Obama's Leftward Lurch Erodes His Control of Congress

Thursday, 08 Jul 2010 08:01 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Barack Obama faces about the same problem that confronted Bill Clinton in 1994 when he lost control of Congress. In both cases, the Democratic presidents had alienated moderate and conservative voters and found themselves increasingly isolated with a political base of liberals and minorities.

In each instance, the president worried that off-year election turnout among their base would be attenuated both because it always is in non-presidential years and because their policy failings had reduced the enthusiasm they found among their base voters. And both men found themselves forced to escalate their rhetoric and move their ideological positions to the left in order to try to drum up the kind of turnout they needed to keep power in Congress.

Clinton failed, and Obama will too.

When President Clinton asked me to help him to move to the center to win re-election in 1996, he said, "I've moved so far to the left that I don't even recognize myself."

At heart a moderate, while Obama is, at core, a leftist, Clinton was alluding to the positions he had to take to keep the support of his liberal House majority. Obama — for whom the further left he drifts the better — has no such qualms but the political impact of his move to the left will be just as fatal for his congressional majority as it was for Clintons'.

When a president moves leftward, a vicious cycle begins to set in.

Driven to raise the intensity of his rhetoric and to take positions further to the extreme, he alienates more and more centrists and moderates, forcing himself to rely more and more on left-wing voters.

This reliance, in turn, fuels an ever more pronounced leftward drift until he ends up with a vastly diminished political base.

In Obama's case, his reliance on minority voters adds to the difficulty as he drives racially fair whites to see him as governing primarily in the interests of minority voters.

Obama's decision to have his Justice Department sue Arizona over its immigration law, despite the fact that American voters back the statute by 2-to-1, is the latest illustration of that leftward drift. So is Attorney General Eric Holder's decision not to prosecute the Black Panthers who posted themselves at a mixed-race polling place in military uniforms with clubs.

The further Obama moves to the left, the more he has to move to the left. And the worse it is for his ability to control Congress.

© Dick Morris & Eileen McGann

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Dick Morris: Democrats Conspiring to Rig Electoral College, Law Passed in 9 States So Far

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 09:26 AM

A plan, now stealthily making its way through state legislatures with astonishing speed, would junk the Electoral Colleg . . .

Dodd-Frank Act Has Not Reformed Wall Street

Tuesday, 09 Aug 2011 14:53 PM

July 21 marked the anniversary of the passing of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection act. Unfortun . . .

Obama's Legacy: Stagflation

Friday, 04 Mar 2011 16:49 PM

Obama's failure to support America's allies in the Middle East and his dithering endorsement of chaos in the region will . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved