Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shock & Awe At The NYT

Given that Massachusetts is the strongest bastion of the left in America, the revolt of the voters in Massachusetts is the equivalent of an army revolting against its officers in time of war. And the officers, who refused to see the writing on the wall, are now in shock and awe at the slings and arrows aimed their way. In a piece at once realistic, horrified, and still hanging on to the tiniest thread of hope, the NYT gives front page news to reflections on the far left nightmare that is the Senate race in bluest of blue Massachusetts:

There may be no better place to measure the shifting fortunes of President Obama and the Democratic Party than in the race being fought here this weekend for the Senate seat that had been held by Edward M. Kennedy.

When Mr. Obama was inaugurated one year ago this week, he and his party had big majorities in the Senate and House, enjoyed the backing of much of the country and were confidently preparing to enact an ambitious legislative agenda. Republicans seemed directionless and the conservative movement exhausted.

This weekend, Democrats are struggling to hang on to a seat held by Mr. Kennedy for 46 years in one of the most enthusiastically Democratic states in the country. Conservatives are enjoying a grass-roots resurgence, and Republicans are talking about taking back the House in November.

As Mr. Obama prepares to come here on Sunday to campaign for the party’s beleaguered Senate candidate, Martha Coakley, Democrats across the country are starting to wonder aloud if they misjudged the electorate over the last year, with profound ramifications for the midterm elections this year and, potentially, for Mr. Obama’s presidency.

Win or lose in Massachusetts, that a contest between a conservative Republican and a liberal Democrat could appear so close is evidence of what even Democrats say is animosity directed at the administration and Congress. It has been fanned by Republicans who have portrayed Democrats as overreaching and out of touch with ordinary Americans.

Hmmm, wonder why the evil Republicans should be getting any traction out of that. Indeed, it was not the Republicans who did the fanning, it was the grass roots Tea Parties.

Regardless, the far left, for the very first time in America actually being in a position to govern, are suddenly finding reality - and what a cruel mistress it is. Apparently Obama's sinking poll numbers and the polls showing vast discontent with the the health care plan did weren't enough to convince the far left that they might indeed have a problem. This election though is the equivalent of tossing a lit stick of reality TNT into their knickers.

“It comes from the fact that Obama as president has had to deal with all these major crises he inherited: the banks, fiscal stimulus,” said Senator Paul G. Kirk Jr., the Democrat who holds the Massachusetts seat on an interim basis pending the special election. “But for many people it was like, ‘Jeez, how much government are we getting here?’ That might have given them pause.”

If Kirk actually believes what he says, he is still deep in denial. It was not that the Obama had to deal with a lot of inherited issues, its how he dealt with them. Evan Bay gets it,

Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, said the atmosphere was a serious threat to Democrats. “I do think there’s a chance that Congressional elites mistook their mandate,” Mr. Bayh said. “I don’t think the American people last year voted for higher taxes, higher deficits and a more intrusive government. But there’s a perception that that is what they are getting.” . . .

Support for the health care overhaul could grow if it is enacted into law and Americans decide that it has left them better off, as Mr. Obama says will happen. The economy could take a turn for the better by this summer, validating Mr. Obama’s policies in time to influence the midterm elections. . . .

Don't you expect to hear Disney music rise up at this point and the words "they all lived happily ever after" suddenly appear in the sky. This really is denial. Jobs aren't going to suddenly recover given Obama's war on the economy. And as to health care, the author seems to forget that people are going to begin getting taxed for it from the get go, with three years before it kicks in. That is not quite a recipe for a sudden mass epiphany. To the contrary, its the recipe for people with torches and ropes marching on Washington and looking for Democratic lawmakers.

. . . But most ominously for Democrats contemplating the midterm elections, the battle here suggests an emerging dangerous dynamic: that Mr. Obama has energized Republican activists who think he has overstepped with health care and the economic stimulus, while demoralizing Democrats who think he has not lived up to his promise.

Actually quite a good article. Do read the whole thing. The fact that this graces the front page of the NYT suggests the degree to which the shock and awe of reality has hit the far left.

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