America’s Fundamental Transformation

Timing is everything in politics. For four years, I angered conservatives by insisting Barack Obama would get reelected. I figured that an electorate willing to elect a man with ideas and a record that far to the left in 2008 would do so again. I began changing my view, however, after the first presidential debate. Over the last three or four weeks, I became confident that Mitt Romney would defeat Obama.

Fortunately for Obama, two forces intervened to rescue him. One was the mainstream media, which ensured that Benghazi, Hurricane Sandy, and the increase in the unemployment rate wouldn’t be used to undermine Obama. As for Hurricane Sandy, Obama flew in for a photo-op and then immediately returned to campaigningIf George W. Bush were president, a relentless media would have ensured that Bush didn’t return to the campaign trail.

The second force was David Axelrod and the campaign machine. I stand in awe at what they pulled off. They managed to push considerably more Democrats than Republicans to the polls (38-32 percent margin), closer to the 2008 turnout that favored Obama than the 2010 mid-term turnout that favored Republicans. Because they did, the predictions of an easy Romney victory by the likes of Dick Morris, Michael Barone, George Will, and Newt Gingrich (and myself) were dead wrong. We were certain that pollsters were oversampling Democrats. The pro-Republican, pro-Romney, and anti-Obama enthusiasm we were seeing was extremely intense. It was inconceivable to us that it could be overcome by a higher Democrat turnout. Somehow, however, it was, obliterating Romney’s five-point victory among independents. It erased Romney’s 50-49 percent edge in the final polls by Gallup and Rasmussen.

I stand in stunned disbelief. David Axelrod, you are a miracle worker.

How much of a miracle worker? Consider:

The American people reelected a man who presided over one of the worst four-year economic recordsin American history. By every objective measurement, the economy is far worse than four years ago: 47 million on food stamps (up from 32 million); all-time record deficits and debit (dwarfing the Bush numbers); chronic unemployment; a prolonged non-recovering recovery636,000 homeless; a doubling of gas prices; and on and on.

For historical perspective, consider this: No president since FDR in 1940 won reelection with an unemployment rate above 7.1 percent. And for FDR, that number was a huge improvement from four years earlier.

How did Obama and his team overcome this? The answer: they successfully blamed it on George W. Bush, with Bill Clinton aiding and abetting the process. There were no limits to how much they blamed Bush, and how much it worked. The Democratic base swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

Sadly, other things worked as well, and none are good for this country. The framing of Republicans as conducting a “war on women” because they don’t favor forced taxpayer funding of abortion,Planned Parenthood, and contraception worked. The insistence that government-provided contraception is a new “entitlement” worked. The demonizing of the Tea Party—a movement spontaneously created by Obama’s wild spending—worked.

For that matter, Obama got away with the extraordinarily wasteful $800 billon “stimulus” packagethat didn’t stimulate and buried us fiscally. He even got away with the HHS mandate that constitutes the greatest threat to religious liberty (particularly against the Catholic Church) in at least a century.

In terms of social policy, the electorate has given the green light to a president who is redefining marriage and promoting forced funding of abortion and contraception and embryo destruction—at the expense of religious liberty.

Moreover, the president’s unceasing class-warfare rhetoric was rewarded by the electorate, as were his attacks on profits, the private sector, the wealthy, banking and investment, and the oil and natural gas industry. The Obama energy policy is advanced. Mitt Romney would have unleashed a boom for America’s domestic energy industry. That is now gone. That is a tragedy, the levels of which we will not be able to appreciate.

And what about Romney? I had my reservations, but America rejected a genuinely decent man who had the best business background of anyone who would have ever assumed the Oval Office. He was the perfect person for the perfect time.

In short, what we saw on November 6, 2012 was a breathtaking display of political survival by Barack Obama, the first president to be re-elected with a lower number of Electoral College votes and popular vote. What we also witnessed was the final step in the fundamental transformation of America that Barack Obama promised four years ago.

This article courtesy of The Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College, a conservative think tank promoting truth and liberty through a vision of faith and freedom. 

Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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  • LarryM

    I am completely with you about this loss…I, too, am stunned. While I have many additional thoughts, I will stick with two.

