It wasn't supposed to go this way for liberals like President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders. But just four years after the euphoric 2008 election, they've lost control of two symbolic issues: poverty and gun control.
Conservatives are seizing on a new report that poverty is reaching the highest levels since the 1960s-era War on Poverty began and also the lack of calls for gun control following last Friday's mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater showing the new Batman movie.
"Certainly liberalism is dead," said R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., author of a new book, "The Death of Liberalism."
Giddy Conservatives told Secrets that the failure of the two crown jewels of liberalism, ending poverty and limiting gun ownership, are a sign of a political sea change in the nation.
What's more, they credit Obama for the shift, noting that since he slapped gun owners in 2008, he has backed away from calling for limits, even during his weekend meeting with the families of the Colorado shooting victims. They also point to the growth of welfare and food stamp usage under Obama.
Tyrrell is head cheerleader of the effort to hang the fading of liberal policy on the president, writing in his book that Obama is the "pallbearer" of liberalism.
In an interview, Tyrrell, the founder and editor of the conservative American Spectator, suggested that the war on poverty and gun control have failed from a lack of new ideas and misguided focus on side issues.
"Consider, there are unprecedented levels of poverty under Obama despite an enormous proportion of the federal programs now being devoted to eliminating poverty and the Messiah simply calls on the electorate to redouble its expenditures--very dramatic!" he told Secrets with his trademark flair.
And, he added, "With roughly 200 million guns loose in the country a maniac commits vast carnage in Colorado and the New York Times, in its headline, claims we are all 'reviving debate' on gun control. We can not even control our borders but somehow we are going to gather up two hundred million guns. As I say liberalism is dead--brain dead and otherwise."