Welcome to Jennifer Granholm’s second term. Only this time, it’s President Granholm.
In 2006, Michigan rewarded Granholm’s vicious, anti-businessman, xenophobic campaign against Dick DeVos with a second term for the incumbent governor. She was Michigan’s attractive, I’ll-fight-for-you, first female governor. America’s attractive, I’ll-fight-for-you, first African-American president has followed the Granholm example to the tee against Mitt Romney, mimicking the Granholm campaign in its class warfare strategy. Granholm’s win brought one of the most dysfunctional, divisive, and disastrous second terms in Michigan history as the governor – inexperienced and incapable of compromise – fought a divided legislature over the huge structural challenges Michigan faced.
Expect the same in Washington for the next four years.
Only in Washington, the consequences will be much more dire. While Granholm’s fiscal incompetence and tooth fairy fantasies of transforming America into a Green economy mimic Obama’s agenda, she had not enacted historic entitlement legislation in her first term. Thus, her many mistakes were reversible once a competent executive like Governor Rick Snyder eventually took over.
A second term for Barack Obama means cementing in place Obamacare, a government takeover of health care that will fundamentally change America – not only eroding care and plunging the nation into deeper debt, but transforming it into a middle-class entitlement state like Europe.
The irony is that Michigan knows better. Two years ago, it elected Mitt Romney twin Snyder, who has reversed Granholm’s second-term train wreck. Remarkably, however, even Snyder was unwilling to press Romney’s case in this campaign.
On the morning of Romney’s first presidential debate against Barack Obama, Snyder took over three hours of highly rated, drive-time talk radio – as Paul W. Smith’s guest host on Detroit’s WJR – and never mentioned his fellow Republican (nor did he mention his party’s candidate for Senate, Pete Hoekstra, much less invite him on the air).
One Tough Nerd has always made known his discomfort with partisan politics. But in a year in which the national election loomed as the most important in memory, Snyder’s reticence to sing Romney’s praises was curious because businessman-turned-governor Snyder was the best model for what a businessman-turned-president Romney presidency would look like.
A data-driven business geek, Snyder’s governorship has been a welcome, bipartisan respite from the chaotic, incompetent management style of his predecessor. So too would data-driven Romney have been a desperately needed antidote to Divider-in-Chief Barack Obama’s management-challenged style.
Yet, while Snyder is markedly non-partisan in his rhetoric (Romney too made the only bipartisan noises this presidential campaign), his tenure has been marked by bitter partisanship from Democrats with no desire for compromise. Snyder’s first two years have been remarkably productive – despite Democratic brickbats – because he has had the Republican votes in the legislature to get things done. Even if Romney had won, we now know he would still have faced a Senate roadblock.
America has voted for more of the same for the next four years. If Granholm’s Michigan is any indication, it will not end well.