Campaign Promises

James Joyner takes issue with this post:

Obama won for a whole variety of reasons.  Candidates say all manner of things on the campaign trail but winning does not necessarily confer a mandate for all of those programs.  A goodly number of the centrists, independents, and even conservatives who voted for Obama did so because they found him personally appealing, found John McCain less than inspiring, wanted to accelerate our withdrawal from Iraq, wanted a clean break from eight years of George W. Bush, or any of a hundred other things.  This does not translate into “this election was about universal health coverage,” any more than Bush’s victory of John Kerry in 2004 was about privatizing Social Security.

He also says that I am arguing that "the losing side in an election thereby loses the right to protest." Not true. They have every right to protest, as I wrote. But declaring this a power-grab or somehow unexpected is absurd. It was his priority in the campaign. It's not like, say, the Iraq war.