by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The mix of politics and culture is far too complex to be predictable. Even the best-laid political plans can lead to unintended consequences, both good and bad — what we sometimes call irony, nemesis, or karma.
Take the election of 2008, which ushered Barack Obama and the Democrats into absolute control of the presidency, House, and Senate, also generating popular goodwill over Obama’s landmark candidacy.
Instead of ensuring a heralded generation of Democratic rule, Obama alienated both friends and foes almost immediately. He rammed through the unworkable Affordable Care Act without a single Republican vote. He prevaricated about Obamacare’s costs and savings. Huge budget deficits followed. Racial polarization ensued. Apologies abroad on behalf of America proved a national turnoff.
By the final pushback of 2016, the Obama administration had proven to be a rare gift to the Republican party. The GOP now controls the presidency, Congress, governorships, and state legislatures to a degree not seen since the 1920s. “Hope and change” ebullition in 2008 brought the Republicans salvation — and the Democrats countless disasters.