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Presidency

The Obama Slide

David Brooks on Obama's slide. "The number of Americans who trust President Obama to make the right decisions has fallen by roughly 17 percentage points. Obama's job approval is down to about 50 percent. All presidents fall from their honeymoon highs, but in the history of polling, no newly elected American president has fallen this far this fast.

Anxiety is now pervasive. Trust in government rose when Obama took office. It has fallen back to historic lows. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now think the country is headed in the wrong direction."  Although everyone knows this to be true, and has known it to be true for about six weeks, I think now the White also knows.  And that fact is massive because everything they do from here on out will be with this in mind.  Now we will find out how clever these guys are, and/or whether Obama can persuade or his voice is nothing more than background music.  I am slo prepared to be surprised.  I think they are in a tight political bind, and it will get tighter, the squeeze will now come from the right, now from the left, and then again.  See George Will's call to get out of Afghanistan.

Categories > Presidency

Discussions - 10 Comments

I think most people voted for Obama because he was an excellent rhetorician and because they hated George Bush. They honestly thought that Obama was a moderate liberal rather than a progressive, which was pretty evident in the primaries. The American people are generally not sympathetic to the progressive ideology because of the individualist ethos in the American spirit and character. They are not in favor of massive federal government bureaucracy and governed by experts and massive debts, taxes, and spending. All of his talk of efficiency and order is right out of the Progressive Era.

The left has consistently been criticizing Obama from the get-go. Or does Fox News not report on that?

The left has consistently been criticizing Obama from the get-go.

Links, please. Links that support "consistently" and "right from the get-go".

Tell you what, John M. How about I give you a few organization names and then you can go and tell me exactly when they started criticizing him. I'm fairly confident it was in the first few months of his Presidency:

- The ACLU (Obama didn't want to investigate the Bush administration)
- any peace activists (war in Afghanistan)
- Democratic Socialists of the United States
- The Nation (lots of random criticism)
- The Freedom From Religion Foundation (he kept the faith-based initiatives stuff)
- Democracy Now! (lots of random criticism)
- LGBT groups

But, again, I'm not surprised that you think all of the Left is and always has been obsessed with Obama. That's the way the MSM portrays it, right?

That Obama has critics on the Left isn't a particularly earth-shattering development, any more than the fact that Bush had plenty of critics on the Right. The only relevant question is what these people do on Election Day. The vast majority of Obama's left-wing critics voted for him, and likely will do so again, just as most of Bush's critics (myself included) held their noses and pulled the lever for him in 2004.

Matt, you're right. There are left-wing nuts who criticize Obama's progressive policies from different angles. But, none of that explains the poll numbers about why he has taken a major dive. As I said in #1, his policies are just not in harmony with the character of the American people. He fooled them during the election, but is no longer quite as persuasive as he used to be.

I voted for neither Kang nor Krotos. Wanting to vote for only for "a party that has a chance" is odd to me. It's like living in Cleveland and rooting for the Yankees only way worse because at least the Yankees are not a complete compromise of one's values in order to feel like they are on the winning side. Is the election total part of one's ego, sort of like sports fandom?

It is better than I had hoped. The hubris of the Left was about the only thing that could extricate the Right after the Bush debacle, and sure enough, their arrogance has led them astray already (just as it did Clinton in 1993). Yippee! Now, we can't let them throttle back and become "moderate" again. If we want to retake government in 2012, we must give them ever more rope (with a noose at its end, of course).

I've decided that Obama is just exactly what he claimed to be... a community organizer. His early political career was spent in gathering together significant community cohorts, who were predisposed to the message they thought his fine wordsmanship was delivering. In other words, he was preaching to the choir.

Now that our President actually has to sell programs to a wide spectrum of the American society, he has proven woefully deficient. Fine words and lack of substance are fine for those ready to buy. For the rest of us, we want to know the details, and he scrupulously avoids getting into the details... in effect saying trust me!

Furthermore, instead of showing us that he's really smart, he has instead shown us that he's clever. Not something that you really want as the basis of your political reputation. Instead of leading us, he has abdicated to the Democratic Congress, hoping to avoid responsibility for the devilish details in the bills. At the same time he's hyped the crises (yes, plural) to promote the urgency of passing these dreadful bills in spite of their faults.

Perhaps he can learn to really lead, but I fear he will continue to play to his historic strength... the clever community organizer. And we will be the worse for his lack of real leadership.


Just my $.02

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