Skip to comments.The Narrative in London (Why Romney will win big)
Posted on 10/02/2012 9:43:48 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
At a dinner party in London Saturday, I was asked to say a few words about the upcoming presidential election in the United States. All of the guests were what my friend Otto Penzler calls politically mature, i.e., they regarded Barack Obama with varying degrees of fear, loathing, and distaste. But they had also, most of them, imbibed deeply of The Narrative: the fairy tale dispensed by virtually all the legacy (formerly known as the mainstream) media that Obama was as sure a thing to win as was possible to discover in this mutable sublunary world.
There was some surprise (not to say incredulity), then, when I repeated my frequent refrain  (like a broken record ) that I thought Mitt Romney would not only win but win big. I was not surprised by the wonder with which my prediction was greeted. The Narrative, nearly seamless in the United States, is positively monolithic in the UK. And there is this difference: in the U.S., the idea that Barack Obama has the election sewn up, while assiduously disseminated by the media, is at least treated to some of the skepticism it deserves by a large and vibrant dissenting commentariat, to whose mast your humble correspondent proudly nails his colors. That is one reason that, although youll rarely hear a peep of dissent on the major networks or politically correct organs like The New York Times, there is nevertheless a strong and indeed growing current of contrary sentiment, broadcast by venues like PJ Media but underwritten by a vast electorate that is seething with discontent over the top-down, socialist, spread-the-wealth-around policies of our handsome but shockingly incompetent president.
Its the latter that matters: what people like me (whatever their political persuasion) say is of interest only as a more or less accurate thermometer. The heat, the actual evidence of life, is produced by a pulsing body politic that goes about its business utterly unconcerned by what pundits say.
This is as it should be but it is not, I think, as vividly appreciated as it should be. Hence the surprised skepticism that greeted my announced confidence that Romney would win. But all the polls say Obama will win, came a chorus of objection.
Ah, the polls. I pointed out, as I have often pointed out here, that polls are often fragile, unreliable constructs: more the product of hope than the evidence of fact. I mentioned that Democrats are typically oversampled, that most polls (Rasmussen is an exception) canvass registered rather than likely voters, and that in general the whole scenario or context in which poll data is being assembled is predicated on 2008 patterns of turnout and voter enthusiasm.
Need I observe that the situation in 2012 is very different from what it was in 2008? In 2008, Barack Obama outraised his rival by at least 3 to 1. (He officially raised $771 million to John McCains $239 million; the actual discrepancy was even bigger.) The autumn of 2008, remember, marked the beginning of the most shattering economic crisis the world has seen since the Great Depression: Obama came to town promising to change all that. Meanwhile, his opponent temporarily suspended his campaign to deal with the economic crisis, selected an astoundingly inappropriate running mate (much though I admire her personally), and generally ran the most anemic, unfocused campaign in recent memory. Obama also had the tremendous advantage of novelty: Americas first black (well, half-black, but good enough for government work) president! How that warmed the cockles of every liberal heart. And remember, too, how unpopular George Bush and the war in Iraq were. Obama was going to change all that too. He was going to make the seas stop rising and heal the planet  (how emetic it seems now!). The moment he was inaugurated, he said , Muslim hostility would ease. (I wonder what Chris Stevenss family thinks of that?) Take a look at the footage of Obamas 2008 acceptance speech : has anything closer to the intoxication of Nuremberg been seen in American politics?
How different it all is now. For one thing, Obama now has a record not a good or inspiring record, but we at last have something concrete to judge him by. We now know that about the only promise he has managed to keep is to make the price of energy skyrocket. Yes, hes done that all right. Even as he refused the Keystone pipeline and drilling permissions around the country, the price of gasoline has gone from an average of $1.85 a gallon to something north of $4.00. He promised, if only we gave him the $780 billion stimulus, he would have unemployment down to 5.6 percent by 2012. Reality check: its about 8.3 percent. Twenty-three million people are unemployed or underemployed. He promised to halve the annual deficit in his first term; its still something like $1.4 trillion. The federal debt clock, in an occurrence of grim poetic justice, ticked over to $16 trillion as the Democratic National Convention convened in Charlotte earlier this month to nominate the most left-wing and stunningly incompetent president in our history to another term. (Remember when David Axelrod, in 2005, said that it was madness  for Bush to add $3 trillion to the federal debt in four years? Obama managed to add more than $5 trillion in only three and a half years.)
Well, I went on like this for a while. I dont know that I convinced anyone, though I do have a bet for lunch with one of the guests. I am even now deciding where I might like to be taken. Maybe, had the party been a few days later, I would have been more convincing. I just had confirmation of something I have long suspected: that only a small percentage of those canvassed by pollsters bother to respond. How small? Only 9 percent . I, and probably you, too, are part of the proud 91 percent who give them the brush off.
One of the morning papers today asks whether Mitt Romney can overcome his slump in the polls in the upcoming debates. A more pertinent question is whether Barack Obama can overcome his disastrous record on both domestic and foreign affairs by repeating his seductive clichés. I think the answer is no.
Article printed from Rogers Rules: http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball
URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/10/01/the-narrative-in-london/
URLs in this post:
 frequent refrain: http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/09/22/president-dukakis/
 broken record: http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/09/17/newtons-first-law/
 heal the planet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2pZSvq9bto
 he said: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/09/14/FLASHBACK-Obama-The-Day-Im-Inaugurated-Muslim-Hostility-Will-Ease
 footage of Obamas 2008 acceptance speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQGsP8mnHsg
 madness: http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/david-axelrod-in-2005-adding-three-trillion-to-th
 9 percent: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/09/30/we-are-the-91-only-9-of-americans-cooperate-with-pollsters/
Good article! Thanks for posting it.
