How Obama Lost America

Tuesday, 4 November, 2014

According to the analysts, the Republicans are set to become the majority party in the US Senate following today’s mid-term elections. In his New York Times column on Sunday, Ross Douthat sought an explanation for a key talking point of the campaign: the unpopularity of President Obama. With the US unemployment rate down to six percent and energy independence getting closer, one would think that voters should be somewhat grateful, but no. “The public’s confidence is gone, and it doesn’t seem to be coming back,” writes Douthat.

After poring over the landscape, Douthat says that the disaffection with Obama “mostly reflects a results-based verdict on what seems like poor execution, in which the White House’s slow response to ISIS is of a piece with the Obamacare rollout and the V.A. scandal and various other second-term asleep-at-the-tiller moments.” Another essential part of the picture is the state of the American middle class. Its members seem to have concluded that the drop in the jobless numbers and the fruits of fracking won’t make things much better. The squeezed middle believes that the recession is not temporary but deeply structural and this has led to disillusionment and despair. Gone forever are the heady days of Hope. When people look at Obama now they can sense the drift caused by a captain dozing at the wheel. Today, the voters will opt for change.

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