Guest Post: Why President Obama Was Reelected

Tyler Durden's picture

Via James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

It’s a safe assumption to make that the reelection of Barack Hussein Obama to the office of the United States Presidency will be talked about for decades to come. In history textbooks, 2012 will be referred as a momentous election year when the nation came together and collectively decided to stick with a president through the thick. Like Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and other “transformative” presidents before him, Obama will be praised for keeping the country together in the midst of economic difficulty. In sum, he will be called a popular figure who triumphed over America’s old guard and lead the nation into a new era of solidarity and renewed social tolerance.

The lavishing has already begun with prominent voices on the left like Paul Krugman declaring the “new America” has made Obama their champion. It’s being said in major newspapers across the world that this new incarnation of the American experiment is much more attuned to the struggle of minorities and the downtrodden. They went with a President who will use the divine power of the federal government to lift the disenfranchised onto the platform of dignified living.

Like most of what passes for accepted history, this is downright propaganda. The country as a whole wasn’t frightened over sudden change by throwing out the incumbent. It wasn’t a declaration of a new, more diverse America. Shaping a new destiny wasn’t on the casual voter’s mind on November 6th.

There is a rational explanation for the President’s reelection which doesn’t invoke a deep or complex meaning. The only way to explain the outcome is in the simplest and direct prose: the moochers prevailed.

Obama’s winning tactic was to do what any respectable man does when he wishes to have something; he bought it. From cell phones and contraceptives to food stamps and unemployment benefits, the Obama administration kept the money flowing to ensure a steady turnout on Election Day. The coup de grâce was painting his opponent as a second coming of Dickens’ Scrooge that was ready to cut the voters from their trust funds.

The campaign made no attempt to hide this tactic. In an online video, celebrity Lena Dunham was tapped to extol the virtues of government-supplied birth control. The advertisement was aimed at a younger generation already guaranteed access to their parent’s health insurance till they turn 26 (and then morph simultaneously into full grown, self-sufficient adults). The video was a great demonstration of the campaign strategy but it was topped by one woman from Cleveland, Ohio who exemplified the public trough mentality on camera. Commonly referred to as the Obama-phone lady, this woman was so enraptured by her “free” cell phone and other welfare entitlements, she was determined to “keep Obama in president” to use her exact words. Though clearly dimwitted, Ms. Obamaphone was a phenomenal orator of the President’s message of goodies in exchange for votes.

Though it worked splendidly, Obama’s strategy was not brilliantly crafted from the minds of experts. It was the same bread and circus routine employed by the Romans and applied to modern demographics that relish in a victim-like mentality.  Women, the youth, blacks, Hispanics, and the elderly were all catered to through subtle patronization and outright payoffs.  It was the same tactic employed by the Roosevelt administration when the New Deal got underway. As journalist John T. Flynn wrote of the popular 32nd president:

It was always easy to sell him a plan that involved giving away government money. It was always easy to interest him in a plan which would confer some special benefit upon some special class in the population in exchange for their votes.

The 2009 auto industry bailout was Obama’s great tribute to Roosevelt. By infusing two auto giants with the federal government and still maintaining the appearance of their private ownership, the President convinced a majority in the battleground state of Ohio to put him back in the White House. Criticizing the auto bailout was the last nail in the coffin for Mitt Romney’s presidential aspirations.

None of this is to say the election of Romney would have meant the much needed axing of the welfare state and state-subsidized dependency. The army of bureaucrats tasked with cutting checks in the name of kindness would still work to expand their budgets. The wealthy interests the former Massachusetts governor looked to appease were welfare queens in themselves and would likely receive all the state coddling money can buy.

Obama won the election by catering to the worst of all human traits: envy. He demonized the rich while promising to take more of their income and give it out in the form of entitlement payments. Under his presidency, the attitude of the takers will continue to swell as they clamor for more privileges. Anybody who speaks out against the Robin Hood scheme will be called an unconscionable xenophobe and a hater of the poor. The protestant work ethic will slowly be choked into submission through deliberate iconoclasm launched by the political class and their pet media pundits.

The opponents of capitalism will keep blaming money and greed for all the ills of society. They will also keep wearing fashionable clothes and coordinating protests on their smartphones while drinking caffeinated drinks that cost the same as some third world country’s average salary. They will scoff at hard work when it’s the sweat and labor of generations before them that has created the living standard they enjoy today. Under their tutelage America will be brought into its final form of, as right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh accurately defined it, a “country of children.”

Economist Thomas DiLorenzo sums up the key to Obama’s victory in this pungent bit of fine wisdom:

Every time Romney made one of his “let’s get the economy going again” speeches extolling the virtues of hard work he terrified the millions of welfare bums and parasites and motivated them more than ever to stand in line for hours to vote for Santa Claus Obama, their “savior” from having to work for a living.  (It’s always the low opportunity cost class that has the “luxury” of spending half a day or more standing in a line).

