Opinion: Columnists

Four more years of 'Bronco Bama' will divide us more

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Photo - President Barack Obama looks to his Teleprompter as he speaks at a campaign event in Washington Park, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Dubuque, Iowa, before traveling traveling back to Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama looks to his Teleprompter as he speaks at a campaign event in Washington Park, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Dubuque, Iowa, before traveling traveling back to Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Opinion,Conn Carroll,Columnists,Campaign 2012,Politics Digest

It's not every day that a four-year-old girl from Fort Collins, Colo., manages to articulate what every other American is thinking. But that is exactly what happened last week when a YouTube video captured Abigael Evans telling her mother she was crying "because I'm tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney."

We all are, sweetie.

"It'll be over soon, Abby," her mother replies. "The election will be over soon," Which is exactly what you'd expect a comforting mother to say. Problem is, if Obama wins next Tuesday, it won't be over.

Sure, there will be a pause if Obama does manage to become the first president in U.S. history to win re-election by a smaller margin in his second election than in his first. But the pause will be brief. That's because there are a slew of major policy changes set to occur Jan. 1 that almost everybody believes would lead to economic catastrophe, should they occur on schedule.

Taxes are set to go up on Americans at all income levels by almost $500 billion. A swift $60 billion cut in defense spending will cost thousands of jobs. Cuts to doctors' Medicare reimbursement payments will make it much harder for those enrolled in the program to get physicians to see them.

Keep in mind that Obama either created, or signed extension for, every single one of the expiring policies that comprise this "fiscal cliff." It is an impending economic and political disaster of his own creation.

After Obama tried to disown the spending cuts during his final debate with Mitt Romney, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward gently reminded him that the policy came from his own White House. "It's a complicated process -- and in fairness to the president -- maybe he didn't know that they were doing this because it's kind of technical budget jargon," Woodward told Politico. "What I've reported is totally accurate."

So how will the "fiscal cliff" be solved if Obama wins? No one knows. Obama will try and claim the American people gave him a mandate for his preferred policies. But if the Republicans maintain control of the House, as almost everyone expects them to do, they will have just as strong a mandate for their preferred policies. The election will have settled nothing. The never-ending campaign will immediately begin again.

It is no accident that Obama's drive to expand the size and scope of government has led to a never-ending political campaign. If everything is political, everything is part of a campaign.

Just look at Obama's signature domestic accomplishment: Obamacare. Did Americans really care what kind of birth control their employers did or did not pay for four years ago? Of course not. Now, not only is it a major part of Obama's stump speech, but it will continue to be an issue in the courts even if Obama wins. When the federal government controls everything that every health insurance company must pay for, then everything that health insurance companies do (and do not) pay for becomes political. Birth control is just the beginning.

This logic extends far beyond health care. What types of energy should we invest in? How should we run our schools? Which transportation projects should we invest in? These are questions that used to be answered either in the private sector or at the state and local levels. Obama has made them all partisan federal government issues. You're either with him or against him on every single one.

Back in 2008, Michelle Obama famously said, "Barack Obama will require you to work. ... Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed." She was right. Obama's vision for an activist federal government will not let you rest. It will not let you ever escape politics.

Please Michelle, stop forcing us to campaign for, or against, your husband. Let us, and Abigael get back to our lives as usual.

Conn Carroll (ccarroll@washingtonexaminer.com) is a senior editorial writer for The Washington Examiner. Follow him on Twitter at @conncarroll.

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