Tuesday, November 23, 2010

President Obama should turn a Deaf Ear to chatter About Not Running Again



Earl Ofari Hutchinson

President Obama should turn a deaf ear to the silly chatter about him not running again. He’s heard plenty of that in the weeks since the midterm election drubbing. Much of the chatter hasn’t come from the usual, hostile GOP and Tea Party suspects. They’ve flatly said their goal is to make Obama a failed, flawed, president and presidency. The stand down talk has come in a string of op-ed pieces, web and blog talk, speculation and guesswork, from some respected Democrat Party supporters and operatives. If Obama self designates himself a lame duck president now supposedly the GOP will call off the attack dogs, embrace cooperation and bipartisanship, and this will help promote national unity, allow him to make real headway on attaining his foreign policy goals on the Afghanistan war, North Korean nukes, the Middle-East, shepherd through an economic recovery, and spare packs of Democratic incumbents from losing their jobs in another tidal wave against him in 2012. None of this makes any sense.

The GOP declared civil war on Obama not last month, or last year, but the instant the final vote declared him the presidential winner in 2008. The GOP did not launch its take no prisoner’s war solely to drive him from office. The war would have been waged against Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat that won the presidency. The only thing different about Obama from them is he’s African-American and that opened the racial floodgate to hector, harass, and pillory, and demean him. The GOP war is about regaining power, control, political dominance, protecting its corporate and financial interests, its strict construction definition and enforcement of the laws, and more broadly imposing its philosophical view of how government should be run. The presidency is the grand prize that pulls the political, economic and philosophical threads on how government and power will be exercised together for the GOP.
Then there’s this question. If Obama can perform the political miracle that will bring political peace and unity, help the economy and improve foreign policy, by not running then why couldn’t he do it as president? The Obama one-term proponents give no real answer to this.

The other blurred crystal ball gazing foisted off as political reason for Obama to pack it in in 2012 is that America has plummeted into an era of scarcity, class gaping divisions between rich and poor, plunging living standards, military decline, and faces major challenges to its economic dominance from China, India, Brazil, Japan, and Western Europe. In this view America is going the way of the Roman and British Empires. This supposedly explains the anger and angst of the Tea Party at Obama. In short, he’s the fall guy for America’s sink. This is bunkum too.

The Tea Party’s relentless rage and hounding of Obama is not fueled by insecurity over where the tomorrow’s paycheck is coming from, whether America will get clocked in Afghanistan, what Brazil will or won’t do in the financial markets, or that the government can’t pay its bills because of massive hock to everyone. It’s fueled by race and shrewd media and political manipulation. America has been in the era of economic uncertainty, foreign competition, and military shrinkage, for the past two decades. If America’s domestic and foreign slide alone was a reason to tell a president not to run that president should have been W. Bush in 2004.

There were no loud cries, endless polls, and legions of pundits clucking to Bush to step down. And if he did, it would somehow reverse America’s slide, or at least let him off the hook for it. But that’s exactly what Obama is being told.

A little history is in order. He can’t win. He’s made a mess of the economy. His foreign policy initiatives have stalled. The inexperience that his opponents repeatedly warned would do him in once he got in the White House proved true. A Gallup poll backed up the rampant talk that the President should not run for re-election because of political failures and public disgust; nearly sixty percent of the respondents said that. The president a multitude said with absolute certainty was irreparably damaged political goods and shouldn’t run for reelection, and if he did couldn’t win is not named Obama. It was Ronald Reagan. The year was 1982. The economy was still mired in double digit unemployment and inflation, and his approval numbers were in the tank. But we know the rest. Reagan didn’t listen to the pundits the critics, or heed the poll numbers. He won a smash reelection victory in 1984. Presidents from Truman to Clinton have all heard the dreaded three words, “one-term president” said about them after popularity plunges, legislative reversals, or midterm party losses.

Two years is an eternity in politics. A recovering economy a hard, and decisive breakthrough in the war on terrorism, or GOP internal self-destruction, could turn the tide in the White House‘s favor. One more note, Obama’s popularity numbers at the same juncture of their presidency are higher than Truman, Reagan or Clinton’s, they won reelection and so can he.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk shows on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.
Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

5 comments:

Martha said...

Presidency popularity is highly correlated to The Misery Index. Therefore, forget polls and simple watch this index monthly.

Of course by looking at the index it would not show how miserable, for exanple, blacks are at any juncture.

But by solving a simple math problem one can easily find out.

The equation is:
Misery Index = unemployment rate + inflation rate.
Inflation rate Oct 2010 is 1.17%
Unemployment rate for the US was 9.6% for October 2010.
Thus the misery index would be 10.77 for October 2010 under the Obama presidency.

Misery Index for blacks = 15.7 + 1.17 or 16.87

Since you brought up other presidents in your excellent article, here's how their misery index was over time.
The US Misery Index by President
January 1948 to October 2010


Inflation Rate

Martha said...

