How is Barack Obama doing after one year in office? Is his much-ballyhooed presidency on track?
No. He is treading water at best. And sinking at worst. Let’s look back:
With 70+% approval ratings at his inauguration on January 20, 2009, a Gallup daily tracking poll in December showed him at 47%, the lowest point ever reached by a modern American president by December of his first year. In January 2010, CBS and Rasmussen polls both showed him at 46%. A January 2010 CNN poll showed a whopping 47% saying that Obama’s presidency is “a failure”.
This is a massive blow to the allegedly invincible Obama. Independent voters are fleeing Obama and the Democrats in droves as evidenced in the November 3, 2009 elections in which Republicans won big in Virginia and New Jersey, and in a traditional-marriage vote in Maine. And in more than 30 separate state races in 2009, the GOP has won handily. Now, even in Massachusetts, the most liberal state in America, Republican Scott Brown may win Ted Kennedy’s US Senate seat over the increasing unpopularity of the Obama agenda, particularly health care.
Remarkably, young voters – deemed Lifelong Democrats just one year ago – also are becoming disillusioned with the bad economy which has soured them on Obama. They failed to turn out for the Democrats in those November races and they do not want to hear about cap-and-trade and illegal immigration. They want jobs.
And consider this fact: The 47% poll figures came after a year of completely sympathetic and positive coverage by the American media. The networks even covered live Obama’s remarks on the Haiti earthquake, which was just a boilerplate statement of support.
Yet to compare Obama’s popularity directly to Bush, you would have to imagine the media equally hostile to Obama as they were to Bush. And if they both were treated with equal hostility, Obama’s poll numbers would be in the low 30s right now and we would be writing the obituary on his presidency.
In an inauspicious start, Obama bungled his own swearing-in ceremony, a bad omen. The media made it look like it was Chief Justice John Roberts who made the mistake. But it was Obama himself who rushed to repeat the opening phrase of the swearing-in before Roberts was finished, leading Roberts to have to backtrack and to become confused.
On the day of his inauguration, the stock market fell more than 300 points – the biggest percentage drop ever for such a day – and then fell 2,000 more points in the ensuing months. This was another bad start to his presidency, showing a lack of confidence by the private markets.
Stocks have since recovered, but other economic indicators have tumbled precipitously. The housing market remains depressed and unemployment is now officially 10%, although the real rate is said to be almost 20%. This is not sustainable. Many states are out of money and the populace is restless and angry. The Tea Party movement, aimed at cutting government spending and spurring employment, was born just three months after Obama’s inauguration and is going to be a permanent fixture on the America political landscape.
When ever before have you seen such a quick and strong reaction to a president?
In his first year, in press conference after press conference after summit meeting on the economy, the overexposed Obama has sought to consistently blame the Bush administration for the economic situation that he “inherited”. But this only goes so far. After a while, the people do not want to hear about what you inherited; they want to know what you are going to do about it. And according to his polls, the public is not impressed with Obama’s performance or his shifting of the blame.
As his first official act, Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay facility for terrorist detainees. Then on Christmas Day 2009, a terrorist from Nigeria tried to bring down an American airliner. That terrorist had ties to two Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo who had been freed in 2007 by the Bush administration in its ongoing attempt to appease the anti-Iraq left and the media.
Now the people of rural Illinois may end up playing host to the Gitmo terrorists. This is a bad policy for three reasons: First it will make Illinois a target for possible terrorist action. Second it will lead those detainees into civilian courts. And third it will be very expensive to house them in Illinois, requiring hundreds of unionized government corrections officers and support staff to do a job now done for free – and very effectively – by our military at Guantanamo.
But this is Obama’s strategy, to constantly expand the government and its payroll, starting with the $787 billion stimulus bill signed last February, which is being paid for by increased national debt.
Now consider where that stimulus cash has gone: While the spending was touted as crucial “infrastructure” money that would help rebuild our vital roads and bridges, much of it is being spent on the usual pork like tennis courts and teacher salaries. One of the most telling outlays has been the funding of $8 billion for a high-speed passenger railroad. Environmentalists and Democrats have been talking for decades about funding such projects in order to alleviate traffic congestion around our cities.
