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Democrats Meet Some Change With No Hope

There is an interesting narrative coming together that addresses the misfires and disregard for political risk that is plaguing the Obama administration. Over at the Politco Mike Allen (who is not a Republican) pulls no punches with an analysis headlined "Obama's Big Bang could go bust". It is a must read because it provides an inside view of how Democrats that are focused on re election are viewing their own situation now.

Barack Obama's Big Bang is beginning to backfire, as his plans for rapid, once-in-a-generation overhauls of energy, financial regulation and health care are running into stiff resistance, both in Washington and around the country.

The Obama theory was simple, though always freighted with risk: Use a season of economic anxiety to enact sweeping changes the public likely wouldn't stomach in ordinary times....

Some Democrats point to a decision in June as the first vivid sign of trouble for Obama. These Democrats say the White House, in retrospect, made a grievous mistake by muscling conservative Democrats in swing districts vote for a cap-and-trade energy bill that was very unpopular among their constituents

"The majority-makers are the freshman and sophomores from conservative districts where there's this narrative building about giveaways, buyouts and too much change at once," said a top House Democratic strategist, who requested anonymity to discuss internal politics candidly. "There's this big snowball building in those districts. That's why those folks are so scared."

Barack Obama, a man in whom so much was invested emotionally, politically and financially is on the ropes after a mere seven months in office. Many of the key constituent goups that delivered his 2008 victory (and a lot of campaign money) are beginning to ask questions, among them "young people, college-educated white women and even partisan Democrats."

I've commented before that the over reaching legislative initiatives of the Obama administration (as expressed by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's well known admonition that no crisis should be wasted) are a manifestation of a peculiar combination of ignorance and arrogance. Americans as a rule respond to a real crisis with effective action directed to the problem at hand; politicians respond to a crisis by expanding their power. The divergence in self interest couldn't be clearer. Edmund Burke discussed this concept at length in his criticism of the French Revolution, an historical event characterized by political adventurism, the madness of crowds and stark political ignorance and arrogance (the modern political equation might go something like this: Obama/Pelosi/Reid = Robespierre/Jacobins).

President Obama and the Congress have been on a single minded mission during the last seven months of expanding Federal power and acting in their own self interest. A plethora of recent polling indicates that voters are pushing back hard against this agenda and its anticipated results. As Lori noted earlier, many Democrats are beginning to figure it out. While there is nothing that focuses the mind of a voter more clearly than some combination of unemployment, higher taxes and a sudden change in major policy (like health care), it requires only the threat of unemployment to get the undivided attention of a politician.


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Comments (39)

anybody else smell a Clinto... (Below threshold)

anybody else smell a Clinton repeat? likable president over-reaches right away trying to govern far left. smacked down hard by Americans who fill Congress with Republicans to restore checks and balances.

differences? the early 90s recession was already over when Clinton stepped in, Obama's would end 6 months in if he didn't do things to lengthen it - now who knows when or if we'll see real recovery (no, I don't consider sub 1% growth actual recovery).

Clinton decided he had to play ball with the GOP and moved to the center more or less. will America boot Pelosi and Reid? if they do, will Obama go nuts or go right?

"...it requires only the th... (Below threshold)

"...it requires only the threat of unemployment to get the undivided attention of a politician."

Given what certain 'arrogant' Democrats are trying to do to this country, I would think that thier future 'unemployment' should be the absolute least of their worries.

And VIC, you can make of that statement whatever your little liberal mind wants.

Clinton moved to the center... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Clinton moved to the center and saved his presidency. He scrapped Hillarycare, worked with Gingrich and the GOP and passed Welfare reform, NAFTA, cut taxes and balanced the budget.

Obama's answer seems to be move further left and get more belligerent.

People called him 'Slick Willie' but part of that slickness was that he was professional and knew what he was doing. Obama often takes days to figure out what his position is (it took him a month to figure out Honduras).

I disagreed with Clinton a lot, but damn, at least he came across as competent and so did his staff (even the bad ones looked better than Gibbs)

Obama and Bill Clinton have... (Below threshold)

Obama and Bill Clinton have such different life experiences, they spring from fundamentally a different well. Clinton has street smarts, Obama has thug smarts. Clinton feels pain, Obama inflicts pain. Clinton is smart, Obama talks smart. Clinton is left, Obama is a radical. Clinton wants to be admired, Obama is stuck on himself. I can't imagine that Clinton would have come into office with this particular financial mess and proceeded throw away billions and billions and billions. Yes he bent to Hillary on health care, giving her something to do, but dropped it like a hot potato when it was obvious it wouldn't fly, and he wouldn't look good.

