Isn’t it interesting—when Republicans win big, lefty spinmeisters talk compromise and bipartisanship. When Democrats win, even if they win small, lefty spinmeisters just want to crush everyone else.

So, not surprisingly, one of these sublapidarians is now arguing that the size of Obama’s win is a mandate for the “progressive” agenda. Beyond absurd.

The results were bad, but they were not that bad. Keep in mind that:

* Any sitting President gets several million votes from the exposure due to incumbancy—votes that have little to do with policy.

* Despite the celebrated demographic changes, Obama really won by the skin of his teeth—around a 2 percent margin, maybe less.

* A shift in a point or two in any number of states would have worked a massive shift in the Electoral College.

* There were few coattails. Democrats lost the House of Representatives. They lost in the states. The GOP now controls 30 state houses.

Mandate elections are those where the victor wins by around 20 points, not by two. In modern times, the idea of the mandate election began in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson and the liberal national media (in those days the national media were ALL liberal) argued Johnson’s 61-38% victory gave him a mandate to expand government.

Of course, no election gives any politician authority to disregard the Constitution’s restraints, as Johnson wanted to do. Yet there was something to be said for the size of his victory: Not only did Johnson win by 23 points, he brought with him a Democratic Senate, Democratic House, and clear Democratic majorities in the states. He carried 44 of 50 states.

Other mandate elections include:

* FDR’s win in 1936 (61-37%, 46 of 48 states).

* Nixon’s win in 1972 (61-38%, 49 of 50 states).

* Reagan’s triumph in 1984 (59-41%, 49 of 50 states).

Obviously, the 2012 results were nothing like this.

The disastrous aspect of Obama’s victory is not that it is a mandate for further expanding the monster state. The disastrous aspect is that it protects previous expansion, allows Obama to continue to break constitutional restraints, and locks America on autopilot toward fiscal calamity.

Rob Natelson

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