It is stunning to see such a reversal in the Democrat’s fortune in the course of one year. As the electorate sees the hopes and dreams degenerate into deficits and taxes, the administration will be inclined to spin the outcome into something other than the rejection that it is.
It is clear that the Democrats misread the mandate. But what should they have done?
Clearly the financial system needed reform. Obama could have started by addressing problems in the banking and financial system that would have clearly enjoyed bipartisan support, and would have been seen as a consensus builder.
The administration could have addressed unemployment with tax credits rather than reckless deficit spending. But when the first program out of the box is to force unions down the throat of business, trample bankruptcy law in the case of GM, pass a hugely flawed Cap and Trade bill, and then force and even more flawed Health Care bill riddled with blatant bribes, then he has created such political uncertainty that economic remedies are effectively neutered.
But the voters’ rejection is as much about style as policy. The unmitigated partisanship, arrogance and deafness to public concerns has pissed off the electorate.
The president prefers making grand speeches to the dirty process of passing legislation. He may have promised change but what we got were old leftists exploiting a crisis to pass unpopular legislation. His call for openness was greeted with contempt by his own party leaders.
If I were a Democrat I would place a large portion of the blame for this destructive hubris at the feet of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The party picked two horribly divisive leaders. If the Democrats hope to save the ship they need to mutiny and get better captains.