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AMERICAN STATUS QUO
By: Wayne Brown
(Writer’s Note: This article was inspired by a question recently posed by talented and well-known hub writer, Habee. Her question essentially asked how Obama’s popularity could be dropping while at the same time the Tea Party was losing ground with potential voters. Habee was not taking sides per se but simply questioning how numbers on both sides could be falling. This is my perspective on the situation.)
Let’s start with the President with his latest approval rating at an all-time low of 39%. This number is rather discouraging as the last year of his term is rapidly approaching and the trend over the past few months has been a spiral downward for him. With the 2012 elections looming closer by the day, Obama really needs something to turn the tide in another direction. As easy as that is said, it is much more difficult to do even for professional spinners in the political arena. One seldom forgets the face of the dog that bite them.
The President shot himself in the foot while on the campaign trail in the 2008 elections. He talked about the issues facing the country as if they were rather minor in nature for a scholar of his caliber and could be easily dispensed of with efficiency and transparency. That has not been the case. The economy teeters at the edge of recession and that is an optimistic view of it assuming one admits it ever left recession. America business and those looking to invest in America business are spooked because they have no idea which way this government will head next with it out of control EPA and propensity to over-regulate in all areas. Obama has demonstrated his ability to circumvent the legislative checks and balances by appoint czars complete with high salaries and a staff of people to do their bidding. The healthcare bill though passed is still a big point of contention and litigation which is certainly helping to stymie any interest in taking risk in the private sector. Thus, unemployment figures remain stagnantly high and consumer confidence continues to fade.
The President has made it clear to the voters that he believes in “big government” growing it by more than 17% in size within his first three years in office. His desire to spend reflects his belief in the government being the do-all for the American people. He strongly believes the government is the “creator” of jobs and the only entity which can accomplish that feat in the economy. He believes spending is the singular action the government exists to do…spend, spend, spend. He is essentially employing the same solution over and over with the assumption that he will get different results. In the end, all it accomplishes is to significantly increase the debt load and grow the size of the federal government to never seen before proportions. The President has rapidly demonstrated to the private sector that he has no understanding of the business model in America in any shape or form.
Voters who favored Obama in 2008 are slowly wising up to the factors noted above. Independent voters, strongly favoring a reduction of spending by government, are crossing the aisle or at the very least pulling away from any affiliation with Obama for 2012. Their position, at best, is “wait and see”. Obama is losing momentum with the black vote as more and more black voters begin to think for themselves as opposed to any “group think”. This awareness has caused at least one in three black voters who favored Obama in 2008 to step away. Women seem to be following the same pattern although some of that concern may also be rooted in the way the left has attacked women who have entered the political arena such as Palin and Bachmann. While the women voters may not agree with their view points, they do want to see them respected in the public forum with a level of respect which most men receive. At the same time, Obama declined any real move toward the center at mid-term assuring that he would not gain any moderate conservative or republican allegiance in the next election cycle. Finally, voters see the disgusting behavior coming from both sides in Congress and expect Obama to bring some maturity and leadership to the arena. Instead, he seems to spend the majority of his time either on vacation, playing golf, or throwing gasoline on the fire then fanning the flames. He is as immersed in the name-calling and blame game as those who serve in Congress. 69% of Americans now believe that the “will of the people” is not being carried out in the function of our government. Obama gets that blame for he sits in the seat where the buck stops.
With regard to the Tea Party and a loss of momentum, I am not sure that I would describe it quite in those terms. I will say that many, many Americans who agree in principle with the grassroots beliefs of the Tea Party are not practicing members but do feel the passionate need to regain control of our government. These folks voted in 2008 and their voices were heard and their choices were sent to Washington in many cases. Unfortunately, their numbers were not enough to gain control of a ship which was long ago shanghaied by the old guard of Washington…that bunch of good ole boy career politicians who populate both sides of the aisle and firmly agree that they want the “status quo” to remain intact. This is a formidable bi-partisan opposition which dwarfs the numbers brought by the Tea Party crowd although many of that crease will gladly step before a microphone and tell anyone who will listen that they favor a balance budget approach for our future. It’s a good line on which to gain votes as long as one never does anything serious about that possibility except promise that he/she will look into it. As the nation saw in the recent debt ceiling debates, the Tea Party conservatives made a valiant effort to create some momentum for a balanced budget going forward only to be ignored by the left and shunned by members of the Republican Party who favor continuing the status quo when the behind the doors discussions take place.
The voters saw it differently, at least those who voted for change in the 2010 mid-term elections did. They actually wanted to see some immediate impact out of the Tea Party crowd. This is not to say that they expected things to change all at once but they did want to see some level of change and attitude that would reflect that a high level of sincerity and dedication was going to be invested in making our country more fiscally responsible, reducing our deficit spending and overall lowering our long-term debt. Instead, the Tea Party conservatives got stone-walled by both sides of the aisle leaving their small number to be credit as simply an ill-informed bunch dead set on shutting down the government. As a result, some voters are discouraged and tend to speak less highly of their hopes for those in the Tea Party now in Washington. The need for immediate action was evident and necessary and yet the “status quo” of Washington think prevailed inside the beltway.
Obama’s efforts between now and the election will continue in the same manner. He may dress them up a little differently and call them by a new name in the interest of covering the true purpose which is spending, spending, and more spending. One can put lipstick on a pig and take it to the dance in the hope of fooling those around him into believing that he has a date. People are not that stupid; most of them recognize a pig in lipstick. Obama will try to right his ship of state but will likely find that too much damage has been done for the boat to float very long. His biggest asset going into 2012 will be the hope that the Republican Party choses the wrong pony for the race for it is looking more and more everyday that this election is truly not his to lose.
The Tea Party remains a misunderstood entity of American politics. Unfortunately, the liberal media does not see fit to help anyone understand the concept for, like the Washington establishment, they fear this direction and mindset in America. They fear that it might bring accountability to the forefront and far too many in the media today cannot stand the scrutiny of accountability in their own profession. The Tea Party has never been a “party” in the sense of the Democrats or the Republicans nor has there been any intent to make it such. The Tea Party is a “movement” of grassroots beliefs in basic conservative values. Not white man or black man or red man values….conservative values which cross the boundaries of gender, race, creed, and religion. Many, many voters in America subscribe to the principles of the Tea Party Movement….fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets, reduced spending, respect for the Constitution and the Rule of Law, smaller government and accountability of those who serve in elected office of government today. There is nothing evil in those principles nor is there any desire to deceive. Americans will hold on to those beliefs because they were here before the Tea Party showed up and they will be here after it is gone. Thus, whether or not the Tea Party, loses momentum in terms of those who approve of it has little to do with the large portion of the right leaning population which embraces such principles.
When we look at the final analysis, we have a sitting president bent on spending the country into bankruptcy to get off the financial ropes. The same efforts are put forth over and over with the expectation of different outcomes. He believes “big government” is the savior and the answer to every issue facing this country and he will stop at nothing to make it so. Then we have the perspective of the new kids on the block who believe in fiscal responsibility, traditional values associated with the beliefs of the Founding Fathers, and smaller government which functions to defend the people and its borders while the private sector functions to grow the economy. Unfortunately, this group is a threat to Obama, to the left, and to some on the right who represent what makes up the “status quo” in Washington. Given that broad resistance on the political landscape, we can only expect to hear this approach to sanity demonized more and more by both sides of the aisle as they run from it and fear the truth of it all at the same time. A liberal media, labels, demonization and a poorly informed public made up of too many freeloaders stacks the deck in favor of the status quo at the present. But one day, there will no longer be a choice in terms of options for time will have run out on the “status quo.”
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