What can you say; President Obama and the Democratic Party probably reached its zenith with his election and their attaining an overwhelming majority in the House and then reaching their 60 vote filibuster proof threshold in the Senate (with Al Franken's victory) only to have it surrendered with Scott Brown's ascension to Ted Kennedy's old seat in January.
To this observer and writer, his (Obama) and their (Congressional Democrats) plight reads like a post mortem. The Republicans and their ideological offspring "tea baggers" are feeling energized, smelling blood in the water. Meanwhile Democrats in Congress (in general) act as if they are now in the minority, spooked as they are to the ramifications of Brown's victory. And well they may be right.
Sure something depicted as health care "reform" will be passed (with last weeks "summit" theatrics locking in stone the Congressional Republicans intransigence and all but assuring that "reconciliation" in the Senate will be the vehicle the Democrats use to get it done).
But oh, what a cost it will be. The "sharks" in the water are hungry waiting to feast on the carcass that is likely to be the Democrats in November.
Never has a president and his party squandered a mandate as have these Democrats.
The country had eight excruciatingly horrible years of Bush/Cheney imperiousness, torture, a wrongful war and finally climaxed with the worst financial and economic collapse since the "great depression." Then along comes a charismatic, eloquent Barack Obama electrifying the electorate with "change you can believe in" (yes a slogan, but one the people actually believed in as well as the person who said it) would at last end the long nightmare created by the previous administration.
It probably wasn't realistic to "believe" it, but who could deny "hope" was alive. It was palpable, it was electric, it was" not to be.
There is a sigh; oh what it could have been. But it got waylaid, hijacked by a lack of vision and wrong headed political calculations, but mostly from a lack of leadership (on Obama's part as well as the Democrat Congressional leaders). Add in the bipartisan fetish from an inexperienced president who so believed in his own power to persuade that he let himself lose control of the reins (which he had been granted by the people with his overwhelming electoral landslide) and let the megaphone be taken over by Republican obstructionists, "tea bagger" incoherence and the "blue dogs" in his own party (whose personal political agenda had them beholden to their deep pocketed corporate backers whose influence [if allowed] would scuttle any chance of "real reform", be it health care or reining in the financial behemoths that crushed the economy).
Meanwhile, an Obama economic stimulus package was passed (but being too small and containing unnecessary tax cuts to placate the few Republicans and "blue dog" Democrats to vote in favor) but it still left the country in double digit unemployment and a jobless recovery that is all but certain to continue through the November congressional elections. And that says nothing regarding the rising number of people that had previously been responsible, sound, middle class wage earners, who are now unable to meet their financial obligations, falling into the pit (abyss?) of a lost job, no income (which meager unemployment insurance funds could not replace lost wages), falling behind in their mortgage payments, their savings depleted, their home equity no longer available, their credit cards maxed out and facing bankruptcy, foreclosure, uncertainty and deep personal anguish and desperation.
The old political maxim, "It's the economy", (which has been the mantra in this country and always in an election year) will again be the "Achilles Heel" of those in power.
Obama and the Democrats in Congress have been their own worst enemies, shooting themselves in the foot and will, most assuredly, pay dearly in November (reminiscent of the debacle in 1994).
But it won't be because the Republicans or their "tea bagger" cousins have anything better to offer to rectify the current plight of the American people. They don't; they never did; they have no solutions; they are incapable of offering anything beyond tax cuts and reducing the size of government. They can and will make things worse.
Of course no one can be absolutely sure what will happen, but the reading here does not instill confidence in the not too distant future. What gnaws at the writer is it didn't have to be this way.