Monday, October 29, 2012

Memo from NYC

As this presidential campaign reaches its penultimate days, Mr NYC has been looking at election nights past. Thanks to the glories of YouTube, you can look back at history being made, as presidents are elected and, in the case of the below clip, unelected.

We looked at 1972, the night the soon-to-be-disgraced Richard Nixon won a second term as president. This clip is fascinating for a few reasons: 1) Nixon carried New York state, one of only three times after WWII that a Republican carried the Empire State; 2) there's a short interview with John Ehrlichman, a top Nixon aide, who laughed off the Watergate story as something that would soon be coming to an end; and 3) a brand new senator from Delaware is elected, a very young Joseph Biden who is, of course, the current vice-president and will be on the ballot again a week from tomorrow.

Then we looked at 1996, the night that Bill Clinton won a second term. This clip is also fascinating because you see Donald Rumsfeld, one of the worst people on the planet, talking about how Bob Dole is still planning to win the presidential election -- even after he's lost. Shortly thereafter you see Clinton's brother Roger pondering his sister-in-law's possible political future -- and, of course, we know that Hillary would eventually become a senator from New York and eventually the secretary of state.

Now we take our final look at election nights past -- 1976. This was the night that former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter defeated President Gerald Ford. Ford had become president only two years earlier after Nixon had resigned in disgrace because of Watergate -- the same story that John Ehrlichman had previously laughed off. Ford was the first incumbent president since Herbert Hoover in 1932 -- forty-four years! -- to lose. This clip is interesting because apparently, at this moment, Ford was fast asleep in the White House and didn't even know that he was out of a job. It's also interesting because there was some controversy about ballots being cast in New York that the Ford campaign was making some noise about having re-counted. This never happened, obviously, and the controversy died quickly. Carter became president in 1977 and lost re-election to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

And, of course, there's 2008, and this clip literally speaks for itself.

Now we look to the future. A week from tomorrow the country will be voting for president and, it goes without saying, that we must re-elect President Obama. The idea of Willard Romney as president is horrifying: he will destroy Medicare and Social Security, strip women of their reproductive freedom, probably start another war in the Middle East, and implement anti-union, ant-worker laws. His ridiculous tax policies will only make the deficit worse, and he will re-introduce the a level of government secrecy that is practically fascistic. 

If you liked George W Bush, you'll love Willard Romney.  

Of course, Willard doesn't want you to associate him with Bush -- who wants to be associated with the one of the worst presidents in American history? Willard would have you believe that, even though both he and Bush are Republicans, that they have very little in common.

Don't believe it.

As this article smartly indicates, Willard is running very much in Bush's shadow. Bush haunts him. Bush overwhelms him. And this isn't surprising. After all, Willard is basically promising to restore the Bush policies that did so much to damage this country while trying to distance himself from the man. It's a tightrope to the White House that Willard deserves to fall off of. Bush and Willard are two peas in the same political pod and that's why it's vital that Obama win. 

Why would this country want to go back to the horror that it's only now digging itself out of? 

Obama has restored the economy, saved the auto industry, endorsed gay marriage and repealed "Dont Ask Don't Tell", appointed two smart women to the Supreme Court, signed the pay equality bill, enacted historic health care reform, and ended the stupid war in Iraq.

And yes, he killed Osama Bin Laden.

That's a good record, worthy of a second term. Willard isn't worthy of a first. 

Let's hope America makes the right decision next week and that this will be an election night we can look back fondly at. 

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