An Unraveling Presidency

As I noted four weeks ago, Scott Rasmussen's daily presidential tracking poll has shown a very steady increase in the number of Americans who have a "very unfavorable" view of Obama's presidency and a corresponding, though less dramatic, decline in the number of Americans who have a "very favorable" view of his presidency.  As of July 27, the negative gap between these two groups of highly motivated voters was ten percentage points.  Polls which focus only on softer "favorable" and unfavorable" opinion still appear to keep the Obama Presidency in safe political water, but that is misleading for several reasons. 

First, while Republicans were playing dead and the Leftist media were presenting Barack and Michelle on every magazine cover, buying a pet, and all the other oh-so-loveable things that a young family with cute children moving into a new home, no one had given Americans a reason to doubt that the president was a pleasant, well spoken, sensible man.  He followed the script well.  His conscious attempt to enact an FDR style "One Hundred Days" of change simply overwhelmed all political opposition by a combination of political muscle, timid voices of opposition, and the perception of dramatic popular support.

Now following his umpteenth address to the nation and his frequent press conferences, his pretense of bipartisanship is gone.  In short, Obama has descended rapidly from the Magnificent to the Monotonous.  He says the same sorts of things over and over again, but there is really nothing new in Obama at all.  Throwing vast amounts of tax dollars into the economy, more or less willy-nilly, in an effort to "stimulate" growth is an old, failed policy.  His solemn assurances that reforms will not take away, for example, a patient's right to choose his physician, when there are several conflicting versions of health care reform floating around which seem to indicate otherwise, increasingly look like political grease to slide legislation through Congress.

Second, no presidency can be completely scripted.   When Iranian people revolt against a truly revolting government, one that lies to its own Moslem voters about election results and shoots women protesters in the streets, what can a man like Obama do?  Americans expect leadership, but Obama is in no sense of the word a leader.  When a police force that is probably as politically correct and racially sensitive as any in the nation arrests a black professor, Obama makes a sincere, and profoundly silly and dangerous, comment.  Inviting the policeman and the professor to the White House for a beer stops the bleeding but does not hide the scar.  The more helpless and hopeless Obama appears, the more unhappy Americans will be with him as a leader (his personal popularity, though, will probably remain high much longer.)

Third, as I have noted often in the past, Americans are conservative.  The Battleground Poll has put the percentage of Americans who are conservative at around sixty percent.  Pointedly, when Ed Goeas after the last Battleground Poll, last November, broke the numbers down even more precisely --What percentage are social conservatives? What percentage are "fiscal conservatives?  What percentages of Republicans or independents or Democrats were conservative? -- nothing changed.  However the data are examined, Americans are, overwhelmingly, conservative:  not moderate, not liberal, not unsure, but conservative.  See page 12 and page 13 of the post-election survey.

Fourth, Barack Obama is simply not very knowledgeable, and it increasingly shows.  This is not a rap on his intelligence or his efforts in school.  Prestigious schools have become, in areas like law and social sciences, little more than re-education camps.   His gaffes were ignored by the Leftist media during the campaign.  If Dan Quayle had talked about our fifty-seven states, it would have been fodder for late night jokes forever.  But the more Obama talks, the more obvious it becomes that he simply knows very little.  As an example, he recently said that winning the war on terrorism would not be like World War Two, when Emperor Hirohito signed articles of surrender.  Yet as even an amateur student of history knows, Hirohito did not sign the articles of surrender. The famous event on the Battleship Missouri was watched by the whole world.  It was recorded on film.  The Emperor was conspicuous by his absence.  It was rather like last year when Obama talked about "the bomb" that fell on Pearl Harbor or his May 2009 comment about his uncle who helped liberate Auschwitz. 

The more Americans see of Obama as president, the more they see a plastic ideologue who is utterly out of step with their vision of America and who lacks the basic knowledge to govern a nation.  Republicans have won nothing yet (they must first decide to stand for something and then articulate that position clearly.)  It is encouraging that a number of Republican senators have announced they will vote against Judge Sotomayor, taking a principled stand in a losing battle. 

It is vital to keep the lines between the parties bright and clear.  Our champion, our leader, will come if conservatives show gumption.  Few, if any, presidents have been as truly vulnerable as the man in the White House now. 

