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Judgement Day for Barack Obama on November 2nd, “Let the landslide begin”

ElectionOracle / US Congressional Elections Nov 01, 2010 - 07:57 AM GMT

By: Mike_Whitney

ElectionOracle

Barack Obama rode into office in January, 2008 on a wave of optimism. By the time the ballots are counted in Tuesday's midterm elections, Obama's personal approval ratings will have fallen to historic lows and he will be universally recognized as the man who brought ruin on the Democratic party.


While still popular among party loyalists, the president has become radioactive among independents--the critical group of “swing voters” who have fled Camp Obama en masse frustrated with both the lack of audacity and/or change. No one figured they were electing George W. Bush to a third term in office when they cast their vote for the inspiring senator from Illinois two years ago. But that's what they got. To say that supporters are disappointed in Obama's performance, is a gross understatement of the pessimism that's spread like Kudzu among the party faithful. People have become increasingly cynical as they realize that neither party provides a path to real structural change. The system is broken; Obama has merely exposed the rot at the heart of American democracy.

In truth, it's not all Obama's fault. He was picked by elites who thought they could ride his lofty-sounding rhetoric all the way to the White House. And they did, too, but that's when things began to unravel, as one campaign promise after the other was tossed aside like yesterday's coffee grounds. Obama even backpedaled on issues that would have cost him very little in terms of political capital—like gays in the military or allowing California's liberalizing of marijuana laws go unchallenged. Issues that could have rekindled the support of his dejected liberal base. But, no. Obama chose to conduct business the same way as his predecessor, Bush. The only difference was style.

In Obama's defense, it's fair to say that voters had plenty of opportunity to look behind the rhetorical fanfare to his abysmal position on the issues. He was not only a staunch supporter of the quagmire in Afghanistan (that he expanded to Pakistan); he also voted for the Patriot Act, the TARP  bailout, and warrantless wiretapping. Since then, he's approved (in principle) the policy of killing US citizens suspected of terrorism, rejected habeas claims for terror suspects, authorized intelligence/counterinsurgency operations in foreign countries, and refused to honor his commitment to close the US gulag at Guantanamo Bay. He has made every accommodation imaginable for big pharma, big finance and big oil—right down to allowing himself to be used in a photo-op on a beach in Louisiana during the Gulf oil spill to convey the impression of a chief executive who “feels the pain” of locals whose lives have been destroyed by the criminal negligence of serial polluters like BP. No that's “fraud you can believe in”.

The argument could be made that the corporate Dems who fill out the current administration are more competent than the bunglers on the Bush team. But, while its true that Clinton, Holbrooke and Gates are more discreet and resourceful than Wolfowitz, Cheney and Rumsfeld, that's not what people voted for. They wanted change, and they didn't get it. What they got was a more skillful imperial managerial staff. Nothing more. So now Democratic senators, congressmen and governors face the prospect of a GOP surge, followed by two years of political gridlock during which unemployment will rise to 11%, extreme poverty will soar to levels not seen since the 19th century, more than one state government will default, and Republican rejection of a second round of fiscal stimulus will thrust the economy back into recession. At the same time, the erosion of civil liberties, the bailouts, the covert foreign interventions, the fear-mongering, the torture, and the wars will continue apace.

Tuesday's balloting is a referendum on the Obama presidency. Let the landslide begin.

By Mike Whitney

Email: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Mike is a well respected freelance writer living in Washington state, interested in politics and economics from a libertarian perspective.

© 2010 Copyright Mike Whitney - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Mike Whitney Archive

© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

gAnton
01 Nov 10, 20:34
Bernanke And Obama´s Downfall

The above rightly states that Obama was and is not what he seems to be. Still the knock out blow that landed in his gut was his big promises and very poor performance dealing with the economy. What was his biggest mistake? I think it was keeping on Bernanke as charmen of the Fed.

Obama pondered a long time over his choice of Fed president and then made the wrong choice by choosing to keep Bernanke, in spite of ample evidence to replace him. (It seems to me that to Obama,personal loyalty is much more important than is competency.) For example, Ben´s loaning money to his Wall Street buddies at negative interest rates made excessive speculative money available to these buddies and was the prime cause percipitating the current economic crisis. When congress expressed concern about the forming bubble, Ben stated that rapidly escalating housing prices were "based on sound economic fundementals". When impending "too big to fail" bank bankruptcies hit the fan, Ben was as completely surprised as were the rest of Bush's "economic experts". His actions to "recover" the economy (return it to its pathological state?) were random and nonsensical.

When you choose to go with a looser, you lose.

Bernanke is a proported expert in the Great Depression. In the introduction of my copy of "The Rise And Fall Of the Roman Empire", Daniel F. Boorstin states: "As pessimisim has become increasingly fashionable about the future of our Wester civilization, the "The Rise And Fall Of the Roman Empire" has become a handy guide to the sources of decay in other empires and civilizations. I think, instead of listening to Bernanke, Obama would have been much better off buying and reading a copy of "The Rise And Fall Of the Roman Empire".


Rick
01 Nov 10, 22:52
Two More Years To Get It Right: Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

I can surely sympathsize with those eager for a (positive)change of direction, but it's clear that the American public is not going to find much relief on the Republican side either. Regrettably, both political parties have effectively sold out Main Street (lock, stock and barrel) to the plundering Wall Street oligarchs and the exploitative multi-national conquistadors.

Sadly, I would be the first to admit that the Obama administration's failure to implement meaningful trade barriers has significantly contributed to his dearth of support with the voting public. However, it's fair to say that no politician has ever been serious to date in addressing the horrific trade imbalances and the mass exodus of good paying manufacturing jobs to third world juntas and despots.

On a positive note, President Obama still has two more years to get it right by slapping stiff punitive duties on all imported goods and services. Moreover, one has to look no further than the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act as a proven and reliable engine towards growth and prosperity for ourselves and our children.


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