Never Mind 1994, Look to 1938 For Clues on Health Care Backlash

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Aug 06, 2009 10:39 AM
The health care debate -- and the politics surrounding it -- have drawn many comparisons to Bill Clinton's 1993 efforts, and the subsequent Republican Revolution of 1994.

Over at AmSpec, Ken Blackwell goes back even further, noting that even FDR suffered a major setback, even after he won a landslide election in 1936:

... Roosevelt swept the nation, burying the hapless Alf Landon. Republicans carried only two states in that bruising contest-Maine and Vermont.

No sooner had Roosevelt won his second consecutive landslide, however, than he came to grief trying to pack the U.S. Supreme Court. His own Democrats in Congress rebelled.

Franklin Roosevelt was a man with long experience in government-as state lawmaker, as Cabinet member, as Governor, as President. This is in marked contrast with President Obama. He spent little time in each office in his meteoric rise to power. He rose because he has an "aura."

Blackwell doesn't note what happened in the 1938 mid-term elections. 

Roosevelt launched a "realignment" strategy to replace anti-New Deal Democrats (or "Blue Dogs") with liberals.

Democrats lost a net of 72 seats ...