As the odds shorten on an Obama victory, the undoubted enthusiasm for Obama is tempered by doubts that a new Democratic Administration, even backed up by strong majorities in both houses of Congress, will really change that much.
However, there’s a case for a much more optimistic view. Given a supermajority in the Senate, or even a win that’s near enough, with some RINO support to override Republican filibusters, some widely respected analysts are predicting marvellous things from Obama including:
* Medicare for all
* Serious financial reregulation
* Union rights
* Ending tax cuts for the rich
* A green ‘revolution’
* Voting rights for all, including DC
In the light of the lame record of the last congress, and of the Democratic Congresses in the 90s, this might seem unlikely. But an article I’ve just read points to a string of quite radical measures passed by the House in the last Congress and blocked only by the filibuster. Furthermore, as the writer observes the conversion of Southern Democrats into Republicans since the 90s means that most Democrats will hold the line on issues like health care.
All in all, it’s given me more cause for optimism than anything I’ve read for a while.
The catch is, of course, that it’s an editorial in the Wall Street Journal aimed at scaring Republican readers into going to the polls. But, for all that, the analysis seems plausible enough in the light of the complete ideological collapse we’ve observed in the past few weeks. If Bush and Paulson can nationalize the banks, surely single-payer health care and voting rights aren’t beyond an Obama Administration.
fn1. I know, I know, it isn’t really nationalisation, let alone socialism. But the injection of public equity capital is close enough that Paulson fought it to the bitter end, and everyone on his side recognised it as a massive defeat for their ideas.