There is only one national election in the United States, It occurs every four years. That national election chooses the President of the United States. He or she becomes the spokesperson of the American people and the commander in chief of the armed forces, the leader of his/her political party. But, according to Republicans who lost the Presidential election this year the re-elected President won no mandate.
They even have the temerity to claim that the Republicans won a mandate by retaining a majority of the House of Representatives (where they lost eight seats). The House of Representatives elections, which occur every two years, are 435 separate district elections with 435 geographically determined constituencies. Factors such as district apportionment and the popularity of incumbents, as well sometimes of local issues or particular local response to national issues, often determine the outcome of those races. Rarely has the President’s party picked up seats when he was re-elected as the Democrats did this year. And they gained in the Senate which consists of 33 statewide races every two years with state issue focus.
But the Republicans cannot concede to Obama a mandate from the voters. Despite the fact that he joins the list of Presidents who were re-elected. Despite the fact that in both of his elections he garnered over 50% of the popular vote a feat accomplished by only FDR in the 20th century. When Eisenhower and Reagan won their second terms Democrats who controlled Congress cooperated and oft times deferred to his leadership. When Clinton won a second term Republicans got a bit more cooperative, they stopped closing down the government. But the Republican Party, which like the super rich they represent, feels entitled to control the Presidency. In fact it may be the only entitlement they support. When a Democrat wins the Presidency it’s rule or ruin time for the Republicans.
It would appear at least from the polls that the American people have woken up to the Republican obstructionist intransigence. The President defeated McCain by ten million votes and after four years of intense negative attacks by the Republicans and their Tea Party masters he defeated Romney by five million votes nationwide. He has a mandate to fix the fiscal crisis in a fair way that requires the wealthy to pay the rate of taxes they paid in the 1990's and reform national insurance programs to the extent that such alterations will reduce the growing national debt.
The American public is becoming more educated as to how the system works. If the radical right wing Tea Party controlled Republicans play the party of NO for the next two years, I believe they will be replaced by a Democratic majority in the House and additional Democratic Senators and then they will learn what a Progressive mandate means.
4 December 2012