Now that is an interesting datum! Only nine percent respond! Wow!
If that skinny weasel is “handsome” I am a fricking Greek God.
For those depressed by these rigged polls ask yourself “Who is more likely to respond to pollsters: Libs or conservatives?”
It seems undeniable that Libs view the media as their friend since it constantly lies and hides the truth for them. Conservatives HATE the media and consider it as their enemy and often have NOTHING to do with it or its handmaidens, pollsters.
Yet, even with the hatred of the Right, the polls have to be rigged to even get a slight lead for The Disaster.
I just left London and intelligent, educated people - who should know better - had swallowed the media narrative hook, line and sinker.
Part of the problem is the toxic influence of the BBC on UK news coverage. Yes, the TV there is less awful than in the US but no, it’s not worth the political/cultural price.
The problem was confounded for my friends by their spending all day in front of Bloomberg terminals. Being exposed to constant, tick-by-tick coverage of heavily spun, “unexpectedly” bad US economic data and living in the London yuppie bubble blinds them to just how awful Obama has been.
At the same time the phony BBC narrative tells them that Cameron is an ax-wielding right-wing zealot, that Britain should join the Euro, that they should build windmills to reduce Carbon emissions, that they should embrace gay marriage and that Israelis are Nazis.
They are so screwed.
Denzel Washington is a handsome black man. Zero is not.
I'm really getting tired of the Palin cost the election meme. McCain was a pathetic candidate and his campaign was on life support before Palin joined him. The nomination of Palin took me from a reluctant voter to an enthusiastic and involved supporter. There were MANY like me in my circle of friends and family.
The GOP elite got what they wanted again this year - another weak candidate at the top. If this election is even close, it is directly related to the lack of contrast between the two nominees. This should be an 80s like landslide, with the DNC as vulnerable as they have ever been in my lifetime.
Any comments on this? It is an interesting premise that lines up with my observations that conservatives are less likely to participate in polls.
America has rightly done its due diligence in electing a diversity affirmative action hire. It need not follow him over the cliff.
I won’t even consider answering a poll...they are all corrupt in some fashion.
Which is bizarre since, in reality, there is no middle at all in American politics, and why would he imagine independents are in the middle rather than off in the nether reaches of the fringe, and with just the Social Conservatives constituting 40% of Republican voting strength, why would he want to pander to nonexistent people with no connection to modern political currents as a substitute for the Socons who he literally invited to just go away.
So it's not just an anemic candidate at the top of the list, it's a politically naive candidate ~ now if he just had some good advisors ~ maybe some Fiscalcons ~
Well they can’t keep Muslims out of their country and we cant keep them out of our white house.....
I agree with you on all points. Palin probably kept the 2008 election from being a humiliating landslide for McCain. She certainly jazzed me up to go vote for the ticket, though when Palin and McCain started showing up on SNL to be made sport of, I knew it was all over.
That all said, I must say that I have been mostly underwhelmed with Sarah Palin since that election. It pains me to say that but it's true. She was THE rising star in the conservative/Tea Party movement but she's frittered much of her opportunity away. That FoxNews gig is a total waste of time and does nothing for her whatsoever. Whether it is by design or not, she brings nothing to the table at FoxNews other than stale talking points we've already kicked around at Free Republic ad nauseum.
She could have made so much more impact if she stayed in politics. She made some impact in the 2010 mid-terms but since she dropped out of the presidential race almost one year ago today, she's pretty much been a non-factor.
I was in Eurpoe on 09/11/12. Within hours of the attack on our embassy in Libya, the BBC was accurately reporting the events in Benghazi as a terrorist attach while the American News Networks continued to report the attack as a spontaneous riot that went bad.
Eliminate the import of Middle East oil by the end of the first Romney term.
Increase our jobs, increase our security, starve the funding of terrorism.
In the first 90 days eliminate every govt regulation preventing it ... and go get it done.
The Romney win isn’t the end—The MSM will do all they can to trash him, the DNC will paint him as heartless—Mitt needs to hit the ground running—100 days to set things in motion—He better have his cabinate ready and his actions planned—Cut back on the parties and balls and GET TO WORK! He needs a great speech and one —like JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you but...” The hardest will be the first 6 months. BUT, with a Tea Party Congress—reforms to end Obamacare and End the regulations and Taxes—He can tackle the hard stuff—Like Border Reform—even if it means a limited Amnesty for Latinos who served in Military and were honorably discharged (and their wives—now married to US citizens) He has to be—what Obama said he was but wasn’t—He needs to be a leader with the guts of a Teddy Roosevelt—and a Ronald Reagan. Maybe appoint Newt to Sec. of State? start investigating Fast and Furious—and Bengazi.
People can criticize her actions since 2008 all they want - it is deserved. But its the myth that she cost Juan McCain the election that gets tiresome when I was in the trenches and saw how she changed the campaign all the way down the ticket.
I get the GOP emails almost daily begging for my support. They want my vote, my time, and my money, but could care less for my Conservative values or even freedom. I have nothing personally against Romney. I think he is a decent enough man. I just can't imagine having a choice between two candidates that both created socialized health care plans. If the GOP "elite" can't see the fatal flaw in that logic, it may be time for some radical changes.
America is NOT looking for liberal-lite!
Your namesake said it well concerning today's GOP:
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. -- Samuel Adams