The re-election of a dangerous president in modern American history
In this section Addis Standard’s correspondent Tomas Mega from Las Vegas, Nevada, will be following the 2012 Presidential election in the United States of America.
The battle for the Republican nomination for President is entering its final phase and, unsurprisingly, the rhetoric of the candidates has intensified. Newt Gingrich has labelled President Barack Obama as the most dangerous president in American history. Gingrich, locked in an increasingly vitriolic nomination battle with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, believes defeating President Obama is a matter of national security.
To many Americans this allegation sounds hollow given President Obama’s administration elimination of Osama Bin-Laden; the high profile killings of terrorists allegedly aligned with Al-Qaeda; the controversial increase in drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and the successful commando raids against unruly pirates off the coast of Somalia. But it is the kind of rhetoric Obama-haters tend to rally around, and it is only the beginning of what promises to be another dirty, mud-slinging presidential campaign for United States of America.
Obama continues to feel the heat of the Tea Party faithful, who tirelessly like to refer any agenda by the President as a socialist and anti-American agenda. Take healthcare as an example. In a country where the cost of healthcare is the highest in the world, and nearly 47 million Americans are without any form of healthcare, ‘Obama-care’ is nevertheless vilified by Republicans and serves as the catalyst for the far right to decry President Obama’s socialism. Lost in this frenzy however is the fact that ‘Obama-care’ is really ‘Romney-care,’ modelled after the healthcare reform enacted in Massachusetts while Romney was the governor.
Obama’s bailout of General Motors is another Tea Party favourite target, with all the leading Republican candidates opposing it. This is despite the February 2012 announcement by the General Motors of a $7.6 billion dollar profit for 2011, the largest in its history.
With moderate Republican voters locked in a battle with the party’s more conservative wing, this primary season has exposed the Republican family as a dysfunctional mix of hard core right-wingers versus those who wish to put forth a candidate that can appeal to enough voters to unseat Obama. Republicans have ferociously engaged each other as to who is a ‘true’ conservative candidate, and who isn’t, damaging all the candidates in the process. With such passionate infighting, it would be easy to dismiss their chances at defeating Obama. But this would be a mistake. Romney’s victory in the recent Illinois primary appears to position him, finally, as the best choice to defeat President Obama.
When the family bickering is concluded, expect Obama-haters to rally just as fiercely around the Republican nominee, whatever his true conservative credentials may be. That is America. Such is the level of Obama-phobia and hatred among Republicans. The question that will remain is: are the Republicans giving President Obama the weak candidate he needs, or the strong candidate that American swing voters and independents need to vote for a Republican?
President Obama is enjoying a rise in his overall popularity, with an improving domestic economy and an American stock market that, at the end of February, had its best yearly start since 1991. A healthy American economy can only help him. But American voters have short memories. If the economy continues to improve right up to November, expect Republicans not to fret about it, but to launch an all out counter attack on Obama’s so-called socialist agenda.
Whatever the outcome, we can be sure we will hear much more about the most dangerous president in modern American history.