Thursday, 4 November 2010
Barack on the rack
What goes on State-side is of at least passing interest to us here in Blighty, and the United States' mid-term elections have been going the expected way, which is to pass overall control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans while the Democrats retain control of the Senate.
The TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party has also been doing well. The Americans are generally against high taxes to pay for excessive public spending, by nature, so this is a hardly surprising shift.
To be fair to Obama, he did inherit some bad stuff from the Bush years, where even that Republican-led administration had been spending far too much, indulging in excessive warring overseas, and largely acting as if they had been the lefty Democrats themselves. Despite that, after almost two years,
President Obama could by now have made a positive change in the USA's economic and other fortunes, but has failed to live up to the promises made during the presidential election campaign back in 2008. He deserves to lose ground and the American people needed to wake up anyway. Perhaps they won't make the same mistake at the next presidential election.
As it happens, our own Conservatives have shown the way by inheriting a far worse situation, with lots of deliberately-planted stings in the tail, yet within just months have put in place the mechanisms that will turn Britain around on a very wide range of policy areas. So, it can be done! The so-called "Obamacons" - Conservatives who supported Obama - have also woken up and no longer do so. Notable names such as Daniel Hannan appear in this list: there are plenty more, and I could embarrass a lot of Tories but listing them or linking to the full list, but will be kind: Dan has been honest enough to admit to his error in public.
In the meantime, we learn that Obama's planned visit to Mumbai in India will cost some $200 million per day(!) That is hardly the kind of public spending message to have made possible to come out at such a time as this, surely!
The next two years will be critical for Barack Obama. There is every chance he will be facing a Sarah Palin-endorsed Republican candidate next time around, and Palin's instincts have been shown in these mid-term elections to have been the strongest of any, though imperfect. I don't fancy his chances in such a contest unless he can pull some really big rabbits out of the hat during the next eighteen months or so.