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As Democrats gear up for the upcoming November congressional elections and formulate strategies to use against their Republican opponents, they need to take stock of their strengths and weaknesses, their assets and liabilities. And as they begin this process they will likely realize that an emerging liability could adversely affect their plans for success.
If you are a Democratic candidate for election or reelection to the House or the Senate you may well be facing a massive challenge and need all the help you can get. And the last thing you need in your campaign is to have it negatively affected by a situation that has the potential to spell deep trouble for you and your party.
Technically, President Obama is what, in political terms, is called a "Lame duck president"; one who, as he approaches the end of his tenure, cannot expect that his agenda will meet with any great measure of success. That's just the way it is with politics in the nation's capitol and, quite likely, this president will find that his ability to affect any kind of substantive changes is very limited at best.
But what he might do in the next three years or so is not the main issue for the Democratic Party at this time. The issue at hand involves his policies and actions and how they will affect the chances of these Democratic candidates in these elections. The problem is that this president just happens to have taken some highly questionable, controversial and unconstitutional positions and actions that are far from popular with a large portion of the American people.
The Democrats better wake up soon; it appears that the Republican Party is in a state of disarray and conflict between the various opposing factions and it could be in deep trouble in these elections. But if the Democrats fail to take advantage of this opportunity by allowing Mr. Obama's liabilities to adversely impact their campaigns then the Republicans may still prevail and that will be a disaster.
If you were one of those Democratic candidates engaged in a close and very difficult race with a strong GOP opponent how could you possibly defend the following highly questionable positions and actions that this president has taken that are in definite conflict with the opinions of much of the American electorate?
How might a Democratic candidate, when meeting with likely voters, defend Mr. Obama's strong support and promotion of the NSA spying on American citizens and the fact that it is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution which states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated?"
How might a Democratic candidate explain and try to defend the "kill list" that President Obama and his advisers maintain in the White House, that can, believe it or not, include the names of American citizens; one that is in direct conflict with Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States that gives every American citizen, "The right to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as a protection against illegal imprisonment?" In more specific terms this is a means of safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary state actions.
How can candidates admit that they are fully supportive of his war on whistleblowers and his approval of subordinates' actions to interfere with objective journalism in this country, a situation by which he is thinks that he has the power to disregard the 1st Amendment's guarantee of free speech?
At a time when Hispanics are becoming a very powerful voting bloc and have largely been supportive of Democrats, here we have a Democratic president that has deported 2 million unauthorized immigrants; not only that but his actions to date to bring about immigration reform in the Congress have been pathetic and lacking any great resolve. Don't think that Hispanics haven't noticed.
Can anyone think of a Democratic president in the past 5 or more decades who would offer up cuts to Social Security to his opponents in the attempt to appease them? Former Democratic presidents would never have dared to betray their party and the nation's people in such a way; but this president keeps putting the issue back on the negotiating table regardless of what the people might think.
Here's a link to an article that includes the letter that Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, together with 15 Democratic Senators, sent to the president to, once again, warn him against offering up such cuts. It's pretty clear that those who signed this letter no longer trust this president to do the right thing on this critically important issue. And they have every reason to think that way because they are well aware that he is quite capable of caving in to the Republicans.
He doesn't seem to comprehend that he is greatly damaging the chances of many of his fellow Democrats who may be defeated in these elections because they will be the victims of "guilt by association." He doesn't seem to understand how great of a liability that he is becoming.
It doesn't seem to bother him that the American people are quite troubled by the many questionable positions he is taking and that, on many, they totally disagree with him. And, as a result, they may well vent their anger and take out their wrath on Democratic candidates.
His latest approval ratings in which 42% approve and 53% disapprove of his performance, a 10% drop over a year ago, are a clear indication that the people are becoming more and more disillusioned with the way he is conducting his presidency; and this should be a clear sign to these Democratic candidates that they need to make it known that their positions on these controversial issues are quite different from his; that they are ready to return to the old style Democratic principles and ideology that stress Constitutional rights and freedoms.
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