Skip to comments.Obama's Ambitious Second-Term Agenda Could Backfire
Posted on 01/13/2013 2:53:36 PM PST by Red Steel
On gun control, immigration, and Hagel, the president's biggest roadblocks are Democrats.
The White Houses ambitious agenda on gun control, immigration reform, and, perhaps, even climate change is a sign that President Obama believes he locked up precious political capital with his reelection and intends to spend it quickly. But that isnt welcome news to many of the Democrats who need him the most in the short term--the seven Democratic senators in conservative states facing tough reelection bids.
Just one week into the new year, Obama has already hit some unpleasant stumbling blocks with his own party. On gun control, the White House is now calculating that it will be exceedingly difficult to pass broad measures, The New York Times reports, a sharp U-turn from its optimism heading into the new year. Senators from the presidents own party are the ones giving him trouble over his nominee for Defense secretary, former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel, with one of the presidents most partisan backers privately expressing doubt about whether hell support his nomination.
And on Friday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced his retirement, making it even more likely that a West Virginia Senate seat will turn Republican for the first time since 1959. Rockefellers decision to step down early may give him more flexibility to vote with the White House on its pet initiatives, but it creates major problems for the Democrats looking to succeed him. The White Houses planned agenda for the coming year is awfully inhospitable for a Democrat looking to keep his or her distance from the national party. (Notably, newly minted Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet, in a statement, said he is confident the party will elect an independent-minded Democrat to a seat.)
This is just the tip of the iceberg. To maintain their Senate majority in 2014, Democrats need to hold onto seven seats being contested on inhospitable turf--Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska, Montana, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Dakota. Obama holds solid approval ratings nationally but, given the state of affairs in our polarized country, is in much more tenuous shape down South. The strategic positioning of Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor or Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mark Begich of Alaska will be fascinating to watch over the next year. Immigration, for example, is probably a winning issue for the president overall, but it will be a much tougher sell with Democrats in conservative states and districts. Rockefeller took the easy way out in stepping down.
My National Journal colleagues Ron Fournier and Jill Lawrence have been engaging in a debate over whether Obama is merely a good president, or a potentially great one. I disagree with the premise. Id argue that given Democratic congressional supermajorities in his first two years and the lingering unpopularity of the Republican Party, he held the potential to accomplish a lot more--and in a more bipartisan fashion, as well. Health care reform was a costly detour from promoting a jobs-centric agenda in the presidents first year. Hes spending significant political capital on Hagel, at a time when the White House desperately needs a united Democratic front on gun control and immigration.
Obamas predecessor, George W. Bush, learned the hard way about bragging about his mandate, seeing his own ambitious Social Security reforms blow up in his face thanks to recalcitrant Republicans, and watching his approval ratings trend downward from there. Understanding the political limits, while also recognizing strategic opportunities, is an essential part of a presidents job responsibility.
One of the biggest differences between 2012 and 2014 for down-ballot Democrats is that the president doesnt have the same political imperative to tack to the middle, free to pursue the issues deemed most important. That might be good for the presidents legacy, certainly if he accomplishes his agenda, but the politically at-risk members of his own party are probably having different thoughts.
The only difference between his two terms is that he won’t have to cut back on his golfing in 2016 like he did in 2012.
Not as long as his state controlled “media” toadies are still willing to kiss and lick his feet all of the time. Low information voters will continue to watch the evening news and believe everything they see and hear.
But he thinks he powerful enough to rule his party,trip stumble and fall to ensue?.
As a typical liberal, yes, he is too stupid, and too surrounded by people who have identical mindsets, to believe that he can fail. Legalizing a few million illegals when there aren’t jobs for the people born here, the unpopularity of gun control, and the idiocy of pushing climate change will end up with him being the least popular, and worst regarded president in my lifetime.
Low information is right! Not to mention low intelligence voters.
The narcissist is blind to the truth. He has angered the sleeping giant. they might not have voted for romney, but they sure are getting prepared to save their liberty.
Barbra Streisand! How can it backfire when the half black boy has an unlimited and unchecked power in executive orders, recess appointments and a guaranteed four year term, unlike his equivalents (prime ministers) in parliamentary systems?
Stumbling blocks in his own party - Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I hope he ONLY golfs from now til 2016. If he’s focused on that, he’ll have less time to RUIN the country.
So much for that rag National Journal. I wouldn't wipe with it.
He thinks he has a “mandate”. BS, 0scumbag! You ain’t got squat!
Climate change?????!!!!! Are they all crazy? Man does not control the climate. Man cannot control the climate. The sun controls the climate. Man will control the climate when he finds a way to control the sun. In the meantime, GET AN !@#$%^’N GRIP!!!!
Arrogance has a way of causing many politician to fall fast and far to the point that corruption takes over, Look at each and every state that the concept called autogolpe. See Peru - Fujimori, Soviet Union and the unsuccessful one in Guatemala. I will post the title to the presentation that was conducted in Chicago Illinois in the 1990s. Wonders never cease, that Obama probably hot more of his political views from the materials presented. Just wonder what Marxist thought he was taught at Harvard Law as Political Determination of Transforming a Country
He has already achieved that status.
IMO, ObayMe thinks he’s God and we’re his slaves. Congress just thinks of us as their peasants and/or slaves, wanna bet?
Kind of smells and feels like Germany around the mid 1930’s.
I have suspicioned from the beginning that ‘bummer’s fuss and flurry over “I’m gonna get rid of guns” was more for momentary show than reality - and that his putting ‘Plugs” in as pointman indicated that he knew from the beginning he doesn’t have much of a chance of getting our guns - ...After all, if he thought he had a chance of getting all the crap through, he would ride point - so as get all the glory.
By putting Plugs out front, when it fails, Plugs will get the blame, not ‘bummer.
( think about it. What else, in going on 5 years now, has Plugs been put in charge of?)
Bummer is too much of a narcissist to let anyone have the chance of glory over such a long standing goal.
The sun's magnetic field is declining....so less sunspots.....the sunspot count is also declining.
Last time this happened the earth had a mini ice age from 1350 to 1750.
When the reality of lack of sunspots is confirmed in about 11 years and half way into the next sunspot cycle....
look for dims to jump off the planet ...lead by Al Bore.
In the final analysis those congressional bass turds are mainly interested in preserving their own place at the trough. They care nothing about the Constitution or the country or its citizens.
ping for later