Barack Obama was swept to power in 2008 by believers who saw him as a mix of JFK and FDR, "riding to the nation's rescue," says Fouad Ajami in The Wall Street Journal. But now, just two years later, the "magic" is gone, and Obama is being forced to keep a low profile in the midterm elections for fear of damaging the electoral prospects of his fellow Democrats. Truly, his "fall from political grace has been as swift as his rise." The promise that Obama's presidency would herald change now looks to go unfulfilled. The American people, it turns out, have no appetite for a "super-regulated command economy" and the redistribution of the nation's wealth. The false hope of the president's "New New Deal" is waning as fast as his popularity ratings. Here's an excerpt:
The American people are in open rebellion against an economic strategy of public debt, higher taxes, and unending deficits. We're not all Keynesians, it turns out. The panic that propelled Mr. Obama to the presidency has waned. There is deep concern, to be sure. But the Obama strategy has lost the consent of the governed.
...There is little evidence that the Obama presidency could yet find new vindication, another lease on life. Mr. Obama will mark time, but henceforth he will not define the national agenda. He will not be the repository of its hopes and sentiments. The ambition that his would be a "transformational" presidency — he rightly described Reagan's stewardship in these terms — is for naught.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- Grammar quiz: Do you know the passive voice?
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week