Can Obama follow Clinton’s lead & turn loss into win?

Contributed by Warren Mowry

Though it’s still WAY too early to even contemplate a victory lap barely 80 days from the November elections, in mid-August it’s undeniably better to be a Republican than a Democrat.  Reduced to personal attacks (so much for calls to end the “politics of personal destruction”), Democrats are in a shambles nationwide.  Democrats are fleeing from Obama and his policies.  Look at the recent video which has gone viral, using as its theme the Jet Blue flight attendant who deployed his airplane’s emergency slide and escaped his aircraft http://bit.ly/cqUv7x. And take a look at Douglas Shoen’s column: http://bit.ly/dsJKsO for a truly eye-opening synopsis of Democrat problems.  Republicans may well get the chance to prove, paraphrasing F. Scott Fitzgerald, that there are second acts in American politics.

Keep in mind, though, that even after the Republican tsunami in 1994, and even after he was written off as a “one-termer,” and even after the Time magazine cover titled “The Incredible Shrinking Presidency,” Bill Clinton managed to resurrect himself, win re-nomination, and coast to an easy victory two years later.  Might Obama do the same?

Just for the sake of discussion, let’s say that the polls hold through the election.  Republicans actually do get the chance, as GOP congressional candidate Allen West envisioned, to tell Nancy Pelosi, “gimme the damn gavel.”  Let’s say that, like 1994, the wave reaches to the other side of the Capitol and all the planets align just so.  Republicans hold all their embattled seats and carve up the Democrats on their home ground.  Illinois, North Dakota, Delaware, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Colorado all fall to the GOP.  Harry Reid?  Your hometown of Stoplight wants its village idiot back.  Barbara Boxer?  Goner.  Patty Murray?  See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.  Russ Feingold?  Adios.  Are the Republicans in a position to make the changes that so many Americans so clearly yearn for – and not the ones that Obama wants to make?  Remember, Obama sits in the White House, holding that great big veto pen.  He can stop any reform the conservatives want to make, right in their tracks.

So . . . in such a situation, are we looking at a replay of 1994?  Will Barack Obama, facing a Republican Congress, co-opt popular Republican initiatives (remember welfare reform, which Clinton vetoed twice before signing, then claimed it as his own to the short-memoried electorate?) and short-circuit any claim that Americans need Republicans back in the White House?  Will Obama show the same lack of principle and a desire for self-preservation as Clinton demonstrated?  Here’s one vote for “no.”  Clinton was, as he demonstrated many times, a slick, supple survivalist.  I don’t know if he’s part cat, but he certainly used up a lot of lives coming back from the political dead as often as he did.  Obama, for all of his much-ballyhooed skills in 2008, has shown none of Clinton’s political acumen since inauguration.  Obama is an ideologue, and a vain one at that.  He has never shown any indication of humility, believing too many of his press clippings that he is infallible.  It’s his way or the highway.  The likelihood of his being able to admit, not only defeat, but that he was wrong, is slim.  That’s why 2010 and 2012 are a different animal from the mid-1990s.  We’ll not only need to drain Nancy Pelosi’s swamp in Congress this year but have a change in the White House before we’ll be able to right the ship and repeal the travesties that have been signed into law during Obama’s watch.

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