"Even my dog could beat Obama!” a commentator replied recently when asked whether Obama will be hard to beat. I’m no pro when it comes to politics, but that kind of overconfidence makes me squirm.

 

Before I talk about what I think the odds are that Obama can be beat--because it’s going to shock some--it’s important I share where I’m coming from with those who don't know me. I was among the first to call for using the national debt as leverage to retard government spending and to recognize the power of the Tea Party. I was also one of the first to propose The Next Big Thing -- proposals for tax reform that would lower rates in exchange for ending subsidies, tax loopholes, and corporate welfare. And I’ve been relentless in pointing out Obama’s dangerous philosophies in articles like The Gauntlet and The Nanny State.

 

But regardless of how I feel and what I write about Obama—I think he is the odds-on favorite to win. And I’m not the only one. As I write this, Intrade.com, considered by many to be the “smart money” since participants in this “prediction market” put up real money, predicts that Romney has a 96.4% likelihood of being the Republican to run against Obama. But what does Intrade say Romney’s chances are for actually being elected President? 38%. Polls indicate a closer race, but any who believe that because Obama’s record as President it so poor that he will easily be defeated, forget their history.

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated on the basis of “hope and change.” As the worst depression in history set in, he increased taxes on the rich, instituted radical reform, and created an unprecedented amount of programs to deal with all the bankruptcies and a staggering 25% unemployment rate. After four years the economy was no better off than when he took office: taxes were high, deficit spending was high, and unemployment was still rampant. He ran again and won.

 

Roosevelt went on to further increase taxes on the wealthy and spend money with abandon. Four additional years of stimulation, employment programs, and “tax and spend” policies left the country gutted, with unemployment as bad as it had ever been (hovering around 25%). Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented third term. He won.

 

How could Roosevelt win in the face of his failed agenda? Well, he was for the “little guy” and against the “greedy” rich. He fought the oil companies. He offered ever greater welfare and more and more government programs to help “the man on the street” as he taxed the rich and fought Wall Street. He preached the need for everyone to be their “brother’s keeper,” and claimed that anything less was selfish.  This included the investor class who he branded as ruthless speculators and manipulators responsible for ruining the country.

 

Those that believe beating Obama will be easy underestimate the power of a determined incumbent who runs on the “immorality” of the rich versus the “righteousness” of the under-class “victims.” Obama is offering to give people security while warning them that the Republican Party wants to take that security away. An incumbent who promises to provide more government “help” and make-work projects instead of reducing them is tough to beat. Here is what the election campaign is shaping up to be reduced to: greater fairness and security versus the mere promise of growth attached to the certainty of fiscal austerity and discipline. Again, I’m no politician, but my bet is that “fairness and security” will soundly defeat “austerity and discipline” any day.

 

So then how can we beat Obama? I suggest we think of this election in military terms. In other words, go into battle completely prepared with strategy and tactics. All options need to be on the table whenever the only objective is to win. And I believe an all out offensive is our only hope. Especially because Obama is prepared to do the same, and no matter how dirty he has to fight, winning is his only goal.

 

Look at his skillful attack on Paul Ryan's “Trojan Horse” budget. Obama villainized it as a plan that would lead to “Social Darwinism” and cut benefits. Yes, Obama sees free market capitalism as a dog-eat-dog system that favors the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and middle class. And yes, he totally mischaracterized Ryan’s budget when he told voters that it would end Medicare for seniors and give tax breaks to the rich instead. We know Ryan’s budget does no such thing. But Obama isn’t interested in facts, he wants to win! And he knows that to win he must destroy his enemies, especially the formidable ones like Paul Ryan.

 

Given these kinds of tactics, it should be clear that nice guys will finish last in this race. We have to fight fire with fire and launch an all out negative attack on Obama. No punches can be pulled, no holds barred; it’s the only chance we have. Obama uses negativity because it stirs passions and “sells” to the electorate. He knows that idealism and realism are scoffed at and even feared by many. Now is not the time for us to get specific about what needs to be done to reform government and save this economy. Those are just boring facts and figures to most. But Obama’s record provides a wealth of ammunition we can use to beat him. In fact there is so much that is negative about how Obama has presided the last four years that it is difficult to know where to begin, or how to convey it ALL to the voting public.

 

Obama and his supporters will attack Romney on a personal level. And I don’t think Romney should try to defend himself. Why waste the time? He should instead immediately go after Obama. Question his record, his amateurishness, and his inability to solve any real economic problem over the last four years. Romney and his supporters need to focus on Obama’s inability to effectively deal with any of our economic problems. Make it painfully clear that this ineptitude will lead to a new debt crisis, monetary crisis, a new recession, and higher unemployment. The only practical note to include would be a simple reminder after attacking Obama, is that we aim to solve the problems Obama obviously cannot. Which is in itself another attack on him!

 

Every time Romney is assailed he should ask the President to show the country his plan to solve our problems. Force him to name those problems. When he attacks the Ryan budget, remind voters that the President has no alternative to offer. When he lambasts republicans for wanting to change Social Security, ask Obama what he’s done as president to prevent Social Security from collapsing. The same goes for Medicare. As he attacks those who want to fix our problems, ask the President where he has been on these issues for the last four years, and why it still needs to be fixed.

 

A train wreck is coming. Medicare and Social Security are going broke. Obama’s done nothing to fix these problems because he hasn’t a clue how to do it. Debt and deficits are destroying the economic and financial foundation of this country. These are the facts. Cite them! Cite the record. We have trillion dollar deficits for as far into the future as we can look. Obama doesn’t have a single solution that doesn’t include increased government spending, more taxes, and even more regulation. That’s Obama’s answer to everything: more government. And that is what needs to be yelled, from the rooftops, by all who participate in the coming battle.

 

We’re told the best offense is a good defense, but in this election, the best offense is an even better offense. For example, Obama has proposed the Buffet rule saying he wants to know why Warren Buffet’s taxes are lower than his secretary’s. His version of fairness is to pass legislation that would raise taxes on those high wage earners paying lower taxes. But we need to immediately say “no!” We won’t raise Warren Buffet’s tax rate up to the secretary’s, but lower the secretary’s rate down to Warren Buffet’s! And while we are at it, we want to eliminate all corporate welfare, special interest’s tax rules, loopholes, deductions, and subsidies. That’s what’s fair!

 

I’m not suggesting this as a strategy for just Mitt Romney. I’m saying we all need to argue this way against Obama and his supporters. Warriors in the coming political battle need to never let up on the facts; that we have high unemployment, slow growth, trillion dollar deficits, a staggering national debt which has increased  more than at any time in human  history. All on President Obama’s watch! Add this to the unprecedented failure to get a budget passed and the hundreds of new regulations imposed by unelected Czars we never see or hear from but who drive businesses abroad. Those fleeing our government and our shores are some of the best and the brightest America’s got.  Then, totally bombard him on Obamacare and his anti-energy policy.

 

If we can all commit to this level of offensive, intellectual combat, I believe we at least have a chance at beating one of the best pitch artists of our times.

 

Paul Nathan