Originally Posted by rnoldh
Very good take. I think Dopeys right and you must be a pro!
I actually remember the mid 60s ( though I couldn't vote ), and it was a lot like you said plus LBJ ( 1965-1967 ) was a consumate legislator.
In early 2003 GWB might not have had the numbers and old system that LBJ had enjoyed, but he had tremendous approval ( after 9-11 ), and pretty much could have done about anything he wanted. Or as he put it, he had enormous political capital in 2003 which he proceeded to diminish for 5 years.
You are the pro, what do you think of this. GWB was so disliked by 2008 that the newcoming Obama admin.had enormous political capital and approval ratings ( though I would agree that they were not as high as GWB had after the 9-11 attacks ). IMO, he had has proceeded to diminish those approval ratings and political capital just like GWB did. Again IMO GWB invading Iraq, and BO making his first year priority the ACA legislation were bad blunders ( though of completely different kinds and magnitudes ).
Finally, GWB was more honest at least in that you got what you saw ( and what he awkwardly said ). With BO there is the same hyper partisanship, bullying, and growing unpopularity and disapproval of the base. But in BO's case many of us thought there would be some improvement, even incremental, due to what he said early on.
I deal with utility patents for a living, not politics. I just know how to find political data in google. It's not that hard. In this case, it's just Wikipedia for congressional breakdowns, Cnn for recent exit polls, dave leip's presidential atlas for historical presidential elections. It's all out there for free.
I somewhat agree and somewhat disagree. I think BO, like the 2003 moderate democrats in the senate, was naive and thought he could work with the moderate republicans. Keep in mind that with respect to the ACA, BO's desired outcome was probably somewhat closer to universal healthcare, and from his POV, the ACA was a compromise of basically agreeing to the republican position of Romneycare (itself based on the 1994 GOP alternative to clintoncare, and substantially based on proposals from the Heritage foundations). The ACA is not really a traditional democratic plan - that would be something like lowering the medicare eligibility age to birth. Same thing with the stimulus - about 1/3 is tax cuts (hardly something the GOP complains about), and another good portion was one time transfers to the states (something that even Reagan and GWB did in their respective early term tenures).
The real winner of 2008-2010 was Mitch McConnell. He very succesfully executed a plan of obstruction in the Senate, and got all 41/40 republicans to join with him (it also helps that the Senate GOP causus has better control over individual GOP senators than the corresponding democratic caucus does - but this has its plus and minuses). He ran out the clock sucessfully, preventing a second stimulus bill, had no GOP fingerprints on what was a GOP healthcare bill, and basically had a good deal of control with no responsibility. Easily the best political job performance by a minority leader in Senate history.