EJ Dionne Writes On The “Long, Painful Road To Iowa”
There’s obviously been quite a bit written on the road to Iowa, which starts off primary voting to pick the Democratic and Republican party contenders for president. Jeb! is trying to stay relevant. Hillary is supposedly going to go after Trump. Trump is supposedly winning over Latinos (well, yeah, he’s for amnesty). Rubio supposedly has the most cash. Bernie has massive crowds, while Hillary doesn’t.
Then we get to this E.J. Dionne opinion piece, which states that the political upheaval goes all the way back to September 11, 2001
Americans made the best sense they could of these events as they came along. The 9/11 tragedy called forth a spirit of national unity, but it quickly gave way to renewed partisan acrimony after President George W. Bush launched the invasion of Iraq. Divisions worsened as the war bogged down. The Great Recession deepened the backlash against Bush and paved the way to President Obama’s victory in 2008.
Of course, even before the Iraq War started, Democrats were already attacking Bush. Let’s not forget that a goodly chunk of them were 9/11 Truthers, believe Bush either let 9/11 happen or made it happen. Many thought it was an inside job. There were lots and lots of conspiracy theories. Let’s also not forget that the majority of Democrats voted for Resolution 1441, which authorized war against Iraq if Saddam did not cooperate with weapons inspectors. And, it was Democrats who quickly turned against Operation Iraqi Freedom for political purposes. Bush never responded to the smears, lies, and attacks from Democrats.
Dionne goes on to whine that the 2007 financial meltdown, which was really a worldwide meltdown (arguing causation is not my intent), happened so quick and Obama became president so fast (Hoover was president for 3 years prior to FDR taking over), that Obama was handicapped. Of course, he fails to mention that Obama campaigned for the job, saying he would Fix Everything and Everyone Would Have A Unicorn, leading to this belly-slapper
Obama’s policies and those of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, brought us back from the brink. But they took time to work. And the new president was so determined to live up to his promise to end the divide between red and blue that he was slow in taking on his GOP foes.
Remember when Obama told John McCain “I won”? How he essentially said the same to all Congressional Republicans, and got his Democratic Party buddies, who controlled Congress lock, stock, and barrel, to pass his failed Stimulus plan? And then a bunch of other smaller stimulus plans? Which spent gobs of money on projects that weren’t, as Obama laughed about, “not shovel ready”? I’d love to know when Obama has attempted to end the divide, as the man has attacked everyone who disagrees with him, and, has mostly refused to work with Republicans, at least on the big issues. Unless Republicans are giving him what he wants. Heck, the man has been known to negotiate in good faith, then spike the deals.
Republicans did not return the favor. They obstructed his policies and made a Congress led by Democrats look feckless. The 2010 elections brought not ratification of the new Obama alignment but its reversal. Many of the young voters who played such an important role in making Obama president stayed home.
Got that? It’s the GOP’s fault that Democrats pretty much blew off the economic pain of the American citizens in favor of spending a lot of time passing Obamacare, which the people did not want. We finally get to Iowa
And so here we are. Trump and Cruz appeal to different parts of the “take our country back” crowd, now a large proportion of the Republican primary and caucus electorate. The Trumpian dispensation is almost perfectly matched to the anxious restlessness of a wing of conservatism that cares little about programs or ideology. Instead, its loyalists are determined to strike, hard, at a diverse array of enemies they see as having brought the nation to a place they do not like at all.
I may not be a Trump supporter (I do not trust him), but, he has a point about the direction of the country: it’s going the wrong way. The citizens agree. The latest poll has 63% saying the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Bernie Sanders draws in Democratic voters, especially the young, still looking for the transformational politics that was the flip side of Obama’s 2008 appeal. Sanders proposes to resolve the contradictions of Obamaism: Forget the part about bringing us together; just organize a progressive majority for real.
Obama never attempted to bring the whole together. It was simply All About Obama. His way or the highway. It was his policies, narcissism, and foolishness that brought us to this point.
In the meantime, Hillary Clinton’s campaign might be summarized by the words of the old civil rights song: “Keep your hand on the plow, hold on.” She insists that painstaking, practical effort will, over time, get us to where Obama promised to go.
Obviously, Dionne is pulling for Hillary. She’s apparently selling “heroic realism”. No mention of her putting American national security at risk with her home-brew server.
What happens after tonight? Regardless of who wins, it is still a long process. Tonight’s winners may not be the eventual General Election candidate. Trump will probably win, with Cruz coming in second and Rubio third. Things could change in New Hampshire. On the Dem side, will it be Sanders or Clinton? A Sanders win would be massive, and could make Hillary supporters, especially the money class, very jittery. Could this be a boon for O’Malley? Time will tell.