- Politics and Social Issues»
- United States Politics
By: Wayne Brown
The mid-term elections are in the final stages with just a handful of elections to be finalized due to write in votes, etc. Certainly, the American public spoke loudly in the election although some feel it was not loud enough. The Republicans gained a clear majority in the House and did tighten up the numbers some in the Senate although a majority position was not reached. This leaves room for both sides of the aisle to manipulate the system over time and only time will tell whether or not an air of compromise and cooperation will develop.
Some will say that a clear message has been sent to the President to move his direction more toward the center and to step away from issues like Cap & Trade and Immigration Reform. While that message may have been sent, it is highly doubtful that the President will make that move given the fact that his philosophical and political center is most likely still very far from the one on which America rests. At this point, the President still believes he is right and that he knows what is best for America. It is doubtful that he will relinquish that position in the near future.
Some pundits would point to the vote and claim that the President will be committing political suicide by not becoming a centrist. I contend that this is ground that is totally unknown to the President and ground that he had not planned to work upon. Therefore, he has no idea how to approach it nor does he have any desire to approach it. I believe you will see him continue in surprising directions in his attempts to gain movement on both Cap & Trade and Immigration Reform. He still wields the power of Executive Order and he still holds a majority position in the Senate. These can be formidable tools in leveraging the conservative side as we move toward the 2012 elections.
At this point, based on his popularity numbers, Obama has little to lose in holding his ground and possibly everything to gain, at least in his mind. To rebound from his current position with the American voter will require some very accurate and timely moves. These are not the kind of moves that he wants to make from an unknown ‘centrist’ position. Obama considers himself to be too much of an intellect to be convinced by a pollster that he is too far left of center.
We may see some movement on the Bush tax cuts offered as an avenue of good tidings and compromise in the beginning stages. This may be easy for Obama to give up since he has indeed lost the House and may not have the power to generate new spending bills without it. The revenue gained by the dropping of the tax cuts would not go toward reducing the national deficit anyway. It would simply go into the pot and be used on new creative spending ventures for the next two years. Thus, allowing the tax cuts to stand may gain Obama more ground in the polls on the positive side of the ledger and only interfere minimally with his direction toward big government.
With the elections over, Obama will jump back into the international arena with a visit to India. This trip may also signal his willingness to enter the “treaty game”. International treaties can become a conduit for change on the domestic front in some cases. When the President signs a treaty on behalf of the United States, the ratification of it requires that two-thirds of the Senate vote to approve the treaty. If that occurs, then America is bound by the terms of that treaty both in the global theater and on the domestic front. Some pundits believe that this may be one avenue that the President considers in working on issues such as gun control within the country. And, like the healthcare bill, it is an excellent place to bury those smoking guns that the public knows little or nothing about until the votes are in place. I look for the President to be very active on the international front for the next two years.
So what about the economy? What about jobs? Oh, I think you will see the President growing more and more nonchalant about those issues hoping that the American public will lay them at the feet of the Republicans who have now populated Washington’s political landscape. He can point to the fact that America wanted a change in this election and now that they have it, he is more than willing to work with the conservative side with ideas they might generate on the economy and jobs. This leaves the ball in Republican court and takes some of the heat off the President. As things stand at the present, he cannot get re-elected in 2012 with his current level of support so what does he have to lose by letting the Republicans take the lead?
The Republicans are coming into the game with a lot of constraints. There is urgency to get the economy moving in the right direction with significantly greater speed. There is an expectation of significant job creation and growth in the private sector. At the same time, there is also an air of opinion that says “get control of the spending”. The question now becomes what measures can the Republicans push through that will set well with all three of these constraints? This may be some difficult water to navigate in that Obama and company have spent about all the money that America is willing to tolerate on stimulus packages, economic investment, and union support. Better ideas with some stronger results must emerge and America is looking to the Republicans to accomplish that task. Obama and company are betting that the task is too great for the Republicans to succeed thus they bear no real blame in stepping out of the way and bear no shame in attempting to take credit if indeed there are successes between now and 2012.
Both sides would do well to get past this ‘Mexican Stand-off’ of sorts and work on some real solutions which are fiscally responsible. The vast silent majority of Americans are counting on that effort to demonstrate that compromise and consensus can be reached by both parties. The majority of Americans are tired of the same old political rhetoric, the finger-pointing, and the lavish-arrogant life styles of those who populate our government. The message is clear, “you work for us, the American taxpayer. You have a job which you asked for and we granted to you. Now do it. Don’t waste time on social agendas, reforms, and pork-barrel schemes in the backroom with some lobbyist. Get to the task at hand and get America back on track as a strong, democratic republic like it was originally designed.” That is the challenge and it damn well needs to be answered with some urgency on both sides of the aisle.
When America looks back over the past decades, efforts have been made and money spent to change America into something that no real American citizen really wanted. Our education system is in chaos and teaching everything but the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. The American culture is under attack and heavily subject to dilution with the influx of illegal immigrants and the on-going calls for open borders and amnesty. Special interests drive the regulatory process to a level that causes businesses to turn away and run for better ground. Legislation to regulate Cap & Trade and energy and healthcare are the mantra of the President. Political correctness, diversity, and multi-culturalism are the daily diet distributed by our liberal media.
In the end, we are bombarded with the expectation that we should be ashamed to be called Americans. We are told that the most giving, compassionate, and caring country on the face of the earth is bad. Honestly, I don’t think America is buying it, and the sooner the politicians wake up to that fact and start walking the democratic line again, the sooner they get right with most of what America is thinking.
It is high time America got back to holding its head up high and lifting up ourselves for our many accomplishments. It is high time that we discharged those in all aspects of our lives who will tell us that our system is not good; has failed, and must be reformed to something in line with the socialistic aspects of the rest of the world. It is time to change that thinking and the time is now.
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