The immediate problem in the fall of 2010 is the elections of 2010 and 2012. The difficulty is that Obama has not been able to keep his overenthusiastic promises and he has appeared to be satisfied with that situation. The odds are that the Republicans will be able to make enough gains in Congress to prevent Obama from accomplishing anything, while not being able to overthrow a veto so they won’t accomplish anything either. If Obama can convince the voters that the inability to get out of the recession is the Republican’s fault then he’ll be returned to office and can continue his program. If not we’ll go into a “double dip” recession.
The thing to remember that there are six groups to think about instead of two. There are the Democratic elite (the office holders and their hangers on) and the Republican elite (office holders and hangers on and recent office holders). The media takes them at their word.
Besides them there are the voting blocs. The left, including the far left (progressive) are included with the regular democrats. The centrists, called independents because no party is located in the center. The regular Republicans were moderate right. And the far right now identified with the “Tea Party” and other neo-fascist groups. the core democrats and core republicans will vote no matter what because they will be moved by local issues. The far left will either vote democratic or not at all. They learned what happens to left wing third parties in 1948. The independents will stay home unless they get stirred up to be anti-republican. The republicans will vote their party line because they believe in “trickle down”. The right wing “Tea Party” people will vote republican and they may provide the difference in elections, but they won’t be party line in congress.
The result will be that whether or not Republicans can control one or both houses of congress nothing will be accomplished during the 2010-2012 period. What happens in 2012 depends on who takes the blame for the inaction of the federal government. This will be difficult to use as a political ploy because both elites want minimum federal action so as to keep the non-elite from experiencing upward mobility.