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
As I noted four weeks ago, Scott Rasmussen's daily presidential tracking poll has shown a very steady increase in the number of Americans who have a "very unfavorable" view of Obama's presidency and a corresponding, though less dramatic, decline in the number of Americans who have a "very favorable" view of his presidency.  As of July 27, the negative gap between these two groups of highly motivated voters was ten percentage points.  Polls which focus only on softer "favorable" and unfavorable" opinion still appear to keep the Obama Presidency in safe political water, but that is misleading for several reasons. 

First, while Republicans were playing dead and the Leftist media were presenting Barack and Michelle on every magazine cover, buying a pet, and all the other oh-so-loveable things that a young family with cute children moving into a new home, no one had given Americans a reason to doubt that the president was a pleasant, well spoken, sensible man.  He followed the script well.  His conscious attempt to enact an FDR style "One Hundred Days" of change simply overwhelmed all political opposition by a combination of political muscle, timid voices of opposition, and the perception of dramatic popular support.

Now following his umpteenth address to the nation and his frequent press conferences, his pretense of bipartisanship is gone.  In short, Obama has descended rapidly from the Magnificent to the Monotonous.  He says the same sorts of things over and over again, but there is really nothing new in Obama at all.  Throwing vast amounts of tax dollars into the economy, more or less willy-nilly, in an effort to "stimulate" growth is an old, failed policy.  His solemn assurances that reforms will not take away, for example, a patient's right to choose his physician, when there are several conflicting versions of health care reform floating around which seem to indicate otherwise, increasingly look like political grease to slide legislation through Congress.

Second, no presidency can be completely scripted.   When Iranian people revolt against a truly revolting government, one that lies to its own Moslem voters about election results and shoots women protesters in the streets, what can a man like Obama do?  Americans expect leadership, but Obama is in no sense of the word a leader.  When a police force that is probably as politically correct and racially sensitive as any in the nation arrests a black professor, Obama makes a sincere, and profoundly silly and dangerous, comment.  Inviting the policeman and the professor to the White House for a beer stops the bleeding but does not hide the scar.  The more helpless and hopeless Obama appears, the more unhappy Americans will be with him as a leader (his personal popularity, though, will probably remain high much longer.)

Third, as I have noted often in the past, Americans are conservative.  The Battleground Poll has put the percentage of Americans who are conservative at around sixty percent.  Pointedly, when Ed Goeas after the last Battleground Poll, last November, broke the numbers down even more precisely --What percentage are social conservatives? What percentage are "fiscal conservatives?  What percentages of Republicans or independents or Democrats were conservative? -- nothing changed.  However the data are examined, Americans are, overwhelmingly, conservative:  not moderate, not liberal, not unsure, but conservative.  See page 12 and page 13 of the post-election survey.

Fourth, Barack Obama is simply not very knowledgeable, and it increasingly shows.  This is not a rap on his intelligence or his efforts in school.  Prestigious schools have become, in areas like law and social sciences, little more than re-education camps.   His gaffes were ignored by the Leftist media during the campaign.  If Dan Quayle had talked about our fifty-seven states, it would have been fodder for late night jokes forever.  But the more Obama talks, the more obvious it becomes that he simply knows very little.  As an example, he recently said that winning the war on terrorism would not be like World War Two, when Emperor Hirohito signed articles of surrender.  Yet as even an amateur student of history knows, Hirohito did not sign the articles of surrender. The famous event on the Battleship Missouri was watched by the whole world.  It was recorded on film.  The Emperor was conspicuous by his absence.  It was rather like last year when Obama talked about "the bomb" that fell on Pearl Harbor or his May 2009 comment about his uncle who helped liberate Auschwitz. 

The more Americans see of Obama as president, the more they see a plastic ideologue who is utterly out of step with their vision of America and who lacks the basic knowledge to govern a nation.  Republicans have won nothing yet (they must first decide to stand for something and then articulate that position clearly.)  It is encouraging that a number of Republican senators have announced they will vote against Judge Sotomayor, taking a principled stand in a losing battle. 

It is vital to keep the lines between the parties bright and clear.  Our champion, our leader, will come if conservatives show gumption.  Few, if any, presidents have been as truly vulnerable as the man in the White House now. 

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.