In a January interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, President Obama stated he “would rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” Many took this as a shot at George W. Bush. I would offer that it was really a shot at Bill Clinton. In the word-parsing tradition of Clinton, it all depends on what “the definition of good is”.
To put things in perspective, Clinton was trying to pass his own version of universal health care, which not only failed miserably, but also led to the turn over of the House of Representatives in 1994. Universal health care has been the brass ring for Progressives since the days of FDR. Clinton tried it, failed, and he immediately shifted to the center to save his presidency. As much as a narcissist as he was, staying in power was more important to Clinton than passing a truly Progressive agenda. Clinton survived, the dream of universal health care would have to wait, and America would continue to survive as a capitalist society.
With the majorities he has in Congress, Obama has been able to push through a major health care “reform” bill, a pork-laden ”stimulus” that has only stimulated concerns about the deficit, and managed to take over two car companies. He has passed a new set of regulations over the financial industry that only cements “too big to fail” and does nothing about Fannie or Freddie. Next, he would dearly love to pass some form of cap-and-trade and a tax increase, likely including a VAT. All of this was against the wishes of the general population. In order to pass the legislation, several Congressmen and Senators have basically ended their political careers, Chris Dodd, Bart Stupak, and David Obey, among others.
Obama’s approval rating continues to trend down. Independent voters are flocking to the Republicans. Republicans show a huge lead in voter enthusiasm going into the November elections. The voters are gravely concerned about the deficit and the non-existent recovery from the recession. Voters are beginning to recognize what the Progressive agenda looks like, and they don’t like it. Tax increases, a VAT, and continued weakness in the job market for the foreseeable future. The Progressives see this, and know the time between now and January 19, 2011 is their last chance to push through substantial pieces of their agenda.
To an ideologue, being a good one term president would entail pushing through as many Progressive ideas as possible. In a center-right country, said individual would certainly not be reelected as President, but would be a hero to Progressives in the future. Much in the same way that Progressives look fondly on FDR and LBJ, BHO would be added to the list. Unfortunately, it looks like BHO would be more that willing to take one for the team to advance the Progressive agenda, America be damned.
Stay involved in your local races. Demand accountability from your elected representatives. Ask them what they plan to do in the lame duck session. Talk to your friends, get them involved as well. Conservatives by nature are not loud activists like the left. It is time to make our voices heard.
In the words of Charles Krauthammer: Every current member should be publicly asked: In the event you lose in November — a remote and deeply deplorable eventuality, but still not inconceivable — do you pledge to adhere to the will of the electorate and, in any lame-duck session of Congress, refuse to approve anything but the most routine legislation required to keep the government functioning?