Friday, July 9, 2010
Peggy Noonan writes:
But the biggest political moment, the one that carried the deepest implications, came exactly one year ago, in July and August of 2009, in the town hall rebellion. Looking back, that was a turning point in both parties' fortunes. That is when the first resistance to Washington's plans on health care became manifest, and it's when a more generalized resistance rose and spread. President Obama and his party in Congress had, during their first months in power, done the one thing they could not afford to do politically, and that was arouse and unite their opposition. The conservative movement and Republican Party had been left fractured and broken by the end of the Bush years. Now, suddenly, they had something to fight against together. Social conservatives hated the social provisions, liberty-minded conservatives the state control, economic conservatives the spending. Health care brought them together. The center, which had gone for Mr. Obama in 2008, joined them.
Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats saw it coming. But it was a seminal moment, and whatever is coming in November, it started there.
Well, I saw it coming. There are too many posts to link to, but let me just mention one of my first, written in February of 2008, when it still seemed that Hillary Clinton would win the nomination. But my arguments as to her apply as well to Obama:
Compare this to the situation if the Republicans lose. If Hillary is the President, there is a good chance – a very good chance – that the Democrats will govern poorly. . . . The big government liberal policies of the past were rejected for a reason – they don’t work. The nation does not seem to remember this lesson, but they will learn it again. The last time a Clinton served in the White House with a Democratic Congress, although different in many ways, did not turn out badly for Newt Gingrich and Free Market Republicans. Moreover, under Hillary, the Republicans will be forced to regroup and rethink. They will purge the opportunists and become better again – just as they did in 1995.
Not precisely the point Noonan is making, but pretty darn close. And I have several others where I talk about Congress being taking over by Republicans and where I talk about the Republicans growing more correct.