"We're going to do everything – and I mean everything we can do – to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can," Boehner said on Tuesday as election results started pouring in. Arrogant? Yes. Effect? Disastrous.
The election results are a strong rebuke for Obama, who is now seen as someone who made a lot of promises during his election campaign but failed to deliver on them. It is a harsh assessment of the president, who was initially perceived by a large number of Americans and people around the world as transformative.
The reality is the Obama Administration has achieved in two years what President Bill Clinton could not in his two terms over eight years: giving the United States revolutionary healthcare reform. Besides delivering on his signature campaign issue, President Obama brought in a stimulus package for the collapsing financial sector and propped up an ailing US automobile industry.
There are some lessons here for politicians in the United States and elsewhere, including Nepal.
It might be easy for some Democrats and their apologists to blame it all on the global economic recession that began manifesting itself in 2008, and the unemployment in the US. What they might not admit publicly is the strong disconnect with the people, especially their own base, which wasn't motivated enough to go to the nearest election booths. Boehner could face the same fate if he does not mend his ways.
The former Maoist rebels won the largest number of seats in the Constituent Assembly elections in 2008, though they fell far short of a majority. That result was a rebuke to the Nepali Congress and UML, who had lost their grassroots support. However, this did not prevent the Maoists from acting so cocksure they refused to abide by written agreements. They made one ill-conceived move after another: forcibly removing the head priest (of Indian origin) at the holiest Hindu temple in Nepal, Pashupatinath; sacking the army chief on the pretext of upholding civilian supremacy; and enforcing an indefinite general strike. The high-flying Maoists, who acted as if they had the mandate to do as they pleased, were grounded in the aftermath of all three episodes, none more dramatically than in the public response to the strike this May.
Now Chairman Dahal is leaving no stone unturned to get back the prime ministership he himself threw away. One hopes his time in the wilderness, and lessons from America, will render him more reasonable and statesmanlike, for the good of his party and his country.