Thursday, July 12, 2012
Obama’s chances for the Second Term
July 10, 2012
By Saeed Qureshi
The Republican Party is hell-bent to oust the incumbent U. S. president Barack Obama from the White House. The Republican Party has thus far outflanked the rival Democratic Party in raising funds and revenue without which no party or individual can imagine of contesting elections in America, even for lower positions; not to speak of the presidential office. The Democratic Party and for that matter president is hamstrung in matching the Republicans’ ability and resourcefulness to generate funds from donations.
The Republican Party’s most pressing and overriding goal in the forthcoming November elections is, not to pull out a watershed agenda or a dazzling far reaching reform package. It is, as the the minority leader of the United States senate Mitch McConnell categorically spelt out, to stop Barak Obama for being elected for the second term.
The cost of the 2008 elections was over a billion dollars that would spike by huge margin this year. The Republicans collect money from the donors and contributors without much hassle or even without resorting to appeals through ads, emails or other channels. That party has such wealthy corporations and individuals donors that offer millions on their own initiatives. Such one big hefty donation was 25 million dollars from Karl Rove’s Super PAC.
On the contrary, the Obama camp in frantically struggling to raise funds for the election campaign through emails and ads with appeals for donating as paltry an amount as 3 dollars. The Democratic Party is far behind the Republican nominee Mitt Romney in matter of having vital funds to keep fighting the political war on all fronts, the most outstanding being to put up ads on the premier television channels. The Republicans have collected around 106 million dollars recently while Democrats have raised some 70 million dollars.
So much so that in one of the latest emails, the Obama site has expressed apprehensions by warning that because of the paucity of funds, president Obama could lose this time. It was a very moving and passionate appeal that may motivate the pro-Obama Americans to cough up more donations to keep their president in the saddle for four more years.
The Republican Party’s central theme or philosophy is American conservatism that also caters for a typical genre of liberalism mostly defined as classical liberalism. The Democratic Party believes and stands for Modern liberalism. In narrowing down the perceptions and visions of both the parties, as a matter of fact, both propel and promote progress and liberalism, albeit in different contexts. The Republican roots their liberalism in the past with a tinge of the present. The democrats imbibe and exhort a liberalism that does not carry many of the shackles of the past. In a nutshell the Republican Party is conservative while the Democratic Party is progressive.
But in the run off for the 2012 presidential elections, the tussle is not between the values, concepts and political vision and outlook the parties hold or epitomize. The Republican campaigning is centered on president Obama’s ejection from the White House. President Obama despite his sterling and outstanding accomplishments is being opposed by the Republican because his skin is not white. Unfortunately despite American society’s homogeneous profile and constitutional caveat against ethnic or racial discrimination or bias, the simmering color slant exists.
The ascension of an African-American or in simple jargon a black person to the most exalted and powerful office of the American president on the whole does not seem to be sitting well with the conservative white or Caucasian races. However, on the lower echelons, on people’s level and in social sectors, the equality of opportunities and fairness in social safety nets and benefits is strictly observed.
Obama is not a favorite American president for Israel for his professed even-handed policy in the Middle East and his efforts to settle the historic dispute of statehood for the Palestinians. And since Republican Party’s bulk membership is defiantly opposed to the Palestinians and not in favor of an independent state for them, they share a common outlook with Israel on this thorny issue. Pro-Israeli lobbies enjoy a powerful clout in influencing the foreign policy decisions of the United States. As such Obama’s second coming in the presidency is patently distasteful to both these allies.
In 2008 presidential elections, of the total 538 electoral votes, Obama received 365 in comparison to his rival John McCain who bagged only 173. That was a stunning victory for president Obama. There is a possibility even this time that the Republicans may not be able to dislodge him for a variety of compelling indicators.
Mitt Romney is not as strong a candidate as was John McCain. President Obama stands much taller in intellectual caliber and for his rich background and insight in economy and legal domains. He is a much convincing and eloquent speaker than Romney whose only strategy is to oppose and discard of what Obama says about his past achievements and future goals.
In the backdrop of his successful business empire, Mitt Romney is trying to argue that with his experience and acumen in conducting business, he could as well improve the battered American economy and produce jobs. But for a president the business or trade is not the only portfolio to deal with. It’s a sensitive office with diverse and unforeseen hurdles and daunting challenges at every step and moment to counter. As such the independent observers and objective analysts do not give much weight to Romney’s claims because running a family business enterprise is colossally different from a running a country’s economy, all the more of the United States.
