Realpolitik #2 – Midterms, Bitches

Everyone, and I mean everyone, is talking about midterm elections. They’re less than a fortnight away, and so I feel I should probably weigh in, just like everyone else in the blogosphere seems to be doing.

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It seems to be generally taken for granted that there will be gains for the Republicans in the midterms. Just how many seats they’ll win back in Congress is a matter of contestation. Particularly in the last couple of weeks, a few polls have been suggesting that Republican gains will actually be minimal; sure, they’ll win a couple of seats here or there, but not as many as the papers seem to be suggesting. At the moment, RealClearPolitics has the Dems holding the Senate with a margin of about 4 seats, and the GOP winning the House of Reps.

Now guys, let’s remember that no matter how many seats the GOP win back at midterms, Obama is still gonna be the President. And I totally understand that Americans have some legitimate concerns about how well the government has handled themselves since coming into power; they’ve spent a lot of money (and more importantly, a lot of time) on passing a healthcare bill. The Congressional deadlock was very costly for Obama; he spent a lot of his political capital getting the bill through, and in the process lost his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. In addition to this, for all the money spent in the stimulus package that was aimed at trying to kick-start the ailing economy, there really hasn’t been enough in terms of tangible results. People are still losing jobs and homes left, right and centre, and there is an increasing consensus that America might be heading for a double-dip recession (for the less economically inclined, this is just what it suggests; a recession, followed immediately by another recession).

So long, Rahmbo.

So yeah, Obama probably hasn’t done as much as everyone expected. But is having the Dems hamstrung in midterms going to solve the problem? Throughout the past 2 years, the Republicans have time and again run a sledging campaign that focuses its energy not on what the Republicans can do better, but rather what the Dems have done badly. And it’s working, just as it’s worked for the Liberal Party in Australia. The public is disillusioned with the Obama administration; change was promised, and so far there’s been not enough of it. People are still losing jobs, defaulting on their mortgages and the perception is that the Obama administration either doesn’t care or just isn’t doing enough about it.

Obama has got the message, I guarantee you that. He knows that people aren’t happy with what he’s done since January last year. But giving the GOP a massive windfall of seats is only gonna make the problem worse. By doing that, it enables them, spearheaded by Gingrich & co., to effectively veto any piece of legislation that the Dems want passed. The more optimistic among us might say ‘but having a GOP majority will mean that policy is based on consensus and bipartisan principles.’ But let’s look at the record; Sean Hannity has been on the record saying that climate change doesn’t exist because it snowed in Houston. Now, anyone who knows anything about politics will agree that Hannity is a moron. But this doesn’t change the fact that he & Gingrich are among the more powerful voices in the conservative commentariat, and giving them the power to control debate (especially if Gingrich ousts Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House) is going to mean that action on a number of issues is going to be forestalled. Granted, global warming isn’t the most important issue at the moment, the economy is. But that doesn’t mean Congress should exclude everything else from discussion.

If I was this stupid, would I get a TV show too?

 

Karl Rove, in an opinion piece he penned for the Wall Street Journal this morning, stated that Obama brought immigration reform to the table for some stupid reason, while at the same time praising the Republicans for “talking about little else than the economy.” That’s funny, Karl. Ask John Boehner what he talks about with President Obama. Now, this is a bad example Karl takes. Immigrants form a vital part of the American economy, particularly in the technology sector. A huge, disproportionate amount of Silicon Valley start-ups are owned by immigrants. But, of course, there’s the problem of the Chinks stealing jobs that should go to honest, hard-working Americans, I guess.

I hope America gives Obama at least a partial vote of confidence. He will lose his Senate supermajority, that’s a given. But giving the GOP control over the House will be a big mistake. But guys, give Obama a chance to really prove his mettle. Give the economy some time as well, stimulus packages aren’t an instant fix, they usually take at least 6 months to a year to really have an effect. And remember what he’s done to try and protect America in their time of need; with mortgages becoming the primary issue, many Americans can’t afford to pay exorbitant healthcare premiums. Obama’s trying to make sure that they don’t have to anymore. So that’s all from me on the midterms; expect a rundown in a couple of weeks when it’s all said and done, and we can see just how dire the picture is.

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About Rage
Australian student with interests in music, film, literature, politics, pop culture and more.

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