The past two weeks have presented to America the every four year spectacle of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Once an important part of the presidential election process, they are now huge pep rallies for both major parties where the candidate who’s been known for month formally accepts their respective party’s nominations. This year, Mitt Romney and President Obama went through the well-established ritual of the acceptance speech. These usually set the themes for the respective campaigns.
This year, the speeches were almost anticlimactic. The themes for this election have been set for months, if not years.
The Republicans are running on growing the economy, controlling government spending, and shrinking the size of government (specifically, repealing Obamacare). This is not surprising, considering the anemic growth rate since 2009 (an average of 2.2 percent), unemployment above 8 percent (closer to 15 percent if you include those who have simply stopped working), and a national debt that just passed 16 trillion dollars. But one thing that’s been missing in their campaign have been the so-called “social issues”—abortion, same-sex marriage, etc. It’s not that Governor Romney nor his strongly pro-life Catholic running mate Paul Ryan have ignored the issues or have altered Republican positions that have gone back decades; they’re just not high on their agenda. Even Ryan, who as a 100 percent pro-life rating from National Right to Life as a congressman, was chosen because of his expertise in budget matters, specifically entitlement reform, and only secondarily to burnish Romney’s social conservative credentials. There is a certain amount of domestic realpolitick in the campaign strategy; because social issues tend to be hot-button, Romney and Ryan have opted to put those off to the side in order to attract more “middle of the road” independents and others who may be more socially liberal but are fed up with an economy growing anemically after 5 years of “recovery” and are concerned about the growing debt and size of government. In doing so, Romney and Ryan are counting on the continued support of social conservatives as a group who have nowhere else to go. In all, not a bad (if rather cynical) approach.
Here’s the irony. Paying little direct attention to social issues has been the Democrats’ electoral strategy for years. “It’s the economy, stupid,” in the 1992 election encapsulated their political approach for the last several election cycles. But Obama can’t run on the economy; the economy is awful and it’s his fault. Sure, he gave the order to kill Osama Bin-Laden and has carried out a campaign of drone strikes that have killed scores of wanted terrorists (as well as innocent civilians); but what leftist Democrat really feels comfortable touting military success?
So what are the Democrats left with? Social issues. In a desperate attempt to win the election by rallying the support of their base (and firing up their most virulent supporters on the left,) they have launched a full-bore counterattack in the culture wars against social conservatives in general and the Catholic Church in particular. Their first shot was the HHS contraception mandate; the battle was joined in the hysterical accusations of a Republican “war on women”; it advanced through the President’s proclamation of support for same-sex marriage; and it fortified it’s front line in a platform that came out in support of funding for Planned Parenthood, taxpayer funded abortions, and same-sex marriage.
To put it bluntly, President Obama has staked his entire re-election campaign on sex. His slogan should be, “It’s the sex, stupid!” It’s almost like he’s using 50 Shades of Gray as a political handbook. Contraception is about sex without consequences; abortion is about sex without responsibility; same-sex marriage is about the social acceptance of sexual behavior that just 40 years ago was considered a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. I expect any day for him to come out in support of legalizing polygamy in order to peel the fundamentalist Mormon vote away from Romney (Alert: I’m not saying Romney as a Mormon supports polygamy, so keep your combox criticisms to yourself; this is a joke). Certainly taxpayer funded pornography for sex addicts is just around the corner.
Now it is a sad fact that our culture has become so sex-saturated that such things as abortion, contraception, fornication, and homosexuality have become normalized. Orgasms--how to have one and how to have more and better ones--are the topic of women’s magazines for sale in the grocery store checkout line. Men’s magazines, the one’s not sold behind the counter or with the fronts covered in black, show young women in various states of undress and give recommendations on how best to talk them into having meaningless sex. So it’s little wonder that the Democrats think they have hit on a winning formula for defying history and winning Obama a second term in the face of a horrendous economy. After all, guilt-free orgasms are as American as baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie, right?
But do things like this really matter when you can’t find a job? Or when you’re concerned about losing your house?
In adopting their strategy, Obama and his minions are fighting the Battle of the Bulge. I’m not referring to Michelle’s war on obesity. I’m talking about the World War II military operation.
The famous battle, which resulted in a great allied victory, began as a last desperate gamble by Adolf Hitler to turn the tide of the war. In December 1944, using poor weather that grounded allied aircraft, the Germans breached the Allied lines in the thinly-protected Ardennes forest. Hitler’s plan was to break through the allied lines and drive to Antwerp, splitting the Allied forces in two. In putting his plan into operation, Hitler stripped other German units of armor, ammunition, men, and fuel. In put all remaining reserves into this last desperate gamble. In the end, however, it proved to be a disastrous overreach for the Germans; the counterattack was stopped by the heroic efforts of American forces and clearing weather that allowed Allied fighter bombers to enter the conflict. Thousands of irreplaceable German soldiers were captured, along with hundreds of valuable trucks, tanks, and guns. Germany would never recover.
In a similar way, Obama and the Democrats have drastically overreached. This was on full display at their convention this week and in some of their activities last week at the Republican convention. For example:
- Protesters from Code Pink dressed as vaginas at the Republican Convention last week.
- Planned Parenthood representatives passing out 'Protect yourself from Romney and Ryan’ condoms.
- A rally by Planned Parenthood highlighted the Democrats’ radical pro-abortion platform.
- Sandra Fluke, who went from obscure pseudo-Catholic law student to Democratic poster person for free contraception (thank you, Rush Limbaugh), spoke to the convention and claimed that women would die in emergency rooms under a Vice President Ryan.
- Pseudo-catholic HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described contraception as a basic need of women.
- And, of course, they excluded God from their platform, included taxpayer funding for abortion and same sex marriage—and then booed when God was put back in through a questionable vote.
What these actions reveal is a modern Democratic party that has completely overreached themselves. Even though most Americans would express liberal attitudes about sexual behavior, most would still be uncomfortable with the rhetoric and histrionics on display this week. Certainly, the anti-religious views of many Democrats as displayed by the God platform controversy do not sit well with most Americans; we are still the most religious country in the world as measured by church attendance, and the Democrats’ attitude shows once again how different they are from the mainstream.
Obama cannot win on the economy. It remains to be seen if he can win on free contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage. But in adopting this strategy, Obama and the Democrats—and their supporters—may have awakened a sleeping giant and sealed their ultimate fate.
When faced with the German onslaught, surrounded in the French town of Bastogne, the Americans of the 101st Airborne Division put up a spirited defense that was key in halting the enemy advance. In the face of a full-scale counterattack, Catholics and other Christians have dug in. We’ll know November 6 if we were successful in stopping the radical secularists’ counterattack.