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Obama's power dimishes as midterm elections approach

Bye bye presidential power
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

No one in Washington is stretching the truth if they say the Republicans are likely to take control of the US Senate and gain a sizable number of House seats this November. That will mean the last two years of President Obama’s second term will look very different indeed.

The dramatic shift in legislative power will be marked by confrontation with the White House and even less legislative action than the present Congress has accomplished. Is that good or bad? The president has definitely left the playing field of legislative combat with his perceived agenda. That is obvious.

Judged by many as the worst president of the last 100 years and easily the most defensive since FDR, Obama has blamed his woes almost solely on Congress for domestic and international problems.

His strategy with the oncoming slaughter in the midterm elections will mean no Harry Reid to block legislation in the Senate and more hostility from a strengthened GOP House majority.

The president has made his bed with the Senate Republicans over the last six years and it appears to be worse in the House. The White House becomes a force unto itself with many roadblocks that are overwhelming.

More of the same gridlock is predicted. It will not see any clearance until a new president is elected in 2016. Factions rule, and compromise or governance is simply not where their interests lie.

The major difference from 2015-2017 is the Republicans will gain the majority in the Senate. It will be the signal for Republicans to speak up and provide the American people with the will to keep the GOP momentum going. In other words, start governing for the good of the nation.

The Republican Congress will face stiff punishment from voters if they fail in this “test drive” and the Democrats will do their best for the failure to occur. The new Congress is not going to be able to address Main Street issues unless it does so in concert with the president. Its majority is that slim.

What will be the incentive for “peace in the valley?” In terms of President Obama’s standing, he is clearly moving more and more into a state of isolation. His flimsy agenda is general issues like social justice, strengthening environmental protection and other policies through regulatory fiat.

This will put him in ill-repute with the Supreme Court already tiring of his past antics. Thirteen of their decisions concerning Obama have been unanimous. The president needs to leave office with a few wins that show some permanency. Therein lays the cooperation factor with Congress.

The Affordable Care Act may still unravel due to its own weight. The chance to do anything big is unlikely with a Republican Congress that is going to need their own wins to solidify its role and its future.

This could be the perfect storm for Americans. It may just cause one side to scratch the other to get things working again. One thing seems certain, Washington will look very different in January, 2015.

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*** Look for “Redistribution of Common Sense” – Selected commentaries on the Obama administration 2009 – 2014, premiering July 21st on and many other book outlets nationwide.

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