(Full State of the Union Video)
(I won both of them”)
While many people have conceded that Obama probably will not get much of his agenda voted into law, one thing people haven’t taken in
account is this: how much of this will be enacted into law at the state level? We’ve already had votes for legal pot, minimum wage
the nation-it wins elections. But we heard nothing from Democrats running on the national level about these issues. Instead they ran
away from Obama-and ignored these popular policies thinking it would prevent them losing among moderates. That strategy never works. Why? Simply
this: everyone knows that even if you are a maverick, to price of getting your maverick things done is to get along with your party
on other things as well. And to vote for your party leader is a must if you want favors as well. So Obama is faced with a struggle to revive the Democratic Party and set an agenda that Democrats will vote for. And the 22nd Amendment gives him that luxury.
And about the situation the Republicans find themselves in-an unleashed Obama-they can blame themselves: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution. It was the Republican Party that wanted to limit Presidential terms. And it has come back to bit them in so many ways. They could have re-elected Eisenhower and (maybe) Shrub, and propped up Reagan for one more term. Think of the Supreme Court if either Reagan or Shrub had four more years. Daddy Bush could have tried again if he could somehow get an additional 4 years beyond the 4 a new election would have given him. They might have gotten Clinton to resign if Clinton could come back later instead of it being his second and last term. Plus, limited terms means that a President who has no need to face the voters again can act independently of public opinion. I wonder if Dewey, in his anger at FDR for running-and winning 4 times realized that. It didn’t seem apparent for a long time. Eisenhower saw himself as more of a caretaker. Kennedy and LBJ, Ford and Carter and G H Bush never had a second term. Nixon had one, but it was a failure. During a long stretch, only Reagan went the full eight. But he was aging and almost senile, so he was pretty accommodating. Only Clinton was able to take advantage of the freedom of not having to face the voters, but he was restrained by his need to launch Hillary And Clinton too, was presiding over a hot economy and was vastly more popular than the men who tried to impeach him.
Obama is in a different position. He doesn’t have to worry about launching Michelle’s political career, his economy is starting the process towards overheating-we hope. There are no scandals. He’s healthy as a horse. So Obama can truly take advantage of this moment.
No impeachment this time-we hope. But if there is one, it would probably be over foreign policy. There’s really nothing else. He’s clearly free from personal scandal. In the world of cellphone cameras and amateur sleuths, it wouldn’t take a stained dress and Linda Tripp to uncover an affair. Just a scan of Facebook pages would probably be enough-there probably would be pictures making something like that clear. Obama has never been obsessed with money, so no financial scandals either. Besides, these days, an ex-President who leaves on good terms can make far more money than it would be worth to steal. Secure in himself, Obama isn’t obsessed with enemies, no Nixon redux. What’s left? Policy. But nobody would even impeach over bad domestic policy. These people would be happy if it was bad for no other reason that it would make another Black President less likely.
So it would be foreign policy. But all the spinning and gyrating about #Benghazi has made it clear there’s nothing there. So what is left?:#Cuba and #Iran. Why? One thing is clear: Obama is angering the Neocons-and they have a lot of influence over Congress-and presumably a lot of chips. They are angry because Obama is ending a lot of fantasies. The hope was that by war, they could make the Middle East, older and more complex than most of the world in their own image. That’s what Bremer tried to do, and created a big mess. But one thing about remaking the world ideas by force, it’s easy to delude oneself that a few more divisions and a few more months would finally have made those pesky Iraqis into true believers. Obama has withdrawn the troops and acknowledged reality. The birth of neocon policy was that co-existence wasn’t going to be enough-that the United States could remake those enemies by military force-especially the Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union dissolved back into Russia pretty peacefully. So there was never that triumphal march through Moscow, waving the banner of free trade and democracy. While there wasn’t going to be a restoration of the Tsar, perhaps the politics more suited to the Koch brothers would do. It didn’t happen.
Cuba and Iran was fallbacks. They were to be alternative villains, to be the substitutes for that triumphal march. They were the holdouts against the New American Century, the smaller nations that refused their hegemony and their ideas. Cuba, by being stubbornly socialist, Iran by refusing to sing in the “Israel can do no wrong” choir. Troops would restore the Shah, and the exiles would return to those long-abandoned mansions.
Cuba will become another neighbor that’s peaceful-without regime change. Iran will become peaceful-without regime change. No marching armies torestore the pre-revolutionary status quo. Obama is ending those regime change fantasies-and the millions of defense contractor bucks that comes from spending to try to make the world in their image and being hired as consultants.
So expect to see howling over every hiccup, fawning over every dissident no matter how unsavory, and attempts to get Obama into an unwanted war. And every stumble would be seen as possible fodder for impeachment for “endangering the American people”.
State of the Future-indeed.