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December 22, 2010

Obama As The Comeback Kid

Charles Krauthammer wrote about this last week and that was before DADT was repealed and START was ratified.

Now that the lame duck has wrapped up, Obama Comeback Fever has gone to 11!

Greg Sargent of the Washinton Post is practically giddy over it all.

So this afternoon, the Senate voted to ratify New START after months of partisan wrangling and passed the bill giving health benefits to 9/11 heroes after, well, years of partisan wrangling. This, on the same day that Obama signed the repeal of don't ask don't tell, a civil rights milestone. All in all, a pretty productive day.

It's obvious enough that Obama's rebound was remarkable, in that he has defied expectations of gridlock to rack up a fusillade of major accomplishments that have placed him in a stronger position than many expected. But there's more: It turns out he will also emerge from the session with far more kudos from the public than Republicans have earned.

To Democratsliberals I say, enjoy it while you can.

To Republicans/conservatives on't buy the hype.

Yes, a lot got done partially because of the RINO sellouts Ace talked about earlier but mostly because the House was still controlled by the Democrats. The legislation that passed looked very different if Boehner was the Speaker instead of Pelosi.

Obama is getting a lot of credit now for being "bipartisan" and "getting things done" but he only had to deal with a handful of Republican Senators. It was easier to cut deals with a handful of mushy Senators, some of whom aren't coming back (by Robert Bennett, Judd Gregg and Kit Bond).

From the tax deal to a medium term Continuing Resolution, the lame duck was about playing defense for Republicans. You wouldn't have known it judging by the press coverage but Harry Ried is and will be the Majority Leader, not Mitch McConnell. John Boehner hasn't broken down in tears while grabbing the gavel from Nancy Pelosi's hands just yet.

Majorities matter.

Everything changes in two weeks. The House alone won't be enough to undo all the damage the Democrats and some fellow traveling Republicans have done in the last two years but it will be a start. The terms of the debate will change and Obama will be forced into taking and defending unpopular and liberal positions again.


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posted by DrewM. at 08:48 PM

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