“Mr. Obama, during his private pep talk to Democrats, recognized Mr. Owens election and then posed a question to the other lawmakers. According to Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who supports the health care bill, the president asked, ‘Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care? All it will do is confuse and dispirit’ Democratic voters ‘and it will encourage the extremists.'”

***
“And, in fact, the new president and Congress had a real opportunity to divide the Republican Party. A moderate stimulus bill that offered a short-term boost and included a meaningful tax-cut component, for instance, might have won a very significant number of Republican votes in Congress last winter and launched a damaging internal GOP battle over the proper role of the opposition. Some restraint on taxes and spending in general, and on health care and energy policy in particular, would also have divided congressional Republicans and left the direction of the party in doubt.

“But Washington Democrats chose a different route. While they have been peddling the story of Republican self-immolation, they have actually been creating the conditions for a Republican resurgence. President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid have launched the country on a course of massive spending, a dramatic expansion of government, and a slew of new taxes in the midst of a recession. Finding themselves in control of Congress and the White House and so possessed of an unusual opportunity to pursue their ideological agenda, they have sought to make the most of it. But they have misjudged just how far to the left of the country as a whole the Democratic base now resides—and so, rather than strengthen their own brand, they have inadvertently done wonders to build and unify the Republican Party.”

***
“I’m trying to imagine the political environment that Washington Democrats occupy. A President glibly lays out that analogy, and it is received — without any wincing or taint of disgust — as awesome inspiration. These are the minds that will be making decisions for us for quite a while.”