Regarding Obama's preparations for four more years, the current excuse for liberalism has got a bit of "leftsplaining" to do.
Obummer's weak liberalism is responsible for far-reaching cuts to state funded agencies, including science. Lay-offs from state-funded laboratories are not uncommon, and by now you should know that funding for science and (and in) education is one of the single largest catalysts for jobs and general increase in economic activity that is relevant to everyone's immediate quality of life. A quick look at the 2013 U.S. federal budget submitted to Congress earlier this year specifies an immediate cut of 7.8 percent to domestic programs and two percent to Medicare, "including cuts of up to 11 percent to science research and development agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, NASA and the U. S. National Laboratories run by the Department of Energy. It is anticipated that this could cause federal grant acceptance levels to fall into the single digits."
There are many accounts that paint an optimistic picture of Obama's second term budget, but their figures are generally from proposed budgets, which are rather different from the one submitted to Congress—it's likely nothing more than a wash. It's definitely not the kind of investment plan in R & D for science that will be required to overcome the U.S.'s infrastructural deficiencies—it's a pittance.
As was well displayed at the Democratic National Convention, the Democratic Party is a party of celebrity, more focused on projecting an image than cultivating party discipline across its ranks. It distracted the audience with an ultimately conservative "good old days" approach, hence Clinton's heavy presence, and attempted to reify the symbolism of 2008. Of course, the Republican theatrics were hilariously out-of-touch, but ultimately they have more party discipline than Democrats, hence their ability to nearly wipe out public sector collective bargaining across the states in 2010, put the functioning of the federal government in jeopardy more than once, and basically neuter plenty of Obama's legislation. Obama will definitely win this election, but the result won't change the situation that he and the Democratic Party find themselves in—the inability to effectively govern the country with a solid consolidation and streamlining of party-state power.
As far as liberalism goes, we have seen its true colors in a few recent events. Notably, there was the capitulation to ultimately right-wing demands with their silence during the Chicago teacher's union strike, not to mention Obama's old buddy Rahm Emanuel actively trying to gut the teachers and education workers. And of course, nobody can resist the expansion of and reliance on empire and hyperpower, through the aided destruction of modern Libya and mounting drone deaths from oppression in Pakistan and Yemen.
The liberals in the Democratic Party are opportunists, careerists and ladder-climbers, while the conservatives are in fact class warriors for the ruling class. And as this election year has shown, there is a rejection of the ideology of the ruling class, considering the widespread rejection of Romney's rhetoric. But instead of acting on the victory of middle-class zeal, the Democrats fail to seize the zeitgeist of our time that inspires so many to reject Romney—the spirit that says capitalists shouldn't have unchecked power and influence—and fail to transform it into newly inspired class-oriented politics that could elevate their party and the people they supposedly represent into power. They fail us all because of the ironically suicidal addiction, obsession and reliance on military overkill that makes casualties out of real-world priorities like science and education—and invalidate our democracy by revealing to a sick extent how limited and cynical the interests of the system really are.
— Wiley Robinson is a senior in ecology and evolutionary biology. He can be reached at email@example.com. Quotations taken from U.S. 2013 federal budget analysis on Wikipedia.