Today's Washington Post features two articles about how bad Health Care reform is for us all from guest columnists, an article about awesome natural gas, and two of the regulars (Krauthammer and Gerson) gloating about the recent victories in the historically momentous off-off year governor elections in Virginia and New Jersey. For Krauthammer, these victories show how Obama has not eliminated the need for elections:
In the aftermath of last year's Obama sweep, we heard endlessly about its fundamental, revolutionary, transformational nature. How it was ushering in an FDR-like realignment for the 21st century in which new demographics — most prominently, rising minorities and the young — would bury the GOP far into the future. One book proclaimed "The Death of Conservatism," while the more modest merely predicted the terminal decline of the Republican Party into a regional party of the Deep South or a rump party of marginalized angry white men.
A straw man or a hollow man? I can't think that anyone seriously would have predicted no republican would ever win any race ever again. Many in fact won on that election night in 2008, it's just that Democrats secured large majorities in both houses of congress and won the presidency. I'll go with hollow man here: no one held the view Krauthammer is attacking.
He should be allowed to have his fun about the great myth of Obama. He continues:
The irony of 2009 is that the anti-Democratic tide overshot the norm — deeply blue New Jersey, for example, elected a Republican governor for the first time in 12 years — because Democrats so thoroughly misread 2008 and the mandate they assumed it bestowed. Obama saw himself as anointed by a watershed victory to remake American life. Not letting the cup pass from his lips, he declared to Congress only five weeks after his swearing-in his "New Foundation" for America — from remaking the one-sixth of the American economy that is health care to massive government regulation of the economic lifeblood that is energy.
Moreover, the same conventional wisdom that proclaimed the dawning of a new age last November dismissed the inevitable popular reaction to Obama's hubristic expansion of government, taxation, spending and debt — the tea party demonstrators, the town hall protesters — as a raging rabble of resentful reactionaries, AstroTurf-phony and Fox News-deranged.
Some rump. Just last month Gallup found that conservatives outnumber liberals by 2 to 1 (40 percent to 20 percent) and even outnumber moderates (at 36 percent). So on Tuesday, the "rump" rebelled. It's the natural reaction of a center-right country to a governing party seeking to rush through a left-wing agenda using temporary majorities created by the one-shot election of 2008. The misreading of that election — and of the mandate it allegedly bestowed — is the fundamental cause of the Democratic debacle of 2009.
Before Charles gets too heated about the death of the Obama mandate, he–and everyone else by the way Democrats included–should consider the following result from Tuesday's election:
House Democrats are adding two new members to their team Thursday and Friday, just hours before a crucial floor vote on health care reform.
One of those guys–Bill Owens–did defeat an authentic Fox-News-deranged guy. To put this another way, Tuesday's election put Obama two votes closer to enacting his Maoist agenda; it's not the time for gloating.