imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Obama vs. Romney

by Albert Scharenberg Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at 3:50 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

The strength of the democrats is the folly and mean-spiritedness of republicans. Programs to support the economy were rejected every time with the sole goal of bad economic data. Romney/Ryan rely on the short memory of voters who blame only Obama for the faltering economy Obstructionism should be the issue.

OBAMA VS. ROMNEY: THE US ELECTION

By Albert Scharenberg

[This article published in October 2012 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.blaetter.de/archiv/jahrgaenge/2012/oktober/obama-vs.-romney-die-usa-vor-der-wahl.]

With the nomination party conventions of the Republicans and Democrats, the presidential campaign in the United States has entered its fiery phase. Both sides beat their drums for the election as though it was the last battle.

Even if the real differences in the policies of Democrats and Republicans are in no way as great as they appear in political-cultural discourse, an inner-political decision over the direction and cou9rse of the country is involved this time on the background of the “American decline.”

For months, President Barack Obama has had a slight but stable lead over Mitt Romney that even increased after the nomination party convention. To many observers, the election seems already decided in view of the pale and largely empty convention of the Republicans and the comparatively iridescent appearance of the Democrats in nominating Obama. [1] But that is by no means the case.

THE REPUBLICAN MARCH TO THE EXTREME RIGHT

The reasons for this lie in the obstruction policy of the Republicans and the rightwing tilt of the business world.

Barack Obama elected into the White House on a wave of enthusiasm has been under enormous pressure since his assumption of office after two terms of George W. Bush and the outbreak of the housing and financial crisis. Immediately after January 2009, the staunch rightwing Tea-Party movement formed. It mobilized a counter-attack fueled by racism – a backlash against the first Afro-American president in the history of the US – thanks to the large-scale financial support of rightwing oriented corporations and persons of independent means.

From the beginning, Obama’s most important domestic reform (the Affordable Health Care Act) and his economic programs encountered massive criticism from the rightwing conservative camp. In the course of the rapid rise of the Tea-Party movement and because of the continuing economic weakness in the US, the Democrats suffered dramatic losses in the 2010 congressional elections. The majority in the Senate shriveled considerably. The Republicans had the majority of representatives in the House of Representatives. [2]

From the start, the politics of the Republicans was focused on regaining power in the White House. The party carried out a blockade policy without equal. Programs to support the economy were rejected every time with the sole goal of bad economic data making difficult or even impossible Obama’s re-election. In addition, Republicans are not afraid of lying through their teeth. Obama quotes are taken out of context and reversed. Fictional numbers are cited as “proof.” Scientific conclusions as on climate change are degraded to mere “opinions” and facts or circumstances freely invented (“Obama will take your weapons away”).

That most leading media in their striving for supposed “objective” reporting include a commentary makes everything even worse. Formal balance alone a la “one says this and others say that” has nothing to do with objectivity. In a recent interview, Aaron Sorkin, author of the television series “West Wing” and “Newsroom,” emphasized this. If all Republicans in Congress claim tomorrow the earth is a disc, Sorkin said, the “New York Times” would title its next day edition “Democrats and Republicans divided over the form of the earth.” [3]

THE RIGHTWING TURN OF THE BUSINESS WORLD

The radicalization of the Republican Party can in no way be explained only by the upswing of the Tea Party. Rather it is an expression of a rightwing turn within the corporate world.

If moderate reforms like building environmentally-friendly technologies or the re-regulation of certain branches (especially the banks) had the approval of some businesspersons four years ago, these sympathies for possible small reform steps faded in the meantime – along with support for the program of the president. The business camp obviously desires a return to deregulation and trickle down despite the financial meltdown, despite DeepWater Horizon, despite the visible first effects of climate change and despite deadly mining accidents on account of security deficiencies. After decades of continuous tax cuts, they do not pay any taxes any more.

A decision of the Supreme Court powerfully shifted the relative strengths in the election campaign. With “Citizens United” (2010), the court ruled that corporations could now have a free hand in their election campaign contributions. Since then, donations to so-called Super PACs that support the candidates do not need to be disclosed. The financial volumes of the presidential election campaign increased boundlessly. By November, several billion dollars will be spent. [4]

In the last months, contributions for Mitt Romney surpassed the contributions for Obama. This suggests nothing good for the prospects of Obama’s campaign.

