Did those three election losses (New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts) tell Democratic leadership anything about the mood and will of the people at this point in time?

Some members of the House and Senate majority rank and file started
moderating themselves and their views on hot button issues the day
after Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Political analysts
almost had a betting pool in advance of the president’s State of the
Union address Tuesday night as to whether Obama would do as Clinton did
and shift closer to center in his tone and outreach after governing for
the past year from the left. And after breaking his promises of
bi-partisanship and transparency.

Those who bet he would, lost.

“Everything changes except President Obama. His agenda doesn’t
change. He has had no second thoughts about the wisdom of his
health-care policies, or any of his policies; resistance is always and
only a reason for redoubling. Also unchanging is the condescension with
which he articulates his agenda: He faulted himself for not explaining
health care well enough to the easily confused American public. The
same familiar strawmen dot the landscape of his rhetoric…

“The opening of the speech, and the end, invited us to regard Obama
as the embodiment of the nation. But it is not the country’s future
that has suddenly come under doubt. It is his administration’s. It is
not the country’s spirit that is in danger of breaking. It is
contemporary liberalism’s.

““Let’s try common sense,” said the president.”

But…

“Nothing in his speech suggested that the government’s most
important economic task might be to create the context of stability in
which growth can occur.”

In fact, nothing in his speech suggested any clear plan for substantive change.

“Anyone could find something to agree with in an endless speech, and
we will dutifully applaud the president’s professed desire for new
nuclear plants. All in all, though, our impression was of an
administration that has no real understanding of the political straits
in which it finds itself and thus no way to escape them.”

Maybe that’s why there’s so much coverage today of Justice Alito’s moment of silent protest.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....