The new GOP majority will vote to repeal the President’s cherished healthcare bill. If it fails in the Senate, the next step for the Republicans will be to withdraw funding from the program. At every turn, the new Republican House of Representatives will attempt to thwart Obama’s initiatives and actually repeal some of the legislation passed in the last Congress.
How will President Obama deal with a Congress that is philosophically opposed to his liberal agenda? During the Christmas vacation, Obama read a Lou Cannon biography of former President Ronald Reagan, hoping to glean tips on how to deal with political opposition.
Reagan was incredibly successful dealing with a Democratic Congress. He needed Democratic votes to pass his tax cut bill, stimulate economic growth, grow jobs, trim government spending, curb inflation and bolster our military. Despite a hostile Congress and national news media, Reagan succeeded.
Can Obama emulate Reagan? He can possibly learn how the “Great Communicator” was able to bypass Congress and deal directly with the American people. He may learn tips on how to write and deliver effective speeches, but he will never be able to match Reagan’s accomplishments.
Unlike Obama, the Gipper possessed a strong belief in the American people. Reagan believed this country was the greatest in the world. In contrast, Obama constantly apologizes for America. Reagan believed in a strong defense, while Obama believes in cutting the military and boosting spending on social programs. Reagan was a capitalist, while Obama is a socialist at heart. Like Reagan, Obama has strong convictions, but Reagan believed in the free market system, while Obama believes in government controlling the economy.
Reagan succeeded not because he was an effective communicator, but because his ideas were right. He convinced the Congress and the American people about the correctness of his beliefs. Their faith in his programs paid handsome dividends. During the Reagan years, America enjoyed the longest period of economic growth in our history with over twenty million new jobs, low inflation, low interest rates and surging stock market and a renewed military force. Reagan also restored pride in the American people after the tough years of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War.
In contrast, Obama has little faith in the American people and wants government to intervene in more aspects of our lives. While Reagan’s policies succeeded magnificently, Obama’s policies have resulted in high unemployment, anemic economic growth and a deep recession.
Obama can read as many Reagan biographies as he wants, but it will not fundamentally improve the performance of his administration. Unless Obama has a major conversion in his beliefs about the economy and the American people; he will never match the success of Ronald Reagan.