With Obama’s reelection comes the onward march of American society’s degeneration into that of the lazy, bitter masses forever on the lookout to loot a hapless minority still trying to make an honest living. The coming brave new world will be filled to the brim with self-righteous individuals eager to shuffle around the Earth’s gifts to achieve some kind of equality. In the process, none of them will produce a lick of good outside of satisfying their own disturbed need to dominate. It will be rule of the inept over the capable. Barack Obama will lead the way. He will be replaced in four years with someone that follows the same doctrine. The collective age of the country will continue to collapse till it reaches just shy of an unclothed infant wailing for succor. Except it will be grown men doing the crying and no one around to feed him because the sensible among us has already left.

The people have spoken and made it so.

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blunderdog's picture

Not that you're getting that one tiny little piece of the equation WRONG, but you do have to keep in mind that a consumer can only "choose" to pay whatever they can AFFORD to pay.

A good chunk of the USian working-class is *literally* UNABLE to afford decent housing, quality food, and trustworthy professional services when needed. 

It's unreasonable (not to mention counterproductive) to fault the individuals for making bad "choices" when the only choices available are shit.  Spend a year living on $1500/month and reassess your argument above.

GernB's picture

I don't blame the individual. When we pass laws to distort market forces and allow the government to decide what labor is worth (or pass laws to protect entites like unions and alllow them to dictate to consumers what their labor is worth), the result is that labor is re-priced out of the reach of some consumers, with the inevitable result being that the working class is unable to afford things.

blunderdog's picture

    When we pass laws to distort market forces...

Right right, like the laws that built the railroads and the phone network...I know, I know.

We'd all be much better off if the Feds never did that stuff, but we also wouldn't have a national phone network and rail infrastructure.  There are opportunities and costs with *either* approach.

Market Man's picture

Why don't you develop some skills that are in demand so that you can get a better job?

blunderdog's picture

No matter what happens with Uncle Keith, you have to keep in mind that the vast majority of ANY population will be unable to rise to the top of the economic ladder.  This is inescapable statistics.

The question is: what happens when 50% of the population is fundamentally UNABLE to achieve survival success based on the way resources are distributed?

That's where we are *now.*  It's all well and good to tell any individual he could do better, but if things are failing on such a widespread scale, it's not a problem that CAN be solved by each individual.  Most people just aren't that talented. 

We face structural problems--they have to be fixed with structural changes.

archon's picture

Obama won because, in a world that's going up in flames, his supporters cared more about free contraception, "equality", "safety nets", social issues, and a host of related touchy-feely "humanitarian" things...  as if all those things were better for the people concerned than the complete, abject poverty and enslavement they will suffer when the whole sh!thouse collapses on top of them.  On that day, the headlines of the New York Times will read something like, "Global Financial System Collapses!!  Food Shortages Cause Mass Starvation! Widespread Rioting and Civil Unrest!  Martial Law!  WOMEN AND MINORITIES MOST SEVERELY AFFECTED!!!

swmnguy's picture

Same old class warfare bullshit from the same people who won the class war.  Really boring.  At all costs, make no admission of the fact that Romney lost becaue he ran a rotten campaign.  Anybody who thinks our economy is suffering because of food stamps and welfare is really bad at math, which isn't much of a testimonial for an economist; even a think-tank economist.

The cherry on top is to quote Thomas DiLorenzo, who has argued that black people were better off under slavery, and was among the first to blame the Community Reinvestment Act for the housing finance bubble while completely denying that derivatives, fraud, and the looting of the bond market had anything to do with anything.  Quoting DiLorenzo should be a new corollary to Godwin's Law; just like comparing your opponent to Hitler, quoting DiLorenzo means you lose the argument.

GernB's picture

Fine Romney also lost because he had a rotten campaign.

It's only a math problem if you only consider the cost of food stamps nd welfare. What about the cost to society of having so many people produce nothing, but continue consuming things other people produce.

The community reinvestment act is to blame. Without it there would have been no push to lend to people who could not afford it, and no need to use wall street as an outlet to sell bad loans made to people who could not afford them (beacause they did not meet traditional requirements for them to be bought). Wall street did not decide how the system for making home loans and selling them, government did. There were plenty of oppponents to the community reinvestment act who predicted that what government was doing would cause the crisis. they were ignored and now apppologists like you want to re-write history to claim that somehow the regulated entities were at fault for the regulations.

spooz's picture

The Financial Inquiry Commission's Report does not agree with you, but go on repeating your sound bites.  Most people don't bother to check facts.

