The rest of the world is finally beginning to cop on. To what? To President Barack Obama being – well – either incompetent or a big pseudo-populist fraud. In the US this has been known for some time – indeed, only those who seem to have tied themselves to the Democrats as if with a noose around their necks continue to defend the Administration; and these people, in their defences of Obama, often appear more hysterical than rational.
The disappointments have been numerous. From the Administration’s support of the phone-tapping of civilians, to legitimising assassinations of US citizens, to dodgy health care ‘reforms’ that were so favorably balanced in favor of the big drug companies that their stock went soaring after they were passed. Then there is the continuation and expansion of the Afghanistan war (and the ‘Terminator’ style incursions into Pakistan). Yes, the list is long, alright.
The political scene in America has certainly shifted to the Right in the past few decades – often remarkably so. And many of Obama’s entranced devotees point to this as the root cause of his massive failures. As reluctant as I am to say it, they may have a point. The US political commentator Bill Maher summed it up rather well when he said that, “The Democrats have moved to the Right and the Right have moved to the mental institution!”
This is certainly not to excuse the Obama Administration for its consistent policy failure and political ineptitude – merely, I seek to provide some context.
Speaking of political ineptitude, when it comes to political tactics, Obama often seems to have a marked desire for self-destruction. Since his election, the Republicans have used the classic ‘take no prisoners’ strategy. They have blocked the Democrats at just about every turn – and, in Obama’s own words, treated him “worse than you would treat a dog”. But rather than bite back, Obama and his fellow political pacifists have continued to try to appease these people. Even now, with the Republicans set to scoop up the House [of Representatives] in the upcoming midterm elections, Obama’s team – if we should indeed call them that – are… optimistic! optimistic that this will encourage the Republicans to ‘act like grown-ups’ and show some friendly Bipartisanship.
Many predict, however, that a more realistic outcome will be that the already fired-up and foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans – some of whom have denied Obama’s US citizenship and warned that his health care reform will bring ‘death-panels’ to kill off the old and infirm – will use this opportunity to launch a Clintonesque, “Ah did nawt have sexual realtions with that wuman”-style impeachment. Let’s just hope that poor Barry cleaned those bones out of his closet when he took up his post…
The greatest tragedy about all this is that if the rest of the world is to recover from the current economic crisis, then the US will have to lead the way. Not only does the US economy make up a great deal of the total world economy, but it also houses the largest and most important slice of the world’s financial pie. So far, Obama’s financial reform has been weak – and many expect there to be another financial crash as a result. It’s not surprising that the reform was so weak. After all, it is all too well-known how cosy the Democrats are with Wall Street.
As far as the coming crash goes, Simon Johnson put it well a few months back in an interview dealing with the insufficiency in the financial reform. Regarding the coming crash he said:
The question is: Is it three years or seven years? The timing is very hard to call. And right after you’ve had a very big crisis, you’d expect people to be more careful. To the extent that the people running the big banks got their fingers burned a little bit or were scared at any stage, they will not be so reckless. But those people will pass on and memories will recede. … By the way, I would pick emerging markets as the next place for a boom that gets carried away.
So that’s the way it’s going to be. The Obama Administration proves its incompetency; the country move further into the bowls of Bedlam – the American people continue to suffer, pulling the rest of us into the madhouse with them.