The whole summer Romney marched from one mud pit immediately into the next. Glaringly the former governor of Massachusetts is a weak and extremely vulnerable candidate – in his “private” affairs – and not only on account of his colorless appearance and his constant changing course on core political fields. Romney was the first presidential candidate to refuse to reveal his tax returns. He obviously fears the publication demanded on all sides would harm his candidacy more than their continual concealment. As a responsible person of Bain Capital, he shifted vast numbers of jobs abroad while investing himself in accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. With Paul Ryan, he made a brutal austerity politician and fanatical abortion opponent (without any exceptions) his running mate.

Romney/Ryan rely on the short memory of voters who blame only Obama for the faltering economy – as though Bush’s policy had not driven the country into the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s. They want to lower the trifling taxes on the rich (Romney paid 14 percent on his income) even more (Romney would then pay less than one percent tax). At the same time, they criticize the budget deficit that would increase further through this measure. They give no concrete information in the election campaign on where they would save but at most tell where they will not save, namely in military spending.

The Republican agenda is clear:

Vice-president candidate Paul Ryan, darling of the rightwing conservative Tea Party scene, is the author of the tough republican budget draft. On the state level, Republican governors are hardly reserved. They demand compensating budget gaps through massive salary cuts in public service. The – ultimately successful – attempt of the governor of Wisconsin to take away the right to collective bargaining from public service unions occurred recently. Corporations and Republicans seem united in their project of smashing the last genuine stronghold of US unions, public service, and making the country a union-free zone at last. [5]

THE ATTACK ON THE UNIVERSAL RIGHT TO VOTE

Republicans had the necessary resources – materially and ideologically – to recoup Obama’s lead in the polls in the last weeks of the election campaign.

Who is a nose ahead in the national poll – and even in the election itself! – is not crucial. In the antiquated US election system, the election is decided in the states. Four times in the history of the US, the candidate with the most votes was not made president. Ultimately appointed by the Supreme Court, George W. Bush had a half-million fewer votes than his rival Al Gore in 2000. A separate decision over the victor is made in each of the 50 states. Irrespective of the amount of his vote lead, all the electoral votes that elect the president are awarded to the victor. Therefore a lead in the national polls especially when it is close says little about who will finally win the election.

The election system leads to the election campaign of the parties concentrating on those states in which the out come is still open. In praxis, this means an election campaign is seriously carried ou9t in less than a dozen states. States in which one party is clearly ahead are simply written off by the other party. This time the election campaign will be fought out in the swing states – at the head of the list Florida, Virginia and Ohio.

For Republicans, this was a gate of entry for an insidious strategy. In the swing states where they won governorships in 2010, they passed laws that tied participation in elections to presentation of a photo identification. What sounds like a foregone conclusion in Germany is by no means a foregone conclusion in the US because many people have no passport or even a driver’s license. Afro-Americans and Latinos are mainly affected by these laws – those voting groups that hoisted Obama into office in 2008. In states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, nearly ten percent of the registered voters are impacted by this measure. This could prove decisive for the election.

In this way, Republicans have actually suspended the right of universal free elections. They go even further… In Ohio, for example, voting hours are shortened… The officeholders refused to carry out the court judgment prohibiting this practice. [6]

Thus the oldest democracy of the world is tested. While the Supreme Court opened up nearly unlimited corporate influence in election campaigns with “Citizens United,” the franchise is simultaneously withdrawn from many poor and minorities.

The Republicans do all this out of clear calculation and a single motivation: because they now only represent a minority, white men, as the core group of their constituency. After their rightwing turn – with immigrant-bashing, hardly disguised racism and fanatical abortion opposition – and given the rapidly changing demographic composition of the population with a strong growth of the share of Latinos.

OBAMA’S BALANCE SHEET

Thus President Barack Obama is under massive pressure from the right despite a successful Democratic nomination convention. Measured by the high expectations in domestic- and foreign policy, the results of his reform projects are rather meager. The economic upswing comes to a standstill. The official unemployment rate is over eight percent; unofficially it is at least twice as high.

Correspondingly disappointment spreads both in the core democratic constituency and above all in the Occupy Wall Street movement that emerged in the fall of 2011 and made the left in the US visible again for the first time in decades. The growing social inequality was first thematized by this Occupy movement and then seen by the mainstream.

