Michael Barone–American voters have rejected Barack Obama's big government

Even so, Republicans would be foolish not to act on the assumption that voters want policies sharply different from those of the Obama Democrats. No other administration in recent memory has suffered such a repudiation in its first offyear elections. Franklin Roosevelt’s Democrats actually gained House seats in 1934, as did George W. Bush’s Republicans in 2002; John Kennedy’s Democrats came very close to doing so in 1962. Dwight Eisenhower’s, Richard Nixon’s and George H. W. Bush’s Republicans in 1954, 1970 and 1990 suffered small losses, as did Jimmy Carter’s Democrats in 1978.

A more salient comparison is with the fate of Ronald Reagan’s Republicans in 1982. Both Reagan and Obama came to office with reputations as inspiring orators and with professional pedigrees (movie actor, community organiser) unusual for a practical politician. Both came to office while the economy was languishing and both saw recessions deepen in their first two years. But there was a big difference in voters’ responses. In 1982 the Republicans lost 26 seats in the House – a significant but not enormous loss. Exit polls showed that most voters believed that Reagan’s economic policies would produce a good economic recovery in the long run. Lower tax rates, reductions in scheduled government spending -voters believed these would lead to a private sector recovery after an extended period of economic stagnation.

Compare that with the results this week. The Obama Democrats lost about 65 seats – an unusually high number. And polling showed that most voters believe that their policies of increasing government spending and deficits and increasing at least some tax rates will lead not to a private sector recovery but to a continuation of the stagnation so apparent in just about every economic statistic.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, State Government

9 comments on “Michael Barone–American voters have rejected Barack Obama's big government

  1. Br. Michael says:

    I think we are back into a fight over the power and role of the federal government. I want it smaller, others want it larger. Been that way since the Constitutional Convention. 70 want to weigh in?

  2. Cennydd13 says:

    I too want it smaller.

  3. SC blu cat lady says:

    Ditto. Smaller role for the federal government would be awesome!

  4. robroy says:

    True except in California. Not only did they vote in tax and spend democrats but also eliminated the need for a supermajority to pass a budget, basically making Republicans irrelevant.

    Any predictions on how soon they will be coming to the federal government to beg for help covering out of control pensions? (My guess would be Jan 2.)

  5. Cennydd13 says:

    Listen, we’re not [b]all[/b] a bunch of crackpots here in California! The crackpots are in the big cities on the coast…..not here in the San Joaquin Valley. Unfortunately, they get the most exposure, while we in the agricultural hinterland have to remind them from time to time that we even exist! And we feed them, too!

  6. Creedal Episcopalian says:

    Californistan will soon be in receivership. The Crackpots on the coasts know that there are rubes in the valley. They just don’t have to care. The same picture exists nationally, except after Tuesday we find out that there are proportionately more of us rubes.

    The crackpots still don’t seem to care though.

  7. David Keller says:

    #4–Wanna bet the new House of Representatives says “NO”. I strongly object to one nickle of my money going to bail out California (or New York which is pretty much in the same boat), and if any representative or senator in SC voted for it, he’d be toast.

  8. deaconmark says:

    Broad generalizations about California are incorrect and they are insulting. Republicans do just fine here making themselves irrelvant. If they want to offer something, they could have started by nominating a candidate for governor who was not morally bankrupt. I won’t even mention the problems in her family that frankly suggest the kind of person she is. Nannygate and her hushed up issues using physical violence against employees should have clued someone in. Many i’m sure, voted for Brown because there was no better choice. I’d suggest what i always suggest to friends who indulge in this parlor game. Boycott anything and everything from California: agricultural produce, computer software, film, television, books written here, medical discoveries made here, automobiles that enter the country here. Show us who really runs the country. Enjoy.

  9. robroy says:

    People didn’t vote for Meg Whitman because she was “morally bankrupt” so they voted for the guy who says, [url=http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2010/10/jerry-brown-video-i-didnt-have-a-plan-its-all-lies/ ]”everything about my politics was a lie”[/url]. That sounds much more plausible than the unions bought the California elections. Wait, no it doesn’t.