Joel Pollack argues that the GOP-controlled Congress and state legislatures are partly a result of backlash to Obama exploiting the financial crisis in 2008 to push through Obamacare. Off the back of Obama’s popularity, he pushed through a utopian vision of universal healthcare and tried to help 15% of the country by changing something 85% were satisfied with. If the GOP wins on Tues it will party be because of favorable districts Obama created by refusing to govern as a unifying leader.
- If Obama hadn’t pushed healthcare reform, would we have less GOP control today?
- Did Obama try to ‘help 15% of the country by changing something 85% were happy with?’
- Was Obama a divisive leader?
The Associated Press
President Barack Obama will return to Chicago this weekend to hold a get-out-the-vote rally. Ironically, he is one reason Republicans have a fighting chance to retain a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday.
That is because in 2010, Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — over the objections of the majority of the voting public, and without a single Republican vote.
The ensuing backlash saw Nancy Pelosi booted out of the Speaker’s chair, and also lifted hundreds of Republicans into state legislative seats. The following year, Republicans largely controlled the re-drawing of congressional districts after the 2010 Census.
Democrats complained about gerrymandering — but they did the same in the legislatures they controlled, using new boundaries to pick off most of the members of the Tea Party freshman class of congressmen in Illinois, for example.
In retrospect, it was a profound strategic miscalculation by Obama, whose political skill was widely admired after the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama enjoyed such popularity and support from the media that all he needed to do after being elected after the financial crash was allow the economy to repair itself.
Instead, he and his party exploited the crisis to enact laws and regulations that massively expanded the power of the federal government.