CLINTON'S '94 DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS
I don't know if I agree with this:
Former President Bill Clinton told NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press" that the so-called "vast right-wing conspiracy" still exists and is "as virulent as it was," but has had its impact diminished by the nation's changing demographics....
But he reminds me of one more reason Democrats took a hit in '94:
During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Clinton said, "There's no way they can make it that bad."
"No. 1, the country is more diverse and more interested in positive action," Clinton said. "No. 2, they've [the American public] seen this movie before, because they had eight years under President [George W.] Bush when the Republicans finally had the whole government, and they know the results were bad. And -- No. 3 -- the Democrats haven't taken on the gun lobby like I did...."
Right -- the gun issue. That hurt. A lot of people are saying Obama can't fail on health care because failing on health care was the reason for the Democrats' '94 losses, but you've got to add guns to that. And before the health care debate started, the conventional wisdom was that the Dems' '94 losses happened because of the Clinton tax increase. And Firedoglake thinks the problem was NAFTA. And Frank Luntz says it was midnight basketball.
I say it was many of the above in combination, if not all. And that might have added up to more than the GOP has now against Obama (sorry, "Too many czars!!!1!1" is not a hot-button issue outside the base), even though the base-inspiring machine is much more efficient right now. I can't assess how '94 and '10 compare -- I'm worried, but not sure I should be -- but I really don't think there's as much that's getting swing voters angry at Obama as there was in Clinton's first two years, rightly or wrongly.