Saturday, July 12, 2008

Reality Check: What Might Americans Expect from an Obama Presidency?

Posting at Politico, Stanley Renshon, a professor of political science at the City University of New York and a certified psychoanalyst, moves beyond the adulation of the extreme left that propelled Obama to his standing as the Democratic party’s presumptive nominee and the hate-mongering of the extreme right to offer an unusually objective look at what Americans might expect from an Obama presidency.

Renshon’s conclusion is likely to disappoint his already disillusioned left-wing base:
“So if Obama cannot count on either the American people coalescing around a new progressive majority or controlling the terms of the public discussion, what are his leadership options?

‘“The most likely one is a strong emphasis on rhetorical pronouncements and attempts to shape legislative support by the use of bridging euphemisms such as ‘fair,’ ‘common sense,’ ‘reasonable’ and ‘balanced.’ This would be coupled with efforts to make the legislative wording more closely conform to his progressive policy preferences. But this is likely to be difficult to finesse, because opponents would expect him to adopt this strategy and the specific wording of proposed legislation is already widely available for analysis and criticism.

“In the end, an Obama presidency, should it come to pass, would be a highly symbolic one, full of political firsts because of Obama’s racial heritage. It would nonetheless add up to much less than the transformation that he promised and that his followers are demanding.

“This is not to say that his presidency cannot be successful in enacting domestic policy programs. Obama will certainly be able to boast, as most presidents can, of legislative lists proposed and signed into law. It still remains to be seen, however, whether this can be translated into a true progressive realignment.”

To read Renshon’s post in its entirety, go here:

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