Michael Barone writes that “we’re seeing what happens when liberal dreams collide with American public opinion.”
It’s like what happens when a butterfly collides with the windshield of a speeding sport utility vehicle. Splat.
It’s a nice image.
“What’s really exceptional at this stage of Obama’s presidency,” writes Andrew Kohut, the Pew Research Center’s respected pollster, “is the extent to which the public has moved in a conservative direction on a range of issues. These trends have emanated as much from the middle of the electorate as from the highly energized conservative right. Even more notable, however, is the extent to which liberals appear to be dozing as the country has shifted on both economic and social issues.”
From which we can draw two conclusions. One is that economic distress does not move Americans to support more government. Rasmussen reports that 66 percent of Americans favor smaller government with fewer services and only 22 percent favor more services and higher taxes.
The second is that Obama’s persuasive powers are surprisingly weak. His advocacy seems to have moved Americans in the opposite of the intended direction.
Obama first came to national attention in 2004 by promising to heal partisan, ideological and racial divisions. Like the other two Democratic presidents elected in the last 40 years, he campaigned in the center and started off governing on the left. In Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill we are seeing the results. Splat.
Still, if the Democrats manage to eke out a health care bill, no matter how far removed from their original vision, it will represent a tie between the butterfly and the SUV. Until the next election, anyway.