    First, it was an absolute mistake to let the ongoing charge that: the financial crisis and subsequent recession was the fault of George Bush. Bush has never attempted to defend himself, staying above politics while he was in office, and nobody came to his defense after he left office. The Democrats tried, and succeeded, to blame his tax cuts. It has been shown that these account for less than five percent of the deficit. They tried to blame this amorphous idea of ‘deregulation’. Well, it was the Clinton white house that repealed Glass-Steagal that led to these financial behemoths taking excessive risks, as investment banks and savings banks could now be owned by the same corporation. It was the Democratic party that blocked reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and pushed the banks to lend more to people who couldn’t afford their mortgages. Bill Clinton himself made this point 4 years ago when the crisis hit…Republicans should have been pounding this point home. I bring this up because 53% of the population blame the economy on George Bush (based on exit polls). Letting this go has obviously cost them. It left Romney in the position of having to distance himself from Bush, and showing how different he was. Bottom line, it allowed Obama a pass for his handling of the economy.

    The second point I want to make is related more to the Senate and the tea party. While I must admit I am sympathetic to the goals of the tea party, and their raison d’etre, ie, out of control government spending, over-regulation, etc. But, based on the previous two elections, they have thrown away at least four Senate seats. Delaware and Nevada in the last election, and Colorado and Indiana in this one. My comment on this is, if you’re going to go with ideological purity, nice idea, can you please replace them with a person with something resembling a brain?!?! I have been active in the pro-life movement, and I have NEVER heard anyone make the claim a woman’s body can stop a pregnancy if she’s been raped. ‘Legitimate rape’?!?!? Again, where did this fool come up this?!?! And pregnancy being God’s will after rape??? Theology aside (not judging the merits of this point…good can come from evil, or whatever), what idiot would let this pass his lips, knowing how the media will seize on something so utterly stupid and insensitive. In the previous election it was Angle and O’Donnell. Both utterly decent people, who had solid conservative principles, but obviously seriously lacking in an overall understanding of the issues. You need both to be successful…they lacked it.

    One final, related point. Sarah Palin has been seen as a voice, if not THE voice, of the tea party movement. She backed the above mentioned candidates. My feeling about her now is, like the black woman at an Obama event a couple of years ago who said this to him, I’m tired of having to defend her. I loved her when she was first nominated, and still think she is a fundamentally decent person, great patriot etc. But her actions since then…I really don’t want to trash her, but….please Sarah, just go away.

  • KGN

    I know this is difficult for most people to believe, but there is technology out there that makes it possible to flip the vote without detection. I believe that’s what happened, for two reasons: First, if the technology exists, of course they would use it. They’re desperate. Not long ago I watched a video of a Congressional Committee hearing testimony from a computer programmer in Florida who said his company had been approached by a politician looking for this type of computer program. He said it would be very easy to do, and also easy to make undetectable. Secondly, it was clear that the liberal polls were skewed. Did they do that to make it look like the race was close, so that a flip would not be so obvious? I find it difficult to believe that so many people in this country did not vote for the one person who was clearly capable of fixing the economy. Even more difficult for me to believe is that more than half of the county would vote for a man who thinks murdering babies by any means necessary is a good thing. My heart won’t let me believe it.

  • liberty911

    The article is too logical and filed with facts. Obama retained the presidency because the majority of voters are not focused on facts, but are truly ignorant.

  • Droodlebug

    Another nice article by Kengor. You’ve summed it up nicely. I don’t think, like KGN, that this was fraud. Unfortunately, this is who we have become in the USA. Obama & Axelrod played us all very well and the media helped. Our Divider in Chief picked off the single women vote with the “War on Women” nonsense, reinforced his hispanic vote by trampling the constitution, he had the african american vote all along and that wasn’t going to change, but Obama phones helped I’m sure. With his switch back to gay marriage he locked up the ignorant vote which seems to cross all ages, but is most evident in those who’ve been brainwashed in our public schools, Universities or who just watch too much TV or listen to NPR. We are really in the minority, but be not afraid, God has us in his care. Suffering opens the soul to God’s grace (JPII) and I think we are in for a nuclear warhead of grace over the next few years!

