[QODLink]
The Cafe

US: Still #1?

Will whoever wins the US election find themselves with the unenviable task of overseeing the decline of the US?
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2013 10:34

The US is the most powerful nation on earth, but its position of global supremacy is being challenged - economically, militarily and politically. And the person many Americans hold responsible for these failings is the president who promised them change.
 
The worldwide economic crisis of 2008 started in the US and the aftershocks are still being felt today. Unemployment is running at more than eight per cent, productivity is down and the national debt is a whopping $15tn.

Such turmoil makes it hard to honour electoral promises.
 
The country is deeply divided. The machinery of government has been tied in knots by partisan bickering and the rise of the right-wing, anti-state Tea Party and the street protests of the left-wing Occupy Wall Street movement are a reminder of how polarised the nation has become.
 
Despite this, Barack Obama, the US president, has pushed through healthcare reform and turned around the failing auto industry. He has stopped the war in Iraq and killed Osama bin Laden. But is this enough to win re-election for a second term?

And, whoever wins, will the next president have the unenviable task of overseeing the US' decline?

Joining our conversation in The Cafe in Washington DC are guests:

♦Amy Goodman is an award-winning journalist and the host of the independent programme, Democracy Now. Goodman is critical of the Obama administration and is worried about the erosion of democracy in the US.

♦Ford O'Connell is a long-time Republican strategist and activist who served on John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. O'Connell believes Obama has not done enough to create jobs, thinks the bailout of the auto industry has failed and wants the US to take a much more hawkish stance on Iran.

♦Karen Finney is a former adviser to both Bill and Hillary Clinton and a strong supporter of the Obama administration. She was the Democratic National Committee's first African-American communications director.

♦Clarence Page is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and one of the US' best-known political pundits. Although Page is a supporter of Obama, he believes the president has not done enough to live up to the hope and change message of four years ago.

♦Wajhat Ali is a Muslim American lawyer and a playwright of Pakistani descent. He wrote the first major play about Muslims living in post 9/11 US and is also a co-author of a damning report on Islamophobia.

♦Bruce Fein is a constitution lawyer and proud libertarian. He served as an adviser to the Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and was associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan. He is an outspoken critic of US drone strikes.

 


Click here for more on The Cafe.

483

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.
join our mailing list