President Obama, I have frequently argued, has been fabulous for the conservative movement. He spurred the creation of the tea party. He helped the GOP win the House majority in 2010 and make big gains in the Senate. His Obamacare has helped revive the Commerce Clause and given a boost to conservative jurisprudence. His refusal to support human rights has caused a bipartisan revulsion and reminded us that foreign policy must be girded by American values. He’s sent independents running into the GOP’s arms. He’s forced conservatives to think hard and express eloquently principles of religious liberty, limited government, free markets and Constitutional democracy.
Obama also has wrecked havoc in the the Democratic Party. He’s firmly affixed the “tax and spend” label to it after Bill Clinton declared that the era of big government was over. He’s made Clinton into a pitch man for Mitt Romney. His rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline has split the party. His refusal to adopt the Simpson-Bowles commission’s recommendations has turned Democrats into reactionaries, defending the status quo on entitlements. He’s alienated Jewish voters. He’s re-McGovernized the party, which now stands for appeasing despotic powers, turning on allies and slashing defense spending.