Monday, November 8, 2010

Gridlock to grip America again?

So the mid-terms are over.

If you believe most of the mainstream media, Barack Obama has been rejected by the people and the new Republican majority in the House has a mandate from the Tea Party to roll back spending and repeal health care reform.

It's both more complicated and simpler than that.

Is Obama doomed to be a one-term president? Well, his approval numbers at this point in his administration are higher than those of Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton. Both of those guys managed to overcome big defeats in their first mid-term elections to win second terms by a comfortable majority.

And, in exit polls, voters Tuesday split evenly on whether health care reform should be repealed or not. In any case, Republicans don't have the votes to repeal it in the Senate or override Obama's veto if they did. They could shut down the government to leverage him, but that didn't work too well when another group of Republicans tried it against Clinton.

The simple fact is that Tuesday's results weren't about  health care reform or the deficit or foreign policy or Don't Ask, Don't Tell or even about taxes.

They were about the economy.

The unemployment rate was 9.6% on Election Day. If it had been 6%, Tuesday would not have happened. And it wouldn't have mattered what the Tea Party or mainsteam Republicans or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck had to say about it.

If the unemployment rate is over 9% on Election Day 2012, Barack Obama will lose -- unless the GOP does something truly suicidal like nominating Sarah Palin.  If the economy has improved, as it seems to be doing, he won't.

And that brings us to what the next two years will look like.

Bookmark and Share