Obama is not up for re-election next week, but he might as well be as the crazy US electoral system could well impose a Republican Congress upon him, or at least a Republican House of Representatives. All we read is about the disillusioned masses, Tea Parties, Main Street rebelling against Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street. (Who would be a road these days?) It’s crazy to blame Obama for the crash and the housing crisis, but it goes deeper – it’s seen as battle for America’s soul, and Fox TV and others have tried to ensure that race and parentage cast Obama outside the pale of true Americans. It’s all been pretty vicious stuff, and I’m not certain I’d enjoy being out on Main Street listening to all the anger and vituperation.
The sad thing is – Obama is still Obama. The guy who wrote Audacity of Hope, who bared his soul in Dreams From My Father, hasn’t changed. His ability to do what he wants has been terribly constrained by the crisis, and a social liberal is not going to endear himself to the Sarah Palin right, and, well, the heathcare bill was always going to be massively divisive.
Out on the left of the Democrats we have people who wanted more, and blame Obama for that. By holding back their support they will get less instead. Strange how people’s political psyches work.
On the right, if we had only an inkling before of what the backwoods were capable if we know better now. I can relate to the small town, the backwoods mentality. I want the state off my back. Give me a stretch of the backwoods and maybe a view out over the canopy, and a log cabin, comfy bed(!) and log fire I’d be happy, for a while at least. But there’s a real global world out there, and unless we get on board in both political and economic terms we’ve had it. It’s the old argument: if you’re on board you can change things. (Likewise over here with Europe.) . If you’re not, they pass you by, and you’re left waving for the train to stop, and if you’re lucky they’ll pull you up on to the last coach…
So get out all you Democrats, all you undecideds, students, anyone who looks beyond the small-town palisade – and VOTE.
Wish I could, but I guess I’m quite happy being English. Less stressful ….