Let's call tomorrow July 24th, 2009 act two of the Obama presidency. That's because today it became official that health care reform won't pass in its current form. With the end of liberal heath care reform, let's call this the official end of the liberal Obama presidency. Now, the president has one of two paths to go moving forward. He can either insist on moving forward with his liberal agenda and turn his presidency into a joke, or he can reinvent himself.
The president's poll numbers are falling precipitously. Furthermore, each and every one of his major policy initiatives poll even worse. Health care, in its current form, will NOT pass. If the president insists on moving forward with it in this form, then the rest of his agenda will fall apart with it. Cap and trade won't be looked at for several more months. That is about as popular as health care reform. Congress men and women will go home over August and they will speak to constituents. You can bet they will get first hand knowledge of just how much the public dislikes the entire Obama agenda. In fact, here is one example of Missouri Democrat Russ Carnahan.
Now, the example that President Obama should follow is Bill Clinton. Clinton similarly suffered a major defeat in 1993 on health care. That lead to a massive electoral defeat in 1994. Then, Bill Clinton reinvented himself as a moderate. He passed a capital gains tax cut, welfare reform, balanced the budget and enjoyed huge popularity for the rest of his presidency.
President Obama needs to realize, sooner better than later for his sake, that his liberal presidency is over. If he continues to insist on a liberal agenda, it will get rejected. Then, in November 2010, he will have a nearly two trillion dollar deficit, ten percent unemployment, and no major legislative accomplishments heading into the mid term elections. Then, the Republicans will sweep the elections and he will have no choice but to govern as a moderate anyway.
If the president is a shrewd politician, he will come back from the August recess and get together with Blue Dogs and Republicans and pass sweeping MODERATE health care reform. With that legislative victory, he can regain his presidency. I have called the Blue Dogs the Congressional rainmakers. That's what President Obama needs to realize sooner rather than later if he wants his presidency to be compared with that of FDR and not Jimmy Carter. The president isn't going to pass anything without their approval. That isn't going to happen with a liberal agenda. The road to a successful Obama presidency is still clear and that road is moderation. The only question is whether or not the president will reinvent himself.
Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"