I don’t think there will any great history made over the next four years but obviously there will be some history to be lived. Even before the Inauguration I am willing to make some calls. THE SECOND TERM WILL BRING:
Fiscal Tensions: I don’t get the feeling anyone in either Party is up to doing much let alone doing what is right and needed.
The debates are pretty much inevitable now though and only get more so as the days tick off. What these discussions and drawn out fights actually bring will be something to behold. Congress has proven itself suspect and the POTUS himself arrogant. Grover Norquist needs to be taken to the wood shed and shot. The Congress needs to cut deep into government.
D.O.A. Diversionary Obamacare Actions: I predict this to be the big political piñata for the New Year.
I don’t care about what has been settled or challenged. What is real is: the Progressives are unleashed secondary to Obama’s reelection, Industry cannot swallow some of the costs that are coming and America cannot afford the ACA as it or America stands. I truly believe the ACA is the red headed step child in the coming year regards political tweaking and will be coming to the front burner as needed for diversions from foreign policy issues and the continuing fiscal debacle.
FP Reality vs Eggheads: Hagel at Defense and Kerry at State. I think both will get confirmed and I further think it doesn’t bode well for the USA.
John Kerry is a europhile weenie who cannot be counted upon for standing for what is traditionally viewed as US position. Some may applaud this but leading from behind sucks as does chumming up with the haters with a self-deprecating style and loser mentality. Kerry embodies this to a T in my mind and all together he offers nothing positive for us. I could hold up one positive nugget in that John Kerry is as much servant mentality as he is leader mentality. I guess I could see where if Obama actually tells JFK to do something Kerry is prepared and capable of interacting with the UN pygmies and euroweenies on their terms,in their manner. That I readily concede is a potential positive.
The flip side is Hagel at DoD. Perhaps a good choice in the bureaucracy sense of attempting to manage budgets and egos in the Pentagon. The thing is there is this strengthening and evolving aspect of Defense that really blurs the lines of diplomacy and State. This isn’t a Bush thing as Obama clearly has either actively moved this or at a minimum passively accepts it. Africa and the Pacific Pivot are Defense lead policies,State seems to be playing catch up at best if they are even on the field. In an ironic twist DoD is trying to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as distance itself in all the other “Stans yet State is there knee deep with PMC (private military contractors) and advisors. Is Chuck Hagel really up to the more active inroads angle of DoD?
I don’t know if I see evidence that Obama is changing his foreign policy stance in his second term even given his choices of secretary in the two key FP departments. He clearly appears set on continuing global drone strikes and sovereignty testing GWOT actions.We need China and our better Asian allies. We will be called upon to make a stand on issues such as Syria and Israel and its clear Iran and the Korean Peninsula isn’t going off radar. This would seem to dictate some continuation of that which is underway now,at least in the short term and by that you have to think 18-24 months. Hell even dramatic reversal would need 12-18 months to manifest.
Quite simply I don’t know how good the US is positioned and equipped to move in this Obama’s second term. I do think the realities are bigger and stronger than the eggheads dreams and history though.
Domestic Issue Dancing
Well right out of the gate we have the gun control issue and the recently formed Biden lead commission. This is is fully constructed as an Obama win no matter how it plays. The WH gets to look tough,gets a shot doing something the party likes to wag its tongues and fingers at while emotions side on their side,has an opening for others to do the heavy lifting and no matter what gets to play the “I tried” card.
Other domestic actions which will tie in the previous mentioned DOA stuff is likely to include a shot at gay marriage expansion and perhaps a renewed effort in the energy field. All in all I don’t think I have a lot of confidence early on in Obama. I don’t know if there has been a reelected President who needs a strong mid-term election as much as he.