As President Obama completes his first full year in office great challenges remain. Although many of the challenges remain a legacy of the Bush administrations failures, the public has a short memory. Republican’s, teabaggers, and independents alike suffer from political amnesia. The deficit and record spending were caused by the Bush administration and a Republican controlled congress. Unfinished wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, thanks Bush. The Wall Street bailout/giveaway without oversight was pushed through by Bush. Obama was not yet elected.
Where the President’s poll ratings seem to suffer is not from those who will not vote for him anyway they seem to be suffering from his most ardent supporters who wanted the President to fight for single payer health care, a public option or at a minimum eliminate the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies. If the President and his Democratic supporters want to improve their standings they must do what got them elected in 2006 and 2008.
Jobs. Americans vote their pocketbooks. The exception perhaps being in 2004 where the Bush administration did not create any new jobs but was nonetheless re-elected in part through security scare tactics and gay marriage ballot initiatives. With mid-term congressional elections coming up in November the stakes are high and getting Americans back to work is the priority. With Congress posed to pass some form of health care reform and signs that the stimulus bill passed by Congress has saved jobs and saved state budgets. The Democrats have an argument to take to the people. The election as all elections will be about getting out the base to vote. If the President and the Democrats can rally the base getting them off the couch and yelling at the TV in support of the President the Democrats will minimize any seasonal mid-term losses.
What is the Republican party’s answer? What is their solution other than no? Do they have a health care plan that supports the people over the insurance industry? Do they have any answers other than tax cuts and blame the lawyers (although they too are lawyers)? Do they have an answer where it comes to national security? Less we be reminded that a Bush administration and a republican led Congress supported the invasion of Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and diverted resources from the war in Afghanistan that the Obama administration now has to deal with. Why should the country turn back to a Republican controlled anything and expect different results than the previous eight years. Perhaps now some rank and file Republicans, teabaggers, libertarians, and independents understand the truth of the GOP that their true family values are with the wealthy and corporate oligarchs who fund their campaigns, foundations, think tanks and television networks.
A year after a historic inauguration great challenges and great opportunities remain. As jobs pick up and the economy improves so will Democratic fortunes. Even now polls suggesting Democratic losses in November are off track given that the Democrats in Congress are still favored more than their Republican counterparts. Michael Steele was right the first time Democrats will hold onto Congress during the midterms.