It's still 300 days till the 2012 election, but already I sense the crazies coming down the track, at full speed. The comments coming from the Democrat mouth pieces in the media are reflective of this observation.
Any casual political observer knows election years tend to create a level of frenzy concerning the selection of the nominees and the outcome. The media feed this in order to keep readers reading and viewers viewing. The history of American elections has always been one of invective language between the parties, so there is nothing new about this. Indeed, since so much depends on it, the political free-for-all is a healthy exercise.
It can, however, make for a difficult environment in which to go about one’s media observations; the air filled with charge and counter-charge, polls going up and down, bias commentators and a general sense that something is very very wrong with our politicans and the way the government functions.
On the bright side, a gridlocked Congress may bring a measure of relief to everyone. Writing about gridlock in January 2011, Marcus E. Ethridge, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin, noted that “By fostering gridlock, the U.S. Constitution increases the likelihood that policies will reflect broad, unorganized interests instead of the interests of narrow, organized groups.” In 2011, we saw what happens when advocates of “renewable energy”, wind and solar power, or electric cars, get priority over the needs of most Americans for reliable energy and transportation.
At the heart of the 2012 election will be the recognition that the economy is still not recovering, that government is seeking to extend and expand its control over our lives, and, even among former supporters of Barack Obama, that he has been a epic failure of historic proportions.
A recent Rasmussen Report said that “Voters right now give the edge to Republicans when asked which political party is likely to win the White House and control both the House of Representatives and the Senate in next November's election”, adding that “a lot of voters are undecided.” Those voters may actually wait until entering the polls to cast their vote.
Another bad piece of news for O' is a new comparative analysis of current voter registration data in key electoral states of Nevada and North Carolina. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, there has been “a drastic drop from 2008 levels when a record-high proportion of young Americans turned out overwhelmingly to cast their votes to elect Obama as President.” This is significant because more than two-thirds of young voters supported the Obama/Biden ticket in 2008.
The President had a low moment following the passage of Obamacare that transformed itself into the Tea Party movement and an even worse one in 2010 when it propelled a large number of Republicans into the House of Representatives, causing its control to change hands. He has had, in fact, only one truly high moment and that occurred when he announced the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011. At the time, he typically took complete credit. In a speech at Fort Bragg to returning troops from Iraq, the word “victory” was never spoken.
Americans are not unmindful that the downgrade of the rating of the nation’s sovereign debt, the first in the nation’s history, was announced on Obama’s watch. The rate of “official” unemployment has receded to 8.6% but most Americans are well aware that it is far closer to 11% or more. America continues to experience that longest period of long-term unemployment since the 1930s.
For these and a myriad of other reasons, there is but little reason to conclude that President Obama has any good chance for reelected. The widespread contempt for Congress is also a hopeful sign for change. These are reasons to remain calm amidst the din of electioneering in the months ahead. As for me, I have reserved my ringside seat!