Kos just posted an article titled Obama is Winning, Period, and I tend to agree with this assessment, but I have to follow it up with a big fat so what?
To paraphrase something Harvey Weinstein said a couple weeks ago when Rachel Maddow asked why the big funders on the Democratic side weren't pouring money into Obama's campaign the same way they did in 2008, money makes a difference, but sometimes you have a candidate that just can't win no matter how much they spend. And despite all the things that Obama has stacked against him, Mitt Romney appears to be that candidate.
Would we be worse off with Romney as President? From his tax plans to his talk on health care to his recent trip abroad, all signs point to yes. But with polls indicating that Congress will likely stay in Republican hands, and the Senate may be up for grabs as well, are we missing the real story?
While the money in the Presidential race may not end up having a major impact, the impact will certainly be felt more strongly when it comes to races at lower levels. And with the country polarized as ever, and the GOP tacking ever further to the right and taking uncompromising lines, even if Obama gets elected, what will he be able to accomplish with a divided Congress? Will we get more progressive tax policies? Will we get a strong jobs bill? Will we rebuild our rapidly deteriorating infrastructure? Will we fix our broken educational system? Will we implement a sustainable energy policy? And if we do get any of these things, will they be enough?
The answer to that last question may hinge on the most important question of all. It is not a question of Democrats or Republicans, but a question we have struggled with since the founding of this country. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison spoke of it. Abraham Lincoln spoke of it. Woodrow Wilson spoke of it. But perhaps it was Teddy Roosevelt who said it best:
At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will.The truly important question in not who we want to be President, or who is going to win, it's whether or not we the people are going to continue to accept a system that provides misplaced incentives and creates conflicts of interest for our public officials between doing what is right by the people, and doing what is in their own personal interest, whether it be in the form of securing campaign donations or other personal benefits.
And so I ask, are We, the citizens of the United States of America going to reclaim a democracy of, by and for the people? For if we do not, it does not much matter who the President is.