Thursday, 4 November 2010

Mid term elections haiku

Tea Party flower
Soon to wilt in summer heat.
O's a cactus.

Or, in a slightly longer form:

The mid term election results are probably meaningless. In fact, they might work out to Obama's advantage.

With the Congress in the hands of the Republicans, Obama has an excuse for not pressing ahead with his agenda. He's already accomplished more than most presidents have in terms of domestic reforms. If the economy worsens, he no longer has to bear the responsibility for it - he can protest - quite rightly - that congress is styming his attempts to respond to the crisis. It's not exactly idea, but it'll probably set the stage for a more productive second term.

Further, the Tea Party's advance will probably count against it. It's not likely that the majority of sane Republicans, and the entrenched good Ole Boys who represent them on the Hill, want the Tea Party freak show to colonise their party. So the emphasis will shift from Republicans versus Democrats to moderate Republicans versus insane Tea Party loons. Obama will probably enjoy a bit of a respite, while the right wastes its time and energy ripping bloody great chunks out of itself.

(Obviously, this won't happen immediately. there will be lots of talk about unity - always amusing in a party that advocates individualism - and the shared agendum that unites them. But anyone can say nice things. Remember "Change we can believe in"? "Read my lips"? "Bring it on"? They'll be at each others throats in six months or so.)

Ideally for Obama, of course, the Tea Party wins the civil war, and he has to face a Tea Party candidate in two years time. That should ensure him a second term. This is probably not going to happen, however, as in two years time the Tea Party will be a spent force - the 'new broom' schtick will have worn out, and the disconnect between their grassy rhetoric and their sold out actions will have become clear. A centrist canidate - imagine a younger, less brutalised and more energised John McCain (without the Sarah Palin add on) - might present more of a problem. But if things are starting to look a bit better economically in a couple of years time, and once people realsie that the Iraq nightmare is (officially) over, then Obama should be comfortably re-elected on a 'Let's finish the job' ticket.


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