In the 1960s, with 68% of the Senate, the Democratic Party was celebrating the death of the GOP. Then their own policies energized conservative sentiment and gave us Republican presidents for 20 of the next 24 years. Pat Buchanan:
Why did LBJ fail? He overloaded the circuits. He tried to do it all. He misread a national desire for continuity after Kennedy's death as a mandate for a lunge to the left and a great leap forward with the largest expansion of government since the New Deal.
By the winter of 1968, Lyndon Johnson was a broken president.
History never repeats itself exactly. But Barack Obama is making the same mistakes today that LBJ made in 1965.
He has ordered 17,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan, as the situation deteriorates and the NATO allies pull out. He has no exit strategy. He has read a repudiation of George Bush as a mandate for a government seizure of wealth and power that exceeds anything attempted in the Great Society.
Fully half of the $3.55 trillion in spending Obama will preside over this year will not be covered by tax revenue but by red ink. The money will have to be borrowed from abroad or printed by the Fed.
Not only is Barack running a deficit four times as large as Bush's largest, he has called for $1 trillion in new taxes on America's most successful, who have already seen their savings and pensions ravaged.
He wants a cap-and-trade system to deal with a global-warming or climate-change crisis many scientists believe is a hoax. He is going to provide health care for all, including immigrants, millions of whom arrive uninsured every year.
He is going to plunge scores of billions more into education, though education has eaten up the wealth of an empire, as SAT scores sink further and further below the apogee of 1964, before LBJ and the feds barged in. He is going to ask Congress for authority to spend another $750 billion rescuing the banks.
He is going to find the cure for cancer. He is going to ensure every kid gets a college education.
He is going to drop half of all wage-earners off the tax rolls, while the top 2 percent, who already pay 40 percent of all income taxes, are forced to cough up more.
Obama is misreading the election returns. When America voted to cancel the White House lease of Mr. Bush, it did not vote Barack Obama a blank check.
By misinterpreting his mandate, Obama has accomplished something John McCain could not -- unite the Republican Party and instill in it a new esprit de corps. For the Obama budget is an insult to the core belief of the party -- that free people, not coercive government, should shape the character of society.
By daring Republicans to fight on the issue of a $1.75 trillion deficit, Obama has liberated the GOP from any obligation to him. He has come out of the closet as a radical liberal spoiling for a fight over an agenda of radical change.
Sooner than any might have thought, we have clarity.