Noemie Emery explains how Obama blew his lead and devastated his party in the August 2 edition of the Weekly Standard. Don't miss a word of it. Here's the conclusion:
As Henninger concluded, "Barack Obama took a rising reservoir of public trust for his party . . . and emptied it." Gallup's annual Confidence in Institutions poll, conducted in the second week of July, showed that only 11 percent of Americans have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress. "Half of Americans now say they have ‘very little' or ‘no' confidence in Congress, up from 38 percent in 2009-and the highest for any institution since Gallup first asked this question in 1973." Talk about change, if you care to. And as for health care, Obama's major achievement, when the bill passed, it was opposed by a 20-point spread by the general public, and since then it has only sunk lower. In some polls, around 60 percent of respondents say that they want it repealed.
Conventional wisdom says that this cannot be happening, but on this issue, conventional wisdom has often been wrong. Conventional wisdom said the public would like the bill once it had passed (it didn't); that the process by which it was passed wouldn't matter (it did); that the Democrats would get a boost in the polls for being "able to govern" (they didn't); and that Obama's approval ratings would go up on his strong show of leadership (as if). It also thought he would "put the issue behind him," and move on to other, more popular, measures. This hasn't occurred.
Obama's health care reform may live, it may die, or it may limp along in tatters, but it has already changed history: The prospect of an enduring center-left governing coalition, which a year ago seemed a distinct possibility, is now gone.