Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Village Declares War On Obama

Sunday's WaPo finds Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie opening up with both barrels on the President, as having been given an apparently overly generous six months to solve all the problems Bush left behind, a President with a 57% approval rating is-- according to the Village, anyway -- the new Jimmy Carter.
Barely six months into his presidency, Barack Obama seems to be driving south into that political speed trap known as Carter Country: a sad-sack landscape in which every major initiative meets not just with failure but with scorn from political allies and foes alike. According to a July 13 CBS News poll, the once-unassailable president's approval rating now stands at 57 percent, down 11 points from April. Half of Americans think the recession will last an additional two years or more, 52 percent think Obama is trying to "accomplish too much," and 57 percent think the country is on the "wrong track."

From a lousy cap-and-trade bill awaiting death in the Senate to a health-care reform agenda already weak in the knees to the failure of the stimulus to deliver promised jobs and economic activity, what once looked like a hope-tastic juggernaut is showing all the horsepower of a Chevy Cobalt. "Give it to me!" the president egged on a Michigan audience last week, pledging to "solve problems" and not "gripe" about the economic hand he was dealt.

Despite such bravura, Obama must be furtively reviewing the history of recent Democratic administrations for some kind of road map out of his post-100-days ditch.

So far, he seems to be skipping the chapter on Bill Clinton and his generally free-market economic policies and instead flipping back to the themes and comportment of Jimmy Carter. Like the 39th president, Obama has inherited an awful economy, dizzying budget deficits and a geopolitical situation as promising as Kim Jong Il's health. Like Carter, Obama is smart, moralistic and enamored of alternative energy schemes that were nonstarters back when America's best-known peanut farmer was installing solar panels at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Like Carter, Obama faces as much effective opposition from his own party's left wing as he does from an ardent but diminished GOP.

And perhaps most important, as with Carter, his specific policies are genuinely unpopular. The auto bailout -- which, incidentally, is illegal, springing as it has from a fund specifically earmarked for financial institutions -- has been reviled from the get-go, with opposition consistently polling north of 60 percent. Majorities have said no to bank bailouts and to cap and trade if it would make electricity significantly more expensive.

According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, more than 80 percent are concerned that health-care reform will increase costs or diminish the quality of care. Even as two House committees passed a reform bill last week, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned that the proposal "significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs" and dramatically raises the cost "curve." This sort of voter and expert feedback can't be comforting to the president.

As writers who inveighed against last year's GOP candidate and called George W. Bush's presidency a "disaster," we're equal-opportunity critics. As taxpayers with children and hence some small, almost certainly unrecoverable stake in this country's future (not to mention that of General Motors, Chrysler and AIG), we write with skin in the game and the fear that our current leader will indeed start busting out the 1970s cardigans.

Incredible. I agree totally that Bush's presidency was a disaster, but our "liberal media" here has decided that Obama's efforts to try to do anything to actually fix any of the myriad of problems Bush left us are just...too hard. They have already declared GM and Chrysler to be failures after only a few months, have given up on the stimulus plan totally, are complaining that health care reform will cost too much and they hate bank bailouts (which of course were actually done by Bush.)

How dare Obama try to fix these horrible problems caused by throwing trillions down the Iraq/Afghanistan/tax cuts for the wealthy/bank deregulation rathole by daring to spend taxpayer money! If only Obama would listen to the will of the people who elected all these Democrats into power and let the Republicans run the country like Clinton did (oh sure, Clinton got savaged and eventually impeached by the Republicans, who then allowed the Bush-Cheney junta to wreck our economy and Democrats were thrust into office with massive majorities in Congress, but other than that Americans prefer the GOP way of running things.)

Really, it seems, Obama should just give up and go back to the same Republican pillars of TAXEN CUTTEN UBER ALLES, letting multi-trillion dollar industries police themselves, and cutting government programs that would help poor people. It's the only way we can all become rich, you know.

And yet, this is only the beginning of treating a President with a 57% approval rating like he was orders of magnitude worse than the last guy in office stuck at 27% or so for the last several years of his second term.

Operation Destroy Obama has entered its shock and awe phase. He hasn't saved the country after six whole months? Throw the bum out!

For the President's press honeymoon to be over, he would of had to have one in the first place, remember?


Matt Osborne said...

Remind me again: how is the WaPo "in the tank for Obama?"

Serr8d said...

You say
"How dare Obama try to fix these horrible problems caused by throwing trillions down the Iraq/Afghanistan/tax cuts for the wealthy/bank deregulation rathole by daring to spend taxpayer money!"

while reality is

"How dare Obama try to fix these horrible problems (caused by Democrats throwing trillions down various leftist crony-statist-ACORN-socialist ratholes) by going on a gleeful spending spree since taking over the Congress in 2006 and the Presidency in 2008 by daring to print money we don't have, won't have, and then pass the bill along to our as-yet unborn grandchildren!"


(OH, and the CRA is yours, bitch~! OWN IT!)

DaveG said...

Justification for lefty policies that would reshape our country in the form of failed or failing European countries has to be more that "my predecessors for the last 60 years were either idiots, corrupt, or corrupt idiots." He got into the oval office with that message but failed to realize that campaigning is not the same thing as leading.

Obama's arrogance and failure to wear the mantle of leadership maturely, in addition to his penchant for overselling programs that inevitably fail to deliver on his undeliverable rhetoric.

Obama has squandered his credibility and made himself nothing more than a rubber stamp for a loathed congress, a congress that is solely responsible for the ostensibly "inherited" economic problems that surprisingly enough prove intransigent to an onslaught of even greater levels of the same liberal/socialist spending.

Matt H. said...

I see "stupid" is alive and well in the comments to this post. Brilliant.

Zandar said...

Yeah, I know Welsh and Gillespie are in fact both from Reason mag. You'd expect this stuff from Reason, as a matter of fact. They do it all the time, it's American Spectator only with better color scheme on the website.

Question is, what the hell is this doing in the Sunday WaPo?

People forget that in 1993, the press kept mentioning "Clinton's honeymoon could be over" if X, Y, Z happened, and then spent an entire year savaging the guy so badly that the GOP took over in 1994. Nobody came to the honest conclusion that Clinton, being a Democrat, never had one.

In 1993, the press declared Clinton was worse than Poppy Bush, then got back into line allowing the GOP to run the country like a good little Dem.

In 2009, the press has declared that Obama is already worse than Dubya after six months.

Think about that.

The Grand Panjandrum said...

As I commented over a Ballon Juice:

Shorter Gillespie & Welch: U SUK Prez d00d! AND a minority of the country agreez with me! Ha ha ha U got PWNED d00d!

(BTW I'm officially joining this commentariat ... I like your style.)

Anonymous said...

Wingnuts, the Washington Post and the dirty hippies all agree: Obama's had too much time. This assures me that he's doing great.

JoePo said...

I never would have guessed that ACORN would replace "But, 9/11!" as the most prevalent rightist cudgel.

Gib said...

One critical article about his similarities to Bush and the press has declared war on Obama? You guys expect nothing less than total loyalty, huh?

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