Obama the Populist, to save the day — Well this isn’t going to be good news for the progressives. I guess they need another name change, like, hey I got it ‘Populist‘. Count the times Obama says he is a populist SOU speechifying tonight. Same thing the progressives did in the early 20th century, changed the words not the goals. What a disaster that was…
Michale Barone picks up the story: Democrats fall as fast as Nixon Republicans in 1974
New York Times editorialists can opine that the Massachusetts result had nothing to do with opposition to health care, but their life’s work is not in peril.
Democratic officeholders know theirs is. Some are heading for the hills. Four well-regarded veteran congressmen announced their surprise retirements in December; two longtime Democratic senators folded in January. Family concerns have suddenly become very pressing.
And isn’t that their real problem, they value their place in the politburo more than anything else in life.
But more than health care legislation is in trouble. I have not seen a party’s fortunes collapse so suddenly since Richard Nixon got caught up in the Watergate scandal and a president who carried 49 states was threatened with impeachment and removal from office.
The victory of a Democrat in the special election to fill Vice President Gerald Ford’s House seat in February 1974 was a clear indication that the bottom had fallen out for the Republican Party. Brown’s victory last week looks as if something similar has happened to the Democratic Party.
Now the situation is setting up that Obama’s, Biden’s Reid’s and maybe even Pelosi’s seats are up for grabs in 2010.
But I sense that something more fundamental is at stake. Obama in his first year adopted the priorities of what pundit Joel Kotkin, a Democrat himself, calls the “gentry liberals.” Obama called for addressing long-term issues like health care and supposed climate change. He and his economic advisers, like many analysts across the political spectrum, underestimated the rise in unemployment. Talk about “green jobs” has proved to be just talk.
Obama’s conciliatory foreign policy and his attempts to mollify terrorists have produced no perceptible positive responses and run against the grain of most American voters. Questioning the Christmas bomber for just 50 minutes and then reading him his Miranda rights has left Obama open to charges that his policies fail to protect the American people.
The cacophony of conflicting advice from left-wing bloggers, pundits and elected officials is a sign of a party in disarray, its central premises undermined by events. Massachusetts may have been a wake-up call enabling the Democrats to recover. But right now they’re tossing and turning.
Trying to fundamentally change America is not so easy, when America likes the freedoms and liberty of the way it is.