The Democrats are on the verge of a historical defeat. Just two years ago, the party seemed to be forging a majority governing coalition. It controlled Congress, key governorships and many state legislatures. And with the 2008 election of President Obama, the Democrats occupied the White House.
The country had shifted to the center-left. Voters had become disgusted with the administration of George W. Bush - especially Republican misrule, the sharp economic recession and the protracted wars in the Middle East. Bush-Cheney Republicanism had damaged the conservative brand. Democrats had a golden opportunity to build an enduring pragmatic liberalism upon the Republican rubble.
They blew it. Instead of focusing on economic recovery, job creation and winning the war on terrorism, the Obama administration used its massive congressional majorities to expand government power. In fact, had Mr. Obama exercised responsible leadership - cutting spending, slashing deficits and fostering pro-growth policies such as permanent middle-class tax cuts - he would be in a very different position today. The economy would be growing. Mr. Obama's poll numbers would not be tanking. His party would not be facing a political tidal wave.
Mr. Obama is a radical ideologue. He chose socialism over pragmatism, remaking America rather than reviving it. From the outset, Mr. Obama's goal was to erect a corporatist social democracy - the fusion of big government, big labor and big business. The political glue to Obamaism was the cult of personality: hero worship on a scale never seen in America and reminiscent of Marxist dictatorships. For the first 20 months of his presidency, he was everywhere and anywhere - receiving the Nobel Peace Prize (for doing nothing), repeatedly on the covers of national weekly magazines, making television appearances and enjoying nonstop fawning from the establishment media.
Yet, as the media coronated him the new leftist emperor, his subjects grew restless under Democratic imperial rule. Mr. Obama has alienated Middle America for one simple reason: His policies are bleeding the country white. They are breaking the nation's back.
Mr. Obama now is rightly seen as dangerously out of touch - so consumed by power, hubris and arrogance that he is oblivious to the contempt with which he is held by many Americans. They see him for who he is: a revolutionary post-national progressive who seeks to establish a new liberal ruling class. This has been the animating essence of his presidency.
Hence, he rammed Obamacare down the throats of Congress and the majority of the American people. He abused the legislative process, refusing to have the sweeping health care overhaul reconciled in conference committee. His administration engaged in open bribery and corruption to arm-twist key votes - the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, the offering of judgeships to brothers of congressmen. Most despicable of all, Mr. Obama lied. He vowed that government-run health care would curb costs and not add to the deficit. However, the huge entitlement will cost taxpayers at least $1 trillion over the next decade, if not much more. It imposes rationing and lowers the quality of care. Obamacare represents another expensive entitlement program that we cannot afford.
Mr. Obama promised that health care was a political winner for the Democrats this November. He has, however, refused to campaign on it. This is because even he knows it is deeply unpopular. He asked his fellow Democrats - many of whom were reluctant - to walk the plank and vote for the bill. Now he has abandoned them as they swim in shark-infested waters.
Mr. Obama has assaulted almost every segment of society. He has nationalized the automakers, the financial sector and the college student-loan industry. His regime has called for regulating the Internet. His allies in Congress want to muzzle conservative talk radio by passing the so-called Fairness Doctrine. He has appointed numerous policy "czars" with Cabinet-level powers, circumventing the normal Senate confirmation process. His Justice Department is suing Arizona for trying to protect its citizens from Mexican drug cartels and criminal illegal aliens. He has defunded NASA's manned space program, eviscerating America's strategic advantage in space. The only spending cuts have been to slash $100 billion from the Pentagon's budget - weakening our military readiness.
Yet his greatest crime - the one for which he can and must never be forgiven - is amassing massive deficits. His administration has passed successive trillion-dollar budget deficits. He has added more to the national debt than all of the presidents from George Washington to Ronald Reagan combined. He is on pace to accumulate $10 trillion in debt over the next 10 years - a staggering amount, which no nation (ever) can pay off. In short, Mr. Obama's spend-and-borrow polices are burying America under a mountain of red ink. Our country's long-term fiscal - and national - security is under threat.
The results have been disastrous. The $800 billion stimulus failed to restore growth - except to stimulate the growth in big government. Inflation is rising. The trade deficit is widening. The dollar is collapsing. Unemployment remains stuck near 10 percent. Investment and business capital are fleeing. Home foreclosures continue. The middle class is shrinking. Despair has set in. The country is adrift. People are losing hope.
This is why the Democrats will be demolished in November. If the poll numbers hold up, Republicans will win back not only the House but maybe even the Senate. It will be a stark - and humiliating - repudiation of Mr. Obama's radical socialist agenda. Mr. Obama has committed the cardinal sin in politics: He has overreached. And now comes the reckoning.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank.
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