In managing a country’s affairs, a president is sitting in a glass house and has to face and brace incessant political rebuff, callous opprobrium and merciless fault-finding. Already Romney is being castigated in media and by his political opponents for his opulent lving style, his taxation defaults, his laying off workers and similar actions that speak for his hardnosed attitude in business. His offshore bank accounts as in Bermuda and Switzerland cast ominous shadows on his integrity to be the chief executive of that mighty nation.
The religious right and ultra religious orthodox factions may not be in favor of a Mormon taking control of the highest office in the United States. Although his assuming of presidency may not affect the religious liberty and a culture of pluralism, yet belonging to a faction that is considered heretic in mainstream Christianity, could negatively impinge upon Romney’s chances to win elections.
A semi-black Christian president with a basket full of laurels and Nobel Prize could still be a better choice for most of the Americans. The overall tone and tenor of Republican political thrust is to indulge in smear and in petty blame game which may backfire. Moreover, Mitt Romney’s public pledge to consult the Israeli prime minister BB before taking policy decisions portrays him as a crony and a second fiddle to that vassal state. Such a public assertion is shameful.
While the Republican leadership has not unfurled any meaningful charter as to what they intend to do if they win, they blow hot and cold simultaneously only to browbeat Obama. They have not offered any considerable blue print or road map for jobs creation or any relief package for the poor as well as to restrain the rising level of poverty in the United States. All they want is to quash Obama’s healthcare plan, impose taxes on the poor only keeping the wealthy classes unleashed from the taxation net.
The scroll of achievements by Democrats under president Obama is brimming with numerous and varied laurels. It should be acknowledged that against a backdrop of a host of allegations such as being black, not a born American, and even being a Muslim, he has achieved astounding milestones both domestically and on the external front.
Obama was seldom reactive. He refrained from indulging in an exercise of rancor, slander, or hitting below the belt, in vendetta or pungent repartees. He was never provoked or unruffled by scathing and noxious despising forays from his opponents. He has remained calm and above board and solely focused on his reform agenda to realize or revive the watered down American dream. His personal conduct and character has been unblemished and sparklingly transparent.
It should also be borne in mind that he was the successor to a dysfunctional government, a ravished economy and a messy state of affairs spawned by his reckless predecessor honorable G. W Bush.
The United States is still embroiled in futile and costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq entailing unspeakable miseries, horrific death and destruction. These wars were set off by the Republican hawkish president in cahoots with his cohorts of the same ilk.
Those deadly wars have ruined the super duper vibrant economy of United States to the extent of incurring a stupendous debt in trillions. That devastated shape of economy was not of Obama’s making. But still in that bleakest economic scenario, Obama took some bold and sagacious measures not only halting the further erosion of economy but refurbishing and recovering it. If some lobbies for malicious reasons put all the blame for that ruinous state of economic meltdown and inability to make it robust in days, must be either idealist, highly unrealistic and myopic.
The monetary bailouts certainly revitalized the debilitating economy, revived the manufacturing and banking sectors, produced jobs and set into motion a confident turn round in the sliding trends of economy. These are facts and developments that have unfurled before us and any denial of these positive outcomes would be blocking the sun with fingers. President Obama must be given the duly deserving credit for winding up the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan replacing the warfare and military juggernauts with rehabilitation and reconstruction of a war battered country.
It would be naïve to negate that revival of that war-torn country and resettling its traumatized people is a remarkable and spectacular alternative for winning the hearts and minds of the disgruntled and displaced Afghanis. Likewise the termination of military presence in Iraq after a long drawn destructive war with countless casualties and colossal upheaval should be applauded than being criticized.
Now these are momentous steps and manifest milestones that should convince the American people of the potential, sincerity, competence and statesmanship of president Obama to catch the bull by horn and address the most intriguing issues with phenomenally excellent results. His derisively nicknamed Obamacare which is a monumental healthcare program benefitting most ignored or poor American is exceptionally revolutionary and commendable. Since this plan would cut across the unimaginable incomes and huge money making insurance companies of the top wealthy Americans, they are using the Trojan horse of the Republican Party to get it shelved, abandoned or revoked.
Nevertheless, the American voters are prudent and conscientious citizens. They certainly weigh the pros and cons and good and bad of a candidate before casting their precious ballots. With sizeable support from the middle classes and youth, from the African American community and Latinos, President Obama stands a better chance to win the second term. The results in primaries and caucuses show his upper edge and if this trend continues he would return to the White House
In dealing with the internal and external gubernatorial problems, he has been pragmatic, steady and upright. From where such a dedicated, talented and patriotic leadership, the American people would find? In Mitt Romney: not a shred of that.