But What If Romney Should Lose?

A week ago, Rasmussen reported that Romney had taken a lead over Obama–a narrow lead, but a lead. Then came the Democratic convention–and now Rasmussen shows Romney trailing Obama all over again. Pondering these and similar polls, our friend John Hinderaker over at Powerline put up a post this past weekend entitled “Why is this election so close?

If John’s post hadn’t proven so cogent it wouldn’t have bothered me. As it was, the post represented one of the most thoroughly discouraging analyses of the state of our Republic that I have ever read. The critical passage:

On paper, given Obama’s record, this election should be a cakewalk for the Republicans. Why isn’t it? I am afraid the answer may be that the country is closer to the point of no return than most of us believed. With over 100 million Americans receiving federal welfare benefits, millions more going on Social Security disability, and many millions on top of that living on entitlement programs–not to mention enormous numbers of public employees–we may have gotten to the point where the government economy is more important, in the short term, than the real economy. My father, the least cynical of men, used to quote a political philosopher to the effect that democracy will work until people figure out they can vote themselves money. I fear that time may have come.

I, too, fear that the time may have come. “A government with all this mass of favours to give or withhold, however free in name,” wrote John Stuart Mill,

wields a power of bribery scarcely surpassed by an avowed autocracy, rendering it master of the elections in almost any circumstances but those of rare and extraordinary public excitement.

Our own democracy, reduced to bribing us.

Talk me out of it–if ever you can, talk me out of it.

  1. Mimi

    Of the 100 million Americans receiving federal welfare benefits, how many would prefer to break out of that bind?  Most people would rather have jobs and a future of their own making than be a beneficiary of smallish support.  Romney and Ryan must continue to reach out to them, spelling out how we are going to break free of the bad decisions that put us where we are.

    The stereotype of the Republican steel-hearted businessman should be challenged more.  We need to go after our opponents more aggressively, exploiting all media.  We should ambush their probable emotional insults, staying on message with a vision of a better future without huge government.  We should show how it would be unwise to have huge increases in government employees, using California as an illustration of the big picture.

  2. If Obama wins you’ll see an expansion of the federal workforce that will make the Doom Boom seem like nothing. You know federal govt reaction when something doesn’t work? Hire more people! The activation of Obamacare will have a larger and more distructive impact on our economy and federal governance than 9/11. I’m not so worried about Obama’s second term, but his third.

  3. Mel Foil
    Wylee Coyote: Come on, people.  This country has survived worse than Obama.  Will it hurt?  Of course.  Sure, the gloves will be off his liberalism in a 2nd term, but the historical pattern is for a president’s 2nd term to be a mire of scandal and blame.  Less gets done, and the public slowly but surely gets sick to death of the guy.

    For someone like Obama, that would be the worst that could happen.

    Look at the average age of the US Supreme Court justices. If Obama gets a second term, he (Obama) might be influencing our lives for decades through court appointments. The US Constitution will be so “alive” it might just escape and disappear altogether.

  4. Stu In Tokyo

    If Obama wins, I’ll be looking for some land way outside of town backed up to a large hill with good water.

  5. dash

    Peter, may I call you Peter?

    Please. Take a moment.

    Watch this.

    And then get back here, shoulder your carbine and post something  to rally the troops, soldier.

  6. Evan Pokroy


    I, for one, am still sanguine about the American Experiment. It’s true that Almost a third of the nation receives direct assistance and around half don’t pay into the system. I think that most of them would like to change that. If you remember a book, which you’ve mentioned once or twice on the podcast, What’s Wrong With Kansas, where the author goes at lengths to wonder why the poor of the midwest/south don’t vote Dem. Well, they don’t, because that’s not the battlefront, really. We do need to do more to win over certain demographic groups which the left has co-opted. Both the Hispanic and African American groups are mostly patriotic and socially conservative, but have become vassals to the Dem machine. If we can bring them over to our side we will be fine, long term. Even the young, Obama’s main constituents last time around, are no longer in his pocket. The 2010 election on state level was a big presage of the overall feel and I’m optimistic. 

