Daily Archives: March 9, 2010
That’s pretty much the opposite of the promise made by candidate Obama and the administration’s spin since he’s become president, isn’t it?
A majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than it was two years ago and think President Obama and other Democrats fall short of Republicans on the issue of national security, a new poll finds.
The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama’s presidency.
“This is surprising, given the global acclaim and Nobel peace prize that flowed to the new president after he took office,” said pollsters for the liberal-leaning organizations.
It’s really only surprising if you haven’t been paying attention. Most people outside the beltway and not blinded by their ideology recognized the award of the Nobel peace prize was a travesty and more of a political statement than something earned by Mr. Obama. And most Americans were put off by Mr. Obama’s “world apology” tour, as it was called by some, where he spent most of his time in other countries apologizing for America’s past. Lastly, it has been fairly obvious to most observers that our foreign policy is in shambles and even our allies find little reason to agree with or go along with whatever foreign policy goals we set – such as increased sanctions for Iran.
So while it is surprising to a “liberal leaning” polling organization, it isn’t at all surprising to other observers. Which brings us to the next “surprise” for the pollster I assume:
On the national security front, a massive gap has emerged, with 50 percent of likely voters saying Republicans would likely do a better job than Democrats, a 14-point swing since May. Thirty-three percent favored Democrats.
“The erosion since May is especially strong among women, and among independents, who now favor Republicans on this question by a 56 to 20 percent margin,” the pollsters said in their findings.
50 to 33 is well outside any sampling error and can’t be written off as such (it was 43 R’s and 41 D’s in May). And the amazing difference among women and independents is a true indicator the national security worm has turned. And that bodes ill politically for the Democrats. If you need even more evidence:
• “Keeping America safe”: Democrats now trail by 13 points (34 percent to 47 percent.) The gap was just 5 points in July 2008.
• “Ensuring a strong military”: Democrats trail by 31 points (27 percent to 58 percent.)
• “Making America safer from nuclear threats”: Democrats trail by 11 points (34 percent to 45 percent,) “despite the president’s strong actions and speeches on steps to reduce nuclear dangers,” the pollsters said.
Democracy Corps is the creation of James Carville and Stanley Greenberg and Third Way describes itself as a “moderate think tank of the progressive movement” (moderate progressive – sounds like an oxymoron to me). Given that information this spin about the brouhaha that has erupted concerning civilian trials for terrorists is terrific:
“Whereas a majority of the public approves of the job President Obama is doing in most aspects of national security, a 51 to 44 percent majority of likely voters disapproves of his efforts on the prosecution and interrogation of terrorism suspects,” the pollsters found.
That and the response to the Christmas day bomber have been two key reasons the polls have shifted. And both have to do with decisions made by Obama’s administration or Obama himself. And, unless I’m mistaken, a 50 to 33 difference does not say “a majority of the public approves of the job President Obama is doing in most aspects of national security”, does it?
Hollywood provides the grist for today’s bit of outrageous verbiage in the words of Sean Penn (I know, I know, shocka). He’s upset about how his buddy and virtual dictator of Venezuela is being treated here he’s ready to jail everyone who speaks out against him. Talking on Bill Maher’s show he said:
Because every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it! And accept it. And this is mainstream media, who should – truly, there should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.
Sounds like someone who’d be very comfortable in the Venezuela of today because there they do have a bar by which one goes to prison – but not necessarily for “lies”. Instead it can be for simply speaking out against that kind and benevolent dictator, Hugo Chavez. Tell you what Sean – go down to Venezuela and try to start a media outlet in opposition to the Chavez regime and tell us what happens, mmkay?
You know a problem is obvious when even Bob Herbert figures it out:
Instead of focusing with unwavering intensity on this increasingly tragic situation, making it their top domestic priority, President Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill have spent astonishing amounts of time and energy, and most of their political capital, on an obsessive quest to pass a health care bill.
Health care reform is important. But what the public has wanted and still badly needs above all else from Mr. Obama and the Democrats are bold efforts to put people back to work. A major employment rebound is the only real way to alleviate the deep economic anxiety that has gripped so many Americans. Unaddressed, that anxiety inevitably evolves into dread and then anger.
But while the nation is desperate for jobs, jobs, jobs, the Democrats have spent most of the Obama era chanting health care, health care, health care.
That obsessive quest, as Herbert calls it, to the detriment of what should be the real priority of this administration and Congress removes completely the label of “pragmatic politician” from behind Barack Obama’s name. He’s an ideologue, pure and simple, and is engaged in an purely ideological attempt to pass a far-left fantasy while he has the opportunity. Jobs and the economy be damned, his focus is on increasing the government’s role in health care by any means necessary.
Now of course, Herbert doesn’t go that far in his piece. However he does trash one of the favorite beliefs of the Democrats as we at QandO have done for quite some time:
The talk inside the Beltway, that super-incestuous, egomaniacal, reality-free zone, is that President Obama and the Democrats have a messaging or public relations problem. We’re being told — and even worse, Mr. Obama and the Democrats are being told — that their narrative is not getting through. In other words, the wonderfulness of all that they’ve done is somehow not being recognized by the slow-to-catch-on masses.
Herbert calls such belief “silly”. It is silly, although not for the same reasons Herbert chooses. In fact, the narrative has been both understood and rejected. It is through maintaining their unsubstantiated belief that it is the public that is the problem, and not their policies, that lawmakers continue the “obsessive quest”.
After the usual, expected and mostly unsubstantiated “Republicans have no solutions” jab (because anything else might lend aid and comfort to the enemy), Herbert concludes:
The many millions of new jobs needed to make a real dent in the employment crisis are not going to materialize by themselves. Mr. Obama and the Democrats don’t seem to understand that.
Actually they will materialize by themselves – unless government gets in the way, imposes new taxes (health care reform and cap-and-trade, etc.), more onerous regulation and otherwise keeps the business climate roiled and uncertain. Thus far, that’s precisely what the administration and Congress have managed to this point.
The quest for more government control of health care has exhausted the political capital of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress. In the end, regardless of what happens with its passage, this ideological obsession is going to hurt those engaged in it pretty badly. The only question is the extent. But when even Bob Herbert is able to remove the blinders and for once see the real problem from which the Democrats and Obama suffer, you know it has to be just as obvious to the vast majority of the public. It’s not the “narrative” stupid, it’s the focus. And having the wrong focus is detrimental to your political health.