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Obama's Mistaken Mandate

1:45 PM, Mar 8, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Matthew Continetti, writing at the Washington Free Beacon:

The sequester has yet to cause tremendous panic and consternation anywhere but in the executive branch, the congressional Democratic caucus, and, needless to say, MSNBC. And suddenly those Republicans for whom the president had no use, the old out-of-touch white men who were on their way to the dustbin of history, became bizarrely relevant. On Wednesday Obama invited Republican senators, including his old nemesis John McCain, to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel. On Thursday, Paul Ryan lunched at the White House.

What happened? Well, it may be that the president’s approval rating has been steadily sinking. It may be that economic growth is at a standstill despite the record performance of the Dow. It may be that the administration has found itself on defense on questions of civil liberties and campaign finance.

But I think the larger problem is that Obama, like reelected presidents before him, bought into the myth of the mandate. He over-interpreted the results of a personal victory in a status-quo election. Winning tax increases as part of the fiscal cliff deal boosted his already ridiculously oversized confidence. But he turned out to be wrong. And conservatives and Republicans might as well revel in this moment, before we figure out a way to spoil it.

Read the whole thing here.

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