Huntley: Obama can’t run on record, so Dems double down on lies
STEVE HUNTLEY firstname.lastname@example.org September 7, 2012 7:20PM
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland addresses the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. | J. Scott Applewhite~AP
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:25AM
Anyone hoping for a retreat from mudslinging and falsehoods in the presidential campaign as it goes into the stretch is going to be disappointed for two reasons. The latest unemployment report showed that for every person who got a job in August, four were so disheartened they stopped looking for work. That dispiriting report came only hours after President Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination with a speech that failed to meet his usual standard — “Obama fell flat” is how the political website Politico headlined a story about assessments of his speech by prominent Democrats and liberals.
That highlights the central cracks in the foundation of Obama’s re-election hopes: His record on the economy stinks, he offers no new ideas, only warmed-over old promises renamed “goals,” and the magic from his 2008 campaign is gone.
So there’s nothing left but to double down on the low-down campaigning done by Democrats this summer with some whoppers about policy and vitriol about Republican nominee Mitt Romney, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and other Republicans.
The biggest tall tale will be the oft-repeated allegation that Romney wants to take the country back to the policies that brought on the economic crisis of 2008. That’s what Obama and Democrats want the voters to believe about President George W. Bush’s tax cuts because Romney is pushing tax reform with lower rates for everyone.
The problem is there’s no tax-cut link to the cause of the recession — the collapse of the housing market. The housing bubble was inflated by administrations of both parties, but primarily by liberal policies aimed at expanding home ownership to even the most financially challenged Americans. Those policies pushed banks and especially the quasi-governmental agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to throw commonsense standards to the wind and promote suspect schemes such as adjustable rate mortgages, no-interest loans and liar loans to put millions of people in homes they couldn’t afford.
To his credit, Bush tried to rein in the excesses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but was blocked by liberal icons Chris Dodd in the U.S. Senate and Barney Frank in the House, the latter who famously said he was ready to “roll the dice” on lax lending. He rolled the dice but the losers were the millions of Americans who had played by the rules, got mortgages they could afford, and then saw their home values plummet. If there was justice in the political world, the downturn would be called the Dodd-Frank recession.
With distortions of history will come more of the character assassination of the past summer like the pro-Obama SuperPAC ad insinuating Romney was responsible for the cancer death of a woman.
The convention brought more ugly stuff. Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland attacked Romney’s “economic patriotism.”
Remember how Democrats used to scream at perceived attacks on their patriotism?
But the lowest point came in Nazi rhetoric, with the head of California’s delegation comparing a Ryan speech to Joseph Goebbels-type lies and the chairman of South Carolina Democrats likening Gov. Nikki Haley to Hitler mistress Eva Braun. Remember Democrats’ call for civility after the Gabby Giffords shooting?
But they have no room for civility or facts when it comes to trying to re-elect a president who can’t run on his record.