Monday, November 01, 2010
Tuesday - Armageddon?
Democrats poised for mid-term hit as cash floods to Republicans
Ian WilliamsTribune 30 October 2010
It is third world politics, perhaps befitting a country that has a third world social safety net - and is proud of it. Huge sums of fisco-money (fortunes amassed from tax cuts) are pouring into the mid-term elections and the one sure result will be yet more legislative gridlock as the United States tries to steer away from the iceberg into which Captain George Bush steered it.
The Republicans could win a majority in the House of Representatives, but are unlikely to get the Senate, but in any case, their majority will not be big enough to over-ride a Presidential veto. Indeed some Democrats - albeit not those who would lose their seats - almost welcome a slim Republican majority, since it means the conservative negativists would have to assume responsibility for legislative initiatives that would allow, or force, Obama to confront them.
So far the Republican campaign has been entirely reactionary, in every sense of the word, inveighing against handouts to banks (which came from Bush) the stimulus programme which they claim has failed (they did their best to ensure it by restricting funds available) the deficit (that they and Bush built to record heights before the crisis) and ‘Obamacare’ (but would they really try to take insurance away from patients with ‘pre-existing’ conditions).
A defeat might look like a setback to the high hopes represented by the election of a black President, but as a consolation, he is still by far the most popular politician in the country, with far more favorable ratings than Congressmen as an entity. Additionally, where the really looney Tea Party types won Republican primaries their candidates have all the credibility of the Monster Raving Loony Party. In the major New York state races the Democrats seem to be holding their own while in California billionaire Meg Whitman has spent $130 million of her own money and yet is trailing veteran Democrat Jerry Brown in the race for Governor, similarly the high spending Republican candidate for Senator is failing against incumbent Barbara Boxer, who as Democrats go, goes right too often.
The leftists who dismiss Obama as a plutocrat’s pawn should consider that open Wall Street donations were flowing towards the Republicans, where before they went to the Democrats, and as a new factor, armed with the Supreme Court decision that said corporations had all the rights of Freed Slaves, the newly liberated companies are now pouring money into the types of groups that gave us the “Swift Boat” libel campaign against Kerry. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 20, such under cover Republican leaning groups spent $118 million to $45 million for their Democratic counterparts. These donors are not people who think Obama is a foreign born Muslim, but they are cynically happy to take advantage of what one Republican lobbyist (now in gaol) candidly referred to as the “Wackos.”
In a confusing melee of hand to hand combats across the political field, where candidates rarely identify themselves by party, one definite conclusion is that Obama and the Democrats have consistently pulled their punches in campaigning, as if mesmerised by Faux TV accusations of inherent socialism. Indeed, even “liberal” is now almost a McCarthyite smear. They have to get over it. This ship really could sink while they wrestle the wheel into immobility.