Philip Klein, on why the President is not going to be able to avoid the shower of ordure that is even now busily descending upon our current ruling class:
When Obama came into office, he argued that we needed deficit spending to boost the economy, so he passed a $800 billion stimulus package. Then, in one of his first supposed pivots to the deficit, he convened a ‘fiscal responsibility summit’ in February 2009. But that actually turned out to be part of a different pivot altogether. It was during that summit that then White House Budget Director Peter Orszag declared, “health care reform is entitlement reform.”
And so, for the next 13 months, Obama spent all of his energies trying to get health care legislation across the finish line.
During the 111th Congress, the Democratic party had a working majority undreamed of in American political history. A House majority of somewhere around 59%. A Senate majority of 60, for a large stretch of time (and a majority of 59 for most the rest of it, which is almost as good). A President enjoying approval ratings that you’d normally expect to associate with Jesus Christ Himself. And, most importantly, a populace that would have sat still for anything, once. That really is the most important bit: the 2008 election gave the Democrats a blank political check that allowed them to have anything that they wanted. Anything at all. So the Democrats went with Obamacare. Because they were still aggrieved and upset that voters didn’t approve of the Democrats trying to pass health care rationing in the 1990s, and the Democrats needed to prove to themselves that they could do this, really.
Really, if the American people had known that the Democratic party was going to succumb to some demented political version of a midlife crisis like this then we would have been happy to authorize buying them all leather jackets, bald-spot-camouflage caps, and cherry-red mid-range sports cars. It’d have been a hell of a lot cheaper than Obamacare.