In 2006, the war in Iraq cost Republicans the Congress. Now, Iraq, like Afghanistan, is Obama's war. In 2008, the financial collapse on George W. Bush's watch enabled Obama to retake the lead that Sarah Palin's nomination had given to John McCain. Now, the economy is Obama's albatross and his party's responsibility.
Going into 2008, 27 percent of Americans approved of Bush. Eighty percent thought the country was headed in the wrong direction. Over 90 percent thought the economy was bad or poor.
If we can't win with those numbers, said James Carville, we ought to go into a new line of work.
Obama won, but only because of those appalling numbers. In every state except Missouri where Bush's approval was above 35 percent, McCain carried the state.
In 2010, Obama will not have George W. Bush to kick around anymore and Republicans will not have "Bush's war" or "the Bush economy" to defend.
If Americans think the country is still on the wrong course, as most now do, and the economy is still dismal, as most now do, the only way to protest will be to vote against the party that controls Congress and the White House.
Despite all the media mockery of the "Birthers," "Truthers," Tea Party and town-hall "Nazis," it is the populist-conservative center-right that is not only on fire but came out to vote in 2009.
Young voters and African-Americans who came out in record number in 2008 stayed home in 2009. What will cause them to rally to endangered Democrats in 2010, after they have endured another year of what they are enduring now?
After Tuesday's defeats, Obama flew to Madison, Wis., on the first anniversary of his victory, to remind Americans what a terrible hand he had been dealt. We had, said Obama, a "financial crisis that threatened to plunge our economy into a Great Depression. We had record deficits, two wars, frayed alliances around the world."
Since then, the financial crisis has eased. But millions more are now unemployed. And deficits are now three times as large as Bush's largest. And America's prospects in those two wars are more grim than a year ago. And the Middle East peace process is moribund, and there is the threat of a new war with Iran. What has the outreach to Chavez, Castro and the Ayatollah produced?
President Obama is today the victim of a disillusionment caused by the excessive hopes and expectations that were raised by candidate Obama.
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