THE Republican Party has won control of the Senate in the US mid-term elections, and now controls both Houses of Congress, turning the final two years of Barack Obama’s rule into a completely hobbled ‘lame duck’ presidency.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, is now poised to lead the Senate. He commented yesterday that the half-term election results were a vote against ‘a government that people can no longer trust’.
However, National Exit polls taken of Election Day voters show that the electorate was unhappy both with the president and also with the opposing Republican Party.
Exit polls showed that 59% are dissatisfied or angry with the Obama administration, while an even bigger number, 60%, were dissatisfied or angry with the Republican leaders in Congress.
Another exit poll finding was that while 53% have an unfavourable opinion of the Democratic Party, an even greater number, 54% have an unfavourable opinion of the Republican Party.
Three states – South Dakota, Arkansas and Nebraska – actually approved increases in the minimum wage and a fourth – Alaska – was poised to do so as well.
However, the Republicans won and now have a majority in both houses, from where they will be able to harass and block Obama at every turn.
They have inflicted a bloody nose on Obama in particular, and on the Democratic Party in general. They will be able to pass legislation the president must either sign or veto. They will also be able to impose more shutdowns of the US government over adopting draconian austerity measures to begin resolving the massive US debt crisis at the expense of the working class and the middle class.
The massive support that Obama enjoyed as the first black president of the USA was eroded entirely as he stepped in to save the banks and the bosses after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
Billions were handed over to prop the banks up. General Motors was taken over and billions poured into it. A programme of closures and mass sackings was imposed along with the introduction of a second-tier hiring of workers at reduced wages and pension terms. The world’s number one motor company was rescued at the expense of the working class!
Quantitative easing was begun and almost $4 trillion was gifted to the bankers!
Huge cities like Detroit went bust, but the banks prospered and even flourished with their free money.
When the Occupy Wall Street movement took to the streets of New York and other cities with a policy that the 99% should not be propping up the 1% of capitalist plutocrats, the movement was met with batons, beatings and mace.
At this time, war was Obama’s recreation with the 2011 assault on Libya, and then the war against Syria, which Obama was prevented from entering with ground and air forces only because the US and UK working class would not allow it.
Meanwhile, in the US as the bankers flourished, so the millions of the poor and the homeless grew at an astonishing pace, with tens of millions on the lowest paid jobs ever.
No wonder his presidency went down the pan.
His greatest achievements were murdering Osama bin Laden, keeping Guantanamo Bay open as a torture facility, launching hundreds of drone attacks to kill some of the poorest people on the planet, and embarking on a spying programme that has shocked the US rigid after its exposure by heroes such as Snowden.
Obama is leaving the USA a thousand times poorer than he found it, and will be remembered solely for the fact that despite all difficulties he came through for the bosses and bankers.
Now the Republican Party is on the way back and will carry on from where Obama left off, if given the opportunity, to smash Medicare and Medicaid, and to place the full burden of the crisis onto the working class and the middle class.
The US working class must give its trade unions their orders. The unions must break with the Democrats and Republicans and found a Labour Party that will fight for a socialist USA, to smash American capitalism and imperialism and replace it with socialism. This is the big lesson from the Obama presidency.