President Obama’s poll numbers have been up and of late, suddenly down. I tend to ignore any single day’s poll numbers for anyone because so much of the public pulse is driven by emotions/feelings, some meme floating in the political winds, rather than something tangible. I saw the headlines that connected the sudden drop to gas prices. That did not surprise me because I hear complaints about gas prices all the time. For some reason many people think presidents have control over gas prices or presidents tell oil companies how and when to drill, or how much refined petrol to put on the market. Like much of our political discourse the subject of fossil fuels is driven more by beliefs and myths than facts. Still it seemed strange that all the sudden Obama should get blame for gas prices. Conservatives have been blaming Obama for everything from gas prices to the wear and tear on their polyester lounge chairs to unseasonal droughts for three years. Why the far Right sees Obama as both Superman and a failure I’ll leave for psychiatrists to figure out. Jonathan Chait seems to have figured out a more plausible reason, The Obama Poll Drop Mystery: Explained!
Here’s one possible explanation: the Friday jobs report. The jobs report reflected good news, of course. But this may actually be the problem for Obama. A Democracy Corps survey from last month tested elements of Obama’s State of the Union address. The whole thing fared extremely well, except for one bit, where Obama boasted that “America is back.” Democracy Corps found:
Claiming that “America is back” is by far the weakest operative message and produces disastrous results. It is weaker than even the weakest Republican message and is 10 points weaker in intensity than either Republican message. Overall, less than a third of all voters said this message makes them more likely to support the President and a third said this message made them less likely to support Barack Obama. Alarmingly, this message barely receives majority support among self-identified Democrats — and even less support among all other groups. Less than a quarter of independents say this message would make them more likely to support the President and no independents said that it would make them much more likely to support him.
Respondents, according to the survey, still felt enormous economic pain and insecurity, and interpreted any positive statements as a sign of complacency and detachment.
That seems to be the message that came through after Friday’s jobs report. Obama appeared at a factory to hail the news, and even declared later that day, yes, “America is coming back.”
This may all be a pure coincidence. But the timing works out almost perfectly, with the Friday news driving three days of polling results that would appear on Monday. If true, this vindicates Democracy Corps’s warning to Obama. The public is ready to credit him for trying, they really hate the Republicans, but they do not think that it’s morning in America and respond badly to any suggestion that they ought to feel cheerful.
Historically public perceptions of recoveries always lag actual improvements in the economy. With over 8% unemployment, many people working jobs that pay less than what they were making six years ago, a slight rise in food prices and everyone having a friend or relative still out of work – the misery index is still acutely palpable. Most of the public looks at the Romney, Santorum, Gingrich plans to further cut taxes for very profitable corporations and billionaires as an answer to a faster recovery know that is not the answer. But don’t want someone to put too much gloss on an unfinished job. Even Democrats who read Paul Krugman or Robert Reich keep seeing the term fragile recovery and most of us believe that.
Glenn Greenwald is great, but there are times when he gets a little shrill. One issue on which we will always disagree is the killing of al-Awlaki. There is no absolute clear legal line which Obama or the Holder DOJ crossed. We would probably agree that Congress and certainly the judiciary should have more oversight about such decisions because we are supposed to be the kind of nation that takes those extra precautions to protect the rights of its citizens. Though until Congress does act President Obama and Attorney General Holder are, or were correct in their actions. The “Greenwaldian Firebaggers” might learn something from this post about a recent speech by Holder,
Our criminal justice system is renowned not only for its fair process; it is respected for its results. We are not the first Administration to rely on federal courts to prosecute terrorists, nor will we be the last. Although far too many choose to ignore this fact, the previous Administration consistently relied on criminal prosecutions in federal court to bring terrorists to justice. John Walker Lindh, attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid, and 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui were among the hundreds of defendants convicted of terrorism-related offenses – without political controversy – during the last administration.
Over the past three years, we’ve built a remarkable record of success in terror prosecutions. For example, in October, we secured a conviction against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for his role in the attempted bombing of an airplane traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. He was sentenced last month to life in prison without the possibility of parole. While in custody, he provided significant intelligence during debriefing sessions with the FBI….
In addition to Abdulmutallab, Faizal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square bomber, Ahmed Ghailani, a conspirator in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and three individuals who plotted an attack against John F. Kennedy Airport in 2007, have also recently begun serving life sentences….
There is one example – among several – in that excerpt from the Holder speech and I’ll be darned if a Firebagger rushes to comment that there has not been ‘one’ prosecution that meets Greenwald’s standards by the Obama administration.
