It's finally starting to happen. For months, I've irritated many conservatives by telling them that, like it or not, Barack Obama had high approval ratings and that most Americans were so enamored with the president that there was no use in attacking him yet.
But one thing I was sure of was that eventually the overly liberal House and some of the Senate's senior Democrats from the Northeast would transform many of Obama's ideas into proposals so bewildering that many of the independent swing voters who propelled Obama to victory would lose confidence in the "change-you-can-believe-in" program.
Sure enough, bit by bit, much of the president's agenda is starting to come apart like a cheap trailer in a tornado.
I recall in the Democratic presidential primary debates that candidate Obama suggested a slower pace and perhaps less ambition in trying to put the brake on runaway health care costs; slower, at least, than Hillary Clinton's more aggressive "universal health care" proposal.
It was only after Obama was elected that his own more aggressive approach started to emerge.
And even then, the most forceful and comprehensive proposals seemed to surface not in the White House, but in the House and in Edward Kennedy's committee in the Senate.
Regardless, the Congressional Budget Office says the price of Democratic health care reform would be staggering.
Beyond that, more and more Americans appear to be having serious misgivings about health care being under the exclusive or predominant control of the same folks that bring you the U.S. Postal Service (which is itself struggling mightily with disorganization and threatened with having to cut services).
Then, there's "climate change."
Yes, many have noticed that with much of the northern United States having endured a particularly frosty winter this past year, the term "global warming" is being discarded like last week's magazine.
And yes, the House has again tried to push through a bill to limit carbon emissions by forcing energy producers - and ultimately consumers - to pay for costly permits to produce greenhouse gasses, and to limit the market for such permits.
As for another round of stimulus money, you can forget it.
Public opinion polls tell us that the federal debt being amassed is scaring people, so much so that polls also say that Americans now trust the clueless, leaderless GOP on economic and fiscal issues more than the Democrats.
Matt Towery is a columnist for the Florida Times-Union. He can be e-mailed at email@example.com.
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