As election nears, Obama’s successes resonate

BY CONNOR BURNS ’13
Senior Staff Writer

I’ve been saying it for months: it looks like Barack Obama will be reelected this Tuesday, Nov. 6. Hurricane Sandy gave him the news cycle for the critical last week of the election, and his lead in battleground states has held.

Mitt Romney’s campaign is now targeting the auto bailout as a malicious act in an effort to swing Ohio voters, but few think it will be a successful line of attack. Some of Romney’s surrogates are opening up ads here in Pennsylvania in an effort to seek an alternative route to an Electoral College victory.

Nate Silver recently bet Joe Scarborough $1,000 Barack Obama would win the election (considerably less than $10,000, but still enough to care, for most people anyway).

It’s possible I may be wrong. Maybe Romney will win despite the odds against him or maybe the ensuing litigation over close races will delay final disclosure of the 2012 election’s results for months and possibly favor the Republican Party once more. But somehow I doubt all of that.

What I’d like to discuss instead is what four more years of Barack Obama looks like and why it will be a good thing for America.

It goes without saying President Obama inherited a nation in distress. The very office into which he was inaugurated had become dishonored by the previous administration’s crimes and blunders.

Obama put a lot on the line attempting to close Guantanamo Bay, though he was foiled by an unwilling Congress. He went to the Middle East to say they no longer had reason to see America as its enemy.

He passed the most historic healthcare reform since Medicare, as well as new regulations on Wall Street that take a step back towards Glass-Steaggal. His foreign policy, though not something most liberals gush about, has been administered with enormous competence, boldness, and strategicintelligence.

The economy has grown and added jobs for 25 months and recovery, though slow, has been steady.

Obama will be able to stand up to an obstructionist Republican-controlled House more boldly in his second term. With any luck, his victory on Tuesday alone may be able to disarm them politically, and it is likely the Republican Party as a whole will be licking its wounds come Wednesday, wondering what went wrong.

Obamacare will survive, and we will be out of Afghanistan by 2014. Still, the fiscal cliff’s resolution will likely be devastating to the American economy if it is not settled on terms reasonable to the American people. Hopefully the upcoming series of defeats the GOP is about to suffer will sober them to a new political reality that Americans believe in the power of government to help people.

Or, perhaps, they will continue to fight tooth and nail against all government administration, slash all discretionary spending, and continue to abide by Grover Norquist’s insipid oath of fealty to the wealthy and those overtly hostile to government at large.

Four years ago the winds of change swept Barack Obama into office, and now they blow more gently, gusting here and there, fighting against the usual scheme of things in America. Some people wanted to shrink government massively.

Barack Obama wanted reform, he gave it to us, and he will give us more in a second term.

Questions? Email Connor at cburns@fandm.edu.

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