I remember so well walking around Somerville and Cambridge listening to my progressive friends tell me about
this great man Barack Obama.
He was so smart and sophisticated—unlike that hick George W. Bush.
Now, the Democrats are staring at the wrong end of a midterm landslide with no one to blame put the man Obama himself.
In his first two years, Obama had a Democratic House and Senate, and with it he pushed through easily the worst piece of major legislation in American history, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. PPACA, also known as ObamaCare, was so bad that even the Democrats pushed its implementation until after the 2012 election.
That did not stop anger at the PPACA from giving the Republicans control of the House in 2010. Nor, apparently, did it provide enough time for Obama to work out how to implement his signature accomplishment, which also takes the prize as the worse rollout of a piece of major legislation in American history.
If the passing of ObamaCare gave the GOP the House, in the 2014 midterms, the rollout of ObamaCare will give the GOP the Senate.
Making Obama’s incompetence all the more ridiculous—or galling to Democrats—is that the president’s excuse to everything that goes wrong is a riff on: “Whoa, I just read about that in the papers. I will get right on it.”
Now the Democrats in Washington are bracing like the crew of the Titanic for the iceberg their leader steered them into.
Two recent events are evidence of their realization taking shape. One is the nomination of former Montana senator Max Baucus as the ambassador to China. Any objection witness to Baucus testifying at his confirmation hearing walked away wondering if Baucus could find China on a map.
Baucus, who as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, crafted the ObamaCare bill along with White House staffers, had announced his retirement from the Senate rather than defend his role in the ObamaCare debacle to the voters. Amazingly, it was Baucus who called ObamaCare a “train wreck.” Hey, thanks, senator.
With no Democrat in Montana with traction, the White House arranged for Baucus to take exile to the Middle Kingdom, so the state’s Democratic governor could name his lieutenant governor John Walsh his replacement.
Now, Walsh can run as an incumbent and his may have a slim shot.
Beyond the machinations in Montana, the Baucus situation is trouble because his seat was so safe for so long. The role of guys like Baucus with safe seats is to raise more money than he needs, so he can distribute his excess to other Democrats.
This year, of 36 Senate seats up for grabs, 21 are held by Democrats and 15 are held by Republicans. When Baucus asked the Democrats for help, he was told he needed to take care of himself, which is why he is learning how to eat with two wooden sticks.
If the Republicans pick up six net seats, they are in control.
Of the 15 GOP seats up, none are in trouble.
The second signal that the Democrats know they are cooked is the recent retirement of senior Democrats in the House, men like California’s Rep. George Miller, Rep. Henry Waxman and New Jersey’s Rep. Rush Holt.
If the Democrats won the House, Miller, Waxman and Holt would resume their roles as powerful committee chairmen. But, in January, when the Democratic National Committee told them it was abandoning House races, in a desperate attempt to save their control of the Senate.
Instead of two more years in the minority, Miller, Waxman and Holt took a walk.
If Washington Democrats become aware of what Obama has done to them, let along what he has done for economy and, um, world peace, do not expect Boston-area progressives to catch on.
When you are in the bubble, the bubble takes on its own logic.
Let’s see how they handle it the morning after this year’s election when the bubble bursts.
It is too bad that the damage Obama has done in the last five years makes it all to tragic to gloat.