November 3, 2012, WASHINGTON D.C. -- Tomorrow, Americans return to the polls, four years after electing Senator Barack Hussein Obama their commander in chief. Though the incumbent president trails in the polls, his aides still hold out hope that he will be able to engineer an improbable victory.
Dissatisfaction with the depressed economy, America's tenuous situation abroad, and a spate of unpopular Supreme Court decisions led by Obama appointees have led voters to embrace the "change" platform espoused by the Republican nominee, Gov. Sarah Palin. "President Obama promised you change four years ago," Palin told a screaming crowd in Pennsylvania today. "And he gave you change. A change from bad to worse. Now it's time for a new kind of change -- a kind of change more in line with the founding fathers than with the French government."
Four years ago, such a turn of events would have been almost unthinkable. Riding to victory on a crest of media-generated enthusiasm and uplifting rhetoric rich in messianic allusions, Senator Obama brought with him a supermajority of Democrats in the Senate and a solid majority of Democrats in the House.
Obama proceeded to replace Justices Kennedy and Ginsburg with Justice Cass Sunstein and Justice Elena Kagan. Sunstein wrote the majority opinion in Degeneres v. California, the decision recognizing a constitutional right for gays to marry under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Kagan wrote the majority opinion in NARAL v. North Dakota, the decision holding that individuals have a right to state-sponsored abortions.
Meanwhile, he negotiated an agreement with Russia to reduce nuclear armaments, though critics claim that the Russian government has failed to meet its obligations. Political opponents also criticize Obama's move to cut military spending in the face of Russian expansionism in Ukraine and Lithuania.
The war in Afghanistan continues unabated, with critics claiming that troop levels have not been raised significantly since Obama entered office. Gov. Palin has hammered Obama on his failure to capture Osama Bin Laden, Obama's main rationale for the troop cuts in Iraq.
Obama's quick pullout from Iraq precipitated an enormous humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis displaced and thousands murdered. Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, and Syria's ongoing development of weapons-grade uranium have put many voters on edge, despite Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's insistence that stability will be improved shortly.