Obama says he is doing what is good for the country, has he looked at the polls to see what the country thinks about cap and trade and government run Health Care. Maybe he knows something the masses out here don't know, like what is good for us.

I just can't imagine that Obama is going to back down, if he did, how would he explain who he is, and what would he do? He is ACORN. He is that person in the projects who doesn't know how to access Health Care. He is the guy on the corner, who skipped school, making a buck selling drugs. He doesn't identify with world leaders unless they are from the Muslim world. This is where he understands the world and where he is comfortable. Clinton wanted to hob-nob with the rich and famous, visit capitals and world leaders, that was his element, and still is.

Clinton was slippery, Obama is dangerous to the America way of life.
Clinton genuinely likes people, Obama uses them to achieve an end.

We are in for a bumpy ride, filled with guilt tripping, personal slander, destruction of wealth, and constant uncertainly.

re: 5PLEASE don't ... (Below threshold)

re: 5

PLEASE don't tell me how much better things would be with Hillary in charge!

I really have to find my re... (Below threshold)

I really have to find my reading glasses, I meant re:4

But hey, I imagine things might be marginally better with Lyndon LaRouche in charge too, but that doesn't mean I'd WANT him in charge.

WOW! Obama just got called... (Below threshold)

WOW! Obama just got called a "fascist" on Air America! Not only that, a commenter said "What if those protesters at town hall meetings are right?"

WTF! Checked twice to make sure I was on the right station.

Kathie - I think you've hit... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Kathie - I think you've hit on it. Clinton wanted people to like him. He tried to be all things to all people. He'd promise you what you wanted to hear even if he knew he couldn't or wouldn't deliver. He knew that he could screw up and he knew how to get himself out of trouble.

Obama is different. He doesn't want to be liked. He believes that he is liked. He used himself as examples in his classes at the U of C referring to himself as handsome, charming and intelligent. He believes his hype. He names his dog after himself. He doesn't believe that he makes mistakes. Other people screw up. He doesn't apologize, he throws someone under the bus. He doesn't think that someone could have a principled disagreement with him. He is right and everyone holding different views is either ignorant or is holding those views out of an unscrupulous desire for personal gain.

He has reveled in the media's comments about his being 'god-like' etc and now he is declaring himself to be a coworker with God.

He's scary. He really doesn't seem to care what other people think because he believes that he knows better than anyone else. He doesn't want to be questioned and takes offense when he is.

Garandfan - I think that ha... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Garandfan - I think that half of his decline in the polls amongst liberals is because they think he's not being leftist enough and the other half is because they are waking up to his, shall we say, authoritarian tendencies.

GarandFan -Over on... (Below threshold)

GarandFan -

Over on Reclusive Leftist, he's hated. Of course, their take's a trifle different...

Back in May I did a quick rundown of Obama's major betrayals up that point, and I really need to do an update. There's so much, I lose track. Afghanistan, Blackwater contracts, the Justice Department-DOMA clusterfuck, anti-contraception godbags appointed to Health and Human Services, the appalling Cairo speech (which bravely asserted women's fundamental right to wear the headscarves that they have to wear so men don't throw acid on them), and on and on. Just this past week, Obama played footsie with the "faith community" and vowed that public health wouldn't pay for abortions. I'm surprised he doesn't just buy a pig farm in Crawford and start clearing brush.
That the nutcases on Air America might be questioning his pronouncements... that's just incredible. Maybe the 'reality-based' community ISN'T completely impervious to reality after all!

Then again, they could be all for nice 'progressive' ideas, as long as they're not actually affected by them. Ain't nothin' like a serious hit to the wallet because of a Presidential decision to make you reconsider your 'progressive' beliefs...

Small wonder the Bluedogs a... (Below threshold)

Small wonder the Bluedogs are getting nervous, they are about to get their hats handed to them and be told to go home in the 2010 election. They can hear the roar of the train coming down the tracks in the form of angry constituents at town hall meetings.

I suspect that if the RNC can find a few credible candidates to run against some of the 'moderate' Democrats that they will find themselves out of office as well.

The Clinton analogy bothers... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

The Clinton analogy bothers me. As bad as Clinton was, he still got a second term. May God forbid.

