After the Massachusetts Senate election, even a brain-dead politician should be able to see that the wind had long changed. Obama is no fool -- although I don't think he's as deft a politician as Bill Clinton. Still, after my initial pleasure at the results from Massachusetts, my next thought was to wonder how Obama would begin to redefine himself.
He needs to do something fast. I was shocked today to see that his popularity ranking has fallen to -18 on the Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll. Minus eighteen! He's scraping bottom!
But how much can Obama alter himself? He's got his finger in the political windstorm. And here's a question for you: should a politician who has avowed an undying commitment to his agenda EVER abandon it, when the fickle populace changes its mind? If he does, will it reveal his spinelessness and cowardice, his obsequious favor-seeking?
Or does it just mean that he is sensitive to those he's been elected to serve?
Because, be honest -- when Obama ran for office, he TOLD AMERICA that he was going to do all this stuff, didn't he? Health reform, stimulus, climate legislation, environmental stuff, green jobs, etc. It's not like these things are a SURPRISE.
Obama didn't change; America did. Maybe they liked the talk of these things, but didn't like the action. But America screamed loud and clear in the Massachusetts election -- "We don't want this ANYMORE!" ( I distinctly heard more than just Yankee accents hollerin')
I'll note one piece of his promised agenda that has NOT occurred. Do you recall Obama telling us, about a year ago, that he was going to whip this economy back into shape in a matter of months? That he was going to get it going again? Well, it didn't happen. Throwing $$$ at it didn't work. And it's gone on long enough that now it's all about one thing: jobs.
Here's a link to an article I just read about a debate in Charleston, WV recently, between a coal company CEO and an environmentalist attorney. Clearly, the CEO represents the people of WV -- supporting a business and a way of life that's put bread on their table for many years. The environmentalist (Rbt. Kennedy) is closely tied to the Obama environmentalist agenda.
But I'd already heard this story from my brother, who owns a surveying company in the state. Everybody there knows that, as soon as Obama came into office, regulations were drawn up and applied to the coal industry, permits were held, business didn't progress, and a year later, lots of people are out of work.
This isn't just some Republican mantra: "Gov't regulation hurts employment." This is real life! When businesses can't do their work b/c the gov't shuts them down deliberately, they end up firing their workers. And having some attorney (or, in Ohio's case, the President himself) come to you and smile and say, "I'm fightin' for your jobs!" doesn't fool anyone.
Obama has given us one, ONE, new job idea: green jobs. Nobody's buying that one either. Just try telling a 52 year old man who's been working coal all his life that he's suddenly going to get a new job as an environmentalist making solar panels, and listen to him laugh.
I think this is why, fundamentally, Obama will fail in redefining himself -- he will not be able to jettison his failed agenda fully, because he will not be able to admit that he has been very, very wrong.
Scott Brown's election this past week may produce enough warmth to begin a thaw in the frozen labor market, but I doubt it. Real change will need to come next November.