Four years ago Barack Obama was elected President with 53% of the vote -- a monumental achievement. He was swept into office with 364 electoral votes, compared to John McCain’s lackluster 162 electoral votes. With 60 votes in the Senate and a lock-step Democrat majority behind then Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the new President had complete party control of Congress. His approval rating by early spring peaked above 70%.
The President's rhetoric was high-minded and soaring. His feel good messages of hope and change convinced Americans that the previous eight years were a disaster and that America needed a dramatic course correction. Political analysts and mainstream media pundits, with bated breath, envisioned a historic presidency and a seismic long term political shift in America.
Today, a dramatically reduced President Obama is desperately holding on to his presidency just days before an election -- swinging wildly and attacking his Republican challenger in the most negative, small-minded manner possible. His shift from issues to personal attacks is the hallmark of his desperation. Polls show that independent voters in droves across the nation have turned against President Obama and that he faces the very real danger of being a member of a club no one wants to join: One term presidents.
How did this happen? How did Barack Obama fall so far?
The answer may surprise you; it was two early issue decisions by the President that will go down in history as the reason for his undoing. These two decisions united the conservative movement in a determined, long-term grassroots battle against his big government policies. Republicans and Conservatives united to a degree not thought possible by either group, around the common goal of stopping disastrous anti-growth policies.
In January of 2009, just after his inauguration, President Obama urged Congress to pass his stimulus bill. The President pleaded for billions of tax payer dollars to jumpstart the economy. The final $800 billion bill exploded government spending and instead of being spent quickly and efficiently few dollars went to projects that were actually ‘shovel ready.’ The Obama administration wasted billions on now-bankrupt green energy companies like Solyndra.
He could have gone for a less ideological proposal, one that would have cost less. A compromise bill would almost certainly have garnered at least some Republican support. After all, many moderate and even soft conservatives were saying some sort of stimulus was needed. However, because the President dug in his heels and refused to negotiate, his stimulus was only supported by big spending Democrats.