In the meantime, the Obama/Biden team seems to recognize that the majority of the business community cannot be won. Therefore the election campaign of democrats refers indirectly to the Occupy movement. In the meantime it backs a populist course that at least verbally attacks the social inequality, castigates the offenses of Wall Street and openly champions the middle class and more taxes on the rich. As the party convention showed impressively, people are no longer afraid of offensively defending their own policy as in health care reform.

With this strategy, Obama takes a risky course in view of the degenerate influence of big business on US politics. Even if no principled opponent of neoliberal corporate dominance will come out of the president, his criticism of certain business practices may increase the mistrust on Wall Street toward Obama’s second term in office.

In the case of his reelection, Obama in any event is under intense pressure; a fundamental turning away from neoliberalism cannot be expected. If Romney/Ryan should win, republicans will interpret their victory as a mandate for a general attack on the achievements of the New Deal.

NOTES

[1] Vgl. z. B. Sebastian Fischer, US-Präsidentschaftskandidat Romney: Ein Mann will nach unten, in: „Spiegel Online“, 15.9.2012.

[2] Vgl. Albert Scharenberg, Gibt Obama jetzt den Clinton? In: „Blätter“, 12/2010, S. 5-8.

[3] Vgl. Katrina vanden Heuvel, Two Cheers for „The Newsroom“, www.thenation.com, 9.8.2012.

[4] Vgl. Robert B. Reich, Mitt Romney und das neue vergoldete Zeitalter, in: „Blätter“, 9/2012, S. 45-52; Ethan Young, Die gekaufte Schlammschlacht. Obama, Romney und der Kampf ums Weiße Haus, www.rosalux-nyc.org.

[5] Vgl. John Nichols, Die neue Linke in Amerika. Politische Lehren aus Wisconsin, Ohio und Occupy, in: „Blätter“, 8/2012, S. 37-49.

[6] Vgl. Steven Rosenfeld, Ohio‘s GOP Secretary of State Ignores Court Order To Expand Weekend Voting, www.alternet.org, 4.9.2012.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
FORWARD is not a SOLUTION Silverbull8 Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at 7:05 AM
hard to believe this Painful Truther Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Local News

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de synecdoque J18 12:34AM

Le capital ou l'épouvante permanente J15 11:30PM

Authoritarian Capitalism and Digital Demagogue J15 3:08AM

The Shortwave Report 06/15/18 Listen Globally! J14 4:23PM

Autisme sociétal J13 10:53PM

Georgias Poultry Justice Alliane Helps Workers in SE J13 8:50PM

Greedy Animal Researchers Hide Truth About Alzheimer's From Public J13 3:59PM

Austerity Policy as Momentous Mistake J12 5:19PM

Abrégé de la connerie J12 1:35PM

May 2018 Honduras coup update J10 7:30PM

Neoliberalism and Authoritarianism - A Symbiotic Pair J10 7:50AM

La société au TOUT dégueulasse J09 11:48AM

New Low Power Fm is being planned 4 hopi people AZ J07 9:56PM

The Shortwave Report 06/08/18 Listen Globally! J07 4:24PM

Asylum Seekers Heinously Abused By Trump, Sessions, Kelly, Nielsen, Miller Etc J06 5:15PM

Neoliberalism or New Freedom for Corporations J06 5:29AM

Neocon Black Op Of Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg, Isikoff, Drudge J05 12:01PM

De GLI-F4 au E579, E585 J05 1:43AM

Orthodromie succincte J03 2:16AM

Cape Cod: From Colonial Plunder To Atomic Revenge J01 11:05PM

Israeli Manipulation Of US 2016 & Other Elections J01 3:44PM

G7 Hurricane Debt Relief Caribbean/Small Islands J01 10:46AM

Trade War and Zero Deficit Myth J01 12:33AM

The Shortwave Report 06/01/18 Listen Globally! M31 4:28PM

Paraphysique des perturbateurs attentionnels M31 3:25PM

GOVERNMENT DRAMATICALLY UNDER ESTIMATED DEATH TOLL FROM MARIA M31 10:46AM

Paraphysique de la mort M29 11:49PM

police crimes M29 6:08PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy