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RINGLEADER
09-01-2009, 01:10 AM
Two tides swept over American politics last winter. The first was the Obama tide. Barack Obama came into office with an impressive 70 percent approval rating. The second was the independent tide. Over the first months of this year, the number of people who called themselves either Democrats or Republicans declined, while the number who called themselves independents surged ahead.

<B>Obama’s challenge was to push his agenda through a Democratic-controlled government while retaining the affection of the 39 percent of Americans in the middle.</B>

The administration hasn’t been able to pull it off. From the stimulus to health care, it has joined itself at the hip to the liberal leadership in Congress. The White House has failed to veto measures, like the pork-laden omnibus spending bill, that would have demonstrated independence and fiscal restraint. <B>By force of circumstances and by design, the president has promoted one policy after another that increases spending and centralizes power in Washington.</B>

The result is the Obama slide, the most important feature of the current moment. 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. <B>All presidents fall from their honeymoon highs, but in the history of polling, no newly elected American president has fallen this far this fast.</B>

Anxiety is now pervasive. Trust in government rose when Obama took office. It has fallen back to historic lows. <B>Fifty-nine percent of Americans now think the country is headed in the wrong direction.</B>

The public’s view of Congress, which ticked upward for a time, has plummeted. Charlie Cook, who knows as much about Congressional elections as anyone in the country, wrote recently that Democratic fortunes have “slipped completely out of control.” He and the experts he surveyed believe there is just as much chance that the Democrats could lose more than 20 House seats in the next elections as less than 20.

There are also warning signs in the Senate. A recent poll shows Harry Reid, the majority leader, trailing the Republican Danny Tarkanian, a possible 2010 opponent, by 49 percent to 38 percent. When your majority leader is down to a 38 percent base in his home state, that’s not good.

<B>The public has soured on Obama’s policy proposals. Voters often have only a fuzzy sense of what each individual proposal actually does, but more and more have a growing conviction that if the president is proposing it, it must involve big spending, big government and a fundamental departure from the traditional American approach.</B>

Driven by this general anxiety, and by specific concerns, public opposition to health care reform is now steady and stable. <B>Independents once solidly supported reform. Now they have swung against it.</B> As the veteran pollster Bill McInturff has pointed out, public attitudes toward Obamacare exactly match public attitudes toward Clintoncare when that reform effort collapsed in 1994.

<B>Amazingly, some liberals are now lashing out at Obama because the entire country doesn’t agree with The Huffington Post.</B> Some now argue that the administration should just ignore the ignorant masses and ram health care through using reconciliation, the legislative maneuver that would reduce the need for moderate votes.

This would be suicidal. <B>You can’t pass the most important domestic reform in a generation when the majority of voters think you are on the wrong path. To do so would be a sign of unmitigated arrogance.</B> If Obama agrees to use reconciliation, he will permanently affix himself to the liberal wing of his party and permanently alienate independents. <B>He will be president of 35 percent of the country — and good luck getting anything done after that.</B>

The second liberal response has been to attack the budget director, Peter Orszag. It was a mistake to put cost control at the center of the health reform sales job, many now argue. The president shouldn’t worry about the deficit. Just pass the spending parts.

But fiscal restraint is now the animating issue for moderate Americans. <B>To take the looming $9 trillion in debt and balloon it further would be to enrage a giant part of the electorate.</B>

This is a country that has always been suspicious of centralized government. This is a country that has just lived through an economic trauma caused by excessive spending and debt. Most Americans still admire Obama and want him to succeed. But <B>if he doesn’t proceed in a manner consistent with the spirit of the nation and the times, voters will find a way to stop him.</B>

The president’s challenge now is to halt the slide. That doesn’t mean giving up his goals. It means he has to align his proposals to the values of the political center: fiscal responsibility, individual choice and decentralized authority.

Events have pushed Barack Obama off to the left. Time to rebalance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/opinion/01brooks.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

Direckshun
09-01-2009, 01:43 AM
It's a good, late night. And I could use a quote-a-thon.

Two tides swept over American politics last winter. The first was the Obama tide. Barack Obama came into office with an impressive 70 percent approval rating.
I'm pretty sure conservatives were telling me that 70 percent approval rating was not impressive, because it didn't compare to what other presidents received at the same time in their term. I'm almost certain that's what Fox News told me on a single 24-hour cycle.

But now that his approval ratings have dropped at or below 50%, it's okay to actually recognize reality since it can't hurt us anymore.

I try to maintain a responsibility to the truth, as best as I can know it, conservative outlets simply have a responsibility to themselves.

<B>Obama’s challenge was to push his agenda through a Democratic-controlled government while retaining the affection of the 39 percent of Americans in the middle.</B>

The administration hasn’t been able to pull it off. From the stimulus to health care, it has joined itself at the hip to the liberal leadership in Congress.

Right. This was a choice elected by the Obama administration, though. Obama demanded that nobody attach their name to a healthcare reform bill, so that he can remain front and center, for example.

The White House has failed to veto measures, like the pork-laden omnibus spending bill, that would have demonstrated independence and fiscal restraint.
Omnibus spending bills have almost never been vetoes by Republicans, either. If one's been vetoed, I've missed it. To veto the omnibus spending bill is to literally shit on Congress and single-handedly incite gridlock.

I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing, but that's why it happens and that's why Republicans do it, too.

The result is the Obama slide, the most important feature of the current moment. 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. <B>All presidents fall from their honeymoon highs, but in the history of polling, no newly elected American president has fallen this far this fast.</B>

Anxiety is now pervasive. Trust in government rose when Obama took office. It has fallen back to historic lows. <B>Fifty-nine percent of Americans now think the country is headed in the wrong direction.</B>

I'm not saying I'm happy about this, because I'm not. I will say it's what happens when an ambitious President tries to take on 10 things at once during a sensitive economic crisis that will take time for him to correct, and a staggering cultural crisis that will have to eventually correct itself.

The public’s view of Congress, which ticked upward for a time, has plummeted.

I haven't seen the numbers, but Congress was at 9% approval ratings during the remaining years of the Bush administration, and hasn't gotten that bad just yet.

That "a time," by the way, that they've been ticking upwards? About six months.

This is transparent spin.

Charlie Cook, who knows as much about Congressional elections as anyone in the country, wrote recently that Democratic fortunes have “slipped completely out of control.” He and the experts he surveyed believe there is just as much chance that the Democrats could lose more than 20 House seats in the next elections as less than 20.

There are also warning signs in the Senate. A recent poll shows Harry Reid, the majority leader, trailing the Republican Danny Tarkanian, a possible 2010 opponent, by 49 percent to 38 percent. When your majority leader is down to a 38 percent base in his home state, that’s not good.

No argument here.

Listen, it's not easy upsetting the status quo. That's why it's the status quo.

To get anything genuinely positive done in Congress, you're going to pay a price. There will be casualties in 2010 who literally did everything they could to get this country progressive healthcare reform.

But if you think that's an excuse to take your foot off the gas, you're either a typical Congressman or you're severely lacking a spine.

You get it done. If there are consequences so be it. That can be your legacy.

<B>Amazingly, some liberals are now lashing out at Obama because the entire country doesn’t agree with The Huffington Post.</B>

What?

Some now argue that the administration should just ignore the ignorant masses and ram health care through using reconciliation, the legislative maneuver that would reduce the need for moderate votes.

This would be suicidal. <B>You can’t pass the most important domestic reform in a generation when the majority of voters think you are on the wrong path. To do so would be a sign of unmitigated arrogance.</B> If Obama agrees to use reconciliation, he will permanently affix himself to the liberal wing of his party and permanently alienate independents. <B>He will be president of 35 percent of the country — and good luck getting anything done after that.</B>

I'm not a fan of the reconciliation process. I've said it before.

I'd rather get out there and force the Republicans to filibuster on camera for a month straight. Wait them out, then vote.

The second liberal response has been to attack the budget director, Peter Orszag. It was a mistake to put cost control at the center of the health reform sales job, many now argue. The president shouldn’t worry about the deficit. Just pass the spending parts.

But fiscal restraint is now the animating issue for moderate Americans. <B>To take the looming $9 trillion in debt and balloon it further would be to enrage a giant part of the electorate.</B>

Maybe, maybe not. It's tough to tell at this point because Obama ran on the idea of down-the-line liberal policies during the worst days of the economic crisis and he won in a landslide.

I support putting cost control at the center of health reform. I thought that was a smart move -- I just think they need to be more aggressive with where they raise their finances.

This is a country that has just lived through an economic trauma caused by excessive spending and debt.

Spin. It was caused by a lack of regulation on that spending.

The president’s challenge now is to halt the slide. That doesn’t mean giving up his goals. It means he has to align his proposals to the values of the political center: fiscal responsibility, individual choice and decentralized authority.

I partially disagree.

I think Obama has to align his proposals to the political center-left, since that's who elected him: fiscal responsibility, individual choice, universal healthcare, and honesty.

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 07:26 AM
The thing is in a country as large as America with so many diverse people, you can't really please everyone. It would be easier in a small homogenous country like Sweden where more people think alike...and even they have differences.

This is just another example of why the left's ideal of providing for the people through one central govt (which requires a huge central govt at that) doesn't work; that de centralization of power is more efficient and more responsive to the needs of the people who settle in certain areas for a reason. Then decentralized further within the states, including right down to how some big cities are divided up. The central govt needs to just do things that work for the nation a whole like defense, interstate commerce, federal highways. Enough with the attempts at micromanagement. Any organization that operates like that implodes.

wild1
09-01-2009, 08:04 AM
It's hard to think of any area where he's done well, and/or where the public feels he's done well.

mlyonsd
09-01-2009, 08:05 AM
An example of why the 39 percent of Americans in the middle are leaving Obama...

On his second day in Washington, President-elect Obama met with his budget team and promised no earmarks will be in the stimulus plan.