As for the lunatic left, they are such unstable, emotional basket cases you can be sure they'll be back in Obama's corner come election time. Those idiots can't even tell when Obama is lying through his teeth. He purports to be against homosexual marriage at the same time he fights to repeal the defense of marriage act. "Health care" sans abortion? Don't make me laugh. Obama's "vow" is worth about as much as Bill Clinton's promise of eternal fidelity.

Getting back to the Clinton... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Getting back to the Clinton was competent and B.O. is not thought:

Obama has a conference call with 1000 Rabbi's:

"First mistake," (Rabbi Jack) Moline tweeted, as he waited for the call to begin. "Music on hold is 'Deutschland uber Alles,'

You'd think the Dems with their constant fixation on Nazi's would have that one figured out. Then again maybe that was their point.

I don't think it's so much ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I don't think it's so much of a comparison to Clinton as it is a contrast.

Carter is probably a better comparison. Carter turned out to be a closet communist (kissing Brezhnev?). He had no understanding of economics and drove the economy into the ground. He got lucky with Sadat and Begin, but his foreign policy was founded on appeasement and the Iranian crises proved to be beyond his ability.

Obama is Carter with a belief that he is infallible and a total incapacity for self examination.

There will be wailing and ... (Below threshold)

There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth for Pelosi and gang in 2010. And I for one am going to enjoy every moment.

"He got lucky with Sadat an... (Below threshold)

"He got lucky with Sadat and Begin" BINGO!
Yet ever since, Jimmah has thought himself the 'go to guy' for mid-east peace talks. Never mind that both Saadat and Begin were at a point where both were appalled and tired of the bloodshed. Brezhnev could have gotten an agreement out of them 'because both so badly wanted one'.

While there might be some G... (Below threshold)
jim m:

While there might be some GOP gains in 2010 I don't see them making huge inroads on the 60 member Dem majority in the House or in the Senate for that matter. It's a long way away.

And while Illinois might actually dump Burris and replace him in the Senate with Republican Mark Kirk, he's about as conservative as Lincoln Chaffee so that's not really a gain for the GOP.

Folks, if we want to turn t... (Below threshold)

Folks, if we want to turn these clods out of office, we need to support challengers.

Charles Ball: New York

Bradley Rees: Virginia

Ed Martin Jr : Missouri

Chuck DeVore: California

Everything has a price tag ... (Below threshold)

Everything has a price tag and if you don't have the capital you can't buy it. I love the smell of money in the morning.

Easier said than done.... (Below threshold)

Easier said than done.

Jeff Blogworthy wrote:<br /... (Below threshold)

Jeff Blogworthy wrote:
The Clinton analogy bothers me. As bad as Clinton was, he still got a second term. May God forbid.

The main reason why Clinton was re-elected was because the GOP ran an uninspiring, dull, aging war hero against him. Sorta like the guy the GOP ran against Obama last year.

Hopefully, by the time 2012 gets here, that lesson will have sunk in. That is, if we even still have elections by then.

"Many of the key constituen... (Below threshold)

"Many of the key constituent goups that delivered his 2008 victory (and a lot of campaign money) are beginning to ask questions,...." That poppin' sound you hear is heads being removed from their respective asses.

Jeff, Jim M -The b... (Below threshold)

Jeff, Jim M -

The big difference between Obama and Clinton, to my mind - is that Clinton still wanted something left after his terms.

Obama doesn't really seem to care if anything's left at all, as long as HE gets what HE wants out of it. He'll gladly smash everything, as long as he can convince himself it's really for the good of all.

And that really seems to be the hallmark of the 'progressives' - if it isn't perfect, it must be destroyed and replaced with the perfection they know is attainable. And if a few hundred million die along the way, it's a small price for 'perfection'.

We've already seen the desp... (Below threshold)

We've already seen the desperation, the flailing. Now he's gone and "guaranteed" that healthcare reform will pass. Big mistake - what's he going to do when he can't deliver? I expect some pretty big manufactured crisis will erupt to distract from his biggest failure-to-date.

What could possibly distrac... (Below threshold)

What could possibly distract from Obama's trillion dollar deficits and mind numbing stupidity?

Another 911 maybe?

"And while Illinois might a... (Below threshold)

"And while Illinois might actually dump Burris and replace him in the Senate with Republican Mark Kirk, he's about as conservative as Lincoln Chaffee so that's not really a gain for the GOP."

