Roll Tide is probably the best description of Tuesday’s sweep. The Republicans recaptured the Senate, dominated the House, swept away Democratic challengers in gubernatorial races. The GOP has won the strongest position in the Congress since WWII. Many saw this coming but few thought it would be such a roll.
The easy stuff first. Based on our multi-year thesis about Barack Obama being the mirror-image of George W. Bush, this defeat was to be expected. That may sound ridiculous to those who are hearing this for the first time. We first advocated this thesis in May 2008 in another forum. In November 2012, we demonstrated this mirror-image thesis by looking at the 2012 re-election of President Obama & the 2004 re-election of President Bush. Then, in December 2013, we used this thesis to analyze the similarities in the Obamacare fiasco & the Iraq war of President Bush. Now the 2014 loss of the Congress due to President Obama, similar to the 2006 loss due to President Bush. QED, we say.
But there is a bigger story in this week’s sweep by the Republicans. It was a “that didn’t work” conclusion by the electorate. These three succinct words come from Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal on Friday, November 7. She wrote:
- The current sentence is something like, “Wow, that didn’t work, he really had the wrong skill sets.”
The first clause is right, the second we think severely understates President Obama’s problems. According to the polls, the people clearly believe that the country is going in the wrong direction. That doesn’t happen because of “wrong skill sets“; it happened because President Obama’s entire approach & its underlying philosophy was rejected by the electorate. And they went back to the roots, back to the principles that made America successful.
Regardless of who you are in America, you understand debt – your personal debt. The middle class have struggled under declining incomes to deal with mortgage debt, car loans & credit card debt. The older retired folks have dealt with it all their lives. The recent college-graduates have struggled, are struggling, and will struggle to repay their student loans. They all know first hand that, since 2008, the average American household income has fallen by 10%+, from $57,000 to $51,000.
Every one gets it. That is why they get, really get, the problem of $17 trillion of government debt hanging over the American economy. And they get that this problem is the result of Obama’s policies and philosophy.
Peggy Noonan’s “wrong skill sets” clause contains another key truth – President Obama is genuinely liked. The electorate knows that he is intelligent and decent. When we see him standing with other world leaders, we like what we see – our handsome intelligent President with a personal presence that no world leader can match. That is why the electorate was unwilling to jettison him without giving him the full opportunity to do his thing.
But that was for Obama the man, not his policies & approach. President Obama was right in saying his policies are on the ticket even though he is not. That made it easy for the electorate, even for people who were passionately for him in 2008. They rejected his policies without rejecting him personally.
President Obama thought his election in 2008 was a mandate by the people to transform America into what he wanted America to be. That was his core mistake. Everything he has done in the past six years has been based on this utterly wrong presumption. President Reagan became great because he built his presidency on the foundation of America built by the Founding Fathers. He became transformational because he took America back to its roots to cure the “malaise” of the 1970s. President Obama has failed so far because he has done everything he could to change America into the rest of the world.
He still has two years to change himself, to transform his approach & policies. Otherwise, he will provide the next President the opportunity to be transformational.
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