Donald Trump’s victory is already inspiring reflection about the future of the Republican Party, and rightly sowrites Wall Street Journal,
but Democrats don’t seem to be undertaking any similar introspection.
… Too many liberals, and some conservatives, simply cannot imagine how great numbers of Americans think and perceive their own interests. Thus wrong opinions must be the result of cognitive limitations or character flaws. Mrs. Clinton called Trump supporters “deplorables,” “irredeemable” and “not America,” as if there could be no other explanation.
These failures of empathy are also a staple of Mr. Obama’s rhetoric, with his moral lectures about who we are as Americans and the arc of history always bending toward—well, his point of view. For the President, and most prominent Democrats these days, opponents who debate policies and principles never do so in good faith.
For eight long years Mr. Obama’s belief that he holds the mandate of heaven has guided how he has used and abused presidential power. He was elected in 2008 on a message of hope and centrist unity, but he was soon ramming through 40 years of pent-up progressive priorities. Recall his famous 2009 brush-off of Republican Eric Cantor, who had proposed some bipartisan ideas for the stimulus: “Eric, I won.”
Democrats imposed ObamaCare on a straight partisan majority, though the polls showed there was no political consensus about a new entitlement among the oft-invoked, rarely consulted American people. National health care is no more popular today and is now misfiring in all the ways the critics predicted. The GOP was frozen out of all major economic decisions in 2009-10, and one price was the weak recovery that persists to this day.
Democrats did have a historic supermajority, but that wasn’t a mandate to do whatever they could get away with, and they lost a record 63 House seats in the midterms as punishment.
… In his second term, Mr. Obama adopted his “pen and phone” strategy of executive rule to bypass Congress and avoid accountability. He unleashed the EPA to impose carbon cap and trade without basis in law. The Education Department rewrote Title IX to erode due process on campus. The Paris climate deal and Iran nuclear accord should have been submitted to the Senate as treaties for ratification.
… Mr. Trump and Republicans … now have [the opportunity to pass the agenda they campaigned on] in large part because the Obama progressives were so uncompromising and condescending to Americans beyond the coasts. The tides of American politics mean Democrats will inevitably make a comeback, but that return will arrive stronger and maybe sooner if they learn the lessons of Mr. Obama’s disdain for his political opponents.