. . false.

I would rather have A republican that voted with me only 55% of the time than a democrat who only voted with me 45% of the time. 'Banish the moderates' is just the mistake we made and that the democrats are making right now.

Say what you will about Cli... (Below threshold)

Say what you will about Clinton (and I do) once he moved right he was actually good for the country. He had his faults and his screwups but overall he wasnt half bad, excepting the sex scandal.

Obama doesn't compare favorably at all to slick willy.

I would take Clinton in a h... (Below threshold)

I would take Clinton in a heartbeat over Obama.'

Ryan - I'll agree to a limi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Ryan - I'll agree to a limited extent. Having GOP members tends to cause people to expect them to support the party's position. When they consistently defect to the other side (Like Kirk supporting cap and trade, 1 of only 8 GOP House members to do so) they become a bigger negative than if the seat were with the opposition.

The only effective long-ter... (Below threshold)

The only effective long-term solution to healthcare reform is preventative medicine. We must take our health into our own hands. Luckily, there are several online tools, such as Holosfitness.com, that can help you to get in shape, stay in shape, and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Preventive medicine sounds ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Preventive medicine sounds nice in theory but doesn't work in reality.

You cannot legislate life style, totalitarian governments can succeed partially in enforcing one, but even that doesn't work well.

You cannot prevent accidents. That's why they are called accidents!

You cannot change genetics. Genetics predispose people to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and countless other diseases and conditions. They will get those diseases eventually. Oh I suppose you could prevent them the Obama way and just kill off those people, but most normal people would object (bunch of bleeding hearts they are)

You can catch things early with more diagnostics but that costs more money than not.

Preventive medicine ends up being a luxury and not a savings. If it worked then socialized medicine countries would be pushing more of it on their populations and not restricting access to it.

The real long term solution to health care reform is freeing up markets to solve the problem. The biggest reason we have uninsured now is restrictive state insurance laws and tax laws.

21. iwogisdead "The main re... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

21. iwogisdead "The main reason why Clinton was re-elected was because the GOP ran an uninspiring, dull, aging war hero against him. Sorta like the guy the GOP ran against Obama last year.

Hopefully, by the time 2012 gets here, that lesson will have sunk in. That is, if we even still have elections by then."

Can't say that I agree with you, iwogisdead. Dole lost because the religious right didn't show up at the poles. From the comments I've heard from them they felt that they were the Republican base and that the GOP hadn't taken care of them (Dole was nominated).

So they stayed home saying, he "wasn't conservative enough" for them. Either they were self deluded or it was a power play, we can each decide for ourselves. I will say this, I don't know that the religious right has yet realized that you cannot be considered "the base" of something if you don't show up.

"What could possibly distra... (Below threshold)

"What could possibly distract from Obama's trillion dollar deficits and mind numbing stupidity?"

LOOK at all the WAR CRIMES Bush, Cheney, Haliburton COMMITTED while in office! They brought a GUN and an ELECTRIC DRILL to an interview with an AQ SUSPECT!

Something like that.

No> SO long as they suppor... (Below threshold)

No> SO long as they support the party's position more than the democrat that would replace them, then they are better than having that democrat in office. Even if they annoy you greatly that 45% - or even 49% - of the time.

I'll still disagree. ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I'll still disagree.

You can support the party more than half the time by voting on bills where there is little or nothing at stake.

It's when the party needs to make a defining stand that these marginal members choose to drift away. Chaffee, Snowe, McCain, Specter.

When the going gets tough they go to the other side. We need people who have the same beliefs as we do not just the same party affiliation after their name. Otherwise we just have a bunch of Arlen Specters, and you see how far that's gotten us.

Still better off having the... (Below threshold)

Still better off having them on our side than on the other side.

I'm not going to repeat the mindset of 'ideological purity' that got us where we are in the first place

We need people who have ... (Below threshold)

We need people who have the same beliefs as we do not just the same party affiliation after their name.

But what if people of this description are a relatively small minority--say, less than 40% of the population?

Who cares! Expunge the moderates!

So your solution to the lac... (Below threshold)

So your solution to the lack of cooperation on the big issues as you say would be to make sure we lose the LITTLE issues as well> After all, if you can't have everything you might as well have nothing?

In other words, someone who... (Below threshold)

In other words, someone who MIGHT defect fairly often is worse than someone who always WILL defent consistantly?






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