I was afraid that Obama might pull an “I got the message” Clinton and go all repeal welfare and defense of marriage act on us. He doesn’t appear to be taking that direction.
I think he figures that once the benefits of health care reform start kicking in, and once the economy starts improving, he’ll be in a better position in 2012. In any case, he’s invested too much to repeal health care reform and financial reform.
In theory the Republicans now have to take responsibility for governing. And while the independents who flip flop back and forth every two years aren’t the brightest lot, I suspect that they will expect more from the Republicans than “no,” and I suspect that the numbers will reveal that they were more essential to the House win than the Tea Partiers. The Republicans have to put up now, and they know it. They were probably hoping for a Clintoneque surrender, and McConnell is already frustrated, accusing Democrats of “taking the wrong message.” It’s not enough for the media to run with the spin. He wants his opposition to believe it too. But his opposition is more leftish now, and the majority of freshmen come from swing districts and are most likely moderates.
The next issue is the Bush tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year. Let’s see if deficits remain the paramount issue for Republicans.
Addendum: Letter to a whiny young Democrat