Sunday, November 11, 2012
Re-Election & Realism
A divided country politically, with changing demographics and $6 Billion in election spending, results in both a re-election of marginally popular President and a divided US Congress. For the GOP challenger Mitt Romney, too many items in his campaign didn't add up. Mr. Romney ran a noble and spirited campaign, but the Democrat and "willing media" smear job proved to be defining. A good man trashed for the purpose of re-election of the post-modern guy from Chicago. However, it must be said that the GOP muddled the message of limited government, fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility. Thus, the final Presidential result favored the better candidate and organization.
For the incumbent President, the Obama machine used technology, a well organized ground game, a complicent media funded by $1 Billion in campaign monies, to roll up victories in a majority of the swing states (including Florida, Ohio and Virginia). So congratulations to President Obama! As a member of the loyal opposition, I'm impressed with the Obama victories across the swing states. However, I'm deeply disappointed in the negative Democrat campaign tactics, the Mainstream News Media (MSM) and the fact that our Republican party tripped and stumbled on our own accord.
So now what? The GOP majority in the US House of Representatives, lead by Speaker Boehner is the only elected body standing in the way of re-elected President. Of the three leaders (Leader Reid, President Obama, Speaker Boehner), the best and most skilled negotiator is Speaker Boehner. The meanest of the three, is Leader Reid, who is willing to bend, avoid and skirt US Senate rules for the Majority purpose, if he can. And the least experienced in governing and negotiating is the President. Sure, he is an excellent campaigner and has run two successful Presidential campaigns. This is no small feat. The problem is in the President's limited ability to govern with a bipartisan approach.
But there are two other factors, with will impact our future politics in America. One is the fact that 2/3 of the states will be governed by Republican elected executives. These are popular and conservative reformers who are leading the experiments in US democracy at the state level. And for some period of time, the US Supreme Court is split with both a liberal and conservative wing, that can still backstop the US Constitution to some extent. The Obamacare 5-4 favorable ruling, although soundly criticized by conservatives (as for they Ok'd individual mandate), also included a "states right" ruling that the Federal government could not use withholding of Medicare dollars as leverage on the states who choose not to be forced to fund Obamacare with Medicare.
The biggest factor is that the President and his Democrat supporters now own it. The weak economy, wobbly health care, and foreign unrest are the Democrats problem to solve. No longer can a former President (Bush) be blamed, GOP presidential candidates made fun of, nor can blaming others for weak economic situations in the US. They'll have to work with the loyal opposition to resolve the problems that both own and will be expected to have viable solutions for.
Immediate budget challenges and "fiscal cliff" impacts will require bi-partisan leadership to resolve. The President and his leadership abilities will be exposed as what they really are. The slash and burn negative campaigning, the pandering to special interest groups, the funding of cronies and ideologues that have proven effective in Presidential campaigning...will simply not work in spirited bi-partisan negotiations. For example, when the Democrats controlled the US House in 2009 and cooperated with the President and the US Senate in "cramming down" Obamacare without any Republican support, little did the Democrat leadership ever dream that when it came time for implementation of Obamacare in 2013 and 2014, the Boehner lead Republicans would be in charge. Oops!
There is much more to discuss, but this post-election review will get us started.
(c) 2012, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media, www.jasperwelch.org