Toth: Obama’s Worst Days Yet To Come
If the president thought this last year was bad, he may want to take some time on his Hawaiian Christmas vacation to sit down and consider that his best days in office are most likely behind him. The months between now and November 2014 may be the last before his presidency–at least legislatively–is effectively over.
The sixth year of office is historically a difficult one for any two-term presidency—specifically the second mid-term election. Often, the national popularity of the executive is waning, his party has exhausted its political capital defending his policies, the opposing party is fresh off a painful defeat and ready to fight for a conclusive win, and the president’s political coalition is simply not as engaged nor politically supportive as it was during the presidential campaign. These factors add up to big losses for the president’s party and a national swing toward the opposition. Additionally, only three mid-term elections since 1870 have resulted in Congressional gains for a two-term president’s party.
In 2014, you can take each of those cases and multiply them. For further analysis, consider Obama’s first mid-term election.
In 2009, Barack Obama used the Democrats’ filibuster-proof supermajority to force the unpopular “Affordable Care Act” (more popularly called “Obamacare”) on the American public. The response from the electorate was the advent of perhaps the largest organic political grassroots movement in the modern history of the nation. The so-called “Tea Party” was a large, effective collection of Americans who were simply fed up with the left’s grip on Washington and willing to mobilize against the government’s historic overreach into the healthcare market. This movement attained historic notoriety (and the undying ire of the left) as the primary force behind the 2010 landslide midterm victory for Republicans which shifted the House of Representatives from a large Democrat majority to a Republican majority and eviscerated the Democrat’s Senate supermajority in a night. All of this predicated on Obamacare as an idea and a bill.
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Tom Toth is the Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government.