Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 13, 2012

Observations on the 2012 election: odds and ends, four more years of Obama

By JAMES H. "SMOKEY" SHOTT
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— A major factor in this election was demographics. Depending upon your gender, your race, your age and whether you are married or not, that largely determined how you voted.

Other noteworthy observations from the election include:

• The candidate of hope and change in 2008 won an ugly, vicious victory in 2012.

• Again, questions arise about the fairness or appropriateness of the Electoral College system for choosing the president and vice president. In 2000: George Bush got 50,456,002 votes for 47.87 percent of the total ballots cast. Al Gore got 50,999,897 votes for 48.38 percent of the vote, and won the popular vote by 543,895 votes, a half-point more than Mr. Bush received, but Mr. Bush won the Electoral vote 271 to 266. This year: Barack Obama got 61,718,420 votes for 51 percent of total ballots cast. Mitt Romney got 58,513,463 votes for 48.0 percent of total votes. Mr. Obama received 2,989,629 more votes than Mr. Romney, or 3 percent more votes, but received 332 electoral votes to Mr. Romney’s 206, a difference of 126 Electoral votes, or 62 percent.

• During the campaign, Republican U.S. Senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock made controversial statements about rape, which led to their defeat. In Massachusetts, however, Democrat Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, despite her feeble and unsubstantiated claims of Native American heritage so she could qualify as a minority, was rewarded with a victory over her liberal Republican opponent.

• According to exit polls, about 50 percent of the voters who voted for Barack Obama said, indeed, it was still George Bush’s fault.

• Some three million Republicans reportedly did not vote in this election. There were also conservatives, libertarians and independents that voted for a third party candidate, or did not vote at all. They said things like, “Romney wasn’t conservative enough,” or “wasn’t libertarian enough,” and, “you know, anyone who’s not perfect doesn’t get my vote!” Each of those people who did not vote for Romney helped re-elect Barack Obama. Maybe they will be happy with the result.

• Three days after the election Mr. Obama’s Interior Department shut down 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

• By last Friday morning the Obama administration had posted 165 new regulations and notifications on its reguations.gov website.

• Celebrating Barack Obama’s re-election and anticipating increases in taxes and fees on businesses from his policies, the Dow Jones Industrial Average immediately dropped 313 points on Wednesday and another 121 points on Thursday, losing 2.4 percent from Tuesday’s close to Friday’s close. Some 40 large companies announced staff cutbacks and closures to counteract increased costs, while other businesses cut back employee hours to part-time to avoid the huge expenses headed their way.

• An actual “texting” conversation between two Obama-ites:

Obama-ite No. 1: “What is Obama’s last name?”

Obama-ite No. 2: “Obama is his last name. His first name is Brock.”

Obama-ite No. 1: “So his name is Brock Obama.”

Obama-ite No. 2: “Yep.”

Should people who don’t even know the president’s name be allowed to vote?

• The most potent political force in the United States is not a political party, a political coalition, or a super PAC, it is the corrupt mainstream media. Its reporting was heavily biased against Mitt Romney, it has yet to adequately report on the deadly Benghazi scandal, shirked its responsibility to investigate Fast and Furious, and has virtually ignored the continued suffering of tens of thousands of people affected by the superstorm that hit the northeast two full weeks ago. The mainstream media believe and dutifully repeat every word uttered by Barack Obama, and once he made his appearance after the storm, they assumed all problems were solved. These now-thoroughly discredited outlets should be required to register as components of the Democrat Party.

• In his second term, Barack Obama will inherit a failing economy from … himself.

• Three days after the election, President Obama said, “on Tuesday night, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach.” The results show that 51 of every 100 Americans voted for Mr. Obama and his ideas, but 49 voted for someone else and do not support his approach. There is no a mandate to do anything in that result.

• Many of us recognize that things in America have not improved in four years and in some ways have actually gotten worse. If the president has a mandate, here it is:

• Put your ideological goals in the desk drawer and start addressing the country’s problems.

• You were elected to serve all the United States and all its citizens; stop playing favorites and pandering to your favored constituencies.

• Start reducing the national debt you increased by $5 trillion.

• Stop spending 40 percent more than the country collects in revenue.

• Stop killing American jobs

• Stop obstructing and punishing job creators

• Stop obstructing domestic energy development

• Admit that radical Muslims are terrorists and start treating them as our enemy

James H. “Smokey” Shott, a resident of Bluefield, Va., is a Daily Telegraph columnist.