Nov 23 2008
The Obama, marketed as the man who would ‘change’ politics, America and the world has stumbled out of the starting blocks. His selection of cabinet members has most people wondering if there are enough Clinton-era political retreads left around to fill all the Obama administration slots. “Change” just doesn’t seem to be coming through with all the cabinet selections we have seen.
And public optimism is also not shining through either. As I said a few weeks ago, the barometer to watch is the right/wrong track numbers. And they haven’t budged since the election:
Gallup Poll.Â Nov. 13-16, 2008. N=1,009Â adults nationwide. MoE Â±Â 3.Â Â Â Â Â Â <Graphic>
“In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?”
Â Â Satisfied Dissatisfied Unsure Â Â Â Â % % % Â Â Â
11 87 2 Â Â Â
13 84 3 Â Â Â
10/31 – 11/2/08
13 85 2 Â Â Â
7 91 1 Â Â Â
9 90 1 Â Â Â Â
Basically these numbers have not budged much given the 3% MoE since the financial collapse in September. Roughly 90% of the nation thinks we are still on the wrong track, even though there a major political shift towards the left has just been completed (starting 2 years ago with the GOP loss of control of Congress). What strikes me is how the number moved only slightly positive on the news of Obama’s election and the Democrat gains in Congress. But now it is drifting back downwards towards extreme pessimism. Maybe it is starting to sink that Obama has no magic powers, is really just the latest media-wrapped politician, that the same old players are playing the same old games in DC? Maybe America is realizing The Messiah has no magical robes?
The news for Congress is not much better, and why should it be? There was no ‘change’ in Congress and it was foolish liberal policies which brought down our economy, crushed by a sea of bad loans to people who were not capable of owning a home. A sea of bad loans a lot of rich democrats made their personal fortunes on. So I am not surprised Congressional approval numbers mirror the national mood:
The question will be whether Obama has sufficient ‘star power’ to pull these numbers around, or whether the sour financial conditions and mood of the country will be the superior force and drag down Obama and the Dems.
Being a conservative means I should enjoy watching the Economic Black Hole suck the hope out of the Democrats who are poorly armed, policy-wise, to deal with the current crisis. They cannot afford to raise taxes on the rich (a.k.a., small business) which will really deflate their support. They will need to cut programs because of the cash crunch all levels of government are experiencing, which will anger their advocates. They will be bailing out Fat Cats right and left as the average Americans struggle to survive, and all those promises of pending Nirvana here on Earth will be exposed as the blatant lies they were.Â The liberal policies of taxing energy in accordance with Green Mythology will hurt those at the lower end of the economic scale the most, but the pain will be felt well up into the top of the middle class.Â
It is the Economic Black Hole which will probably drain Obama’s star power and move him closer to the bleak numbers we see for the nation’s direction and approval for Congress.
But I am an American first, so I would really prefer the nation’s economic situation right itself, even if that means Obama and the Dems get credit for it. I am just not sure how it will happen. Especially with retreads Obama is surrounding himself with (Biden should have been a big clue as to who Obama would select to lead the nation). And given the highly negative responses to Obama’s selections on the left I would say he is losing his base, just as Bush lost the far right. If he does lose the intense far left, the infighting will be harsh and fierce, which means Obama’s numbers could tank before next summer, maybe during the middle of spring. Remember, he and Congress cannot really do anything for this year, and have limited windows for impacting 2009 until October.
There is no magic wand out there, and the financial crisis is proving to be stubbornly bad. What I would prefer is meaningless. The Dems don’t have the weapons to fight this beast, and maybe it is better they are consumed by the very beast their policies created. It is a harsh lesson we could have avoided if people understood what they were being sold by slick pols. But history is replete with ironies. The dems created this financial mess, and they were handed the reigns of power just in time to feel the full brunt of theirÂ missteps Â They willÂ reap the reward as they get the blame or praise for what comes in the next two years.