Articles

The State of the Union Is No 'Reset' Button

January 27, 2010

It was a tense moment in the West Wing. Less than a year into a new president's term, a Senate seat was slipping to the opposition and taking with it the balance of power in the upper chamber. The president's agenda was suddenly at risk.

If this sounds like Republican Scott Brown's upset victory in Massachusetts last week, it was actually Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords's defection in 2001. Mr. Jeffords's decision to bolt the party cost the GOP not the 60th vote, but a razor-thin majority. Yet following the defection, George W. Bush passed his signature tax-cut package, No Child Left Behind education reform, and a budget that cut in half the growth of discretionary domestic spending from the sizzling 16% rate of President Bill Clinton's last budget.

As congressional Democrats back away—for now—from Mr. Obama's health-care agenda, it is worth asking if this president's agenda is really aligned with what Americans want. This was supposed to be a historic presidency. But if it's undone by the loss of the 60th Senate Democrat, was Mr. Obama actually prepared for the challenges of governing?

FULL ARTICLE: http://bit.ly/djGlBQ

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