Thursday, November 8, 2012

The aftermath of the Election

1. Right back where we started.

     It has become apparent that despite the election, come January 6th, the government will be nearly identical to what it was before. Obama and Biden will remain president and VP, and the cabinet will be very similar. Republicans will retain control of the House. The House's members and leadership will be virtually identical. Their is a similar situation in the Senate.  Not only will Democrats will keep control of it, but also this house's leadership and members will be almost the same. Retiring justices will likely be replaced by Democratic justices, just as have been for  past four years. The balance of power in Washington will be right back where we started.

2. Republican Revolution?

    Although the balance of power in Washington will be unchanged, two years from now, the Republican party will be very different. They failed to beat a president, who was reelected with the highest unemployment rate of a reelected president in over 70 years. They have won 7%  of the African-American vote and less then 30% of the Latino vote in the presidential election. They also won less than 40% of the voters 18-29.  To make matters worse, the percentage of minorities in the electorate is growing every year, and the elderly, who vote republican are dying off every year. It is clear a change needs to occur.

     Most likely, the moderates and conservatives will fight with each other to gain control of the party. If the moderates win, the party will be able to produce a candidate who will promote positions that are more attractive to minorities and women.  For example, a more lenient stance on immigration and women's health issues such as birth control and abortion. These changes in the Republican platform will allow the party to be sustainable by attracting other groups of voters. However, if the conservatives win, the party will shift farther to the right. This shift will inevitably alienate female voters because they will resent the idea of government controlling their reproductive rights.  Latinos will view the tough stance on illegal immigration as an attack on their ethnic group. Gays will be repelled by the Republican opposition of gay marriage.  In addition, the middle and lower classes will see government spending cuts as the removal of vital aid to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.   If the party takes this path, it could take decades to recover. If no choice is made, the same thing will happen as this year. A candidate will shift to the right in the primaries to capture the conservative base.  However, these positions will alienate so many voters that the candidate will be unelectable.  If he moves to the center in the general election, he will be labeled as a flip flopper or even a liar.  He will have no credibility with the Republican base or the independent voters.  This was Mitt Romney's fate.

3. Here we go again

     This is the second time in the past two years that grid lock in Washington threatens to throw the world economy into a crisis. Once, again everyone agrees that the U.S. needs to avoid it, and make reductions in the projected debt, but the two parties can not agree how to do it. The Democratic party wants to raise taxes on the rich, cut military spending, reform the tax code but not cut medicare, social security, or programs for the poor. They will cut a few other things, but it would not add up to a meaningful amount. The Republicans want to reform the tax code, and cut spending across the board. However, they do not want to raise rates, in fact the Republicans want to cut taxes. With neither side willing to compromise (one side is more unwilling to compromise than the other) the U.S. is likely to fall off the fiscal cliff. This would lead to the economy shrinking by .5% in 2013 and the unemployment rate going up to 9.1%, according to a new CBO report. Although I believe a compromise will get done, I also believe it is unlikely a grand bargain will be made and that the U.S. will face a similar crisis in the near future.

No comments:

Post a Comment