OBAMA VOID OF VISION
After his horrendous performance in the first debate, President Obama came out swinging in the second. Although void of any excuse for adding $5 trillion to the national debt and for never proposing a balanced budget, the President waxed confident and offered rebuttals throughout. But that is not enough to justify re-election, even among the Democratic Party faithful. He needed to appear presidential, command the facts, and rebut charges against his administration, that is true, but he also needed to articulate a clear vision for a prosperous and free America. He failed miserably to articulate that vision.
Moreover, although many pundits appear to think otherwise, he compounded his problems over the botched Benghazi terror cover-up. He had a superlative opportunity to take the high road. He could have said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been gracious in accepting responsibility for failed security but that the buck stops with him. He eluded to that but did not state it directly. He should have said that the Administration erred because while in possession of evidence of terror, they proceeded with a second justification, the public riot over the Nakoula Youtube video, which in fact had nothing to do with it. He should have said that the youtube explanation went on for too long, past the administration’s knowledge of the facts of terror. He should have apologized to the American people. Had he done that, there would be no post-debate firestorm of controversy.
He blew it. Instead of taking the high road and telling the truth, he reinforced the original lie. He said that indeed he had called the event an act of terror in his Rose Garden speech one day after the attack. That is misleading, because in his brief Rose Garden presentation he spoke in generalities of “acts” of terror, and he never said the Benghazi attack was itself an act of terror. A week later at the United Nations, he plainly propounded the false representation (which he does not now deny was false) that the attack was a spontaneous uprising in response to the infamous Nakoula Youtube video.
The President’s failure to admit error and apologize, and his choice to misrepresent his Rose Garden speech adds to the mountain of evidence calling into question Obama’s integrity. The Administration’s attempted Benghazi terror cover-up pales in comparison, however, to the significance of an error that should cost him the election: his utter failure to articulate a clear vision for a prosperous and free America. If the second debate was a draw without Obama articulating a clear vision for the future, it is in effect a loss for Obama, because he cannot persuade those still capable of being persuaded without inspiring them, giving them hope for a restoration of American greatness.
In the midst of an economic crisis, with the national debt soaring past $16 trillion, annual deficits of $1 trillion plus into the foreseeable future, and entitlements that are unaffordable by any measure, this President offered no solutions to America’s economic woes, not a single one. A president void of vision, particularly void of vision in a crisis, is a loser by the ordinary American scale. We expect our presidents to lead in a crisis, not bemoan the plight of America and offer no solutions. Obama complained, lamely tried to show empathy for the plight of the unemployed, but did not chart a clear path for economic recovery and renewed prosperity. His silence is in fact a comment. It bespeaks four more years of a failed status quo, which is entirely unsustainable, to use the economists’ favorite phrase in describing it.
Romney was therefore correct in describing the course Obama has charted for the nation as one that emulates the Greek example. Is there any voter who seriously doubts that economic dissolution follows from massive deficit spending and that there is no more critical need for the next President than implementing a plan to restore economic solvency to the government and nation?
The second debate will give Obama a slight, transient boost because his performance in round two was vastly superior to his disaster in round one, but it will not give him a decisive lead over Romney. To do that, he had to articulate a clear vision for returning America to greatness. He utterly failed to explain America’s way to prosperity, revealing himself to be bankrupt of vision and of leadership on the most important issue facing voters. That lack of vision is particularly appalling when one considers that he has had four years in office to develop a coherent strategy for recovery, yet has deferred to others, principally to Congress to act. Because he is void of vision, even the Democratic faithful should refrain from voting for him.
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This election will turn on which presidential campaign organization has the ability to turn out the vote. The Republicans are motivated, and Romney is a master of organization. Republicans dislike of Obama is profound and their fear for the American future in a second Obama Administration is deep rooted. The Democrats, by contrast, are not as motivated. They are not equally disdainful of Romney; they are discouraged by the lackluster performance and broken promises of President Obama. They are fragmented with divided opinions about their leader. If that translates into a low voter turnout among Democrats, then Romney will win because Republicans will go to the polls in very high numbers and will find allies with certain independents, conservative Democrats, and single issue voters who deplore Obama’s failure to defend Israel, abhor Obama’s attack on religious liberty, and fear Obama’s “tax” increase via Obamacare due to hit January 1, 2014.
Having failed to articulate a clear vision for a prosperous and free American future, Obama missed the opportunity to inspire his base to vote en masse. That may be the very error that turns this election.