After the "shellacking" Democrats took at the polls, President Obama has vowed to find ways to compromise with Republicans. But Obama says voters were not rejecting his agenda — they were merely expressing frustration over the economy, and the fact that the Democrats' policies had not fixed it faster. Is Obama right, or is he ignoring the most important message of the midterm elections? (Watch Obama's post-elections address)
The man is in denial: "President Obama still doesn't get it," say the editors of The Washington Times. Voters have just delivered "the most stunning rebuke to an incumbent president in 72 years" — a clear rejection of Obama's bailouts, his failed $1 trillion stimulus, his "kowtowing" to our enemies, and the rest of his "leftist" agenda. But "even after this week's shellacking, the president refuses to listen."
"An oblivious president"
He really was a victim of circumstance: Obama has a point, says Jonathan Chait at The New Republic. Essentially, voters were venting anger over the stimulus and the bailouts, but they would be even madder about the disaster that would have befallen us if the Democrats and Obama had let the banks and automakers fail. So Americans punished Democrats both for the economic crisis and for the "steps they took to resolve it."
"Regrets, I've had a few"
The president knows this was a rebuke: Obama couldn't come right out and admit it, says Thomas M. DeFrank at the New York Daily News, but anybody who saw his reaction to the election results could see he knows he contributed to this "train wreck." If he hopes to "reverse his political misfortune," he has no choice but to "swallow hard and stifle his monumental pique toward the not-so-loyal opposition." Obama "gets that he's down" — but he also knows that he's "not out."
"Election Day fallout: President Obama tried so hard to put shine on 'shellack'"