A Liberal Reagan?

ObamaByHiroko MasuikeGetty
Massie gets into the weeds of the parallel:

[H]istorical comparisons are never exact. Nonetheless, assuming the economy recovers then you can bet that Democrats will argue that it was the stimulus what done it and you can further bet that plenty of voters will be happy to nod and agree with this proposition. And if health insurance reform passes and if Afghanistan looks less problematic in a year's time, well, you can see where a second term is coming from, can't you?

Sure, there remains the deficit and I'm skeptical that Congressional Democrats are really terribly interested in tackling that but economic recovery will create some greater room for tackling the deficit in a second term. Equally, if the economy recovers, voters may be less concerned by aspects of the liberal agenda that, at present, they find disconcerting.

Granted, there are plenty of ifs there. But that's always the case. Like Reagan a generation ago, one sense that Obama realises that he has the opportunity to redraw the map. He can be a consequential President whose legacy is such that it defines or shapes the parameters within which his successors must operate. He may not succeed, but the scale of the Republican crisis and the depth of the hole he found himself in at the beginning of his presidency give him a chance to be the heir to LBJ liberals have been waiting for.

The Dish wrote about this comparison in January 2008.

(Image: By Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images.)