I remember someone asking me at a Christmas party after the 2008 election what I thought an Obama presidency was going to be like. My response: "I think it will be a socialist nightmare - but Republicans have only themselves to blame."
What I meant by that statement was simply that on too many occasions, the GOP nominates its oldest, lamest, most liberal candidate available, one who attempts to sell himself to the party as the next Ronald Reagan. It happened in 1988, when Republican primary voters selected then Vice President George H.W. Bush, who claimed for himself the mantle of the Gipper's third term. We all recall how well that worked out: "Read my lips," remember?
Then there was Bob Dole, who had already tried for the presidency twice before and was 72 years old when the party finally decided it was his turn to be their nominee. His lackluster campaign in 1996 could not even capitalize on the historic Republican Revolution to bring down a president whose policies had been repudiated by voters just two years earlier.
George W. Bush was only marginally better than his father. Both were big government Republicans. The father taxed too much and the son spent too much. The Medicare prescription drug program, though it has since been dwarfed by Obama's health care takeover, was another open-ended boondoggle. He left the border wide open to an invasion of illegals, and he left his party in shambles when he handed it over to the latest 72-year-old raging GOP moderate, John McCain, who had about as much chance of beating Barack Obama as I did.
This is critical. We absolutely cannot get this wrong this time. Without any risk of overstatement, it is axiomatic that the United States of America as we know it cannot survive a second Obama term. The country will resemble something more akin to a socialist European welfare state by 2017 if this man is re-elected. In addition to a trillion-dollar failed stimulus package, multi-trillion dollar budget overruns, a health care plan on which no one seems able to put a price tag, and a complete sellout of our most loyal ally, Israel, in favor of the radical Muslim elements in the world, this president has now presided over the first-ever downgrade of America's credit rating.
But perhaps the most despicable thing Obama has done is to get 30 of our bravest servicemen killed in order to promote himself for re-election.
After the courageous members of Navy Seal Team Six executed Osama bin Laden, Barack Obama was not satisfied to act like a responsible commander-in-chief by keeping the identity of the team secret — because he is not a commander-in-chief. He is a community organizer for radical causes turned sleazy Chicago politician, and he needed a political shot in the arm in order to get himself re-elected. So he decided to tell the whole world the branch of service in which these men served and the name of their unit! Then, a few days later, he went to a Navy base in Virginia, ostensibly to salute them. In reality, of course, it was just another campaign stop for him.
At the end of the 1970s, after three years of Jimmy Carter, America could not wait to vote for someone else. That someone turned out to be the greatest president of the 20th century. Ronald Reagan knew what he believed, was passionate about expressing it, and once in office, carried through with the goals he had articulated during the 1980 campaign.
When the history of the 2012 presidential election is written, what will we remember? That a conservative Republican challenged a socialist nightmare for the leadership of the country — and won? Or that the Republican Party nominated another squish who allowed the worst president in our history to follow through on his promise to "fundamentally transform the United States of America."
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.