Klavan On The Culture

Kim Strassel Gets It Right: It's About Obama

The always-razor-sharp Kimberley Strassel delivers the goods in a Friday Wall Street Journal called “Trump’s Secret Weapon: Obama”:

Hillary Clinton’s defeat has left the Democratic Party a smoldering heap, its leaders pointing fingers over who or what to blame: James Comey. Robby Mook. Voter suppression. WikiLeaks. Sexism. Barely a mention has been made of the man who presided over one of the most epic party meltdowns in the country’s history: Mr. Obama.

All along this election has been portrayed as a referendum on Mr. Trump. Tuesday’s results are far better viewed as a thundering repudiation, at every level, of Mr. Obama’s governing and policies.

In 2009, the president’s first year in office, the Democrats held 257 House seats, a majority that was geographically and politically diverse. After Tuesday the figure stands at 193, and fully one-third of these Democrats hail from three blue states: New York, California and Massachusetts.

The story is equally grim for Democrats in the Senate. In 2009 they held the first filibuster-proof majority since the 1970s, which evaporated in the wake of ObamaCare. Tuesday’s vote was the best chance Democrats will have in years to retake the chamber, but they lost nearly every close race.

When Mr. Obama took office, Democrats owned 29 governorships. After Tuesday it is 15, with ballots in North Carolina’s tight race still being counted. Democrats controlled 60 of the 99 state legislative chambers in 2010. Today it is 30. Now that Republicans have won the Kentucky state House for the first time in 95 years, Democrats no longer control a single legislative chamber in the South. The party of the left will hold the governorship and both chambers in precisely five states.

This isn’t to take away from Mr. Trump’s supporters, or his message. But the numbers above are a reaction to Democratic failure—to a president who rammed through unpopular legislation and governed via executive order and extralegal regulation. Tuesday’s results are a response to a government that targeted conservative nonprofits, left veterans on waiting lists, botched a health website and left the world to burn. “My legacy is on the ballot,” Mr. Obama said in September, in what was the truest statement of the campaign.

Read the whole thing here.