by Michael Barone
Heading into what appears to be a disastrous midterm election, the Obama Democrats profess to be puzzled. The president’s record, they insist, is moderate, accommodating — if anything, overcautious. So why do most American voters seem to be angrily rejecting it?
That’s one way of looking at it. Another way is to say that the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress have increased government’s share of gross domestic product from 21 percent, where it’s hovered for the last several decades, to about 25 percent and have put the national debt on a trajectory to increase from 40 to 90 percent of GDP.
Voters have noticed — and don’t like it.
But, say the Obama Democrats, shouldn’t ordinary people — in particular, shouldn’t the blue-collar working class — be grateful to a government that tries to “spread the wealth” (Obama’s words to Joe the Plumber) in difficult economic times?
They used to be, the argument would go. In post-World War II America, voters regularly moved toward the Democrats in recession years.
There’s a difference, however, that has escaped Obama Democrats but perhaps not ordinary voters.
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