Barack Obama's dream of being a transformational president who alters the course of his country died 48 hours ago.
The message America sent Obama and the men and women America sent to Congress to replace his allies impel one to ask: Why would he want a second term?
Why would the most liberal president since FDR wish to preside over the major surgery on the social safety net that must be done in the era of austerity we have entered? The liberal hour is over. Why would the Party of Government not prefer that Republicans do the painful work of paring back programs for which Democrats have fought since the New Deal?
The media have begun a drumbeat to demand that the new speaker, John Boehner, compromise with Obama for the good of the country.
Are these people delusional?
Republicans were brought to power because they were the Party of No. Boehner takes the gavel from Nancy Pelosi because he led the fight to kill the Obama stimulus, Obamacare, card check, amnesty, cap-and-trade and Barney Frank's financial reform.
Boehner's beliefs are closer to the Tea Party than to Obama. He owes his speakership to the Tea Party. His political interests dictate allying with the Tea Party and moving even further away from Obama.
Why would Boehner lead his caucus into a suicide pact with Obama when, in Boehner's eyes, the national interest and his own interests point in the other direction?
The left has yet to grasp that the nation has repudiating it as well as Obama. America has shifted to the right, which again raises the question of Obama's relevance. Why would our most liberal president since FDR want to lead the nation into an age of austerity?
Here is retiring GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, the fiscal conservative that Barack Obama most wanted in his Cabinet.
"This nation is on a course where if we don't ... get ... fiscal policy (under control), we're Greece. We're a banana republic."
"(T)he Tea Party is in the mainstream of where political thought is right now," said Gregg. "We've had a radical explosion in the size of government in the last two years: You've gone from 20 percent of GDP to 24 percent of GDP headed toward 28 percent of GDP. That has to be brought under control or ... we're going to bankrupt the country."
Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers all agree with Gregg.
But how does Obama, whose deficits have added more to the debt in two years than Bush added in eight, convert and become a deficit hawk?
Consider Social Security, which all agree must be made solvent.
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