RACE TO THE FINISH 2012 BEGINS MONDAY. FIRST OUT OF THE GATE – OBAMA? REPUBLICANS?

Posted on January 2, 2011


Painting  of "The Jockey" by Henri de la Touluse-LautrecIn the absence of drawing post positions for the race to 2012, it will be the start of the race itself that will help determine how the entries will run.

The Republicans  have been trumpeting their resolve to take down much of the framework of the Health Care legislation crafted by the Democrats and passed last year.  But Obama, who was obsessed with it throughout his first two years in office and who rolled up his sleeves and got personally involved in most aspects of its passage when it stalled,  has left the field.  He has thrown down the gauntlet by appointing the first US Ambassador to Syria since 2005.  He has bypassed the confirmation process. So much for bringing us together; so much for his regard of his opponents.  He’s the President.   What’s a good Republican or Conservative to do?

It appears that he may do what he did initially with the health care reform legislation – leave it to the Democratic leadership in Congress to care for.  He may remain above the fray at first preferring to use what he interprets as his executive powers and prerogatives.  He will participate to a degree but it will be interesting how much he will become involved in either health care or the tempest over his appointment of an Ambassador to Syria.

Having expended so much of his time and energy on domestic issues in recent time, Obama may opt to return to the world stage  That stage is getting more and more crowded as third world and newly powerful nations become active in international relations in significant areas.  With more countries turning to the UN, it will be interesting to see if the concept of that organization as the basis for international governance in certain areas will continue to grow.

Best of all, with so many Blue Dog Democrats out of the way, Obama will not have to fight on two fronts overly much.  Although he would like to swing a bit more to the middle of the road for the election (a place that got him elected in 2008), the Congressional Democrats are, in the main, now progressives.  However, that is more easily resolved then the onslaughts he will face from the extreme right of the Republican party.

On the Sunday talk hows such as State of the Nation on CNN, the Democrats expressed frustration with Republicans that they were not interested in giving the people what they want and need, jobs.  They are into breaking the back of health care legislation and that is wasting time.

Obama may benefit from the disarray in the Republican ranks.  The Republican party is, at this point, an unruly mongrel species.  At war within itself, as things stand now, it is hardly prepared to take on the Obama machine in 2012.

Like it or not, want it or not, the Tea Party is floating nearer to distinguishing itself as a legitimate party with each encounter with traditional Republican.  The view from the outside will be one of confusion.  Is this mongrel really Republican or is it Conservative or Conservative Republican or Tea Party and the Traditionalists?  Only time will tell.  If issues are put forth by leadership in which all factions are vested then things could limp along at a respectable pace until 2012.

The decade  of 2012 will be a decade of global and national transition. Everywhere  you look, things are unsettled, uprooted and confused.  Our current lexicons don’t even have words for some of what we are experiencing it is all so new.  Will we ever see another decade in America like the 1950s where there were jobs and enough to eat and, aside from the cancer of racism, consensus and calm?

The population explosion and the proliferation of stateless mercenaries and terrorists suggest that control on most levels will be next to impossible.  If we here in the US are having difficulties among us, then imagine the international community being able to tackle the actions of stateless terrorists any more effectively?  They cannot manage the rogue state, North Korea.

Our survival is the endgame.  This decade will go a long way to determine if there is a hope we can reach it.  Bets anyone?