In November of 2008, myself and millions of others voted for John McCain somewhat begrudgingly because, as un-conservative as he was, he was far less a threat than Barack Obama. When Obama won, our worst fears were realized. The Democrats, having won control of both the House and the Senate two years earlier, now had the White House, and the liberal agenda could proceed virtually unchallenged. Many of us worried for the future of our country.
Now, liberals like to call themselves “progressives,” and after the election they were giddy with the thought of their new progressive leader shepherding them out of their eight-year sojourn in the wilderness and into the promised land of Hope and Change. The only problem was, they hadn’t elected a progressive leader. “Progressive” implies upward movement by steps; a certain gradualism. Rather, they had elected a radical leftist agitator. Radicals want to push their agenda by any means necessary, as quickly as possible, ignoring any collateral damage they may cause and giving no heed to those who may oppose them.
For the new radical President, brushing off the opposition quickly became a defining characteristic. Mere days after his inauguration, in a meeting supposedly designed to promote bipartisanship, Obama squelched criticism of his stimulus plan by Senator McCain by declaring “I won.” So there. In crafting his health care reform bill, Obama reneged on his campaign promises of transparency and bipartisanship, and instead met mostly with his congressional sycophants behind closed doors, shutting out Republican lawmakers. If Obama sought counsel at all, it would come only from his fellow radical left advisors or Democrat congressmen. And it wasn’t just conservative (or even moderate) lawmakers whom he ignored; he also ignored the voices of common Americans, many of whom voted for him. This would be his greatest folly.
As the tea party movement took form at town halls and rallies throughout the spring and summer, it did not register on the president’s radar, at least not publicly. He famously stated that he was “unaware” of the tea parties breaking out across the nation. When he finally did acknowledge their existence, he did so dismissively. Unfortunately for Barack Obama, this time he wasn’t dealing with a squishy Republican congressman or some Chicago political lowlife. The people – the American people whom he is supposed to represent – were pissed off at the President and his political allies.
On January 19, 2010, the people of Massachusetts elected Scott Brown to the senate seat that was previously amply filled by Ted Kennedy. I need not go too deeply into the enormity of this Republican victory; suffice it to say that it literally upended the political playing field. Obama, in stumping for Brown’s opponent, Martha Coakley, repeatedly derided Brown’s choice in personal transportation: a pickup truck. Now to all of rural America, most of suburbia, and even a few urbanites, pickup trucks are right up there with baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie as representing the Real America. More importantly (or maybe not), in backing Coakley, Obama made the MA special election a referendum on himself and his radical agenda. Massachusett’s verdict (and, vicariously, America’s): Epic Fail.
Obama’s radical agenda is now in shambles. Nationalized health care, cap and trade, card check: all but DOA. In one short year, Barack Obama has done more damage to the Democrat party and liberalism than anyone else has over a similar time span. I’m inclined to believe that he has even done more damage than Jimmy Carter did during his entire 4-year reign of misery. The man who was to usher in a new age of liberal dominance has through his monumental hubris derailed the heretofore seemingly unstoppable locomotive.
And now, as Scott Brown is sworn in to the Senate, and Republican majorities in the House and Senate once again seem attainable, we have to wonder: Is Barack Obama a godsend for America? No, not in the messianic sense portrayed by the adoring media. I mean, did he and his audacity of overreach single-handedly usher in a new era of conservatism? Sure, he has done and will do enormous damage to our nation, but will we rise from the ashes stronger than if the liberal hold on government had been allowed to grow in a more progressive trajectory? As always, history does not reveal its alternatives; but today, I worry a little less about our future.