Worst of 2012?


Well this little girl speak for most of us I think.

What was the worst of this campaign?  Let me list a few of my least favorites:

1. Not knowing who Mitt really was – If Mitt wins maybe we’ll find out, but the campaign combined with his record in public office left you scratching your head till it bled.  He created Romney care, but disavowed it being used anywhere else.  I think maybe this might have worked if he could have suggested that at least some states might have taken this approach.  He was against global warming as a governor before he was against believing in it as a primary candidate.  He was pro-choice, and then became pro-life later.  The whole comparison of Romney to Schrodinger’s cat summed it all up in a hilarious way.

I’m not anywhere nearly convinced that Romney will certainly be a bad President even by my standards (I want pragmatic, libertarianism, and fiscal conservatism, with a heart at home, and ramped down intervention overseas – always driven by pragmatism).  He might be there in the end, but the risk of any number of different outcome seems huge.  Especially on foreign policy, I fear he’ll engage in the same careless intervention we came to expect from George W. Bush.

3. Bain, foreign accounts, outsourcing, and other issues raised against Romney that had nothing to with what he proposed to do-I like a campaign focused mostly on policy, and what should be done.  The fact that Romney was so difficult to get a handle on maybe caused this at least in part.  The campaign had to focus a lot on Romney the person. 

The effort to make Romney out to be a plutocrat that no would feel comfortable acting in their interest was important.  Issues like Bain and the rest did that.

Still, it seems to me that most off these issues meant nothing more than that Romney was a wealthy businessman.  The Bain years and the wealth that came with them are not I think unusual for a modern capitalist.  Are we disqualifying business people from the Presidency.  The government can’t be run  like a business, but I don’t think that means that businessmen are per se unqualified.

3. Obama seemed more anxious to campaign to keep his job than keep his job by making it clear he is DOING his job- Obama has often appeared to be more interested in campaigning than being the President.  Some of this was more appearance than reality, especially as wired in as the President is now, but I can’t help but feel that being on The View and other talk shows is something you do as a candidate, not as the President.  He started cross-country bus trip before 2012.  Maybe some of the talk show thing is a thing with the young will be more comfortable, and I suspect we’ll see it again, maybe if Ryan ever become President.

4. Romney lack of credibility on foreign policy – With the possible exception of Obama’s handling of Benghazi, Obama generally dominated the foreign policy arena – Why did this happen???  Mostly I think because of the dominance of domestic issues, so Romney generally didn’t focus on being coherent on foreign policy.  If anything I think he used it as an issue to keep his right wing base happy.  In short the dynamics of this campaign and other before have allowed foreign policy to be neglected by one or both candidates.

This is unfortunate because the arena that President can have the most influence in is foreign policy, yet in 2012, the past, and likely in the future:  foreign policy is a bastard step child.  This may be why young Americans keep going to die in place many of us have never heard of before.

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