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Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell
9 Feb 2016
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Nice Losers


Mitt Romney now joins the long list of the kinds of presidential candidates favored by the Republican establishment— nice, moderate losers, people with no coherently articulated vision, despite how many ad hoc talking points they may have.

The list of Republican presidential candidates like this goes back at least as far as 1948, when Thomas E. Dewey ran against President Harry Truman. Dewey spoke in lofty generalities while Truman spoke in hard-hitting specifics. Since then, there have been many re-runs of this same scenario, featuring losing Republican presidential candidates John McCain, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford and, when he ran for reelection, George H.W. Bush.

Bush 41 first succeeded when he ran for election as if he were another Ronald Reagan ("Read my lips, no new taxes"), but then lost when he ran for reelection as himself— "kinder and gentler," disdainful of "the vision thing" and looking at his watch during a debate, when he should have been counter-attacking against the foolish things being said.

This year, Barack Obama had the hard-hitting specifics— such as ending "tax cuts for the rich" who should pay "their fair share," government "investing" in "the industries of the future" and the like. He had a coherent vision, however warped.

Most of Obama's arguments were rotten, if you bothered to put them under scrutiny. But someone once said that it is amazing how long the rotten can hold together, if you don't handle it roughly.

Any number of conservative commentators, both in the print media and on talk radio, examined and exposed the fraudulence of Obama's "tax cuts for the rich" argument. But did you ever hear Mitt Romney bother to explain the specifics which exposed the flaws in Obama's argument?

On election night, the rotten held together because Mitt Romney had not handled it roughly with specifics. Romney was too nice to handle Obama's absurdities roughly. He definitely out-niced Obama— as John McCain had out-niced Obama in 2008, and as Dewey out-niced Truman back in 1948.

And these Republicans all lost.

In this year's first presidential debate, Obama out-niced Romney. But, when he lost out doing that, he then reversed himself, became the attacker, and ultimately the winner on election night, despite a track record that should have buried him in a landslide.

When you look at this as a horse race, there is no question that the Republicans deserved to lose. But the stakes for this great nation, at this crucial juncture in its history and in the history of the world, are far too momentous to look at this election as just a contest between two candidates or two political parties.

Quite aside from the immediate effects of particular policies, Barack Obama has repeatedly circumvented the laws, including the Constitution of the United States, in ways and on a scale that pushes this nation in the direction of arbitrary one-man rule.

Now that Obama will be in a position to appoint Supreme Court justices who can rubber stamp his evasions of the law and usurpations of power, this country may be unrecognizable in a few years as the America that once led the world in freedom, as well as in many other things.

Barack Obama's boast, on the eve of the election of 2008— "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America"— can now be carried out, without fear of ever having to face the voters again.

This "transforming" project extends far beyond fundamental internal institutions, or even the polarization and corruption of the people themselves, with goodies handed out in exchange for their surrendering their birthright of freedom.

Obama will now also have more "flexibility," as he told Russian President Medvedev, to transform the international order, where he has long shown that he thinks America has too much power and influence. A nuclear Iran can change that. Forever.

Have you noticed how many of our enemies in other countries have been rooting for Obama? You or your children may yet have reason to recall that as a bitter memory of a warning sign ignored on election day in 2012.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



5 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... Hard hitting specifics would have included the fact that the rich have used their inequality of rights, their privilages in order to influence government since the beginning while holding government very much powerless over them, and that this extreme situation has only grown worse and more dangerous for the people... We are looking now at a grand collusion between the privilaged, the churches and the propertied class to seize control of the government on moral and economic grounds and liquidate our rights to pay for their debts... Since so much money was involved on both sides, the intelligent wealthy against those mastered by unrestrained greed; it is unlikely that Mr. Obama will tell the truth about the situation, or do much good against it...He should try to bear in mind that he must do something good for the people because those people who elected him find that he is their sole hope, and defense...The little matter of taxing the rich, considering how much the government is tilted toward their benefit and defense is not radical... Taking a nickle from the rich is a body blow, but is not very hard hitting or specific... Considering the wastland they have made of this place, and how they have turned every Cain against every Able, How they have exported our capital and hired slaves that we then had to compete with, and the wars they have dragged us into in defense of American interests, I would be much more specific and entirely fatalistic... They are killing this place, our democracy, and our future... For this attemped murder and actual treason they are marked... May God have mercy on their souls... Let them see a priest, and then let the priest see a priest...
Just for the record: the intelligent rich are intelligent because they realize how rotten our economy is, and the power grab of the greedy rich threatens to bring the whole card house down on every head...The teaspooners are voting their anger, and their anger is justified... The democrat base is voting their anger, and it is fully justified... Though their solutions differ radically, their motivation is the same... The society is failing us because the economy and government are collectively failing us... Clearly the churches are failing the whole of society, and they throw their weight around, but keeping a whole people ignorant and dependent upon spiritual authority offers no hope for the future of this land and this people...
I would let such people know that they can have their religion or have their part in government; but not both... Government should be the place where reasonable people meet to settle differences, and plan for the future... Our government has no future, and is standing on a fiscal cliff deciding whether to jump off or dance... The religious are one great source of our differences, and cannot be a part of their solution unless on their terms... I would say: govern yourselves; but do not try to drag your hogwash into government to muddy reason with religion, magic, and prejudice...It is true that the rich and the religious combine to control government, but the churches are contented in this great collusion to serve their masters with slavish indignity...The Christians are not simply slaves to Christ, but slaves completely, unfit for democracy, and considerable only because they are so inclined toward violence and frustration, as the ignorant always are...If they will not be free, they must be ruled, and even though I find the idea offensive that anyone should be ruled... They have made a deal with the devil- that no part of a free population ever will... Produce such a number of sheep to vote on cue, and we will advertize your single issue, your one issue out of many that face this people though it will not be resolved without injustice...Since the churches serve on earthly masters they must go with their masters...
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:41 AM
". . . there are certain topics or arguments that one should not bring up in the presence of children or those with little understanding."

Perhpas the best reason it is a waste of time to respond to Sweeney.

Further, Sweeny knowledge and arguments are so lacking that refuse to educate him without payment.

Comment: #2
Posted by: SusansMirror
Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:28 AM
Re: SusansMirror
I agree. Sweeney has too much time on his hands. He must not have gainful employment -- probably too demented to hold a job and on federal welfare.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Derel Schrock
Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:45 AM
It is a shame Sweeney lacks the capacity to comprehend intelligent economics, such as that posited by our host. For people like Sweeney, it means nothing unless it ratifies their greed, their desire to take what others have earned, to spend on their own wasteful wishes.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Joel
Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:23 AM
Sweeney is a troll. Not necessarily “for” anyone but definitely against conservatives and free market policies. He has no credible ideas of his own, he's just against others, wants them to feel inferior and tries to intimidate them into silence. Ignoring him isn't “silence” it is denying him a platform.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Ed Boyle
Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:53 AM
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