Even though I’m overseas, I have still managed to follow the Wisconsin walkot. And I’ve come to the conclusion that this is President Obama’s “welfare reform moment.”
If you’re a long-time follower of this blog, you may remember my advice to Republicans after President Obama won:
“Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are a far more dangerous combination than was Carter, O’Neill, and Byrd. This is still a center-right country. They will overplay their hand.”
They overplayed their hand with Obamacare and paid dearly for it last November. But in defeat, in Wisconsin, they’ve lashed out even worse. To carry the card analogy further: in Wisconsin, national Democrats are doubling down on a bluff.
Sixteen years ago we saw this same story. The people spoke and their message was clear: the growth of the welfare state is crippling this country. President Clinton didn’t like the message, but he didn’t dispute it either. Had he done so, President Dole would have signed the welfare reform bill. Instead Bill Clinton embraced the change as his own.
When you’re President and the voters tell you that your party is further from the center than your opponents, your choice is to either close the distance or to widen the gap. Bill Clinton closed the distance. Until today, it looked like Barack Obama was going to widen the gap. (That may be changing.)
But know this: The SEIU, AFSCME, NEA, and the AFT–these public employee unions are today’s welfare queens. The people have spoken. Welfare reform is going to happen–with or without Barack Obama. If it happens without him, it might not happen until 2013, but if that’s the case it will happen under a Republican President and with the support of a Congress that hasn’t been so Republican since Silent Cal was in charge. This is Barack Obama’ welfare reform moment.Comments Off