The Obama Legacy
Let the rationalizations begin, but they will be unable to hide reality. President Obama is in a political wreck. Democrat careers are on the line in the upcoming election. Most will be distancing themselves from their once-great meal ticket.
The Recent Election
The race to replace Anthony Weiner (truly irreplaceable) is over. Congressional district NY-9 was to have been a slam-dunk for Democrats. It was district that had not elected a Republican for ninety years. It is one of the more liberal districts in the country. It showed that no Democrat is safe anywhere. It proved to be just another chink in the invincible Democrat armor that began with Scott Brown taking the Ted Kennedy seat in Massachusetts.
Lame duck is a term usually applied to a politician when he can no longer run. Even though Obama is eligible to run for a second term, it seems applicable. Perhaps, the way things are shaping up, "dead duck" might be appropriate.
The mainstream media is beside itself trying to rationalize the congressional race in NY-9. From Chriss W. Street:
The ultra-liberal Huffington Post blared that President Obama: "MOVING TO AVOID POLITICAL SUICIDE"; as the White House abandoned efforts to pass his American Jobs Act and went into a maximum defensive mode to save the President's imploding re-election campaign following the loss of Anthony Weiner's ultra-Democrat New York House seat and the launch of an inter-party rebellion to deny Obama the Democratic nomination for President.
No doubt much of the blame for NY and NV can be attributed to the dismal performance of President Obama. But the media and Democratic enthusiasts, still in denial, offer other excuses -- Democrats had a weak candidate, the economy was to blame, Obamacare still riles people, Weiner should have bowed out more gracefully, the treatment of Israel was responsible and on and on. An interesting rationale comes from Mickey Kaus who suggests the result was due to a tactical error by President Obama:
It's the possibility that the Democrats favorite issue-Social Security-didn't work to save them because Obama, too, has embraced cutting Social Security and Medicare in "some undefined 'everything on the table' entitlement reform," as Weigel puts it. Could it be that the differences between Obama's Medicare cuts and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare cuts-differences that seem so significant to policy analysts in Washington (and to me)-don't have much salience in the crude argumentation of direct-mail electioneering? Now that's scary for a Dem. After decades of pledging not to touch the two sacred programs, it's beginning to look as if Democrats can't just suddenly agree to pull trillions out of Social Security and and expect voters to maintain their reflexive loyalties.
This perspective is floated by more than Kaus. If one accepts it, then matters are even worse than they seem for Democrats. To believe that some undefined concession by Obama that the US has limited funds could cause such a political earthquake is to implicitly assume that Democrat popularity depends only on supplying more "goodies" than Republicans. No doubt that is part (much?) of the Democrat appeal, but it is hardly reasonable. There is no way that Republicans are considered "safer" with respect to preserving Social Security than Democrats. The Democrats have demagogued them for decades on Social Security and such claims have been reinforced by a complicit media.
If the Social Security hypothesis were correct, the results of the NY election imply there is no reason to vote Democrat if they cannot provide more benefits. Apparently the mere suggestion by Obama that Santa Claus died and "entitlements" must be looked at is enough to cause lifetime Democrat voters to vote for a Republican.
More realistically, most citizens realize that Santa Claus is no longer real and that cutbacks will be coming. They could believe that Republicans might be more serious about cutting spending than Democrats. If so, that focus might create enough savings elsewhere to somewhat better protect Social Security.
The Obama Gift
To blame the outcome of this election on misplaying the Social Security card strikes me as far-fetched. More plausible is a hypothesis that says this election was a reaction to extreme Liberalism (Socialism).
Obama has shown what the Socialist dream is when implemented. Utopia, allows one's mind to invent glorious possibilities. Experience reveals the dreams to be dystopian. The siren song of Socialism is its only virtue. Everywhere it has been implemented it has failed and made life less enjoyable if not downright miserable.
The masses may not be able to comprehend the theoretical logic of the unworkability of Socialism (e.g. Ludwig von Mises' masterpiece "Socialism"). But even dullards are capable of feeling pain. Experiential learning is more suited to mass education than theory. The ideals of Social Justice, Green Energy and other holy causes are put in proper perspective when one is unable to afford food, find a job or support one's family.
That is the precious gift that Obama has bestowed upon the nation. He has enabled the masses to experience Socialism up close and personal. Immigrants who have experienced the horrors of Socialism, such as East Europeans or Cubans, believe this nation has lost its mind going in this failed direction. Now even the dullards in this country are beginning to comprehend.
Thank you, President Obama, for exposing Liberalism so glaringly. You have provided the country a gift, if they will accept it. Rather than continue to slowly cook the people in the pot, you turned up the heat too quickly and they are jumping out. If you have a legacy, that will be it.
In the space of a few years you taught the country the importance of freedom, liberty and limited government by removing aspects of each too quickly. No textbook has been able to teach that lesson effectively to the masses.
As a result, the masses have been shaken from their complacency. They have awakened from their slumber and begun to understand better the Founding Fathers and the importance of constraints on government.
Some are thankful for President Obama and what appears to be the destruction of the Democrat Party. Over the last two years I predicted that Obama would soon be at war with Democrats (October 2010, January, 2010 and November 2009 are but three examples). In the November 2009 piece, it was stated:
We have a Failed Presidency that cannot be retrieved. The dream cannot be rebuilt because there was never a foundation to begin with. It was all show and no substance. Yes, it created much excitement and (false) hope. But so did Elmer Gantry and James Jones. However, the image was akin to an old Hollywood set, all facade and no depth. Now the winds of reality are slowly and inexorably tearing the facade away.
The politicians in Congress see these same signs and read the polls. At this point they are trying to decide what is least dangerous for their individual careers. For the Republicans that probably means pouring gasoline on ship Obama. For the Democrats, it is a more difficult problem. Ultimately, I believe they will abandon the rotting ship. Politicians of both parties are like rats; they are survivors. All politicians will take that course which they believe gives them the best chance for individual survival. Loyalty be damned.
Let the political games begin. Many Democrats, both voters and elected officials, are beginning to wish they had never heard of one Barack Hussein Obama. What appeared initially to be "The One" has morphed into "The None."
Behind the scenes, Democrats will be working furiously to get rid of this impostor. Andrew Breitbart described it thusly:
I predict a tectonic shift among American Jews and within the Democratic Party if Obama doesn't quietly retire. All the spinning in the world can't spin away the trend of Scott Brown, the Tea Party victory of November 2010, and now the Turner earthquake.
Many Democrats are awakening to the reality that their party has been hijacked by a radicalism completely unfamiliar to their parents' and grandparents' Democratic Party.
An internal, partisan civil war is now brewing in that party. What I think tonight is less important than what Joe Lieberman, Bill Clinton, Evan Bayh, and the rest of the former, and now defunct, reasonable wing of the Democratic Party is thinking tonight.
Engineering a solution that removes Obama from running in 2012 will be difficult for Democrats. But when their own survival is at stake, something strange and radical could occur.
Americans are suffering economically. The economic situation unfortunately will get worse before it improves, regardless of who is in office and what policies are implemented.
However, for political fanatics and Jimmy Carter, there has never been a better time. At this point, Republicans might be Obama's only friends. After all, he has done so much for them.