David Rodeback's Blog

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Monday, November 19, 2012
The Election Outcome Surprised Me. The Aftermath Doesn't.

Bad economic news, leftist hanky-panky, and rockets falling on Israel were all waiting for after the election, no matter who won.

Before the election I had outlined a blog post in my head entitled, "What if Obama Wins?" But I didn't have time to finish it before, well, Obama won. It was not the result I wanted or expected, but it's the result we have. We knew that we -- whoever we think we are -- would be in for a fight. We just didn't know we'd lost quite this much ground.

No matter who won, it was perfectly reasonable to expect wave after wave of economic bad news and leftist hanky-panky, starting immediately.

Bad jobs numbers and such were inevitable. The system is manipulated to reduce the impact and visibility of bad news before the election. We've seen over and over lately the pattern of announcing economic indicators by giving the numbers and saying they're worse than anticipated, and later revising the numbers quietly and almost always downward. And we saw the unemployment rate dip slightly below 8.0 percent for the first time in years, just in time for the election -- but only because California conveniently failed to turn in its numbers on time. The fact that we will push through our current debt ceiling in December cannot have been invisible on November 5, but it only became safe to report for the Obama administration and its media allies on November 7, after the election -- which is also when leading Democrats began insisting that they had a mandate to raise taxes.

We already knew that the Obama administration had bullied and bribed defense contractors into violating federal law by delaying announcement of large-scale layoffs until after the election. There was some evidence that other employers were waiting for the outcome of the election before deciding whether they could stay in business at all, or at what size they could continue to operate. They were. We're also seeing a predictable round of sell-offs and the flight of capital abroad, in preparation for the many new taxes which hit us January 1, to say nothing of the new stuff they'll dream up next. Beyond this be dragons.

There are no surprises here. In different circumstances, we might expect a significant economic rebound after the election, no matter who won, as companies who have been sitting on lots of cash decide they can afford to spend some of it, because the election results tell them what the rules will be. Not knowing the rules is death to investment, you see. But any such effect will be muted in this case. They still don't know what the rules will be; tens of thousands of pages of ObamaCare regulations are yet unwritten. They can see that the effects will be mostly bad, but it's not entirely clear in what ways or to what degree they'll be bad.

I didn't foresee the demise of Hostess, but only because I wasn't watching. We'll see more of this: Union leaders destroying thousands of jobs and pensions at a time, instead of agreeing to relatively small cuts in wages and benefits to keep the doors open. Twinkies will probably survive -- there's a tired joke to be avoided here -- and so will HoHos, which were passed around at my office on Friday. But they will most likely be a foreign import, which means that Americans are losing jobs which someone elsewhere will gain. This is a union power play and has little to do with the union workers' welfare, but it is nothing new.

Had Mitt Romney won, the Left would be scrambling to grasp as much power and wreak as much destruction on its enemies as possible before Inauguration Day. With Obama's reelection they're feeling their oats. For now the effect is much the same, though the prospects over the next four years are grimmer.

Nor should we be surprised that, just after the election, the Obama administration signaled its enthusiasm for a very oppressive proposed United Nations small arms treaty and also locked up a massive piece of land in Utah with equally massive fossil fuel reserves. There will be more of this, even as most Americans understandably recoil from political news after the election and bury themselves in holiday festivities.

Then there's Israel. There was a strong sense before the election that Israel and its enemies were waiting for election results, so they would know whether the American leader would have a spine or not. Now they know, and Palestinian rockets are flying from Gaza as far as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The Israeli government has responded with air strikes and has said that ground troops are next, if the rockets keep flying. The mush-brained American administration, including the Nobel laureate at its head, is urging Israel not to escalate. That's equivalent to saying that it's perfectly okay with the White House if rockets keep falling on Israel.

So far, even the details are predictable. For example, Hamas locates a rocket battery between a mosque and a children's school, which is a win-win for them. Either it deters the Israelis from attacking, or the mosque and the school -- and preferably some worshippers and some children -- become collateral damage in an Israeli attack, thus further fueling the anti-Israel propaganda machine. Meanwhile, one simply must appreciate the entertainment value of some Palestinians faking grievous wounds -- as if the real casualties were not enough -- but then showing up, miraculously healed, in video footage of protests mere hours later.

By itself, in a military sense, this is small potatoes. But the implications here are very large. This is a test of Israeli and especially American resolve. If Iran isn't actually pushing the buttons here, either directly or through its surrogates in Egypt or even Syria, you have to know that Iran is watching carefully, because, one way or another, a much bigger conflict looms.

I'll be back in a few days with my thoughts on some questions numerous people have asked me since the election. These people are worried, upset, grasping for hope, and gravely concerned for the future of our liberty and the constitutional government a wise generation crafted to protect it. Their queries are serious, immediate, and personal, not just academic. I doubt that my answers are as good as their questions, but I'll do what I can.

In the meantime, you may be interested in a blog post the local newspaper asked me to write upon my return from Israel a couple of weeks ago. Their headline was, "An American Fork resident, Obama, Romney, and the Jews."

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