By Mike Whitney
Barack Obama’s prospects for reelection are much worse than his handlers think. There’s a big opening for the GOP to retake the White House in 2012 and implement the final phase of their nightmarish vision for America. Let’s not kid ourselves, we could be facing a very dark period ahead. A Republican president would increase the repression at home while expanding wars abroad. He would claim that his authority could not be challenged due to the ongoing the threat of terrorism. He would strong-arm the congress to rubber-stamp his economic agenda that would push the country back into deep recession. He would use his power to eliminate his enemies and silence his critics. It would be G.W. Bush all over again, only worse.
All of this could have been avoided if Obama had just followed through on a few of his campaign promises. But now it’s too late. He may think that he can win-back his former supporters by throwing them a bone in the last year of his term, but it will work. The damage is done. No amount of posturing or grandiloquence will close Guantanamo, stop the killing of women and children in Afghanistan, bring the troops home from Iraq, provide due process for terror suspects, or end the spying on American citizens. I’m not saying Obama is a bad man, but he is thoroughly unprincipled. And because that matters to many of his supporters, his chances for reelection are pretty slim.
Of the many people I know who voted for Obama, every one of them is disappointed, disgusted or angry. My wife–who was an enthusiastic supporter during the campaign and who cried on the day he was elected–now rushes to turn off the television whenever he appears on the screen. She won’t listen to him on the radio either. Just the sound of his voice drives her crazy. Can you blame her? She says she won’t make the same mistake again and I believe her.
So, how many other people feel the same way?
Just about everyone I know. They’re crushed, but they’re also mad; real mad. No one likes being duped.
So, no matter what Obama does, he won’t be able to wheedle his way back into their hearts again. It’s over. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice….” Well, you get the picture.
Of course, Democrat party leaders will point to Gingrich or Palin and try to scare the faithful into casting their ballots for the president. But it won’t work. Not this time. The sense of betrayal is too deep. What about Bradley Manning, habeas corpus, or the fact that not one executive from a Wall Street bank has faced indictment, prosecution, arrest, or jailtime? Not one!
14 million workers can’t find a job and Obama talks about cutting deficits. Even Reagan wasn’t that brazen.
41 million Americans are scraping by on food stamps, but Obama won’t support more fiscal stimulus.
2 million people will face foreclosure in 2012, but Obama won’t force the banks to lower the principle so they can stay in their homes.
So, what has he accomplished? What has Obama done that his supporters can point to and say, “That’s why I voted for him, because he shares my values, my vision for the country, and my commitment to treating people with decency and justice?”
The fact that Obama is “not as bad” as Sarah Palin is not a good enough reason to vote for him. He needs to prove that he can keep his word and work for change. He hasn’t done that. He’s never even tried.