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Warning Signs to Democrats and Obama

The November 2009 Republican victory has exacerbated Democratic anxiety about the November 2010 election for all 435 House seats, 36 Senate seats and 36 governorships. The GOP success constitutes a severe warning sign to President Obama, who worked tirelessly on behalf of the losers in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races.


From a Coattail President in 2008, Obama is transforming into an Anchor-Chained President in 2009. Obama has taken a steep dive in the polls, from 65% approval in January to 48% in November – the sharpest deterioration since President Ford’s pardon of Nixon. Obama’s strong nucleus of support has shrunk from 44% to 29%, while his strong nucleus of opposition has expanded from 14% to 41%. Obama could become a lame duck president faster than his predecessors at the White House.


The outcome of the November election is, also, relevant to US-Israel relations and should cause reassessment in Jerusalem.


In 1993, the GOP won the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races and sailed to a sweeping victory in the 1994 House and Senate races. In 1991, then Majority Leader George Mitchell realized the nation-wide implications of the special election to the Pennsylvania Senate seat. Therefore, he urged his colleagues to actively support the Democratic candidate, Harris Wofford, against Republican Richard Thornburgh, who was actively supported by President Bush. Wofford’s victory highlighted the vulnerability of the Republican Party and President Bush, paving the road to the 1992 victory in the presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races.


The 2009 Republican victories in New Jersey – a classic Blue State – and in Virginia – which has recently trended Blue – could be a bellwether toward the 2010 November election. They highlight the Center-Right nature of the American electorate and reflect the 2:1 balance between conservatives and liberals, which explains the frequent failure to implement liberal policies in the US. However, just like Obama, the defeated New Jersey Governor, John Corzine, was perceived as a tax and spend liberal. On the other hand, the Republican winner in Viriginia, Bob McDonnell, repudiated Obama’s economic and health policies and scored a landslide victory. Public opinion polls suggest that American voters consider Obama and the Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill to be too liberal. Therefore, notwithstanding the non-popular Republican leadership, recent polls show that most voters trust Republicans more on national security, as well as on the traditional Democratic turf of health, education, social security, taxes, economy, abortion, migration and government ethics.


The results of the November 2009 election have exposed the cracks in Obama’s image of invincibility and Obama’s coalition, which swept him and the Democrats to the 2008 victory. The independents – who account for 1/3 of the electorate and determine the outcome of political races – voted for Obama when he ran as a centrist consensus builder in 2008. They abandoned his candidates in 2009 due to his liberal governance. Young voters turned out in heavy volume in 2008, assuming that Obama was a different politician. However, their turnout was very slim in 2009, when they realized that the Democratic-controlled government conducts politics as usual.


November 2009 has adrenalized GOP veins, as far as attracting better candidates and accelerating the flow of contributions. On the other hand, Democratic candidates and incumbents – especially those representing moderate and conservative districts and States – do not allow Democratic victories in NY’s 23rd and CA’s 10th Districts to cloud their anxiety. They are restless as a result of the devastatingly low approval rating of the Democratically-controlled Congress. They are intimidated by a potential constituents’ backlash for their support of Obama’s policies. They are concerned about the burst of Obama’s invincibility bubble and about Obama’s potential transformation from a political asset to an electoral liability.


As Obama’s charisma dissipates, so does the enthusiasm of Democrats on Capitol Hill to facilitate implementation of Obama’s policies. They would be especially hesitant/reluctant to enable the imposition of pressure on Israel, which enjoys deep support among most constituents and legislators.


Does Jerusalem get the message?!


The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb

Congress – the co-equal and systematic ally of Israel

Presidents propose and Congress disposes

On September 23, 2021, the US House of Representatives voted 420:9 to replenish the Israeli-developed defensive “Iron Dome” missiles, which are increasingly manufactured – and eventually exported – by the US defense company Raytheon, that benefits from the battle-tested “Israeli laboratory.”

The overwhelming vote reflects Congressional realization that the “Iron Dome”:

*Enhances Israel’s posture of deterrence, which is critical to the survival of all pro-US Arab regimes and minimization of regional instability;
*Reduces the need for full-scale Israeli wars on Palestinian and Islamic terrorism;
*Provides an alternative to Israeli military ground-operations against Palestinian terrorists, which would entail substantial Israeli and Palestinian fatalities;
*Represents joint US-Israel interests, militarily and technologically, in the face of mutual threats (e.g., Islamic terrorism) and mutual challenges (e.g., developing world-class, game-changing technologies).

*Constitutes another example of the systematic support by Congress of enhanced US-Israel cooperation.

The decisive role played by Congress in the replenishment of the “Iron Dome” underscores the cardinal rule of the US political system: The President proposes, but Congress disposes.

The involvement of Senators and House Representatives in foreign policy and national security-related issues has surged since the Vietnam War, Watergate and Iran Gate scandals, the dismantling of the USSR (which transformed the world from a bi-polar to a multi-polar) and rapidly-expanding globalization.

In fact, former Secretary of State, Jim Baker, complained about the growing congressional assertiveness in the area of foreign policy: “You can’t conduct foreign policy with 535 Secretaries of State….”  Former Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, criticized Congress for micromanaging the defense budget: dictating how much to spend on particular weapons, imposing detailed requirements and programmatic restrictions, venturing into policy-setting and requesting that the Department of Defense submits mountains of reports.

Congressional muscles 

The US Congress is the most powerful legislature in the world, and it has demonstrated its co-equal, co-determining muscle in the areas of foreign and defense policies on many occasions, such as:

*Imposing sanctions against foreign countries in defiance of Presidents Clinton, Obama and Trump (e.g., Egypt – 2012, Iran – 1996-97 and 2013, Russia – 2017);
*Non-ratification of the 2015 JCPOA, which enabled withdrawal by the US;
*The 2009 non-closure of the Guantanamo Detention Camp was led by Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (NV-D), in defiance of President Obama.
*The 2009 non-confirmation of Charles Freeman to the Director of National Intelligence was led by Senator Chuck Schumer (NY-D);
*The 1999 non-ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in defiance of President Clinton and the international community;
*The unprecedented expansion of US-Israel strategic cooperation took place despite stiff opposition by President Bush and Secretary of State Baker;
*The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act overrode President Reagan’s veto;
*The 1984 Boland Amendment aborted President Reagan’s financial and military aid to anti-Communist elements in Nicaragua;
*The 1983 blocking of President Reagan’s attempted coup against the Surinam pro-Soviet regime;
*The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act mandated congressional authorization of surveillance of persons and organizations, which may threaten national security;
*The 1975/76 Tunney (CA-D) and Clark Amendments stopped financial and military covert support of the opposition to the pro-Soviet regime in Angola;
*The 1973 Church-Case Amendment ended funding of military involvement in Southeast Asia;
*The 1973 War Powers Act overrode President Nixon’s veto;
*The Jackson-Vanik Amendment preconditioned aid to Moscow upon free immigration.

Congress empowered by the Constitution

As documented in the aforementioned paragraphs, one is advised to note that while Congress is preoccupied with District and State issues, it has the power to both propose and dispose in the areas of foreign and defense policies.

The US Constitution aspires for a limited government and a non-monarchical president, and therefore does not limit Congress to overseeing the budget. It provides the Senate and the House of Representatives with the power to act on strategic issues and policy-setting.

The Constitution accords Congress ”the power of the purse,” oversight of government operations, ratification of treaties, confirmation of key appointments, declaration of war, funding of military operations and cooperation with foreign entities, creation and elimination of government agencies, imposing sanctions on foreign governments, etc.

In other words, the President is the “commander in-chief” within constraints, which are set by Congress.


The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb