Barack Obama has not only been shattered, he has instead hit rock bottom. After the midterm congressional elections he has become a “lame duck.”
This time, the president wasn’t even up for election. Yet the midterm Congressional elections became a referendum on his policies. The negative verdict of many U.S. citizens on Obama led to an unanticipated and decisive victory for the Republicans. Such a fall for the preacher of hope and change has three causes in particular.
The “rainbow coalition” that Obama has to thank for his rise is no longer functioning. Many young people have turned away in the face of disappointed expectations. Even African-Americans stand apart because, after incidents involving police brutality, they have gotten the impression that nothing has changed about the gap between blacks and whites in the United States. Hispanics likewise were not able to be mobilized in the usual numbers for the Democrats after the preliminary failure of immigration reform.
Obama has indeed gotten America’s economy going again and has cut the unemployment rate in half. Yet the improved economic situation did not turn the mood in favor of the president. Because many Americans must make ends meet with part-time jobs and many households in the middle class register sinking incomes, there is still a feeling of crisis in the United States.
U.S. citizens are frustrated by the politics in Washington. But they have now unloaded their anger about it solely on the officeholder in the White House. The Republicans, who block Obama’s initiatives in Congress, didn’t have to present an alternate program. They could confine themselves to playing the “blame game,” thus making the president the scapegoat for anything and everything.
Work together and solve problems: that is the most recent message from the U.S. voters to the quarreling political camps. Obama may primarily seek success in foreign policy during his remaining time in office, provided that a crisis-ridden world even grants him this [opportunity]. But in his own country, Obama must now do that which until now, he has shied away from and was hardly able to accomplish: strike specific political compromise with the opposition in Congress.
In light of its majority in both houses of Congress, increased responsibility falls to the Republicans in America’s “divided government.” They can no longer act in total opposition to the president and cause political gridlock. If, however, they continue to stick to their blockade policies, they’ll have to pay the price in the 2016 presidential elections.