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Monday, October 18, 2010

On the sites (in various forms of construction use)

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Websites and blogs created

and administered by Art Lynch

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Midterm elections – A referendum on Obama’s policies?

obama new york times 

By Steven Rockford, SALON

This cover article
 in The New York Times Magazine yesterday brought out some interesting points regarding Obama’s political standing heading into his first midterm elections.  In evaluating his actions during the first twenty one months of his presidency, the author, Peter Baker, implies that the midterm elections are a referendum on Obama’s policies stating that, “The left thinks he did too little: the right too much.   
Much has been written about Obama’s decline in popularity since he came into office.  In reality, this decline leading up to the first midterm elections is the norm in American politics.  With the exception of Richard Nixon, every president - since Gallup began its presidential polling - has dropped in popularity prior to their first midterms.  In fact, Barack Obama, at a 45% approval rating, is at the same level that Bill Clinton was at the same time into his presidency (October 1994) and higher than Ronald Reagan was in October of 1982 (42%).  Like Obama, both of these presidents enjoyed very high ratings gong into office; both were faced with losing significant congressional seats in their first midterms; and both were considered at the time to be losing ground for re-election in two years.  Both, however, went on to successfully win second terms.      
It is interesting to note how The New York Times reported on each of these presidents during the same timeframe into their presidency.  In October of 1982, NYT journalist Howell Raines wrote an article entitled “Both Parties View Election as a Test of Reagan Policies.  According to Raines: 
“With the approach of the voting on Tuesday, Republican leaders, acknowledging the harm to their candidates from the 10.1 percent national unemployment rate, said they were resigned to significant losses in the House of Representatives.” 
“Mr. Reagan, just back from a campaign trip to five Western states with important Senate races, yesterday broadcast a radio appeal for patience with his economic leadership. He asked voters not to turn on his programs after only a ‘13-month trial’.'' 
In October of 1994, another NYT journalist, Thomas Cronin, wrote about the midterm elections being a referendum on Clinton’s policies in and article entitled “ANTIPOLITICS ’94; How Much is His Fault?   According to Cronin: 
“Midterm elections are rarely America's finest hour. The guns of the out-of-office party pound away at the President. Then he fires back. This is, of course, part of the tribal ritual in which the "outs" trash the "ins" and the "ins" retaliate by castigating the obstructionist opposition, the mean-spirited media and the selfish special interests who are depicted, of course, as all thwarting "progress" -- progress, at least, as defined by those in the White House.”  
Nothing has changed in regard to the 2010 midterms.  The Republicans are portraying Obama as being the “typical tax-and-spend liberal”, while the Democrats are focusing on the “obstructionist opposition.”  Unfortunately, both parties often tend to ignore the qualifications of the individual congressional candidates. 
At the end of the day, it is apparent that Obama will lose congressional seats in this election, as happened with Reagan and Clinton in ’82 and ‘94. This appears to be standard procedure during first-time midterms.  Another factor that appears to be standard procedure is the difference in each party’s handling of bipartisan issues after the elections.  Barrack Obama has already come out and said that he can work with the Republicans in Congress after the elections and incorporate their “constructive” ideas into his programs.  Bill Clinton also agreed to compromise with the GOP on key issues such as the School Prayer Amendment after the1994 midterms as noted in this November 1994 NYT article.  Ronald Reagan, on the other hand, after losing 26 seats in the house said that he would continue to work “in a bipartisan fashion,” but that “he would not bargain on principle.”  ThisNovember 4, 1982 NYT article stated rather clearly that Reagan had no intention of compromising with the Democrats on anything.      
In short, when a first-term president is asked if he/she will seek compromises with the opposition after major losses of congressional seats, a Democratic president will answer, “We will work with the opposition and consider their proposals and evaluate the benefit to the nation in order to ensure that our country moves forward.”  A Republican president, on the other hand, will simply answer: 
No Way!” 

I am so beyond sick of hearing all the stupid election bull...

Nothing you hear is ever true. Its all a pile of S***!

One of many reactions from students and others.

There is truth is the mix, lots of it. 

As the X-files said "the truth is out there."

That's why there is such an effort to get it out there in public.

All you have to do is find it, check it and then support it.

That's what every adult citizen is expected to do in a democracy.

Read up on Thomas Jefferson.

So here is the question:

Would you rather have a dictator?

That's what happens when you stop listening or looking and just let the big money or powerful military take care of life for you.

Then you would not have to put up with two sides, only one.

Civics is a key part of Communications studies and a requirement of being an American citizen.

If you have no sense of civics, you are giving up your rights to complain or be a citizen with all its protections.

As to the amount of "S***" this time around, money is the reason. More is being spent, thanks to the Supreme Court undoing 100 years of election law, than any previous election in history. There are no longer checks and balances on accountability, any attempt at the truth, any limit on corporate or undisclosed campaign donations to good sounding shadowy companies.

The impact of this election on our democracy, on the communication process, on communications as a profession and on lives is one that will be in history books, and in academic studies, for at least a century. 

It's full of first that have to do with the field of this class, with business, with religion, with philosophy, with ethics, with sociology, psychology, poly-sci and every other discipline that explains or reflects on our lives and our society well into the future.

Democracy does not come easy.

You may have to work at it, but as a citizen that should be your duty. Research. Weighing the issues and the statements, finding the source and seeing if it was said or not, and if it is true or not. 

So follow the money. Who is paying for this election "s***" ?

And ask why?

It's your duty as an American.