Vox Populi – Act II for Obama


Like many, during Elections of ’08, I was enamoured and spell-bound by the inclusive message from Obama and found the McCain-Palin ticket an unappetizing & cruel joke on the public. A heady coalition of independents, never-voted-before, ideologically liberals and anti-war rightists voted Obama in, based on the rhetoric of “Hope” and “Change”. However, Obama is slowly, but surely, losing the People’s Mandate given to him that magical November night.

– Could not hold its super-majority in both houses together. Too many factions within the Democrats (Left / Liberals / Blue Dogs / Progressives/ Unions). Ultimately did not know what to do with their hold over the House & Senate – ended up destroying their own mandates

– Obama, Pelosi & Reid living in their own ivory towers. The aversion to get their hands dirty and drafting their own laws – relying on Congressmen to write the law and push for it.

– Feeding the pork / Stuffing the sausage – the earmarks haven’t stopped. All the new laws and the stimulus package has been stuffed with gravy – more snouts in the trough

– Oscillating between trying to be bipartisan and being populist

– Communication – or the lack of: The ‘great communicator’ was not able to deliver his message and his accomplishments to the people. The Tea Party stole the message and his thunder…

A Sense of Déjà vu

I am reminded of another occassion – where after much struggle, a political party swept into power, but slowly squandered the People’s Mandate. I have been virulently anti-Congress –due to the shameless sycophancy to the Gandhi family, blatant communalism & appeasement (while still calling themselves ‘secular’), destroying the federal nature of the nation and basically sucking  the country dry. I have been a BJP supporter since the early ‘90s, and was very happy when they took over power in 1999. However, they got blinded by their success and lost their way:

– Factionism at  the second rung leadership. Arm-chair leaders on the ascendency over on-the-ground vote-getters (some of whom were expelled from the party). TV studios were given precedence over the constituencies.

– Tempering down their key messages / mandates – on Mandir, Civil Code and Article 360

– The grainy shot of Bangaru Laxman grasping wads of notes is still burned in my brain

– Witch-hunting of Tehelka

– “The Party of Difference” was nothing but more of the same

– The two low points for BJP in my view were – Jaswant Singh molly-coddling terrorists in Kandahar & Advani eulogizing Jinnah in Lhore

The pioneers of coalition politics got too ambitious and ran for the next election (2004) on their own steam – and summarily lost.

Can he hear the voices?

On the second anniversary of his inauguration, can Obama change course to save his presidency and the chance of a second one? Can he learn from his mistakes (and the ones made by BJP):

– Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: It’s the Economy, Stupid! Huge stimuli, QEII and Bush tax cuts* will not raise employment in the short term. Obama needs to create jobs in the next 2 years.       

– Consolidate his coalition of supporters. Align his party members better by knitting them together against the common enemy. Play to ‘his’ gallaries.

– Communicate his message better. Sell Democrats better to the people. Concentrate on reality, not spin-doctors.

– Pick the battles to fight. Be the ‘Party of No’ to the Republican agenda.

– Focus on meeting the People’s Mandate. “The Professor” can win elections. “The Leader” has to govern & produce results.

Back to the drawing board © Photo (NYT / AP)

Obama must believe in his own words: “In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given.  It must be earned.  Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less.  It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those that prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.  Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor — who have carried us up the long rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/inaugural-address/

Will he deliver on the People’s Mandate? Will he earn the greatness?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* The trickle-down-effect doesn’t convince me.  Ironically, Nehru and Mahalanobis used the trickle-down-theory to justify their socialist plans. JK Galbraith’s response was: ‘If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.’

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About rp71

A Cynic's Eye View: This is my tongue-in-cheek, one-eyebrow-raised, cynical view of the world of politics & the world of sports (and intriguing intersection of the two) by way of written posts and cartoons. All views expressed are my own (nobody else wants them). Follow me by subscribing here or on twitter @rp_71 Looking forward to the bouquets and brickbats in the comments section Cynics of the world, unite. We have nothing to lose, but our disdains…
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One Response to Vox Populi – Act II for Obama

  1. Pingback: Proud to be an Indian | A Cynic's Eye View

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