Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Two Wasted Years

This election has been, as expected, a dramatic public rebuke to the president, his party, and the way they have spent most of their time since the 2008 election. Their two chief legislative accomplishments, the economic stimulus package in February 2009 and the ObamaCare earlier this year, were supposed to have saved the nation both economically and morally, but instead they have infuriated the nation. The $787 billion stimulus produced the Tea Party movement and ObamaCare gave Democrats a record to flee and a topic to avoid. More than half the country wants it repealed.

It's a strange way to campaign. "Vote for me. I have nothing to say."

In January, President Obama said, "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president."

If he sticks to what he thinks is good, but which a majority of the people he serves clearly doesn’t want, then, in 2012, president and people may well arrive at a mutually agreeable arrangement.

Of course, this should be an occasion for humble self-examination on the president's part. But I don't think he has it in him. He is very much like his predecessor in that regard. No self-doubt, not even where it is obviously merited.

As this dark day of doom approached, starting in January with the election of Republican Scott Brown in liberal Massachusetts to the seat ted Kennedy vacated, Obama explained this political unhappiness by his failure to explain his policies and accomplishments well enough. (That is, the voters are thick headed.) He later said that the people are just scared, and so they are not thinking rationally. (The voters frightened animals.) Those are not words of political prudence.

In January 1985, after Ronald Reagan won re-election over Walter Mondale, Joshua Muravchik wrote in Commentary, “Why the Democrats Lost.” In 1989, he followed up with “Why the Democrats Lost Again,” after George Bush beat Michael Dukakis. Then in 1993, Bill Clinton’s first big year, he completed the trilogy with “Why the Democrats Finally Won.” There is usually a good reason why the electorate, on balance, chooses one party or one candidate over another. As long as politicians and parties explain their defeats by faulting the voters, the consign themselves to political Palookaville. For Barack Obama, that may be the next stop after Washington.
For my full reflection on Obama's disasterous and obnoxious record that has put him in this position, read "Midterm Smackdown" at

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