"We are going to ban all earmarks -- the process by which individual members insert pet projects without review," he explained. "We will create an economic recovery oversight board made up of key administration officials and independent advisors to identify problems early and make sure we are doing all we can to solve it."

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/01/06/1735189.aspx


Obama has nobody to blame but himself for his decline in the polls. He either naively makes statements that promise things that can't be kept, or is a bold faced liar in the first place.

That 39% in the middle don't care for either one.

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 08:16 AM
Yup! Obama lost the guys in the middle within months whereas it took Bush years to lose them.

It's the platform of the left-wing branch of the D party that is being rejected along with the continuation of the FP of Bush ( mostly, just not totally).

wild1
09-01-2009, 09:42 AM
Yup! Obama lost the guys in the middle within months whereas it took Bush years to lose them.

It's the platform of the left-wing branch of the D party that is being rejected along with the continuation of the FP of Bush ( mostly, just not totally).

:rolleyes: Not one percentage point of this has to do with Iraq or Afghanistan.

orange
09-01-2009, 09:53 AM
I first posted this back on July 15. It's still true.

??

<iframe src='http://charts.realclearpolitics.com/1044.epoll.html' width='100%' height='397' frameborder='0' scrolling='no' marginheight='0' marginwidth='0'></iframe>

His approval remains higher than his percentage of the vote.
His disapproval is still far below the percentage who voted against him.

For all the Kotterites with buyer's remorse, there are more converts to backers.


Bush for comparison:

http://newsaic.com/graphbushjobapproval.gif

Donger
09-01-2009, 09:55 AM
I first posted this back on July 15. It's still true.

What lie?

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 09:58 AM
:rolleyes: Not one percentage point of this has to do with Iraq or Afghanistan.

Yes it does.

orange
09-01-2009, 09:59 AM
What lie?

That Obama has fallen farther than anyone. He still virtually matches Bush.

And these graphs show similar drops for Truman, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-presapp0605-31.html


http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-truman.gif

http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-ford.gif

http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-carter.gif

http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-reagan.gif

http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-clinton.gif

All dropped in the first six months or so (Reagan got a little postponement due to John Hinckley).

Donger
09-01-2009, 10:05 AM
That Obama has fallen farther than anyone. He still virtually matches Bush.

And these graphs show similar drops for Truman, Reagan, and Clinton.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-presapp0605-31.html

(will paste them in shortly)

Ah, I see you added Bush. So, let's look at the numbers:

Bush

Starting Approval = 57%
Starting Disapproval = 25%

9/1 Approval = 51%
9/1 Disapproval = 39%

Obama

Starting Approval = 63%
Starting Disapproval = 20%

9/1 Approval = 51%
9/1 Disapproval = 42%

Looks like Obama has indeed fallen farther than Bush.

vailpass
09-01-2009, 10:05 AM
The obama faithful are in full spin mode just a few months after dear leader's election. I'm beginning to wonder if this guy will make it all the way through his first term.

***SPRAYER
09-01-2009, 10:11 AM
He's a piece of shit.

wild1
09-01-2009, 10:26 AM
Yes it does.

Not one.

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 10:29 AM
Not one.

In your opinion.

wild1
09-01-2009, 10:40 AM
In your opinion.

ROFL

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 10:41 AM
ROFL

Just saying we disagree. It was left wing Rs that led us into Iraq. But I see you got nuthin' hence your nervous laughing.

wild1
09-01-2009, 10:42 AM
Just saying we disagree. I see you got nuthin'!

You didn't offer any evidence that these topics have anything to do with his slide. They aren't even on the news. They weren't a factor in the campaign. The public has largely forgotten them now that the media has gone on to demagogue other issues.

RINGLEADER
09-01-2009, 12:44 PM
That Obama has fallen farther than anyone. He still virtually matches Bush.

And these graphs show similar drops for Truman, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-presapp0605-31.html


http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-truman.gif

http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-ford.gif

http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-carter.gif

http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-reagan.gif

http://online.wsj.com/media/info-presapp0605-clinton.gif

All dropped in the first six months or so (Reagan got a little postponement due to John Hinckley).

Keep telling yourself that Obama is doing just as well as everyone else...

The only saving grace for Obama is that he tried to shove Obamacare down our throats this year instead of next (which was Clinton's mistake)...if he moves away from the government option this year he has time to mitigate the damage he's done to himself and his party...

mlyonsd
09-01-2009, 12:46 PM
Keep telling yourself that Obama is doing just as well as everyone else...

The only saving grace for Obama is that he tried to shove Obamacare down our throats this year instead of next (which was Clinton's mistake)...if he moves away from the government option this year he has time to mitigate the damage he's done to himself and his party...

QFT. He's still got time to learn from his mistakes. Although I'm not sure he or his team acknowledge they've made any which might be a problem.

RINGLEADER
09-01-2009, 01:05 PM
QFT. He's still got time to learn from his mistakes. Although I'm not sure he or his team acknowledge they've made any which might be a problem.

Bingo.