The GOP, demoralized and frustrated, as they endured the Obama liberal juggernaut that trampled across the country these past 2 years, has been resuscitated. It’s more fun to be in the majority, as Nancy Pelosi can recall. Democratic hubris and rising public disapproval provided not just a strong wind, but a tornado, behind the GOP’s backs. Obviously, there’s nothing revolutionary here, as midterm elections tend to favor the minority, with rare exceptions. What is noteworthy here is the depth of disapproval with the current administration’s policies, affecting every demographic. The gains that the Republicans achieved, particularly in the House, have left Democrats numb and glum.
Whistleblower readers will not be shocked to learn that I did not vote for Obama in 2008, but I was inspired by him. I wanted to believe that he would be the transformational figure that his campaign promised and that the country desperately needed. In particular, I was moved by his speech on race relations that he gave at Constitution Center in Philadelphia in March 2008, as a candidate. He certainly has the intellect and the vigor to serve as our chief executive. Additionally, he accomplished a political feat that I thought no living human could perform. He vanquished the Clinton political machine that assumed that Hillary’s campaign was a mere formality that would precede her coronation. As the president-elect, he spoke of collaboration, reaching out and reconciliation. Then, he was inaugurated.
What happened to the idealism and the abandonment of partisanship? There was plenty of audacity, but not the type we were promised.
The public would only allow Obama to blame George Bush for so long. At some point, the president must assume ownership of the nation’s challenges. We expect, of course, that newly elected officials always state after they take office that they didn’t realize how serious and deep our problems are. This strategy is an attempt to transfer blame to their predecessors, but the public will not provide an indefinite grace period for this buck passing The gaziillons of dollars of Obama stimulus hasn’t dented unemployment, and the public is not persuaded by arguments of ‘imagine how much worse we would have been without our bail outs’. We physicians often use this specious reasoning also.
Doctor, Granny has been on the medicine for a year, and I don’t think her dementia has improved at all.
Well, she would have been much worse without it.
Even many of Obama’s stalwart supporters have turned away. Independents and women defected to the GOP. He managed to alienate both the right and left political wings of the country, no easy feat. Our economy may be mired for years, China’s currency devaluation is costing us jobs, no progress thus far on immigration reform, Iran closing in on a nuke, cap and trade policy that many Democrats oppose and a war in Afghanistan that does not seem to be following a soaring trajectory toward victory. (Watch for the definition of victory to change.)
While the economy is the proximate cause of this electoral reversal, Obamacare receives Best Supporting Actor in the Election Day performance. Obamacare is a symptom of arrogant overreaching by Democrats to give the public what the government prescribes. This political paternalism lit the Tea Party fuse and caused rising suspicion and discontent among ordinary folks and businesses that came to realize that they were being force fed medicine they didn’t want or need. The reason that most Americans oppose Obamacare is not because the administration hasn’t communicated its message well. To the contrary, the more the public understands what Obamacare will mean for them and their families, the more vigorously they oppose it. This was a colossal misfire that helped to retire Nancy Pelosi’s gavel.
Leadership is convincing folks that they should follow a new path. It is not herding them over a cliff. Both of these tactics bring folks to new destinations, but isn’t one of these 2 methods the preferred strategy?
The public does not believe that Obamacare will save money or improve medical quality. They believe – and with good reason – that this plan will break the bank, ration care, micromanage health care delivery and create a pathway toward government control. They do not want our health care system, despite its flaws, to be dismantled.
The repudiation of Obamacare is symbolic of why Obama’s shining veneer has faded so quickly. He didn’t care what the GOP or the public thought. He was determined to force his plan through to earn a legacy for accomplishing what no president since Harry Truman could accomplish. I think health care reform will earn him a place in history, but not the one that he seeks. He will join list of American presidents who served only one term. When this happens, he won’t be able to blame it on George Bush.
This election could allow the president to have a more successful end to his first term. He will likely decide to take turn toward the center and work with Republicans and independents. Can Obama leave the left behind, or will he be left behind?
As always, your comments are welcome.