The Massachusetts defeat and subsequent blow to the Democrats’ health care agenda suitably coincided with the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration. As Obama turned his attention toward his second year in office, former campaign manager and political consultant David Plouffe was brought back into his inner circle of advisors following Scott Brown’s Massachusetts upset to help guide the administration through the upcoming midterm elections.
Plouffe’s re-emergence on the Obama political scene marks a change in message for the White House, but not the type one might think. Plouffe’s new message for the White House is one of no retreat in the face of polling that shows sliding support for the president’s push to overhaul health care and increasing discontent with his efforts to shore up the slumping economy.
In a piece published just days before Obama would deliver his fi rst State of the Union address, Plouffe set the tone for the president’s second year, saying Democrats should quickly pass the broad health care overhaul and push harder for a “jobs bill,” despite the negative repute of last year’s stimulus package. Instead, he argued, Democrats should turn up the blame on Republicans for Bush-era deficits.
“Instead of fearing what may happen, let’s prove that we have more than just the brains to govern—that we have the guts to govern,” he wrote. “Let’s fight like hell.” […]
While other politicians may shy away from radical policies in the face of growing public opposition, Obama sees no need to bend and accommodate. According to Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., when he was warned the 2010 midterm elections were shaping up to be a replay of the 1994 Republican resurgence, President Obama responded smugly, saying the difference between 1994 and 2010 is “you’ve got me.”
It is this overconfident attitude that has gotten the president into so much trouble over the last year. After one year working to steer the country to the Left, it’s clear that in his second year in office, Obama merely plans to step on the gas.
Democrats have not abandoned the battlefield. It would be hard to overstate how important this opportunity is to the American Left. Socialized medicine—or as Democrats would put it, a government guarantee of universal health insurance coverage—is in their blood. It is their religion. (I affectionately refer to the true believers as the Church of Universal Coverage.) They have been trying for a century to nationalize America’s health care sector, and they have never been closer to total victory. What we are witnessing is a strategic retreat, not surrender. […]
[T]he Democratic leadership is so heavily in thrall to the Church of Universal Coverage that it should be the subject of a Dan Brown novel. The hard Left is more than willing to sacrifice a few heretics (read: Blue Dog Democrats) if that’s what it takes to capture the Holy Land. Fortunately, the procedural options for moving ObamaCare forward are as unappealing to Democrats as its substance is to Republicans.
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