President Obama has officially announced his reelection bid for the 2012 presidential election. His low approval ratings suggest discontent on both sides of the political spectrum, but what more could you expect in the partisan environment we live in?
Obama’s ability to compromise, while a disappointment for liberals, is the quality that should earn him the 2012 presidency. This ability still takes Obama’s liberal agenda and attempts to make it work. Even though these bills have been diluted, at least national attention has been brought to some of these issues.
Obama’s current approval rating is 46 percent, the lowest in his presidential career; however, these numbers are similar to Reagan’s and Clinton’s approval ratings at this point in their terms, and they both won easy re-elections. The problem arises in the bipartisan environment that has saturated Congress.
Do conservatives realize that those “broken promises” they enjoy emphasizing can be partly ascribed to a partisan Congress that they contribute to?
Obama’s dilemma is that he is in the business of governing, rather than forcing his political ideologies upon the nation. He has reached compromises with Republicans, which is important for any politician. He did have a liberal agenda but has settled on what the American people can handle. His compromises, however unfortunate they have been, include the extension of Bush-era tax cuts and huge roll-backs in this health care bill.
There is no reason for Republicans to automatically assume his liberalism manifests itself in every piece of legislation he signs, when in fact many of these bills have blatant conservative influences. Conservatives need to realize the importance of compromise, which has become especially apparent in today’s budget debate with a government shutdown seeming more prominent each day.
These compromises might ostracize some of his liberal supporters, who think these bills— which initially may have came from Obama’s democratic rhetoric—are selling out to these corporate influences, but those supporters need to remember he is to govern, which is different than instantly imposing his beliefs. If people criticize his plan for not being liberal enough, blame it on the people who reject his policies which Obama still represents as president, not the president himself.
It is going to be hard for Obama to duplicate the numbers he did in 2008, but this is contingent upon who he is running against. It seems that many of the opponents on the Republican side are trying to accommodate traditional Republican values but shifting to the political right to capture the Tea Party vote.