by EZRA KLEIN, The Washington Post
The political-science evidence is clear on this: There’s no such thing as an election mandate. There’s only what a president is able to get done with the Congress the American people gave him.
But few politicians agree. And so the days and weeks after elections are heavy with arguments about who has a mandate, and for what. The latest debate is about whether President Obama, who ran a campaign explicitly promising to raise taxes on high earners and who beat a candidate explicitly promising to refuse any and all tax increases, has a mandate to raise taxes.
Speaker John Boehner says he doesn’t. “Listen, our majority is going to get reelected,” he said the day before the election. “We’ll have as much of a mandate as he [President Obama] will … to not raise taxes.”
Boehner’s logic is, on its face, sound. House Republicans have been as clear in their opposition to new taxes on the rich as Obama has been in his support for them. And House Republicans were reelected. They have as much right to claim a popular mandate as the president does.
Or they would if they’d actually won more votes. But they didn’t. House Republicans did the equivalent of winning the electoral college while losing the popular vote. [MORE]
Via Eric Byler