Barack Obama could be said to have suffered a defeat in the midterm elections, when his Democratic party lost control of the US Senate, and the House of Representatives majority became the largest since 1929 for the Republican Party.
And yet, Obama has been on a “tear” since, and it is clear that he is NOT acting like a “lame duck”, and will work to accomplish as many goals as he can, with or without cooperation of the GOP majority in Congress.
Obviously, Obama cannot pass legislation on his own, but he can veto legislation, and prevent destructive behavior by the Republican majority.
So new House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin can wish to gut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but Obama will be able to prevent much, if any damage, to these signature programs promoted into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Obama has been able to get judicial appointments approved by the outgoing Democratic Senate majority, and those judges have lifetime tenure.
Obama can, legally, by executive order, promote many changes that do not need Congressional approval, and every President has utilized this power to bring about changes, sometimes good and sometimes bad, but the issue of the authority to use executive orders is a clear cut one!
So Barack Obama still has two years to bring historic change, and he is now liberated to do what he wishes to do that is allowable under our Constitution and history, and he no longer needs to be cautious, but instead can become aggressive and outspoken, knowing that even if he was to be impeached and brought to trial by the Republican Congress, that he is untouchable, as there is no way to gain a two thirds majority in the US Senate to remove him.
Instead, he has the opportunity to make his Presidency more transformative and historic at a time when so much of what he has already done is bearing fruit!