Obama Blames Self for Democratic Losses – Or Does He?

As Donald Trump prepares to take the reins of government, many are asking where Barack Obama goes from here. What role will he play in the Democratic response to nationwide losses to Republicans? His mixed message of first conciliation and then combativeness has not helped answer that question.

With Democrats doing everything but blaming the president or Hillary Clinton for her loss in November the odds are we are facing a continued bitter attempt to save face by both.

Obama’s reaction to the loss is muddled at best. Out of one side of his mouth, Obama takes the blame for Clinton’s loss while out of the other he blames an uninformed and uneducated public that dares question his wisdom.

In a lengthy interview with National Public Radio (NPR) Obama admitted his leadership had focused almost solely on himself while failing to support the Democratic Party on the state level.

Obama pushed hard the last month of the general election, purposefully tying his legacy to a win by Hillary Clinton. In a campaign video that aired just weeks before the election, he said, “if you want to give Michelle and me a good sendoff…get people registered to vote. If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake.” He even told black voters that he would take it as a “personal insult” to his legacy if they didn’t vote for Hillary.

The question then comes, “has the Obama presidency been an asset to future Democratic hopes?” In the same NPR, interview he admitted that he and his team did not pay proper attention to local Democratic candidates after he came into office in 2009. Then he couldn’t resist excusing this oversight because of two wars and a recession.

“We were just putting out fires,” said Obama. “We were in a huge crisis situation. And so a lot of the organizing work that we did during the campaign, we started to see right away didn’t immediately translate to, wasn’t immediately transferable to, congressional candidates. And more work would have needed to be done to just build up that structure.”

Regardless of who is to blame, there is no doubt Democrats have lost hold the majority of America since the President’s inauguration in 2009. Eight years ago, Democrats held 257 seats in the House and they now hold 188, a loss of 69 seats. That means that Obama’s party has lost over one-fourth of its total seats.

Political pundits were not better at predicting Senate races than the presidency. Obama entered office with a filibuster-proof majority of 57 Democrats plus two independents in the Senate. Now, he leaves with only 44 Democrats plus two independents who caucus with them, a loss of 13 seats. Not only has he squandered a super-majority, Senate Democrats are now a decided minority.

Obama takes even less blame for what has transpired on the state level. In 2009, there were 28 Democratic governors and now there are just 18. Next year, Republicans will control all the government in 25 states, plus the GOP has legislative majorities large enough in two other states to override a veto by a Democratic governor. Democrats control both the legislature and governor’s offices in a paltry five states: California, Delaware, Oregon, Hawaii and Rhode Island.

Republicans control 68 of the nation’s 98 state legislative chambers (where electors are chosen). Two-thirds of the nation’s governors are Republicans, the party controls both houses of Congress and the presidency. Still, Obama and his party’s national leadership accept little of the blame.

Obama told NPR: “One of the big suggestions that I have for Democrats as I leave, and something that, you know, I have some ideas about, is, how do we do more of that ground-up building? What I am interested in is just developing a whole new generation of talent. For example, we know that the Republicans, funded through organizations like the Koch brothers, have been very systematic at … building from the ground up and communicating to state legislators and financing school board races and public utility commission races.”

Even in that concession, Obama made focusing on the much bigger national issues of same-sex marriage and international relations as his excuse for not paying more attention to governors and state legislatures.

The truth is that progressives never blame themselves. It is only those who resist the left’s strident march through the culture and halls of power who are to blame.

~ Conservative Zone


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