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Jerry Shenk


Obama Has Exposed, Sabataged Political Liberalism

by Jerry Shenk
 

History will record Barack Obama's presidency as the high-water mark of American progressivism, the period during which liberal governance briefly flared, then flamed out.

The Senate-flipping 2014 wave election highlighted voters' dissatisfaction. Disappointed liberals, bewildered -- angered — by the devastating midterms, are facing uncomfortable truths:

Nearing Obama's final year in office, the "tea party" phenomenon inspired by his policies is still alive, and Occupy Wall Street is dead.

Seven years after the breathless appearance of "Hope and Change," practical Democrats no longer promote Obamacare; none embrace Obama's disastrous foreign policy results; and few speak favorably of executive amnesty.

Democrats avoid discussing the massive national debt and the slowest, poorest economic recovery since World War II.

Structurally, in Congress and state capitals, Obama's party is at its weakest point in modern political history.

A McLaughlin and Associates poll recently quantified American's disaffection with Obama's policies. About two thirds of voters, 64 percent, think the country is on the wrong track — a landslide in electoral terms. Only 28 percent say it's headed in the right direction. Unsurprisingly, the sentiment is strongest among Republicans (85 percent) and independents (70 percent), but 47% of Democrats agree.

Obama's approval rating has been underwater for years. Even as news outlets expressed alarm over a potential government shutdown, those polled still favored smaller over larger government by fifteen points.

The results were decisive on the question, "Generally speaking would you like the next president to continue the policies of President Obama or change direction…?" "Change direction" outpolled continuing Obama's policies by 23 points, among independents by 39 points. 25 percent of Democrats want change. Amusingly, 11 percent of Democrats are "undecided."

Despite delays of the worst provisions of Obamacare, Obama's signature program remains unpopular. No matter how diligently the left exploits random, senseless mass shootings, most Americans oppose gun control. Started on a falsehood, "hands up, don't shoot" protests won't persuade Americans to refuse police departments broad discretion in the use of force.

Climate treaties remain Senate non-starters. Americans understand that, when federal law is ignored as Obama has ignored immigration law, sovereignty is lost and chaos results.

None of the left's long-cherished policy goals has been embraced by even a plurality of Americans. Obama foolishly squandered his and fellow liberals' political capital on programs they coveted but which traditional Americans dislike or with which they disagree.

Electoral peril marks the boundaries of political loyalty. In order to advance or, in some cases, simply preserve their careers and resurrect the party after Obama leaves office, ambitious Democrats will have no options other than denying, ignoring or rebuking the unpopular, destructive policies they enabled or defended during Obama's two terms. Some "moderate" Republicans may be similarly vulnerable.

Practically speaking, it's difficult to imagine another candidate as recklessly liberal as Obama being elected president anytime soon.
Indeed, America's experience with Barack Obama has ensured that, for years, American presidents are far more likely to emerge from the political right.
Sorry, Hillary…


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