your side doesn’t hurt. With their ‘look-the-other-way’ attitude toward Obama’s mistakes, the President and his allies have mastered the art of political distraction.
      “The media has covered a smorgasbord of articles ranging from birth control to women to gay marriage in 2012. . . .
           - - -
      “Strangely, most of the biggest news stories in the US in the months leading up to the 2012 election have been social, not economic, issues. The Obama administration’s focus on these issues is not one of genuine concern. Rather, it is nothing but a political ploy. . . .
      “{This} focus on social issues places the spotlight back on the Obama Administration, a spotlight that has been solely focused on the GOP contenders in the last several months. Obama is unable to run on his actual record, considering his history of economic failures. Therefore, the President and his supporters have turned the spotlight on issues which can actually garner some support from his liberal allies . . . . It’s as if Obama woke up last week, looked at his record, and said, ‘Hmmm rising unemployment, falling poll numbers…OH LOOK GAY MARRIAGE…I can use that.’ These social issues are merely a distraction from Obama’s abysmal record. . . . Oh look, a political distraction!” (Ref. 7)

     Instead of this noise about irrelevant issues, let’s get down to the business of hearing what the candidates’ plans are for the next four years. Let’ hear about how he plans to attack the issues of:

  • National defense
  • International and domestic terrorism
  • Unemployment
  • The economy
  • Foreign relations
  • Health care
  • Taxes.
     Please, stop wasting my time with irrelevant innuendo. The wealth of a presidential candidate is not one of my criteria in deciding for whom to vote. Neither are: taxes paid/not paid, income sheltered from taxes, charitable donations, etc. It’s time to get serious and focus on the really relevant issues!

  1. The politics of slime, Op-ed, Boston Herald, Page 20, 7 August 2012.
  2. Class envy barnyard tactic, Michelle Malkin, Boston Herald, Page 21, 7 August 2012.
  3. Outsourcing is the U.S. at its Best, Harry Binswanger, Forbes, Page 28, 20 August 2012.
  4. How Jobs Created Jobs, Connie Guglielmo, Forbes, Page 38, 20 August 2012.
  5. Obama Spars With Romney Over Biden’s ’Back in Chains’ Remark, Margaret Talev and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Bloomberg Businessweek, 16 August 16 2012.
  6. Dogs and distractions: Yep, it's an election year, Editorial, UnionLeader.com, 19 April 2012.
  7. Look, A Distraction!, Amy Lutz, Hot Air - Green Room,11 May 2012.

  06 September 2012 {Article 140; Politics_24}    
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