Did Whitney Tilson Just 'Netflix' Obama's Chances Of Winning?
Whitney Tilson, who needs no introduction given his omnipresence on the business media and anti-omniscience (e.g. the Anti-Tilson ETF here) when it comes to stock-picking, may just have put the final nail in the coffin of Obama's chances of winning the election. Via the quill of the man that top-ticked NFLX, "Why I'm Voting for Obama Again":
In virtually every area – the economy, jobs, social issues, foreign affairs, etc. – I think Obama has done well in his first term (and am optimistic that he’ll be even better in his second term), and going forward I believe Obama and the Democrats have a more clearly defined, realistic, better plan for our country than Romney and the Republicans.
Presented in a fair-and-balanced manner (with our bolding for clarity):
Whitney Tilson: Why I'm Voting For Obama Again
DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE CERTAIN THAT YOU WILL BE VOTING FOR ROMNEY!
It’s a sorry state of affairs when I feel compelled to write this warning before sharing the reasons why I’m voting for Obama again, but the political environment has become very toxic and I’m not interested in receiving angry emails, denunciations, threats, etc. Sadly, I’ve found that it’s almost always fruitless and counterproductive to have a political conversation with those who are on the other side of the spectrum. My experience is that for many people (including myself perhaps) political beliefs are as deeply and emotionally held as religious ones, so political conversations quickly degenerate into what would happen if a Muslim tried to convince a Jew (or vice versa) that his religion was inferior and that he should therefore change – nothing useful comes of it, and there’s a high risk of bad feelings.
Thus, this missive isn’t intended to change anyone’s mind but is instead aimed at the handful of undecided voters who will determine this election, so if you’re one of these people, I hope you’ll read this, and if you know any such people, please forward this to them.
I’m voting for Obama again for three reasons:
1) I believe that he’s a rational, intelligent, moderate person who was dealt a terrible hand and has played it reasonably well, especially in light of implacable political opposition (if I were to grade him, I’d give him a B+);
2) Though I think Mitt Romney is also rational and intelligent, I question whether he is moderate. I think his 47% comment, when he thought the cameras were off, reflects his real views, showing that he has little understanding of or sympathy for those less fortunate than him. I fear that he would attempt to dismantle the New Deal and shred what is left of the safety net, with the result that we would become an even more harsh and unequal society.
I also have grave concerns about both the integrity and core beliefs of someone who, depending on which voters he was trying to appeal to, has espoused vastly different views on countless issues: taxes, women’s rights, abortion, the invasion of Iraq, the role of the federal government in education, campaign spending limits, immigration reform, gay rights, global warming, environmental protection, gun control, even whether he wanted to serve in Vietnam… The list goes on and on, to the point where I can’t tell whether the real Romney is the pragmatic centrist who was the governor of Massachusetts (and who showed up in the debates) or the “severe conservative” he played for years as he campaigned for president – or whether there is any real Mitt Romney at all.
I’ve heard assurances from some moderate Republicans that Romney is really one of them – he was just forced to be a right-winger and pander to the Tea Party in order to win the nomination because otherwise he would have suffered the same fate as Jon Huntsman – but this gives me little solace. If they’re right (and I hope they are, though I’m not willing to bet the future of our country on it!), then he’s been a persuasive liar for the past few years (a sheep in wolf’s clothing). If they’re wrong, then he was a persuasive liar for many years when he ran for Senate and served as governor of Massachusetts (a wolf in sheep’s clothing), and our country could soon be led by a right-wing extremist.
Regarding other issues, though I agree with Romney on some (for example, education reform), on most, ranging from how to improve the economy to foreign policy to social issues, I strongly disagree with him (to the extent that I can divine his true views); and
3) Even if Romney is a pragmatic centrist, I question his ability to act independently of a party that I fear has become beholden to people I view as extremists – anti-intellectuals who are hostile to women, minorities, the poor, immigrants, and gays, and who don’t believe in evolution, diplomacy, protecting the environment, equality for women, global warming, and gun control.
As Tom Friedman correctly noted, “There is no organic connection between Romney and the G.O.P. base…He is renting the party to fulfill his dream of becoming president, and they’re renting him to get rid of President Obama. But this is not Romney’s party. I don’t see him taking it back to his moderate past.”
Now let’s turn to the significant and heartfelt differences between the candidates – and their parties – on nearly every issue.
Here is a summary of the topics covered below: Jobs and the Economy; Economic Plan Going Forward; The Deficit, Debt, and the Budget Deal; Tax Reform and the Buffett Rule; Bipartisanship; Income Inequality; Class Warfare; Regulation; Obamacare; The Safety Net; Supreme Court; Women’s Rights; Gay Rights; Education; Gun Control; Energy, Climate Change, and the Environment; Foreign Policy; Israel; and Conclusion.
Full PDF below - in all its 14 page glory - how long was his NFLX Thesis?