  • Annamarie

    Lord, Droodlebug, I hope you are right about “a nuclear warhead of grace!.” At this point all I can feel is suffering, and all I can think is that my fellow Americans have lost their freakin’ minds. I,, too, am stunned, and really hate to contemplate that there is a quick, dirty, and undetectable way to flip votes, although I don’t doubt for a second that the Democrat Party would use it in a heartbeat.

    I also wish Gov. Romney had come out blasting on the economy, Benghazi, and defense of former Pres. Bush. In the first debate it really looked as though thin-skinned Obozo was going to barf when he had to face somebody who didn’t kiss his..ring every time he opened his yap. But, coming on strong is not Gov. Romney. Even after all the awful, crude, rude, and socially unacceptable things the liberals said and wrote about any and all conservatives, he was a gentleman. Sadly, for someone like Obozo, a devotee of “The Chicago Way,” only a (verbal) punch in the face would have been the only way to rock him back on his heels. That is not what we got, though…darn it.

    Now I am left with only my prayers that we will live through the next four years and find some way to undo at least PART of Obozo’s nightmare desires and actions, and the seemingly unavoidable conclusion that over half of the country can now classify themselves as idiots.

  • Aging Flower Child

    Stunned is an understatement. I swing between disbelief, fear, spontaneous tears and totally uncharacteristic anger – which I do not know what to do with. I am praying a LOT. I refuse to turn on the television or listen to any news on the radio. Despite that, I have heard some rumors that the best strategy being proposed for a new Republican agenda needs to be to lose the social issues it has represented. Lord Jesus, Joseph and Mary help us! I do not want to hear any more ‘blaming’ our priests and bishops, blaming Romney or his campaign, blaming the tea party – this is just misplaced anger. We have totally lost our moral compass in this country, we have let main stream media, public schools and elitist University professors form our culture and consciences. We need to flock to our parishes, try and get as many family and friends to join us – we need to do whatever each of us is able to do to witness to the goodness of our faith (and many other faiths for that matter – at least the Evangelicals voted more solidly against moral relativism!) and encourage and nuture conversion to God and away from popular secularist culture. I fear for our Churches who are now in direct line of opposition with a government that is working to diminish it and the populace that put them in place. I’m trying to think of what I can do – how can we band together? I need to know I am not alone and have a shared sense of God’s good plan in this! I am so afraid for my grandchildren, and I know fear is not from the Lord.

  • So much to reply to but I will just address one of the most widely repeated falsehoods:

    ‘…Obama got away with the extraordinarily wasteful $800 billon “stimulus” packagethat didn’t stimulate and buried us fiscally.’

    This actually is not true. The majority of economists and non-partisan think tanks all acknowledge that the stimulus did indeed work and without it we would have very likely have sunk into a depression rather than just a painful and long recession. This is easy to research on your own but a good place to start would be a recent survey at The University of Chicago (well known for their conservative economists) where 80 percent of the economists agreed that the stimulus did work. Only 4 percent did not believe the stimulus helped reduce unemployment. Only 4 percent.

    It is your prerogative to disagree with the majority of economists and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, however, the facts do not support your position.

  • Oh, and also:

    ‘… the Tea Party—a movement spontaneously created by Obama’s wild spending—..’

    This is also not true. The Tea Party began in February of 2009…before much of the “wild spending” had actually begun.

    CNBC’s Rick Santelli is widely credited with launching the grassroots movement. While standing on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009, he unleashed a rant against the Obama Administration’s proposal to help homeowners facing foreclosure refinance their mortgages.

    “Do we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages?” he asked. “This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?” He went on to suggest that he would organize a Chicago Tea Party in July, where capitalists would dump “some derivative securities into Lake Michigan.” The video of his tirade became a YouTube hit, and thus the movement was born.

    I, for one, think most of my neighbors are not losers and helping many of these people facing foreclosure was the right, and Christian, thing to do.

  • People get the government they deserve. As for myself and my family, we will be dragged along unwillingly. We can only stand for our beliefs now in the face of opposition. That, my friend, will not be a comfortable stance.