Jonah Goldberg
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Indeed, Vice President Joe Biden was right when he said Solyndra is "exactly what the Recovery Act was all about." For instance, the Washington Post reported this week that $38.6 billion in loans have netted a "few thousand" jobs rather than the 65,000 Obama promised. So if the program had "succeeded," that would amount to nearly $600,000 per job in government-backed loans.

Then there's the politics. Tuesday afternoon, even as polls remained open in congressional elections in New York and Nevada, high-level Democratic donors and strategists gathered on a conference call. A participant in the discussion told Politico that the mood was "awful." "People feel betrayed, disappointed, furious, disgusted, hopeless," he added.

That was before the election results came in. In Nevada, the Republican crushed a top-flight female Democratic candidate by 22 points. In New York, the seat that once belonged to Geraldine Ferraro, Chuck Schumer and Anthony Weiner went to Republican Bob Turner -- the first time the seat since has gone Republican since 1923. A liberal strategist put a rosy spin on it: "The mine hasn't collapsed, but the loss in New York is definitely a dead canary."

In both races, the Democrats used their trump card: scaring seniors by telling them the GOP wants to take away their Medicare and Social Security. It didn't work.

This came against a backdrop of abysmal poll numbers showing Obama's approval falling with every constituency, including Democrats, Independents, Hispanics and African-Americans. That might be why congressional Democrats are openly balking at his must-pass stimulus do-over.

But, please. Don't share any of this with AttackWatch.com, the third and newest operation set up by this president inviting good and decent Americans to hand over the names of critics who say mean things about the president.

It seems ominous -- and would have been denounced as Orwellian if George W. Bush had done anything of the sort. But the truth is, it's sad. The aim, I'm sure, is to inspire liberals -- who now hate Obama's enemies far more than they love Obama -- to get involved in his re-election.

In 2008, the "politics of hope" campaign trained volunteers to testify about how they "came to Obama" the way one talks of "coming to Jesus." Now they ask supporters to help build a digital enemies list. Which they'll do, of course. But not because they love him.

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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