By KARL ROVE
During the last week, President Barack Obama doubled down on a losing political bet, further cementing the Democratic Party's reputation as the champion of bigger deficits, higher spending and more government. He did so just as the public is crying out for lower deficits, less spending and less government.
In his Saturday radio address, Mr. Obama attacked Republican opposition to additional stimulus spending, saying they "just don't get it." Maybe they do get it. The first, $862 billion stimulus bill of 17 months ago has after all failed to work the president's promised magic.
Last Thursday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the president in his bad bet by offering up the economic gem that extension of unemployment benefits "creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name." Really? Faster than, say, cutting personal income tax cuts or slashing the corporate tax rate?
Rank-and-file congressional Democrats do not seem eager to follow Mr. Obama and Mrs. Pelosi down this road. For example, the House barely passed its $127 billion "Stimulus II" spending bill in late May by a vote of 215 to 204, with 34 Democrats joining all but one Republican in voting no. At least 20 of those Democrats come from districts at risk this fall. Democrats who represent swing districts are increasingly wary of supporting higher spending, taxes and deficits, or ceding greater power to the federal government. These issues are driving independents and other swing voters into the GOP column.