Obama vs. Romney: This is the eighth presidential campaign since I’ve come to the United States. On the eve of the Democratic Convention, nothing is in play.
There are at least four statements that my Democrat friends cannot say this year, and I sense that that makes them sick.
1. “Mitt Romney is an idiot”
In his time, Ronald Reagan was classified as an idiot by a sizable portion of the American and Parisian press. George W. Bush, despite his degrees from Harvard and Yale, was an idiot mostly because he talked like a Texan. His syntax, like his father’s, was incorrect. It was clear evidence of idiocy, not to mention Bill Clinton’s syntax…
Bob Dole (who ran against Bill Clinton in 1996) was old, or rather, an “old fart.” The fact that he was one of the funniest politicians of his generation was kept secret from French readers. We could say the exact same thing about John McCain, who dared to run against Barack Obama in 2008.
Mitt Romney has changed his position on a number of issues over the years, but he does respect grammar. Subject and verb agreement — he knows it. His brilliant career in finance is presented as proof of his capitalist cruelties, but it also implicitly shows that he isn’t a complete idiot (too bad). We must thus find some other way to take down this man who dares to stand in the way of the infallible Barack Obama.
2. “The Democrat message is positive”
Both sides have run negative ads for a long time. The Republicans are often better at this sad game. But the Democrats have taken the initiative this year: This summer was characterized by a massive barrage of attack ads more or less directly approved by the Barack Obama campaign. The goal has been to define Mitt Romney, largely unknown, as an evil billionaire, a cruel capitalist and a dangerous Mormon.
It’s astonishing that, despite the millions of dollars spent on this effort, Mitt Romney is almost as popular as Barack Obama.
3. “The Republicans have blocked Obama’s reforms”
The best-kept secret of the pro-Obama press is that the Democratic Party controlled all the power in Washington during the first two years of Barack Obama’s term. It wasn’t until November 2010 that the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives. Today, the Democrats still control the Senate.
Despite having a majority of his own party in two houses of Congress, Barack Obama could never enact his budget! It wasn’t the Republicans who blocked the president’s reforms. It was the Democrats. But above all, we mustn’t say that.
The reforms that were blocked include raising taxes, public spending hikes, special privileges for unions, more direct federal intervention in health care and more invasive regulations for businesses.
4. “Barack Obama’s foreign policy is a success”
In 2009, Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Because he hadn’t yet done anything in the diplomatic realm, we could say that he received this award “as a preventative measure.” The status alone of being Barack Obama (i.e. the anti-Bush) justified giving him this honor in the eyes of the Stockholm academy. What has Barack Obama contributed to world peace?
A hand extended to Vladimir Putin? Failure. A hand extended to Iran? Failure. A hand extended to “Islamic moderates?” Not really a success. His dialogue with China? No tangible results, either in diplomatic or economic matters. No hand at all extended to Israel? Israel hasn’t given America any more influence in the Middle East.
Guantanamo isn’t closed. Over 160 prisoners are still there. Americans are still dying in Afghanistan. In Libya, America dragged its feet helping to dethrone Gadhafi. Has Barack Obama earned his Nobel Prize?
I’ll wait for my colleagues, experts in diplomatic matters, to answer that question.
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