The Dumbest Editorial Ever?

The San Diego UnionTribune has a really pathetic editorial up, “Romney in a landslide.”

They analogize President Obama to Jimmy Carter and Mittens to Reagan.  And boy do they stretch!  For example, they use the people who went to Chick-fil-A last week to show their opposition to gay marriage as helping Mitt the way frustration over the hostages held in Iran helped Reagan.  Come on, really?

I remember 1980, I remember my husband and I being thrilled to get a mortgage at 14%.  Yes, young ‘uns, 14%.  I remember thinking that if I was voting for Reagan, which I did, having voted for McGovern and Carter, then Reagan was going to win in a landslide, which he did.  But this time I’m voting for Obama.

The people comparing 2012 to 1980 either are too young to remember 1980 or they’re just thumb-sucking, wishful-thinking Mitt-lovers.  The GOP has done its very best to make things as awful as possible for Obama (and therefore for all of us).  They haven’t succeeded in making them Jimmy Carter awful.

1980 was the year of the Reagan Democrats.  2012 is not the year of the Romney Democrats.

The GOP’s Buyer’s Remorse

Rupert Murdoch isn’t the only one beating up on Mitt and comparing him to John Kerry.  Bill Kristol from The Weekly Standard, who helped bring us Sarah Palin, makes the same comparison and throws in Michael Dukakis for good measure.

He urges Mitt to “get off autopilot” and “actually think about the race he’s running.”  But Mitt is too cautious to do the kind of fundamental campaign overhaul he needs, and besides, there’s no such thing as a personality transplant.   Mitt is too “conservative” as a person to create and run the campaign conservatives want.

I don’t think the GOP’s comparing President Obama to Jimmy Carter is resonating, but their comparing their own hapless/hopeless guy to Kerry and Dukakis rings true.

Why 2012 Is Not 1980

Some in the GOP are comparing President Obama to Jimmy Carter in 1980 and predicting that Mitt will win just as Reagan did.

But I believe there’s a fatal flaw in that thinking.

Carter won in 1976 because it was the first presidential election since Nixon had resigned in disgrace, and voters wanted to tell the GOP what they thought of Watergate.  They also viewed Gerald Ford as somewhat illegitimate because he had been appointed vice president, not elected.   To add insult to that injury, Ford, this guy nobody had voted for, took it upon himself to pardon Nixon.

When the economy blew up under Carter, with the prime rate at 20% and gas lines stretching to the horizon, voters recognized that Ronald Reagan had nothing to do with Watergate or Nixon or Ford.  By voting for him, they weren’t in any way condoning or returning to the way things had been under the last Republican Administration.

That’s why voting for Mitt now is different from voting for Reagan in 1980.  While the economy is not exactly going gangbusters under Obama, Mitt would take us back to the Bush policies, to the complete lack of interest in regulating Wall Street, that led to the Great Recession. He would support the kind of drastic austerity that would pull us right back into recession.

We may not like where we are, but we hate where we’ve been, and we’ll be damned if we’re going back there.  Forward!