The Fall of the Obama Administration

How far we have come from the hero worship that characterized the 2008 presidential campaign:

A majority of Americans and even many Democrats consider President Obama’s tenure to be a “failure,” according to a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News.

The poll shows Americans say 52-42 that Obama has been more of a failure than a success. Among registered voters, the gap is even bigger — at 55-39 — with four in 10 (41 percent) saying they “strongly” believe Obama has been a failure.

Those saying Obama has been a failure include one in four Democrats (25 percent), nearly three in 10 liberals (29 percent) and the vast, vast majority of conservative Republicans (92 percent). Nearly one in five liberals (18 percent) say they feel “strongly” that Obama has been a failure.

Interestingly, there is also some crossover on the other side. About one in five conservatives (22 percent) say Obama has been a success (note: this is a different group from “conservative Republicans”), as do 48 percent of moderates. In fact, self-described moderates are more likely to rate Obama a success (48 percent) than as a failure (44 percent).

Later in the article, we are warned that “we shouldn’t read too much into these numbers,” because the question is “binary.” My response: Who cares? Binary or not, in the past, such polls would have made the president and his administration look good. Not anymore. Maybe at some point, the president will turn things around. Then again, maybe not.

Oh, and all is very much not well on the foreign policy front:

When President Obama addresses the nation on Wednesday to explain his plan to defeat Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, it is a fair bet he will not call them the “JV team.”

Nor does he seem likely to describe Iraq as “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” with a “representative government.” And presumably he will not assert after more than a decade of conflict that “the tide of war is receding.”

As he seeks to rally Americans behind a new military campaign in the Middle East, Mr. Obama finds his own past statements coming back to haunt him. Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts.

In making his speech, Mr. Obama faces the challenge of reconciling those views with the new mission he is presenting to the American public to recommit the armed forces of the United States to the region he tried to leave. Rather than a junior varsity nuisance, he will try to convince Americans that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria represents a clear threat to national security in a state that is hardly stable. And he will seek to win patience for more war from a public that wishes it really was receding.

To Mr. Obama’s critics, the disparity between the president’s previous statements and today’s reality reflects not simply poorly chosen words but a fundamentally misguided view of the world. Rather than clearly see the persistent dangers as the United States approaches the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, they said, Mr. Obama perpetually imagines a world as he wishes it were.

“I don’t think it is just loose talk, I think it’s actually revealing talk,” said Peter H. Wehner, a former adviser to President George W. Bush now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “Sometimes words are mistakes; they’re just poorly put. But sometimes they’re a manifestation of one’s deep belief in the world and that’s what you really get with President Obama.”

Remember when this crowd was going to fix everything that was supposedly wrong with American foreign policy? Boy, those were the days. As the article points out, about the best that Obama administration officials can do in response is to sputter something along the lines of “yeah? Well Bush was worse!” Which tells you something about how desperate the political environment has gotten for them.

Comments

  1. When We Choose a King
    By Robert Winkler Burke
    1/22/09 http://www.inthatdayteachings.com

    When we choose a king,
    We get what we deserve,
    Lessons in gladness or sadness,
    For a king always serves.

    A king always serves,
    To prove right or wrong,
    In teaching it matters not,
    What side he belongs.

    If a fool, the king will be loved,
    By all his same kind,
    While proving a fool in power, showers,
    Insanity all around.

    The fool king proves wrong doctrines,
    Creates death eventually,
    Letting fools repent to great depths,
    Of fool insanity.

    A wise king is hated utterly,
    By all foolish crowds,
    His acts of wisdom provoke,
    Fools to stand proud.

    While the wise king brings life,
    Through sagacious acts,
    The death lovers will distort,
    Great matters of fact.

    The only way fools will change,
    And love a wise king,
    Is to first let a fool king,
    Up end everything.

    So let the fool king,
    Up end all he can,
    He’ll just prove what a fool believes,
    Not a wise man.

    The fool king’s subjects,
    Will finally want truth,
    Hard truths, brutal truths the crowds,
    Earlier forsoothed.

    Give us sane doctrines!
    They’ll cry in unison,
    A fool king is deadly!
    Forgive us, God’s Son.

    And God will forgive,
    Our foolish choices,
    When hard truth is honored,
    God rejoices.

    God rejoices and lets us,
    Choose our wise kings,
    First letting us suffer fools,
    To learn great things.

    How do I know this?
    I’ve been king of my life,
    Often fool, sometimes wise,
    Mostly in between strife.

    So let a fool be a fool,
    As good as it gets,
    This a wise man allows,
    How wisdom begets.

  2. Not quite. Their default answer to everything was “It’s Bush’s fault.” This time it’s clearly Obama’s fault. So the default answer has to be revised to “Bush was worse.”

  3. I’m sorry.
    I followed the elections both in 2008 and 2012. In my opinion it is the American electorate, and not Barack Obama, who have been the failures.

  4. The question did not define “failure”. Quite honestly, Obama has accomplished what he set out to do, and what he told people he would do. That is why many conservatives will define Obama as a success–although not a success for the country as a whole.

    • You are absolutely right. Rush said as much yesterday. When he said “I hope he fails” he was referring to him getting what he wants. We are in the shape we are because he has succeeded.

  5. What’s truly frightening is that at least 40% of those polled still believe, despite the obvious facts, that Obama has performed well.
    But, maybe that 40% are viewing things from Obama’s ‘transformational’ “Dreams From My Father” perspective?
    In such a case, they are correct and are getting exactly what they expected and Obama intended all along.

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