At The American Prospect, Jonathan Bernstein expresses skepticism about the notion that Obamacare will make grateful voters into permanent Democrats -- as he explains, things tend to work out just the opposite way:
Almost 50 years ago, Congress passed and Lyndon B. Johnson signed the law establishing Medicare. It was, soon, wildly popular....Bernstein's point is that people want certain things from government, and so they vote for the party that promises these things -- then, when whatever is promised actually arrives, voter motivation shifts to those who want something else, or want the opposite approach to government.
In the next congressional elections, liberals took a beating -- and the Democrats lost the White House in 1968. Scratch that -- Democrats lost five of the next six presidential elections.
That's not the only story I could tell like that. Social Security? It passed in 1935, during what turned out to be a very good election cycle for the Democrats. Implementation began after the 1936 election, and the 1938 election began a string of conservative coalition control in Congress that lasted 20 years.
Want another one? Let's try foreign policy. ... Republicans ... were in office when the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union dissolved ... a policy outcome universally applauded and most certainly associated with the party of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Since then, Republicans have only won the national vote in one out of the last six presidential elections....
Which may be why Democrats will continue to win the presidency more or less forever.
You see, whenever Democrats get elected, they promise things. And then Republicans either prevent what Democrats propose from becoming law or do everything in their power to prevent implementation.
So if Bernstein is right, and the most motivated voters are the ones who haven't gotten what they want from their party, then Democrats may win elections forever, because Republicans will never let Democrats give voters what they want.
Which would be good -- in a terrible way.