The Yes We Can Election
November 5, 2008
by William P. Meyers

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Can we defeat a frontrunning former First Lady who wants to be the first female President of the United States? Yes We Can.

Rather than going on in the same vein - I am sure my readers can do that themselves - let's look beyond the vaporous speeches of President-elect Barack Obama and try to get a realistic vision of the political landscape.

I'll admit Barack is a wild card. He plays a good game of political poker.

Fortunately we have the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Congress, and the usual special interest groups still around, which are highly predictable. The will be reacting to the usual inputs plus a high degree of economic distress.

Having a Democratic President means the Democrats in Congress won't be able to use the threat of a veto by a Republican President as an excuse. Which puts them in a bind. For two years Nancy Pelosi and crew reneged on election promises by blaming George W. Bush.

Now if they passed laws withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, Barack Obama would have to accept responsibility for that. It will be interesting to see what they do.

Will Social Security be saved by removing the upper income limit on contributions? It will be interesting to see what they do.

Will the government find a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the necessary 90%, without destroying the economy? It will be interesting to see what they do.

Will anyone even mention that the U.S., and the world, are just plain overpopulated, and do anything about it? It will be interesting to see what they do.

Will the government create a plan to pay back the national debt? It will be interesting to see what they do.

Will the working people at the economic bottom see a fairer allocation of pay? It will be interesting to see what they do.

My bet, based on having watched the politicians, including Mike Thompson, the conservative Democrat who nevertheless represents one of California's most liberal congressional districts, is that crumbs will be thrown to the various Democratic Party constituencies. Environmentalists, for instance, will get some nods towards carbon dioxide emission reductions and a couple of dozen additions to the endangered species list. The real estate industry will get the biggest crumb, a regular wedding cake.

And what we will get (here I agree with Nancy Price) is a sales pitch for: infrastructure investment. Infrastructure, so the pitch goes, is falling apart. Spending on infrastructure will create good jobs. But what they are really going to spend your taxpayer dollars on is not fixing up what is already in place. You are going to get the SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership) infrastructure, nightmare corridors of ecological destruction that will run from northern Canada to the Isthmus of Panama. Complete with "free enterprise zones" that are exempt from U.S. labor and environmental laws.

Can the Capitalist Elite get either party to do its bidding? Harvard has another graduate in the White House, so you can bet they were in the clubs last night singing,

Yes We Can!

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