Democrats declare themselves unconcerned about a “backlash” in 2010. The public will come to appreciate their health-care handiwork, they suppose. And somehow their supporters will be re-engaged to match the enthusiasm of the apoplectic conservative coalition that is more motivated to defeat Obamaism in 2010 than it was to defeat Obama in 2008. Maybe by then unemployment will have drifted downward. Oh, and there might be a grand bargain with the Iranian mullahs rather than the prospect of a nuclear-armed revolutionary Islamic state.
Yes, it sounds far-fetched. Very. And it suggests that the public — which couldn’t be convinced of the benefits of a failed stimulus plan – can be talked into believing the wonders of ObamaCare, talked out of its concerns about taxes and debt, and talked into ignoring the Obami’s leftward lurch. That’s a lot of spinning and misdirection. And who will do it? Obama seems to have lost his ability to sway the public on much of anything (except the Afghanistan surge, suggesting he is more effective in the role of resolute commander in chief than as health-care salesman). All the talk-show appearances and all the speeches haven’t sold the public on a big government takeover of health care. Quite the opposite.
So how is this transformation of the electorate supposed to come about, exactly? Well, starting over or severely downsizing the grossly unpopular health-care bill would help. A pro-jobs agenda (that is more than weatherizing subsidies) with a moratorium on new taxes might help. And a serious determination to control domestic spending might soothe independent voters. It’s not impossible, just unlikely, unless there is a wholesale revolt among vulnerable Democratic congressmen, senators, and governors to turn the agenda back from. . . what’s the word?.. ah. . . the precipice.
And if the Democrats refuse to heed the voters and their own nervous members? Then we will have a major course correction on Election Day 2010. It is now conceivable that the House may fall back into Republican hands and that the Democrats will lose their filibuster-proof majority. And that will be the end of the untrammeled experiment in Obamaism, which can loosely be described as the endeavor to campaign as a moderate and race as far Left as possible until the voters notice.
We will see in 2010 whether the Democrats pull back from that precipice, or whether the voters shove a good number of them over it. Either way, 2010 will be the beginning of a new phase in the Obama presidency. Polls indicate that the public will be relieved, whether that new beginning comes from a voluntary course adjustment or a tidal wave election.