  7. genferei

    Regardless of the outcome, the right needs to accept the truth that playing by the rules, particularly by the media’s rules, does not work.

    I’m not suggesting subverting the constitution. I am suggesting a co-ordinated and comprehensive campaign to undermine and destroy the influence of incorrigibly liberal institutions such as the legacy media, the Hollywood complex, bureaucratic education (K-12+college) etc.

    To this list can be added the administrative welfare state, of course: any reduction in the size, scope and reach of the state is a win for civil society, which means a win for the right ideas.

    But let’s start with the media. MSM delenda est, one might say.

  8. CoolHand

    “In Tampa, the Republican argument against the president’s re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.”

    If you actually believe that, your head is as empty as that of your avatar.

    Good God.

    Bush did some bad things, but for crying out loud, you’d think the man went into each and every failed business and ganked the key guy just before he left office, so as to leave JugEars™ with as big a mess as possible.

    Democrats and Go-Along Get-Along Republicans got us into this mess by giving the lazy, stupid, and those otherwise dis-inclined towards work an ever greater piece of the pie baked by those actually DO such things.

    This mess is no way the sole responsibility of GWB.  It took decades and hundreds or maybe thousands of lazy/corrupt/cynical politicians to get us here.  It’s going to take more than just deposing JugEars™ to fix it, but that’s a damned good start.

  9. Mitch Noyes

    I wish I could talk you out of it, Peter. I wrote a post expressing almost the same sentiments this weekend. I have been very optimistic and fairly enthusiastic about Romney up until this week. These numbers and the fact that the Democrats drew far more interest in their convention than the Republicans did really sobered me up.

    I take solace in the fact that post-convention bounces don’t always mean much and that Romney has really only just begun to fight. We likely also have two more months of dire economic news on the horizon which will hopefully have the equal but opposite effect on wavering Obama voters as these latest developments have had on me.

    I agree, though, that all we can do is keep calm and carry on. We need to stay positive and redouble the support of our candidate. Anyone believing this will be a landslide for the GOP, though, are deluding themselves. This is going to be a squeaker if we win at all.

  10. Black Prince

    I’m sorry, Peter, but I can’t talk you out of it. It is indeed too late. While part of it has to do with entitlement programs and federal welfare benefits, the real issue is the ideological subversion (Marxist brainwashing) of American society. I encourage everyone to watch the following clip from a 1985 interview with Yuri Bezmenov:

    The complete interview can be found here:

    Here is the pertient quote from the interview:

    “[The goal of Marxist brainwashing is to] change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their community and their country…Exposure to true information does not matter anymore…[a person who is brainwashed] is unable to assess true information…the facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information—authentic proof—with documents, with pictures…even if I take him by force and show him the Soviet concentration camps…he will refuse to believe it…”

  11. Lucy Pevensie

    Peter. Go read this article and then come back and write a different one yourself.   Significant excerpt:

    They can’t govern. Marxism has never worked in the real world and will never work.  But they’re good at the propaganda front, because it’s easy to make people go along with you who are in professions where they depend on being seen as cool and hip: the media, entertainment.  And if that fails there’s the Chicago boot of the Justice Department.

    Which brings me back to – what are you thinking?  Why are you echoing flawed polls?  Why are you telling us it’s all over?  That we don’t have a fighting chance, that Obama will be elected again?

    Do I want you to sound all cheery?  No.  Of course not.  If there are real difficulties, show them.  But must you do the propaganda job for the other side?

    You and I were attracted to the Churchillian aspects of Gingrich.  So let’s buck up and act the way Churchill would have us act. Are we going to let ourselves get demoralized? Are we going to spread fear and depression?  Quit it.

  12. John Hanson

    In JH’s analysis cited by you he also gives Obama too much credit.  He attributes Obama’s economic policies to ignorance.  Based on Obama’s own writings and his education, this is, in my view wrong.  Obama is delibrately weakening the US economy per long established leftist dogma, that the best way to take over a country is to creat chaos.  Nothing about the US economy is accidental it is planned to happen this way.  Our salvation can come if enough people realize the enormous false promises of stateism and crony capitalism.

