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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

When Bill Clinton was President (and even before), those opposed to him wasted no time or effort to tar and feather him by associating him with the following scandals…

Whitewater – a real estate venture gone bust;
Vince Foster – the Deputy White House Counsel who killed himself in 1993;
Troopergate – allegations from the days when Clinton was Governor of Arkansas; and
Gennifer Flowers.

This constant cry of scandal and misdeed led to an interesting conclusion.

When something scandalous actually did show up, the affair with Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment and trial that followed, the public had Clinton “scandal fatigue” and shrugged. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate and he left office with an approval rating of 66%. By comparison, Ronald Reagan finished out his second term with an approval rating under 60%.

As George Santayana put it, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Such is the case with those who oppose President Barack Obama. Whether it is those who…

…question his birth certificate;
…question his religion;
…question his affiliation with pastor Jeremiah Wright;
…question his patriotism; or
…call him a socialist,

…those that call for the impeachment of the current occupant of the White House are falling into the same trap that captured the opponents of Clinton.

When something actually does show up – such as Benghazi and the Issa hearings or the IRS controversy – the public just shrugs and passes it off as more GOP crying wolf…or Kenyan…or Muslim.

Just once, I would like to see an opposition party keeps its powder dry and pounce at the right time…not simply at every whiff of blood in the air.

I have such large expectations.

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For those of you in the United States who haven’t been following along, I currently live in Thailand.

Thailand, for those of you not following along, is a foreign country that resides outside of the United States of America.

As a foreign country, Thailand has some rules, laws, and conventions that some citizens of the U.S. of A. might find odd.

Thailand has a constitutional monarchy which means, like England (another foreign country), there is a king and queen who sit as the formal head of government.

However, unlike England, it is against the law and is indeed a punishable offense to make fun of or to say anything negative about the royal couple. The name for this crime is lese majeste.

Can you imagine living in a country where you can be punished – perhaps even lose your job – for mocking the head of the government?

Of course you can. You already do.

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So what is it exactly about a president’s second term that makes them go all wobbly in the ethics department.

Richard Nixon had Watergate.

Ronald Reagan had the Iran-Contra Affair.

Bill Clinton had an affair.

George W Bush had the Valerie Plame Affair.

And now, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, and the Department of Justice’s snooping on the Associated Press all on his scandal-plate.

Maybe Jimmy Carter and George Herbert Walker Bush are happy with the fact they were one-term presidents.

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Richard Nixon had Watergate.

Ronald Reagan had Iran-Contra.

Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky.

Since the second term of some of our most recent Presidents have involved a scandal, my follow-up question is this…

What will be the scandal that crops up before 2016 that almost brings down the Obama Administration?

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In the aftermath of the 2012 Presidential Election, I am continuing my look at verifying the predictions (also known in this blog’s vernacular as veridiction) made by people in the weeks and months before the votes were actually tallied.

My previous post on this subject regarding Newt Gingrich saw a first with one quote containing three predictions, all of which were wrong.

This post also sees a first as I believe I have never had two individual people in the header of one of my posts about veridiction.

Today’s subjects are Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry, two political science professors from the state of Colorado who have a model to help them predict the winners of presidential elections.

Here’s a link to a story written about them so you can read about this academic duo and their model in greater detail.

The article was published on October 4, a month before the election. The gist of the pair’s model is that it uses economic data, not polling numbers, to predict who will be the occupant of the White House next January.

Based on their model, Bickers and Berry said that President Obama would win only 208 votes in the Electoral College and Governor Romney would earn 330.

Now that the final final results are in and with the news that a winner has been declared in the state of Florida (Barack Obama), it can be shown that Bickers and Berry’s model came extremely close to predicting the actual number of Electoral College votes allocated, which turned out to be 332 to 206.

Unfortunately for the model from the pair from Colorado, it was President Obama who had the higher number.

The article I linked to had this to say about the model…

The state-by-state economic data used in their model have been available since 1980. When these data were applied retroactively to each election year, the model correctly classifies all presidential election winners, including the two years when independent candidates ran strongly: 1980 and 1992.

To this, I can only add the thought that a model is only as good as its last prediction.

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The problem with today’s wired world (okay, Western wired world) is that when I read someone’s electronic musings, I can’t tell if they are being sarcastic, ironic, or dead-on all-in serious.

I am confronting this problem as I continue my veridictions (my made-up name for the process of verifying predictions) concerning the presidential election last Tuesday.

The issue of hipster-detachment versus full-bore seriousness is staring me square in the face as I try to determine which side of the sarcasm/serious fence Bill Frezza, a contributor to Forbes, sits on.

In May of this year, Mr. Frezza wrote an opinion piece with the title, “Prediction: Romney Crushes Obama In Presidential Election Blowout”

Frezza does not go into detail about how many Electoral College votes Governor Romney would win on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, but his use of the word “Blowout” would (to me) suggest that it would be more than the 206 (or 235 if Florida tips red) Mitt actually did garner.

Other events mis-predicted by Mr. Frezza include “The Supreme Court’s evisceration of Obamacare…” (which did not happen), and “[t]he Occupy movement’s escalating campaign of violence, which culminated in major street battles at both national conventions…

The Forbes‘ contributor tone is so over-the-top that I can only assume his tongue is firmly in his cheek when he espouses such hyperbolic predictions (a la Stephen Colbert).

However, when you read his opinion piece of November 6 where he opines that a second Obama term will lead the country to ruin, I can only make the leap to conclude that he firmly believes what he says.

Therefore, Frezza strikes out with his prediction in May of a November “blowout”.

Let me put this prediction in my file and come back to it in four years to see if, as Frezza predicts, the bottom has fallen out of the currency, an Argentinean-style capital flight and double-digit inflation hits the economy, and the recession has “come back with a vengeance”.

My second-most-favorite part of Frezza’s latest piece is where he writes, “Six months ago, I confidently predicted that Americans would come to their senses and turn back the explosive growth of government unleashed by Barack Obama.”

My favorite part is where Frezza never admits he was wrong.

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As I said in my previous post, I enjoy chaos.

Another aspect of today’s presidential election that would fulfill my yen for chaos would be the situation where the Republican candidate, Governor Mitt Romney, wins a large share of the popular vote than does the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, President Barack Obama (of the Democratic Party), but loses in the Electoral College.

I will double over with fits of joy and mirth as I watch the bloviators and puffed-up pundits of the left and right switch sides from 2000.

To read and watch those on the right unleash their strum und drang over the illegitimacy of the second term of the Obama administration while ignoring the opposite position they took regarding George W. Bush in 2000 will be just as much as fun as reading and watching those on the left talk about the sanctity of the Electoral College and the wisdom of our Founding Fathers while ignoring the opposite position they took regarding Al Gore in 2000.

Long story short – it’s not much of a philosophical argument you have if you can switch your position depending on whether the person you speak of has a (R) or (D) after their name.

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