Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Status Quo

After billions of dollars and two years of anguish, we are left where we began.  Obama is president again. The Republicans are in control of the House, and the Democrats are in control of the Senate.

House Republicans have already signaled that there will be no taxes on the wealthiest Americans.  That means that the cliff of automatic defense and other cuts loom at the end of the year without any clear avoidance.  The Tea Partiers won't compromise.  It's not clear that Obama will compromise on the tax issue any more.  Scarily, it looks like we may face two more years of gridlock again.

The Health Care debate is over.  It will go into effect.  There will be no repeal.  It is a non-issue from this point on.

The Republican Party will try to reorient itself around Latinos.  I think a lot of Republicans will shift in favor of the Dream Act, and we will see bipartisan immigration reform early next year.

The economy will continue to improve unless Congress does something stupid (which is possible).  It was going to improve no matter who was elected because the economic crisis is over.  If Romney had been elected, it would have continued to improve.  It will continue to improve under Obama unless gridlock kills it, which is possible.

The national debt now remains THE major issue.  If the Democrats are smart (and we'll have to see), they will focus a lot of energy on debt reduction these next four years or else their goose is cooked in 2016--unless of course the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot like they did this time.

There will of course be no more bail-outs because they were a one time, bi-partisan emergency move during the greatest recession since the Great Depression.  They will not come up again, barring another global economic crisis.

America is not moving in a socially conservative direction.  For example, all the most socially conservative candidates on the issue of abortion lost.  I think evangelicals have a choice to make.  The frontal assault is a losing battle.  What if we tried to influence by example rather than force to convert? I personally believe that is the Wesleyan way.


Mike Aubrey said...

We could use a more subtle Wilberforce approach to the issue...

John Mark said...

No news to you, Ken, of course; but evangelicals/social conservatives have felt they have been 'forced'--if not to convert, to accept or tolerate many things they find morally repugnant. And we don't think our president likes us much...I suspect the second term will tell us if our fears are groundless or not, unless Mr Obama feels that easing our fears will help him cement his legacy. Time will tell.

::athada:: said...

Always appreciate your clear-eyed, succinct, fair summaries. I thought of your "elections have consequences" post (2008?) when I hear people calling for revolution or "preparing for Normandy" (American Family Association).