  13. Lucy Pevensie

    My comment also applies to anyone else in this thread who has gotten demoralized.  People, really?  When all the money and propaganda that went into Wisconsin just got Scott Walker through his recall election?  Really?  When you look at the 2010 House races?  When you walk out your door and see nary an Obama sign? 

    My Facebook feed is even silent, and these are some of the most rabid Democrats around. When the feed kicks up, they try publishing graphs that say that the jobs situation is good.  And I say to them, really people?  Who are you kidding?  You want people to believe something you write, or their own eyes?  But the same goes for us.  We’d rather believe some poll on the internet than what we see when you walk out our own doors.  We need to wake up.

  14. Black Prince
    genferei: …I am suggesting a co-ordinated and comprehensive campaign to undermine and destroy the influence of incorrigibly liberal institutions such as the legacy media, the Hollywood complex, bureaucratic education (K-12+college) etc.

    I completely agree, genferei.  The Marxist “ideological subversion” of American society is the problem and is the greatest threat to America.  Terrorism pales in comparison.  The fact is that multiple generations of Americans have already been brainwashed (see my previous post) and trying to win them over by appealing to their intellect and showering them with facts is an exercise in futility.  We’re doomed.  Even if there were a shimmer of a glimmer of hope that the ship can be righted  (as suggested by genferei) by waging a “co-ordinated and comprehensive campaign” against the poisionous Marxist ideology, I can’t help but think that Romney doesn’t have the moral courage and strength of conviction to do the job.

  15. Strategoist
    CoveredUp: More optimistically, perhaps it has more to do with this:

    “In Tampa, the Republican argument against the president’s re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.”

    I thought that was a very succinct and pointed expression of what’s going on.  Not the whole story, of course, but this is politics, where little soundbites can go a long way.  It certainly did with me. · 5 hours ago

    And that’s what they call “concern trolling” folks!  At least you’re paying to post here, Sandra! ;)

  16. Rudolf Halbensinn
    Talk me out of it–if ever you can, talk me out of it. · · 6 hours ago

    Can you imagine Ulysses Grant after one of his bloody battles in the 1860s taking advice like that?  I don’t know which but after one battle with casualties in the 5 figures he did not retreat as McClellan and other Union Generals tended to do. 

    Instead he carried on, as Albert Arthur and Strategoist wrote.

    And wouldn’t you know it…

  17. Instugator
    Lucy Pevensie: We’d rather believe some poll on the internet than what we see when you walk out our own doors.  We need to wake up. · 4 minutes ago


    Peter, Peter, Peter – “Always with the negative waves Moriarty, ALWAYS with the negative waves!”

    And – “Oh, man. Don’t hit me with those negative waves so early in the morning.”

    ’nuff said

  18. LCLee

    One thing I’m sure of is that Mitt Romney is a prayerful man. Daily he prays and seeks the Lord’s guidance. As he works his way through the political challenges he is always seeking God’s help. It is my belief that God desires this country to be free and full of opportunity for his children. Many of the founding fathers felt God’s divine hand in what they were doing. I believe he is still there. God will not force the people of this land to vote one way or another, but he will give guidance and help to those who seek to do a great work for the USA. When my fears for the country rise up, I remember that God knows the end from the beginning and he is in charge. We need to all remember to pray for the voters of this country to be inspired to do what is right for it. I hope no one takes this as preaching. I’m just sharing what gives me comfort. 

  19. Strategoist

    I posted this elsewhere on Ricochet, but will do so here:

    A “bounce” goes up, and then it goes down.  Who’s leading gallup right before the convention has won the election 12 out of 15 times (an 80% likelihood.)

    Romney was AHEAD 47-46 with registered voters on 8/27.

    Chill people.  Outcome isn’t known until November 7th.

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