Following expected elections defeat, Obama will find himself at political crossroads.
by Yitzhak Benhorin
Part 2 of analysis
If all the other troubles are not enough for President Obama, he and the Democrats also lost the support of the business sector. The legislation he initiated in a bid to reinforce the monitoring of Wall Street, and his efforts to impose taxes on the rich and protect the middle class exacted a heavy price on his plan to rehabilitate America’s economy.
Despite the economic crisis, those who think there is no money available in America are gravely mistaken. Immense sums of money are currently frozen in the large banks and major corporations, which are hesitant to invest it and stimulate the economy as long as Obama threatens to impose legislation and taxes that may harm them. The bitter result is that the economy is on hold, while Obama and the Democrats pay the price in the November elections.
The money that is changing hands within the economic elite is meant to deliver a grave blow to the ruling party. The Supreme Court contributed to this situation when it permitted companies and individuals to donate money to campaigns without revealing their identities. The ability to act discreetly and without financial limits enabled America’s wealthy, ranging from the air-conditioned office dwellers in Wall Street to the oil drillers in Texas to dramatically affect the current elections campaign; the same will apparently happen in the next presidential elections.
An astronomical sum of $3 billion had been poured into election ads in recent weeks. A quick glimpse at the TV set shows that the Republicans hold a major advantage over the Democrats. Just to illustrate, a group led by Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s senior advisor, easily poured $250 million into the campaign.
Jimmy or Bill?
In the first half of his term in office, Obama did things that many presidents before him did not: He successfully advanced revolutionary laws to stimulate the economy, approved a historical healthcare reform, and reinforced the monitoring of Wall Street’s dark corners.
The voters want to see immediate results, yet the fruits of Obama’s labor will only be evident years from now. Similarly, the healthcare reform is a complex process, whose achievements will only become apparent in the future.
On November 3rd, when America wakes up to a new Congress and new governors, the presidential election campaign shall in fact get underway. The great political question (with the answer to be provided only two years from now) is what kind of Obama will be sitting in the White House 11 days from now. Will he follow in the footsteps of Bill Clinton, who lost the Democratic majority in Congress and realized he has no choice but to shift to the Center? Or will he follow the example of Jimmy Carter, who insisted on promoting a liberal agenda?
Obama has already attempted to provide excuses for the expected November defeat, arguing that he was too busy with policy and abandoned politics. Indeed, this is the dilemma between the Clinton way and the Carter way: The former internalized the lessons of the Congress defeat in 1994, chose politics, and was elected for a second term in office. The latter stuck to his truth, chose to go ahead with his policy, and was kicked out of the White House after four years.
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