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Jewish World Review
Nov. 7, 2012/ 22 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773
Obama Wins . . . and Loses
Liberals don't really believe America is all that exceptional. But they apparently are convinced that Barack Obama is.
How else to explain his victory? How could any politician win with such a dismal record?
During his entire term unemployment has been chronically high. Economic growth has been chronically low.
A majority of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.
President Obama went on a four year spending binge, racking up more than $5 trillion dollars in new debt.
Instead of trying to fix the economy he spent the first two years of his presidency trying to get his mug on Mt. Rushmore by shoving ObamaCare down our throats at a time when we can't afford great big entitlements.
By any rational political standard, Barack Obama's first term was anything but a success.
And still he won not by bringing the country together as he promised, but by dividing us, by stoking envy, by concocting a phony war on women, a phony war on seniors, by running a campaign that tried to convince voters that Mitt Romney was a greedy plutocrat who didn't give a damn about anybody who doesn't own a yacht. It probably worked.
He did it with a coalition of liberals who had no problem ignoring the nation's economic reality; with Americans who don't believe they can make it on their own so they embrace the nanny state; and he won because his faithful followers don't even see him as a politician. To them, he is, as Brent Stephens put it in the Wall Street Journal, "our first cult-of-personality president."
Liberals really do see him as a kind of messiah, as conservatives are fond of pointing out. They see him as someone different from all the others who came before him. And there were enough of them who voted to give him a second term.
Romney helped too. After he handily won the first debate he tried to run out the clock. He didn't bring up Benghazi in the foreign affairs debate. He should have. Playing it safe was not safe, as things turned out. Then there was Chris Christie's embrace of President Obama after Sandy hit New Jersey. No, the Republican governor (and keynote speaker at the GOP convention) didn't endorse the president. But it's a safe bet that it came off that way to independents and undecided voters.
But if Barack Obama won, he also lost. If he thinks he inherited a mess when he took office four years ago, wait till he gets a load of the mess he inherited this time around.
Barack Obama's future is in his past. There's a good chance we'll get more economic stagnation, a continuation of the weakest recovery at least since World War II.
And the president with the aid of his friends in the so-called mainstream media may have dodged a bullet on Benghazi, but the issue will not go away. It will haunt the president in his second term. He got away with covering up whatever happened until after the election, but now it's after the election.
As for the GOP, the Civil War for the soul of the party is about to break out. I'll write about this in my next column.
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JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports.
He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.
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© 2011, Bernard Goldberg