Barack Obama tonight won a second term as President of the United States of America in an historic re-election, the first time since the 1820 re-election of James Madison that America has returned to a second term in office three presidents in a row.
President Obama has faced a Republican Party and its illegitimate offspring, the Tea Party, together whom literally from the day he was sworn into office have plotted the demise of his presidency. And yet, it is clear history will view Barack Obama as an extraordinary leader, not because he is an African-American — although perhaps despite it, given all the racist rancor he’s faced — who has seeded more hope than conservatives care to admit, and more change than they can stand.
In fact, the James Madison presidency almost two centuries ago was termed the “Era of Good Feelings,” based on “a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars.” Clearly, Mr. Obama’s opponents have publicly and privately worked to ensure no good feelings will ever be shared among the two parties, despite two wars and many national natural disasters.
Mr. Obama will be forced to work with an even angrier opposition, a Republican Party in a Congress so angered that their feigned love of Mitt Romney was so unsuccessful they no doubt will work even harder to oppose those historic decisions this President will face.
Those decisions include probable, multiple U.S. Supreme Court nominations, attempts to dismantle his historic health care legislation — now termed “Obamacare” by both sides — the impending “fiscal cliff,” an economy that has responded to a stimulus program that was insufficient from day one, slowly lowering unemployment, man-made climate change, attempts to over turn Roe v. Wade and attempts to restrict many civil rights, including those of the LGBT community and especially same-sex marriage, and the President’s DREAM actions, efforts to help some of the undocumented immigrants.
President Obama will also likely face, without his distinguished and greatly beloved Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Middle East disruptions, including the possibility of a nuclear Iran, an Israel that is becoming ever-more brazen, a growing China that has not hesitated to hack computer networks, flood the U.S. economy with below-market goods, and a great many other issues that ultimately affect homeland security.
With the probability that Speaker of the House John Boehner will retain his title, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid his, the President will need to find ways around a House that hates him, and a Senate stumped by partisan rule and a 60-vote needed majority.
Still, after a long and hard fought race against Mitt Romney, whose very first TV ad against the president was a lie, no doubt Barack Obama is looking forward to some well-deserved R&R, a quickly-approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas, and a New Year filled with opportunities to take America forward.
Image: Barack Obama in Boca Raton Florida, October 24, 2012, by Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America
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