In late 2013, the GOP is not only still around, it is ascendant. The magical Obama coalition, thought by many to be composed of mere automatons who would follow the Democratic party wherever it went, is starting to fracture. This is not to say that its members are lining up to re-register as Republicans and subscribe to National Review, of course. But they are expressing dissatisfaction — and, crucially, not just with this president but with the central ideological achievement of his tenure. Obamacare, not time, is dragging the man down. Who would have thought that government policies could lead to political change?
’Hope’ and ‘Change’ gave way to insularity and ineffectiveness, and Obama is now perilously close to falling below a 40-percent approval rating. The liberal base is anywhere from frustrated to outraged over a litany of failed efforts and unfulfilled promises. The rollout of the Affordable Care Act, his signature legislation, continues to plague his legacy. The thrill, as Riley B. King said, is gone.
Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post:
Just as Ronald Reagan captured young people’s votes with optimism and an agenda to restore the United States, so, too, can Republicans win back the people most disappointed by the president who told them “hope and change” were theirs for the taking.
Kristin Soltis Anderson in The Daily Beast:
I’ll violate some rules of decorum here by revealing my age: I am 29 years old. I’m a few short months away from aging out of “the youth vote” entirely. And I have about as much in common with today’s high school seniors as I do with my own parents. We researchers and pundits lump 18-year-olds and 29-year-olds into the same bucket when we talk about the “youth vote,” but the truth is that the back end of the “Millennial” generation has little memory of “hope and change” at all.
Young people helped elect President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but they’re giving him low marks now.
The wide-ranging poll of 18- to 29-year-olds, released Wednesday morning by Harvard’s Institute of Politics, found that America’s young people are disillusioned with Obama’s tenure in office and disapprove of his handling of the country’s major issues.
Fifty-four percent of those surveyed disapprove of Obama’s job performance, compared with 41 percent who approve. Those numbers are an 11-point drop from Harvard’s survey in spring 2013, and almost the opposite of its fall 2009 poll, when 58 percent of young people approved and 39 percent disapproved.
“A critical factor in the election and reelection of Barack Obama, America’s 18- to 29- year-olds now rate the President’s job performance closer to that of Congress – and at the lowest level since he took office in 2009,” Harvard Institute of Politics Director Trey Grayson said in a release. “Overcoming today’s bitter partisanship and governmental gridlock is essential to showing Millennials and all our citizens that Washington, D.C. – and our democratic process – can still work and make a difference.”
A recent issue of the New Republic had Elizabeth Warren on the cover with the headline “Hillary’s Nightmare?” It was one of a spate of such stories, all of them saying that the Democratic Party was moving to the left (and away from Hillary Clinton and, yes, Barack Obama), to which I, in uncharacteristic silence, vowed a solemn, “Oh, no, not again.” Warren, like the old saying about second marriages, could well be the triumph of hope over experience.
Like Obama, before fate and adulation took him to the presidency, Warren is a first-term senator. Like Obama, she has had little involvement in foreign policy — not with Iran, Syria, Israel, Palestine or that (Groucho) Marxian tussle over a hunk of rocks in the East China Sea.
Like Obama at the same stage, Warren has never run a large organization. She has never been a chief executive or, more to the point, the governor of a state — the usual steppingstone to the White House. She has never had to work with a legislature — not just be part of one — coaxing, threatening, seducing and, after the bill is signed into law, abandoning. In other words, she is something of an unknown. Correction: She is almost totally an unknown.
As luck would have it, the categories listed above are precisely where Obama has failed. He is a notorious non-schmoozer, a man so lacking in the requisite neuroses that he does not need the constant approval of other politicians, and he eschews the always-sincere pats on the back that are the bitcoinsof politics. The president may be the nation’s preeminent politician, but he is not much good at politics.
Mr. President, thank you, merci, danke schoen and muchas gracias. Without you and Obamacare, I might never have found the activist’s passion that now resides within me. It took almost 40 years to get there, but now I understand. Sometimes the government does things even I just can’t abide.
In this case, Obama and his Democratic co-conspirators passed a bad (2,700-page) bill on a party-line, gimmick-laden vote to install a Rube Goldberg machine to manage one-sixth of the U.S. economy. In the process, they swept up a bunch of moderate, independent citizens who voted for you — some twice!
In After Hope and Change, we discuss campaign finance in 2012. In “Party Competition and Industrial Structure in the 2012 Elections,” Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen, and Jie Chen analyzes patterns of industrial structure and party competition. Key Findings:
The promise of “hope and change” was to have ushered in a new color-blind society for America’s first “post-racial” president. Like most Americans, I was proud that our country had elected its first African-American president, even if I didn’t agree with him politically. I had never thought such a milestone was possible in my lifetime, and I was willing to give the new administration the benefit of the doubt as it took the reins of power in Washington.
For me, the grace period lasted all of one month. Attorney General Eric Holder’s assertion that America was and is a “nation of cowards” struck me as remarkably discordant. How cowardly could we be if, by overwhelming numbers, we had just elected a black man to lead the most powerful nation on Earth?
Today I am appalled that blaming genuine political opposition to Obama and his policies on racism has become the norm rather than the exception. It would be one thing if this sort of cheap political attack were limited to Chris Matthews and his colleagues at MSNBC, where charges of racism surface frequently. But in August, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) accused his Republican colleagues of obstructing the president’s agenda because of the color of Obama’s skin, the leader of the world’s greatest deliberative body revealed himself to be nothing more than a cheap racial huckster who will say or do anything to perpetuate a cynical untruth.
After Hope and Change anticipated a meme that does not take a holiday.
At The American Thinker, Greg Halvorsen notes that Organizing for Action wants people to talk up Obamacare at Thanksgiving.
The majority of people enrolling in “ObamaCare” are, in reality, signing up for Medicaid, which doctors and hospitals are refusing to accept. No, Virginia, there isn’t a Santa Claus, and no, “if you like your doctor, you will not be able to keep your doctor.” Insurers, in order to remain solvent, are narrowing physician/hospital networks, meaning that you will not only lose your doctor, but your choice of where you can seek effective treatment. Coverage is not care. Under ObamaCare, medical quality will go down, wait times will go up, and as more and more procedures are denied by government, wholesale misery will be the new “Hope and Change.”