My, how the mighty have fallen. President Obama was thought to be the leader capable of realigning the political thought process in this country. His election, and subsequent reelection, came to signify in the minds of many liberal thinkers the beginning of the mythical “permanent majority.”
“This is the end of the conservative era,” Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future said. “What you’re seeing in the nation is the emergence of a center-left majority. We are witnessing the creation of a permanent progressive majority.”
Conservatives did their best to urge caution. Winning often breeds pride, and pride often overwhelms rationality, and a lack of rationality pushes you to overreach your mandate.
“Demography isn’t destiny because nothing is permanent in politics—and Democrats’ insistence to the contrary will likely lead them to overreach, ignoring such issues as jobs, anemic growth and deficits in order to tackle gun control and climate change,” wrote Karl Rove, who was chastened by incorrect promises of a permanent majority himself.
Those warnings proved prescient. The beginning of Obama’s second term was marked by scandal—an IRS that was bullying conservative groups, a NSA that was spying on Americans, and a DOJ that was persecuting the press. And that’s to say nothing of the attempts at political hubris – a failed gun-control bill, a floundering Obamacare rollout, and the nonsensical rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.
As a result, President Obama’s approval ratings crashed to the lowest point in his presidency and Democrats, who once hoped to ride his coattails into the sunset, have begun to scatter. Joshua Roberts reports for Reuters:
Spooked by President Barack Obama’s low approval ratings, some of his fellow Democrats in tough November election races have begun their campaigns by distancing themselves from the White House and asserting their independence from Obama’s policies.
In what amounts to a survival-first strategy among embattled Democrats crucial to the party’s effort to keep control of the Senate, some candidates in conservative states Obama lost in 2012 are aggressively criticizing his healthcare, energy and regulatory policies.
The growing distance between Obama and Democrats was no more evident than after the president’s State of the Union.
“I’m disappointed,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said of Obama’s failure to mention the Keystone pipeline.
Alaskan Senator, Mark Begich, offered even more pointed comments, promising his constituents to watch out for abuse of executive authority.
“Alaskans can be sure that I will not sit back and watch any sort of power grab – especially from an Administration that has already demonstrated they do not understand core Alaska issues,” Begich said.
Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor also used the opportunity to distance himself from the president, saying he was frustrated in Obama for not striking a bipartisan tone.
“Overall, I’m disappointed with the President’s State of the Union address because he was heavy on rhetoric, but light on specifics about how we can move our country forward,” said Pryor.
“Let’s face it, not everyone is on the same page,” was all one senior Democratic aide could say in response to the very public infighting.
But red-state Democrats can’t simply run from their record simply because it is politically expedient for them to do so. Americans know rubber stamps where they see them. They know that Begich voted with Obama 94 percent of the time. That Mark Pryor voted with Obama 93 percent of the time. That Landrieu voted with Obama 95 percent of the time. There’s no where to run from the president. There’s no where to hide from your record.