November 7, 2012

Congratulations to Barack Obama for his election victory. Obviously, the race was close and came down to turnout, and once again the Democrats were just better at getting their vote out than Republicans were. There will be plenty of time for post-mortems as to the whys and hows and what mistakes – if any – were made by either side, but a few thoughts come to mind.

I didn’t buy it, but obviously a whole lot of people bought President Obama’s excuse that he was dealt a bad hand by the Bush administration and he just needs more time to get things right.

Hard not to buy into the notion that a nation increasingly made up of takers reliant / dependent on government at all levels to “take care of them” is not going to bite the hand that has been increasingly and more frequently feeding them. Unfortunately, there is a great reckoning coming, and you can’t expect the rich and the job creators to take the fall for those who simply take without giving anything back. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Democrats won’t try…

I guess Obamacare is here to stay. And with at least two Supreme Court vacancies expected during Obama’s second term, hard to not see an increasing encroachment of the federal government into even more of our lives. I do fear for this country’s future.

The fact that Republicans got clobbered in the Senate races makes the two branches of Congress even more disparate in terms of political philosophy. Hard to see how anything is going to get done in the next two years before the 2014 midterms.

James Robbins of the Washington Times writes that, now more than ever, we have become two nations with diametrically-opposing world views:

America is experiencing a hardening of ideological categories. Republicans are becoming more conservative and Democrats more liberal. Crossover voting is practically nonexistent. Partisans vote their tickets, leaving the shrinking center to decide the race. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former chief of staff of the Obama White House, said the election would be decided in “five states and 500 precincts,” and it may have been even fewer. The rest of the country was essentially irrelevant and is divided between relieved winners and losers nursing a grudge.

This is the character of contemporary American politics, a ceaseless war for supremacy with no quarter asked or given. Barack Obama and George W. Bush stand as the most divisive presidents in recent history. Congress is more polarized now than at any time since the years after the Civil War. The Supreme Court is split into blocks that disagree even over the fundamental matter of constitutional interpretation.

The fractured government is the product of a divided society. The United States is populated by groups of people who may as well be living in different countries. They have separate histories, cultures and visions for the future. They are two distinct nationalities, divided by mutual distrust and joined by mammoth public debt.

As Robbins observes, never has there been a time in our history where compromise and real leadership is needed. Unfortunately, in Barack Obama, John Boehner, and Harry Reid I see no political giants willing and able to breach such a great divide, just small, petty politicians interested only in retaining their own power and exploiting it for the purposes of paying back the fatcats who keep them in office. Our system is broken almost beyond repair, and I’d be the first to say I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in anyone in Washington being able to man up and do the right thing. Maybe I’ll be surprised in the coming months and years, but I sure doubt it.

Best wishes to President Obama and best of luck, he’s going to need it.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:07 | Comments (4)
  1. With all due respect, I think we all need to get past that mindset. That we’re a nation of givers and takers and that the givers only give and the takers only take. It’s simply not true.

    Comment by Rob — November 8, 2012 @ 7:12 am

  2. Thanks for your comment, Rob. I think it’s really about the federal government’s role in incentiving businesses to hire and get people off the welfare and unemployment rolls and back to work. My suspicion – and I hope I’m wrong about this, because I hate conspiracy theories – is that Obama (or at the very least the people he surrounds himself with) is that a high amount of people on welfare, on food stamps, on unemployment is not a problem because it adds fuel to their argument that the rich need to pay more in their goal towards a more equal distribution of wealth in the country.

    People are lazy by nature. If you give 10 folks the choice between busting their asses 40 hours a week for x income or getting a check from the government I’ll bet you at least half – if not more – take the government’s offer. I wouldn’t – my work is on of those things that define me as a person – but there used to be the concept of shame about being “on the dole”, those days are long since gone. Ask businesses out there how hard it is to find peopl who not just want to work hard, but just want to work, period. And it ain’t getting any better. It’s up to the government to instill a climate that promotes people wanting to work, and I don’t see that as on of the Obama administration’s goals, past for future. I pray I’m wrong.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 8, 2012 @ 8:07 am

  3. You really need to take whatever “business” says with a grain of salt. No one cries more than they do. Can’t get people who want to work, wages are too high, too many regulations, too much in taxes, too hard to do business … wah, wah, wah. Working people get out of bed for the same reason business people do: To make a dollar. If the difference between working and not working isn’t much, neither gets out of bed.

    Comment by Rob — November 8, 2012 @ 8:37 am

  4. Exactly! Which is why my concern is that the Obama administration removing work restrictions from getting welfare and food stamps is really toxic to the economy turning around. People that work instead of staying in bed have at least the ability to make more money, be more successful, buy more stuff. The only upward mobility when you stay home in bed is if you find yourself a more fluffy pillow. 🙂

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 8, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

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