While the conventional wisdom is that last Tuesday's election results, a massacre for the Democrats, was a rebuke of the hard left swerve taken by the administration and Congress (and it was), Philip Klein of the American Spectator takes the long view of these past two years and wonders if President Obama and Nancy Pelosi did indeed employ sound political strategy.
The American public didn't go from being socialists to Reaganite conservatives in the past two years, any more than their ideology radically transformed from 2004 to 2006. The lesson of recent elections, thus, may not be that the American people are right of center, or left of center, or dead center, but that many of them aren't terribly ideological. This means that political power is ephemeral. No matter how popular one party is, they could be only one election away from embarrassing defeat. No matter how badly one party is defeated, they could be on the verge of a historic comeback. In this environment, reports of the demise of any political party, at any time, are likely to be greatly exaggerated.
One reaction to this reality is to argue that a political party should enact as many of its policy goals as they can while in charge. While Obama’s presidency is shaping up to be a spectacular failure from a political perspective, he may view it as a smashing success from a liberal ideological point of view. Instead of squandering Democrats' time in power by playing small ball, he went bold.
Political majorities are fleeting - legislation is (nearly) permanent.
When Nancy Pelosi says she has no regrets, we tend to believe her not because she's delusional but rather she is a true believer. Liberals like Pelosi have had a hot lust for government managed/universal health care for over 60 years - it was their single biggest dream and if it cost them votes, even enough to lose control of Congress, then so be it.
What the Republicans must do and must do on a continual basis is to educate the public on ObamaCare and reveal all the hideousness that is contained in that 2,800 page monstrosity*.
Educate the public and in a show of bipartisanship, allow the Democrats to help. The Republicans hold the subpoena hammer now, so they should hold hearings asking people like Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, just how she intends to administer ObamaCare. After all, this bill is simply festooned with "...at the discretion of the Secretary..." and "the Secretary shall..." and the American people deserve to know precisely how all that structural arbitrariness is going to be managed.
And politically speaking, if the Republicans are serious about wanting to repeal ObamaCare then they are going to have to pursue it with the same fanatical damn-the-torpedoes zeal that the Democrats did in getting it enacted in the first place.
The Republican Party being left for dead just two years ago demonstrates just how swiftly and substantially that pendulum can swing.
* As doing our part to educate the public on just how bad ObamaCare is now that it is law, we instituted a running post, "Nancy's Nuances: a journey of discovery". Apparently, the contents therein were so horrendous and so terrifying, Blogger couldn't bear it as it has been deleted from our archives. Now we aren't suggesting anything untoward as the Speaker inspired us to log quite a bit of info into that single post resulting in a really, really long post so we will do what we can do to resurrect it or simply start over with all that we have learned since August.