Very perceptive editorial from Peggy Noonan in the Journal today on Obama and the misreading of the American mood for socialized medicine.I loved this line:
And so the shock on the faces of Congressmen who’ve faced the grillings back home. And really, their shock is the first thing you see in the videos. They had no idea how people were feeling. Their 2008 win left them thinking an election that had been shaped by anti-Bush, anti-Republican, and pro-change feeling was really a mandate without context; they thought that in the middle of a historic recession featuring horrific deficits, they could assume support for the invention of a huge new entitlement carrying huge new costs.
A mandate without context. Marvelous line. We won, so the people will just go along with everything we say. Guess what, America didn’t sign on for a massive expansion of government. Look at the size of the margin in the House. It is made up of largely moderate Democrats who won in traditionally conservative districts. People were looking for leadership and hope, what they are getting served up is thinly veiled socialism and liberal politics as usual.
If there was a lesson from 2008, it was that people were fed up with what they perceived to be ineffective, unresponsive, reckless government. So imagine the shock and anger of many voters who found that instead of a new, better government what they got was merely the same sort of government they have been seeing for decades writ large. They wanted “hope” and “change”, what they got was Jimmy Carter’s second term 28 years late. Little wonder the “mobs” are showing up at these townhalls and are angry. The left is spinning this as GOP operatives because they are dressed better than liberal rabble-rousers, but no one is buying their spin and it is making them look bad. People understand the hypocrisy of touting Obama’s experience as a “community organizer” last fall but then referring to communities being organized as mobs one step removed from Nazis.
President Obama used all of his trust, goodwill and political capital on the stimulus package. As the bill for that became more apparent, people are rebelling against even more deficit spending and an even bigger government. Every day that goes by sees support for this effort slipping. The Democrats have overreached and misread the electorate. The real question now is: do they still cram through socialized medicine and how badly does all of this hurt them in a year when the elections roll around?