Fair enough, especially about what manipulative political campaigns are hiding, but within “Game Change” and Julianne Moore’s amazing performance, another movie is struggling to be seen—-not about Sarah Palin’s total lack of qualifications to be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office but the incredible irresponsibility of John McCain and their handlers once they discover it.
By giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, they manage to hide Palin’s ignorance in her debate with Joe Biden and then high-five one another over the accomplishment, but not once is there even fleeting consideration of replacing her on the ticket, as George McGovern did with Thomas Eagleton in 1972 when news about his mental-health history leaked.
In 2008, says the author of a book about Palin, she “was picked by McCain’s all-male pack of senior advisers not because of her experience and statesmanship, but because of a political calculus that placed a higher value on her flash than her substance. They were looking for a ‘game-changer’–and they treated the political future of this country as though it were, indeed, a game.”
[ ]….Steve Schmidt admits that “the notion of Sarah Palin being President of the United States is something that frightens me, frankly. And I played a part in that…because we were fueled by ambition to win. And I think that ambition to win, to victory is what drives people in politics…how we got there is something that troubles me a lot.”
Thank you, Dr. Frankenstein.
Palin has had plenty of free time and the money to hire a coach/consultant on the issues. It also would not hurt her to hire someone to coach her on the basic logical steps in an argument: Here is my thesis. This is the evidence ( not beliefs, facts) to justify my thesis. Thus my conclusion is…something said plainly and logically. having recently tried to portray herself as a poor oppressed black woman – the Obama campaign camp used snips for an ad – Palin, always one to act like a petty high school cheerleader done wrong – doubles down, Sarah Palin: Obama Twisted My Words In New Ad (VIDEO)
This latest ad is quite odd, but also quite telling. It shows that our President sure seems fearful of discussing the economy, energy prices, and all the other problems people need addressed. And intended or not, now that his ad opens up the discussion of Barack Obama’s radical past associations and the radical philosophy that shaped his ideas about his promised “fundamental transformation” of our country, I welcome the media to join ordinary Americans in finally vetting Barack Obama. The media failed to do so in 2008 to the detriment of us all. Maybe this time around they can do their job. They might start by noting the President’s heavily edited attack ad.
She probably did not watch but the President recently gave the SOTU speech and had a press conference – in both venues he discussed the economy, energy prices ( where he and Democrats have the support of the majority of the public). president Obama’s ‘radical” past. That would be the much touted Brietbart video which shows a young Obama in totally SHOCKING support of more diversity in the Harvard faculty. Obama was supporting Harvard Law Professor Derrick Bell as a symbol of his goals and that of most of the student body. Palin originally said she thinks people should be given opportunities to succeed in America regardless of color. Yet here she is again going the Obama is a radical and so is his professor route. In Palin’s world – a world that looks a lot like Ann Coulters – the only good black Americans are conservative black Americans. Derrick Bell’s Widow Speaks About ‘Outrage’ Against Her Late Husband
In an interview with MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” Janet Dewart Bell said she is “angry and sad” that commentators on the right have been dishonest about her husband. “… it’s just really part of that radical right wing and the right wing media’s patterns of distortion and misinformation,” she added.
The host, Ed Schultz, asked Bell to respond to Sarah Palin’s charge that her husband was a “racist.” It’s “outrageous” and an “outrage,” Bell responded. “Where are the good people who are going to speak up on the right side, you know?”
Bell went on to speak about how her husband was a “patriot” and a war veteran who never said he “didn’t like white people very much.” Many of the professor’s students — from all backgrounds — asked Bell to officiate their weddings, she said.
“Everybody should get a shot at the American dream. That is what Derrick Bell was about,” the professor’s widow added.
If having millions in unearned income courtesy the wing-nut welfare system is living the dream, Palin has made it. In America there are plenty of people happy to buy conservative snake-oil and any other mumbo-jumbo remedies they’re selling. Limbaugh has a $54 million dollar private jet courtesy the mouth breathers. Ann Coulter drinks French champagne in South Miami Beach nightclubs. And remember Herman Cain who said that black Democrats were brain washed. What are the people who make millionaire conservative pundits possible.
Sandra Fluke has an op-ed up at CNN, Slurs won’t silence women
Rick Santorum’s Campaign Co-Chair Says Blacks Won’t Vote for Mitt Romney Because Mormonism is Racist. A rational person might be tempted to think that Mr. Dozier is crazy and as such he will turn ff voters. These should not be mistaken for stumbles or gaffes on Dozier or Santorum’s part. It is a naked appeal to crazy – the kind of conservatives who are not sure if Obama is a Muslim or not.