Yet the $8 billion is earmarked for a rail connection between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, a non-congested, non-essential corridor. The money was simply a political payoff to US Democrat senator Harry Reid of Nevada. Thus obviously Obama is playing more Democrat political patronage at a time when Democrats are screaming Environmental Armageddon and the nation is sinking in debt. This is shocking but expected by those of us who know the real score on liberalism.
Obama decided in bailing out GM and Chrysler that large parts of those companies should be turned over to the unions, and that thousands of dealerships should be arbitrarily shut down. This hurt many businessmen in small towns but enriched the unions. Even in the health-care bill, the unions have received special treatment. And thus Obama is continuing the process of funneling more and more of the nation’s wealth to government and private-sector unions, to the detriment of our economy. And Americans are mad as hell about it.
Last summer, Obama faced one of the first social predicaments of his presidency when black professor Henry Gates of Harvard was arrested for making a scene at a Cambridge, Massachusetts house where suspicious activity was reported. Obama accused the police of “acting stupidly” even before he knew all the facts. Then he hosted a Beer Summit to iron out the problem, but he never has spoken a word about black racial attacks on white people which continued unabated in 2009, including an incident in Florida, where a 15-year-old white boy was doused in alcohol and set on fire by a groups of five blacks and hispanics; and in Arkansas where two black males murdered a white father of three working for the Salvation Army on Christmas Eve. After attorney general Eric Holder said that America was “a nation of cowards” on the issue of race, could blacks and Obama – be the real cowards?
You won’t hear it from Obama, that is for sure.
The health-care bill is perhaps the most charged issue of the year. Polls show a solid majority of Americans opposed to it, yet the Democrats have pushed it hard. This is causing Americans to lose more confidence in Obama. This issue has been discussed endlessly in the media and it should be. It will massively expand the government at a time when the nation already is deeply in debt. But that is how socialism works, by bringing down the free-market capitalist system dollar by dollar. And it will bring down Obama too. American remains a conservative nation.
Obama won the Nobel Prize essentially for nothing. And this was rightfully dismissed by most Americans as yet another gift to another socialist from the Nobel committee. But perhaps more instructive was Obama’s trip to Copenhagen to personally lobby for the 2016 Olympics for Chicago. There is an old saying that a president should know the outcome before he makes such a venture. And when the International Olympic Committee eliminated Chicago in the first round of voting, it was a huge blow to the over-confident Obama, and perhaps a sign of things to come, that there is a difference between the fabricated media perception of Obama and reality.
While the president ramped up the American presence in Afghanistan, he had little option. No president wants to see a war lost on his watch, and he made a good decision. But Holder’s simultaneous decision to go ahead with possible prosecutions of CIA officers over terrorist interrogations, along with Obama’s call for civilian trials in New York City for the alleged 9/11 mastermind, undermines his credibility on national security. The Christmas attack on Flight 253 also has greatly undermined public confidence in Obama.
On the foreign policy front, Obama has ‘reached out’ to the world and got zero in return. North Korea has continued with provocative missile tests, Iran has stepped up its pursuit of nuclear weapons and Russia has given nothing in exchange for Obama’s withdrawal of defensive missile systems from Poland and the Czech Republic. In other words, Obama has exhibited weakness in a world demanding strength.
In Cairo, he gave a speech that sought to appease the Muslim world. This hasn’t done much to improve relations, however. Terrorists are more determined than ever, and they see Obama’s weakness and acquiescence as signals to move aggressively.
Obama is not nearly the omnipowerful president that he is being portrayed. There are things called ‘elections’ that give the citizens the chance to express their opinion. And in the most revealing result in the November 3, 2009 election, incumbent Democrat New Jersey governor and Obama partisan Jon Corzine lost by a wide margin to Republican reformer Chris Christie even after Obama had repeatedly visited that very Democrat state in person to campaign for Corzine. This shows Obama’s real-life weakness once the media spin is siphoned away. And this shows where this president’s first year in office really has led us.
There were many other incidents in the first year that contributed, drop by drop, to sinking confidence in Obama – the presence of two communist sympathizers among his advisers (Van Jones and Anita Dunn); the flyover of New York City by Air Force One, leading to panic; his bizarre response to the Ford Hood massacre; his Wednesday night parties at the White House as the nation is suffering; and his refusal to even pick a church to attend, revealing that he is not a Christian at all (which we conservatives already knew). All this discontent will be reflected in the elections to come.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.