The mid term election results are in, and it doesn't look good for the Democrats. They have lost the House badly while barely retaining control of the Senate. If we thought that government couldn't get anything done when Democrats controlled all branches of government, just wait and see what happens when the Republicans can actually do something to prevent legislation passing.
The Democrats spent two years negotiating with themselves over health care and the economy, essentially enacting Republican policy for fear of alienating the center (whatever they believe that is). As a result, the economy has yet to pull out of recession and health care won't be of any use till 2014 (and it still relies 100% on the private insurance industry).
Anyone who has bothered to actually look at Obama's policies will notice that he's a centrist in virtually every sense of the word. He has moved to the middle on virtually every single issue, and while self identifies as a progressive, has bowed to the Right and given concession after concession when he really didn't have to.
Progessives warned him that saddling up to Wall St and bowing to non existent pressure from the loony Right on issues like health care would get him nowhere, and Obama has paid the price for giving away his had before starting negotiations. His policies have been at best luke warm, and at worst down right spineless. Had the Democrats taken a hammer to Wall St and told the insurance industry to shove right from the get go, the economy might have pulled out of recession faster and health care might have had a chance at serious structural reform.
But the opportunity was wasted and Republicans have had two years of target practice pretending Obama is a radical Leftist and a closet Nazi. Now they have some real power, the political landscape is going to get whole lot uglier.
The American people have become utterly confused as to why they are struggling to pay their bills and unable to find work. Given the amount of mud throwing the Fox News network and the GOP have thrown at the Obama administration, it is almost understandable that Americans believe some sort of Big Government experiment has taken place and failed miserably.
The truth is that the exact opposite has happened.
Obama passed a stimulus package that most serious economists knew was way too small and was far too reliant on tax cuts. He passed a healthcare bill that didn't include a public option - a provision every serious analyst knew would be crucial in having meaningful reform. In short, lack of government intervention has cost the economy and the country, and we're about to get a whole lot less of it now the Republicans get a say in how money is spent.
The effects of this swing to the Right will no doubt be disastrous as were the 8 years suffered under the Bush Administration. Obama's policies will be watered down again and again until they are virtually meaningless, and every ounce of energy will be spent on attaining the smallest of victories that will probably have little effect in the long run.
The Republicans want to shut down government and now they have the opportunity to do so.
I'm painting a bleak picture here, but the truth is the Democrats have only themselves to blame. The Republican party has been hijacked by the even stupider descendants of George Bush and are now looking to plunge the country into the abyss. The Democrats could have stopped them by enacting legislation that actually worked and have instead borrowed the same ideas that caused the economic collapse in the first place.
The Democrat's gigantic losses boil down to a complete lack of faith in government. Republicans have not been elected for what they stand for, but because Democrats have failed so badly in governing.
The worst thing the Democrats can now do is follow the advice of morons like Mark Penn (the former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton) who subscribe to the notion that Obama must move to the center in order to be a successful President.
Well, he's already tried that, and it was a disaster.
If the Democrats want to get anything done now the Republicans control the House, they will have to start negotiations from a much harder left position. Perhaps Obama will realize that giving away everything before you start negotiating isn't the best way to pass progressive legislation.
If he wants to make his mark on history, he'll have to start behaving like a progressive and not like a Republican. After all, that's why he was elected in the first place.