Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, November 16, 2012.
I have liberal friends. Good friends. We don’t agree on things political but we agree on much else. We like the same music. In the case of a couple of my liberal friends we see eye-to-eye on matters pertaining to the radio broadcasting industry. Many in my circle of liberal friends share with me a special affection for dogs.
We just don’t agree on politics.
Within that circle of friends I was quite outspoken in my belief that Mitt Romney was going to win the election. I went so far as to say that he would win by a larger margin than even his most optimistic supporters were predicting.
I thought that the election – staged against a backdrop of a persistently weak economy, a truly frightening national debt, the well-documented unpopularity of Obamacare and poll after poll showing that a large majority of Americans think the country is on the wrong track – was ripe for the picking by Mitt Romney. I thought his message of belief in the power of free people and free markets to lift us out of the doldrums – and the urgency of the need thereof – would trump the Obama campaign’s ceaseless focus on issues like free contraceptives, abortion, gay marriage and the silly accusations against Republicans for waging a ‘war on women.’
I was wrong.
To the credit of my lefty friends, they have been gracious. No one has rubbed my nose in it. No one has unleashed a mocking email or made me suffer a condescending smirk.
I had resolved to behave in exactly the same way had Romney won. But I know how I would have felt on the inside. I’m human. I would have taken the same inner delight in my victory, had it occurred, that my friends are surely taking in theirs.
To them I say, congratulations. You were right. I was wrong.
But be careful.
Beginning right now, you own President Obama and President Obama owns the economy and world events. Given the parlous state of both, prudence dictates that you keep your inward glee in check.
The apparition of George W. Bush, whose ghostly presence according to exit polls continued to provide the president with much-needed political cover, vanished into the mists on election night. George W. Bush has, at long last, well and truly left the building. From here on, it’s Obama’s show.
If unemployment remains stuck near eight percent, President Obama will wake up one morning to find that number tattooed on his forehead.
If trillion dollar plus deficits continue (trillion once being a value reserved exclusively for such things as measuring the distances between galaxies), it will be exclusively President Obama’s overdraft.
If economic growth remains stuck below two percent, that statistic will become an indelible part of the Obama presidential biography.
If the country hurtles headlong over the so-called “fiscal cliff” and a new recession breaks out on top of the one that never really ended, it will be this time President Obama’s recession alone.
If America’s credit rating is further downgraded, renewing the argument that the downgrade is the result of a bad inheritance from the Bush administration will fail the smell test.
And if Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Israel all erupt into one giant shrieking, whistling pyrotechnic display of collapsing regimes, civil wars, pre-emptive strikes and mass civilian murders, President Obama may start mumbling to himself about wishing he had taken a knee in the contest against Mitt Romney.
All of which is to say if you voted for President Obama, enjoy your victory with a dose of caution. In order for that warm, fuzzy self-satisfied feeling to last, your guy’s going to need an extraordinary run of good luck; good luck the need for which at this moment is particularly acute and good luck that is more often than not hard to come by in second-term administrations.