The Winter of 2010-2011 may very be the longest of Barack Obama's entire life. With a Republican controled US House and 48 Republicans in the US Senate, Obama's political advantage that he has somewhat enjoyed has been cut off since the elections just over two short months ago. By the time Republicans are done with him, he's going to wish he was back in the Senate... Illinois' Senate.
The Election Of 2010
The beginning can be clearly define. It began on Novermber 2nd, as the votes started to come in. In his own words, it was a "shellacking".
Of course, it was "messaging" that sunk Democrats and Obama. A point B. Daniel Blatt of the GayPatriot disputes:
In short, the Democrats' claim that their problem is "messaging" reeks of hubris, an arrogance that they are always right. Just as Waxman was incredulous when the world did not respond to legislation in the manner legislative social engineers designed it to respond, so do his fellow Democrats, including the president respond, when people respond to adversely to the failure of this signature legislative achievement to meet expectations.
They're so confident they're right, that the problem could not be in their policies, but in the way those policies have been presented. If just they would change the manner of messaging, then surely people would respond favorably to the message.
They can't seem to accept that the problem may well be their message.
This, of course, leads us to...
Normally a president, having agreed with the opposition on something big, would go through certain expected motions. He would laud the specific virtues of the plan, show graciousness toward the negotiators on the other side—graciousness implies that you won—and refer respectfully to potential critics as people who’ll surely come around once they are fully exposed to the deep merits of the plan.
Instead Mr. Obama said, essentially, that he hates the deal he just agreed to, hates the people he made the deal with, and hates even more the people who'll criticize it. His statement was startling in the breadth of its animosity. Republicans are "hostage takers" who worship a "holy grail" of "tax cuts for the wealthy." "That seems to be their central economic doctrine."
As for the left, they ignore his accomplishments and are always looking for "weakness and compromise." They are "sanctimonious," "purist," and just want to "feel good about" themselves. In a difficult world, they cling to their "ideal positions" and constant charges of "betrayals."
And people were shocked when Democrats voted against his deal in caucus. If this is Obama's "new messaging", then I am afraid that Obama is in for a very long two years. I mean, that entire presser was just odd.
They then started packing it with pork. But what the hell, they pass it anyway. Notablly absent at the signing was Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, people who lost complete power even before the new congress was sworn in. Senator Mitch McConnell is Minority Leader in name only, all hail the new Majority Leader! The man was able to get Reid to spike the Omnibus Spending Bill with only 42 Republican Senators.
Despite the repeal of DADT and passage of the new START, Der Spiegel names Obama the biggest loser of 2010. Jennifer Rubin agrees that there's no Obama comeback. Rubin is right, by the way, I would not trade their wins on DADT and START for our wins on the DREAM act, the tax deal, and the omnibus spending bill for all the tea in Chaina. With everything in perpective, I will roll my eyes and let the Democrats have their symbolic victories. It's not like Obama got any bounce from them.
112th Congress And The Future
President Barack Obama wakes up Wednesday morning to the cold hard fact that he will have to face House Speaker John Boehner and a much more powerful Senator Mitch McConnell (he is Minority Leader in name only). So let's be blunt:
Both Boehner and McConnell were mishandle for the last two years. RINOs or not, these guys will take great pleasure in casuing Mr. 'I Won' all kinds of problems. They are no friends of Obama, so let us treat them as our allies and not our enemies. While I would love to see them shut down the government and not raise the debt ceiling, I don't think they can do that right now without pissing off the majority of Americans and make Obama look like a hero when they give into his demands. I would like to see them fight for spending cuts and blame Obama (and/or Senate Democrats) if they are unable to get them. Please don't hate me for stating the obvious: A government shut-down will only serve to help Barack Obama and get him re-elected, as it did Bill Clinton.
I also believe Moe Lane's predictions will be close to spot on. I will be keeping a close eye on this list and check them off when they start to happen.
The next two to three months will be a long, cold winter for Obama. If Obama is able to weather this storm, only time will tell. However a chill has already set in between Obama, his own party, and Republicans. Let's just hope the White House isn't lost in all the snow.