In 2009, President Obama begged and pressured a number of reluctant Democrats in the Senate and in the House to vote in favor of Obamacare – a policy that was unraveling in the opinion polls as the debate progressed. A sufficient number voted reluctantly in favor to carry the bill into law, albeit with reliance on a procedural dodge.
In 2010 and 2012, President Obama stood idly by as several of those reluctant political allies walked the electoral plank into the wilderness that awaits lifetime politicians who finally confront the realities of the regular work place.
In 2013, President Obama has begged and pressured a number of reluctant Democrats in the Senate to vote in favor of gun control legislation that is anathema to the voter majorities in their respective constituencies. Electoral memories may be short, but politicians memories are forever. So predictably, this time, those marginal Senators refused to walk the plank for Obama. And Obama’s bill has failed to progress.
The lesson for Barack Obama is serious indeed. For the remainder of his second term, he cannot expect to move his political agenda into law unless he tailors policies to secure political majorities.Any leader who forfeits trust places himself in such a quandary.
Predictably, Obama will now have to tack back to the political center if he desires to earn any presidential legacy for his name other than Obamacare, which is a pending disaster.