In 2006, Time magazine named “you” the Person of the Year. I was not that impressed, even though I can technically put “Time 2006 Person of the Year (shared)” on my resume. It seemed too much like non-competitive soccer. “You’re all person of the year.”
Perhaps the better comparison with the 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year Award is President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. Time gave us all the Person of the Year Award in hopes of what we would do with all this technology, and that all this exciting social technology would be used for good and not evil.
Time magazine’s confidence in us has paid off, though perhaps not in the way Time’s editors hoped. As we began this year, many conservatives examined the landscape. Barack Obama was elected by the largest electoral landslide in two decades. He had a guaranteed 59 Senate seats in his hip pocket, along with 40 votes to spare in their House majority. Conservatives looked at the basic fact that all that stood between America and Obama’s agenda was a hopelessly outnumbered John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.
We were doomed.
That was before the Democrats added a House seat after the fiasco in New York’s 23rd district that saw the GOP’s decision to nominate an insufferable liberal toss the seat into the Democrat column, and Arlen Specter’s marriage of convenience to the Democratic Party added another Senate seat.
We were beyond doomed.
But as 2009 draws to a close, Obama’s agenda, with the exception of the stimulus, has been stymied. Democrats chose not to push the Freedom of Choice Act. Card check was checked by red-state Democrats who’d like to keep their political careers. And cap and trade has seen its potential for passage capped by opposition from the dean of the Senate, Robert Byrd (D-WV). ObamaCare is on life support as the plan that appears capable of passing the Senate would draw howls from the U.S. House.
The question is: Why? Who shut down this well-oiled, well-financed Obama train? No answer presents itself at the traditional level. There is no congressional leader who, like Newt Gingrich in the 1990s, foiled the Democrats’ scheme.
Nor is there an answer to be found in the media. We can say that talk show hosts and certain bloggers matter based on the bestsellers list. Glenn Beck and Mark Levin were on the bestsellers list, and Glenn Beck made it there not once, but twice. Throw in Mike Huckabee’s Christmas book and you know why some are calling for separate but equal bestsellers lists to give liberal books a chance at the coveted title.
But none of this has to do with why the Obama agenda has stalled. Last year, all the figures and institutions were doing well, making a lot of money, and McCain was nominated and Obama still won. What’s happened this past year wasn’t them; it was you.