OK, if you haven’t looked at your calendar lately, let me remind you that in little over a year the Tea Party-controlled Republican party will be making a serious attempt to gain majority power and take over the White House. No, it’s not a bad dream… pinch yourself all you want, this is really happening.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Perry or Romney will win the Republican nomination and with the state of the economy continuing to look bleak and bleaker, Obama is in serious peril. His poll numbers have been in a downward spiral – in part due to an inevitable association with an inherited economic morass, the non-stop, well-financed misinformation campaign from the right, and gradual erosion of support from his progressive base as he repeatedly ceded valuable political territory to the Tea Party in a feeble attempt at bi-partisan compromise.
Obama’s presidency thus far has been marked by both achievements and disappointments, the latter of which seem to resonate the loudest to those of us with progressive views who worked so hard to win his nomination and ultimately the presidency. President Obama has not been able to fulfill the aspirations and hopes for progressive change following eight years of Bush so eloquently articulated by candidate Obama.
There have been glimpses of candidate Obama and it appears he is slowly re-emerging. For example, his recent jobs speech (albeit a bit late in coming) finally succeeded in changing the subject from the Republican led chorus of “The deficit [left by Bush as a White House warming gift] is the root of all of our problems but oh by the way we can’t afford to raise any revenue by taxing the damn millionaires and billionaires…” And his pro-active position in preparing a jobs bill that will put people back to work without increasing the debt and having the chutzpah (Michelle, that’s pronounced huhtz-pah) to tell Congress to “Pass this bill” instead of waiting for the House Republicans and then taking the issue on the road to sell to the American people was definitely the work of candidate Obama.
Hopefully candidate Obama will continue to rise from hibernation and make himself heard once again. But even if President warts-and-all Obama remains, we can’t afford to stand on principle and sit this one out. The stakes are scarier than you can imagine. And if re-elected by a slim majority but accompanied with loss of control in both houses of congress his second term will be a depressing succession of vetoes at best and concession to the Tea Bag fundamentalist Christian political and social agenda at worst.
When Ralph Nader ran as an independent he contended that there was no difference between George W. and either Gore or Kerry and look where that got us. There is only one credible scenario that will allow the Tea Baggers to take the White House: young voters, minority voters, and progressives don’t bother to show up. Mark your calendars…