"The Commission concludes the CRA was not a significant factor in subprime lending or the crisis. Many subprime lenders were not subject to the CRA. Research indicates only 6% of the high cost loans - a proxy for subprime loans - had any connection to the law. Loans made by CRA-regulated lenders in the neighborhoods in which they were required to lend were half as likely to default as similar loans made in the same neighborhoods by independent mortgage originators not subject to the law. [The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report]"

swmnguy's picture

The banking industry, all the way up to 2007, was lobbying as hard as it could to repeal the CRA.  Why?  Because it was keeping them from wallowing in the sub-prime hog trough directly.  They had to wait until the non-bank lenders, like Countrywide, WaMu, IndyMac etc. made the loans and converted them into horseshit bonds.  Then and only then, on a secondary basis, could the banks get in on that hot subprime action.  Pressure to make loans to people who couldn't pay them back?  Hah.  That was like the pressure on toddlers to eat their Halloween candy.  They couldn't wait to make loans to people who couldn't possiibly pay them back, because they were way smarter than everyone else; they had figured out the secret to infinite risk-free profit.  Just lump the loans together and use them as collateral for piles of bonds and bond-related derivatives.  Come on.  This wasn't during the Paleozoic Era.  This was, at most, 5 years ago.  People do remember.

Of course government determined the system for making home loans and selling them.  They were paid very handsomely to do so.  Refer to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodities Modernization Act of 2000.

As for the cost of food stamps, welfare, and the costs of people consuming but not producing anything.  There's a reason they're not producing anything.  It's because we're in a Depression.  Depressions tend to be rough on production.  And there's a reason we have welfare and food stamps.  It's because 80 years ago, we had bread lines and soup kitchens.  In places like that, people who can't find work or food on their own tend to recognize their numbers and cook up trouble.  It's a lot tidier for those who benefit from compression of the labor market that these people get their soup kitchens and bread lines in the mailbox or direct deposit every month, and stay in their homes, isolated.  You want millions of hungry, angry people marching and breaking things?  Go right ahead and cut off the welfare and food stamps.  None of this is being done out of some "My Little Pony" sense of equanimity.  Nor is it being done to spite the righteous.  It's to preserve civil order.  Look to Greece and Spain to see how people respond when pushed to the wall.  We can argue that maybe some civil unrest and violence in the streets would be good for us, but I don't think most would agree.

blunderdog's picture

    We can argue that maybe some civil unrest and violence in the streets would be good for us...

That's being demonstrated in Greece, Spain, etc.  We should get to see if their problems are fixed before Germany's.

WhiteNight123129's picture

As Napoleon said

L’histoire est une suite de mensonges sur lesquels on est d’accord.

"history is a set of lies agreed upon ".


Keegan11's picture

Thus spoke Zarathustra

archon's picture

This is where the path leads when you allow the "common good" to be determined by someone who's not affected, or not affected much by the decision to re-allocate resources for the "common good".  Who gets to determine whether there is more "common good" in taking a million bucks from someone and re-distributing it to "victims", than there is in that person spending their own million dollars on creating jobs, perhaps jobs for "victims", or just spending that money on goods and services that require other people to have jobs to produce them?  What God-given wisdom does anyone have to determine that there is more "common good", or "social justice" in doing one thing as opposed to another?

spooz's picture

Except "job creators" is a myth.  Job outsourcers and labor exploiters like Walmart who pay less than a living wage and force the government to make up the difference is more like it.  Check out the effects of trickle down on the real wages of the middle class.

Market Man's picture

This article is right on....  ignore it at your peril...  in any event, the US is not the only country on the planet.

dexter_morgan's picture

Romney going out of his way to piss off the Ron Paul supporters certainly did not help his cause, but like the author says - likely wouldn't have made much difference. It's like Obama and Romney were in a car going 100 mph approaching a cliff and one guys says hit the gas, lets go 120mph, that'll make it better and the other guy says whoa, slow down to 95mph and we'll have a soft landing.....

dolph9's picture

The gist of this article is correct, but we should make sure to realize the fault lines aren't really political.  There are plenty of moochers on the right, and plenty of productive workers and savers on the left.


You just have to understand the way the system works.  Your labor is used to fatten the coffers of huge subsidized corporations and banks.  These corporations and banks then collude with the government to hand out all sorts of free stuff to people to keep them from rioting.  The resulting debts are monetized, causing inflation, much of which is exported to the rest of the world.

So even that poor sap in China toiling away in the factory is feeding the ghetto dweller in the U.S.!  And everybody worldwide agrees to this system.

So the system isn't going to change unless it collapses, which it will.

spooz's picture

Yes, to keep them from rioting out of desperation in a system that cannot provide basic needs like health care, food and shelter, let along a living wage. The globalists would choose to increase the number of ghetto dwelling units that can be exploited like the Chinese.  They are getting their wish as inequality grows in the US.

Gamma735's picture

The dollar bubble will collapse between 2013-2015.   Who will Obama blame when it happens?  The truth is that the Fed and and 50 years of past Congresses will be at fault, but they will not be scapegoated.   

The fall of Rome lead to the dark ages.  To what will the fall of America lead?

cgagw's picture

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