The referendum on Obama

Republicans took a joyful victory lap last week for next year's 2010 midterm elections. Now all they have to do is run the race.

Robert Shrum

The Republicans won the midterm elections last week. In an unhappy accident of timing, however, the elections won’t be held for another year. Despite the GOP’s premature victory laps and the press’s predictable reaction, the outcome had almost nothing to do with next November’s contests for the House of Representatives, a third of the Senate, and statewide offices in 36 states.

From just two tea leaves, Virginia and New Jersey, conservative columnists who should know better brewed instant fantasies worthy of the teabaggers. Charles Krauthammer pompously proclaimed a defeat for "Obamaism," dooming the President’s once and future victories. Obama’s 2008 election, he wrote, was a "historical anomaly ... one shot, one time" and -- in case you still didn’t get the point -- "never to be repeated." Never?

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