A predictor for success for a president to be elected for a second term may weigh on the misery index but this is not 100% as are any statistics.
Other factors have come into play that were insignificant before under other presidencies.
Rather consider the Distress Index instead of the Misery Index.

Factors used in this index are:

Unemployment
Consumer Price Index
Gross Domestic Product
“basic measure of a country’s economic performance and is the market value of all final goods and services made within the borders of a nation in a year.”
Total Capacity Utilization (TCU): This is a measure of the utilization of all available capital goods. Use the inverse of this number, since higher utilization is generally a good thing. So for instance, if TCU is at 70 percent, add 30 percent to the distress index as a measure of idle capacity.
Household Financial Obligations as a percent of Disposable Personal Income (HFO/DPI): This measure is intended to gauge the ability of individuals to participate in the consumer economy.

Martha said...

The people who put Obama in the Presidency were folks of all stripes. Most of all they voted on hope for a better day. Small donations were collected and so the little guy thought he had a chance
of winning with Obama.

But jobs had already left US borders, with corporations doing work outside the US for tax and cheap labor reasons. The decline starting right after Clinton left office.

Foreign workers had replaced Americans on many jobs here stateside in high paying jobs using Visas. This began during or soon after the year 2000.

Less skilled jobs were taken up by
illegal immigrants from many countries. This pressured the rest for more funds to support schools, parks, hospitals and just about everything. Money flowed back to the county of origin - with less money flowing into state and federal coffers.

But many unskilled jobs were taken up by programmers,scientists and other high paid workers who were pushed out by outsourcing or Visa workers.

Universities accepted fewer Americans to their campuses because it was more economical to allow foreign students to enter - they paid the maximum rate of tuition , thus less American young people aspired for degrees in the sciences, anyway their mentors has vanished from high schools and colleges.


Many jobs that existed in the
twentieth century had gone out of existence by the time Obama became president.


Many other jobs were eliminated by giving Americans workers 'golden parachutes" to leave.

This was the state of America, when Obama took office. But what jobs can be generated?

Well there are the "green jobs",
"the shovel ready" jobs and after that what else is on the horizon?
The corporations are refusing to hire more.

There were the rust belts of the Midwest - cities with standing factories empty -like ghost towns.

The auto industry was all but collapsed due American's appetite for foreign cars.

Then there were the Banks and Wall Street to take care of.

After Obama took office the corporations increases layoffs and remain operating with minimum staffing, but increased worker's hours
, with increase pay for some workers but many with no increase in pay. Result: Plenty cash and stockholders were kept happy..

What was Obama thinking? He surrounded himself with many of folks of previous administrations.

But will the little guy go back to the polls with unemployment so high with cities in disrepair and many close to bankrupt, with the current housing crisis, with the fate of social security left to a disinterested committee to decide,
with the mortgage interest deduction in the same hands - decided by the same committee.

Of course Obama did not cause all these things - some were caused by many who wanted to be in favor of the corporations by voting in more H-1b's(foreign workers), but the little guy didn't know the state of affairs _ when he cast his vote and had so much hope.

Like someone here said the folks that benefited the most are now ready to dump Obama. The trillions to the banking world and Wall Street cannot be reversed.

The latest $600 billion has to first pass through the banking world and Wall Street before it can trickle down to the small companies
and finally to the little guy if he does gets lucky to be hired by one of the small company receiving a loan.

Another variable is the "freeze " on government workers. Just as workers in the private sector are receiving raises and overtime - as their work load increases
[due to the lack of hiring].

The union may not be so anxious to encourage their workers to come out in 2012 for Obama.

With so much on his plate and with many leaving it will be a challenge to lower the unemployment rate - remember there will be an influx of more people coming into America even if new jobs can be created.

Keep 'em coming.

Baxter County said...

Captain Jeff Lewis calls President Obama a "spineless wonder".

Captain Jeff Lewis is the Chief Deputy at the Baxter County Sheriff's office in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Captain Lewis posted these disrespectful comments on the social network policelink.com about President Barak Obama....

"Send Obama to the front line and let him personally lead the unarmed officers. It would only take about 2 seconds for that spineless wonder to make a bee line back to the rose garden."

http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/151358-obama-keep-us-agents-disarmed-in-mexico?comment_page=5

This is his profile page on policelink.com

http://policelink.monster.com/member/Baxter2

Franz Grueter said...

Simply Amazing! After the KPFK discussion if Marilyn Davenport is racist or not, and in the process the performance of Obama came up, that Mr. Baez actually hat the gulls to defend Obama on the grounds that he is the president, and the leader of the free world!!! (You forget to say the greatest and freest country on earth) And because of that we must give this individual our respect??? I always thought respect is something that people have to earn? I only hope that you are not trying to build your powerful left on such a platform! And since you think that Obama should run again, because of what? His outstanding performance???
Oh yeah, because we must respect him because he is the leader of the free world????
Franz Grueter