Obama will be a one-term President
2010 is not a parallel to 1994, 1894, or to any other noteworthy year identified by various pundits across the political spectrum. What worked sufficiently well in the 1980’s and the 1990’s for Presidents Reagan and Clinton will not be appropriate for the myriad of challenges facing our nation in 2010 and beyond.
The 2010 midterm elections at the National, State and local levels merely reflected the country’s move back to its political equilibrium. Essentially the 2008 elections were a historical anomaly and won’t be repeated for at least another decade – if ever again. American liberalism has been discredited by its own actions and inactions. The Democratic Party will likely be the one to implode over the next 10 years – not the Republicans.
President Obama will be a single-term President similar to Presidents Hoover and Carter – two other ostensibly intelligent people who were not temperamentally or politically cut out for the Oval Office. The famous “Peter Principle” of individuals rising within organizations to their levels of incompetence was applicable to Hoover and Carter, and is now applicable to Obama. He should have stayed as a relatively competent U.S. Senator.
I was not thrilled with voting for Obama in 2008 because he was a former law professor. Having attended and graduated from law school more than 20 years ago, I know the types of characters who are good law professors but lousy in most other areas of public and private endeavor. These professors are highly intelligent, glib, entertaining, bombastic, egotistical, obtuse, condescending and self-centered. They really have few core beliefs they are willing to state publicly. Intellectual debate is far more important than accomplishing anything in the real world. Finally, many of them don’t change and are tone-deaf to constructive criticism.
Too many law professors cannot fathom the lives and viewpoints of “real people” who are not their university colleagues or highly-intelligent law students – and neither group constitutes more than two percent of the U.S. population. They incorrectly assume everyone can appreciate and understand the subtle and obtuse nuances of what they say and do. The real world needs clear, short, and understandable principles, ideas, and explanations. The vast majority of people do not “think like lawyers” and they don’t appreciate condescending explanations either.
President Obama was the accidental victor in 2008. The start of the Great Recession (Big Bust & national deleveraging) began before the Presidential elections. Furthermore the Republican alternative ticket was incredibly weak. If Mitt Romney had been the Vice-Presidential Candidate, we would have had a President McCain. Sarah Palin might be loved by the extreme right, but she won’t be elected to any national office.
Contrarily President Hoover was elected before the 1929 collapse and his efforts – supported by Republican doctrine at the time – over the next 3 years were wholly unsuccessful in extricating the U.S. from a deep and structural Depression. This huge failure naturally resulted in the 1932 election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democrats running things for the next 16 years.
Today the U.S. is a center-right (almost right of center to extreme right) nation after 30 years of consistently conservative/Republican domination of our politics. Liberals have never been the majority among the Nation’s electorate – even during the eras of Roosevelt and Johnson.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce now calls the tune for both parties in Washington DC. Our oligarchy/plutocracy/kleptocracy funds our political elections in order to ensure their own economic prosperity to the detriment of 85% of U.S. citizens. This class war has taken place surreptitiously over the past 30 years. Now a majority of people cannot fathom an alternative reality or political-economic system that does not concentrate all the nation’s wealth and power among a small minority. Extending all the Bush tax cuts will only expand the nation’s extreme income inequality and hasten American serfdom for the vast majority of citizens. But that is what happened to all prior collapsed empires anyway.
Neither political party has any viable ideas on how to address the myriad of huge challenges and ugly choices facing the nation. They simply regurgitate long-discredited ideologies while hoping some outside force, event, or silver bullet will pull the U.S. out of its rapidly-accelerating political-economic collapse. The moderate middle no longer exists and cannot be created out of thin air in our extremely polarized and uncompromising nation.
We will not see compromise over the next two years but posturing for the 2012 elections. The partisan battles will be so fierce because the disputes and outcomes are so small. Neither party can address real issues honestly so the nation will distract itself on irrelevant and puny issues. As I predicted a few months ago in TMV, a shut-down of the U.S. government is probable (it didn’t hurt the Republicans the last time they tried it in 1995 since they continued to control Congress until 2006) and so is an impeachment of President Obama.
Over the next 10 years there will be some meaningless political swings every two years in Congressional elections as the impatient, fearful, angry, and ignorant electorate flails back and forth hoping for a change or a past restoration that never arrives. However the results will be center-right to extreme right as the nation has fully rejected liberalism and Democrats completely. No one in corrupt Washington will stop the total economic and political collapse that will transpire over the next two decades.
I voted in the 2010 Midterm elections where I live in heavily-democratic central Phoenix. Our long-serving liberal Congressman Ed Pastor was never going to be unseated. The rest of the Arizona Congressional delegation got a bit redder. Arizona was already controlled by Republicans at the State level and they increased their control by winning all statewide offices and increasing their Statehouse majorities. The electorate may think the party that made the mess in the past should clean it up.
I was depressed to see that out of 6.5 million total residents, the two parties were incapable of finding better candidates than perpetual politicians who know little of business and the real world. It might be worthwhile to require all candidates for all elective offices be over 40 years of age. Thus all candidates would have to spend a significant amount of time in the private sector and outside of government so they would have a healthy perspective of their fellow citizens when they do enter public service.
This age limitation might also work for all appointed public positions and could be applied to anyone who is hired to work in the public sector. It is not healthy for any society to have its public servants so completely isolated from the real world from the time they graduate from college until they retire. I also support term limits, including for the judiciary and a lifetime time limit for anyone serving in all elective offices.
I will discuss comprehensive tax reform, infrastructure investments, the environment, and many other ideas in future TMV posts – just to let off steam and provide a forum for some TMV debate. However, I do not realistically think that any ideas from the center or left will carry much weight during the next two years.
Submitted by Marc Pascal in Phoenix, AZ