Campaign 2012 begins today with Obama’s announcement via email to supporters that he will seek a second term. Before everyone anoints him unbeatable, or guarantees he’ll lose in a landslide, a few things to remember. At the same point in their respective first terms, here are the public job approval ratings for these former Presidents:
George W. Bush 70% (April 2003, riding high as invader-in-chief), Bill Clinton 48% (April 1995, before Monica became public obsession #1), George H.W. Bush 79% (April 1991, riding high at a time when the public cared about a coalition and less about reading his lips), Ronald Reagan 42% (April 1983, before Morning in America, and a painfully weak opponent emerged). Barack Obama is at 45% now.
So things can change in unexpected ways. What seems as if it will not change is the price of admission for any GOP candidates. They will all be forced to accept the following orthodoxy in order to survive the nomination battle. Let’s see how many of these potential platform planks get pinned to the unnamed candidate who will be boxed into a corner by paying homage to the following:
You must support explicit laws that ban the courts from instituting Sharia law in any form in this country. Mind you, there have been no known court cases that would lead any reasonable person to believe that Sharia law will replace our current system of laws, and the 1st Amendment covers this topic already. I do wonder if kosher foods could be banned next, since Sharia law includes dietary restrictions.
You must support nullification. Nullification is the idea that states can unilaterally decide what federal laws to obey and which ones to ignore. You may remember that this issue was settled in the Civil War (Union 1- Confederates 0, in double overtime). 150 years later, in has become mainstream GOP thinking that nullification is an option. That pesky US Constitution states otherwise, however. Good luck with your Constitutional Amendment to allow secession from the Union.
Climate change does not exist and therefore cannot be caused by mankind. It follows if these statements are true, that we can continue to do whatever the hell we want as a human race without fearing any natural consequences. That’s an interesting position from a party whose base thinks that natural disasters are divine punishment for homosexuality. Tolerance of the gay lifestyle can be blamed for earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis, but fossil fuels being dumped into the atmosphere? Heresy!
Obama was born in the US, at least that’s what he says, and well – you decide for yourself, but his name is kinda funny, and I read on the Internet that his dad was from Kenya, but I’m just saying…
Health care reform must be repeal in its entirety. There is no middle ground for a Republican candidate in the primaries on this one. Articulating a compelling replacement will not be a requirement to seize the nomination, but it sure would be handy for the general election. The candidate’s response should explain in great detail how the free market will provide affordable universal coverage, or how 50 million people will survive without coverage...oh, and lower the deficit at the same time.
Our military leaders know what’s best, and we should listen to them. Gen. Petraeus is a living genius, unless he supports the right of gays to serve openly in the military. The Joint Chiefs understand what it takes to lead an army, until they agree that implementation of the DADT repeal is no big deal.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell should be reinstated. Yes, there is a movement afoot to corner candidates into supporting that action, even though the military isn’t asking for it, and the public has moved on to real issues, like Snooki’s speaking fees and reviews of Charlie Sheen’s live performance in Detroit.
You should romanticize the US of the 1950s, except for the high tax rates, federal government investments in infrastructure, and the peak of organized labor. Stay away from segregation, too – just a tip.
Planned Parenthood should be completely defunded. While abortions represent 3% of the services, the other 97% of services, such as pap smears, cancer screenings, etc. should receive no federal funds. The law already bans the use of federal funds for abortions, and has for years Pardon the pun, but isn’t that throwing out the baby with the bath water?
You must repeat that elections have consequences, unless the election took place between 2006 and 2008. Those weren’t elections with consequences, they were arrogant power grabs by thugs, like those scary Black Panther Party guys.
When the top 2% of income earners in this country have their taxes reduced, middle class jobs are created and the deficit goes down. Proof that this works in reality is not necessary, but a catchy bumper sticker would help your cause.
We’re broke, unless the top 2% of income earners in this country need to have their taxes reduced, or Speaker Boehner needs cash for the DC school voucher program that he likes.
You must pledge allegiance to the rule of law, unless the goal is more important, like enacting anti-collective bargaining statutes in Wisconsin to bust public employee unions over court issued injunctions.
Teachers are a critical resource in our country, and their value cannot be overstated…as long as that value remains at or below the poverty line. Feel free to mention indoctrination liberally.
Reagan. That’s all – just Reagan.
I look forward to the candidates providing all the oppo research the President could ever ask for over the next 12 months. Game on.