Thursday, February 24, 2011

Point-Counterpoint Guest Post: Why Obama WILL NOT Be Re-Elected Next Year

Today, The Urban Politico and The Uppity Negro have joined forces to tackle an impending question that has rapidly moved to the forefront of our collective minds in these recent days since we've officially arrived in the year 2011: Will President Barack Obama be re-elected next year?  It's a simple question but it doesn't necessarily have a simple answer.  Up until now, the answer to this question has been dismissed around the blogosphere as premature since the year "twenty-twelve" sounded like it was so far away.  But now we're here; 2012 is literally around just around the corner.  So it's time to ask ourselves - is this man going to actually be re-elected?  Today, the Uppity Negro will make the argument as to why Obama will NOT be re-elected next year, and we will do our best to make the argument as to why Obama WILL be re-elected next year.  The Uppity Negro weighs in after the jump:

Frankly, I'm just not convinced that the incumbent President Barack Obama is going to be re-elected next year in 2012.

I think fundamentally what we are seeing is the reconfiguring of the Republican Party and the Tea Party. When they emerge less than a year from now at the beginning the official primary season (as we're in an unofficial season already), they will be a force to be reckoned with and they will have chosen a candidate that will certainly give Obama a run for his money. I think what will be the downfall of Obama will be whomever is chosen to be the GOP candidate. If the right person is chosen then Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party will have to retrench and have to seriously rethink their strategy.

Although it was no fluke that Obama squarely won the presidency in 2008, it is also no joke that the Tea Party and GOP swept in the midterm 2010 elections. The GOP's problem in the 2008 campaign seriously was a case of bad candidates, namely Sarah Palin. She turned out to be more of a liability than she was an asset. Seriously, most people thought she was going to be relegated to the annals of history and be nothing more than an obscure Jeopardy! answer in a few years, but instead, her blips and her folksy ways have parodied to no end. In fact, she's famous because of a Tina Fey spoof and quote "I can see Russia from my backyard" and that was a quote Palin never made in life.

Not to mention she was teamed up with an old war horse. John McCain could have died of natural causes because he's just that old.

This is not to say that the GOP will have an easy battle. This is Barack Obama we're talking about. Barack the magic Negro. Honestly, this is a guy who beat the Jeremiah Wright scandal and still not only won the nomination, but won the general election. But Democrats have easily lost elections before. Need I remind anyone of Jimmy Carter in 1980? But yet again, that had more to do with the candidate who was running against him than the actual party platform.

But here are some reasons why Barack Obama will not be re-elected for a second term:

One of the most pressing issues is that Obama has presided over a jobless economic recovery.
Despite the stock markets rising to heights we haven't seen in some years, for those of us on Main Street and certainly on Martin Luther King streets of this country, the recession is real. Neighborhoods are still abandoned because of foreclosures, foreclosures because jobs have dried up or have moved overseas. Certainly municipal and state budgets are feeling the major crisis. While balancing a state or city or county/parish budget has always been the problem, states and municipalities are recording record deficits between spending and revenues. All of which I point to job creation.

Images like this don't bode well for Detroit, nor persons who simply need jobs.
Obama should have been less President Lincoln and more Franklin D. Roosevelt. Yes, FDR was a duly elected official of our democratic republic, he was still an autocrat and he knew it. The policies of the New Deal put people back to work! Those tactics worked, but they were never repeated. The Recession of 2008-2009 was supposedly the worse since the Great Depression during the 1930s (depending on which economist you talked to on which day of the week), but Obama was too busy acting like this was the Civil War and he had to merge the "red states and the blue states" together for some kumbaya moment. Obama even said himself in the campaign stages that he wanted to take his green initiatives and begin retrofitting abandoned factories in the old Rust Belt and start giving these people who had for a couple of generations been factory workers a place to go to work.

Then he fired Van Jones.

