Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Imagine what happens when unemployment hits double-digits: “President Obama’s approval rating has fallen six points in the past month, a new CBS News poll finds, amid growing skepticism about his handling of the economy and questions about the impact of the stimulus package. The president’s current approval rating, which is 57 percent, is still relatively high. But it has fallen 11 points from its peak of 68 percent in April, and has also dropped since last month’s mark of 63 percent. His disapproval rating, meanwhile, has risen from 23 percent in April to 32 percent today…. The president’s support among
independents has fallen eight points to 50 percent…. The driving issue behind the president’s decline in approval appears to be the economy. His approval rating on handling the economy is now 48 percent, while 44 percent disapprove.”

Rep. Mark Kirk clears the field and will run for Senate in Illinois. By then will voters forget his cap-and-trade vote?

Did Big Labor downgrade card check? It’s now the “No. 2″ legisltive priority. Well, in the “readout” from the White House it is slipped to third place: “The President met with more than a dozen labor leaders for approximately 45 minutes. The President was joined by Secretary Solis. It was a productive conversation about shared priorities like creating jobs, health care reform and the Employee Free Choice Act.”

Well here’s an artful way of putting it: “‘We believe his commitment to that is as strong now as it ever was,’ said Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America. ‘He said he will work with us to get this done.'” As committed as he’s ever been. Got it.

The Washington Post stumbles into the obvious issue for 2010: “The success or failure of the stimulus looms increasingly large for members seeking re-election who voted for it and for those looking to unseat incumbents — specifically Republicans targeting wobbly Democrats.”

Marty Peretz observes that Hillary Clinton has essentially disappeared from view. He remarks: “Nor has Hillary broken discipline. Obama has taken a stiff stand with Israel and Bibi Netanyahu; Hillary has been if anything more than a bit stiffer. Obama has been somewhat soft on the regime of the ayatollahs; ditto Hillary. She has mouthed his every word, so much so that old Hillary fans can’t quite believe what they hear and see. Not me: I never trusted her.” But he did trust Obama so can he believe what he hears and sees from the president?

Hans A. von Spakovsky on the statement in Sonia Sotomayor’s opening statement that she believes in “fidelity to the law” and that “the task of a judge is not to make the law — it is to apply the law”: “[That] is quite a change from her previous speeches and articles. It reminds me of the famous statement by the former editor of the Saturday Evening Post who once famously said that ‘when a politician changes his position, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether he has seen the light or felt the heat.’ Given the consistency of Sotomayor’s contrary views on this particularly issue throughout her career, it seems more likely that she has felt the heat rather than seen the light. The fact that she felt the need to address this in her opening statement shows that she feels vulnerable on this issue.”

After giving away billions in taxpayer subsidies and giving a sweetheart deal to the UAW the Car Czar, Steve Rattner, steps down, perhaps because of ethics issues. Shouldn’t someone find out?

Mickey Kaus has a list of possible reasons. Thank goodness “hiking the Appalachian trail” isn’t one of them.

Hey, Bill Clinton went on forever at the 1988 Democratic Convention and still got to be president: “New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s first moment on the national senatorial stage was a bumpy one. In a move that induced cringes in the gallery, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) cut her off in the middle of her extremely long introductory statement on Sotomayor — telling Gillibrand the committee needed to speed up Sotomayor’s swearing-in. Gillibrand, a rookie, apparently missed the Leahy’s cue to wrap it up — a slight banging of his gavel.”

Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!