Ken Johnson

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November 1, 2012
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JOHNSON: Connecting the dots

It's all over but the final counting. We can all wonder what a different ride this might have been without Sandy to rip up the East Coast.

The internet is shrieking about Benghazi-gate and Islamic terrorists. A glossy 37-page "economic plan" spends the "savings" from the wars ended in Iraq and Afghanistan on bridges, roads, runways. Too bad it's borrowed money and already spent. Insults and "that's not true" seem to ring out from every little corner of the nation.

Wow. What we are willing to do to get elected!

Will it be "my record vs. your record," or will it be the endless not-quite-lies we are supposed to buy.

Come Wednesday, we ought to know!

This year has seen the Obama election team steadily turn up the wick for their candidate. That Chicago group is smart and well organized. In fact, they're brilliant at what they do. Too bad they have also shown a consistent lack of regard for facts; their "spin" is so good, too many voters actually believe it.

You have to know the Republicans are just wishing THEY were equally skilled. They're not. Maybe next time?

Want a point? The lovely and young Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign director for the Obama run, has been less than a pillar of veracity. For frosting on THAT cake, on seeing an Iowa newspaper endorsement of Romney, she said the newspaper didn't count anyway.

Really?

Of course not. They have always backed Romney, she said.

Of course, they hadn't endorsed a Republican in some 40 years.

Then Cutter gratuitously added: "It says that he'd reach across the aisle, which he'd do the exact opposite. It's the exact opposite of what he did in Massachusetts."

Ah, now we know. She says it, so it's true.

We can all forget the actual historic record and believe her. Sure.

More interesting is the final push to get all the younger folks to vote for the president. As a group they're the least-experienced and most-easily persuaded voters. Thus they're fair game for the Chicago team, sort of fresh meat. For the most part they are disdainful of their elders, consider civil discourse worthless, are readily swayed to ignore facts and records and will vote with their emotions. Fiction and finger pointing work just fine.

To connect a couple of dots, was anyone else just a tad jarred to hear the president say his opponent is a "b*llsh*tter"? It is SO abrupt it gets a "WHAT?"!

Oh, and then we see it is only for a young and hip TV audience, the Obama teams final target group. THE deciding votes.

Bad dots. One thing is certain, though. Whoever wins is still going to have to deliver results. Even the overly-tame TV talking heads and print pundits have started asking hard questions now. The next president will not have a free ride.

Bad dots. The economy is still tanked four years later.

Today I owe over $51,500. So do you. So does each baby born last night at the hospital. So do those younger and first-time voters. It's our individual share of the national debt. It's going up.

Like a bad student loan, the young voters and THEIR kids and grandkids will be trying to pay it off.

Seems like it would be easy to ignore the promises and name calling and just think about electing the ones who will do something constructive.

It's hard to remember our government produces nothing. It consumes. It eats tax dollars and asks for more. Do we want our government to take bigger slices of the economic pie, or do we want a bigger pie so everyone gets more?

Would it be smart to elect the ones who will actually reach across the aisle, work to bring us together as a people, refuse to let the debt just accumulate, AND tackle the hard jobs? Like re-doing the monstrous tax code in the name of simplicity and revise health care the same way?

Then, if all those elected plus various appointees don't do what they promised, let's boot them out.

How times change. The debt is over $16 trillion, having grown $4 trillion in the past four years.

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

- Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006


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The Post Independent Updated Nov 1, 2012 03:11PM Published Nov 1, 2012 03:10PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.