Obama has lost sight of the center

My column for Monday's FT argues that the Democrats are asking for trouble in 2010.

Barack Obama and the Democrats want you to know they had a good week. Last Tuesday Republicans threw away a New York congressional seat they had held for a century, preferring to fight each other than win an easy contest. Excellent, say Democrats. Civil war in the Republican party augurs well for next year's mid-term elections.

What's that, you say? Oh, yes, Democrats did lose the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia, with huge swings to the other side, but this was to be expected with the economy in such bad shape. Read nothing into that, say Democratic strategists.

Still joyous over this electoral affirmation, Democrats in the House of Representatives then made history over the weekend, with passage of their health-reform bill. The margin was narrow, admittedly, in a chamber they dominate. So what? A win is a win (except in New Jersey or Virginia). Everything is going to plan.

Here is the disturbing part: watching administration officials shovel this nonsense, one begins to wonder if they believe it. If they do, and keep it up, they are asking for a drubbing in 2010 that will do for Mr Obama's agenda what the wipe-out of 1994 did for Bill Clinton's.

You can read the rest here.