The presidential playbook generally calls for a successful candidate to swing to the middle when they are running unopposed for their party’s nomination.
But as we enter perhaps the final months of the Obama administration, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for anyone to make an appeal to the center, if indeed a center even exists in American politics anymore.
Obama has destroyed the political center in this country, and for that we can be thankful.
Because Obama’s policies have exposed the basic problem with the bipartisan approach favored by establishment Republicans and so-called Blue Dog Democrats.
Both of those centrist elements have often led the country to believe that limited government meant accepting half the social and economic agenda that more radical Democrats propose.
Romneycare is a great example of that. In attempt to provide half-a-loaf- or perhaps half an aspirin is better-Romneycare offers the worst of socialism with none of the benefits of capitalism. Romenycare is nonsense, filled with wonkishness, wrapped in the Beltway- and it doesn’t even attempt to address the problem of spiraling healthcare costs that it was originally supposed to solve. In fact, it pushes costs higher.
Somewhere along the line, however, voters got wise to the Washington dodge: You don’t really have to solve problems in DC or state capitals- actually you can even try to make them worse- you just have to wrap “solutions” into a complicated system. Now your job is to convince everyone that the system doesn’t work because it’s someone else’s fault.
The days of that dodge are drawing rapidly to a close.
That’s what happens when you spend 40 cents of every dollar on government, but yet still cry for more; that’s what happens when you spend us to the brink of default and still can’t figure out how to stop the spending; that’s what happens when spend more money in ten years then the top ten years of the New Deal added together; and then you try to tell the country the patently ridiculous lie that it’s not enough.
A sagging economy, world-wide unrest, spiraling debt, domestic dissatisfaction fueled by internet social organizations have given rise to populist movements of the Tea Parties and Occupy Wall Street, that while fundamentally different, are still expressions of the same unrest.
And still Obama remains stuck at the far left of his party’s spectrum, fueling leftist fantasyland policies that don’t work, often with an assist by the center of American politics.
But no matter how far left Obama swings, it won’t be enough for his critics on the left. In the meantime, the rest of us suffer from policies crafted by compromise and outright deceit.
One candidate in the Nevada Senate race is running a grassroots campaign by calling out Obama’s failed policies in the housing sector, by promoting policies that will hurt housing worse still.
Nevada real estate has been particularly hard hit by dropping real estate prices, so running against the administration’s policies makes sense. The candidate opposing Obama’s policies however isn’t Republican Dean Heller, who is also vying for the Silver State’s Senate seat.
Instead it’s Democrat Congress-tron Shelley Berkley (D-Confused).
Earlier this year Berkley was running ads on Facebook under the heading: “Big Banks are to Blame,” with text that says: “Millions of Americans lost their homes b/c of big banks, yet Pres. Obama WON’T investigate. Shelley Berkley is asking why not? Join her.”
The click-through directs people to a petition site that asks: “Tell President Obama: Hold Banks Accountable.”
Let’s get back to shareholders holding companies accountable. Let’s stop rendering our economy unto 435 tyrants in Congress plus one Cesar Chavez in the White House.
Because when Shelley Berkley had the opportunity to hold banks accountable, she voted for TARP.
In fact, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have Berkley on their “Dishonorable Mention” list, for mixing personal profit with politics. She’s an opportunist even amongst the professional class of opportunists operating in Washington.
But that won’t stop some in the GOP from reaching across the aisle and trying to craft a compromise, punitive measure that punishes banks, kind of- because that’s what opportunists do.
Voters have three months; and one hell of an opportunity.