[Der Standaard, Belgium]



Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany

Europe Baffled By Midterm Defeat of 'Bloodless' Obama


"They're crazy, those Yanks! That's what they're whispering in Europe. After all, who can make sense of it? Illuminated by Obama's bright light, Washington had only just reemerged from eight years of political darkness. … Europeans must first understand that America is just plain different - and different from what they'd like it to be."


By Christian Wernicke



Translated By Stephanie Martin


November 4, 2010


Germany - Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Original Article (German)

A somewhat contrite President Obama takes questions the day after a devestating blow to Democrats.


SKY NEWS TV, AUSTRALIA: The similarities between ousted Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and President Barack Obama, Nov. 3, 00:01:32RealVideo

They're crazy, those Yanks! That's what they're whispering in Europe. After all, who can make sense of it? Illuminated by Obama's bright light, Washington had only just reemerged from eight years of political darkness. The smart Black president achieved great things. First he saved the world from sinking into a global depression; then he gave his nation historic health reform. But for this, and precisely for this, his people are now punishing him - with a disaster in the congressional elections. No one can possibly understand this level of ingratitude, at least not on the European side of the Atlantic.


The midterm elections turned into a referendum on two years of Obama - and the Republicans triumphed - in other words, the party that was supposedly being led around by the nose and pulled to the right by the Tea Party movement. And most of the figures in the front row - this much has filtered through to the Old World - are absurd characters. Hysterical anti-government types who see the state as the source of all evil, mass unemployment included, and conspiracy theorists, who interpret any and all measures against climate change as a plot to destroy the American way of life.


Germans have reacted especially strongly, which is understandable when they hear an Alaskan senator-to-be [Joe Miller] recommending the East German model for dealing with illegal immigrants at the Rio Grande to his countrymen, shoot-on-sight orders included. Or when we see photos of a candidate for the House of Representatives who likes to play war games in his off-hours back in Ohio - wearing the uniform of a Waffen SS division that took part in the Holocaust. But what's overlooked by many Europeans is the fact that neither man was elected on Tuesday.


Still, from such anecdotes, many Europeans, too many, paint themselves a caricature of an America that is confused and has lost its way. Only this distorted image is inaccurate. Europeans must first understand that America is just plain different - and different from what they'd like it to be. Second, as every autopsy of Tuesday night's mass demise of Democrats shows, the right didn't achieve this victory under its own power. Rather it was brought about by the collapse of the Obama coalition - because the president lost the backing of America's mainstream.


In Western Europe, Obama still enjoys an almost messiah status with an approval rating of 80 percent. In his own country, however, the prophet must be thankful for opinion polls that are even half as sympathetic. The Germans, French, Portuguese, or Swedes probably have the hardest time understanding Obama's problems. Nowhere on this earth are the worth of his reforms seems as more self-evident. Reforms like universal health insurance for all, an activist state and environmental and climate protection are seen as ways to play catch-up to Europe, a simple normalization. On the other hand, millions of Americans view this government-sponsored agenda as bold, even revolutionary. What Obama prescribes as modernization is experienced by many as a failure of the system - and as un-American. 


The fact that Obama's new government is too slow and has produced too few successes has been politically devastating. More than $800 billion in public debt was incurred to stimulate the economy - yet unemployment has held stubbornly at almost 10 percent. And while Obama saved Wall Street and Detroit's rusty automakers from bankruptcy with government funds, this year alone has seen a million U.S. families are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.   





Beijing Times, China: Elections Can't Cure America's 'Disease'
ABC, Spain: The Misguided Demonization of the 'Tea Party' Movement

Folha, Brazil: Obama: An American Anomaly?

Le Monde, France: Charting the Tortured Path of the Tea Party

Liberation, France: American 'Anti-Statists' Claim Midterm Victory

La Jornada, Mexico: A Dire Midterm Result for the U.S. and World

Le Figaro, France: Tea Party: An 'American Fever' that Will Quicky Pass

Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong: Blaming China Led Obama to Midterm Defeat

Le Temps, Switzerland: Obama Pays Big for Anemic Growth

News, Switzerland: Obama: Don't Bargain with Your 'Political Assassins'

La Jornada, Mexico: Obama 'Bit Off More than He Could Chew'

Le Temps, Switzerland: Cheap Advice for President Obama

Tageblatt, Luxembourg: Prepare for 'Tea Time' in America

El Pais, Spain: As U.S. Exposes its Divisions, China Powers Ahead

Global Times, China: The West is Forming an 'Axis of Evil Ideology'

Hispanidad, Spain: How Spain Can Build its Own Tea Party: Copy Palin

El Universal, Mexico: Immigration Reform: Obama's Ace in the Hole

Le Temps, Switzerland: America's 'Cry of Agony' Through the Tea Party

Izvestia, Russia: Evil Obama and China's Yuan: It's About the Midterms

Liberation, France: Christine O’Donnell at the 'Oral Stage'

Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: West Must Halt Slide Since 9-11

El Mercurio, Spain: The 'Neo-Nazi' Campaign Against President Obama

El Mundo, Spain: Beck and Palin Search for Mythical 'Paradise Lost'

Der Standard, Austria: In Despair Over Democracy - Both America's and Ours

National Post, Canada: U.S. Democracy Suffers 'Death By Talk-Show Host'

La Jornada, Mexico: Beck and the New U.S.-Right: 'Like a Horror Movie'

Iraq News Agency, Iraq: Sarah Palin: The 'Seductress' of the American Election


Bookmark and Share


Now Obama expresses regret and talks about constraint. Two years ago, we were energized by this same man's vision. Today the same man often sounds strangely bloodless. Back then we were impressed by his cool, self-assured serenity. Now this same character comes across as cold, arrogant even, and yes, even elitist. The right may will put on a shrill performance and stand in the media spotlight. But this president was never going to win votes on the right anyway. Obama's historic victory in 2008 was made real by the center of American society - the independent voters and suburbanites in their suburban bungalows. Now this center has abandoned him.


Obama needs to reinvent himself now. Gone are the days of his “transformative presidency” which would plow a new furrow with major reforms that the country and later descendants would compare to those of the eras of a Franklin D. Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan.


Projects like an ambitious energy-savings law or a new immigration law will be impossible with the new majorities. “Obama 2.0” will be an unstable operating system in Washington.  The president will be obliged to maneuver carefully - between cooperation and confrontation with Republicans. America is threatened by a blockade of reform. That won't do the nation justice, nor will it satisfy the world. The rest is vague hope - hope for an early resolution of the unemployment crisis and for another change in 2012. If Obama learns from the damage done on Tuesday night, he might look like a hero again in two years - not just among Europeans, but among his own Americans.



blog comments powered by Disqus














































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US November 8, 12:48am]


Bookmark and Share