Sunday, July 18, 2010

Who is "in crisis"?

In an article which I mostly disagree with, comes a summation of Obama's problem which I share:

Yet at the same time, the relentless Republican attack machine has sought to portray Obama as so radical that he almost threatens the American way of life.

Obama has reaped little benefit from his efforts to compromise in order to win Republican support. Instead, he has found himself repeatedly demonised as a socialist and intent on fundamentally altering the US political system.

In short, Obama has become caught between two stools. His relentless pursuit of a middle ground has dismayed the left of his own party, yet the Republicans have portrayed him as an extremist anyway. It is a dilemma that few expect him to solve before November's elections.
I don't buy the notion that Obama is "in crisis", but I do think that Obama governing from the centre in the hope of winning over the Republicans is a ridiculous strategy. The Republicans aren't interested in bipartisanship, despite the noise they always make on the subject. They are interested in defeating Obama and, to that end, they are greatly aided by the press, who print their every attack without ever asking whether a word of it is true.

That's why Palin can make her "death panel" claims, and it is why 55% of American voters, astonishingly, think "socialist" is an accurate description of Obama.

The Republicans have always been aware that lying is okay as long as you do it often enough. As, the more you repeat something, no matter how outrageous, the more it becomes perceived as being the truth.

I think Obama is sometimes too busy being presidential and that he leaves an informational void into which these right wing gasbags throw their bile.

Obviously, nothing will ever stop them from behaving in this way; that is simply what Republicans do.

But, as the man holding the foghorn, I do think Obama could speak out more often and at least be the guy setting the agenda. And that he would be wise to set that agenda loudly on his own terms.

All that being said, the biggest problem the Republicans face is the candidates which people are identifying as possibly their next presidential candidates. Leaving aside the joke which is Sarah Palin, The Observer are today seriously vying Michelle Bachmann as a possible Republican presidential nominee.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a fiercely rightwing darling of the Tea Party, who is rapidly becoming one of the most famous politicians in America and may yet outshine Sarah Palin as a potential Republican presidential pick for 2012.
The Observer have obviously lost all sense of irony if they can talk of Obama being "in crisis" whilst identifying Palin and Bachmann as amongst the strongest challengers for his job that the Republican attack machine can come up with.

The Republicans might be great at making noise and throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks, but they lack a serious challenger to Obama's presidency. And, I would argue, the very fact that Palin and Bachmann are so prominent on the side of the Republicans, shows that they are the party which is "in crisis".

The economic collapse robbed the Republicans of the "deregulate, deregulate, deregulate" mantra which has sustained them since the days of Ronald Reagan. Serious Republicans have not yet managed to come up with another language and have, wisely, gone to ground.

So, with the water this low, the rocks are showing within that party, and the tea party protesters represent the rocks which are that party's core supporters.

Palin and Bachmann appear as stars at the moment because they are willing to say whatever that insane wing of the Republican base want to hear. But, it is also what makes them completely unelectable at a presidential level.

The public might very well express their frustration at Obama in the mid terms, after all that is what the mid terms appear to be for. But, come 2012, I seriously doubt that many would be frustrated enough to replace Obama with a Palin or a Bachmann. That would require an act of national suicide.

So, which party is seriously "in crisis"?

Click here for full article.


daveawayfromhome said...

A note on polling about Obama: Wikipedia shows that Gallup has done ten times as many polls about the Obama administration (per month) as it did during the Bush Administration. This kind of number makes me question not only the validity of polling in general, but to wonder what they're trying so desperately to find (or to cause).

Kel said...

Is that right? TEN times as many polls? You are right to be suspicious.

And I found your link fascinating. I listened to Beck today saying that Presidents couldn't govern with a disapproval rating of 60%.

Was he saying that when Bush's disapproval rating was at 71%?