2014: A Bad Year for the Left?
By Matthew Vadum
Most political indicators point to a terrible 2014 for American leftism amidst an auspicious resurgence of conservatism throughout the nation.
As Americans continue to suffer in the weak Obama-era economy and as their anxiety over President Obama’s hated health care program grows, an electoral tsunami appears to be in the offing.
Americans have never bought into President Obama’s contention that income inequality was what he called “the defining challenge of our time.” The AP-Times Square New Year’s Eve Poll conducted by GfK shows under 1 percent considered that issue the most important news story of 2013. Topping the list of issues was the implementation of Obamacare which was deemed the number one issue in 2013 by 26 percent of respondents. The next-highest ranked issues were identified as the “death of Nelson Mandela” and the “federal government’s budget troubles: sequestration, the fiscal cliff and the government shutdown,” both weighing in at a mere 8 percent each.
Obama’s approval ratings continue to drop and Americans now consider big, overweening government to be the biggest threat to the nation. An astounding 72 percent of Gallup respondents now believe that big government poses a greater threat to the U.S. than big business or big labor, a record high since Gallup started asking the question almost a half century ago. “(The findings) may be partly a reaction to an administration that favors the use of government to solve problems,” the Gallup organization said in a quaint understatement.
Democratic strategists who say that the public is warming up to Obama and Obamacare are in denial.
Millions of Americans, largely in the individual marketplace, have lost their health insurance because of the misnamed Affordable Care Act. Next year tens of millions of Americans will lose their employer-sponsored health coverage as Obamacare works its mischief on the nation’s health care system. The continuing catastrophe that is Obamacare will be the political gift that keeps on giving all the way to the midterm congressional elections in November. (To boot, a slew of new Obamacare taxes takes effect in days.)
Republicans are pummeling Democrats in CNN’s generic congressional ballot by 49 percent to 44 percent after Obamacare implementation began on Oct. 1. As The Hill newspaper observes,
“That’s a huge 13-point swing from October, when Democrats had the edge following the government shutdown. At that point, Democrats were up by 50 percent to 42 percent on a generic ballot test. The new numbers are the latest bad polling news for Democrats, indicating the GOP has a chance to pick up House seats and win control of the Senate.”
With critical midterm elections now less than a year away, and assuming that present trends will continue, Republicans seem certain to take over Congress. Republicans are poised to retain majority control of the House of Representatives and are also on-track to easily take over the Senate. The only question is how big the GOP Senate majority will be.
This does not, however, mean that 2014 will be the year in which the leftist project is finally discredited, as some high-profile conservative pundits gripped by an irrational triumphalism have predicted in recent weeks. Obamacare’s failures will not somehow finish off progressivism. The programs and fallout from the abysmal failures known as the New Deal and the Great Society are still with us and yet a large segment of the population continues to believe that redistributionism works.
When and if Obamacare collapses, leftists will simply start over again, this time pressing for the single-payer universal health care system that they’ve always wanted.
Of course, Republicans could still snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
For example, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) continue to send out signals that they intend to capitulate to the open-borders lobby next year. Boehner and McConnell support a politically unpopular amnesty for potentially tens of millions of illegal aliens, which is the key policy component of so-called comprehensive immigration reform.
They do so in the mistaken belief that flooding the labor market and rewarding illegal behavior will somehow make left-leaning voters and immigrants on a path to citizenship fans of the Grand Old Party.
Passing amnesty legislation would seriously undermine conservative grassroots support for Republican candidates.
But that doesn’t mean the congressional GOP won’t do it.