Earlier in the week, Mitt Romney committed that age-old political taboo of speaking the truth. He attributed his loss and President Obama’s victory in this election to Obama’s generosity–what some would call unofficial bribes, and what I will call simply bribes.
“The Obama campaign,” said Romney, “was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”
It’s hard to argue against that. Votes are cheap these days. Here is a brief rundown of the easily bought:
- Hispanics were promised eventual citizenship and a free pass for breaking the law
- College students were promised partial forgiveness of student loans
- Gays were promised solidarity, if not any actual policy changes
- The poor were promised more paychecks for continued joblessness in the form of welfare checks, and on top of that, Obama Phones
- Senior citizens were promised that if they voted for the other guy, they’d be made to eat dog food and then thrown off of cliffs; a promise that a vote for Obama is a vote to save their own lives, essentially
- Blacks, many of whom also comprise the aforementioned poor, were promised that Obama wouldn’t let his white half show through in his policies
- Women were promised twofold: that other people would be forced by the heavy hand of government to buy birth control for them and that there would be regularly scheduled abortion parties on the White House lawn on Tuesdays and Fridays
“Vote for me and I’ll give you stuff–and the other guy’ll kill ya.” So went Obama’s unofficial campaign slogan. It’s the way dirty politicians play the game, and Obama is nothing if not a dirty politician.
This “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” way that Obama ran his campaign was foreshadowed in the stimulus bill he signed in 2009: 75 percent of stimulus loans and grants from that bill went to companies that donated to Obama’s 2008 campaign.
It is no more damaging to point this out than it is to say that Obama won with free gifts, but Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who campaigned for Romney, says that Romney was “absolutely wrong” to state this and that the Republican Party is never going to get anywhere if they keep saying such things.
During the campaign, when Romney still had a chance of being the president, I would have agreed. But now that it’s over and people have chosen what course they want America to take, let’s go all out and say what we believe. As George Orwell put it, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”