Shortly after the election of Barack Obama I sat around with two friends who likely voted for him. One, from the West Coast, asked me what I thought about "my" President. I objected. I said he wasn't "my" President, he's "the" President. My friend went off. He said, "You see, that's the problem with America right there." But he misunderstood me. In my book, usage of "my President" indicates an affinity I have for the officeholder. I'm still a Soldier at heart. I'd never disrespect the Office of the President or knowingly disrespect the American holding that position who is acting in that capacity.
As an American, however, I always reserve the right to critique -- and sometimes criticize, heavily -- the President. But I'm beginning to re-think that "my / the" distinction I've held onto since Obama's election in 2008. Maybe, just maybe he *is* my President.
The Weekly Standard provided the necessary factoids yesterday for me to offer a hearty and genuine THANK YOU to "our" President this morning, and after sleeping on it I think I will. Here's why:
Five years ago, the Democrats held a 20-seat majority in the Senate and a 79-seat majority in the House. Then they passed Obamacare. They did so in clear defiance of public opinion and over unanimous Republican opposition in both chambers. After the American people’s clear verdict on Tuesday night, Republicans will likely have an 8-seat majority in the Senate and will have at least a 51-seat majority in the House. That’s a 28-seat swing in the Senate and 130-seat swing in the House since the pre-Obamacare days.
These are historic losses. Consider the following:
The last president who lost control of the House in one election and then lost control of the Senate in another was Woodrow Wilson, nearly 100 years ago.
If Republicans end up winning the Senate races in Alaska and Louisiana, as expected, then Obama will have lost 14 senators since his first year in office. The last time a president lost more senators from his first year onward was when Ulysses S. Grant lost 16 senators — from 1869 to 1875.
Prior to the 2010 election, the last time the Democrats lost at least 63 House seats while also losing control of that chamber was in 1894, shortly before Babe Ruth’s birth.
Obama was the first president in American history to lose 63 House seats in his first midterm election, and he has now lost additional House seats in his second midterm election.
Even in the unlikely event that the Democrats win all 13 of the House races that remain to be decided, they will still hold fewer House seats as of January than they have at any time since 1949, when Joe Louis was the undefeated heavyweight champ.
I've joked to my many Democrat friends that Barack Obama may be the ultimate domestic double-agent, but not for the entities many on the right-wing suspect.
Could it really be that he's one of OURS?
But it is just as likely that *we* are using him as it is that *they* are using him, and that gives me great comfort this week.