…so why is this election even close?

Here’s what I don’t get.  You have an intelligent, moderate Democratic president who, despite a Republican-controlled obstructionist House, has managed a recovery — modest, slow, and fitful, but a recovery nonetheless — left him by a Republican president and Republican laissez-faire ideas that have dominated national economic policy for thirty years.

About ‘moderate’.  Yes, moderate.  Not liberal, but only slightly left of center — and I have studied the relevant political theory, so I know the difference.  Obama is a centrist, not a socialist, and in any other democracy he’d be considered a moderate conservative.

Facing him is a man who, having been governor of one of the most liberal states in the country, could have been the face of New Republicanism, bringing the party back towards a more sensible center and abandoning the cultish and extremist ideology of the teabaggers and their ilk.

Instead, Romney went straight for the Kool-Ade, signing on to an extremist economic policy that caused the financial collapse we’re still trying to recover from, and to an extremist social policy that mistakes one narrow-minded misinterpretation of one religious book for civil law.

What I really don’t understand is why the business interests are aligned against Obama.  Historically, the major market indices almost always do better under Democrats than under Republicans.  Let’s take a look at the granddaddy of them all, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and we’ll take the first full day and the last full day of a president’s term that the markets were open (or in the case of Obama, most recent data as of this writing: 24 October 2012).

Obama 8,228.10 13,077.34 +4,849.24 +58.9%

Bush II 10,578.24 8,281.22 -2,297.02 -21.7%

Clinton 3,253.02 10,587.59 +7,334.57 +225.5%

Bush I 2,218.39 3,253.02 +1,034.63 +46.6%

Reagan 946.25 2,239.11 +1,292.86  +137.6%

Carter 962.43 970.99 +8.56 +0.1%

Ford 767.29 968.67 +101.38 +26.2%

Nixon 929.82 784.89 -144.93 -15.6%

Johnson 743.52 935.54 +192.02 +25.8%

Kennedy 639.82 732.65 +92.83 +14.5%

Eisenhower 287.60 632.39 +344.79 +119.9%

Truman 159.75 286.97 +127.22 +79.6%

Roosevelt 62.10 158.06 +95.96 +154.5%

Hoover 305.20 53.84 -251.36 -82.4%

Hm.  The only presidents to turn in end-of-term losses are Republicans.  Who’s better for business, again?   No wonder we use red for the conservatives in this country — it equals the color ink we should use for their economic policies.  The only Republican presidents who’ve outperformed Obama’s DJIA to date have been Reagan and Eisenhower.  Hoover, Nixon, Ford and both Bushes fail to measure up.  Best performer of all?  Clinton, of course.  Followed by Roosevelt.  Let’s go ahead and put them in order, shall we?

Clinton 3,253.02 10,587.59 +7,334.57 +225.5%

Roosevelt 62.10 158.06 +95.96 +154.5%

Reagan 946.25 2,239.11 +1,292.86  +137.6%

Eisenhower 287.60 632.39 +344.79 +119.9%

Truman 159.75 286.97 +127.22 +79.6%

Obama 8,228.10 13,077.34 +4,849.24 +58.9%

Bush I 2,218.39 3,253.02 +1,034.63 +46.6%

Ford 767.29 968.67 +101.38 +26.2%

Johnson 743.52 935.54 +192.02 +25.8%

Kennedy 639.82 732.65 +92.83 +14.5%

Carter 962.43 970.99 +8.56 +0.1%

Nixon 929.82 784.89 -144.93 -15.6%

Bush II 10,578.24 8,281.22 -2,297.02 -21.7%

Hoover 305.20 53.84 -251.36 -82.4%

Average standing of Democratic presidents out of the last 14 presidents?  6.29.  Of Republicans?  8.71.  So much for who’s better for business.

When you throw in a toxic social policy that says people should be legally discriminated against simply on the basis of whom they love, you come up with no legitimate reason to vote Republican.

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