DECLINE OF A DEMIGOD – AT 8:35 A.M. ET: Nile Gardner is one of those astute British writers who understood the reality of Obama right from the start. He was not among the believers. Now he chronicles the decline of the president, even among those who have worshipped:
Democrats in Congress are no longer asking themselves whether this is going to be a bad election year for them and their party. They are asking whether it is going to be a disaster. The GOP pushed deep into Democratic-held territory over the summer, to the point where the party is well within range of picking up the 39 seats it would need to take control of the House. Overall, as many as 80 House seats could be at risk, and fewer than a dozen of these are held by Republicans.
Political handicappers now say it is conceivable that the Republicans could also win the 10 seats they need to take back the Senate. Not since 1930 has the House changed hands without the Senate following suit.
For most of the year, America’s political and media elites, including the Obama team itself, have touted the notion of an economic recovery (which never materialised), significantly underestimated the rise of the Tea Party movement, and questioned the notion that conservatism was sweeping America. It is only now hitting home just how close Washington is to experiencing a political revolution in November that will fundamentally change the political landscape on Capitol Hill, with huge implications for the Obama presidency. What was once a perspective confined largely to Fox News, online conservative news sites, or talk radio is now gaining ground in the liberal US print media as well – historic change is coming to America, though not quite the version promised by Barack Obama.
COMMENT: It's been pointed out that even the late-night talk-show hosts, who once gave Obama a free pass, are now taking aim at him. Midterm elections are a verdict on the president in power, and the verdict thus far is decidedly negative.
Obviously, the Democrats can come alive. Good campaigning, as Obama himself has demonstrated, can take the electorate beyond reality. But Mr. Obama has been a disappointment, a disappointment at a time when Americans desperately need effective leadership. He's have to run some spectacular campaign to reverse the tide that's built over the summer.
September 9, 2010