Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

It’s all about Obamacare in America

07/01/2014, 07:00:34 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Beyond being the first African-American president, an achievement, obviously, secured on day one, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare is Barack Obama’s best, perhaps only, hope for a positive, domestic legacy. Opposition to it binds Republicans. While it’s almost 4 years since Obama signed it into law and as a result, as of 1 January 2014, 6 million Americans are receiving insurance that they otherwise wouldn’t, it remains the dominant issue in US politics.

Obama has improved the economy, repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” and exited the US from unpopular wars, while avoiding others and killing Osama Bin Laden. Largely creditable but not governing prose to match 2008’s poetry, which perhaps was pregnant with disappointment.

Equally, it shouldn’t seem too much to expect more concrete steps to eradicate the causes of the 2008/09 crash, a less dysfunctional DC, and a Middle East strategy that doesn’t cede so much to the regimes of Iran and Syria – especially when coinciding with an intended pivot to the Pacific that is not preventing China and Japan edging toward World War III.

This underwhelming record and the impending inevitability of lame-duck status makes ACA, the most significant US healthcare reform since the 1960s, vital to Obama’s submission to history’s judgment. The pendulum is swinging against his party, however.

In 2014, the Republicans are likely to hold the House and with victory in either North Carolina or Louisiana will probably take the Senate. There is a growing audience for what they have to say. It’s not clear, though, that they have much to say. Except how awful ACA is.

Re-election as governor in a traditionally Democratic state makes Chris Christie the Republican’s presidential frontrunner. To be this candidate, he’ll need to win the support of a party that brings together social conservatives and economic liberals, as well as Wall Street and rural America.

A positive platform to galvanise this eclectic bunch is a tough ask. ACA will loom large in its negative campaigning. That Republicans find it easier to agree on what they oppose, rather than what they support, means their legislative tactics will continue to raise the stakes on ACA.


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US campaign diary: polling evidence grows that Mitt Romney is failing to cut through

28/08/2012, 12:56:30 PM

by Nikhil Dyundi

The headline polls might still be showing a virtual tie between president Obama and Mitt Romney, but underneath the surface there is evidence that the Republicans are failing to make the break through that all opposition’s need to oust an incumbent.

It is certainly the case that the US public is barely engaged with the general election. The news is all about Isaac while the monthly struggle to make the paycheck stretch is vastly more important for most Americans than anything the politicians have to say.

But as the Republican convention starts, or not, depending on where Isaac is headed, a new poll from Pew shows that for the first time this century less than half of voters are interested in watching the new Republican presidential candidate’s convention speech.

44% expressed an interest in seeing Romney’s big speech, compared to 52% for McCain in 2008 and 53% for Bush in 2000.

In comparison, 51% of voters are interested in Obama’s acceptance speech. This is down from 58% in 2008, but still crosses the magic 50% threshold.

The failure to generate public anticipation and interest for Romney is a sign of how the campaign has run away from him. President Obama should be extremely vulnerable given the economic situation, but the poll is a powerful indicator that the Republicans have failed to establish Romney as an alternative president-in-waiting.

More worrying for Romney is that while most people are not interested in his speech, they are keen to learn more about the GOP platform: 52% said they were interested to know more about the platform.

Convention platforms, particularly for the GOP, are detailed, lugubrious affairs. The 2008 platform rambled on for 55 pages tackling every last arcane topic of concern to the fruit loops that populate the Republican fringe.

This year, for example there is a section on a return to the gold standard. For some reason the GOP are obsessed with the gold standard, in 1980 the platform forced Reagan to hold a commission on returning to the gold standard when he became president, which predictably, reported back in the negative.


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Phil Davison: the poetry is in the pity

10/09/2010, 11:45:15 AM
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