The last three presidents of the United States have sought and won a second term in office, and during each second term I heard speculation and even predictions of a third term, that the next election would be cancelled or a new bill then in Congress was going to be passed and would alter the law. It proved wrong. Nothing came of this with Clinton, and nothing came of it with Bush, despite the other dictatorial powers the latter had gotten for the office. I strongly suspect that Obama will be no exception and will shuffle off to play the role of the wise, retired elder statesman when January of 2017 comes around.
It is not that Barack would not like a third term. Any man who tastes a first and still seeks a second is likely to be inclined towards as many helpings as he can fit on his plate. The decision, however, is not entirely his, not even mostly his.
While there have been dictators and monarchs in history, men and women with absolute authority who could rule with an iron fist, the American President is not one of these. The psychology here is different. Here, a man becomes president by forming coalitions, by proving himself as a governor or Congressman, by winning support in myriad different ways. He arrives in the Oval Office with debts, and not necessarily of the monetary variety. It could well be that the President of The United States, a man who cannot pick out his own shoe laces without input from advisors and focus groups, is the least free human being on planet Earth.
I expect the President is permitted some leeway on inconsequential matters like flag burning amendments and don’t-ask-don’t-tell policies, but when it comes to imperialism and corporatism, his path is chosen for him. He can sit at the table and voice his opinion as to the particulars, no doubt, but he can never forget that he was raised to the presidency by the hands of the Ruling Class, and he can be cast aside by those same hands.
The Ruling Class is not some monolithic, illuminati-type entity that controls the very rotation of the Earth. It is a group of powerful, wealthy individuals, most of them war profiteers in some form or another, who all have their own interests. Many times these interests will conflict and you get some internecine squabbles, but in a broad sense their interests align and these are imperialist and corporatist. This is why, post Carter, every American President has been largely imperialist and corporatist, and this is why Barack will not get a third term.
He is as fungible as a one dollar bill. He can – and will – be replaced by a new man or woman fully as servile in his or her support for the Ruling Class’s agenda as Barack is. Indeed, Barack himself is but a replacement for Bush, whose policies have flourished as well under the Chicago Democrat as they did under the Texas Republican.
It is going too far to say that the Ruling Class chooses the President, but they do choose who is cast as legitimate contenders. They wind up with a pool of candidates, all of whom are congenial to their interests and I doubt they care very much which of the pack gets anointed by the voting populace. If a candidate is unsuitable, as Ron Paul was, his campaign will be hamstrung. If it actually came to it, I have no doubt he would be assassinated, but they take steps to make sure such drastic action is unnecessary.
Why then, if they are going to have a handful of only imperialist, corporatist candidates, should they care which gets elected? Why then should they take the risk of getting a third term for Barack?
They could probably manage it if they so desired, but there are risks involved. Right now, we are watching American Idol and surfing the internet for porn. A third term for Barack would risk waking more of us up, might even rouse a few to action. A risk like this is not taken without the possibility of commensurate reward, and for the Ruling Class, there simply is no reward to be had from a twelve-year Obama presidency. The next guy will do as well as his predecessor, and last not a moment longer than he needs to.
The office of the presidency has accumulated power over the last couple generations. In some ways it does resemble a dictatorship, but the President is not free to wield this power as he desires. In his heart of hearts, I imagine Barack Obama is a Marxist, but he dare not behave as such. He can wield the power of the office, but only in consultation with those who have made his presidency possible, and only until such a time as his continuation in office starts to attract some unwanted notice.
The next election will occur on schedule. The president will expand America’s military power throughout the world. He will rig the game to favor certain corporate interests. He will be almost indistinguishable, from a policy standpoint, from the last few presidents. But he will not be Barack Hussein Obama.