It seems a standard fallback position for defenders of the President to resort to the argument he first used in the early days of Administration when facing resistance from elected Republicans to the “so-called stimulus.” They merely repeat the mantra that he won.
To be sure, he did win. But, if his victory means he is entitled to win passage of all his legislative initiatives, well, then, let’s first have all these folks apologize for blocking George W. Bush’s proposals in 2005-06 and move immediately to confirm all the federal judges he nominated.
Just because a candidate wins election doesn’t mean the majority (or plurality, in some cases) who backed him favors every policy he puts forward. And anyway, in our republican form of government, the legislature must first approve said policies.
Many Democrats are balking at the president’s latest proposals because they recognize that the American people don’t show the same enthusiasm for Obama’s policies as they once did for Obama the candidate. In order to generate that enthusiasm, he distinguished himself from the freespending Republican incumbent.
Yes, he proposed new spending schemes, but did so in the context of a “net spending cut.” He was going to pay for new programs by cutting existing ones. But, when he assumed office, he proposed new federal programs while increasing the outlays for existing ones. Obama’s ability to win over wavering independent voters was contingent on his commitment to reining in federal spending (that he continues to talk about holding the line of federal spending shows that he still recognizes the power of this notion).
In short, he convinced a majority of the American people to back his candidacy by making clear that the change advocated was not radical and the spending increases he proposed would be paid for with spending cuts. That he has not delivered on those promises show his current actions at odds with his electoral mandate. They show as well why he is losing favor with the American people.
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