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Obama hears the silence.

NOBODY LIKES LOSING an election, the left most of all. According to them they never lose because their policies are disastrous or their candidates out of touch. It’s always the work of evil corporate interests, ie, the oil companies, the Koch brothers or Fox News. If it’s not their fault then it’s because the voters are just a bunch of morons.

Now the US midterms have come and gone, leaving the Republicans with control of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Democrats are frothing with hysteria. A dose of midterm blues is usual for any incumbent president but this “massacre” is as clear a sign of displeasure with Obama and his cack-handed administration as could be imagined, especially when his personal rating is so low.

Obama is so desperate he’s had to claim that he’s on the side of all those people who didn’t vote.

In fact Obama is so desperate he’s had to claim that he’s on the side of all those people (or “folks” as he likes to call them) who didn’t vote: “To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.” His hearing’s obviously as bad as mine, since what they said by not voting was “no thanks”. And those are the people he could usually rely on.

It wasn’t just the voters who said no thanks. Obama’s own party members declined to have him on board their election campaigns in case he put people off. I’m sure there are plenty of Labour politicians in the UK thinking the same way about Ed Miliband and the general election next year.

All of this passed with a minimum of attention from the British media, who don’t like reporting bad news for the Obama Democrats. In the words of Martin Kettle in the Guardian “US voters have turned back the clock”. As it happens, they only turned the clock back a decade or so but for Kettle and his ilk it’s the equivalent of returning to some hideous undefined Republican past in which ordinary “folks” thought family, religion and patriotism were important rather than their opposites.

Oddly enough for a man so wrapped in the worship of his own ego that reality barely gets a look in, Obama spoke a truth: people, he said, want to feel “the ground is stable under their feet.” The trouble is you can’t promise a fundamental transformation of society, which involves a shambles in every area of policy making, without making people feel uncertain about their future.

Still, Obama’s on the case. He’s listened and he plans “on spending every moment of the next two plus years doing my job the best I can.” When he’s not playing golf, that is, though for America keeping him on the links may be the best place for him, given his abysmal track record.

Michael Blackburn.

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