Commentary Magazine


Re: Not an Easy Time for Obama Worshipers

Pete, one feels discomfort watching liberal pundits twist and turn, straining to come up with explanations for the decline in their once beloved Obama’s fortunes. It is embarrassing at times. Jill Lawrence is a case in point. She goes so far as to argue that none of the bad polling is really the Obami’s fault:

So where did they go wrong? What could they have done to avoid what many analysts see as portents of doom for the 2010 House and Senate elections? Probably nothing. In fact, they’d be in even worse shape if they had made different choices.

Really? He’d be in worse shape than if he hadn’t made the choices he made? Frankly, that’s poppycock.  Hard to imagine on foreign policy Obama would be in worse shape if he hadn’t played footsie with the mullahs for a year, engaged in a monumentally stupid settlement freeze gambit in the Middle East, done his best to offend the Brits, yanked missile-defense systems from allies, shoved human rights under the rug, and bowed and scraped before many a monarch. All of those choices have led to widespread criticism from across the political spectrum.

Then there are Obama’s choices on the war on terror. If he hadn’t decided to end enhanced interrogations, go after the CIA, shutter Guantanamo, move the detainees to Illinois, and give KSM a civilian trial, would he really be worse off? The public hates all of these moves, after all.

Then there is the spending binge, the debt accumulation, and the ultra-liberal domestic agenda. Had he not delegated the stimulus plan junk-a-thon drafting to Nancy Pelosi and backed a huge energy tax and regulatory bill just when the public was losing patience with global-warming hysteria, would Obama’s poll numbers be lower than they are now? And had he not backed a health-care plan that Americans despise, could he have been worse off? It seems as though Obama’s recent decline in polling has tracked the plunge in support for Obamacare. To borrow a phrase, he’s fallen off the precipice and is now below 50 percent approval in virtually every poll.

Liberal pundits are reluctant to admit that Obama is increasingly unpopular because his extreme liberal agenda is unpopular – and because he’s proven to be a cold and huffy personality. During the campaign and the opening months of the administration, the liberal spinners alternately told us that he wasn’t that liberal or that the policies would neatly fit with the public’s shift leftward. But the public didn’t shift Left. And after telling us that Obama was a “sort of God,” the media cheerleaders are now hard pressed to cheer for a president who has managed to be both ubiquitous and unlikable.

So they spin and contort, disregard available evidence, and suggest that Obama is not really responsible for his own unpopularity. But the excuses are lame, not even George W. Bush can be tagged for Obama’s policy choices and the public has wised up. Most of the country doesn’t seem to buy the notion that it’s all someone else’s fault.