President 'I Won' Pre-Misreads Defeat
With all due respect, Mr. President, you're delusional if you mean this the way it sounds:
In a seeming twist on the post-1994 midterm calculation made by President Bill Clinton -- when Republicans pummeled Democrats in the congressional election -- Obama said he thinks Republicans will have to move in his direction no matter the outcome of the Nov. 2 vote.
"It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible," he is quoted saying in the Sunday edition of The New York Times Magazine, "either because they didn't do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn't work for them, or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way."
Let's take a look at a few polls. First, the daily Presidential Tracking Poll over at Rasmussen:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 27% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18 (see trends).
Nearly half the country "strongly disapproves" of your job performance, Mr. President. They're your bosses. They're evaluating you, your policies, and how you have behaved over nearly two years on the job. And they're set to fire a wide swath of your allies and replace them with your political opponents. This forces Republicans to work with you? If the American people could fire you right now, a near majority of them would. But they can't, yet. The best the voters can do right now is fire your enablers and keep more from getting into power. Democrats everywhere are finding ways to run away from you and your foolish policies, if they can. There's a reason for that, and it's not just the persistent unemployment rate that your massive stimulus project did nothing to alleviate.
Let's look at another poll. Obama's political career started in Illinois, where he was a state senator and then a senator before, having accomplished very little beyond giving a few nice speeches, he vaulted to the presidency. In becoming POTUS, he resigned his Senate seat. Illinois is a strong Democratic machine state. In the past, Republicans have had very little chance of winning much there. But this year, things in the campaign for his old seat are ... different:
With just three weeks left until Election Day, Republican Congressman Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias remain deadlocked in Illinois’ race for the U.S. Senate.
The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Giannoulias, the current state treasurer, picking up 44% of the vote, while Kirk draws support from 43%.
That race is a toss-up. Let's take a look at another poll. This one's from Nevada, where one of the Democrats who has become most closely identified with the Obama agenda, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, is running for re-election. In most years, such a power player walks to victory. But 2010 is ... different:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Nevada finds Angle with 49% support and Reid at 48%. One percent (1%) like another candidate in the race, and another one percent (1%) are still undecided.
Another toss-up, where a Democrat should be running strong. There are dozens of similar races, all over the country, from the local level all the way up to the Senate and governorships. From Massachusetts to California, Democrats are weak where they're usually strong, and Republicans are cruising to victory in what are usually swing states. Red states that were in danger of going purple or even blue after 2008 are bright red again. Projections have the Republicans picking up somewhere between 6 and 9 seats in the Senate and possibly a majority there, and dozens of seats in the House. Governorships and state legislatures are also swinging back to the GOP, while at the local level the Democrats are getting hollowed out as local elected officials switch to the GOP. There's a reason, Mr. President, that your party still needs Bill Clinton to make more campaign stops than you this year.
Pretty much everywhere you look, things this year are ... different. Returning to President Obama's view of November and how he got here:
Obama said he also realized too late that "there is no such thing as shovel-ready projects," a familiar refrain made by the president when he was trying to sell the stimulus package.
"There are almost 100 shovel-ready transportation projects already approved," he said in August 2009. As recently as July of this year, he said, "Shovels will soon be moving earth and trucks will soon be pouring concrete."
There's no way to sugar-coat this admission. As recently as July of this year, President Obama was either completely disconnected from the reality of his own trillion-dollar policy, or he was intentionally lying in the sale of that policy. Likewise, when he said over and over again in selling his health care program that "if you like your coverage, you get to keep it" only to have the policy passed and see corporation after corporation begin dropping coverage in the face of ObamaCare-created uncertainty.
From border security to energy policy to failure to handle disaster to irresponsibility on taxes to granting terrorists civilian trials in the very city they attacked, this president and his party's policies have been given a run. They've failed, and so dozens of Democrats all over the country are about to be fired. Their failure isn't in that they didn't try hard enough or do enough. Their failure is in the fact that they pushed their policies over the objections of the voters, those policies have been disastrous, and now November is just around the corner.
In January 2009, President Obama set the tone for what we've seen over the past two years in his first meeting with the Republicans over his economic plans:
The top congressional leaders from both parties gathered at the White House for a working discussion over the shape and size of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan. The meeting was designed to promote bipartisanship.
But Obama showed that in an ideological debate, he’s not averse to using a jab.
Challenged by one Republican senator over the contents of the package, the new president, according to participants, replied: “I won.”
After November 2, "I won" is no longer operational, at least not to the voters. But it's all that Obama has left to hang onto.
The Republicans will be returned to power nationally not to work with this president. They're being put back in power to provide a check on him, and where it's warranted, to work directly against him. Among the serious proposals the Republicans have already put on the table is repealing ObamaCare. And the majority of the voters are in their corner, not Obama's.
To most people reading this post, this is all pretty obvious. Obama and his policies are failures and they're unpopular, so the Democrats who have supported him will lose big. That it's apparently not obvious to the president of the United States is a little bit scary. The next two years are setting up to be ... different.