Free Markets, Free People

Buyer’s Remorse In Iowa

This is the day, one year ago today, that the world was supposed to change with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States.  Yet, as the New York Times tells us, in Iowa – a heartland state that went for Obama – the reviews of his presidency to this point get decidely mixed reviews.

Take the time to read the article, but what stood out for me were the following:

1. The “blame Bush” response to the problems he’s facing is wearing very thin. If you were wondering what it’s shelf life was, I’d safely guess it expired a couple of months ago.

2. Democrats there are still trying to keep the faith. But it is difficult even though they still think he’s doing a good job. Unfortunately the NYT didn’t bother to ask “with what”. Some do seem to believe he’s changed our image in the world for the better. I’m not sure that’s actually true given some of the situations developing (see Clinton’s latest fiasco in the Middle East, Russia nuking Poland in a simulation after our withdrawal of a defensive missile shield and Iran continuing to manipulate the process while NoKo announces “we have more nukes” – we may be “better liked”, but there isn’t much respect being shown).

3. Those independents and moderate Republicans that supported him seem to have jumped ship. His approval rating in Iowa has dropped from 63% to 54%. And there’s no telling how soft that number is.  There’s also a very big question of whether or not they can be wooed back.

4.  Obama is suffering from the economic woes as would any president.  However, there’s a nagging feeling developing among a number of supporters that he may not be up to the job.   The NYT noted that in several interviews he was described as being “cautious, tentative and prone to blame his troubles on others.” Or as one interviewee noted, he seemed more presidential when he was running than he does now.

I think Iowa reflects what many of his supporters feel – at least those who went “all in” on the “transitional political figure” myth. Instead they’re seeing a product of Chicago politics and a continuation of “politics as usual”. As mentioned there’s an underlying current of deep disappointment, manifested in the remarks about the depth of government’s intrusion, his seeming timidity and his penchant to blame others. And the unsaid criticism that is lurking behind every remark is he doesn’t seem to know how to lead and he may be in over his head.

Ironically, Afghanistan may end up being the make or break moment for his political future. Many Democrats said, in the article, that they don’t want to see an escalation in the war there. With moderate Republicans and independents walking away from him now, he might lose further support – this time among Democrats – with a decision that boosts the number of troops committed there.

It is kind of interesting to those who saw through this fellow and had the temerity to point out that his resume was paper thin and his leadership resume was non-existent that those who willingly blinded themselves to that are ruefully discovering that reality has consequences.  You can ignore it, but it won’t change it.  Unfortunately there’s another reality that isn’t going to change – we’re going to have to live with the consequences of buying into a myth for at least another 3 years.

~McQ

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7 Responses to Buyer’s Remorse In Iowa

  • He’s changed our image?
    That’s ALL this guy is, is image.   He’s a cardboard cutout President.  That’s why the people who went for him (I admit, I was tempted at first, before I saw the debates, and his arrogance showed through for me) are suddenly disillusioned.   They took the shiny New President out of the box and found out all he does is stand there.

  • “As mentioned there’s an underlying current of deep disappointment, manifested in the remarks about the depth of government’s intrusion, his seeming timidity and his penchant to blame others. And the unsaid criticism that is lurking behind every remark is he doesn’t seem to know how to lead and he may be in over his head.”

    And all of this after only 10 months with the reins of government in his hands.  I keep watching the man to see if there is anything there that might give some indication that he is about to “snap” out of it and stride into the leadership role he craved.  But I am not seeing it. 

    Seemingly, with every day that passes, he keeps pulling what is now the tired “Blame Bush” rhetoric out of his hat and passes off the blame for yet another decision not being made, or yet another obstacle encountered hindering his progress to the promised land of Obamatopia.  And as time passes, ever more speed bumps get tossed under the bus, ever more enemies are added to the list, and ever more time is wasted waiting for the expected entrance into the promised land where all bow to his wishes and kneel to his eloquence.

    It seems Obama may be the absolute epitome of the Peter Principle.  So much so that it may need to be renamed the Obama Principle!  Except for a certain eloguence tied to a strange affinity with a telepromtor, he has shown no ability to be much more of a leader than that shown when he was that Illinois legislator and I fear we will hear echoes of his call of “Present” for the next three years.

    • “It seems Obama may be the absolute epitome of the Peter Principle.”

      I disagree. To be an example of the Peter Principle, he would needed to have proven that he was qualified for his last job. Obama has been promoted more than once since he last displayed competance at a position. 

      • Yeah, definitely.
        You see this sort of thing in the financial industry with companies hiring the sons/daughters of thier friend to be VPs.  Absolutely useless.

    • SShiellAnd all of this after only 10 months with the reins of government in his hands.

      Incredible, isn’t it?  Have the wheels come off any previous administration this quickly?

  • Wait, you said promised land!  Now I get it, we have to wait 40 years for Obama’s miracle to come to pass.

  • Just as 911 produced liberals who were “mugged by reality” I think the economic crisis will produce its crop of liberals “mugged by reality.”
    1. High unemployment, low growth – but no plan for growth (other than government which does not show up much if you aren’t a contractor.) Eventually people figure out that they can’t become a federal employee so easily, and wonder about the plan for the rest of us? But no plan, just taxes and new programs.
    2. Seeing the Wall Street situation would create more socialists you would thinks, but I wonder if some people start to discern that pro-market does not mean pro-business or pro-big business (see this guy’s corporatist model.) If it were McCain, they could simply bitch – but when Obama does Corporatism, what does that do but confuse them and slowly they might have to find individual positions instead of reflexive party line?
    3. When times are good, people care a little bit less about taxes. When times are bad, at first they may think ‘only government can save us’ but after a year or so now, they must be getting cynical and thinking ‘gee, I could use that money that I just paid in taxes for my family.’