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Obama is tied to the RR tracks

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opinion Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

If life were an old-fashioned movie serial we'd be at the scene where Barack Obama is tied to railroad tracks while an oncoming train sounds in the distance.

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And if it were a movie, he'd escape. I'm not sure how, but at the last moment he'd slip his bonds and roll off the tracks just as the train roared by.

That's the difference between movies and real life.

It's beginning to look as though President Obama won't escape his current predicament, that indeed he's going to be run over by the train that is, for want of a better name, the Angry American Voter.

The polls going into the mid-term congressional elections, while improving some in recent weeks, are still a bloody nose for the Democrats.

A recent Associated Press poll, for example, shows working class whites favoring Republican candidates by twice the margin of the last two elections.

Democrats are used to losing out with this group. But to see that cohort abandon ship at this rate is alarming to those hoping the party will hang on to its control of Congress for the next two years.

And it's getting hard to find any polls that offer good news for Democrats. The latest one from Gallup has Republicans leading Democrats 53-41 in a high-turnout election; 56-39 with low turnout.

Conservative analyst Michael Barone says it's beginning to look like the '94 election. Not 1994 when the Democrats lost about 50 House seats but 1894 when the Republicans gained 100. That election was conducted in the aftermath of the Panic of 1893, the nation's worse economic collapse up to that time.

OK, so the economy isn't so great right now but it could be worse and almost was.

I think people have forgotten just how bad things were when Obama took office. The economy was cratering and our financial system was on the brink of collapse. We were hemorrhaging jobs. The stock market was tanking, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at about 8,000 and heading down.

Obama fixed that, kind of. He stabilized the economy at a price. But you didn't expect it to be free, did you? He got a health insurance bill passed. Not a perfect bill, but a lot of people who didn't have insurance are now going to. He managed to install some brakes into our financial system that might, just might, forestall another meltdown. He saved two American auto companies from extinction and the Dow crossed the 11,000 mark the other day.

He gets credit for none of it. Even liberals do little but complain. He's too slow in getting out of wars. His economic advisers are too Wall Street. The health insurance plan sucks.

Stop already. This is politics.

Part of the problem, maybe a lot of it, is the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Hillary Clinton coined that phrase when she was defending her husband against various right-wing attacks, many of them financed by Richard Scaife, the DuPont billionaire and right-wing nut.

She was on the mark, of course, but the mainstream "liberal" press ridiculed her for it. (Our press hates conspiracy theories.)

Well, I'm sorry to break the news to you but there is a right wing conspiracy and it's more vast than ever. It centers now on Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, among other things. He not only gave $1 million to a Republican campaign committee, he's got four Republican presidential hopefuls on his Fox News payroll. That's the "fair and balanced" network.

And he's a piker compared to Texas oilmen Charles and David Koch, who have financed just about every right-wing think tank and project that Scaife neglected.

No wonder a third of the American people think Obama's a Muslim.

In a year or two, they'll think he's a Martian.

OtherWords and retired Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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