And the unemployment number has stayed almost the same since this whole mess started. Or rather the Obama administration has failed to move one whole percentage point. And the unemployment rate among blacks is 15.7%. Honestly, the economy and jobs was one of the major things that needed to be addressed and Obama has failed to do so.

Another major issue is Obama has failed to deliver on Iraq and Afghanistan.
We're still involved. There's no way in hell that we should be staring down the better end of a decade entrenched in a "war against terror." The problem this presents for the Obama campaign is that this is slowly turning into a Vietnam-type of situation. We're too committed to pull out, but still not invested enough to make a difference. Obama has to make a decision one way or the other because the American people don't understand nuanced decisions. His middle-of-the-road and I'll-wait-and-see-what-happens approach is costly: its costing American lives and it's costing American dollars.

Finally, and I think most importantly, the GOP have to present the right candidate.
First off, the right candidate is not Sarah Palin. Thankfully she's polling low enough in a straw poll that it's not too much of a worry. However, what does trouble me is that Mike Huckabee is polling lower than her. Granted it's a full ten months until the primaries begin, so the top straw poll candidates are bound to shift, so I'm not too worried. But, the GOP evidenced in 2010 midterms that they can send a message to the Democratic party and specifically to Obama.

Former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, and potential GOP nominee candidate for presidential race 2012

Honestly, seeing as how Chicagoans voted for Rahm Emanuel and the campaign he mounted was like that of Richard M. Daley which translates as no campaigning because you're just that damn confident about victory, I'm convinced that most people aren't listening to candidates and their issues, they're going off who looks the best, and sounds the best and looks the most confident. Granted this may mean different things for different people, but ultimately it means it's up to the candidate who's nominated to run against Obama.

What the GOP realized this last go round is that it's not so much about campaigning on the issues, or even twisting the issues to their benefit, but really how likeable is your candidate. Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell had just painted themselves as unlikeable by the time the elections came around and they summarily lost. Clearly other Tea Party members had not made the grand errors that the likes of Angle and O'Donnell had made and they came out as victors. What that means is that there is enough of a swath of the populace that will come out and vote against what is currently in office.

Is it a mandate? No, and I don't think the GOP should lull themselves into thinking that they don't have an uphill battle. But, the same certainly goes for the Democratic National Party. This is the party that nominated John Kerry in 2004, and he got trounced by all accounts. And the party that nominated the likes of McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis. Out of what would be the last 40 years of presidents come 2012, 24 of the last 40 years have seen a Republican occupied White House. And the campaigns that the Democrats ran against the Republicans that won were simply laughable. The Democratic party, as evidenced in the 2010 midterms waited until late September, early October to start the serious campaigning for their candidates, this while the GOP and Tea Party had been going headstrong since last August.

Despite Obama's arm's length worth of meaningful accomplishments and achievements that have rivaled comparisons to Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society initiatives, that all amounts to a hill of beans to the family of four outside of Morgantown, West Virginia who's still on unemployment benefits, but is against abortion and gay marriage.

I think Obama's Achilles' heel is still going to be the job growth. 36,000 jobs and a 0.4% knockdown on unemployment numbers isn't nothing to really write home about. The GOP is easily going to see this and gun for it.

Obama won't win the re-election fundamentally because he never delivered on the "change" in Washington.
He's too middle-of-the-road against the near uber-progressive picture he presented in the campaign. Obama failed to hold the mandate that he did have when he came into office. A solid majority in the House and a super majority in the Senate--can't ask for a better package. And he did nothing with it. He waited until it was too late to capitalize on it; he spoke softly and carried a rape whistle, not a big stick. If newspapers and headlines news stories had been writing about the "change" in Washington evidenced by an Obama administration, I wouldn't be able to write these words I'm writing now. But everyone knows, it's just about business as usual up on Capitol Hill, nothing has changed.

Jeremiah Wright said it best, "I'm a pastor, he's a politician."

Naturally, Obama's a politician, and a politician who seems to fail to see the writing on the wall.

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL
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