Are there mysterious, unseen forces at work on behalf of President Obama for the general election next year? If not it sure seems like it. Here we are mired in a very slow economic recovery (if we’re truly in one at all), unemployment is stuck at over 9%, and we’re being dragged down by the European markets. No president has ever been re-elected with unemployment this high, but by all signs I see there’s a strong chance of a first time in this case. And this prospective first time is being collectively facilitated by the largest ensemble of clueless Republicans assembled at once since the Goldwater Convention of 1964. Buoyed with bravado originating from a small but potent movement called the Tea Party, Republicans are coming out of the woodwork with proposals designed to solidify Obama’s base and drive Independents and moderate Republicans into his hands. There might even be a few senior citizen conservatives who drift into the president’s camp if Rick Perry becomes the nominee. There have to be moments during which Obama opines to Robert Gibbs that he doesn’t have to spend a dime right now. These folks are their own worst enemies.
Much of this miscalculated bravado comes from the erroneous assumption that the United States has a center/right electorate. Au contrere. The truth is that the electorate and soon-to-be-created additions to the electorate don’t often ask themselves that question; they watch Fox News, listen to the bellicose and snake oil ramblings of Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh respectively, and collective nationwide nods in superficial harmony of “sounds bout’ right to me” emerge as frustrated watchers bite into a piece of beef jerky, gulp down a Bud, burp, and then offhandedly bitch about the Steelers taking the Ravens for granted.
That’s until they dig a little deeper and realize they do like the idea of Social Security for their parents and eventually themselves, they rely on Medicare for their parents and eventually themselves, and they don’t mind the idea of having the wealthy pay more in taxes after they’ve been bailed out by tax dollars without voter consent. After some befuddled head-scratching they understand viscerally, if not intellectually, that social safety nets they pay into they’ve quietly taken for granted. Remember the Tea Party rallies that featured signs that bizarrely urged the Federal Government “Don’t touch my Medicare!”? So yes, these voters may be slow to realize what’s going on but when they do they quickly understand where their bread is buttered. “Damn, I may be more of a Democrat than I realized” will be their thought process as they hold their noses and vote to re-elect a president they’ve been inculcated to reject as a Muslim communist from Kenya.
Just keep the unpopular proposals coming Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, etal. Keep offering vouchers to seniors to buy prohibitively costly private health insurance; keep calling Social Security a Ponzi Scheme while threatening to raise the retirement age; keep threatening to repeal “Obamacare,” which day by day appeals to those benefiting from it; keep ignoring the American people who overwhelmingly support tax increases on the wealthiest who often pay only 15% via the capital gains loophole. For Obama this could be an election that wins literally wins itself. With these tone deaf right wing radical clowns not understanding the value our social safety nets that benefit our voting and taxpaying population, Obama might be able to win this election with public funding alone if faced with such a prospect.
We’ve all heard that between the end of the Mayan Calendar and increased solar flare activity 2012 could be a strange and apocalyptic year, but the strangest thing of all might be the overwhelming alignment of cosmic forces that will re-elect our first black president.