This Wednesday, the President will make the most important political speech of his life when he delivers his first State of the Union. It was supposed to celebrate the newly minted health care reform bill. Instead, he must explain his way forward following a stunning and humiliating defeat in Massachusetts. Make no mistake, we're only a year in and the President is already on the brink of collapse. At the same time, three years is a very long time and the President has plenty of time to turn things around.
I've been loathe to write much about Scott Brown's victory in its aftermath. That's because I was almost 100% correct about its implications in my predictions. It was a political tsunami. Health care reform, in anything near its current form, is dead. The president and the Democrats are in real trouble. The tea parties are huge winners and the biggest winner of all is Scott Brown himself.
The key going forward is if and when the President realizes that this election in Massachusetts was a massive repudiation of his liberal agenda. If Democrats lose in Massachusetts, you know the country despises your policies. So far at least, it appears that time has not arrived. The President and his allies have blamed almost everything, George Bush included, but their own policies. If that attitude continues, the SOTU will be a massive dud.
The President is trying to take on a populist tone. He wants to side himself with the people against the banks, insurance companies, and big business. That would work if that was the populist revolt. The current populist revolt, however, is against the D.C. policies. So, if the President promises in his SOTU speech to move forward with health care reform, he'll miss a very real opportunity to right the ship. It appears that's where the President is still headed.
Make no mistake. The Massachusetts election was a repudiation of the health care bill in its entirety. It wasn't merely the backroom deal. It wasn't merely the massive price tag. It wasn't merely the fact that it's a massive government expansion. It was all that and more. The Massachusetts vote, more than anything, was a message to moderate.
The President will accomplish nothing, go down among the worst Presidents every, and be a one termer if he insists on liberal policies. You'd think that preserving his legacy and his presidency would be most important. Yet, it appears that pushing his ideology is more important right now.
If the President surprises us all and delivers a manifesto to moderate on Wednesday, it will be the beginning of his moderate presidency. Such a presidency will see health care reform, energy reform, financial reform, education reform, and it will cut the federal budget. It will make him a wildly successful president. If he insists on moving forward as a liberal, he will continue to waste precious time stuck in a stance that accomplishes nothing and leads him one step closer to infamy.
Please check out my new books, "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall" and also, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers"