Jennifer Rubin gives us reason to believe that the answer is “no”:
I’m getting whiplash trying to follow the Democrats’ talking points. First, it was a disaster when Obama agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts. Obama was a wimp. Then it was a horrid error to allow the omnibus spending bill to die (and with it all that funding for ObamaCare). The White House, liberals complained, also blew it on the DREAM act. And now, presto: Obama has mounted a phenomenal comeback!
Not exactly. The sources of the left’s delight — repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and ratification of the New START treaty — are irrelevant to the vast majority of Americans. Voters care, as the Democrats should have but refused to learn during the referendum of 2010 (the midterms results were, one wit cracked, “a restraining order” on liberal statism), about the economy, jobs and the growth of government. These are far and away the most important issues in every credible survey, and will be the focus of the Republicans’ 2011 agenda.
And if the highlight of Obama’s term, according to outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was the “historic” ObamaCare legislation, then the highlight could soon be extinguished. Obama’s central domestic achievement is facing judicial scrutiny, a Republican onslaught to repeal, or at least defund, it, and a public that has never “learned” to love the bill.
Only inside the Beltway could the passage of an arms control treaty and repeal of DADT consume so many for so long and result in such exaggerated punditry. Would Republicans have traded wins on DADT and START for their wins on the DREAM act, the tax deal and the omnibus spending bill? Not in a million years.
We’ll have to wait and see what the long range consequences of the lame-duck session are. But Rubin’s analysis certainly does merit consideration.