“My mandate is supreme!”
Man, the Great Shellacking II must have been hard on our 44th Chief Executive (1). He’s now claiming he can hear those who didn’t vote, and that his imaginary friends gave him a bigger mandate than that of the incoming Republican Congress:
President Obama did something extraordinary, perhaps unprecedented, in his post-election news conference Wednesday: He claimed a mandate on behalf of voters who didn’t vote.
“To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you,” the president said. “To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”
What did that mean? What did those non-voters say?
It would probably be more useful to ask what the president heard. And apparently Obama heard expressions of support from non-voters across the land.
The president explained that many more voters turned out when he was elected, and then re-elected, than in Tuesday’s midterms that left Republicans firmly in control of House and Senate. “One of the things that I’m very proud of in 2008 and 2012, when I ran for office, was we got people involved who hadn’t been involved before,” Obama said. “Part of what I also think we’ve got to look at is that two-thirds of people who were eligible to vote just didn’t vote.”
Of course, more than one-third of the people who were eligible to vote in Obama’s two presidential elections didn’t vote then, either. But Obama’s message to Republicans was unmistakable: My mandate is bigger than your mandate.
Oh, dear. It looks like our “constitutional scholar” president needs a lesson in American politics. Don’t worry, sir, I’ll make it easy for you:
In 2008, you and your party did indeed have a mandate — a mandate to restore prosperity after a financial panic and crash. That is why you were elected and that is why you had insuperable majorities in both chambers of Congress. You had a free hand.
But, you blew it.
You wasted nearly a trillion dollars, much of it borrowed, on a “stimulus” program that was a utter failure and a pork fiesta. You then devoted you and your party’s energies to passing a national healthcare law that the majority of the nation never wanted. And you rammed it through by constitutionally questionable methods that left Americans aghast at your arrogance. The one thing you didn’t do was was the one thing the electorate asked you to do: make us prosperous again.
So, in 2010, the people took your mandate away by giving the House to the Republicans, meaning a majority of those voting across the nation gave the Republicans a mandate to put the brakes on your plans.
Fast forward to 2012. You won reelection, much to the nation’s, the world’s, and my regret. You also won with fewer votes than 2008 and a smaller percentage of the vote. The Republicans also retained control of the House. That, sir, is not a mandate for anything than “learn to work and play well with the Opposition,” which you failed to do.
And now here we are in 2014. For various and sundry reasons we won’t go into (2), the voting public took away control of the Senate; increased the Republican majority in the House to levels not seen in 70 years; and took even more gubernatorial offices and state legislative chambers from your party. That is not a mandate to you for anything other than to grow up and act like a responsible adult charged with leading the greatest nation on Earth, and not like a petulant, self-absorbed 16 year old.
This, Mr. President, is how are system works. Midterm elections are times when the people can affirm the status quo, or issue orders for a correction. When the win is big enough, it can be considered a mandate. The 2014 midterm election really was a mandate — for the Republicans and for a correction.
And that mandate can only be conferred by those who actually care enough to get off their butts, put down their cell phones, and go out and vote. Not by a mysterious, vague, known only by you, secret message-sending 2/3rds who couldn’t be arsed to cast a ballot. And, no, you don’t have the power to divine what they really must’ve meant.
Stop listening to those imaginary voices, Mr. President, and start listening to the people who spoke and spoke loudly last Tuesday.
Do that, and you may salvage something from the last two years of your presidency.
(1) And, by his own estimation, the fourth-greatest president ever.
(2) Summary: It was because you and your crew are frighteningly incompetent.
UPDATE: Linked by Pirate’s Cove. Thanks!