Friday, January 29, 2010
Voters React Positively to Obama's Message
Media Reaction & Commentary
Great speech, but Republicans will remain united in opposition to this President. His ability to govern or to do anything significant legislatively will be limited. The Republicans are hellbent on making sure that most of Obama's agenda is scuttled or delayed. A few token initiatives might get through this year, but most (if not all) of the big ticket legislative items will be blocked. Here is where Obama's agenda currently stands in my opinion.
The State of the Union failed to sway any moderate Republicans towards supporting Health Care Reform. Serious banking reform, campaign reform, stimulus Part II, and many other plans also seem very questionable. I think all three of the initiatives that I mentioned are either dead or will face significant opposition.
The Republican plan appears to be to make Obama look like a weak, lame duck President who won't be able to claim very many major legislative successes going into the mid-term elections. It's a crude & shrewd political game, but they are playing it because it works for them. They see the recent Republican victories in New Jersey, Virginia and now Massachusetts as the reward for their obstructionism... so they have no reason to change their strategy. Their road to Republican victories in 2010 and 2012 is to create as much gridlock as possible. Their biggest threat is a Democrat in the White House who is actually able to make things happen and could point to substantive accomplishments that have a positive impact on the lives of everyday Americans. That is a situation that Republicans won't be able to allow.
One way out of this madness would be to change the rules on cloture and eliminating the magic number of 60. The problem with that approach is that it would take a 2/3 majority of the Senate to approve such a change. So unfortunately, that's just not going to happen.
In the meantime, the gridlock remains. All of the Country's big problems (that require fundamental sweeping change) will remain. The United States of America will continue its slow, steady decline. Watching this Country is like watching a house burn down in slow motion. The impact of the gridlock is palpable.