Liberals are watching their ‘40-year majority’ vanish
Whatever happens on Election Day, the heroic phase of Obama’s presidency is over. It is over not simply because he will spend the rest of his term playing defense rather than conquering new ground for liberalism. It is over because the assumptions that underlay that first phase of his presidency have already been discredited.
Cast your mind back to December 2008. Democrats had just won their second back-to-back blowout election. President Obama had won the highest percentage of the vote of any Democratic presidential candidate since 1964, and the highest for a non-incumbent Democrat since 1932. The 2008 election, just like those earlier ones, had produced a Congress firmly controlled by the president’s allies. It was the most liberal configuration of power Washington, D.C., had seen since at least 1965–66.