When President Barack Obama went out to confront the press, visibly irritated that he even had to do that, he acknowledged the obvious. He and the Democratic Party got a “shellacking” in the 2010 midterm elections. That is putting it mildly.
Obama suggested that he is now more willing than ever to “compromise” with the Republicans now that they have the House and more senators who have to be dealt with. The problem is that President Obama has always been in favor of compromise rhetorically, but never in practice. The last two years, Obama has regularly spurned Republican ideas with his foot and then turned around and complained that Republicans have no ideas worth considering.
Obama has a problem now that he did not have during the first two years of his term. Before, he could effectively ignore the Republicans and ram through as much of his agenda as possible, threatening, cajoling, and bribing wavering Democrats as he needed.
This is no longer the case. President Obama now must know that nothing else of his agenda will get passed in Congress. The Republicans dominate the House. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell thinks he can cobble together a coalition of Senate Republicans and red-state Senate Democrats terrified at what might happen in 2012. At best, Obama can try to further his goals with regulations.
The Republicans, in the meantime, will work to overturn what had been wrought in the first two years of the Obama administration. A stream of legislation will soon flow out of the House and, perhaps, through the Senate as well repealing health care reform, making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and cutting spending. President Obama must decide what he will sign and what he will veto. Sign too much, and he will alienate his liberal base. Veto too much, and he will further alienate everyone else.
President Obama has another problem. The Republicans now have control of the House oversight committees, a power that they intend to work with a will. The warnings have already been issued to not shred any documents. Obama administration officials are shortly going to be living on Capitol Hill as they are summoned to Congress to explain themselves. There is no experience quite so unpleasant than to be before the klieg lights being hectored by a committee chairman who is out for your blood and that of your boss.
And secrets that are found out, and the betting is that there will be many with this Chicago-style administration, will bring about the inevitable subpoenas, investigations, indictments, and trials. Fun time is over for the Obama administration. It is now time to pay for their sins.
A new political reality, its hour come at last, slouches toward Washington to be born.
Source: Obama Calls Election a “Shellacking”, Philip Klein, American Spectator, November 3rd, 2010