President Obama’s abysmal first year in office ended yesterday, punctuated by Republican Scott Brown’s stunning special election victory in the blue state of Massachusetts. Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley to claim the U.S. Senate seat left by the late Ted Kennedy, the liberal stalwart who practically owned the seat for nearly a half-century. The upset victory leaves the Democrats one senator shy of a filibuster-proof majority, meaning Republicans can now block President Obama’s controversial health care legislation.
A year ago, President Obama could do no wrong. Riding a wave of popular support that extended far beyond America’s shores, the self-assured politician all but guaranteed to fix health care, eliminate wasteful spending, cut taxes, revitalize the economy, reduce carbon emissions, solve the energy crisis, safeguard the world’s supply of nuclear weapons material, close Gitmo, pull out of Iraq, crush al Qaeda, win in Afghanistan, befriend Muslim nations and repair America’s damaged reputation abroad.
And most Americans enthusiastically joined him on the “hope” and “change” bandwagon. According to the New York Times/cbs News Poll from one year ago, “overwhelming majorities” believed Obama would be a good president and “make the right decisions on the economy, Iraq, dealing with the conflict in the Middle East and protecting the country from terrorist attacks.”
Today, as he begins his second year in office, “the thrill is gone, the doubts growing—even among erstwhile believers,” Charles Krauthammer recently wrote. His approval rating has plummeted by more than 20 percent—the sharpest decline ever for a first-year president. Most polls now have his rating sitting below 50 percent. Another recent poll found that a majority of Americans believe Obama is performing “about the same” or “worse” than his unpopular predecessor, George W. Bush.
“What I haven’t been able to do in the midst of this crisis,” President Obama recently acknowledged in an interview with People, “is bring the country together in a way that we had done in the Inauguration. That’s what’s been lost this year … that whole sense of changing how Washington works” (emphasis added throughout).
High hopes have been dashed by harsh reality.
On Sunday, President Obama scrambled to make an eleventh-hour visit to Massachusetts, in hopes of rescuing Coakley’s sinking campaign. After the election results were in last night, administration officials were quick to distance the president from the race and to blame the loss on Coakley’s ineffective campaign strategy.
Coakley’s supporters, according to the Associated Press, fired back at the president, saying she lost her lead in the polls after health care legislation had gained momentum in Congress and because of a national security breach that nearly downed an airliner on December 25.
What a difference a year makes. Yesterday, a senatorial candidate, who is a Democrat, blamed her loss on Barack Obama.
If you are a student of Bible prophecy, of course, you saw this coming. As Joel Hilliker wrote 12 months ago, “We can expect events swiftly to expose the fact that no mortal man—even one assuming the highest office in the world’s most powerful country—could ever fulfill the hope that people have invested in this individual.”
Still, it’s sobering to watch how fast these prophetic events are unfolding. •