Economist Leader–The Republicans ride in

The mid-term elections on November 2nd saw the biggest swing to the Republicans for 72 years…With a few results still to come, they have picked up over 60 seats in the House of Representatives, for a solid majority of at least 50. In the Senate they gained at least six seats, though they will fall short of control there.

For Mr Obama, the lesson is simple enough: sharpen up, and prepare for a tough two years. Yes, this was hardly an enthusiastic vote for his opponents, more a howl of rage against incumbents from citizens struggling after the worst slowdown since the 1930s. And he has a string of legislative achievements to his name. But plenty of centrists plainly fear that he has drifted too far to the left, that he dislikes business and that he does not understand middle America. He looks a far less competent figure than he did two years ago. With a hostile House and a gridlocked Senate, the chances of passing any big new laws are remote; and Republican victories in crucial swing states such as Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania will make the president’s re-election battle in 2012 a lot harder. If Mr Obama is to win again, he needs to move back to the pragmatic centre of what is still a pretty conservative country.

But so do the Republicans….

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate

6 comments on “Economist Leader–The Republicans ride in

  1. InChristAlone says:

    Was Obama truly ever actually in the center, or even near it. Yes he claimed that he was but his voting record before running betrays a non-center bias. For some it is not surprising that he does not govern from the center.

  2. Katherine says:

    What a very odd analysis. Anyone who has been keeping up with the campaigns and commentary knows that the “string of legislative achievements” were not considered to be achievements by large numbers of voters. These legislative victories led directly to the electoral losses.

  3. Sarah says:

    RE: “He looks a far less competent figure than he did two years ago.”

    I disagree — I think him as competent as ever, given what he is endeavoring to accomplish.

    It’s just that I don’t value or agree with what he is endeavoring to accomplish.

    But I do think him immensely competent and don’t see any changes.

  4. billqs says:

    I agree with Sarah, Obama has been incredibly competent at getting his agenda through, it’s just an agenda that most Americans don’t want.

    For 60 years the Democrats have been trying to get through Universal Healthcare and he ramrodded that right through, along with almost a trillion more which he called “stimulus”, but really rewarded traditional Democratice backers. He’s put the jackboot of the government on businesses heads with the financial reform bill, and would have passed cap & trade if it weren’t for congress being slow to act.

    I’m also not sure where the “centrist” stuff came from. Unlike Bill Clinton, who did campaign as a centrist, Obama was pretty candid about his goals.

    If you count what he would consider to be “achievements” he would be consided exceptionally adept at getting these things passed in only two years. That’s why I don’t understand the criticism from the left. He could make a case of being the Ronald Reagan of the left- except his policies are not strengthening the economy.

  5. John Wilkins says:

    I guess it depends what is the center. Compared to Nixon, Obama’s policies are more right wing. Compared to the John Birch society, Obama’s a kooky commie. But his chief economist is from the University of Chicago, not exactly known for its socialistic tendencies. The final draft of the health care proposals rejected the public option, the preferred choice of most liberals, choosing a more Bob Dole like system of arrangements. Granted, to some, Bob Dole was a liberal.

    His continuation of Bush-like foreign policy, for example makes him a little different than liberals who want to simply get out of Afghanistan. He’s deferred about Guantanamo. His financial regulations are modest compared to FDRs.

  6. Sarah says:

    RE: “I’m also not sure where the “centrist” stuff came from.”

    It’s coming from people who know that “liberal” and “socialist” are dirty words in America, even if true, and who don’t mind lying.