Jewish World Review April 1, 2011 / 26 Adar II, 5771
The Failure of Obama's Conventional Wisdom
By Jonah Goldberg
In 2008 supporters of
For the last two years, the old ways of
Then-candidate Obama was himself fond of noting that the conventional wisdom -- or "CW" -- was that a black guy with a funny name could never be elected president. His chief opponent, he explained, wasn't any candidate but "cynicism" itself. It was a clever bit of messaging, not least because it worked. Obama not only won, he captured such "impossible" states as
Coming into office during a wrenching financial crisis, the conventional wisdom was that the American people would rally around New Deal policies. At least that's what liberal historians and political scientists said they should do.
The experts were wrong. While Obama had widespread support to fight the financial crisis, once it became clear he was using it to enact a New Deal style agenda, everyone outside his core base started to flee. It didn't help that the
That's OK, explained the experts, Obama is such a masterful orator he will rally the public to his cause. To date, despite too many "big speeches" to count, I am at a loss to think of a single issue where Obama has successfully changed the minds of voters. He sounds good, but he can't sell his agenda.
Indeed, at the top of that agenda was health care "reform." The entire
Armed with this conviction, the Democrats pushed "ObamaCare" through on a partisan basis, without clear support from the public. It's now been more than a year, and in defiance of what everyone "knew" would be true, it is still not popular.
At the same time, rather than rally around bold new expansions in government as the CW said they should, independent voters broke wildly against Obama. They put a Republican in
Oh, and then there are the tea parties. According to the CW, organic, grassroots populist movements are supposed to be leftwing things, and they're most certainly not supposed to demand less government. But that's what happened. And they powered a political landslide in the 2010 elections, which, again, should have gone Obama's way if the New Deal paradigm was in play.
It goes on and on. Public sector unions have lost the public's support. A massive oil spill in the
So now, the Democrats are sure -- absolutely sure -- that a government shutdown stemming from a budget fight will play right into their hands. Why? Because that's how it worked in 1995.
Really? It's certainly true that the Republicans might lose the blame game over a government shutdown. And, personally, I'd like to see Republicans conclude this fight over the current half-year budget and instead launch the larger war over the fiscal future of our country.
But if I were a Democrat, never mind
include "/home/jwreview/public_html/t-ssi/jwr_squaread_300x250.php"; ?>
© 2006 TMS