Don’t Expect Much from Obama’s Second Term
There’s a theory going around, especially in liberal Democratic circles, that if only Obama gets a second term, then we’ll see the real progressive Obama we’ve all been waiting for.
Well, don’t count on it.
We heard the same things, after all, about Bill Clinton, and what did we get in his second term?
The tearing down of the Glass Steagall Act, which had separated commercial banking from the big Wall Street investment houses. And we got other financial deregulation, all of which led to the economic mess we’re in today.
Obama’s different, you say? Well, how do you square that with what he just told the AP over the weekend?
Said Obama: "I'm prepared to make a whole range of compromises" that could even rankle Democrats.
I’m not surprised by that. Neither should you be. After all, Obama seemed ridiculously eager to compromise with Republicans in his first couple of years, even when they were saying out loud that their number one task was to make him fail.
And last year he offered what he called a “grand bargain” to John Boehner to slash Medicare and Social Security. His staff has hinted that the bad bargain is still on the table.
On top of Obama’s hyperactive impulse to compromise is the simple fact that he’ll have less power in his second term for two reasons. First, the Democrats will have less control of Congress. And second, he’ll be a lame duck.
So, no, just because we might wish that an Obama second term would be more progressive than the first, there’s no reason to expect it to be.
Let’s not kid ourselves here: Obama is Bill Clinton with a functional zipper.
And while there are legitimate reasons to vote for Obama, expecting something better next time around is not one of them.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “No Decent Reason for 2,000 Dead in Afghanistan."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter
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