Victor Davis Hanson

Suddenly, liberal op-ed writers are trashing -- even lampooning -- Barack Obama as a one-term president ("one and done"). Centrist Democrats up for re-election in 2012 openly worry about inviting a kindred president into their districts, lest the supposed new pariah lose them votes.

Left-wing think tanks, environmentalists and academics vent their anger against Obama for supposedly being too soft on Republicans, and too ready to compromise with right-wingers. But what really caused the left-wing falling-out, less than three years after the hope-and-change crush on Barack Obama?

For now, polls.

Obama's popularity has plummeted to little more than 40 percent approval. Suddenly, Democrats worry that the public anger could be contagious. It might infect them as well -- in the way a sinking George W. Bush hurt congressional Republicans up for re-election in 2006.

Yet the left cannot fairly blame Obama. After all, he rammed through on a strictly partisan vote the century-old liberal dream of a federal takeover of health care -- something that Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton never could do. Keynesians never dreamed that a president could actually borrow $5 trillion for domestic spending in less than three years.

The Obama administration even tried to shut down a brand-new Boeing aircraft plant on the shaky argument that the company might thereby be hiring fewer union workers somewhere else. For environmentalists, Obama kept oil producers out of new fields in Alaska, the American West, the Gulf and other offshore sites. Hundreds of billions in borrowed federal money went to failed "wind and solar" plants in an effort to jump-start "millions of green jobs."

The Obama revolution under the radar was even more insidious. Open-borders activists were promised that the government would not bother illegal aliens unless they were wanted for felonies. Never before has the United States joined a foreign government in suing one of its own states -- in the fashion that both the Justice Department and Mexico have either filed or joined suits seeking to overturn Arizona's immigration law.

From January 2009 through 2010, Obama advanced the liberal dream with a passion not seen since the New Deal days of Franklin Roosevelt. He bulldozed all opposition and rammed through most of what he wanted from a Democratic Congress -- Obamacare, record borrowing, record spending, hundreds of hard-left presidential appointees and judges.


Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.