The Republican Mandate
Two sources of temporal liberal joy are as such: one of their usual suspects now coming out in favor of homosexual marriage (apparently poll-tested and following the trail blazed by Administration thought-leader Joe Biden) and Barack Obama is still president.
The President’s re-election has been construed by the media, the left, and the President as Obama’s mandate or alternatively, the death of the GOP. The unstated liberal hypothesis is this: “Our guy is the biggest fail since Jimmy Carter met Richard Nixon and Republicans still can’t beat him.”
Ignored is the fact Republicans re-won the House and can also claim the mandate of the 2012 elections as their own with their 30 Republican governors (versus 19 with Democrats) and 27 Republican-led legislatures (with only 17 states having Democrat-controlled legislatures).
Really, whose mandate is it, man?
And when Democrats like Ted Van Dyk or liberals like Bob Woodward challenge the left on their thinking, opinions, policies, actions, or “facts,” what happens is as predictable as night following day. They attack the man:
Van Dyk was correct [in a 2009 critique of the President’s non-leadership style]. Obama’s legislative overreach was corrected by the voters in the historic 2010 midterm wave election which obliterated a Democratic House majority cobbled together over the course of two pro-Democratic waves. But Van Dyk’s critics on the left, stung a tepid critique of Obama authored by one of their own, struck at his credibility and sought to undermine his authority.
“Who the heck is this guy?” asked The New Republic’s Barron Youngsmith in 2009. “[A] Nexis search reveals that he has been posing as an “enraged Democrat” abandoned by Democrats since at least the Carter administration. Liberals should dissent, of course, but this guy is just ridiculous.”
(We could also ask, “Who the heck is Barron Youngsmith? The name sounds like the love child of a minor land-free foreign dignitary and his cleaning lady..”)
But back to the mandate. Even though Republicans defeated the President’s call for across-the-board tax increases and have slowed the rate of government growth (slightly), their problem seems to be with the messenger and not the message. Conversely, the President has no such problem; in fact, voters are apparently OK with the messenger, yet not the message. After all, Obama was re-elected in spite of his sub-Nixon/Carter record.
So what’s easier to replace, the message(s) or the messenger(s)?
(Don’t look at me for an answer; it’s rhetorical.)
While Obama’s re-election could be viewed as an anomaly and the death of the GOP is a great exaggeration, a most humbling—perhaps terrifying—question remains: do we really do get the government we deserve?